ARC · Ballantine Books · book review · Crooked Lane Books · Forever · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · Simon & Schuster · St. Martin's Griffin · St. Martin's Press · Wednesday Books

Weekly Wrap Up: September 23rd through September 29th

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

The Rain Watcher

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

A Spark of Light

 

Mr. Nice Guy

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

A True Cowboy Christmas—review coming October 31st, 2018

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman’s Secret—review coming January 9th, 2019

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review here

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane—review here

The Ancient Nine—review here

The Ancient Nine

Mr. Nice Guy—review coming October 16th

Mr. Nice Guy

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review coming September 26th

The Christmas Wishing Tree (Eternity Springs, #15)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses, #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Freebie Sunday

ARC · Forever · Grand Central Publishing · NetGalley

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane by Annie Rains

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane

4 Stars

Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

Date of publication: September 25th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Where you can find Christmas on Mistletoe Lane: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

This USA Today bestselling author invites you to the delightful small town of Sweetwater Springs where the magic of Christmas brings to strangers together in this “story you won’t forget” (RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author).

Christmas is coming to the North Carolina mountains, and the air is fresh and crisp and filled with promise. After the devastating loss of her job in the big city, the small town of Sweetwater Springs feels like heaven to Kaitlyn Russo. She’s inherited her grandparents’ charming (if a little rundown) bed and breakfast, and it’s just the new lease on life she needs. Only “heaven” comes with a catch-and a handsome and completely infuriating one at that. 

After what he hopes will be a quick trip, Mitch Hargrove wants nothing more than to put his hometown in the rearview mirror. But his plans get derailed when he learns he’s now half-owner of the Sweetwater B&B. The fact that he’s given only two months to make the inn a success is a huge problem, but it’s his pretty-and incredibly headstrong-partner who’s the real challenge. With the holiday fast approaching and a grand re-opening looming, will Mitch keep running from the ghosts of Christmas past . . . or will he realize the true gift he’s been given? 


My review:

When I saw that Annie Rains was coming out with a new book, I knew that I had to read it. But I wasn’t expecting to get approved for the review. So, when I saw the email from NetGalley stating that I got approved, I was happy and excited to read this book.

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane is one of those books that will make you smile while reading it. Kaitlyn’s enthusiasm for running her late grandmother’s bed and breakfast was catching. I found myself getting excited with her when Mitch said he would stick around for the terms of the will. I laughed when she was coming up with names for each room. It was a happy book.

There were some sad parts. There were also parts that made me mad. The reason Kaitlyn lost her job made me furious. I wanted to go smack that guy so bad. I kept thinking to myself “The Me Too movement would have a field day with that guy AND her ex-employer.” I also wanted to shake her mother when Kaitlyn finally told her what was going on. I did say out loud “Are you freaking serious!!!” The other sad part was the reason Mitch didn’t want to be anywhere near Sweetwater. When he explained to Kaitlyn what happened, I felt awful for him. But, when everything came out, I got mad. Talk about abuse of power.

The romance between Mitch and Kaitlyn was cute. I like how it played out as it would in real life. I have read too many romances where the problems of the main character went away as soon as they hooked up. Kaitlyn and Mitch had very real problems. It made the book so much more enjoyable to read for me.

Mitch and Kaitlyn had some serious sexual chemistry going on between them. Even the other characters noticed it. Which made for some pretty interesting conversations…lol. What I liked about this book is that while they had sex, it wasn’t the main focus of the book. The author didn’t waste any time on it. They went to bed at the end of one chapter and woke up rumpled the beginning of the other one. That meant I had to use my imagination for the sex scenes.

I had a connection to both Kaitlyn and Mitch. I understood why they acted the way they did. I understood why Kaitlyn needed to make this bed and breakfast work. I also understood why Mitch didn’t want to be in Sweetwater any longer than he had to be.

The secondary characters made this book shine. Each character had their own personality and brought a bit of oomph to the plotline. I enjoyed the antics of the first guests at the bed and breakfast. I liked Paris (and hope that he has a book soon!!). I also liked Chris and Nate. What Kaitlyn did for them was amazing. If only more people did that.

The end of the book is a tear-jerker. I will admit that I cried during it. Let’s say that everything was wrapped up in a way that I loved. And the epilogue. It was everything that I hoped for and more.

What I liked about Christmas on Mistletoe Lane:

A) Book made me smile

B) Kaitlyn and Mitch’s romance

C) The secondary characters

What I disliked about Christmas on Mistletoe Lane:

A) What happened to Kaitlyn

B) What happened to Mitch

C) How Kaitlyn’s mother responded to what Kaitlyn told her

I gave Christmas on Mistletoe Lane a 4-star rating. This was a well written, cute romance. I had a smile the entire time I read the book. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book that would affect my rating.

I would give Christmas on Mistletoe Lane an Adult rating. There is sex, not explicit. There is some mild violence. There is mild language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Christmas on Mistletoe Lane. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Forever, Grand Central Publishing, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Christmas on Mistletoe Lane.

All opinions stated in this review of Christmas on Mistletoe Lane are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

ARC · Del Ray · Dragonfly Press · Loveswept · NetGalley · Non ARC · Random House Publishing Group · Sourcebooks Fire · St. Martin's Griffin · St. Martin's Press · Text Publishing · The Wild Rose Press

Weekly Wrap Up: September 16th through September 22nd

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Mr. Nice Guy

The Christmas Wishing Tree (Eternity Springs, #15)

Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

Our Life in the Forest

Swagger (Milwaukee Dragons, #2)

 

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane

I Hate You, I Love You

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Bright Ruin—review coming October 9th, 2018

Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

Our Life in the Forest—review coming October 25th, 2018

Our Life in the Forest

Swagger—review here

Swagger (Milwaukee Dragons, #2)

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane—review coming September 25th, 2018

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane

I Hate You, I Love You—review coming October 9th, 2018

I Hate You, I Love You

In the Mood Fur Love—review coming October 2nd

In the Mood Fur Love

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

After the Fire

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4)

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Lakes of Mars

Exposed Fury

Dragon's Shadow

An Unlikely Setup (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 1)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Freebie Sunday

ARC · book review · Loveswept · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: September 12th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

One word: Florence. Even though I live northwest of Charlotte, NC, we are still going to get hammered. It is estimated that we are going to get 5-10 inches of rain and wind. Which will lead to flash flooding/landslides. So we have been doing prep. My yard is the cleanest it has been in a couple of months. After I pick Miss R up from preschool, we are putting everything under the house or under the deck. Other than that, this week has been pretty good. No sick kids and I am over the cold that was shared with me. So, if you don’t hear from me for a while (ie no blog posts), its because I have no power and am riding out the storm!!


What I am currently reading:

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Destined to go blind, a rake sets his sights on the toast of society, lighting a fire of passion that scorches the night, in this captivating novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans.

Stephen Hornsby, the Marquess of Clevedon, has one goal: to see every exquisite thing he can before he goes blind. His greatest joy, watching a woman shuddering in the throes of passion, will be gone. But before the darkness descends, he is determined to seduce a magnificent widow, Lady Penelope Fisherton. Unfortunately, his rakish reputation has preceded him; Lady Penelope spurns his advances. Being a man who relishes a challenge, however, her reluctance adds only luster to his desire for the last beautiful sight he’ll ever see.

Considered the belle of London society, Lady Penelope was married to a scoundrel who cared for no one but himself. Now that she’s free, she wants nothing to do with love, passion, or desire—emotions that abandoned her with a cruel husband. So why does her body react when Stephen smiles? As much as she’d like to avoid the rogue, her brother-in-law wants her fortune, and he’ll kill to get it. Stephen is willing to help, but he’ll take only one thing in return: Her. In his bed.

I started Drawn to the Marquess at supper last night. So far, I am liking the story. It is a little cliched but hey, it’s all good. Still a good read. Drawn to the Marquess is available now for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next couple of days (if I can)


What I finished reading:

The Ancient Nine

Click on the picture for Amazon link

“Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable.” —Harlan Coben, author of Missing You

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fall 1988

Spenser Collins
An unlikely Harvard prospect, smart and athletic, strapped for cash, determined to succeed. Calls his mother—who raised him on her own in Chicago—every week.

Dalton Winthrop
A white-shoe legacy at Harvard, he’s just the most recent in a string of moneyed, privileged Winthrop men in Cambridge. He’s got the ease—and the deep knowledge—that come from belonging.

These two find enough common ground to become friends, cementing their bond when Spenser is “punched” to join the Delphic Club, one of the most exclusive of Harvard’s famous all-male final clubs. Founded in the nineteenth century, the Delphic has had titans of industry, Hollywood legends, heads of state, and power brokers among its members.

Dalton Winthrop knows firsthand that the Delphic doesn’t offer memberships to just anyone. His great-uncle is one of their oldest living members, and Dalton grew up on stories of the club’s rituals. But why is his uncle so cryptic about the Ancient Nine, a shadowy group of alums whose identities are unknown and whose power is absolute? They protect the Delphic’s darkest and oldest secrets—including what happened to a student who sneaked into the club’s stately brick mansion in 1927 and was never seen again.

Dalton steers Spenser into deeper and deeper recesses of the club, and beyond, to try to make sense of what they think they may be seeing. But with each scrap of information they get from an octogenarian Crimson graduate, a crumbling newspaper in the library’s archives, or one of Harvard’s most famous and heavily guarded historical books, a fresh complication trips them up. The more the friends investigate, the more questions they unearth, tangling the story of the club, the disappearance, and the Ancient Nine, until they realize their own lives are in danger.

I liked The Ancient Nine up until the end. I was not expecting what happened to happen. Other than that, this was a good, but slow, read. The Ancient Nine is available for preorder. Publication date is September 18, 2018, and my review will be published September 24th (as part of the blog tour).


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

In the Mood Fur LoveI Hate You, I Love YouChristmas on Mistletoe LaneSwagger (Milwaukee Dragons, #2)Our Life in the ForestBright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

In the Mood Fur Love: I like romances. I like shifters. I like shifter romances. But, I don’t like to review anthologies. So, we’ll see how much I like this book. In the Mood Fur Love is available for pre-order. Expected publication date is October 2nd. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.

I Hate You, I Love You: This looks like a fun book. I love reading hate to love romances. I have high hopes for this book. I Hate You, I Love You is available for pre-order. Expected publication date is October 9th, 2018. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane: I love me some Annie Rains. So when I saw that she had another book for review, I jumped on it. Christmas on Mistletoe Lane is available for pre-order. Expected publication date is September 25th, 2018. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.

Swagger: I have reviewed some of Liz Lincoln’s books before. I also reviewed the first book in this series. But, I am not sure if I am going to like it. Guess I’m going to have to read it to find out!! Swagger is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review at some point in the next couple of weeks.

Our Life in the Forest: I was intrigued by the blurb of this book. I have had this on my TBR shelf for a while and I am eager to read it. Our Life in the Forest is currently out of print but keep checking Amazon if you want to buy it. It has limited availability. Be on the lookout for my review within the next couple of weeks.

Bright Ruin: I am very excited to be reading this book. I have read the previous Dark Gifts books and I need to know how this series made out. Bright Ruin is available for pre-order. Expected publication date is October 9th, 2018. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

ARC · book review · Loveswept · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group

Stolen Kisses (Blushing Bay: Book 2) by Annie Rains

Stolen Kisses (Blushing Bay, #2)

Title: Stolen Kisses

Author: Annie Rains

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: October 3rd, 2017

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Number of pages: 265

POV: 3rd person

Series: Blushing Bay

Forbidden Kisses – Book 1 (review here)

Stolen Kisses – Book 2

Kissing in the Rain – Book 2.5 (short story)

Where you can find Stolen Kisses: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Krista Nelson loves being a pediatric nurse. What she doesn’t love is her demanding boss and stressful workload. Fortunately, Krista knows she can count on a water-front happy hour every Wednesday with her childhood best friend, Noah Sawyer, the one part of her life she never wants to change. But, like it or not, things are changing—because Krista can’t stop wondering what would happen if she grabbed Noah by the collar and kissed him like it was her job.

Bored of the superficial women he’s been dating, Noah’s putting his love life on hold so he can focus on his family’s high-end fishing business. Sure, there are moments when he’s tempted by Krista’s soft lips and killer smile—but her friendship is too important to Noah. How could he let himself jeopardize everything they share? The trouble is, if he doesn’t take the real risk of opening his heart, Noah might just let the perfect catch get away.

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “Stolen Kisses (Blushing Bay: Book 2) by Annie Rains”

ARC · book review · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group

Forbidden Kisses (Blushing Bay: Book 1) by Annie Rains

Title: Forbidden Kisses

Author: Annie Rains

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: April 11th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 237

POV: 3rd person

Series: Blushing Bay

Forbidden Kisses – Book 1

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book Synopsis (from Goodreads):

For years, Jack Sawyer’s family has been running their upscale seafood business like a finely tuned machine. But every machine breaks down eventually, and suddenly Jack needs a new office manager, a new kayak launch, and a new lease on life. Then Grace Donner shows up again. She’s smart, motivated, and perfect for the manager position, but if she’s anything like her mom, she can’t be trusted. And Jack has never been able to trust himself around Grace.

Grace hasn’t seen her former stepbrothers since their parents’ messy divorce, but she never forgot them—especially Jack. She misses being part of the big rambunctious Sawyer clan, and if there’s an opportunity to set things right, she means to do it. But she can’t ignore Jack’s irresistibly kissable lips or the searing way he looks at her when he thinks she’s not looking. Their chemistry is more explosive than ever. And if the Sawyers can forgive and forget, anything is possible.

My review:

While this is kinda a stepbrother/stepsister romance, it really isn’t. It isn’t as hardcore as some of the stepbrother/stepsister romances that I have read. Also add in that Jack and Grace’s parents got divorced and they are no longer semi-related, it takes the kink right out of it. Which is fine by me because the story ended being so much more than that.

I really liked Grace. She put up with a lot of crap from her mother growing up but was still there for her when her mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. To say her mother wasn’t June Cleaver was an understatement. She also took a lot of crap from her old boss, the owner of a bar and ended up quitting when she couldn’t deal with his sexual advances anymore. So that leaves her without a job. Which brings her back into Jack’s world again.

I liked Jack. He had never forgotten Grace or his attraction to her but his rage at her mother’s actions kept him from talking to her. Not to mention that Grace went out of her way to avoid them because of what her mother did. So, he was surprised when Grace overheard him giving a job interview (not know it was him) and approached him for the job. He was in a bind, didn’t like the other applicants and hired her…without his father or brothers knowing. So, it wasn’t surprising when his brothers acted very negatively to Grace being there. What surprised me was his father’s reaction and I wanted to hug him.

The other story lines of Tristan and Tammy were very sad. I thought it was great when Jack stepped up and went to bat for Tristan. He gave him a job when most people wouldn’t and he stepped in when most people didn’t (read the book to find out what the situation was). Tammy’s storyline was sad but at the same time, I wanted to smack her. She laid so much on Grace about her past regrets and making things right before she died that Grace thought the only way to heal the rift between their families would be to buy back the boat Tammy sold.

I also could totally understand where Jack was coming from with his hatred of Tammy. I mean, she did sell off all of his mother’s belongings. I did wonder, at points in the book, if he would find it in himself to forgive Tammy (read the book if you want to find out).

The sex scenes between Grace and Jack were very hot and a little naughty (remember stepbrother/stepsister). The pages did burn up when they got into bed with each other and the pages burned up even when they weren’t sleeping together.

The end of the book was pretty good. Be ready to shed a tear or two and definitely be ready for the HEA during the epilog. I love it when authors to let the readers know what is going on after the story ends. Made me smile!!

How many stars will I give Forbidden Kisses: 4

Why: Enjoyable, relatable characters, hot sex, and a great plotline. I read this book in one day, it totally captivated me. I can’t wait until book 2 comes out!!

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and some mild language

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**