Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Beauty and the Beach by Diane Darcy


She's finally free to follow her heart!

When her mother died, local beauty Isabelle Kenna was left with the task of raising a much younger sister and dealing with a lovable but increasingly alcoholic father. Now, with a nursing degree firmly in hand, her father on the wagon, and her sister off to college soon, Isabelle finally has the chance to live her own life and get a taste of the freedom she's craved. She might even find time for a bit of romance with the scarred yet attractive Marine who comes into the hospital. That's the plan, anyway.

Add in 100,000 reasons keeping them apart.

Adam Wilder, a hot-headed Marine-turned-master-jeweler, has a big crush on the pretty nurse at the VA hospital, and he plans to keep asking until she goes out with him. When his store manager 'borrows' and loses a $100,000 necklace, Adam goes ballistic. Too late, he realized the man's daughter is the pretty nurse he's hoping to impress. Maybe threatening her father and taking her freedom aren't the brightest ideas he's ever had. Unless he can make Isabelle fall for him, he obviously can't keep her forever. And it's not helping that they're also dealing with Adam's nosy neighbors, a few matchmaking Marines, and her sister who hates his guts! Can he still win Izzy's heart? Or will he simply lose his own?

When did Happily Ever After become so complicated?

My Review: 3.5 Stars

Adam is a retired Marine who has a crush on his nurse, Isabelle, at the VA hospital. He has asked her out a few times but has always been turned down. He doesn't know if it's the scars on his face or if it's for other reasons. But he is determined to keep asking her until she says yes. 

Izzy's life has always been a bit crazy. Between taking care of her little sister after their mom passes away, taking care of her dad when he's drinking himself into oblivion, going to college and working, she has very little time left to do anything else... especially date. But now that her sister is getting ready to graduate high school, her dad is in recovery and holding down a steady job, she can finally start taking steps to move out on her own. Now there isn't anything stopping her from saying yes to Adam the next time he asks her out. 

But when her dad "borrows" a necklace worth $100,000 for her sister to wear to prom and she loses it, their lives are thrown into chaos! Especially when her dad's boss turns out to be Adam. Now Izzy is forced to stay with him until the necklace is found and returned. But how can they start a relationship with the lost necklace hanging over all their heads? Adam doesn't know if it will be possible but decides that while Izzy is living with him, he will do everything he can to woo and romance her. Only time will tell what the future has in store for them. 

I did enjoy Adam and Izzy's relationship for the most part. It was cute and fun. But I do wish Adam would have given her more to do while her family was looking for the necklace. It was like she was there on vacation. And don't even get me started on the way she acted once the necklace was found. I seriously wanted to Gibbs slap her!  

Another thing I just have to get off my chest... her sister, Courtney, is a spoiled brat and their dad, Stephen, is a moron! Their behavior at times was ridiculous and I found myself rolling my eyes while muttering under my breath. They acted like immature teenagers! *le sigh* Okay.. rant over. ;)

All in all this was a cute, quick read. If you're in the mood for a beauty and the beast type story that's light and fun then I would say give this one a try!

And of course my casting... I really like these two! :) 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Book Trek 2016

Ok party people! It's that time of year again! What time of year is that you ask?! Well it's time for the Summer Book Trek hosted by New LDS Fiction! This will be my 3rd year participating and I'm excited! It's fun and easy! All you gotta do is read books written by LDS authors and enter to win ebooks and print books. I have won some pretty awesome books! I am definitely looking forward to seeing which authors are participating this year!

Here is my list of books that I am hoping to read in the month of July:

Rachel Laine by Jennifer Peel
Beauty and the Beach by Diane Darcy
The Lucky Billionaire by Jeanette Lewis
Not Always Happenstance by Rachael Anderson
Chasing Fireflies by Taylor Dean
Not Actually Engaged by Jan Hinds
Cupcakes and Cowboys by Lindzee Armstrong

I think that's a good start.. ;) Happy reading my fellow bookworms! :)
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Seaside Kisses by Stacy Claflin


People change, but some feelings last forever.

Rafael Hunter never thought he’d return to Kittle Falls, but life gave him no other choice. Los Angeles chewed him up, spit him out, and sent him back to square one.

Amara Fowler has lived in the small beach town her entire life. She’s overcome her shyness to grow into the woman she always knew she could be, but she never forgot her secret crush. When the alluring Rafael returns, he can’t help but stir in her a whirlwind of old feelings.

They’ve both changed so much. Has life kept them incompatible or has it molded them into a matching set?

My Review: 4 Stars

Growing up Amara was bullied because she was overweight and "nerdy". She was called names, had gum thrown in her hair, tripped while she was walking down the halls and tortured in any way the bullies could think of. In spite of all that, she grew up into an amazing woman. After high school she made several changes to her outer appearance, gained the confidence she was lacking and finally turned into the woman that she always knew she could be. When her old high school crush returns to Kittle Falls she will finally have the chance to catch his eye. But will he give the new Amara a chance or will he only see her as Four-Eyes Fowler?

Rafael never thought that he would ever return home to Kittle Falls. But when his business crumbles, through no fault of his own, he is in need of a fresh start far away from bad decision making business partners and cheating ex-girlfriends. He has definitely sworn off women for good. But when he runs into Amara for the first time in years, he has a hard time staying away. He can't believe that he had overlooked such an amazing person in high school. But with someone trying to sabotage his new business, will he have a chance to see where things can lead with Amara? Or will outside forces tear them apart for good?

I loved the relationship between Amara and Rafael! They both had their insecurities but they were the perfect fit for each other. And I enjoyed all the side characters. I can't wait to get to know them better.

I really enjoyed Seaside Kisses! It was a cute, fun, quick read. My only complaint is the ending. I wanted just a little bit MORE! I was bummed when it ended! This is my first book by Stacy Claflin and I can say without a doubt that I will be picking up more books by her! Starting with book 1 in this series... ;) I am not sure why I started with book 4 but it just kept calling my name until I gave in and read it. And I was glad I did! :)

And this casting... *dreamy sigh* I love them!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Making Faces by Amy Harmon


Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast where we discover that there is little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

My Review: 5+ Stars!!

Growing up Fern Taylor wasn't much to look at. She had wild, crazy red hair, bad teeth, pale skin and a scrawny body. But that never stopped her from living her life to the fullest. She is not only full of life but she is sweet, caring, funny and has an endless supply of love for everyone... especially Ambrose. She fell in love with him when she was just a little girl. But he's not the type of guy who would give Fern a second glance. Sure he's seen her around but she was just not pretty enough to catch his eye. Little did any of them know that she would growup to be one of the most beautiful women, inside and out, that they had ever laid eyes on. But will she be too beautiful for Ambrose? 

Ambrose is one of the most popular guys in school. All the girls love him and all the guys want to be him. It doesn't get any better than Ambrose Young. When tragedy strikes the US, Ambrose reevaluates his life and makes one of the biggest decisions he'll ever have to make. He enlists in the military. But he can't see himself going alone so he does everything he can to encourage his four best friends to join him. Heading off to war was one of the scariest moments in their lives. All anyone could do was pray they would all return home together, safe and sound. But tragedy strikes again and only one returns home to his family and loved ones. How will Ambrose face everyone? How will he ever move on with his life without his best friends? Will the guilt be too much for him to handle? Broken and scarred he hides away from everyone, refusing to live his life. 

Bailey Sheen knows what it's like to live a limited life better than anyone else. But he refuses to let his disease rule him. Like his cousin, Fern, he lives his life to the fullest. When Ambrose comes home a broken shell of a man, Bailey and Fern make it their mission to show him that there is still life to live, memories to make, and endless love to give. Their lives may be simple but they are the best friends anyone could ever ask for. The more Ambrose spends time with them, the stronger and better he becomes. He needed them both in his life just as much as they needed him in theirs. The bond of friendship and love between these three was absolutely amazing! They all learned how to live, laugh and love again after their worlds had been turned upside down and ripped to shreds on several occasions. 

Watching the love between Fern and Ambrose grow from friendship into something more was absolutely beautiful! They literally completed each other. Their love was so strong and so true that you could feel it coming off the pages! I think these two are one of my most favorite book couples ever! They were not perfect, but they were perfect together... *dreamy sigh*   

Making Faces is absolutely PHENOMENAL! I LOVE it! I have no words to express how amazing this book is! I quickly got sucked in and held on for dear life as I traveled for a short period of time in Fern, Ambrose and Bailey's lives. This story is so real that I literally felt every single emotion that they felt... love... happy... scared... hurt... angry. I laughed, I cried, I growled in frustration and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the emotional roller coaster that I went on! This book is addictive so make sure you have the time to read it or you'll find yourself losing sleep and/or cancelling all plans until you finish it! ;) Oh! And make sure you have a box of tissues close... you are definitely going to need it! 

Making Faces is the first book of Amy Harmon's that I have read and she has definitely made me a fan for life! :)

I truly wish that I could give this book more than 5 stars! It is the BEST book I have read in a LONG time! <3

To my squeaky clean read friends - there is language and innuendos throughout the book. 

And of course I cannot forget my casting! *dreamy sigh*

And I just have to share one of my favorite quotes from the book! LOVE! 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Divine Deception by Marcia Lynn McClure


Mistreated, disheartened, and trapped, Fallon Ashby unexpectedly found the chance of swift deliverance at the hand of a wealthy landowner. The mysterious deliverer offered Fallon escape from unendurable circumstances. Thus, Fallon chose to marry Trader Donavon, a man who concealed his face within the dark shadows of an ominous black hood—a man who unknowingly held her heart captive.

Yet malicious villainy, intent on destroying Trader Donavon, set out to defeat him. Would evil succeed in overpowering the man whose face Fallon had never seen? The ever-hooded hero Fallon silently loved above all else?

My Review: 3 Stars

*Republished post since I reread this for Beauty and the Beast Month. Still a 3 star read for me.*

After Fallon's father passes away and her mother falls ill, she is sent to live with her Uncle Charles. He is not the person everyone thought he was. He is an abusive drunk who gambles too much.

Trader Donovan is their landlord and is getting sick and tired of everything Charles does. When Trader is caught in a storm, the only place he can find to stay the night is with Fallon and Charles. Charles wakes up to find Fallon and Trader in a "compromising" position and demands that he marries Fallon and give him the deed to the house he lives in for his silence in what he saw. Trader agrees but Charles doesn't stop there... and neither does Trader.

Divine Deception was just an okay read for me this time around. While reading it I realized that there is just something missing for me. There is no building of a relationship because they were already "in love" when the book started. They both demand that the other trust them but they really don't do anything to earn that trust. And Trader's relationship with Julia really bothered me. Fallon was just supposed to be okay with it?! But we all know that if the roles were reversed that Trader would definitely have a problem with Fallon having that kind of relationship with another man. I really think that Fallon needed to have a bit more of a spine. She just went along with everything Trader told her to do without even asking questions. He treated her more like a child then a wife.

Don't get me wrong, I like the book and I love Marcia as an author but this one just isn't one of my favorites. It has a beauty and the beast type of feel to it and it's a quick, cute read if that's what you're in the mood for. :)

My casting choices... and yes I know you can't see his face but you really don't "see" Trader until the last couple of pages of the book... just insert your favorite mystery man... ;)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Flashback Friday #2

I'm a little late posting this but hey! Better late than never, right?! ;)

This week's Flashback Friday post is from 2013! After reading my review I think I want to read it again! And I'm still holding out hope that this series will continue! ;)


When Evie falls in love with Calvin Knight, their young, virtuous romance conjures a truly wicked spell.

Evie always thought her eighteenth year would be magical, but so far it's not what she hoped for. Her best friend has gone wild, her love life is void, and she misses her mom more than ever. But life for Evie is about to change. Calvin Knight, the object of her fascination, is about to fall madly in love with her. Just one problem: Their love conjures a murderous woman from beyond the grave who wants Evie dead. The same demon who has haunted the Knight men for over four generations. Soon Calvin is forced to make a choice: Set Evie free and hope to evade the wrath of The Raven- haired Ghost, or use his newly gifted strengths to fight against her. If he chooses to fight and wins, Calvin will free the Knight men of this demonic witch. If he loses, Evie will become her next victim

My Review: 5 Stars

I have to admit that I stumbled upon Evie's Knight by pure accident and after reading the synopsis I was very intrigued. I remember reading it out loud to one of my co-workers and, after expressing my desire to give it a try, seeing the look of complete shock on her face. You see... this is not a book that I would typically read. I am not into ghost type stories. In fact, this is only the second "ghost" book that I have ever made it through. And I'm glad that I did! I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

I have been in that dreaded reading slump lately and was getting desperate for a really good book! So desperate in fact that on my lunch I was literally reading the first chapter to the books on my Kindle in hopes that something would jump out and grab me. And the moment I read Evie's encounter at the gas station I was hooked! It was hilarious! At that point the book turned into a movie in my head. I was able to feel every single emotion that the characters were feeling. I was happy... sad... angry... depressed... in love... scared... you name it and I more than likely felt it! Don't you just love it when that happens?!

I loved Evie! Her life hasn't always been peaches and cream but she has this way of picking herself back up, brushing the dirt off and moving forward. It's never easy but she just knows that in the end, everything will be okay. She starts to feel complete and everything kind of just falls into place when Calvin comes into her life.

Speaking of Calvin... *insert dreamy sigh here while shaking my head* Oh how I loved him! But then... I hated him! But then... I loved him again! That man was wrecking havoc on my emotions! At one point he thought he was protecting Evie and doing what was best by breaking up with her. (Oh... and P.S. I'm off to the side yelling at him and calling him all kinds of names! Scum sucking dog was the first to come out! LOL.) But then, with the help of his brother Parker, he realizes that he was wrong and he needs her in his life just as much as she needs him. (And yes... at that point I apologized and started loving him again! Hehe.) I loved how after he reaches that decision, Evie shows up at his house to confront him and pretty much just lays into him. It was amazing! I was cheering her on the entire time! :o)

And Barker! I mean Packer! Oh wait.. no... it's Parker! (LOL! I love Fiona!) He was a Mr. Darcy for me. I hated him in the beginning but then, as his character developed, he kind of grew on me and I could see exactly why he was the way he was. He turned out to be pretty amazing and yes... I loved him too! I think he really has met his match with Fiona! Can't wait to see where there story goes in Fiona's Fight! I can already tell that's going to be just as good! :o)

In the end, I am very glad I stumbled upon Evie's Knight and decided to give it a chance. Any author who can get me out of the dreaded reading slump is a keeper and needs to be added to my favorites list! Thank you Ms. Kimberly Krey! You have definitely been added to that list! Can't wait for your next adventure! :o)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Weekend Ramblings #9

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

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

This week's rambling topic is...

*Pricing for ebooks*

A few of my fellow bookworms and I were discussing this the other day and I thought it would be the perfect topic for this weeks Weekend Ramblings post. :)

We all hear about this on a regular basis. How much do you spend on ebooks? How much is too much? Do you ever exceed your max limit for a certain author? What are your thoughts when you hear people comparing the price of an ebook to the price of a fast food value meal? The questions can be endless on this topic.

For me, I don't like spending more than $5.99 on a full length novel and $2.99 on a novella. Am I a cheapskate? Probably. But there have been a few times that I have spent $10.99 on ebooks and they were very disappointing. I know that not all authors have a choice in what their ebooks are priced at and that their publishers price them. But if you have a publisher who is going to price your books that high, then I expect the books I pay $10.99 for to be edited and pretty much perfect. This has not been the case for me. It's pretty sad when you read Indie authors who have better edits done to their books.

I don't really have a problem when authors make the comparison between an ebook that can be read over and over again to a fast food value meal. But just like a value meal, I want to be satisfied. If I am not satisfied, I will voice my opinion letting you know it was not worth the price. When I come across a 96 page novella for $7.95? Ummm... I can tell you right now... I will not be satisfied with that book. And I know this for a fact because I will wait for said book to go on sale for $.99 - $2.99, read it and still think, "Why did I spend my money on this?! I really should have gone with my gut instinct!" Haha. You would think I would learn my lesson after the first or second or even third time this happened to me but nope! I guess in the back of my mind I'm hoping a particular author will return to their roots and start writing amazing books again! Only time will tell! Hehe.

So what about you guys? What are your thoughts on ebook pricing? Inquiring minds want to know! ;)

The Whispered Kiss by Marcia Lynn McClure


With the sea at its side, the beautiful township of Bostchelan was home to many—including the lovely Coquette de Bellamont, her three sisters, and beloved father. In Bostchelan, Coquette knew happiness, and as much contentment as a young woman whose heart had been broken years before could know. Thus, Coquette dwelt in gladness until the day her father returned from his travels with an astonishing tale to tell.

Antoine de Bellamont returned from his travels by way of Roanan bearing a tale of such great adventure to hardly be believed. Further, at the center of Antoine’s story loomed a man—the dark Lord of Roanan. Known for his cruel nature, heartlessness, and tendency to violence, the Lord of Roanan had accused Antoine de Bellamont of wrong doing and demanded recompense. Antoine had promised recompense would be paid—with the hand of his youngest daughter in marriage.

Thus, Coquette found herself lost—thrust onto a dark journey of her own. This journey would find her carried away to Roanan Manor—delivered into the hands of the dark and mysterious Lord of Roanan who dominated it.

My Review: 4 Stars

Coquette is the youngest daughter of Antoine de Bellamont. She is also the most beautiful, loving, caring and selfless one. When her father refuses her hand in marriage to her one true love, Valor, she is heartbroken and doesn' t know what to do. When she finally chooses him over her father, she goes to Valor's house only to be told that he has vanished without a trace. Instead of allowing the bitter and negative feelings to overtake her, she decides that she needs to do whatever it takes to be happy. She will always love her Valor and will always hold him close to her heart. 

Valor has always loved Coquette. He was her protector, true love and best friend. He would be anything and everything for her. But when Antoine refused to give permission for him to marry Coquette, he was devistated. He begged her to disobey her father and come with him but Coquette stood before him in shock and disbelief. He took her silence to mean that she didn't love him enough to disobey her father. Angry and bitter, he storms off and allows all the negative feelings to consume him and turn him into a horrible beast who lives to seek revenge against those who have wronged him. 

When Antoine trespasses on Roanan Manor his life will forever be changed. He has to choose between his hand or Coquette. When he chooses his hand, the dark Lord makes his intentions for Coquette very clear and Antoine's true character shows through. He would have his daughter married off to a rich stranger who will beat her and toss her aside just to save his hand and gain more wealth and social standing. He is a horrible, vile, selfish man that doesn't deserve to breathe!

Whisked away to Roanan Manor to marry a stranger, Coquette will soon learn that her Valor is none other than the dark Lord that has threatened her father. She is having a hard time connecting the story her father told with the man that she knows better than anyone else. There is definitely something amiss. She can see right away that her Valor is hidden deep within the beast's body. She yearns to have him in her life once again and will do anything that she can to bring him out. But when all is said and done, will she be able to tame the beast? Or will she be stuck with him forever? 

This is my second time reading The Whispered Kiss and sadly, this time around, I found myself skimming the overly wordy and repetitive parts. I was also bummed when I remembered there was no epilogue. We all know how much I hate when I book just ends! And this one just ended! :( I would've loved to see some of the repetitive parts removed and an epilogue added. ;) However, even with the parts that bugged me, I still really enjoyed the book. I really love Marcia's older books! They are a great getaway from reality! :) 

And of course I can't forget my casting! ;) 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Beastly by Alex Flinn


I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

My Review: 4 Stars

Kyle is one of the most popular guys at Tuttle. All the girls love him and all the guys want to be him. Sadly he is also one of the biggest jerks. He thinks that he is better than everyone else and that they were put on this earth to serve him. While he may be gorgeous on the outside, he is definitely ugly on the inside. 

Lindy is just your average girl that no one ever notices. She doesn't have the greatest home life and was told that the only way she will ever escape it was to do good in school. She has worked her butt off and was granted a scholarship to Tuttle. There she just disappears among the crowd. She has no friends, no family that cares about her and she is all alone. While she may be plain on the outside, she is gorgeous on the inside. 

Kendra has had just about enough of Kyle's ways. When he takes his "joke" against her a little to far and does his very best to make her feel like a loser, she decides it's time to take matters into her own hands. She places a curse on him that turns him into a beast. He has 2 years to meet a girl, fall in love with her, have her fall in love with him in return and, to prove her love, she must kiss him. If he can accomplish this within the two years, he will be turned back into a human. If he cannot, then he will stay a beast forever. 

I have to admit I have seen the movie several times and enjoyed it. But the old saying holds true... the book is much better! I am a complete sucker when it comes to beauty and the beast and I really enjoyed this version. I loved that the story was told from the Beast's point of view. I loved being inside his head and seeing the changes through his eyes. He really did transform into a better person. And I loved Lindy! While reading I found myself wondering what Lindy was thinking at times and when exactly she fell in love with the beast. I was a bit on the excited side when I saw that there was novella of Lindy's diary! I purchased it right away and look forward to reading it! :)

All in all this was an enjoyable read! While it was a little slow in the beginning, by about halfway through I really got hooked. This was my first book by Alex Flinn and I have to say it won't be my last! Gotta love when you can add new authors to your list... ;)  

And I do not take any credit for this casting! Even though she doesn't fit the description in the book, I couldn't picture anyone but her. Hehe.