Christmas at Strand House, by Linda Mitchelmore
Advance Reading Copy , Fiction , Romance / December 11, 2018

Lissy has inherited Strand House and plans to spend Christmas there.  A few friends will join her. So begins a sweet story that revolves around each person’s unique situation in life.  Nothing too gripping, but really a story of how we move forward in our imperfect lives. I received a copy from NetGalley. Thanks to author Linda Mitchelmore.

Picture Perfect Cowboy by Tiffany Reisz
Advance Reading Copy , Erotica , Romance / August 26, 2018

Looking for a quick, kinky love story where the man is the novice for once? Picture Perfect Cowboy is that story. Jason Waters, professional bull rider, (retired) is struggling with his desire to dominate women. It’s something he’s thought about in secret and explored only through the internet. After agreeing to be photographed for a calendar for literacy he meets pink-haired, sexy Simone, a sometimes photographer, sometimes professional submissive. Simone has no issues with her sexual desires and jumps at the chance to help him with his. And so the kink begins. In my opinion the story reads a bit too much like a non-fiction “how to” book. I’d title it “Dominance 101” or “So You’re Kinky, Now What?”  Chapter one would be all about how consenting adults can do whatever they want in the bedroom or playroom, or wherever there’s a spare riding crop or blindfold. This novel promotes that concept with a somewhat simplistic plot and likeable, although unmemorable, characters. That said, the author weaves a nice story that is more romance than erotica and given the price of $3.99 for the ebook on Amazon, perhaps we are getting about what is expected. Even at that low price, this reader would have liked more heart and confidence from Jason and less recitation from Simone. I received an ARC…

Highland Master by Hannah Howell
Historical Fiction , Romance / July 23, 2017

Blue eyes, five o’clock shadow, and body armor. The male cover model of Highland Master caught my eye the other day and I decided to allow myself this guilty pleasure. This is a standard historical romance, with a meeting between the widow Lady Triona and Sir Brett, followed by attraction, trouble, and sex. For me it ran a little long and was a bit overdone on two parts: one-Lady Triona’s doubts about running of her estate and two: Sir Brett’s resistance to Triona. But, overall, it was a fun read, and hey: blue eyes, five o’clock shadow, and body armor!! Did I mention that?

Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin
Advance Reading Copy , Romance / July 16, 2017

Summer at Rose Island is a sweet romance, appropriate for most readers, as it has only a few loves scenes, and those are less graphic than a lot of romance novels. Darcy Davenport has moved to White Cliff Bay and sparks fly between her and lighthouse owner Riley, an American.  The plot is unique and there are some funny moments, especially during the town festival when Darcy finds herself involved in some quirky situations.  I didn’t find this a compelling read, but it’s sweet heroine was refreshing and likeable. Sidenote: This was an Advance Reading Copy

Devoted by JC Harroway
Advance Reading Copy , Romance / July 3, 2017

I spent the weekend reading Devoted, romance novel by JC Harroway.  It is the story of Tyler and Mallory, two people each dealing with loss in their own way.  The circle of their lives intersected in the tiniest way years ago and now they have met again as adults. Tyler is a movie director and Mallory is the manger of her sister, a rising star for Tyler’s latest project. But can two people find love in the middle of grief, guilt, and obligation? It’s hard. The novel progresses through ups and downs, some anger, and miscommunication. It also has some very hot sex scenes.  I felt the theme of loss and love was handled well, and the characters of  both Mallory and her sister take steps to grow and learn in the novel.  In contrast to what was well handled is what I felt didn’t always work: like some of the main character’s interactions and dialogue. For me these didn’t always ring quite true. For example I remember one time Mallory’s “inner dialogue” called Tyler an assh*!@.  It somehow seemed too harsh, too extreme; after all Mallory is portrayed as vintage, unique, and to me, at the time in the novel, these two hardly knew each other.  To wrap up,…

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh

I started reading The Fever Tree without really knowing anything about it, and I am so glad I did. This novel by Jennifer McVeigh is one of the most compelling stories I’ve read in a long time. Frances Irvine finds herself in terrible circumstances after the loss of her father. Her mother passed away when she was a child and there is really no one left who cares for her. On top of that her father has risked his fortune and lost everything in his last few days. Frances is forced to make choices. Will she go to be a house servant to an uncaring aunt or travel to South Africa and marry a man she cares nothing for? This book has so many layers of interest. Frances is young and naïve, but as a reader I sympathized with her. The author touches on life in England and how many women of the time found themselves at loose ends with little or no choices. It also delves into South Africa’s corrupt business of making money in the bloody diamond mines while caring nothing for the native workers.  Some characters in the book are racist and I must mention there are offensive words and sentiment in…

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Fiction , Romance , Young Adult / June 11, 2017

The Sky Is Everywhere is the story of a girl named Lennie, who is grieving the tragic loss of her sister. It is sweet and sad at the same time, but also somewhat hopeful. Kind of like youth itself. The story progresses fast and is dotted with snippets of mysterious “notes” that help keep the reader engaged. Overall a satisfying read.