Neanderthal Seeks Human ~ A retro book review

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store.

To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan—aka Sir McHotpants—witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn to make her an offer she can’t refuse.
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HACK by: Deana Birch ~ A romantic suspense book review

Rafael Santos didn’t get the nickname ‘Goldie Locks’ for his shimmering blond curls. His hair is as black as his criminal heart. No, it’s his Midas touch. His ability to earn—coupled with a love for theft and technology—has gained him the coveted Number Two position in the Covington Heights crew. The problem is…after a murder that sent their regular clients packing, even his numbers are down. Now, finding new sources of illegal income is his number one priority.

Marigold Pfeifer is the fairy princess of online deceit. She can slip her computer viruses into a system at the blink of an eye and steal personal information in a twinkly flash. And that’s exactly what she does when screen name ‘GoldieLocks’ slides into her instant messenger. What’d he expect? A gift card?

But when the naïve hacker rides the train uptown to check out mysterious Covington Heights, she’s approached by the leader of the crew and forced to think fast on her feet. A hate-filled rivalry sparks between her and Rafael—and with it a deviously sinful attraction.

Will real-life criminals and the danger they breed be enough to wise up the goth-pixie with zero street smarts when she must navigate dark waters—or will her flawed instincts burn all she’s worked for to the ground? 
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Mending the Duke’s Pride

Jared Malcolm Lippincott, the Sixth Duke of Wyndmere, has restored the family fortune. Will his plans to restore the family name mend his pride? An unknown enemy from the past will stop at nothing to ruin him.

Lady Persephone does not wish to marry, cleverly donning the guise of a bespectacled bluestocking to discourage offers of marriage. Fate has other plans the night she falls into the duke’s arms, captivated by the sparkle in his brilliant blue eyes. Society is all agog speculating if the two are more than just strangers.

Restoring the family name is not as important as protecting Lady Persephone, who is now in his enemy’s crosshairs. A marriage of convenience binds the duke and his lady together, but duty is soon overshadowed by desire.

Will love triumph in this sweet tale of love and second chances?
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A Sugar Plum Christmas by: Susan Hatler ~ A holiday romcom book review

City girl and former foster child Lacey Lane arrives in Christmas Mountain to do research for a hit reality dating show she produces. If the location gets approved for filming then she’ll receive a bonus that will allow her to buy her own house—a forever home after a lifetime of moving from place to place.

Jacob Curtis is a small-town guy who doesn’t want his hometown exploited for ratings. Lacey might think he’s her tour guide, showing her all the best places to film her show, but he has a different agenda: show her all the reasons the town wouldn’t appeal to her TV audience.

Lacey catches on quickly to Jacob’s goal to undermine her research and soon they’re engaging in a dance that takes them from one end of Christmas Mountain to the other. Before long, she’s charmed by the town and its people, including Jacob, who is funny, heartfelt, and honest. For once in her life, she’s slowing down long enough to focus on things other than her career.

But when it’s clear Lacey and Jacob have developed feelings for one another, Lacey is torn. Regardless of where the show is filmed, will she return to the city to buy her dream house? Or will she stay in Christmas Mountain and make a home with the man of her dreams?

It may be after Christmas, but just before the holiday I had one more book to review so I am going to share this a little late. I’ll be honest and admit that my tree is still up and there are still lights twinkling all over my house, so this fits right in.

Let me start off by saying something I didn’t realize at the onset of this story. A Sugar Plum Christmas is actually book EIGHT in the Christmas Mountain series. However, this is easily read as a standalone and is a lovely little dollop of holiday sweetness that you can chomp on long after your cookies are gone.

Basically A Sugar Plum Christmas is a Hallmark movie that stepped out of your TV and onto a page. The entire town embraces their name, Christmas Mountain, and all the businesses behave accordingly by giving all their businesses Christmas themed names. This… got a little corny after a while, but… so do Hallmark movies if we are being honest. And that is kind of the draw, right? Losing yourself in something wholly impossible and excessively cheesy, but sweet and romantic to make you forget the reality that is the news and current world events. It’s called escapism and you can’t help but appreciate a little cheese with your fantasy.

Although this is a clean and wholesome read you can easily see the chemistry between Lacey and Jacob when the big city foster child with some serious baggage meets the small town loving soul who doesn’t want to see the town he loves exploited for TV ratings. I honestly can’t blame Lacey. If I had a highly competitive producer position like her and I stumbled across an idyllic locale like Christmas Mountain as a possibility for a reality dating show, I would jump all over it too. But Jacob’s protectiveness and concerns that his beloved hometown will be victim to big city executives is valid and wholly endearing. Especially when he uses his de facto job as “tour guide” as a way to deter her from choosing Christmas Mountain for the show which leads to SEVERAL hysterical moments that made me literally LOL.

As much as this book met my personal requirements for the label “romcom,” there was that story long worry. Will they be more than just a fling when she lives a far different life than his? Who is going to compromise and can it really work?

Never fear, Ms. Hatler ties this story up with a beautiful, red glitter, bow that leaves you with that gloriously contented feeling that only comes from a decadent holiday meal or a fully satisfying HEA.

Where to find A Sugar Plum Christmas

Amazon

Goodreads

A Girl’s Dream Come True ~ Book Review

Imagine being with a man who’d take a job just to make your dreams come true? Haley O’Brien doesn’t have to imagine. She’s got one!

Several months after Joel’s assault, he whisks Haley off to Europe. Their dream begins in Paris, the City of Light. While Joel films his new series, Haley spends her days with him on set, or traveling down the rues and boulevards, sampling local and international cuisine, taking in the sights, and experiencing everything that the Continent has to offer. Despite a few setbacks and the constant, annoying presence of Caroline, Joel’s former girlfriend, Haley’s on Cloud Nine. That is until an out-of-control car tries to run her over.

A series of ill-timed mishaps quickly escalates and soon, Haley’s spooked and Joel’s convinced that someone close to them is trying to hurt her to get her out of the way. Scared for Haley’s life, Joel agrees to be a part of a plan meant to trap the person who has it out for the woman he loves. Little does he know that the plan works too well and things royally backfire.

Find out what happens in A Girl’s Dream Come True. Book Two in the A Girl Gone Crazy series!

A Girl’s Dream Come True ends with a cliffhanger and is the second book in the A Girl Gone Crazy series.

For my review of Book One in this series: https://ameliafosterauthor.com/2020/10/21/a-girl-gone-crazy-by-becca-baldwin-book-review/

A Girl Gone Crazy was a funny, mostly lighthearted read and it was the fun entertainment I needed. I will admit I was caught off guard with A Girl’s Dream Come True. This is a much heavier, angstier read. Danger, threats, and secrets abound in this installment of the Girl Gone Crazy series.

Joel has recovered (well mostly) from his mugging and he and Haley move to Paris so that Joel can start work on his new cooking show. This is a fateful decision because things start happening to both Haley and Joel. Danger and tragedy seem to lurk around every corner and nearly every situation seems to point the proverbial finger at Joel’s ex Caroline… who still very clearly wants to be a part of Joel’s life.

In an effort to keep Haley safe, the woman who owns his heart and whose wellbeing he will always put above his own, Joel brainstorms an idea that will eliminate the threats following Haley… but what he thinks is a brilliant idea is one that is practically guaranteed to end their story without a “happily ever after.”

Warning: This story does end in a cliffhanger, but the third book in the series will be out in January and I have all the things crossed that we will finally see Joel and Haley get their full HEA rather than their previous HFN.

Where to find A Girl’s Dream Come True

Amazon

Goodreads

Snowed In by: Jessica Calla ~ A holiday romance book review

Emma Ballard, a retired supermodel, has been the acting CEO and face of her family’s clothing business for the past five years, living the busy corporate life in New York City. She meets the Jersey branch IT supervisor, theater-nerd Andrew Mooney, when she gets stuck in a snowstorm after an office function.

Getting to know widower Andrew, his grumpy vet father, and his adorable six-year-old twin girls opens Emma’s heart to the possibility of having love and family in her life. Andrew’s opinion of Emma, the “viper CEO” gossiped about at the water cooler, quickly changes as he discovers Emma’s wit, intelligence, and giving heart.

Although neither Emma nor Andrew are quite ready for a relationship and canoodling is against company policy, the holiday spirit of Manhattan is magical and contagious. As fate and Mother Nature would have it, Emma and Andrew keep finding themselves snowed in together, as they face their pasts and fall in love.

Yes, we are counting down to Christmas with another holiday read. Don’t judge me, it’s the time of year I get my elf on.

Jessica Calla is an author I am always excited to read, even when she steps out of the romance genre. While I adore her Sheridan Hall series (I’m a sucker for NA as we all know), Ms. Calla has also written a gripping and deep women’s fiction Maple Summer Wallace that has stuck with me long after I closed the book.

But let’s get back to Snowed In. Obviously I am in the holly jolly mood myself and as an avid Hallmark Christmas movie watcher, I am giddy to find books that are, essentially, Hallmark movies on paper.

One of my favorite tropes in general is a single dad trope. Typically when the single mom trope is done there is so much struggling included you don’t always feel like the woman is a strong person, but rather just one in need of saving. While I’ll never call single motherhood easy, I think that sometimes it’s overdone and exhausting. Throw a little gender bendy single dad at me and I am putty in your hands.

Enter Andrew.

Yup, I am a sucker for this leading man. He is a fabulous character all around and, I’ll fully admit that his single dad skills are mad on point and make me completely swoon.

And then we have Emma.

Now, I’ll be honest, from reading the blurb I was expecting to dislike Emma. Remember I am a Hallmark movie fan and typically if you’ve got a character who is a “big city ex-supermodel” she is a bit of a diva and needs a reality check that comes through the course of the story. That is not the case with Emma. She is so sweet and caring and just… absolutely precious. While Andrew and Emma manage to be portrayed so perfectly as opposites, they are both equally as likable and have you rooting for them to find their HEA.

Snowed In is EXACTLY the sweet romance you need to put you in the holiday spirit. Especially in 2020, this is the kind of read we need in our lives because I think this year has managed to give all of us a little extra dose of Grinchy attitude. Banish that green fella by grabbing a copy of Snowed In today. You will NOT regret it.

Where to find Snowed In

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Apple

Goodreads

Wrapped Up In Christmas Joy ~ A Holiday Book Review

When Sophie Davis sorts through a box of donated books to her church, she’s surprised to discover a soldier’s journal. As the daughter of a veteran who watched her father struggle over the years, she feels a deep connection to the man who wrote the emotional entries.

Former Marine Cole Aaron battled to find peace after returning to civilian life. He’s always needed to protect others. Now, fighting fires in Pine Hill, Kentucky helps him put out the demons within him. When Sophie shows up at the fire hall with his journal from when he’d first returned stateside, Cole can’t believe it was in the box he’d donated. Not wanting to face painful memories, he tells her to trash it.

Sophie and Cole are drawn together as they both volunteer for their community, but it’s hard for Cole to let down his guard, and he doesn’t need anyone’s pity. After all he’s been through in the past, can he find faith in a more hopeful future…one touched by joy?
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The Debt by: Amy Rose ~ Book Review

What do you do when you’re given away to someone you don’t know in payment of a debt?

Rebecca Kennedy always thought she had the perfect life. Growing up wealthy, she never had to do anything she didn’t want to, travelling the world as a successful art blogger, having complete freedom to make any decisions she wanted to. Until the night her parents made a decision that changed the course of her future forever.

Alexander Black enjoys the finer things in life, collectable antiques, private aeroplanes and never being told no. His empire is large, and his reach is long, known in the world he frequents as being powerful and frightening. When a debt is paid in something other than money, it changes the game.

Will these two manage to enter the murky waters of the new life they are entering and come out unscathed? Or will this change the both of them, forever? 
Continue reading “The Debt by: Amy Rose ~ Book Review”

A Girl Gone Crazy by: Becca Baldwin ~ Book Review

Haley O’Brien spends her days working for an ogre that can’t be bothered to remember her name, running everybody’s errands, and gossiping over coffee with her best friend. Her nights and her fantasies belong to the hottest chef in the world. Too bad he doesn’t know she exists…or does he?

Joel Alexander has sworn off women. After a disastrous relationship that nearly ruined his career, Joel certainly wasn’t looking to fall in love, until he saw her…

​After an unfortunate accident brings them together, Haley and Joel set off on a blazing trail of love, passion, sex, and friendship. However, someone close to them wants to tear them apart. Someone who will do anything to separate them. Someone who’s determined to let nothing stand in their way.
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JOINT CUSTODY by: Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Book Review

The Man has custody Monday through Friday, The Woman has custody on the weekends. But that’s not enough for Gatz, who will do anything to bring them back together–even if it kills him. And it almost did. Of course he knows chocolate is bad for him, especially two whole pounds of it, but it’s the risk he’s willing to take to get them back together.

Gatz knows that The Man and The Woman are perfect for each other–how can they not see it too? She is an editor and he’s a writer. She’s a social butterfly and he’s as introverted as a guy can get. After the misguided death-by-chocolate attempt, Gatz thinks he still has time. But when New Man–so handsome, so nice, so perfect–enters The Woman’s life, he realizes he’ll need to step up his game. And you know what they say: drastic times call for drastic doggy measures.

A laugh-out-loud romance that will touch your heart and make you want a furry friend of your own.

Spoiler Alert: The ending is mentioned in, somewhat, detail as it greatly affects the tone of the review.

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