Highland Sword (Royal Highlander: Book 3) by May McGoldrick

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3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: March 31st, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: Royal Highlander

Highland Crown—Book 1 (Review Here)

Highland Jewel—Book 2 (Review Here)

Highland Sword—Book 3

Where you can find Highland Sword: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

A VOW FOR VENGEANCE
Fleeing to the Highlands after her father’s murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain’s hold on Scotland, she swears to avenge her father’s death—until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as she is presents her with a hard choice…and a bittersweet temptation.

A PLEA FOR PASSION
Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan—and he has the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom for his people…and Morrigan’s hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last…forever?


First Line:

The afternoon sun cast a golden glow over the high walled garden beside the keep.

Highland Sword by May McGoldrick

My Review:

I was excited to read Highland Sword. I was excited because this is Morrigan’s book. I wanted to see who would be brave enough to tame her. I also wanted to know more about her. She was rarely mentioned in Highland Crown. In Highland Jewel, she was mentioned, and she did have a couple of scenes that showed how strong she was. Highland Sword more than delivered on that.

Highland Sword is the 3rd book in the Royal Highlander series. It cannot be read as a stand-alone book. You do need to read Highland Crown and Highland Jewel to understand the different backstories in the book. Also, Cinead’s story is fully explained in the first book. The author does explain it here, but it goes more into depth in Highland Crown.

Highland Sword has two, sometimes 3, POVs’. The book is split between Morrigan and Aidan, with Cinead and sometimes his mother’s POV thrown in. The transition between Morrigan and Aidan’s POV’s was wonderfully written. I had no issue following the book went it went back and forth between them.

I loved Morrigan, but I did wonder why she was so standoffish with people. I liked that she didn’t care about going against what was considered the norm for that era. She was independent, and she was handy with just about any weapons, including her fists. I wondered what made her that way. I got my answer and I was horrified. It was then that I understood why she was the way she was.

I liked Aidan. I wished there was more focus on him being a barrister. Seeing how the law worked back then fascinated me. I wanted to know more!! There were points in the book where I thought he was a pushover, but, in hindsight, he wasn’t. He allowed Morrigan to do what she wanted (well, except the last thing she did), and he made sure she was safe.

I wasn’t a fan of how Aidan and Morrigan met. But I wouldn’t say I liked how it was escalated. A knockdown fight between a man and a woman? Nope, not my cup of tea. The romance angle of the book was super slow in getting started. And even after that, I was left halfway wondering if they would break out into a fight again.

I was disappointed to read that Highland Sword was going to be the last book in the Royal Highlander series. There were a few people who I wanted to see get their happy ever afters. But, in the author’s note, there was a hint about more books in that world. I will be anxiously awaiting those.

The end of Highland Sword was sweet. I liked that Aidan and Morrigan got their happily ever after. The epilogue also saddened me.


I would give Highland Sword an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Highland Sword. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Last Human by Zack Jordan

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4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

Date of publication: March 24th, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction

Where you can find The Last Human: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The last human in the universe is on the run from a godlike intelligence in this rip-roaring debut space opera.

Sarya is the civilized galaxy’s worst nightmare: a Human.

Most days, Sarya doesn’t feel like the most terrifying creature in the galaxy.

Most days, she’s got other things on her mind. Like hiding her identity among the hundreds of alien species roaming the corridors of Watertower Station. Or making sure her adoptive mother doesn’t casually eviscerate one of their neighbors. Again.

And most days, she can almost accept that she’ll never know the truth–that she’ll never know why humanity was deemed too dangerous to exist. Or whether she really is–impossibly–the lone survivor of a species destroyed a millennium ago.

That is, until an encounter with a bounty hunter and a miles-long kinetic projectile leaves her life and her perspective shattered.

Thrown into the universe at the helm of a stolen ship–with the dubious assistance of a rebellious spacesuit, an android death enthusiast on his sixtieth lifetime, and a ball of fluff with an IQ in the thousands–Sarya begins to uncover an impossible truth.

What if humanity’s death and her own existence are simply two moves in a demented cosmic game, one played out by vast alien intellects? Stranger still, what if these mad gods are offering Sarya a seat at their table–and a second chance for humanity?

The Last Human is a sneakily brilliant, gleefully oddball space-opera debut–a masterful play on perspective, intelligence, and free will, wrapped in a rollicking journey through a strange and crowded galaxy.


First Line:

Not so many years ago, Shenya the Widow was a void-cold killer.

The Last Human by Zack Jordan

My Review:

I usually do not read science fiction for review. That doesn’t mean I don’t read that genre. I wouldn’t say I like do not like reviewing that genre. So how did I end up with The Last Human for review? Easy, I wished for it on NetGalley and the publisher granted my wish.

The Last Human is the story of Sarya. Sarya is the adopted daughter of Shenya the Widow and she lives on a space station. But, Sarya is also the last of her species, a Human. Sarya’s mother and herself have worked carefully to hide what Sarya is. Everything was okay until a bounty hunter showed up and everything went sideways. The result was Sarya on the run with a spacesuit who can think for itself, an android who is obsessed with death and a super-smart fluffball (think a Tribble) and her protector. When two gods approach Sarya with a chance to make right past wrongs, she has to make a choice. Does she accept what they individually offer? Or does she go her own way?

The plotline for The Last Human was well written and kept my attention. There was a little bit of lag (when Sarya was inside the Observer’s brain), but the author was able to pull past it. There was also no dropped storylines or characters, which was a massive plus for me.

Sarya was an awesome character. She knew that she was Human, and she knew that she needed to keep her Humanity secret. If she didn’t, she would have been killed on sight. She loved her mother, Shenya the Widow, and was devastated when Shenya gave her life to let Sarya escape. She did make some rash decisions, but that only highlighted her Humanity. Her actions at the end of the book were exciting and thought-provoking.

The science fiction angle of the book was wonderfully written. It has been a long while since I read a space opera that I enjoyed. The worlds, the technology, the other life forms were fantastically written. I loved that the author broke the book up into the tiers of intelligence. I also loved that he gave excerpts of the rules and a glimpse into why Humanity was wiped out.

The end of The Last Human was satisfying. It raised a lot of questions for me. Those questions weren’t to do with the book but with the question “Is there life out there.


I would give The Last Human an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Last Human. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James

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Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

Date of publication: March 17th, 2020

Genre: General Fiction

Where you can find The Woman in the Mirror: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Rebecca James unveils a chilling modern gothic novel of a family consumed by the shadows and secrets of its past in The Woman in the Mirror.

For more than two centuries, Winterbourne Hall has stood atop a bluff overseeing the English countryside of Cornwall and the sea beyond.

In 1947, Londoner Alice Miller accepts a post as governess at Winterbourne, looking after Captain Jonathan de Grey’s twin children. Falling under the de Greys’ spell, Alice believes the family will heal her own past sorrows. But then the twins’ adoration becomes deceitful and taunting. Their father, ever distant, turns spiteful and cruel. The manor itself seems to lash out. Alice finds her surroundings subtly altered, her air slightly chilled. Something malicious resents her presence, something clouding her senses and threatening her very sanity.

In present day New York, art gallery curator Rachel Wright has learned she is a descendant of the de Greys and heir to Winterbourne. Adopted as an infant, she never knew her birth parents or her lineage. At long last, Rachel will find answers to questions about her identity that have haunted her entire life. But what she finds in Cornwall is a devastating tragic legacy that has afflicted generations of de Greys. A legacy borne from greed and deceit, twisted by madness, and suffused with unrequited love and unequivocal rage.


First Line:

Listen! Can you hear it?

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James

My Review:

I haven’t read a good Gothic mystery in a while. A long while, now that I have had time to think about it. That was the main reason why I decided I wanted to read The Woman in the Mirror. I wanted to see if they were as good as I remembered. And guess what, they were!!!

The Woman in the Mirror had fast-moving storylines, which I enjoyed. I feel that if the storylines had been slower than the book would have dragged on. The flow of the book was good. There were no dropped storylines, but I did have a question about Alice’s pregnancy during WWII. I couldn’t quite place what happened (if she had the baby or not).

Speaking of Alice, I felt awful for her. She had some mental issues that followed her to Winterbourne. That alone made her chapters fun to read. I couldn’t tell if she was losing it because of that or if the house caused it. I loved it!!!

Rachel was a different story, though. She inherited Winterbourne from an unknown aunt (she was adopted). Rachel thought it would be a great way to see where her mother came from and see her roots. Of course, what she discovered was something way more sinister.

The paranormal/mystery was well written. I did have an issue with the whole reason why Winterbourne was cursed not being revealed until the end of the book. I also didn’t like how that storyline was resolved. It was a little too tidy. But other than that, both were wonderful. I don’t think I will look at gilded mirrors and murals the same again.

There was a small romance angle of the book. Honestly, I didn’t see it between Alice and the captain. It didn’t grab me. Mainly because of the way he treated her. Of course, that was explained away but still. It left me going, “Really?” I also didn’t see it between Jack and Rachel until the end. I could have gone without the romance, but I can see why the author wrote it in. It made what happened to Alice even more disturbing.

The end of The Woman in the Mirror was terrific. I loved how everything came together. And then there was the epilogue. I had to reread it. The way it was written and what was written!! Will there be a 2nd book?


I would give The Woman in the Mirror an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Woman in the Mirror. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Hometown Girl (Into the Storm: Book 6)by Margaret Watson

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4 Stars

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of Publication: January 14th, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: Into the Storm

To Save His Child—Book 1 (Review Here)

An Innocent Man—Book 2 (Review Here)

An Honorable Man—Book 3 (Review Here)

The Dark Side of the Moon—Book 4 (Review Here)

Family on the Run—Book 5 (Review Here)

Hometown Girl—Book 6

Where you can find Hometown Girl: BookBub | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book Synopsis:

To escape from her hometown, Claire Kendall had to leave her past — and her sister — behind…

Now her sister’s sudden death has Claire going home to confront her past and her orphaned nephew — who blames her for saving herself and not his mother. Complicating matters is Tucker Hall, a man who seems to have a genius for getting in the way when it comes to parenting Nick.

Claire know she’ll be happy only once the town of Monroe is a speck in her rearview mirror, but she can’t go before Nick is ready. In the meantime, she’ll have to see a lot of Tucker and hope that he doesn’t give her any reason to stay…


First Line:

Tucker Hall leaned against the wall of the Blackhawk helicopter and pretended to stare out the window.

Hometown Girl by Margaret Watson

My Review:

I have been burnt out on reading lately. I have been finding myself making excuses not to read books, even if they are my favorite author. This reason is why I kept putting off Hometown Girl. I couldn’t bring myself to read it. Well, I decided to revamp my reading schedule. From Friday night to Sunday night, I do not touch my Kindle. I rarely check on how my blog is doing (other than making sure specific posts go live), and I don’t worry about deadlines, overdue books, …etc. Let me tell you all; it has made an enormous difference. When I got to Hometown Girl, I was excited to read it.

Hometown Girl is book 6 in the Into the Storm series. It can be read as a stand-alone book. The prologue in each book is a different take on a covert Afghanistan terrorist raid gone wrong, which is perfect. The author goes over the backstory, and the rest of the book is focused on the romance.

Hometown Girl had a medium paced plotline. Because it was somewhat of a mystery/suspense, I did expect the book to go a bit faster. But, instead, the pacing of the plotline ended up being perfect. There were no dropped storylines or characters either.

I wish that Claire’s backstory had been gone into a bit more. But, at the same time, I am glad that the author kept it a little vague. The abuse she suffered as a child/teen/young adult ended up having more of a wallop, then having it spelled out.

I did think that Claire had a massive chip on her shoulder when it came to her hometown. I understood the awful memories associated with it. I would have been the same way. Her feelings were justified in the beginning/early middle of the book. But by the end, I was over it. The people in the town were not the same people that were there when she was growing up. I felt that she only agreed to stay because Nick wanted her too. And because of her feelings for Tucker.

I loved Tucker. I liked that he found his calling after the cluster that happened in Afghanistan. He took that experience and turned it into something that he used to help kids. I loved reading his coaching scenes. He lifted the kids instead of putting them down. He didn’t take crap from them (or the parents either). He was ethical. That scene where the parents asked him to teach their kids how to cheat (after losing four games in a row) made me mad. Tucker’s response was perfect!!

I liked Nick and man, did I feel for him. His whole world was turned inside out. I didn’t blame him for lashing out at Claire either. His mother just died, and her estranged sister shows up and takes custody of him. I would have been mad too. I loved seeing his gradual acceptance of Claire. It wasn’t overt, but there were little things, like not being sarcastic or showing a childlike enthusiasm for something as simple as a cat.

I liked Claire and Tucker’s romance. It wasn’t a fast-paced, burning hot romance. But, it also wasn’t a romance where you couldn’t see the passion. It was comfortably in the middle. They did have sexual tension and chemistry. The sex scenes weren’t graphic, which was enjoyable. I like an explicit sex scene as much as the next person. But, lately, I have found myself enjoying non-graphic sex scenes.

The plotline that centered around Claire and her sister’s death was interesting. I had a feeling it was going to go the route it did. I also got a feel for at least one of the bad guys halfway through the book. The identity of the killer did surprise me. Looking back, I should have known it was that person. Actions speak louder than words!!

The plotline that involved Claire, her ex-husband, and his wife was well written. I loved how Claire handled her ex. I laughed when she called his bluff about Nick’s father. I did think Claire was a bit stalkerish when it came to his wife. Considering that Claire had been married to him and knew what life was like with him, she was right to approach her.

The end of Hometown Girl was your typical romance HEA. I loved that Tucker was finally able to come clean to Claire about his past. Honestly, I thought it was going to be worse than it was when it was revealed. I also loved the scene with Nick. It showed how far he had come!!


I would give Hometown Girl an Adult rating. There is non graphic sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Hometown Girl. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Losing Kyler (The Kennedy Boys: Book 2) by Siobhan Davis

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4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: March 27th, 2017

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, New Adult

Series: The Kennedy Boys

Finding Kyler—Book 1 (Review Here)

Losing Kyler—Book 2

Keeping Kyler—Book 3

The Irish Getaway—Book 3.5

Loving Kalvin—Book 4

Saving Brad—Book 5

Seducing Kaden—Book 6

Forgiving Keven—Book 7 (Review Here)

Summer in Nantucket—Book 7.5

Releasing Keanu—Book 8 (Review Here)

Adoring Keaton—Book 9 (expected publication date: September 2020)

Reforming Kent—Book 10 (expected publication date: ?? )

Where you can find Losing Kyler: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

Condemned to repeat the sins of the past…

Faye thought losing her parents was the most devastating thing to happen to her, but she was wrong. Her uncle’s scandalous revelation has sent her into a tailspin, leaving her questioning her entire existence.

Everything she believed is built on a lie.

And the one person she shares a passionate, soul-deep connection with can’t be there for her.

Faye and Ky can’t be together. It’s forbidden. Though they are determined to avoid replicating their parents’ mistakes, caving to their feelings is as tempting as the apple in the Garden of Eden.

Ky had sworn off girls until Faye bulldozed her way into his life. Now, she’s his whole world, and their forced separation is crushing him. Once his manipulative ex resurfaces—hell-bent on ruining the Kennedys—he’ll do whatever it takes to protect his loved ones including turning his back on the one person he can’t live without.

Then tragedy strikes and all bets are off.

But is it too late?

When Faye needs him and he isn’t there for her, guilt and hurt threaten to obliterate their love. As they start to rebuild their fractured hearts, another sordid family secret is uncovered, and Faye worries Ky may be lost to her forever.

But can you truly lose someone if they don’t want to be found?

Please note this series is only recommended to readers age 17+ due to mature content and themes.


First Line:

The room spins.

Losing Kyler by Siobhan Davis

My Review:

Losing Kyler is the 2nd book in The Kennedy Boys series. This book is not for teenagers. Again, loud so people in the back can hear, THIS IS NOT A BOOK FOR TEENAGERS. There are mature themes in this book that I wouldn’t be comfortable letting anyone under the age of 21 read. I wasn’t comfortably reading some of the things that went on in this book, and I am 42. Also, this cannot be read as a stand alone book.

The plotline for Losing Kyler is fast-paced and well written. There were a few times where I got overwhelmed with what was going on (there was a lot), but that was just me. The flow of the book was terrific too. There were no dropped characters or storylines.

The plotline with Faye, James, Alex, and Kyler was wonderfully written. I can’t say what I would have done if that bombshell was dropped on me. I want to think that I would have acted like Faye did when she found out. But the truth is, I would have had a nervous breakdown.

I thought Alex and James were incredibly selfish during that plotline. There were more than a few scenes where I wanted to smack one or both of them upside the head. They were the main reason why their kids were rebelling out. I wanted to reach through my Kindle, shake them, and tell them to start acting like parents and the teenagers they aren’t.

The plotline with Kyler, Faye, Brad, and Addison was full of drama. The drama between the 4 of them was almost too much. But it was a ton of fun to read. I loved reading Faye and Addison’s interactions. I kept thinking “Meow” every time they were together.

I did wonder what dirt Addison had on Kyler. I mean, he was adamant that he wanted nothing to do with her towards the end of Finding Kyler. Then to hook back up with her? I wasn’t surprised at what it was. I also wasn’t amazed at her role in everything that happened in the book. I am so waiting for her to get hers!!

The storyline with Kal and the rape trial broke my heart and, later on in the book, enraged me. I didn’t understand why Lana accused him of rape. But when specific details came to light, I understood. All I have to say is what goes around comes around.

The sexual attraction and tension between Kyler and Faye were terrific. Even though they had to keep their hands off each other, there was a lot of sexual tension. I had to put down my Kindle and fan myself. When they finally did have sexual contact, holy moly was it intense.

The end of Losing Kyler is a cliffhanger. I am not a big fan of cliffhangers. But in this case, it worked. I want to know what happens next. I want to know if Kyler and Faye will have their happily ever after.


I would give Losing Kyler an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Losing Kyler. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: March 3rd, 2020

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find You Are Not Alone: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.

You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.

Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.


First Line:

Two wine glasses are on the coffee table, evidence of a romantic night.

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Book Review:

I was super excited when I saw that Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen had another book out. I had loved their previous books. When I got the email from the publisher asking me to review, I downloaded that book so fast that I think I got whiplash on my pointer finger.

When I started to read You Are Not Alone, I was a bit suspicious, though. I had built this book up in my head that I was afraid it was going to flop and disappoint me. Well, happily, it didn’t. It lived up to my internal hype and then some.

You Are Not Alone is the story about Shay. Shay is a shy 30 something living in New York City. She has no friends, other than her roommate. She keeps a book of statistics. She has done this since she was a child, living with an emotionally and verbally abusive stepfather. Then one day, her life changed for the worse. She witnessed a woman commit suicide by throwing herself in front of a train. Going to Amanda’s (the woman who died) memorial, she meets Cassandra and Jane, Amanda’s best friends. After meeting them, Shay’s life seems to get better. A new apartment, new friends, a new job, a new haircut, and self-confidence. But, Shay starts to notice that things aren’t all that they seem with Cassandra and Jane. A series of events have Shay questioning everything that happened to her after Amanda’s suicide. What do Cassandra and Jane want? And why do they have Shay in their crosshairs?

You Are Not Alone had a fast-moving plotline. Shay’s portion of the book was well written and fast. I believe that all of the events took place within a couple of months of Amanda’s suicide. There was no lag, and there no dropped storylines. But, I did have issues with the book going back in time with several characters. Cassandra, Jane, Amanda, Daphne, Beth, and Stacey all had their backstories told in flashback. The only characters whose backstory was vital to the book were Amanda, Daphne, and Valerie (but only at the end of the book). I didn’t need to read about Cassandra, Jane, Beth, and Stacey’s backstories. They dragged down the main plotline.

I liked Shay. I did have my doubts about her at the beginning of the book. But, as the author revealed the different layers of her character, I started to form a connection with her. She was desperately lonely and awkward. She always felt like she was on the outside looking in. So, I didn’t blame her for connecting with Cassandra and Jane or taking up their offers of friendship. When things went sideways for her, though, I was surprised at her strength. I admired her.

The mystery angle of the book (why Amanda jumped) was well written. There is a twist in that angle that did surprise me. I didn’t see it coming, but it made sense once revealed.

The suspense/thriller angle was well written also. I loved seeing how Shay was built up, and then everything was yanked out from underneath her. I loved how Shay’s mental state was portrayed in the last half of the book. I honestly was wondering if she was going to go off the deep end.

The end of the book was unbelievable. It was one of the best endings that I have read in a physiological thriller to date. And the twist at the very end. I said, “Holy crap,” out loud a few times. I wasn’t expecting Shay to admit what she admitted!!

I do want to throw in a trigger warning. There is a scene where a woman is raped, and there is a scene where a teenager is sexually assaulted.


I would give You Are Not Alone an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread You Are Not Alone. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Starting Over at Blueberry Creek (Sweetwater Springs: Book 4) by Annie Rains

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4 Stars

Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing), Forever

Date of publication: February 25th, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: Sweetwater Springs

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane—Book 1 (Review Here)

A Wedding on Lavender Hill—Book 1.5

Springtime at Hope Cottage—Book 2 (Review Here)

Kiss Me in Sweetwater Springs—Book 2.5

Snowfall on Cedar Trail—Book 3 (Review Here)

Starting Over at Blueberry Creek—Book 4

Where you can find Starting Over at Blueberry Creek: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

USA Today bestselling author Annie Rains welcomes you back to Sweetwater Springs, North Carolina, with a charming friends-to-lovers story between a sexy fireman and the beautiful woman who mends his heart.
Should they fan the flames or douse this fire before someone gets seriously burned?

Firefighter Luke Marini moved to the small town of Sweetwater Springs with the highest of hopes – new town, new job, and new neighbors who know nothing of his past. And that’s just how he wants to keep it. But it’s nearly impossible when the gorgeous brunette next door decides to be the neighborhood welcome wagon. She’s sugar, spice, and everything nice – but getting close to someone again is playing with fire.

Brenna McConnell put college on hold to raise her little sister. Now that Eve is grown, Brenna is ready to leave Blueberry Creek and finish what she started. Moving on isn’t easy, however, when her gruff new neighbor gives Eve a dangerous firefighting job. And yet, even as Brenna is telling him off for putting her sister in harm’s way, she can’t deny the sizzling chemistry between them. She put her dreams on hold once. Is she willing to make that sacrifice again for a chance at forever?


First Line:

The aroma of sugar, spice, and butter filled Brenna McConnell’s kitchen.

Starting Over at Blueberry Creek by Annie Rains

My Review:

I was curious about who the romance would be centered around in Starting Over at Blueberry Creek. So, I was excited when I saw that it was going to be Brenna’s romance. I had been curious about her backstory, and of course, I wanted to see who her true love would be.

Now, I did like Starting Over at Blueberry Creek. I loved Brenna and Luke’s romance. I loved how they interacted. Heck, I even loved the dog. But, it was Eve and Ryan that almost killed the book for me. Let me explain why.

Eve was a brat. I get that she was a teenager, but she acted like she was a child for most of the book. Eve had zero sympathy for Brenna. She also acted like a child on the job. She wants to be a firefighter, yet on her first call, she runs into a burning building to save kittens. And after Luke told her not to? Oh, and let’s not forget that she was caught drinking underage by her boss. If you couldn’t tell, I didn’t like her.

Ryan is the other one who scenes almost killed the book. He had appeared in previous books, and I know his backstory. I felt terrible for him, and I was thrilled that he got a job. Ryan was one of the most immature, insubordinate secondary characters I have ever read (well, next to Eve). The things he did in this book would have gotten him fired in real life. I knew quite a few firefighters, and I can confidently say that the stuff Ryan pulled would have gotten him fired.

I did like Brenna, and I thought that her character did a lot of growth throughout the book. She was a good person, and it showed. Not a lot of college-aged girls would willingly drop out of college to raise their pre-teen sisters. She dealt with Eve’s crap well, even though she wondered where she went wrong. By the end of the book, she was a better person for her experiences.

I liked Luke. His backstory was so tragic. I knew something was up when he glossed over the fire. But I wasn’t expecting what he revealed. I loved how close he was to his family too. I thought he was a great acting fire chief. I did think he was a little too lenient with Ryan and Eve. While I didn’t like his insecurities, I did like that the author chose to have him realistically handle them.

Luke and Brenna’s relationship was perfect. I liked that they were open and honest with each other from the beginning. I also liked that they both wanted to bring it to the next step. What I liked the most is that they talked through their issues like adults instead of acting like children. The only time they did that was when Eve was hurt, and even then, Brenna’s emotions were all over the place.

The sex scenes in Starting Over at Blueberry Creek were discreetly written. I liked that. Instead of getting graphic, the author let me imagine what was going on in bed. That didn’t take away from the story at all. Instead, it allowed me to focus on Brenna and Luke’s relationship.

I did figure that Brenna was going to go down the path she did with her job. I called it from the beginning. Not that it was a bad thing, I liked seeing her seesaw back and forth before doing what was right for her. Of course, what happened towards the end of that storyline was a given.

Starting Over at Blueberry Creek is the 4th book in the Sweetwater Springs series. You can read this as a stand-alone. But, I would read the previous three books. That way, you can understand the different friendships and everything else.

The end of Starting Over at Blueberry Creek was your typical HEA. I loved it. What I liked, even more, was that epilogue. Talk about making me cry!!! I also like that I think I know who the next book will feature.


I would give Starting Over at Blueberry Creek an Adult rating. There is non-graphic sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Starting Over at Blueberry Creek. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Odriel’s Heirs (Odriel’s Heirs: Book 1) by Hayley Reese Chow

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4 Stars

Publisher: Amazon KDP

Date of publication: March 1st, 2020

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Where you can find Odriel’s Heirs: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out.


First Line:

Kaia Dashul wove a ball of fire between her fingertips, feeling the rage simmering beneath a tangle of excited nerves as she watched the festival from the shadowed woods.

Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow

My Review:

Fantasy is one of my favorite subjects to read. It is one genre that I will always read. So, when the author contacted me to read/review Odriel’s Heirs, I accepted. I am glad that I did. Odriel’s Heirs was a great read!!

The plotline for Odriel’s Heirs was fast-moving and well written. There were no dropped storylines or characters. There was a little lag right before the last battle, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book.

I loved the lore in Odriel’s Heirs. Zombies, necromancers, mages, and gods (good and bad) were featured. I did want to know more about the different Heirs and that first battle. But that is a minor thing. I liked that the author took the past events and used them as vital learning tools for Kaia. She also left teasers about the past. I am hoping that she expands more on that in the oncoming books.

I wasn’t a massive fan of Kaia for most of the book. I thought she was impulsive, self-centered, and full of rage. I couldn’t connect with her. But after a specific scene on a mountain, I started to see her character morph and I began to like her. By the end of the book, I was in awe of her. I can’t wait to see where her character goes.

I liked that Kaia was portrayed as a real person. She had real issues (bullying and self-esteem were the main ones featured). Kaia had to work to get to where she was. In one battle scene, she exhausted herself and almost collapsed. Even her changing feelings for Klaus were realistic.

I will say that I wasn’t a fan of how a specific relationship did a 180. I get that romance sells, but in this case, eh. There was too much bad history between those two that made a romantic relationship yucky in my eyes.

I wish that the author had explained what the Shadow Heirs abilities were earlier in the book. I figured it was something to do with shadows and assassins, but it wasn’t fully revealed until Klaus went to rescue Kaia after she was kidnapped.

The secondary characters in this book (villains and heroes) were wonderfully written. None of them seemed out of place in this world, and they all added an extra depth to the storyline.

The end of Odriel’s Heirs was great. I had figured out what happened to the Time Heir about halfway through the book. I knew that Kaia would come into her own during that last battle. But it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of reading those scenes. The last chapter, though, seemed too good to be true. And then came the epilogue. That made me super excited to read book 2!!


I would give Odriel’s Heirs an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Odriel’s Heirs. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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