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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
 

 
 
 
 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Susan's Review of Donna Alward's Beneath the Badge


Working a short-term assignment in small-town Nova Scotia is just what RCMP officer Matt Parker needs. Traffic violations, some vandalism…things are pretty quiet. Until a call about a puppy mill brings back haunting memories of a case gone bad. Lucky for him, pretty veterinarian Lindsay Swan proves to be a great distraction.

Lindsay can’t resist the sexy police officer, particularly when she sees his tender, caring side. For her, relationships are bad news and accidents waiting to happen, so it’s perfect that Matt is only in town temporarily. And it would be easy to keep things light, until a local woman disappears and Matt’s darkest secret is revealed. Can Lindsay be the support he needs, or will she choose to keep her heart safe?

A plate appeared across from hers on the table, the dish made a small thunk on the heavy wood. ‘Mind if I join you?”
She raised her gaze. Oh Lord, it was him. Up close he had to be six feet or maybe a little taller. The fit of his jeans and t-shirt made him appear lean from a distance but now, up close and personal, she could see that every curve and dip was formed from pure muscle.
He smiled at her. ‘I’m Matt Parker.”

‘I know who you are.” She answered. Jeez, she wasn’t always so inept. Maybe she was spending too much time surrounded by dogs and cats.

‘And you are?’

‘Didn’t you do a little recon at the bar before coming over?’ she asked.

He chuckled. ‘I did. You’re Lindsay Swan and you run the vet clinic just off of Main.”

Beneath the Badge exceeded my expectations. The characters are relatable, the author’s rich descriptive writing style and clever dialogue shine in this novella. The couple’s chemistry and first goodnight kiss drew me into the story. Both characters have flaws; Matt is haunted by his experiences as an uncover police officer while Lindsay has spent years coping with her father’s depression. Ms. Alward shows Matt’s compassionate side when he pitches in and helps at the vet clinic; this scene allowed Lindsay to realize that Matt was more than a charming ladies’ man.

Loved how the couple’s love story unfolded during the story—it’s well-paced and sensuous. Lindsay abruptly ends her relationship with Matt. She fears neither one of them can leave their pasts behind them. Lindsay hears of a missing person case and knows she needs to be there for Matt. Can she put her fears aside and be there for him? The novella’s conclusion is emotional and compelling and brought several tears to my eyes. Beneath the Badge reads like a novel and has all the feels—you will fall in love with Lindsay and Matt as their story is heartfelt and emotional on many levels. And the epilogue is perfect!
★★★★★
Five Stars!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman
ARC provided by the author



While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers.

Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict. You can visit her on the web at www.DonnaAlward.com and join her mailing list at www.DonnaAlward.com/newsletter .




Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Slightly Wicked by Mary Balogh

Slightly Wicked
by Mary Balogh
 ☆☆☆☆☆
 
Book Two of the
Bedwyn Saga
 
This series is a long held favorite of mine. I have
reread it many times. But I have never written a
review before. Slightly Wicked is my favorite of
the series. Though, I love them all.
This one is Rannulfs story. He is carefree and happy,
making the trip to visit his Grandmother.
How the smallest choices and chances can change
your life so dramatically....
He meets Claire Campbell along the way.
She is a confident, talented and beautiful actress.
Rannulf and Claire find themselves stuck in a hotel
due to bad weather and a broken axel.
What is there to do?? Two single, worldly and 
slightly wicked adults find ways to fill the time.
The weather clears and it's time for everyones
journey to continue. Claire leaves without so much as
a ''see you later". Rannulf decides she must have had
her reasons for leaving that way.
As you might have guessed, Rannulf and Claire do
meet up again. But neither of them is prepared
when it happens.
The Bedwyn family is the star of this series.
The whole family. They are each very different
individuals. And yet, they are a very close family.
I am sure each story can stand alone. Though
I have never read them as such.
Each is a wonderful story and I hope you
will enjoy the Bedwyn Saga.
 
 
My copy of this story has been signed
by the amazing Mary Balogh.
As such, it is a great treasure of mine.
Review by Lisa Hutson

 
 
 
 



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Susan's Review of The Real Thing by Melissa Foster


This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—
but is her fake fiancé too hot to handle?


THE REAL THING
Sugar Lake #1
Melissa Foster
Releasing Sept 5, 2017
Montlake


Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move . . . provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement or the real thing—including them.

**THE REAL THING is being published by Montlake (an Amazon imprint) and won’t be available on other ebook retailers, but you can download a FREE ereader app to read it HERE, order the paperback.


PRE-ORDER THE NEXT SUGAR LAKE ROMANCE
ONLY FOR YOU
Releasing December 5th, 2017





Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance 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–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.




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Goodreads Link

Goodreads Series Link



Willow stopped abruptly. Her head tipped forward, her shoulders dropping a smidge as she turned, her hair curtaining one eye. “Zane, just tell me what you’ve done.”

He went to her and reached for her hand, feeling shittier than he’d thought he would. “There is no baking gig. I set all this up to get you here.” Anger flared in her eyes. He continued explaining as fast as he could. “Wills, there’s this focus group for my new film, and they’re worried my reputation will hurt the movie. That fans won’t buy me as a romantic hero.”

She scoffed. “Smart fans.”

“Come on. I need your help.”

“What am I supposed to do? Write a letter to the public telling them Zane Walker isn’t a self-centered playboy? Sorry, not your girl.”

She took a step away, and he hauled her against him. Her hands landed on his chest, which felt amazing, and even with darts shooting from her bright-blue eyes with deathly precision, she was still the most beautiful, alluring woman he’d ever known.

“No,” she seethed. “Whatever it is. No.”

“Come on. Just hear me out.”

Her lips formed a tight line.

“I need a . . .” He could hardly believe what he was about to say. “A fake fiancée.”

“A fake fiancée? What does that mean?”

“We’ll pretend to be engaged so everyone thinks I’m a stand-up guy.”

A disgusted look washed over her face. “No.”

“You owe me, Wills.”





The Real Thing is the first book in Melissa Foster’s Sugar Lake series….and it’s AMAZING! Set in the small town of Sweetwater, New York, the story features the Willow Dalton and Zane Walker. The characters, small town setting and the author‘s fabulous dialogue quickly drew me into the story.

At first, I was not thrilled the ‘fake engagement” trope in this novel. But, I quickly discovered that The Real Thing isn’t about a fake engagement; it’s about two people coming to terms with their long standing feelings for each other. The writing is rich in detail and the characters are so likeable that it’s easy to forgive Zane’s fake engagement idea and Willow’s sassy comebacks because it is apparent that these two people are meant to be together. Their sexual chemistry is off the charts and kudos to Ms. Foster for the sexy, steamy, fun, tender bedroom, bakery, blanket and car scenes! The novel is beautifully written and each word, each scene between Willow and Zane captivated me. Enjoyed reading how the couple sorts out theirs feelings for each other as desire changes to love.

Loved Willow’s relationship with her sisters and her mom. Zane won me over when Spiderman arrived at Willow’s nephew’s birthday party. Zane went out of his way to make a little child happy and showed Willow he truly cared for her. This scene had all the feels. It was hysterical, emotional, loving and poignant. Ms. Foster does a fabulous job weaving in Willow’s family members, bakery regulars, friends and Zane’s assistant and coworkers into the novel. These minor characters added a lot of fun and depth to the story line. Can’t wait to see if the next book features Piper or Bridgette Dalton. The smart, snappy dialogue between Zane and Willow drew me into the story. Zane used the fake engagement ruse to connect back to Willow, his heart’s desire and that’s what makes this story so romantic and special to me.

Melissa Foster has the ability to write an honest, relatable, entertaining romance—and I can’t wait for book two in this amazing series!

If you love the small town romances written by Donna Alward, Kristan Higgins and Laura Trentham—you will adore Melissa Foster’s The Real Thing!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

ARC provided by Tasty Tours

Monday, September 4, 2017

Susan's Review of A Rake's Guide to Seduction by Caroline Linden



Anthony Hamilton cannot help it. The way he looks, the way he lives, his past—it all conspires to make him a man men fear, women desire. His name fills gossip circles in a seemingly endless, lurid drama. But he's never forgotten the only woman he's ever truly wanted—yet could never have…

Celia Reece knew Anthony well before he forged his scandalous reputation. The young man she remembers spoke kindly to her, made her laugh, and his devilish good looks always quickened her pulse. But Celia's mother had other designs—designs that didn't include marriage to Anthony. Now Celia is widowed, and her mother is intent on finding her a new husband. Refusing to let any obstacle stand in his path this time, Anthony sets out to win Celia's heart by using the same skills that made him London's most irresistible rake…


Caroline Linden’s A Rake’s Guide to Seduction is a twist on the second chance romance. The novel is part of the Reece family series and was originally published in 2008. Ms. Linden’s books are on my keeper shelves because I enjoy her descriptive writing style and her engaging characters - - and this book did not disappoint.

I adored Anthony Hamilton as he wasn’t what everyone in society assumed him to be. The author never misses an opportunity for someone to mention that Anthony sleeps with married women, gambles and is wealthy. Anthony Hamilton fascinated English society. Celia Reece loves to hear about her childhood friends escapades and has promised her mother than she would not associate with Mr. Hamilton. Caroline Linden takes a chance with the storyline in A Rakes Guide to Seduction when Celica marries Lord Andrew Bertram, not Anthony Hamilton. Celia and Bertie travel to the country to live with Bertie’s aging father. During the next four years, Celia records the details of her life in her journal. In the journal she describes her heartbreaks; her husband constantly ignores her, she is not allowed to visit London for the season and most importantly, she is unable to get pregnant. Bertie prefers to hunt, fish and party and Celia takes on the role of caregiver to Bertie’s father.

Anthony Hamilton is invited to a house party given by Duke of Exeter. Celia’s mother, the Dowager Duchess of Exeter has invited a group of Celia’s friends to the house party to cheer up her newly widowed daughter. Anthony and Celia get a second chance to renew their friendship. Loved that Anthony understood how lonely and out of place Celia felt at her own party. His anonymous notes were heartfelt and showed he cared for her. Anthony kept to himself at the house party but his actions indicated his feelings towards Celia. The couple’s chemistry sizzles --- but do they have a chance for happiness? Most of Celia’s family and friends believe that Anthony is a womanizing gambler. Will Celia believe in their love or make another mistake?

There were a lot of minor characters in the book. I enjoyed catching up with the Reece family members but I thought Rosalind, Celia’s mother, overplayed her hand with respects to Anthony. It was hard to keep track of Celia’s former friends and their husbands. I did enjoy Anthony’s uncle and her niece Molly. I liked that the author used the journal to move the story forward by four years. This plot device worked as the reader saw how Celia matured during her marriage while her husband’s life wasn’t changed at all. Loved the subtle storyline that the author wrote throughout the novel—about not judging people for their actions, not by their title, clothes or their fortune. Ms. Linden does a great job balancing the romance between Anthony and Celia and the house party intrigue. There were a few surprises at the end of the book which added to my enjoyment of it!

Check out Caroline Linden's website here for the first chapter of the book!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

ARC provided by the publisher.




Thursday, August 31, 2017

Susan's review of Need You Now by Emma Douglas





Welcome to the small island town of Cloud Bay, where it’s never the wrong time to find a love that’s oh-so-right. . .

Caleb White knows what he wants out of life—and being a star tennis player is not it. After speaking to the press about his plans to retire, Caleb decides that a trip to quaint, beautiful Cloud Bay for its legendary music festival is exactly what he needs. There will be time to figure out what to do with his life without a racket in his hand soon enough. Until then, Caleb is content to be stuck on an island with CloudFest’s gorgeous director Faith Harper. . .

The daughter of a famous rock star, Faith knows all about fame, fortune, and hot flings that aren’t meant to last longer than a few good songs. Gorgeous, built Caleb is a temptation she can’t resist, but she’s not prepared for the way he makes her feel. . .and the dreams that they both share. What begins as a carefree distraction deepens into something real. But is Caleb ready to put his celebrity behind him and give life in the slow lane with Faith a chance?






Emma Douglas would love to live in a world where professional napping was a thing. But until then, she thinks writing books is a pretty awesome alternative. When not writing about imaginary people, she can be found reading, doing something crafty, binge-watching TV, playing her latest song crush on repeat, or singing badly in her car. She lives in Melbourne, Australia in a tiny house stuffed full of books, too many craft supplies and two cats who take up more space than you would expect. Find out more about Emma at www.emmadouglasbooks.com.

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So maybe that was the wrong thing to think about.

She steered the car through the familiar bends of the road from Salt Devil to Danny’s place, not needing to really pay much attention to what she was doing. She could make the drive with a bag over her head. Could probably drive all around Lansing that way and never miss a beat. Unlike her heart, which was bumping just that little bit too quickly to let her fool herself into thinking she didn’t have a rapidly developing case of, to quote Ivy, “flaming panties,” when it came to Caleb White.

Well, her panties were just going to have to cool it a little longer.

She let her left hand drift out the open window, fingers spread to catch the night air rushing against her skin so one part of her body had a chance to feel cool. “My mom would tell you that’s a terrible habit,” Caleb said. His voice sounded lower in the darkness.

Rumblier.

Sexier.

Engine vibrations. That was it. Blame it on the roar of whatever supercharged monster engine Will had put into the Mustang. That was what was making his voice sound so good.

Note to self: Drive the Prius if you ever have to share a car with this man again.

“I know this road. There’s nothing I could possibly catch my hand on.” She turned her head slightly to look at him for a second. He’d lowered his window too, his elbow resting on the window frame, his fingers gripped around the top. “And hello, pot, kettle, black. You do not have all limbs inside the vehicle, Mr. White.”

“My hand isn’t sticking out,” he said.

“And what would your mom say about that response?” “She’d tell me not to be a smart-ass.”

“I think I like your mom. What does she do?” “She’s a doctor. I think she’d like you too.”

Faith shook her head. Nope to him getting any kind of wrong idea. “I’m not really the kind of girl mothers approve of.”

“Why not?”

“Rock star dad. Tattoos. Not interested in settling down.”

“You have tattoos?” he said, sounding intrigued. “I hadn’t noticed.”

“That’s because so far you haven’t seen any parts of me where they’re noticeable.”

“I see.” He sounded even more intrigued. “But they’re somewhere a mom might see them?”

“I think it’s more the alcoholic-rock-star–womanizing- dad thing than the tattoos. My family’s reputation precedes me. They think I’m going to have my wicked way with their precious boys and break their hearts.”

“Are you meeting these moms via time travel? That all sounds very nineteen fifties to me,” he said. “And just so you know, I am on board with wicked ways.”

She laughed at that. “In my experience, most men are.” “Maybe the men you meet are smarter than their moms.”

“Oh no.” She pulled her hand back in the window as the approached the turn-off to Danny’s drive. “The moms have my number. I’m not the marrying kind, as they used to say.”

“Really?” He sounded skeptical. “Trust me.”

“I take it this is you telling me that if I ever get to sample your wicked ways, I should beware?”

She tried to ignore the way the rumble underscoring “wicked ways” made her want to invent some very wicked ways on the spot. Dammit. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” She pulled into the drive, rolled the car to a stop outside the gate. “And, not to change the subject or anything, but we’re here.”

Caleb blinked. “So I see. Any point in me asking you in for a nightcap?”

As much as part of her wanted to say “hell yes,” she shook her head. “Not tonight.”

“Rain check on that too?” “We’ll see.”

“All right,” he said. He didn’t sound that put out. She didn’t know if that was good or whether she should be a little insulted. Caleb undid his seatbelt and turned to face her. “Then I’ll say good night. And I’ll tell you one more thing.” He slid a little closer along the seat and leaned toward her. Not too close. Giving her plenty of time to tell him to back off. To say no.

She stayed right where she was. Pinned in place by the weight of that blue gaze and the pounding in her chest and the heat suddenly burning through her again. She tried to sound casual. “What’s that?”

“The same thing I tell my mom when she’s butting into my love life. That I’m a big boy and I can take care of myself.” He leaned in close, until his mouth was hovering only a couple of inches from hers. “Also, that I believe that when you’ve beaten a girl at pool and hitched a lift with her in a Mustang that it’s only polite to kiss her good night.”

“Oh,” was all she had time to say before he closed his mouth over hers.

She couldn’t pretend she hadn’t thought about what it might be like to kiss him over the last few hours. What sort of kiss it might be. Most of her first kisses had been the hot, fiery, let’s-get-naked-fast kind.

Caleb White was undeniably hot but this kiss was . . . different. His mouth coaxed hers, gently, his hand cup- ping the back of her neck. Each tiny change in angle he made seemed to connect with a different nerve. First her lips were tingling, then hot, and then the heat spread out and down from there in a molten rush.

She opened her mouth and tasted him, tasted whiskey and man and heat. He groaned but he held her there, suspended with him in the dark, focused just on him and the places their bodies touched. She wanted more. Wanted closer.

But as she swayed toward him, tried to slide around in the seat so she could get nearer, he pulled back, leaving her startled by his sudden absence.

“Good night, Faith Harper,” he said. And then he was out of the car walking away from her, vanishing into the night when he stepped beyond the reach of the head- lights, leaving her wondering exactly what the hell had just happened.

Copyright © 2017 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.



Emma Douglas does a fabulous job setting the scene and introducing the main characters in the first few pages of her novel Need You Now. I could sense the anticipation of the crowd as they disembarked from the ferry, feel their excitement of attending the CloudFest music festival on Lansing Island and identify with the connection Faith made with the blue- eyed stranger in the black SUV. Need You Now is well-paced novel with dynamic characters, great dialogue and well-plotted storyline.

Faith Harper is a strong, independent, complicated woman. Need You Now is Faith’s story. As the daughter of the late Grey Harper, lead singer for the band Blacklight, she has been part of the music scene since she made her debut in one of her father’s videos as a teenager. Faith saw her father marry and divorce three times and was accustomed to him being away for months at a time when his band band toured. Faith has made different choices. She lives on a small island with her mom and sister and runs the family business. For the past six years, she has managed CloudFest, preserving her father’s legacy.

Tennis star Caleb White, the blue-eyed man in the SUV, has travelled to Lansing to attend CloudFest. He’s announced his retirement and needs to hide out from the media. He is looking for some downtime but, he meets Faith and his world is turned upside down. Loved the instant attraction between this couple, their sexual chemistry and how the relationship developed during the musical festival.

Need You Now has all the feels; the storyline is emotional and the conversations between Faith and Caleb are witty, honest and at times poignant. The island setting and the small town feel appealed to me. Family plays an important part in the novel and Lou and Mina are my two favorite secondary characters. The author does an excellent job crafting Blacklight’s lead guitarist Danny Ryan—he was the character that puzzled me during the book. Was he looking out for Faith or feeding her insecurities? The author does a fabulous job weaving the need to sort through Grey’s storage unit through the storyline. Did Grey record a final album? This thread intrigued me and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Faith struggles to come to terms with her relationship with Caleb. She breaks up with Caleb after an insightful conversation with Danny. Emma Douglas does a great job writing this chapter – I felt for Caleb and was surprised at Faith’s cold hearted demeanor. I would have liked an epilogue to tie up several of the loose story threads but the conclusion satisfied me as a reader.

If you are a fan of Donna Alward, Laura Trentham and Debbie Mason, you will love Need You Now!

Reviewed by: Susan Gorman

ARC provided by the publisher