8/10

#BookReview
For the Win by Sara Rider

#BookReview For the Win by Sara RiderTitle: For the Win

Author: Sara Rider

Series: The Perfect Play #1

Published by: Pocket Star on June 6, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 336

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Pocket Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

What happens when you fall for your biggest competition? Sara Rider scores with this charming romance about soccer stars battling their tough opponents and playing the field of love.

Lainey Lukas has sacrificed everything—sleep, family, carbs, a life—to earn her spot as the top player and captain of the Seattle Falcons women’s soccer team. She’s determined to lead her team to a national championship and finally earn the sport the respect it deserves—and nothing will throw her off her game. When Lainey’s hero Gabe Havelak, star of the Seattle Surge, crashes her team’s first press conference—making the Falcons look like a joke to the local media and humiliating Lainey in the process—she’s hell-bent on revenge.

Charming, confident Gabe is practically a god to Seattle soccer fans, but he doesn’t mind a little friendly competition from tough-as-nails Lainey, with her top-notch athletic skills, her mile-long legs, and her girl-next-door freckles. But when he learns the Falcons are booting the Surge from their coveted practice space to the notoriously cursed Cricket Field, those warm feelings give way to crippling superstition. With his contract up for renewal and his thirty-fourth birthday just weeks away, Gabe will risk anything to protect his position with the Surge.

The rivals agree to settle their differences in a Battle of the Sexes competition—a test of skills, fitness, and willpower. At first the situation seems win-win: Gabe gets the chance to earn back the Surge’s practice space, and Lainey’s team will finally get some much-deserved media attention. But as the friction between them becomes hot enough to spark and smolder, Lainey and Gabe are entering new territory—and with both of their careers on the line, love might just be the toughest opponent of all.


Review:

This is an amusing, sporty, contemporary romance story.

The story is about work ethic, finding balance, competition, romance, and team work, with a side order of soccer.

The characters are dynamic, flirty, and interesting. The prose is funny and precise. And the plot is charming, humorous and sweet.

This was a really fun, sexy, easy read.

I can’t wait to read the next novel in the series, The Perfect Play, Jaime and Alex’s story due out in the fall.

 

This book is due to be published June 6, 2016

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Pocket Books, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview
Wrong Place, Right Time by Elle Casey

#BookReview Wrong Place, Right Time by Elle CaseyTitle: Wrong Place, Right Time

Author: Elle Casey

Series: The Bourbon Street Boys #2

Published by: Montlake Romance on May 10, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Montlake Romance, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Jenny’s single-parent life revolves around her kids and her job, which means that hours of Animal Planet and strings of computer code are about all she has time for. Not that Jenny’s looking for adventure or romance—she’s the type of woman who believes in playing it safe.

When Jenny is called upon to do some consulting for the Bourbon Street Boys—a New Orleans private security firm—she knows she should stay away. They conduct surveillance on known criminals and put themselves in harm’s way pretty much every day, so No is the obvious answer…Problem is, there’s a guy on the team with a body to die for and a dimple that just won’t quit luring Jenny in, tempting her to throw all caution to the wind.

Will Jenny take the risk or will she do what she’s always done—play it safe and wait for the right time?


Review:

Elle Casey writes great contemporary romance. I really enjoyed the first book in the Bourbon Street Boys series and this one was just as good.

It has everything you want, and more, in a romance novel. It is flirty, fun and packed full of excitement.

It has interesting, witty, sexy characters. It has an engaging plot full of humour, suspense and romance. And the prose is funny and precise.

If you want an easy, light read that will make you smile, and maybe even laugh out loud at times, this is the book for you. 

 

This novel is due to be published on May 10, 2016.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Montlake Romance, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview
Best of My Love by Susan Mallery

#BookReview Best of My Love by Susan MalleryTitle: Best of My Love

Author: Susan Mallery

Series: Fool's Gold #20

Published by: HQN Books on April 26, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

An irresistible new love story from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of the Fool’s Gold series, set in a town Library Journal calls “so appealing, readers will want to start scoping out real estate.”  

To overcome her painful past, baker Shelby Gilmore goes on the hunt for a friend—a male friend—to convince her stubborn psyche that men can be trusted. But where in a town as small as Fool’s Gold will the petite blonde find a guy willing to not date her? 

Dark, charming Aidan Mitchell puts the “adventure” in Mitchell Adventure Tours…and into the beds of his many willing female tourists. Until he realizes he’s inadvertently become that guy—the one-night Casanova—and worse, everyone in town knows it. Maybe Shelby’s boy/girl experiment will help him see women as more than just conquests so he can change his ways and win back his self-respect. 

As Aidan and Shelby explore the secret lives of men and women, the heat between them fires up the Fool’s Gold rumor mill. If no one will believe they’re just friends, maybe they should give the gossips something to really talk about!


Review:

It’s hard to believe this is book #20 in the Fool’s Gold series, but once again Susan Mallery has written a nice, warm contemporary romance story.

The writing is smooth and flows easily. The characters are sweet, funny and interesting. And the plot is full of humour, drama, and romance. 

This is a cute, entertaining novel that is perfect for a light-hearted summer read.

 

 

About Susan Mallery

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship, romance. She's best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.

Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur.

Photo by Annie Brady

#BookReview
The Stranger by Harlan Coben

#BookReview The Stranger by Harlan CobenTitle: The Stranger

Author: Harlan Coben

Published by: Dutton on February 9, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.


Review:

I enjoyed this book.

It is intense, suspenseful, and full of action.

It takes us on a journey through the depth and despair that comes from secrets, and reminds us that everything is not always as it seems.

This book is interesting, unique and well written. The characters are realistic and colourful. And the plot develops nicely, has multiple twists and turns, and is highly captivating.

Harlan Coben is a great mystery writer. And once again he has written a good one!

 

#BookReview
The Things We Knew by Catherine West

#BookReview The Things We Knew by Catherine WestTitle: The Things We Knew

Author: Catherine West

Published by: Thomas Nelson on July 12, 2016

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Thomas Nelson, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother’s death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can’t remember a bit of it.

But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother’s best friend and Lynette’s first crush, Nick seems to hiding things from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about the day her mother died and hopes he might help her remember the things she can’t.

But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn’t want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface—secrets that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question all they ever believed in.


Review:

This is an intriguing story about the difficult challenges we face in life and how we each, independently, cope with them.

It is an engaging mystery that touches on the importance of familial relationships, secrets, loss, forgiveness, grace, and, ultimately, the power of truth.

It is well written. And the characters are well-developed, complex, interesting and flawed.

Overall, I found this novel to be a nice, heartwarming enjoyable read.

 

This book is due to be published on July 12, 2016.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Thomas Nelson, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview
Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer Robson

#BookReview Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer RobsonTitle: Moonlight over Paris

Author: Jennifer Robson

Series: The Great War #3

Published by: William Morrow on January 19, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

USA Today and internationally bestselling author Jennifer Robson takes readers to 1920s Paris in an enthralling new historical novel that tells the riveting story of an English lady who trades in her staid aristocratic life for the mesmerizing salons and the heady world of the Lost Generation.

It’s the spring of 1924, and Lady Helena Montagu-Douglas-Parr has just arrived in France. On the mend after a near-fatal illness, she is ready to embrace the restless, heady allure of the City of Lights. Her parents have given her one year to live with her eccentric aunt in Paris and Helena means to make the most of her time. She’s quickly drawn into the world of the Lost Generation and its circle of American expatriates, and with their encouragement, she finds the courage to pursue her dream of becoming an artist.

One of those expats is Sam Howard, a journalist working for the Chicago Tribune. Irascible, plain-spoken, and scarred by his experiences during the war, Sam is simply the most fascinating man she has ever met. He’s also entirely unsuitable. 

As Paris is born anew, rising phoenix-like from the ashes of the Great War, Helena realizes that she, too, is changing. The good girl she once was, so dutiful and obedient, so aware of her place in the world, is gone forever. Yet now that she has shed her old self, who will she become, and where, and with whom, does she belong…?


Review:

This is the third book in the Great War Trilogy. And even though there is some cross over with the characters, this book can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

The story takes place in Paris in the 1920s and gives us a fascinating view of the culture and lifestyle of the people, especially artists, who resided there at that time.

The characters are interesting and warm, and the story flows effortlessly from page to page.

It really is a wonderful love story. And if you like historical fiction, especially novels set in the interwar period, then you will like this book.

If you haven’t read the other two novels in the series, I would recommend them. The first novel is Somewhere in France, and the second one is After the War is Over. 

 

#BookReview
The Shark by Mary Burton

#BookReview The Shark by Mary BurtonTitle: The Shark

Author: Mary Burton

Series: The Forgotten Files #1

Published by: Montlake Romance on May 24, 2016

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 363

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Montlake Romance, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

At the grisly murder scene of a teen prostitute, Virginia state trooper Riley Tatum’s past roars back to haunt her. When she was a teenage runaway, she was kidnapped, drugged, and left unconscious on the streets. She has no memories of what happened, only strange recurring dreams of two men playing cards.

Former FBI agent Clay Bowman, Riley’s old flame, is Shield Security’s newest member. He’s plagued by the unsolved case of a serial killer nicknamed the Shark who murdered girls as part of a sadistic poker game. Only one girl survived. With the Shark now bent on evening that score, Clay has a chilling suspicion: Riley is the girl who escaped the Shark’s deadly amusement—and she is his next prey.

As the Shark gets ready to play his hand, can Riley and Clay stop him—or will this killer finally claim the one who got away?


Review:

Mary Burton is no stranger to this genre, and once again she has produced a good mystery full of intrigue and suspense.

This story is the first book in a new series, The Forgotten Files, and it takes us on a journey into the world of young runaways and their susceptibility to the predators that hunt them.

The characterization is well done. The characters are complex and have depth. And the plot is well written, interesting, and action packed with twists and turns, and of course a little romance to keep you turning the page.

I really enjoyed it. And I look forward to reading the next novel in the series, The Dollmaker, when it is published.

 

This book is due to be published on May 24, 2016.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Montlake Romance, for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mary Burton

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton is the highly praised author of twenty-six romance and suspense novels and five novellas. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three miniature dachshunds.

#BookReview
Starting Over by Barbie Bohrman

#BookReview Starting Over by Barbie BohrmanTitle: Starting Over

Author: Barbie Bohrman

Published by: Montlake Romance on January 19, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 211

Format: eBook

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Single mom Vanessa Holt has a daughter she loves, a supportive family, and her art. Having given up on finding true love—if that even exists, which she doubts—she’s content to put romance on the back burner. But not everyone agrees. Those nearest and dearest are ready to see Vanessa let down her long blonde hair and have some fun.

To put their grumbling to rest, Vanessa agrees to go on a date with the next man who asks. Luckily for her, that man is Cameron Thomas, her daughter’s extremely handsome science teacher. She’d felt a spark of chemistry the first time she’d laid eyes on him. Now she’s ready to lay a whole lot more on the sexy bachelor.

But just as things get hot, they also get heavy. When the man who broke Vanessa’s heart reappears, her old doubts and fears about love rush to the surface. Will her fresh start with Cameron be over before it’s barely begun?


Review:

This is a really great contemporary romance story that makes you think of real-life fairy tales and handsome princes.

This is my second Barbie Bohrman novel and I am definitely a fan.

This book contains warm, quirky, lovable characters. And the plot has just enough family drama, heartache, and romance to keep it interesting and engaging.

Anyone looking for a sweet, well written, easy read will love this book.

 

 

About Barbie Bohrman

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Barbie Bohrman dreamed of becoming an author. Long after she had given up, a book club’s prologue contest enticed her to give it one more go. What emerged were the beginnings of her debut novel, Promise Me. Now she’s living her dream and writing stories that entice readers to escape and break away from reality. When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to get through the books on her Kindle (more than a thousand at last count) or watching Lost or Seinfeld. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

#BookReview
Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin
@hollymartin00

#BookReview Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin @hollymartin00Title: Summer at Rose Island

Author: Holly Martin

Series: White Cliff Bay #3

Published by: Bookouture on May 13, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 338

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Fall in love with the gorgeous seaside town of White Cliff Bay this summer and enjoy long sunny days, beautiful beaches and… a little romance. 

Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals. 

When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing… 

Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day. 

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides. 

She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for? 

Pull up a deck chair, sink back with a bowl of strawberry ice cream and pick up the summer read you won’t be able to put down.


Review:

I have really enjoyed Holly Martin’s books in the past and this one was no exception.

This story has everything you look for in a contemporary romance story. It is funny, engaging and warm. The characters are quirky, honest, and lovable. And the English seaside, with its village pub and picturesque lighthouse, couldn’t be a more perfect setting.

This is a light-hearted, easy read that will have you daydreaming of handsome, romantic cowboys in no time. 

 

This book is due to be published on May 13, 2016. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bookouture, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Holly Martin

Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books

#BookReview
Truth or Date by Portia MacIntosh
@PortiaMacIntosh

#BookReview Truth or Date by Portia MacIntosh @PortiaMacIntoshTitle: Truth Or Date

Author: Portia MacIntosh

Published by: Carina UK on April 11, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 243

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Carina UK, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Falling for the man of her dreams…

Ruby Wood is perfectly happy playing the dating game – until she has a red-hot dream about her very attractive flatmate, Nick. He might spend every day saving lives as a junior doctor, but he’s absolutely the last man on earth that fun-loving Ruby would ever date!

The solution? Focus on all of Nick’s bad points. And if that fails, up her dating antics and find herself a man! So what if she manages to make disapproving, goody two-shoes Nick jealous in the process…

Only, after a series of nightmare first dates, there’s still just one man on Ruby’s mind. Maybe it’s time to admit the truth and dare to ask Nick to be her next date?


Review:

I really enjoyed this story.

This is a great, laugh-out loud, British contemporary romance novel.

The characters are quirky, charming, and fun. And the plot flows nicely, with just a little drama, to keep you turning page after page.

I definitely recommend this story to anyone who is looking for a sweet, flatmate-to-more, light-hearted read. I guarantee it will put a smile on your face.

 

This book is due to be published on April 11, 2016.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

Amazon UK

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Carina UK, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Portia MacIntosh

Portia MacIntosh has been 'making stuff up' for as long as she can remember - or so she says. Whether it was blaming her siblings for that broken vase when she was growing up, blagging her way backstage during her rock chick phase or, most recently, whatever justification she can fabricate to explain away those lunchtime cocktails, Portia just loves telling tales. After years working as a music journalist, Portia decided it was time to use her powers for good and started writing novels. Taking inspiration from her experiences on tour with bands, the real struggle of dating in your twenties and just trying to survive as an adult human female generally, Portia writes about what it's really like for women who don't find this life stuff as easy as it seems.

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