Mad About Moon (Mad About Moon)

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Mad About Moon
by Melissa Foster
Release Date:  April 10, 2019
Publisher:  World Literary Press
Book #5 in the Whiskeys series
Number of Pages:  336
Kindle Edition
Source:  Amazon Pre-Order
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating:  XXX
Read 4/10/19 to 4/11/19

 

Can true love strike twice in one lifetime? 
Josie Beckley refuses to believe there is a limit on happiness. A decade after she escaped her abusive parents and lost touch with her siblings, the death of her husband leaves her and her son homeless. But Josie has never been one to wallow in sadness, and when she takes a chance on reconnecting with her siblings, a sinfully handsome bright light from her past shows up and offers to help her find a way out of the darkness. 

Most people wouldn’t see Jed Moon as someone to look up to. He’s been in and out of jail and has lived a less-than-stellar lifestyle. But years ago one woman saw through his nonsense, and he’s never forgotten her. Now she’s back in his life, and as a prospect for the Dark Knights motorcycle club, Jed promises to keep an eye on the sassy, sexy single mother who has never stopped lighting his fantasies on fire. 

Jed and Josie’s combustible connection is stronger than ever. Having Josie and her son in his life brings out all of Jed’s protective instincts-and visions of a future he never imagined having. But when a shocking revelation knocks the insatiable lovers to their knees, it forces them to make choices that could change their lives forever.

This story made me swoon.  I swear, Jed Moon and Josie are the sweetest couple ever!  They had an instant connection years ago when they first met that came zinging back at them as soon as they met up again in this book.  They go together like peas and carrots.

Both Jed and Josie had a rough time of things growing up.  For Jed (who is Crystal’s brother who got her story told in Truly, Madly, Whiskey) his early childhood was great and went downhill when he was a preteen.  For Josie (who is Sarah’s sister who got her story told in Wicked Whiskey Love), her home life was terrible until she took found a great person to help her out when she was a young teen. Both grew away from, and even lost track of, their siblings in that time.  Now everyone is finding their way back to one another and finding what family and home really means.

I appreciate the care Melissa Foster took when telling Josie’s story.  Her feelings of guilt about moving on, although her husband has been gone for a couple of years now.  Her worry over what it all means for her son, Hail.  From losing his dad at a young age to meeting aunts, uncles and cousins he didn’t know to getting attached to Moon, Hail has been through a lot in his short life so far.  Luckily, being considered part of the Whiskey family is the best place to be when your world feels out of control.  Josie never opened up her world once she settled in with Brian, his grandmother, and then had Brian’s son.  Being a part of the Dark Knight’s world is a whole different ball game for her and it scares her.  But she finds her niche.

There are a lot of interesting new characters brought to light in this story.  Some we’ve met in passing before, but some are just being introduced.  I think I enjoy this series the most out of all the offshoots and other series this author has.  Seeing Dixie Whiskey get her HEA is going to be fun.  To be honest, I have no clue which direction the author will go with that one.  There’s more than one fella looking to sneak past her brothers for a date with that strong and sassy woman.  I cannot wait!

4.5 stars

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Big Dick – ARC Review

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Big Dick
by Selena Kitt
Release Date:  April 17, 2019
Publisher: Exessia Publishing
Standalone
Number of Pages:  unsure, guessing 360
Kindle Edition
Source:  ARC from Book Sprout
Contemporary Romance/Erotica M/F
Rating:  XXX
Read 4/17/19 to 4/18/19

 

He’s big. He’s bad. And he only wants one thing. Revenge.

Ric Ryker spent years being called “Big Dick.” Ridiculed for his weight, shunned by all the pretty girls, snubbed by all the cool guys.

But after a secret journey of transformation, he’s back—ready to take over leadership from his father at Ryker Arms—with an impressive new physique and a plan to prove them all wrong. Especially her. The one woman who hurt him the most. Annalesa – sweet, smart, stunning. And his stepsister.

The girl he could never have. The girl who wouldn’t look twice at him anyway – especially in front of her stuck-up friends.

Now he’s going to make her want him. Show her just what she was missing. And hurt her, just like she hurt him.

He’s got the weapon and he’s taken aim—but he didn’t count on his own heart getting caught in the crossfire.

I couple years ago I read my first story by this author, Step Beast, and was pleasantly surprised.  I’ve read some of her other work through the years and found that I enjoy most of her stories.  There have been a few misses, but a lot of hits.  A lot of her stories are short erotica, and I don’t generally write reviews on short erotica on the blog, though.  As I found Step Beast to be well written with a great storyline, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read another full length step-sibling story from this author.

This story has another great concept from Selena Kitt.  (BTW, this is a re-release of a story she wrote under the name Emme Rollins a few years ago.)  There were times I had a pit in my stomach from the things Ric had Annalesa do to “prove” herself to him.  It reminded me of the movie Heathers a bit.  You know certain people are not necessarily good people, but is it okay to sink to their level and be mean to them?

Sometimes, I felt the chemistry between Rick and Annalesa strongly.  Other times, it was more of a trickle.  It was definitely there, but didn’t seem consistent to me.  That didn’t take away from the story for me though since there were other things happening over and above the love story.

The last few chapters of this story were great and really had me turning the pages as fast as I could.  Wonderful suspense and action which led to total excitement.  I could see the whole thing playing out in my mind like a movie.

This author is a whiz at writing step-sibling romance that doesn’t make the love story feel gratuitous or icky.  Both stories I’ve read from her in this specific genre have been very touching stories with wonderful characters.

3.5 stars

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

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Need Me, Cowboy (Copper Ridge: Desire)

42749510Need Me, Cowboy
Maisey Yates
Release Date:  April 1, 2019
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Book #6 of the Copper Ridge: Desire series
Number of Pages:  224
Kindle
Source:  Amazon Pre-Order
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating:  NC-17
Read 4/9/19 to 4/10/19

 

For five years, Levi Tucker had no control over his life, locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. Never again would any woman—any desire—overtake this cowboy’s common sense. Now Faith Grayson, the sexy, brilliant architect he’s hired to design his grand new house, is sorely testing his resolve. Faith is too young. Too innocent. Maybe just too tempting.

Levi and Faith are amazing together.  I cannot stress that enough.  AMAZING!

The concept of this story is wonderful and heartbreaking and makes me angry.  Levi already had a chip on his shoulder before prison, of course he’s going to be a bitter man when he gets out.  Faith, on the other hand, has been protected her whole life.  She feels she has a lot to prove, she’s ready to stand on her own two feet without input from her brothers, but there isn’t a terrible past or incident she needs to get beyond.  Faith is a strong young woman who is finding her own voice…and using it.

This story kept me in butterflies throughout.  Whether I had them during the spicy scenes with Faith and Levi, or during the touching scenes when they’d open up to each other, or during the times Levi really opened up and showed his heart, there were always butterflies.

I recently listed Maisey Yates as an author that will keep me up late into the night reading.  Honestly, if I hadn’t had to get up for work in the morning I would have never put this book down once I picked it up.

5 stars

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Grandma!

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have already seen this picture. Well, a similar picture anyway.

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That’s right, I’m going to be a grandma!!!  We are so excited.  Of course, it’s a bummer that they live over 2000 miles away.  But we’ll be doing whatever possible to visit often.  

We were told on a Sunday night that they had sent us a package that would arrive on Monday, but they asked that we wait to open it.  Okay, a bit odd but we played along.  Then, on Monday afternoon they asked if we could Skype later when they got home from work (there’s a 3 hour time difference).  Well, our spidey senses were tingling at that of course.  So while it was a surprise, we had a feeling that was the announcement.  Then we had to hold it in a couple more weeks until they were ready to share on social media.

Kirsten, my crafty daughter-in-law, made these onesies.  And no, they aren’t having twins.  She just couldn’t decide which design she liked better, lol.

Needless to say, we’ll be heading out to Washington for a visit in October.  Another exciting announcement from them is they are actually coming to Michigan for a visit this summer!  Yay! They haven’t been back to their  home state since July 2016 when they got married. So many exciting things happening this year, I cannot wait.

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TTT: Rainy Day Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  There is a new topic each week for bloggers to join in with their own top ten. If you’re looking for some new or different book blogs to read, hop on over to her site and check out some of the links.

When I think of rainy day reads, a lot of what comes to mind is old friends.  Those books I’ve read quite a few times that are a sort of comfort to cuddle up with on the couch with a cup of tea and a fuzzy blanket.  Some of these stories make me cry, some make me laugh, some do both.  Some are nostalgic for me and/or some give me that wonderful feeling of butterflies in my stomach when the characters just perfectly click.  All are stories I have recommended to friends, family, and fellow readers over and over.

Some of my picks are not individual books, but a whole series.  That doesn’t mean I sit and read the whole series during a rainy day reading session.  It just means I pick and choose from that series for the mood I’m in at the time.  I’m going to list the series first, then there are a few individual books I think are perfect for a rainy (or snowy!) day.

 

Cold Fury Hockey series
by Sawyer Bennett

In my opinion, there’s not a bad hockey god in this bunch (or her Arizona Vengeance series, for that matter).  For lots of warm-fuzzies and off the charts heat, Sawyer Bennett’s a whiz.  Not all contemporary romance sports stories are created equal, the Cold Fury Hockey series sets the curve.

 

Dive Bar series
by Kylie Scott

If you like your sexy romance with a lot of humor, this is a the series for you.  Although this series is actually a spin-off of this author’s Stage Dive series (which is also amazing), I have a special place in my heart for the books that introduced me to this author.

 

Pier 70 series
by Nicole Edwards

Nicole Edwards really knows how to gut you with her stories, and I mean that as a compliment.  She also knows how to write gorgeous, kind, alpha males.  In this series she does all of these things while bringing the reader into the fold of this group of friends who have an untouchable connection and have each other’s backs no matter what.  Just thinking about these stories makes me feel like swooning, smiling, and crying all at the same time.

 

Xanth series
by Piers Anthony

You may have read these stories as a young adult and loved them, finding them punny, different, and full of adventure.  Maybe you’ve never read them but heard they are a bunch of misogynistic crap.  I’m here to tell you they are kind of a mixture of both.  Piers Anthony knows how to spin a tale and LOVES a pun.  The land of Xanth is full of so many puns it often seems like overkill.  Xanth is also full of men who believe they are better than women and do not hesitate to let their sexist views be known.  Here’s the thing…it’s my opinion that the author himself did these things on purpose.  Not because he’s misogynistic and sexist (although, he probably is to a certain extent), but to shine a light on the issues women and other minorities were facing when he started this series back in the late 70s and point out, in a fantasy setting, how ridiculous these prejudices are. I would say you should read these BEFORE allowing your tween to do so as there may be some themes you aren’t comfortable with him or her reading.

 

Haven Point series
by RaeAnne Thayne

This series is a spin-off the this author’s Hope’s Crossing series.  While I loved that series as a whole, there’s something about the people of Haven Point that really touches my heart.  The couples in these stories all have their trials and tribulations, but they also always leave a warmth in my heart and put a smile on my face.

 

Little House on the Prairie
by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Now for some more wholesome reading, lol.  My mom had a boxed set of the Little House books when I was young and I read them over and over.  In hindsight, I should have realized I’d end up an avid romance reader.  My favorite was always These Happy Golden Years, the story of Laura and Almanzo falling in love.  I crushed HARD on Almanzo (but never got the television version, he was soooo not Almanzo to me).  These stories can still give me a sense of peace and safety.

 

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The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams

This is my first standalone pick, or my last series pick. It depends on how you look at it.  Douglas Adams wrote five books in the Hitchhiker’s series, but there all here together in this one book.  Of course, the first story is the most well-known.  But they all contain this author’s interesting view on human’s and the things we say and do.  In other words, they are all thought-provoking and hilarious and perfect to brighten up your rainy day.

 

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Watchers
by Dean R. Koontz

This was the first book I read by this author.  Quite honestly, his books can kind of blur together in my mind because of certain similarities.  Not this one.  I’ve yet to meet someone who has not enjoyed this story.  And a rainy day is the perfect time to dive right in, because you’ll want to read it to completion.  Warning: Do not view either movie adaptation of this book.  They are both beyond crap, one doesn’t even resemble this story in the slightest.

 

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Different Seasons
by Stephen King

Four exceptional stories, three of them made into amazing movies, two of those movies are now classics.  These are the type of stories that stick with you.  Most people don’t even realize that The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me are based on Stephen King stories, and they’re both in the same book! To be honest, the one that gets under my skin the most and makes me super uncomfortable is Apt Pupil.  So creepy! Especially in today’s political climate.

 

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Persuasion
by Jane Austen

I knew I’d have to include some Jane Austen in this list, I just had to decide which to choose.  Persuasion is not one of her more mainstream popular stories, but it’s one of my favorites.  The perfect book to curl up with on your couch with a fluffy blanket and cup of tea.  When you’re done reading this story, find as many movie adaptations of Jane Austen’s stories by the BBC as possible and watch them all.

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The Perfect Dress – ARC Review

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The Perfect Dress
by Carolyn Brown
Release Date:  April 16, 2019
Publisher:  Montlake Romance
standalone
Number of pages:  304
Kindle
Source: Net Galley ARC
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating: R
Read 4/8/19 to 4/9/19

 

In the small town of Celeste, Texas, Mitzi Taylor has never quite fit inside the lines. Nearly six feet tall, flame-haired, and with a plus-size spirit to match every curve, she’s found her niche: a custom wedding-dress boutique catering to big brides-to-be with big dreams. Taking the plunge alongside her two best friends, she’s proud they’ve turned The Perfect Dress into a perfect success.

Just when Mitzi has it all pulled together, Graham Harrison walks back into her life, looking for bridesmaid dresses for his twin daughters. A still-strapping jock whose every gorgeous, towering inch smells like aftershave, the star of all Mitzi’s high school dreams is causing quite a flush.

For Mitzi, all it takes is a touch to feel sparks flitting around her like fireflies. She can just imagine what a kiss could do. Graham’s feeling it, too. And he’s about to make that imagination of Mitzi’s run wild. Is it just a hot summer fling, or are Mitzi’s next designs for herself and seeing her own dreams come true?

I love the women who own the wedding dress shop.  Mitzi, Jody, and Paula are wonderfully supportive of one another and their clients.  Throw in Mitzi’s dad and grandma, then Graham and his twin daughters show up, and the characters in this story are a perfect blend of genuinely nice and lovable people. While that’s a key ingredient for a story, there was still something missing.

I’ve read stories by this author that are dripping with chemistry.  While there is a definite energy between Mitzi and Graham and their connection is very sweet, there is a bit of zest missing.  While I was invested in them getting together, I didn’t get butterflies.  I feel this story is really more about Mitzi and her friends and the bond they share, and that’s okay.  I wanted to see them each get their own HEA, but more important was the journey they took together.

Surprisingly, the writing felt a bit stilted to me.  There were also some continuity problems.  Nothing major, but not what I’ve come to expect from Ms. Brown.  It’s still a good story, it just didn’t seem to be of this author’s caliber.

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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What It Takes (Kowalski Family)

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What It Takes
by Shannon Stacey
Release Date:  February 28, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press
Book #10 in the Kowalski Family series
Number of Pages:  320
Kindle Edition
Source:  Borrowed from MCL
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating:  NC-17
Read 4/1/19 to 4/3/19

 

Revisit all of your Kowalski favorites while falling in love with a brand-new romance in this reunion novel from New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey

Laney Caswell is looking for a change. A decade’s worth of less-than-happy matrimony behind her, she wants peace—movies, books and, best of all, a new job at the Northern Star Lodge in Whitford, Maine. Spending the summer living in a camper is her chance to rediscover what makes her happy, and a perfect transition to her new life. 

Being a paramedic in Whitford is nothing like Ben Rivers’s city life, but when Josh Kowalski offers him the job, the lure of his hometown is too much to resist. Also too much to resist: Laney Caswell. Ben always thought he’d have a wife and kids, a happy family like the Kowalskis have all built, but he never made time in his life. Now he’s found a woman who draws him like no other and helps him dream again—and the last thing she wants is a husband. 

When the annual Kowalski family camping trip is moved to the Northern Star, both Ben and Laney are surrounded by the kind of happiness they’ve always wanted but never had. It just might be theirs—if they can put aside the past and reach for it together. 

It’s been a over 2 years since I’ve visited with the Kowalski family.  And that’s just too darn long.  The funny thing is, I thought I had read this book…kinda.  I finished off what was the last book of the series at the time, Falling For Max, just weeks before this story was published.  I was on a waiting list for the title through my e-library, but must have somehow gotten bumped off that list.  My wait time had been several months so it slipped my mind.  Then, I somehow just assumed I had read it already since it was no longer on my list. I’m so glad I realized my error and got my paws on this story.

This story had a lot going on, with the Kowalski’s all converging on the Lodge for their annual reunion trip.  But it never really felt overwhelming.  Now, that’s coming from someone who read all the books so take that with a grain of salt if you’re new to this series.  It’s a great series so go ahead and start from the top! You can probably still enjoy this story as a standalone, but won’t get as much from it as I did.

The main characters, Laney and Ben, are neither Kowalski’s or (technically) family.  That doesn’t matter.  In fact, Laney finds a connection and acceptance that she never got with her own family.  That connection helps her to heal from a bad marriage and nasty divorce.

Ben has a wonderful family, but has lived away from home for many years and never really found “the one” to settle down with.  He’s not a playboy and isn’t a commitment-phobe.  In fact, he dreams of having a family of his own someday.

There’s instant chemistry with Ben and Laney.  With Ben looking for his HEA and Laney wanting to find herself after years of losing who she really is in her marriage, they have some obstacles to overcome.  As much as Ben knows Laney may break his heart and Laney knows her heart will be captured by Ben, they can’t seem to stay away from each other.  They ground each other in a way no other person ever has.  Their bond is extremely heart warming and gave me all the feels.

I always enjoy Shannon Stacey’s stories, and this one is no exception.  She is a wonder at blending chemistry, heartache, and humor.

4 stars

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