Friday, March 31, 2017

Outlander Series Reading Challenge Check-In Post #3

Congratulations, Lovelies! We’ve made it to our third Outlander Reading Challenge Check-In! Give yourselves a pat on the back and a dram of whatever strikes your fancy.


I want to say ‘thank you’ to those who have joined in! As of today, we’re up to 158 members in the Facebook group. If you haven’t joined the Facebook group, please do so. It’s great place to interact with others joining in. If you keep track of your reading on GoodReads, there’s also a GoodReads group.


A few people have had questions about what counts in this challenge, so here’s a quick list.


Ø Books must be read in 2017

Ø  Re-reads count

Ø  All formats (print, digital, or audio) count

Ø Any Outlander-related book counts (the big ones, the shorts, the additional material such as the companion books, graphic novel, behind-the-scenes book, and the cookbook)

Ø Yes, the Lord John books count.

My progress so far:
Okay, lovelies, I have absolutely no idea what happened to March. It just sort of flew by in a whirlwind of madness. Sadly, I haven’t made much progress on my Outlander reading this month. I’ve managed a few more pages in volume one of the Outlander Companion but that’s about it. Finger’s crossed, April will be better.

Okay, lovelies, talk to me! What have you read? What are you currently reading? 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

DNF Round Up for March

The Harvest Man  (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad #4) by Alex Grecian
In The Devil’s Workshop, London discovered that Jack the Ripper was back, sending the city—and Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—into chaos. But now it is even worse. Not only is the Ripper still at large, but so is another killer just as bad.
 For Inspector Walter Day, it has been a difficult time. His wife has given birth to twins, his hostile in-laws have come to stay, and a leg injury has kept him at his desk. But when the Harvest Man begins killing, carving people’s faces off their skulls, the Yard knows they need Day in the field.
 Not so Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. Rash actions have cost him his job, but that doesn’t stop his obsessive hunt for the Ripper. When the mutilated bodies of prostitutes start turning up again, Hammersmith enlists the help of a criminal network to stop Saucy Jack, his methods carrying him further and further from the ideals of the Yard, so far in fact that he may never be able to find his way back.
Of course, the Ripper’s been playing a game with him—with Walter Day, as well. He is pushing both of them to their limits, and what happens when they get there . . . no one can say. 
So, I started reading this one way back in September and only made it to chapter 4. I had heard amazing things about the author, but sadly, this one didn’t work for me. While it’s gory and creepy, it’s soooo boring. I even tried jumping ahead and still couldn’t get interested in the book. I thought perhaps it was because this was the fourth book in, but I sampled the first book and the writing style is the same.
The Snow Bride by Debbie Macomber
Practical Jenna Campbell has done something impractical. She's met a man on the Internet and now, a month before Christmas, she's going to Alaska to marry him. Dalton Gray seems to be everything she wants in a husband -- sensitive, gallant, romantic....
On the flight to Fairbanks, she has the misfortune to sit beside Reid Jamison, who obviously isn't sensitive, gallant or romantic. However, he's not impressed with her plan to marry Dalton, a man he detests (for good reason, as Jenna later finds out). So Reid takes it upon himself to change her destination -- and her marriage plans.
Which is why Jenna ends up at Reid's cabin in tiny Snowbound, Alaska. It's currently a one-woman town (and the other woman's out of town). That leaves Reid, a bunch of eccentric old men, a few grizzly bears -- and Jenna. Kidnapped! And then there's a blizzard. The two of them alone, stranded in Snowbound...
So, this one is actually the second short story in Christmas in Alaska and Debbie Macomber’s books are hit and miss with me, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I received this one for review. I forced myself to read the first one and couldn’t stand it, and when I finally made it to this one, I sort of just didn’t really care.
The just of it is a woman meets a guy online, decides to give up her life and move to Alaska, when she arrives in Fairbanks the guy she was supposed to me isn’t there instead she meets a guy who kidnaps her for her own good because guy number one was a total creep. Then, of course, there’s drama, so much drama and bickering, and there’s no real cause, it was just drama for drama’s sake. So, since I’ve been reading this one since October, I finally decided to just let it go.

She baited a cop and hooked a killer. She crosses the line… Sonya Savonski has something to prove as the only female drift boat captain fishing the deadly depths of the Bering Sea. She stirs the waters, luring a murderer to the surface, and gets the unwanted attention of an Alaska State Trooper. He tows the line… "Fish cops" don’t mix with fisherman, but if Alaska State Trooper Garrett Hunt can reel Sonya in - before a killer uses her for bait - she could be the catch of his life.
I loved the first book in this series, Edge. The second book, not so much. Edge drew me in from the start with its suspense and intrigue. This one, I couldn’t get into. I couldn’t connect with Sonya and there’s just so much about fishing from the very start that it just made me tune out. I tried several times to get into this one but I just couldn’t. Because it’s an audio, I can’t skim through it. Perhaps the print version would have been a better option. I also learned something about the main character in the next book, a character that I thought I was going to like, that sort of turned me off of the next book in the series.

It happens. The dreaded DNF. You know you’ve had one or two, or ten. Rather than posting them individually, I decided to do a monthly roundup of the books I’ve DNF’d.  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Audio Review: Must Love Breeches by Angela Quarles

She's finally met the man of her dreams - too bad he lives in a different century!

A devoted history buff finds the re-enactment of a pre-Victorian ball in London a bit boring...until a mysterious artifact sweeps her back in time to the real event, and into the arms of a compelling British lord.

Isabelle Rochon can't believe it when she finds herself in the reality of 1830's London high society. She's thrilled to witness events and people she's studied. But she may also have to survive without modern tools or career - unless she can find a way to return to her time. And then there's Viscount Lord Montagu, a man whose embrace curls her toes, but who has a dangerous agenda of his own.

Lord Phineas Montagu is on a mission to avenge his sister, and he'll stop at nothing, including convincing an alluring stranger to pose as his respectable fiancé. He's happy to repay her by helping her search for her stolen calling card case that brought her back in time. But he doesn't bargain for the lady being his intellectual match - or for the irresistible attraction that flames between them.

They're both certain they know what they want, but as passion flares, Phineas must keep both himself and Isabella safe from unseen opponents, and she must choose when and where her heart belongs. Can they ever be together for good?

Series: Must Love #1 | Publisher: Unsealed Room Press | Narrator: Mary Jane Wells  | Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins | Genre: Time-Travel Romance| Source: Author | Ratings: 4 Cups

The last thing Isabelle Rochon expected was to be transported back in time during a re-enactment ball. Although that’s exactly what happens and she finds herself swept off her feet by a handsome Viscount. As a historian, she’s pleased to be able to have firsthand experience of the past, but as an independent woman, she’s not so sure she’ll be able to survive in this era. She knows she needs to go back to her own time, but when the calling card case that transported her back in time is stolen, she decides to take the handsome Viscount up on his offer.
Wanting to avenge the wrong done to his sister, Phineas Montagu concocted a scheme and went about earning the self-imposed moniker, ‘the Vicious Viscount’. Now he needs to marry a respectable wife to undo the damage so he can finally get his revenge. So, he comes up with an arrangement Isabelle can’t refuse: if she pretends to be his fake fiancée, he will help her search for her missing case. As the two spend more time together, they start to develop feelings that run much deeper than they expected. Although what will Phineas do when he discovers his fake fiancée is from the future.
Phineas and Isabelle were so great together. Of course, being from the present, she’s more liberal in speech and more forward than the women in his day so he’s confused, amused, and delighted by her.
I really enjoyed Isabelle. She may be a historian, but she’s still confused about how to act in this era and I really enjoyed watching her figure out things. Phineas was great. He’s charming and loyal and eager to protect those he holds dear.
So, there’s a few different threads in this story and I found I enjoyed each of them but the ones that intrigued me the most were Phineas’ mission to avenge his sister—I was eager to find out what was going on and how it would be resolved—and Isabelle’s friendship with Ada Byron.
I was also eager to see whether Isabelle would stay or would she go back to her own time.
Going in, I assumed this book started in the present day, but the timeframe of the book isn’t what it seems and I’m thinking that it’s because, by going back in time, Isabelle sped up the digital age. Maybe? It was just a theory I have. Also, I noticed that the description of her mobile was a bit different from today’s cell phones.
Overall, I loved this one. It was such fun. And of course, I was waiting to see how the whole will she stay or will she go…back to her own time thing played out.

Must Love Series
1-Must Love Breeches
2-Mucst Love Chainmail
3-Must Love Kilts

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne

When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.

But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother – David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?

As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:

‘You will be dead by Christmas.’

Publisher: Grand Central| Release Date: 3/28/2017 | Genre: Thriller | Source: Publisher| Rating: 4 Cups
Gripping, chilling, and utterly creepy, the Fire Child hooked me from the very first page.
Here’s what’s going on. Rachel Daly’s had a hard life growing up, so when she marries rich and handsome lawyer David Kerthen and moves into Carnhallow House, his ancestral home in Cornwell, she thinks her luck is changing. She has the perfect life, until Jamie starts behaving strangely and claiming that he sees the ghost of his mother. When Rachel starts digging into her new family’s past, she soon discovers that her husband covered up some facts about his wife’s death. As her suspicions increase about her husband and she starts wondering if Jamie’s prediction that she will be dead by Christmas will come true.
I love a good psychological thriller, especially when the writing pulls me in and makes me feel like I’m there among the madness and that’s exactly what this book did. It’s raw and atmospheric and relies on the dark and gruesome history of Cornwall’s copper mines to give the book that haunted feel.
David’s a damaged widower who lost his wife in terrible accident at one of his family’s derelict copper mines. He’s also a father willing to do anything to protect his son, no matter the cost. And there’s a sort of dark legacy attached to the Kerthen family that David embodies; he bandies it about like it’s a banner that goes before him. He’s charming, and sexy, and ferocious but he’s not a likable character.
Rachel’s made a life out of nothing. She’s the daughter of poor Irish immigrants who pulled herself up from the dregs London’s seedy side and made something of herself. So, when she captures David’s eye then falls for him and his son, she thinks her life is going to only go up from there and she grabs at that chance. But, from the very start, there’s a dark cloud filled with secrets that hangs above her. I kept wondering when this cloud would burst and how it was going to affect things. And what bothered me the most about Rachel was that she was bound and determined to do whatever she could to uncover David’s secrets but when he would ask her about her secrets, she would clam up and tell him she wasn’t ready to reveal them.
David and Rachel are both flawed yet believable characters and, even though I wasn’t overly fond of either of them or their actions, I felt sympathy for both of them. It also felt as though they only brought out the worst in each other. They would have both benefited greatly from being with other people.
At the crux of the story is David’s eight-year-old son Jamie. He’s very troubled, very creepy, and seemingly disturbed. He’s still dealing with the death of his mother and the secrets he’s keeping about that night. My heart broke for Jamie as he tried to figure out what was going while he struggled to accept the death of his mother.
The setting of this book is what truly brings this book to life. Rather than showcasing the bright and sunny aspects of Cornwall, this book shows the darker, more dangerous side. As the Kerthen’s made their name and fortune from copper mines, the dark legacy of the mines follows the heir and everyone in Carnhallow is affect by it. The dangers of the open mines are still there and the horrible fates of miners haunt the pages of the book.
There were a few twists and turns that happened and, while some I figured out early on, others surprised me although, there’s enough foreshadowing that made it all make sense. I will say I was disappointed at the reveal. I was expecting something more shocking and sinister. In my opinion, it wasn’t great enough to cause as much drama as it did. I do understand why they didn’t want it revealed and would want to protect it yet it wasn’t great enough to be the catalyst of the events that took place.
Overall, I enjoyed this one. It was very much a modern gothic tale that combined all of the gothic elements I love. Another thing that annoyed me was the one thread was left dangling and you have to form your own opinion based on the facts presented.

Have you ever liked a book but
not been fond of the characters?


Monday, March 27, 2017

Seeking Mr. Wrong by Natalie Charles

Lettie Osbourne has lived her whole life by the book. Sweet, predictable, and certainly not living life on the edge, she’s always been content to make a living as a kindergarten teacher who writes adorable children’s books on the side. After her fiancé leaves her, Lettie decides she is perfectly content to accept her fate as mother to her beloved dog Odin and favorite auntie to her niece and nephew.

But then everything changes.

When Lettie’s publisher decides to sell only erotica, her editor convinces her to turn up the heat and throw some spice into her vanilla life. Lettie sets out to find the perfect man to inspire her writing...and finds him in her school’s vice principal, Eric Clayman. As Lettie and Eric grow closer and her writing gets steamier, she’s left wondering: is Eric Mr. Wrong? Or Mr. Right?

Publisher: Pocket Star | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Source: Publisher| Rating: 3.5 Cups

When I picked this one up, my reading had been a bit all over the place. The books had left me frustrated and growly, so I wanted something light and funny and that’s exactly what I got with Seeking Mr. Wrong.
Here’s what’s going on. Lettie’s a kindergarten teach who writes cute little children’s books about manners but when the publishing company she writes for is sold to a company that publishes only erotica and she still has one more book left to fulfill her contract, she decides rather than repaying her advance, she’ll try her had at writing erotica. There’s one little problem, Lettie’s vanilla and lacking the spice she needs to write sizzling erotica, so when her friend suggests that she search for ‘Mr. Wrong’ to inspire her writing, she decides to go for it. Although Lettie never expected that her ‘Mr. Wrong’ was going to be the new vice-principal at her school. But now that she and Eric have started something, they both want to see how it plays out but they have a few hurdles to overcome.
Lettie was so much fun. She’s dealing with several different things; her odd family, being jilted by her fiancé, venturing into a new genre of writing. So, there’s a lot of things going on with her and it was nice watching her explore who she was and not feel like she needs to fit into this cookie cutter mold. Eric had his ups and down with me. For the most part, I liked him and he seemed to be a decent guy, but there were moments when I wanted to strangle him. Thankfully, he seemed to know when he was being an idiot and quickly redeemed himself. 
The romance, like the characters, was a bit quirky but it worked. It sort of started out with a bit of insta-lust then morphed into a secret romance with a bit more depth to it.
While I enjoyed the light and fluffy aspect of this one, it sort of suffered from a bit of an identity crisis. Rather than blending the elements of the story together, it would focus on one then move to another then to another. So, there would be a few chapters just about her relationship, then chapters just about her adventures into writing erotica, then chunks of her family’s drama was thrown in. If these elements would have been blended together, it would have improved the flow of the book.
Overall, this exactly the book I needed to read after feeling so frustrated with my reading. The characters were quirky, the plot was different from the norm, and it was just one of those laugh-out-loud books.

What was the last fun book that you’ve read?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Someone to Love by Donna Alward

Ethan Gallagher is a firefighter in Darling, Vermont, who followed tradition and pledged his love on the Kissing Bridge to ensure lifelong happiness. A few years later, he's a widower with two rambunctious boys who no longer believes in magic. But even he has to admit that free-spirited Willow Dunaway fills him with wonder...and an attraction he cannot deny.


Willow's come back to Darling a different girl than the one who left after high school. Overcoming her past and owning her own business has made her into a strong, independent woman. Single dad Ethan appeals to her in a way she didn't expect, even though settling down is the last thing on her mind. But after fire destroys the local food bank, the town rallies, and a fling between Ethan and Willow leads to unintended consequences. Can they find a way out of their heartbreak to make a home in each other's hearts?

 Series: Darling, VT #2 | Publisher: St. Martin's | Genre: Contemporary Romance| Source: Publisher| Rating: 1 Cups

Normally, I’m a fan of Donna Alward. Her books have small town charm and quirky characters and I normally gobble them up. So, when I spotted this one, I was excited. Sadly, it left me growly.
Here’s what’s going on. Ethan’s a widower raising two adorable little boys. He’s also a firefighter. He’s given up on happily ever afters and he’s also a bit grumpy. Willow’s a free spirit. She runs a café, is into yoga and meditation, and the total opposite of Ethan. Much to each other’s surprise, they find themselves falling for each other but one-night changes everything and now they need to figure out if they can work through their past hurts.
Okay, so I really enjoyed the start. Ethan and Willow totally had the whole opposites attract things going on. He’s surly and she’s like a ray of sunshine so I was having so much watching the two of them together and I was really rooting for them. Then I learned about the secret that Willow was keeping and nearly put down the book. Although Ethan kept me reading and more was revealed about Willow’s secret and, while I couldn’t get behind it, it made me understand her a bit better. Then Ethan decided to say/demand something and I lost all respect for him.
Honestly, I should have just put the book down then and there and walked away but I kept going hoping that he would redeem himself. Yeah, that never happened. I just can’t get behind Willow’s choice or what Ethan wanted.
What I did like about this book was the sense of family. I really enjoyed the Gallagher family and I’m actually eager to pick up the first book in this series just to see what happened with Aiden and Laurel.
Overall, I liked the beginning but it went downhill from there and given the way Ethan and Willow behaved, I just can’t believe their HEA was actually real.

Darling, VT Series
#1 Somebody Like You
#2 Someone to Love
#3 Somebody’s Baby (coming April, 2017)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Healing a Heart by Amy Lillard

Rancher Jake Langston prides himself on being the sensible type. But five years after the loss of his wife left him to raise their daughter alone, he indulges in a one-night stand with a sexy stranger. He thought he'd never see the woman again. Four months later, though, she's standing in his driveway with a big surprise. Bryn Talbot wants nothing from the hunky cowboy who got her pregnant, but her southern nature demands she at least tell him about it. When Jake's family persuades her to stay for a while, she's soon won over by their charms - and by Jake. But with the losses the two of them have suffered in the past, neither is sure if they're ready to take the leap to forever....


Series: Cattle Creek #2| Publisher: Tantor Audio | Narrator: Rebecca Estrella  | Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Source: Publisher | Ratings:  3.5 Cups

Jake and Bryn have both suffered loss. They’re damaged, not sure if they’re ready to let someone into their lives, and they need some healing to make them whole again. So, when a one-night stand leaves Bryn pregnant, Jake’s not exactly thrilled. And when his family convinces Bryn to stay, they slowly start to heal and figure out where things are headed.
Okay so, I’m not going to lie, if you’re going to pick up this book, AVOID THE AUDIOBOOK. The book itself is frustrating because, for the majority of the book, Bryn is frustrated then the narrator’s annoying narration only compounded to the frustration I felt.
Even though I felt frustrated on Bryn’s behalf, I found myself liking her. She’s been through a lot and suffered so much loss but she’s a tough cookie and she’s slowly figuring how to dig herself out of her grief. Jake’s another story; I ended up disliking him from the start. I know that’s he still dealing with the death of his wife, but he was such a wanker. As the book progressed, I started warming up to Jake but never found myself actually liking him and I think that had to do with the surly way the narrator portrayed him.
So, this was my first time listening to Rebecca Estrella and I have to say she’s not my favorite narrator. She made Bryn whiney, Jake was surly, and she portrayed a five-year-old little girl as if she was a tween.
This is the second book in the Cattle Creek series and it works well as a standalone. It also offered up just enough information on Jake’s brothers to pique my curiosity about the books to come.
Overall, this book sort of put me through the wringer and made me want to scream on Bryn’s behalf. I wished that I would have actually read this one because I’m wondering if my opinion of Jake would have changed.

Cattle Creek
#1Loving a Lawman
#2 Healing a Heart

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Joyous Blooms to Color by by Eleri Fowler

Eleri Fowler’s Joyous Blooms to Color has won over tens of thousands of fans who have embraced it with such words as "beautiful," "a keepsake," "a delightful escape from reality," and much more. 

Wander along a winding path with intricate, gorgeous illustrations of natural settings, lovingly represented in this delicately rendered coloring book. From landscapes of weeping willows in the breeze to patterns of bees and blossoms, all are waiting for your creative touch. Words to color—including quotes, like Emily Dickinson's "Bring me a sunset in a cup"—are set into beautiful, delicate designs that will inspire you as you create!

Joyous Blooms to Color’s large, 10x10 interior has 96 black-and-white pages printed on heavy paper stock, good for colored pencils and most markers. A perfect gift for loved ones, this sturdy and brilliantly illustrated coloring book will delight.
This is the perfect coloring book for Spring. It’s filled with blossoms, blooms, literary quotes, and whimsical little birds.

The book is 10x10 and the size is one of my favorites. I just find I like the square shape opposed to the rectangular books. The ink is high-quality and doesn’t smudge when blending colored pencils over it. The paper is a nice weight. It’s heavy and smooth, a nice crisp white and it works well with both fineliners and colored pencils.

Because the paper is so smooth, there’s no tooth to it, so I would avoid watercolors because they will, more than likely, run or bead up. I would also avoid using makers because the pages are double-sided and they will seep through.
The drawings in the book range from simple ones to more complex ones but each of them have something to do with nature and they all have a sense of whimsy to them.

My only complaint with this one is that some of the images run on both pages, so some of it gets lost in the spine. I would much rather have the images centered or to have fold out pages to avoid this issue.

Overall, this one would make a great gift to give or receive. Easy to color, nice quality, and just so much fun.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Audiobook Review: Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley

Cash Fraser is planning revenge, and to get it he needs the perfect woman. So he hires her. Abigail Butler has lost nearly everything in her life and she's about to lose the home she loves.

Cash meets Abby, who is posing as a paid escort, and the minute he does he knows he's willing to pay for more than Abby being his pretend girlfriend. A lot more. Abby needs the money or the last thing that links her to her dead family and husband will be gone. The deal is struck, but both Cash and Abby get more than they bargained for.

Cash realizes very quickly that Abby isn't what she seems, and while he changes strategies, Abby discovers that Cash's legacy, Penmort Castle, is like all the tales say - very, very haunted. Making matters worse, the ghost in residence wants her dead.

Abby's found herself in the battle of her life, so she enlists Mrs. Truman, her nosy neighbor; Jenny, her no-nonsense friend; Cassandra McNabb, white witch and clairvoyant with a penchant for wearing scarves (and lots of them); and Angus McPherson, dyed-in-the-wool Scot (which means he hunts ghosts in a kilt) to fight the vicious ghost who has vowed that she will rest at nothing to kill the true, abiding love of the master of Penmort.

Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation, Book 1 | Publisher: Audible Studios | Narrator: Abby Craden  | Length: 16 hrs and 52 mins | Genre: Paranormal Romance | Source: Publisher | Ratings: 4 Cups
Kilts, ghosts, a bossy hot Scot, and a quirky heroine? Yes, please! Seriously, who could resist this one?
Here’s what’s going on. Cash Fraser’s intent on reclaiming his birthright that was stolen from him but he needs a woman to help pull the wool over his crooked uncle’s eyes. When Abby Butler discovers that Cash is willing to pay anything to obtain a woman, she decides to pose as an escort in order to use the money to save her grandmother’s dilapidated house.  As time passes, Cash soon discovers that Abby’s not an escort and Abby starts to realize she’s feeling something for Cash. Although if the ghost of Penmort has her way, Abby won’t have time to discover if her relationship with Cash will go anywhere. So, Abby’s motley crew of friends decide to take matters in their own hands and rid Penmort of the ghostie.
Okay, so Cash and Abby were amazing together. They’ve both suffered loss and they’re both trying to figure out how to handle things. Abby’s thrown herself into remodeling her grandmother’s house and Cash is hell-bent on exacting revenge on his uncle and reclaiming his ancestral home. They have some healing that needs to happen and they both have to face things before they can move on.   
As most of you know, I have this thing for damaged heroes and Cash is definitely one. He’s broody and totally an alpha male yet he’s also kind, patient, and he takes care of what’s his. Abby’s a tough cookie. She’s not afraid to stand up to Cash and she never lets him off easy.
The relationship was an interesting one. It started out as Abby pretending to be an escort, then developed into something real. The physical relationship was started sooner, but the emotional relationship was a bit slower as they figured things out.
The secondary were interesting and entertaining, yet I found myself hating Jenny, Abby’s best friend. She just rubbed me the wrong way. Sure, she was there for Abby when she suffered her losses, but when Abby was able to stand on her own two feet, Jenny seemed annoyed and some of her actions seemed to me like she did them just to hurt Abby.
So, while this one has a nasty vindictive ghostie, the paranormal aspect was slow to start. It wasn’t until the latter half of the book that things started happening—the first part focused more on the relationship between Cash and Abby—and it worked. I also found the paranormal aspect to be believable.
Okay, so this was my first time listening to Abby Craden narrate and I’m not sure she was right for this one. While I had no problem with her narration of Abby and Mrs. Truman, I struggled when she narrated a character with an accent. And, more often than not, Cash sounded Russian rather than Scottish.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It had humor, serious bits, and hot moments.  

Ghosts and Reincarnation Series
Penmort Castle
Lacybourne Manor
Sommersgate House
Fairytale Come Alive
Lucky Stars

Monday, March 13, 2017

Home at Last by Lily Everett

Marcus Beckett left Sanctuary Island after his mother's funeral, and he hasn't been back since. Until now. Needing a change from the high-risk, high-stakes life of a bodyguard, Marcus makes a solitary life for himself running the neighborhood bar in his hometown. His only mistake? Seducing and then dumping the town's sweetheart, Quinn Harper. Marcus knows he did the right thing—a good girl like Quinn has no business with a broken man like him. But now no one will come to his bar, and he's watching his last chance at a peaceful life go up in smoke. So when Quinn proposes a fake four-week courtship, he can't refuse...even though he knows it's a bad idea.

It's a romantic charade that will buy Quinn time to distract her mother and father from their own maritial problems—and will help Marcus welcome back some paying customers besides. But what begins as an engagement of convenience slowly transforms into a deeper connection, one that heals both of their hearts...and ignites the simmering passion between them. Could it be that pretending to be together is just what Quinn and Marcus needed to give their real love a second chance?

Series: Sanctuary Island #6  | Publisher: St. Martin's| Release Date: 3/7/2017 | Genre: Contemporary Romance| Source: Publisher | Rating: 4.5 Cups

Marcus and Quinn were amazing together. They’re both wounded and need healing that only they can offer.
It's a romantic charade that will buy Quinn time to distract her mother and father from their own marital problems—and will help Marcus welcome back some paying customers besides. But what begins as an engagement of convenience slowly transforms into a deeper connection, one that heals both of their hearts...and ignites the simmering passion between them. Could it be that pretending to be together is just what Quinn and Marcus needed to give their real love a second chance?
Marcus Beckett never thought he’d step foot back on Sanctuary Island. Yet, after the client he was assigned to protect is murdered, this Marine-turned-secret agent needs a change. So, he opened a bar in his hometown, then made the mistake of dumping Quinn Harper, the town’s sweetheart. Now his business is floundering but Quinn, who has been in love with Marcus since she was a little girl, has a plan; if he would pretend to be her boyfriend for a few weeks to help save her parents’ marriage, she’ll help get people back into his bar. Although the lines between fake and real are becoming blurred and Marcus is realizing that, while his goal has been to keep Quinn out, she’s found a way in and he doesn’t really want to let her go.
Marcus is one of my favorite heroes. He’s loyal, faithful, yet stubborn. He’s also broken and needs someone to heal his wounds. He’s suffered loss and doesn’t know how to let anyone in. While he’s head-over-heels for Quinn, he doesn’t think he’s good enough for her so instead of letting her in, he pushes her away. I really liked Quinn. She’s just an all-around good person who is willing to do whatever she can to help others. She’s still figuring out what she wants to do with her life and just wants someone to believe in her and Marcus does.
I really enjoyed the romance. It’s a slow burn romance. Marcus and Quinn have a past and he broke her heart. They are both in love with each other but they’re cautious. He has a lot of things he needs to work out and she needs to figure out if she can trust him not to hurt her again.
There’s a subplot that involves Quinn’s parents. Paul and Ingrid’s marriage is in trouble thanks to Ingrid listening to a marriage guru that’s she’s moved into the house with them. Paul’s a straight arrow while Ingrid is sort of a hippie. I found that I enjoyed their story and rather than taking away from Quinn and Marcus, it added to it.
This one was so close to being a 5-cup read, so so close. The only reason that I knocked it down half a point was because, while Marcus’s secret was a weighty secret, I was expecting something a bit more than what I received.
Overall, this one is a keeper. While I did miss the start of Quinn and Marcus by not having read the previous books in the series, I had no problem keeping up with what was going on. Although, since I could not put this one down, I plan on picking up the previous books just to see what I missed in this series.

Sanctuary Island Series
Sanctuary Island  #1
Shoreline Drive  #2
Heartbreak Cove  #3
Home for Christmas  #4
Close to Home #5
Home at Last #6