Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wind Chime Summer by Sophie Moss

Wind Chime Summer
by Sophie Moss
Wind Chime Summer is
Book Three of
The Wind Chimes Novels
I spent a few years volunteering at my local USO.
It was an amazing time. I felt like I was making a
true contribution to the great men, women and
the families of those that protect this country. I also
had the opportunity to talk to many service members,
veterans and their families. I learned a lot. There was
one subject that came up so much. PTSD.
We all know that it isn't an issue exclusive to service
members. But that is what this story is centered on.
Without question, Sophie Moss wrote a wonderful
love story including a group of characters that
are very brave, strong men and women.
Wind Chime Summer is a romantic story. But it isn't
a romance that comes easily. Both Ryan and Izzy have
to fight hard to get to the place where they can have a
true relationship with romance. Ryan is coming to terms
with his own issues. Family history mostly.
Then its Izzy Rivera. She has been falling deeper and
deeper into the haze, terror and anger of PTSD.
Stemming from her service time in the Army.
As with
most people, she thinks she can handle it.
If she can only find a way to deal a particular person.
Of course, there is so much more to it than this one guy
or one incident. In the end, Izzy does get the help she
needed. On many fronts. And from many people.
Ryan and Izzy are perfect for each other, of course.
Ryan is infinitely patient. Izzy is determined.
They find their way to each other. Ryan also finds a
way to connect with his father.
And Izzy finds her way back to the kitchen.
Ahh, the love. The wonderful deep emotion that is
the biggest part of this wind chime summer.
The soft sounds and beauty of the wind chimes
is romantic and magical. Its proven in every story.
I want to add something. Here is a link.
If you or someone you know needs help.
I hope this will lead you to the people
you need. Maybe its just a starting point.
But I truly hope you will find the help
from somewhere.
I have enjoyed every book in this series.
I bought the first book. The second two were
arcs given to me in exchange for an
honest review.
This review by Lisa Hutson


Monday, September 18, 2017

Susan's Review of The Cowboy Who Got Away by Nancy Robards Thompson -Celebration, TX series

Hunky bull rider Jude Campbell seems to have the world by the proverbial horns. But when the world champion returns to Celebration for his high school reunion, he's confronted by the ghosts he'd worked so hard to forget. Not to mention the high school love who got away... Bridezilla wrangler Juliette Lowell is as gorgeous and genuine as she was as Jude's homecoming queen. And the spark between them burns as bright as ever. But Jules still smarts from Jude's betrayal years before. And as successful as he seems, Jude's struggling with the prospect of hanging up his spurs. But with his queen, Juliette, by his side, maybe this homecoming will take once and for all

Every inch of him needed her. Even if he hadn't been conscious of it before, he wanted to hold her like this, feel her just like this, from the moment he saw her standing there talking to herself in the middle of Lucy's barn. The desire had grown as they'd sat in the Redbird and reminisced and laughed like old friends and now it was so great it had rendered him half out of his mind.

Even so, he hadn't planned on seducing her--or has she seduced him? That was the thing about them. They tended to spontaneously combust when they were around each other. Sometimes it was difficult to discern where one of them stopped and the other began.

How had they gone so long without each other?

High school reunions bring up lots of memories and the 10-year reunion is often considered a milestone; as people are conscious of their marital, career and financial status. The Cowboy Who Got Away explores these themes as Juliette Lowell and Jude Campbell are given a second chance at love when Jude arrives in Celebration just in time for their 10th reunion.

Juliette has appeared in several of Nancy Robards Thompson’s Celebration books and I was thrilled to read her story. As a popular wedding consultant, she creates magical weddings for her clients. However, Juliette has dealt with one too many demanding bridezilla and is growing tired of travelling that her job entails. Jude Campbell overhears Juliette talking to herself in her office at the Campbell Wedding Barn after a client (bridezilla!!) meeting and asks about the situation. Juliette is surprised to see her high school boyfriend after ten years. Jude has left the bull riding circuit because he has suffered a concussion; he’s spending time at home and looking to rekindle his relationship with Juliette.

Nancy Robards Thompson perfectly balances the present attraction between Jude and Juliette with the couple’s need to sort through their past break up. As a reader, I could relate to Juliette. Her relationship with Jude meant everything to her and it took her a long time to get over him. Can she trust him? The author is spot on with the emotional poignant conversations between the couple. Jude opens up to Juliette about his relationship with his father, self-doubts and current career situation. Will he choose love or his career?

Several contemporary themes are woven in this tender, sexy story. Jude was very open about the concussions that he suffered while pursuing the bull riding championship. The concussion protocol is something all athletes should adhere to. Ms. Thompson did a fantastic job bringing this element into the storyline. Loved that Jude and Juliette danced to Blake Shelton’s Mine Would Be You at the reunion. The dance scene was superbly written and each one of the author’s words described the love that Jude and Juliette shared as well as the heartache they felt. Jude over hears that Juliette has been offered a job based in London; this leads to a huge misunderstanding between them. Can Jude and Juliette work through this situation?

I loved the conclusion of the novel—it’s full of love, understanding and a teensy piece of irony which I loved! And it works perfectly for this couple!

Reviewed By Susan Gorman

Book provided by the author.

National bestselling author Nancy Robards Thompson lives and writes in Florida, but her imagination transports her all over the world. She’s worked a myriad of jobs including television show stand-in; production and extras casting for movies; and several mind-numbing jobs in the fashion industry and public relations. She earned a degree in journalism only to realize reporting “just the facts” bored her silly. Much more content to report to her muse, Nancy has found Nirvana doing what she loves most – writing contemporary and historical romance and women’s fiction full-time. After hanging up her press pass, this two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart struck gold in July 2002 when she won the award. Since then, she’s gone on to sell more than 30 books, which critics have deemed, “…funny, smart and observant.”

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Susan's Review of The Duke's Bridal Path by Grace Burrowes and Theresa Romain

Two Regency novellas of true love deep in the English countryside....Legend says that the first gentleman a lady kisses on the Duke's Bridle' Path will become her true love. Grace Burrowes and Theresa Romain say it's not that easy...

In His Grace for the Win, by Grace Burrowes, Philippe, Duke of Lavelle, has sworn off all things equestrian after his brother's riding accident. Just one tiny problem: The woman who steals Philippe's heart, Harriet Talbot, loves horses, and generally only notices men when they're in the saddle. Will Philippe rise to the challenge, or come a cropper for the sake of true love?

In Desperately Seeking Scandal, by Theresa Romain, ambitious London reporter Colin Goddard follows a trail of scandal to the Lavelle seat in Berkshire, hoping to save his career with articles on how to snare a wealthy spouse. What was intended as a humorous series turns seductive, as Lady Ada Ellis, sister to the duke, uncovers Colin’s true purpose and challenges him to a battle of wits…and wills, and hearts. But if they fall in love, one of them will lose everything. Who will triumph?

I am THRILLED to recommend the Grace Burrowes-Theresa Romain duet The Duke’s Bridle Path! The characters and their unique stories appealed to me and the transition from Ms. Burrowes’ story to Ms. Romain’s piece was seamless. The setting, the family history and the character cross over between stories is perfectly crafted and both authors did a fabulous job exploring how the death of Jonas Ellis changes the fate of both his brother and sister.

His Grace For the Win is a captivating friends -to - lovers romance. Phillipe Ellis transitioned from spare to heir when his brother died in a horse riding accident. I enjoy Grace Burrowes’ writing because her characters are relatable. I emphasized with Phillippe because he had to assume his brother’ title and responsibilities after his death. His ability to choose his future was taken away from him. Harriet Talbot has assumed the majority of the workload on the family’s horse farm. She did not have a choice as her father is elderly. I felt for Harriet when she assumes that Phillippe sees her as nothing more as an old friend.

Ms. Burrowes has a gift for creating wonderful secondary characters and Lord Ramsdale and Jackson Talbot are fabulous! I loved how much they enjoyed matchmaking! Both Ramsdale and the Duke notice the changes at the Talbot Farm. Ramsdale mentions to Phillipe that the Talbots are not doing well financially and asks the Duke how he’s going to fix it.

I enjoyed the back and forth conversations between Ramsdale and the Duke. Ramsdale understands
that Phillipe has feelings for Harriet he challenges Phillipe to be a better neighbor, friend and brother. The banter between the two friends is priceless—Ramsdale mentions giving Harriet a dowry, Phillipe imagines that Ramsdale might be interested in Harriet which leads him straight to the Talbot riding ring where Jackson Talbot arranges to have Harriet supervise the Duke’s riding lessons personally.

Loved the riding lesson scenes and how Harriet approaches her task—the reader sees that Harriet has a great sense of humor and that she cares deeply for the Duke. The couple becomes close as the lessons progress. Harriet helps Phillipe regain his confidence on horseback. This is a turning point in the story as it provides him with the confidence to pick himself up after a bad fall and the courage to deal with his past and embrace his future; not his brothers. There are a few surprises in the last two chapters of the novella—and the ending was perfect!

And I am hoping that Ms. Burrowes has a HEA planned for Ramsdale!

The conversations between Lady Ada Eillis and reporter Colin Goddard in Desperately Seeking Scandal by Theresa Romain are fabulous! The witty banter between Lady Ada and Colin sets the tone for this novella which describes how Jonas Ellis’ death effected his sister’s chance for happiness. Ada makes it clear to Colin that the untruths printed his popular scandal sheet resulted in her broken engagement.

Ada knows that Colin is in town to gather information about her family for his paper and she outmaneuvers him by proposing a bargain. Colin must pretend that he and Ada are in love while her former fiancée and his new bride are in the village. He must play his part to perfection and, in turn,
she will help him write his articles.

Loved the secondary character of Samuel Goddard and the reason why Samuel and Colin worked together as a team. Samuel is Colin’s true north and points out several truths to Colin during the novella. Both Lady Ada and Colin struggle with their pretend relationship – both must make tough personal choices. Will Colin choose love or money? Will Ada rejoin society? 

Ms. Romain does a superb job writing the last chapter of the novella; I felt for Ada and was surprised by Colin’s decision. The big reveal at the end of the novel made me laugh—well done!

If you enjoy reading books by Shana Galen, Caroline Linden and Miranda Neville--you will love The Duke's Bridal Path!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

ARC provided by the authors

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan

New York, Actually
by Sarah Morgan
From Manhattan With Love Series
Book #4
And there is Molly (Aggie). She has made a career of
teaching how to make relationships work. Very
successfully, I might add. Problem is, she has no clue
how to be in a relationship herself. Well, a relationship
with a man, not her best boy, Valentine. Her Dalmatian.
Next up, Daniel. A successful divorce attorney. He is great
at relationships. Well, not a relationship with a woman.
He is a great brother, friend, lawyer but not so much
as a boyfriend. Daniel spots Molly while jogging in the park.
She has Valentine with her. So Daniel decides to borrow
a dog, Brutus. Thinking this will give him an easy way to
meet up with the woman of his dreams. 
For a short while, anyway.

New York, Actually is a fun and very busy romantic read.
Not just one but two main character dogs. How great is that?
It's two people that have no interest in a relationship
lasting any length of time. They both agree.
Not to fall in love.
'He was right of course.
She was scared.
If you fell, next time you were more careful
where you stepped. And she'd fallen hard.'
Both Molly and Daniel are sure they not only won't
fall in love. They are sure they can't fall in love. So this
is a relationship that's safe.
Only, of course, it isn't.
Who will fall first? Who will fall hardest?
Who will learn the most about themselves?
Sarah Morgan has written a lovely romance story.
With all the good stuff that we look for when
picking a book. I hope you will enjoy reading it.
I bought my copy from Amazon
Review by Lisa Hutson