Monday, October 31, 2016

Book Review: Last Chance Saloon

Author: Marian Keyes
Title: Last Chance Saloon
Publisher: Avon Books
Publish Date: May 2, 2002
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Ever since legwarmers were cool, best friends Tara, Katherine, and Fintan have survived small-town ennui, big-city heartbreak, and endless giddy nights out on the town. But now that they've graduated to their slightly more serious thirties, only Fintan has what can honestly be called a "love life." With Tara struggling daily with her eternal diet—and her dreadful, penny-pinching boyfriend—and Katherine keeping her single existence as organized as her drawer full of matching bra and panty sets, it seems they'll never locate the exit door out of the "last chance saloon."

But it's always when you are least ready for change that fate insists on one. And when catastrophe inevitably follows crisis, the lives of three best friends are sure to change in unexpected ways . . . and not necessarily for the worse.

Review:  I had wanted to read a book by Marian Keyes for ages. I love chick lit and I love it when those stories are set in the UK.

This book however was a trial to read.

Seriously, chick lit should not top 500 pages, unless the plot is super exciting and fun.

This one wasn't.

Here's why this book was such a hard read.

90% of the characters were unlikable.

Tara, a miserable woman who has to have a man, even one that is totally nasty, who treats here and all her friends like crap. Lady, there was no reason to stay in this relationship.

Katherine, who seems to have it together, but is really scared to get involved.

Liv, who was having an affair with a married man, who is barely there in this story.

Then their's Fintan, their token gay friend. He's the one you like, until plot twist, he gets deathly ill and his personality undergoes a complete change.

Most of the time I was frustrated with all of the characters. It was only when Fintan got sick that they showed any real emotions that were close to kindness and loyalty

I give Tara some credit at the end for trying to get her life together. mind boggles at the plot twist at the end of the book that made no sense at all.

I thought this was going to be a somewhat fun book about friends, but it was often depressing and it angered me more often then not.

I can deal with stories where you have characters you don't necessarily like or identify with, but this went beyond that.

If it weren't for Fintan and his boyfriend and family I probably would have given up on this book, and that's something I hate to do.

Rating: 3 flowers

Friday, October 28, 2016

Blog Tour: The Black Sheep's Secret Child

Author: Cat Schield
Title: The Black Sheep's Secret Child
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Publish Date: Oct 1, 2016
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: A second chance with her son's secret father!

Widow Savannah Caldwell faces the challenge of her life: begging Trent Caldwell—her former fling and late husband's brother—to save the family's ailing music business. That she's still attracted to Trent makes things hard; that Trent is her son's secret father makes things impossible!

Trent is fiercely proud of making his own fortune, despite his controlling father. And he's always believed his brother got the girl who should have been Trent's. Now he'll have the family business, and his brother's widow in the bargain. But will their romantic reunion be waylaid by Savannah's shocking baby secret?

Review:  The Black Sheep's Secret Child reads like a soap opera. Secret father's, the heroine who was married to one brother while being married to another, a controlling grandfather, embezzling, the music industry and the tv industry, oh and don't forget the super rich.

There's nothing "real life" about this story, its pure fantasy, but it is quite as story. Savannah and her ex, Trent get it on fairly early on in the story, when she's trying to convince him to help her.

I could't really figure out how a reasonably intelligent woman would not tell the father of her baby that well, he was the father of her baby and at the same time think that it would be perfectly fine to enlist his help to save the family business that her son is a shareholder in.

It is the stuff of soap operas.

Savannah and Trent have great chemistry and a past history. It is hard to believe that Savannah ended up with his brother or why she'd even want to marry his brother. For a woman that was really strong in regards to some things, others made her seem really weak.

Again, this is the stuff of soap operas.

This was a quick enjoyable read, especially if you are the type that relishes watching shows like General Hospital and The Young and the Restless.

Rating: 4 flowers

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Just Fine With Caroline

just-fine-with-caroline-coverAbout Just Fine With Caroline

• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 11, 2016)

From the author of Sit! Stay! Speak! comes a tender, terrific novel complete with long-buried secrets, a three-legged pot belly pig, and an irresistible dog—an unforgettable story about love, friendship, and community. Perfect for fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe.

Caroline O’Connor never dreamed she’d be back home in Cold River, Missouri, the Ozark Mountain town where everyone is ‘up your business.’…they mean well as they drive you crazy. She thought she’d left town for good, but now she’s back, helping to care for her New York born mother—struck with Alzheimer’s, and prone to saying and doing anything—and her father, the beloved local doctor frustrated he can’t cure his own wife.

As for Caroline, she’s doing ‘just fine’ coping with her parents, her brazen cousin Ava Dawn’s marital disasters, her mostly-deaf dog…and with Noah Cranwell, far-flung relative of a local family mostly infamous for running moonshine, an ex-veteran who’s come to Cold River with troubles of his own.

Caroline believes she knows everything about Cold River and the people who live in its hills and hollers … but sometimes life’s greatest surprises happen closest to home.

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Review: Just Fine With Caroline is one of those books that you can really waste an afternoon and evening on.

The story really involves a lot of drama based on family secrets. (Though Ava Dawn provides a lot of drama on her own with very little secrets) She's running from an abusive husband and it seems like she might be hooking up with a married minister, Brother Crow.

But when Caroline becomes friends and then a little bit more with newcomer Noah Cranwell, well there's a can of worms that opens that causes all sorts of problems. (And the pun is intended).

I loved Noah. I wish we could have really gotten to know him better at least in a way to understand why there is was an attraction between him and Caroline. I hate when people fall in love with nothing in common. I guess for them, it's the family secrets.

Noah though was really a guy you feel for. He's had a rough life, just as his granddad did. You want good things for him.

Caroline runs her family's bait shop. (So you can get the pun). Although she doesn't do a whole lot of work. In fact she does more fishing and drinking than anything else.

I really liked Caroline at that beginning of the book. She's loyal and loving. She cares about people and what happens to them. However when the secrets start to unravel and she finds out something unpleasant in her family's past, she isn't quite so nice about things.

Her treatment of Noah near the end of the story really made me want to give her a slap to get some sense into her, because the events were in the past, way before she was born and everyone had dealt with what happened.

Rating: 4 flowers

Annie England NoblinAbout Annie England Noblin

Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

Connect with Annie on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, October 21, 2016

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Boy Is Back

the-boy-is-back-coverAbout The Boy is Back

• Hardcover: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (October 18, 2016)

In this brand-new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a scandal brings a young man back home to the small town, crazy family, and first love he left behind.

Reed Stewart thought he’d left all his small town troubles—including a broken heart—behind when he ditched tiny Bloomville, Indiana, ten years ago to become rich and famous on the professional golf circuit.  Then one tiny post on the Internet causes all of those troubles to return . . . with a vengeance.

Becky Flowers has worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she’s worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him when he returns—until his family hires her to save his parents.

Now Reed and Becky can’t avoid one another—or the memories of that one fateful night.  And soon everything they thought they knew about themselves (and each other) has been turned upside down, and they—and the entire town of Bloomville—might never be the same, all because The Boy Is Back.

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Review: If you want to read a book that will make you feel good, this is one of them. I didn't know it was part of a series until I finished it.

Ah more Meg Cabot to read, and I've read a lot of her books. I mean a lot of them. (I adored the Heather Wells series)

Everything about this book is fun, from the cover to the writing style which is told through emails, texts and journal entries and even newspaper clippings.  Even better are the reviews. Trust me those are hilarious

This takes talent. I ca't imagine trying to make an interesting story based on chats/social media type stuff.

I love the dialogue via text etc between all the characters. Its funny. It makes me feel good and I've read a lot of deep reads lately, that makes something fluffy and fun more so.

Becky and Reed have a history. Something bad went down on prom night and Reed was gone from her life for 10 years. He's back now because his parents are having issues. Lots of issues.

If you want something with substance, the drama part of the story will be lacking. Reed's parents are hoarders and as you learn they are being taken advantage of. Once they mention that someone could be ripping off the Judge and Connie, you instantly know who it is. It is that obvious. For a writer that did great mysteries, that made this a little disappointing.

But don't try to make this book anything more than it is, a light fluffy fun read that is full of laughs.

This was a book I needed and I enjoyed it immensely.

Rating: 5 flowers

About Meg Cabot

Photo by Ali Smith
Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to her award-winning adult contemporary fiction, she is the author of bestselling young adult fiction, including The Princess Diaries and the Mediator series. More than twenty-five million copies of her novels for children and adults have sold worldwide. Meg lives in Key West, Florida, with her husband.

Find out more about Meg at her website, follow her blog, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Tour Book Review: The Return of the Di Sione Wife

Author: Caitlin Crews
Title: The Return of the Di Sione Wife
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publish Date: Sept 20, 2016
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Dario Di Sione should be feeling triumphant—he's about to fulfill his grandfather's wish and retrieve the precious earrings, but all he feels is fury. The beautiful lawyer handling the sale is the woman who betrayed him six years ago…his wife!

Discovering Anais has kept their child a secret makes Dario determined to be the father he never had. But Anais's return to his side casts a new light on past events, and now it's not just the child he wants to claim!

Review: I read Harlequin Romances of any variety for a romantic escape. If you read the blurb you may think that these 200 pages are going to be a light fluffy read.

Well think again.

There's nothing light or fluffy about this book.

Dario is not you typical Presents alpha male. He's a jerk. (And that's being mild.) Truthfully I could't understand how Anais could love this guy. Most of the time I wanted to take a big stick and hit him repeatedly with it.

There was a terrible misunderstanding between Dario, his wife and his brother. That pushed them apart. It also kept Dario from knowing about Anais.

That's where the drama comes in, when Dario and Anais meet again and he learns about the child he fathered 5 years ago.

This story has everything you'd expect to see on a daytime soap opera; kidnapping, a dying grandfather, twins, and lots of relationship drama.

It was hard to see how the two brothers could come together and how Anais could take him back after the way he had treated her.

I'm used to sex playing a huge part in these books, but in this one, it was the drama between Anais and Dario that was front and center. Everything else was really incidental, and that includes the child. Damian was more a plot device rather than a character, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

This was really an emotional read. I found myself so angry at Dario most of the time. I really couldn't believe that I liked it so much, because of how I felt about him, but this was an excellent read from the Presents line.

Rating: 5 flowers

Tasty Book Tours Release Blast: Marry Me Mad

Two broken hearts begin a journey toward being whole again.

The Blueberry Lane Series
The Rousseaus #2
Kate Regnery
Releasing Oct 21st, 2016

Did you fall in love with The English Brothers? Were you hot for the Winslows?  Katy Regnery's Blueberry Lane series continues with The Rousseau siblings!

For as long as Madeleine “Mad” Rousseau can remember, she’s been the “sweet” twin to her sister Jax’s “sassy.” But after an especially painful break-up, Mad decides she’s had enough of being sweet. Children’s librarian during the day, she begins visiting Philly’s seedier nightspots on a quest for adventure and experience. When Cortlandt “Cort” Ambler, the ex-boyfriend of Mad’s sister, Jax, saves her from disaster on one such evening, an unlikely friendship is born between the rebellious librarian and the moonlighting pianist…and two broken hearts begin a journey toward being whole again.

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Don't miss any of The Rousseaus

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.

Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas.

Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller.

In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

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Tasty Book Tour Sale Blitz: Welcoming the Bad Boy

*On Sale for a VERY Limited Time*

Hero's Welcome #3
Annie Rains
Released August 2nd, 2016

From the bestselling author of Welcome to Forever (“Full of heart and emotion!”—Lori Wilde) comes a sweet, sexy novel about breaking all the rules. In Seaside, North Carolina, the boys on the base are heroes—but that doesn’t mean they’re always well-behaved.

As a preacher’s daughter, Valerie Hunt only dates the very respectable, very boring men who meet her father’s strict standards. In private, however, she leads a double life as a romance writer of steamy stories about the least respectable sorts of men. Valerie has always kept her hottest fantasies separate from her real life, but when she nearly runs a hot-blooded biker off the road, the lines begin to blur.

Even though Valerie almost killed him, Griffin Black can’t be angry after he learns the reason for her distracted driving: an unruly puppy belonging to her ailing friend. As a member of the military police K-9 unit, Griffin insists on training the dog himself. But he soon wonders how he’s ever going to stay disciplined around the most alluring, down-to-earth, and totally unattainable woman he’s ever met. Valerie is the ultimate good girl. And Griffin is going to need all his old tricks to unleash her wild side.

ONLY $0.99 
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It's Val and Griffin's first Christmas together and it's off to a rocky start, 
but there's definitely a HEA for one of my favorite Seaside couples.

Annie Rains is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors.

Looking for more Hero's?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tasty Book Tours Release Blast: Between Love and Loyaty

When at war, aim for the heart…

Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing Oct 18th, 2016

When at war, aim for the heart…

Connor Duffy is desperate. His tell-all book on corrupt Chicago alderman Brady Cavanagh isn’t telling enough to get publisher interest, and in order to get the hot dirt, he must find a way to get closer to the man who let Connor go to prison to cover for his own son’s misdeeds. So when fate puts Cavanagh’s lively, artsy daughter across Connor’s path, he decides to take advantage of the first bit of good luck he’s had in a long while.

… but don't forget to keep your own under guard.

Fiona Cavanagh needs a break. Between assisting with her father’s political campaign, trying to please her unpleasable mother, and dealing with an ex who won’t go away, she has no time for a life of her own. One night she meets sexy and mysterious Connor and everything looks like it’s about to finally turn around… until she discovers that the one man she thought she could love was using her to get to her father. As dark family secrets unravel around her, Fiona finds herself caught between love... and loyalty.


Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered  around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

TLC Book Tours: Echoes of Family

About Echoes of Family

Paperback: 412 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 27, 2016)
Sometimes the only way through darkness is to return to where it began.
Marianne Stokes fled England at seventeen, spiraling into the manic depression that would become her shadow. She left behind secrets, memories, and tragedy: one teen dead, and her first love, Gabriel, badly injured. Three decades later she’s finally found peace in the North Carolina recording studio she runs with her husband, Darius, and her almost-daughter, Jade…until another fatality propels her back across the ocean to confront the long-buried past.
In her picturesque childhood village, the first person she meets is the last person she wants to see again: Gabriel. Now the village vicar, he takes her in without question, and ripples of what if reverberate through both their hearts. As Marianne’s mind unravels, Jade and Darius track her down. Tempers clash when everyone tries to help, but only by finding the courage to face her illness can Marianne heal herself and her offbeat family.
“Claypole White’s gift is her ability to put us into the troubled minds of her characters in a way that helps us not only understand them but fall in love with them as well. We discover that while their minds may be different from ours, their hearts are the same.” —Diane Chamberlain, USA Todaybestselling author of Pretending to Dance
Echoes of Family is a masterfully written novel that is both difficult to put down, and difficult to forget after the final page. In this powerful novel, Claypole White weaves that narrative that draws the reader into a personal relationship with the characters and has you rooting for them, in spite of their many flaws. This book kept my attention until all secrets were revealed in its dramatic conclusion. I look forward to many more from Claypole White.” —Sally Hepworth, bestselling author of The Things We Keep
“Barbara Claypole White has done it again—created a quirky cast of characters and then taken us along as they go on a journey through madness and out the other side. Music, England, love, loss, and nature all collide in this beautiful exploration of how the echoes of our past can sometimes drown out the present. Matthew Quick fans will feel right at home.” —Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Spin and Hidden
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Review: There are books that you can really only describe as amazing. This is one of those books. 

I've found that I tend to read books with similar subject matter. Finding Libbie that I read a few weeks ago dealt with mental illness. This book deals with Marianne's bipolar disorder. This lady has a lot of issues.  She's hard to love but easy to root for. I found that a lot of the characters were not ones you fall in love with, or want to be. These characters were messed up, but they were good people. They were family.

Marianne has made a lot of bad choices. She has a mental disorder, but as you read on, you learn, yes, she's messed up, but she's a good person and she wants to help. She wants to help others with similar situations, like Jade and EmJ.

EmJ's story is absolutely heartbreaking. She's only 18 and has already been institutionalized and has done her share of drugs. She bonds with Marianne when she is in a facility in the UK.

I enjoyed getting to know Darius and Jade while Marianne's story unfolds, and even more so, Jade and Gabriel, who begin to have a relationship while trying to help Marianne.

Darius is a bit much at times. He's very over the top in his love for Marianne and his jealousy over Gabriel, but its wonderful how much he loves her and wants to do what he can help her.

This book is not a pretty story by any means, but it was a story that you can't put down because you want to know what is going to happen to the characters. They are all tied together into a strange dysfunctional family that really needs fixing.

I really want a second story continuing with Jade and Gabriel, because Jade definitely has some things in her past that need resolving.

Its the kind of read that keeps your mind engaged. I highly recommend this novel.

Rating 5 flowers

71MC6ui7qGL._UX250_About Barbara Claypole White

A Brit living in North Carolina, Barbara Claypole White writes hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Her debut novel, The Unfinished Garden, won the 2013 Golden Quill Contest for Best First Book, and The In-Between Hour was chosen by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as a Winter 2014 Okra Pick. Her third novel, The Perfect Son, was a semifinalist in the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Fiction.

Connect with Barbara

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Barbara Claypole White’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Sunday, September 25th: Writer Unboxed – guest post, “Ten Tips for Writing Through Family Stress”
Monday, September 26th: BookBub Blog – “Family Crises of the Month Book Club”
Tuesday, September 27th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, September 28th: Just One More Chapter
Friday, September 30th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, October 3rd: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Monday, October 3rd: BookNAround
Wednesday, October 5th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Thursday, October 6th: Broken Teepee
Friday, October 7th: Not in Jersey
Tuesday, October 11th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Thursday, October 13th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Friday, October 14th: Books ‘n Bindings
Monday, October 17th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, October 18th: The Baking Bookworm
Wednesday, October 19th: Bibliotica
Monday, October 24th: Mom’s Small Victories

Tasty Book Tours Release Blast: The Right Kind of Guy

Love is a Gamble...

A What Happens in Vegas Romance
Kerri-Leigh Grady
Releasing Oct 17th, 2016
Entangled Lovestruck

Romance novelist Kelsey Spencer doesn’t believe in love, and she's tired of faking her way through happily ever afters. Determined to change things up, she heads to the Las Vegas Romance Lovers Convention. But somewhere between half-naked cover models and hot Navy SEALs, Kelsey’s plans derail...

Especially once she meets über-fan Jasmine Grant...and Jasmine’s über-hot alphahole brother, Aaron.

Buttoned-up Aaron Grant never thought he’d find himself at a romance convention, but here he is, trying to convince his impulsive sister not to marry a beefcake cover model. His only hope is to enlist the aid of the cynical (and sexy) romance writer his sister worships.

After a sweltering jaunt around Vegas, some strange conference hijinks, and one outrageous proposal, Kelsey and Aaron are left questioning everything they know about romance and love...and if falling in love might just be worth the gamble.

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Kerri-Leigh Grady firmly believes every solid relationship is built on laughter. And sometimes vodka. She holds an MFA from Seton Hill University and a BS in computer science, so she’s a kind of half-artsy, half-nerdy ball of nervous twitching. She has an unnatural love of dark humor, gadgets, chickpeas, BJJ, terrible acrylic landscape painting, half-assed jewelry design, Perl programming (get off her lawn, haters), Red Sonja (done Gail Simone-style), and planners. This week, she lives in Hawaii. Go ahead–cry tears of pity for her. She’ll wait.

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