From This Day Forward by Lauren Layne

51LudJyG77LA wide range of emotions are expressed in The Wedding Belles prequel, where two people get another chance to discover if what they once felt for a short spell was actually real or only fleeting. When two photographers reconnect because of work, taking the perfect photo is soon not the only thing on either of their minds. Lauren Layne also introduces characters who are linked to the exclusive company which carries out the wishes of wedding couples, and these individuals are focused on making sure all dreams do come true. On this particular occasion, the magical moments may not be confined to only the bride and groom. FROM THIS DAY FORWARD is enchantingly delightful.

Though Leah McHale is tired after photographing a wedding for much of the previous night, she happily accepts an invitation to a meeting the next morning with one of the owners of Wedding Belles, a New York City business that plans weddings. Their events are often impressive, and she appreciates being recommended to many of their clients. When she is offered the opportunity to take over some of the photographic duties for the nuptials of the daughter of a former president, Leah is thrilled at the prospect. She knows it could showcase her talent and bring more customers. But when she hears the other person taking pictures is Jason Rhodes, her feelings are in turmoil.

The brief fling Leah and Jason enjoyed was very passionate, yet an incident caused her to mistrust him and want out of his life forever. Now the two will have to at least talk about the responsibilities that each will perform. Leah wants any time they spend together to be about the wedding, nothing personal. She had let herself believe there was something special between them, but any moments they share over the weekend while working will only be professional with no emotions involved.

Since FROM THIS DAY FORWARD lets both Leah and Jason’s viewpoints be known, I came to understand how a single occurrence changed their relationship. Though their opinions about the circumstances may differ, the connection they formerly felt has never completely died. So when Jason and Leah end up working the same wedding, there are a number of possibilities as to how things will turn out. As they let their inner feelings be known to me, I really hoped a certain conversation would be in their future, and I eagerly kept reading in the anticipation of it occurring.

As the background of Jason was revealed, I realized the reason for some of his actions. Both were hurt by how each responded during a decisive situation in their past, and it now causes Leah to be snippy with him, while he is plotting his next move. Their comments are sometimes amusing while still having a bite to them, and any remarks where they lay their hearts on the line are certainly compelling. This novella introduces the reader to the world of those associated with Wedding Belles, and Lauren Layne makes me glad there are more stories to come. FROM THIS DAY FORWARD has conflicted emotions and sensually stirring encounters.

Received copy from publisher

Series:  The Wedding Belles

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  June 6, 2016


Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:

Rating:  4 Stars

The Vampire’s Protector by Michele Hauf

513K9xpML-L._SY346_The stories by Michele Hauf that focus on the paranormal are always entertainingly unique, and THE VAMPIRE’S PROTECTOR may be the most original creation yet. Actual historical facts are cleverly blended with the author’s inventive imagination to create scene after scene of captivating fascination. I am constantly amazed at the innovative storylines brought to life by this talented author, where characters are often remarkably special and grab my attention with their distinctive personalities. In the latest novel about the Beautiful Creatures world, the story is centered on two individuals who meet because of an ill-fated incident which could lead to disaster. The journey they must take together is frequently comical yet also heartfelt at times because of genuine emotion.

Various capabilities that come with being a vampire are often useful in the assignments Summer Santiago does for the Council which supervises the many paranormal species. She retrieves objects that are considered dangerous, and her present task is to locate a violin previously owned by Nicolo Paganini. The Italian violinist was reportedly linked with the devil, and the instrument might even be cursed. So Summer needs to take it back to the Council in Paris for safekeeping in case it really could be destructive. But upon finding the violin, an unplanned event causes a huge problem.

Because of the instrument’s magical powers, Summer ends up bringing Nicolo back to life when a few notes are inadvertently played. When she learns what has happened, she knows it is her responsibility to watch over the newly awakened violinist, especially since he knows nothing of the current world. There are many worries for him now that he is alive again, and a wrong decision could be catastrophic. As Nicolo and Summer try to discover what is actually going on and if there will be any repercussions, he finds himself desiring her along with the temptation to play the cursed violin.

There are so many compelling scenes written for THE VAMPIRE’S PROTECTOR. The high regard and understanding Michele Hauf has for classical music made the story very interesting, while using truths and even some speculations about a renowned violinist doubled my reading enjoyment. I did look up information about Nicolo Paganini, and the way in which the author interweaves his factual life with her imaginings is truly ingenious. Since he died so long ago, reawakening in modern times where cars, phones and electricity are commonplace definitely caused plenty of complications for Nicolo. His reactions are often hilarious, while his comments are amusing because he is awestruck by all the changes from when he lived.  I could easily visualize his expression when he saw his own photo so quickly.

Summer is a delight during the whole story. She is a dedicated employee, yet her concern for the confused Nicolo proves she is caring and cannot be swayed from what she feels is her duty. Whenever these two experience the sexual pull between them, it only takes a moment for the heated lust to ignite. A large number of their conversations are filled with wit plus lots of cunning retorts, causing me to smile countless times. Books by Ms. Hauf repeatedly encourage laughter, and there were certainly plenty of chuckle-inducing scenes in this enthralling story. But there are also several episodes where I was left breathless because of the heartfelt drama being played out. I never know what the concept of a story by Michele Hauf will end up being, but each one has been extremely original. THE VAMPIRE’S PROTECTOR is a notable paranormal romance.

Copy received from author

Publisher:   Harlequin Nocturne

Releases:  June 1, 2016


Genre:   Paranormal

Author website:

Rating:  5 Stars