Books, Romance

Review of Doctor Strange Beard, Winston Brothers #5, by Penny Reid

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Five of Five enthusiastic stars

I’m a big fan of Second Chance Romance stories, as well as characters with a complicated history, so I really couldn’t go wrong with this one. I may be in the minority, but I really liked that this book took place much later than the previous book in this series. I liked seeing bits and pieces of what has been going on in the five years since we’ve heard from these characters that I’ve loved for five books now (six, if you include Beauty and the Mustache, which you should.) I also like the little hints of things to come in future books that Penny has promised us. (Cletus and Jenn’s cozy mystery series, anyone?)

Honestly, Beard in Mind, Winston Brothers #4, was a difficult book for me to stick with. Being a Penny Reid book, it was very well-written, but I found Shelly very hard to relate to. I really loved Beau, and I wanted him to be happy, and glad he found that happiness with Shelly, but BiM was not my favorite. So, there was nowhere to go but up, as far as this fifth book was concerned. I already loved Roscoe from what I knew of him from the previous books. I liked Simone, as well, especially because she wasn’t a new character that popped up, but one that had been around for a while. It’s hard to review this book without giving anything away, and I don’t want to spoil anything, so just READ IT! I think you can read this one without having read the previous books in the series, since it takes place long after the first four books. (Keep in mind that Beauty and the Mustache is still FREE on Amazon, so pick it up if you haven’t already!)

One of my pet peeves is when the author takes the easy way out, and the conflict between the characters stems from a misunderstanding or a stupid argument. Penny Reid never does this. When her characters are in conflict, it is about something real and usually pretty devastating, and a simple conversation is not going to fix the problem (unlike the books with the stupid misunderstanding, which can usually be resolved if the characters just open their mouths and TALK!)

When we get to the point where Roscoe and Simone have their moment of conflict, you can totally see things from both perspectives because it is a legitimate issue, not a made-up one. There is also a moment where I felt that there would be no way for the conflict to be resolved, and I must admit I skimmed through the next couple of pages to find out whether my fears would be confirmed. (They weren’t. PHEW!)

I really loved this book. I feel like we’ve waited a long time for Roscoe’s story, and I’m so happy with it. The audiobook should be released later this month, and I will put it on my wishlist (especially if Chris Brinkely does the narrating!)

Of course, DSB left me wanting more of the Winston Brothers, especially Billy. I know I’m not alone in stating that I simply cannot wait for Beard Necessities, releasing October 2019, which happens to be my birthday month. 🙂

Buy Dr. Strange Beard on Amazon

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Author spotlight, Books, Romance

Spotlight Author of the Month: Penny Reid

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You know the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? The first time I read a book by Penny Reid, I did exactly that. I’d gotten the first book in her Winston Brothers series, entitled Truth or Beard, for free through a newsletter, and I did what I normally do once I download a free book: forget all about it. Then one day, I was scrolling through the books on my kindle and my gaze fell upon this awesome cover. While I know we’re told not to judge a book by one, with a cover image like that, I figured it had to be good. It was, after all, different from what my daughters call my “shirtless man books.” I was hooked from the start, partly because the book opens with a Lord of the Rings quote, but mostly because of the history the two main characters, Jessica James and Duane Winston, share. (I love it when characters have a complicated backstory!) I finished this book in three days.

Most of the time, a series has three siblings, and each gets their own book. Duane Winston has five brothers (in no particular order, his twin Beau, Billy, Jethro, Cletus, & Roscoe) and one sister, Ashley.  To date, the Winston Brothers series has five books, with more to come. Duane’s sister Ashley’s story is part of another series, called Knitting in the City.  Lucky for you, Ashley’s book is FREE for a limited time (link below). Penny Reid is also the author of the Hypothesis series, the Rugby series (with L. H. Cosway) and the upcoming Dad Bod series.

I have read every one of the Knitting in the City books, and also own most of them on audiobook. (Side note: Joy Nash, who does a lot of the narrating in both of these series, is AMAZING. I am VERY picky about my female narrators, because I don’t like the way the majority of them do the male’s voices.) I have read all of the Winston Brothers books so far, except the most recent, Dr. Strange Beard, which I am saving for my beach vacation next week!

Penny Reid is known for “smart romances.” You’ll read about bitcoins, the Nigerian oil crisis, RICO charges, Artificial Intelligence, and the NSA. She is hysterically funny, and her books make me FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS! I remember when I was reading Dating-ish, book #6 in KitC, and something happens to Marie, the main character. Penny’s incredible writing made me feel as if it had happened to ME. I honestly had to put the book down and walk away for a couple of days, because I was so profoundly affected by it. That’s the sign of an excellent and well-written book, right there!

If you’d like to find out more about Penny Reid, you can check out her website http://pennyreid.ninja/ and sign up for her newsletter. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Even better, you can start reading one of her books for FREE right now! After you’ve fallen in love with her writing, be sure to join like-minded readers in her Facebook group, called Sharks of Awesome!

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Get Beauty and the Mustache for FREE

Books, Romance

Review of Devil’s Cut (The Bourbon Kings Book 3)

This third book in the Bourbon Kings series delivers a satisfying conclusion to the complex challenges faced by the Bradford family. The mystery is solved and unfinished business is resolved. This series is really good. One of the best I’ve read in a long time. So much suspense.  Bourbon, horse racing, murder, complicated relationships, and wealth set the stage for a page turner. J.R. Ward delivers another hit.

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Books, Romance

Review of To Have and to Harley: Bikers and Brides #1 by Regina Cole

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4 of 5 stars

Bikers and Brides: it shouldn’t have worked, but it really did! The basic premise of this story is that Trey, the leader of a motorcycle club called the Iron Shadows, unwittingly becomes involved in the planning of his long-lost sister’s wedding, and recruits his fellow club members to help him out. His co-planner, Bethany, suspects that he isn’t really a wedding planner at all, and seeks to reveal him as a fraud to his newfound family. Of course, it’s not a spoiler to say that they end up falling for each other instead.

I don’t read a lot of MC books, and this concept is most definitely different than any MC  I’ve  read before. Reading about guys named Wolf, Ace, Flash and Doc try to figure out how to create invitations and assemble wedding favors was quite enjoyable. It should have been ridiculous, but Ms. Cole really makes you picture it and like what you see!

Every story has conflict, and a lot of it can be avoided if the characters just talked to each other. In this story, practically everybody is lying to everybody else, and it almost makes you roll your eyes and say “For Pete’s sake, just tell each other the truth already!”

I especially enjoyed getting to know the members of Trey’s biker gang, and anticipate each of them having their own Bikers and Brides book in the future.

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Books, Romance

Review of: Love Like Ours (Sugar Lake #3) by Melissa Foster

 4 out of 5 stars

Love Like Ours was such a treat! So much so, it should come in a Sweetie Pie Bakery box!

The Dalton family returns in this third book of the Sugar Lake series. This time, it’s Talia’s story. The careful professor has been hesitant to date, but her sisters aren’t having it.  This loving tale reminds us that we never know what anyone else is going through in their personal lives. Will Derek’s interesting career choice become a deal breaker? It’s always hard to resist the magic of her mother’s love potions (much to the eye rolls of the family).

Melissa’s descriptions and word choice for character dialog is so realistic, you really get to know the characters and their different personalities. I smiled and giggled many times throughout the book. So many amusing scenes.  The romance is off the chart in this one. Page after page, I got sucked in and lost track of time! Another great piece of this book is how Derek’s drawings create a vivid mental picture of important moments of their story. So clever!

I hope we see more in this series because I would LOVE to know what will happen with Piper, and if Ben and Aurelia ever get their acts together. Will Fletch find a love interest? I’d also enjoy reading more about the success of Derek’s business venture in the future. So many places to go with this intriguing family.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“I don’t know, Teach. Is this like when adults offer kids candy to take a ride in their van? I’m smart. You’ve got to show me the candy first.”

“You can trust me to be careful with your heart.”

“Which one called you–the sugar pusher, the not-so-sweet mama, or the one who thinks s** is a breakfast entree?”  (this cracked me up)

“Life is short,” India said. “We capture the good times when we can.”

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Books, Romance

Review of: Only for You (Sugar Lake #2) by Melissa Foster

sugar lake3 out of 5

I love Melissa Foster’s books! She had me at Treat Braden! I loved the Love in Bloom Series and now made my way through her newest Sugar Lake books. I can’t wait for Book 3!! These characters are so wonderful and the stories keep you turning pages. I was rooting for them the whole way! I need more!

 

 

 

 

 

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Read more of my reviews!

Books, Historical Romance

Review of: The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

Witch of3.5 out of 5 Stars

A debut novel, Hester Fox weaves a suspenseful tale of how a young girl maneuvers family dynamics, personal relationships, and learning about her true self. 1800s Massachusetts sets the stage for scandal, romance, and self-discovery. I enjoyed this book a great deal! At one point I just had to keep reading to find out how it all unfolds! I found myself rooting for some characters, and hoping the villains get what they have coming.

A great Fall read to get you in the Halloween spirit.  Due out October 2, 2018.

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