Saturday, May 30, 2015

Stay With Me -- More of Me (The Montgomery Brothers) by Samantha Chase

I am enjoying reading each book in the Montgomery series by author Samantha Chase. This is a perfect series to read at the beach or on summer vacation. Each book contains well paced storylines interesting characters and fabulous dialogue. William Montgomery is the central character in all of the Montgomery books. He has a new passion-- finding spouses for his sons, nephews and nieces! His matchmaking skills are tested in Stay With Me and More of Me!

Stay With Me is a very emotional, compelling story of love and forgiveness. It's my personal favorite in the series (so far). I adored the hero workaholic Mackenzie Montgomery and his heroine Gina Micelli. Their story is a twist on the opposites attract trope.

Gina travels to North Carolina to visit with her terminally ill father Arthur Micelli who is William Montgomery's best friend. Gina settles in in the Montgomery guesthouse to be near the hospital.

Before heading out of town, William gives his oldest son Mac an ultimatum. He is to leave the office by 5pm or take an extended leave of absence. William asks Mac to check in on Gina while he is away. Mac shows up at the guesthouse with pizza and beer and forgets all about work when he sees Gina by the pool in her bikini!

Samantha Chase takes a potentially heartbreaking situation and provides the characters with a positive life lesson. Gina is given a huge gift by her father; the opportunity for happiness. During their conversations at the hospital, Arthur encourages Gina to figure out what she wants to do--not what others expect her to do. This part of the book was very emotional and well - written. The honest Father- Daughter discussions brought tears to my eyes. Loved the conversations between Gina and Mac. They took time to listen and appreciate each other and became friends over hamburgers, French fries and shakes. Mac is impacted by this lesson as well. He realizes that he is looking forward to spending time with Gina and his family and learns that there is more to life than Montgomery Industries.

The last few chapters of this full length novel are well-paced and superbly crafted. I was invested in the characters and their story and finished the book in an afternoon. The conflict, characters, dialogue and storyline were spot on. Enjoyed how Mac's parents and brothers and their brides were woven into the story as it added to the continuity of the series, I found the ending rewarding and absolutely loved Mac's grand gesture!! He remembered! (With a little help!)

William Montgomery asks his nephew Ryder Montgomery to meet with wedding planner Casey Peterson in More of Me. I enjoyed this classic second chance at romance. It's a fun story filled with passion and fabulous characters and is a perfect beach read!

Ryder meets former girlfriend Casey while jogging on the beach. He is unaware that his uncle has suggested that Ryder step in due to a family crisis and decide on his cousins wedding venue. Ryder feels guilty because he ended things with Casey badly when they broke up twelve years ago. He's very attracted to Casey and decides to use this opportunity to win back Casey's heart.

Samantha Chase infuses More of Me with a lot of great dialogue and quirky characters. I loved the fact that when Ryder saw Casey with her partner's baby, he mistakenly assumed it was Casey's child. Ryder stressed over this for a few days. And Casey let him stew! My favorite scene in the novel occurred when Casey and Ryder were observing a wedding venue. Two elderly guests, Minnie and Izzy, find Ryder and Casey hiding by the a big potted plant and accuse the couple of hanky panky at their nieces wedding and suggest that they get a room! Ryder explains that there is no hanky panky going on-it's all about business and mentions that Casey is married. The aunts take Casey's side in the situation when she explains her side if the story. The aunts invite the couple to sit at their table at the wedding reception. The conversations between the aunts (there are a total of five), Casey and Ryder are loud out loud funny.

More of Me is an enjoyable, light read told with lots of style and humor. I love a great second chance at love story. Enjoyed how the couple talked through (with the Aunts help!) what happened when Ryder left Casey. I felt it was important that Casey admitted she was hurt and wasn't sure if she could trust Ryder. I appreciated that couple needed to learn to trust each other and that it would take time and effort to succeed. Loved, loved the ending of the novel as it provided a few surprises for Ryder and Casey and it introduces the reader to the Montgomery cousins.

Reviewed by Susan Gorman
Book provided by Samantha Chase
Book, poster and book marks provided by Samantha Chase.

Contest Question:

What is your favorite type of romance novel?? Second chance at love, Opposites attract, Friends to lovers or Instant attraction?

For a chance to win a copy of Stay with Me and More of Me, a poster and bookmarks, please provide both your answer and email address below in the comments section.

The winner will be drawn on Saturday, June 6 , 2015 and contacted by Susan Gorman.

Lady Celeste would like to thank Samantha Chase for providing the gifts for our contest!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Home Sweet Home ~~ By Candis Terry

I love to read a well written novella with interesting characters and an engaging plot. Candis Terry's Home Sweet Home resonated with me and I read it in one afternoon.

"Aiden? I can see by the look in your eyes that you have a lot going on in your mind. I know you've been through more than than most people could ever imagine. I won't tell you I understand. I won't lie and say I know how you feel."

She reached across the table and covered his hand with her own. The contrast was startling. Hers was small and soft. His was large and callused. 

The compassion in the simple gesture stole his breath.

He'd forgotten the power of a tender touch.

A gentle moment.

A quiet calm that soothed a soul.

Author Candis Terry has created a fabulous community in her Sweet Texas novels.  Sweet is a small town filled with lots of real life drama, quirky and loveable characters, and sexy heros and their heroines. The hero of Home Sweet Home  is Army  Ranger Lieutenant Aiden Marshall who has returned home to Texas a changed man. He has experienced first hand the nightmare of war, watched his two childhood friends die in an explosion and left his beloved dog in Afganistan. Suffering from survivor's guilt, he is a man without hope.

Paige Walker has waited patiently for Aiden, her high school sweetheart, to return home. Ms Terry has created a strong, endearing heroine in this story. Paige knows what she wants. And that's Aiden. While Aiden has been serving in Afghanistan, Paige has started her own accounting business, bought a home and started an apple orchard. Paige steadfastly believes that she and Aiden can overcome anything. She believes in them. Paige understand that Aiden needs to come to terms with his many losses before he can move forward. 

I loved the chemistry between our hero and heroine and that they had been faithful to each other while Aiden served in the military. What they shared was special to both of them.  Home Sweet Home is a compassionate powerful story of a couple finding their way home. I loved that the towns people of Sweet were able to show their hometown hero  how much his service in the Army meant to them. It was very heartwarming. The resolution was beautifully written-- just perfect for this couple and quite emotional. 

I read Home Sweet Home  during Memorial Day weekend. It was the perfect time to reflect and read about the sacrifices that our servicemen endure to protect our freedom. 

Reviewed by Susan Gorman
Book purchased via Amazon by Susan Gorman 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Must Love Scotland -Highland Holidays BOOK 3 by Grace Burrowes

Read an excerpt here

What are the first three words that you think of when someone mentions the word Scotland?

For me, the words heather, whiskey and kilts come to mind; not necessarily in that order.

I am loving each one of the stories within the Highland Holiday series! Each novella is well- paced, entertaining and provides a slice -of -life look into the lives of the tight knit Cromarty clan, their friends and the guests visiting Dunroamin Cottage. The author's descriptive voice adds credibility to the storyline as the reader can imagine tasting the toffee pudding, smelling the flowers and listening to the music playing at the local pub. Must Love Scotland contains two charming novellas Love On The Links and My Heartthrob's In The Highlands. The novellas feature sisters Julie and Megan Leonard who travel to Scotland for different reasons. Recently divorced, Julie Leonard has travelled to Scotland to improve her golf game in an effort to be considered for a judgeship appointment. Megan is in the middle of securing a loan to expand her business when her sister calls and invites her to Scotland.

Grace Burrowes is a gifted storyteller who creates unique characters who are faced with every day career and family choices. She tells her character's stories with humor and compassion. In Love On The Links, Julie Leonard's self esteem has been shattered by her ex-husband 's infidelity. She is focused on pursuing a judgeship because it's the next logical step in her career path. Niall Cromarty is Julie's golf instructor. A former golf professional, he has plans to expand his golf course which his neighbor and former best friend , Declan MacPherson, strongly opposes. Declan is my favorite character in this series. His relationship with Niall is important because it provides a the backstory to the reader and connects each of the characters to the present day story. The kilt wearing, whiskey drinking farmer and his lamb steal many of the scenes in Love on the Links . I was pleased to see Declan as Megan's love interest in the second novella!!

Julie's sister Megan Leonard is the heroine in My Heartthrob's In The Highlands. Megan is focused on her career and has put her professional dreams ahead of her personal ones. This excerpt from Megan and Declan's story intrigued me and I preordered this book after reading it. The characters grabbed my attention. I had to know how the author brought the whiskey drinking farmer and the pragmatic business woman together. This couple had lots of chemistry and I enjoyed reading every single page of this novella!!

Loved the humor and compassion in both of the novellas. Julie's character resonated with me. She was faced with career and personal choices. Would she take a leap of faith and make a career change? I wondered what she would discover as she read through Declan's great, great granny's will. Would she be able to find some wording that would put an end to Niall and Declan's dispute? Megan has a few decisions to make as well. Will she stay in Scotland and enjoy her holiday or travel back to the States to start a second florist shop? And what happens to Wee Mary?

If you love Grace Burrowes historical novels, you will adore these two modern day stories set in the Scottish Highlands. Make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Marian Johnson Your.
Reviewed by Susan Gorman
Book purchased by Susan Gorman

Friday, May 8, 2015

Movie Review- Hector and the Search for Happiness

Movie Review
Originally released in
Germany August 2014
I got a copy at Redbox to review
It runs 114 minutes

You just never know sometimes. You watch a trailer for a
movie or someone recommends it to you and it just does
not sound like it will be very good. But for some reason you
watch it anyway. And occasionally, you are glad that you did.
This is one of those times.

Here is how IMDB described this movie.
"A psychiatrist searches the globe to find the secret of happiness."
And basically, that's it. That's what the movie is about.
It's thought provoking. It makes you question and
wonder and day dream.
It's about love and life and living. It will remind you how
important these things are.
I highly recommend this for any grown ups. Looking for
a movie to make you laugh and lift your spirit.
It's rated R. I think it said for nudity. Its very
minimal. Same with violence. Very minimal.
But young people, even teenagers,
they won't get it.

Reviewed by Lisa Hutson

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

While You Were Spying - Book Review

Book Review
Released 7 April 2015

This is the beginning to a new series by Shana Galen.

When she was young and everything seemed to be a
life ending crisis, Francesca found herself standing in the
middle of a ballroom all alone. Her partner had left her
there.  Just left her. It was humiliating. The feelings have
stuck with her.
Years later....Francesca finds herself talking to her long

ago dance partner. Much to her frustration, he does not
remember her at all.

She opened the door to the drawing room and glided inside.
Ethan ground his teeth, then watched as the girl
plodded after her mother.
His every instinct told him entering that room would be a
mistake. He'd be trapped, alone with the crazed,
Italian-squawking woman. He looked back along the
entryway toward the door.
The majordomo stepped behind him, cutting off his exit.
"My Lord." The man indicated the drawing room with a
graceful gesture.
Damn. Outmaneuvered, Ethan took a step forward. He
could almost feel the invisible silk strands tighten around him. 

Ethan, Marquess of Winterbourne, is deep in a mission.
He is on orders from the foreign office trying to uncover the
leaders of a smuggling ring. The last thing he needs is to
run into Francesca. But there they are. Ethan has no idea how
he got so trapped. He has put Francesca in a bad spot. So he
will protect her. All the while, falling more in love, becoming
more ensnared in her web.

Francesca and Ethan's story was so well rounded. The 

characters are funny, smart, tough. Both him and her!
I laughed more in this story than I have in a long time.
A lot of personality and a lot of story. Plus a lot of future

for this series.
Review by Lisa Hutson
I purchased a copy of this
story for my kindle.