Did she once have a sister? Has her mother lied all these years? Why?
After a painful divorce, Maisey Lazarow returns to Fairham, the small island off the North Carolina coast where she grew up. She goes there to heal—and to help her brother, Keith, a deeply troubled man who's asked her to come home. But she refuses to stay in the family house. The last person she wants to see is the wealthy, controlling mother she escaped years ago.
Instead, she finds herself living next door to someone else she'd prefer to avoid—Rafe Romero, the wild, reckless boy to whom she lost her virginity at sixteen. He's back on the island, and to her surprise, he's raising a young daughter alone. Maisey's still attracted to him, but her heart's too broken to risk…
Then something even more disturbing happens. She discovers a box of photographs that evoke distant memories of a little girl, a child Keith remembers, too. Maisey believes the girl must've been their sister, but their mother claims there was no sister.
Maisey's convinced that child existed. So where is she now?
Heartbreaking story about a family tragedy, second chances at love, and new beginnings.
Maisey returns to her home, a little island at South Carolina coast, at the time when her life is a complete mess. She is still grieving for her daughter, who dies two years ago, at the age of six weeks. Her husband had cheated on her and left here for the other woman, her career is at a standstill, as she lost her creativity, her brother is battling a drug addiction, and her mother, well she has a reputation of being a cruel and a cold woman. And the first thing she finds out after arriving to the island is, that the boy whom she lost her virginity to live next door.
If all this would not be enough of drama in one person's life, she might have had a sister. And all the evidence is pointing out that a family member might have killed her.
The story is well written and build, there's a good balance between the drama and the romance. The relationship with Rafe is developing fast. His daughter is an absolute joy, and the moments with her one of the highlights of the story for me.
The mystery of the third child brings lots of old feelings, to the surface, causing tension and strain, not only in the family, but also in the town, it seems.
There are several twists in the story, that took a surprising turn in the tale. Can't say it was predictable in any way.
The characters are well built, had depth in them, they are not perfect in any way, but realistic, with problems and flaws. The love and affection Rafe shows to Maisey is tender and dear. He is supportive and protective, willing to take the extra steps and effort, her dysfunctional family seems to need.
Many deep and difficult issues are brought forward in this story, that made me thing and ponder. Not a book you can internalize in a couple of hours, but something to be savored over time.
~ Five Spoons
Sweet and sexy wedding romance, PROMISE MY LOVE, the follow-up novella to DESTINED FOR LOVE (The Bradens). Catch up with all of your favorite Bradens and enjoy Rex Braden and Jade Johnson’s wedding.
Publishing first in the Sweet Life boxed set for Diabetes in May 2015, and released as a stand alone novella in August 2015.
If you are a fan and follower of Melissa Foster's Love in Bloom series, here is a short and sweet story to wrap up the story between Sexy-Rexy and Jade.
After four years of waiting, the wedding date is finally approaching. But just at the last minute, things start to go wrong, some family members falling ill, and Rex and Jade argue if the wedding should be postponed.
Lovely visit with the first Braden's, where the whole family gathers together to celebrate love, family, and next generation of Braden's.
This is a book #39 in the series, so I would not start to read the series from here, but if you want to learn more about this family alone, Lovers at Heart would be the place to start.
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Hard as Ice
Fortis # 1
By: Raven Scott
Releasing July 28, 2015
A covert ops specialist, a cyber-surveillance expert, and an unmatched international security and recovery pro. These are the men of Fortis. When money is no object, discretion is essential, and the police are not an option, the wealthy and powerful call on this trio of former government agents with elite military training—not to mention charm and good looks…
Former CIA agent Evan DaCosta is ready to continue his life of adventure, intrigue, and service. That means joining Fortis—and taking on the recovery of precious jewels stolen from a prestigious auction house. The list of suspects is long, but Evan is focused on the possibility of an inside job. Now he’ll have to go undercover and stay close to the gorgeous business manager, Nia James.
A gifted salesperson, Nia worked hard to get where she is today. Now, with her career at stake, a target on her back, and Evan watching her every move, she’s feeling the pressure and the heat. As Nia and Evan become intensely entangled, can they survive the secrets and threats standing in their way or will they run out of time?
What if you were completely innocent of a crime, but all the evidence leads to your way? The investigation to the stolen jewels was intriguing, the way the Fortis found evidence and pieced things together was amazing, if not scary, cause everything was leading towards Nia, and she is innocent.
Nia is amazing leading lady, the past she has overcome, and the future she has worked for herself, is admirable. She works hard, is dedicated, loyal, and on her free time uses her passion for music to teach those, who wouldn't have the opportunity otherwise. She might seem cold and distant, but that is just her protecting herself from being hurt.
Evan smoothly goes into his undercover persona, to find out more about Nia. But things get out hands, things like feelings and intimacy. Evan struggles with the deception, but time is limited, and the crimes have to be solved. And posing as a boyfriend to Nia, gives them more information, and keeps her safe, if needed.
The suspense had so many twists, I have to say, I had no clue who the person behind all of it was, and what was the motivation, until it was revealed. The suspense part is more focused on the investigation, not so much on the action.
The connection between Evan and Nia is hot, but built on a lie. The moment when Nia finds out the deception is explosive with tension. There was lots of work needed to recover from the lies Evan lived with, trust to be built anew. If forgiveness was even possible in Nia's heart, after everything that went down.
A story full of surprises and twists in the plot, that will keep you guessing till the end
~ Three Spoons and a teaspoon on the side
RAVEN SCOTT is married with two daughters and two dogs, living in the beautiful city of Burlington, Ontario, in the greater Toronto area. She discovered her love of fiction at an early age, devouring hundreds of books over the years. She reads everything from historical and contemporary romance to mystery, sci-fi and suspense. By the time Raven finished University, she had her own stories brewing in her imagination. Writing became a satisfying hobby, then a fulfilling career. When Raven isn't reading or writing, you can find her outside with her family. Find out more at www.ravenscottbooks.com, or visit her on Facebook and Twitter @ravenscottbooks.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Close to Heart
Healing Harts #3
By: T.J. Kline
Releasing July 14, 2015.
It only took an instant for her world to come crashing down…but Heart Fire Ranch is a place of new beginnings, even for those who find their way there by accident
As the only veterinarian in town, Justin Hart doesn't have time to think about romance. So when A-list actress Alyssa Cole crashes her car outside his clinic, it's entirely unexpected when there's a spark between them he can't ignore. Still, she's a movie star, and he's just a small town cowboy.
Alyssa has learned the hard way not to believe first impressions, especially not in Hollywood. But, 400 miles from her former life with nowhere to go and no one to turn to, she places her trust in the handsome vet who comes to her rescue.
There's no denying the connection between them, but when Alyssa's past shows up at the door, will their new relationship be able to withstand the storm?
I loved Justin and Alyssa together, they truly have some chemistry, sparks were flying from the start. They both are very passionate, stubborn, and lively people, the time they had together was a delight.
With Justin's help and encouragement, Alyssa finds her true self again, after years of being pushed down and abused by her husband.
There were some touching scenes in the story from the vet clinic, and with Alyssa nesting in Justin's home, getting ready to birth her baby boy.
It was also good to see the rest of the family, Justin's sisters being so happy and settled with their men. All the secondary characters are charismatic, and to get also the point of view from Alyssa's husband gave all the drama more dimensions.
But I did struggle with the timing of the story, it all happens so very fast, and right after Alyssa's scumbag husband kicked her out of their home. Within a day she left her husband, she is attracted to Justin. And soon they are intimate with each other, while she is eight months pregnant, and in a media mess with her husband. Yes, the husband was abusing, cheating, no-good man, but in my mind, I would have liked a little better (or longer) timing for the events.
The Healing Harts series is truly that, the Hart siblings have found their place within their mates, and the mending power of the love has worked miracles with their hearts. I hope there will be a story of their cousin Bailey as well.
~ Four Spoons
T. J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and rodeo queen competitions since the age of 14, She has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She has had several articles about rodeo published in the past in small periodicals as well as a more recent how-to article for RevWriter. She is also an avid reader and book reviewer for both Tyndale and Multnomah.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Enter to Win A
Custom LAST RIDERS T-Shirt & Mug,
$25.00 Amazon eGift Card and Signed Copy of SHADE'S FALL
The Last Riders #7
Releasing July 29th, 2015
Young Ink Press
Life dealt him a dead manâs hand.
Lucky had always led a life of service, always putting his life on the line for someone else, managing to survive by pure luck and skill. After bringing an end to a multi-state drug ring, he was finally able to live the life he had wanted as a Last Rider.
A good man would walk away and not touch the curvy woman who had been tugging on his heartstrings. Lucky wasnât a good man. Therefore, the bad-ass biker in him had a choice: once again become the man he had pretended to be and stake his claim or take the devilâs highway.
Some girls had all the luck.
Willa wasnât one of them. All she wanted to do was give a home to the children she had made orphans. Instead, she found herself needing help from the man who had left the pulpit behind to embrace a life of sin.
Painfully shy and withdrawn, she wanted a quiet life, a simple man, and well-behaved children. The last thing she had ever expected was for Lucky to want her size twenty body and show her a passion that would lead her straight to hell.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
"I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.
Taking after my mother, I've always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.
For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.
Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.
All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.â
Passion this hot can't be faked…
All revved up for bright lights and steamy nights, writer Veronica Chandler chased her dreams to New York City. When she hit a dead end, reality sent her back home to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Saving her pride and her new gig—writing a relationship advice column!—requires some faking. No one can know the truth about her big-city flop or her nonexistent sex life. But the town's irresistibly rugged librarian is determined to figure her out… and give her hands-on lessons in every wicked thing she wants to know.
Gabe MacKenzie's heart might be in Wyoming, but secretly his future's tied up in his family's Manhattan legacy. Getting down and dirty with Veronica is supposed to give him a few memorable nights—not complicate his plans. But the thing about heat this scorching is there's just no going back… and it might be too hot for either of them to take.
Touching and inspiring story about growing up and finding your voice, and claiming your place in the world.
Veronica feels fake, and the fear of people seeing her true self is petrifying. She was bullied and tormenting in her youth, and those scars are set deep in her. She is holding lots of secrets, and constantly scared someone will figure it out.
Gabe has one more year, living the life he has chosen, before giving it all up to help the family business. He is not looking for a relationship, just wants to fully live that one last year, doing what he loves. And then he meets Veronica.
The story is interesting, has a unique touch. The advice column Veronica writes, brings a lot fun moments, as well as deep conversations and possibilities to really help people. Veronica has a low self esteem, and to fix that, she writes notes to herself on the fridge, that end up being like steps she is taking to grow, and deal with the problems she has from her childhood.
The relationship between Gabe and Veronica develops fast, but is believable. They challenge each other, in outdoor activities, in bed, and in life with the choices they make.
The story is hot, the 'sex education' Gabe is giving to Veronica is steamy and detailed. But there's more to their relationship than just that, the feelings grow, and they find a true connection with each other, that is tender and adorable.
Veronica's reaction to the conflict was, in my opinion, a bit too strong, considering their short history together. But understandable from the point of view, how fragile she still was in her healing.
Fascinating and engaging story
~ Four Spoons
Enter to Win A
Surprise SEP Prize Pack
HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Releasing in Paperback July 28th
The dead of winter.
An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
A sinister house looming over the sea ...
He's a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.
But she's not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.
It's going to be a long, hot winter.
Now Available in Paperback
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Susan Elizabeth Phillips soars onto the New York Times bestseller list with every new publication. Sheâs the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of Americaâs prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award. Susan delights fans by touching hearts as well as funny bones with her wonderfully whimsical and modern fairy tales. A resident of the Chicago suburbs, she is also a wife, and mother of two grown sons.
Annie hadnât thought sheâd ever be warm again, but she was sweating when a coughing fit awakened her sometime around two in the morning. Her ribs felt as if theyâd been crushed, her head pounded, and her throat was raw. She also had to pee, another setback in a house with no water. When the coughing finally eased, she struggled out from under the blankets. Wrapped in the scarlet cloak, she turned on the flashlight and, grabbing the wall to support herself, made her way to the bathroom.
She kept the flashlight pointed down so she couldnât see her reflection in the mirror that hung over the old-fashioned sink. She knew what sheâd see. A long, pale face shadowed by illness; a sharply pointed chin; big, hazel eyes; and a runaway mane of light brown hair that kinked and curled wherever it wanted. She had a face children liked, but that most men found quirky instead of seductive. Her hair and face came from her unknown fatherÂ¾âA married man. He wanted nothing to do with you. Dead now, thank God.â Her shape came from Mariah: tall, thin, with knobby wrists and elbows, big feet, and long-fingered hands.
âTo be a successful actress, you need to be either exceptionally beautiful or exceptionally talented,â Mariah had said. âYouâre pretty enough, Antoinette, and youâre a talented mimic, but we have to be realisticâ¦â
Your mother wasnât exactly your cheerleader. Dilly stated the obvious.
Iâll be your cheerleader, Peter proclaimed. Iâll take care of you and love you forever.
Peterâs heroic proclamations usually made Annie smile, but tonight she could think only of the emotional chasm between the men sheâd chosen to give her heart to and the fictional heroes she loved. And the other chasmÂ¾the one between the life sheâd imagined for herself and the one she was living.
Despite Mariahâs objections, Annie had gotten her degree in theater arts and spent the next ten years plodding to auditions. Sheâd done showcases, community theater, and even landed a few character roles in off-off Broadway plays. Too few. Over the past summer, sheâd finally faced the truth that Mariah was right. Annie was a better ventriloquist than sheâd ever be an actress. Which left her absolutely nowhere.
Enter to Win a
$50.00 Amazon eGift Card
New York's Finest #1
Releasing July 28th,2015
Ava Sims is a woman who gets what she wants. And what she wants is to be CBC's lead anchor-but to get there, she'll need to nail the fluff piece on the playboy cop. Luc Moretti is everything Ava knows to stay away from: a stubborn charmer with a hero-complex. But the more Ava gets to know Luc and his oddball family, the more she realizes that beneath the swagger and the blue uniform is a complex man who makes her heart beat too fast. Soon, Ava's doing the unthinkable, and falling for the best of New York's finest ...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.
Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.
Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.
Adam Dorsey was used to living a life of deceit and falsehood both professionally and personally. The former CIA operative—with an extremely high IQ—was ready for a quieter, more authentic life. Enter Jane, a gorgeous and adorable hazel eyed beauty that complicated his plan. No matter what she made him feel, he knew that he had to stay away from her for fear of damaging more than just her innocence…
Jane Marshall always believed in the power of positive thinking and all that could create. She felt accomplished in her career, and was blessed with great friends and family. And yet, she questioned whether or not there existed a man that would be able to unleash and explore her inexperienced heart…until she laid eyes on Adam.
Will Adam be able to let go of his past and accept Jane for the genuine soul she truly is? Will Jane be able to navigate through never before had feelings? Are there some things that are even beyond the control of two highly intelligent people? Discover the truth in …Secret Kiss
I don't think that before this one, I have ever read a book that is at the same time, so funny, that you can't help but laugh out loud, so delightfully adorable that you are in a constant state of swooning while reading, and so sexy that I thought my Kindle is going to catch on fire! This was one of those books that you want to devour, to find out what happens, and at the same time savor every word, cause you don't want it to end.
The Hope Falls series are full of charming, charismatic characters, and Adam and Jane are no different. The socially awkward Jane is so easy to relate to, and when her 'Lucy' moments double fold, when Adam is around, and he thinks that is just the cutest thing ever, you can't help but feel for the girl, and sigh deeply with a big smile on your face.
The attraction they have for each other is captivating, turning both of these brilliant, smart people into a fumbling mess. But when Adam and Jane finally open up about the feelings they have for each other, it is poetry, so beautiful and emotional. Adam truly adores Jane, the affection, appreciation, and tenderness is palpable, and whom ever even sees them together, can sense the feelings between them.
When you add into the mix the lovely folks of Hope Falls, Jane's fabulous grandparents, who seems to have a comic timing, and Adam's past, there's a lot of meddling interference, a little gossip around the town, and several serious conversations that has to happen, for things to work out.
All the Hope Falls novels are stand-alone stories, but each one of them delivers the same kind of bang, and joy, as Secret Kiss, so I would recommend to read them all!
~ Five Spoons
New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter introduces the Original Heartbreakers, where three not-quite-reformed bad boys are about to meet the women who will bring them to their knees.
Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past. And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…
Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.
The tone of the story is an interesting mix of YA angst and dippy humor. Lots of lust filled inner thoughts, and banter between the friends, to lighten up the uneasiness of the everyday life.
There's so much pain, sorrow, and regrets in the past of the friends. Their experiences in the foster care, and after, have broken their souls. The way there are there for each other, support each other, and love each other, is commendable. Because deep down, under all the destructive behavior, they are good men. They just have too much guilt to really live.
Brook Lynn's relationship with her sister is odd, she is acting as it is her responsibility to take care of her older sister. They live in a codependent symbiosis, unstable at the most of the times.
Jase and Brook Lynn's relationship starts off on an awkward way, as she busts into his bedroom right after he slept with her sister. Yes, just wanted to put it out there.
But soon their thoughts are filled only of each other. The play the pull-push dance for a long time, wanting but not acting on it. When they finally take the step, it is the first step for Jase for healing and accepting his past. And for Brook Lynn letting go of her role as a warden to her sister. And when Jase finally let go of his inner guard, and confesses his love to Brook Lynn, it is true poetry.
I admit something about the story was rather addictive. The connection between the friends, the protective strike the males had, the fun way the tragic story was told. There are issues the characters have, and some events, that were not easy to accept. Certainly made me think, and that is always a plus. Fascinating group of characters, interesting set up for the series
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved, and want to read again.
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story
3 Spoons - Good story, but not much that stood out
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me
Books & Spoons does not purchase all the books reviewed on this blog. The website receives review copies of books from publishers, authors or their representatives, or third party services, such a NetGalley or Edelweiss. The source of a book has no bearing on the outcome of the reviews. Books & Spoons is not monetarily compensated to provide an opinion/review on the books. The reviews and opinions expressed on this website are purely an honest, personal opinions of the reviewer.
Posts may include links to my affiliate accounts at Amazon and Kobo, and Books & Spoons earn a few cents on the dollar, if readers purchase the books through the links. Thank you for supporting Books & Spoons when shopping at Amazon and Kobo!