Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

The Girl With The Make-Believe Husband
by Julia Quinn

I cannot begin to explain this story without spoilers.
Therefore, I will let the title and the author speak
for themselves. If you have ever read Julia Quinn,
you know what I mean. Her stories are always easy
to read. With just the right amount of detail.
Without words that one needs a dictionary to
look up. The characters, places, situations, dialogue
are masterful. It's the only way to say it.
Ms Quinn is, of course, known for her romance
stories and her extended families.
The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband
is certainly one of her most romantic.
"If I had kissed you before our wedding," he said
softly, "there would be no doubt right now as to the
permanence of our marriage."
Cecilia Harcourt has found herself between a
rock and a very hard place.
Edward Rokesby has found himself awake,
in a hospital, with a bump on his head that seems
to have swallowed up several months of
his memories.
As a result of the strange and mysterious
circumstances, they wind up taking care
of each other.
 It's always fun to hear names and memories from
other stories. But this story is definitely its own.
You do not need to have ever read her before.
And if you are looking for a place to start, give
this one a try. I bet you will enjoy the flow
of the story telling. Next, you will want to start
at the beginning of the Bridgerton family stories.

An excerpt that may send you running for
a copy of this story to read.

"I agree. We should - ah! Bacon."
"Honestly," Edward said, crunching a piece with a decided lack
of table manners. "is this not the finest thing you've ever tasted?"
"The finest?" she asked doubtfully.
He waved this off. "It's bacon. How can anything in the world
seem bleak when one is eating bacon?"

I borrowed this book from my local library.
Review by Lisa Hutson


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Shakespeare in Love - Movie Review

Shakespeare in Love
Movie Review
I love watching romantic movies. When they add a
bit of comedy in, all the better. Then they add
some inspiration. That's how you get
Shakespeare in Love.
It's a sweet story with happy ending.
Not the happy ending you are expecting.
Or maybe the kind of ending you think 
it should be. But it is a happy
ending, none the less.
This movie came out in 1998.
And it is worthy of a wonderful evening
with a special someone.
Review by Lisa Hutson  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Save The Date by Mary Kay Andrews

Save The Date
by Mary Kay Andrews

5 Stars!

Cara is a florist in Savannah. Just trying to keep her head above water.
Of course, it isn't all finances. Starting with her beloved dog running off.
Cara is certain that Jack Finnerty has stolen her dog. But he tries to tell
her that's not the case! From there, its a roller coaster ride of a story.
With laughs and tears and you want to shake your fist at some of
the characters. You want to shake your fist at some of the decisions.
But still, all the time, you are rooting for the florist to pull off the
wedding. To keep the wedding party calm. And let love find a way.
I have become a fan of Mary Kay Andrews. Her stories are wonderful
reading for enjoyment. The covers of her books are wonderful.
Save the Date is a story to read purely for the pleasure of reading.

I bought my copy of Save The Date, used,
from my local library.
Review by Lisa Hutson

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Susan's Review of Addison Cole's Hearts at Seaside

Addison Cole
Releasing July 19, 2017

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They're sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you'll be begging to enter their circle of friends!

Hearts at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster's steamy romance novel Seaside Hearts. The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

Jenna Ward is vivacious, spontaneous, and confident--except when she's around the man who stole her heart years earlier, strikingly handsome, quiet, and reliable Pete Lacroux. After years of trying to get his attention and overwhelmed from dealing with her mother's new cougar lifestyle, Jenna's giving up on Peter--and is ready to explore other men.

As the eldest of five siblings, with an alcoholic father to care for, boat craftsman Pete Lacroux always does the right thing and has no time for a real relationship. He's looking forward to seeing his friend Jenna, a welcome distraction who's so sexy and painfully shy that she equally entertains and confuses him.

When Jenna picks up a hard-bodied construction worker, jealousy ignites Pete's true feelings, and he's unable to ignore the desires for Jenna he never realized he had. But Pete's not the quiet guy he appears to be, and his life is anything but conducive to a relationship. Can Jenna handle the real Pete Lacroux--the most alpha male she's ever seen--or will she crack under pressure? And can Pete reclaim the life he once had without tearing apart his family?

Hearts at Seaside is the sweet edition of the steamy romance novel Seaside Hearts by Melissa Foster

Start the series for FREE with 
Read, Write, Love at Seaside

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.    

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She stood in the middle of the boat, and he watched her eyes dance over his workmanship. He’d refinished all of the wood, stained and painted it, and worked his fingers to the bone, which he now realized he had done to work out his frustrations over his father’s drinking.

“Pete, this is stunning. It’s beautiful.”

“You’re stunning, Jenna. I don’t mean that as cheesy as it sounds.” He folded her into his arms and kissed the edge of her mouth. “You have the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known, and it comes through with everything you do and say.” He kissed her softly, loving the feel of her hands as they traveled up his chest, and he deepened the kiss. He pushed away the thoughts of his father and what the boat was supposed to signify and allowed himself to get lost in Jenna, in the taste of her lips as he dragged his tongue over the bow of her upper lip.


She reached for him, her eyes full of pleasure and desire. Pete reveled in the sound of his name coming off her lips, and his heart swelled. He’d shared his most intimate secret with Jenna, and as he lowered his cheek to hers, he barely contained the three words that he wanted to say. Their relationship was years in the making, and there was no stopping his heart from pouring out, one word at a time. He had to tell her, had to let her know, even if he withheld the words he really wanted her to hear.

I am loving Addison Cole’s Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series!

The series is a sweet edition of author Melissa Foster’s Seaside Hearts novels. The Seaside Summers novels are set in Wellfleet, Massachusetts and feature best friends; Leanna, Jenna, Bella and Amy who live in adjoining cottages.

There’s plenty of passion, romance, friendship and humor in each book! The author infuses each novel with scenes from local restaurants, beaches and traditions - - it feels like you are on a mini Cape Cod vacation during each story. I can’t wait for the next few books to be delivered to my kindle!

Have I caught your interest??

Take a look at my review, check out the other books in this new Addison Cole series, and don't forget to enter the contest!

Hearts at Seaside is a wonderful friends- to-lovers romance which features Jenna Ward and Peter Lacoux. Jenna has decided that this is her summer. She is determined to set aside her five –year crush on Pete Lacroux and find her true love. Pete cares for Jenna deeply but, he has family issues which take up all of his free time. He’s truly torn between his desire for Jenna and his personal obligations. Addison Cole creates a thoughtful, well written novel filled with humor and compassion for this couple.

Pete learns that Jenna is going to meet a guy at the Beachcomber nightclub. He decided to check in on Jenna just to make sure she’s okay. Loved Jenna’s reaction when she became aware that Pete was checking up on her and maybe a little bit jealous -she was surprised and nervous! Despite plenty of mixed signals between the couple, their chemistry sizzled! I was hoping someone or something would push this couple together! At Bella’s suggestion, Jenna calls Pete when there’s a problem with the hot water in her cottage. Jenna ran into Pete wearing only a towel and then the towel dropped to the floor—leaving a wet, naked Jenna in Pete’s arms!

The characters of Jenna and Pete are multi-faceted and different from the other couples in the series. Jenna is an artist and she has OCD. Everything from the rocks which decorate her porch railings to her baskets of flip flops are arranged just so in her cottage. Pete is a talented boat builder who is quietly dealing with his father’s alcoholism. The author chooses to have this couple create a “foundation of trust” during the storyline. Jenna and Pete are very open and honest with each other and as their relationship progresses the trust between them deepens. Kudos to Addison Cole for addressing several social issues and the impact that these concerns have on family and friends in this novel. Hearts at Seaside is a fabulous story of a man and a woman who learn to face challenges together and have found passion, friendship and love!

Review by Susan

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Throwback Thursday -Featuring Samantha Chase's I'll Be There!

Throwback Thursday

I am so happy to share this review of I'll Be There from December 11,2015. Samantha Chase is one of my go to authors and I looking forward to reading a new Montgomery book soon!

Zach and Gabby's story is my favorite Samantha Chase novel--read my review and you'll see why!

5 Stars! 
Happy Reading,

'Oh my God. What happened to you?"

Those were the first words Gabriella uttered when she stepped into Zach's home the next day. He was covered in sweat and his hand was bleeding, and she noticed a harried-looking woman wearing scrubs scurrying around collecting things.

Zach glared at her and then at the woman in scrubs. "Good riddance!" he yelled as she walked out the door. It slammed behind her but Zach's eyes were instantly back on Gabriella's. "What the hell are you doing here?"

She kept her back to him for two reasons-one, she needed a moment to compose herself. In all the years she had worked for Zach, Gabriella had never seen him look like this--ragged, almost dirty. Defeated. And two, she was waiting him out to see how long it was going to take for him to start throwing his weight around in an attempt to make her leave.

She had the patience of a saint and nothing else to do today. The ball was in his court.
Her confidence was boosted by the mere fact that they had played this game dozens of times of times in the office, and she was always able to outwit him. Zach hated silence just as much as he hated when people didn't do exactly what he wanted when he wanted.

She'd missed this. And him. 

Zach Montgomery was severely injured in a mountain climbing fall. Zach has returned home to recuperate and is refusing help from his family. He's fired dozens of home health aides and his company Montgomery Enterprises is suffering because he is unable to return to work. William Montgomery has a two-fold plan for his nephew which should get Zach back to work and walking down the aisle. Walking down the aisle? Yes! William Montgomery is a wealthy businessman who dabbles as the family matchmaker.

I'll Be There is the sixth book in Samantha Chase's Montgomery series. The characters and their journey set this book apart from the books in the series. I'll Be There examines what happens when a driven businessman and athlete is severely injured in a sports- related accident. Zach's journey takes him from denial, recovery and finally acceptance as he comes to terms with the fact that he almost died. The author offers a realistic portrayal of a bitter, independent man who doesn't want assistance from anyone until he accepts his situation and chooses recovery over self -pity.

The characters of Zach and Gabriella are multi-faceted and they are very different from the other characters in the series. Although the couple is attracted to each other, their path to romance has several surprising detours. Zach is a perfectionist, he's headstrong and very independent. He is a successful businessman and he loves the challenge of extreme sports in his spare time. Gabriella Martine is a no nonsense type of person. She's Zach's assistant and Gabriella "gets" him. She has worked with Zach and understands him better than most of his family members. Faced with losing his position in his company or accepting Gabriella's help, Zach chooses to work with Gabby. Samantha Chase has created a great heroine. Gabriella's past and her family life are brought to light during the story and it's important for the reader to understand how Gabriella's past has influenced her and plays a part in her choices.

Kudos to Samantha Chase for writing a well-paced look at the emotional and physical issues after a life threatening accident. Loved the mutual attraction between the characters and how it simmered slowly at the beginning of the novel. I'll Be There is a fabulous story of a determined man and the woman who loves him and has strength enough for both of them. I read this book in one day as I was invested in the characters and their story. And I am hoping to read another Montgomery book soon!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman
Review edited by Brian McGee - Thanks Brian!
ARC provided by Sourcebooks.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Susan's Review of Carson by Melissa Foster

Bad Boys After Dark #3
Melissa Foster
Releasing July 11, 2017
World Literary Press

Second chances really do exist…

As the founder of a multimillion-dollar international security business, Carson Bad exposes secrets for a living. He knows better than to forge relationships built on them. But for years he did just that with his best friend, and secret lover, Tawny Bishop. She brought a sense of calm and understanding to his life–in and out of the bedroom. Until one fateful night when a knock at the door changed everything.

Tawny is no longer a naive college student. She’s a sought-after perfumer living in Paris. She has plenty of resources at her fingertips, and lots of lonely nights to think about the only man she’s ever loved–the one she ran away from all those years ago. She needs to move forward with her life, but how can she when Carson still owns her heart?

Maybe showing up in the middle of the night unannounced isn’t the best route to unraveling the past and figuring out her future, but Tawny has played it safe for ten long years, and it’s only made her long for the man she never should have walked away from. Now she’s back in Carson’s life, and he’s determined not to make the same mistake twice. If only he knew what that mistake was…

Link to Follow Tour:

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.

With her heart in her throat, she lifted her gaze, and lost her breath at the sight of the strikingly handsome man who had once been her lover and best friend standing a few feet away with his brother, Brett. She’d met Brett once when he’d come to visit Carson at college.

Her attention moved swiftly back to Carson, and she was unable to look away. His white dress shirt was rolled up to his elbows, revealing muscular forearms, and tucked into perfectly tailored dark slacks. He was broader now, tall, and sturdy.

A big, beautiful man with the classic good looks of a 1950s movie star. He raked a hand through his short hair, laughing at something Brett must have said. His familiar laughter made her knees weak. Please look over.

No. Don’t. Her heart might explode.

Wait. Yes, look over.

Oh God.

What was she doing? She was a professional, educated woman. She should not be weak-kneed over the sight of a man. But apparently her body didn’t get the memo, because her pulse skyrocketed, and she could barely breathe. She gripped the handle of her suitcase tighter, using it for balance. Carson turned, his chiseled features softened by the hint of a five-o’clock shadow. Their eyes connected, and his brows knitted, his jaw tensed.

Disappointment clutched her. Didn’t he recognize her? Or did he? Was he angry? She should walk away, but she was pinned in place by his riveting gaze.

Ten years ago, Tawny Bishop and Carson Bad were best friends, study partners and secret lovers in college. They shared a deep personal connection for two years until Tawny abruptly ended their relationship. Tawny has travelled to New York City from Paris to see if the bond between them still exists.
“She’d convinced herself that their relationship was unforgettable, one of a kind. Maybe even true love. If the spark was still there, and she hadn’t blown it out of proportion after all these years, then maybe they had a chance for something real after all. And what if she couldn’t tell how strong the spark was? What if there was no spark? Thinking there was no spark and believing it were two different things. Oh God! She was too confused. How could she move forward with her life unless she knew exactly where they stood?” 

This paragraph drew me into the story. I related to Tawny and I imagined how I would feel if I had such deep feelings for someone and what would happen if the feelings were not returned. Tawny needed to move forward and finding Carson was the first step in her journey.
Melissa Foster’s Carson is a sensuous, emotional and oh so romantic novel which takes place over a five -night, four -day period. The timeframe piece was very important in this second chance romance as there was a finite time for Tawny and Carson to acknowledge and resolve their feelings. I loved that author chose to have the very dominant character of Carson acquiesce and let Tawny set the pace during her visit. Carson  loves Tawny deeply-she is the only one for him. He understands that Tawny needs to acknowledge the depth and sincerity of her feelings for him and grieve for her father. The author’s descriptive voice is enriched by infusing the senses of smell and touch throughout the novel. Loved it when Tawny became aware of a familiar scent outside the hotel building—she didn’t sense that Carson was nearby, she recognized his scent. The sense of touch is conveyed in the couple’s passionate sexual relationship.

Carson is an engaging novel that perfectly blends the elements of friendship, desire and love. The multifaceted characters and their stories captivated me and I finished the book in one day. Melissa Foster is known for her sexy, bad boy heroes. Carson is no exception. I loved the well-defined character of Tawny and her honest desire to reconnect with her true love. And the epilogue was perfect—just perfect!

Carson is a must read for ALL contemporary romance readers.
5 Stars!
Reviewed by Susan Gorman

ARC Provided by Tasty Tours

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Susan's review of Katharine Ashe's The Pirate and I

The Pirate & I (A Novella)

Book 2.5 in the Devil’s Duke Series

Years ago, Miss Esme Astell fell hopelessly in love with Charles Brittle, an unassuming and highly respectable London bookmaker.
Then he disappeared without a word.
The last thing Esme ever dreamed was to meet Charlie again —
In a dark alleyway —
In a drenching rain —
In a chase with the police —
In Scotland.

Can she resist falling again, this time for the dangerous scoundrel he’s become?

"Good evening, Esme.”
Lips framed in whiskers barely moved as the words came from them like a husky growl. His beautiful eyes were two hard, cool pieces of flint.
‘I need your nose.”
Imagine looking towards your bedroom window and finding a handsome man from your past staring at you?
A man whom you were secretly in love with?
And he’s asking for your nose?

Katharine Ashe’s The Pirate and I is a fast-pace, suspenseful novella. Set in Scotland, the story is a continuation of the author’s The Devil’s Duke Series.

Esme Astell has worked at a perfume shop on Gracechurch Street in London for five years. Her efforts had increased the sales of the shop but, her employer would not increase her wages. One of her London clients appreciates Esme’s sensory abilities and arranges for her to attend a meeting of the Society of Perfumers, in Scotland. Esme spent a good portion of her savings to travel to Scotland in hopes that she would be offered an apprenticeship at an elite Paris perfume shop.

Esme encounters a criminal on her way home from the meeting. She is stunned to discover that the criminal is Charlie Brittle, who worked at the printing shop across from the perfume shop in London. Esme had been secretly in love with him for years and was devastated when Charlie disappeared from London and was presumed dead.

Charlie needs Esme to help him find a dog. He needs the dog in exchange for his freedom. Charlie has a plan to leave Scotland for America and he is determined to have his freedom. Ms. Ashe always sets the mood with her descriptive writing, and The Pirate & I is enhanced by the way she adds the sense of smell throughout the novel. I could imagine drinking black tea and eating oven fresh bread at the Hart and Rose pub with Charlie and Esme and smelling the perfume, candlewax and fabrics at the ball.

Katharine Ashe does a superb job balancing the romance and intrigue in this story. The romance between the couple is enchanting and the author’s lush, descriptive, sensual voice shines when the couple makes love. Charlie cherishes Esme and his feelings are conveyed in both his actions and words. Esme recognizes that Charlie has changed. She asks about his scars and burns and accepts Charlie as the man he has become, not the man she knew two years ago. The secondary characters of Pate and Rory added to the underlying feeling of suspense the author created throughout the novel. The conclusion had several surprising plot twists which surprised and delighted me!

Katharine Ashe’s novellas read as full length novels—the characters are well developed and there are several intricate plotlines. This is the perfect weekend read –especially for those of us who are looking forward to reading The Duke!
5 Stars!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman
ARC provided by the publisher


Katharine Ashe is the USA Today bestselling author of the acclaimed Devil’s Duke series, and eighteen other historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent.”  She is a two-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® Award of the Romance Writers of America — in 2014 for How to Marry a Highlander and in 2015 for My Lady, My Lord — and a three-time nominee in the Reviewers’ Choice Awards, including winner for Best Historical Romantic Adventure in 2012, and her novel How to Be a Proper Lady was an Amazon Editors’ Choice for the Ten Best Romances of the Year.  Her books have been recommended by Woman’s World Magazine, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, All About Romance, Booklist, Library Journal, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many others, and translated into languages around the world. 

Katharine lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt.  A professor of European history and pop culture, she writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve grand adventures and breathtaking sensuality too.  Her favorite thing is to meet readers in person, but she loves connecting with readers by mail and email and on social media too!

Follow Katharine at:
❤ Website