Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

The Trouble with Mistletoe
by Jill Shalvis
"I certainly didn't plan for an escape clause when I fell
in love with you."
She stilled and stared up at him.
"Wait. What?"
Jesus, had he really just said that?
Just opened a vein here when she had
one foot out
the door.
Yep, he'd said it. Later, he'd think it was like getting
a brain freeze after gulping down a slurpee too fast.
There was nothing but the burn for a long beat as
his mind went into a free fall.
He loved her.
Keane Winters found himself in charge of a cat.
Petunia. A cat that he could not handle. He heard of
Southpark. A pet shop that he hoped would pet sit
for him. He knocked on the door before the store
even opened. Holding a pink bedazzled pet carrier.
Willa Davis recognized Keane Winters immediately.
And he did not recognize her. At all.
If he weren't holding an animal that she was
guessing needed something, she would have turned
and walked away. But Willa couldn't do that to
whatever was inside the carrier.
This was the moment. The moment when lives change.
Jill Shalvis is a wonderful writer. Her stories always
hit you right there. Right where it counts.
And this new story from the Heartbreaker Bay
series does just that. It will hit you right in the
heart and the funny bone.
I bought my copy from
Review by Lisa Hutson

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Collateral Beaty - Movie Review

Collateral Beauty
Movie Review

I am normally a terrible judge of movies.
Unless it's a movie that just can't lose, I will
usually pick the duds.
Now, this one, I win! People around me all
thought it looked awful. So I went, by myself,
on opening day.
I was so glad I did. It is wonderful. It will get
you right in the middle. I have since gotten my
husband to go with me. We both agreed, it is not
the movie you are thinking it will be.
I know, Will Smith has kind of lost his golden boy
shine. It's been a while since he did a good one.
But he hit a homerun with this one.
I highly recommend it. I am so glad I
went for it. Take some tissues and be prepared
to do some deep thinking afterward.
Only in a wonderful good happy way.
Review by Lisa Hutson

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Trouble With Dukes By Grace Burrowes

The Trouble With Dukes By Grace Burrowes

Lady Celeste is very pleased to share the first chapter of The Trouble With Dukes by Grace Burrowes!

Enjoy the early Christmas gift from Grace and watch for Susan's review!

P.S. Don't you love the UK cover?

 Miss Megan Windham is falling in love with Hamish MacHugh, the newly title Duke of Murdoch. Megan’s cousins, however, Westhaven, St. Just, and Valentine, will take an interest in her situation that closely resembles, well, meddling…

Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven was too self-disciplined to glance at the clock more than once every five minutes, but he could see the shadow of an oak limb start its afternoon march up the wall of his study. The remains of a beef sandwich sat on a tray at his elbow, and soon his youngest child would go down for a nap.

 Westhaven brought his attention back to the pleasurable business of reviewing household expenses, though Anna’s accounting was meticulous. He obliged his countess’s request to look over the books because of the small insights he gained regarding his family. 

 They were using fewer candles, testament to Spring’s arrival and longer hours of daylight. 

 The wine cellar had required some attention, another harbinger of the upcoming social season. 

 Anna had spent a bit much on Cousin Megan’s birthday gift, but a music box was a perfect choice for Megan.

 “You haven’t moved in all the months I’ve been gone,” said a humorous baritone. “You’re like one of those statues, standing guard through the seasons, until some obliging brother comes along to demand that you join him in the park for a hack on a pretty afternoon.” 

 Home safe. Devlin St. Just’s dark hair was tousled, his clothes wrinkled, his boots dusty, but he was once again, home safe. 

 The words were an irrational product of Westhaven’s memory, for his mind produced them every time he saw his older half-brother after a prolonged absence. Westhaven crossed the study with more swiftness than dignity, hand extended toward his brother. 

 “Good God, you stink, St. Just, and the dust of the road will befoul my carpets wherever you pass.”

 St. Just took Westhaven’s proffered hand and yanked the earl close enough for a quick, back-thumping hug.

 “I stink, you scold. Give a man a brandy while he befouls your carpets, and good day to you too.”

 Westhaven obliged, mostly to have something to do other than gawk at his brother. Yorkshire was too far away, the winters were too long and miserable, and St. Just visited too infrequently, but every time he did visit, he seemed…. Lighter. More settled, more at peace. And if ever a man was happy to smell of horse, it was St. Just.

 “I have whisky,” Westhaven said. “I’m told the barbarians to the north favor it over brandy.” 

"If you had decent whisky, I might consider it, but you’re a brandy snob, so brandy it is. How are the children?” 

 Thank God for the topic of children, which allowed two men who’d missed each other terribly to avoid admitting as much.

 “The children are noisy, expensive, and a trial to any parent’s nerves. Our parents come by, dispensing falsehoods regarding my own youth along with a surfeit of sweets. Then their graces parents swan off, leaving my kingdom in utter disarray.” 

 Westhaven passed St. Just a healthy portion of spirits, though being St. Just, he waited until Westhaven was holding his own glass.

 “To kingdoms in disarray,” St. Just said, touching his glass to Westhaven’s. “Try uprooting your womenfolk and dragging them hundreds of miles on the king’s highway. Your realm shrinks to the proportions of one very unforgiving saddle. Rather like being on campaign.” 

 St. Just could do this now—make passing, halfway humorous references to his army days. For the first two years after he’d mustered out, he’d been unable to remain sober during a thunderstorm. 

 “Her ladyship is well?” Westhaven asked. “My Emmie is a saint,” St. Just countered, taking the seat behind Westhaven’s desk. “If you die, I want this chair.” 

 “Spare me your military humor. If I die, you and Valentine are guardians of my children.” 

A dusty boot thunked onto the corner of Westhaven’s antique desk, the same corner upon which Westhaven’s own, much less dusty boots, were often propped, provided the door was closed. 

"Val and I? You didn’t make Moreland their guardian?” 

 “His grace will intrude, meddle, advise, maneuver, interfere, and otherwise orchestrate matters as he sees fit, abetted by our lovely mother in all particulars. Putting legal authority over the children in your hands was my pathetic gesture toward thwarting the ducal schemes. You will, of course, oblige my guilt over this presumption by giving me a similar role in the lives of your children.” 

 St. Just closed his eyes. He was a handsome fellow, handsomer for having regained some of the muscle he’d had as a younger man.

 “I can hear His Grace’s voice when you start braying about what I shall oblige and troweling on verbs in sextuplicate.”

 “Is that a word?” 

"Trowel, yes, a humble verb. Probably Saxon rather than Roman in origin.” 

Westhaven  pretended to savor his brandy, when he was in truth savoring the fact that his older brother would—in all his dirt—come to Westhaven’s establishment before calling upon the ducal household.

 “Where is your countess, St. Just? She’s usually affixed to your side like a very pretty cocklebur.”

 “Where’s yours?” St. Just retorted. “I dropped Emmie and the girls off at Louisa and Joseph’s, though I’m to collect them—” 

 The door opened, and a handsome dark-haired fellow sauntered in, Westhaven’s butler looking choleric on his heels. 

 “I come seeking asylum,” Lord Valentine said. 

 St. Just was on his feet and across the room almost before Val had finished speaking. The oldest and youngest Windham brothers bore a resemblance, both dark-haired, and both carrying with them a physical sense of passion. Valentine loved his music, St. Just his horses, and yet the brothers were alike in a way Westhaven appreciated more than he envied—mostly. 

 “You come seeking my good brandy,” Westhaven said, when Val had been properly embraced and thumped by St. Just. “Here.”

 He passed Valentine his own portion and poured another for himself. 

 “We were about to toast our happy state of marital pandemonium,” St. Just said. “Or so Westhaven thinks. I’m in truth fortifying myself to storm the ducal citadel.” 

 Valentine took his turn in Westhaven’s chair. “I’d blow retreat if I were you.”

 West Haven took one of the chairs across from the desk. “What have their graces done now?”

 Valentine preferred to prop his boots—moderately dusty—on the opposite corner from his brothers. This put the sunlight over Val’s left shoulder. 

 None of the brothers had any gray hairs yet, something of a competition in Westhaven’s mind, though he wasn’t sure whether first past the post would be the winner or the loser. They were only in their thirties, but they were all fathers of small children—small Windham children. 

 “His grace is sending Uncle Tony and Aunt Gladys on maneuvers in Wales directly after the ball,” Valentine said, “while her grace will snatch up our cousins, doubtless in anticipation of some matchmaking.” 

 They had four female cousins: Beth, Charlotte, Megan, and Anwen. They were lovely young women, red-haired, intelligent, and well dowered, but they were Windhams, and thus in no hurry to marry. 

 A situation the duchess sought to remedy. 

 “So that’s why Megan was particularly effusive in her suggestions that I come south,” St. Just mused, opening a japanned box on the mantel. “Emmie said something untoward was afoot.”

 A piece of marzipan disappeared down St. Just’s maw. 

 “Goes well with brandy,” he said, offering the box to Val, who took two. “Westhaven?” 

 “How generous of you, St. Just.” He took three, though the desk held another box, which his brothers might not find. His children hadn’t. 


 “Beth and Megan have both been through enough seasons to know how to repel boarders,” Westhaven said. 

 “I wondered what their graces would do when they got us all married off,” Valentine mused, brandy glass held just so before his elegant mouth. “I thought they’d turn to charitable works, a rest between rounds until the grandchildren grew older.” 

 He tossed a bit of marizipan in the air and caught it in his mouth, just he would have twenty years earlier, and the sight pleased Westhaven in a way that he might admit when all of his hair was gray.

 “Beth is weakening,” Westhaven said. “She’s become prone to megrims, sore knees, a touch of a sniffle. Anna and I do what we can, but the children keep us busy, as does the business of the dukedom.”

 “And we all thank God you’ve taken that mare’s nest in hand,” St. Just said, lifting his glass. “How do matters stand, if you don’t mind a soldier’s blunt speech?”

 “We’re firmly on our financial feet,” Westhaven said. “Oddly enough, Moreland is in part responsible. Because he didn’t bother with wartime speculation, when the Corsican was finally buttoned up, once for all, our finances went through none of the difficult adjustments many others are still reeling from.” 

 “If you ever do reel,” Valentine said, “you will apply to me for assistance, or I’ll thrash you silly, Westhaven.” 

"And to me,” St. Just said. “Or I’ll finish the job Valentine starts.”

 “My thanks for your violent threats,” Westhaven said, hiding a smile behind his brandy glass. “Do I take it you fellows would rather establish yourselves under my roof than at the ducal mansion?” 

 Valentine and St. Just exchanged a look that put Westhaven in mind of their parents. 

 “If we’re to coordinate the defense of our unmarried lady cousins,” St. Just said, “then it makes sense we’d impose on your hospitality, Westhaven.” 

 “We’re agreed then,” Valentine said, raiding the tin once more. “Ellen will be relieved. Noise and excitement aren’t good for a woman in her condition, and this place will be only half as uproarious as Moreland House.” 

 “We must think of our cousins,” St. Just replied. “The combined might of the duke and duchess of Moreland are arrayed against the freedom of four dear and determined young ladies who will not surrender their spinsterhood lightly.” 

 “Nor should they,” Westhaven murmured, replacing the lid on the tin, only for St. Just to pry it off. “We had the right to choose as we saw fit, as did our sisters. You’d think their graces would have learned their lessons by now.” 

 A knock sounded on the door. Valentine sat up straight, St. Just hopped to his feet to replace the tin on the mantel, and was standing, hands behind his back, when Westhaven bid the next caller to enter.

 “His Grace, the Duke of Moreland, my lords,” the butler announced. 

 In the next instant, Percival Windham stepped nimbly around the butler and marched into the study.

 “Well done, well done. My boys have called a meeting of the Windham subcommittee on the disgraceful surplus of spinsters soon to be gathered into her grace’s care. St. Just, you’re looking well. Valentine, when did you take to wearing jam on your linen?” 

 Moreland swiped the tin off the mantel, opened it, took the chair next to Westhaven and set the box in the middle of the desk. 

 “I’m listening, gentlemen,” the duke said, popping a sweet into his mouth. “Unless you want to see your old papa lose what few wits he has remaining after raising you lot, you will please tell me how to get your cousins married off post haste. The duchess has spoken, and we are her slaves in all things, are we not?”

Westhaven reached for a piece of marzipan, St. Just fetched the brandy decanter, and Valentine sent the butler for sandwiches, because what on earth could any of them say to a ducal proclamation such as that?

Christmas With An Angel by Debbie Mason

Author: Debbie Mason
Series: Harmony Harbor, #1.5

On Sale: December 6, 2016
Publisher: Forever Yours
eBook$.99 USD

It's been eight long years since Michael Gallagher has laid eyes on Shay Angel, back when he was a boy from the most prominent family in town and she was a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. But he hadn't cared about their differencesuntil one bad decision landed her in jail.

That was years ago and now he's back in Harmony Harbor for the holidays. So when Shay goes missing, Michael is intent on finding her—and finding out if their sizzling attraction is still there. But he's now a district attorney, and it looks like Shay is once again on the wrong side of the law.

Debbie Mason’s novella Christmas With An Angel is a fabulous follow-up story to Mistletoe Cottage. Both stories are set in Harmony Harbor and in my opinion, the author is spot on with her description of life in a small community north of Boston. Ms. Mason captures the small town feeling and the unique characters of a tight knit community where everyone knows each other’s secrets.

Christmas With An Angel features Michael Gallagher and his former teenage love Shay Angel. Michael Gallagher is having a bad day. His fiancĂ©e jilted him the day before their wedding, changed the locks on his condo and threatened him with a law suit. He’s cancelled his credit and debit cards and needs to figure out how to rescue his dog who is in the condo. Overwhelmed and feeling sorry for himself, he decides to go to a bar and get drunk. Michael meets Shay at the bar and the patrons accept him as one of their own when he tells them about being dumped and his concern for his dog.

Debbie Mason’s characters and her dialogue are fabulous. She is able to capture Michael’s self -pity, his need to make amends and redemption is this superbly written fast paced short story. Ms. Mason provided enough insight and mystery into the character of Shay to hold my interest. There were several suspenseful, tense scenes in the novel. The conclusion of Christmas With An Angel has several unexpected surprises and was well done! The author left several clues about Michael and Shay and other characters and I am interested to see who is featured in the next Harmony Harbor book!

Reviewed By Susan Gorman
ARC provided by the publisher

Debbie Mason is the bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado and Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their "likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots" (RT Book Reviews). When she isn't writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, three wonderful children, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella in Ontario, Canada

Mistletoe Cottage, #1 | Christmas With An Angel, #1.5 | Starlight Bride, #2 | Primrose Lane, #3
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Pirate for Christmas by Anna Campbell

A Pirate for Christmas
by Anna Campbell
Bess Farrar knows her place. She knows what needs to be
done. Who should do it. And how. Bess has been writing to
the new Earl of Channing but receiving no response. She
finally decides she can only take action, face to face.

The new Earl of Channing finds himself taking over the
household after his brother dies. Scotsman Rory Beatman
barely knew his brother. When he arrives to take over as
Earl, there are wild rumors about his past. So he has much
to deal with and learn.
"This woman was meant for him. He
wasn't sure yet what he felt about it, but the
conclusion was inescapable."
A Pirate for Christmas is a fun and romantic
Christmas story. It's a novella. But it
did not feel that way as I was reading it.
Often times, writers rush the ending when
writing a short story. But Anna Campbell
did not do so here. It is a happy ending
with much Christmas spirit.
The characters are fun and not so easily
predictable for a short story.
If you are looking for a quick read, I
recommend this one.
I got my copy from Amazon.
Review by Lisa Hutson


Friday, December 9, 2016

The Scottish Duke by Karen Ranney

a new series about dashing, charismatic dukes—
and the women who tame them…

The Duke Trilogy #1
Karen Ranney
Releasing Nov 29th, 2016
Avon Books

New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney returns with the first novel in a new series about dashing, charismatic dukes—and the women who tame them…

Though raised as a gentleman’s daughter, Lorna Gordon is obliged to take a position as an upstairs maid at Blackhall Castle when her father dies. Alex Russell, the Duke of Kinross, is the most tempting man she’s ever seen—and completely unattainable—until, at a fancy dress ball, Lorna disguises herself as Marie Antoinette and pursues an illicit tryst…with scandalous consequences.

Months after his mysterious seductress disappears, Alex encounters her again. Far from the schemer the distrustful duke assumed her to be, Lorna is fiercely independent and resourceful. She’s the one woman capable of piercing his defenses. But when danger threatens Lorna, Alex must prove himself not just the lover of her fantasies, but the man who will fight to protect her. 

The last thing Alexander Russell, the 9th Duke of Kinross, wanted to do was mingle with his guests. He could put the time to better use. Nor did he have friends among the throng. Acquaintances, perhaps, but few could be called more than that, especially after this afternoon when he’d been subjected to a humiliating rout.
Nevertheless, Alex forced himself to enter the ballroom, pasting a smile on his face that hid his true feelings.
The ballroom had been polished like a seldom worn crown. The three rows of four brass and crystal chandeliers illuminated every inch of the massive room, reflecting light off the windows and making the floor shine.
The jewels in the crown were the women, most of whom had taken to the idea of a fancy dress ball with enthusiasm, choosing costumes ranging from stunning to amusing with a few ridiculous examples in between. A half dozen hapless husbands were dressed to compliment their wives’ choices, but most men were attired in black evening dress.
At least twenty-five of them had witnessed his drubbing this afternoon.
Tonight’s entertainment was the last time he’d have to stand here and smile fatuously. He couldn’t wait for them all to be driven back to the train station tomorrow morning, en route to their various homes. The Scottish Society for Scientific Achievement could go to hell and with it their annual medal.
Someone in this room was a traitor. Not to country, even though they might well stoop to that. Someone here, being feted and entertained, had betrayed him. That was the only reason Simons had won the damn medal. Alex’s research was nearly word for word with the other man’s. His subjects were more numerous, however, numbering in the thousands to Simons’ hundreds. Even Simons’ conclusions, enumerated on the last page of his paper, had sounded too close to his own words. But his findings had been submitted to the Society a good three months before Simon’s. Three months, yet Simons had been the one critically acclaimed.
Someone had leaked the results of his research. Either a member of the Society attending this ball, the last event of a torturous week of hosting at Blackhall Castle, or someone to whom he’d confided about his work.
“You must learn to trust people, Alex,” his mother had once said to him.
He couldn’t remember why she’d offered up the sentiment, but he could remember the occasion. They’d been standing in Blackhall’s chapel and watching as the bronze plaque had been affixed to his wife’s last resting place.
He could also recall his response. He’d turned to her and said, “Why?”
She hadn’t an answer, which was a pity. Perhaps her words could have softened his emotion. Ruth, the late Duchess of Kinross, hadn’t been faithful, a fact that had been tearfully admitted by her sister.
“You mustn’t hate her, Alex. Ruth always wanted admiration. When you were too busy to give it to her, she sought it elsewhere.”
His wife would have enjoyed this ball. She would have purchased something ruinously expensive to wear, and no doubt a little shocking. She would have flitted among the guests, charming everyone. He could almost see her golden hair bobbing as she turned to greet one person then another. The noise level was intense in the ballroom and his memory furnished her laughter. Those who’d never come to Blackhall would leave with praises for her on their lips.
She made us feel so welcome. 
What a gracious person the duchess is. 
How beautiful she is and that gown!
Ruth had a bright and receptive approach to life. If it was interesting or exciting, Ruth wanted to experience it. Her blond beauty was only enhanced by her trilling laugh, a smile that she used to great advantage and a skilled, almost manipulative way, she had of making any man feel as if he were the most important person in a room.
Ruth collected people the way other women collected gloves. She had dozens of friends, each one of whom thought she was the most important person in Ruth’s life. They never figured out that Ruth didn’t care about them individually. She only wanted the adulation such friends brought to her. The more important, titled, or wealthy the better. He had come to believe it was the same reason she’d married him.
By the second month of his marriage he realized she didn’t give a flying farthing for him. He was just a mark on a mental scorecard, an item no more important than a scarf from her dresser or a gown from her armoire.
After her death he’d been approached by one poor sod who’d openly wept about her passing. He’d wanted to ask the man if he genuinely believed Ruth had loved him, then realized that the truth wouldn’t serve any purpose.
As far as he was concerned, Ruth wasn’t capable of loving anyone other than herself.
He had no doubt that, given the passage of years, she would have still charmed people. They would have said things like: she hasn’t changed, has she? She’s still one of the most beautiful women in Scotland, isn’t she?
Ruth would have gloried in their comments. She would have draped herself in diamonds whose sparkle matched that in her eyes. Did you hear that, Alex? They did enjoy themselves, didn’t they? We should entertain again soon, I think.
Even perched in the middle of the Highlands, Blackhall Castle had once been known for its hospitality, its entertainments, and its beauty.
The beauty had never faded even though it took a fortune to maintain. The entertainments were fewer lately; he hadn’t the inclination to invite hoards of people to his home. And the hospitality? At the moment, he wished them all to perdition, including the men from the Society in their evening attire, clustered in small groups around the ballroom.
Who would Ruth have dressed as tonight? He suspected she would prefer to come as herself, the Duchess of Kinross. Or perhaps she would have stolen her sister’s costume. Mary was Cleopatra, her long, white tunnel like dress adorned with an intricate gold necklace. His mother was Queen Elizabeth, if he didn’t miss his guess, complete with a bright curly red wig.
Why was Ruth at the forefront of his mind tonight? Because he felt betrayed again? Because this was the first ball they’d held since her death three years ago? Because he’d been made raw with this feeling that he’d been a fool?
The orchestra his mother had hired was excellent. They were playing a waltz and a great many people were dancing. He should be a good host and greet his guests, but he had neither the will nor the ability to mask his emotions that well. He was furious, the rage building with each moment he stood there.
He waited until a footman was near, then gave him an order in a low voice. In moments the young man returned with a tumbler filled with whiskey.
“Watch me,” he said. “When it’s empty, I want you to bring me another one.”
“Yes, Your Grace.”
He didn’t drink often, but tonight he was going to with the single minded pursuit of drunkenness. He could only remember two times he’d done something similar in recent memory: the day he’d learned his wife had been unfaithful and the day she’d died in childbirth, taking his heir with her. Or perhaps the child hadn’t been his after all, a question he’d never have answered.
Tonight seemed an excellent occasion as well. He was facing the destruction of a dream, one brought about by someone he’d trusted.
“You must learn to trust people, Alex.”
The echo of his mother’s voice intruded into his thoughts.
Why seemed as good a word as any in response. Or perhaps a resounding no would suffice.

Karen Ranney’s The Scottish Duke is an enchanting read. At first, it appeared to be a classic fairy tale;as a servant girl meets a duke at a masquerade ball. Although Alex Russell, the Duke of Kinross, is a very handsome man, the brooding, standoffish duke is the total opposite of Prince Charming! Lorna Gordon traveled extensively with her scientist father. Her unconventional upbringing resulted in Lorna being  extremely  self-sufficient, she has studied the healing powers of herbs and plants and is able to prepare natural ointments and tonics. I loved that the author reworked the Cinderella trope in this novel providing a poignant and entertaining read!

I enjoyed that the two main characters were very intelligent, interested in scientific studies and total opposites. Having two strong main characters made for a fascinating read! Alex is a scientist with an interest in the study of finger prints while Lorna is finishing the research and artwork on her late father's book on plants and herbs.  Alex has  been disappointed in love and does not trust easily while Lorna is very  open  and giving. The attraction between the couple when they first met was strong,passionate and exciting and drew me into the story. Alex and Lorna have several serious obstacles to overcome and their relationship develops as the story progresses. Their journey was realistic because the couple had to understand and accept each other before they could trust each other.
Karen Ranney writes fabulous secondary characters. I loved Louise,the Dowager Duchess and Alex’s uncle, Thomas and Lorna’s friend Nan and would love to read their stories (especially a love story for Louise!). The author includes several emotional scenes which depict the social and moral climate of the Victorian era. The Scottish Duke is a passionate tale of forgiveness, friendship and trust. The author weaves in a bit of mystery and social commentary which adds to the book’s well- paced stunning conclusion.
If you enjoy books by authors Lisa Kleypas and Grace Burrowes—you will love this novel as well.
Reviewed by Susan Gorman

Karen Ranney wanted to be a writer from the time she was five years old and filled her Big Chief tablet with stories. People in stories did amazing things and she was too shy to do anything amazing. Years spent in Japan, Paris, and Italy, however, not only fueled her imagination but proved she wasn't that shy after all.

Now a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, she prefers to keep her adventures between the covers of her books. Karen lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Letters at Christmas by Amber Lin

Letters at Christmas
by Amber Lin

I found this story on my kindle. I don't even
remember buying it. But Amazon says I did.
I have read Amber Lin before but never any
historical romance from her. Since I have
been in the Christmas reading mood, this one
came up in the rotation. It's a short story.
But I have to say, Letters at Christmas
 did not read like one.
Hale was born on the wrong side of the blanket
as the saying goes. But as so often happens,
Hale and Sidony fell in love. Sidony being the
heroine of the story. She is tough, smart and
brave. Born in the big house.
'She smiled gently. "You didn't want to be
your father. Well, you're not. You're a strong,
kind-hearted man. That's who I fell in love
with, Hale."
His insides felt jagged, his throat raw. Was
she right? Had he proved to himself that
he wasn't his father?' 
Hale was determined that he would make himself
into a man deserving of Sidony. And in the
meantime, he would give her every chance to move
on if she wanted to.
When he finally makes his way back to her,
she isn't sure she can forgive his absence. Can he
convince Sidony that he has loved her all along?
Will she be able to trust that he won't leave again?
Love is a matter of trust and compromise. But who
will give in first?
I bought my copy from Amazon
Review by Lisa Hutson

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis

One Snowy Night
by Jill Shalvis

Oh gosh golly gee, its that time of year
again!! Reading Christmas stories. Though
I do it through the rest of the year as well.
Jill Shalvis is a very popular contemporary
romance writer. Because she is terrific.
Her stories always have at least a bit of
comedy. Regular people are reading these
stories after all. We all put off getting
the battery in the car changed. We all make
mistakes and wind up in odd situations.
And we all love reading about people that
do the same silly things we all do.
Then fall in head over heels in love.
'He hadn't so much as blinked as she basically
yelled at him but she thought maybe
there was a the slightest softening in his hard
eyes. "Okay," he said.
"Okay." She let out a breath and nodded. "Good."
"You ready to go inside now or do you need 
to yell at me some more?" he asked.
She choked out a laugh and 
got out of the truck.'
Max and Rory have known each other forever.
Only misunderstandings got in the way.
Now that they find themselves in a car
traveling through a terrible snow storm, can
they sort it all out? Can they leave the past
in the past and grab hold of each other?
Can they sort out the hurt and

One Snowy Night is a fun romantic story.
It can remind us how easy it is to let the
wrong things matter. We all can sometimes
make things worse in our memory than they
really were.  Forgiveness and the
benefit of doubt can sooth so many hurts.
I bought my copy from Amazon.
Review by Lisa Hutson