Book Review! TWIN BAY CHRISTMAS: FINALLY FAMILY

So Christmas has passed for many who celebrate it and is yet to come for those who follow Orthodox traditions, but it’s hailed a return to reality for me. What better way to restart my book reviews than with a sweet little holiday novella?

If you know anything about me, I love the swoon worthy happily ever after that come along with romance, but I ESPECIALLY love epilogues that give us that extra little happy after the happily ever after.

So what I’m saying is: basically this book is made for me. Twin Bay Christmas: Finally Family follows all the complex and endearing characters we met in Held & Hidden and gives them a little extra holiday happy.
Continue reading “Book Review! TWIN BAY CHRISTMAS: FINALLY FAMILY”

Book Review! DESPERATE DECEPTION by: Desiree Holt

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She’d only be safe if she got away…

Lainie Taggert needed to break away from her abusive relationship before it killed her, but Sonny Fitzgerald had all the keys to controlling her. Until she landed in the hospital with bruises and broken bones. And her friend, Drea Halstead, convinced her they had to spirit her away.

His life was in limbo…

Zane Halstead was rootless after three tours with the SEALs, medically discharged and not sure what to do with himself. When Sheriff Alex Rossi in Montana reached out to him with an offer to join his staff, he thought, what the hell? A house came with it along with two horses he could work with. But then his sister pleaded with him to take a battered woman with him and keep her safe. How could he say no?

But the best laid plans and all that…

They never expected to fall for each other, Zane with his determination to stay single and Lainie with her nightmares and a vicious bully after her. And a rich one at that. But chemistry and emotions have their own plans, and when Zane gets word Lainie’s ex is on her trail, he realizes he’ll do anything to keep her safe…and for himself. With the help of Sheriff Alex Rossi, he is ready to take on the enemy for his woman.

Continue reading “Book Review! DESPERATE DECEPTION by: Desiree Holt”

Book Review! PINKY PROMISES by: Deana Birch

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When her long-distance teaching buddy goes on maternity leave, New York City native Leyla Harraq, temporarily transplants to a sleepy beach town on the West Coast to manage her friend’s Hot Yoga studio. But the yogini’s brash spunk leads to an immediate social gaffe when she insults her new landlord, carpenter Adam Fields, and must backpedal to save face.

Watching Adam wallow in solitary confinement after a brutal break-up will never do. Motivated by her own need for physical contact, Leyla happily offers herself as the perfect rebound. She’ll be gone in a couple of months, no one has to know, and she can wipe his ex right out of his mind… and body. After all, if anyone knows how to turn up the heat, it’s her.

But when the studio owner realizes she can’t return to teaching full-time and asks Leyla to stay, the fish-out-of-water must make a choice. Can she abandon her commitment-free lifestyle for small town drama and a chance at love with a hunky hammer wielding man?

Continue reading “Book Review! PINKY PROMISES by: Deana Birch”

Book Review! HIDDEN by: T.K. Barber

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After the botched rescue attempt of girlfriend Annalise nearly cost him his life, Thomas Valentine finds himself under secret, protective care from an unlikely source, and his crippling desire to see Annalise, despite orders not to, unknowingly places her in danger.

All Annalise wants is to push past the trauma of her imprisonment, move on, and keep Thomas alive in her memory while clinging to a thread of “normal.” Those plans shatter the instant they’re reunited, and the young lovers are shoved deep into a sinister plot that claws at their fragile minds and tender hearts.

When Thomas’s life and morality hang in the balance, Annalise makes a dangerous play to rescue him from the ghosts of his past and the one person he wants nothing more than to please.

And with dynasties now on the line, the family leaders make deceptive moves to end their rivalry once and for all, using any means necessary.
Continue reading “Book Review! HIDDEN by: T.K. Barber”

COVER REVEAL! Meant to be Family

I am so insanely in love with this cover I just can not wait to share it with you! This story is incredibly special to my heart and I hope you guys love it! Without further ado, check out the cover for Meant to be Family and meet Connor and Kelsey.

My dreams constantly haunt me, whether I’m asleep or awake. 

Six months ago, my life veered off course when my fiancée disappeared with no explanation. 

The partying lifestyle I’d adopted to cope, ended in an accident that left my body as broken as my heart. To make matters worse, I’ve managed to run off countless physical therapists in charge of the in-home rehabilitation I need to get me back on my feet. 

My last chance at staying in my own house is gift-wrapped in wavy, auburn hair and startling gray eyes. 

The woman that shattered my heart. 

Kelsey is the only one left to help heal my body. And her unexpected arrival brings with it the opportunity to ask the countless questions I thought I’d carry forever.

But her answers only create a new mountain to overcome, one I never imagined.

Now, more than ever, I need to prove to Kelsey that despite everything, we are meant to be a family… 

Continue reading “COVER REVEAL! Meant to be Family”

Sneak Peek! Meant to be Family

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If you’ve missed the first two parts of Meant to be Family that I’ve shared on here, check them out:

Meant to be Family Sneak Peek Part One

Meant to be Family Sneak Peek Part Two

Connor

Present Day

“I know you’ve told me before, but I need you to start from the beginning. You might remember something different this time.”

Remember something different? What the hell did this guy want from him? Connor speared his fingers through his hair and ran them down the back of his head, linking them together behind his neck.Continue reading “Sneak Peek! Meant to be Family”

Book Review! BEHIND THE GLASS by: Kristen Morgen

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Rebecca Jordan’s life is simple, disciplined, and uncomplicated, at least on the surface. Then she meets a handsome stranger/secret admirer named Michael Vale one fateful late night at a bookstore café. As a focused but struggling photographer with a passion for art, her outwardly happy world is turned upside down during this life-changing encounter when she quickly realizes she has met her soul mate. The undeniable attraction between them and their intense, immediate connection seem picture perfect as they discuss the shop’s local artwork, until Rebecca abruptly ends the chance meeting with no explanation.

Betraying Brett, her loyal, loving boyfriend, is something Rebecca can never bring herself to do. Driven by a strong moral code and molded by divorced parents and a tumultuous childhood, she struggles to stay away from Michael, but fate and circumstance intervene, bringing them back together time and time again. As much as she resists, there is no denying her true feelings for him and the simple fact that Michael understands her in a way Brett never has. Michael proves to be everything she’s ever wanted, but remains just out of her reach.

Behind the Glass tells the story of Michael and Rebecca’s extraordinary love and the many unconventional stages their relationship must go through. Their morals and their faith in true love and in each other will be put to the test as they learn that meeting one’s soul mate does not come without obstacles.

Hello there my lovelies! I have another fabulous little book review for you today, so let’s dive in!

Wow, this is such a decadent read. Straight off the bat I was completely consumed into Rebecca’s world. Ms. Morgen is a master of creating rich descriptions and fabulous world building that puts you smack in the middle of everything. It’s the first time in a while that I was walking in the land of the characters in the first five pages.

Not only were the descriptions lush and beautiful, but so were the emotions. I felt every tug and pull as Rebecca and Michael walked their path to learning more about each other and falling in love.

But as always, it isn’t that simple. Rebecca is already in a relationship and both Michael and Rebecca have a spot on moral compass that doesn’t allow for exploring their feelings for each other while Rebecca is still attached (but not married, this is important to note!) to another man. But is Rebecca willing to give up the comfort of her relationship with Brett to take a chance with Michael.

The ending was as fulfilling as the story itself and I’d love to read more from this author. Her craft is absolutely spot on and so engaging. If you enjoy the heartwarming movies on Hallmark that make you swoon and smile and happy sigh, you need to read Behind The Glass.

Where to find Behind The Glass

Amazon

Goodreads

Sneak Peek! Meant to be Family

Hey there my lovelies!

I have another installment of Meant to be Family and an adorably awkward first date. I gotta admit, Connor actually shocked me with his level of chivalry and concern. It’s pretty obvious why he is his mother’s favorite.

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Kelsey

Six years earlier

 

Kelsey growled and stripped off the navy shirt with small daisies embroidered on it and grabbed the pale pink one she’d just discarded and glanced at the clock before pulling the top over her head. She only had seven minutes and everything she tried on was stupid or awkward.

She adjusted the thin straps and the cold shoulder sleeves and turned in front of her mirror. Five minutes. It would have to do. She slid on a much safer pair of sparkly sandals to dress up the denim shorts she’d paired the top with and grabbed a pair of silver hoop earrings that she put on as she jogged down the stairway.

Her teeth found her lower lip as soon as she saw him standing on the walkway through the glass front door of the hall. He’d changed into a pair of faded, straight leg jeans and matched it with a blue and white striped button-down shirt, the long sleeves rolled up to his elbows. Kelsey tightened her grip on the lightweight jacket she carried. The guy was seriously hot. How had she never run into him on campus before?

She eyed him up and down. “Wearing white around me and food? You’re a glutton for punishment.”

One corner of his mouth kicked up. “I like to live dangerously.” He pointed at the small SUV parked along the curb. “That’s me. Ready to go?”

Erratically beating butterfly wings assaulted her stomach as she fell in step beside him. His brown hair fell against his forehead and sapphire eyes sparkled with mischief. Danger wasn’t even the half of it. “Apparently I do too.” She lifted herself into the passenger’s seat after he opened the door. “Getting in cars with soup-covered strangers.”

He rested his forearm on the top of the open door and squinted up at the sky for a moment before locking his gaze with hers once again. “Connor Elliott Carlisle. Twenty-one years old, I’m in my junior year for a bachelor’s in architecture. I’m the next to the youngest in a family of four boys and they are all basically the biggest pains in the ass you’ll ever meet. My family has lived in Asheville for as long as I can remember, but once I started college there was no way in hell I was going to still live at home. I like dogs better than cats, I hate pickles on a sandwich, and my favorite color is navy blue.” He winked just before shutting the door. “See, now I’m not a stranger.”

Kelsey was still laughing when he climbed in the driver’s seat beside her. “Is that the civilian version of ‘name, rank, and serial number?’”

Connor stuck the key in the ignition, but didn’t turn the car on. Instead he swiveled in his seat and faced her. “That’s the ‘I want you to feel safe being in a car with me’ speech.”

Her heart stuttered in her chest. “I’d say that’s a pretty successful one then.”

He only drove two miles away from campus to a small diner which took away the last remnants of worry. She was fairly certain he was either laying on the charm exceptionally thick or he was a throwback to a much more chivalrous generation. He opened every door for her and held out her seat. When the waiter arrived he motioned for her to order first and spent most of the night asking about her, only revealing additional details about himself when she gently pushed.

“Okay, spill, is this for real or am I getting punked?” She finally had to ask the burning question when he walked her to the front door of Mills Hall.

His lower lip jutted out slightly and the corners of his mouth curled down, brows furrowed together. “What are you talking about?”

Kelsey’s hand moved up and down to encompass him before motioning back and forth between them. “You. This. Tonight. First I spill my food on you in a crowded cafeteria, which I really do need to replace your clothes for you.” He rolled his eyes and his head fell back, but she continued. “Then you take me out to dinner and are a level of gentleman that would embarrass Gene Kelly. How can you be real?”

“First,” Connor took a small step forward, closing some of the space between them, “you don’t need to replace anything. Second, my mother will be thrilled to hear that I behaved exactly the way she raised me to, although probably not surprised. Don’t tell my brothers, but I’m definitely her favorite.”

She fought to control the grin that was causing her lips to twitch.

He took a second step toward her and tentatively laced his right fingers through hers. “But maybe I had an ulterior motive to it all.”

“Ha!” She crowed with delight and poked a finger against his chest with her free hand. “I knew it! I knew you had something shady up your sleeve. Okay, out with it.”

Connor gripped her waist on the left side. “I wanted to kiss you.”

The smug grin disappeared and she blinked up at him several times. “Wait, you…what?”

He curled his lips in a soft smile. “The entire time you were talking in the cafeteria—and you really do talk a lot—I couldn’t stop looking at your mouth and wanting to kiss you.” He lifted one shoulder in a half shrug. “Can I?”

His eyes nearly hypnotized her, but not half as much as the tender words he spoke, sincerity lacing each one. Her voice refused to cooperate and she was left to simply nod. Connor’s hand released hers and held onto the back of her neck. His lips found hers and brushed against them softly, with reverence and care.

In the fading sunset, moments ticked by unnoticed. Kelsey had a handful of boyfriends in high school and one serious one since she started college three years ago, but none of them had ever kissed her like this. She gripped his wrist to keep him in place with one hand, the other stroked the front of his shirt.

When they finally broke, she blinked several times to bring his face back into focus. She ran her tongue along her lower lip. “Was…was that what you expected?”

He grinned and bent down, planting one more soft kiss on her cheek. His mouth moved to her ear, creating a shiver down her spine. “Better.” With one last squeeze, he released her and offered a small wave as he walked backwards to his car. “Night, Kels.”

Add Meant to be Family to your TBR today!

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Sneak Peek! Meant to be Family

In case my giddy exclamations of glee haven’t been a clue, the third book in the Meant To Be Series, Mean to be Family will be releasing in just a few weeks and I am OVER THE MOON to share a few little sneak peeks with you.

I gotta admit this first scene I’m sharing is one that I love. Who doesn’t find a messy meeting adorable?

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Connor

Six years earlier

 

“OhmygoshIamsosorry.”

The squealed words all ran together to form one semi-incoherent one. And hit his ears about half a second after the warm liquid landed in his lap. Thank everything good the cafeteria managed to only heat their food to tepid levels. It didn’t help the fact, however, that the red liquid billed as tomato soup was now being soaked up by his khaki shorts. On reflex, he pushed the sketchpad away and breathed a sigh of relief that his drawing had been spared.

A tray clattered onto the table beside him and small hands grabbed several napkins from the dispenser nearby and shoved them in front of him. “I am so, so, so sorry. My foot slid in these stupid sandals which are completely inappropriate and I really shouldn’t be wearing anyway because they hurt my feet and I have to walk across campus three times a day for all my classes. Which is absolutely ridiculous and I have discussed this with my advisor on more than one occasion, but it isn’t like it matters anyway and—” The girl slapped a hand over her mouth. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled from behind her fingers.

Connor pressed the thin paper napkins against his shirt and pants and swallowed back a chuckle. “It’s not a big deal.” He looked up and his eyes collided with wide, slate colored ones that stood out against her dark brown hair and creamy ivory skin. Even the thought of laughing was stolen from him and he swallowed, licking his suddenly parched lips. He’d never seen anyone as beautiful as the mortified girl who plopped down on the bench seating beside him.

Her hands fell away from her face. “I tend to talk. A lot. And ramble when I’m nervous. Or when I’ve done something really stupid like pour the entire contents of my dinner on a stranger’s lap.” She groaned and slapped her palm to her forehead. “Particularly a stranger wearing khakis and a light blue shirt. Did I mention that I’m sorry?”

He looked down at the stained shorts and spattered shirt and really didn’t care about any of it. “Would you believe me if I told you that these were old? Hand me downs from my brother?”

The girl’s full lips twisted to the side and her eyes rolled heavenward. “Not for a moment.”

This time the chuckle escaped before he had a moment to stop it. “Good answer.” He wiped some of the residue that had clung to his hands while he was attempting to clean what he could off his clothes and stuck it out. “Connor.”

She offered a small smile and slid her palm against his, giving a gentle shake. “Kelsey.”

He tightened his fingers around her slightly. “Well, Kelsey, I think a little payback is due.”

Her mouth fell open for a moment before her head bobbed enthusiastically. “Yes, of course, just tell me what size you wear and where your dorm is and I promise I will replace your clothes. I really am sorry, did I say that already?”

Connor pressed his lips together to contain the grin forcing its way to the surface. “I meant you.” He gestured to the nearly empty bowl on her dinner tray. The remnants of her soup that hadn’t been deposited in his lap filled the bottom of the plastic surface. “Looks like you are out of dinner.”

She wrinkled her nose. “It wasn’t much to look forward to anyway. I have some granola bars back in my room that would probably taste a whole lot better.”

He shook his head. “How about I take you out instead?”

Kelsey’s eyes fluttered a few times, confusion tinging the edges. “I spilled my food all over you and you want to buy me a meal?” She pointed to the three quarters of what was supposed to be a turkey sandwich on the plate in front of him. “Besides, you’ve already eaten. Or are eating. Or were. Before I ruined your dinner as well as your clothes. Please let me buy you new ones or at least pay to get these cleaned.”

He squinted at her and rubbed his earlobe between his thumb and forefinger. “You really do talk a lot, don’t you?”

“It’s a bad habit.”

“You say bad, I say cute.” When a light pink tinted her cheeks and her head dropped he lifted her chin with one of his knuckles. “Please let me take you out to dinner tonight.” His gaze fell to his ruined clothes. “After I change.”

Her lower lip caught between her teeth for a moment before she nodded.

Connor’s hand dropped and curled around the one laying against her thigh, bare beneath her denim shorts. “Where is your dorm? I’ll pick you up.” Something flashed across her face and every lecture on campus safety he’d listened to freshman, sophomore, and now junior year came rushing to the forefront of his mind. “I promise I’m not a psychotic stalker that will show up and follow you around.” He winced. “Which is probably exactly what a psychotic stalker would say, but I have two older brothers, a father, and, most terrifying of all, a mother who would kick my ass if I was anything less than a gentleman.”

The answering giggle created a bubbling against his ribcage, nerves and excitement all mixing together.

“I’m in Mills Hall.”

His shoulders drooped slightly with relief that she didn’t think he was a total creep. “That’s kind of perfect since I’m in Ponder.” He tightened his grip for a brief moment before releasing her hand. “I’ll meet you in front of your place in fifteen minutes?”

She lifted one shoulder and grinned. “I like the sound of that.”

As soon as the words left her mouth, she stood and scurried from the building. An uncontrollable, and probably ridiculously goofy, smile stayed fixed in place while he threw away the remnants of both his tray and the one she left behind, and he jogged out of the building. “So do I.”

Add Meant to be Family to your TBR today!

Goodreads

Book Review! THE OTHER TIDE by: Carly Spade

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Dr. Samantha ‘Sam’ Smith and Luke Jansen have gotten under each other’s skins since they met 10 years ago on the Royal Australian Naval base. They never thought they’d see each other again until their love of sharks brought them back together, giving their competitive and stubborn natures another chance to clash.

Sam, marine biologist and shark specialist, recently landed her dream job with the aquatic research department at Miami University. When her mentor invites her on the expedition of a lifetime, she eagerly takes the bait. The goal: obtain coveted, groundbreaking footage of Great White sharks breeding.

Unbeknownst to Sam, her mentor has invited one of the best shark experts in the business as well — a certain Aussie diver too arrogant and sexy for his own good. Luke, different after a life-changing diving accident, is the last person she expected to see.

Sam and Luke’s competitive streak picks up right where it left off as Sam realizes Luke knows almost as much about sharks as she does, despite her eight years of education. When a deep sea dive goes awry, Sam has to rely on Luke’s experience, both with sharks and as a Navy Clearance Diver, to get her back on board alive and in one piece. To make matters worse, a reckless rival crew surfaces, determined to beat them to the punch. Amidst the adventure and exhilaration of the hunt, Sam and Luke ignite a passionate spark that they slowly realize may have been simmering all along. If they can make it through with the footage and their lives, they may just have a shot at Happily Ever After.

 

Okay, let me be upfront and admit I am a big fan of Shark Week on The Animal Planet so I was kind of tickled pink to see sharks featured front and center in this read. I also want to take this opportunity to just draw attention to a really important detail, Ms. Spade has a note listed at the end of her blurb, “A portion of all proceeds will be donated to shark and ocean conservation.” This is a lovely sentiment and a great reason to grab a copy of this book ASAP knowing your money is going to a great cause.

This story has so many things I love. First, it’s a second chance romance with a ten year gap in between the time Luke and Sam first met until they are reunited. Second, and most delicious of all, it’s an enemies to lovers/opposites attract trope. I might have fallen over in my seat when I realized the friction between them. I did love that the snark was never intentionally nasty.

Sam and Luke have fantastic banter, something that I adore, sniping constantly giving me some much needed chuckles.

However don’t take any of that to mean that this is a lighthearted tale. That could not be more inaccurate. There are some heart stopping moments where survival doesn’t look like a possibility.

I was really impressed with the author’s dedication to research which was very obvious in the facts relayed during the story, well threaded through the obvious romance center.

Even if you aren’t a fan of sharks (I’m a fan of Shark Week… a little anxious about the creatures themselves), I’d recommend grabbing a copy of The Other Tide for a tasty little romance with an intriguing nautical education seamlessly woven throughout.

Where to find The Other Tide

Amazon

Goodreads