Book Review: In Mistletoe by Tammy L. Bailey

In Mistletoe
by Tammy L. Bailey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Publication Date: December 2, 2016
At twenty-five, Grace Evans is steadily picking up the pieces of everyone else’s life. So, when her younger sister decides to turn into a runaway bride just four weeks before the wedding, Grace, drops everything to chase after her and bring her back home. Only, when the trail leads to Mistletoe, Washington, she finds herself at the mercy of the town’s most handsome and emotionally unavailable bachelor.
Ex-Army officer, Ayden McCabe, has three creeds in life: never make the first move, never fall in love, and never take anyone to Mistletoe’s Christmas Dance. Wanting nothing more than to keep his matchmaking sister from meddling in his personal life, he agrees to help Grace if she agrees to play his girlfriend. Too brunette and meek for his taste, Ayden believes Grace can’t tempt him enough to break any of his creeds. He could not be more wrong.
My Review

I am so happy to have read this book during Christmas! The small-town life, the secondary characters and the plot gave me the festive vibe and the warmth typical for this type of romance.

Grace comes to Mistletoe looking for her sister who apparently decided to take some time away and think, with little time before her wedding. The only accommodation available is with the most sought-after bachelor in town: Ayden McCabe. He promises to help find her sister if she agrees on being his pretend girlfriend for a few days. All goes well, until a mistletoe branch ruins their plans.

There are many things I liked and some I did not agree with. On the plus side, I did enjoy the small-town vibe we get from all the secondary characters. They were the ones creating the atmosphere around Ayden and Grace. I liked Ayden – his attention to Grace’s needs, his dedication to his family make him a great guy. He surrounds himself with women that can be quickly disposed, without forming any emotional attachments, yet when he meets Grace, a woman not interested in his charms and with a look of pure innocence, he feels the need to protect.

On the negative, there are some background stories that are not very well developed. Though I know they are not the front and center, I did wish to understand more about Ayden and Grace’s fears. We see just a little bit of both, just not enough to justify the fears they have or the weaknesses they possess. In my opinion, Grace’s past is not enough to justify why she puts up with her boyfriend (or ex-boyfriend)’s crises. The guy is portrayed as a real piece of … something bad and yet she still cannot find the strength to say it to his face. The last 50 pages are kind of a rush, with all things forming a conclusion and characters opening their eyes. It’s good, but I wanted more.

So while I did enjoy the story very very much and I do consider it a great read for the Christmas season, I would have wanted more swoon, a deeper background story for the characters. 4 stars on my end, just because I am picky.

Cover Review: I fully agree with the cover! The color scheme used is perfect for winter, with the blue and the snow. We see the blanket! Apparently, it has nothing to do, but you will understand if you go through the book. Snowy Mistletoe is in the background… It would have been nice to have also a snowy mistletoe branch but… maybe it would have been too much. All in all, I like the cover, it’s fitting.

Favorite Quote: “Danielle believed her older sister needed to spread her own wings and fly. Grace just wished someone had given her a damn parachute first.”

 

A LEO wife, mother, and military veteran, Tammy began writing when the shows and movies she watched didn’t end the way she wanted them to end. Whether it’s historical or contemporary, for her, there must always be a happy ending.
When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her husband and two boys near Cleveland, Ohio. Without their sacrifice and understanding, she believes she would have never been able to pursue her passion of writing or her accomplishment of becoming a published author.
$25 Amazon
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Book Review: Mischievous Christmas Angel by Mimi Barbour

Mischievous Christmas Angel
Angels With Attitudes Series Book 5
by Mimi Barbour
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sarna Publishing
Publication Date: October 28, 2019
After one night of blistering lovemaking that would bring any sane man to his knees clutching a ring, Jack’s forced to accept Mia’s unexpected rejection. Then when she seems to be warming up to having a relationship, danger erupts around him in freakish accidents and mystical happenings. How can he permit her and her little girl to be anywhere near these threats?
Mia lovingly adopts her best friend’s four-year-old child in accordance with her will. She also agrees to move her new family and her business to live with her aunt before the Christmas holidays arrive. But… she isn’t willing to hold on to a man because of one incredible night’s loss of restraint.
**On Sale for only .99cents! **

My Review

I am quite conflicted here. On one hand, I liked the characters and their backstories, but a part of the plot is with a small question mark and as well something about the writing doesn’t resonate with me. However, I also have to mention that I am reviewing an ARC copy, so the finished product can be different. Let me explain what I mean.

Mia’s best friend recently passed away and she is left carrying for her little girl. Painful memories and the desire to offer little Maisie a future away from the hurt of losing her mom determine her accept her aunt’s offer to move in with her. She then meets Jack – sent by her aunt to help with the moving and then to renovate her future home, they have an instant connection. His strong and kind nature as well as his behavior toward the little girl are just some of the attributes that bring Mia close to Jack. The one night of passion they share feels like an escape for her, a little ray of light in her sad heart. But if they both are willing to see this forward or not, is a different and more complicated story.

The author created two strong characters that had to face a lot in their younger years. When Mia’s parents became ill, she started writing a blog and then developed a business from sewing. I appreciate her desire to be financially independent and the strength she has shown professionally, as well as personally, with carrying for her parents and Maisie. Jack’s return from Afghanistan finds him battling physical injuries and worse: mental ones. He somehow manages to find the strength to push forward and get over his addictions.

While I liked the two and I liked the themes Mimi Barbour incorporates, I did not fully like the implications of Jack’s guardian angel. For me it was too much, in some situations and I would have preferred to see him less, probably this would have made me accept the concept easily.  Also the reason Jack decides to run for mayor is … not the most mature.

Si I’ll go ahead and give “Mischievous Christmas Angel” 3.5 stars. It’s a quick read, with enjoyable moments and an adorable 4 year-old kid. I liked it for the most part. Enjoy!

Cover Review: I like little Maisie in the front, spreading her magic and bringing the two main characters together, but I am not as fond of the way the title is written. The red is too bright and takes all the attention from the other elements in the cover.

Favorite Quote: “I can’t mawwy you, Jack, ‘cause I’m too little. I wanted you to be my daddy.” (just read the book, the context of this line is to die for ! )

 

3.5 stars

Mimi is an incredibly busy NYT and USA Today award-winning, best-selling author who has seven series to her credit. The Vicarage Bench Series – Spirit/Time -Travel tales that have a surprising twist / The Angels with Attitude Series – Angels Love Romance / The Elvis Series – Make an Elvis song a book / Vegas Series – 6 books full of romantic suspense, humor and gritty conflicts / and… the fast-paced, edgy, humorous, romantic suspense, Undercover FBI Series /The Holiday Heatwarmer Series – puppies become cupids. And the latest, explosive Mob Tracker Series – six books full of conflicts and characters you’ll hate to leave.
Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island with her husband and writes her various romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. She’s been known to say: “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”
**1st place prize of the 2015 – Chanticleer Reviews – Clue Awards. Special Agent Francesca
**A TOUCH OF PASSION, has just become the 2016 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards.
$25 Amazon
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Book Review: Rogue’s Holiday

Rogue’s Holiday
Agents of the Crown Book 5
by Regan Walker
Genre: Historical Romantic Adventure
Publisher: Regan Walker Publishing
Publication Date: November 7, 2019
Robert Powell’s work as a spy saves the Cabinet ministers from a gruesome death and wins him accolades from George IV. As a reward, the king grants him a baronetcy and a much-deserved holiday at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton where he thinks to indulge in brandy, cards, good horseflesh and women.
But when Muriel, Dowager Countess of Claremont, learns of Sir Robert’s intended destination, she begs a favor…to watch over an “errant child” who is the grandniece of her good friend living in the resort town. Little does Robbie know that Miss Chastity Reynolds is no child but a beautiful hoyden who is seemingly immune to his charms.
Chastity lives in the shadow of her mother and sisters, dark-haired beauties men admire. Her first Season was a failure but, as she will soon come into a family legacy, she has no need to wed. When she first encounters Sir Robert, she dubs him The Rogue, certain he indulges in a profligate lifestyle she wants no part in.
In Brighton, Robbie discovers he is being followed by friends of the conspirators who had planned to murder the Cabinet. Worse, they know the location of Chastity’s residence.

My Review

 

This was a great read to say the least and I have many reasons to state this!

First of all, Regan Walker is an amazing writer. To my shame, this is my first book by her, but I plan on completing the series for sure. I have no experience in writing whatsoever (I mean I am no professional writer or anything of the sort), but the way she combined historical elements with descriptions that do not seem to be tiring or heavy and the characters’ small gestures, or personality traits is fantastic. I didn’t even feel the time pass while reading about the magnificent Pavilion or the King’s ship. She made me feel part of those times and every time an author manages to do it, it’s impressive!

Now back to the story: Chastity is a handful to her parents. Refusing to fall in line with the other ladies, with their proper behavior, looking to marry into a good family and be good little puppets for their husbands, she has her own plans: never get married and continue designing footwear. When she is sent away to live with her Aunt Agatha in Brighton, she cannot be more happy. Together with her friend Rose, they plan on enjoying every moment. As for Robert Powell, the king himself gifts him with a title and a holiday to his estate in Brighton – a well-deserved reward for his act of bravery in capturing a group of traitors of the Crown.  When the two have an unexpected encounter, little did they believe they will have the opportunity to formally introduce themselves.

And from here we have a beautiful romance that slowly develops and is surrounded by other amazing supporting characters, such as the good aunt, a Countess with an eye for matchmaking and let’s not forget the cat! We also have a second romance between Chastity’s friend and Robbie’s uncle. Even of this is not at the center, we still get to have enough details to enjoy it.

An excellent read indeed. “Rogue’s Holiday” has funny lines, a plot that keeps one on the edge (with Robbie’s enemies threatening Chastity’s wellbeing) and romance at every page turn. I recommend it with all my heart!

Cover Review: I like it. We see the Pavilion, we have couple above it and the proper font for the title. I even like the way the series title and book number in the series are written – small details that catch the eye.

Favorite Quote: “I hardly know what to think of it, my lady. `Twas not even a proper offer. I recall no bended knee, no avowal of love. He merely kissed me – quite against my will, I might add – and informed me he would marry me.”

 

5 stars

Regan Walker is an award-winning, #1 Amazon bestselling author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romances. She writes historically authentic novels with real historical figures along with her fictional characters. Among the awards she has won are the International Book Award for Romance Fiction, the San Diego Book Award for Best Historical Romance, the RONE Award for her medievals and the Gold Medal Illumination Award.
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Audiobook Review: Starfish by Lisa Becker

About the book:starfish_lisa-becker.jpg

Title: Starfish: A Rockstar Romance

Author: Lisa Becker

Published: August 2019

Source: received from the author, in exchange of an honest review

Format: e-copy, audiobook

Blurb:

Ambitious graduate Marin Collins accepts a four-month internship at a prestigious public relations firm to work on a tech account, but her plans are derailed when she’s assigned to go on the road with touring rock band Kings Quarters, hailed by Rolling Stone as the next big thing.

Enter Brad Osterhauser, the reluctant rock star who would rather be coding computer games than penning Grammy-nominated songs.

Traveling by bus, city to city with a group of practical joking bandmates and a greedy manager, Marin and Brad forge a friendship and forbidden romance over a shared love of Seinfeld episodes, stolen moments and Red Vines.

But when Marin’s accused of betraying her company and the band, will Brad come to her defense or believe she was disloyal to him for the sake of her career?

Told in alternating perspectives of Marin and Brad, Starfish is a contemporary romance of unexpected love, the redemptive power of music and hogging the bed.

Check it on: Amazon & Goodreads

My Review

I have read the Starfish ARC a while ago and I realized that I never posted my review! Lucky, the author contacted me with an opportunity to review the audiobook so I reread it again and what a delight it was!

“Starfish” brings us Marin and Brad’s story. She is focused on landing her dream job, he is a computer geek, with a rockstar career. Marin has learned the hard way never to fall for someone she works with, so she keeps her feelings for Brad in the friend zone. He has other intentions. Their relationship starts beautifully and evolves slowly, but in a nice way. They get to know each other and Brad even stands by her side in time of need.

Traveling with a rock band is not easy, especially because Marin was not very happy to do it in the first place. However, she takes her job seriously and she earns the support of the other guys. I liked her a lot, she is intelligent, funny, a good friend and the best PR assistant. Brad has always wanted a career in IT, but growing up next to his brother, he learned to love the life of a musician.

Lisa did such an amazing job with this book. By now, is the second one I’ve read by her and I can say I am a fan. She has a unique style and her characters have strong personalities, that go hand in hand with a nicely built plot.

I had a ton of fun reading the book, but listening to it is twice as fun. The narrators are fantastic. They easily got into the characters’ personalities and they just sound as they would in my mind! Erin Mallon and Sebastian York make a great couple and do it right! I adored the narration!

So whichever way you decide to go, it will be a great experience. “Starfish” is a book that will make you feel good, that will make your heart beat faster and even listen to some nice rock music! I loved it and I love Lisa Becker!

If you are interested to read my thought on “Clutch”, another amazing book by the same author, follow the link here.

About the AuthorLisa Becker

 Lisa Becker is an award-winning romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money – on books and margaritas. As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach, California with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone! You can share your love stories with her at http://www.lisawbecker.com.

Book Review: Provoke You by Diana A. Hicks

Provoke You
Diana A. Hicks
(Cole Brothers #2)
Publication date: December 16th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Hotel heiress Ela LeBlanc is ready to take control of her life. Waking up handcuffed to a former marine and the news of her step-dad’s plans to sell the hotel is just the wake-up call she needs.

With only thirty days to prove he has no claim on the property, Ela has to enlist the help of her sexy as sin bodyguard.When things take a dangerous turn, and Matt becomes the only person she can trust, she can’t help but wonder… can she trust him with her heart?

Former Marine Matt Cole came to New Orleans for a fresh start, a chance to make amends. After accepting a job as the chief of security for a wealthy hotelier, he quickly realizes that life in the Big Easy is anything but.

Matt’s greatest challenge is keeping his distance from the tempting Ela LeBlanc, his boss’s gorgeous and very off limits step-daughter.

Surviving Ela is just the beginning. As things unfold it becomes clear that it’s not just his heart on the line, but their lives.

PROVOKE YOU is book two in the Cole Brothers series. A new family saga binge reading experience: 5 brothers, 5 full-length novels in 5 months.

Continue reading on December 16th, January 13th, February 10th, and March 9th. Don’t miss out on this suspenseful and seductive series.

Note: This is a steamy romance with explicit sensual scenes, happily ever after, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.

Goodreads / Amazon

 My Review

Oh, how I love this series! This seems to be the tag line for all my reviews for Diana Hicks’ books. All is justified when you have an amazing author, that brings the readers great characters and a suspenseful plot.

In „Provoke You” we have another Cole brother – Matt. He meets Ela LeBlanc in … less than honorable circumstances (for her) and somehow ends up accepting her step-father’s offer to see her to Paris, in exchange for a job as head of security for the LeBlanc empire. Little did he expect to get tangled into a family affair that puts Ela’s life in danger multiple times. Things are not always what they seem and the two needs to join forces to find answers.

Both characters are amazingly well built, each with his or her baggage to carry. Matt learns to see past Ela’s Intagram profile and he likes what he finds. She, on the other hand seems to give him only trouble, until she understands that only with his protection she can defend what is hers. Their relationship builds reasonably fast and I like that Matt keeps his professional attitude until he no longer considers necessary (though I wonder what would have happened if the outcome was different…). I’m being vague, but you’ll understand what I mean after reading the story.

Honorable mention for Kitt and Chase. They are a delight! So strong, yet full of crazy ideas.

Alcohol addiction is present in many forms. Ela is fighting her dependence at every step, until one good reason comes along. Matt has his own demons and seeing Ela drunk brings back memories he wants to keep locked and fears he is not yet willing to face. The author underlines, with her story, that everyone needs to find strength and reasons to move forward. Together, we can do it 🙂

I may see one glitch in the perfect book that „provoke You” is: Matt’s past comes back to haunt him, but I cannot seem to find the conclusion of this story. Maybe we will find out at some point in the series, but for now it doesn’t make much sense to me. Still, this is not a good reason to decrease my rating.

Let’s conclude, shall we? A great plot, great characters with interesting backstories and an amazing writing. I am loving this series so far! Book 3 will be out January 13th and I cannot wait to share my thoughts with you guys J So hurry up and catch up with the series until then.

Cover Review: Yes, yes, yes! This is an amazing cover! The purple theme makes me think of Ela’s social life with her Insta-stories. There’s the bodyguard guy overseeing what I assume should be New Orleans. I love how the elements are tied to the story. That’s my idea of a great cover!

Favorite Quote:

“I’m just gonna say one thing.  The last time you got involved with a civilian who needed help, you almost died. Please don’t die”

“I’ll do my best.”

(come on, this is funny! It really is 🙂 )

 

P.S.: should you be interested in my thoughts about book 1, “Unravel You” follow the link here

5 stars

 

Author Bio:

Diana A. Hicks is an award-winning author of steamy contemporary romance with a touch of suspense. Book two in her Desert Monsoon series, LOVE OVER LOGIC, won the 2019 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner in the Romance – Suspense genre

When Diana is not writing, she enjoys kickboxing, traveling, and indulging in the simple joys of life like wine and chocolate. She lives in Atlanta and loves spending time with her two children and husband. Connect with Diana on social media to stay up to date on her latest releases.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub

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Book Review: This Is Love by Melissa Foster

About the book:This is Love_Melissa Foster

Title: This is Love (Harmony Pointe #2)

Author: Melissa Foster

Published: December 3rd 2019 by Montlake Romance

Source: Received from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy

Blurb:

Actress Remi Divine is sick of bodyguards, sick of stalkers, and sick of feeling like she is always under a microscope. But this movie star isn’t helpless by any means. She’s got a rebellious streak, and she knows how to use it. First order of business: getting rid of the overbearing bodyguards who are sticking to her like glue.

Mason Swift has made protecting others his life, and when Remi ditches his two best men, he takes over and gives it everything he has. Having grown up in the foster-care system, and as a former special operative, he knows all the tricks. Nothing gets by him, especially not gorgeous, sneaky Remi.

He thinks she’s a diva. She thinks he’s arrogant. But when sparks turn to flames and their walls come down, their true hearts are revealed, and their connection is unstoppable. And when tragedy strikes, Remi realizes that being protected isn’t the worst thing in the world—but losing Mason just might be.

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review

The life of a celebrity is never easy. Appearances may be deceiving, danger may be at every corner, but all is good if one has the most handsome bodyguard!

Remi has been under her brother’s constant protection. For a well-known actress, there is no such thing as privacy. When she starts receiving anonymous notes her brother hires one of the best firms to protect her and investigate the case. However, she does the job impossible. This until the head of the agency comes to protect her himself. Mason is taking the job seriously: he protects her, but also teaches her how to minimize risks, while still living her life.

The most beautiful part of this story is how the main characters let down their guard and let each other in. Seeing Mason’s sensitive side is like seeing a crack in an armor. Melissa Foster took her time in developing every reaction and each gesture and for that she deserves all the praise in the world. I also loved the passion they have for their work. Remi’s dedication to her fans is impressive, although quite naïve sometimes. They put their heart and even life into it. Let’s not forget the friendships – the support system they have is great and it makes me feel sorry I haven’t read book 1 yet.

Unfortunately, there is as well one aspect that pushes me back from giving 5 full stars: the mystery. The romance was great, but the conclusion of the stalking case that brought these two together is poor and rushed. The ending was penalized by this aspect and it dragged a lot with other elements (nice elements, but the case could have had a more serious conclusion).

As it happens with all the books that I’ve read until now by Melissa Foster, something is preventing me to give my full rating. However, this is by far my favorite book by her and I cannot wait to complete all the books in the series.

Cover Review: No! While I give all the credits to the handsome guy on the cover, displaying a beautiful smile, It has nothing to do with the seriousness that Mason depicts. I just can’t see it…

Favorite Quote (there were many, but here goes one): “It sounds like they wanted to give you the world without stealing the stars from your eyes.”

Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

4 stars

About the Author37c0a-mel2bauthor2bphoto2bheadshot400

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented, the perfect beach reads for contemporary romance and women’s fiction lovers who enjoy reading about loyal, wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines with complex relatable issues.

Melissa also writes sweet romance under the pen name, Addison Cole here: https://addisoncole.com

Melissa loves to hear from readers! Feel free to send her an email or chat with her on social media.

Book Review: Corporate Christmas by Bernadette Marie

Chloe Richardson had just landed the biggest client of her career. A promotion was in her future, or so she thought until the handsome Jason Mitchell walked into her office with his gorgeous smile and searing blue eyesand took her job.


Losing her job so close to Christmas, Chloes only choice was to go back home to Aubrey Heights, where the Christmas spirit is celebrated in a tourist loving, wonderland. Perhaps she can pull herself together before the new yearbefore her new career search.

However, Jason follows her to Aubrey Heightswith a mission of his own. First he stole her jobnow he wants to steal her heart.

Is the spirit of Christmas alive enough in her to let that happen?

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Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011. Since then she has authored and published over thirty-five books. The married mother of five sons promises romances with a Happily Ever After alwaysand says she can write it because she lives it.

When not immersed in the writing/publishing world, Bernadette Marie and her husband are shuffling their five hockey playing boys around town to practices and games as well as running their family business. She is a lover of a good stout craft beer and might be slightly addicted to chocolate.

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How I love this season! All the books have this festive air around and this is such a beautiful feeling! Well, as you have seen from the tour banner, I missed my initial tour date (and many tours in the last couple of weeks, to be honest). Life got in the way again, but I’m back on track for good this time 😉

Bernadette Marie’s story is about how all the things tend to settle down properly at Christmas. Chloe has worked a lot to obtain the promotion to account manager. She has dedicated time and effort to a company that doesn’t seem to appreciate her, especially when someone else is hired for the position that should have been for her. Poor Jason, he’s supposed to work with a woman that doesn’t seem to stand him one bit!

We see the two characters learning to work together, while the attraction between them keeps growing. Two things happen that twist their relationship and now starting over seems like the best choice.

To be completely honest, I would have expected to see more substance to the negative characters and the ending was a little rushed. But we have two great protagonists. Chloe’s passion for her work and Jason’s desire to build a good relationship with his new team are inspiring. I liked the fact that he let Chloe do the job freely, only offering his support when needed. He is a good guy, even if she doesn’t consider his actions full of good intentions.

The author raises awareness over harassment at the office. Both men and women may be subject to it and I agree that it should be treated with the same seriousness in both cases.

All in all, “Corporate Christmas” is a great read for this season. It will warm you up inside, while being cozy with your best blanket and favorite beverage 😊 Happy Reading!

4 stars

 

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