Books, Free book, Historical Romance, Romance

Genealogy by Mae Wood, free this weekend only!

I was able to read this wonderful book as a part of the Release Launch for the blog back in October. I blogged about its release, and read the book, but it affected me so emotionally that I was unable to write a review without taking some time to think about and reflect on this heart-warming and moving story. A few months have gone by, so it’s definitely past time for me to post my review!

This book is a lovely mix of past and present. It is a love story, without being what my daughters call one of my “shirtless man books.” Mae Wood normally writes books with some excellent sexy times, so when she started to talk about Genealogy, she warned her readers that this would be a different sort of book.

It was different, but it wasn’t. It had all the heart of a “sexy times” book by Mae Wood, but since it takes place in the early 1900s, there were no sexy times. It was a beautiful throwback to when a man courted a woman, when they wrote long handwritten letters that took weeks or months to arrive in the hands of their loved one. These letters are the foundation of this story, and the best part for me is that the letters in this book were based on real, hundred-year-old love letters.

I can’t say enough about this beautiful story. I love historical fiction, and origin stories, and time travel. This book is a bit of all three, and I was honored to be a part of the promotional team.

Buy Genealogy on Amazon for FREE this weekend only!

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Review of Old Enough: The Age Between Us by Charmaine Pauls

5 of 5 mesmerizing stars

Wow! This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s the first part of the story of Brian and Jane, a younger man and a MUCH older woman. The story takes place in South Africa, which is only relevant when certain words or phrases are used which are different from the ones we would use in the US. Sometimes it took me out of the story, but only for a moment.

It is EXTREMELY sexy, delving into some practices/proclivities that I’ve not read too much about. It is well-written and interesting. Both Jane and Brian have a complicated backstory, which I always love. Jane is also a mom, which adds a relatable element to the story for me. I’m very anxious to see how things turn out for them , which is why I’m going to jump right in and read part two, called Young Enough.

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Review of The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand

4 of 5 stars

I read an Elin Hilderbrand book every summer, and this one is different than any of her other books. It incorporates characters from earlier stories, as her books often do, but this is a bit of a murder mystery, which I don’t think she’s done before! I don’t read blurbs, generally, especially for authors I know and trust, so I had no idea what I was in for. As soon as I read the prologue, I thought, “Oooooo, this is going to be good!”

It was excellent. It did remind me a bit of the first book I’d ever read by Anne Rivers Siddons, called Colony. Makes me want to go back and read that book again, actually.

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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 Dare Me Once (Angel Fire Falls Book 1) by Shelly Alexander

Dare Me Once (Angel Fire Falls, #1)Dare Me Once by Shelly Alexander

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have enjoyed Ms. Alexander’s writing in the past, but I think this is my favorite of her books. Start with a single dad of a special needs son, add in a supportive family and watch what happens when a beautiful young woman takes refuge in the family’s resort as a way to hide from her past.

Every story has a moment of conflict, so the characters can deal with it and get their happily ever after. I really dislike when the conflict is the result of a “misunderstanding,” and either one or both of the characters overreact. I sometimes see the situation coming and it always makes me cringe. There was no such issue in this story. Lily had a secret, and we always knew that Trace and his family would find out about it, most likely not from Lily herself; what we didn’t know was how they would resolve it so they could be free to have their happy ending.

Having a special needs son myself, I could relate to Trace struggling to care for his child and often feeling like he wasn’t doing enough for him. I enjoyed getting to know Trace’s brothers, seeing them work together to support their family’s business, and I look forward to Elliot and Spencer’s stories as the Angel Fire Falls series continues.

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Review of: The Angels’ Share (The Bourbon Kings #2) by J. R. Ward

Bourgon King 2This second book in the “The Bourbon Kings” series delivered a captivating next chapter for Lane and his family. I perhaps liked it better than Book 1 (maybe). The story of the Bradford family continues. A case of who-done-it beautifully woven between relationship tales and intriguing characters. Wealth and stature, family and solidarity meet adversity in this one. I savored this book and tried to take my time, but my goodness! the pages wouldn’t stop turning. The end is beautiful. I can’t wait to see what Book 3 brings.

My favorite moment in the book (moderate spoiler) is when Gin and Samuel T. meet at the Seminary. Oh my heart was heavy. I’ll leave it there.

Beautifully written passages and quotes that make you pause, pepper this beauty.

“He was old school meets new school, WASPy without the condescension and prejudice classically handsome as a Polo Ralph Lauren ad yet down to earth as a sitcom father.”

“For a moment, the beauty and the tranquility were so resplendent, she actually took a deep breath. Even though it was only May, there were blooming flowers, everywhere, and verdant leaves, and brick walkways that all led to the square of lawn in the middle. Fountains along the ivy-covered brick walls offered a symphony of calming sounds, and as the last of the light drained from the sky, peach-colored sodium lanterns on the tall wrought-iron stands made everything seem like Victorian London.”

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Books

Review of: The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe

5 out of 5 stars

This book was originally published in 1958. It was recently given new life and is still so relevant today. I love this book on so many levels. Makes it into my all time favorites list.  A 1950s Devil Wears Prada meets Sex an the City and Casablanca. It’s gutsy, truthful, and relevant. Some exquisitely written passages that gave me chills.

-“You’ll buy a drink and you’ll take it outside on the terrace…And you’ll be looking out at the beautiful tropical night and listening to music from inside the bar, and you’ll sip at your drink, and then you’ll think of me, and you’ll feel pleasantly sad.”

-“He took her hand and led her to the mirror that hung over her dresser and he stood there behind her, his arms crossed over her waist in front, resting his chin on the top of her head.”

I will recommend this book everytime. Makes it into my top 5 favorite books.

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