Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Review & Giveaway: The Cowboy and His Baby by Jessica Clare


Publication Date: May 7th 2019 by Berkley
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher and Purchased Audiobook
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

About the book:

From New York Times bestselling author Jessica Clare comes a contemporary Western romance about a cowboy who is in for the ride of his life…. 

Dustin is a ranch hand with a reputation around town as a ladies’ man. He loves flirting and the thrill of the chase. When he tilts his cowboy hat just so, no one can resist his charms. It’s all fun and games for Dustin until he meets a woman who sparks real feelings in him, and he’s blindsided by love.

Annie is an animal trainer working on set for a film. Other than her furry, canine coworkers, she hasn’t connected with the rest of the movie’s crew. It’s only when a certain cowboy catches her eye that Wyoming becomes interesting. She intends for their romance to be a fling, but by the time filming wraps up, she’s unexpectedly pregnant. 

While Annie is prepared to walk away and raise her baby by herself, Dustin isn’t so ready to say good-bye. He has to prove to Annie that she has a future in Wyoming and capture her heart before it’s too late....

My Thoughts:
Annie, a dog trainer, is in Wyoming for a film shoot. She wasn’t expecting to have a fling, but Dustin, a local cowboy gets past her usual shields and they end up spending all her off-time together.  He’s sexy and sweet, and she finds herself falling hard. 

Annie feels like a breath of fresh air for Dustin. She wasn’t falling all over herself to go out with him. For once he had to work to get a woman to go out with him.  But more than that, she’s got a genuine heart, speaks her mind and doesn’t play games. She’s the woman he never knew he wanted, he never thought he’d want anything but a casual good time, but Annie has him re-thinking his plans.

Annie ends up pregnant, and a misunderstanding has her questioning whether she was all wrong about Dustin.

I kind of love the unexpected pregnancy troupe! It was clear Dustin and Annie were falling harder than they counted on before that was ever thrown in the mix, and Annie’s pregnancy forces them to get through a misunderstanding that may have parted them for good otherwise.  Dustin was a complete sweetheart determined to have a future with Annie and his baby. 

Annie was a little insecure so I could understand why she made a snap decision without getting the full story, but thankfully that part of the story didn’t have much page time, so the frustration over that was low.  Also, Annie fully owned up to her mistake and was really sorry.

Their romance was realistic with both Dustin and Annie each vulnerable and insecure in parts, but it was also sweet, and pretty hot!  I was fully invested in their journey to a HEA!

I part listened and part read The Cowboy and His Baby.  I’ve listened to Abby Craden narration before and she’s great with both female and male voices, especially with a Southern accent, but I usually have to crank up the speed to 1.5 times normal.  Granted, there aren’t many audio books I listen to at normal speed, most are 1.25x or higher.

4 Suns



Monday, May 27, 2019

Review & Giveaway: Luck of the Draw by B.J. Daniels


Publication Date: May 21st 2019 by HQN Books
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

He may get a second chance at his one true love—if someone doesn’t kill her first

When Garrett Sterling leaves for a horseback ride through his family’s sprawling Montana property, he’s expecting a relaxing break from the construction at the Sterling guest ranch. What he gets is something far more sinister. It all happened so fast that it’s hard for Garrett to sort out the facts. But two things are certain: someone is dead and the killer knows there was a witness.

When a woman from his past emerges as a key piece of the investigation, Garrett is determined to uncover what really happened that day, how she’s involved—and why everything she’s ever told him is a lie.

My Thoughts:
Luck of the Draw started off with a bang when Garrett Sterling, on a ride around his ranch, witnesses a fatal crime, too far away to do much about it.

Little does he know that this will put him into the path of the woman who left without a word, breaking his heart two years prior.  He’s never been able to get over Joselyn and seeing her again is a punch to the gut, but she’s in trouble and even though he doesn’t quite trust her Garrett wants answers.

After that explosive start Luck of the Draw had a bit of a lull before it picked up again, with some back and forth mulling on Garrett’s part, inner thoughts on whether he should trust Joselyn again, and lectures by the sheriff about the same thing.  After a few things were revealed the story picked up again with Garrett, Joselyn, and the sheriff trying to get to the bottom of the mysteries behind the attempts on Joselyn’s life. I was eager to find out as well.  Garrett and Joselyn’s pursuit of the truth isn’t free of danger, and they try to stay one step ahead while staying alive.

Luck of the Draw was an entertaining combination of mystery, suspense and romance. This is the second book in the Sterling’s Montana series, but it’s not necessary to read the first book to enjoy this story.  While Garrett and Joselyn’s story was wrapped up, there’s a burgeoning romance between the sheriff and the Sterling’s long time housekeeper, Dorothea, and the ending events with the sheriff is a mystery that I think will continue in the next book. 


3.5 Suns



Harlequin generously provided a Paperback Copy of Luck of the Draw!  The giveaway is open to US Residents only. Simply fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sunday Post #30


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

Hope everyone is enjoying the three-day weekend!  I'm late posting again this Sunday since I've been running around doing last minute prep for a wedding this coming Saturday.  It's up North and I'm doing the flowers, so packing, ironing and last minute checking of details. We leave Wednesday after work to take a 4 1/2 hour drive. 

Read:
(click on cover for Goodreads link)

Luck of the Draw was a fast fun romantic suspense/mystery.  I'll have my review up tomorrow (maybe).  The Dark Bones was fantastic, but Loreth Anne White rarely disappoints. The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway, too: HERE

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
(click on cover for goodreads link)

I've already read Diamond Fire and Watcher in the Woods but I bought the audio books because my husband hadn't read these installments yet (he's a fan of both Hidden Legacy & The Rockton series) and we've had long drives. We've listened to most of Watcher in the Woods and it's been excellent! Therese Plummer is one of my all-time favorite narrators. We should finish Wednesday night on our drive up north, and then start Diamond Fire, which I loved! You'd Be Mine is an audio library lend, and How to Catch a Wicked Viscount was sent to me by the publisher. Has anyone read Amy Rose Bennett? She's a new to me author.


Watched:



I love wine and wine tasting so Wine Country looked like my kind of movie. I had some laughs. Tina Fey made the movie even though she didn't have much screen time. Loved the scenery.  I've watched The Martian when it came out in the movies.  Both my husband and I read the book and loved it. He was a little disappointed by the screen version at the time, but it was on TV and so we watched it again and he liked it much better this time around. I thought they did a great job adapting the book to movie. 

I have a 3 book giveaway I just put up yesterday if you're interested HERE.


How was your week?


Saturday, May 25, 2019

3 Book Giveaway!

Hello there! I have three books to giveaway today! If I kept every physical book my house would be full of them and they'd have to feature it on Hoarders. I'm trying to avoid that so I'm passing on a few, and I'm going to start trying to weed out books off my bookshelf I know I'll never read again, so stay tuned. More giveaways will be coming!




The giveaway is open to US Residents only.  Good luck!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Review: The Summer Retreat by Sheila Roberts


Publication Date: April 23rd 2019 by MIRA
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher and Audible Purchase
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible

About the book:

Join USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts for a seaside escape to the beaches of Moonlight Harbor
Celeste Jones has plans for a perfect summer with her boyfriend (and hopefully soon-to-be fiancĂ©)—until he dumps her to be with the woman he’s had on the side for months. Heartbroken and furious, Celeste resolves to move on. When the going gets tough, the tough…okay, the not-so-tough go to the beach.
As soon as school lets out for the summer, she waves goodbye to her first-graders, packs up her bikini and heads for Moonlight Harbor, where she knows her big sister, Jenna, will receive her with open arms. Jenna could probably use some help at the Driftwood Inn, and Celeste is happy to do chores around the place in exchange for a relaxing summer escape. She just needs something—or someone—to distract her from her troubles.
Finding The One can be tricky, and Jenna is determined to make sure Celeste gets it right this time around. Not that Jenna’s an expert. She’s still trying to sort out her own love life. But if both sisters listen to their hearts, eventually they’re bound to discover that life—and love—is good at the beach.

My Thoughts:
Celeste has been burned her boyfriend, a man she thought would propose only to find he’s been cheating on her.  In response, she ventures out to Moonlight Harbor, the seaside town her sister has settled into after purchasing an inn.  Celeste, a teacher, takes the summer off to help at the inn while trying to figure out where she’s gone wrong in her love life.  She had sparks and chemistry with her last beau, but that just ended in heartache so she decides to go for the safer bet, the town’s pastor, Paul.  He’s good-looking and even if he doesn’t make her heart race, he’s a steady and sure bet, not someone likely to cheat on her.  Not like Henry, the guest in cabin twelve, an annoying man, poking and prodding at every turn, but one that heats her up!

The Summer Retreat was an entertaining read, kind of a Hallmark movie type of romance, where lots of things go wrong and are a bit whacky. I quickly flipped (listened) through the pages, but this is one of those stories where I had mixed feelings.  I felt bad for Celeste because she was duped by a cheating loser at the beginning, but I was also annoyed with her.  She ignores her instincts that tell her she’s not a good match for the Pastor Paul but goes along with the “romance” because he’s the safe bet, a man who’ll never cheat.  I don’t like reading a romance where the heroine is all tied up with one man while she’s meant to be with another. It was clear to me and should’ve been clear to Celeste that Pastor Paul wasn’t the guy for her, and yet the situation plays out for almost the entire book.

I was also irritated with her sister, Jenna, who kept pushing her toward Paul when Celeste didn’t seem all that hot on him.  I have to say Jenna’s romantic situation is another frustration: a love triangle, that wasn’t resolved in this story. Maybe it will be in the next book?

It does sound like I didn’t really like the story after writing all of my complaints, but I did. I’m happy for how things turned out for Celeste, and I did have some laughs along the way.  I switched back and forth from my e-copy to the audio book and found Ann Gideon’s voice pleasant and upbeat.

3 Suns



Monday, May 20, 2019

Review & Giveaway: The Dark Bones by Loreth Anne White

I love Loreth Anne White's writing ! Her Angie Pallorino series was addictive and thrilling! A Dark Lure was a page turner so I was excited to read The Dark Bones, feature my review and the wonderful giveaway provided by Montlake Romance: $25 Amazon Gift Card and copy of The Dark Bones!


Publication Date: May 21st 2019 by Montlake Romance
Pages: 440 
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the book:

When Detective Rebecca North left her rural hometown, she vowed never to return. Her father’s apparent suicide has changed that. The official report is that retired cop Noah North shot himself, knocked over a lantern, and set his isolated cabin ablaze. But Rebecca cannot believe he killed himself.
To prove it, she needs the help of Ash Haugen, the man she left behind. But Rebecca and Ash share more than broken hearts. Something darker lies between them, and the investigation is stirring it back to life. Clues lead them to the home of Olivia West and her deeply troubled twelve-year-old daughter, Tori. The child knows more about the murder than anyone can imagine, but she’s too terrified to say a word.
And as a cold-blooded killer resurfaces from the past, Rebecca and Ash begin to fear that their own secrets may be even harder to survive.
My Thoughts:
Detective Rebecca North is shocked to hear her father has committed suicide.  Especially since he called with ramblings of an old, cold murder case the day he supposedly took his life. So, Rebecca heads up north, to a town she’s been avoiding for years determined to find out what happened.  What she discovers isn’t as clear cut as the investigators originally thought, and much of the mystery behind her father’s death is wrapped around her first love, Ash Haugen, the man who shattered her heart twenty years ago. Feelings Rebecca thought she buried deep resurface: the pain of betrayal, coupled with the bittersweet pull she still feels towards Ash as they work side by side trying to sort out what happened both with her father’s death and the cold case he was looking into.

The Dark Bones is a captivating mixture of police procedural, thriller, mystery, and a second chance romance.  I was hooked from the start!  What went wrong between Ash and Rebecca years ago, as well as the current cases had me devouring the story, eager to unravel all the mysteries!  Loreth Anne White’s cold, wintery small-town setting in Northern Canada was beautiful and haunting.

The Dark Bones is a sequel to A Dark Lure, but I don’t think it’s necessary to read A Dark Lure to enjoy the story.  The previous characters, Olivia, Cole and Tori do play a part, but it’s only secondary to the main story.  

4.5 Suns





About the author:
Loreth Anne White is an internationally bestselling author of thrillers, mysteries, and romantic suspense. A three-time RITA finalist, she is also the 2017 Overall Daphne du Maurier Award winner, and she has won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Romantic Crown for Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book Overall, in addition to being a Booksellers’ Best finalist and a multiple CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award winner. A former journalist and newspaper editor who has worked in both South Africa and Canada, she now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family. Visit her at www.lorethannewhite.com.


Connect with Loreth Anne White:


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Sunday Post #29



The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

Nothing exciting going on, I think I'm still recovering from my big run last Saturday. The rain is back, and it rained on and off in California on Thursday making our drive up north a little exciting (scary) in parts. It was a nice day yesterday, cloudy with sun, but today (Saturday) the rain is about to start up again. 


Read:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link:)


Beard in Mind was cute, but I liked Beard Science better.  The Unhoneymooners was fun, but Josh & Hazel is still my favorite CL. Storm Cursed was amazing! 

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
(Click cover for Goodreads link:)


I enjoyed Jay Crownover's Marked Men series so I'm looking forward to her take on cowboys!


Watched:



How was your week?


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Review: Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs


Publication Date: May 7th 2019 by Ace
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher and purchased audio copy
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible

About the book:

In this powerful entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves...
My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.
And a coyote shapeshifter.
And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.
Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn't stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.
The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.
But we are pack, and we have given our word.
We will die to keep it.

My Thoughts:
It seems witches are the issue in Storm Cursed, the newest Mercy Thompson installment. Same with the latest Alpha & Omega (a companion series), Burn Bright. And I think they’re going to be important in the books to come.  While it’s not necessary to read Burn Bright before Storm Cursed there are a few connecting dots between the two books.  I don’t want to detail the plot because I think it’s best going in not knowing much, but as soon as I started reading I didn’t want to stop!  I will say Sherwood Post, Wulfe, Zee, Tad, Elizaveta were big players in this installment, and there are some intriguing surprises.

Mercy Thompson is a series that is consistently amazing and keeps me wishing for more even when the series is at eleven books! That’s not even counting the companion series, Alpha & Omega.  I just recently did a re-read of both series, one right after the other, that’s how good it is!  Patricia Briggs’ writing is smart, and her stories are well-plotted. I feel like she examines the motivations of each of her characters before setting them on a path of action.  Even the fight scenes are well-choreographed and exciting.  The relationship between Adam and Mercy is strong, they both lean on each other for support without question, and there’s always an undercurrent of passionate simmering under the surface!

Mercy Thompson is one of my all-time favorite urban fantasy series, and if you haven’t picked it up you are missing out!  Best to start at the beginning and read the books in order.  I have an e-ARC, but I also bought an audio copy and that’s how I ended up “reading”.  Lorelei King’s narration is perfection! Her performance of both her male and female voices are amazing, and her comedic timing when there’s humor is spot on!  

4.5 Suns



Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mini-Review: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren


Publication Date: May 14th 2019 by Gallery Books
Pages: 416
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

My Thoughts:
Olive and Ethan, arch-nemesis, are thrown together when her sister and his brother come down with food poisoning and must forgo their paid honeymoon. So the trip doesn’t go to waste, Olive and Ethan take their places.  Of course, the more time they spend together the more they realize their first impressions may have been wrong, and the sparks of hate between them switch to-like-to-passion and love.  Loved the fun journey with all the banter and humor!  Christina Lauren make me laugh!  Fun/hilarious times: getting ready for Ami’s wedding (Spanx and hairspray!), Ethan and Olive changing in the bathroom, and the couple’s massage!  Lol and yum!

Gotta say, I hated one male in this story with a passion! I was a little disappointed with Ethan’s denial about the situation.  While I would’ve been happier with just a little bit more groveling, I was still ecstatic it all worked out.  Loved Olive’s family; how they showed up circling the wagons when anyone was hurt or in need! 

Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite troupes, even better when the couple is forced to spend time together!  If you love a slow burn romance with fun banter, and emotional depth The Unhoneymooners will not disappoint!

4 Suns






Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sunday Post #28



The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

My Sunday Post is going up a little late today because I ran my second half-marathon yesterday and I was beat! It took place in the Santa Barbara Wine Country, about 35 miles north of Santa Barbara, and so we made a long weekend of it coming up on Thursday, wine tasting, shopping and dining. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time.  I will say I'm glad the race is done because even though I love running the training and anticipation does stress me out a little bit. Here's a photo I took on the course:


Read:
Click on cover for Goodreads link:

The View from Alameda Island, Tightrope and The Bluestocking were hits for me.  The Summer Retreat was a little frustrating in parts, but overall okay.


Received/Library Lend/Purchased:

Click on cover for Goodreads link:


The Right Sort of Man is a historical mystery set in the time right after World War II. Make Me No Grave was an Audible Day Deal.  Both are new to me authors so I hope I like them!


Watched:


Still binge watching The Big Bang Theory

As a side note I'm giving away a Paperback Copy of The Bride Test by Helen Hoang HERE.  Plus, there's a $25 Amazon Gift Card with a copy of The Bluestocking HERE.

How was your week?