THE BACKUP GROOM by Rich Amooi
Rich Amooi is a master at rom-com, never failing to make his readers laugh or leave them with a smile. Out of all of his books that I’ve read (and I’ve still got a few to go to catch up) Amber and Scotty might be my favorite. I loved their banter and the chemistry was explosive. Watching their romance and relationship develop was pure enjoyment. Add in the fun side characters—Stella, Dean, Scotty’s parents, the crazy cousin—along with the fabulously fun plot and you’ve got a non-stop page-turner that you won’t want to put down. Loved it!
Katherine Center is one of those authors who brings us hope when all seems lost and she’s done it again with HELLO STRANGER.
We start the story off with struggling artist Sadie Montgomery finally getting a break. She’s a finalist in a prestigious portrait contest (yay), but then she has an accident, and stuff happens that gets in the way (no spoilers). Most people would just give up and quit at this point, but not Sadie. Sure, she has her moments (who wouldn’t), but she hasn’t given up hope. Along the way, she meets a new neighbor and a hot vet who saves her precious dog, and even though it looks like her career might be tanking before it even gets to take off, her love life is flourishing. Maybe…again no spoilers.
What I loved about this book was the layers. Sadie’s medical issue and her journey learning to deal with everything happening because of said issues. Sadie’s budding relationship with her neighbor. Sadie’s relationship with her best friend Sue and her family. The complex family drama going on. And then on top of all of that, there’s the humor that the author wove into the story that gives us hope as we read about what is a very serious topic.
Katherine Center is a master at delivering stories filled with interesting characters facing difficult situations with courage and strength and lifting her readers up.
A great who-dun-it that kept me guessing until the end.
Surprisingly, this is the first Kelly Armstrong book I’ve read. I don’t know why, as I’ve known about her books for years and was a fan of the TV show Bitten which was an adaption from her book, but there you have it. It won’t be the last one I read, that’s for sure.
Ms. Armstrong did a great job laying out the clues and peppering the story with red herrings to keep me from zeroing in right away on the murderer. Oh sure, I suspected that person, but I wasn’t sure, and that’s all that mattered.
I really liked Dalton and Casey, their easy-going relationship, utter trust, and the chemistry between the two. I’ll definitely have to go back and read the Rockton series so I can see these two from the start. Actually, if you haven’t read that series, if might be helpful to read it first. I did feel a bit lost a few times with references to Rockton and what went wrong. But you don’t have to read it. Yolanda was also a great character. Strong. Secretive. Stubborn. Gunnar gave the story some run color and a little levity, which I always appreciate.
Great setting, characters, storyline, and setup for a new series. Looking forward to what comes next.
NOT YOUR EX'S HEXES by April Asher
This was my second April Asher book and it definitely won’t be my last.
I loved Rose and Damian’s story with their fabulous chemistry, and witty, fun banter. Both characters had their own internal struggles which felt real and relatable (yes, even with Damian being a half-demon). While Rose is struggling to find her passion in life, she isn’t anyone’s doormat. She’s strong, determined, and a bit of a baddy with a heart of gold. And I couldn’t think of a better witch to crack that hard shell Damian has around his cinnamon roll heart. I mean, he’s a vet running an animal rescue. How could I not love this guy?
These two alone made for a great read, but throw in the supporting cast and it’s a perfect escape. I love the three sisters and not only their relationship but the one they have with their grandmother. And then there’s Harper, the girls’ succubus friend who keeps everyone on their toes (I really hope we get her story). Not only do we get Rose and Damian steaming up the pages, but that tension between Olive and Bax… Oh, boy! Sooo looking forward to book 3.
#NotYourExsHexes #SupernaturalSingles #AprilAsher #SMPRomance
A wonderful story about mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, old loves reconnecting, and bit of a mystery wall woven beautifully together. The setting was fabulous and came alive on the page, creating the perfect escape from today’s reality. Barbara O’Neal is quickly becoming a one-click author for me.
If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would.
There were so many things that drew me into this story. Miriam, for one, was fabulous. Intelligent, funny, and real (magic aside). When we meet her, we get a glimpse of her everyday life…one many of us can relate to. She’s a single mom, working a job that she doesn’t necessarily love but doesn’t hate. She’s also reached that age where she’s learned when to bit her tongue because of priorities like keeping her job so she can keep paying her mortgage and feeding her daughter and wanting to tell the jerks of the world to shove it.
Her internal monologue had me cracking up (maybe because it’s how I think), but so did the banter between Miri and her best friend, her daughter, her ex-husband (who is not a bad guy), and pretty much everyone she comes into contact with outside of work.
I loved that she had brains. OMG! So refreshing to read about not only a smart heroine (she’s a librarian and full of random facts) but also one that has common sense. She’s loyal to a fault.
The world-building was interesting, as was the different mythos being told. This story was refreshing. It was the perfect blend of something new yet old. It was also a fabulous blend of dark moments and great one-liners to lift the tone when needed.
Full disclosure…this is not a paranormal romance. Yes, there is sexual tension between Miri and Laurent (the hot, broody French werewolf), but that’s not the central part of this story. This is paranormal women’s fiction. This is about Miriam’s journey, of her learning to accept her magic and learning to live the life she was meant to live.
This was my first Deborah Wilde book, and I am so looking forward to the next book in this series because we all need kickass heroines like Miri in our lives.
Summer Love – An Anthology
This is a must have for your summer reading list! Fourteen perfectly sized stories for an afternoon on the beach, by the pool, or curled up in your favorite reading spot. Plus, All proceeds will be donated to The Women’s Venture Fund, an organization that supports female run small businesses. Releases June 2, 2021, but is available for pre-order now.
I started with some of my favorite authors and loved getting to visit some of my favorite locations: Patterson’s Bluff, Australia, Granite Junction, Montana, and Calamity, Wyoming.
SWEET ON YOU by Stefanie London
I fell in love with Patterson’s Bluff and the residents when I read THE AUSSIE NEXT DOOR (if you haven’t read it…do so NOW). That affair continued with HER AUSSIE HOLIDAY and I’ve been jonesing for a chance to get back to my favorite seaside town down under. SWEET ON YOU was such a tantalizing, entertaining, enjoyable read. I loved Zoey and Mack. Both so hardheaded, yet totally soft inside. Their friends-to-lovers story was the perfect pick-me-up that had me laughing, smiling, and saying YES! Not to mention, made me so hungry for all those yummy desserts.
Next I stopped over in Cowboy country with A COWBOY TO REMEMBER by Megan Ryder
I love the cowboys and the woman of Granit Junction. Tough, resilient, loyal, and love with all their hearts. While Colton Raines wasn’t your normal cowboy, but rather a country music star, he could hold his own (most of the time) with the other boys on the ranch and definitely with feisty, independent Sierra Austin. These two had been looking for each other their whole lives and never knew it. They were simply…made for each other and their story was engaging, sexy, and oh so perfect.
Last, but definitely not least was LOVE, ME by Erika Kelly
I’ve been a fan of Erika Kelly’s since I read her first book, YOU REALLY GOT ME and every book since. Oh my gosh…Matteo Candella is like the sexiest Prince Charming ever. The man has waited years for his chance with Quinn and when he gets it, he lays on the charm in the best way imaginable. I absolutely adored how he showed Quinn that she was the one and so much more. Quinn, on the other hand, was strong and determined, and the type of woman you’d want to be your best friend because she was genuine. Together they were explosive, fun, sexy, and oh so sweet.
All three of these stories will leave you feeling satisfied, light-hearted, and smiling because love won. Can’t wait to dive into the other eleven stories.
Erika Kelly has a way of just pulling you into a book and not letting go until the last page. I've loved her writing since I picked up her Rock Star Romance series. She writes strong, smart, sexy women who can hold their own against their hero, and this book was no different. I loved Coco's character, how she handled her very strong willed daughter, but it was how she handled Beckett being in their lives that really got to me. And Beckett...Oh My! Such a great character. So much baggage. Seriously a hero worthy man. Their love story was sweet and touching, but it was him coming to terms with his demons and becoming the person you'd be proud to have at your side, or call your son, or friend that made this a total five star read for me. Really, it was the combination of all of these things.
Definitely will be reading the next book (and those I missed). This is part of a series, but I had no trouble reading it out of order or as a stand alone.
This was only my second Toni Anderson book, and once again she kept me turning the pages until the very end.
Dangerous Waters is about a small town full of secrets, flawed characters, with a setting perfect for the seedier side of life. The author wove together complex plot threads and story lines that kept my interest and had me guessing until the end with her unpredictable twists and turns.
The attraction is there from the beginning, which is fine with me. It happens and it’s realistic. We’ve all had at least one person come into our lives where we felt an instant sizzle (at least, I hope so). The author did a great job showing why these two were the worst possible choices for each other, and yet, they were the perfect choices. Both main characters, Holly and Finn, have complicated backgrounds that have shaped them into the people they are today. Neither are perfect. They both make mistakes, but deep down, they have good intentions and chemistry with each other.
As for the mystery…and yes, this is more mystery than thriller, it’s twisted and dark. I’m not a huge fan of prologues, but it helped build the suspense and tension for the big climax at the end.
I try not to give away spoilers, so let me say that I like how Holly was smart, but not infallible. She made mistakes. She let her emotions rule her actions at times, and that just made me like her all the more. She even made a few “bone-headed” choices that made me want to shake her too, but that’s what makes her a great character. Finn, on the other hand, was totally ruled by his heart, and his loyalty to his family. Honestly, that made him very appealing to this reader. He’s the kind of guy who would put his life on the line to save someone he loves. And yes, he wasn’t always heroic, but again…that made him complex like most people really are in true life.
Other aspects of this story I loved were the secondary characters…my heart broke for Thom, and the vivid details that painted a realistic setting and set the tone perfectly.
DETACHED by Elicia Hyder
Another great start to a new series by Elicia Hyder.
This story was everything I wanted it to be. A tough heroine who is soft inside. A hero who is worthy, not an alpha-jerk. Complications that are going to pull at my heart. Fun, interesting side characters (I really hope we see more of Flash and Teek.) Moments that make me laugh. Moments that brought tears to my eyes. All tied up in a complex, intriguing plot.
If you've not read Elicia Hyder before, read this and then go read The Soul Summoner series while you wait for book 2 in the Saphera Nyx series. I can't wait to see what happens next.