Review: The Cowboy’s Twins by Tara Taylor Quinn

The Cowboy’s Twins
(Family Secrets #3)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
January 3rd 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Summary

It looked so good on camera…

If it weren’t for the money, Spencer Longfellow would happily drive Natasha Stevens and her TV crew right off his ranch. But his land, and his kids, mean the world to him—and he’ll do anything to secure their future. Even cohost Natasha’s cooking show, Family Secrets, in his barn. Even play the token hunky cowboy to her sophisticated city slicker and flirt with her on national television… It could never amount to anything real anyway. After all, he was fooled and left in the dust by a city girl once. And he will never let that happen to him—or his kids—again

(Affiliate link included.)


My Review

THE COWBOY’S TWINS was full of heart, family, and two individuals who have to decide if trusting someone else and falling in love is worth risking all they hold dear. Heartwarming and romance fans alike will find much to love here.

I started this one about an hour before bedtime because I felt like reading a sweet romance. I stayed up into the early morning finishing it because I didn’t want to put it down. I fell in love with these sweet twins, one mischievous and the other wanting to please. These kids were spot on and added so much to this story. Then there’s the charming cowboy, Spencer, who has been hurt in the past and isn’t willing to open his heart to that kind of hurt again. I liked him right off with his deep loyalty and love to his kids and the ranch. I did want to do some lecturing or shaking when he was so thick-headed to what he could have, but he redeems himself in a very sweet way, so all was saved. I also loved Natasha. She was a little too business-like in parts, but it also fit her character. I loved how her character developed and the realizations she came to. I also enjoyed the tidbits of wisdom her mother throws in.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Yes. Sweet, charming, with a little heartbreak that ends in happily-ever-after was exactly what I was hoping for.


Content: Clean

Source: Received a complimentary copy through Prism Book Tours, which did not require a review nor affect it in any way.

Have you read any of the other books in this series?

Review: Her Summer Crush by Linda Hope Lee

Her Summer Crush
by Linda Hope Lee
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
March 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Summary

She’s over her crush…isn’t she?

Luci Monroe is on top of the world. She’s just graduated from journalism school and she’s already landed her dream job in PR. Then Cody Jarvis saunters into her office. Nothing like finding out that your teenage crush, now a gorgeous, globe-trotting, freelance photographer, is going to be your staffer for the summer. Never mind. They’re both professionals. And she’s over him. Kind of. Anyway, he’s not interested. Cody is always waiting to disappear on his next assignment, and Luci needs someone stable. Someone who wants to build a life right here in Willow Beach…

 
  
(Affiliate link included.)


Tressa’s Review

HER SUMMER CRUSH was about two characters who think they want nothing to do with each other, who are on opposites sides of what they think they want out of life, but find that sometimes what they really want is what they find in each other. It was a fun and sweet story from beginning to end, with fun characters, complex family relationships, and a light romance.

Parts of the story were full of humor. I loved the missteps and the way the characters circled each other, but at the same time attempted to stay blind. They definitely tended to find themselves at odds with each other, especially at first, some of it being romantic tension in disguise. There was also quite a bit going on in the story. Luci’s perfectly constructed life isn’t exactly as perfect as she thinks and things kind of implode on her. It was good that Cody became a closer friend and could offer a shoulder to Luci even if she didn’t want to trust him with her heart. By neither of them being willing to speak what was in their hearts they almost lost out on love.

I really loved this part:

Love takes time to develop. It’s more than looking at the other person with stars in your eyes and thinking he’s perfect. Love is knowing he’s not perfect and caring for him, anyway. Love is sharing your life, the good and the bad. It’s making sacrifices to be with each other.

I would have liked to have seen the romance develop a little more between the avoiding and liking each other to what happened in the end. It jumped without the relationship really progressing. There were also a few other things that didn’t completely come off as genuine or realistic, but those would be my only hang-ups. 

Overall, HER SUMMER CRUSH was a sweet and heartwarming story. Just what to expect from this line of books.

Content: Clean

Source: Received a complimentary copy for the purposes of a review for the book’s tour, which did not affect my review in any way.


About the Author

Linda Hope Lee writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and mysteries. She enjoys traveling especially to small towns in search of story ideas. She’s also an artist, specializing in watercolor, pen and ink, and colored pencil. Photography provides inspiration for both her writing and her art. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where many of her stories are set.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Review: When the Right One Comes Along by Kate James

This series has a special place in my heart as it deals with K-9 units and the author and I have discussed our love of dogs. It was a great start to her new series and I’m looking forward to the next book. Check out all the info below including my full review…

About the Book

When the Right One Comes Along (K-9 Trilogy, #1)When the Right One Comes Along
(K-9 Trilogy #1)
by Kate James
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 293 Pages
October 1st 2015 by Harlequin

Summary

Brought together by disaster. Kept together by love.In the aftermath of a deadly earthquake, it’s chaos for trauma surgeon Jessica Hansen. Among the many victims, one patient stands out—San Diego Police K-9 search and rescue officer Cal Palmer.

Cal vows to help Kayla, a child orphaned by the disaster. But he needs Jessica’s help. Will their shared concern for Kayla and for Cal’s canine partner, Scout, allow them to put aside their personal torments and discover the difference love can make?

    

My Review

The beginning of When the Right One Comes Along sucked me right in as Officer Calen or “Cal” Palmer responds to an earthquake as a rescue and recovery K-9 team with his dog, Scout.  It’s a dangerous place to be, but he has a job to try to rescue as many as he can and hopefully prevent any further deaths from the catastrophe. In doing so, he takes a chance and ends up meeting Dr. Jessica Hansen in the process. Thus starts a story about two characters who are attracted to each other even though they’d rather not be, thrown together by disaster, who find a connection while helping a little girl and subsequently caring for one K-9 dog.

Cal is a great character. He has some trust issues due to his past, but he’s loyal, heroic, and has a big heart. Jessica is also a great character and softened up Cal a little. She has her own set of struggles and her first impression of Cal isn’t good, but as she spends more time around him she finds that her initial impression was off. I really loved how Scout, Cal’s dog, added some fun and sweet moments to the story as well. Cal and Jessica find that they have some common interests, but their real bonding happens as they learn about each other’s pasts and can relate and understand. They lean on each other and that forges a friendship with the possibility of more, if they’d only open up and let love in.

When the Right One Comes Along was a story of redemption as these characters learn to forgive themselves, in grasping the love that is in front of them, and finding family in each other. I’d recommend this one to those readers who enjoy heartfelt romance. I’m looking forward to getting to know another member of this K-9 department in When Love Matters Most, to be released in January of 2016.

Content: Some innuendo and a few mild swear words, but would consider this clean.
Source: I would like to thank the author, Kate James, for my complimentary review copy, which did not affect my review in any way.

4 STARS

About the Author

Kate James 2.jpg

Kate James spent eight years of her childhood living in foreign countries as her professional parents travelled on business. She lived in four countries and spoke five languages before settling down in Canada again to attend university. After graduating with a degree in civil engineering, she held a variety of positions in the field of real estate development and operations, and ran three substantial organizations. While her writing during this period was mostly business related, including presentations and speeches she delivered both nationally and internationally, her passion is and always has been fiction.

Kate’s business and personal experiences enable her to write fiction with a deep, often first-hand knowledge of what she is writing about. This approach makes Kate’s stories richer and more vivid.

Kate’s goal is to entertain you with well-written, engaging stories, set in intriguing places and with strong, likeable characters. “I hope my stories bring you pleasure and entertain you. Nothing pleases me more than receiving feedback from people who have chosen to spend their valuable leisure time with one of my books,” notes Kate.

Kate married her husband, Ken, in an elegant, ocean-front wedding on a tropical island. When they are not traveling, they split their time between their properties in southern and central Ontario in Canada.

Website – Goodreads – Facebook – Twitter
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Review: King of Ash and Bone by Melissa Wright

King of Ash and BoneKing of Ash and Bone
(Shattered Realms, #1)
by Melissa Wright
YA Urban Fantasy, SciFi
February 2nd 2015

Summary

When flying monsters break through the veil into her world, Mackenzie Scott has nothing left to lose. Her brother has been taken, her future has vanished, and all that remains is a desperate need for revenge. After discovering the breach the creatures used as a gateway, Mackenzie devises a plan to stop them, whatever the cost.

When she finds an injured stranger in the street, he just might be the key she needs to succeed. What Mackenzie doesn’t know is that this stranger isn’t the helpless boy he appears to be. He’s one of the monsters. And he’s got plans of his own.

Thrown into a dying city in another realm, Mackenzie is powerless to get back. With the gateway closing, time is not on her side. But the stranger is, and if they can escape execution, this girl and her monster might be able to save both their worlds.

You can read a teaser here.

    


 My Review

I was extremely excited to begin reading King of Ash and Bone! For one thing, the cover really intrigued me because the guy has those markings and I wanted to know what they were. I knew from the first page that I wasn’t going to be disappointed and I wasn’t. It was intense, chaotic, crazy, and endearing from the first page on and I loved it!


Mackenzie pulled me in from the start. She is so scared and at the same time so determined and fierce. I really loved her and how even though she is in shock during parts of this story, she handles everything as best as she can. Her one goal is to save her brother and she will do anything to do that. She is obviously attracted to and interesting in Hunter, while at the same time a little bit in fear of him. He’s an anomaly in so many ways. Hunter sometimes acted like a human, but there was always something off with his phrasing and actions. I didn’t quite realize how other he was. I could see his dilemma in what he would do and what he could and wanted to do. I loved the interactions between Mackenzie and Hunter. I loved seeing them grow closer and the attraction build. I also could see a secondary romance possibility with Mackenzie’s brother and I’m curious to get to know him better and see if that goes anywhere. I liked that the author kept the main storyline front and center.


There are so many different facets of this series. Different characters and their plots. There was prophecy and ancient language and jargon that has played a role in Hunter’s life and that others are seeking to twist to their own desires. I wanted to know a lot more about the situation, about the prophecy, about Hunter and his land, about how to stop the king and save the humans, and now about what will happen in the other world. Hunter and Mackenzie have a huge uphill battle if they are to succeed.


If you enjoy urban fantasy and scifi stories with creative plots full of twists, friendship, a spark of romance, and a strong brother/sister relationship that will keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more than I’d highly recommend King of Ash and Bone. I’m looking forward to reading more about these characters and their changing world.


Content: Some violence, but otherwise clean.

Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author, which did not affect my review in any way.

4 STARS


What do you think? Will you be reading this one if you haven’t already?

Review: After the Silence by Rula Sinara

After the Silence
(From Kenya, With Love #2)
by Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 pages
March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Does following her passion mean losing her way?

Marine Ben Corallis is an expert at facing death, but nothing comes close to the terror that grounds him when his wife is killed in a car accident the day he returns from duty. He’s left to raise an infant, a toddler and a ten-year-old girl who hasn’t uttered a word since her mother’s death.

It’s hard not to care for the widowed marine with three young children. Yet he’s still grieving, too burdened with guilt to fall in love again. And Hope Alwanga’s future as a doctor awaits her on the other side of the world, in Nairobi. If two such opposites can’t agree on a common country, how can they ever create a safe place to call home?

  

About Book One in the Series
(Each can be read as a standalone.)

The Promise of Rain (Book 1)

The Promise of Rain
(From Kenya, With Love #1)
by Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 384 pages
January 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He wants to take her child out of Africa…

The Busara elephant research and rescue camp on Kenya’s Serengeti is Anna Bekker’s life’s work. And it’s the last place she thought she’d run into Dr. Jackson Harper. As soon as he sets eyes on her four-year-old, Pippa, Anna knows he’ll never leave…without his daughter.

Furious doesn’t begin to describe how Jack feels. How could Anna keep this from him? He has to get his child back to the States. Yet as angry as he is with Anna, they still have a bond. But can it endure, despite the ocean–and the little girl–between them?


My Review

There was one thing that really stood out to me while reading After the Silence: the relationships weren’t rushed. There was no instant-love. There really wasn’t even an immediate attraction because both main characters aren’t even open to relationships. Then the attraction begins and grows as they get to know one another and as they work closely together in caring for these sweet children who have lost their mother. In the same way, Hope’s relationship with the children takes some time to develop, as it would normally under the circumstances. It felt authentic and I felt immersed in the story and the characters’ lives. 


I wanted to cry with sadness and joy when little Maddie starts to open up and when she struggles. Her journal entries added so much to this story and broke my heart. I wanted to shake Ben, and sometimes Hope, when they are so blind. I wanted to have a sit-down with Ben’s in-laws who seem to think that their grandchildren and Ben should go through the rest of their lives without someone to invite into their family. I wanted to swoon when Ben was so sweet (could have handled more swooning) or when Hope’s friend gets what she has hoped for. I felt for Ben’s friend when he tells Ben what is really going on and proud of Ben for being able to look at himself and see where he has failed. I wanted to yell at him when he considers leaving his kids even though at the same time I understood. Then I wanted to yell at Hope for not fighting harder. There were so many sweet moments where these characters came alive. I loved it when Hope, Ben, and the kids get Christmas trees and what ends up happening with all of them. I couldn’t help but smile when Hope gets surprised at the end. What a very fabulously sweet and wonderful ending it is.


After the Silence was a wonderful, heartfelt story. It was full of challenges, family, self-awakening, friendship, grief, and hope for a brighter future. I loved the romance and I loved these characters. If you enjoy sweet romance and this line of books then this is one you definitely don’t want to miss!


Content: Clean

Source: Received a complimentary review copy from the author, which did not affect my review in any way.

4.5 STARS


Rula Sinara

Rula Sinara lives in Virginia’s countryside with her husband, three boys and zany but endearing pets. When she’s not writing or doing mom stuff, she loves organic gardening, attracting wildlife to her yard (cool bugs included) or watching romantic movies. She also enjoys interviewing fellow authors and is a Special Contributor for USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog. Her door is always open at her website and blog.

Review: Solstice by Jane Read (Heather B. Moore)

SolsticeSolstice
by Jane Read AKA Heather B. Moore
YA Dystopian
ebook, 315 Pages

 a
Summary
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(This book is in a publishing contest sponsored by Macmillan. Help it get published by reading and rating the story at www.swoonreads.com/m/solstice.)

Four ways to get Banished from the last surviving city on earth are: 1. Cut out your emotion tracker, 2. Join a religious cult, 3. Create a rebellion against the Legislature, 4. Fall in love.Jezebel James does all four.

Jez is on the fast-track to becoming a brilliant scientist, with one goal—to save her city from total extinction. Her caretakers have entrusted her with a secret plan to stop the rain from flooding the rest of the earth and start civilization anew. But the more Jez learns about the price of a fresh beginning, the more she realizes that carrying out the plan will lead to few survivors, and among the dead will be those she cares about the most.


My Review

I really love this author, so I had high expectations going into reading Solstice. Immediately I was intrigued by the setting and the characters. Jez, the main heroine, was equally smart, brave, but also realistically scared. Reuben, Sol, and Chalice were all interesting characters and somewhat of counterparts to each other and Jez. The plot was fairly smooth and there was some intense moments. There was danger, deception, friendship, romance, and heartbreak.

What I felt was missing was an overall story arch. I didn’t feel or see the big picture for the series as I read this first book. I didn’t see how Jez’s and her friends’ roles influenced the overall situation and what difference they could make in their skewed society. I know it was there somewhere because of the hints here and there, but it wasn’t strong enough. The ending had a very interesting twist and I would expect the next book to explain a lot more and show a overall much bigger picture.

I did like that so much was unknown to the characters in some ways and that their was a lot of potential for them to begin putting all the puzzles together with pieces of information they gleamed here and there. There was some dramatic parts of the book, but I liked that the romance didn’t take over the story. It was sweet and intense in parts and made the story more interesting.

I’m curious to see what happens next in Jez’s journey and with her society and world. Hopefully the next book will give a lot more information and a bigger picture of where the story, and Jez’s part in it, will be going.

Content: Clean
Source: Received through eBooksforReview.com, which did not affect my review in any way.


 What do you think? Will you be adding this one to your tbr?

Review: Christmas, Actually by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, & Melinda Curtis

This is a tour we’re organizing and I thought it would be good to post what I thought about this collection of novella’s…

Christmas, ActuallyChristmas, Actually
by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, & Melinda Curtis
Clean Contemporary Romance, Christmas
Paperback & Ebook, 202 pages
November 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Discover the magic of Christmas Town, Maine!

Three lonely strangers come to Christmas Town, Maine, and find love with three Banning siblings in the town that celebrates the holidays by decorating its square with lights and ribbons and a holiday pageant on Christmas Eve. Tradition has it that a kiss beneath the mistletoe that night means marriage for the couple in the new year.

The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams:

Jack Banning promised to support the mother of his unborn child… But she doesn’t need money, she only needs him.

The Christmas Wish by Anna J. Stewart:

Callie Banning’s student has declared war on Christmas, so it’s up to her to help the little girl—and her widowed father—believe again.

The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis:

Gina Vernay is about to meet her online mystery date…and she’s in for the surprise of a lifetime!