Review: Blueberry Hill by Bette Lee Crosby

Today I am reviewing a brilliantly written story that will leave you broken-hearted.  Bette Lee Crosby gives us a story that illustrates the turbulent life of a middle sister and how that life ended in a way that left a hole is everyone she touched.  This is definitely a story that will stay with you for a few days after reading.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.

22606804Book Blurb:

Based on the realities of her own family, Crosby calls this a memoir of sorts. Traveling back to a time when the sisters were young enough to feel invincible and foolish enough to believe it would last forever, Crosby has bared her soul in a story of regrettable decisions and inevitable outcomes.

Blueberry Hill is a tale of family relationships, love and tragedy. It is a story that will touch your heart and stay with you long after you have closed the book.

Review:

Donna is Bette’s younger rebellious sister.  She is the sister that isn’t afraid to do or say anything.  With this confidence came an inner freedom that Bette envied but as time went by saw how destructive that freedom can be.  Donna’s wild ways go from running away to marrying a man whom she loved but he was incapable of loving her back the way she deserved to finding out the hard way what cigarettes and alcohol can really do to a body.  As strong as Donna was she couldn’t fight her addiction even with her zest for life.  In the end Donna’s strong life withered away to a sad fate that if she had only chosen one different path would have allowed her to continue on with her exuberant life instead of leaving an emptiness with all those she touched.

This is an almost devastating story.  As Donna’s life is painted in front of you your able to see the wonder that she was.  Clearly she left a mark on all those she was around.  But, with many who have similar personalities comes addiction.  With Donna her addiction was cigarettes and alcohol.  It is eventually what extinguished a bright life.  It is a sad yet funny at times novel that shows how powerful love is and how devastating losing that love can be.  Overall, this is a short novel but one that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

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Review: Promise by Jnana Hodson

Today I am spotlighting for you a novel that is a bit outside the box.  It is not your traditional romance.  It centers much around spiritual ideal that the main character of Jaya holds so close.  This book is definitely different from many of the others that I have reviewed.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.

22411842Book Blurb:

When Jaya arrives as an idealistic stranger in a small Midwestern crossroads, she soon finds herself fascinated with a young waiter in a corner restaurant, even as she attempts to keep him at arm’s length. Still practicing the esoteric spiritual teachings she learned dwelling in a monastic community, she’s come to town vowing to be a good nun while both advancing her career and teaching yoga in her free time. Even so, she soon finds Erik’s playful charm irresistible.
Initially, though, he shields their encounters from his family and later keeps her in the dark about his activities when he’s away at college. Undaunted, as they become lovers in the whirlwind that follows, she responds to his proposals of marriage with her own promise to land them, somehow, in the shared place of their dreams, the Pacific Northwest.
What happens, though, if one partner pledges fully, while the other is only partly-committed? And what happens if they awaken in an alien desert rather than a rain forest – a place that becomes a metaphor for their marriage itself, with drought, rattlesnakes, and frozen pipes, as well as irrigated orchards, cowboys, and returning bald eagles? In time, they both come to cherish its open landscape, even if their marriage rocks with tremors. Ultimately, as a nearby mountain erupts and buries everything in volcanic ash, they must make essential decisions with inescapable consequences. This time, agreement is not a foregone conclusion, even in the face of renewed promise. There can be no turning back at the end.

Review:

Jaya has come to a small town to step out of the Ashram that she had surrounded herself.  When she begins to establish her life she meets a much younger man that she finds herself drawn to.  She can’t help herself and he can’t stop himself from being enamored by the new exotic stranger.  As Jaya’s and Erik’s relationship grows and complicates Erik finds himself torn between Jaya’s spiritual needs and his religious upbringing.  It is in times of challenge and adversity their relationship is questioned by both.  But, in the end can they come together like they hope and survive or will things shatter around them.

This was a real stretch for me.  It was a challenge to read because it tended to skip around.  Though the focus is on the central characters of Jaya and Erik their relationship becomes a bit unbelievable and I truly feel that Jaya devolves as a character at some points in the story.  Another focus was the spiritual aspect of the book.  It seems that much of the book was based on what one religion believes and teaches its followers and that is definitely a challenge to read if you do not believe in the same ideals.  Overall, this was an ok book but challenging for me.  I think it may be easier for those who share the same spiritual beliefs as the main character to relate to the book a bit better than myself. 

Fresh Face Friday: Never Had a Dream Come True by Jennifer Wenn

Happy Friday!  I hope all of you have had a great week but if you haven’t I hope you are looking forward to a great weekend.  I am starting your weekend off with a fabulous regency romance by Jennifer Wenn.  Never Had a Dream Come True  is the second book by Jennifer Wenn.  If you read her first book A Family Affair you will see some familiar faces.  That being said you can read this as a standalone also.  So, if I have caught your fancy with this intro keep reading after the book blurb for my full review.  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

18459170Book Blurb:

Lady Penelope de Vere has been in love with Rake for as long as she can remember, daydreaming over him constantly. But as her debut in the ton comes closer, she decides to finally let go of her silly childhood dream and accept someone else’s wish to court her, someone who appreciates a quiet, book-filled life as she does. She wants marriage and, despite all the hints she throws his way, Rake only wants a mistress…she thinks.

Lord Richard Darling has known Penny since she was a child and not once thought of her as anything but his niece’s best friend and a very convenient scone-fetcher. That is, not until he happens upon her swimming in the lake at Chester Park dressed only in her thin chemise. A most eligible bachelor with a libertine reputation, he suddenly finds the girl he’s always appreciated has turned into a woman he could love forever. So why won’t she accept his proposal?

Review:

Penny has been in love with Rake for her whole life.  Rake has looked at Penny like a little sister until he caught her swimming and he realized what a woman she has grown to become.  Once Penny realizes that Rake is now interested in her she knows she must guard her heart against the well-known womanizer.  Rake doesn’t give up easily.  Even after Penny agrees to court a more sensible man she is still madly in love with Rake and knows she always will.  Penny must decide whether she wants the life she has always dreamt of or a much more sensible one.

I really liked this book.  It was a quick read and my two favorite characters from A Family Affair are back with their own story.  Penny and Rake are well written and become very intense once things start heating up.  The story and the ill-mannered way that Penny is treated by her own family adds a bit of intrigue to a typical Regency Romance.  Though this may ring as a typical Regency romance I find that Jennifer Wenn’s characters and story-lines are still catching and draw in the reader.  This is the second book with these characters but you don’t have to read them in a series.  I suggest you do because both are great stories.  Overall, this is another winner by Jennifer Wenn.

Review: My Kind of Crazy by Katie O’Sullivan

I am lucky to be able to spotlight today, My Kind of Crazy by Katie O’Sullivan.  This is a great beach read that you won’t want to put down when the sun goes down.  Its got very memorable characters and a puppy that just hasn’t grown into his body yet.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.  Be sure to pop back tomorrow for a new Fresh Face Friday.

22058313Book Blurb:

Kendall Roarke is betting everything on making her Harwichport Bed & Breakfast into the premier wedding destination on Cape Cod, despite her recent messy divorce.

Jonathan Reynolds moved back to the Cape to take over his uncle’s business and start fresh after his own marriage ended. He’s not looking for anything complicated – until he meets Kendall, with her big plans and wild mop of curls.

Throw an unruly foster puppy and an uptight new neighbor into the mix and things get a little crazy. Now Kendall has to decide if it’s the kind of crazy that she can live with… for the rest of her life

Review:

Kendall is busy restoring the Bed and Breakfast she bought with her now ex-husband.  She doesn’t have time to fall in love or even look at another human being.  That is until she runs into Jon at the local coffee shop.  Once Jon meets Kendall he can’t get her out of his mind.  He seems to be running into her with her new Saint Bernard puppy, Midget.  Though Jon can’t get Kendall out of his head he isn’t even sure if he’s ready for a new relationship after his marriage.  Even though they fight their attraction they are drawn together.  But, as their fledgling relationship starts to take off so do Kendall’s woes with her Bed and Breakfast and a contentious neighbor threaten to tear apart both Kendall’s fragile business and her new romance.  Can Kendall learn to trust again and with that will she find the independence and perseverance that she lost?

I loved this book.  It was a fun story with characters that you grew to love.  Kendall and Jon are definitely a perfect match.  When you throw in the shenanigans of Midget and the trials and tribulations with Kendall’s Bed and Breakfast it makes for a fantastic story.  This is the first book of the Adult contemporary that I have read by Katie O’Sullivan and I was not let down.  I loved her young adult book, Son of a Mermaid and I knew I had to read this one.  With this book it really shows the diversity and development that she has grown as a writer.  Her characters are strong with witty dialogue and a fantastic setting and story that takes the reader into the story.   Overall, this is a fantastic book that is definitely beach reading material. 

Review: Into the Spiral by Erin Danzer

Today I am reviewing for your pleasure a wonderful new series to the young adult genre.  Into the Spiral gives everything you want in a new series’ first book.  If your looking for a refreshing young adult book you definitely want to take a look at this one.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.

16283279Book Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Lambert wants to get out from under her older brother’s shadow. When Ronnie gets a tattoo and then is struck by lightning, she suddenly finds herself able to see and hear things in shadows that don’t appear to others. Then Ronnie meets Gavin Clearwater, the hot new guy in all of her classes and finds out he can see and hear the same things she can.

Gavin tells her about the Spiral Defenders, a group of warriors that travels through space and time to defend the planets of the Spiral. After meeting the Commander of the Spiral Defenders and realizing his intentions might not be pure, Ronnie struggles between following her destiny to become a Spiral Defender and trying to regain the life she had before being struck by lightning.

Review:

On Ronnie’s birthday she feels embolden to take her life in her own hands by getting a tattoo.  It is this one decision that will eventually effect her future.  It isn’t long after getting the unique tattoo that she is struck by lightning.  Though she doesn’t know it yet not only is high school going to be different but so is her life.  All of a sudden she is getting attention she hasn’t had before especially from the new guy in school, Gavin.  Soon Ronnie starts to see things that were never there before.  When she learns that Gavin can see them too they become closer in detriment to her new relationship.  Gavin explains why they can both see wraiths and what people like them are chosen to do.  Eventually, Ronnie must decide to stay with her normal high school life or move on to her future that may save a world. 

I really liked this story.  Ronnie is a typical high school student and teenager.  But, in the short time of this story and the events that change her world allow for her to grow.  I was very happy to see that because of the things she says to Shawn when they first begin dating really upset me.  I personally didn’t like the idea of a character saying “I’d be and do anything you want.”  Thank goodness Ronnie redeems herself though doesn’t lose the bit of teenager she is.  I truly think this series has a lot of promise and I really look forward to reading more of this series.  Overall, this is a great story with memorable characters and a story that can go anywhere from here. 

 *** I do want to note however that the description of the book on Goodreads portrays Ronnie as 15 and the description I found on the author’s webpage states she is 17.  I find that a more correct description than the one on goodreads.  So, please be aware that Ronnie isn’t as young as that particular descripition leads you to believe.  Once you read the book you will know what I mean.***

 

Review: Give Me Grace by Kate McCarthy

Today, I am privileged to review Kate McCarthy’s Give Me Grace.  This is the third in her Give Me series.  This was a fantastic book.  This can be read within the series or as a standalone.  I had every intention to read the first two books but due to time constraints I wasn’t able to, but I will definitely be going back and reading books 1 and 2.  I loved the story and the writing.  If the other two are similar than Kate McCarthy is going to have a big fan in me.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.

18169153Book Blurb:

Casey Daniels has a past forged in Hell. Despite the friends, the endless supply of women, and the muscle car he spent years restoring, it still eats away at him.

Grace Paterson is in Sydney as a temporary bassist for Jamieson, the band Casey handles security for. She’s also infuriating, off-limits, and completely irresistible.

A deal is struck, and despite their intense and powerful connection, both think it will be easy to walk away. But life can be more ruthless than either of them ever imagined. Not only does Grace have a secret she’s desperate to keep, Casey has questions from his past that he’s willing to do anything to get answers for.

It’s not until someone wants one of them dead that Casey realises his love for Grace is the one thing he could never walk away from.

In a story of revenge, betrayal, secrets, and love, Casey will need to reconcile his past with his present, before the future he never knew he wanted is snatched away.

Review:

Casey and women have always had a give take relationship.  They give him sex and he takes what he needs from them, usually information.  This all changes when he meets Grace Paterson.  She has come in to help her brother, the guitarist for the band Jamison, by playing bass.  Grace isn’t just some woman Casey can use.  Grace is feisty, passionate and hiding more secrets than anyone knows.  Since Grace is joining Jamison Casey will be her security.  Unfortunately, even with Grace’s brother’s warning both Grace and Casey are drawn to each other.  Between passionate encounters, exes, motorcycle gangs, family secrets and fighting attempts to be killed Grace and Casey build something they know will be hard to let go.  When things end will it be for good or will their finally be a happily ever after?

I love, love, loved this story.  I am definitely going back and reading the first two books.  I totally fell for all of the characters in this book.  Its not just Grace and Casey who are both fantastic and visibly grow throughout the story.  This isn’t just a love story with quite a few steamy sex scenes it is also emotionally poignant and definitely leaves you feeling drained from the emotions you have ridden with all of these characters. I’m also starting to really love my Aussie authors.  They are all so talented writing great stories of love with great sex scenes that will definitely leave your pages smoldering or your e reader fogged.  Kate McCarthy is definitely a very skilled story writer who knows how to thrust her reader into the lives of her characters and make them feel as if they are a part of the story.  Overall, this was an awesome book and I truly can’t wait to read more by Kate McCarthy and more of the Give Me series.

EXCERPT

I slipped out the front door, letting it softly click shut behind me. Casey was sitting in his car, staring

straight ahead as I walked down the drive. Opening the car door, I slid inside and shut it. He didn’t

acknowledge my presence, or even look at me at all. He simply shifted gears, and with a quick glance

in his rearview mirror, pulled out onto the road.

I clicked my seat belt into place. “Casey?”

With a hard swallow, he shook his head, keeping his eyes on the road as we drove. Despite his

controlled composure, his face was pale and tension surrounded him like an aura.

“Casey, you’re scaring me.”

“I’m sorry.” Our eyes met for a brief moment, the connection intense. Raw pain flickered in his

eyes before it was quickly banked. “That’s the last thing I want to do.”

His palm slid over my bare thigh, riding upwards as he continued to drive. The touch sent

arousal spiking through me, but not enough to override the concern.

“Where are we going?”

He shook his head as if he had no clue. After a moment, he replied, “I want to drive, but I don’t

want to be alone. I want to be with you.”

My eyes fixed on his profile as he drove. The knuckles of his right hand were white on the

steering wheel and his jaw tight. Something wasn’t right. In fact, something was very wrong. I slid my

hand over his, my pulse racing when he flipped his palm over and grabbed hold.

“Casey?”

He glanced over at me.

“I want to be with you too.”

His answer was a squeeze of my hand before letting go.

We sat in silence as he drove. I stared at the dashboard, having no idea what to do or say or

how to fix what was wrong.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“Sure.” A smile came to his lips. It was forced because it never reached his eyes. “Just a bad day

at work, you know?”

“No, I don’t know. Maybe you should tell me.”

The roads were eerily quiet when he pulled to a stop at a red light. “I don’t want to talk right

now.” His hand fell on my thigh again, the calloused palm scraping my skin as it slipped upwards.

Reaching between my thighs, he dragged my panties to the side and slipped his fingers inside, gently

massaging my clit and dragging a moan from my throat. He leaned over, putting his mouth on my

ear, his breathing coming harder and heavier.

“I want to fuck you, Grace. Not just tonight, but every night,” he professed, his fingers working

me expertly. The red light turned green, but with no cars around, Casey ignored it. “Hard enough for

it to hurt, so that when you leave, me fucking you is the only thing you can think about.”

I closed my eyes, my head falling back against the headrest. I wanted him to fuck me that

hard. I wanted to feel him inside me even when he wasn’t there, but not like this. Not when he was

using sex to mask a hurt so painful and deep I could feel the ache of it surrounding me until I felt

suffocated.

“No,” I gasped.

He froze at the single word, his hand stilling instantly.

“There’s something wrong, Casey. I can feel it.”

His hand slipped out of my panties and I mourned the loss. “I don’t want to talk about it,” he

snapped.

Tension bled into the car as he put it in gear and accelerated swiftly. My eyes burned. When we

were good, it was wild and intense and consuming, but we always spiralled into such a hot mess. I

wasn’t sure if Casey and I would ever find a happy medium.

Drawing a deep breath, I forced calm. “Maybe you should take me home.”

“No.”

My brows flew up. “No?”

“No.” He shook his head, his tone cold and harsh. “This was your deal, and now you want to turn it

into some kind of relationship? That’s not what this is. This is about you and me and sex. So maybe

you should spread your legs so we can both get what we want.”

8c87a-authorpicAUTHOR BIO

Kate McCarthy grew up in a small town outside of Port Macquarie, Australia. Raised in a house just a

short walk to the beach, Kate enjoyed the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere and friendships that come

from being raised in a friendly, small town area.

She now resides in Brisbane, Australia, a city in the state of Queensland where she works as an

accountant, along with a sideline wedding cake business and her writing.

She is married with two children, has two dogs and house in the suburbs, and a pile of friends and

family dotted all over the country that help keep her sane.

When she’s not busy running after naughty kids, filthy dogs, crunching numbers, piping buttercream

and writing books, you can find her curled up in bed in the early hours of the morning reading new

books and re-reading old favourites. Her favourite books are the Black Dagger Brotherhood series

by J.R. Ward in which she longs to eventually join the brotherhood and change her name to Phierce

Mutha.

AUTHOR LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KateMcCarthyAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KMacinOz

Website: http://katemccarthy.net/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6876994.Kate_McCarthy

PURCHASE LINKS FOR THE GIVE ME SERIES

#3 Give Me Grace

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1ragD9b

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1qmr87U

ALSO AVAILABLE

#1 Give Me Love (FREE)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1hZfET0

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/17mlZpR

#2 Give Me Strength

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1m9Le1B

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1mIDmVv

GIVEAWAY

There is a giveaway included for 2 x $25 Amazon gift cards, 5 signed paperbacks including a cover

photo signed by Colby Lefebvre + 10 ebooks of Give Me Grace

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba3ffd100

Coffee and a Review of Sex in the Title by Zack Love

148-coffee-cup-free-vectorToday’s coffee and a review is a great start to your week.  Sex in the Title is a hilarious look at men, sex and NYC.  This book is definitely a great insight and validation to what every women thinks a man thinks about.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.  I hope you all have a wonderful week to come. 

18710853Book Blurb:

New York City, May 2000. The Internet bubble has burst and Evan, a computer programmer, is fired with an email from his boss. The next day, his girlfriend dumps him, also via email. Afraid to check any more emails, Evan desperately seeks a rebound romance but the catastrophes that ensue go from bad to hilariously worse.

Fortunately, Evan meets Sammy — someone whose legendary disasters with females eclipse even his own. To reverse their fortunes, they recruit their friends — Trevor, Yi, and Carlos — to form a group of five guys who take on Manhattan in pursuit of dates, sex, and adventure.

When Evan, a closet writer, falls desperately in love with a Hollywood starlet, he schemes to meet her by writing a novel that will sweep her off her feet. Sammy knows nothing about publishing but is confident of one thing: Evan’s book should have the word “sex” in the title.

With musings about life, relationships, and human psychology, this quintessential New York story about the search for happiness follows five men on their comical paths to trouble, self-discovery, and love.

Review:

When Evan and Sammy meet it isn’t under the best of circumstances.  They have both ended up in the hospital with injuries to very sensitive parts of their bodies.  But, it is here that the two become friends and learn about each other and their inability to sustain relationships with woman or even just get laid.  Its with this clandestine meeting that the two devise a plan to rope in their friends in a posse which will get them all where they want to be…with hot chicks.  It is through meeting these men and learning their stories that hilarity ensues and success with women is not always the outcome.  In the end some will find happily every after and others will end up in an Ashram in upstate NY.

This was a great book.  It definitely had lots of comedy and had me cringing for the guys in some of their more cringe-worthy moments.  All five of the guys have unique personalities and bring something different to the story.  Their stories are interwoven masterfully and give a woman a great sense of what men are really about.  Sadly its not too shocking what they are really about.  It is in the title.  But, with the bad in their stories come the good and they definitely have redeeming qualities and events that happen to them.  I would definitely recommend this book if you want a good laugh and a little insight into the male psyche.  Overall, a wonderful read with great characters and a great story. 

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