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OUR STOP is a bright mixture of missed chances, charismatic characters, and a sporting romance. The story slowly unravels a courtship of sorts through an ad in the newspaper. Daniel, a gorgeous guy, is dealing with grief since his dad’s passing. He is terribly lonely, but one day something happens that changes his whole outlook on life. While riding the London tube on his way to work, he spies an extremely beautiful lady and is instantly attracted to her. He would love to meet her but how? Daniel decides the best way is to place an ad in the London paper, in the Missed Connections column, with fingers crossed hoping she realizes the ad is for her. Looks like life is looking up!

Daniel has high hopes that they will meet. Nadia, a stylish, honest girl, discovers someone is interested in her when her best friend shows her the ad in the newspaper. Well, that’s just so romantic! Although, she is jaded after her last boyfriend wrecked her self-confidence with his insulting behavior. So with trepidation, Nadia gears up to meet men again. Her friends convince her to reenter the dating scene, after they respond to the ad. Nadia struggles getting up early each morning, in order to catch the train, that coincidentally Daniel rides too. She’s focused on a positive outlook and good vibes, so what could possibly go wrong? Here is the saga of Nadia and Daniel, never quite meeting. Will they ever make a connection?

OUR STOP is a downright addictive story wondering whether two strangers, Daniel and Nadia, missing each other by mere minutes, will ever link up. This is just like a soap opera with panache and real heart. I just loved the romance of it all! It stars Daniel who chases down a lady who he deems the love of his life. While the lady in question, Nadia, is none the wiser. It’s only after an ad appears in the paper that the real fun starts.

The author explores the human psyche of male/female relationships expertly, with analysis of romantic relationships and serendipitous moments. I fell in love with Daniel immediately and his knight in shining armor personality. Plus, the supporting cast of characters are fantastically flawed and funny! Ms. Williams realistically portrays best friends dealing with life in London, which pulls the reader right into their world. OUR STOP is as rich as a double dutch chocolate cake. The romance filling delivers to the last delicious morsel!

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FIX HER UP is the first book in the HOT AND HAMMERED series, and I look forward to reading more. The cute and playful cover drew me in, and I kept wanting to see what would happen next. The story takes place on Long Island in New York, mainly in Port Jefferson, a place I’ve been to many times. The author’s descriptions were spot on, and I felt like I was transported there.

When Travis, a hometown hero who made it playing pro baseball, is injured and no longer a baseball player, he feels he’s lost his identity and proven his father’s belief that he’d end up back in his hometown and be just like the rest of them. While he wallows in his sorrow and grief, his best friend’s little sister, Georgie, is the only one who takes him on and makes him give up his pity party. She’s loved him since she was a teen, but she was always the annoying little kid that followed them around.

While it looks like he finally sees her, does he really, or is it all an act until he gets his next gig? They open up to each other. and she grounds him, giving him new perspectives on things that have happened now and in the past. He also opens up a whole new world for her since she’s never been girly, had a boyfriend, been kissed or done more. He’s been a chick magnet since high school, and it only got worse when he was in the pros. He doesn’t do relationships, just one-night stands. Will that finally change?   

There were twists and turns to the story, and it had a nice flow. FIX HER UP had both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments, making for a rich read. There were a lot of steamy scenes as well, so take note. 

Ms. Bailey is a fairly new to me author since I’ve only read three of her books, including this one.  I look forward to reading more of her books not just those in this series.

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IT’S IN HIS SONG is a nice continuation of the RED RIVER VALLEY series. It’s the sixth book, and there’s still more story to tell. I loved being back with the characters we’ve met before and the small town flair! It’s a nice second-chance romance with a little twist.

The story moves quickly, and we’re easily brought up to speed with past events. So even if this is the first book you’ve read in the series, you’ll find it easy to follow. Hailey returns after a six year absence to go into business with her cousin, along with her young daughter in tow. She’s a hairdresser, and her love that got away is Dylan, who went to LA to become a music sensation. Not only did he never look back, he never even said goodbye!

Their paths definitely cross since he’s back in their small town and working at his uncle’s bar, which happens to be right next door to her salon. The salon also happens to be undergoing renovations and is causing havoc at the bar. 

The old chemistry is still there, and Hailey and Dylan often forget where they are as the years seem to drift away. Hailey’s daughter is a cute addition to the story, although Dylan doesn’t think so when their paths cross. The end felt a little rushed for me though I still enjoyed the story.

Ms. Alexander is an author I’ve enjoyed. I’ve read the first, third and fifth book in this series. IT’S IN HIS HEART, IT’S IN HIS SMILE and IT’S IN HIS FOREVER. I need to read the missing books, IT’S IN HIS TOUCH and IT’S IN HIS ARMS.

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THE EARL NEXT DOOR is the first book in the FIRST COMES LOVE series and the first book of Ms.Grey’s I’ve read. That will have to be remedied as I have put a few of her books on my always growing TBR pile!

Adeline is the Dowager Countess of Wake, having lost her husband when a ship sank two years ago. She is feisty and seems to have met her match with her neighbor, Lord Lyon. She never wants to get married again due to her disastrous first marriage, and he refuses to marry until he falls in love. But whenever they meet—often and not always under the best of circumstances—sparks fly. They seemed to have reversed roles for the time they live in since she wants no ties while he does.

She and several of her friends, who are also widows, have started a boarding school in her backyard for girls to learn a trade to better themselves. All the girls lost their fathers in the same boating accident in which the widows lost their husbands. Things get interesting quickly as the girls are louder and more rambunctious than expected, which adds to the story.

We also meet Lyon’s father and aunt, plus the servants along with those running the school. The author uses vivid descriptions of the setting to transport the reader to historical England. The characters’ interactions are often lively and entertaining.

THE EARL NEXT DOOR was fast-paced and held my interest, but there wasn’t the depth I was expecting. I liked learning of the friendship between the widows, as well as the way it was realistically portrayed. There were some loose ends, even with the epilogue, that I hope will get tied up in one of the next books in the series. I look forward to reading more in this series and reuniting with the characters as they each find love.

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Fletcher “Grey” Pryde, Duke of Greycourt, is the son of Lydia Fletcher and her first ducal husband. When news of his step-father’s death reaches him, he drops everything to help his family with the funeral. However, Grey finds his half-brother’s cousin handling the arrangements. The outspoken chit dares to call him out over his arrogant behavior. Grey soon finds himself fascinated with the intriguing woman, so he offers to help Beatrice Wolfe prepare for her upcoming debut. Can Grey let go of his past for a future with Beatrice? Or will other circumstances stand in their way?

Beatrice “Bea” Wolfe is the orphaned and impoverished cousin of the fourth Duke of Armitage. She helps her relatives by overseeing her late uncle’s funeral and managing the household ledgers. Beatrice accepts becoming the dowager’s latest project in hopes of finding a suitable husband. She cannot help but feel leery of taking coming-out lessons from the lofty Duke of Greycourt. However, their time together allows her to see the man hidden behind the arrogant façade. Can Beatrice help Grey reconcile with his family? Or will their guarded secrets keep them apart?

Grey is a gem. I understand his caution of reacquainting with his mother and half-siblings, especially after years of his uncle’s callousness. His cool aloofness is a self-preservation mechanism to protect his heart from further pain. I adore how Grey encourages Beatrice to be her usual forthright self around him. He likes that she does not kowtow to his every whim; instead, she treats him like an ordinary person instead of wealthy duke. What I love the most about Grey is how he acknowledges that he and Beatrice have a lot in common. He finds a kindred spirit, one who can understand all the anguish and torment he went through as a kid.

Beatrice is a remarkable heroine. She has endured so many ups and downs throughout her life. I like how Beatrice never allowed her late uncle’s licentious behavior to color her opinions of people. She does not escape unscathed; however, she uses his ill treatment to bolster her inner strength to persevere. I adore Beatrice’s spunk and temerity. She is not afraid to stand up to a duke or take him to task about his snobbery. What I love the most about Beatrice is her sibling loyalty. She wants to improve her life so she can offer her prickly brother a better future.

PROJECT DUCHESS is book one in Sabrina Jeffries’ brand new historical romance series, DUKE DYNASTY. I have been reading this author since my late teens, so I always anticipate any new book she releases. This one is no exception. I love how the title is cleverly based off a reality TV show. It is a genius way to set the book apart from the other stories set in the historical romance genre.

PROJECT DUCHESS is a sweet and uplifting tale of family reconciliation and expunging one’s painful past for love. I suspect two possible pairings for upcoming books. I cannot wait to see if my suspicions prove correct.

A recommended read.

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First appearances can be deceiving when THE EARL NEXT DOOR barges into the Countess of Wake, Adeline’s home and sees her in a sexy undergarment, secretly admiring her unabashed beauty. Lyon, Earl of Lyonwood, was informed that his neighbor might be opening a pleasure house. A steady supply of beds were seen being delivered, with women coming and going at all times of the day. Lyon’s assumption is wrong, as Adeline angrily points out and explains that she’s opening a girls boarding school behind her house. She soundly smacks him after his offensive remark. When they finally learn each other’s names and titles, they are quite embarrassed. Incredibly, attraction sizzles between them. Adeline won’t soon forget sparring with such a brazen, good-looking man, nor will Lyon forget such a forthright, fabulous woman.

Adeline lost her husband a couple of years ago and is enjoying her freedom. Her late husband was controlling and concerned only with Adeline bearing his child, but sadly she couldn’t conceive. She is eager to reenter society along with her two best friends. All three women lost their husbands in the same shipping tragedy. They jointly open a boarding school to ensure a better life for the young girls whose fathers drowned in the boating disaster. Adeline isn’t interested in marrying after her terrible marriage. However, the Earl of Lyonwood is stuck in her mind, with his tantalizing, uptight ways. Inexplicably, their paths cross more than once over upsetting circumstances. Funny though, they seem to love staring at each other, and touching, which leads to kissing.

Lyon is determined to court Adeline, only she isn’t interested. Can Lyon change her mind about love, since they can’t seem to quit holding each other?

THE EARL NEXT DOOR is a story of a stubborn couple who are brought together by a misunderstanding. Adeline, Countess Wake, is a gorgeous widow and along with her two best friends, they open a boarding school for girls after a tragedy takes the lives of many men. Adeline isn’t interested in men or love, but her next door neighbor, Lord Lyonwood, oh, what a devastatingly, handsome man! Lyon is looking for the perfect lady to love and he may have just found her. Adeline might chafe his sensibilities but her beauty is unparalleled! They are drawn to one another in spite of their differences. Can Lyon break down Adeline’s barriers? I loved Ms. Grey’s plot, the push-pull of Adeline and Lyon’s relationship, and who would give in first. I sincerely enjoyed this new series and all the charismatic, spirited characters. THE EARL NEXT DOOR is like sizzling hot fajitas. It is so delicious that you don’t want it to end!

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In CODE OF VALOR by Lynette Eason, Detective Brady St. John is in desperate need of a break. He decides to use a friend’s cabin on Lake Henley for some much needed rest and relaxation. However, his second night there, he hears a scream and finds a woman being attacked on Lake Henley. He manages to rescue her, but her attacker escapes. Thus begins the journey of Brady and Emily Chastain, a financial crimes investigator, trying to figure out who wants Emily dead.  

Emily does not know why someone is after her. Her best friend is an investigative reporter who has been researching some information Emily discussed with her and has now disappeared. Emily fears for her friend’s life but honestly does not know what, if anything, the information she gave her friend could have to do with her disappearance.  Nothing makes sense.

With the help of Brady and his amazing family (who are all in law enforcement), Emily is trying to figure out what she knows that seems to be putting everybody around her in danger.  

CODE OF VALOR was a great story! Loads of action and adventure, and the characters are great.  The St. John family is a hoot, and I would love them at my back if I were in danger. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Recommended Read

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Just sit back and relax in the romance of Eternity Springs, Emily March’s new series, The McBrides Of Texas. JACKSON is the first story and stars a handsome songwriter, Jackson McBride. Jackson is divorced and distressed at the direction his life has gone. Since breaking up with ex, he is down in the dumps and inspiration is not striking. His daughter is his whole life and Sharon angrily restricted his visitation rights. Will Jackson ever get his mojo back?

Caroline Carruthers, a pretty writer, is uncertain about her future. She married an older man and he passed away. Sad and heartbroken, she is deciding what to do next, when by chance she meets a lady who needs her help in Redemption, Texas. She falls in love with the town and decides to move, since her life with her loving husband is over. Her dream is to open a bookstore. Will she find the ideal location in the quaint town of Redemption? The town reportedly has healing powers. Will her hurting heart be mended? Caroline literally bumps into Jackson one day. Whoops! Jackson’s heart melts for the foxy looking beauty. Also, Caroline notices just how muscular and manly he is after their close proximity. Will this heartbroken couple find love again, hopefully with each other?

Don’t miss this unforgettable story about new beginnings, loss and the search for home in Ms. March’s new sparkling love story, JACKSON. Come along on a journey and discover the heritage of the McBride men and their hidden secrets, as they each return to their hometown roots in a quaint town in Texas. The stars of JACKSON are Caroline and Jackson. They each have to deal with painful life decisions before they can begin to heal. They can only hope it’s not to late to find love, family and forgiveness in Redemption, Texas.

Ms. March knows all the right touches to add, the flub-ups are funny, the grief feels credible, and the electric sparks fly in this solid, reliable romance story. The town is the perfect backdrop, beautifully depicted with a lush waterfall and swimming hole surrounded by a homey downtown area along with a ghost town on the fringes. I can’t wait for the next book! JACKSON is a winning combination of love, loss and family. Truly a masterpiece!

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The fourth installment of the Shadow Riders saga brings us the tale of another Ferraro brother.  Vittorio has a dark and mysterious past and had always been the quiet brother of the Ferraro clan.  Now he will meet his match in Grace and his perfect mate to continue the Ferraro line.  However, Grace is not just willing to roll over and accept what he says at face value.

Grace Murphy is a smart and intelligent woman with a sad past of drifting in and out of foster homes as a child.  Grace thought she had the perfect protector in her foster brother, but soon learns that he is not only dangerous but psychotic as well.  When Grace finds out that he is literally selling her to pay a debt she is livid and the fighter that has been inside her comes blasting out.  However, she is no match for the men that have come to take her and she finds a true hero in Vittorio Ferraro.

Vittorio is minding his own business watching things closely as he always does at his family’s club.  When he sees some unsavory characters and members of a rival family, he knows something in definitely wrong.  Vittorio follows them and never expects to find the dynamo of Grace Murphy fighting men bigger than her to prevent from being abducted.  Vittorio steps in to save the day and when Grace takes the bullet meant for him, he knows that he has found his true mate.  Vittorio will stop at nothing to make sure that Grace is safe and there is no safer place than in his arms and his bed.

Christine Feehan has a way of penning stories that not only keep the readers entertained and interested, but keep them in suspense of the next book in the series.  The Ferraro family is an intriguing mix of vigilante justice and extreme alpha males.  This is enhanced by their love for the women and their only sister.  Vittorio has a dark side that makes him broken and irresistible at the same time.  His tender care and protectiveness of Grace will leave you wishing for your own dark hero to come and save the day.  Grace has problems of her own but is a delightful mix of timidness and dynamite all in one package.  The story line is tossed between tenderness, passion and betrayal.  Christine Feehan has done an excellent job of writing a story that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment of the Ferraro family.

 

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ONCE UPON A BAD BOY, the third book in the Sometimes In Love series, is a slam dunk, tantalizing romance. It stars Sadie Gold, a gorgeous girl who captures Bo Ibarra’s heart. They met as teenagers, but Bo cans their intimate relationship on prom night. Sadie is shocked and angered. Now, years later, Sadie is close to becoming a major movie star. Recently, she accepts the role of a lifetime, a kick-ass heroine who fights bad guys. This role demands a tough exercise regimen and stunt work. Sadie is ready to prove she is just not another spoiled, pretty rich girl. She is stunned to learn her trainer is none other than her first love, Bo. Can she keep her act together with Bo enticingly close by? Or will her career tank with Bo back in the picture?

Bo still loves Sadie. Always has, but he never felt he measured up. Hence, the big break up many years ago. Now, Sadie’s back in his life. Bo wants a second chance, but there are many hurdles to overcome. Will they make a comeback or is there too much baggage weighing them down?

ONCE UPON A BAD BOY is a star quality, magic romance! Ms. Johnson pulls out her bag of tricks and nails a perfect star-crossed lovers romance dilemma. All of Sadie’s best friends from the series give her help in the romance department. Together they navigate hurt feelings, regrets, secrets, many laughs and problems galore.

The author gives us plenty of anxiety, as Sadie and Bo navigate new waters of attraction and all the headaches it brings. Sadie is a strong girl who realizes she’s only human and makes mistakes. She is in love with Bo and the devilishly handsome man he has become. Bo still regrets his actions but now realizes it was for the best at the time. They each have matured and wonder if they can make things work a second time. This is a wonderful journey of rediscovering a fiery relationship, which never completely burned out. The author delivers an honestly heartfelt, deeply emotional story with a quirky flair. I absolutely adore all the movie references that abound in the plot! ONCE UPON A BAD BOY is a sexy cocktail of vulnerability and strength. Just like a tequila sunrise with style!

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