New Release Review and Giveaway! DATING THE WRONG MR. RIGHT by Amanda Ashby (The Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm #3)


Dating the Wrong Mr. Right
by Amanda Ashby
Publication Date: June 19, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Contemporary, Romance

SYNOPSIS:
Pepper Watson has lost everything–her job, her fiancé, and the future she’d so carefully planned. Now she’s back at Wishing Bridge trying to figure out her next step. Her new plan does not include the ever-so-sexy Ben Cooper. Nope. She’s getting her life back on track, and getting out of this little town as fast as possible.

Ben Cooper is doing his best to build his business and help his parents. The last thing he needs is the distraction that is Pepper Watson. She might be prickly every time he’s in her presence, but he sees another side of her. The side that has set aside her dreams to help her sisters. And then there’s the fact that kissing her is pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

He’s putting down roots. She’s running away. It’s going to take more than a wish for these two to find their happily ever after.

goodreads-badge-add-38px

BUY:

Excerpt:

Next to her Coop shifted and lifted a finger up to her cheek. His touch was like a heat-ray and it wasn’t until he dropped his finger and mouthed the word ‘dust’ she remembered the candelabra.

She clamped down on her tongue to steady the uttering sensation in her stomach as she turned her attention back to the real problem. Paul.

Her ex-fiancé might be stubborn and controlling to a fault, but he never liked to contradict himself.

All I have to do is piss him off and he’ll walk away.

Exhilaration at finally getting her life back pumped through her veins and before she could stop herself, she did the one thing she swore she’d never allow herself to do.

She stood on her toes and searched for Coop’s mouth, her cheek still burning from his touch. The plan was to give him a small peck on the lips. Just enough to prove to Paul just how serious she was.

The reality was the moment her mouth brushed his, her stomach swirled and her entire body tingled. Big mistake.

She tried to pull away but forgot Coop’s arm was still around her shoulder and, as his lips formed a smile, he used his other arm to drag her closer, trapping her against his chest.

Somewhere in the distance Paul’s footsteps echoed against the wooden porch. But, it wasn’t until the sound of his engine roared into life she stepped away. Coop was grinning, as if kissing her was the biggest joke in the world.

“Well,” he said in a husky voice as he leaned against the staircase. “That was interesting. And now how about telling me what the hell’s going on?”

Which part? Where I finally got Paul to take me seriously, or that you kiss better than any man has a right to?

Either way, as far as Pepper could tell, she’d solved one problem by creating another one and now she was in trouble. Big, big trouble.

Review:
At long last–Pepper’s story 🙂

If you’ve read the other series books, you knew that Pepper was keeping secrets, and we’ve been almost as anxious as her sisters to figure out what they were. (If you haven’t read the others yet, no worries–this one should work fine as a standalone too…though her sisters play a pretty big part and you’ll probably end up wanting to know their stories as well. Just sayin’) Add in the fact that Pepper’s story is an enemies-to-lovers one, and boy, was I anxious to get to this book.

In many ways, it did not disappoint. We find out Pepper’s secrets–they are pretty heavy ones, and you absolutely want to see her back on her feet. There’s lots of cute moments between Pepper and her two sisters, and we get to see some major life moments for all the residents of Wishing Bridge Farm throughout the course of the book. There are more than a few funny, quirky moments with the townspeople throughout to keep the mood light–from what pie will be chosen for whom and why in the diner to who is going to ask Pepper for legal advice next and what their just left of left field question will be. Pepper and Coop have a history, which always has a lot to add to a story.

There were things, though, that frustrated me here. I love enemies-to-lovers stories, but Pepper’s animosity toward Coop felt like way too much. For all of her stomach swirling desire for him, she kept up the mean prickliness far too long–I’m not sure what kept him going in that direction, honestly. And I’m still scratching my head over their relationship black moment, because I felt even more blindsided by it than the characters did. Then they suffered–though we don’t really see much of it, because it’s off the pages–until they suddenly weren’t anymore. The resolution was cute, but awfully quick, and left me feeling not quite satisfied with how it came about.

Still, the story had an overall feel-good vibe, and I loved seeing Pepper finally open up to her sisters and watch them all progress through their HEAs. The ending really was pretty adorable, and the story even brought us a surprise wedding just to keep things interesting. A nice finish to a sweet series!

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


ABOUT AMANDA ASHBY:

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also works in a library, owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture.

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed by the New York Public Library?s Stuff for the Teen Age. Because she’s mysterious she also writes middle grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.

She also runs writing workshops and loves to speak to people about Buffy (er, she means writing). See her Website for more information.

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release Review and Giveaway! HIS FAMILY OF CONVENIENCE by Amy Ayers (The Medina Legacy)

 

About the Book:

Senna Callas’s one-night stand with her alpha asshole boss, Marco Medina, was supposed to mark the end of her internship and their ridiculous attraction. After being unreachable and ignoring Senna for a year, Marco sweeps back into the country and summons her to his office, revealing he knows her secret…the secret created during their explosive night together.

Marco is determined to be there for the son he’s just discovered he has, but when it comes to being with Senna, his choices aren’t his own. His meddling family expects him, the firstborn son, to follow through with the arranged marriage set up when he was a child. And Senna has no plans on being his mistress and still resents how her attempts to contact Marco were ignored. The only thing going right between them is the attraction that burns no matter the complicated situation they’re in.

Marco would do anything to protect his family, anything except decide between the legacy he was born into and the young family he’s just found…

Purchase:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Add to Goodreads
Excerpt:

He walked over to where she was standing with an involuntary need to be closer to her. She faced him, and the vulnerability etched into her features made him long to take her in his arms and kiss her until she was breathless.

“Please,” she implored, her hands finding their way to a resting spot on his chest. He didn’t know if he could resist her much longer. “The past is, well, the past. We have a son, and we need to look ahead. We don’t have to be best friends or even friendly acquaintances if you don’t want to. But you have to promise me, whatever happens, you’ll always be there for Max. And I don’t mean by sending a check once in a while. Promise me you’ll be a father, a dad. That you’ll take him to a baseball game. Or you’ll take him to the beach and look for starfish together. Promise me you’ll just be a presence in his life. He deserves that.”

He swallowed hard. “Always, princesa. I promise.”

They stood that way for what seemed like a long while, neither speaking, just being close with each other and processing the intimacy between them. He wanted to kiss her. He needed to kiss her. It was all flooding back, all the memories that had been locked away so he could focus on his father and ensure that Medina Enterprises would endure. That his family would endure.

He’d forgotten how her essence had a way of seeping into the marrow of his bones. How hard it was to keep his hands off her while working together. She was honest, pure. No guile. She demanded nothing of him directly, but his body begged to obey hers.

Without thinking, Marco reached up to cup her face, lifting her chin closer to his. He brought her lips to his, and she did nothing to resist. They came together slowly at first; he brushed his lips with hers, tasting, teasing. But he couldn’t hold back, and their kiss intensified. Her arms snaked around his neck and held his head firmly in place. His hands moved lower until they rested low on her hips right above the curve of her behind. He brought her hips closer, eliminating the space between them.

His tongue found its way into her mouth, gently exploring every crevice. She moaned softly under his ministrations, and he was hard and throbbing almost instantly.

How could he have forgotten the sweetness of her lips, the softness of her skin, the silky feel of her tresses as his hands wandered up and down her back? He wanted to sneak out onto the grounds, forgetting about everyone else, and spirit her away to the gentle rolling hills by the nearby lake and spend all night making up for lost time.

Review:
This must be my week for first-time authors 🙂

His Family of Convenience is a quick little read, with a touch of a Cinderella story, some secret baby, and a second-chance romance thrown in for good measure. There isn’t a whole lot of depth to the story–as soon as you think Marco and Senna have run into an insurmountable problem, it’s solved fairly quickly soon after–but still it was an entertaining read. The two of them are very cute together, and Max, of course, is absolutely adorable. The push-and-pull aspect of the story (his original plan for Max and Senna, which he abandons almost immediately after seeing his son and she never finds out about…they can’t be together and push each other away and seconds later are in each other’s arms…he can’t give up his place in the company and loyalty to his family, or can he?) was a bit much at times, but still there’s definite promise in Ms. Ayers’ writing.

We don’t really get to know the other Medinas terribly well here–the focus is really on Senna and Marco and Max–but still, I’ll be keeping an eye open for more of The Medina Legacy in the future.

Rating 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Meet the Author:

Amy Ayers remembers writing her first fiction as an introspective tween in rainy Portland, Oregon. She took a break from writing to move with her family to the desert of Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Women’s Studies which lends itself to writing strong, opinionated heroines. She has worked as an Editor, a Job-Skills Trainer, and as an Executive Assistant. She even spent a college semester writing articles for the Tombstone Epitaph in the town ‘too tough to die’. She currently divides her time between her writing, her family (including one husband, four boys and two dogs), and her daily commute to work. A life-long lover of literature, she began writing her own contemporary romance in earnest in 2014 and is thrilled to be published with Entangled. She hopes to win the lottery someday so that she can devote all of her time to writing; until then, she writes when she can.

Connect: Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

  • $20 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Conversation with Amanda Ashby, Author of THE WEDDING PLANNER’S BABY (Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm #2–with a New Release Review and Giveaway!)

He’ll have to choose between duty to his relatives and  love for the real family he never thought he could have. 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Bec’s quite wild and carefree and Lincoln is an English Lord and despite the differences they bounced really well off each other, which meant it was fun to write them. Plus, I loved Bec’s relationship with her best friend, Coop, so it was always a giggle when they were on the page together!

 

Name three things on your desk right now.

Colored Post It notes and colored pens

A large quartz crystal

A coaster in the shape of a Maori Tiki

(and one thing that isn’t on my desk is me! I tend to travel around the house following the sun like a cat, leaving the desk untouched by human hands!)

 

What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silveria (loved this book so much and when I finished I did that sad blinky thing when you realize that you’re not in book world at all, but rather in your house).

The Starbound Trilogy by Aimee Kaufman and Megan Spooner

 Storm Front by Jim Butcher.

 

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

The silly kind. I do have a tendency to go over the top with the situations that I throw my characters into and I figure that when it gets too ridiculous then my editor will haul me back. Though, every now and then they forget, and I end up with crazy weird things happening in my books. I really shouldn’t be left unattended!

 

What are you favorite types of stories to read?

I read a lot of Young Adult and Fantasy books and often describe my reading tastes as that of a twelve-year-old boy because I like a lot of action, sword fighting and magic. But I also love humor and romance so when I get a book that combines all of these things, I’m pretty happy!

 

What 5 things should readers know about you?

1) I can’t tell my left from my right without shaking my hand and then working out if that’s the one I hold a pen in (and yes, I know about all the tricks of making the letter L with your left hand and no one wishes that way would work more than me. Alas, it does not). However, despite not being able to tell my left from my right, I have a really great sense of direction, which was very handy in the pre Google Map/SatNav days!

2) I was born in Australia but have lived for many years in both England and New Zealand and as a result have a very strange accent. No, seriously, if we were having a strange accent competition I would totally win!

3) I will forever love The Spice Girls and all forms of 90s pop music. This makes my husband shudder, to which I merely reply zig-ah-zig-ah.

4) When it comes to black boots, I’m a firm believer that more is better!

5) The above policy also applies to purses and white linen blouses.

 

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing when I was twenty-seven after suddenly waking up one day and deciding that I should write a book. I wish I could say I was exaggerating and that I’d some inkling when I was younger, but nope. Not a clue. I was really good at creative writing at school and had been a life long reader, but until that moment of clarity, the chances of me being a writer were as likely as me becoming an astronaut (which, no offence to astronauts, but it looks like a lot of work). But I digress. So, after waking up with the idea to write a book I promptly sat down and wrote a 50,000 word romance, enticingly titled Love Story. Yeah. It was as bad as it sounds! It took me about a month to write and if memory serves, I did the whole thing in bold. Because I really was that clueless!!! After that I kept writing more books and learning my craft until I finally sold my debut book ten years later. Probably another reason why I could never be an astronaut. I’m a very slow learner!

 

What do you do when you are not writing?

I also work in the children’s department at my local library, which is awesome! I love books and I love seeing kids reading books so it’s a win/win. I also spend lots of time watching television or having my own nose buried in a book. Oh and I have a small and totally under control addiction to buying vintage treasures, which keeps me busy!!! Apparently I also have a family to feed and water, so let’s pretend that they come further up the list!

 

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

I sure do! For a start, I’m so proud of everyone who listens to their inner voice, who dares to follow their dreams and who steps into the magical space of creativity, it’s an amazing place to be! As for advice, there is quite literally only one way to write a book, and that’s word by word. Yes, you might not have the craft nailed, or understand how a scene works but until you sit down and start writing your story, you’ll never figure it out. So, take a deep breath and get started. You got this!

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also works in a library, owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture.

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed in the New York Public Library Stuff for the Teen Age. Because she’s mysterious she also writes middle grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.

 

THE WEDDING PLANNER’S BABY
Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm #2
Amanda Ashby
Releasing April 10th, 2017
Entangled Bliss

Free-spirited Bec Watson was never having children­––until she is. No way she’s ready for this, and she’s not going to tie-down the father, not even (especially!) if he’s secretly an English Lord. She’s doing this solo, which means she needs help from the one place she swore she’d never return…Wishing Bridge Farm. Home.

Lincoln Mathews has never known love, only responsibility. And now his family home and business is at jeopardy unless he finds a solution. Fast. Their idea? Marry for money. But the girl who stole his heart is carrying their child. His first mission? Follow her to Wishing Bridge Farm. But soon he’ll have to choose between duty to his relatives and love for the real family he never thought he
could have. 


 

“I’m sorry I judged you. I hate when people judge me, and yet I seem to be constantly doing it to you.” Bec sighed, causing her chest to rise and fall beneath her thin T-shirt.

“I didn’t give you much to go on.” Lincoln tried to ignore the cramp in his shoulder. He should move, but if he did, he might somehow break the connection that had opened between them. “What with the whole forgetting to mention who I really was.”

“I understand why you did it.” Bec bit down on her lower lip, making her even more desirable. The numbness in his shoulder disappeared, replaced by the steady pounding of his heart as he drank in the sight of her mouth. “And I could’ve asked more questions. Or taken fewer photographs,” she said.

“At the time it seemed like a good idea.” He dared to inch closer to her, breathing in her aroma—soap and hay and all things bright. His pulse spiked as she let out a tiny moan. The air caught in his throat as the throbbing tension rattled his body.

“It did,” she murmured, her eyes never leaving his. A shudder went through him as her perfume caught in his nose and her lips parted. “Just like right now, this seems like a good idea.”

Desire raced through him. She wants to kiss me as much as I want to kiss her.

He leaned in and pressed his mouth to hers, feather light at first, until Bec let out a soft groan. Lincoln’s arms snaked around her, dragging her closer to him, pushing away all the things standing between them. They were back in Italy. She tasted of juice and sunshine. The sea was behind them, the sand beneath. Bec’s hand looped up around his neck. His title fell away along with his responsibilities. All he could taste was her skin. Her heart pounding—

A cute and fluffy read–a fun way to start the week 🙂

The end of book one ( Falling for the Best Man ) ensured that I was going to sign up for book two–what was Bec’s story? What–or who–was she running from, and why? And…a baby? I was intrigued. Not to mention anxious to see who her hero would be…and a titled English lord? Yes, please!

Though I have to admit Lincoln didn’t seem particularly British, and Bec was more than a little immature…still, they were both quite likable, and wanting to see them get to an HEA kept me turning the pages. Bec’s inner monologue was particularly amusing–I especially felt a kinship with her when she reflected that

All she knew was that she was miserable. And she’d once spent six months trying to study accounting, so she knew a thing or two about misery.

Preach it, sister. Though I had two semesters, so tell me about it.

The Wedding Planner’s Baby would work fine as a standalone, if you haven’t read the first book yet. One sister left to go–we’ve got a pretty good idea where Pepper’s story is going to go, but it will be nice to have confirmation 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release Review! FAKE ENGAGEMENT REAL TEMPTATION by Joya Ryan

Title: Fake Engagement, Real Temptation
Author: Joya Ryan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 30, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Brazen

Synopsis:

Oh. My. God. Carrie Morgan can’t escape her cheating ex fiancé. She goes on her Hawaiian honeymoon fantasy vacation to prove she’s over him—but he’s there with his mistress in tow. Good thing Carrie’s annoyingly over-protective friend Blake came with her. How’s she going to prove to her ex she’s over him? Easy. One… Two… Three… She grabs Blake and kisses him.

Blake Harris isn’t about to let anyone take advantage of his heartbroken friend Carrie. And that includes himself, even if she’s sexy as sin in that bikini. Then she kisses him—and he’s on fire. Damage done, but he can back off. Except he sees that broken look in Carrie’s eyes. No. Hell no. New plan. He intends to show her ex just what he’s thrown away.

The kisses? For show. The heat? Part of the performance. The private practice sessions? Uh-oh. Those are starting to feel a bit too real…

Purchase your copy today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | IBooks | Kobo

Excerpt:

Blake Harris had no idea what he was doing staring down the door of his best friend’s baby sister. Okay, he did have an idea, he just wasn’t loving it.

Carrie Morgan was on the other side of that door, and yes, Blake cared about her. He’d known her brother since they were kids. But this was her wedding. Or it was supposed to be. And now she was on the other side of the door, in tears, because her scumbag fiancé had abandoned her for another woman.

Shit. He’d never been close to her. He’d been sixteen and she’d been nine when his mom had died and he’d spent so many afternoons with her older brother Lane. But hell. Lane was his best friend. He couldn’t just let his sister suffer like this.

Blake would go back to his outdoor guiding business in the mountains soon, bury himself in work, but not before he made sure Carrie was okay.

He hadn’t even had a chance to see her yet since she’d not left the bridal suite in forty-eight hours. Even since she’d gotten word that the groom wasn’t going to show. Could have been worse. She could have been literally stood up at the altar. At least the piece of shit fiancé had told her two days before the wedding.

Now, he was staring down her hotel room door and asking god to open the door.

He knocked twice.

“Carrie?” he called. He heard low music and rustling. “It’s Blake. Come on, little girl, open up.”

Lane was the closest thing to a brother he had, and neither distance or time had changed that. Then there was Carrie. The sweet girl Jake and Lane had spent their teenage years playing Uno with and looking after. Until Blake had graduated college and moved to the city.

Shit. He was an ass for not being around more. Poor girl was likely behind the door crying, and that made him want to punch the douche bag that had hurt her. Maybe later he’d help Lane hunt the prick down.

Blake took the keycard that Lane had given him out of his pocket. “I’m coming in,” he announced. “Just want to check on you…”

Blake peeked in. “Carrie?”

He stepped into the room. It was a massive suite with a sitting area and kitchen. The plush furniture was lined with roses, and unlit candles were scattered around everywhere. Ah shit, so this was her honeymoon suite.

He stepped further in and heard the low sound of music got louder. It was coming from the open bedroom door. He looked in and found—

“What the hell?” he asked, taking in the scene, or rather the woman before him.

The strawberry blond five feet in front of him was moving and shaking in the middle of the room. What was more distracting was the fact that she was doing that in nothing but a pair of panties and matching white tank top. Her eyes were locked on the wide screen hanging on the wall. He glanced at the television. She was doing…jazzercise?

“Carrie?” His voice decided to break a little around the one word he’d said several times but now held a lot more heat. Sure, his blood felt hot, but his skin was cold.

So this is what shock feels like.

She froze and faced him. “Blake?”

He smiled, and her body remained still while her chest heaved with deep breaths. While those inhales made the thin cotton stretch over her breasts in a way that made his mouth instantly water, it was better than her dancing. Because any more bouncing on her part and he might forget she was his best friend’s little sister and lose his damn mind wondering how many more deep breaths it would take to make that tank top non-existent.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, not bothering to cover up. Something he wasn’t completely upset about since the woman was smoking hot. She wasn’t a little girl, he knew that. But he’d barely seen her since she was a teenager. And seeing her now, all woman—worse, his type of woman—that fact hit harder than the last.

He glanced down, attempting to take a break from marveling at her, but all he accomplished was getting flashes of those tone thigh and adorable pink-tipped toes.

Nope. She definitely wasn’t the kid he grew up with anymore. She was twenty-three with a tight body, perfect ass, and breasts he’d just learned had no problem doing a Baywatch slow-motion run in place.

She’d invited him to the wedding, but he realized that she’d likely meant: What the hell are you doing in my hotel room?

“I’m here to see you,” he said.

She nodded as if his answer was good enough and walked to the bedside table. She seemed…carefree? Not at all the crying woman he’d expected to find. Then she grabbed a half empty bottle of Jack Daniels off the table and took a few swigs.

Well that explains things.

“Glad to see you’re staying hydrated,” Blake said. She wasn’t carefree, she was drunk. And exercising. An odd combination, but he could see the logic. Drink away the sorrows and get the endorphins going. He’d try it out himself next time he felt so lonely he forgot why a relationship was off the table for him.

She winced on her final swig and wiped the back of her hand over her mouth.

“Yep. Hydrating is important,” she said. “I’ve got to stick with my video exercise. Been doing this for six months to get ‘bikini ready’ and if I stop now then…”

She trailed off and folded her lips together as if to fight off tears.

Ah, hell. Put him between a woman and a man who meant her harm, he knew what to do. Swing until the other guy went down. But a crying woman? One who’d already been abandoned by the guy? Yet another sign Blake had failed by not saying something. Or at least getting here early. Maybe then he could have caught the scumbag before he disappeared to who knew where.

But nope. Blake’s life and job were a hundred percent on his time and agenda. Freedom was a heady thing, and he would always be free. Never tied to a woman, never love, because the loss that came with love was too much.

But this woman was different. The protective instinct he had came roaring to the surface at the first sign of water lining her eyes. She was hurting. Her shoulders slinking. And there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. But he so badly wanted to.

She shook her head. “I guess I don’t have to do the videos anymore now that I’m not going to Hawaii.” She took another swig. “Guess it didn’t matter how hard I worked out, Kevin left anyway. The whole time he was cheating! Can you believe that? With his trainer. Which, by the way, I want a refund on all those ‘classes’ he signed up for to get his own ass ‘bikini ready,’ because I doubt nailing your trainer burns more calories than a treadmill.”

Review:

Cute and sweet, with some truly funny moments sprinkled throughout–if you like best friend’s little sister or fake relationship troupes, this could be for you. The timeframe, though, feels much too short–sure, they’ve known each other for years, but have never been close (Blake’s own words on page one) and in recent years hadn’t seen each other at all. Overall it made for an enjoyable few hours–Blake and Carrie are likable characters and work well together, and hey, Hawaii–but it definitely could have benefited from more story and character development throughout to make it more.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About The Author:

National and international bestselling author Joya Ryan is the author of more than a dozen adult and new-adult romance novels. Passionate about both cooking and dancing (despite not being too skilled at the latter), she loves traveling and seeking out new adventures. Visit her online at www.joyaryan.com.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

New Release Review and Giveaway! FALLING FOR THE BEST MAN by Amanda Ashby (Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm #1)

 He’s the best man and her secret fling—who said being a wedding planner was easy?
FALLING FOR THE BEST MAN
Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm #1
Amanda Ashby
Releasing Jan 9th, 2017
Entangled Bliss
 
What’s worse than running into your ex-hookup at the airport? When said ‘hookup” is the best man for the most important wedding of your career, and he’s on the hunt for a fake girlfriend. Between a hysterical bride and a wedding party gone wild, wedding planner Emmy Watson can’t afford any more disasters if she wants to save her beloved Wishing Bridge Farm. Which is why she puts the best man on lockdown. Unfortunately, he also happens to be the one guy who can make her forget everything except the way his kisses make her feel.
 
All Christopher Henderson needs is a fake girlfriend to convince his bosses that his bad boy reputation is a thing of the past so he can land his dream job. What better place to find said companion than at a wholesome vintage wedding. The only thing he didn’t count on was seeing Emmy, the woman who dumped him. The one he hasn’t been able to get off his mind.
There’s no denying the spark between them, but he’s a globetrotter and she’s a homebody, and falling in love is something neither of them has in their plans.
 

“Emmy,” he countered, trying not to be distracted by the delectable sight of her chest rising and falling. “One dance. That’s all I’m asking. For old time’s sake.”

Emmy’s lips twitched, and Christopher could almost see the two sides of her battling before the carefree smile he recognized from their time together in New York appeared. It changed the shape of her face and brought everything about their first meeting slamming into his mind. She stood up, so close that his skin prickled with desire.

“Fine. One dance.”

“Great.” He led her to the small wooden dance floor to the left of where the jazz band was playing. Lewis and Miranda were in the middle, and fanned out all around them were the rest of the bridal party, but all Christopher could see was Emmy.

The music pulsated around them, and even the pale yellow moon above swayed to the beat. He sucked in a breath and pulled her toward him. It was a mistake, and his lungs were filled with the smell of her freshly washed hair and the evening clematis climbing up the crumbling brickwork of the courtyard walls. His arms tightened around her waist, and her bunched, tense muscles seemed to relax as she melted into him. The rest of the world disappeared, and all he was conscious of was her pounding heart as it pressed against his.

This was the woman he’d met two years ago.

And it seems I’m just as helpless around her as I ever was. Which is either a good thing, or a very, very bad one. The verdict’s still out.

As if reading his mind, she turned her face up to him, a soft, suggestive smile tugging at her full mouth. Desire flared through him, and if they were anywhere else he would’ve kissed her without a second’s hesitation. He forced himself to return her smile and simply enjoy the way her body molded his.

It wasn’t until the lead singer announced the name of the next song Christopher even realized the music had stopped. Emmy was the first to recover, and she stepped away, her face flushed and her eyes not quite meeting his.

“Um.” She licked her lips. “I’m not sure that was such a good idea.”

“I hate to disagree with you, but I think it was an excellent idea. And one that should definitely be repeated. You can’t deny that there’s still something between us.” Christopher tried to pull her closer as the next song started, but she folded her arms firmly in front of her. Ironically, it highlighted the soft curves of her body.

At this rate I’m going to need a fire engine to cool me down.

“I’m serious,” she insisted before letting out a soft sigh. “You’re right. There is still something between us, but there’s nowhere it can go. I want to save the farm, and you want to go visit every strange nook and cranny in the universe. Don’t you see? Nothing’s changed.”

“My hair’s longer,” Christopher said, but it was obvious by the way Emmy had pushed her lips into two compact lines, she wasn’t in the joking mood. “I know you like to be organized, and I get that, but aren’t you over thinking this? I mean, shouldn’t we be having the fun first and then move on to the serious conversations about why it would never work?”

“I’m sorry.” The muscles around her jaw tightened. “I think we should just be friends.”

“Friends that do friendly things together? Like dancing?” he asked in a hopeful voice.

“How about friends that help other friends ensure the groom’s brother doesn’t do anything he might regret?” she countered.

Christopher winced. Ouch. He’d been friend-zoned. Logically, she had a point. She hadn’t changed her mind, and he wouldn’t change his, which meant it was for the best.

If only someone could inform my body of the situation.

Cute story! I especially enjoyed Emmy’s inner snark; Ms. Ashby’s “voice” is a lot of fun. I liked Emmy and Christopher together and was rooting for them from the first chapter, and though I was a bit annoyed with Emmy’s sisters’ ‘tudes initially, I’m looking forward to seeing where the author will go with their stories, Bec’s especially.

But…the one aspect of the book I wasn’t crazy about was the romantic conflict. Both his and her “issues” felt a bit like overreaction, and therefore didn’t take a whole lot more than some personal reflection for them to get over. On the one hand, yay, they get together for a cute ending. On the other, frustrating–couldn’t they have taken a chill pill six chapters earlier and saved everyone the angst? Still, this was a cute read from an author I’ll definitely be looking for more of in the future.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

 I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also works in a library, owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture.

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed in the New York Public Library Stuff for the Teen Age.

Because she’s mysterious, she also writes middle grade books under the name Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release Review! LEARNING TO RIDE by Erin Knightley (Sunnybell #1)

Learning to Ride
by Erin Knightley

Synopsis:

She never wanted to love a cowboy. . . .

Rodeo king Tanner Callen doesn’t want to be tied down. When he sees Madeline Harper at a local honky-tonk and everything about her screams New York, he brings out every trick in his playbook to take her home. But soon he learns that he doesn’t just want her for a night and, instead, hopes for forever. . . .

Review:

Learning to Ride is short and sweet, though the ending is a bit too rushed to be entirely believable. 129 pages doesn’t quite give enough room (12 pages of the book are essentially advertisements for other BookShots books–both Flames and the regular line) to really flesh out a romance between two people as different as Madeline and Tanner are, though Ms. Knightley does an admirable job of trying. Her characters are likable and the romance is sweet, and Sunnybell, Texas has that charming, small-town feel so popular in fiction today (though Madeline did see a bit of the not-so-charming aspect of it too, when so many of her coworkers knew her business without her even realizing that the entire town had essentially been talking about her. Ah, life in a small-town!) I was looking for a quick read, though, and was curious about the BookShots books that James Patterson wasn’t even pretending to have written himself (yeah, don’t get me started on that topic) so this one fit the bill.

This book serves as a good intro to both the author and the series, even if it isn’t ultimately the most satisfying of romance reads on its own. Book two in the series (The Return) is a second chance romance, a troupe which does tend to do better as a novella, since the characters generally have known each other more than a few weeks before making life-altering decisions based on their relationship, so I’ll definitely give that one a try when it makes its way into our library.

 

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-


View all my reviews

New Release Review and Giveaway! WELCOME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS by Annie Rains (A Hero’s Welcome novel)

Their little charade is working a little too well . . . because Troy’s falling head over heels.

WELCOME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
A Hero’s Welcome #4
Annie Rains
Releasing Nov 8th, 2016
The bestselling Hero’s Welcomes series continues with a juicy Christmas romance set in Seaside, North Carolina, where a bustling military base keeps this small town stocked with dedicated, lovable heroes.
 
Three-hundred-and-sixty-four days a year, Allison Carmichael doesn’t mind being single. It sure beats dating another loser, and it keeps her heart safe. Then there’s that three-hundred-and-sixty-fifth day: Christmas Eve, the traditional time her entire family gathers together—and gangs up on her, demanding to know when she’s going to get married. This year, she swears, is going be different. And that’s why, at a charity auction she’s throwing on-base, she buys herself a man.
Sergeant Troy Matthews insists that he’s not for sale. His time is, though, and he’s happy to donate it. Happier still when he learns the identity of the winning bidder: the redhead with the killer good looks and smart mouth who runs the veteran’s center. Allison needs Troy’s help to fool her family into believing they’re an item, and he’s all too happy to indulge her. But by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, their little charade is working a little too well . . . because Troy’s falling head over heels.

tastytoursexcerpt

 “So there’s one thing I now know about you. You’re a good liar.” Allison folded her arms at her chest.

“Good, maybe. But I value honesty. Sometimes lying to someone is for their own good, though. A little white lie never really hurt anyone. Here’s one for you,” he leaned in closer and lowered his voice, “I have absolutely no interest in dating you, either.”

Her cheeks flushed.

“And I don’t think you’re the most beautiful woman in this room, and the thought of taking you out does not appeal to me whatsoever.” He shook his head. “Nope, not one little bit.”

She smiled. “Now I know two things about you. You lie well and you’re a smooth talker. So, do you agree to my proposal?”

Troy could just say yes, but he was enjoying engaging her in a conversation. “You know, when I was kid, Christmas was always magical. I’d sit with the toy catalog and create this huge, mile-long list of the things I wanted. I never got so excited about a pencil and paper.”

“Did you get everything on the list?” she asked.

“Usually.”

“So your family had money?”

He nodded. His family practically owned the town he’d grown up in. He didn’t know what it felt like to want for something until his cousin Dale had died in 9-11, the deciding factor in him joining the military. “I figure the more money raised for those kids, the better their Christmas will be.”

“That’s my goal. I want this to be the best Christmas Mercy’s kids have ever had.”

“So, if I have to take you out . . .” He trailed off, smiling at her.

“We’re just going to talk. Have a meal or something together. No kissing, no handholding.”

Troy held up his hands. “I’m an honorable guy. I don’t force myself on women. Truth is, I usually have to fight them off.” He winked again.

“And you can’t act like that when you meet my mother.”

“Like what?” he asked.

“All flirty and charming. She’ll never believe that I’d fall for someone like that.”

He tried not to take offense because no matter what she was saying, she was attracted to him. He could see it in her dilated pupils and the way her chest rose just slightly under her racing pulse. “No? What kind of guy exactly would you fall for?”

Allison looked around the room. There was still a nice-sized crowd laughing and mingling. Christmas music filled the merry air. “I wouldn’t fall for any kind of guy right now. That’s why I’m pretending with you.”

tastytoursreview
A sweet holiday story with a fake romance with an expiration date, Welcome Home for Christmas made a nice addition to the Hero’s Welcome series. It would work fine as a standalone, though, if you’re just looking for a holiday-themed story; characters from the other series books make an appearance, but there’s nothing from their stories that you have to have read to enjoy this one.

I really liked Allison and Troy together; the whole buying-a-guy-to-be-your-fake-date-for-a-family-gathering is becoming a bit of a troupe, but it still works for me. Plenty of room for chemistry and denying feelings and all that good stuff that just works when it’s done well. Throw in the fact that an anti-Christmas Marine manages to get his Christmas mojo back and yeah, it’s going to be a win all around. Throw in orphans, and I’m a goner.

I was a little bummed that we didn’t really see Troy working with his K-9 partner much (or at all, really–he spends time with him towards the end, and that was about it) but we don’t really see either of them at work all that much throughout. All the more couple time, then, which it’s hard to argue with 😉

The one aspect of the story that made me a little nuts, though, was Allison’s tendency to overreact to…things. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but there’s two times where something happens and she goes completely around the bend over them. Like, her brand-new-relationship’s-finished kind of over the bend. That part had me gripping my ereader a bit more firmly than usual and giving her a squinty-eyed glare, but since it’s a romance I knew she’d come to her senses…eventually.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 
USA Today
Bestselling Author, Annie Rains, is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors.
 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release Review and Giveaway! TEMPTING TRISTAN by Melissa Foster (Harborside Nights #3)

 Looking for your next sexy M/M romance?

TEMPTING TRISTAN
A M/M Contemporary Romance
Harborside Nights #3
Melissa Foster
Releasing Oct 19th, 2016
World Literary Press

Fresh off the heels of yet another bad relationship, Tristan Brewer is taking a break from men to try and figure out where he keeps going wrong. He knows his biggest fault—he leads with his heart, not his head—and that’s never going to change. But after several introspective weeks, he’s beginning to get a handle on things. That is, until badass heartthrob Alex Wells walks into his bar…

Alex has spent eight years in the Army, months in a hospital bed, and far too long hiding his sexual identity. He’s guilt-ridden, damaged, pissed off, and up for a Silver Star—for the incident that nearly cost him his life, and kept him from his grandmother’s funeral. But all he wants to do is forget his stint with the institution that allows but doesn’t necessarily accept, and live the life he’s always dreamed of.

The chemistry between Tristan and Alex ignites from the moment they meet, and the more time they spend together the hotter the flames become. But the closer Tristan gets, the more Alex’s walls go up, and when the two walk onto a military base, Tristan finds out Alex’s physical scars aren’t the ones that run the deepest.

Excerpt-Banner

“Can I ask you something? You don’t have to answer.”

Tristan shrugs. “Have at it.”

“Why were you taking a break? I get that your ex was a prick, but is there more to it?”

He looks down the street, across the street, and then his hand cruises through his hair as it has so often that I’ve already come to expect it when he’s nervous.

“Ian was a prick, but the rest is going to make me sound like a pussy,” he admits.

“I’ve only known you a day, and I already know nothing can make you sound like a pussy.”

He meets my gaze, and his jaw tightens. He lifts his chin and I recognize the struggle between feeling proud and worrying about looking weak. I fight that battle on a daily basis.

“I give away my heart too easily, and I end up getting hurt.”

His eyes never leave mine, and that trust, that confidence, is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.

“I was right. Nothing can make you sound like a pussy.” I slide my hand to the hard ridge of his jaw and lean in closer. “I’ve never given my heart away. That makes you braver than me.”

 

Review-Banner

Sweet and sexy!

Tristan and Alex are an adorable couple, even if they do fall in love awfully quickly (total insta-love alert…) The main conflicts in the story come from Alex–the difficulties he’s having dealing with the lasting implications of the life-changing injuries he suffered as a solider and the mindset of “lock down, shut up, act straight” that he felt he had to personify during his eight years in the Army. I thought Ms. Foster did a nice job of getting us into his head and showing us the effect these things had on him (OMG, when he visits the pediatric clinic? Tears. So many tears over here), though here too, things got a bit fast-tracked at the end. The healing power of love worked really, really quickly for him…

Tristan, other than having had horrible taste in men up until this point, is basically the perfect partner. I kind of wanted him to reveal a flaw or two along the way, but other than getting a little testy about Alex hiding their relationship when they were back on a military base at one point (which again, he got over pretty fast–“fast” being an ongoing theme here), he was essentially Mr. Perfect Boyfriend from start to finish. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing–they are a great couple and I did enjoy reading the book from start to finish–but the angst factor definitely could have been upped a degree…or five.

Tempting Tristan is the third in the Harborside Nights series, and fifty-seventh(!) in the Love in Bloom one, but it still worked fine as a standalone. As in every other Melissa Foster book I’ve read so far, characters from past books do play a part, making you aware that there’s definitely other stories going on/recently happened out there, but you’ll do perfectly fine not knowing all the details.

Yet. 😉

Though I’ve gotta say, Tempting Tristan does have me pretty anxious to get to Charley and Brandon’s stories ( Chasing Charley and Breaking Brandon –out soon but not nearly soon enough!)

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

BUY NOW

 


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult 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, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release Review and Giveaway! TEMPTING TRISTAN by Melissa Foster (Harborside Nights #3)

Title: Tempting Tristan 
Series: Harborside Nights
Author: Melissa Foster
Genre: A sexy standalone M/M Romance
Release Date: October 19, 2016

Blurb:

Tempting Tristan is a stand-alone M/M romance featuring two sexy, hot alphas.

Fresh off the heels of yet another bad relationship, Tristan Brewer is taking a break from men to try and figure out where he keeps going wrong. He knows his biggest fault–he leads with his heart, not his head–and that’s never going to change. But after several introspective weeks, he’s beginning to get a handle on things. That is, until badass heartthrob Alex Wells walks into his bar…

Alex has spent eight years in the Army, months in a hospital bed, and far too long hiding his sexual identity. He’s guilt-ridden, damaged, pissed off, and up for a Silver Star–for the incident that nearly cost him his life, and kept him from his grandmother’s funeral. But all he wants to do is forget his stint with the institution that allows but doesn’t necessarily accept, and live the life he’s always dreamed of.

The chemistry between Tristan and Alex ignites from the moment they meet, and the more time they spend together the hotter the flames become. But the closer Tristan gets, the more Alex’s walls go up, and when the two walk onto a military base, Tristan finds out Alex’s physical scars aren’t the ones that run the deepest.

***

“Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely

“With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!” New York Times Bestseller J. Kenner

“Catching Cassidy is laugh out loud funny, heartwarming, sexy, and hands down one of my favorite reads so far this year!” #1 NYT Bestselling Author of The Bet, Rachel Van Dyken

HARBORSIDE NIGHTS is a sexy, hot, and evocatively real series of stand-alone romances that follows a group of friends who have known one another for years as “summer” friends, and now come together after college to build their lives. They’re tough, edgy, and accepting–most of the time. This series is written in the same loving, raw, and emotional voice readers have come to love by New York Times & USA Today bestselling, award-winning author Melissa Foster with LGBT themes.

 

 

Amazon US   Amazon PRINT   B&N   iTunes   Google   Kobo

Excerpt from Tempting Tristan (A sexy standalone M/M romance)
© Melissa Foster 2016
She rolls her pretty green eyes. “No, Tristan. Because the hottest man on the planet just parked his motorcycle and he’s heading in here. All of my female customers are drooling, and I’m sure you’ll see a flock of them coming in any minute now. Meanwhile, I’m stuck outside and soon I’ll have a pier full of empty tables.” She grabs a handful of napkins and waves them at me with a smirk. “Drool rags.”“Dibs,” Charley says as she whips up a cocktail.

I laugh and hold my hands up. “I’m on a hiatus from all things male, so be my guest.” My ex, Ian, is a self-absorbed ass, and I was an idiot for letting him treat me like shit. Which is why I’m taking a break from men—even if it kills me. It’s been weeks since we broke up and I moved into my buddy Wyatt’s house. Wyatt and his twin sister, Delilah, own the Taproom. They inherited it when their parents were killed in a car accident a little more than a year ago.

“I’m sure he’s straight anyway,” Livi says. “The guy swaggers like a stud.”

“Hey, gay guys can swagger like studs,” I tease.

“I know that.” Livi peers out the pass-through window to the outside seating area and tosses her blond hair over her shoulder. “You’ll see what I mean. He’s a total badass.”

I tend to my customers as the girls discuss the badass hot guy, and when the front door opens, I can’t help but let my eyes drift over. Livi and Charley fall silent, ogling what truly might be the hottest guy on the planet. Linebacker shoulders fill the doorframe. The godlike creature is carrying a shiny black motorcycle helmet in one very large hand. His white T-shirt is stretched so tight across his chest I can see every ripple of his shredded abs, and his deliciously defined biceps are seriously struggling to be set free from his short sleeves.Tear, baby, tear.

He steps inside and runs a hand through his dirty-blond hair. Deep-set, brooding eyes slide over the customers sitting at the bar, sweep over Charley and Livi, and finally land on me. Charley whimpers, and Livi makes a sound in the back of her throat, both mimicking what I’m feeling, though my mouth is too dry to make a sound.

Review:

Sweet and sexy!

Tristan and Alex are an adorable couple, even if they do fall in love awfully quickly (total insta-love alert…) The main conflicts in the story come from Alex–the difficulties he’s having dealing with the lasting implications of the life-changing injuries he suffered as a solider and the mindset of “lock down, shut up, act straight” that he felt he had to personify during his eight years in the Army. I thought Ms. Foster did a nice job of getting us into his head and showing us the effect these things had on him (OMG, when he visits the pediatric clinic? Tears. So many tears over here), though here too, things got a bit fast-tracked at the end. The healing power of love worked really, really quickly for him…

Tristan, other than having had horrible taste in men up until this point, is basically the perfect partner. I kind of wanted him to reveal a flaw or two along the way, but other than getting a little testy about Alex hiding their relationship when they were back on a military base at one point (which again, he got over pretty fast–“fast” being an ongoing theme here), he was essentially Mr. Perfect Boyfriend from start to finish. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing–they are a great couple and I did enjoy reading the book from start to finish–but the angst factor definitely could have been upped a degree…or five.

Tempting Tristan is the third in the Harborside Nights series, and fifty-seventh(!) in the Love in Bloom one, but it still worked fine as a standalone. As in every other Melissa Foster book I’ve read so far, characters from past books do play a part, making you aware that there’s definitely other stories going on/recently happened out there, but you’ll do perfectly fine not knowing all the details.

Yet. 😉

Though I’ve gotta say, Tempting Tristan does have me pretty anxious to get to Charley and Brandon’s stories (Chasing Charley and Breaking Brandon –out soon, but not nearly soon enough!)

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance (M/F, M/M, F/F), romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical 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. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on Facebook or her personal website.

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

 

  Facebook   iscream sq FacebookStreet Team   Twitter   Website 

 Newsletter   Instagram   Pinterest   Amazon   GR

 

Release Day Review! NOEL’S PUPPY POWER by KaLyn Cooper from the DOG TAGS FOR CHRISTMAS Anthology

Dog Tags for Christmas
by Lindsay McKenna, KaLyn Cooper, and J.M. Madden

Synopsis:

SEAL’s Christmas Dream by J.M. Madden

When Veterinarian Willow James’ office is broken into, it’s natural that she turn to her soul mate, former Navy SEAL K9 handler Joe Flynn, to track down the culprits. The trail leads to a notorious Pit-Bull fighting ring. It may take a Christmas miracle and a helpful nudge from an old partner to get everyone home safely.

Noel’s Puppy Power by KaLyn Cooper

Tanner Hill is better at communicating with animals than women. That might be why he hasn’t had a second date in over two years. He’s also been extremely busy with his kennel that has become the premier training facility, specializing in supplying dogs to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Then again, there is this psychologist he can’t get out of his head, or his heart.

Dr. Bailey Conrad would never allow the loss of half her right leg to an IED in Iraq to stop her. Every day at the VA hospital, she sees patients who have lost so much more to the war effort. It’s her goal in life to help as many vets as possible to find a ‘new normal’, because she knows firsthand, it’s the internal scars that can be the most difficult to heal.

Snowflake’s Gift by Lindsay McKenna

Two veterans—one human,one canine—have returned to Montana to recover from the traumas of war. FormerArmy Ranger Nick Conway depended on his WMD dog Snowflake to help him navigateIEDs on the battlefield. Now he needs his best friend to help him cope with hisPTSD and acclimate to civilian life. When he meets Holly McGuire and agrees to help her deliver meals to the elderly, her inner light calls to him, but his demons hold him back from giving in to his attraction. But Snowflake takes an immediate shine to the kindhearted Holly—and he has never led Nick down the wrong path.

 

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an early copy of Noel’s Puppy Power by KaLyn Cooper from the anthology. I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the anthology!

Review of NOEL’S PUPPY POWER:

A cute story with an adorable puppy! 😉 I liked both Tanner and Bailey–he trains service dogs for veterans (and the veterans themselves, LOL) and she’s a psychologist who certifies the veterans who go on to get one of Tanner’s dogs. So inspirational…and did I mention there’s puppies?

The story could have benefited from a longer format, though–as a novella, it didn’t seem like we quite had all of the background between the two (it’s part of a series, so maybe there was groundwork laid in other books?) and the story itself felt a bit choppy at times. I would have loved to have seen more of their actual work, both with the dogs and the veterans–we mostly just were told that they’d been working after the fact. (Their relationship–and Noel, the puppy–were the focus, which was necessary given the short page count. But still…)

Bailey, who lost part of her leg when an IED exploded was also training to be a paralympian. That part too, I would have loved to see more of–especially the really exciting part that I’m not going to bring up, because–spoilers!

Again, novella. I know.

In spite of its limitations, I did enjoy Noel’s Puppy Power, and am looking forward to reading the other two stories when I have time. (One word: PUPPIES.) Darn grad school! 😉

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

AddtoGoodreads

View all my reviews