For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

51yTBgxTkaL._SY346_Much laughter can be found in the second book of The Wedding Belles series. Humorous comments and comical situations caused lots of loud chuckles, and some of the more inventive phrases certainly made the incidents even more amusing to me. Yet scattered amongst all the good times is an underlying reminder of what can happen in real life, and how one event can greatly affect a person from that day onward. Lauren Layne tackles an emotional issue, and the resulting love story is truly rewarding. FOR BETTER OR WORSE entertains with particularly appealing characters plus an enchanting premise.

Although Heather Fowler grew up in Michigan, she had a huge desire to one day live in New York City. It has not always been the easiest of journeys, but all her hard work appears it might be about to pay off. Hopefully, she will be the newest wedding planner at Wedding Belles, where arranging details for this special occasion is renowned. When Heather gets the opportunity to prove she is actually worthy of receiving the position, she will let nothing stop her from being an outstanding planner. But doing her best is not always without challenges, especially when the man in a nearby apartment likes practicing with his band at night, thus keeping her from getting much needed rest after running about Manhattan carrying out the wishes of a demanding bride.

A life-altering illness caused Josh Tanner to become a much different person. Gone are the days of working in the financial district, as his time is now devoted to his band and just enjoying an active social life. When he first meets the woman who moved in next door, Heather comes across as snappy and lacks a sense of humor. Since Josh is feeling kind of restless at the moment, her quick-witted banter brings some joy into his life. Though he is insistent about not ever settling down with one woman, Heather starts wondering if there is any way to change his firm conviction.

By the time FOR BETTER OR WORSE was completed, I felt as though I had been subjected to a multitude of emotions. From all the laughing I did, Lauren Layne definitely wrote plenty of hilarious episodes for her characters to experience. While Heather had her own sharp mind and could reply with some original retorts, it is several of the very unique quips made by Josh that I will long remember. He could make up such clever remarks in an instant, and each one was perfect for that moment. But there is also much heartbreak in his past, and how he lets it influence his current reactions is very realistic. Anyone ever touched in some way by cancer knows what an impact it can have on so many lives, and the author excellently handles all aspects dealing with this illness.

Since Heather had been met in the previous books of the series, I already knew what a delightful person she was at all times. In FOR BETTER OR WORSE, I really got some insight into her winning personality. She tries to make the best of any situation that comes along, and I liked her positive attitude. As for Josh, he seems to be a care-free individual, yet hides his worrisome side from everyone. These two make a fabulous couple, and their passionate natures lead to steamy and very enthusiastic sex. Many secondary characters are once again likable from beginning to end. FOR BETTER OR WORSE causes an abundance of grins along with some heartfelt compassion, and possibly a few tears.

Copy received from publisher

Series:  The Wedding Belles – Book 2

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  August 30, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/h2b8ct4

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://laurenlayne.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Furious Rush by S. C. Stephens

51FicbxfPhLAlthough motorcycle racing is a sport that I do not follow, S. C. Stephens made me want to know more about this exciting activity. With colorful descriptions and factual accounts, I got an excellent idea of what the characters were experiencing while preparations are made for upcoming races. I also sensed the joy of doing laps against a competitor, where hearts beat faster because adrenaline is pumping. While what occurs on the track is interesting, the numerous issues between contenders are just as thrilling. When hearts become involved in these matters, I never knew if the result would be agonizing or joyful.  Emotional conflicts keep escalating in FURIOUS RUSH, where nothing is guaranteed until the last moment.

Motorcycle racing has always been a part of Mackenzie Cox’s life because her father raced professionally. Now she finally has the chance to demonstrate that her abilities might be even better than many men in the sport. Though most would more than likely say she will never be an unbeatable racer, Kenzie plans to prove all the skeptics are wrong by making certain Cox Racing wins another championship. Unfortunately, a new opponent on a rival team believes she will never beat him on any track.

As a previous street racer, Hayden Hayes knows countless tricks that have led to a number of victories. With him now being hired to be a professional rider, he will be using all his skills to continue his winning streak. Kenzie is equally determined to finish at the top, especially when her dad’s team really needs to have more money coming in. Any time Hayden and her interact, their conversations end up as a verbal battle. While a powerful sexual vibe can always be felt when they are together, there is no way Kenzie will act on it. She just has to keep reminding herself that someone working for the other team is absolutely off limits. Yet to eventually win races, she may wind up agreeing to something forbidden.

By the time I completed FURIOUS RUSH, I certainly knew much about racing a motorcycle on a track or even secretively at night. Just like any sport where speed is a major factor, danger could happen at any time. But with little to protect the riders, this type of racing is very risky, and the author had me feeling worried on different occasions. When engines accelerate in FURIOUS RUSH, my heart rate also steadily increased. There is always much competition amongst the various teams, but an ongoing vendetta causes the clashes with one opponent to be more combative than normal.

With Kenzie and Hayden caught in the middle of this dispute, they must face some very difficult situations plus make tough choices. I really felt for Hayden, as no one seems to trust him. But I gradually came to realize what his cocky attitude was hiding. Kenzie repeatedly feels the need to show she is a good rider, as not many think she can actually come close to winning against all men. This sometimes made her appear brash. S. C. Stephens makes a lasting relationship for Hayden and Kenzie definitely challenging. With their competitive natures, neither likes loosing, whether it relates to motorcycles or their personal lives. They are passionate individuals, and sex is often explosively heated. Lots of family dynamics goes on in the story, and it had me not very fond of a few individuals. The ending left me wondering if there is more to come about these characters, as I would like more information about several crucial topics concerning the future of Hayden and Kenzie.

Copy received from NetGalley

Publisher:  Forever

Releases:  August 23, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/hh5p559

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://authorscstephens.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Wolf’s Mate by Chantal Fernando

51Iy4RPAw0LThe fifth book in the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club series has plenty of emotional incidents that frequently tug at the heart. Whether it involves the appealing main couple and their current lives, or focuses on what has happened in their past, I always felt what they experienced during these often trying times. Chantal Fernando has created a truly mesmerizing world for her sexy bikers and the strong-willed women who love them, and I am just glad to have been along for the whole journey. WOLF’S MATE has engaging characters, lots of heartfelt emotions and lusty sexual encounters.

Although Vinnie is a member of the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club, he still plans to keep his vow of doing a favor for the president of another club. While he will never fully trust the guy, not fulfilling a promise goes against his principles. So Vinnie will be spending a week doing the bidding of someone whom he does not see as a “brother.” When he hears the task given to him will be watching over Shayla, the cousin of the other club’s leader, he is skeptical at first because his duties sound too easy. Learning her imprisoned father was a crooked accountant makes the assignment more dangerous, but Vinnie is not worried. His biggest problem will more than likely be annoyance since Shayla is supposed to be self-centered.

At the first meeting between Vinnie and Shayla, she does come across as bratty. He also quickly recognizes some changes need to be made in order to keep her safer, and thankfully she does not disagree. As Vinnie spends more time with Shayla, he comes to realize the prior comments he heard about her are not actually true. Before his time of guarding her is completed, he feels a link with her that makes turning her over to another man almost impossible.

Brotherhood between the Wind Dragons is once again apparent throughout the story, where loyalty between these men and their supportive women is shown in different ways. Sometimes commitment is depicted when situations turn threatening, while other instances such as a birthday party are more lighthearted. I laughed at the playfulness of these very alpha males and their mates, yet nervously waited to see how a dangerous episode in which they participated would turn out. Some suspense does occur from time to time because of danger to Shayla, but much more of the story is emotional and pertains to her unexpected relationship with a motorcycle club member. Events in their lives are repeatedly made captivating by Chantal Fernando.

When Vinnie is given an unpleasant task, he only wants to complete the obligation connected to Shayla and return to his own club. But interacting with her causes emotional issues that he never anticipated, especially since he has never been a “one woman man.” When paired with Shayla who is totally opposite from him, there are many scenes where sharp-witted remarks are made and caused me to laugh. I really enjoyed seeing the teasing side of this intimidating biker, as I have liked him from his first appearance. Some of the discussions these two have with other club members are also hilarious, particularly when Faye is included. The powerful longing Vinnie has for Shayla leads to numerous situations of gratifying sex, where strong feelings for each other are clearly obvious. I am glad there is another book planned in this intriguing series. WOLF’S MATE entertains with fascinating predicaments.

Received copy from publisher

Series:  Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club

Publisher:  Gallery

Releases:  August 16, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zl7lhbc

Genre:  Contemporary

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

Rating:  4.5 Stars

To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

418njPNHDZL._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_As soon as the enchanting Wedding Belles prequel was read, I was eager to see what happened to another wedding planner at the exclusive New York City shop. In the first full length story of the series, I was treated to lots of amusing conversations plus some very lifelike emotional troubles, where numerous characters drew me into their fascinating lives. From professional colleagues to good friends to lovers, I wanted to discover much about these individuals as their lives became intertwined. Some moments are exceedingly happy while others are totally heartbreaking, where each instance is portrayed with realism. The Wedding Belles series is off to a compelling start, as Lauren Layne has created delightful characters with whom to connect. TO HAVE AND TO HOLD keeps the entertainment flowing with laughs and sighs.

After Seth Tyler became the CEO of Tyler Hotel Group when his father suddenly died, he has made certain that all dealings run smoothly. But when his sister, Maya, unexpectedly announces she is getting married and is over-the-top excited, he has suspicions about the future groom yet tries to appear thrilled for her. When his sibling manages to get Wedding Belles to coordinate all aspects of her upcoming marriage, she knows it will be a very special event. The newest wedding planner, Brooke Baldwin, will be working to make sure every step is completely enjoyable.

When Brooke left Los Angeles and moved to New York City, she wanted to leave any feelings related to the man whom she almost married back on the west coast, as he was a skillful liar. Just hired at Wedding Belles, she is ready to prove her abilities by making her first client’s ideas come true. Though the bride and groom seem agreeable, the older brother of Maya is more than a little tense, but Brooke guesses the wealthy tycoon wants to know where his money will be going. But the real reason Seth keeps showing up during every occasion where decisions are made is to uncover the true motives of the groom. If he could just get the tempting Brooke on his side, it would make determining the truth easier while letting them get closer.

Lauren Layne is known for writing humorous scenes, and her talent can be seen all throughout TO HAVE AND TO HOLD. Whether it is a chat between Seth and his best friend Grant, or a discussion where Brooke and the controlling brother of the bride have some sharp words, the dialogue is often cleverly funny. The two men are especially hilarious, as some of their talks are just as I would imagine occurring when males are together. There are also some incidents where emotional turmoil takes place, as Seth and Brooke do have some serious conflicts from time to time. Occasionally, the issues deal with how they react to a problem connected to his sister, while other battles are concerned with more personal matters. I definitely felt for each one of them when a predicament seemed hopeless, as I could sense how deeply they were affected. Sexual tension is high, causing encounters to be particularly heated.

There is also some drama associated with the wedding of Maya, and I found this secondary plot to be interesting as I did not know how everything would end. The other employees at Wedding Belles are very intriguing, and I am glad the next book comes out soon. A wonderful start to a captivating series.

Copy received from publisher

Series:  The Wedding Belles – Book 1

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  July 26, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jldf59y

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://laurenlayne.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Wedding Date with the Army Doc by Lynne Marshall

51UcOQgBveL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_ (1)Lynne Marshall puts plenty of heart into her Harlequin Medical Romances, where personal lives and careers dealing with health matters entwine. In WEDDING DATE WITH THE ARMY DOC, a number of dramatic issues make romantic relationships difficult for two people, yet both have so much to offer someone if they are willing to take a gamble. As the couple makes their way through the highs and lows of being together, their lives are filled with unexpected joy but also painful distress.

Since she is a pathologist in a California hospital, Charlotte Johnson meets all types of doctors. Though several of them are definitely good-looking and unwed, she does not want to be in any relationship at this time. When she made the choice to have elective surgery in the hope of avoiding a disease that could be deadly, Charlotte knew there would be no romantic connections taking place soon. But she does enjoy dreaming about all the what-ifs, especially if they involve surgeon, Dr. Jackson Hilstead.

When Jackson seems to want more than to just be friends with Charlotte, she would really like to explore the possibilities between them. Yet fears about his potential response keep her from pushing for anything more. But there are some things in Jackson’s life that Charlotte does not know, so it becomes a question of who will be the first to open up and what kind of impact it will have on their futures.

After reading WEDDING DATE WITH THE ARMY DOC, a Summer Brides story, I was filled with such good feelings. Though the book has some incidents where problems are at the forefront, there is always a ray of hope in the background, even if it is only very slight. Lynne Marshall has taken several real life predicaments and created a story often filled with positive optimism. The genuineness of many struggles moved me at times, particularly when the dilemmas came across as so true-to-life. Circumstances are definitely conceivable, while any reactions of Jackson and Charlotte are candidly sincere. As events played out, there were a few instances where I smiled so big because their pleasure was very obvious.

The past has not been exactly kind to either Charlotte or Jackson. Tough decisions have been made by both of them, and the results of what they chose have greatly affected their current lives. There is also an unpredicted episode in Jackson’s earlier life that could have a bearing on how he is seen by others. Since being rejected because of what has happened to each of them is always in the back of their minds, I was anxious to discover how Jackson and Charlotte would respond when secrets are finally revealed.

Any medical aspects in the story are very compelling. Whether a condition pertains to the main couple or someone else, all details are credible and let me experience anything related to the situation right along with the characters. The background of Lynne Marshall lets her write medical romances that are profoundly touching plus convincing. WEDDING DATE WITH THE ARMY DOC is upliftingly romantic.

Received copy from author

Series:  Summer Brides

Publisher:  Harlequin Medical Romance

Releases:  July 1, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/hrhzarv

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://lynnemarshall.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

 

Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

513T2hWR61LSometimes, two people are drawn to each other before they officially meet. But upon speaking with one another, the fascination might quickly vanish or make the couple want to see where the attraction goes. In the second Hudson Valley book, two individuals who are opposite in so many ways began a romantic affair, not once thinking about commitment at first. Then their lives start to become more entangled, and choices made could bring happiness or doom them on the spot. Alice Clayton never ceases to amaze with her ingeniously created storylines, as CREAM OF THE CROP has truly believable circumstances featuring characters that are particularly realistic.

If something needs to be promoted in order to be more visible or successful, then Natalie Grayson is the person with whom to work. She is an advertising executive with a Manhattan agency, and her talent for creating just the right campaign makes her highly sought after. At the end of each workweek, she has a habit of going to a store that sells all types of cheeses, and one of her new favorites comes from a dairy named Bailey Falls Creamery. She is already familiar with some products made there, as it has a booth at a nearby farmer’s market each Saturday. Although she has tried many of the cheeses made right on the farm, it is the man selling the dairy items that she actually wants to taste.

Since Oscar Mendoza is the owner of Bailey Falls Creamery, he knows bringing the freshly made products to sell straight to the public can be very profitable. There are many repeat customers every weekend, so there is no question about them liking what he brings. Natalie definitely is fond of what is sold, and she wants to know Oscar better, yet all her self-assurance with men vanishes whenever she visits his booth. So all she has is fantasies. But when a campaign takes her to the town of Bailey Falls, maybe all those lustful thoughts can become reality.

Whenever an Alice Clayton book is read, laughs are absolutely guaranteed. CREAM OF THE CROP has its share of scenes where chuckles cannot be contained, and I had to stop reading during one specific incidence because of all the tears from laughing so hard. I have no idea how she comes up with the huge number of situations filled with witty banter and comical thoughts. Natalie says what she wants, regardless of the location, and this made several of her comments even funnier. Since Oscar usually has very little to say, any humorous remarks by him are often unanticipated. Much of the story takes place in the country, and it results in some amusing moments because of Natalie’s sophisticated behavior.

The relationship of Oscar and Natalie is definitely preoccupied with sex when it begins, where encounters are explosive along with being extremely satisfying. I had to sigh at their eagerness on numerous occasions, as the descriptive details told me just how impatient Natalie and Oscar were at that time. Alice Clayton writes sex scenes which are hot yet also creative, and several in this story are cleverly inventive. CREAM OF THE CROP never skimps on steaminess. Any drama in the book shows a side of Natalie and Oscar that they do not let others normally discover, and I nervously waited to see what each would eventually decide. There are so many delightful secondary characters in the story, and their conversations with the main couple are often a hoot. I cannot wait to revisit the picturesque town of Bailey Falls in the Hudson Valley.

Received copy from publisher

Series:  Hudson Valley

Publisher:  Gallery

Releases:  July 12, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jaem6vd

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://aliceclayton.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

One Size Fits All by Stephanie Haefner

51ouDy1EpzLSometimes a new relationship goes smoothly, and occasionally it is doomed from the very start. In the third book of the Classy ‘n’ Sassy series, there is a real connection between two people, but the couple will have to go through a large number of highs and lows before lasting happiness can ever be theirs. Easily read on its own, the story is about the countless uncertainties in a relationship which can either draw individuals together or tear them apart forever. Stephanie Haefner does not hold back on giving her romantic couple a number of challenging problems to face, where much soul-searching must be done. ONE SIZE FITS ALL is engaging with spirited characters and complex emotional issues.

At the age of twenty-eight, Penny Woodley is out on her own after getting a divorce. Her ex-husband may have cheated on her, but they did live a comfortable life and he took care of any financial matters. Now any bills are paid out of her own paycheck. It is a good thing she is working as the marketing director at Classy ‘n’ Sassy Lingerie Shop, so money will be coming in. Getting together one evening for drinks with two friends who are also her bosses is a good way to unwind, but talking about how happy their boyfriends makes them has Penny wondering if she is ready to date again.

One possible candidate for a date is Theodore “Thor” Rublinski, a local teacher plus football coach. He is also a bouncer at the bar where Penny and her friends go regularly, and being single once again has her looking at him in a different way. There has never been a shortage of women in Thor’s life, yet none have ever been really special to him. With the years passing by, he is starting to think about finding a woman with whom he could have a serious relationship. Though Thor has always been self-assured when around women, all his confidence seems to vanish when Penny is near. But going on a date might be worth the risk of being turned down.

While there were times when I did not agree with how Penny responded to a situation, I could understand her reasoning. The actions of her ex-husband have left her fearful of what could perhaps occur with someone new, but I did feel sorry for Thor when she made assumptions. But just like real life, wished for circumstances is not always what we receive, because often two people will perceive an incident in their own way. I never knew from one moment to the next what would take place in the lives of this couple, as a joyous event could become upsetting in an instant.

Stephanie Haefner incorporates lots of realism into her romantic story, making ONE SIZE FITS ALL dramatically emotional. Differences of opinion, doubts and unclear feelings sometimes wreak havoc in the lives of Penny and Thor once they are together, while fiery passion and a companionable bond give them hope. Toss in complications at her workplace, some trials with family plus money difficulties, and her life is a big mess. The two women from the previous Classy ‘n’ Sassy stories make plenty of appearances, where some fun is shared along with several instances where viewpoints clash. Another interesting book about three friends and some major concerns in their lives.

Copy received from publisher

Series:  Classy ‘n’ Sassy

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  July 4, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jg7zcte

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://thewriterscocoon.blogspot.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Rake’s Redemption by Chantal Fernando

514H+b2hmkLThere is often much drama in the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club series, and not all of it relates to clashes with a rival club. While many of the Wind Dragons members and the women with whom they are involved are only looking for a good time, occasionally one of the men comes across a special female that he wants to call his. In the previous books of the series, there have been several complicated relationships which eventually resulted in long-term commitment. But past history between Rake and Bailey makes any connection besides hostile seem impossible. Chantal Fernando has these two experiencing a wide range of highs and lows, where emotional conflicts all too often caused me to become very nervous about the outcome of any disagreement. RAKE’S REDEMPTION is constantly engaging with believable developments and a large group of original characters.

While everything about their teenage relationship seemed perfect to Adam and Bailey, their dreams of a happy future together do not take place. Years later, he is known as Rake and belongs to the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club. Though she lives not too far away, the two have never seen each other again until they happen to meet at a bar where he spends much time. Many memories of what they once shared are instantly recalled, but the reason Rake and Bailey broke up is also in their thoughts, a painful reminder of why they are not a couple any longer. Hurtful words are spoken, and neither wants to ever come in contact with the other again.

Though there have been countless women in Rake’s life since he was with Bailey, the only thing they meant to him was sexual pleasure, and lately he does not even feel much satisfaction afterward. When the one woman he actually loved comes back in to his life, old hurts haunt him. Bailey has also tried to move on, but seeing Rake again just proves she never got over him completely, no matter the distrust between them now. Yet when she is danger because of her association with the Wind Dragons member, what happened in their past is not nearly as important to him as the current circumstances.

Situations filled with intense emotions are often the focal point of the fourth Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club story. While there are some disputes with other motorcycle clubs, much of the focus is on Rake and Bailey. Now that their paths have crossed, they continuously struggle with feelings thought long dead. Although one night changed their opinion of each other, a love like theirs is hard to totally destroy. The way in which the reactions of this couple are conveyed deeply touched me, as each sentiment is absolutely realistic. Chantal Fernando exposes the depth of their feelings with honesty and great passion, and I was drawn into every aspect of their lives. I laughed when they enjoyed fun times with friends, and I felt like crying when hidden truths are revealed with frank openness. Interaction between Rake and Bailey turns blazingly hot when lust takes over, and I could sense just how much they craved each other even if they wanted to deny it. Emotions in RAKE’S REDEMPTION are repeatedly heartfelt, while sexual hunger is fueled by overwhelming desire.

All the delightful couples from the prior books in the series are featured from time to time, and many of their comments caused plenty of laughs, especially those spoken by Faye. Chantal Fernando has constructed an intriguing world for the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club, and I hope each compelling member and even some of those just linked to the group get their own story.

Copy received from publisher

Series:  Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club

Publisher:  Gallery

Releases:  June 28. 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/gwm6xrs

Genre:   Contemporary

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

Rating:  4.5 Stars

A Measure of Love by Sophie Jackson

418XYikZ4ILThe emotional trials a normally carefree man must face in the latest A Pound of Flesh story are realistic and often extremely moving. Each of the two previous full length installments in the series have been overflowing with lots of true-to-life events, and the third book ratchets up the drama from the very start. Emotions run high as tense situations play out, and a secret added to my worry over what would take place if eventually revealed. Sophie Jackson creates conflicts that are frequently heartbreaking, and each of these gripping scenes deeply moved me. A MEASURE OF LOVE grabs your every thought while reading and is hard to forget when completed.

After leaving Michigan and moving to New York, life has been up and down for Riley Moore. He served a prison sentence for making a very bad decision concerning an acquaintance, but has made certain to get his life back on track since then. Working with a good friend at their auto body shop brings him much satisfaction, and he can always find a woman when he feels the need. Back in his hometown, Riley had grown up with Lexie Pierce, and he had come to think she would be in his life forever. But fate intervened and changed their hopeful futures.

A falling out with his dad led to Riley not seeing his parents in a couple of years, and he has no idea what happened to Lexie. However, the instant he hears his father had another heart attack, he immediately goes to offer support to his family. Being back home has him recalling memories of the many times spent with Lexie. Unintentionally ending up in the same store leaves Riley and Lexie feelings uncomfortable and little is said. However, he feels compelled to reach out to her soon afterward. But this time, a truth she has kept from him will either draw them together or result in tearing what they could have apart.

Though some stories tug at my heart, rarely do they touch me as profoundly as A MEASURE OF LOVE. The lives of Riley and Lexie are clearly exposed from childhood to all their issues as an adult, and regardless of whether the experiences took place when they were younger or are current, each event gave detailed insight into how their lives turned out and why. I felt as though I knew this couple very well, as the author had me living through the circumstances along with them. Their inner pain let me know how Riley and Lexie suffered once their dreams had died, while the hope they feel once reunited told me their connection is still very strong.

Sophie Jackson excels at writing stories with heartfelt emotion plus engaging characters, and A MEASURE OF LOVE is memorably noteworthy. While each of the books in the A Pound of Flesh series has been exceptional, I must say that Riley and Lexie’s story affected me the most. Ms. Jackson has these two pouring out their feelings to each other time and again, and every episode is so honestly sincere. Their reactions are always genuine, and their happy moments left me smiling while anything sorrowful caused me to be upset. Riley is a man who would do anything for his family or friends, and his winning personality made me like him at all times. Though Lexie made a big error when she withheld crucial information from Riley when they were younger, her responses to him now proved she had truly grown up. Their relationship is emotional, passionate and very believable. I hope Riley’s brothers get their own future stories, as each man is certainly fascinating.

Received copy from publisher

Series:  A Pound of Flesh – Book 5

Publisher:  Gallery

Releases:  June 21, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jlqcmzd

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  https://sophiejacksonauthor.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

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

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zq7kawz

Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:  http://laurenlayne.com/

Rating:  4 Stars