Sunday, December 21, 2014

Unwrapping Hank by Eli Easton

What it’s about
Sloane loves a good mystery. He grew up as the son of two psychiatrists, so he finds most people tediously easy to figure out. He finds his way to Pennsylvania State University, longing for a rural experience, and ends up being lured into joining a frat by Micah Springfield, the hippest guy on campus.

Nothing in Sloane’s classes is as intriguing as Hank Springfield, Micah’s brother and fellow frat house member. Hank looks like a tough guy—big muscles, tatts, and a beard—but his eyes are soft and sweet. He acts dumb, but he’s a philosophy major. He’s presumably straight, but then why does Sloane feel such crazy chemistry whenever Hank is around? And why does Hank hate Sloane so much?

When Sloane ends up stuck on campus over Christmas, Micah invites him to spend the holidays at their family farm in Amish country. It’s a chance to experience a true Americana Christmas--and further investigate the mystery that is Hank Springfield. Can Sloane unlock the secrets of this family and unwrap the heart hidden inside the beefcake?

KindleRomance's Review
5 Stars!

Very sweet, but also deeply touching, holiday story about two college fraternity brothers. Hank and Sloane have an interesting connection from the beginning which swings between almost-friends and almost-enemies. There is clearly an attraction of some sort, but Hank can’t seem to make up his mind on what he wants. Sloane is a patient person and doesn’t mind putting the effort into figuring out what makes Hank tick. A special holiday vacation turns into the trip of a lifetime in more ways than one. I was glad we got to hear from both of the characters in order to avoid having Hank come across as a jerk. The characters were extremely well-developed, and the story had so many wonderful layers to it.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Stinger (A Sign of Love) by Mia Sheridan

What it’s about
Grace Hamilton was the girl with a plan. She knew exactly where her life was going and prided herself on always achieving her goals. It was who she was, and how she lived her life. She never stepped outside the lines, and never considered what she might desire and whom she was actually trying so hard to please. Until him…

Carson Stinger was a man who didn't play by any rules except his own. Working in the adult entertainment industry, he didn't care what others thought, and took each day as it came, no direction, no plan. He knew what women wanted from him and believed it was all he had to offer. Until her…

When circumstances forced them to spend several hours together, they walked away changed. But for two people who never should have meshed, overcoming the reality of their vastly different lives wasn't possible. At least not yet…

Kristen’s Review

4 Stars!
Overall, I enjoyed this second chance at romance trope. Yet, I also felt like I was reading two different stories, with two different characters, and two different plots. The first half had a young, playful, and sexy feel to it, while the second half–which featured a plot twist and a time jump of 5 years–had a more traditional military romance vibe to it. I understand the reason for the plot twist; it was needed, but the transition was a bit jarring for me.

While I liked the tone of first half more than the second half, I still very much enjoyed reading this story.
Connect with Mia Sheridan
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Kidnapped Christmas Bride (Taming of the Sheenans #3) by Jane Porter

What it’s about
All he wants is a Christmas memory…

Trey Sheenan has cultivated his reputation as Marietta’s resident bad boy, until one day he lets things go too far and he loses everything—his freedom, his fiance McKenna Douglas, and his infant son.

McKenna has loved Trey since they were kids, but she’s had enough. When Trey is sent away for five years, McKenna is determined to do what’s right for her and baby TJ, which means putting her mistakes—namely Trey—behind her, and move on.

When Trey is released early, he returns to Marietta determined to beg McKenna’s forgiveness and become the father TJ needs him to be, only to discover that he’s too late. McKenna’s marrying local insurance agent Lawrence Joplin in a candlelight Christmas wedding.

Or is she?

Once again, Trey risks everything, but this time it’s for love….and the memory of one perfect Christmas together as a family.

 Crista’s Review

4 Stars!
There is just something about a bad boy hero: The type of hero who has just enough sweetness to qualify him as a “good decision”, and just enough bad-boy in him to make him interesting. Trey definitely qualifies under the “bad boy with redeeming qualities” category!

This book is the third book in a series, but can definitely be read as a stand-alone. If you love holiday romances, second chance romances, and cabin romances, this one is all three of those bundled together in one sweet book.

Trey has just been released from prison and is eager to reconnect with his son and ex-fiancée. When he finds McKenna, he realizes that she is about to marry another man. Trey is not about to lose the woman he loves and his son, so he does what any protective, recently released convict would do: he “kidnaps” them both.

The three of them end up in a remote cabin together and the magic of this book lies in the memories that are made in that cabin. The little boy TJ was such a sweet little boy, and his desire to have his family reconnected was so touching.

Trey and McKenna actually were very good at communicating and once they were given a chance to reconnect, it was so very clear that they shared a deep, all-consuming love for one another.

This was a quick read, but was not a shallow read. The characters were all highly likable, but I did knock off a star because I felt that McKenna should’ve never left Trey in the first place. Trey needed her and TJ, and when things didn’t go as planned, she bailed on him. I had a hard time with that and never quite got over that fact.

Overall, a lovely story about second chances and becoming a family.

*A copy of the book was provided by Tule Publishing via NetGalley* 

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Quickie Review: Archer's Voice (A Sign of Love) by Mia Sheridan

What it’s about
When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer's Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

 Kristen’s Review

4.5 Stars!
A very sweet and unique love story that's well written and emotional. It's as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking and has the perfect blend of real-life issues, powerful romance and heart-and-soul.

I loved it!

Connect with Mia Sheridan
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Her Holiday Man by Shannon Stacey

What it’s about
Christina Forrester is starting over. After a financial scandal sent her ex-husband to prison, she's left raising her young son without any of the comforts of their old life. Budgets, coupons, lawn care—you name it, she's learning to do it all on her own. Well, almost on her own—she'd be lost without Gail Broughton, the kind widow across the street.

But when Gail's son comes home, Christina's vow to never trust a man again is put to the test.Will Broughton left town because he was tired of being "that poor man" who lost his wife and unborn child in a tragic accident. But years have passed and, with his dad gone and his mom alone, it's time to go home. Only his mother's not alone. She's taken Christina under her wing, and the beautiful and determined single mother awakens something in Will he thought was buried forever.

As Will and Christina are forced to spend more time together, feelings that are more than neighborly grow between them. And with Christmas coming and a child filling both houses with holiday cheer, it becomes nearly impossible not to embrace the joy—and the love—in their lives.

 Crista’s Review

4.5 Stars!
Her Holiday Man was a wonderful quick holiday read that managed to be both entertaining and touching.  I love a good romance where a lonely man and a lonely woman find one another around the holidays.  Add in a child, and the “making of a family” storyline is even better.

This novella features an affluent woman who has been financially devastated following her ex-husbands money laundering.  She is desperately trying to make ends meet and raise her young son as a single parent.

Our hero lost his pregnant wife and unborn son in a car accident and had not been able to move on since.  He has lived a very nomadic life and has finally come “home” to live near his mother who is also living alone.

After initially being skeptical of Christina and her motives towards his mother, Will gradually begins to fall for this woman who has a heart of gold and a ton of grit.  He also falls hard for her young son.  Unfortunately, Will’s post-traumatic stress from loosing his family is a major barrier for this couple as he vacillates between craving the intimacy of a new family, and being scared to death of experiencing loss again.

I loved this book.  It felt very realistic to me and I loved how this relationship gradually evolves into something meaningful and lasting.  The epilogue was the best part of the story, and solidifies this as a truly remarkable holiday novella.

Highly recommend!

*A copy of the book was provided by Carina Press via NetGalley*

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Merry Christmas, Baby (A Lucky Harbor Short Story) by Jill Shalvis

What it’s about
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis brings you a heartwarming tale that could only happen in Lucky Harbor . . .


Wild child Chloe Thompson can't believe how much things have changed. She still can't get enough of her sexy husband Sawyer, but he seems to prefer working to thinking about impending fatherhood. So tonight, a very pregnant Chloe is escaping her troubles at the town Christmas party.

Sheriff Sawyer Thompson hopes surprising Chloe at the party will give him a chance to set things right. But as the snow begins to fall and the wind rages, he wonders whether he can make it back in time. While mother nature conspires to keep Sawyer and Chloe apart, an unexpected arrival will require them to kiss and make up . . . and ring in the happiest holiday Lucky Harbor has ever seen.

 Karla’s Review

5 Stars! Merry Christmas to us! Thank you Jill Shalvis for all the good times in Lucky Harbor and this wonderful parting gift! 

So sad to say goodbye, it's very hard to let go of this series and these characters, but we get one last peek into a very special couple's happily ever after! Chloe and Sawyer have been my two of my faves from the beginning and I was thrilled that Jill Shalvis chose them to star in this Christmas novella. 

I've always enjoyed the way Chloe and Sawyer's opposite personalities played off each other,  but there is no doubt that they belong  together and how much they love each other. And once again, as is typical for Chloe, she doesn't heed Sawyer's warning and finds herself baby deep in trouble when she makes her way to the town Christmas party. Only this time Officer Hottie isn't there to have her back...or so she thinks! 

It was wonderful to spend time with all the characters we've come to love from the Lucky Harbor series as they share the blessed event with Chloe and Sawyer. It's not how they pictured bringing the newest Thompson into the world, but it couldn't have been more perfect. Fans of the Lucky Harbor series will adore this final goodbye, and it will leave you with a smile on your face and tear in your eye.

It made me yearn for the series to continue, but all good things must come to an end. I have no doubt Jill Shalvis has something in the works and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!

*A copy of this book was provided by Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Candy Man by Amy Lane

What it’s about
Adam Macias has been thrown a few curve balls in his life, but losing his VA grant because his car broke down and he missed a class was the one that struck him out. One relative away from homelessness, he's taking the bus to Sacramento, where his cousin has offered a house-sitting job and a new start. He has one goal, and that's to get his life back on track. Friends, pets, lovers? Need not apply.

Finn Stewart takes one look at Adam as he's applying to Candy Heaven and decides he's much too fascinating to leave alone. Finn is bright and shiny—and has never been hurt. Adam is wary of his attention from the very beginning—Finn is dangerous to every sort of peace Adam is forging, and Adam may just be too damaged to let him in at all.

But Finn is tenacious, and Adam's new boss, Darrin, doesn't take bullshit for an answer. Adam is going to have to ask himself which is harder—letting Finn in or living without him? With the holidays approaching it seems like an easy question, but Adam knows from experience that life is seldom simple, and the world seldom cooperates with hope, faith, or the plans of cats and men.

 Available at: Dreamspinner Press

KindleRomance’s Review

5 Stars!  A lovely holiday treat, light on angst and heavy on hope.

I loved this magical holiday story! Darrin runs Candy Heaven, and he has some strange ability to see bits of the future. His pixie stick is telling him that he needs to hire Adam Macias in order to give him the help he so desperately needs. I thought it was interesting to get two points of view in this story with only one from a main character. It worked very well in this story. Adam has a lot of issues to deal with, and I loved getting to know him better. Since Darrin runs the store, and also has to step in a few times to save the day, it was great hearing his thoughts, too.

I adored Adam. He has not had a great life, and things continue to go wrong for him. However, that doesn't stop him from trying so hard to move forward. Every time a new obstacle is thrown in his way, he just moves it and carries on. The only thing he's really bad at is accepting help of any kind from anybody, and after hearing about his upbringing, I could certainly understand why. I loved the different ways the author used Adam's drawing skills to further the story along. Meeting Finn was the best thing to ever happen to Adam, and he isn't quite sure what to do about it. Thank goodness Finn wasn't easily put off by Adam's behavior. These two were made for each other, and I enjoyed every minute that they were together.

I loved how the author managed to touch me with this story without a horrendous amount of angst or anything over the top, but with a very beautiful story about how love and friendship heals.

*A copy of the book was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review*

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Backup Boyfriend (The Boyfriend Chronicles #1) by River Jaymes

What it’s about
Professionally, Dr. Alec Johnson has almost reached his goals. As this year’s recipient of a humanitarian award with his ex, Dr. Tyler Hall, Alec’s work with the homeless is about to be recognized. Unfortunately, his personal life sucks because now he has to attend several events alongside Tyler—with his ex’s new boyfriend in tow. In an attempt to lift his mood and break out of his rut, Alec purchases a motorcycle he has no idea how to start.

Dylan Booth doesn’t have time for Dr. Clueless and his fickle 1964 Harley, but the cocky mechanic can’t say no to the request for help. Having spent his teen years on the streets, and losing his best friend to HIV, Dylan decides teaching the do-gooder how to ride is the least he can do. But watching Alec flounder in his ex’s company throws Dylan into protector mode, and the confirmed hetero introduces himself as Alec’s new boyfriend.

The ex suspects Dylan is lying.

Alec claims Dylan’s plan is insane.

And Dylan’s not sure he can fake being gay.

But Dylan’s a master bullshitter, and the phony PDA soon turns ultra-hot. Alec can’t afford to get attached, and Dylan’s learned everyone eventually leaves. Unfortunately, playing the backup boyfriend is starting to feel way too real…

CONTENT WARNING: This book contains Man-on-Man action, adult situations and ahem language.


KindleRomance's Review
5 Stars!
I really enjoyed this story from beginning to end. It was sweet and entertaining, but it also had enough depth to pull me in emotionally. I loved how the author slowly shared the back story of Dylan without making it too painful to read. His story was certainly heartbreaking, and it made sense why he was so hesitant to let himself fall in love. Dylan’s mouth continued to get him trouble, but it didn’t keep him from using it. Alec was so down to earth and adorable. It seemed like he spent so much time trying to meet his goals that he forgot to enjoy life. Dylan was happy to help him out, and it was enjoyable to watch these two spend time together and fall in love.

Karla's Review

4 Stars! A captivating, gay-for-you romance that was a pleasure to read!
Attraction is not limited to opposite genders, what matters is the connection, the feelings, and the commitment and love that two people have for each other.

In a nutshell that's what the Backup Boyfriend is about, and River Jaymes does a stand out job telling Alec and Dylan's story! You don't want their relationship to be pretend, you want it to be real, because it feels genuine right from the start.

I love when an author has readers rooting for the characters and experiencing their emotional journey with them. That's exactly what happened here.  I truly enjoyed this read and recommend it to fans of this genre, and if you've never read this type of story, the  Backup Boyfriend is a great place to start!

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