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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

SUNSET IN CENTRAL PARK by Sarah Morgan

SUNSET IN CENTRAL PARK
Sarah Morgan
HQN
ISBN:  978-373-78923-8
September 2016
Contemporary Romance

The second book in this delightful series takes place in New York City and is Frankie’s story.  Frankie is a garden designer who is, among her closest three friends, the most relationship phobic.  She witnessed her father’s cheating and the havoc this played on her family and she is determined to avoid this for her own future.  Sadly, she manages not to have ANY romantic relationships and is most comfortable with her friend’s brother, Matt.

Matt, on the other hand, has been totally in love with Frankie for years.  He understands her vulnerabilities and her fears but has worked to break this down with a strong friendship.  Even his crazy cat likes to hang out with Frankie and given that they live in the same building this is convenient.

SUNSET IN CENTRAL PARK is a totally satisfying story, with a great build-up to the romantic culmination of the romance between Frankie and Matt.  I felt like I really knew these characters and I especially liked seeing a strong alpha male like Matt portrayed as vulnerable and capable of being hurt by Frankie because he opened himself up to her.  Really well done book with great romance!

Reviewed by Jeri Neal
Rating: 4


A NEW WHISKEY CREEK NOVEL


DISCOVERING YOU
A Whiskey Creek Novel
Brenda Novak
MIRA
ISBN:  978-0-7783-1880-4
June 2016
Contemporary Romance

This latest in the Whiskey Creek series tells India and Rod’s story.  India is a widow whose physician husband was shot by an ex-boyfriend who is getting out of jail.  She moves to the new community with her little girl, Cassia, to get a fresh start.  She is struggling with her in-laws, who have never approved of her and threaten to sue for custody.

Rod is her next door neighbor, a mechanic with a bad boy reputation, handsome, and wickedly attracted to India.  They meet under unusual circumstances and Rod quickly realizes that this lady comes with baggage.  He jumps in, however, to help her out and in the process they begin to explore their mutual attraction.

I had mixed feelings about this book.  I thought that India was a little too uncertain about herself and at one point I thought she was using Rod for protection and some sexual gratification.  She did odd things like sleep on his back porch and go into his home when he was not there.  The author wanted to portray her as vulnerable but she looked a little off.  There was no doubt about her commitment to her daughter but the reality was, she was picking a partner similar to her ex-boyfriend.  I was a little startled when Rod engaged in substance abuse to get closer to the ex.  I can’t remember ever reading this in a romance book before!

With all this, the book is well written and gets us in touch with these diverse characters.  I just thought the plot was a little uneven and some of the behavior of the main characters was a little unexpected!

Reviewed by Jeri Neal
Rating:  3


Monday, August 08, 2016

Stepping to a New Day by Beverly Jenkins



Stepping To A New Day
Beverly Jenkins
William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN: 978-00062412-638
Women's Fiction
July 2016

After reading this installment of the Blessing series here is my hope. I hope that Beverly Jenkins never tires of writing about these characters that I have come to know and love. From the messy Riley with a hog named Cletus, who in this story we find trying to make his way back to Henry Adams by any means necessary, to the owner Ms. Bernadine Brown who purchased Henry Adams off eBay and all in between.

Riley left his ex-wife Genevieve Gibbs in a mess when the hog wrecked her home they shared while married but she has moved past that and is dating her high-school sweetheart Clay, who does not care for the new and improved woman she has become since the divorce from Riley. Will he get over it or will the new man in town Terence C. Barbour aka T.C. steal her heart.

While Genevieve is moving on, Riley is trying to get back to Henry Adams because he is out of money, can't pay the storage for Cletus or his rent he feels he has no choice but to get back "home" and get back in with Genevieve.

T. C. has moved to Henry Adams to help out his nephew. Hired as the town chauffeur by Bernadine Brown, she has T.C. pick up Genevieve from the airport and when they see each other there is immediate attraction. Henry Adams is a small town and while they go on about their lives they will run into each other and anything can happen.

Stepping into a New Day is what I've come to expect from Beverly Jenkins a well crafted story about people who struggle with life issues we all face. The series has drama, humor, romance and more and I find the thing I like the most is the power of community which is the central focus.

In this story a particular issue Ms Jenkins tackles is adult literacy and I love that she has one of the characters deal with it. I looked it up and in the US there are over 32 million adults that cannot read. So kudos to Ms. Jenkins for shining a light on this important issue.

There is a lot that goes on in Henry Adams so be sure to go back and start with book one, "Bringing on the Blessings". Though each book can be read as a "stand alone" story, I suggest highly you read them all.

Welcome to Henry Adams and buy this book !!

Reviewed by: Linda Chavis
Rating 5

Make Me Love you by Johanna Lindsey



MAKE ME LOVE YOU
Johanna Lindsey
Gallery Books
ISBN# 9781501105425
July 2016
Historical Romance

I used to be a big Johanna Lindsey fan years ago, with some of her early novels being my first historical romances. So I was excited to get her latest historical for review.

Brooke Whitworth is the daughter of an unloving father and aloof mother. She can't wait until her first Season so that she can marry and leave her family for good. Her cruel brother has been fighting duels with Lord Dominic Wolfe and as a result, the Prince Regent has ordered that the feud between them be settled - by marrying her to The Wolf! As foreboding and dire as that sounds, she actually is hoping that she can finally escape her brother and father and make a life with her new husband. As soon as she's packed up and sent to his estate, Brooke feels relief. When she arrives, she soon discovers that the Wolf is more bark than bite and she's determined to help heal him so that they can be married quickly.

Dominic has no plans on marrying his enemy's sister. He plans to scare her off by whatever means necessary, but he's stunned to realize that she doesn't scare easily. She's nothing like her brother either, which makes him angry because he's becoming attracted to her and the last thing he wants is to actually marry her. Brooke knows that her family expects her to follow their orders and undermine the Wolf for them, but she has no loyalty to them. She only wants to be loved and feel wanted and she's sure that Dominic is the perfect person for her. Will the marriage actually take place? Will Dominic realize that in order to let go of the past he must learn to trust the future?

The premise was something I was eager to read about, yet the characters fell short of becoming exciting. Brooke was the only one I truly felt for and kept hoping Dominic would be more than he ended up being. The father and brother were truly horrible people and no wonder Brooke was eager to wed the enemy! I kept picturing how Dominic might fall in love with Brooke and fight for her against her brother or something! The ending was rather a disappointment because there was no big showdown or anything that made this story compelling or even memorable. Could've been a great story. While it wasn't bad, it just just ended up being okay.

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones
Rating: 3

Friday, June 24, 2016

Don't You Cry by Kubica is a Mind Boggling Thriller!


DON'T YOU CRY
Mary Kubica
MIRA
ISBN: 978-0-7783-1905-4
May 2016
Mystery

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she's the person Quinn thought she knew. Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town, an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen year old Alex Gallo works. She is immediately drawn to her. However, what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something sinister. As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, Alex is drawn further under a stranger's spell.

DON'T YOU CRY is a mind boggling thriller. Quinn wakes up to find Esther is missing and questions her own behavior in chasing off her friend. But she senses things are not as they seem and will not give up trying to figure out what happened. When a woman just like Esther shows up in Alex's world, the reader wonders what is going on and where the author is taking you. As the story unravels, pieces begin falling into place. Be prepared for a fast paced ending!


Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher

Rating: 3