Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review: Dog Gone, Back Soon

Author: Nick Trout
Title: Dog Gone, Back Soon
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publish Date: April 8, 2014
Buy: Amazon

Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: When Dr. Cyrus Mills returned home after inheriting his estranged father's veterinary practice, The Bedside Manor for Sick Animals, the last thing he wanted was to stay in Eden Falls, Vermont, a moment longer than absolutely necessary. However, the previously reclusive veterinarian pathologist quickly found that he actually enjoyed treating animals and getting to know the eccentric residents of the tiny provincial town-especially an alluring waitress named Amy.

So Cyrus is now determined to make Bedside Manor thrive. Not an easy goal, given that Healthy Paws, the national veterinary chain across town, will stop at nothing to crush its mom-and-pop competitor. And the rival vet practice isn't Cyrus's only competition; a handsome stranger shows up out of nowhere who clearly has a mysterious past with Amy. To top it off, Cyrus finds himself both the guardian of a very unique orphaned dog and smack in the middle of serious small town drama.

This charming sequel to The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs is a wild and delightful ride through one jam- packed week, where Cyrus must figure out how to outsmart the evil veterinary conglomerate, win back Amy's heart, solve several tricky veterinary cases, find a home for an orphaned dog, and detangle himself from an absurd case of mistaken identity. DOG GONE, BACK SOON brims with Nick Trout's trademark humor, charm, and captivating animal stories, and is proof that all dogs, lost or not, on four feet or two, deserve a second chance.

Review:  If you are an animal lover, this is a series of books you won't want to miss. Its a cozy veterinary sort of read. The mysteries involve the animals brought to Dr. Cyrus at Bedside Manor, and many of them are hard to solve.

This book is so well written from a vet's perspective.

I loved Dr. Cyrus. He's like the vet version of Temperance Brennan. He's very smart, and very socially awkward. His foot goes into his mouth a lot, but like Brennan (at least the Bones version of that character) he's well liked by everyone, except maybe the office manager at Healthy Paws, a rival veterinary practice.

To stay true to a cozy format, Cyrus has a sort of love interest in Amy, who I had a hard time liking for most of the novel, and a not so real love interest with Healthy Paws vet Winn Honey, who he gets sort of involved with, thanks to some manipulating by her daughter Charlie.

For the most part, I really wanted Cyril to get together with Winn, because she felt more suited to him, and I loved her daughter and the cat, Marmalade Succabone. (That's her porn star name).

Oh and then there's Stash. the doodle dog that comes into his life through some pretty strange means. I loved that dog!

This was really a sweet fun read that animal lovers will definitely embrace. If you love James Herriot type stories, this is definitely a series for you!

Rating: 5 flowers


Friday, July 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Secrets Of Richard Kenworthy


The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy

Book #4 of the Smythe-Smith Quartet

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can't be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family's infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She's the type of girl you don't notice until the second—or third—look, but there's something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she's the one.

Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can't quite believe it's all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can't help thinking that he's hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes.

Out: January 27,2015

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Review: The Shepherd's Bride

Author: Patricia Davids
Title: The Shepherd's Bride
Publisher: Love Inspired
Publish Date: March 18, 2014
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
Shunned by the Amish community, shepherd Carl King has given up on his dream for a family. Yet when captivating Lizzie Barkman shows up at the sheep farm where he works, Carl sees the wife he once dreamed of. Lizzie is looking for a new start, for herself and her sisters, and discovers Carl to be a kind and gentle man who cares deeply about the Amish way of life. But he is under the bann. Is it possible that this forbidden man holds the key to her family's safety—and the one to her heart?

Brides of Amish Country: Finding true love in the land of the Plain People.


Review: I'm a sucker for Amish romance! I love Patricia Davids' Brides Of Amish Country Series. She really brings real life to her stories. In this case the hero, Carl is under the Bann for a secret he won't share with the community. Its a pretty big secret too.

Lizzie is trying to save herself and her sister's from her nasty uncle and a bad marriage to an abusive man for her sister Carla. So she takes her savings and gets on a bus in search of her grandfather.

I liked that nothing was really easy for her, when it came to trying to bring her sisters to Hope Springs. You get to see how hardworking, loyal and loving Lizzie is and how strong and devoted Carl is. Lizzie proves her mettle when working with the sheep.

There's a lot of conflict between Lizzie and both her grandfather and Carl, but as things progress they smooth out more than a bit. It takes a coydog to really bring the two of them together and get his secret out in the open.

I loved Lizzie's granddad, who can only be described as an old codger. His nickname is Wooley Joe.  He's a lot softer than he lets on. He's been through much in his life and lost his daughter, so it gives him some rights at being curmudgeonly.

This is a great read for lovers of Amish fiction and romance.

Rating: 4 flowers


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book Review: The Trouble With Honor

Author: Julia London
Title: The Trouble With Honor
Publisher: HQN
Publish Date: Feb 25, 2014
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
Passion and scandal collide in New York Times bestselling author Julia London's brand-new series about four sisters determined to rescue themselves from ruin…

Desperate times call for daring measures as Honor Cabot, the eldest stepdaughter of the wealthy Earl of Beckington, awaits her family's ruin. Upon the earl's death she and her sisters stand to lose the luxury of their grand home—and their place on the pedestal of society—to their stepbrother and his social-climbing fiancée. Forced to act quickly, Honor makes a devil's bargain with the only rogue in London who can seduce her stepbrother's fiancée out of the Cabots' lives for good.

An illegitimate son of a duke, George Easton was born of scandal and grows his fortune through dangerous risks. But now he and Honor are dabbling in a perilous dance of seduction that puts her reputation and his jaded heart on the line. And as unexpected desire threatens to change the rules of their secret game, the stakes may become too high even for a notorious gambler and a determined, free-spirited debutante to handle.

Review: I really wanted to love this book, and for the most part, I liked Julia's writing, but Honor, OMG, I think the only heroine that I disliked as much as her is Bella Swan.

Yeah, that's how much I didn't like Honor Cabot. She's selfish, spoiled and just really unlikable. She is all about "Me" and though some of her actions are understandable, lie wanting to protect her mother, who either has a brain injury from an accident awhile back or some form of dementia.

I've read books about asylums in this period, and I can totally feel for her, about wanting her mother's health to remain private.

Then there's George. I liked him, but I couldn't grasp why a man that was obviously relatively intelligent would fall for her scheme? It just didn't make any good sense.

The only character I really liked was Monica, and she was supposed to be the villain, though you learn fairly early on, it isn't really her that is the nasty one.

Monica is pretty level headed, which is nice to see in contrast to Honor. I couldn't form an opinion on any of the other Cabot girls, because they pretty much faded into the background, obviously to await their own story.

I liked that the heat level of this book was low. Yes, there were some spicy scenes, but they didn't sit well with me. I wished Julia could have kept with the old fashioned writing style of regency romance, which is little to no sex. Plus, Honor didn't seem to grasp that once she had sex with George that she was ruined. That didn't make sense. But then again, Honor really didn't seem to understand that there could be consequences to her actions.

This was a pleasant read, but not a great one, but I will stay check out Grace's story when it comes out.

Rating: 3 flowers


Tasty Book Tours Book Review: Return of The Rebel



Blurb
The guy from the wrong side of the tracks… 
Being promoted should be a dream come true, only it means working closely with Cleo's childhood crush, Jax Monroe. Jax may no longer be the rebel she remembers, but he still gets her heart racing like no other.  
Jax cares too much about Cleo to let her get too close—but keeping his distance is proving impossible! As Jax reveals the extent of what he's been through, will Cleo show him that some things are too precious to put off until tomorrow?

Buy Links
Review: It has been awhile since I've read a Harlequin Romance, but this book reminded me, why I have to pick one up every now and then. I actually think the last Harlequin Romance I read was her, Safe In The Tycoon's arms, which was a fantastic read.

This one was just as good. And its a sweet romance. Sometimes you can get a bit of overkill on the smut and that's why I will always buy one or two books from the Romance line.

I love stories where people revisit old loves/crushes and that's what this book is. Oh and if you love a bad boy, Jax is rather hot reformed one. Though I'm not sure he really ever was a bad boy, more of a misunderstood one that needed some TLC.

Cleo is a Ranch girl with big dreams, dreams that keep her estranged from her family. I liked the drama that involved her family and that fact that Jennifer didn't have everything fixed at the end of the story. It made things more "real."

Jax and Cleo are really well developed characters that you really fall for. Oh and Jax has a secret he's keeping from Cleo, and though that causes him to make some pretty stupid decisions, it also makes you love him all the more.

A fun quick read. Jennifer Faye is now on my must read list

Rating: 5 flowers




Author Info
Jennifer Faye is a two-time RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Best Book Award nominee. Maybe that’s partly due to the fact that she has spent most of her life with her nose in one book or another. It was only natural that she would go on to spin tales of her own. Now living her dream, she resides in Pennsylvania with her patient husband, one amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter has flown the coop to chase her own dreams) and two spoiled cats. She’d love to hear from you via her website.
 Author Links

Rafflecopter Giveaway ( $25.00 Amazon Gift Card, and Three Digital Copies of THE RETURN OF THE REBEL)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Review: The Sweet Spot

Author: Stephanie Evanovich
Title: The Sweet Spot
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: July 8, 2014
Buy: AmazonIndieBound, and Barnes & Noble
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours
Book Blurb: When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets restaurateur Amanda Cole, it’s love at first sight. But while Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet.
But Chase has charm and heart, as well as hunky good looks, and he isn’t about to strike out in this courtship. His hopes rally when Amanda discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pregame rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan.
Then a tabloid and a hidden camera threaten to turn the love of a lifetime into just another late-night punch line. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?
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Review: I read Big Girl Panties last year and I enjoyed it, definitely enough to read the story of Chase and Amanda, who we met in BGP.

This was a little different  than the last book, a much quicker read, for sure, but a little more sexy. There was a bit of dom/sub storyline. Please people, can we get over the whole 50 shades stuff and just write good romance?

I've read enough erotica to know that this was very tame and just not worth being part of the story. I felt like that part of their relationship was written because it was the "in" thing to write about. And really, Steph gets the romance part of the story down perfectly.

What I do love about Steph's books are her heroine's aren't your picture perfect girls. They are real women.

This was a fun, spicier read, perfect for a beach blanket.

Rating: 3 flowers


Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Review: Hot Chocolate & Bitter Chocolate




Author: Dawn Greenfield Ireland
Title: Hot Chocolate
Publisher: Artistic Origins Inc
Publish Date: Oct 2011
Book Blurb: 
Meet the middle-aged Alcott sisters: Madge, Lila Mae and Dorothea, heiresses to the Alcott Chocolate fortune and mavens of Houston’s elite River Oaks.

Madge ambushes Lila Mae with Dorothea’s manipulative plea: she can’t care for Bernie, their 92-year old father, any longer. Lila Mae explodes in a hissy fit—she had warned Dorothea years ago that they should put Bernie in an assisted living center.

Robert, Lila Mae’s astrologer, warns of impending problems and he’s rarely wrong.

The sisters call a meeting with Walter Branson, their solicitor. They discuss Bernie’s nurse Bambi Chaline, a blonde bombshell who looks more like a hooker than a nurse.

Arrangements are made for Bernie to be transferred over to Lake Sides Assisted Living Center in the Uptown Galleria area and a severance package is drawn up for Bambi.

Jimmy Ray Chaline, Bambi’s bowling alley husband, is enraged that Bambi was let go. He hires ambulance chaser Mark Slade to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

The suit is thrown out of court further fueling Jimmy Ray’s rage. Bambi had been more than satisfied with her bonus, letters of recommendation and praise from the Alcott clan.

When Jimmy Ray fails to return home from the bowling alley that night, a series of events unfold that shocks the entire Alcott family and their extended members.


Review: This is one fabulous cozy mystery. This is book one in the Hot Chocolate Series and it definitely is different from so many other cozies out there. The Alcott sisters, Lila Mae, Dorothea and Madge are heirs to a chocolate company.

I absolutely loved these characters, especially Lila Mae. They are great southern ladies and an absolute hoot. Lila's gentlemen friend is Chance, a detective for the local police force. These two are quite a couple and when you toss in some really quirky household help, like Joseph and Amelia and you get a book that's full of laughs.

What I loved about this book was how you weren't sure who was going to end up dead. You thought Jimmy Ray was the bad guy at the beginning. You even thought Bambi might have been less than the innocent bimbo she seems to be, but that wasn't the case.

In fact, after Jimmy Ray's murder the family embraces Bambi. She's quite a character too, though she's a little harder for me to love, because she really is the stereotypical dumb blonde. (But she has a heart of gold) The sister's aren't the norm either, because its a little bit hard to imagine middle aged women embracing Bambi as a possible...erm stepmother with a potential heir to the chocolate business, but they do.

I loved that Diane kept you guessing about Jimmy Ray's killer to the very end, which made this an absolutely delicious read.

Rating: 4 flowers




Publisher: Artistic Origins Inc (June, 2014)
Category: Cozy Mystery
Series: Hot Chocolate Series- Book 2
Tour Date: June 30-July 30, 2014
Available in: ebook, 400 Pages, With Recipes The characters you loved in Hot Chocolate are back with more escapades of life in Houston’s wealthy River Oaks.

Lila Mae is in a tizzy over the Chocolate Ball – a huge event that she and her sisters, Dorothea and Madge, host every year. But due to unusual circumstances, Dorothea and Madge dump everything in Lila Mae’s lap. If it weren’t for Julian Gillespie of Event Is King, the Chocolate Ball would have melted.

Bernie, the Alcott sisters’ 92-year-old father, decides he wants his Bentley back. The sisters and Bambi are horrified. They hire Joseph’s cousin Chewie as Bernie’s new chauffeur.

Wolfram, Lila Mae’s new astrologer, gives clues of things to come. This leaves Lila Mae and her sidekick Amelia with brows furrowed.

On her day off, Amelia decides to bake a chocolate blueberry pie. She discovers she needs to make a grocery run. When she returns home, she discovers her kitchen door is slightly ajar. Arms loaded with groceries, she toes the door open.

Three things catch her attention: a vase of flowers on the kitchen island that was not there when she left the house, her marble rolling pin covered with blood… and a dead body on her kitchen floor.

Amelia’s eyes drift toward the dining room and beyond – is the house empty, or is there a murderer inside? She backs up, turns and hurries outside. After setting the bags on the ground, she slips back into the kitchen and snaps a picture of the dead guy. Then she calls Detective Chance Walker, Lila Mae and finally… 9-1-1.

Review: Bitter Chocolate is book two in the Hot Chocolate series, and we get to see all the fabulous and quirky characters from book 1 as well as a few more.

There were some things that left you wondering at the end of the first book like 55 year old Dorothea's pregnancy (OMG it might be TWINS!) as well as Bambi's. (Will she marry the father of her baby too).

I really loved Teddy, who is a new character in this story, and I liked getting to know Tilly a bit better too. Oh and there just might be romance in the air for those two as well as some of the other more familiar characters in this book.

I still wish we had more insight to Bambi and Bernie. Bambi's change from what seemed to be your typical blonde bombshell bimbo to sweet girl/mother is a bit to easy, but she's so lovable that you really don't care.

With the murder of Zoe's brother in law at Amelia's house and a few other nasty deeds, this is truly a fun read!

Rating: 5 flowers



About Dawn Greenfield Ireland:

Dawn Ireland is the CEO of Artistic Origins Inc, a 100% woman-owned publishing and technical writing service company that has been doing business since 1995. She’s an award winning independent publisher and author of The Puppy Baby Book , Mastering Your Money, and Amazon Best Seller Hot Chocolate (the first in the series, and her fifth novel). The Hot Chocolate audio book was awarded the AudioFile Earphones Award on Valentine’s Day 2014.

Her family feature film screenplay A Girl and Her Dog was awarded a Kids First! Endorsement by the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media in October 2012 and optioned by Shadow Cave Productions in February 2013.

Originally from Feeding Hills, MA, Dawn migrated to San Antonio in 1968, then when her first son was one years old, her family moved to Houston where work was more plentiful. After 40+ years of heat and humidity, she has her sights on the Pacific NW.

Dawn is the co-author of the animated screenplay Memoirs of a Dog which won the Spirit Award of the Moondance Film Festival (children’s category) September 2011. Her dark comedy Plan B was a finalist in the Table Read My Screenplay script competition in 2010 and years before that, Standing Dead won the Women in Film and Television (Houston Chapter) screenplay award.

Stay tuned for The Last Dog (futuristic/sci-fi 2015), and Spicy Chocolate (2016).

www.dawnireland-writer.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dawnireland 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dawn.ireland.18/friends
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