Right Where We Belong Brenda Novak

Right Where We Belong (Silver Springs, #4)Right Where We Belong by Brenda Novak

New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak returns to Silver Springs with a moving story about rebuilding your life when you’ve got nothing left to lose 

Savanna Gray needs a do-over. Her “perfect” life unraveled when, to her absolute shock, her husband was arrested for attacking three women. With her divorce settled, she takes her two children home to Silver Springs to seek refuge between the walls of the farmhouse where she was born. It needs a little TLC, but she’s eager to take control of something.

Gavin Turner understands the struggle of starting over. Abandoned at a gas station when he was five, it wasn’t until he landed at New Horizons Boys Ranch as a teen that he finally found some peace. He steps up when Savanna needs help fixing things—even when those things go beyond the farmhouse.

Despite an escalating attraction to Gavin, Savanna resolves to keep her distance. She trusted her ex, who had a similarly tragic background, and is unwilling to repeat her past mistakes. But it’s hard to resist a man whose heart is as capable as his hands.–Goodreads

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You can always count on Brenda Novak to write a compelling book that makes you want to keep reading regardless of your other responsibilities. I was so happy to be settled down with another of her books and immediately felt hooked. This is far more than your average romance.

As someone who makes a hobby out of reading true crime books, the threads of that theme that I found in this fiction book satisfied me far more than a basic boy meets girl romance. Still, as a romance, this is fantastic. The steam level was perfect. The sex scenes weren’t overdone and didn’t feel pointless, the sparks between the main characters were genuine and they were the kind of people that it isn’t hard to like. The relationship didn’t feel forced and I thought their personalities meshed really well. Plus, the kids tugged at my heartstrings. I may or may not have shed a few tears during this…

I loved the way the author interwove the stories from Savanna’s married life and her suspicions about her husband into the plot, using them to create tension for the current love affair in the story. This is a wonderful book and was full of unexpected twists and turns. There were times during reading this that I was holding my breath waiting to see what would happen next.

This is one of the best romance books that I have had the pleasure of reading all year long and I happily recommend it to others, particularly anyone that is looking for a suspenseful romance. Also, I want to move to Silver Springs, California now, too.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Wyoming Winter by Diana Palmer

Wyoming Winter (Wyoming Men #7)Wyoming Winter by Diana Palmer

There’s something about those Wyoming men… New York Times bestselling author Diana Palmer returns to the Cowboy State with a brand-new tale of desire and deception

Cultivating his vast Wyoming ranch is all security expert J. C. Calhoun wants. His land is the only thing the betrayed rancher can trust in after discovering his fiancee was pregnant by another man. But all J.C. holds dear becomes compromised when a lost little girl leads him to Colie Jackson, the woman who destroyed his life.

Colie stops at nothing to protect the people she loves. Years ago she left J.C. for his own good. Now, for the sake of her daughter, she must depend on a hard-hearted man who won’t forgive her. As a band of ruthless criminals tracks their every move through the frozen Wyoming winter, Colie and J.C. will be forced to confront the lies that separated them–and the startling truth that will bind them forever…–from Goodreads

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love these ranch and western themed books. Diana Palmer is an amazing author that has a true knack for telling a story that will melt your icy heart and this book is no exception.

I have to be honest, in the beginning I didn’t think this book was going to work for me. I didn’t Like JC very much and thought the potential for him to become the hero of the story seemed thin. He had such an attitude problem and I didn’t see how it could work, but once again, this author proved that not everything is what it seems.

If you like your romance to come with some thrills, this would be a good book for you to choose. The love story elements are all there, but this is more than just a simple boy meets girl romance. There is danger and excitement, a bit of mystery and hard feelings to take you on a ride that you won’t forget when you’ve finished.

In order for a romance to work for me, there has to be a decent amount of believable tension between the characters and this one has it in spades. The Wyoming air is so thick with the chemistry between these characters you could cut it with a knife. With both of them suffering from memories of their pasts and afraid to move forward, this book got it just right.

Overall, I really liked the characters by the end, and am happy to recommend this book to other romance readers. This is a complex story that a lot of thought went into and it shows in the tight plot and solid writing.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Christmas in Icicle Falls by Sheila Roberts

Christmas in Icicle FallsChristmas in Icicle Falls by Sheila Roberts

When Muriel Sterling released her new book, A Guide to Happy Holidays, she felt like the queen of Christmas. She’s thrilled when the new tree she ordered online arrives and is eager to show it off–until she gets it out of the box and realizes it’s a mangy dud. But rather than give up on the ugly tree, Muriel decides to make a project out of it. As she pretties up her tree, she realizes there’s a lesson to be learned: everything and everyone has potential. Maybe even her old friend Arnie, who’s loved her for years. Except, she’s not the only one seeing Arnie’s potential…

Meanwhile, Muriel’s ugly-tree project has also inspired her friends. Sienna Moreno is trying to bring out the best in the grouchy man next door, who hates noise, hates kids and hates his new neighbors. And while Olivia Claussen would love to send her obnoxious new daughter-in-law packing, she’s adjusting her attitude and trying to discover what her son sees in the girl. If these women can learn to see the beauty in the “ugly trees” in their lives, perhaps this might turn out to be the happiest holiday yet.–from goodreads

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you want a feel good book this upcoming holiday season that will make your heart melt, this is the one you want to get. There are a bunch of different story lines going on all at the same time in this novel and the author manages to tie them together perfectly by the end.

Even with so much going on, it is easy to keep what is happening straight because the characters are so varied. Each of them has an “Ugly Tree,” situation that they must overcome in order to follow the helpful hints in a new book released by one of the members of the community. I loved the way the author used Cratchett as a name in the book and showed that even the most unlikely people can sometimes be redeemed with a bit of generosity.

There are a few different romances developing simultaneously in this novel and other friendships and family relationships building and being tested as well. This is the kind of novel where there is something for everyone. I thought this was a wonderful book and look forward to recommending it to others.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

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Lilac Lane

Lilac Lane (Chesapeake Shores #14)Lilac Lane by Sherryl Woods

At the heart of Lilac Lane is Keira Malone, who raised her three children alone after her first marriage broke apart, and who, after years of guarding her heart, finally finds love again. But that love is short-lived when her fiancé suffers a fatal heart attack. Grieving and unsure of what’s next, Keira agrees to move from Dublin to Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, to spend time with her daughter, Moira, and her new granddaughter, Kate, as well as to help her son-in-law, Luke, with his Irish pub, O’Briens

Not wanting to live underfoot, she rents a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, replete with views of the ocean and her neighbor’s thriving garden—not to mention views of the neighbor himself. The neighbor is none other than Bryan Laramie, the brusque and moody chef at the pub, with whom Keira is constantly butting heads. But things get real when Bryan’s long-lost daughter, whom he hasn’t seen since she was a baby, shows up out of the blue. As Bryan and Keira each delve into their pasts, reopening wounds, the rest of the town is gearing up for the Fall Festival Irish Stew cook-off, and making no bones about whose side they’re on. It’s Kitchen Wars meets This is Your Life—a recipe for disaster…or a new take on love?

You won’t want to miss this epic return to Chesapeake Shores, a place we’re betting you’ll want to stay forever.–goodreads

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you want to fall in love with the characters and setting in a book and be treated to an escape without having to leave the comfort of your favourite chair, this is the book to do it.

I loved the characters right away and found myself engrossed in this story before I was even finished with the first chapter. Keira is the kind of character that will make you nod your head in agreement as you relate to what she’s going through. I loved learning more about her and her family.

One of the things that impressed me about this book was how full of important characters it was. Everyone had a purpose and everyone was lovable in their own way. The story of Bryan captured my heart and kept me excited to see what was going to happen next. This novel is also filled with delicious sounding food–I dare you to read it and not walk away hungry for some Irish Stew and soda bread.

This book made me laugh and cry in all the right places. If you are looking for a romance with some substance and a lot of reasons to read it, may I recommend this one. Lilac Lane is a wonderfully rich, atmospheric novel you are sure to enjoy. I know I did.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Best Day Ever Kaira Rouda

Best Day EverBest Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is what I would call a strangely compelling read. I absolutely detested the main character and wanted to see the worst happen to him throughout the entire book, and yet–I found it impossible to stop reading no matter how annoyed or disgusted with him I found myself. I have to hand it to the author, she has written a very memorable book.

From the beginning, you know that this is one of those novels where appearances from the outside can be deceiving and that the happy couple you first meet probably aren’t all that happy. When that is confirmed and then reinforced later in the story, you might find yourself looking at the people around you and wondering if you really know them as well as you think you do. Any book that can do that, must be a good one, in my opinion.

I was curious to see how this would all end, there is a lot of build up throughout the story that leads you to believe there is going to be a dramatic ending and I had hopes that it would end with the main character fully getting what he deserved, but things didn’t go as I expected. I didn’t necessarily dislike the ending of the book, but I didn’t feel like it was a good as it could have been. I think I wanted to see the end be worthy of the rest of the book and I didn’t really think it was. Perhaps there is a reason the author chose to go the way she did with it, but for me it was a bit of a let down.

Still, this book is different and that was refreshing. it will keep you wondering what is ahead the whole time and will probably keep you up at night. It did that to me. One thing is for certain, I won’t forget about it any time soon.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Hello Again (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #2)Hello Again by Brenda Novak

From NYT bestseller Brenda Novak comes the next installment of Dr. Evelyn Talbot and her murderous home for psychopaths in Hello Again.

Evelyn Talbot, a psychiatrist at a maximum-security prison in Alaska, studies some of the world’s worst serial killers. But she’s about to meet her most elusive patient at Hanover House yet: Dr. Lyman Bishop, AKA the Zombie Maker given his fondness for performing ice-pick lobotomies on his victims. A brilliant cancer researcher, Bishop is either the most cunning psychopath Evelyn has ever encountered—or he is wrongly convicted.

When a new ice-pick fatality occurs, it seems Bishop really was wrongly convicted. Except…Evelyn has a personal connection to the victim and that suggests the killer may be someone from her own past: Jasper Moore, her high school boyfriend who tortured her and left her for dead when she was only sixteen. Jasper also murdered three of her friends—and was never caught. Is he trying to send a message with this copycat crime? The only thing Evelyn knows for sure is that if Jasper is on her trail, she might not be able to escape again . .–goodreads

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is shaping up to be a very interesting series with a complex plot that keeps getting more dangerous and compelling. I liked Evelyn Talbot in the first book, but in this one she gets even better. The author offers us a chance to get to know her main character much better, recounting the events in her past and showing us glimpses of what could be in store for her future.

Brenda Novak handled the murders in this book with grace. They aren’t overly graphic or disgusting, but she gives just enough to terrify you and make you want to double check the locks on your doors at night. I liked the way she depicted the strain on the relationship between Evelyn and her boyfriend, caused by the stresses of the jobs they hold and other, outside factors.

You can tell that a lot of research into criminology went into this book and I found the entire thing interesting and well-written. This book has a tight plot and makes you want to keep turning pages. The ending was unexpected and left me wanting another in the series as soon as possible.

This is the kind of book that will not fade from your memory and will keep you checking to see when the next novel is out. Definitely recommended for those who like suspense thrillers.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. Al opinions are my own.

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