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Review: FAR FROM DESTINED by Carrie Ann Ryan

 

FAR FROM DESTINED

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Promise Me Series, Book 3

Paperback
Expected publication: October 27th 2020

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan continues her sexy new contemporary stand-alone series with a broken heart and the shattered soul that can heal them both.

Macon Brady remembers every moment he lay on the ground, a bullet in his chest, his life bleeding out with each pulse. Yet his nightmares aren’t the only thing keeping him up at night.

Dakota Bristol left her ex with nothing but the clothes on her back and her child in her arms. She’s been hurt before and wants nothing to do with the shadows in Macon’s eyes. The problem? Her son loves him, and the more time she spends with the man, the more she’s afraid she’ll come to love him just as much.

Danger always comes back to haunt those who run. It was a lesson Dakota learned before. Now, it might be the man she refuses to fall for who makes the greatest sacrifice of all.

4 Stars 

A pact and a promise……

Macon almost lost his life helping a friend and would do it again in a heartbeat. Yet the aftermath of being shot has very much messed with his head. He finds an unconventional way of dealing with his stress. It may not be the best choice but he is trying to work out his head.  Dakota left her past with the clothes on her body and her baby on her hip, never to look back. Hard work and perseverance have allowed her to become a small business owner and provide for herself and her son. Unfortunately the past doesn’t always stay in the past and came knocking right on Dakota’s front door.

Dakota and Macon have had this like to hate, can’t figure out what their feelings are for one another dance going on for awhile. Macon has even won over the heart of her precious baby boy. Yet Dakota’s past keeps her so guarded towards men, she doesn’t want to hurt herself or her son. Were they really looking for a relationship, no not at all but some way they were able to find something meaningful and deep and let the dance they have been avoiding begin. 

Far From Destined is an emotional and heart hitting story in the Promise Me series. Macon and Dakota work so well together. I enjoyed their slow burn romance. Turning something deemed as fake into something very real. They were a team before they even realized it. The brooding veterinarian and the coffee shop momma make one emotionally entertaining read.

Review: Looking for a Cowboy by Donna Grant

 

Looking for a Cowboy 

Donna Grant 

Heart of Texas Series, Book 5

Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: October 27th 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

A cowboy finds love in the most unlikely place in New York Times bestseller Donna Grant’s newest Heart of Texas novel, Looking for a Cowboy

 

 

 

A beautiful stranger has come to Clearview, asking questions that are nobody’s business. Cooper Owens also wasn’t born yesterday. He knows that this out-of-towner is hiding a dark secret of her own. Much as he knows he should head in the other direction, he can’t make himself turn away. . .

P.I. Marlee Frampton always wanted to lead a nice quiet life, working as a cop in her local police department. But that dream came to an end when her sister was murdered―and her baby kidnapped. Now Marlee’s come to Texas to investigate the Harpers, who may be linked to shady adoption agencies. Cooper can’t believe that his friends could be involved in anything so sinister…and soon he makes it his mission to help Marlee discover the truth―and keep her safe in his arms.

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Have you ever had a book hit you out of left field and hit you like a ton of bricks, in the best reading way of course? I went into reading Looking for a Cowboy with no expectations other than to get lost in a book for a few hours. Did I get lost, you ask? It was so much more. Looking for a Cowboy consumed me in every way that a reader loves to be consumed in a book.   

 

Marlee Frampton is smart, cunning and determined. This woman took the worst event of her life and made it a mission to help right these wrongs. She’s like a wall of glass and steel all in one. The amount of compassion within her is amazing yet what she does is a constant reminder of her own loss. She’s too brave for her own good. Yet that is one of her best qualities. There is not time or room for love in her life yet sometimes a girls got to be good to herself. That goodness just may have become a thing she needs most. 

 

Cooper Owens is a genuine good man. As loyal as they come. He may not be settled into a career but what he does for others more than makes up for it. A man who believes friends are family and would do anything for them. When a PI starts snooping in on his beloved friends, Cooper gets to the down, Only to find out the situation is much bigger than him. But that lovely PI, has got him twisted in a way or two. Cooper calls on the troops to do what they do best and tries to get the girl to believe in love at first sight. 

Looking for a Cowboy is an emotionally charged story with subject matter that some will find extremely delicate and dark. Within also lies a story of determination, hope and love. Ms. Grant has given readers a story that I was compelled to read and not stop until I was finished. The suspense and the twist of the story will get you one way and the emotions and romance will get you in another. The loyalty of friendship and family is something unbreakable and a force to be reckoned with. This story will take you from the most brutal of loss to a profound happiness. I haven’t had a book take me like this in quite some time and I have to say it was quite unexpected, and I couldn’t be more happy. Looking for a Cowboy is definitely a recommended read from me.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Grind by Jayne Rylon

 

Grind 

Jayne Rylon 

Powertools: The Original Crew Returns, Book 3

E-Book, 130 pages 

Happy Endings Publishing October 20, 2020

 

 

The original Powertools crew are back in a brand new series!

 

The crew has overcome enormous odds to live and love together, but can it survive being divided?

 

Devon, Neil, and James know where they’re needed most is in Middletown, working on Mike and Joe’s new construction team. Because in addition to their careers, the Powertools’ intimate bond is in jeopardy.

 

It will be up to them to find a way to strengthen it again even if it means grinding away at the past, leaving two of their members in the dust, in order to prepare for a bright future.

 

This is a standalone book set in the Powertools universe. All your favorite Hot Rods and Hot Rides characters will be making appearances as well. So come make new book boyfriends or hang out with old ones!

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

Life has taken on some major changes for the Crew and in this newest installment has Kayla and Dave in the hot seat with Grind. 

 

Change is happening all around the crew and as they are trying to adapt they seem to be getting hit harder. A horrible fire has claimed Kayla’s beloved Bare Natural Resort as its own, learning herself and Dave without a home.  Kayla is not herself while dealing with the loss of her home and dream, the sting of Crew members away in Middletown has hit her hard. Kayla is the definition of calm and this series of events is on the verge of breaking this peaceful woman. Is their bond stretched too thin? Can the crew help heal some of these wounds? Is it time for a change?  Is the Grind of it all too much. 

 

Kayla and Dave are my favorites of the crew. Kayla is so centered and usually so at peace with herself. It was very hard to see her struggling the way she did. It just goes to prove that even the strongest, what seem like most centered people can even lose it. Dave is always so supportive and caring. His willingness is always swoon worthy. Kayla rides a frantic emotional ride within the pages of Grind. With the help of her devoted husband and an unwavering bond of her people, the entire crew takes another step into the next chapter of their lives. 

 

 

 

 

Review: More Than Protect You by Shayla Black

 

More Than Protect You 

Shayla Black

More Than Words Series, Book 6.5

1001 Dark Nights #133

Kindle Edition 152 pages
Expected publication: October 6th 2020 by 1001 Dark Nights Press

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shayla Black comes a new story in her More Than Words series…

Can I keep the gorgeous, gun-shy single mother safe—and prove I’m the man for her?

I’m Tanner Kirk—Certified firearms instructor and mixed martial arts enthusiast. When I filed for divorce at the end of an empty marriage, all I wanted was a vacation in paradise, not another woman in my life. But how can I possibly say no to Amanda Lund, a young single mom desperate to learn self-defense? Or refuse the banked desire on the guarded beauty’s face?

I can’t.

So I seduce Mandy until we’re burning up the sheets…and soon find my heart entangled with her bruised and battered one. But when a nemesis from her past tries to destroy our future by unearthing my secret, will she understand and forgive me—or give up on us forever?

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

4 Stars
Tanner doesn’t think twice when he’s asked to protect a woman and her young son. The moment he lays eyes on her he knows, deep in his soul he’s done. The man is about to sign final divorce papers, is not doing the love thing and is now caught between the need to protect her and attraction and chemistry that is pulling Amanda to him in every way.
Amanda is on the run. Trying to move on with life for herself and her son yet a threat is still right on her tail. Crossing an ocean should give her a safety net but soon realizes that’s a no go. When help is called in it tips Amanda world in a whole different way. The safety of herself and son are on the line, yet there’s an incredible pull to someone she hardly knows.
Tanner and Amanda’s story is a fast, slap you in the face, ya that just happened kind of story. On the move, tension rising, emotions blaring, Amanda and Tanner form a connection that can’t be fought or forgotten. It’s insta-love but it’s not. Their connection and chemistry found a way through the fears and secrets. Can a few days really be enough or will the secrets of the past taint the future? Tanner and Amanda is a ride but one with a happy ending.

Review: Moments in Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

 

 

Moments in Ink

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Montgomery Ink: Bolder Series, Book 3.5

ebook, 102 pages
Published September 14th 2020

 

The Montgomery Ink saga continues with a bonus romance between two strangers on a path of healing that leads to something far more.
Zia Clarkson thought she found her happily ever after, not once, but twice. Her first love is now engaged, and her second love broke more than her heart. Heart and soul bruised; she’s not looking for a relationship. Ever. Especially not with the uptight Meredith Legend who stars in her fantasies.
They promised each other one night of passion. And when the sun rises, they’ll walk away—even if they’re both lying to themselves about why.

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Meredith has a great head for numbers but she feels like when it comes to love she pays bad choices. Zia thought she had found love, not once but twice and learned the hard way that love hurts you just as much as it brings happiness. Two people that have had love hurt them in the past or not looking for anything of the sort. But when an unexpected meeting and some undeniable attraction and chemistry make their presence known they both agree to one night. Ha! We all know one night is never enough. Quickly they both realize there’s more to what they’re feeling both women realize a big decision is going to have to be made.

 

I very much enjoyed Moments in Ink. Ms. Ryan hits readers with an emotional and touching tale of two women trying to heal and finding comfort, attraction and maybe even love in something neither one of them was looking for. We even get to visit with a few of our Montgomery friends making this a wonderful addition to an emotional and sexy series.

 

 

Review: Bayou Baby by Lexi Blake

Bayou Baby 

Lexi Blake 

Butterfly Bayou Series, Book 2 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: August 25th 2020 by Berkley

A heartwarming contemporary romance set in Louisiana’s Butterfly Bayou from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

Seraphina Guidry loves Butterfly Bayou. A young, single mom, she’s trying to find a place for herself in the town she cherishes, but past mistakes have made her wary. She adores her son but has sworn off men. She’s dedicated herself to restoring an historic house and building her own business. A quiet life is all she wants.

Harrison Jefferys never expected to find himself in small-town Louisiana, but he has a job to do and a family to reconnect with. After years in the Army, he’s happy to spend time with his Aunt Celeste and his cousins in such an idyllic spot. When he meets Seraphina, he starts to think Papillion might be a great place to call home. But a secret from Sera’s past rears its head and threatens to tear the community apart.

Caught between the woman he’s coming to love and the only family he has left, Harry knows he has to follow his heart and with the help of the crazy, loving, meddling locals find a way to keep them both.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Once again Lexi Blake gives a story readers can’t help but to enjoy and get lost in. The Butterfly Bayou series continues with the emotional and charming Bayou Baby!

Seraphina is a single mom and the focal point of one of the biggest pieces of gossip in town. Who is her son’s father? Sera is a strong woman with a determination like no other. She always puts her little one first and as willing to sacrifice anything of herself for him. She doesn’t allow the town gossip to stand in the way of her life.

Harry is a man of strength, patience and determination. He served for his country and even gave a part of himself while doing it. Reconnecting with family he’s truly still getting to know is a blessing and a curse all in one. Harry is full of determination as well yet he is focused in a different way. His mind is as open as his heart. A rare thing! He’s a wounded warrior who will melt your heart.

Bayou Baby is an emotional, family drama, small town romance with those few crazy people you can’t help but to love. Sera is a Perfect example to not judge a book by its cover. This girl had her stuff together even if it didn’t look like that at times. Harry knew she was the one. He set his goal and proved in so many ways what a good man is and should be to a woman. Sera and Harry had some ups and downs but in the end they showed each other that family is what matters. I love their getting to know you squabbles and how Sera fought against their attraction. I enjoyed Harry slowing breaking her walls down. The two were a good match. Some family you’re born to and some family you choose but family makes it all better. Bayou Baby is Lexi Blake at her best.

 

 

Review: Drilled by Jayne Rylon

Drilled

Jayne Rylon

The Original Powertools Crew Returns, Book 2

Published: August 11, 2020

 

The original Powertools crew is back in a brand new series!

Starting over is never easy. Especially when it means leaving your friends and lovers behind.

Separation anxiety gives Morgan second thoughts about defecting from Powertools, making things rocky between her and her husband Joe. A visit from the crew, who attend a wedding at their friends’ motorcycle garage, Hot Rides, could change everything.

While celebrating the new commitment, it’s nearly impossible to deny the strength of their own complicated bonds. Their marriages, their friendships, and their futures hang in the balance.

At the end of the festivities, who will stay and who will go?

This is a standalone book set in the Powertools universe. All your favorite Hot Rods and Hot Rides characters will be making appearances as well. Some come make new book boyfriends or hang out with old ones.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Change is never easy whether it be good or bad. The power tools crew is showing us firsthand the roller coaster ride of emotions that can come when change happens to people that are bonded in more ways than most. 

 

Kate and Mike, the couple that started it all, are the main focus of Drilled. Mike is not just their Forman, lover and leader, he carries the voice of reason In many aspects and always lends willing hand to any of the crew in need. When an accident happens on Joe’s new crew in Middletown and he feels the weight of the world on his shoulders he calls the one man that will give it to him straight and will understand. Mike! 

 

Mike heads to Middletown a few days early to help Joe and soon realizes why Joe was so torn with his recent decisions. Kate informs Mike of a change coming and the emotions just continue from there. Whether they be all in one room or miles apart the crew will always be the crew. Bonds tighter than tighter, emotional intimacy and a family beyond blood. Then a tragedy hit home causing the crew parts on extremely emotional terms, yet in the height of this tragedy a new opportunity just may be on the rise.

 

Drilled is an emotional and sexy tale of the Crew continuing their lives and the changes that face this bonded group. Surprises come in many shapes and forms and Drilled is another enjoy part of their journey.

 

 

 

Review: The Love Scam by MaryJanice Davidson

The Love Scam 

MaryJanice Davidson

Danger Series, Book 2

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: August 4th 2020 by St. Martin’s Griffin

A sweet and sassy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson.

Rake Tarbell is in trouble. When the fabulously wealthy and carefree bachelor wakes up horribly hungover in Venice, it’s not something that would normally be a problem…except he has no idea how he got there from California. Or who stole his wallet. Or who emptied his bank account of millions. Or who in the world is Lillith, the charming little girl claiming to be his long lost daughter. For the first time in his life, Rake is on his own and throwing Benjamins around aren’t going to solve his problem. Now if only the gorgeous, fun, and free-spirited woman who brought Lillith into his life was willing to help the situation…

Claire Delaney finds Rake’s problems hilarious and is not in the least bit sorry of adding to them by bringing Lillith into the mix. A pretty Midwestern girl with a streak for mischief, Rake is not the kind of man Claire hangs around with. Even if he is drop-dead handsome and charming as all get-out. Even if he needs help and she has all the answers. But if this helps Lillith, she will go out of her way. And with a guy like Rake, she’s willing to bend her rules a bit for some fun. But when adventure-filled days turn to romantic nights as they search for answers, and someone starts following them through the streets of Venice, Claire realizes she’s playing more than just a game. And maybe, just maybe, she isn’t willing to let go of Rake or Lillith just yet.

 

 

 

 

3 Stars

The Love Scam is a light hearted romantic comedy that is heavy on the tropes. A millionaire bachelor waking up with the worst hangover of his life only to soon find out he has a daughter that he never had even known and all his money is gone. While the story has a great concept and some absolutely lovely characters I felt like I was missing some along the way. As I realize this is the second book in the series that could be the reason for my feeling of missing something. I did find several enjoyable moments throughout the read. There is some Seriously funny dialogue amongst the characters that will have you laughing out loud. Well this may not have been my favorite book of the year, I do have to say I found enjoyable moments within The Love Scam.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Want You to Want Me by Lorelei James

 

Want You To Want Me 

Lorelei James 

Want You series, Book 2

Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: August 4th 2020 by Berkley Books

 

The new sexy contemporary romance in New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James’s Want You series, set in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Hockey player Gabriella “Gabi” Welk spent her life in pursuit of championships, but she has little to show for it besides dusty trophies and second-place medals. Now her career consists of several part-time jobs to make ends meet. When Gabi gets a chance at her dream job, she swallows her pride and asks her nemesis–smart, sexy and savvy Nolan Lund–for help.

Since being named future CEO of Lund Industries, Nolan has tried hard to overcome his reputation as a fun-loving playboy and ladies’ man. For the first time ever, he’s more focused on the company than his personal life. He spends his free time at the ice rink his brother owns, cheering on his niece at her hockey games…and watching Gabriella Welk, the superstar athlete and assistant coach who gets under his skin in a way he can’t ignore. He’s shocked when Gabi agrees to trade a favor for a favor.

They have little in common besides their mutual mistrust, but between family crises and sibling rivalries, Nolan and Gabi realize they want to be more than just friends–much more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 5 A sweet and sexy slow burn kind of romance that gets you in the right spots. Want You to Want Me is a fantastic read to get lost in.

Nolan Lund is the never settle down, fun loving, different woman on his arm kind of man. With a personal shopper and always dresses to the nines there is no wonder the man has gained the nickname of the Prince of LI. Nolan is honest in what he does. He may be a ladies man but he’s no player. Nolan is smart and willing yet still has a lot to learn. In many aspects of his life. I enjoyed how his romantic side emerged when he realized that everything he thought about his type was blown out the window when love smacked him in the face before he even knew what was happening.

Gabi Welk is a force. An amazing hockey player and a fantastic coach. This woman has a talent and determination to achieve anything she could possibly want. Her will is almost as strong as her compassion and heart. There is more to Gabi than meets the eye and that is just the beginning of what I loved about her. Her tough exterior hides to the world her own self doubt. At what could be one of her lowest of low an unlikely Prince in fancy pants knocks down a wall or two and allows Gabi so see someone more.

The verbal sparring and bickering between these two are worth the read alone. The back and forth, pushing each other’s buttons, showing each other both the will and stubbornness they possess. I love their slow burn and build up. They way Gabi and Nolan got to know one another and build something wanted and needed was natural and remarkable. They allowed each other to be themselves. Even if it took them both a bit to figure it out. Enemies to lovers and opposites attract, Gabi and Nolan have an emotional story but I know you will be entertained. Ms. James gives readers heart, humor and sexiness wrapped up beautifully in Want You to Want Me.

 

 

 

Review: What the Heart Wants by Audrey Carlan

What the Heart Wants

Audrey Carlan 

Wish Series, Book 1 

ebook, 384 pages
Expected publication: July 28th 2020 by HQN Books

From the #1 bestselling author of the beloved Calendar Girl books comes the first in a witty, wise and emotionally compelling new series, where coming home is just the beginning…

“Fly free.”

For ten years those words, written on pink parchment paper in her mother’s beautiful handwriting, have been Suda Kaye Ross’s guiding star. Every year on her birthday, Suda Kaye opens another of the letters her mother penned before she passed, heeding the advice inside as she fills her life with experiences. From Italy to Australia, from Rio to Russia, she’s slaked her wanderlust. And then, on her twenty-eighth birthday, she opens the letter that sends her home.

Returning to Colorado means confronting everything—and everyone—she left behind, including her cherished sister, Evie, and her first love, Camden Bryant. Suda Kaye and Cam spent four years and one unforgettable night together. Given the way she ran out on him, it’s no surprise that he’s wary, resentful…and engaged to someone else. Evie, hardworking and überresponsible, just wants her sister to put down roots at last.

For Evie’s sake, and her own, Suda Kaye is trying to build a new life, all the while wondering whether it’s too late to come back home—or if the most important part of her never really left.

 

 

 

 

5 Stars

 

What the Heart Wants is a heartwarming, emotional tale of coming full circle and making life what you want. A fantastic 5 Stars read.

 

Suda Kaye is a free spirit. A go with the flow kind of girl. Going wherever whenever the need and want tickles her travel wings. Her wanderlust is fueled by the encouraging words written to her from mother, has allowed Suda to travel the world, be her true self and experience more than many do in a lifetime in ten years.  Following the pieces of the path that her beloved mother did, Suda has lived and loved, found passion is all manners of life and spread her wings in a way that not many people get to experience. The statement live and learn takes a different meaning for this wanderer. Suda Kaye was given the opportunity to do whatever her heart desired. In a way she broke Her own heart along with those she held dearest to her when she left and let her wings fly. Even with the heartbreaking memories, Suda has no regrets. Throughout the years Suda’s late mother has given her words of wisdom through letters written before her death. A wise woman who knew her daughter well and guided her in the best way she could. On Suda’s 28th birthday, her mother’s wisdom sends her on her biggest journey yet. The journey to return home and begin to plant her roots.

 

Returning home to Colorado has Suda a bit uneasy but she is more than willing to make it known that she is her to stay.  Her sister Evie welcomes her with open arms even if she’s skeptical that her sister is only there temporarily. The love between the two sisters is something amazing yet the bond they shared has been stretched due to Suda’s absence for the last ten years. The two could not be more different yet seeing them rebuild their bond was touching. I have a similar but different story with my own sister and was able to relate so much with them.

 

After being home Suda figures out what she’s going to do to keep herself at home. Opening a little boutique that is all her own with a name that you can’t mistake to know is hers. Gypsy Soul!! With the promise of great things on the horizon, Suda has the only man she truly loved thrown back into her life, in a way she can’t avoid him. Camden Bryant would be the one regret if a girl had regrets. With one look upon one another they know the feelings are still there, the chemistry never faded and the love was real. But a lot has happened in the last ten year for both Suda and Cam.  Yet fate has a way of working her way into things that she feels she needs too.  

 

I loved every page of What the Heart Wants. A story of love and loss, a journey of oneself, and bonds that can last more than a lifetime.   Audrey Carlan has something magical and special with What the Heart Wants.  As someone who has lost their mother  and had to rebuild a relationship with my only sister, Ms. Carlan gave this reader a story I can relate to on many levels, I have felt a few of those feelings and Ms.Carlan accurately and eloquently described the crazy emotions that people going through that particular kind of loss. What the Heart Wants is so much more of a story than I can give words to to describe.  What I can say is I have not had a story hit me like this in a long time. There were moments that were hard for me to read through, my tears blurred my ability to be able to read, but it was so worth it for the wonderful and beautiful story that is What the Heart Wants.