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Tuesday, September 06, 2016





FOR BETTER OR WORSE

The Wedding Belles Volume 2

Lauren Layne

Pocket Books

ISBN# 9781501135156

September 2016

Contemporary Romance


As part of the wedding planners known as The Wedding Belles, Heather Fowler dreams of moving up from her position as assistant wedding planner to actual wedding planner. So when a high profile client specifically requests her work, she knows this is her chance. However, her noisy neighbor is determined to keep her from sleeping with his loud music. When she confronts him, she didn't expect him to be so aggravating or so sexy.

Josh Tanner has lived the fast life in New York City and now wants to take it slower to live the life he wants. His new life includes music, not a pesky neighbor who seems to be a workaholic intent on giving him lessons on patience. Yet there is something about Heather that gets to him. Finding her attractive is the easy part, letting her into his life is the hard part.

Heather finds that the more she gets to know Josh, the more she realizes she doesn't know everything about him. When she finds out that he used to date her high profile client, she wonders exactly who Josh really is and why he is intent on staying alone. With the client's hands-off approach of her own wedding, it's going to take everything Heather's got to make this work. What she isn't ready for is how fast she falls for Josh or how hard headed he is when it comes to keeping her away from his heart.

Heather and Josh are an opposites attract type couple who have instant chemistry and that really propels this romance. Her job as a wedding assistant/planner is the background and is used not only to give it balance, but aspects of it come into play for these two to interact. Josh left behind the rat race after a personal life changing event. Yet his character goes through even more changes as the story progressed with Heather. Fast paced with plenty of sexual tension and a supportive secondary cast, Layne has delivered a page turner filled with angst, passion and appropriate comedic relief. This was a delight to read!


Reviewed by Jennifer Jones

Rating: 4



TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

The Wedding Belles Volume 1

Lauren Layne

Pocket Books

ISBN# 9781501135132

August 2016

Contemporary Romance

The first book in this series (there was a prequel but I'm not counting that one here), starts with one of the Wedding Belles wedding planners, Brooke Baldwin. Recently coming from California to New York City, she left behind her almost wedding and a con-man who she thought she knew well enough to marry. Still reeling from that, Brooke is hired by the Wedding Belles because she is one of the most talented wedding planners in the country. Her first assignment is Maya Tyler, a hotel heiress who has an overbearing brother, Seth, who is footing the bill. Instant attraction aside, Brooke cannot fathom why Seth is so arrogant and rigid, as well as determined to find out if Maya's sudden engagement means the would-be groom is up to no good. Brooke feels something for Seth as their time together becomes more intense, but is she ready to trust again this soon? And even if she does, is she willing to trust him with her heart?

Seth Tyler tries to steer clear of Brooke, but he finds himself making her schedule times with him to discuss Maya's fiancé and the (hopefully not) wedding plans. He wants to believe in the guy, but his gut instincts have never let him down yet. And his gut instincts are also telling him that Brooke wants him as much as he wants her. Yet when he finally thinks they are on the same page, she bolts. Working around schedules, appointments and trying to figure out where his best friend fits in all this, Seth is about as un-organized as he's ever been. Will his last decision cost him more than he's prepared to lose?

This was the first book but I read it last. I have to say this was my favorite of the three. Talk about heat, sizzling sex and yummy alpha male hero! Seth was definitely used to getting what he wanted and as a result, he comes across as arrogant and stiff. Enter Brooke, who doesn't take any crap from him and he doesn't know what to do with that. Maya is a sweet, somewhat naïve girl, but she comes into her own during this time. We meet the other two Belles, and while they aren't dominant in the book, it's enough to give a background for the next two. I seriously liked this one a lot!

Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4.5

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