4 out of 5 classic stars
“I have often walked down this street before….”
I don’t read blurbs, I’ve said it before. I signed up to read and review several Smartypants Romance books because I love Penny Reid’s work. I didn’t read any of the blurbs for any of the books that I agreed to read and review, because I don’t like to be spoiled. I want to go into a story knowing nothing, and experience it for the first time as I go along.
So as I was reading “My Bare Lady,” I was thinking that it was a very odd name for a book. Then, suddenly I realized what I was reading and I felt kinda dumb. 😀
I’m a huge fan of musicals, and I don’t know how I didn’t get this reference straightaway. I actually don’t love the story of “My Fair Lady,” but I do love most of the music, and I loved a couple of sweet little hints to the musical hidden in this book.
The thing I loved most about this story was how entrenched it was in Green Valley, Tennessee, and the story of Jethro Winston that I’d already become familiar with. (If you’re reading My Bare Lady and you HAVEN’T read any of the Winston Brothers books, then you’re missing out.)
I’m generally not a fan of books about motorcycle clubs, or the women associated with them. But I loved Prose before Bros, another Smartypants Romance book, which was about the Iron Wraiths, the main MC in Green Valley. I liked Suzie Samuels, the heroine of My Bare Lady, who was involved in both this organization and the Black Demons, which was new to me. I did not like reading about some of the stuff that happened to her, which is the reason I tend to stay away from books that involve an MC. But I loved Clifford “Ford” Rutledge, and I wanted both him and Suzie to find their HEA. They were interesting, complex characters, who brought out both the best and the worst in each other. And let us not forget Jack, and the ladies of the SWS.
This was not my favorite of the Smartypants Romance books that I have read thus far, but it certainly kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t wait to find out how everything would be resolved. I love the idea of the Scorned Women’s Society, and I can’t wait to read more of their stories! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go listen to the soundtrack of “My Fair Lady.”
My Bare Lady is available on Amazon through Kindle Unlimited!
4 of 5 nerdalicious stars
Any book that has a reference to my favorite literary hero, Samwise Gamgee, gets a thumbs up from me! This was my first Nora Everly book, and she has earned a reader for life. There was so much to love in this book.
1. So. Much. Nerdiness! Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars…and some that even I didn’t know, and I consider myself to be pretty nerdy. Sabrina is an uber-nerd, she doesn’t apologize for it, and I could really relate to that!
2. Single dad. I love a good single dad story, and one where said dad accepts and loves the child/ren of the woman he adores is even better. Wyatt is a fantastic hero, and I really enjoyed his relationship with his own children, as well as his extended family.
3. Special needs child. This may seem like a weird thing to be a plus, but when you’re the mom of a special needs child yourself, it means a lot to see one as a main character. Sabrina’s nephew, Harry, who she is in the process of adopting, is on the spectrum, so his special needs are different than those of my son. But all special needs moms/dads are on the same team.
4. All the Winstons! If you have read Penny Reid’s Winston brothers series, then you will love this book. (And if you haven’t, I’m surprised you even found your way to Crime and Periodicals. Get yourself a copy of Truth or Beard, immediately! You won’t regret it.) Sabrina runs into Winstons everywhere she turns, much to her chagrin, and almost every time, their interactions end up being embarassingly and unintentionally hilarious!
5. A main character with anxiety. I don’t think Sabrina ever puts an official diagnosis to her anxiety issue, but it is a major part of her life. My daughters struggle with anxiety to differing degrees, and it was informative and interesting to see the way it affected Sabrina’s everyday interactions. She works hard to overcome it, making it a big part of her storyline and character development.
6. I love a story that can make me laugh one sentence and tear up the next. This is one of those.
You don’t have to have read any of the other Smartypants Romance books to enjoy this one. In fact, I read Green Valley library book 3, Prose before Bros, before I read this one. (Review earlier in the blog! Check it out!) The books in the Smartypants Romance collection are written by different authors, and the storylines do not overlap, so you can start anywhere. I’d totally recommend Crime and Periodicals!
My Bare Lady, the first in the all-new opposites-attract romantic comedy from Piper Sheldon and Smartypants Romance is available now!
Suzie Samuels is the only thing standing between Clifford and his life’s work. All he has to do is change everything about her. Perception creates reality and Clifford Rutledge needs the irascible stripper to prove it.
Suzie Samuels is set to prove once and for all she’s more than Short Fuse Suze, stripper for the Black Demons and renowned motorcycle arsonist. If all it takes is hard work, then Suzie knows how to work it hard.
But Suzie’s scandalous spirit tests Clifford’s resolve. And Clifford’s buttoned-up bullying is driving Suzie bonkers.
Can Clifford move past their differences long enough to pull off the impossible task of changing the bare lady into a fair lady?
More importantly, as perceptions shift and priorities change, will he want to?
‘My Bare Lady’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book #1 in the Scorned Women’s Society series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/MBLPiper
Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2lCqPyL
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2lGNwle
About Piper Sheldon
Piper Sheldon writes Contemporary Romance and Magical Realism books that hope to be New York Times bestsellers when they grow up. For now, she works as a technical writer during the day and writes about love the rest of the time. Of course she also makes room for her husband, toddler, and two needy dogs at home in the Desert Southwest.
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No Whisk, No Reward, an all-new small-town romance from Ellie Kay, is coming available now!
How do you know if a risk is worth taking? If you knew, there wouldn’t be any risk.
Following a disastrous appearance on a televised baking show, Sophie Copeland is certain things can’t get any worse. Several calamities later, Sophie finds herself in Green Valley, Tennessee with no plan, no place to stay, and no prospects. But at least she has a temporary seasonal arrangement with the famed Donner Bakery. And that’s something, right?
It’s not permanent, and it’s not a home, but it’s still something.
Enter Joel Barnes, a Green Valley mystery, wrapped in rumors, and a whispered connection to the local notorious biker gang. Joel’s got a name for being bad news, but he also has an apartment for rent.
Intrigued by the dichotomy of Joel’s reputation and sexy southern pull, Sophie can’t help but be tempted, even though she knows—given her (bad) luck—she should stay far, far away. . .
Yet as everyone knows, without risk, there’s no reward.
‘No Whisk, No Reward’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#3 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/NWNR
Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2lCqhZJ
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2lyEQ0z
About Ellie Kay
Ellie Kay is an Australian born living in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada who honed her creative writing skills in the colorful, and imaginative world of Corporate Insurance.
Socially awkward, she loves to respond to theatre ticket vendors who say, “enjoy the movie” with, “Thanks, you too,”, but she also likes to cook, travel and spend time with her partner and cat Taako.
Ellie is on a mission to help change the stigma surrounding the Romance genre and hopes to see a day when they are no longer considered “guilty pleasures,” but rather, just a pleasure.
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5 of 5 spectacular stars
If you’ve been around the blog at all, you may know that I don’t like spoilers, so I don’t read blurbs. If there is an author that I love and trust (Lucy Score, Kristan Higgins, Sarina Bowen, Christina Lauren, Mae Wood, Daisy Prescott and Serena Bell, to name a few), I don’t need to know what a book is about before I start reading it. In fact, the less I know, the better. I’m the same way with movies. The only reason I can think of for this to be the case is that if I know that something is going to happen, I wait in expectation for that thing to happen and am not fully present in the telling of the tale. (For example, the first time I saw Endgame in the theater, I’d mistakenly thought that there would be an intermission, and spent the whole movie wondering when it would occur.)
When I found out about a collaborative writing universe, called Smartypants Romance, which would create a series of books that took place in the worlds created by the very talented Penny Reid, I was all in. I wanted to read every single book, and I didn’t care what they were about. I didn’t care who wrote them, or in which part of the “Pennyverse” they would take place, or who the main characters were. I. Was. In.
I’ve read three of these delightful books so far: “Baking Me Crazy” by Karla Sorensen, “Stud Muffin” by Jiffy Kate, and now “Prose Before Bros” by Cathy Yardley. The first two were very good 4-star reads, but my favorite so far is the third one, and I’ll tell you why.
All three of these books take place in the fictional town of Green Valley, Tennessee, (home of the Winston Brothers series) and the first two stories revolve around the Donner Bakery, known for Jennifer Winston and her famous banana cakes. Meanwhile, Thuy Nguyen, the main character of this third title, works at the Green Valley Public Library. Now, I enjoy baked goods, but there is very little that I love more than books. (I write a book blog, so you probably knew that coming in!)
Thuy and I have a very similar outlook on bookstores and libraries: “There was a smell to libraries and bookstores that Thuy always found comforting. She took a deep breath, soaking in the ambience. Cliche as it probably was, it felt like coming home.” I’ve lived a lot of places, as my dad was in the Army (Happy Veterans Day to all who served, by the way!) and I would always seek out the local public library and I can still remember so many of them. They felt like home to me, too.
I loved Thuy (and I’m really glad the author told us how to pronounce her name – Twee – because if she hadn’t, it would have been like Hermione all over again!) Thuy is loyal, and smart, and strong, and determined, and not afraid to try new things. She goes across the country because her best friend Maddy needs her. As it turns out, Maddy’s brother should be familiar to anyone who read the Winston Brothers series. As I started reading Chapter 2 of “Prose,” and I realized who Thuy’s love interest was going to be, I got so excited that we were going to find out more about him, because I love a good backstory!
I don’t seek out a lot of MCC books, but the Wraiths, the motorcycle club in Green Valley, plays a big part in the Winston Brothers series. Maddy’s brother Drill, or Teddy, as she knew him growing up, is high up in the Wraiths, but the club has gone through a lot of changes of late, and he’s not sure he likes the new direction it is taking. When his father dies, and the sister he hasn’t seen in over a decade comes back to town to take care of the arrangements as well the family farm, he starts to see that there’s more to life than the Wraiths, and maybe they aren’t the family he thought they were, or the family he needs.
There are twists and turns in this story, and danger, and surprises. It kept me riveted, so much so that I rearranged my work schedule so I could finish it! This is my first book from Cathy Yardley, and peeking at the list of her other books, I found one that references The Doctor, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be checking those out, as well. I’m also very excited to read the other three books in the Smartypants Romance series that revolve around the Green Valley library (find them here!)
This book is exactly what I wanted from Smartypants Romance. I did enjoy the books about brand new characters, but I have a feeling that the ones about established Green Valley folk will be the ones I love the most.
Thanks to the author and Smartypants Romance for the chance to read and review this wonderful story!
Read Prose Before Bros on Kindle Unlimited
4 out of 5 delicious stars
This was a fun read, but it was more angsty than I expected. I liked the addition to new folks to the Green Valley that we know and love, while the occasional beloved character pops up here and there. I didn’t really like the view of the “religious” people in this book; they seemed VERY self-righteous in their piousness and they came off like real jerks. I liked Tempest’s outlook on God much better. She didn’t really like going to church but she recognized that God was there for her whether she went to church or not!
I’m not really a big fan of the MMR/fighter/boxer type books, but fortunately, Cage was more than that. He was a good friend to Tempest and was there for her when no one else was. I liked how their relationship developed.
This was my first Jiffy Kate book, and they are VERY good at the sexy times. I think some author pairs are excellent at writing together and you can’t tell where one author’s work begins and the other author’s work ends. That wasn’t the case here; occasionally, it was obvious that some sections were written by one author, they were so different in grammar and tone. It did not stop me from enjoying this story, nor will it prevent me from reading other books by Jiffy Kate.
Available in Kindle Unlimited here: Stud Muffin