Tag Archives: Second Chance

Bountiful (True North # 4)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave From Brooklyn will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Hockey star Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

Review

The first thing I have to say about BOUNTIFUL is that the cover is beyond hot.  I can’t remember the last time I wanted to lick a cover, but this one is so gorgeous I find myself wanting to lick it every time I see it.  Yum!

Moving on, BOUNTIFUL is a lovely story about Dave and Zara, who shared a hot and enjoyable month-long fling two years ago.  A fling that involved not sharing personal details and then resulted in a pregnancy.  Dave has not been able to get Zara out of his mind since he left, so two years later and during his off-season, he returns to town to see her, only to learn that he has a daughter, Nicole.

Dave and Zara are both strong characters, but because of what they experienced growing up, they believe there are certain parts of their lives where they are not worthy or good enough, but in very different ways.  It was nice watching them come together and get the happy ending neither of them dreamed was a possibility.

I really liked Dave’s sister, Bess, as well as Zara’s twin brother, Benito.  While I don’t see them together as a couple, I hope both of them get their own books.

There were a couple of threads in this story that I felt were not tied up.  Most of Zara’s family treat Dave pretty badly, and we never find out if they changed their attitudes towards him.  Also, Zara mentioned several times that she had ruined the great romance of Benito’s life when they were younger, but we never got the story behind that.  With the introduction of Zara’s large-ish family, I wonder if her brothers will get stories of their own, and perhaps that’s why these two threads were left hanging.  Time will tell.

BOUNTIFUL contains characters from Sarina’s Brooklyn Bruisers series, but you don’t need to read that series to enjoy this story.  Honestly, I don’t even remember Dave from the Brooklyn Bruisers, even though I’ve read all three books.  BOUNTIFUL is told in dual POVs and comes with a happy ending for Dave, Zara and Nicole.

Bountiful (True North # 4)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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True North Series

Calico

By Callie Hart

Synopsis

Coralie

Twelve years ago, I ran to stay alive.

Port Royal, South Carolina, was my home. I was born there. I fell in love there. And I nearly died there. I never thought I’d go back. Now, after so many years, I have to return to bury the man who made my life a living hell. Some nights, I used to cry myself to sleep, praying my father would die. Other nights were different. Other nights, there was him.

Callan Cross.

My first confidante. My first kiss. My first love. My first everything: Callan was the glue that held me together when everything else was falling apart. He was my savior. He was there for me whenever I needed him…

Until he wasn’t.

Every night, I’ve seen the love of my life in my sleep.
I just never thought I’d have to face him again.

Callan

Twelve years ago, I f*#@ed up big time.

Living life through a camera lens is sometimes easier than dealing with it head on. Scratch that. It’s always easier. For over a decade, I’ve been a master of my art, taking photographs all over the world. Yet despite all of the countries I’ve visited, the amazing things I’ve seen, the beautiful women I’ve screwed, my heart has remained in pieces.

Coralie’s the only woman I’ve ever loved, will ever love. And I’m determined to show her that we’re meant to be together. Even if it means unearthing the bones of the past in the process.

A lifetime and a thousand miles have stood between us.
Now, there’s no length of time I won’t wait, no distance I won’t travel, in order to make her mine.

Review

With the great ratings and reviews CALICO has on both Amazon and Goodreads, as well as how interesting the blurb sounds, I thought this was going to be a slam dunk of a great read for me.  Sadly, it was not. The first and last 20% of the story grabbed me, but the 60% in the middle was, for lack of a better word, boring.  It took me a few days to finish and there were several times I considered not finishing it at all, which was really disappointing.

I noticed several spelling mistakes, incorrect word usage and missing words throughout the story, which I’m surprised haven’t been fixed since it was published eighteen months ago.

What Callan and Coralie have been through and endured, especially Coralie, is truly awful, but apart from one flashback scene towards the end, I didn’t experience the strong emotions I was expecting to with this kind of story.  Whether that’s because I was bored or because of the storytelling, I honestly can’t say.

I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that at least two adults knew Coralie’s father was beating her, but neither went to the police to report it.  Neither of them were willing to help a teenage girl get out of a terrible situation, especially Friday, a mother figure who was clearly very fond of Coralie.

Finally, the second time they were intimate—in the present—had the potential to be a truly beautiful scene, but it changed so quickly I felt like I had whiplash.  One minute they’re loving and emotional and declaring their feelings, and in the next, Callan is asking Coralie if she can handle a good fucking before taking photos of her in sexual poses.  Then he starts telling her about all the women he’s had sex with and how they don’t compare to her.  I think it was supposed to be a romantic gesture on Callan’s part, and if that is the case, it missed the mark spectacularly.

CALICO is told in dual POVs and in both past and present time.  It is a stand-alone and it does come with a HEA for Callan and Coralie.  It contains scenes of physical abuse, suicide and bulimia that may be triggers for some readers.

Calico

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Callie Hart:  Click Here

On A Tuesday (One Week # 1)

By Whitney G.

Synopsis

We met on a Tuesday.
Became best friends, then lovers, on a Tuesday.
And it all fell apart on a Tuesday…

Charlotte Taylor has three automatic strikes in my book: 1) She hates me. She also claims that I’m a “domineering jerk with a huge, overbearing ego.” (I do have something huge. It’s not my ego, though.) 2) She takes our mandatory tutoring sessions way too seriously. 3) She’s sexy as hell…And a virgin.

At least, those were her strikes before our study sessions started lasting longer than they were supposed to. Until one innocent kiss became a hundred dirty ones, and until she became the first woman I ever fell hard for.

Our future together after graduation was supposed to be set:
Professional football for me. Law school for her.

But she left me at the end of the semester with no explanation, and then she completely disappeared from my life.

Until tonight.

We met on a Tuesday.
Became everything, then nothing, on a Tuesday.
And now it’s seven years later, on a Tuesday…

Review

ON A TUESDAY was the read I’ve been looking for, for what feels like weeks.  While I’ve recently found several books to be quite enjoyable, nothing has really grabbed me like this one did.

ON A TUESDAY is a second-chance romance between Grayson and Charlotte, who originally dated in college and were torn apart by a person with cruel intentions.  In the flashbacks to their college days, you could feel their chemistry and I loved watching their relationship grow.  Seven years later and in the present day, you could feel their anger towards the other over their breakup, even though neither of them knew what really happened all those years ago.  When the truth finally came out, I wondered how the author was going to tie it all up because of a scene from the beginning, but she did a good job of putting all the pieces together and making the situation believable.

I loved Grayson, who you could tell really loved Charlotte because of how well he treated her when they dated in college.  He treated her like a queen and a woman deserving of respect.  I loved Charlotte too and how spunky she was in college, and she did a great job of keeping Grayson’s ego in check.

“I’m Grayson Connors.”
“I’m unimpressed.”

My only complaint with this entire story is with their first sex scene, which came after months of sizzling chemistry, but was over with way too quickly.  I was expecting more passion, more tenderness because Charlotte was a virgin, just…more, so I was very disappointed that it felt more like wham bam thank you ma’am.

ON A TUESDAY is told in dual POVs and is also told in past and present tense, with most of the story taking place in the past.  It is the beginning of a new series, and I’m assuming it’s a series where the books can be read as stand-alones because we got a lovely HEA for Grayson and Charlotte at the end of this book.  I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.

On A Tuesday (One Week # 1)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Misadventures of a Good Wife (Misadventures #2)

By Meredith Wild and Helen Hardt

Synopsis

Kate and Price Lewis had the perfect marriage—love, fulfilling careers, and a great apartment in the city. But when Price’s work takes him overseas and his plane goes down, their happily-ever-after goes down with it.

A year later, Kate is still trying to cope. She’s tied to her grief as tightly as she was bound to Price. When her sister-in-law coaxes her into an extended girls’ trip—three weeks on a remote island in the South Pacific—Kate agrees. At a villa as secluded as the island, they’re the only people in sight, until Kate sees a ghost walking toward them on the beach. Price is alive.

Their reunion is anything but picture perfect. Kate has been loyal to the husband she thought was dead, but she needs answers. What she gets instead is a cryptic proposal—go back home in three weeks, or disappear with Price…forever.

Emotions run high, passions burn bright, and Kate faces an impossible choice. Can Price win back his wife? Or will his secrets tear them apart?

Review

I was completely unprepared for Misadventures of a Good Wife.  This book is so good.  Unlike other books that I have read, I did not read the synopsis and that actually made for a better mystery for me.

I instantly adored Kate.  She is written just the way I imagined I would be if I lost someone tragically.  But she a lot of inner strength and the need to not lose anymore than she has already lost.

Price would do anything to keep his family safe. This includes disappearing from everyone’s life forever.

When I first started reading this story I was not prepared to lose Price and I my first thought was that Meredith Wild and Helen Hardt were evil but in a good way. This story had so much emotion in it and a good mystery to solve.  I really liked Kate and her unwavering belief that they can survive and have the life that they deserve together.

Misadventures of a Good Wife

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit author:  Meredith Wild & Helen Hardt

Misadventures of a City Girl (Misadventures #1)

By Meredith Wild and Chelle Bliss

Synopsis

Fresh off a divorce from a Hollywood hotshot, Madison Atwood needs an escape. With the paparazzi fresh on her heels and her love life splashed on every tabloid, she runs away to a swanky retreat in Northern California. Avalon Springs is the mountainside haven she needs to find herself again.

Luke Dawson lives off the grid, preferring solitude to society. When he finds a beautiful woman soaking in the hot springs on his property, he can’t stop himself from watching her. She captures his attention, but she’s just a city girl—a beautiful distraction disturbing the peace he’s settled here to find.

When Madison discovers Luke’s secluded cabin, he can’t turn her away again. They make no promises. Madison needs to feel wanted again, and Luke misses the touch of a woman. But when mother nature has other plans, they’re forced to spend more than a night of passion together. Can Luke say goodbye to the only woman who’s made him feel anything in years, and can Madison leave behind the man who brought her back to life?

Review

Misadventures of a City Girl is about a women who escapes her life after a failed marriage and finds a new life on a mountain.

Madison really is a city girl with all the trappings of a high profile divorce.  She needs a break from all attention that she is getting from the paparazzi, so she decides to go to a retreat for some much needed quiet. She quickly discovers that this retreat isn’t exactly what she had envisioned.  Madison soon finds herself going off on her own to escape the retreat.

Luke is a man who has lived in solitude for a very long time.  He doesn’t feel like he can rejoin society after his last tour of duty.  He has been living off the grid and barely goes anywhere outside of his own comfort zone.

I really liked Madison.  She is trying to find out who she is after her marriage ended. And while she was finding out who that is, she helped a man to find his own life again.  I think Luke was ready to take baby steps to rejoin society again he just needed motivation.  Luke has a lot of issues but he loves Madison more than the issues that control him.

Madison and Luke are really good for each other and I really liked how their characters developed throughout the story.  Plus from their first meeting, their chemistry was off the charts which led to some really steamy scenes.

Misadventures of a City Girl

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit author:  Meredith Wild & Chelle Bliss

UnPlanned

By M. Piper

Synopsis

I’m Lincoln West.

First sibling of three, and the other two couldn’t be any more opposite of me.
Single father extraordinaire to the coolest kid on the face of the earth, and I have parents that think the world of my son.
I’m a family guy. At twenty-two, I’ve embraced my fate as a lifetime member of the uncool single dad club. It’s the Lincoln and Carter show…until I meet Wren. That’s when everything changes. And I mean everything. More laundry in the machine, a third toothbrush at the bathroom sink, Cosmopolitan magazine next to the bed. More importantly, a home that feels full.

Complete.

Wren’s the beauty in my ugly days. She’s full of life, and talent, and she’s the exact mother figure my son needs. It’s surprising because she’s the daughter of two very shitty people. Pardon my French. Two people who taught her to hate herself because she didn’t follow their plan for her. Two people that drop a hell of a bomb on us. Right when we think the world’s stopped pitting against us, her family proves us wrong.

Now we’re out to prove that even though unplanned, our unconventional life is absolutely perfect.

Review

I stumbled across UNPLANNED because of its hot cover and, after reading the blurb, I quickly added it to my Kindle.

I liked Lincoln; he’s a great father to Carter, a good brother to his siblings, and a good son to his parents.  He’s a hard worker and cares deeply about the family business.  The only time I didn’t like him was when he confessed to sleeping with dozens of women in college without protection.  There’s a big difference between being wild and being grossly irresponsible.  I also liked Wren; she’s is a nice girl who has been dealt with the most awful family.  What they’ve put her through is truly terrible and your heart will break for her with how far they’re willing to go to protect their way of life.

I liked the characters and the story, but the telling of the story was a bit of a letdown.  I came across quite a few mistakes and inconsistencies that I can’t believe were missed by the editor and beta readers.  Several scenes didn’t flow very well and/or weren’t descriptive enough to explain how a character got from Point A to Point B.  Instead of ending the story with the HEA for Lincoln and Wren, it ended with Wren having an important discussion with her sister, which I thought was not the best place to put that scene.  I predicted the twist very early on in the story, and I’m not sure if it was supposed to be that way or if it was supposed to be a big surprise.  However, I must say that it was a very interesting twist and that the author did a great job in making that particular scenario believable.

UNPLANNED is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Lincoln and Wren.  Their siblings are all single, so maybe they’ll get stories at some point, but at this stage, UNPLANNED is a stand-alone.

UnPlanned

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Nineteen Letters

By Jodi Perry

Synopsis

What would you do if the love of your life had no memory of you?

The 19th of January, 1996 … I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, she was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

That’s when I started writing her letters.The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we’d experienced together.

What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.

Review

NINETEEN LETTERS is a beautiful story about learning to live and love again after everything that makes you “you” has been lost.

I may have lost my past, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a wonderful future.  I have the power to not only reinvent myself, but to write my own ending.

I loved Braxton, who could very well be the sweetest book husband I’ve ever read.  He was kind and patient, and he did a great job of getting Jemma to fall in love with him again.  His letters and gifts to her were beautiful and sweet, and I loved being able to see their entire relationship through his eyes, from the first day they met as children until the day of the accident.

When the accident happened, I worried she would never wake up, and I would lose her.  Not once did I contemplate the possibility that she would wake up and I would lose her anyway.

NINETEEN LETTERS is a stand-alone told in dual POVs and comes with a nice HEA for Braxton and Jemma.

Nineteen Letters

My Rating:  

Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks

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Lovestruck

By Lila Monroe

Synopsis

Will Cassidy is hot, infuriating, and the guy behind the biggest heart-stomping humiliation of my life. He’s also hosting my BFF’s destination wedding at his super-luxe tropical resort, so short of a hurricane or outbreak of the plague (here’s hoping), I’m stuck within t̶o̶n̶g̶u̶e̶’s̶ arm’s reach of him for the next seven days.

But I’m not a naive college girl anymore, and there’s no way I’m falling for his (many) charms again. I just have to ignore the romantic wedding shenanigans, his miraculous abs, all those intimate beach sunsets… And did I mention those abs?

Maybe a wild vacation fling is exactly what I need to even the score… But between the scorching chemistry and all-inclusive margaritas, I’m getting drunk on love. Which definitely isn’t part of the plan.

Can I keep my heart zipped – even if my bikini bottoms are lost somewhere on that nude beach? And how do you let go of the past when you’re holding on tight to the past’s (very ripped) torso?

Review

LOVESTRUCK was a fun and lighthearted read, and a second-chance romance between Will and Ruby.  I say it’s a second-chance romance, though technically, the pair never dated while they were in college.  Instead, Ruby had a huge crush on her good friend, but cut him out of her life after he hurt her feelings and crushed her heart.  They’re thrown together again five years later at the airport as they fly out to attend the same wedding.

I really liked Ruby and I felt her conflicting emotions towards Will were realistic.  She hates him and wants him with equal measure.  She was smart and feisty, and she had me cheering and laughing out loud in the skinny dipping scene.  You go girl!  Will’s a nice guy who had no idea why Ruby cut off all contact, and when you find out what really happened back in college, you’re rooting for him to get the girl.  But he’s also a cliché.  He really likes Ruby but hides how he feels, tells her it can never be more than sex, and then gets upset when he thinks she doesn’t return his secret feelings.  Sigh.

In the digital version I read, Will and Ruby’s story ends at the 38% mark, followed by excerpts from other books and another one of Lila’s full-length novels for you to read if you want to.  So when it says it’ll take you over ten hours to finish, it will take less than half that.  LOVESTRUCK is told only in Ruby’s POV and comes with a nice ending for Will and Ruby.

Lovestruck

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Lila Monroe:  Click Here

Mustang Daddy

By Sienna Parks

Synopsis

A.B.

I thought moving back to Kingsbury Falls would be good for me… until I saw him.

Maddox Hale was my high school sweetheart, and the best friend I ever had.
We shared all the important firsts together, but when faced with making him choose between me and the life he wanted, I made the decision for him. I left without a word, or an explanation.

Now I’m back, and so is he… with his daughter.

Maddox

A.B. Clark broke my heart and made me swear I would never return to my hometown. I left to become a champion bronc rider. Eleven years later, I moved back, with a wife and a baby on the way. Now I’m a single daddy, running the family ranch. My daughter is the only woman in my life… until A.B. shows up, throwing my world into disarray. I don’t know if trust can ever be earned after it’s been broken, but she makes me want to believe in the possibility.

With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Dr. A.B. Clark sets out to win back not just the trust, but the heart of her first and only love, single daddy Maddox Hale. With the best intentions, not to break his heart a second time, A.B. is faced with a decision that could risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.

Can Maddox risk not only his, but his daughter’s heart being broken by the one woman that sets his world on fire?

Review

The first thing I want to point out is that, at the time of this review, MUSTANG DADDY finishes at the 19% mark of the digital version, after which there are another three full-length novels to read if you choose to do so.

For most of the story, MUSTANG DADDY was a 3❤️ read for me.  I found it a little slow and repetitive at times, and while I could understand Maddox’s anger at Annabeth (and others), I thought he was a bit too bitter and mean throughout most of the story.  But what ultimately affected my overall enjoyment of the story, and what dropped it down to a 2❤️ read, was when—*spoiler alert*—Annabeth left without telling Maddox she was leaving…again.  Especially when the reason for leaving just didn’t make sense.  I get that she wanted to help, but I guess I just don’t understand why she had to leave town in order to provide that help, other than to form the basis of the conflict.  MUSTANG DADDY is told in dual POVs and comes with a nice HEA for Maddox and Annabeth.

Mustang Daddy

My Rating:  

Buy Links: Amazon

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Ain’t He Precious? (Sex and Sweet Tea # 1)

By Juliette Poe

Synopsis

Welcome to Whynot, North Carolina, population 3,872. It has one stoplight, one bar, and the one-and-only Trixie Mancinkus.

Eleven years ago, Trixie graduated Harvard Law, turned down a job offer from one of the most prestigious law firms in Boston, and headed home to Whynot to open her own firm. Not only did she leave behind the big city, but she also left her boyfriend of three years. And just so we’re clear… that would be me.

So what am I doing in Whynot at this very moment? It seems Trixie needs help with a legal case and for some insane reason, she called on me for assistance. I’ve been in town for five minutes, and I’m every bit as out of place as I feel. Trixie is all sweet, southern curves to my tailored suits and high-priced haircuts. It’s a culture clash of north versus south and about the only thing we have in common is our physical attraction to each other.

But I have a new motto since coming to Whynot: When life hands you lemons, all you need is a little sex and sweet tea to make things better.

Review

AIN’T HE PRECIOUS is the debut novel from Juliette Poe (aka Sawyer Bennett), and is the first book in the Sex and Sweet Tea series.  This is a second chance romance between Trixie and Ryland, who broke up when Trixie wanted to return home after they finished law school instead of moving to Boston with Ryland.  After more than a decade apart, letting go of the other is their biggest regret, and the attraction between them is still off-the-charts when they see each other again.

There’s a good amount of humor in this story, and most of that is thanks to big-city-boy Ryland’s reactions to life in the south.  Ryland and Trixie are both very likable characters, as are most of the characters we meet in this book.  The only person who didn’t win me over was Trixie’s brother, Lowe, who acted like a spoiled brat every time he appeared.

The case that Trixie needed Ryland’s help on only takes up about ten minutes of the entire story, and he could have easily helped her from Boston, but then I guess there wouldn’t be a story if he didn’t make the trip to Whynot.  Instead, most of the story surrounds them discussing why their relationship ended, all while Ryland gains some understanding on why Trixie chose to return home all those years ago.

At only 120 pages, AIN’T HE PRECIOUS is a short, simple and sweet read.  It is told mostly in Trixie and Ryland’s POV, but it also has a few chapters told in Trixie’s grandfather’s POV.  Each of the Mancinkus siblings will get their own story in this series, with Lowe getting the next book, STUBBORN AS A MULE.

Ain’t He Precious? (Sex and Sweet Tea # 1)

My Rating:  

Buy LinksAmazon | iBooks

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Sex and Sweet Tea Series