The Accidental Bridegroom by Ann Major

518oszpagilPassion runs high while emotional challenges also steadily increase when two individuals first meet, and their lives are never the same again. What should have been a normal duty as a bodyguard turns into much more when feelings become involved, and two lonely people find themselves questioning what they are willing to risk for a brighter future. Years later, with the help of a little magical assistance, Cathy Calderon and Rafe Steel just might discover the happiness they have long been hoping to find. Ann Major has written a clever story filled with enchantment, and I really wanted to believe. THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDEGROOM has compelling emotional developments plus an engaging romantic couple.

Though Rafe Steel had wanted some time off after his last assignment as a bodyguard, his boss gives him little choice in taking the job of secretly watching over a young woman. With her stepfather’s wealth and power, he knows remaining professional while protecting Cathy Calderon is a must, regardless of how much she tempts him. Yet from the very start, Rafe realizes his spirited charge is going to cause him trouble. But he had no idea of how their interaction would impact him forever.

Their short time together resulted in Cathy becoming pregnant, yet Rafe was not informed of this crucial fact. After six years of being on her own in Mexico, she is going to marry a man chosen by her stepfather, despite her young daughter not liking him. When Rafe learns he has a child, he plans to make contact with his former lover. What he did not expect was Cathy acquiring a potion from a friend which would make the love of her fiancé genuine, but the man who ends up bound by a spell might instead be him.

The Day of the Dead is a very important holiday in Mexico, and the celebration is imaginatively used throughout THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDEGROOM. Ann Major also had me wondering about love potions and whether they would actually work, or if there already has to be real feelings between two people. The magical aspects were certainly convincing. There are numerous characters in the story, some good and others not so nice, and each one comes across as true-to-life. I especially liked the two young children, as their dynamic personalities were quite apparent.

There are often conflicts in a relationship, and those Rafe and Cathy have to tackle are definitely demanding. I really enjoyed seeing how these two would react when confronted by one ordeal after another, particularly when it could be life-changing. Both are still deeply affected by what happened in their lives six years ago, and I was anxious to find out what their responses would be when they met up again. Though from vastly different backgrounds, there is much similarity when it comes to how they feel about themselves. Their desire for each other is very real, and it is expressed with plenty of heat yet also seems sincere. I have always found a book by Ann Major to be entertaining, and THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDEGROOM is continuously captivating.

Received copy from author

Series:  The Accidental Bodyguard

Publisher:  Major Press LLC

Releases:  October 19, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/j7rwd3m

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://www.annmajor.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

A Hunter Under the Mistletoe: All Is Bright\Heat of a Helios by Addison Fox and Karen Whiddon

51mqgkfjxjlWith the Las Vegas setting and an inventive storyline involving Helios from Green myths, A HUNTER UNDER THE MISTLETOE is constantly enchanting. Addison Fox and Karen Whiddon have written stories filled with uniqueness and imaginable characters, and I enjoyed seeing how someone with very unusual supernatural abilities would react during certain situations. The two Stavros brothers make outstanding heroes, as deep concern for others demonstrates they are compassionate, while their responses to the new women in their lives proves tender regard and fiery passion are also part of their natures. Though the heroines are rather shy and usually keep to themselves, being around a man who cares about them brings out the best in their behavior. Both stories complement each other, as facts and timelines are accurate. Christmas festivities add to the charm of the stories, while many aspects of Las Vegas are highlighted throughout the novellas. I hope there will be future visits with the Helios. A HUNTER UNDER THE MISTLETOE captures the imagination with cleverness.

 

“All Is Bright” by Addison Fox

As the horticulturist for the Archangel Casino in Las Vegas, it is the duty of Evangeline Kennedy to make certain the plants located on the site look fabulous at all times. While working late one night, she comes upon a sight that cannot be rationalized and is determined to get a valid explanation about the incident. Rafael Stavros runs the casino along with his brother, and they are both phoenixes which are known as Helios. What Evangeline saw was his Rejuvenation, and the truth about this event must be kept concealed from humans. Since Rafe is worried about her trying to discover what actually happened, he plans to get much closer to her, something that will not be a hardship.

Original and intriguing, “All Is Bright” interweaves the Christmas season with lots of fascinating incidents. Addison Fox brings the interesting world of the Helios to life with believability and engaging characters. Rafe greatly cares for his family, and he is shocked to find a human woman could be added to his list. Though he and Evangeline are vastly different, and she does not like secrets, the sexual pull between them is very potent and hard to ignore. What is learned about the Helios and their enemy, Chaos, is thought-provoking with its ties to Greek mythology, and I was definitely involved in how things would play out.

 

“Heat of a Helios” by Karen Whiddon

Even though Meghan Frost is a well-known singing sensation, she hopes to have a relaxing time in Las Vegas before her upcoming shows begin at the Archangel Casino. While her room is absolutely perfect and so far no one recognizes her, being alone over the Christmas holiday is really disheartening. When she spends some time doing enjoyable activities with Gabriel Stavros, one of the casino’s co-owners, her vacation becomes much more exciting. But Meghan has no clue her new boss is a Helios, which is the supernatural being hunted by her family. As she and Gabe spend time together, danger is drawing ever nearer.

The Stavros brothers know how to show someone a good time, and Gabe goes all out to make Meghan welcome at his establishment. But in the process of being a good host, he finds his feelings are becoming affected by the supposed diva. Karen Whiddon has created a truly compelling storyline for her couple, where emotions quickly become entangled. I found the interactions between Meghan and Gabe to be realistic, especially when they discussed matters that were important to them. “Heat of a Helios” delivers a captivating paranormal story packed with romance.

Received copy from author

Publisher:  Harlequin Nocturne

Releases:  November 1, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zw5nycw

Author websites:  http://www.addisonfox.com/

http://www.karenwhiddon.com/

Genre:  Paranormal

Rating:  4 Stars

Word of Honor by Alexa Aston

51qf6smv0glThe medieval world Lauren Linwood created for her Knights of Honor series is believably entertaining. From diverse characters to emotionally trying circumstances to vivid descriptions, I experienced this period in history where lives are often chaotic and happiness frequently lasts for only a brief time. With unexpected foes battling against those who live by high moral standards, the story captures your full attention and never lets go until every compelling situation plays out. WORD OF HONOR captivates with fascinating developments.

When Geoffrey de Montfort asked Merryn Mantel to be his wife, he knew much about her and was glad their upcoming marriage would be based on love, not duty. But before their vows are said, he must continue his obligation to help England battle against the French. For five years, he is away from the woman who holds his heart, fighting bravely and always being noble. When Geoffrey finally returns, Merryn is now old enough to marry. The couple wed shortly thereafter, and their days ahead only look bright.

Sadly, their ideal life as husband and wife is all too short, as Geoffrey disappears after a peculiar incident. Yet Merryn never lets herself think that he is dead. When he shows back up after nearly seven years have passed, she is elated. But she is puzzled over his unwillingness to explain what happened on that fateful day to cause his absence for so much time. Geoffrey may be her husband in name, but the closeness previously between them is now gone. Merryn just hopes her loving commitment to him is enough to bring back the pleasure of being married.

From the very start of WORD OF HONOR, I was totally caught up in the lives of Geoffrey and Merryn and what they each had to face. Though times were definitely tough in the middle 1300’s in England, these two were actually happy because of the love they shared. The way in which they express their devotion is sensual and demonstrates the strength of their feelings. But when forces work against him, they both suffer immensely for years. The emotional pain they felt is clearly conveyed, and I suffered right along with them when doubts about the future took over their thoughts. I so wanted to comfort Geoffrey for what he went through, and I also was deeply touched by how both he and Merryn were emotionally affected. Lauren Linwood made me care for this couple whose beautiful romance is destroyed by evil intentions. With several unforeseen turns, the uncertainty of what would ultimately happen to them just keeps intensifying. These individuals had always done what was right, yet it looks like they will never again have days filled with cheer if their love is not strong enough. I feared the decisions Geoffrey and Merryn might make at times, as I really wanted their lives to once more be joyful like before his disappearance.

Lauren Linwood interweaves several real historical figures into the story plus uses some medical remedies of the time period to make events come across as genuinely true. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing what folks living in this period would do when someone was hurt or ill. Several secondary characters stood out, and I am very pleased that Geoffrey’s cousin gets to tell his story next. WORD OF HONOR is occasionally heartbreaking, often delightful and always enchanting.

Copy received from author

Series:  Knights of Honor

Publisher:  Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.

Releases:  October 25, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zhnlsa6

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  https://alexaaston.wordpress.com/ 

Rating:  4.5 Stars

The Bodyguard’s Bride-to-Be by Amelia Autin

51ceilscssl-_sx314_bo1204203200_-1The Man on a Mission miniseries has featured some very alpha men who would do anything to protect the women that they are coming to love. In THE BODYGUARD’S BRIDE-TO-BE, the hero has long watched over the royal family, so safeguarding others is his duty. But having the one person whom he adores above all others in danger has his protective nature working overtime from the instant he hears his former fiancée is injured. With plenty of unknowns and threats on the rise in the country of Zakhar, the suspense of what will happen next kept me reading THE BODYGUARD’S BRIDE-TO-BE with eagerness. Amelia Autin skillfully entwines danger and emotional issues to create an enthralling romance.

A choice made by Tahra Edwards to eat lunch in the park near the U.S. embassy where she works was a lucky one, as it meant many children were saved from a bomb because of her quick-thinking decision to move the device before it exploded. Sadly, she was injured and is now lying unconscious in a Zakhar hospital, yet can hear a familiar voice speaking to her but does not recall his name. Later it is discovered Tahra is suffering from amnesia and cannot remember any facts about the incident nor the man who states he is her fiancé.

Captain Marek Zale is not actually engaged to her since she gave back the ring, but the lie grants him accessibility to the woman whom he wants to marry. As the bodyguard to the king’s son, he comprehends the extreme measures some groups will go to in order to carry out their goals. Since Tahra stopped their plan and may have even seen too much, Marek feels her life is now in jeopardy. When she is released from the hospital, she has some doubts about what her fiancé says, but he is determined to make certain no additional harm comes to her.

Though Zakhar is a small country, it still suffers from the same problems that much bigger countries face from time to time. It only takes just a few citizens to cause havoc plus grief, and Ms. Autin makes their fanatical ideas come across as very true-to-life. Since the viewpoint of one particular supporter is given, it made the story seem even more real. How the government of this fictional country is run is presented with convincing incidents and compelling discussions amongst those in charge. I was constantly privy to what went on behind closed doors, thus giving the impression of an actual country.

When Marek was met in previous books, I could tell rules would be followed as he had been taught. In his own story, being in love with a woman from America sometimes has him questioning his rather old-fashioned beliefs. I really liked how he was willing to see things from Tahra’s perspective and perhaps even change his mind. Ms. Autin may have given Marek plenty of alpha qualities, but his tender concern for her is very heartening and showed his genuine feelings. With Tahra having loss any memories of her time with her ex-fiancé, it let the couple have a fresh start and learn new truths about each other. Though the lie of them still being engaged weighs heavily on him, he truly feels like they never broke up. Between the looming threats of future risks and the numerous personal challenges Marek and Tahra must confront, I was captivated all the way through the latest Man on a Mission story. THE BODYGUARD’S BRIDE-TO-BE is emotionally rewarding with believable predicaments.

Copy received from author

Series:  Man on a Mission

Publisher:  Harlequin Romantic Suspense

Releases:  November 1, 2016

Purchase:   http://tinyurl.com/jq44na5

Genre:  Suspense

Author website:  http://www.ameliaautin.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne

51kqjkacf0lSometimes an attraction between two individuals that develops very fast can end just as quickly when major differences are learned. On the other hand, a couple can know each other for years and suddenly realize they cannot live without one another. Sadly, the romantic couple in the third book in The Wedding Belles series has a man who wants the woman from their first meeting, yet fears keep her from realizing how good they could be together. This causes them plenty of emotional issues along with mounting sexual tension and some tough decisions to make. TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH is often touching, as Lauren Layne packs the journey to lasting love with heartache and surprises.

Eight years ago when Alexis Morgan came to Manhattan, her goal was to start a business centered on planning weddings. Her dream came true, and now her agency assists couples in having the perfect wedding. While all aspects of her professional life are going extremely well, her social life is almost nonexistent. With Wedding Belles now being so successful, Alexis believes she can finally devote some time to dating.

When it comes to being a clever wedding planner, Alexis is an expert and always chooses the best options for her clients. Although she is close to Logan Harris, the British accountant who is very much a part of her company, his conservative behavior makes him unacceptable as a prospective date. An unexpected event has her traveling out of state alone. But Logan wants to make certain that no other man gets close to the woman whom he wants to make his. He is very good at figuring out problems, and a carefully thought out plan will let Alexis see what she has been missing.

After eight long years, I really wanted to see Logan get the love that he desires. In the previous books of the Wedding Belles series, he has patiently waited for Alexis to notice him, suffering in silence when friendship was all she ever offered him. Since TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH is their story, I knew things would not be easy for him and it definitely was not. The past has made her very apprehensive about dating someone, as she does not want to feel anguish like she did once before. There were a few times when I hoped Alexis would comprehend what she could have with Logan, but just like in real life, a person does not always grasp the truth of what is obvious to everyone else. I never knew exactly how she would react during a situation, and this kept me invested in what would happen next. Logan is such a decent man when it comes to how he treats Alexis. Most men would have given up long ago, but he relentlessly hopes to change her mind at the right time, and he always does her bidding regardless of how he feels.

Since this is the last story in the Wedding Belles series, it was great getting to catch up with all the past couples. There were lots of girl-talk sessions, where ideas were tossed around and thoughts were revealed. During several discussions, only men were present, and their views were humorously honest and very true-to-life. I am sad to see the series come to an end, but I have truly enjoyed reading about the wedding planners and how they found the love of their lives. TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH entertains with emotionally compelling moments and lively characters.

Received copy from publisher

Series:  The Wedding Belles – Book 3

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  October 18, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/z5ggdwn

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://laurenlayne.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Fall Into Love

51vaz5cxmblCharming characters and enchanting plots can be found in each story featured in FALL INTO LOVE, where entertainment is guaranteed. There is a new story from Melody Anne, plus four more recently released books from Sara Rider, Samantha Joyce, L.E. Bross and Rachel Goodman. Also included are excerpts from either upcoming stories or other connected books to a series. If you like your romances to be overflowing with emotions and often some witty conversations or clever retorts, then these five stories are a great way to experience some delightful reading pleasure.

 

“Once Taken” by Melody Anne

Though Jenna Pine did not plan on returning to Sterling, Montana, inheriting an inn from a great-aunt has her eager to become a business owner and also gives her a chance to finally be happier. While she enjoys fixing up the old inn which holds many good memories, there are some aspects of being back home that she never wants to recall. But when a painful part of her past reappears, Jenna hopes things do not end like last time.

A return to Sterling and its matchmaking citizens is always a treat, and Melody Anne makes her second chance story definitely steamy and emotional. Jenna just wants a new start, but she did not think someone with whom she has history would be involved.  “Once Taken” is a compelling romance with likable characters and lots of heated sexual encounters.

“For the Win” by Sara Rider

When her dream of being a champion soccer player becomes a reality, Lainey Lukas is determined to keep racking up the wins. A severe injury has not stopped her, and there is no way another team from Seattle will keep her own team from playing professionally. Just because the captain of the men’s team is someone whom she once idolized and still thinks is very good-looking, it does not mean she will ever let him get the better of her.

With its compelling romance and large number of spirited characters, “For the Win” is constantly engaging. Sara Rider interweaves sports with a complicated love story, and the results are often humorous yet also filled with genuine emotions and enthusiastic desire. Lainey and Gabe are strong-minded and frequently at odds with each other, and I really enjoyed their quick-witted banter while they were coming to know more about each other.

“Flirting with Fame” by Samantha Joyce

Even though Elsie Jameson has written three young adult books, very few people actually know she wrote the popular series. Since an accident caused her to be deaf, it made her want to avoid the recognition connected with being an author. But when another individual says she has written the series, Elsie wonders if she can keep her identity hidden any longer or whether the truth will finally come out.

Sometimes circumstances force people to adjust their life, and Elsie is certainly going through many changes, as she is starting college and must deal with a dilemma associated with her books. I totally enjoyed her journey to just being herself and taking full responsibility for her actions. “Flirting with Fame” by Samantha Joyce is particularly emotional with heartfelt moments.

“Right Where You Are” by L.E. Bross

The punishment Avery Hartley receives for destroying her cheating boyfriend’s truck is several hundred hours of community service, and will regretfully consume much of her time in the coming days. Seth Hunter can reduce his prison sentence if he agrees to do three months of community service, and he ends up working with a girl who intrigues him. As they come in contact day after day, Seth and Avery come to realize there is much more to the other than they first thought.

L.E. Bross had me truly caring for her main characters from the start, and my concern for these two only increased as I learned additional facts. The relationship of Seth and Avery is sometimes playful and teasing, yet they still go through a wide range of sentiments while they explore what is growing between them. “Right Where You Are” is profoundly affecting with realistic reactions and a fascinating couple.

“From Scratch” by Rachel Goodman

After moving from Dallas to Chicago, Lillie Turner never missed the family diner where she was a great cook but worked way too much. Yet a message from her father has her hurriedly returning home, only to learn she has been tricked by him and now must take part in a baking contest. Though Lillie has a dream job and a perfect boyfriend back in Chicago, she finds there are loads of fond memories to be recalled from when she lived much farther south.

Small town charm and lively characters cause “From Scratch” to be a pleasurable read, while the amusing comments and thoughts are undeniably comical. I laughed often because of the hilarious visuals in the story, while the more poignant scenes were very touching. Rachel Goodman has created a fun romance about discovering what is most important in life.

Copy received from publisher via NetGalley

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  October 17, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jby42tp

Genre:  Contemporary

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Once Upon Now

4160gwaqh3l-_sy346_ONCE UPON NOW is an outstanding collection of classic fairytales retold using contemporary settings and a marvelous cast of characters. Whether the plot is mostly fantasy, contains some horror or is filled with much humor, the story is guaranteed to entertain until the often surprising conclusion. Assorted fables are included in the dissimilar stories, while several are only linked to a timeless tale from our childhood. There is also a romantic aspect to many of the stories, sometimes understated but the focus of others. The writing of these ten Wattpad authors constantly captures the imagination with their notable contributions to ONCE UPON NOW.

 

A wager with a good friend has Emeline saying she will agree to anything asked of her during a 24 hour period, because she seems too predictable. But sometimes consenting to everything that crops up can have unforeseen costs. “Why Yes, Bluebeard, I’d Love To” by J. M. Butler is darkly horrific yet has surprising humor. Several fairytales are incorporated into the story, causing me to grin at the author’s cleverness.

After having little contact with anyone while growing up, Zoe meets a boy at her new job who inspires numerous fantasizes. Then one impetuous decision could change her whole life. Filled with emotional thoughts, “Home-School Hair” by Christine Owen is frequently touching. I really enjoyed seeing the transformation of Zoe and what it meant for her future.

To make certain their son gets married soon, his rich parents come up with manipulative scheme. When Cupid and another powerful being become involved in the plan, chaos ensues. With lots of secrets and a number of likable characters, “My Love God Went to Hawaii and All I Got Was This Lousy Papaya” is constantly engaging. Debra Goelz has created a humorous tale with lively Gods and some devious humans.

A man desperately wants to make sure the woman that he loves has a fulfilling life once more. Yet for Crane to make this miracle happen for Rose could have dire consequences. “Awake” by Jesse Sprague is a haunting story about the meaning of true love. I was deeply moved by the poignancy of each profoundly moving scene, where feelings are realistically expressed with much passion.

Not wanting to make an inappropriate remark, the comments Leo says usually include a lie. When this trait puts him in danger, being truthful could either make his life better or add further peril. A very original world is created for “Truth Be Told”, where various fairytales are featured with much imagination. Danielle Banas interweaves humor, real life situations and intriguing characters all throughout her story.

Life for Mira is typical for a teenager living in Alaska. After a terrible disaster strikes and things seem hopeless, she learns that Native American legends may actually be true after all. Heartfelt and packed with emotion, “Between Earth and Sky” by R. S. Kovach is affectingly intense. I quickly became caught up in what was happening to Mira, and I anxiously waited to see what would be the outcome.

To not be noticed by anyone is always Mallory’s goal, but she secretly dreams of her friend Trevor finally realizing they would be a great couple. When it comes time for their high school prom, he unfortunately has someone else in mind to ask. A fun retelling of how a person can miss what is right in front of them, and all it takes is a few minor changes. “The Friend Zone Promposal” by Tammy Oja had me smiling and hoping for the best.

When a school football team needs to improve, their coach wants them to learn ballet skills from a group of sisters. But when Cal and his teammates show up, it appears the girls want to do more than teach the boys coordination. “Of Sirens and Beasts” by Mikaela Bender is a heartrending story creatively connected to the myth about sirens. Cal and his teammates find out firsthand what the mysterious sisters have in store for them, and I definitely found it interesting.

As a journalist for her school newspaper, Annie is inquisitive and determining who has recently stolen some items is her current project. As she tries to prove her hunches, the facts uncovered are not what she predicted. A very inventive story with lots of Robin Hood references, and I especially enjoyed all the similar names. Innovative and exciting, “Hooded” by Shannon Klare keeps your attention.

Upon receiving the news that she has a disease with no cure, Rory felt as though her future was very bleak. But during the latest episodes where the illness takes over her body and mind, she dreams of a prince who wants to save her. “Sleeping Beauty Syndrome” by Ali Novak has plenty of genuine feelings and comes across as believable. I really came to care for the main couple.

Received copy from publisher

Publisher:  Gallery

Releases:  October 11, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jmumlsd

Genre:  Various

Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Governess Was Wanton by Julia Kelly

51xrbm4zclFor the second book in The Governess series, an inventive rewriting of the Cinderella story results in an enchanting romantic tale. Though this plot has been retold in countless ways, Julia Kelly makes her story shine with her own original ideas. I am always fascinated to see how an author will incorporate new concepts into an often told storyline, and the new imaginings of Ms. Kelly had me smiling quite a few times. Filled with lots of heartwarming situations and genuine emotions, THE GOVERNESS WAS WANTON is pleasurably enjoyable.

As a governess, Mary Woodward helps prepare young women to be acceptable in society and have a successful season. When her latest charge became engaged, it was time to let perspective families know she could now be hired once more. A letter from Lord Asten makes her want to assist his daughter who sounds shy and possibly sad, so she takes the position. Mary truly wants the young lady to actually enjoy herself while possibly meeting her future husband. Though being around the widowed Earl of Asten will not be easy for her, as he is very desirable and makes her have forbidden yearnings.

Eric Bromford is an earl plus her employer, and though he is definitely intrigued with Mary, he always respects anyone who works for him. The new governess does all she can to entice his daughter into following her instructions, making him very grateful for her cleverness. But when Mary agrees to an impulsive suggestion, her life and that of the earl’s could be forever changed.

Distinctive characters in THE GOVERNESS WAS WANTON have realistic emotions and traits. If a woman had no family and was not married, then her life was regularly filled with much uncertainty during the mid-1800’s in England, and she was also frequently snubbed by the rich for being beneath them. Though a governess was often educated like Mary, there was little prospect of being highly regarded because of having to work. But she still had dreams of being with a man who really cared for her, and Lord Asten definitely triggered lots of explicit fantasies. While he may be a very important person in society, his down-to-earth ways made him come across as a man whom I admired, especially in how concerned he was about his daughter. Mary always took a personal interest in her charges, and I enjoyed seeing how she stood up for what was right. I was certainly happy when she did her best to improve what was happening to the young woman, and the way in which she carries out her duties made me like her more and more with each new incident.

The relationship between Mary and Eric is filled with complications, and each one could keep them apart. She knows any type of personal interaction with her employer could lead to dismissal, and it might perhaps ruin her chances of ever finding another job as a governess. Yet with his caring nature and friendly manner, she cannot stop the visions of them sharing a sexual encounter. Eric feels drawn to her when they first meet, but his strict code of honor prevents him from making any kind of advances. But like Mary, he has a vivid imagination. Julia Kelly makes the reality very steamy. One more governess has a story to tell, and I am eager to see what predicaments she will face.

Received copy from publisher

Series:  The Governess – Book 2

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  October 10, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jk2pzwn

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.juliakellywrites.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Searching for Disaster by Jennifer Probst

51yow6xyw8lThe Searching For series ends with a very compelling story by having its romantic couple explore numerous realistic issues. Jennifer Probst definitely did not make circumstances easy for William Devine and Isabella MacKenzie, as they had several crucial matters to overcome before they could be more than just passing acquaintances. I really liked how the author chose to give these two a past history that would greatly influence how they would react during a future meeting. When either chance or I would like to imagine destiny has them reconnecting, I eagerly waited to see their responses anytime they met up. By the time the book concluded, I was certainly smiling and totally satisfied. SEARCHING FOR DISASTER by the talented Jennifer Probst is profoundly heartfelt and filled with passion.

There was a time in her life when Isabella MacKenzie lived for the moment, not really caring about her future. But the time finally did come for trying to be more responsible, and a steady job at Kinnections is helping her feel more confident. As the receptionist for an exclusive matchmaking agency, Izzy gets the opportunity to prove she is trustworthy. Though her three bosses think she needs to be dating, as they all have found someone special, she says the time is not yet right for her. Hopefully, they will not push her.

When fate steps in and puts a certain man back in her life, Izzy is at first hesitant to even talk with him. While there may be an intense bond between her and William Devine, she knows their lives took much different paths after their one glorious night together. Yet Liam has always been great at attaining any of his objectives, and he wants Izzy.

What Izzy had to prevail over because of some bad choices is very convincing. She has turned her life around since hooking up with Liam six years ago, but her self-esteem is still rather low. Though he is direct about his intentions when they see each other again, she lacks the confidence to actually believe a relationship with the respected police officer could ever work. Jennifer Probst has each of their responses coming off as particularly true-to-life, as sincere feelings back their reactions. Liam is such an honest man, one who says what he means and always follows through with any declaration, while Izzy also tries to convey her inner thoughts in a straightforward manner.

While there are lots of serious emotions depicted in the story, a number of scenes portray delightful humorous moments. Those occasions when an animal is involved are especially amusing, and I well remember my own experiences being exactly as described. The desire Liam and Izzy feel for one another is often off-the-charts steamy, and they hold nothing back when they get together. The three women who run Kinnections are featured from time to time along with Izzy’s twin sister, and it was fantastic getting to catch up on the current happenings in their lives and the men close to them. While the Searching For stories may be over, I hope some of the main characters make an appearance in an upcoming series from Jennifer Probst. SEARCHING FOR DISASTER has a touch of magic, an abundance of emotions and very spirited characters.

Copy received from publisher

Series:  Searching For

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  October 10, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jbhgy7k

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://www.jenniferprobst.com/

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Beautiful by Christina Lauren

51-4j32kcelBEAUTIFUL is the concluding book in the series by the same name, and every scene concocted by the talented Christina Lauren leads to total reading gratification. There were countless moments of uncontrollable laughter where I delighted in every single word, yet just as many poignant circumstances that deeply touched me on numerous levels. Throughout ten books in the series, I have been introduced to so many characters whose unique behavior was repeatedly recalled long past the completion of the last paragraph. When it comes to creating individuals who are charmingly lovable plus have distinctive personalities, the writing duo known as Christina Lauren is unequalled. I will great miss not getting regular visits with the Beautiful characters, but the memory of their witty antics and emotional predicaments will not soon be forgotten. BEAUTIFUL engages your every thought, and leaves you wanting just one more clever comeback.

Not much is currently going right for Pippa Bay Cox. Her job brings little reward, and the boyfriend who had moved into her London apartment turned out to be a cheater. When a suggestion is made that she needs a vacation, visiting with a good friend sounds like the perfect solution. Ruby is presently in Boston, so Pippa is excited about her upcoming trip across the Atlantic. The flight goes well, except for when alcohol makes her talk way too much to the American lawyer sitting next to her. Upon arrival, she meets up with Ruby and some of her friends, and they are all going on an exciting adventure.

After a long-term relationship failed some time ago, Jensen Bergstrom now spends most days working toward being a successful lawyer, which does not leave much time for socializing. A few years back, he had pushed his sister to interact more with people, and now Hanna is on his case to do the same. When she and several of her friends decide to tour nearby wineries for a couple of weeks, Jensen is talked into joining the group. But upon learning Pippa will be going on the excursion, he at first fears the worst because of how she acted on the plane. Yet as he gets to know the carefree British woman better, he cannot help but be intrigued.

What a glorious journey it has been to experience all the ups and downs of the exceedingly likable characters featured in the Beautiful series. From skillfully worded banter to heartbreaking entanglements, I was often laughing hysterically during one scene to only be on the verge of tears with just the turn of the page. BEAUTIFUL is definitely one of my most favorite of the series. Not only are the storylines for all the past couples wrapped up in a pleasing way, but what happens to Jensen and Pippa from the instant they met is absolute perfection. Any reactions are spot-on for their dispositions, and since both viewpoints are alternately given, I was always able to comprehend their exact feelings about a particular situation.

Though Jensen and Pippa are certainly opposite in almost every way conceivable, they find themselves fascinated with each other from the start. Her British expressions are hilarious and caused many chuckles, and his responses to her are often very comical. When they mingle with their friends, the retorts are doubly funny because they seem so sincerely genuine. The sexual relationship of Jensen and Pippa is off-the-charts steamy, especially when they let their desire rule their actions. This group of engaging friends will have me rereading their entertaining stories when I need to escape real life.

Received copy from publisher

Series:  Beautiful – Book 10

Publisher:  Gallery

Releases:  October 4, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/h5mobfd

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://christinalaurenbooks.com/

Rating:  5 Stars