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.

 

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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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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.

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

The SurrogateThe Surrogate by Louise Jensen

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book will keep you up at night.

I found myself lost in the pages of this book right away, literally within the first few pages. I loved the writing style as it made me feel close to the story and like I was experiencing everything the characters experienced.

From the beginning I felt bad for the main character, wanting her to make her dream of becoming a mother a reality, but not knowing what the future held. All the struggles she and her husband faced made me empathetic to her situation and feel like she was someone I could trust–until later in the story when I wasn’t sure who to believe.

I love stories where you aren’t sure if the main character is really experiencing something out of the ordinary or if they are simply losing their grip on reality. This was a very well written and compelling book with the perfect amount of suspense to keep me right at the edge of my seat. If you enjoy books where the past comes calling, this is one that you won’t want to miss out on.

I really liked the way the author ended this book–with as many questions as there were answers. I definitely recommend this book as being one of the best of 2017.

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

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

**One of my favourite books of the year thus far. Creepy and spine-chilling and totally worth the read.

The Doll HouseThe Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

You never know who’s watching…

Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.

But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…

How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?–Goodreads

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You shouldn’t read this book unless you want to give up everything else in your life until you are finished with it. It really is that good.

From the beginning, you are aware that there is something strange going on with Corinne and her sister, Ashley, but you don’t know quite what. As the story progresses, you glimpse the past and things begin to make sense, but only just. This story is told from different points of view, but instead of making it confusing for the reader, I thought it added to the overall atmosphere and feeling that not everything is what it seems.

I liked the way the author used a red herring or two in order to throw the reader off the trail. I figured out who was responsible before the halfway mark of the book, but it didn’t matter because in the end it didn’t go the way I expected it to. Knowing who did what was only half the excitement.

All of the unimportant things in life–you know–like eating, sleeping and bathroom breaks were shoved to the side while I read this compelling book. I could not stop turning the pages. Yep. I loved it. I suspect you will, too.

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

The girl who came back

The Girl Who Came BackThe Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson

Thirteen years ago Olivia Adams went missing. Now she’s back… or is she?

When five-year-old Olivia Adams disappeared from her back garden, the small community of Stoneridge was thrown into turmoil. How could a child vanish in the middle of a cosy English village?

Thirteen years on and Olivia is back. Her mother is convinced it’s her but not everyone is sure. If this is the missing girl, then where has she been – and what happened to her on that sunny afternoon?

If she’s an imposter, then who would be bold enough to try to fool a child’s own mother – and why?

Then there are those who would rather Olivia stayed missing. The past is the past and some secrets must remain buried.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book. Even from the very beginning you know there is something interesting going on but throughout most of it, you’ll be hard put to figure out exactly what it is. The characters were intriguing and I liked the fact that the author kept the dark and mysterious ambiance going throughout the novel all the way to the end.

The main character was exciting because I wasn’t sure if she could be trusted or not and if she was who she said she was. I liked the way the author intertwined more than one story together and made me question whether or not the two different stories would tie neatly together in the end.

This is the kind of book that will keep you up at night thinking about the story even after you have closed the book. The descriptions were good and the ending was surprising. I thought I had it all figured out, but it was a little different than I expected. Overall, I thought this was a great book and would recommend it to others that enjoy mystery and suspense.

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

Tangled Moon by Olivia Stocum

Tangled MoonTangled Moon by Olivia Stocum

She could feel her blood pulsing through her veins. Her heightened senses had turned inward and all she knew was this moment and what he was doing to her. She held him tightly, wishing she could pull him inside of her. Pull her inside of him. Something. Someplace where the unrelenting tug and pull between them could finally end…

Danielle Howard likes her life, as strange as it is. For her, this is as good as it gets. Who needs things like family, a home, and romance, anyway?
She spends her days as a mortal woman, and her nights as a wolf, killing vampires for a living. What could be better than that?

Well, maybe there is one thing missing…

Danielle thought one day she and her hunting partner, Lothar, would be more than friends. But some things just can’t be. Lothar is next in line for the High Council seat, and that means he is way out of her league. She’s talked herself into doing her job, with or without his love. He’s still her alpha, and that has its own appeal.

Nick Shepard knew there was more to life. He’d just never been able to find it. When the sexy Danielle comes into his life, everything changes.
All he’s ever wanted is to know who he is, and why he’s different.
Being unprepared for the truth, isn’t going to stop him from embracing it. Whether Danielle is a part of his future or not, he’s not sure, but he knows one thing…

He is never going back.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are a lot of books out there with werewolf and vampire characters, but few of them hold my interest. This one did. I liked the way the author handled the story, making sure this was not just another repeat of other books that have come before it.

Lothar, Nick and Danielle are all really interesting characters and the strained relationship between them gives this series a solid foundation to work from. As is the norm with this author’s books, you know from the beginning that you are in for some serious surprises and she doesn’t let you down. There is plenty of action in this novel to keep you whipping through pages, but she also gives you the emotional aspects of her characters and their relationships to one another. Even the side characters come off as important and integral to the overall plot.

There is enough steam in this novel to keep the romance readers happy, but not so much that it is intolerable for those of us that don’t want to read a book with a million pointless love scenes. The descriptions of the scenery and the shifting in this book are fantastic. I could feel the atmosphere from the first page, perfectly appropriate to the plot.

If you are looking for something paranormal but different, this will satisfy the craving. I’m looking forward to seeing where this series goes next.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Big Little Festival

The Big Little Festival (Rabbit's Leap, Book 2)The Big Little Festival by Kellie Hailes

Join the whole village at The Big Little Festival for the perfect summer day out!

With only weeks until the little Devon village of Rabbit’s Leap holds its first ever festival, Jody McArthur is desperate. She – more than anyone – wants to raise the funds to rebuild the local swimming pool and when she fell pregnant with her twin boys, it was the village who was there to support her. So, to stop disaster in its tracks, she brings in bigshot London events manager Christian Middlemore to make The Big Little Festival the huge success everyone deserves.

But Jody is totally unprepared for the impact reserved-but-gorgeous Christian has on Rabbit’s Leap – and her heart! Except Jody has avoided relationships for so long, and anyway, she’s sure romance between a country-born-and-bred single mum and a career-focused city boy would be impossible – wouldn’t it?

As tensions rise along with the home baked scones and miles and miles of bunting, Jody is about to find out!

The second book set in the picture-perfect Rabbit’s Leap, this little village is where love blooms!–from goodreads

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was adorable and a fun way to pass a couple of lazy afternoons. I liked Jody and Christian both and they had plenty of chemistry to keep the romance reader in me happy. There are a lot of small, English village romances to choose from these days, but I thought this one was better than most. These characters had real struggles to overcome and mistakes in their past that haunted them. It was nice to see some depth rather than the fluff that a lot of romances are made up of.

The twin boys were fun and I enjoyed their antics, having twin boys of my own, I could relate to the things the main character went through and how she felt about the possibility of a new relationship. The author did a great job with descriptions and I like the way she made the secondary characters feel so real and full of life.

This is a really cute story with a bit of steam and a story line that won’t let you down. Recommended for those who like romance with a cosy feel.

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

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The Cotswolds Cookery Club

The Cotswolds Cookery Club - ItalyThe Cotswolds Cookery Club – Italy by Alice Ross

…where the ingredients to happiness are found.

Connie has had enough. Enough of the city, enough of her job – and most importantly, enough of her cheating husband! So, when her best friend jets off to sunny Australia and calls on Connie to house and dog-sit, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

When Connie arrives at the gorgeous Cotswolds getaway, she can’t resist opening the doors to the town, offering up cooking lessons – and a lot of wine! Cue the three – very different – women who respond to Connie’s cookery club advert. But it’s soon clear they will need more than a glass of wine to overcome their problems…

Can Connie conjure up the right ingredients to help her new friends? And with two gorgeous men thrown in the mix, Connie may have just ended up with a recipe for disaster!-Goodreads

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. It was cute and charming and made me happy, but it will also make you hungry, so make sure you stock up on snacks before you start reading. You don’t want empty cupboard syndrome when you get into this one.

Whilst I enjoyed the characters in this book and got a big kick out of Connie and her internal thoughts, I did question why the fling she has in the book seemed to take precedence in the story over the potentially longer lasting and more important relationship between her and Max. Liam was more of a side fling and yet, he got more screen time, as it were, than Max did. I wanted to see more than a date between Connie and Max and know what happened with them, but the book had a rather abrupt ending.

Otherwise, I thought this was a lot of fun. It was comical and sweet and spicy enough to satisfy those looking for a steamy scene or two. The descriptions of food in the book were excellent and made me want to move to the Cotswolds and join the cookery club.

This book was light and fun and I recommend it to those looking for a good summer read.

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

The Child by Fiona Barton

The ChildThe Child by Fiona Barton

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…–goodreads

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a phenomenal book if you enjoy mysteries. I love it when I can’t figure out the mystery in a book until the very end, and this is like that. Throughout reading this I guessed a lot, was wrong quite often on what I thought was going on, and then was satisfied at the ending when I found out there was even more to it than I had originally thought. So…it’s a great book.

Right away when you begin reading this, you know that there is something strange going on, but it isn’t immediately clear what is at the heart of it all. I liked the way the author combined many different story lines to create a complex book with a lot going on in it. Her characters are strong and memorable and the past meets with the present in just the right way to make the book work.

Fiona Barton takes a strong plot and makes it that much stronger by using well-designed characters and a descriptive setting that makes it easy to imagine being there, right alongside the action. The relationships she creates are believable and last in the memory of the reader long after the last page has been read.

Highly recommended for those who love mysteries.

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