Thursday, November 16, 2017

Just Maybe (Home In You #3) by Crystal Walton {Review}

Just Maybe by Crystal Walton
Kindle Edition, 310 pages
Published October 11th 2017 by Impact Editions, LLC 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36206457-just-maybe?from_search=true
When a case of mistaken identity spirals into a more-than-complicated pretend relationship, an adventure seeker and a grammar fanatic just might’ve met each other’s match.

Three weeks. That’s all the time self-made billionaire Cooper Anderson has to respond to discovering he’s a single dad, sell his lake house, and catch a one-way ticket across the world. The quick-witted nanny responding to his ad couldn’t be more of a life saver … and maybe a nice distraction. Until the secrets she’s hiding get a little too close to exposing his own.

The one lead guaranteeing Quinn Thompson a promotion just has to land her back in her hometown to finagle an interview out of Mr. Elusive, of all people. But she can hack it, right? Even while mistaken for the nanny, she can keep things quick and professional. No running into her embarrassing southern family, no stirring up the wounds that’d sent her packing four years ago, and definitely no melting over a stockbroker’s unfair dimples and boyish charm.

Why, oh, why doesn’t anything ever go according to plan?

With both their deadlines closing in before they’re ready, Quinn and Cooper must decide whether the life they’re set on pursuing alone is worth more than the one they could be missing together.

***Each book in the Home In You Series is a standalone and can be read separately. But I recommend reading the books in order if you want to follow the overall timeline:

Still Falling - A Prequel
Write Me Home - Book One
Begin Again - Book Two
Just Maybe - Book Three

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My Review: 5 Stars

Ooh, I love me a story with a good case of mistaken identity and this one is classic, because not only does Cooper think Quinn is applying to be a nanny, but they somehow find themselves in a relationship of convenience, which makes everything just a little more interesting. And by interesting, I mean the sparks are snapping between the two of them and when you add that to an adorable baby boy, a crazy Southern family, and situations that leave a grin plastered to your face, you get an adorable story.

Life doesn't always go the way a person has it mapped out and sometimes that's a good thing, but both Quinn and Cooper are wrestling with choices and life paths that could have lasting consequences and I loved watching it all unfold. These are such great characters with strengths and weakness, learning to navigate life and responsibility.

There's a little bit of everything in this book--conflict, drama, and romance, to name a few--but it's a perfect recipe of success and I loved every minute of it.

Content: mild romance

*I received a copy to review, which had no influence on my thoughts and opinions.*

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Buy Link:

http://amzn.to/2hvsDEy 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas 2017 Reading List

Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas 2017
starts in just FOUR more days!

I've put my reading list together and hope to get through
as many of these as I can.

What will you be reading to get in the
Christmas mood?

All is Merri and Bright by Tifani Clark
The Trouble With Mistletoe by Jennifer Snow 
More Trouble in Loveland by Jennifer Peel
Christmas Secrets by Donna Hatch
Christmas in Three Rivers by Liz Isaacson
Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk
The Lumberjack’s Yuletide Bride by Kimberly Krey
How to Kiss a Billionaire: Billionaire Beach Romance by Cami Checketts
Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace
The Christmas Boyfriend by Taylor Hart
Hot Cocoa Wars by Christene Houston
Fall in Love For Christmas by Rebecca Talley

The Darkest Summer by Rebecca J. Greenwood


The Darkest Summer by Rebecca J. Greenwood
Paperback
Published November 14th 2017 by Sweetwater Books 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34954017-the-darkest-summer
Lady Cora Winfield's life has always gone according to plan--her mother's plan. That's why Cora is so fascinated when she meets the dark Duke of Blackdale. Knowing his dangerous reputation, Cora's mother flatly forbids the match, and the duke decides to take matters into his own hands. Kidnapped and facing a scandal, Lady Cora must now decide whether love will be her downfall or the beginning of a new plan, one she never dreamed possible.

Set in the stormy summer of 1816, this Regency romance is a retelling of the myth of Hades and Persephone.
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My Review: 4.5 Stars 
This is one story that almost took me by more of a surprise than it did the characters. After a semi-slow start, this book whirled me away into a captivating story of the unexpected and charmed the socks off of me. 

I often wonder if the world was made up of book characters, how many inhabitants would be perfectly perfect and gorgeous individuals. I loved that Cora and Adam weren't the most handsome of characters, but they each had intriguing qualities that really made them seem like your normal, average human being. Of course, their unique personalities really complemented one another and make them absolutely more attractive, especially because of their interactions with servants and each other.
It seems that many Regencies have young ladies who are under their parents' thumbs and Cora isn't an exception. You would think her mother would be happy with any match, especially to a titled man, but that's not the case. She has foolish reasons for turning Adam away and really comes across as the "bad guy" in this book. 
I found Cora's fascination with horticulture endearing and Adam's dark, lurking ways appealing, especially when he makes up his mind about what he wants and the lengths he goes to in order to get it. The secondary characters really add to the plot and although it's slightly darker in nature, it's still very compelling and a book worth reading, as it's not your typical Regency romance. 
Content: very mild violence; mild romance
*I received a copy to review, which didn't affect my opinion or thoughts in any way.*
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Buy Links:
http://amzn.to/2yDItUo  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-darkest-summer-rebecca-greenwood/1126326709?ean=9781462120949

Giveaway:
  

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Darkest Summer by Rebecca J.  Greenwood

The Darkest Summer

by Rebecca J. Greenwood

Giveaway ends November 27, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh {Review}

Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh
Kindle Edition, 382 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Waterfall Press 
 
 
 
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Courtney Walsh returns with a hopeful and emotional new book about seizing second chances, finding yourself, and forging your own path.
 
Beth Whitaker isn’t supposed to be a small-town girl. She’s always dreamed of leaving Willow Grove, Illinois, for the big city, but she feels trapped, struggling to make up for a mistake that’s haunted her for years. Just when Beth is finally ready to break free, her sister impulsively buys a beloved but run-down farm on the outskirts of town, and she begs Beth to help with the restoration. Reluctantly, Beth agrees to help—and puts her own dreams on hold once again.

Drew Barlow hasn’t been back to Fairwind Farm since he was a boy, and he’s spent all these years trying to outrun the pain of a past he thought he buried long ago. When he learns that the owner has passed away, his heart knows it’s finally time to do the right thing. Returning to Willow Grove, Drew revisits the old farm, where he attempts to piece together his memories and the puzzle of the crime he witnessed so long ago.

Both on a journey to find peace, Beth and Drew are surprised when they begin to experience a restoration of their own. But when long-buried secrets break through the soil and the truth unfurls, will it threaten their budding relationship—and the very future of the farm?
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My Review: 5 Stars

It seems to be common for people, as they are growing up, to wish for what they don't have. Beth dreams of leaving her small town to make it big in the city. And she learns the hard way that plans and dreams don't always work out the way one would hope and expect that they would. She finds herself right back smack dab in the middle of her former life, after a short stint in the city, and just exists. Until her sister, Molly, makes a rash purchase.

Beth and Molly are so different from one another and from what I gathered, they didn't always get along really well because of those differences. Now that they are adults, they are each able to embrace themselves and complement and accept each other in ways they never could have imagined. I love the sibling friendship and camaraderie, as it really felt true to life.

Another element to the book that I loved is Drew. He has a secret and is an enigma for sure. I love how the mystery unraveled, especially since that piece to the story was light and was an invisible force that connected Drew and Beth. It's such a treat to have some depth to their budding attraction.

This is the type of book that really invokes the warm-fuzzy feel goods. The setting is as comforting as a security blanket and the characters are rich, complex, and flawed, with great potential for growth. I was completely drawn into the book and loved it all.

Content: mild romance; mild violence; moderate+ religious elements.

*I received a copy to review, which had no influence on my thoughts and opinions.*
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Buy Links:

http://amzn.to/2hyBNnv  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hometown-girl-courtney-walsh/1125896249?ean=9781542045636

Monday, November 13, 2017

Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas 2017 -- 411


Hey party people! Since we have finalized what we'll be doing for our Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas we thought we would share the details with you! It is going to be SO much fun! We cannot WAIT for it to start!

So... without further adieu... here's all the fun stuff we have in store for you!

Sweet Morsels Monday - What are holidays without yummy treats?! This is a post sharing the recipes to some of our favorite treats we love to make during the holidays!

Tradition Tuesday - No holiday would be complete without traditions! We all have them! This is a post sharing some of ours with you!

Whispering Wednesday - Are you like us and love getting to know your favorite authors? Without amazing authors writing books we wouldn't even have a Swoon Fest! This post is a Q&A with 4 of our favorite authors!

Happily Ever After Thursday - We are all suckers for a Happily Ever After! When we shared our lists with each other we discovered that we all wanted to read the same books written by the authors for Wednesday's post. We thought it would be perfect to interview the characters from each of these books! We just HAVE to know how their HEA is going!

Festivity Friday - You cannot have a Swoon Fest without winners! Each Friday we will be announcing the winners for the week. We will also be posting the links to the various reviews that come in.

For the prizes that will be mailed out, it will be open to US Residents only. 

There will be several ways for you to win! *Post a review for any Swoony Christmas book on Amazon or Goodreads, post a review of any of the books we highlight on Thursdays, leave a comment on any of our blog posts, share the giveaway on social media, follow each of us and the authors we highlight on Wednesdays.

*For the reviews, they will need to be at least 100 words and MUST be read during Swoon Fest.

And there you have it folks! All the 411 for our very first Christmas Swoon Fest! We hope everyone is as excited about it as we are! Make your lists... check them twice... and HAVE YOURSELF A VERY SWOONY CHRISTMAS! It all starts on Sunday!

Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright {Review}



Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright
ebook, 320 pages
Published: November 7, 2017 by Shadow Mountain




Ever since Emma read Pride and Prejudice, she's been in love with Mr. Darcy and has regarded Jane Austen as the expert on all things romantic. So naturally when Emma falls for Blake Hampton and he invites her home to meet his parents, she is positive an engagement is in her future. After all, Blake is a single man in possession of a good fortune, and thus must be in want of a wife.

But when it turns out that what Blake actually wants is more of a hook-up than a honeymoon, Emma is hurt, betrayed, and furious. She throws herself deeper into her work as CMO of Kinetics, the fastest growing gym franchise in the nation. She loves her work, and she's good at it, which is why she bristles when her boss brings in a consultant to help her spearhead the new facilities on the East Coast. Her frustration turns to shock when that consultant turns out to be Blake's younger brother, Lucas.

Emma is determined not to fall for Lucas, but as she gets to know him, she realizes that Lucas is nothing like his brother. He is kind and attentive and spends his time and money caring for the less fortunate.

What she can't understand is why Lucas continues to try to push her back into Blake's arms when he so clearly has fallen as hard for her as she has fallen for him. It isn't until Lucas reveals to Emma that he was adopted into the Hampton family that she begins to understand his loyalty to Blake as well as his devotion to the child April-she is Lucas's biological niece.

Emma opens up to Lucas about the feelings of abandonment she has harbored ever since she was a child and her mother left the family. As she helps Lucas deal with his past demons, she is able to exorcise some of her own.

Realizing that her love life is as complicated as anything Jane Austen could have dreamed up, Emma must find a way to let Blake know that it's time for him to let her go and to let Lucas know it's time for him to love her back.



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My Review: 5 Stars

I'm a big Jane Austen fan and a complete romantic at heart. I love the way that Julie Wright brings such a beloved classic to a contemporary light and gives this age-old story a slightly new twist. By doing so, my heart was happy because I could feel the comfort of an old familiar favorite but the exhilarating freshness was something new. 

Have you ever taken someone's words as law and then been disappointed when it turns out they weren't as magical as you thought they were? That's kind of what happens to Emma. She is a great character, let me just say. On one hand, she's very competent and strong, but on the other hand, she only needs to be loved and when her boyfriend, Blake, disillusions her with his fishy ways, she goes as far as to renounce Jane Austen. *gasp!* The cast of characters is pleasurable and I loved getting to know Lucas, Blake's brother, better, especially as he's thrown together with Emma through their jobs. In fact, I daresay that Lucas's vague persistence nearly made me swoon a few times. 

This story really resonated with me and I adored it all. The middle portion was slightly slower, but I honestly couldn't read it quickly enough. I especially loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Sometimes hard things happen to great people and I love how both Emma and Lucas are able to triumph over their pasts. This is a great read for any Austen lover.

Content: mild romance

*I received a copy, which had no influence on my thoughts and opinions.*

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Buy Links:

http://amzn.to/2yvaMV3 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Author's Corner #11

Welcome to Author's Corner hosted by Bookworm NationKatie's Clean Book Collection and KJ's Book Nook! Once a month we will feature either a favorite author or new to us author. We will share the author's bio, one of our favorite books of theirs and a review. Each of us will be featuring a different author each month so there will also be links to each of our posts.
For this month's Author's Corner I am going to choose...

Julie Coulter Bellon

Julie Coulter Bellon

Julie Coulter Bellon is the author of more than a dozen romantic suspense novels. Her book All Fall Down won the RONE award for Best Suspense and Pocket Full of Posies won a RONE Honorable Mention for Best Suspense.

Julie loves her work partly because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news---which is where she gets her story ideas.

Julie offers writing and publishing tips as well as her take on life on her blog ldswritermom.blogspot.com You can also find out about all her upcoming projects at her website juliebellon.com

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Julie Coulter Bellon writes really great military suspense books,
which I thought was fitting for Veteran's Day.
I have no idea how she captures the feelings so well, but she does.
This is one of my favorites of hers.

The Captive (Griffin Force, #1)


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Be sure to check out
KJ's Book Nook
and
Bookworm Nation
to see some of their favorite authors!

Which authors do you enjoy reading?