Although she doesn’t realize it, Kendall is drowning in secrets. About her husband Carter, who died in a car crash. About Gabe, who was driving the night Carter died. About her brother George’s girlfriend. Gabe’s return to Sturgeon Falls brings the secrets bubbling to the surface.
Since Carter’s death, Kendall’s been too busy running a B&B, managing a cherry orchard and raising two girls to think about Gabe. But when he shows up at her B&B, memories come rushing back – including the crush she’d had on him.
Can Kendall and Gabe face the past and find forgiveness? Or will the secrets bury them?
He’d thought he was ready for this.
Small-Town Secrets by Margaret Watson
I needed to read Small-Town Secrets. Not only because it is a romance but because I needed to read a book that had a simple plot. I needed a book where I didn’t have to keep intricate notes. I got that in Small-Town Secrets.
Small-Town Secrets is a book about reconciling the past with the present. It also shows what the power of forgiveness does. I liked that it showed that what is shown to the public isn’t what goes on in private.
There are one main storyline and two prominent secondary storylines. They were all well written. The pacing of the storylines seesawed between slow and medium. I didn’t mind that. Considering what Gabe and Kendall were working through, it was needed. The secondary plotlines were woven into that plotline with skill.
I liked Kendall, and I sympathized with her. She was a single mother raising two girls and running two businesses (a B&B and an orchard). I did think that she was harsh on Gabe at the beginning of the book. But, considering what happened, I would have been the same way. I felt she took Amy’s secret well and handled the fall out gracefully. I don’t know if I would have been as understanding (or kind) as she was.
Gabe was terrific in Small-Town Secrets. He straightened his life out after the car accident. Gabe didn’t hide his feelings for Kendall and did his best to protect her. From the intruder to the mysterious guest, he was there for her. Gabe did have secrets, but he didn’t come back to disturb lives. He came back to honor Carter and reconnect with Kendall.
Amy’s secret was a doozy. When it was revealed (early in the book), I was surprised. What I wasn’t expecting was George’s reaction and what he said to Amy. I was stunned by his response. “Holy crap, son, calm down,” went through my mind. I did think that Kendall dealt well with Amy’s secret. I mean, what else could she do?
The romance between Kendall and Gabe seemed to happen overnight. I do want to point out that it wasn’t Instalove, though. The feelings that Kendall and Gabe had for each other had been simmering for years. All that simmering came to a boiling point and exploded.
The end of Small-Town Secrets was satisfying. I liked how Kendall and Gabe’s storyline ended. I was “eh” about Amy’s storyline. George rubbed me the wrong way. The author did leave another storyline (the one with the guest) open. I am curious to see what that goes.
I would give Small-Town Secrets an Adult rating. There is sex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Small-Town Secrets. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
What I am currently reading:
Fans of RaeAnne Thayne and Debbie Macomber will love this USA Today bestselling author’s latest holiday romance about enemies-to-lovers who fall for each other in a small Massachusetts coastal town.
Evangeline Christmas will do anything to save her year-round Christmas store, Holiday House, when high-powered real-estate developer Caine Elliot uses his money and influence to push through his competing property next door. When her last desperate attempt to stop him fails, she gambles everything on a proposition she prays the handsome, blue-eyed player can’t refuse.
Caine agrees to Evie’s bargain because how hard can it be to fulfill three wishes on the Angel Tree at Holiday House? The wishes have him reliving the Christmases of his past and taking part in the holiday festivities of Christmas present. But just when he begins to believe Evie might be his Christmas future, dark secrets from his past are revealed.
Will the last wish on the Angel Tree be enough to give Caine and Evie the happy ending they deserve?
I started Christmas in Harmony Harbor last night but didn’t get far into it. I read about 2-3 pages before falling asleep. But, from what I read, I like it.
Christmas in Harmony Harbor is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.
I recently finished reading:
Ilya Dragonovich is no stranger to the dark side. As a safe-house owner for security agency Brute Force, Dragon knows that the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man―and, sometimes, a beautiful woman…
Emma Jane Preston needs help. After her marriage crumbled, she believed she could get back to a normal, happy life. But her ex-husband moved among some shady characters, and now she needs the kind of protection that comes at a cost―one that only someone like Dragon can provide. But can Emma Jane trust this handsome, undercover operator to keep her safe when she is in danger of falling into the arms of the deeply seductive, fiery Dragon. . .and never letting go?
I had to fan myself after reading Lethal Nights. Talk about steamy!! Plus, I liked the storyline.
Lethal Nights is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.
From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.
Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.
Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival.
After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia. But what choice did she have? And where did the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was sent to Auschwitz when still a child?
In a Siberian prison camp, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she makes an impression on a woman doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing. Cilka begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.
Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she daily confronts death and faces terror. And when she nurses a man called Ivan, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.
Be prepared to have your heart ripped out of your chest and trampled upon. Cilka’s Journey did that to me. I wasn’t expecting to stay up until 11pm reading this book.
Cilka’s Journey is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.
What books I think I’ll read next:
KENDALL’S IN FOR A SHOCK. TWO, ACTUALLY.
Gabe Townsend has a lot of nerve to show up after seven years and book in to her B and B. It hadn’t been easy for Kendall Van Allen to move on after her husband was killed. But she’d persevered, picking up the pieces, running a successful business and raising two girls on her own. She’s put aside the guilt over her part in Carter’s death. But she’ll never forgive herself … or Gabe.
And Gabe hasn’t even told her the whole truth. But the more he’s around Kendall and the children, the more he grows to love them and want what’s best for them. Can he really tell them the truth?
From a USA Today bestselling author comes a heartwarming holiday romance between the a small-town florist and the handsome chief of police. Includes a bonus novel by Miranda Liasson!
Last Christmas was tough for Halona Locklear and her seven-year-old son Theo, who hasn’t spoken a word since his father’s death. This year, Halona wants nothing more than to give him a good holiday and to hear his sweet voice again. Enrolling him in the Mentor Match program might help, but when Theo gets matched with Sweetwater Springs Chief of Police, Alex Baker, Halona realizes that the handsome hero might know secrets about her past that she is determined to keep buried.
Chief of Police, Alex Baker, re-opens his father’s hit-and-run cold case every December, hoping to finally solve it. This year, his plate is full with being a Mentor Match to a young seven-year-old boy as well. His biggest obstacle, however, is fighting his attraction to the boy’s mother, Halona. As Alex gets close to solving his father’s cold case, he learns that those closest to him may be in danger — including Halona. Alex has already lost one of the most important people in his life; he isn’t about to lose her too, even if it means walking away to keep her safe.
Hockey’s resident bad boy is hell on skates. But when he falls in love, he falls hard.
“Tracy Goodwin is an author to watch.”—Kelly Jamieson, USA Today bestselling author of the Aces Hockey series
Nick:As one of the New York Nighthawks, I’ve got it all: fame, success, wealth, plus I’m handsome as hell. As for my relationships? They could be better. I know how to do one-night stands, but I’m starting to crave something more. Then I meet Camille Benetti. She’s sexy, smart, sarcastic—totally my kind of girl. The only problem? Cami doesn’t date hockey players. But she’s never met me. . . .
Cami:Nick George is impossible to resist. Not only is he scorching hot, he’s kind, he’s funny, and he wants me bad. But I learned my lesson the hard way: no jocks. So why do I agree to be Nick’s date to the wedding of the year? One night . . . that’s our deal. He is the best man, after all. But Nick is crystal clear about his intentions. He wants a relationship. And he’s tempting me to break all my rules. . . .
Tracy Goodwin’s seductive New York Nighthawks novels can be read together or separately: ICE HOT • ICE HARD
This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
I’m not an anxious person, but Quinn Draper has always made me nervous.
Okay, so that’s a lie. I am an anxious person. Always have been. And no one reminds me of that more than my brother’s best friend.
He’s the walking, talking opposite of my comfort zone, and he sees through my false bravado. Senses my insecurities. I think that’s why I feel so vulnerable when he’s around. So…under-clothed.
Which is ridiculous. He doesn’t even know me.
Still, every bone in my body senses danger when he’s around. Like he’s always about to push me under a spotlight I’m not ready to squint into, a spotlight that would expose me for the awkward introvert that I am.
Yet he never says more than two words to me. As if he knows that’s the surest way to drive me crazy.
And I hate him for it. Always have.
Author’s Note: This standalone romantic comedy is the first book in a new series by best-selling author Hazel Kelly. If you like feisty women and funny men, you’ll love this forbidden romance about two unlikely roommates and the trouble they get into when big brother stops watching…
An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.
Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.
Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.
Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.
The next heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story by USA Today Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle.
Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents inn located in the small mountain town of Angels Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there she finds the property in significant disrepair.
When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.
While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Angels Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well?
A young widow restores a dilapidated mansion with the assistance of a charming, eccentric genius, only to find the house is full of dangerous secrets in this effervescent Gilded Age debut novel
It’s 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.
Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva’s new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva’s history―and her heart.
Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers.
The hardest thing is doing what’s right. Nathan Devereux’s parenting days are over. He raised his siblings, and now he’s ready to start living a life free of responsibility. After the year he’s had, he deserves it. But when the daughter he never knew existed and her way too tempting guardian, Emma Sloan, show up, his plans go out the window.
Nathan can’t ignore his daughter…or Emma. Yet having a relationship with them means giving up what he’s worked for. Worse, his past is sneaking up behind him and could threaten them all. He faces a choice he’s not sure he can make—or even wants to. Turn his back on Emma and his daughter? Or bend the rules to protect them? Either way, their future is at stake.
Nathan Devereux scowled as he hung the handicapped placard from his rearview mirror.
Bending the Rules by Margaret Watson
I was excited to read Bending the Rules, even if I thought that Nathan was a jerk in The Woman He Knows. I wanted to know how the author was going to change my opinion of him for the better. Oh boy, did she change my opinion of him. But the book still fell flat for me. I will explain why in my review.
The plot of Bending the Rules was an interesting one. Nathan had a hard year and was glad when everything was finally beginning to settle. He had worked hard at raising Frankie, Patrick, and Marco and deserved some time to himself. Then Nathan gets a phone call that shakes him to his core. He finds out that a drunken one night stand he had in college had a surprising result — a 13-year-old daughter whose mother died a few weeks before. Nathan wants to forge a relationship with his daughter. He also wants to form a relationship with his daughter’s guardian, Emma. But the drama from the past year rears its ugly head and Nathan is forced to make a choice. Does he turn his back on Emma and his daughter, or does he tell them what is going on?
As I mentioned above, I wasn’t a huge fan of Nathan in The Woman He Knows. His surly demeanor in that book did impact how I viewed him in this book. The first couple of chapters didn’t help either. But, after those early chapters, my view of him started to change. He dealt with learning that he had a daughter well. Once the DNA test came back positive, he did his best to try and bond with Harley. By the end of the book, I admired him. He faced his past head-on when trying to find answers for Harley. He dealt with Emma’s trust and jealousy issues well.
Emma drove me up a flipping wall. I understand that she was surprised and a little wary of Nathan, but she acted like a jerk for most of the book. Instead of asking him what was going on, at first, Emma assumed that something criminal was going on. She blew hot and cold with him the duration of her relationship. Also, Emma refused to let Harley watch the CD that her mother made for her. I get where she was coming from but still. It was wrong. I will admit that her antics in the book did affect my rating. I couldn’t connect to her at all.
I loved Harley. She was a typical 13-year-old. I did think that she adjusted well to having a father, uncles, and an aunt. Her snarkiness cracked me up. I laughed my butt off at some of the one-liners that she pulled on Marco. Having a 13-year-old myself, I found myself sympathizing with Nathan and Emma on a few occasions.
As much as I didn’t like Emma, I won’t deny that she and Nathan had some serious sexual chemistry. I liked that the author kept them from jumping into bed right away. But, once they did, the sex was explosive.
The end of the book was intense. While I didn’t agree with the choice that Nathan made, I understood why he did it. But at the same time, I didn’t agree with the decision that Emma made either. I loved it when things got ironed out, though. It made a perfect ending for the book. I am wondering if Marco is going to get a book? Please say, yes!!
I would give Bending the Rules 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 Bending the Rules I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
Darcy Gordon is hiding, watching for her past to catch up with her. So when her boss is injured in a suspicious accident, she’s certain it was meant for her. But instead of fleeing, as every instinct screams, guilt forces her to stay and help her boss’s brother run the restaurant where she works.
There’s just one problem – Patrick Devereux is an FBI agent. His too-sharp eyes threaten to reveal all her secrets. Expose her for who she really is. She wants to lower her guard and let Patrick know her. But when he learns the truth, will he understand? Or will he arrest her?
Darcy stepped onto the small patio of Mama’s Place and stood in the shadows for a moment, watching.
The Woman He Knows by Margaret Watson
I couldn’t wait to read The Woman He Knows. The blurb was what reeled me in. Plus, I wanted to read Darcy and Patrick’s love story. They had some serious chemistry in A Safe Place. I was curious to see what their story was going to be like. I wasn’t disappointed. The Woman He Knows more than delivered.
The plotline of The Woman He Knows was interesting. Darcy is on the run from her abusive ex-husband, who is also an ex-cop. Assuming another name, Darcy lives looking over her shoulder, waiting for her ex to track her down. Then her boss is injured in a hit and run accident and Darcy is convinced that it is her ex. When Patrick takes over managing Mama’s Place, Darcy needs to keep him at arm’s length. Patrick is an FBI agent, and Darcy has learned, through experience, that the police is not to be trusted. Darcy needs to let Patrick in. She needs to let him know her secrets. Because if she doesn’t, it could prove to be fatal to her.
I loved how the author showed how difficult it is for a woman to get out of an abusive relationship. The stalking and harassment were spot on. I also loved how the police will turn a blind eye to the abuse if it is one of their own committing it. I was not surprised that they didn’t do anything about it. Instead, they covered for their “brother” and acted like it didn’t happen. Even today, with domestic violence more out in the open, it happens. And it needs to change!!
I liked Darcy. I understood why she was so leary of Patrick. She committed felonies to disappear. She was terrified that if he found out, he would arrest her. I also understood her fighting her feelings for him. She felt that she didn’t deserve to have a relationship because of what I stated above. So, it was interesting to see her open up to Patrick about her past relationship. There was a point in the book where I wanted to hug her and say, “Tell him, honey. He understands more than you think he does.”
I couldn’t quite get a grasp on Patrick at first. I knew that he felt responsible for the death of his parents, which was awful because it was in no way his fault. But, by the middle of the book, I started to understand why he felt that way. I also liked that he was able to pick up that something was wrong with Nathan and Darcy. That’s when I started to love him. He was going to do anything and everything to find out what was going on with them. I wish more insight were given into his investigation into Nathan’s finances. By the end of the book, I was cheering him on.
Darcy and Patrick had OK chemistry. I wasn’t immediately struck by how much they wanted each other. Instead, I was more struck by Darcy trying to keep as far away from Patrick as possible. But, if the chemistry was OK, the sex was hot. It was so hot that if my Kindle could have steamed, it would have.
The end of The Woman He Knows was intense. My breath was held during Darcy’s trip, and I was praying for Patrick to turn up, which he did. He did something that I cheered. I also cheered when he stood down the other agent. Talk about taking my breath away. This was one of the better endings of a book that I have read to date.
I would give The Woman He Knows 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 He Knows I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**