ARC Review: Chasing Christmas Eve (Jill Shalvis)

Spence and Colbie meet on the legendary fountain when Spence practically pushed Colbie into it — well, it’s the dog’s fault, but still… *grin*. Spence then takes Colbie to stay at his building when Colbie says she needs temporary place to stay while she is working on her writing (psst, Spence doesn’t know that Colbie is a famous YA author, okay? She uses pen name!). There is attraction from that first moment and they decide to act on it, even if they know it’s going to be a short one since Colbie is heading back to New York in three weeks…

When it is announced that there will be MORE books of the Heartbreaker Bay series, not just the original three books, I am so happy! Because Shalvis introduced bunch of interesting characters right from the start, and I thought back then, if Spence and Joe didn’t get their own story, I was going to haunt Shalvis on her Twitter everyday! *laugh*.

Chasing Christmas Eve is the story for our millionaire and resident genius, Spence, and it offers Shalvis’ brand of sizzling humor and chemistry. I know I can count on Shalvis when the mood strikes and I want to read something light, easy, and fun. Spence and Colbie are amusing to read individually AND together. Especially when Spence is dealing with Elle’s bitchiness or Caleb’s tendency to steal food and Colbie’s way of trying to work on her books.

The ‘conflict‘ happens because they both know about the time limit. Spence and Colbie don’t want to involve feelings into their romantic affair. Of course we all know that resistance is futile *laugh*. I’m not worried that Spence and Colbie won’t make it, they are a good match for one another.

The only thing that slightly frustrated me in this book was Colbie’s inability to say no to a lot of people in her life. I think Colbie lets her family depends on her a little bit too long because she’s used to being the provider. Her family members annoyed me, to be honest. It also takes time for Colbie to deal with her agent and publisher. I wanted to see her to be more strong-headed towards all of them, and it didn’t happen as quickly as I expected.

I cannot wait to read Kylie and Joe’s story next…

 

RATING: 4 out of 5
4stars

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

Title: Chasing Christmas Eve
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay, #4
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon Books
Purchase Links: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
Release Date: September 26, 2017

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ARC Review: Tangled Up in Tinsel (Candis Terry)

Candis Terry returns to Sunshine Valley, Oregon, with Tangled Up in Tinsel, featuring Parker Kincade, fourth in line in the all gorgeously yummy Kincade brothers. Parker is planning to open a restaurant to help the family business in the midst of his older brother’s wedding preparation. Parker promises Jordan that the restaurant will be the venue for Jordan and Lucy’s wedding reception. Parker is pretty much under stress when Gabriella Montani, a gorgeous woman who wants to finally take first step to reach for her food dreams, approaches him and ask for a job as his upcoming chef….

I think this book is sexier than the previous two books and this time it’s a good thing. I mean, Jordan and Lucy have ‘not-so-pretty’ history. Declan and Brooke have that boss/assistant/friends-to-lovers tension. Parker and Gabi, on the other hand, have the freedom to explore the insane sparkling attraction between the two of them without any strings attached (at first!).

I LOVED how Gabi takes charge of the obstacles that came her way… You know what, she can be my new best friend! Sure, Gabi may come a little too-good-to-be-true on page (she can cook, she can use power tools, darn girl!) but I loved her tenacity. Yes, there are moments when Gabi seem to lose her confidence, that she needs to ask help from her Nonni for advice, that she crows back to the girl who had her heart broken after his father’s affair … however, it seems that Gabi is always able to get back up again.

Gabi may insert herself in Parker’s decisions about the restaurant or in Jordan and Lucy’s wedding preparation, but she has smart and clear visions, she becomes integral to the result. I didn’t find her nosy at all!! Like I said, my new best friend 🙂

As for Parker … well, when he’s NOT being an idiot he can be my new book boyfriend *grin*. How could I not love a man who can cook, who is playful, who can become a peacemaker when the family are all shouting in distress, and who can say the perfect words to his younger sisters when they both need it? Plus that Christmas gift he gives Gabi … and the words he has behind it to explain the meaning of the gift? SWOON-WORTHY STAMP OF APPROVAL!!!!

I enjoyed all of their interactions; the back-and-forth innuendos were really fun to read. Compared to book #1 and #2, I think this one is mainly has smooth-sailing pace. I didn’t see a big problem that could stop Parker and Gabi to be together. Which is why Parker being an idiot near the end felt like a bit too forced by the author to create a tension. I didn’t feel it was believable enough and I was a bit annoyed by it. Having said that, in overall, I was still very much entertained. I basically finished this in one sitting.

So I can say that this is another winner from Candis Terry, one of my favorite authors in this genre *smiling happily*.

PS: Jordan as Groomzilla was HILARIOUS!! But of course the wedding was beautiful *siiigh*

 

RATING: 4 out of 5
4stars

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

Title: Tangled up in Tinsel
Author: Candis Terry
Series: Sunshine Creek Vineyard, #3
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon Books
Purchase Links: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
Release Date: September 26, 2017

ARC Review: Sugar Pine Trail (RaeAnne Thayne)

Sugar Pine Trail is Jamie Caine’s and Julia Winston’s story. Julia is the Haven Point’s librarian. Jamie is the lead pilot for Caine Tech company jet fleet, second-youngest Caine brother and number five in line. Jamie needs short-term place to stay for six weeks while his condo is being finalized. Julia, who now owns her family house after her parents passed away, ends up agreeing to rent the upstairs apartment to Jamie. Julia has been having crush on Jamie for a long time. When Jamie arrives in all of his gorgeous glory, Julia starts to think that the arrangement is a bad idea. However, before that issue is solved, Julia finds herself also being a temporary care person for two young brothers on this holiday season …

Haven Point … I’ve been with this series since the very beginning three years ago and I always LOVE return to this small town. I read the last book back in May, and I am happy to have another one not that far along.

I loved both Julia and Jamie … I loved Julia’s kind heart. She might be acting all awkward around Jamie but once Clint and Davy come into the picture, Julia is like mama bear. She might not have experience with kids, but she’s willing to give it everything. I loved her background, and the fact that she tried to improve her life this holiday season. I loved that she finally found her confidence, despite initial thoughts that she was too ordinary, too plain, for Jamie Caine.

As for Jaime, well hell, he’s a fine, FINE man :). I might not know much about him before since I didn’t read Thayne’s Hope’s Crossings series but I loved the man that I read here. I loved his interacting with the kids (and cats!). I enjoyed the part where Jamie finally realized that he fell in love with Julia — even if he didn’t think that Julia was his type at first. And of course he had to give Julia the perfect Christmas gift *swoon*

Sure, this book enforces the “introvert librarian who lives with cats stereotype“. Plus some things might be a little manipulative to evoke emotion, like the appearance of young Clinton and Davy. I mean if Clinton and Davy are not there, will the romance between Jamie and Julia be developed? I don’t know. But I don’t bloody care. Because in the end, I was touched in my heart, had tears in my eyes, and formed a huge smile on my face. That’s all that matters.

PS: The rest of the Caine siblings are characters from Thayne’s Hope’s Crossings — except Jamie and his older brother, Aidan, who starts Haven Point series with the book Snow Angel Cove. The siblings and their significant partners made appearance in this book, alongside the Caine patriarch and I loved being with them.

RATING: 4 out of 5
4stars

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

Title: Sugar Pine Trail
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Series: Haven Point, #7
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books
Purchase at: Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Kobo
Release Date: September 26, 2017

ARC Review: Blame It On The Bet (L.E. Rico)

After their father died, Hennessy O’Halloran and his three sisters are determined to raise enough money to save their family pub from the hand of Bryan Truitt, a real estate developer from Los Angeles whose plan is to build a theater to replace the pub. Bryan comes to Mayhem in order to smooth the deal. Hennessy and Bryan end up entangled in a bet: Bryan will stay in Mayhem until Hennessy raise the money to buy out the loan or until the day before the loan comes due. If Bryan leaves before five weeks, he will pay the loan and deeds it back to O’Halloran family for nothing.

Entangled Bliss line promises sweet, sweet romance (and closed-door sex scenes) and that is one of my particular interests of trying this title from new-to-me author, L.E. Rico. Blame It On The Bet is the first book of Whiskey Sisters series, set in the small town of Mayhem, Minnesota. With dual narratives, I found myself being entertained with both characters as well as the citizens of Mayhem. Oh they are a HOOT!! Especially Father Romance. Yep, that’s how they call him. Oh, and Helen — Bryan’s badass assistant. She was totally awesome.

Both Hennessy and Bryan were nice characters. Yep, despite the set-up that should make Bryan the enemy, I found him more of a good guy. He totally didn’t have a “villain-y” vibe and he seemed to embrace the quirks of events that happened in Mayhem, like the chilli cook-off or trivia nights. That made it fun to read. There was sweet sparks between Hennessy and Bryan, and I liked how their relationship progressed.

I was a little confused with the girls’ names though — what can I say, I still classify ‘girls’ name vs. ‘boys’ name in my head to make it easier to differentiate the two. So names like Hennessy, Jameson, or Walker, totally threw me off a number of times. Also the Bryan’s background felt a little forced, like the author needed to introduce a conflict for these two somehow. Or else this was going to be a little too smooth.

In overall, I liked this. I am curious about Jameson and Walker next …

RATING: 3.5 out of 5

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:
Title: Blame It On The Bet
Author: L.E. Rico
Series: Whiskey Sisters, #1
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 326 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Bliss
Purchase at: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook
Release Date: September 11, 2017

ARC Review: New Tricks (Kelly Moran)

New Tricks is Drake (the oldest O’Grady brother) and Zoe’s story. I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for this one. All of the bread crumbs given in previous books by the author promised a quite emotional read. With Zoe being both Drake’s and Heather’s — his deceased wife — best friend, it’s a friends-to-lovers with a side of guilt kind of situation. I want to know how Kelly Moran tackled that.

Well, guess what this book is another winner for me; it’s totally right up my alley.

Same heart; different ways of love

I thoroughly appreciated the fact that while in the beginning Drake might be in conflict regarding his new-found feeling towards his best friend, but then he completely embraced it. Drake saw Zoe in both her strengths and vulnerabilities. The progress from seeing Zoe as his best friend to someone Drake loved a lot more was convincing; it helped that Zoe was in his life since forever. They had their own special moments, even when Heather was still alive.

In terms of pursuing this relationship, Zoe was the one holding back. Usually I’m easily annoyed with a heroine’s tendency to run away from her possible happiness. In this case, though, I could understand why Zoe was reluctant. She had a lot on her plate. It was more than Drake being her dead best friend’s husband, but there was another issue related to Zoe’s mother having early onset dementia.

For me, Zoe’s excuse rang true and it was heartbreaking to read. My heart went all out for her. I thought Zoe was an amazing character, and she might be my favorite heroine from this series. If I have an ounce of her beautiful heart, I’d probably be a better person.

Reading Drake and Zoe’s relationship flourished was a delight. That grand romantic gesture by Drake made me all teary eyed *sigh*.

We met in an empty room.
Two broken souls among the fray.
Years and distance and regret between us,
And with one call, you stayed.

I wish there is one more chapter, an epilogue maybe, just so I can see everyone in their happily ever after

Redwood Ridge has been an excellent series read. I’m so happy that the author tweeted back to me back in July and said that there would be more books from Redwood Ridge (Jason the firefighter is next followed by Parker the sheriff!)

RATING: 4.5 out of 5

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

Title: New Trick
Author: Kelly Moran
Series: Redwood Ridge, #3
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 216 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo
Release Date: September 26, 2017

ARC Review: Fly Away with Me (Susan Fox)

Fly Away with Me is my first experience with Susan Fox — and unfortunately, while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t completely loving it. I guess my biggest issue was with the romance. I don’t know whether it is because the relationship starts as a holiday fling (I thought Aaron was a little bit too pushy) or because there is a bigger drama with both Eden’s family (her mother’s cancer) and Aaron’s family (his sister, a single mother, is being evicted) — but the romance is a little bit underwhelming.

Considering that Eden and Aaron are quite different in characteristics — Eden is more of a planner, more uptight and serious, with close relationship with her family versus Aaron who is all about fun, short term goals and has no plan for long term relationship — I was expecting these two butting heads with sparks flying everywhere. I didn’t feel like I got all of that, though. And I was slightly annoyed with what I thought of the “serious reserved city life BAD vs. fun relaxed small town life GOOD” premise that I seemed to conclude from this book.

Having said that, I was VERY much interested with the “mystery” — in this case, Eden’s quest to find her missing aunt and what might have been going on with the cult, the missing leader, and the mysterious girl that Eden’s aunt seemed to help all those decades ago. What happened to her? What other secrets that the rest of the cult member might have knowingly kept? I guess the mystery-fan in me is very much intrigued with all of those.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

Title:
 Fly Away with Me
Author: Susan Fox
Series: Blue Moon Harbor, #1
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Kensington Press
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Playstore
Release Date: July 25, 2017

ARC Review: Lucky Charmed (Sharla Lovelace)

Lucky Charmed is the second book in Lovelace’s Charmed in Texas series, following A Charmed Little Lie that was released in April.

This time, we have Carmen Frost who has been planning to leave Charmed to follow her wanderlust dream after finally divorcing her husband… only to find out that her first love, Sullivan “Sully” Hart — the one who left her behind and broke her heart fifteen years ago — has decided to return and settle down in Charmed instead.

Similar to the first book, Lucky Charmed is written using the heroine’s first person narrative. I do prefer alternate point-of-views in my romance. I mean, there were times that I would’ve LOVED to get inside Sully’s mind, to know what he thinks and feels about Carmen. However, I admit that I enjoyed the drama and the surprises at the same time as Carmen.

Without knowing anything about that night from Sully’s perspective, Carmen’s emotion when she discovers the secrets being kept from her feels more effective. Besides, despite the lack of Sully’s POV, I still thought the chemistry between the two of them was strong.

I loved that Carmen doesn’t easily give in to Sully’s explanation. I loved that she gets angry at him. I loved that she confronts Sully (and also her mother). I loved that Carmen still tries to follow her dream. Sometimes it needs to be done — experiencing what you think you want or need before making any decision in your life.

I really think Sharla Lovelace’s writing clicks with me. Now I can’t wait to read book #3. Because there’s a development regarding that future couple in this book that intrigues the hell out of me!

PS: There are a number of errors regarding the name of Sully’s brother. At first it is written as Aidan. But later it is also written as Aiden. I hope the release version is cleaned from this mistake.

RATING: 4 out of 5

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

Title:
 Lucky Charmed
Author: Sharla Lovelace
Series: Charmed in Texas, #2
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 217 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
Release Date: July 18, 2017