Tomorrow’s Too Late – book review

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Tomorrow’s Too Late
by Nicole Edwards
Release Date:  May 29, 2018
Publisher:  Nicole Edwards Limited
Book #3 of the Sniper 1 Security series
Number of pages:  297
Kindle Edition
Source: ARC from author
Erotic Romance M/M M/F M/F/M
Rating: XXX
Read 5/14/18 to 5/15/18

Looking back, I realize how long it’s been since I read the last book in this series, Never Say Never.  A year and a half!  Even longer since it was published.  Somehow, I still remember all the characters so well.  No refreshers needed.  I really couldn’t believe it’s been so long since it was all so clear to me.

Let me tell you, this book starts off HOT!  Definitely a whole lot of steamy scenes in this one.  But that’s not all; there is also a whole lot of emotion.  The way Hunter punishes himself and those around him for things that happened in his love life in the past just put me through the ringer.  I wanted to smack some sense into him.  Luckily, in true Nicole Edwards hero fashion, he does eventually get his head out of his tookus.  Once that happens, he is totally swoon-worthy.

Speaking of swoon-worthy, Kye is so truly wonderful.  From the start, he has such a great sense of humor.  No matter what is happening, he always has the extra second or two to give a smile or wink and make those around him feel better.

Of course, if you’ve read the other books in this series and the Southern Boy Mafia series you’ll understand why I wasn’t sure if I’d like Dani.  And I didn’t necessarily like her at first.  I didn’t dislike her, I just wanted her to stop and think for a minute.  She was always reacting instead of planning.  Just like Hunter, once all was aired out and I got to see her true personality shine through I fell in love with her.

I want to note that in my review of the first book of this series, Wait For Morning, I mentioned being a bit annoyed by Hunter’s part of the story because it didn’t make sense that their huge and prestigious security firm couldn’t find one woman.  I was glad the author addressed that issue in a couple of different ways in this book.  She always comes through for me when I think I’ve found a hole in her stories.  Nope, she knows what she’s doing…I just have to be more patient and wait for the payoff. 

4.5 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the author. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

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Cowboy Bold – book review

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Cowboy Bold
by Carolyn Brown
Release Date:  May 29, 2018
Publisher:  Forever
Book #1 in the Longhorn Canyon series
Number of pages:  336
Kindle Edition
Source:  ARC from Net Galley
Contemporary Romance/Western M/F
Rating: R
Read 5/20/18 to 5/21/18

Another great start to a series by Carolyn Brown. (I’m still waiting on books 2 & 3 from her Happy, Texas series from my library after reading the wonderful Toughest Cowboy in Texas a couple of months ago.)  As much as I enjoy a long series that builds and builds its character base, I’ve found a really like how this author keeps her series from getting too out of control.  We really get to know the characters and there’s not the danger of forgetting who is with who.

Let’s talk about this particular book, though.  Do yourself a favor and read the “Dear Reader” that Ms. Brown included at the beginning.  I think the way the interaction she writes about became this story is interesting.  This is a super engaging book.  Although this is a romance novel with some steamy interactions, it’s really quite a wholesome story.  Having a bunch of very impressionable tweens running about keeps Cade and Retta from getting too touchy/feely.  I think that adds to the chemistry they have.  The fact that they have to really keep a distance from each other makes the pull that much stronger.

All the people who live and work on the ranch regularly were a joy to meet.  There’s already a story for Levi slated for this fall and I’m sure there will be a Justin story not too far behind.  These guys work hard and love even harder.  While it seems they have all had their fun and carefree times (and possibly still do), none of them seem like the typical man-whores as these types of characters are often portrayed.

Now, I really liked Retta in a lot of ways.  She was great with the kids and animals alike.  She is super kind and generous.  But I was ready to wallop that girl upside the head every time she would reject her own feelings because of some “plan” that didn’t even seem very well thought out.  (Seriously, she planned on waiting until she was in her 40’s to even try having kids?)  I really got a kick out of her “talking” to her parents though.  That’s what kept her in the column of a likable character even when I was frustrated with her.  Those talks she had showed me she, on some level, realized she was being a bit ridiculous about things.

While I’m anxiously awaiting Levi’s story, at least I still have plenty of books by this author I have yet to read.  I still can’t believe the first book I ever read by this author almost kept me from seeking any further books by her.  You can’t always go by your first impressions!

4 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

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All Night with the Cowboy – book review

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All Night with the Cowboy
By Soraya Lane
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Book #2 in the River Ranch series
Number of pages:  304
Kindle Edition
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Contemporary Romance/Western M/F
Rating: NC-17
Read 5/17/18 to 5/20/18

The first book in this series, Cowboy Stole My Heart, was the first book I read by this author.  I enjoyed it so much I decided to go back to some of her earlier work and was able to find Soldier on Her Doorstep at my local library…I LOVED that book.  I was super excited to get this book as an ARC and couldn’t wait to dive right in.

While Tanner and Lauren are both great characters, I just never really connected with Lauren.  I felt that her reasons for leaving Tanner when they were younger didn’t add up.  For someone who is so smart, it seems to me she should have been able to figure something out.  I do somewhat understand her thinking taking money from her parents for college made her more independent than if she took money from Tanner, but not to the extent she seems to think.  C’mon…I’ve known tons of people who have worked their way through college and done just fine.  Sure, it’s a struggle and there will be a lot of loans to pay off when you’re done.  But taking money from mommy and daddy is not “doing it on your own” in any way, shape, or form.  So Lauren’s conviction that she did the only thing she could have back then really rubbed me the wrong way.

That being said, I actually agree with Lauren and Tanner at least taking a break and finding out what life was like single when they were younger.  Unfortunately, the way it all came about made them both somewhat bitter…especially Tanner.

Tanner and Lauren obviously cared about each other deeply, even all the years they were apart.  They have great chemistry and, despite my not-so-great feelings about Lauren, I liked them as a couple.  But still, something in this story fell flat for me.

I’m starting to realize I tend to be a lot more nit-picky when I’m not totally immersed in a story.  While I really liked this story a lot, it didn’t grab me the way the other stories I read by this author have.  Therefore, I noticed little inconsequential things and that took me even more out of the story.

I’ll definitely be trying out my books by this author since, although it wasn’t my favorite, it was still quite an enjoyable story.

3 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

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A Wedding on Bluebird Way – book review

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A Wedding on Bluebird Way
by Lori Wilde, Allyson Charles, Stacey Keith, Janet Dailey
Release Date:  May 29, 2018
Publisher:  Zebra (Kensington Publishing)
Standalone Compilation
Number of pages:  304
Kindle Edition
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating: R
Read 5/14/18 to 5/17/18

A little more than a year ago I read the book Happy Is the Bride that was a compilation that included two of the four of these authors.  I really enjoyed how the book was all one bigger story told in 4 short stories.  Each story deals with a different angle with different characters as the main focus.  I couldn’t pass this one up when I saw this book was using that same format.  Plus, I’ve recently discovered Stacey Keith and I love what I’ve read from her so far.  The following review is broken down by story.

The Wedding That Wasn’t
by Lori Wilde

This story made me cry.  And I don’t mean I sat peacefully with tears running down my face.  I am talking ugly crying with hitching sobs and snot running.  It is such a beautiful story of love and finding your true self.  The things Felicity has been through in her life are incomprehensible, yet she always bounces back.  We could all learn a lesson from her, that’s for sure.  The only other story I’ve read by this author was in the aforementioned compilation and I hadn’t been crazy about that particular part of the book overall.  I’m glad I got to revisit Ms. Wilde’s work with this one because it has definitely made me want to give her another try. ~ 4.5 stars

There Goes the Bride
by Allyson Charles

My goodness, this story was sweet.  I thought this was a new-to-me author, but I realized I read one of her books last fall and wasn’t overly impressed with the chemistry of the characters in that story.  Well, she did a great job of impressing me here.  Not only was this sweet, but it was also sexy, passionate, fun, and profound.  I love that when Savannah and Hank connect it’s just instantly comfortable.  Even with the heat that sparks between them, their souls are at home.  Wonderful!  So far this book is 2 for 2 of taking authors I wasn’t too impressed with and turning them into authors I want to read more from. ~ 4.5 stars

Loving Hailey
by Stacey Keith

This is a super sweet story about true love.  Or, more like re-finding true love.  Hailey and Joshua fell in love when they were 18, but lost their way.  This delightful story is about how they find their way back to each other and learn to fight for what they really want.  It’s very touching.  ~ 4 stars

Bachelor Honeymoon
by Janet Dailey

First, I have to address the issue that for some reason I never realized that Janet Dailey had passed away…5 years ago.  That was before I even discovered this author.  Or should I say, this author’s ghost writers?  The weird thing is, I can’t find any information on who write for her now or if it’s more than one author writing for the Estate of Janet Dailey.  I don’t know why, but things like this fascinate me.  As for this particular story, I found it very touching.  I liked that, although Chance was instantly attracted to Harper and knew he wasn’t “in love” with Savannah, he still questioned himself and his own motivations. Whereas Harper did all she could to resist the chemistry between the two of them, her daughters did not help since they also fell instantly in love with Chance. I thoroughly enjoyed this story of second chances and finding true happiness. ~ 4 stars

Overall, I really love this book.  It’s the perfect vacation read since it’s divided into the four stories, none too terribly long.  Plus, it gave me renewed interest in two authors that I hadn’t previously had a great experience with.  It’s definitely worth picking this one up.

4.25 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

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Marek – book review

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Marek
by Sawyer Bennett
Release Date:  May 22, 2018
Publisher:  Loveswept
Book #11 in the Cold Fury Hockey series
Number of pages:  226
Kindle Edition
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Contemporary Romance/Sports M/F
Rating: XXX
Read 5/11/18 to 5/13/18

I can’t tell you how ecstatic I was when I was approved for an ARC of this book.  It’s no secret that I adore this series.  I was so excited that I wouldn’t have to wait to read Marek after how much I enjoyed Reed.  Alas, I was right when I published my review of Reed…my life got too busy and I still ended up waiting far too long to read this story.  The good news is, I had it waiting for me when I was ready and I didn’t have to wait on a waiting list.

Of course, I was chomping at the bit to read Marek’s story after what happened to him in Reed’s story.  Man, Marek ticked me off at the beginning.  Where I can totally understand where he was coming from when it comes to Gracen, his daughter Lilly deserved so much more.  Luckily, Marek has friends who aren’t afraid to call him on his bull so it wasn’t long before Marek stepped up to the plate.

As much as I wanted to dislike Gracen for what she did, for the most part I liked her.  She is a good mom who made some very stupid and hurtful decisions.  I don’t really understand why nobody brings up the fact that her parents didn’t push the issue a bit more, especially when it came to Marek’s parents.  Of course, Gracen is an adult and was going to make her own choices, but it almost seemed like there was little to no input from her parents who should have been helping to guide her a bit more.  Anyway, as I said, I mostly liked Gracen.  There was a bit toward the end, a fight Gracen and Marek have, that made me dislike her the way I thought I would through the whole story.  She said some terrible things.  Sure, so did Marek…but his hurtful words were his defense mechanism kicking in after he felt attacked my her.

Speaking of that fight, I love the matter of fact way Marek’s dad put that into perspective.  It’s great how Marek doesn’t want to believe what his dad has to say at first.  It can’t be as simple as that, can it?  But the man has been married a long time and gives good advise.

While I don’t see that there are any more Cold Fury books on tap at this time, it seems we’ll be getting plenty more hockey from Sawyer Bennet.  In August the first Arizona Vengeance book is due out, looks like it will be an expansion team for the hockey gods Ms. Bennett writes about.  I cannot wait!

4 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

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Last First Kiss – book review

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Last First Kiss
by Lia Riley
Release Date:  June 23, 2015
Publisher:  Avon Impulse
Book #1 of the Brightwater series
Number of pages:  296
paperback
Source: Warren Public Library
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating:  NC-17
Read 5/9/18 to 5/10/18

Lia Riley first came on my radar when I read her short story, Hot Winter’s Night, in the anthology Snowbound at Christmas.  I really loved that story and, since it is actually book 3.5 of the series, decided to seek out the first book in the series.  Man, I’m glad I found this author and this book. 

Sawyer is really quite a sweetheart.  There are so many stories where the author shows us the heroine’s insecurities about her looks.  It’s not that Sawyer isn’t gorgeous, but since he was tall at a young age he feels a bit like a bull in a china shop when he sees petite Annie.  It’s refreshing to read about a man who admits (at least to himself) that he’s not as confident as he tries to project to the outside world.  Add to his humble nature the fact that he’s such a gentleman and has a terrific moral compass and I couldn’t help falling in love with Sawyer.

Annie is a mommy blogger.  I can’t tell you how much I loved reading Annie’s rough drafts of her blog posts.  The author had the edited-out sections that showed Annie’s true feeling versus her blogger persona where everything was sunshine and roses.  While I’ve thought about how I’m sure plenty of bloggers I follow don’t give their audience all the nitty-gritty details of their lives, I never really thought about how stressful keeping up that front would be.

As for Annie’s son Atticus, he really piqued my interest.  I appreciate the author writing a young boy character who likes the color pink and doesn’t always play like the stereotype of a “boy”.  I’m hoping to see more of him and follow him as he grows up to see where it all leads.

I’m not so sure how I feel about Sawyer’s grandma yet.  I think I have to get to know her a bit more before passing judgment because, as of now, I’m not a fan. But I’m looking forward to getting to know her and the rest of the relatives and townsfolk.

4 stars

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Embracing Her Heart – book review

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Embracing Her Heart
by Melissa Foster
Release Date:  April 17, 2018
Publisher: World Literary Press
Book #1 of the Bradens and Montgomerys series
A part of the Love in Bloom series
Number of Pages:  324
Kindle Edition
Contemporary Romance M/F
Source:  Pre-ordered through Amazon
Rating:  XXX
Read 5/2/18 to 5/6/18

There wasn’t a whole lot of conflict in this story.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, just an observation.  It’s more like Grace and Reed were really meant to be and their hearts knew that, so once they cleared the air the relationship just naturally fell into place. 

Now, that’s not to say there is no conflict.  There are issues that the couple need to work out, such as dealing with having a long-distance relationship.  It’s actually more like Grace has to come to terms with who she is and who she wants to be.  She accomplished the things she set out to do when she left her small hometown after high school.  Her life is all she wanted it to be…or is it?  And Reed has some issues that have to do with his parents that he has to resolve. Can he truly have a happy life without finding out the truth and finding forgiveness in his heart?

Grace’s sisters are a whole lot of fun and I’m anticipating having a blast getting to know them (and her brother) in this part of the Love in Bloom series.  There are so many possibilities with all of their different personalities.

As much as I enjoyed this story, it was somehow easy for me to put down.  There just wasn’t that extra something that keeps me reading even when I have other things to do.  I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but it didn’t quite grip me like most of the other books in the larger series.

3.5 stars

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