Tag Archives: Single Parent

The Manny (Dirty Truth # 1)

By Piper Rayne

Synopsis

She needed a nanny.
I needed a lead actress.
Somehow I became The Manny.

Secrets and lies are a killer way to start any partnership—especially a horizontal one.

Now, I’m a glass half full kinda of guy, so, after the ‘you’re fired’ speech was directed at me, I figure now’s the time to be the screenwriter I came to sunny California to be. Unfortunately, there are about as many people trying to sell a script in L.A. as there are vegans in the pacific northwest.

But lucky for me, a few weeks ago my agent found an investor for my script. Hooray, all my problems are solved! NOT.

Because the investor will only agree to fund my film if I use one specific actress. And that one specific actress? Well of course, it just has to be the same actress I screwed over only months before. But she doesn’t need to know about that one tiny detail, does she? All that matters is getting her to agree to do the film and I’ll do whatever it takes. We can leave the past, in the past, right?

I thought my charm would win her over. Never would I have been prepared for the terms she laid out on the table.

Review

I quite enjoyed THE MANNY, so much so that I already have the second book in the series, DOGGIE STYLE, ready to go on my Kindle.

I am in way over my head. Changing my first diaper is one thing. Changing my first diaper full of shit and dealing with a biological disaster is another entirely.

I liked Vance, who was really a good guy. Did he screw Layla out of a job because he was too busy thinking with his dick? Well, yeah, but he knows that was wrong and hates that he did it. Did Karma pay him back? Yep, and rightly so. For a man intent on staying a bachelor, he took to Layla’s kids pretty damn well. I really enjoyed the scenes where he was interacting with them, because they were all really sweet with just the right amount of humor thrown in.

“But right now I have to go check to make sure a four-year-old little boy isn’t cooking meth or something in his bedroom. It’s too quiet in there.”

Layla was a very easy character to like. She’s a single mother to two kids, and her ex-husband is more interested in sleeping around and maintaining his career than being a responsible and helpful parent. Because of all the people in her life that have let her down, placing her trust in someone is a big deal, so you really felt her devastation and anger when she found out the secret Vance was keeping from her. That anger was good for her though, because it gave her the strength to stand up to both Vance and her ex, and it was good.

“I’m at a crossroads with my career and I need people who will help me push my self-doubt to the side and who will believe in me. I thought you were one of those people, but it turns out you didn’t believe in me either.”

I only have two complaints with this story, but I consider them to be fairly minor. The conflict was predictable right from the start, and I thought the Kimmel scene was a little cheesy.

THE MANNY is told in dual POVs and is the first book in the Dirty Truth trilogy. Vance’s two best friends, Jagger and Leo, will get their own books and all three can be read as stand-alones. THE MANNY comes with a lovely HEA for Vance and Layla, and I hope we see more of them in the next two books, because I want to know if Vance’s film is a huge success.

The Manny (Dirty Truth # 1)

My Rating:  

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Dirty Truth Series

Every Dog Has His Day (Bluff Point #3)

By Jenn McKinlay

Synopsis

A stray kitten and a rambunctious poodle bring together a small-town bachelor and a single mother in the latest romance set in Bluff Point, Maine.

Bluff Point brewery owner Zachary Caine wants nothing to do with commitment. His wild bachelor lifestyle suits him perfectly—until a foster kitten named Chaos makes him a reluctant hero. Now he’s BFFs with the kitten’s two little girls and finds himself falling for their gorgeous mother, who couldn’t think less of him.

Divorced mother Jessie Connelly wants nothing to do with men like Zach. He’s sexy and charismatic and bad news, just like her ex. But her girls adore him, and he’s doing a good job filling in for their deadbeat dad. Then a snowstorm brings out the best in both neighbors, who, it turns out, have more in common than their mutual attraction…

So when Jessie’s past threatens her and her girls, Zach is determined to do whatever it takes to protect them—and live happily ever after with this family he has made his own.

Review

Loved this beautifully written and told romance story of new love for two lonely people.   This has a wonderful romantic feel but also gives you gooey and sensual moments.  The flow is perfect and I simply could not put this book down – LOVED IT!

Maddie and Gracie stole the show in this story, in my opinion, their connection with Zach and humour throughout the story was fantastic.  The way the author puts them all together in a snowstorm for two days allows you to believe the connection building at such a fast pace.  It was interesting that the author gave each daughter her own characteristics and it allowed you to love them in their own way.  The way Zach was with the girls was simply one of my favourite parts of this book.  Wait until you see the Ukelele scene at the school concert – sweet and lovely!

This is my first book in this series and it is a standalone as you meet other characters but this centers around Zach, Jessie, and her girls.  Her marriage is over and she is beaten down and has no self-belief.  It was beautiful to watch Zach break down her inhibitions and make her believe in herself.

Jessie is an amazing mother, the way she cares for her girls gave me all the great feels.  Every Dog Has His Day is a romance that is just beautiful.  We even get a suspenseful moment at the end which cements Zach into the family along with the animals.

Every Dog Has His Day

My Rating:  

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Complicated

By Kristen Ashley

Synopsis

When small town Nebraska sheriff Hixon Drake meets Greta Dare, the connection couldn’t be stronger, but the timing couldn’t be worse.
Dealing with the fallout of a divorce he never wanted and setting up a new home for his kids, Hix becomes that guy, that one he never wanted to be, and puts a stop to things before they can even start. Protecting his kids, and himself, is his only priority.
Greta, on the other hand, has found the place for her and the brother she adores that’s perfect for them—a sleepy little town in Nebraska. She’s learned from life that there are no hopes and dreams. The only thing to look forward to is peace. And that’s what she works hard to build for herself and her brother. Right up until Hix walks into her life.
Hix can’t fight the pull and stay away from Greta for long. And Greta’s finding it hard not to hope for something more with all the promise that is Hix.
But when the first murder that’s happened in over five decades rocks his small, sleepy county, Hix has got to learn to trust again, convince Greta to take a shot with him, and at the same time catch a killer.
In other words, things are definitely…Complicated.
 

Review

Complicated was definitely full of many different scenarios in life that make you ask if they are worth the risk.

Whilst not my favourite story by this author, it was still enjoyable.  My favourite parts involved Hix’s children along with Andy and Greta who was simply beautiful.

I admit I struggled to connect with Hix.  It was probably his first few interactions with Greta that shattered me.  I kept waiting for him to do it again however after Greta’s incident in her kitchen well he began to grow on me slowly.

One character Hope was simply childish and a pain in this story. She simply created so much drama it just wore me down.

Greta’s ex-husband was a character that I would have loved to have seen more of.  He would have filled in more gaps for Greta and my understanding of how she ticked.  It was not until she spoke of Andy and her life growing up that her desire for no children made sense.

My main complaint in this story is actually about Greta and her mother.  As their final moments as mother and daughter were being played out it left me unfulfilled and still upset.   Not making entire sense was the murder story. Perhaps if it was somehow linked to other characters in this story and not the way it was portrayed it would have made sense.

Finally, I was praying for a life-changing moment for Greta to happen to give her a wonderful complication but alas no.

Quote:  I’d finally found it. Something worth fighting for. And if I had to, I was going to fight for it. Because I was falling in love with complicated. 

Complicated

My Rating:  

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Close To Heaven (Colorado High Country # 5)

By Pamela Clare

Synopsis

She has nothing…

Rain Minear has fantasized about finding herself in Joe Moffat’s arms for years. It’s just her luck that the night it finally happens, he’s carrying her into the emergency room. It’s Joe who steps up to help her when a tragedy brings her life crashing down. He gives her a place to stay, helps her get back on her feet, and even tries to save her Christmas, though he’s never cared for the holiday. But he’s far too ethical to sleep with a member of his staff, holding her at arms length despite the long-simmering attraction between them.

He has everything…

Haunted by ghosts from the past, Joe Moffat moved to Scarlet Springs to repay a debt. He’s struggled for years to keep his hands off Rain. She’s the general manager of his brewpub, and he is not that kind of boss. But, oh, she turns him on. More than that, she has the biggest heart of any woman he’s ever known. He’d do anything to see her smile again, even put up a Christmas tree and listen to carols, things he normally never does.

A season that changes two lives forever…

When a Rocky Mountain blizzard leaves them snowbound and alone together for days, they can no longer ignore their feelings for one another. As their passion turns to something deeper, it becomes clear to them both that this will be the most important Christmas of their lives.

Review

Luckily, the author didn’t mention in the blurb exactly how long Joe and Rain had secretly been in love with each other, because if she had, I probably wouldn’t have read it.  Why?  Because I’d just finished reading another book where the main characters were secretly in love with each other for twenty years, and it left me very frustrated.  Thankfully, and despite that similarity, CLOSE TO HEAVEN was a nice, easy and enjoyable read.

I liked Joe, who moved to Scarlet Springs two decades ago to try and pay back the town for his great-great-grandfather’s misdeeds.  He’s a very wealthy man, but he’s down-to-earth and he doesn’t act like he’s better than everyone else just because of his money.  The only thing that bothered me was his main reason for not pursuing Rain.  There’s a big difference between using your position of power to take advantage of women in your employ, and taking what is being freely offered by a woman in her thirties.  

I liked Rain, who’s been working for Joe since she became a single mother at seventeen.  She’s been in love with him since almost the beginning, but she never made a move because she was afraid of being rejected.  What I liked most about her is that she truly did not care that Joe was rich, and that she finally got the courage to put herself out there in her attempts to gain Joe’s attention.

An interesting part of the story was the reading Silas’ journals, where we learnt how despicable Joe’s great-great-grandather truly was, as well as the history of the town and its descendants, who still live there to this day.  You’ll be surprised by how much hate you’ll feel for a man who’s been dead for a century.

CLOSE TO HOME is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  It comes with a beautiful HEA for Joe and Rain, and is a nice addition to the Colorado High Country series.

Close To Heaven (Colorado High Country # 5)

My Rating:  

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Colorado High Country Series

Breakaway Hearts (Kelly Brothers # 2)

By Crista McHugh

Synopsis

Can he melt her frozen heart?

Hockey star Ben Kelly has retreated to his mountain cabin in the ski town of Cascade, BC, to recuperate from a season-ending knee injury and contemplate his future in the NHL. He never expects to run into the one woman who got away. Nine years may have passed, but nothing has dulled the explosive chemistry between them. Now he wants more than just one night.

Hailey Eriksson had Olympic-sized dreams until an accidental pregnancy from a one-night stand halted her ambitions. Her life was shattered when her son died. Nothing will keep her from fulfilling her promise to him to make the Olympic team, especially not the charming Ben Kelly. Unfortunately, he’s out to sweep her off her feet this time, and she finds him harder and harder to resist with each passionate kiss. But when he learns about the child he never knew, will their rekindled romance be on thin ice?

Review

BREAKAWAY HEARTS was an lovely read, one that was mostly lighthearted but at times will also require you to have some tissues handy.  It’s a second-chance romance between Ben and Hailey, who had a one-night-stand nine years ago that resulted in a pregnancy.

“I don’t mind waiting for you, Hailey. You’re worth waiting for.”

I loved Ben, who is super sweet and a real romantic.  All he had of Hailey from their one night together was the note she left him with, and he kept it in his wallet since the morning after.  Not just because it was from her, but also to serve as a reminder to never let something special slip through his fingers ever again.  He even signed with his current NHL team because he met Hailey at one of their games and he had hoped he’d see her in the crowd again.  He was so easy to like and he’s the complete opposite of a jerk manwhore.

I liked Hailey too; she is a strong woman who has experienced the worse kind of loss…the loss of a child.  She is not one of those women who kept her pregnancy—and son—a secret from the father.  She tried, more than I think any woman would have, to tell Ben about their son until he passed away.  Her feelings towards Ben were realistic, ranging from anger, to lust, to confusion and doubt, and you’ll feel them all right along with her.

The conflict was predictable and I felt it was resolved too quickly when Ben came for Hailey at the end.  While Ben is an absolute sweetie, I was disappointed with how he confronted the person responsible for keeping his son’s existence and death from him.  There was no yelling, no angry outburst and no threats.  Just a few sentences and then he left.  If there’s a situation that warrants a violent explosion, that was definitely it.

BREAKAWAY HEARTS is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Ben and Hailey.  It is the second book in the Kelly Brothers series, but it can be read as a stand-alone as each book in the series is about a different Kelly brother.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series and I’m hoping we’ll see a little bit more of Ben and Hailey, because I want to see them have some more happy times.

Breakaway Hearts (Kelly Brothers # 2)

My Rating:  

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Kelly Brothers Series

Going Hard (Steele Ridge #2)

By Kelsey Browning

Synopsis

Slick sports agent Griffin Steele is living the highlife in Los Angeles, far from the shadow of the North Carolina mountains where he grew up. But when his hometown falls on hard times and needs his help, Grif reluctantly agrees to commute between coasts. He never expects the lush scenery, in the form of pretty tomboy Carlie Beth Parrish, to be such a temptation.

After an impetuous one-night stand with Grif Steele fifteen years ago, hardworking blacksmith Carlie Beth has tried to make a living and raise her daughter in the hometown she loves. Then, too-sexy-for-his-Rolex Grif blows back into town like the perfect storm, making Carlie feel less like a thirty-something mom and more like an infatuated teenager.

When a stalker targets Carlie Beth, Grif can’t help but step in to protect her. But once he discovers the fourteen-year-old secret she’s been keeping from him, will he embrace the truth or will he turn his back on Steele Ridge and Carlie Beth forever?

Review

Going Hard is Griff’s story and I loved his romantic connection with Carlie and what a secret she has for him.

My favorite moments was when everyone finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together with Carlie’s big secret.  Aubrey was a beautiful character for me and I hope she continues on in the other stories for the other brothers. I thought the emotions showed by Aubrey and Carlie were well played out by the author. Griff reaction to the secret helped me connect to him.

One brother who stood out for me was Britt as he really intrigues me, he is a very closed book.

I actually had the whole mystery component pegged down to two characters and was totally wrong!  This part of the story was interesting and helped connect the brothers back together when they went into protection mode.

This story does flow well and kept me engaged between the family reconnecting and also solving the town issues.  At times I did think there were so many characters and I was just keeping up with who was who.

Griff’s mother was simply beautiful in engaging with Aubrey and starting to build family connections.

I am already looking forward to reading the next installment, however, I have to stop myself jumping to favourite characters as all the books are available.

The author ended this story really well and I hope we get to see a wedding and more babies for these two long lost lovers.

Going Hard (Steele Ridge #2)

My Rating:  

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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:  

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True North Series

Breaching The Contract (Conflict Of Interest # 1)

By Chantal Fernando

Synopsis

Katerina Dawson knows exactly what she wants from life. And as the new associate at the top law firm in the city, she’s ready to live out her dreams of becoming a criminal lawyer. But going on coffee runs and babysitting kids during the day was definitely not what she had in mind. She knows that anyone else would kill to be in her shoes, but she has to draw the line somewhere. That’s easier said than done, though, when Kat has to confront her handsome boss…

Tristan Channing and Jaxon Bentley run a successful law firm together and the two partners couldn’t be busier right now. When Jaxon suddenly takes a leave of absence, Tristan begrudgingly assumes responsibility of the new associate, the hot new associate, who has curves for days. Needing to keep his distance from her, Tristan sends Kat on needless errands and has her doing work even an intern wouldn’t touch, like picking up his kids. But his plan backfires when he sees his children grow attached to Kat and sees her getting comfortable in his home. It triggers something deep within him, and it feels right to have her there. Will Tristan be able to keep his work and personal lives separate, or will he find that his heart holds the final verdict?

Review

BREACHING THE CONTRACT was a quick and enjoyable read, and the first book I’ve read from Chantal Fernando.  That being said, it is a novella, so it moves really fast and there isn’t much depth to the story or its characters.  The story could have benefited from being fleshed out, especially in regards to the two big reveals made towards the end.  They had the potential to really bring out your emotions, but because they were skimmed over, it was hard to feel much of anything at all.  Also, while this story revolves around two lawyers who work at the same firm, you won’t see any legal action, so if you are hoping to see some legal battles, you will be disappointed.

BREACHING THE CONTRACT is told in Kat’s POV, with the epilogue being told in Tristan’s POV, and it comes with a happy ending for Tristan and Kat.  It is the first book in a new series, but it can be read as a stand-alone as each book in the series will be about another couple.  From the looks of it, the next book will be a full-length novel and because of that, I would be interested in reading it.

Breaching The Contract (Conflict Of Interest # 1)

My Rating:  

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Conflict Of Interest Series

Melt

By Carrie Aarons

Synopsis

You scream. I scream. We all scream during … well, you get the point.

After a failed eight-year relationship and a cross-country move, the last thing I’m looking for as a single mom is a new flame. In fact, diapers, walls marked in crayon, and daycare pickup are the only things on my to-do list.

Enter Jake Brady, your friendly neighborhood food truck owner whose dimples and delicacies won’t seem to leave well enough alone. With more popularity than the president, his wine-infused sweet treats have our nation’s capital hooked. He’s spontaneous, smug and all-American gorgeous; a dangerous combination considering he has no interest in taking on the responsibilities that rule my life.

But when we can’t seem to sample enough of each other’s … desserts, things start to get complicated. Jake is biting off more than he can chew, and when I watch him with my daughter, I can’t seem to freeze my melting heart.

Maybe it’s his waffle cone. Maybe it’s his … banana split. Either way, I think I’m in trouble with a cherry on top.

Review

MELT is the first book I’ve read from Carrie Aarons, and I found it so enjoyable that I’ll be reading her again.  It was a sweet and easy read, one that kept me turning the page from beginning to end.

No one ever told me that dealing with a toddler was like deciding whether to cut the red wire or the blue wire.

I really liked Samantha and her gorgeous three-year-old daughter, Lennon.  After finally having the courage to leave her deadbeat partner and father of her child, she moved across the country to try and give herself and her daughter a better life.  She’s a hard worker, and I really felt for her when she was trying to find the perfect balance between being a single woman, a mother and a provider.

I loved Jake, who is kind, friendly and an all-around great guy.  Though how he ended up so nice is a mystery considering how absolutely awful his family is.  I liked that he finally came to terms with the fact they were never going to support him the way they should, and that the best thing for his mental health was to simply walk away.  He did run a bit hot and cold with Samantha because of Lennon, but I guess that’s understandable for a man who enjoyed being a bachelor before meeting Samantha.

While I enjoyed this story, there were a couple of things that I wish had gotten more attention.  I would have liked some closure in regards to Jake and his family.  Does he still speak to them and are they a part of his life?  I also would have loved to have seen the opening of his new store, especially since there was a lot of talk about it throughout the story.

MELT is told in dual POVs, is a stand-alone and comes with a HEA for Jake and Samantha.

Melt

My Rating:  

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Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas

By Carolyn Brown

Synopsis

A heartwarming holiday read from USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown

Nash Lamont is a man about as solitary as they come. That’s exactly why ranch life in middle-of-nowhere Happy, Texas suits him. So what the heck is he doing letting a beautiful widow and her three rambunctious children temporarily move in? Before he knows it, they’re stringing Christmas lights and decorating the tree… and he’s having the time of his life. But after everything he’s been through, Nash knows this kind of happiness doesn’t last.
Kasey Dawson thought she’d never get over the death of her husband. Nash, with his strong hands and infinite patience, is stirring something she hasn’t felt in a long time. Kasey knows the sexy cowboy isn’t telling her everything about this past, though. And she refuses to risk heartbreak all over again. But her kids have a plan of their own: Nothing will keep them from having a real family again-even if it takes a little help from Santa himself.

The Happy, Texas series: Toughest Cowboy in TexasLong, Tall Cowboy ChristmasThe Luckiest Cowboy of AlL

Review

Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas is a sweet romance however for me was really slow at the beginning.  I probably enjoyed the last 30% of the book more and at times found myself pushing through the filler stories in the middle.

Kasey was a great mother character and her interactions with her children helped develop the story.   I do admit I found it hard to connect Nash and her romantically as he was so closed off.  As their relationship was progressing both emotionally and physically the story would all of a sudden stop and turn elsewhere.  I did become frustrated at times with their about-face with each other and it wore me down in the end.

Nash was wonderful and nurturing with Kasey’s children and I suppose I needed him to be that for her.  The children were my favourite part of this whole story and kept me reading till the end.

Onto the other family, I am sorry but some of them just rubbed me the wrong way with their small town gossip and judgment.  There are a number of religious references in this story so if that is not your thing you probably will not enjoy this.

I had not read book 1 of this series and could easily follow the characters referencing past memories and moments that happened in the first book.

Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas

My Rating:  

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