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

 


DANCING IN THE RAIN by Kelly Jamieson

September 11, 2017

Purchase this ebook

Peyton White’s sister Sara is dying. Her niece is hitting her teen years and the three of them are as close as could be, especially since both sisters have never married and Sara has been a single mom since her daughter was born. She got pregnant during a one night stand in college and didn’t even know the father’s last name, only that he was visiting to play in a hockey game.

Now her daughter is twelve years old and Sara sees a headline, recognizing her one night stand and finally learning his full name. He is Drew Sellers, and he’s in the headlines because his hockey career just ended with an injury. Sara meets with him to tell him he has a daughter, but he has seen that happen to a lot of professional athletes. Turns out Sara is telling the truth, about him being the father and the fact she is dying.

Peyton flies to Chicago from NYC, taking a leave of absence from work to care for her dying sister and supervise Drew’s visits. Drew falls in love with his daughter and with Peyton, but there are lots of complications.

This was a real tear jerker and I cried my way through this book to the (thank goodness) happily ever after ending. This was a riveting, emotional read and I loved it.

9/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

DANCING IN THE RAIN by Kelly Jamieson. Loveswept (April 11, 2017).  ASIN B01M5I070G. eBook only.

 


THE BEAUTY OF US by Kristen Proby

September 9, 2017

Click to purchase

Fusion, Book 4

I read the last book, Blush for Me, in this series and really enjoyed it, and this one is just as much fun and just as sexy!

Riley Gibson is one of the partners in Seduction, the restaurant/wine bar that is so popular for romantic dinners. She’s gotten them a TV deal but has to convince the chef, Mia, to go along with it and she reluctantly agrees. But when the producer, Trevor, shows up, the chemistry between him and Riley is off the charts. Trevor wants to keep it professional but that is going to be really difficult.

Trevor and Riley all too quickly fall into bed, and then in love. But he lives in Los Angeles, and she’s in Seattle, and how can they make a long distance relationship work? They try but Riley is miserable and pretty soon it all falls apart. Until Trevor realizes he can’t live without her.

This is a fun, fast, super sexy contemporary romance and a most enjoyable read.

9/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE BEAUTY OF US by Kristen Proby. William Morrow Paperbacks (August 22, 2017). ISBN 978-0062674876.  304p.

Kindle

 


BLUSH FOR ME by Kristen Proby

March 21, 2017
Click to purchase

Click to purchase

A Fusion Novel, Book 3

Katrina Meyers manages Seattle’s hottest wine bar, Seduction. Deathly afraid of flying, nonetheless she finds herself on “a death trap with wings” with some scary turbulence to boot. Her seatmate is hot, hot, hot Ryan “Mac” MacKenzie, and he’s only too happy to help out the scared gorgeous woman in the next seat. And then he can’t stop thinking about her.

Mac runs an super-successful wine touring business and ends up at Seduction. Mac and Katrina are having quite the physical relationship but neither wants to admit there is more to it than that.

There is great chemistry here, and well developed characters that are believable, making this a terrific scorcher of a romance. Love this series!

3/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

BLUSH FOR ME by Kristen Proby. William Morrow Paperbacks (March 21, 2017).  ISBN 978-0062434791. 304p.

Kindle


ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE by Jill Shalvis

February 16, 2017
Click to purchase

Click to purchase

Heartbreaker Bay #3

Archer met Elle when she was a teenager and got caught in a drug sting. He hustled her out of there, blew his cover and ended up quitting the police force. Over the years he kept tabs on the troubled teen, watching her grow into a strong, beautiful woman. He even helped get her the dream job – managing an office building where Archer runs security.

Forced to work together, the heat that comes off these two scorch everyone in sight, but they are both stubborn and refuse to give in to their mutual attraction. But when Elle tries to date, Archer keeps interfering until finally they get together.

That doesn’t mean they will have anything more than a physical relationship – or does it?

I’ve really enjoyed this series, and I believe this book ends it. But I’m sure Jill Shalvis will keep on writing and I look forward to whatever comes next.

2/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE by Jill Shalvis. Avon (January 24, 2017).  ISBN 978-0062660138. 272p.

Kindle


DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE by Susan Mallery

December 15, 2016
Click to purchase

Click to purchase

This time of year – especially this year – I find myself reaching for kinder, gentler books, often holiday themed, but not always. This book has been in my to-be-read pile since summer, and I’m happy to say that I finally reached the bottom of that pile. Of course I have several more piles to get to, but that is what makes me happiest, knowing I have many books just waiting to be read.

Daughters of the Bride is not as quick a read as I expected of a Susan Mallery book.

The little twist in this book is that there are three daughters, all in their twenties, and the mom who is remarrying after many years of being a widow. I always enjoy a good middle-aged romance but they are far and few between and it is a bit of a stretch to say this book is really about the mom. She is a bit of a bridezilla, but that is all background. It’s the daughters that are front and center, especially the youngest, Courtney.

When her dad died, he left the family destitute. Her mom was all wrapped up in trying to make ends meet and Courtney sort of fell through the cracks. She had a learning disability, was left back twice and eventually dropped out of school to work as a maid at the hotel where her mom’s best friend was the owner. But she worked hard to get her GED, then her associates degree, and is nearing completion of college – except she hasn’t told anyone, other than her boss.

Rachel is the middle sister, divorced but still in love with her ex. Rachel pretty much raised Courtney and they are still very close. Sienna is the oldest and very beautiful, but can’t seem to make a commitment to a man, having been engaged twice and in this story, for the third time.

Courtney has an affair with her boss’s grandson, a mega-successful music producer who has decided to leave the glitzy L.A. life behind and move to the small town where his grandmother has her hotel.

I loved Courtney’s story, liked Rachel but Sienna just irritated me. I had significant issues with the mom. Maybe because I know how my mom struggled to make ends meet after my father left, but she always made me feel like me (and my brother) were the most important priorities in her life. So this mom just pissed me off.

Not my favorite Mallery book, but I’ll be going back for more. I like this author too much to give up just because I didn’t love this one.

12/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE by Susan Mallery. HQN Books (July 12, 2016).  ISBN 978-0373789719. 416p.

Kindle