TANGLED UP IN TINSEL by Candis Terry

November 13, 2017

Click to purchase

Sunshine Creek Vinyard, Book 3

I actually have been reading this series (in order!) so I was delighted to get this third book. This series is about a family who owns a vineyard, and they are best read in order to make sense of who these people are. This book centers around one of the brothers, Parker, who is trying to find his place in the family business. He is a chef with a food truck and decides to convert an old barn on the property into a wedding venue for his older brother, and then a restaurant. The wedding date gives him a firm deadline, and his brother has turned into “groomzilla” after the bride turns over the wedding planning to him.

Parker is starting from the ground up, and building out the restaurant from square one. A gorgeous young woman shows up one day, claiming to be a chef and looking for work. Gabriella is nothing if not determined; when Parker explains that he is no where near ready to hire, she is undeterred. She offers to audition, cook him a meal, and if he likes it he can make her first in line for when he is ready to hire. Not one to turn a pretty lady away, he agrees.

Gabriella has a bit of baggage herself, and she is definitely keeping it on the down low. But she cooks and looks like a dream and Parker offers her one night of pleasure. He is not ready for any kind of relationship and she’s fine with that, too. But she keeps coming around, helping out with the building, the wedding planning, the restaurant planning and Parker finds himself increasingly drawn to her, and loves working with her. Until her past explodes in his face.

This is another good read in a terrific series, a one nighter for me. Loved it.

11/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

TANGLED UP IN TINSEL by Candis Terry. Avon Impulse (October 10, 2017). ASIN B01ARKZN7M. 171p.


THE CHRISTMAS COWBOY HERO by Donna Grant

November 3, 2017

Click to purchase

Heart of Texas #1

Clayton East is an ex-Navy SEAL who doesn’t want to go home. He lost his brother years earlier and doesn’t like living on the family ranch without him. But his father is having some serious health issues, and it looks like their accountant has made off with the family fortune. His family is in trouble and Clayton has to go home and help his parents, he’s all they have left. And it’s Christmas time.

Then a big chunk of their cattle herd goes missing, along with their $100,000 bull. The sheriff manages to catch one of the perpetrators, a teenage boy named Brice Harper. Turns out Brice and his younger brother Caleb have a legal guardian, their sister Abby. After their mother walked out on the family, Abby was determined to do right by her brothers and she’s been more mother than sister to them. When she gets called about Brice, she is just heartsick.

Clayton is at the jail and she offers to pay him back for the missing cattle if he won’t press charges. But Abby has been living paycheck to paycheck, working for a CPA and taking night classes when she can. When she realizes that she’ll owe Clayton over $250,000, she is beside herself.

Clayton thinks she is beautiful, and he realizes that sometimes you have to give people a second chance. He makes Brice an offer; he can come to the ranch every day after school and every weekend and work off his debt. Clayton is hoping that he will earn Brice’s trust and find his missing cattle as well. Meanwhile, he is falling for Abby and she for him.

The Harpers start spending more and more time at the ranch, and Abby not only falls in love with Clayton but also with his parents, and they love her and her brothers. Clayton and Abby have to get past dangerous cattle rustlers, crooked accountants, have a few close calls, and finally find their Christmas miracle.

I loved this book. I felt like I really got to know these characters, was rooting for their relationship to work out, and there was a bit of heat. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

11/17  Stacy Alesi AKA the BookBitch™

THE CHRISTMAS COWBOY HERO by Donna Grant. St. Martin’s Paperbacks (October 31, 2017). ISBN 978-1250165428. 320p.

Kindle


NECESSARY ROUGHNESS by Julie Brannagh

October 28, 2017

Click to purchase Kindle book

As I continue on my exploration of sports romances, I landed on this fun football story. Tanner Cole had a career ending injury, and is need of some serious rehab.

Luckily, the therapist that had been helping him was no longer available so he gets to work with Jordan Mueller. She’s a woman, a really pretty woman, and is super dedicated to her patients. But Tanner isn’t interested in working with her, he’s too busy feeling sorry for himself.

But Tanner has no choice, and quickly realizes that despite Jordan’s sunny disposition, she is really working him hard. Then Jordan is forced to move rather suddenly out of her apartment and with nowhere to turn, Tanner lets her move into the guest suite in his mansion.

Lots of heat and lots of laughs make this a really terrific read.

Note: Kindle version available now, paperback comes out 11/28/17

10/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

NECESSARY ROUGHNESS by Julie Brannagh. Avon Impulse (October 10, 2017). ASIN B01ARKZN7M. 171p.


BAD REPUTATION by Nicole Edwards

October 14, 2017

Click to purchase Kindle book

A Bad Boys of Sports Novel

This is a standalone contemporary romance with some definite heat. I like how it was written with alternating viewpoints, we hear from Cassie and from Chase, and it’s always fun seeing where they are headed before they do.

Cassie and Chase have been best friends (without benefits!) for many years. She told him up front that she was not going to sleep with him, and the relationship worked for them both. Chase became a hockey star and Cassie became a high tech VP and they’ve been hanging out through good and bad relationships and Chase’s philandering ways.

But Chase is quicker to realize that he has developed feelings for Cassie, which he thinks she does not reciprocate. When she asks him along on a business trip to Vegas, things come to a head one very drunken night. What happens in Vegas follows them home and they have to work through a lot to find their happy ending. And they do, with lots of steamy sex along the way.

This was a one night read for me and a lot of fun – pure escapism. If you’re in the mood, go for it!

10/17  Stacy Alesi AKA the BookBitch™

BAD REPUTATION by Nicole Edwards. Loveswept (October 3, 2017). ASIN: B01N6OVQRJ. 273p.

 


FALLING FOR GRACIE by Susan Mallery

October 12, 2017

Click to purchase

Los Lobos Series, Book 2

I didn’t know about this series and for some reason, my library didn’t get the first book so I’m starting here. (But I might have to buy it, I really liked this one!) Susan Mallery has become one of my favorite contemporary romance writers. Her characters are always interesting, she writes good sex scenes, and I love her sense of humor.

Gracie was just fourteen years old when her father died and she fell madly in love with the 18-year-old hottie next door, Riley. At that age, four years makes a huge difference and Riley was not interested. But Gracie was nothing if not persistent, and the stunts she pulled to get his attention and to keep him from marrying his pregnant girlfriend were legendary. So much so that a series of newspaper articles about her kept the small town of Los Lobos enthralled but completely embarrassed her mother, who sent her off to live with an aunt and uncle.

Gracie never came home until fourteen years later, when her youngest sister was about to get married. The aunt and uncle died, leaving Gracie their home, and she started an uber-successful wedding cake business. Her sister is determined to have biggest, most ostentatious cake, and wedding, for that matter, even though she keeps calling it off every time her fiance does something she doesn’t like.

Alexis is the middle sister and the family drama queen, and she is convinced that her husband is cheating on her. He is managing Riley’s campaign for mayor, and Alexis convinces Gracie to spy on Riley’s house to see if her husband is really there. Of course Gracie gets caught, Alexis takes off and abandons her, and Riley demands an explanation of why his former stalker seems up to her old tricks.

Riley got divorced a few months after his marriage when he realized he was duped and his wife wasn’t pregnant. He left town after that, made his fortune and traveled the world. Unbeknownst to most of the town, his uncle, who owned the bank and left an estate of almost a hundred million dollars, left it to Riley with one proviso; he had to take over at the bank and become mayor of Los Lobos. Election season is underway but the standing mayor doesn’t mind playing dirty politics to keep his seat.

Gracie and Riley end up spending some time together, trying to find out what Gracie’s brother-in-law is up to, and find they enjoy their time together. They fall in love but there are obstacles in the way, not the least of which is someone tries to derail the mayoral campaign and destroy Gracie’s cake business.

There are a lot of laughs, some steamy sex scenes and a happy ending in this terrific contemporary romance. I read it in one night and highly recommend it.

10/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

FALLING FOR GRACIE by Susan Mallery. HQN Books (April 25, 2017). ISBN 978-0373801954. 384p.

Kindle


SECOND CHANCE GIRL by Susan Mallory

October 8, 2017

Click to purchase

Happily Inc, Book 2

This is second book in this terrific new series. I loved the first book, You Say it First, and this one as well.

Happily, Inc. is a small town in the desert of California, not too far from Los Angeles. It is a destination wedding town, and almost all the businesses in Happily, Inc. cater to making brides happy. In the first book we met the owner of the major wedding planner and venue, and this book is about one of her friends, Carol Lund.

Carol is the local game keeper. Her father and his brother opened a recycling center that is the envy of everyone, and part of the land they purchased they turned over to Carol. They’ve brought in some endangered grazing animals, like zebras and a giraffe. But the giraffe is lonely, the females generally live in herds, so Carol is trying to raise the money to bring in more animals, but it’s slow going.

The Mathias brothers are all artists that live in town, too. And they’re gorgeous, of course. Originally from Fool’s Gold, (another series) they’ve moved here to get away from their overbearing, abusive father. One of the brothers, Mathias, lives next door to Carol. She is well aware of his penchant for bridesmaids and his love ’em and leave ’em lifestyle. But they become friends, and eventually much more than that.

Malley creates a somehow believable fairy tale world in her books, and that speaks to her writing. Her characters are flawed and real and her plotlines always interesting. And occasionally steamy! This is another terrific read in what is becoming one of my favorite series.

10/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

SECOND CHANCE GIRL by Susan Mallory. HQN Books (September 26, 2017). ISBN 978-0373799350. 384p.

Kindle


YOU SAY IT FIRST by Susan Mallery

September 28, 2017

Click to purchase

A Small-Town Wedding Romance, Happily Inc. Book 1

Happily, Inc. is a small town in the desert of California, not too far from Los Angeles. It is a wedding destination town, and most of the town’s businesses cater to brides and their wedding dreams.

Pallas Saunders has recently inherited the premier wedding venue in Happily, Inc. She worked there as a wedding planner, and the owner had no family who would want the business. Nonetheless, she is shocked to have inherited it and really wants to make a success of it. The finances are shaky, however, so it will take some ingenuity to keep it going.

That ingenuity comes in handy when a video game designer wants their wedding to be held there, and in a very short time frame. Every other wedding planner has passed, but Pallas needs the money and her heart goes out to the bride; the time crunch is because her father is dying.

Nick Mitchell is a sculptor and woodworker who has moved to the town along with his artist brothers to escape their abusive father. Nick likes Pallas, and wants to help her succeed. She doesn’t realize how famous he is, so when he offers to help restore some wood panels she has, she takes him up on his offer. Spending time together leads to a hot romance, and their happily ever after.

This was a fun read with lots of emotional drama as well as laughter, and so is the next book in the series, Second Chance Girl.

9/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

YOU SAY IT FIRST by Susan Mallery. HQN Books (August 22, 2017).  ISBN 978-0373804160.  304p.

Kindle


BREAKAWAY by Kelly Jamieson

September 25, 2017

Click to purchase

Heller Brothers Hockey, Book 1

I recently read and reviewed Dancing in the Rain by this author, so when BookBub had an offer for this book for free on my Kindle, I grabbed it. And I was very glad I did.

I recently learned that sports romances are a subgenre of the whole romance thing, which I like a lot. I feel like I am always learning about romance books since I haven’t been reading them that long. Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a series based around football players, and Jamieson has hockey. I’ve also learned that Jase is a very popular in contemporary romance.

This Jase is a hockey player with a fictional Chicago professional hockey team. He has several brothers who also play and they are from Canada.

Remi is a teacher who lost her parents as a young woman, and basically raised her younger siblings. The youngest has just moved out and her friends think she should go out clubbing, find a guy and live a little. She’s not sure about all that, but she agrees to go. While at the club, she escapes a few creeps and meets Jase when she asks him to do her a favor. She’s not really his type but all she wants is to talk for a few minutes so everyone else will leave her alone.

The next thing you know, they are back at her place and she is having major fun, and so is he. He promises he’ll call but a few days later, Remi is in her classroom waiting for the hockey stars who agreed to help with the after school remedial reading program. Of course Jase is one of them. Remi knows nothing about hockey but her students do, and she really cares about them. On the other hand, Jase had a lot of trouble in school and really hates teachers, so he is over Remi in a heartbeat.

Of course working together for several weeks keeps throwing them together and they start seeing each other, just for fun. But fun eventually turns to love, but not before they have to overcome some obstacles along the way.

This was a fun, sexy read and I will be looking for more from this author. These appear to be self published, but I’d bet there was a professional editor involved with Jamieson’s books – they are too good.

9/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

BREAKAWAY by Kelly Jamieson. Kelly Jamieson; 2 edition (April 24, 2015). ISBN 978-0991853274.  234p.

Kindle


BREATHING ROOM by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

September 21, 2017

Click to purchase

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of my favorite contemporary romance writers, and I thought I had read all of her books. I was wrong, somehow I missed this one.

This is a standalone, set mostly in Tuscany so I was all over that. Isabel Favor is a world famous psychologist with a huge following. She has bestselling books, TV deals, and a perfect life, including her fiancé. Perfect, that is, until he dumps her for another woman and her accountant embezzles all her money and flees the country, leaving her with a whopping multi-million dollar IRS debt, and those boys don’t play. She sells everything she owns to pay her back taxes, and then she flees the country, going to Italy to lick her wounds and reinvent herself.

While in Rome, she is at a cafe and sees a very good looking man who seems to be watching her. He makes his way over to her and she decides to try something she’s never done before; have a one night stand with a stranger. Isabel is more of a fall-in-love-then-have-sex kind of woman, so this is way outside her comfort zone. The sex isn’t great, and in the process, she convinces herself that this man must be a gigolo. She throws some money on the bed and takes off.

Isabel got a two month rental of a Tuscan farm house through a friend, but when she gets there they try and tell her she can’t stay, she needs to move into town. But this is the calming paradise she has been seeking and she refuses to move. She marches herself up to the villa at the top of the hill where the owner resides. Much to her surprise, the owner is a famous actor – and the man she had the one night stand with while he was in disguise.

She stays, he thinks she is a stalker, and something weird is going on with the farm help. Eventually, they form a friendship and then decide to become lovers, but to keep it to a physical relationship only. As any romance reader knows, that idea never works out and they fall in love, but both are too hell bent on keeping it casual that they almost lose each other – almost being the key word here.

This was another wonderful read from Phillips. It’s only $5 if you buy the Kindle version so if you are looking for a sure bet, this one is highly recommended..

9/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

BREATHING ROOM by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Avon; Reprint edition (April 29, 2003).  ISBN 978-0061032097.  400p.


FINDING OUR FOREVER by Brenda Novak

September 18, 2017

Click to purchase

Silver Springs, Book 1

This is the first book in the new Silver Springs series. As usual, I didn’t start here but rather with the second book, which I liked so much I hunted down this one.

This is a small paperback and a very fast read, but not a whole lot of intrigue. Cora knows she was adopted and has always been curious about her birth mother, but her parents don’t know anything since it was a closed adoption. And they are not comfortable with the idea of her looking for her birth mother, either, it makes them uncomfortable. But Cora is determined, and six years of research has finally turned up her mother.

Aiyana runs a school for troubled boys in the small California town of Silver Springs, two hours from Cora’s home in Los Angeles. As fate would have it, the school is looking for an art teacher and after several years of substitute teaching, Cora applies for the permanent position and gets it. Aiyana’s adopted eldest son, Elijah, is the one who interviews and hires her and Cora is strongly attracted to him but afraid of getting too close to her birth mother’s offspring, even if there is no blood relation between them.

But Eli is just as attracted to Cora and proposes a physical relationship. Eli has had a horrific childhood, and even though Aiyana is a wonderful mother to him, he has emotional scars that still haven’t healed, leaving him closed off emotionally. His previous relationships all ended because of it. Cora is so attracted to him she agrees, thinking this is the perfect solution – no emotional entanglement, just a physical one. Of course she falls in love with him and tries backing off, trying to protect her heart, but surprising himself, Eli can’t let her go.

Meanwhile, Cora loves teaching at the school and especially loves getting to know her mother. But the longer she is there and involved with Eli and his family, the harder it gets to tell them her real reason for being there.

This was good and I’m glad I read it, but I liked the second book better. It is longer, the characters more developed and lots more plot twists. Nonetheless, this was a very enjoyable read and a great introduction to the series.

9/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

FINDING OUR FOREVER by Brenda Novak. Harlequin Special Edition (March 21, 2017).  ISBN 978-0373623389. 224p.

Kindle