Sunday, November 1, 2015

Melting Into You by Laura Trentham

Melting into You is the third book in the Falcon football series. I have enjoyed every book in the series and this one is no exception. Lilliana Hancock has returned to Falcon after a time in New York working on her art. When her father- with whom she had a love/hate relationship- leaves her the crumbling family home, she decides to turn it into a B&B. Standing in her way is Alec Grayson, inspector, HS football coach, and the former pro football player. Lilliana had always had a thing for Alec until her dream seemingly came true in college and they “hooked up”. Sadly, Alec left the next morning with barely a word and Liliana has not been a fan ever since.

When Alec comes early for his home inspection, Lilliana has relaxed with a little homegrown help and the long simmering attraction comes to a head and she propositions him. After incredibly hot sex, Alec gets it in his head that she is trying to “bribe” him into passing the inspection and again leaves her alone and angry.

I was glad that these two could finally talk about what happened and start to have a real relationship. Lilliana makes a conscious decision to not tell him about their encounter in college when it becomes clear Alec doesn’t remember. Alec and Lilliana become involved in the bad home situation of one of Alec’s players and that brings them even closer. Their strong attraction to each other keeps them together through ups and downs and the sex is pretty darn good as well.

The great thing about books in a series is seeing old favorite characters from previous books interspersed in the story. This book could be read on its own but I recommend reading the others as well. I hope we’ll see more of Falcon in future books.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Blindsided by Jami Davenport

Emma Maxwell has lived most of her adult life in unrequited love with Tanner Wolfe. Emma is the odd duck in her family, being the only singleton in the group and the only one who secretly wants to follow her famous parents and become a professional singer. Her sisters have fallen for famous hockey players and one, Avery, happens to be engaged to Tanner's estranged brother.  Estranged is a mild description for how Tanner feels about Isaac (hero of Melting Ice). Tanner and Isaac have been apart since Isaac left their abusive father's home for junior hockey.

Tanner is a deeply troubled man with a "good ole boy" facade. Unfortunately for him, his love'em and leave'em  lifestyle has angered the new owners of his struggling football team and he needs to appear to clean up his act. When he discovers Emma singing karaoke at a casino, it leads to them pretending to date and then ultimately getting married.

Emma loves Tanner but she isn't sure she wants to give up her dreams.  Tanner likes Emma and the
faux family life she provides but his demons still haunt him. When they finally get together physically it's super hot but not enough to keep them together without some honesty on both sides. Tanner is afraid to reveal his past and Emma is afraid to reveal her hopes for the future. In Emma's case, she has two possible futures and she isn't sure which one is the one she really wants.

I enjoyed both of these characters.  Emma is a bit meek but she's definitely got a feisty side to her. Tanner is a mess but he knows that he can't keep going on as he has without losing everything.   This story has it all, unrequited love, fake marriage, hot hunky athlete with mild mannered woman, family conflicts and even a sort of villainess in Emma's sister Bella. I couldn't read it fast enough!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

Christmas at Lilac Cottage is a mix of two of my favorite things-Christmas and Brit-lit. When Penny rents out the side apartment to her cottage, she expected Henry and Daisy to be a married couple.  Instead she gets a hunky guy and his teen daughter. Penny is a professional ice carver and Henry is a custom furniture maker- a match made in heaven! Penny has had bad luck with love before and she is wary of getting close to Henry but she finally gives in and goes for it.  As expected the path to the HEA is never smooth but after some misunderstandings the magic of Christmas prevails.

I loved the characters in this book.  Some of Penny's ice carver competitors are hysterical. The descriptions of the little town and the people made me long to spend the holidays across the pond!  This is a new author for me and I can't wait to read her previous and upcoming books!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Sparrow Sisters-an intriguing read!

Such an interesting book! The Sparrow sisters, Patience, Nettie and Sorrell live in the ancestral home and own a nursery that seems to be the barometer of the town's mental and physical health. When Henry arrives in town to be the new doctor, he discovers a sort of rival in Patience who is viewed as a healer by the townsfolk. Henry's ire is tempered by his immediate attraction to Patience and her reluctant return of that feeling. As the two become closer to each other, their happiness is tempered by a unspoken distrust of what the other stands for. 

When a tragedy happens, the town and the relationship is poisoned by distrust and everything starts to go wrong. Henry has to finally decide how he feels about Patience and her special gift. The townspeople have to look to their own history to see what happens when unfounded suspicion destroys the balance of the natural magic that the Sparrows seem to embody. I loved the people in this book and the way the story played out. There seemed to be a bit of a teaser about one of the sisters which could mean a future book which would be great.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig; the end of a long and wonderful reading relationship.

As much as I wanted to fly through this book, reading the story and enjoying the adventure, I also wanted to go slowly and not get to the end of what has been a long and wonderful reading relationship. From the first word of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation to the last page of this book, I have enjoyed all of the couples, all of the tight squeezes, the going back and forth from the present to the 1800's and before, every nuance of this amazing series.

In this last book, the Pink Carnation meets her match both in love and war. Two characters that have been consistently woven in through the books come together and find the one person who can love them for who they are warts and all. Add to that the wedding of Eloise and Colin and you have the book we have been waiting for through twelve books and ten years of reading.

Even though I loved this book, I am going to miss anticipating a new installment coming every year, and every one of them a great read. Thank you Ms. Willig for all these years of enjoyment!
PS- I have also listened to every book after reading it and enjoyed the narration of Kate Reading for all of the books. I can't wait to listen to this one.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Perfect Touch by Elizabeth Lowell

When Sara Medina goes to Jackson to meet Jay Vermilion, she walks into a firestorm. First she discovers that the wonderful sexy voice she has been intrigued been belongs to a man who fits the voice. Jay and Sara make a connection almost immediately. When they go out to the Vermilion ranch, it is a western paradise. The big problem is that the paintings she has come to curate seem to be a lure for a murderer and Sara is in the center of it all.

I love Ms. Lowell's mix of suspense and romance in this book. There is plenty of both spicy and scary action, enough to keep you turning the pages pretty quickly.  A great summer read!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

11 years of hunky dragons and their mates- who would of thought!

When I picked up You Slay Me in 2004, who knew I was starting an 11 year love affair with dragons and their mates. It's been a long wait since the last book in 2012 so I'm happy to see my favorites back in a new theme of Black Dragons with Kostya, one of the moodiest of all the dragons.
Aoife Dakar goes to a Goth Faire with a new guy she has met and ends up in the Home for the Bewildered for 2 years after witnessing a magical murder and actually telling people about it. She also gains possession of a magical ring which holds the key to ending the curse on the dragons. When Aoife literally runs into demon dog Jim and then saves Kostya from drowning, her life takes a huge turn for the strange. Kostya is smoking hot literally and figuratively and Aoife falls for him in a big way.She winds up meeting Aisling, Drake and other dragon folk and becoming the one person who might end the dragon curse.

I so enjoyed this book and Aoife's quirky character. Some might find her annoying but I enjoyed her bizarre euphemisms for swear words and her confusion about everything going on around her. Efferjim the demon is back being the snarky, narcissistic Newfie called Jim and helps add to the confusion in Aoife's life. Aoife and Kostya are the latest in a long line of dragons and their mates whose stories have been fun to read. I look forward to the continuation of the Black Dragon story.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

It's been a long time since the last book in this series and I was so happy to see this one. I have always enjoyed the Lizzy & Diesel stories and this one is just as much fun as the others. Lizzie and Diesel are after another of the Seven Deadly Sin Stones, this time the Stone of Avarice. As usual the duo is competing with Diesel's cousin Wulf and his wacky lackey, Hatchett, to get the stone. Lizzie's friends Clara and Glo play significant parts in this book along with Glo's supposedly magic broom and enchanted Magic 8 Ball. There is an interesting new villain, Martin Ammon, who has some pretty funny moments in the book.

This is a nice mix of fun and mild suspense with a touch of forbidden romance between Lizzie and Diesel. I hope the next book in the series comes in a much lesser span of time than this one.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Lake Season by Hannah McKinnon

When Iris learns her husband wants a divorce, she goes into brain shutdown. Her life is falling apart, she can't get anything right with her kids, and she has to get ready to go participate in her perfect sister's wedding. She decides to head for New Hampshire early and leaves her husband with the children. 

When she gets home, she finds that a lot has changed. Her sister, Leah, has turned the family's small farm stand into a thriving business. There is a hunky local who is rehabbing an antique barn on the property that Iris knew in high school. Her sister arrives with her fiance and Iris suspects that all is not as it seems.

This was a great story about a woman who has lost control of her own life and rediscovers the strength of her inner self. Her rocky relationships with her mom, sister and husband won't get better until she examines her own role in those relationships. When she can look honestly at those situations she can look at a possible new one. An enjoyable read about families and getting a do-over in life.  This is a new author for me and I'm hoping to see more from her.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Obsession in Death-Fabulous #40 in the series!

What can one say about the 40th book in a series other than Wow!; how does J.D. Robb keep doing this? 

Obsession in Death is a page turner about a murderer who offers their kills as an homage to Lt.  Eve Dallas.  Eve knows that this type of fixation will eventually turn against her and has to solve the case before that happens. 

What I really liked about this book was how it showed the personal growth that Eve has made since the first book in being able to let go of her need to only count on herself. All of the favorites are in the book, Mira, Nadine, Mavis and some new names are added in Cop Central. As the killer keeps moving closer to a confrontation, Eve has to rely on her friends and coworkers to shoulder some of the load she carries. She and Roarke have a couple of sheet burning episodes in this book and the cop and her civilian consultant have their teamwork down working to catch the killer.

This is such an amazing series. The little touches, like Eve and baby Bella interacting, add so much to each book and keep you hooked. The continuity is perfect.I loved reading it and now I'm stoked to listen to the amazing Susan Ericksen audio version.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Re-reading old favorites.....why do I do this?

So, I have a gazillion eARC's that I should be reading and reviewing,  but,instead I am re-reading the entire Fortune Hunters series by Christina Dodd.  
It started when I began listening to the audio version of Tongue in Chic in my car  I decided that I needed to read the other books in the series and also the series before that connects to this one, Lost Texas Hearts.  I have all of the books so off I went.

I love listening to audio books! but sometimes they just go too slow with my short commute, so I find myself listening to books I have read before. Sometimes it's a book I read really quickly and want to revisit. Other times it's a book by a favorite author that I usually enjoy but found this one book not up to par.  When I listen to it, I often find that I enjoy it more than when I read it. 

The other thing that happens, is what happened this time, it triggers the need to read all of the other books in the series just because! Oh, well, it's a long weekend and it's only time.....