Reviews

Running Hot by J.L. Shepperd

Ruth West - Monday, October 23, 2017

Title: Running Hot
Author: J.L. Shepperd
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Published: June 23, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, MC




When I first started reading Running Hot, the second book in the series I was a little worried. It was following to closely with the first book but I keep reading and was not disappointed. I decided that the way it was first written it would make it an easier read for anyone that never read the first book in the series. As in the first it has everything, intrigue, anger, uncertainty, mystery and love. But not the easy love, the kind that takes a while to hit you beside the head and be truthful with your feelings. The main characters are enough to drive the reader nuts, like just tell her or him already damn. They wouldn't go through so much hurt if they would. I definitely will read more J. L. Sheppard's books.
Reviewed by Anna



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Believe in My Heart by Maria K. Alexander

Ruth West - Thursday, October 12, 2017

Title: Believe in My Heart
Author: Maria K. Alexander
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Published: Nov 17, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday





This was a well-written contemporary romance. The characters were engaging and I really enjoyed that Hope was honest, vulnerable, and willing to be open to a relationship even though she had recently gone through a break-up. Vinnie had also experienced a break-up, and he was willing to look at himself and make some changes to become a more mature, balanced person. I was drawn in to this story and found it difficult to put down while I read to the end to find out what would happen. I was rooting for these characters. This book can be read as a standalone story, though it is the fourth in a series. I will be looking for the other books in this series as well as more books by this author.
Reviewed by Robin


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Rose by Shanna Hatfield

Ruth West - Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Title: Rose (Beach Brides Book 9)
Author: Shanna Hatfield
Publisher: Amazon
Published: July 18, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance




This story is part of a 12 book series. Each installment is written by a different author and tells the tale of a different member of the Romantic Hearts Book Club. The latter is an online group of readers who are diehard romantics and have not been successful in love. They all decided to meet so enjoyed a Caribbean vacation together. One night, they each wrote a note hoping it would lead to Mr. Right, stuffed it into a bottle and threw them into the ocean.
Tanner Thomas’ mom finds one of the bottles and after reading the note presses her son about contacting the woman who wrote it. Our hero makes appeasing noises, takes it home, puts it away and promptly forgets all about it.
When he does eventually come across the bottle again, he reads it and is intrigued enough to reach out by email to the author of the missive. As they get to know each other online, Tanner feels compelled to meet the sweet woman. He takes time off and travels to the West Coast in order to do just that.
Rose Lawson lives in a small town and is the owner of a shop called One Vintage Rose. She has been unlucky in love and after having her heart broken has put her efforts in running her shop and teaching crafting classes, there. When her recent online friend shows up unexpectedly, she discovers that he may be the man of her dreams.
Rose is a well-written sweet and gentle romance with a delightfully quirky and charming heroine, humor, and a non-ostentatious-secretly-wealthy-yet-down-to-earth hero. The author swirls in a couple of scene stealing secondary characters for readers to chuckle over and with. It is a lovely standalone read and as a bonus includes a recipe to try. This lighthearted read is great for lazing an afternoon or evening away.

Reviewed by Lil

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Mermaid by Jodi Picoult

Ruth West - Friday, September 08, 2017

Title: Mermaid
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Amazon
Published: July 25, 2017
Genre: Contemporary





Mermaid isn't the first Jodi Picoult novel that I've read. I loved My Sister's Keeper and wanted to dive into this short read. Having discovered that it's a different kind of Kindle book, a Kindle in Motion, I was curious what the differences would be. I read the entire book in a matter of minutes and I read it on my laptop using the Kindle Cloud Reader, where the Kindle in Motion was not functional and offered no benefit. Which was probably good so that I could review the story without being influenced by the technological aspects. For starters, the beginning of the book is bland and there is too much telling instead of showing that is happening. I suspect the author was influenced by the idea of making this book incredibly short with the benefit of doing something "unique" and in doing so the beginning wasn't strong. As the story progressed however, I did feel the writing was more on par with what one would expect from Jodi Picoult or any author that is well-versed in writing fiction. Mermaid follows the story (although it does jump in spots and is strangely choppy in some scenes) of Hope Payne, a professional Mermaid that trains at an aquarium theme park. I do know that such a place exists, I recently learned about this from someone and it is interesting and a unique job. Don't expect for Hope to be a real mermaid or for the story to dive into an Ariel or Siren tale of fantasy. In fact, the prose though flowing nicely while in chapters, was also choppy in sections where there were breaks, making the story break up and feel disjointed. As a story, it doesn't offer a strong resolution, though there is an ending. Hope's husband is a marine biologist and he has filled a pool with flounder, ten of them, only to discover they are vanishing. What happens to them is quite fantastical but also leaves us rather open ended with what it all means. Mermaid would have made for an interesting first chapter in a longer story. As a book, solely, without any gimmicks it's not a strong story. I was never able to complete downloading the book on my phone. It hung up around 80 percent and never let me read or open it, which made it impossible for me to see the Kindle in Motion features.
Reviewed by Melanie P.


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Awaken My Heart by Maria K. Alexander

Ruth West - Thursday, August 17, 2017

Title: Awaken My Heart
Author: Maria K. Alexander
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Published: May 10, 2017
Genre: Contemporary




A sweet romance with plenty of sexual tension and a definite page-turner. Detective Nick is written with a sexy tone and a male that every straight girl will want to bring into the bedroom. He's charming and honest and the chemistry shared with his one-night stand fourteen years ago is like ever-present fireworks. He's relentless in asking her out again and she's tentative to say yes, given past and the secret she harbors. There's no having to wait or guess the secret too long, which I appreciate. There's tons of sizzle and plenty of plot to make this a well-rounded story. Pleased to find this an easy read to get into and one that I didn't want to put down, Awaken My Heart is the first book I've read from Maria K. Alexander and I happily look forward to reading anything else she writes. Fast paced, full of heart-racing contemporary style drama, you will love this book if you love sweet romances.
Reviewed by: Melanie P.


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Under the Stars by Kendra Delugar

Ruth West - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Title: Under the Stars
Author: Kendra Delugar
Publisher: Kendra Delugar
Published: June 4, 2017
Genre: Contemporary




This was a sweet, well-written book. Sophie and Gabriel were very real characters and I could relate to what was going on for each of them. The pace of their relationship development made sense and I enjoyed the story. I am looking forward to reading other books by this author.
Reviewed by Robin D.


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Flood by Elaine Cantrell

Ruth West - Monday, August 14, 2017

Title: Flood
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Wings ePress, Inc.
Published: June 1, 2017
Genre: Contemporary




This story was fantastic, with plenty of plot surprises that I didn't expect! At first, I didn't understand how Dr DeLuca could trust an ex-con so easily. But the story line moved quickly and answered my questions. It's really a story of a woman meeting and falling for the guy from the wrong side of the tracks. He's got a heart of gold that even the animals at her shelter recognize. It's the kind of story that stays with you because of the intensity of the circumstances and you remember the characters. I also liked that the author left some of the romance up to my imagination.
Sometimes less is more, and in this particular story, it would've been distracting, especially with regards to the unfolding drama.
The only thing I had any trouble with was being sure I had the right pronunciation of the heroine's (and her mom's) names.
I really enjoyed reading this story and hope to read more from this author.

Reviewed by Liz


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Romancing Dr. Love by Rebecca Heflin

Ruth West - Thursday, August 10, 2017

Title: Romancing Dr. Love
Author: Rebecca Heflin
Publisher: Rebecca Heflin Books
Published: March 7, 2017
Genre: Contemporary




Full disclosure, I’ve never read a book by Rebecca Heflin, but I will now be adding her to my ‘to be read’ list. This book, “Romancing Dr. Love” is full of humor and romance. The two main characters are people I would actually want to be friends with. Samantha has a very analytical mind which makes her not want to have anything to do with having a boyfriend. Ethan only has eyes for Samantha and is all about romancing her which she does not understand the concept of. Opposites definitely attract in this great start to a series that I will continue to read.
Reviewed by Kimberly Green

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Right Text Wrong Number by Natalie Decker

Ruth West - Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Title: Right Text Wrong Number
Author: Natalie Decker
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Published: July 11, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult




The writing was mediocre and the storyline while intriguing the execution fell flat. The book had a great cover and interesting blurb but while reading I could not connect with the characters. While the book is geared toward a young adult audience and teens, the writing felt dumbed down and made the teens look immature. The writing suffers from the issue of telling rather than showing emotion. There are young adult books that show teens being intelligent and thoughtful characters, with a voice that is mature while still struggling through adolescence. This book was too juvenile in terms of writing but with content for upper YA. There are moments I absolutely can't stand Layla's character. Her boyfriend ditches her and she has to get a ride from someone else and then she instantly forgives him within seconds of seeing him. Then the next chapter this just made me cringe.

"I hope he's not in an accident somewhere. Then again, I hope he is because then I can't be mad at him for being this late."

That line makes Layla seem incredibly selfish. She should have stood up to him for ditching her, rather than forgive and forget and pretend it was no big deal. Who wishes someone was in an accident for being late? That is just an awful thing to think. The writing and story for me just didn't work.

Reviewed by Jenna Malone

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Legacy by Hannah Fielding

Ruth West - Sunday, August 06, 2017

Title: Legacy
Author: Hannah Fielding
Publisher: London Wall Publishing
Published: August 4, 2016
Genre: Contemporary



I give the book 5 stars. Ms. Fielding did a beautiful job of writing. She did a wonderful job of pulling the reader into the book. While reading you feel like you are in Spain experiencing the same thing as Luna and Ruy. One book I highly recommend others to read.
Reviewed by Samantha H.

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