Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review: The Rancher's Christmas Song

About the Book:

Music teacher Ella Baker's plate is already full. But when single dad Beckett McKinley's wild twin boys need help preparing a Christmas song for their father, Ella agrees on one condition: they teach her to ride a horse. She's hoping that'll help mend her strained relationship with her rancher father; it certainly has nothing to do with the crush that's lingered since her one and only date with Beck. 

It isn't disinterest spurring Beck to keep his distance—if anything, the spark is too strong, with Ella reminding him of his ex-wife. Soon what started as an innocent arrangement is beginning to feel a lot like family. But with the holidays approaching, Beck and Ella will have to overcome past hurts if they want to keep each other warm this Christmas…

My Comments:

It's a Harlequin Christmas romance; do I really need to say anything else?  He's handsome; she's beautiful and the kids are good-hearted imps.  They've both been hurt, it is Christmas time and ....

Nope, nothing original at all, and a little over-written, but if you are looking for a heartwarming way to pass a couple of hours you could do worse.  

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy via NetGalley.  Grade:  B-

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Review: Lilac Lane

About the Book:

At the heart of Lilac Lane is Keira Malone, who raised her three children alone after her first marriage broke apart, and who, after years of guarding her heart, finally finds love again. But that love is short-lived when her fiancee suffers a fatal heart attack. Grieving and unsure of what’s next, Keira agrees to move from Dublin to Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, to spend time with her daughter, Moira, and her new granddaughter, Kate, as well as to help her son-in-law, Luke, with his Irish pub, O’Briens.

Not wanting to live underfoot, she rents a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, replete with views of the ocean and her neighbor’s thriving garden—not to mention views of the neighbor himself. The neighbor is none other than Bryan Laramie, the brusque and moody chef at the pub, with whom Keira is constantly butting heads. But things get real when Bryan’s long-lost daughter, whom he hasn’t seen since she was a baby, shows up out of the blue. As Bryan and Keira each delve into their pasts, reopening wounds, the rest of the town is gearing up for the Fall Festival Irish Stew cook-off, and making no bones about whose side they’re on. It’s Kitchen Wars meets This is Your Life—a recipe for disaster…or a new take on love?

You won’t want to miss this epic return to Chesapeake Shores, a place we’re betting you’ll want to stay forever.

My Comments:

The fun thing about series books is keeping up with friends you made in the first book(s) as you read through the series.  The bad thing about them is some writers use series books as a way to be lazy about character and plot development.  I'm afraid that Sherryl Woods has reached that point with the Chesapeake Shores books.

Keira isn't exactly like any other character, but just like in the other books, the O'Brien family is omnipresent, meddling in other people's love lives and gathering for Sunday dinner at Nell's (everyone), at OBrien's Pub (mostly the men) or at the coffee shop (the women).  Of course there is a happily ever after and like Woods' other books it does not have vivid bedroom scenes.  

Given some things said in this book, I doubt this is Woods' last O'Brien book, but it is mine.  It isn't an awful book, and if you haven't read any (or many) of the others and you are looking for a mild diversion one afternoon, this may be right up your alley.  I, on the other  hand, am tired of the O'Briens.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy via NetGalley.  Grade:  B-

Friday, October 06, 2017

Blog Tour and Review: Sugar Pine Trail

About the Book:

Librarian Julia Winston is ready to ditch the quiet existence she's been living. She's made a list of new things to experience, but falling for Jamie Caine, her sexy military pilot neighbor, isn't one of them. Julia's looking to conquer life, not become the heart breaker's latest conquest. But when two young brothers wind up in Julia's care for the holidays, she'll take any help she can get—even Jamie's. 

Happy to step in, Jamie reveals a side of himself that's much harder to resist. Not only is he fantastic with kids, he provides the strength Julia needs to tackle her list. She knows their temporary family can't last beyond the holidays, but the closer she gets to Jamie, the more she wonders if things could be this merry and bright forever…

My Comments:

Christmas romances can be so much fun, especially if you are looking for a quick easy heartwarming read and don't expect much realism. 

Julia is a sweet small town librarian who has lots of friends, but whose life has been spent meeting the expectations of others.  Not long before Christmas her book club makes wish lists--things they wish they could do, but haven't yet.  Julia's list includes having an orgasm with someone else.  

Julia lives in a large home she inherited from her parents, and which she has divided into two apartments.  A handsome pilot moves in upstairs.  She knows his family and knows that he doesn't do serious relationships, so of course she isn't willing to get close to him.

Right before Thanksgiving Julia notices that two young boys are spending too much time in the library and are walking home by themselves in a serious snowstorm.  She calls child welfare and ends up as their foster mother, and ends up getting a lot of help from the guy upstairs (the pilot).  He ends up seeing her bucket list and helps her achieve most of those goals--and then lets it slip that he has seen the list.

All in all, the book is predictable almost to a fault but they get their happily ever after and that's what Christmas romances are about, right.

Like Thayne's other novels, this one includes a passionate interlude, however, the characters remain dressed.  

Fans of the Haven Point and Hope's Crossing books will enjoy catching  up with many of the regular cast.  

I'd like to thank Little Bird Publicity for inviting me to join this tour.  Grade:  B-

Friday, September 15, 2017

Romances by Lily Everett: Quick Review

About the Book:

Sheriff Andie Shepard may be new to Sanctuary Island but, like everyone else who comes here, she's already fallen under its healing spell. Andie is determined to leave her mistakes behind her and make this scenic haven her home. But she just might have to change her plans—as well as open her heart—when an unexpected visitor shows up on her doorstep…

Caitlin is the ten-year-old niece Andie never knew she had. Silent, wary, and shy as can be, Caitlin only responds to the horses that run wild across the island. Andie has no idea how to deal with Caitlin—until Sam Brennan enters the picture. A tall, handsome loner who rehabilitates abused horses, Sam is able to help Caitlin break out of her shell. But that's not all: He finds a way to touch something deep in Andie's heart, opening her up to the healing power of love. Together, these three lost souls must face the darkness in their past to build a brighter future. Because here, on Sanctuary Island, anything is possible…

Dr. Ben Faulkner is a veterinarian on warm, welcoming Sanctuary Island, a refuge for wild horses. Though he's dedicated his life to healing animals and rescuing the ones no one wants, Ben is nursing deep wounds of his own. After tragedy tore his family apart, he gave up his dreams of finding happiness long ago…until Merry Preston arrives on the island. Vivacious, friendly, and instantly loveable, Merry is everything Ben is not. She's also nine months pregnant and attempting to carve out a new life for herself and her unborn child.

Though Ben tries to keep his distance, when a raging storm cuts them off from the mainland, he's forced to help bring her new baby into the world. It's a harrowing experience that leaves him with one great certainty: I want these two to be my family. Seeing his opportunity, he makes a dramatic proposal to the young mother: a marriage of convenience. If Merry marries him, he'll draw up a contract naming her son as his heir and promising to provide for them both. But as they'll learn, love is more than a business proposition…and it'll take all the magic hidden in Sanctuary Island to turn Ben's proposal into something real and lasting.

My Comments

Ok, maybe they weren't all that realistic, but they were fun reads.  

I bought them with a gift certificate from a friend.  Grade:  B.

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