A baby to bind them
Weeks away from giving birth, Dr. Meredith Dennison finds herself with no husband and few funds. Retreating to Shearwater Island, she just wants to hide from the world…
Until she meets her gorgeous, caring neighbour, multimillionaire Raf Camilleri.
Meredith is the last woman Raf should fall for. He's no more ready for her and newborn baby Zoe than Meredith is for him!
But they so need his support, and their tender pull makes it impossible for Raf to stay away…
This was a pretty amazing story, a story about loss, mourning, single parenting, family, love, and social expectancies. A lot of issues dealt with, and in a loving, respectful way, still showing the pain, misery, and joy that life can, at times like these, be.
I admire Meredith, her way to tackle the sorrow and pain of losing her husband just weeks away from giving birth. Her reaction is real and raw. Both the anger and desperation, even denial, are felt at the bottom of your heart.
Meredith sees the good, the bad, and the worrisome, when it came to her husband, and suddenly none of it mattered, since he was gone. And the baby was coming any day now. A terrible situation to be in, but thankfully, she had a place to go and mourn, a place with lovely, caring neighbors, who took her in, and nurtured her, and then baby Zoe.
The scene when Zoe comes to the world, is beautiful, touching. There's something about the whole event that, again, hit directly into my heart.
Raf has his own issues, his own mourning, and loss he has dealt with, that now all comes back to the surface, when faced with Meredith and Zoe.
Together they share the pain of loss, they learn to deal with life from the new angle, and grow as individuals, but still joined together. They became a unit, almost on the side, as an accident, just happen. Even though the feelings and attraction, the feeling of belonging was there from the start.
A story full of life, the good, the bad, and the unbearable. It pulls you into the web of sorrow, and brings you out, filled with the joy of new possibilities, new life, and a large family of the heart.
~ Four Spoons and a teaspoon on the side
Before you get down on bended knee…
…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O'Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she's got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it's the perfect time to get married.
When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who's now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she's positive married life isn't for her.
But this time, Connor says it's all or nothing. If she doesn't want to marry him, he'll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he's never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn't quite as sure as she thinks…
Being familiar with the author, I was expecting a fun, light romance, with lots of laughs and humor, but this turned out to be a different kind of tale. First, it starts with a break up, and then goes back in time, to show how Jess and Connor grew up in the same small town, how they got to know each other, and evened up in an on again off again relationship for ten years. A relationship Connor is now trying to change and make a commitment.
The characters are dealing with a lot in their lives, with responsibility, and alcoholism, Jess takes care of her brother, and working full time, basically running the family, until she is able to leave with her brother, and built a life for them on their own. All very serious issues, and they were taken in that manner.
I understand Jess' need to take care of her brother, and it was endearing, but it also came somewhat an excuse, to keep others at three feet distance. I think she used it against Conner, and Connor was very sweet and understanding, to let her do it, again and again. Connor is easy to like, and relate to, his kindness his biggest fault.
The story spent most of the time in the past, looking at Jess and Connor get to the place where they are in present time, both in their lives and their romance. I wish there would have been more about the present time, about Jess comes to her 'senses'. I wasn't 100% convinced about the ending, that she really was ready and able to commit to the HEA. I'm glad there's an epilogue, that brings the story to more of a conclusion.
As friends with benefits for ten years, are trying to figure out, if there's a chance for more in their relationship, their history and past together is relived, and shown how they came into the conclusion, that after all the turmoil, love wins
~ Three Spoons
What he wants, he takes with no remorse or guilt.
She stood out in his club like a gem, unspoiled and untouched. A lamb among wolves, she clearly didn’t belong. Drawn to her innocence he watched as she was surrounded by men who saw what he did—but no one but him could touch her. He summoned her to his private quarters. He sensed her fear. He also recognized the desire in her eyes. And he knew she wouldn’t leave before he possessed her. She had no need to know his secrets. Not until he had her under his complete and utter control.
What he wants, she isn’t sure she can give him.
The moment he told her want he wanted, she couldn’t resist. Instinct told her to run, but her heart said stay and walk the fine line between pleasure and pain. Though she wasn’t sure she could ever completely surrender, the primal part of her wanted to try, even knowing this man could break her in ways she never imagined. Because once he possessed her, he owned her and it would be too late to turn back. She can only pray that he doesn’t destroy her in the end.
I'm a big fan of Maya Banks, I love her suspense books, and when this book was offered me to read for a review, I was excited. Well, it didn't work out so well. And I wish I could praise this book, but it just didn't work for me.
I didn't connect, or like, the main characters. Evangeline is super insecure, and stays that way. There's one incident that has happened with her first boyfriend, who was cruel to her, and no convincing from others will wipe that event from her mind.
Drake, he thinks of himself as the god of his world, and acts in the role as well.
Sometimes dominance is done with a loving, caring attitude, and can be a huge turn on, but here, for some reason it comes off as very negative, almost angry. As erotica genre, the sex scenes are expected, and can be alluring, but there was something very awkward in some of them, that made me just uncomfortable.
The story moves on surprisingly slowly, yet very little information about the characters or their past is revealed.
So, when you have a hard time even liking the characters, connecting with them, understanding their reasons for the behavior, and you are trying your best to get through a story, you are not in, and then the ending, well, I was appalled. The events are just not acceptable. All I could think of, was, 'I can't unread that'.
To top it off, the story ends in a cliffhanger, and the second part of the tale comes in May (according to Amazon), and if you are a follower of the blog, you know that the knowledge of just that would have made me say no thank you for the book.
I don't like to write bad reviews, I have struggled with this one as well, but I also believe in always giving your honest opinion, and that's what this is, my opinion. I am sure there's an audience for this book, but it didn't work for me.
Till Death Us Do Part
By: Cristina Slough
Releasing December 29, 2015 Limitless Publishing
The fateful day Mimi Marcus has dreaded begins with a phone call...
The wife of a U.S. Marine, Mimi spent countless nights worried that her husband Joel would fall in the line of duty. He had fought valiantly and served his country with honor. That’s exactly what they tell her when they deliver the news—Joel was taken by the enemy in Afghanistan. Her husband is dead.
In desperate need of closure, Mimi travels to the one place Joel still has ties—The Marcus Ranch in Texas, inherited by his handsome younger brother Austin.
New beginnings are only an illusion...
The closer Mimi grows to the Marcus family, the more she considers it home. But when suspicions of Joel’s past surface, Austin refuses to disclose family secrets—even to his brother’s widow. It’s only by accident she uncovers evidence of Joel’s tainted past. Devastated by his lies and betrayal, she slowly opens up to Austin, and together they unfold layers of pain and grief.
Mimi is sure she’ll never love again, but is Austin the man to prove her wrong? Then the unthinkable happens…
Just as Mimi finds new hope in a future with Austin, Joel returns home from war. Enraged, traumatized, and teetering on the edge of insanity, Joel confesses to a history of deception, revealing yet another secret—this one too terrible to forgive.
In an awful twist of fate, Joel proves marriage vows are made to be honored. No matter what.
She took the palm of her hand and wiped her face. “You don’t mean that.” She paused and looked at him. “Do you?”
“Yes, this is so fucked up Mimi. You don’t belong to me. You belong to him.”
“But…God, Austin, I don’t know what the hell I’m thinking or feeling.”
“I don’t care. The truth is, I got caught up in everything with you. I felt sorry for you; I pitied you.”
“Austin stop,” she cried “You don’t mean that.”
“Mimi, I do. The truth is. You were my final up-yours to my dear brother.”
He took his hands out of his jean pockets and placed them on her sunken shoulders and looked firmly into her eyes. “Yes I do. Everything I told you about loving you was a lie. And this, what we had was nothing but revenge. Joel played it well, the son of a bitch. He even cheated death. Now get your goddam bags packed and get the hell out of my life.”
She jolted back, falling out of his grip.
Austin stood in silence after the hard slap connected across his left check; it caught his lip, making it bleed. She turned on her heel and ran away, her long hair flowing in the breeze behind her.
He stood there for a second, but it seemed like an hour. He walked a little, and then for the first time in his adult life, he cried.
The digital clock read 2 am. He gazed out of the window. The sky was tar-black, the large clouds gathered fast and furiously. Soon, the gentle specs of rain flicked against the window. As it grew heavier, the tarmac on the car-park soon turned into a black river. He saw a man quicken his pace and slip into a beaten old truck. He opened the door, letting the rain fall on him, drenching through his clothes. He moved out into the stormy weather, needing to wash away the hurt that lay inside him.
He remembered having this feeling once before, after the death of his father. It was then that the divide between him and his brother had become even greater. It had torn them apart, ripping them at the seams. Austin had stolen Joel’s father, and now he was taking his wife. He had no control over the first time, but he swore that he wouldn’t let Austin win this time.
Blood pounded in his ears; he was still at war, but this time with himself.
Novelist, movie addict, and animal lover, Cristina Slough is the author of Till Death Us Do Part, her debut novel.
Cristina has always been a bookworm, rarely seen without a pen and paper in her hand, she loves delving into a literacy fictional world of her own.
At the age of 11, her junior school teacher told her mother that she would be wasting her life if she didn’t become an author. Throughout her teenage years and beyond, her parents spurred her on to keep writing. She later began a career in commercial real estate, working in London’s West End, a corporate bubble where she was unable to fuel her passion to write.
It was on her Californian honeymoon in 2012 that the bug to write was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. After visiting Yosemite National Park she was inspired by the natural beauty of the land that surrounded her. Holding a special place in her heart, Yosemite would later be written into her debut novel.
She finally gave up the ‘big smoke’ when her son, Lucas, was born in October 2013.
When Lucas was a newborn, Cristina was told to sleep when the baby sleeps. She never could. There was a calling inside her to write. After getting to grips with her new role as a mother, she began working a psychological thriller, but she couldn’t fully connect to the characters she created. She ditched the manuscript and started Till Death Us Do Part (Limitless Publishing, 2015).
Cristina is married to Adam, who runs a successful business; together they share their Bedfordshire home with their son, crazy white German Shepherd and three spoiled cats. They can be found trekking through woodlands, or around the many shops Cristina loves to explore. As a family, they love to travel frequently, the United States being a firm favorite.
Once upon a ranch in Wyoming…
After losing his comrade, Sergeant Gil Hanford thought a visit to the man's widow would be the decent way to honor his late friend. But Gil found more than comfort in Kai Tiernan—he had always secretly desired beautiful Kai, but a sudden, mutual passion helped assuage their grief… until duty reared its head, removing him from her arms, seemingly forever.
Four years later, Kai is starting over at the Triple H Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Born a rancher, she is looking for a new beginning—but her new boss is unforgivably familiar. Kai has tried to move past the memory of what happened between her and Gil, even though she's never forgiven him for leaving her. But even as they begin their journey toward something new and oh-so-uncertain, a shadow emerges, determined to claim Kai for itself.
This story has a compelling premises, the widow of a former best friend, whom Gil has always liked, comfort him, after Gil's brother dies in combat. The always buried feelings burst into life, and Gil and Kai spend five magical days together, loving, laughing, and healing. Until the war, and life sets them apart, until they meet again, four years later, working at the same ranch.
I love that the ranch employs veterans, the camaraderie, family like atmosphere, is uniting and healing. The characters have charisma, are easy to like, and relate to. The secondary love story going on the background was sweet, and brought lots of joy to the family of heart at the ranch.
The story even has a little suspense element in it, where life is in danger, and possibilities of great peril at hand. This suspense was not brought to a conclusion, but left sort of an open ended.
I read a book usually, if not on one sitting, then on two, and most likely within 24 hours. So if a story has a lot repetition, same inner thoughts going through a person's mind again and again, same conversation had between two people again, the recurrence gets boring to me. I notice these things easily, and if it starts to happen a lot in a same story, I lose interest. That happened here, unfortunately. I felt that there was too much repeat of the same. Of course, if you read a book over a month's time, with thirty minutes here and there, this might be a great reminder of the events for a reader, but I felt after the half point, that the story wasn't offering that much new for me anymore.
But regardless, the dynamics of the relationship between Gil and Kai were alluring, the development of their feelings towards each other captivating, the passion between them was believable, and the protective strike Gil had towards her intimidating. A charming story indeed
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Danger is all around her…
What should have been a routine investigation for FBI profiler Evelyn Baine turns ominous when she's kidnapped by a dangerous cult of survivalists. As her worst nightmares become a reality, she begins to question what she's seeing. Because the longer she's inside their compound, the more she realizes this group is not what it seems to be.
The next terrorist threat is right beside her…
As the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team closes in, Evelyn suspects she's stumbled onto an emerging terrorist threat—and a cult leader who has a score to settle with the FBI. If Hostage Rescue breaches the compound, Evelyn's dead for sure. If they don't, the cult may unleash a surprise attack that could leave the whole country shattered.
I've really looked forward to the opportunity to read a book by this author, and was very pleased, when Harlequin sent a copy of it to me via NetGalley. Even though this is a book three in a series, it didn't take away from the story, that is easy to be read as a standalone book.
The story is a fascinating look into the professional life of the FBI profiler. In a rather dark and sinister tone, the world of no mercy, constantly overworked agents are trying to live without any human errors, that could put others in danger, and avoid any feelings that would prove them to be vulnerable.
Almost in a documentary style written tale, that has great attention to even the smallest details, and seems very lifelike, the agents seek after clues, come up with theories, and test their likelihood.
The action in the story is sparse, as theory, tips, proof is sought by investigation into the past. The dialog is scarce, as well, and very much focused only on the task at hand. The case under investigation comes too close to home several times with the different alphabet soup agencies on the task force, yet these cold professionals are able to close their emotions deep inside of them. The thought-provoking possibilities of the terrorist attacks are chilling, and possibility of one of their own being involved, horrifying.
The story proceeds and flow in a good speed. There are twists in the plot, events that are unexpected, and gripping. As the story is so detailed and true to life like in its telling, I was surprised couple times by a plot twist, that, to me, seemed an unlikely event. But I will save you from any spoilers.
Overall, I found the case the FBI was working on, fascinating and was absorbed in it. I usually like a little more personal life and emotions inserted into the story as well, not just suspense, as this one is, maybe more emotion could have brought more intensity to the tale as well. Evelyn is at a crossroads in her life, and she has a colleague, she has deeper feelings towards, but those points are more of a side note in the story.
A scarp, analytical, and eerie story of the reality we seem to live in these days
~ Four Spoons
Sidney Halston’s Worth the Fight series will knock your socks off! In Fighting Dirty, a geek-chic cage fighter proves that appearances can be deceiving . . . and oh-so-tempting.
With his preppy clothes and horn-rimmed glasses, Enzo Silva is the last dude anyone expects to find in a mixed martial arts gym. A wealthy Brazilian banker who never had to fight for anything, Enzo’s stuck in the amateur circuit—but he burns to make the pros. Maybe that explains the heat he feels whenever he’s around Jamie Lynn Calhoun. The pint-size, magenta-haired bartender with the Texas drawl is everything he’s not . . . and everything he craves.
Tough as nails and independent to a fault, Jamie Lynn—JL to her friends—works hard to pay her bills and keep life simple. Enzo is doing his best to complicate that. Even though she likes to bust his balls, he’s got some kind of a nerdy-hot vibe that makes JL wonder if she might finally be able to let her guard down. It might do the boy some good to spend some time in her world, where blood, sweat, and victory are as sweet as the first taste of real love.
A story of opposites attracting each other, but even more so, Jamie Lynn and Enzo see each other as they truly are, behind all the smoke and mirrors.
The connection they have is amazing. They are the opposites in every way, the way they grew up, the family structure, their personalities, hobbies, and even cleanliness. But they have chemistry, they are willing to compromise, and go that extra mile for each other, they are willing to fight for each other, to be able to make a relationship work.
The characters in the story are likable, all of them, they are complex, and through the tale they grow and develop as human beings. The story is interesting, it has a nice balance between the sport, and the lives they are living. The lives are not easy, they all have their own challenges, things they have to face, or overcome. The struggles they face are real, the support from their friends admirable.
This story really pulled me in. It has a nice flow, the story moves on at a great speed, and the events are interesting. The heat between Enzo and Jamie Lynn is hot, the attraction between them sizzling, but you can also feel the deeper feelings of love, protectiveness, and caring.
A Very entertaining story, with a great mix of MMA, hurdles of life, and romance
~ Four Spoons
A kiss is just a kiss…
Unless it’s under the mistletoe.
Ellie Smith is determined to make up for Christmases past by spreading holiday cheer throughout the Bar V5 dude ranch, but tech “bah, humbug” billionaire, Josiah Whittaker, refuses to bask in the spirit of the season.
Unwilling to let the geek-to-gorgeous Josiah win, Ellie plans to give him a Christmas he’ll never forget. But after a simple kiss under the mistletoe, Ellie and Josiah both start questioning everything. Can Christmas really bring the gift neither one of them were expecting: true love?
A story that will definitely get your Christmas spirits high, and put a smile on your face. Ellie's enjoyment and thrill of Christmas is pure and joyful. She genuinely loves the Christmas time, and to bring cheer to other people's lives. She is easy to like, her love for life and caring for others are endearing, her goals in life, and how she goes about fulfilling them are admirable.
Josiah is a total opposite to Ellie, when it comes to Christmas. And I thought it was understandable, he didn't try to stop others from enjoying the holidays, he just rather not participate in the festivities. That is allowed.
Both of them have such a giving heart, they are willing to go the extra mile for others. The charity work Ellin does, and Josiah helps her with, was thoughtful and important.
I loved the spark between them, the attraction was immediate on both sides, but they are approaching it in such a sensible way. But the kisses are hot, addictive, and the connection that they formed a long time ago, in their teens, sparks up again, and feelings step in, feelings either one of them are not expecting, or ready for.
This was a heartwarming story, filled with cheer, joy, caring and love
~ Four Spoons
Media Mogul, Cormac Sheenan, had no desire to become a family man, but when his two year old goddaughter, Daisy, is orphaned, he adopts her, moving her from Montana to his home in Southern California, and becomes a devoted single father, juggling parenting duties with running his successful publishing, TV, and radio enterprise.
But two years later a frightening incident at Daisy’s school, shakes Cormac, and he decides to move Daisy–and his business–back to Montana where life is simpler and he has family nearby.
Now four, precocious Daisy strikes up an unlikely friendship with Marietta’s seasonal Santa Claus, and believes he’s the real thing, even though Cormac points out to her that this jolly old Kris Kringle is renting a room at Bramble House, not living at the North Pole. Daisy’s not worried but Cormac is as Rent-a-Santa has promised his innocent daughter she’ll have a mommy for Christmas.
Cormac is livid with Kris. He’s not at all ready to settle down, and he’s definitely not getting back together with his old flame Whitney Alder, so Santa can stop playing match maker as it’d take a miracle to make him fall in love, never mind marriage material.
But that’s exactly the kind of miracle our angelic Santa Claus has planned…
Taming of the Sheenans series
Book 1: Christmas at Copper Mountain
Book 2: Tycoon's Kiss
Book 3: The Kidnapped Christmas Bride
Book 4: Taming of the Bachelor
Book 5: A Christmas Miracle for Daisy
Another lovely addition to the Marietta, Montana books, and the Sheenan brothers series.
I loved Daisy, I think she is easy to be adored. She has had a tough beginning of her life, but now is in the loving hands of the her new dad. And it is clear through the story, how much Cormac does love Daisy. Those two together are heart melting.
Cormac and Whitney have a history, that is truly complicated. Actually, it is so complicated, that the pain, resentment, and mistrust are tangible in the air. Those feelings go deep and wide, and Cormac really has to make an effort to convince, that he is a changed man.
And I have to say, he really does. After I read the final copy of the story, my heart was content and satisfied, that Cormac and Whitney do have a chance, and that his heart and mind is committed to the relationship. There's a lot of process Cormac had to go through, growth on his part, that had to happen, that he reached the point, where the relationship was able to flourish and grow.
The story is really cute, it has the Marietta Christmas attractions, and spirits are high, and Christmas, hope, and faith in miracles are in the front seat. The Sheenan brothers and the town folks make an entrance in this story as well. Oh, and you know, North Pole, as magical as it sounds with the charming Kris Crinkles, really do exists, outside the Santa world, and in reality. Someone should tell Cormac that ;)
I'm really thankful that the author reached out after I read and reviewed the eARC, and told me the final copy had changes in it. It really made a difference in the story, and I was able to connect with Cormac and Whitney, the relationship they had, little Daisy, and their future, in a different way. A touching story, that convinced me, that miracles do still happen
~ Four Spoons
Blue Moon Lake #2
By: Sharon Struth
Releasing December 22, 2015
Getting past the librarian’s guard…
Trent Jamieson isn’t one for virtual romance, but there’s something about the intriguing woman he meets on the Internet he can’t resist. Then the small town bachelor discovers the mystery woman who shares her secrets with him online is the laced-up librarian in his self-defense class! Veronica Sussingham may just be his toughest student yet. Because how can he show the vulnerable beauty that some men areworth letting your guard down for?
Veronica returned to her hometown seeking shelter for her shattered spirit. The last thing she needs is a blue-eyed charmer who wants to show her how to live—and love—again. Then she discovers Trent is not just another admirer, but a man who knows her deepest secrets. Now Veronica must choose between running from her past—or finding future happiness with the kind of man she swore she’d never fall for….
This kiss. Oh, this heavenly kiss. Veronica patted herself on the back for pushing aside her first instinct to remove Jim’s hands from her waist in a public place. The way he’d whispered “sexy” drove a warm blast straight to the core of her belly.
This time when they kissed, his mouth molded perfectly to hers, not his usual awkward preamble. He was strong and demanding, yet not too pushy. His relaxed lips lulled her into a quick surrender, a surrender she strangely didn’t mind at all.
His hand slipped to the back of her head, and she sighed into his mouth, wishing this kiss would never end. Slowly and surely, however, he pulled away, but she kept her eyes closed, clinging to the sensation a few seconds longer as his breath landed near her ear.
“God, baby,” he said, low and husky. “I can’t wait to get out of here with you later.”
Not. Jim’s. Voice.
Her eyes flashed open. She slapped her palms to the stranger’s chest, pushed him away. “What the hell!”
He stumbled back a few steps, his mouth agape and brows furrowed. “You’re not Angie.”
“Well, you’re not Jim! How dare you touch—”
“Calm down. I thought you were my date.” He blinked a few times. “Hey, I know you. From—”
“The elevator.” Her head spun as she stared into his crystal blue eyes. His gaze swept her from head to toe, making his dark lashes flutter. “Thank God you kept your lips to yourself then.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” His smiled dropped. “I’d never do that to a stranger.” With a slight cock of his head, a grin creased his cheeks and he lowered his voice. “Although I’m pretty sure we both enjoyed what just happened.”
Her face burned, as if set on fire. “How dare you suggest that I—”
“Hey! You guys are early.” Sophie entered the bar area, Duncan in tow.
Veronica tried to speak but found herself more flabbergasted when Sophie walked right up to Hotlips and they hugged. “Hi, Trent.”
Veronica pinched herself in a bid to wake from this surreal dream. Before she could gather her bearings, Duncan surrounded her in one of his big bear hugs. “Ronnie, you look beautiful. New dress?”
She blinked, nodded.
Sophie came over and hugged Veronica. “You okay?” she whispered in Veronica’s ear.
“I’m fine. Happy birthday.” From over Sophie’s shoulder, Trent watched them. Veronica narrowed her gaze, but he only grinned, like the devil might if he learned your biggest secret.
Duncan slung an arm around Trent’s shoulders. “I see you’ve met my brother.”
“Yes. I have.” The heat of her cheeks still simmered.
Trent winked in her direction, and a sizzling blast assaulted every inch of her skin.
“Pearls made me feel right at home.”
“Pearl? That’s not my name.”
“Pearls,” he corrected, an extra emphasis on the s. “Like your necklace.”
She reached up and touched the smooth, hard jewels near her collarbone. A few other guests arrived and snagged Sophie and Duncan’s attention. While she clutched the hard beads and tried to digest what just went down, she glanced at Trent. He watched her closely, but a playful twinkle in his eyes suggested the case-of-mistaken-identity kiss hadn’t upset him a bit.
“Heart-tugging small town romance with real emotion. Struth is an author to watch!" —Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winning The Sweet Spot
Sharon Struth is an award-winning author who believes it’s never too late for a second chance in love or life. When she’s not writing, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail. Sharon writes from the small town of Bethel, Connecticut, the friendliest place she’s ever lived. For more information, including where to find her other novels and published essays, please visit her website.
Author Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Finn Knightly a.k.a. Finn Conrad wants to know why his recently deceased father left his nurse fifty thousand dollars after knowing her a mere six weeks.
So he travels to Bramble House B&B in Marietta, Montana to find answers.
But Willa Knightly is not the conniving woman he expects to find.
Before he knows it, Willa-and her six-year-old son Scout-are stealing his heart.
And that’s before he finds out Scout’s secret and the real reason this Christmas is so important.
Adorable Christmas story, filled with lovely Christmassy moments, in the winter wonderland, that Marietta, Montana is.
There are so many things to love about this story, the scenery, the characters, the winter activities, all beaming up with the old fashioned Christmas spirit.
Add to that the most adorable little boy, a cancer survivor, so sensitive spirit, but a true athlete in the body, now that he beat cancer. I love Scout.
Willa and Finn form a sort of a holiday romance, they spent time together, get to know each other, and soon both of them are falling for each other, but either of them are completely honest with each other. Because there's no way Willa could know, that they didn't meet by chance.
This story made me smile several times, there's something very tender about it. The connections Willa and Finn make in the story, not with each other, but others in Marietta, is intriguing.
And even though the conflict between Finn and Willa is heartbreaking, as all the secrets are revealed, they don't dwell on it, but soon accept their responsibility in the matter, and find forgiveness.
A lovely, touching story, that will give you back some of the magic of childhood Christmases
~ Four Spoons
Regan Case wouldn’t know the right side of the tracks if they ran her out of town. She’s lived hard since she ran away at sixteen, but eight years later, an accident has terrified her into pulling her life together. And that means finally going home for Christmas.
Taking her return one step at a time, she ends up on the doorstep of her sister’s best friend, Felix Nickson. The man indebted to her after she jammed ten grand down his trousers in high school and enabled him to escape his own demons. Felix agrees to let her stay, but doesn’t count on the chemistry that burns hot between them.
As they get into the Christmas spirit, he watches Regan’s shadows fade away and discovers that beneath her careless attitude, she is by far the bravest woman he’s ever met. He falls for her, fast and hard, but she fears she doesn’t deserve such a good man. A black sheep cannot change her colors.
Can Felix forgive her past or would asking for his love be one too many miracles this Christmas?
The story has a grim beginning and frame. All three of the teenagers, Felix, Stevie, and Regan has experienced dire events in their lives, and are ready to escape, run away, at whatever the cost. This is made possible, by illegal and dishonest actions, that I still question if they were justified.
The plans they had, didn't follow through quite like they wanted them to. But they are all survivors, and made the best out of the situation, all but Regan, who has carried guilt, blame, and sorrow within her for the long eight years.
She has isolated herself, and is in need to learn how to connect with people again, how be with others around, how trust, and let others into her life again.
Regan is going through a lot in the short span of the story, the lessons she must learn, the past she has to face, and re-live the memories once again, it all takes a toll on her.
The connection with Felix is fragile. He is the first man to be kind and caring towards her, who sees her, and who takes care of her, listen to her. I understand the connection on that foundation, but I don't know if a person as lost as Regan is, is capable to be in a relationship at the moment. But Felix would be the perfect man for her, and his feelings towards her seems solid, lasting, and trustworthy.
The story has several emotional scenes, that will touch your heart. It also made me laugh out loud, with some very subtle humor. Regan is not the easiest person to connect with, she is pulling away, even from the readers, I felt like. But there's absolutely nothing not to like about her, she genuinely is seeking out her family, forgiveness, and understanding, even love.
~ Four Spoons
Small town Holly Point wasn’t big enough to hold the dreams of golden girl Maggie Benson. So when she left at eighteen, she flew right through college and into the adrenaline-pumping life of a navy fighter pilot. But without warning, a devastating crash destroys the career she loves and sends her back to her overly protective family to heal. Maggie can’t imagine how she can reconnect with the woman she was until the hot local high school basketball coach steps up to show her the way.
Former NBA star Will Fitzgerald knows how an injury can derail more than a career. Still, he’s happy with his life as a teacher and coach at Holly Point High School, until his quiet life is upended by the beautiful, brilliant, and hurting Maggie. Blindsided by the intense attraction, Will wonders if pursuing the woman of his dreams will answer the question of what’s been missing in his life.
Can Maggie trust enough again to let Will past her wounds, inside and out, so that they can both find the Christmas magic they’ve been searching for?
I enjoyed the Christmas in New York series last year, and I am delighted to see continues in it, this time around.
This story got deep and emotional for me from the start. The struggles, both physical and mental, Maggie has had, while recovering from the fire and its consequences, are devastating. She is so tough, strong, and humble. Yet the author doesn't shy away to show her moments of utter despair, with the change her life had to face. How she gets stronger, in all the possible ways, as the story continues, is beautiful to read. Maggie's tale is a love letter to all the veterans, injured in the war. Her struggle is real, the pain unimaginable, and her bravery to admit all the lows and highs while recovering, well, I was in tears. For anyone having to face a life altering physical problems, it is so easy to relate to the effort both Maggie and Will had to go through in their lives.
Not all in the town take Maggie back with open arms. There's a couple of scenes that were so realistic, and true, in the pure raw way some people wound others with their words, that I needed to take deep breaths.
The way Maggie and Will connect, was magic. The support they have for each other, adoration, admiration, passion, love, care, and consideration, it left me speechless. It is adorable, the battle to learn to trust the new feelings, is raw. And the will to fight for, what they have, and the possibilities for the relationship, is amazing.
Needless to say, this story touched me more than many others, over the past year. The fact that I'm still in tears, just writing this review, should tell you how deep it went. It is amazing story of survival, the love and support of friends and family, and finding a new purpose, the strength to trust again, after it seems life has kicked you into the curve. If you are going to read just one book over the holidays, consider this being it.
~ Five Spoons!
Trapped in a cabin in a raging blizzard with the one man on earth who could turn her world upside down…this Christmas holiday was not playing out at all the way Lil Reynolds had planned. Not even close.
When Lil’s former fiancé chose to marry on Christmas Eve—the day he and Lil had planned to marry one year ago—she knew she had to get out of town for the holidays. Heading to the isolated family cabin seemed like the perfect solution, until the blizzard came…and a man showed up at her door in the heart of the storm. Casey Lanigan. Her ex-fiancé’s brother. A man with whom she shared a secret summer romance many years ago. A man who’d betrayed her trust. A man who, despite everything, still made her heart beat a little harder…
So much for a Lanigan-free holiday.
While the storm rages, and the blizzard is freezing the scenery, in the cozy cabin old feelings are unearthed, and heating up the air.
Casey and Lil had both hurt each other years ago, when their young ways parted. Lots of water had gone under that bridge, but now, having to face each other again, being stranded in the cabin in a blizzard, things get real, uncomfortable, and hard.
But while they were determined not to dwell in the past and hurt feelings, and while doing Christmas things, like playing cards, cooking and baking, just surviving in the natural disaster outside, also the good, warm, caring, passionate feelings are uncovered, and acted upon.
Nothing is solved permanently, nothing is rushed upon. But a lot of old wounds and hurts are healed, the promises of making an effort, for a better tomorrow and future memories are agreed on. The whole family gets a chance to start fresh, into a different, healthier direction, and love wins all around, in this touching, heartwarming, and genuine Christmas story.
~ Four Spoons
Coming Apart at the Seams
Riley O'Brien & Co. #2
By: Jenna Sutton
Releasing December 1, 2015
Love can take some time to break in...
Teagan O’Brien, heiress to the Riley O’Brien & Co. denim empire, is anything but a spoiled rich girl. She’s worked hard to secure her place in the family business and can hold her own, in and out of the office. Only one man has ever been able to get under her skin—sexy football star Nick Priest.
Years ago they crossed the line from friends to lovers, but he left her heartbroken. Since then, she’s been determined to keep him at arm’s length—no matter how tempting he looks in his jeans...
Nick has fortune, fame, and looks that make most women hot and bothered. But he doesn't have the woman he really wants. He knows he screwed up when he walked away from Teagan, and now that he has a second chance, he’ll do whatever it takes to win her over—no matter how tongue-tied he gets...
There's so much pain, anger, hurt, passion, heat, lust, and love in this story. The emotions are broad and profound, the angst and uncertainty in nearly every scene.
The relationship they are building, over months of being just friends, are shadowed of the constant lust filled thoughts, they can't seem to be able to escape.
The foundation of their relationship was built over years of Nick being a family friend. But now it was personal, and their common interests, and unique connection and understanding of each other, pull them together, despite the attraction they are trying to fight.
But then life happens, and as communication has been already difficult to Nick, in some stressful situations it is impossible. It seems too much hurt, pain, and misunderstandings, comes in between them.
The story in all, covers about a decade of their lives, and even though most of it is about Nick and Teagan, there are lovely intervals of the company history and stories of the family, the town, the sights and interests in the Boston area.
Also the family, with the brothers of Teagan, is part of the story. The support and drama free moment the guys have, when Nick tells the brothers about him and Teagan, is one of the least anxious moments in the story. The way the brothers sees the romance between Nick and Teagan a good thing, and are automatically supportive of it, tells a lot of their characters.
All the characters are charismatic, and attractive. Even though, both Nick and Teagan does things, and behave at times, in a way that I wasn't a fan of, they are able to redeem themselves towards the end.
This is an emotional story, that you will get invested in. The love and support of the family is unquestioned, the romance is heartbreaking at times, at times it heats up the pages with scorching passion. Hardship and challenges make Teague and Nick grow over the years, and through success as well as some hard times, they learn the important lessons of life and love
~ Four Spoons
He let his gaze wander the ballroom of the Westin St. Francis in downtown San Francisco. With its lavish holiday decorations, it could have been any company party. But the huge photo banners hanging from the ceiling made this one unique.
Every black-and-white image showed a different view of Riley O’Brien & Co.’s signature
blue jeans. He was pretty sure the jean-clad ass in the photos was his own.
He chuckled wryly. The banners proved what he’d always known: he was nothing but a giant ass. He had no doubt Teagan would wholeheartedly agree with that assessment.
Teagan’s date touched a curl that had fallen to her shoulder, and Nick growled under his breath when the fucker stroked the smooth skin of her upper chest. He would rather take a direct hit from a 350-pound linebacker than watch that loser put his hands on her. Hell, he’d rather be buried under the entire defensive line than suffer the torture of watching another man paw the woman he wanted for himself.
Moving his gaze from her body, he focused on her face. Her full lips were painted a deep scarlet that matched her dress, and he took a moment to remember the taste of her mouth, addictive in its sweetness.
Her wavy dark hair was pulled into an elaborate updo, emphasizing her graceful neck and smooth shoulders, which were bared by her strapless dress. Years ago, he’d had his mouth on that supple skin before he had trailed his tongue down into her creamy cleavage.
Jerking his head toward the voice, he was surprised to find Quinn standing next to him. Nick mustered a smile for his old friend, clasping the hand he offered and slapping him on the back.
“It’s good to see you,” Quinn said. “I’m glad you could make it.”
Nick hadn’t been sure if he would be able to attend the party. His schedule had depended on whether his team made the playoffs. But they’d lost their last three games, dashing those hopes.
Although it didn’t reflect well on him, he hadn’t cared much that his team wasn’t heading to the playoffs. He was ready to move on, and although he had yet to announce it publically,
he’d decided to retire. He had given enough of his life to the game, and it had given him what he had needed in return. Now he needed something else.
He needed Teagan.
Jenna Sutton spent most of her career as an award-winning journalist covering business-related topics including healthcare, commercial real estate, retail, and technology. Nowadays she writes about hot, lovable guys and the smart, sexy women who make them crazy. It’s the culmination of a lifelong dream, and she feels so lucky to be able to do it.
Jenna has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Texas Christian University and a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University.
Jenna and her husband live in a 103-year-old house in Texas.
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