Monthly Archives: December 2014

Review: The Vicar’s Wife @katehewitt1

Vicar'sWifePublisher: Lion Fiction
Author: Katharine Swartz
Genre: Historical Fiction

★ ☆★ – 3 Stars

Summary
Jane Hatton and her British husband Andrew relocate from New York City to a small village on the Cumbrian coast. Jane has been city-based and career-driven but when her fourteen year old daughter Natalie falls in with the wrong crowd at school in Manhattan, she and Andrew decide to try country living. However Jane has trouble getting used to the silence and solitude of a remote village. Natalie hates her new school, and eleven-year-old Ben struggles academically. Only seven-year-old Merrie enjoys country life. Has Jane made a horrible mistake? The Hattons have bought the old vicarage in the village. When Jane finds a scrap of shopping list, she grows curious about Alice, the vicar’s wife who lived there years before. As we follow the twin narratives of Jane, in the present, and Alice in the 1930s we discover that both are on a journey to discover their true selves, and to address their deepest fears.

Review
It was an okay read. The Vicar’s Wife didn’t grab my attention, and it was easy to put down to do other things. With that being said, it was a pleasant, interesting read. I did love how it went back and forth from Alice to Jane, and how you could see their lives were much of the same, even from different eras.
Jane did come off stubborn throughout the book, as well as Andrew. There seemed to be total lack of communication, even with them being married. Sure moving can be stressful, and I am sure it brings out the worst in people, but it was like they never had time, or made time for one another when it was needed the most.
I loved Alice throughout the read. She was more rounded, and understood more things, even if she seemed younger than Jane. Alice married David, they fought through losing a child, and much more. I would have loved to read more about Alice and David or Mr. & Mrs. James.

About the Author
KateKatharine Swartz, also known as, Kate Hewitt is the USA Today-bsetselling author of 25 romances with Harlequin Presents, hundreds of short stories, and several historical novels and anthologies now available on Kindle.
She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.
Having lived in New York City, she now makes her home in a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, with her husband, four children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.

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Disclosure: I recieved this book from LibraryThing: Early Reviewers. I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.

2014 End of the Year Survey

Endoftheyear2014

I can not believe this year as flown by, at times it felt like it was dragging, but I am so ready for 2015… really though, you have no idea! So much as happened this year, and I am ready for a new start.

Number of Books I have read: 15
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read the Most From: Contemporary Romance

1) Best Book You Read in 2014

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Stuck In Doldrums by Carole R. Roman
The Vixen and The Vet by Katy Regnery

2) Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Running Lean by Diana Sharples

3) Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?

Frosted by Katy Regnery

4) Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

N/A – Maybe they did, but I had a lot of going on and I really didn’t notice if someone read something I “pushed”. My bad on my part. Thanks if you did though, that would be awesome!

5) Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

Best Series – Pushing the Limits & The English Brothers
Best Sequel – Don’t know
Best Series Ender – I need to read more this coming year!

6) Favorite New Author

Wow, so many to name! I will go with authors I reviewed this year:
Katie McGarry, Deborah Jensen, Katy Regnery, Melissa Tagg, Sawyer Bennett, Inara Scott

7) Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

The Vicar’s Wife by Katharine Swartz – Historical Fiction

8) Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Beyond Escape, it had me on my toes and I wanted to keep knowing what was happening next!

9) Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don’t usually re-read, unless I completely forgot what the book is about, but that usually don’t happen.

10) Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

FrostedVixenVetBeyondEscape

Review: Frosted @KatyRegnery

FrostedPublisher: Self-Published
Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Anthology

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary
When Grace Luff’s children send her to a Silver Wings weekend at a luxury resort, they are hoping that the 56-years-young widow will meet a man to lift the loneliness she’s endured since the passing of her husband over three years before.
Grace, who barely remembers how to date, doesn’t expect to meet anyone, and skips the conference in lieu of fresh air and exercise. She’s surprised when the owner of a local ski rental shop, Tray Bradshaw, makes her heart leap with interest and attraction.
When a rogue snowstorm traps the pair in an abandoned cabin on top of the mountain, they’ll get to know each other, and discover that it’s never too late to change…or fall in love.

Review
Oh, what a sweet read! I loved this novella, as it hit close to home. It reminded me so much of my Pawpaw. I lost my Mawmaw in 2004 due to cancer, and to see his loneliness… I begged him to get out, to find someone who he could reconnect with, to help find himself again. I kid you not.. those were my own words to him. My Pawpaw found someone through senior dance night, they fell in love, and got married within a few months. Okay, Okay, back to the book.
I loved it. I loved allllll of it.
Grace was stubborn at first, but who wouldn’t be? I couldn’t imagine losing someone you have always been around, even if it wasn’t the “swoon” love she always wanted. As you read Frosted you get to learn more on the way she thinks of things, and how she pushes just enough because it is so hard to start fresh, or on a new chapter.
Tray, patient, kind, caring… who wouldn’t love that about any man? He was so genuine and I can tell you that you need to read these 75 pages, you will not be disappointed.
Katy, you always amaze me. Thank you for writing such a heartfelt story, even for the elders. Ahh, Bring on more Grace!

About the Author
Katy Regnery Author PhotoKaty Regnery, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract for a winter romance entitled By Proxy.
Now a hybrid author who publishes both independently and traditionally, Katy claims authorship of the six-book Heart of Montana series, the six-book English Brothers series, and a Kindle Worlds novella entitled “Four Weddings and a Fiasco: The Wedding Date,” in addition to the standalone novels, Playing for Love at Deep Haven and Amazon bestseller, The Vixen and the Vet.
The Vixen and the Vet is included in the charity anthology Hometown Heroes: Hotter Ever After, and Katy’s novella “Frosted” will appear in the upcoming (Jan ’15) anthology, Snowy Days Steamy Nights. Additionally, Katy’s short story, “The Long Way Home” will appear in the first RWA anthology (Feb ’15), Premiere.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

Author Links
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Overall Rating for Snowy Days, Steamy Nights ★ ☆★ ☆★ – 4 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the Author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: Breaking Up with Barrett @KatyRegnery

EnglishBrothers1Publisher: Self-Published
Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The English Brothers

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 4 Stars

Summary
Breaking Up with Barrett is the first of six books about the Philadelphia-based, wildly-handsome English brothers who are all on the look-out for love.
(Except Alex. He’s a womanizing manwhore. And maybe Stratton, because he’s wicked hot, but super awkward around girls.)
Barrett English, aka “the Shark,” is the fair-haired, first-born of the English brothers, and the CEO of the oldest, most prestigious investment banking firm in Philadelphia. He rules the boardroom with an iron fist, refusing to take no for an answer and always getting his way.
Emily Edwards, a first-year doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, grew up in the gatehouse on the outskirts of Barrett’s childhood estate. The daughter of his family’s gardener and housekeeper, she was always looking through the window of privilege, but forced to remember her place at the very periphery of the kingdom.
When business partners suggest that a fiancee might soften Barrett’s image over business dinners, he approaches Emily for the “job” of fiancee. And while love wasn’t necessarily on Barrett’s radar, he begins to realize that Emily always has been. But will his take-no-prisoners boardroom tactics work on the heart of the woman he loves.

Review
I will start off by saying that I love Katy Regnery, really I do. I love how she writes. She brings you right into her work, and I just love that about her.
Barrett English and Emily Edwards are from different worlds. They have always grown up together since Emily was the gardener and housekeeper’s daughter, Emily is also a doctoral student at Uni, living with her best friend Val.. Barrett is the CEO of the family business. So, as you can see, his feelings for her couldn’t happen at any time, but at the right time, just for them.
One of the things that caught me off guard, that I really didn’t connect with was
He gasped softly, taking a deep breath before continuing. “I have always loved you. You were a tiny baby and I was a little boy and you reached into my chest and stole my heart and it’s been yours ever since.
I don’t know why this bothered me, maybe it being something of the fact that it was just weird. Sure, we all can fall in love, but he knew while she was still a baby, with him being 8 years older.. like he was stalking her the whole time, but she didn’t turn him “on” til years later. It took me back, maybe because I wasn’t expecting it. 4 years is usually where the comfort is, but hey.. this is new to me, and of course Katy pulled all this together.
When the story grew, I loved them both.. I just had to erase that part of the story and in my mind changed it to he fell in love with her as a “pre-twenty” lady, but always loved her as a childhood friend. Ha!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I will continue to read the series of books, because I want to know more! I want to know how everything turns out, and how all the English Brothers grow throughout the books. Can not wait to get to the rest of the series, and of course I will always keep you posted with my reviews.

She felt him gasp quietly, then shudder, and he pulled her tightly against him, as if to let his heart speak to her heart, and tell it, You belong to me, and I belong to you. Always. – 85% Kindle

Loved this! You could feel their connection, and I am so glad she has saved herself for when the time was right. There is not a lot of stories about losing your V Card, but Katy pulled it off! Their emotional connection is absolutely amazing, and it reminds me so much of my own marriage. I am glad she saw “stars” when she went stargazing, who doesn’t love that? Bring on Fitz!!

Katy Regnery Author PhotoAbout the Author
Katy Regnery
, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract for a winter romance entitled By Proxy.
Now a hybrid author who publishes both independently and traditionally, Katy claims authorship of the six-book Heart of Montana series, the six-book English Brothers series, and a Kindle Worlds novella entitled “Four Weddings and a Fiasco: The Wedding Date,” in addition to the standalone novels, Playing for Love at Deep Haven and Amazon bestseller, The Vixen and the Vet.
The Vixen and the Vet is included in the charity anthology Hometown Heroes: Hotter Ever After, and Katy’s novella “Frosted” will appear in the upcoming (Jan ’15) anthology, Snowy Days Steamy Nights. Additionally, Katy’s short story, “The Long Way Home” will appear in the first RWA anthology (Feb ’15), Premiere.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

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Author Links
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Disclosure: I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.

Book Review: The Vixen and The Vet @KatyRegnery

VixenVetPublisher: Self-Published
Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Military

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary
In this modern-retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” Savannah Carmichael, betrayed by an unreliable source, returns to her hometown of Danvers, Virginia with her once-promising journalism career in ruins. Given the opportunity to get back in the game by writing a patriotic human interest piece, Savannah turns her attention to the town hermit, Asher Lee, a wounded veteran who returned to Danvers eight years ago, and hasn’t been seen since.

After an IED explosion in Afghanistan took Asher’s hand and disfigured half of his face, he’s lived a quiet life on the outskirts of Danvers where the locals respect his privacy…that is, until Savannah Carmichael comes calling in a borrowed sundress with a plate of homemade brownies. When Asher agrees to be interviewed by Savannah, he starts feeling things for the beautiful reporter that he hasn’t felt in years.

Misfits in small-town Danvers, Savannah and Asher create a bond right away, touching each other’s hearts in ways neither thought possible. When a terrible mistake threatens to drive them apart, they’ll have to decide if the love they found in one another’s arms is strong enough to fight for their hard-won happily ever after.

Review
Touching, emotional, inspiring… I completely read this book with a country narrator in my mind, maybe similar to the Forrest Gump movie. The southern drawl is something that pulls the book straight out of where I am from. I absolutely loved the hospitality from the words, it creates such a wonderful picture while you read this book, it pulls you right into the book.
Mrs. Katy Regnery is an extraordinary writer.
Asher, he is raw, scarred, but yet still has soft edges even with being a victim inside his own home, he has been away from the public eye since being stared at like a monster. I could not imagine fighting for your country to come home to such distastefulness.
Savannah, she has such a sweet charm. She is trying to get her career back in order, and mending her emotional needs. She came back home to “lick her wounds” just as Asher.
The tears, I will admit.. I cried, sobbed like a baby. The emotional connection in this book is just amazing. The characters draw you in, gobble you up, and you beg for more. You are in line with what the feelings, emotions, and if you have ever been in love, or fell in love in just a short time, you will understand the raw emotions this book puts you through.
I love the fact that this isn’t just another “romance” but it is about love, military (which by the way our own family will be graduating basic training soon), and finding who you are again.. even after such devastation from both The Vixen and The Vet.
This book is such an awesome read, especially if you love romance. It would not disappoint you, at all!

Katy Regnery Author PhotoAbout the Author
Katy Regnery, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract for a winter romance entitled By Proxy.
Now a hybrid author who publishes both independently and traditionally, Katy claims authorship of the six-book Heart of Montana series, the six-book English Brothers series, and a Kindle Worlds novella entitled “Four Weddings and a Fiasco: The Wedding Date,” in addition to the standalone novels, Playing for Love at Deep Haven and Amazon bestseller, The Vixen and the Vet.
The Vixen and the Vet is included in the charity anthology Hometown Heroes: Hotter Ever After, and Katy’s novella “Frosted” will appear in the upcoming (Jan ’15) anthology, Snowy Days Steamy Nights. Additionally, Katy’s short story, “The Long Way Home” will appear in the first RWA anthology (Feb ’15), Premiere.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

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Author Links
Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Disclosure: I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.

Review: One December Night @Melissa_Tagg

OneDecNightAuthor: Melissa Tagg
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Series:  Where Love Begins

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 4 Stars

Summary
Librarian Pennilynn Baxter likes life the way she likes her bookshelves—neat and tidy, arranged just so. Niggling doubts aside, getting engaged to the nice man she’s been dating for two years is the obvious next step, right?

But on the snowy evening of the expected proposal, Penn discovers someone’s been squatting in the old Victorian house she inherited from her grandparents. She finds herself back in picturesque Whisper Shore, Michigan, facing off with an intruder named Will who may not be what he seems.

As charming as the house he’s taken over, Will pushes past the reserve that has kept Penn from living the brave life she craves. And one December night in the house she used to love in the town she used to adore changes everything.

Review
Loved every page of this short novella. Melissa Tagg is an amazing author, and this book is definitely worth the read. It is sweet, light, fun, comical, and romantic all rolled up into 38 pages. I would recommend this to anyone who wants something sweet, easy and fun to read. I loved getting to know Penn, she is corky, funny, and predictable… or is she!? Will love to read more about her, and will even check out the rest of the series.

MelissaTaggAbout the Author
Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com.

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Author Links
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Disclosure: I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: Off Sides by @BennettBooks

OffSidesTitle: Off Sides (Book 1)
Publisher: Big Dog Books
Author:  Sawyer Bennett
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Series: The Off Series

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 4 Stars

Summary 

“I’m not sure what possessed me to do it. Maybe it was the impossible expectations I faced, maybe it was my own self-loathing. But I just knew I needed something different to happen. I needed someone… something… to derail me from my current path. Otherwise, I would become lost… a hollowed out shell of a man. So I did it. I approached her, then I pursued her, then I made her mine. And my life was saved…”

Ryan Burnham is the privileged son of a U.S. Congressman and captain of his university’s hockey team. While he is on the verge of fulfilling his dreams to play in the NHL, his parents want him on a different course. One he is expected to accept for the sake of his family’s public image.
Forced her to abandon her music career after the heart breaking death of her parents, Danny Cross exists on the opposite side of the tracks from Ryan. She is struggling to make her own way, working two jobs, attending college part time and volunteering in a homeless shelter. She is on a mission to build her own success.
With a chance meeting, their vastly different worlds collide, causing each to evaluate whether they are truly on the correct path to self-fulfillment and happiness. Can their relationship survive? Particularly when others are against them every step of the way. A lot can happen in just ten short days…

Review
As most of you know I took a sho—long break from reading, and I am finally back up and running. Off Sides is the first book I picked up since coming back around. I have to say that Sawyer Bennett kept me reading more with this first book to the “Off” Series.
Danny (Danielle) is a waitress, volunteer, and a college student all rolled into one amazing person. The main male model in the book is Ryan, a captain Hockey player, and has more money than he knows what to do with. This book hit me square in reality, and for that I need to invest in the other books to get to grow more with the characters.
I loved the way the characters built during the process of reading this book, but it definitely leaves you wanting to know more about Ryan and Danny.
Thank you so much for showing me another book, and into another escape.

We walk to my Range Rover that Danny had driven today. She hands me the keys and I open the door to let her in. Before she steps in, I stop her and she looks at me. She has purple bruising over her right cheekbone. I reach my fingers out and skim over it gently. She closes her eyes at the touch. -80% Kindle

About the Author
USA Today Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series.

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Disclosure: I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.