Monday, November 30, 2015

Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2  This is the first book in the Cedar Ridge Series.  I was a bit disappointed as I had high hopes for these books. I LOVED Shalvis' Lucky Harbour Series and found myself comparing this book to those.  

What I enjoyed: 
 • The brothers and their antics. I look forward to reading the siblings stories. 
 • The Kincaid's mother Char. She cracked me up.
 • The plot was decent, and the location the book was set in sounds beautiful. 

What I liked less: 
• The repetitiveness of back story. 
• The Heroine's feelings of lacking in some way, and/or her guilt. (They were just mentioned too much) 
• Some lines were too cheesy. While I usually find Shalvis quite funny, often through this book, I felt some of these lines were set up or forced. Perhaps I was just not in the right mood for them at the time. 

To sum up.. I will read the next book in the series. I think the characters all have great potential and I know I normally fully enjoy Shalvis' writing. 

Purchase Links:
KoboAmazon USAmazon CANook

Here's the blurb:

Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it's the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there's an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .

The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .

Thursday, November 19, 2015

All He Wants for Christmas by Elisabeth Naughton, Alexandra Ivy, Cynthia Eden, Katie Reus, Laura Wright, Skye Jordan

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2 Overall box set rating

I enjoyed this set of holiday novellas. I have definitely added a few authors to my to read list as previously I had only read Elisabeth Naughton's work. 

These stories all take place in Holly, North Carolina during the week of Christmas in a small town that embraces the Holiday season 365 days a year.

So, without further ado..

"Here’s to finding spies, cops, rockers, SEALs, professional hockey players and billionaires under the Christmas tree this year!" (What a great tag line they have!)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Melt for Me by Elisabeth Naughton

This was a fantastic second chance story! The title says it all! Often for me novellas are hit or miss as some times I find them rushed or I don't seem to have time to get into the story. Not so with this one. I was gripped right from the slam of the cellar door! Ella was a strong lead, I like that she listened to her heart and her head. Also it was fun to see Tate get a story as I know he was in an Aegis book a while back. He was such a sweet guy. I am very glad they got their HEA!

On a side note: I was hesitant to read Naughton's "Against All Odd" series as the whole "second chance" plot isn't one of my favourites.. however seeing how she wrote this one, makes me rethink that! 

♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2 Sweet Rapture by Alexandra Ivy

This was a good second chance story, I thought the characters were developed, and the story didn't feel rushed - though at points it felt a bit too contrived for me. I loved the banter between Meg and Dylan and the gift she gave him was pretty sweet. 

I know Dylan is FBI and all, but for me he seemed too high-handed at times, for someone trying to win back his girl, and there was this one part that would have been SUPER sweet had the author chosen to use a different word than she did (totally my opinion there).  This was the first time I have read this author and I would try her again.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ The Spy Who Came for Christmas by Cynthia Eden

This story had me hooked right from the beginning. I loved the instant attraction and chemistry between Jemma and Grayson. I was also happy to see that there wasn't too much sex - considering how the book starts, I thought that's how it was going to go. 

Eden's writing was great, even though the relationship between Jemma and Gray happens so fast, I didn't feel that the story was rushed or lacking in anyway. I would love to read more from this author.

♥ ♥ 1/2 Merry Christmas, Baby by Katie Reus

I had a hard time picturing and getting to know these characters. They feel young, and for me Jackson didn't seem the Navy SEAL type. Some of his actions and thoughts just didn't seem to fit with the regular SEAL behaviour, just my opinion of course.  

I thought the writing and "getting out of the friend zone" plot line were ok. I did like the gift Jackson gave Nora, thought it was very sweet and I would love one of those myself! I liked the sister/parent role for Nora, I think it added a good depth to her character.  This was the first time I have read this author, I may give her another try if I find a good recommendation. 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2  Sinful in Snow by Laura Wright

The prologue had me hooked! Carol is a confident woman who can stand up for what she believes in. Gabriel is focused on what he wants and will do anything to get it. The two have wonderful chemistry and I enjoyed their flirty back and forth.

I really enjoyed this book..however after Gabriel’s motives are revealed, I had a hard time trusting/believing his sincerity, even after all was explained. I have a suspicion that if it was a full length book, this feeling I was left with, would have had time to change. Still, the writing was great. Wright has a humour that made me laugh out loud and I would love to try more of her books. I also liked that she had a character or two from other stories in this set make appearances for a few lines. 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Home Advantage by Skye Jordan

Loved this story! It was the perfect combination of flirty, funny, and all those feel good emotions. Faith was awesome. I loved how she didn't just give in to Meier for his celebrity status. She has a great sense of humour and honesty. Meier, he is a good guy. I really enjoyed watching him get all turned inside out by Faith. I looked forward to seeing them on the page together.. their conversations were fun to read. 

I have never read anything from this author before, but I will be changing that very soon!

The Epilogue was a great way to bring all the characters in a room together. I truly enjoy a small town story series, where you keep getting glimpses of the previous or future characters. Makes it feel more real and someplace I would like to go visit. One thing I am still thinking about though... the sheriff, Brad Fulton. Part of me hopes he had a good Christmas, and that one day he will find love too. 

** I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review **

Release Date: December 1st, 2015

Purchase Links:

Here's the blurb: 

From six of your favorite New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors… 

MELT FOR ME by Elisabeth Naughton

Yuletide Spirits pub owner Ella McKinley doesn’t do holidays. Not after everything she lost on a cold, snowy night long ago. In fact, she’d be perfectly happy if the calendar jumped from November to January, bypassing December all together. Then rock’s latest “it” guy, Tate Kendrick, rolls into town, and though Ella tries to resist his wicked charm, the heat they once shared flares hotter than ever. When trouble linked to the rock star strikes at her pub, Ella suddenly starts to wonder if the return of her first love is a holiday miracle or nothing more than her nightmare before Christmas. 

SWEET RAPTURE by Alexandra Ivy

Meg Anderson has returned to her home in Holly, North Carolina after she discovered her relationship with Dylan Cain was nothing more than a lie. The last thing she expects is for Dylan to be her new tenant. Or the realization that he might be the only thing standing between her and a killer…


Everyone in town thinks that Jemma White is as sweet as the delicious treats she makes at her chocolate shop—but they’re wrong. Jemma is ready to let her wild side out, and she’s just found the perfect man to make all of her fantasies come true. Grayson Cole is a too-sexy-to-be-true stranger who has escaped to Holly for the holidays. He is her perfect temptation, and Jemma can’t wait to steam up the cold winter nights with him. But when danger from Grayson’s past follows him to town, she realizes that the man she is falling for has been keeping some very dark secrets…secrets that may just get them both killed. 


After unexpectedly inheriting a bookstore, Nora and her younger sister settled in Holly, NC, a place where it’s Christmas year-round. As the legal guardian for her sister the past few years, romance has been the last thing on Nora’s mind. But she broke her rules for the town’s golden boy—former SEAL Jackson O’Connor. When Jackson does something stupid and almost loses Nora for good, he realizes just how far he’s willing to go for the woman who’s stolen his heart. But it might take a Christmas miracle to get Nora to give him a second chance. 

SINFUL IN SNOW by Laura Wright

Billionaire Back In Town: Gabriel Fox is a ruthless, heartless, soulless grinch. His only goal in coming to Holly, North Carolina is to ruin Carol Cardini's Christmas. Like she ruined his—and his life—ten years ago. Now that her business is in trouble, he's finally found the way. But the beautiful owner of Christmas Carol's Shop and Crafts won't allow her dream to be destroyed. Not by revenge, and certainly not by the sexiest man she's ever known. She can, however offer an apology, and a chair at her holiday table. But can a grinch’s cold heart be warmed and healed by the love of a good woman—and the magic of Christmas spirit?


NHL super star, Meier Grant, finds himself sidelined for a bum shoulder and sentenced to three weeks recovery—in his hometown of Holly, North Carolina. But an extended family stay isn’t on his holiday wish list, especially when his parents are more interested in capitalizing on his fame than much needed family bonding. So when he learns the high school beauty and so out-of-his-league Faith Nicholas is suddenly single, and even sexier ten years later, home doesn’t seem so bad. Not when it includes spending some quality bonding time with Faith. Meier may have some of the best moves in the league, but will they be enough to win a woman deserving of forever?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Prince and I by Karen Hawkins

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ This is an awesome addition to a fun series! The Prince and I is technically the third book in the Princes of Oxenburg series, however you will see it often listed as the second, due to the first book being part of another series. So, just in case you like to read in order as much as I do.. Here's how they connect. 

The Oxenburg Princes Series: 
1)How to Pursue a Princess- The Duchess Diaries #2
2)The Prince Who Loved Me 
3)The Prince and I

What I loved:

• The "Robin Hood" theme..  I don't  believe I have read that troupe before. 
• The words written in a Scottish accent. That always brings me more in touch with the characters.
• The chemistry and banter between Murian and Max was wonderful.
• Murian is a strong woman and I liked how she knew herself well.
• The end. It was one I didn't expect, which doesn't happen too often, and as such was a nice surprise!
• Tata Natahsa is as ever the cantankerous old grandmother and makes me laugh.
• Loved Max and the way he dealt with his Grandmother.

There is really nothing I didn't like about this book.. apart from the fact that I now have to wait for the next one to read about Niki. I would highly recommend this series!

** I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review **

Purchase Links: 

Here's the blurb:

Meet the Princes of Oxenburg... Fairytales with a sizzling, Scottish, and delightfully sparkling twist. 

Gregori Romanovin, Oxenburg's warrior prince, is escorting his grandmother to a ball deep in the Scottish Highlands when he and his entourage are robbed at sword point by a group of ruffians. Led by a man dubbed the Scottish Robin Hood, battle-savvy Gregori senses that something's amiss - that 'he' is really a 'she'.

Lady Murian is a young, beautiful widow seeking revenge against the powerful earl who murdered her husband and stole his birthright. Living in the woods, she and her banished band of men rob wealthy nobles visiting the evil earl.

But when Murian ambushes the Prince's golden coach, she gets far more than she bargained for. And she's left fearing that he is the real thief...of her heart.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Rising Storm - Episode 8: Thunder Rolls by Dee Davis

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  This book is mostly about Hannah, Tate and Tucker, with appearances from some of the others in the town of course, though sadly for me I didn't get to see the sheriff..  

What I loved:
• This book was action packed. Lots of things happened, and it kept me reading. 
• Davis' writing is great. Drew me right in and left me wanting to read more. 
• Hannah and a certain someone had fantastic Chemistry!

What I liked less: 
• The fact that there is unfinished business. I wasn't sure how they would fit it all into this last book...  and well they didn't.. there is going to be a season two! Coming in 2016. That should prove to be interesting, however I hope they release the books close together like this again as I am not a huge fan of cliffhangers. 

I would recommend this series to anyone who likes to read about a scandalous small town full of secrets! 

* I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review *

Release date: November 12, 2015

To Purchase:
Amazon CAAmazon USKoboNook

Check out the Rising Storm Website to start from the beginning!

Here's the blurb:

Secrets, Sex and Scandals … 

Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy… Get ready. The storm is coming. 

As Hannah Grossman grapples with the very real possibility that she is dating one Johnson brother while secretly in love with another, the entire town prepares for Founders Day. The building tempest threatens not just Hannah’s relationship with Tucker and Tate, but everyone in Storm as dire revelations threaten to tear the town apart.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Rising Storm - Episode 7: Weather the Storm by Lisa Mondello

♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2  This episode focuses mainly on Tara, Bryce and their family. Though Dakota has a few great scenes as well.

What I loved:
• Dakota's scenes were written fantastically. She was in perfect form in this book... for Dakota, that is.
• Some long awaited events are starting to unfold which is awesome.
• Mondello wrote Tara and Bryce well. I could feel that what they were going through and how it was taking a toll on their relationship and themselves personally as well.
• Also I enjoyed how this was dealt with.

What I liked less:
• This novella took me a while to read.. While overall it was good, I felt a lot of time was devoted to Tara and her mundane activities to get her mind off what she's dealing with. Personally, I didn't feel these activities needed to be written in as much detail as they were.

I am very excited to read (what I believe is) the last episode of the series! It has been a totally unique series for me and I recommend it.

** I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review **

Purchase Links:

Here's the Blurb:

Secrets, Sex and Scandals … 

Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy… Get ready. The storm is coming. 

Bryce Daniels faces a crisis of faith when his idyllic view of his family is challenged with his son’s diagnosis of autism. Instead of accepting his wife and her tight-knit family’s comfort, he pushes them away, fears from his past threatening to undo the happiness he’s found in his present.