Tag Archives: Second Chance

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:  

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Sex and Sweet Tea Series

Hello Forever (Hello Goodbye # 2)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

A basketball game changed both their lives.

When they were only teenagers, Axel and Caxton were caught making out in the woods at church camp. And afterward, Cax had disappeared from all the youth group activities.

Six years later, Axel is astonished to spot his first love’s face in the crowd of a college basketball game he’s watching on TV—at a school which has just offered him a job. It’s a thousand miles away, in a tiny rural town. But suddenly, he can’t wait to get there.

Cax can’t believe his eyes when Axel appears in the same Massachusetts town where he now lives. And he’s still just as drawn to Axel as ever. But he can’t let himself go there again, because loving Axel will mean giving up everything else he holds dear.

Both men have so much to lose. But as far as their love is concerned, it’s Hello Forever.



Review

My review for HELLO FOREVER is going to be short and sweet, because I’m in the middle of moving and I just don’t have the time to write my usual lengthy review.

I loved this story and I loved it’s two main characters, Cax and Axel.  They are both so kind and sweet, and they really were perfect for each other.  I also loved Axel’s co-worker, Boz, who was hilarious.  He wasn’t really in the story much, but when he was, he was definitely memorable.

One thing I thought was interesting is that, from memory, there are only two female characters in this story: Axel’s mother; and Cax’s best friend, Amy.  Every other character was male.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it was certainly something that really stood out to me.

HELLO FOREVER is told in dual POVs and, while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  The previous couple, Josh and Caleb, make an appearance, and it was good to see them again.  Will there be more books in this series?  I’m not sure, but I really hope so.

Hello Forever (Hello Goodbye # 2)

My Rating:  

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Hello Goodbye Series

Jilted (Love Hurts # 2)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

Eden Goodnight went to Los Angeles to make it big, not to be publicly humiliated by her cheating fiancé at a red-carpet premiere. But when Eden returns to her hometown to put the scandal behind her, she can barely find a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Turns out the locals are worse than the paparazzi, and they all think she’s turned into a spoiled brat. But in a strange twist of fate, the one person who seems to understand what Eden’s going through is Cooper Mayfield . . . the boy she left behind.

Small-town charm is no match for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. At least that’s what Coop’s been telling himself all these years. As Eden’s old flame—and the landscaper for her family’s historic home—Coop feels some responsibility for getting her out of her funk. But as soon as he sees that million-dollar smile, he’s a goner. Soon they’re making out like teenagers again. But when a life-changing role falls into Eden’s lap, Coop just hopes she doesn’t give up on a love that’s meant to be.

Review

JILTED is the second book in the Love Hurts series, and while I get the feeling this is supposed to be a light and easy read, I found myself surprisingly emotional at times.  That’s not a bad thing, it’s just something I thought I should point out.

Eden is a lovely woman and I really liked her.  My heart broke for her in the very first chapter, and then again when she returns to her home town only to realise that she’s being shunned by everyone.  She is a woman who wears her heart on her sleeve, but that doesn’t mean she’s not strong because when she’s pushed, she pushes back just as hard.

Cooper is a good guy, but it’s hard to see that at the beginning because of how harsh he is to Eden.  Obviously he has his reasons, and you will find out what those reasons are, but for a man who says he’s doesn’t care, he was certainly holding on to some bitterness.  But when he learns the truth and starts treating Eden better, that’s when we see the real Cooper, and he’s a keeper.

As much as I loved JILTED and would happily read it again, there were a few things that bothered me.  Firstly, the synopsis doesn’t exactly match the events in the story, which is odd.  Secondly, Brad makes an sudden appearance in the middle of the book and then we never hear from or about him again.  Third and finally, what happened with Brad’s movie that Eden was supposed to cameo in?  There was talk of a lawsuit, but just like Brad, we never heard anything further with that.  These things might not be a big deal to some people, but for me, points two and three gave those parts of the story an unfinished feel.

JILTED is told in dual POVs and, while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  JILTED is set in a different location and involves a completely different set of characters from the previous book.  I’m not sure if there’ll be a third book in this series, but if there will be, I’ll definitely be reading it.

Jilted (Love Hurts # 2)

My Rating:  

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Love Hurts Series

More Than Need You (More Than Words #2)

By Shayla Black

Synopsis

I’m Griffin Reed—cutthroat entrepreneur and competitive bastard. Trust is a four-letter word and everyone is disposable…except Britta Stone. Three years ago, she was my everything before I stupidly threw her away. I thought I’d paid for my sin in misery—until I learned we have a son. Finding out she’s engaged to a bore who’s rushing her to the altar pisses me off even more. I intend to win her back and raise our boy. I’ll have to get ruthless, of course. Luckily, that’s one of my most singular talents.

Sixty days. That’s what I’m asking the gritty, independent single mother to give me—twenty-four/seven. Under my roof. And if I have my way, in my bed. Britta says she wants nothing to do with me. But her body language and passionate kisses make her a liar. Now all I have to do is coax her into surrendering to the old magic between us. Once I have her right where I want her, I’ll do whatever it takes to prove I more than need her.

Review

More Than Need You is part of the series More Than Words and that is the perfect way to explain the theme for this book.  A relationship is built and destroyed and rebuilt again on more than words.  It takes love, anger, forgiveness and happiness.  This book has it all.

Griff is amazing even with all his faults.  He made a huge mistake 3 years ago and ruined the most important relationships in his life.  He has the sins of his parents on his shoulders and that has continued to eat away at him and affect his relationships with the people who are closest to him.  Griff wants to be a better man for Britta but it doesn’t happen overnight.  And he has a lot to learn.

Britta is the love that Griff pushed away.  There is a lot of reasons why Griff did what he did but Britta now wants to protect herself and her son.  She doesn’t want to put herself in the same position to get hurt again.  Plus so much time has passed that old wounds have festered and she doesn’t know how they can heal.

Keeley and Maxon also give great advice to Griff, especially Keeley.  She is a force to be reckoned with.  She gives Griff something he desperately needs, a friend.  She is that ear that all of us need from time to time and she isn’t afraid to tell Griff that his is being stupid.

I love this book!!! It has all the elements that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster.  I really adored Griff.  Make no mistake, he is an arsehole but he had a chance to look inside himself to become something more than his father.  I understand Britta in the way that she didn’t want to put her heart on the line again and just so much time had passed.

I also really love how music is weaved throughout this story and series.  I can tell how important music is to Shayla Black.  She is really knowledgable and her playlist is amazing and fits perfectly to the mood and tone of the book.

We also get some insight about Harlow and the man she is about to marry. The bothers are already expressing their thoughts.  I can’t wait!!!

More Than Need You

My Rating:  

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Fire on the Farm (Second Chance Cowboy Romance)

By Betty Shreffler

Synopsis

Losing the man she loved to a terrible accident, pushes Amy Flanders into a life of independence. Her only source of comfort is her work—a business dedicated to the care and training of horses. Until one lonely night leads her into the arms of Brock Baisdin. A man who fulfills her deepest desires and reignites a flame long forgotten.

Between his picky tastes and running his own business, Brock Baisdin has little time for women, but that doesn’t stop him from looking for love. After saving Amy from a cancelled date, Brock is instantly drawn to the shy and beautiful woman hiding secrets beneath her lust-filled baby blues—secrets he finds himself eager to discover.

Undeniable attraction pulls them into each other’s arms. Hope draws them into each other’s lives. For Amy Flanders, Brock Baisdin may be the man to bring love back into her lonely life, if only she can overcome the wounds of her past and face her biggest fear—risking the pain of another shattered heart.

Review

Fire on the Farm is a gut-wrenching story of loss and finding your way back to love again.  I have to say that you need box of tissues for this one.  Betty Shreffler did an amazing job of making emotional highs and lows.

I loved Amy’s character.  She had a lot of love in her heart and it was just a matter of unlocking it.  I could also understand how she thought that she would that she had her one love.  She closed herself off and it took a long time before she was able to let even the ones she cared about back into her life completely.  She went through a lot of pain and it would be hard for anyone to carry on.

Brock was a character that I liked but I had issues with him, especially near the end of the book. He was always quick to say that she could have as much time as she needed but then he wanted to keep the relationship moving and he was very quick to jump to conclusions.

They both had very involved families.   Brock’s mother was very overly protective. She was definitely a character that I could not understand.  Amy’s family was also very protective but let her follow the path she was supposed to be on.

Fire on the Farm is a beautiful story of a second chance at love.  Life doesn’t always follow the road you start on but eventually people find their way back in.

Fire on the Farm

My Rating:  1/2

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Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers # 3)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Review

PIPE DREAMS is a second-chance romance between Lauren and Mike, who broke up two years before due to a personal issue Mike had to deal with.  I won’t lie, how Mike ended their relationship years ago was all kinds of wrong, but then I guess there wouldn’t be a story if he had ended things the right way.

“Who’s the only one who really harmed me?”
“I am.”
“Good guess! And two years later I’m still waiting for the only apology that ever mattered.”

Due to Lauren’s cold and unfriendly demeanor in the previous two books, I was worried I wouldn’t like her in her own story.  But after being in her head for a few pages, I wasn’t worried anymore.  We find out why she acts the way she does—and I could certainly understand it—but in this book her demeanor does a complete 180, which is normally great, but I felt it changed too quickly and easily.  I liked Mike; he’s a nice guy and a good dad, but he didn’t make me swoon.  I admired the reason behind his breakup with Lauren, but again, he could have handled it so much better.

Even two years later, one glance at him made her remember how quickly her love had been thrown away.  Like yesterday’s trash.

Just like the change in Lauren’s behaviour, I felt their relationship was rekindled too easily.  Yes, Lauren tells Mike exactly how badly he hurt her, and they don’t come together until the second half of the book (from memory), but they fall into bed and then fall back into a relationship without any real discussion, while making a huge life changing decision.

PIPE DREAMS is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  The story includes flashbacks to when they first dated, and I don’t know why but I had a hard time following the switch between the past and present.  I know it sounds like I didn’t enjoy PIPE DREAMS, but I really did.  It held my attention and Lauren and Mike are both likeable characters.  It’s just that after several days between reading it and reviewing it, these are the points that stand out the most.  We get a lovely HEA for Lauren and Mike, and it looks like we’ve seen some progress in the potential relationship between Nate and Becca.  Nate seems like such a geeky sweetheart and I know I’m not the only one who’d love to see their story.

Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers # 3)

My Rating:  

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Brooklyn Bruisers Series

Boomerangers

By Heather M. Orgeron

Synopsis

Boomerangers [boo-muh-rang-ers] noun, informal: an adult that moves back home to live with a parent after a period of independence.

Spencer

I love sex. I love the power, the intimacy, the euphoria it brings. Too bad I’m not having any . . . You’d think as New Orleans’ most renowned sex therapist that I’d be swimming in single men. In a way, I am . . . except for the fact that one is in diapers and the other two are drowning in preteen hormones. As a single mother of three, my days are devoted to my clients and my kids, and my nights are spent with Fabio, my trusty vibrator. When my world begins to unravel, I have no choice but to move back home. And when my high school sweetheart comes waltzing back into my life, comedy and chaos ensue.

What can I say? I never said I could pick ’em, but you can bet your ass I know how to fix ’em.

Cooper

As soon as the ink dried on my divorce papers, I made myself a solemn vow: I was done with relationships. Moving home to take over my father’s firm was the plan, until Spencer decided to return, along with three souvenirs from the life she’s lived without me. 

I’ve been in love with the girl next door for nearly all of my life; the rest was spent trying to forget her. I’d give almost anything for a second chance with her, but I have no time for distractions—especially the kind that involve diapers, bottles, and eighteen-year commitments. 

The problem is, she’s already got me by the balls . . . and I’m beginning to feel the noose tightening around my heart.

Review

BOOMERANGERS is the first book I’ve read from Heather M. Orgeron and I found it to be an enjoyable read.  It’s a second chance romance between Spencer and Cooper, who broke up at the end of high school.  In the fifteen years since then, they’ve both been married, divorced, and Spencer has had three children: twelve year old twins Landon and Lake; and two year old Kyle.

I liked both Spencer and Cooper and was rooting for them to get back together.  Although to be honest, I can’t figure out why Cooper broke up with Spencer in the first place.  You see his reason during a flashback scene, but it just didn’t make sense to me, especially given that he didn’t capitalise on it.  To me, the way he behaved in that flashback looked like he was being forced to break up with her when he really didn’t want to.

I liked that Cooper accepted total responsibility for their breakup all those years ago and that he regretted letting her go.  The only thing that annoyed me about him was how fixated he was on the fact that Spencer’s kids were not his.  It’s almost like he resented their existence, although that is too harsh a description.  That being said, I loved his one-on-one time with Kyle.  In one particular scene, he became Kyle’s defender and protector, and facing off against that other adult and getting into lawyer mode was just plain hot.

BOOMERANGERS is a romantic comedy, and while there were times where I laughed, I also thought some of the humour was a bit forced, and that a scene or two were random and thrown in for humour’s sake.  It is told in dual POVs and comes with a very nice HEA.  As I said above, this is the first time I’ve read Heather’s work, and I would gladly read from her again.

Boomerangers

My Rating:  

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Kiss Marry Kill (Iron-Clad Security)

By Sidney Halston

Synopsis

Five years ago they fell in love after one whirlwind summer. Now she’s an internationally famous musician and he’s officially out of the military, but when their worlds collide, can they keep things strictly professional? Sweet, thrilling, emotional, and sexy, fall in love with Megan and Jax in USA Today bestseller Sidney Halston’s Kiss Marry Kill.

He’s been chasing a memory . . .
It was just supposed to be a regular Thursday afternoon…and then he saw her. Sitting in seat L214, one seat over from his at the baseball game, right next to her douche of a soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. An impromptu kiss for the kiss cam, and Jax knew his life would never be the same. Five years and a tour in Afghanistan later, Jax is back stateside running his own private security firm, Iron-Clad, with his best friend. He isn’t the man he used to be… but Megan isn’t the sexy and sweet, though sheltered, twenty-two-year-old he left behind, either. And she’s in trouble.

…but now they’re on the run.
Megan Cruz has made something of herself. She’s turned her dreams of pop stardom into a reality. But when a deadly stalker breaks into her home claiming to be her number-one fan, the only person she can turn to is the boy who got away. But Jax isn’t the same carefree charmer who stole her heart, then broke it when he joined the military. This man is seductive, hard, guarded. And he’ll do anything to protect what’s his.

Review

Kiss Marry Kill is the story of two people who fell for each other at the wrong time in their lives. They had a chance at something special after four amazing days together but unfortunately reality stepped in and it was not meant to be.  Five years later, circumstances have given Megan and Jax another chance.

Jax is the head of a security company and Megan is a music star and the obsession of a stalker. Jax comes in and does everything in his power to make her safe.  But in the five years that they were apart they both changed.  Jax was changed by the war.  Megan was changed by Jax and learned to do what she was passionate about.

Megan has some great friends that help her on her journey.  Her friends in the band are amazing and bring a lighter feel to the story.  Her parents are also support system even if they don’t totally understand why she wants to go down this path.  Megan also has a serious problem, she has a stalker that has managed to invade her home and her sense of security.

Kiss Marry Kill is a sweet second change love story that had some thrilling parts in it.  I loved how they meet at the baseball game and spent 4 amazing days together.  I also felt that the way Jax had changed seemed appropriate for what he went through in the war.  But I did feel like the story started to loose energy about 40% of the way through and didn’t pick back up until nearly the end.  It does have a twist in it that I had guessed but it still made an interesting ending.

Kiss Marry Kill

My Rating:  

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Claiming Grace (Ace Security # 1)

By Susan Stoker

Synopsis

For Logan Anderson, moving on from a traumatic past means moving back to his hometown of Castle Rock, Colorado, to start a personal-security business with his brothers. But it’s not long before Logan runs into Grace Mason, his best friend from high school…and the woman who never answered his letters during his Army years.

Grace was pleasantly surprised to see Logan return to Castle Rock, despite their falling-out ten years ago. Everyone always assumed they would end up together, including Grace, who had eyes only for him. But as Logan eventually escaped their town, Grace got pulled further into her family’s controlling grasp—and farther away from the man she loved.

Now, united by scars both visible and not, the two must fight to free Grace from the suffocating hold of her family. But the Masons won’t let go easily—and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep the couple apart.

Review

CLAIMING GRACE is the first book in the Ace Security series and is also the first book I’ve read from Susan Stoker.  It is a second-chance romance between Logan and Grace, who had feelings for each other in high school, but never acted on them before Logan left for the Army.  Thanks to the actions of others, they both believed the other had led them on and therefore haven’t seen or spoken to each other in ten years.

Ace Security is owned and run by triplet brothers Logan, Blake and Nathan, who created the security firm after their father was killed by their abusive mother, and their primary goal is to provide help and security for abused men.  At the time of writing this review, I read this story over a week ago and I don’t remember much about Logan at all, other than I thought his idea of creating a security company for abused men was brilliant.

Grace stood out more than Logan, but in her case that’s not a good thing.  She’s a nice woman and I was rooting for her to get her HEA with Logan, but I couldn’t relate to her.  I couldn’t understand why she didn’t just tell people what had been going on and then get in her car and go far, far away from her parents.  She’s been mentally and emotionally abused her entire life and yet, at the age of thirty, is still clinging to the hope that some day soon her parents will love her and let her go to live her own life.  As much as I hate to say this, sometimes she was a little too stupid to live.  She would acknowledge that she needed to be careful around her parents, but would then meet them alone in private places.

I have to say that as much as I hated them, her parents are the most memorable characters in this story.  They are so horrible, despicable and cruel that they deserve to be skinned alive for not only how they treated Grace, but how they treated everyone in the community.

CLAIMING GRACE is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA that I will say was a little cheesy and unrealistic.  The ending also leads us into the second book which will be about Blake and Alexis.

Claiming Grace (Ace Security # 1)

My Rating:  

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Ace Security Series

Nova (The Renegades # 2)

By Rebecca Yarros

Synopsis

He’s got one shot to make it right…

He’s Landon Rhodes.
The Renegade they call Nova.
Sinfully gorgeous, broody, tatted-up, professional snowboarder.

They say a girl broke him once–
That’s why he’s so reckless, so driven, so careless with his conquests.
But I’m that girl.
They can call me his curse all they want.
He and I both know the truth–
He’s the one who destroyed me,
And I’m too smart to let that happen again

Review

NOVA is the second book in The Renegades series and is a second-chance romance between Landon (Nova) and Rachel.  Here’s what we learnt about them in the first book.  Rachel was dating Paxton (from book 1) but cheated on him with Landon.  They fell in love and made plans for their future, but Paxton (out of anger and jealousy), gave Landon an ultimatum: the Renegades or Rachel, because he couldn’t have both.  Landon chose the Renegades, breaking his heart and Rachel’s in the process.  Flash forward two and a half years later and Paxton regrets his ultimatum and hates what he turned Landon in to.  He has therefore created an opportunity for Rachel and Landon to be on the Study at Sea program together in the hopes they’ll reconnect.

So Landon is your typical manwhore who, after breaking up with the love of his life, went out and slept with every woman who made herself available.  Of course, that bites him in the arse when he tries to win Rachel back and she keeps using his reputation against him.  His reasons for leaving her were kind of stupid, but he does a really good job of proving to her that he will never choose anyone or anything over her ever again.  While you can feel that he really does love her, I was disappointed that he never made any effort to win her back until after he found out she was on board the ship.

I loved that Rachel was never afraid to tell Landon exactly how badly he broke her heart when he chose the Renegades over her.  I liked that she didn’t forgive him straight away, didn’t fall back into bed with him straight away, and that she made him work for her forgiveness.  I thought her conflicting feelings and how she processed them were realistic.

I enjoyed NOVA, although I will admit that I skimmed through it, focusing more on the conversations and skipping over the inner monologue that I sometimes found a little repetitive.  NOVA is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it could be read as a stand-alone.  There is no epilogue but there is a really sweet HFN ending for Landon and Rachel.  Penna (Rebel) will get the next book in the series, and I hope a little romance will brighten up her not-so-sunny personality she displayed in this book.

Nova (The Renegades # 2)

My Rating:  

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The Renegades Series