Tag Archives: Widow

Whispered Prayers Of A Girl

By Alex Grayson

Synopsis

A tortured soul meets a damaged family…
A lonely man, a widowed woman, a carefree boy, and a broken girl… Can the four come together and help heal each other? Or will fear of the unknown and guilt about the past keep them apart?
 
Her whispered prayers break her…
At night, as she’s drifting off to sleep, I press my ear to the door and listen to her heart-wrenching pleas. Her words are agony to my healing heart, but I cherish the sound of them, for that’s the only time I ever hear my beautiful daughter speak. Since her father died two years ago, she’s grown quiet and withdrawn. Cat’s Valley was to be our new beginning, a place where my family and I can heal, but what we find there is so much more.
 
Scars mar his body. Pain has left him in pieces…
Four years ago, I lost the two things I cherished most in the world. They were ripped from my arms in the most painful and cruel way. Since then, I’ve kept to myself, preferring to stay away from the pitying looks and murmured rumors. Everything changed when she and her children barged into my life. It was an accident, and I don’t deserve them, but now that they’re here, I’m not sure I can let them go.

Review

WHISPERED PRAYERS OF A GIRL is a beautiful and emotional read that you will definitely need tissues for.  Alex, Gwen, Kelsey and Daniel have all experienced heartbreaking loss, but after being stranded in a snowstorm together for just a few days, friendships are born that help pave the way to healing and happiness.

Alex is a town local, but he became a recluse after a tragic accident robbed him of so much.  He blames himself for the accident and therefore doesn’t think he deserves a happy life, especially one with Gwen and her kids.  Because of his guilt, he spent a lot of the story trying to decide whether he should be with her or not.

Gwen is new to town, having arrived about two years after the death of her husband that left her a single parent to their two children: Kelsey and Daniel.  Gwen is a very patient and forgiving woman, and she needed to be when it came to Alex.  I loved Daniel and his playful personality, and my heart broke for Kelsey and the blame she carries on her little shoulders over her father’s death.

There were only a few small things that bothered me.  We never heard anything about the person who caused Alex’s accident at all.  Were they punished?  Did they survive?  We don’t know, and I thought it was odd that it was never mentioned.  We also never learn what happened to the horse, Bandit, that Alex was training?  Alex and Bandit had an interesting connection, and I wish we’d seen some closure in regards to that.  Finally, I found some of their thoughts and conversations to be a little repetitive.

WHISPERED PRAYERS OF A GIRL is told in dual POVs and it ended with a lovely HEA for Alex and Gwen.  At this time it appears to be a stand-alone, and I didn’t get the feeling anyone else in this story would get their own book.  But you never know.

Whispered Prayers Of A Girl

My Rating:  

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Recluse (Spider Series # 1)

By Jaycee Ford

Synopsis

You were my brother in the line of duty.
My partner.
My best friend.
You were the man who had it all.
Your thoroughness and precision made you a great cop.
It’s what got you killed.
And now I live with the darkening shadows of your memory.
You weren’t here when I needed you to save me.
You weren’t here when I needed help solving the most gruesome murder this town had ever seen.
But most of all, you weren’t here to keep me from falling in love with your wife.

Review

RECLUSE is the first book I’ve read from Jaycee Ford, and despite what I’m about to say below, I didn’t hate it.  Honestly, I didn’t.

The first thing I need to point out is that RECLUSE ends in a cliffhanger, which was frustrating because the blurb makes no mention that it will end that way or that the murder will remain unsolved and continue on.  Without any information at this time, I can only assume that the murder mystery will continue to be the focal point throughout this series until the final book, and at this stage I have no idea how many books that will be.

I don’t have much to say about Wyatt or Grace, because the story as a whole is fairly short and only half of it focuses on them and their changing relationship, so you don’t learn a lot about them.  What you do learn is that Wyatt has spent the past several years filled with guilt lusting over his best friend’s wife, but a year on from his death, he comes to the realisation that his feelings for Grace aren’t going to go away, so he stops hiding them from her.  Grace was a little skittish, but overall, she handled moving on to a new relationship very well.

The other half of the story focuses on the murder investigation, while at the same time introducing us to all the secondary characters.  I had a lot of trouble keeping track of who everyone was, because sometimes a character would be called by their first name, but then they’d be called by their last name, which meant there were too many names to remember.  I also struggled with the love-triangle situation everyone seemed to be in.  Boy A wants Girl A, but is sleeping with Girl B, who really wants Boy B, while Boy C wants to sleep with Girl B, but really wants Girl C, and so-on and so-forth.  It was all very confusing.

RECLUSE held my attention and was a fairly quick read, told only in Wyatt’s POV.  With the exception of the prologue, the story takes place over a six day period.  Judging by the ongoing murder mystery, the books in this series will need to be read in order.  At this stage, I’m assuming each book will be about a different couple, but I’m honestly not sure given how this book ended for Wyatt and Grace.  There was no epilogue and I felt their relationship was not completely settled.  That being said, one could consider what happened between them at the end as a form of closure to their story, but I guess we’ll have to wait for the next book’s blurb to come out to know for sure.  Will I continue with this series?  I think so, but if I do, I’ll be waiting until the entire series has been released.

Recluse (Spider Series # 1)

My Rating:  

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Buns (Hudson Valley # 3)

By Alice Clayton

Synopsis

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

Review

BUNS is my first Alice Clayton book, and I’m happy to say it was one I found enjoyable.

Clara and Archie are both likeable characters, but they’re also very stubborn, which made for some fiery discussions.  I really enjoyed watching these two bicker over how to save Bryant Mountain House from going out of business.  Archie was a sweet and loyal guy, and he is devoted to keeping his family’s traditions alive.  Clara has an amazing work ethic, she’s not easily intimidated, and she is not afraid to speak her mind to get her point across.  That being said, she has serious abandonment issues; issues which are justified in my opinion.  However, her constant inner monologue about always being alone, her fear of letting someone in, and her inability to feel like part of the group, did become tiring after a while.  It also made the conflict and resolution fairly easy to predict.

BUNS is told in Clara’s POV, with the epilogue being told in Archie’s.  While it is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone, and although the couples from the previous two books appeared several times throughout this story, I never felt like I was missing something when it came to them.

Buns (Hudson Valley # 3)

My Rating:  

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Hudson Valley Series

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

Falling Hard (Colorado High Country # 3)

By Pamela Clare

Synopsis

A Gold Star wife alone…

Ellie Meeks promised her pilot husband that if he was killed in combat, she would live her life to the fullest. Three years later, she is still alone, raising the twins he never met. She has no interest in dating or meeting men—until one snowy night when a stranger helps her get her sick kids safely home. That stranger turns out to be a former Army Ranger and a member of the elite Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. He’s also tall, rugged… and irresistibly sexy. 

All it takes is one kiss…

Jesse Moretti came to Colorado to get Iraq out of his head, using the adrenaline of extreme sports and high-risk mountain rescues to keep his mind off the past. But getting involved with Ellie might be the riskiest thing he’s ever done. It’s not just their explosive chemistry. There’s something about Ellie that gets inside him, opening him to feelings he’s tried hard to ignore. 

When passion ignites…

Ellie feels alive in Jesse’s arms and happier than she ever thought she’d feel again. But their relationship comes at a price for him, and soon Ellie sees that she must help Jesse fight the demons of his past to protect the love of a lifetime—and save the heart of a hero.

Review

Ellie is a single mother to soon-to-be three-year-old twins (Daniel & Daisy) after her husband died in Iraq while she was pregnant.  She has a wonderful support system not only in her family, but in the small town where she lives.  I liked her a lot and thought her hesitations about dating again were realistic, though I did feel that her reaction to Jesse’s “secret” was a little irrational.  In fact, her reaction was the only part of the entire story that I didn’t like.

Jesse is an incredibly nice guy and I really enjoyed getting to know him.  He’s been living next door to Ellie for over two years and although they have never met, he knew about her husband and helped her out anonymously whenever he could.  He has saved many lives throughout his careers, but he focuses on the ones he couldn’t save, which affects him badly.  While he willingly jumps into frozen lakes without any hesitation, he hates the spotlight and doesn’t think of himself as a hero, which of course only makes him more likeable.

I have read all three books released in this series so far, and I have to say that this is the first time I’ve really gotten a feel for the small town.  When tragedy strikes, everyone in the community comes together to do and give whatever they can to help.  I don’t remember having that feeling in the first two books, but in this book that feeling was front and centre.

FALLING HARD is told in dual POVs, and quite often the POV would switch several times within a chapter.  While I did find that slightly annoying, I was grateful that the switch was marked by a symbol which made the change easily identifiable.  While FALLING HARD is part of a series, it can most definitely be read as a stand-alone.  The HEA is beautiful and sweet, but also achingly sad.  The final chapter took me the longest to read because I had to keep stopping to wipe my eyes.  Even re-reading it while I composed this review had me tearing up again.

FALLING HARD is the third book in the Colorado High Country series and is my favourite.  Any book that can draw out my emotions like this one did deserves the highest rating.

Falling Hard (Colorado High Country # 3)

My Rating:  

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Colorado High Country Series

Roman (Cold Fury # 7)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

In a league full of troublemakers, Cold Fury defenseman Roman Sýkora stands out—at least when it comes to negative publicity. When he’s not chilling in the penalty box, the sizzling Czech skate demon is racking up tabloid headlines for his scandalous behavior with the ladies. But now Roman’s feeling the burn from management to clean up his act, or else. Luckily he’s got an enticing distraction: a fun-loving barista who plays the ukulele and brings out a side of Roman he didn’t know he had.

Lexi Robertson came to Raleigh, North Carolina, to finally meet her father, Brian Brannon, and her half sister, Gray, both of whom work in the Cold Fury’s front office. That’s where she first meets sexy, intimidating Roman—who’s really a big softie at heart. As one relationship takes off, another begins: Brian seems to be clicking with Lexi’s boss at the coffee shop. But when the friction between Roman and her new family heats up, Lexi wonders whether she’s a pawn in their game. Feeling hurt and foolish, Lexi’s ready to quit while she’s ahead. Trouble is, Roman’s not ready to quit on her.

Review

I really liked Roman.  Yes, he has a bad reputation, but underneath his I-don’t-give-a-shit exterior is a generous man who gives more to the community than anyone realises.  He makes no apologies for who he is and he refuses to change his behaviour for anyone…until he meets Lexi.  He wants to impress her and although he’s never been in a relationship before, he knows there’s something special about her and is not afraid to see how far they could go.  I liked him from beginning to end, but I fell in love with him when he gave Lexi her birthday present, which was so thoughtful and unbelievably sweet.  I hardly ever use the word ‘swoon worthy’, but that birthday present scene was totally swoon worthy.

I really liked Lexi as well, who is down-to-earth, friendly and very open; a complete opposite to her newly-found father (Brian) and half-sister (Gray), who are a lot more reserved.  In one aspect, she was like Roman: she is who she is and you can take her or leave her.  But she has such a bright personality that people can’t help but be drawn to her.

While I really liked Roman and Lexi as a couple, their story didn’t grab me.  It took me a few days to finish, and I can honestly say that this is not normal when it comes to this series, as I usually devour them within a day.  On top of that, it pains me to say that my opinion of Gray⎯who I liked and respected in her own story⎯did a complete 180 here.  She came across as rude, spiteful and unprofessional towards Roman, and I felt that their burying of the hatchet, followed immediately by their playful sibling-like banter, was too neat and easy after having been at each other’s throats for the first 90% of the book.  Finally, I was deeply disappointed that Lexi was not included in the reading of her paternity results.  That could have been a huge and emotional family bonding experience and yet the main character was not involved.  Sometimes it’s the story that wins you over and sometimes it’s the characters.  In this case, it was definitely Roman and Lexi…and Brian and Georgia.

ROMAN is told not only in Roman and Lexi’s POV, but also in Brian’s POV.  We get to watch him fall in love with his new daughter while he also gets a special ladylove of his very own.  That’s right, in this book you get two love stories for the price of one.  It comes with two HEAs and makes way for the next book, LUCAS, which comes out in September and will feature a new-to-the-team player and Max’s brother.

Roman (Cold Fury # 7)

My Rating:  

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Cold Fury Series

More Than A Memory

By Marie James

br-more-than-a-memory

Synopsis

“You’re gorgeous. Even better looking than the day I fell in love with you.”

The words are a constant reminder of what true love is. Olivia Dawson’s alarm goes off at the same time every day and she disappears into her room to hear Duncan’s voice, see his face, miss him even more for being untouchable. Olivia loves with her entire heart, and her love for Duncan is unmatched, but there’s something about her new roommate she just can’t seem to ignore—no matter how hard she tries. 

“I miss you so much.”
“Can’t be more than I miss you.”

The words are a constant reminder of how unavailable Olivia is, and Bryson Daniels isn’t one for competition off the baseball field, but since the moment he knocked on the door to his new apartment and his roommate “Ollie” wasn’t who he expected, he can’t help but consider bending a few of his rules—even if it means heeding to Olivia’s. 

“I love you, sweet cheeks. Chat with you later?” 

Bryson hears the conversations through the paper thin walls, but there’s a pain inside Olivia he can’t seem to walk away from. He vows to be there for her when the voice on the other side of the computer inevitably breaks her heart, but will he ever be able to compete with someone who’s more than a memory?

Review

Before I get started, I think I need to point out that MORE THAN A MEMORY is set in college, with Bryson and Olivia aged twenty and nineteen respectively.  The synopsis makes no mention of the college setting, nor does the man on the cover look like he’s twenty years old.  Don’t get me wrong, he looks hot and I would totally kick him out of bed only so that I could fuck him on the floor, but he looks too old to represent a twenty year old college student who’s not legally allowed to consume alcohol.  Moving on, like I said the story is set in college and if I knew that at the time, I may not have considered reading it.  College romances can be hard for me to connect with, especially when there’s too much drama and/or too much pushing and pulling between characters.  There was a bit of that here, but thankfully not as much as I’ve read in other college romances.

I can’t say a lot about Olivia other than she’s a recluse suffering from severe depression.  She hasn’t stepped outside her apartment in months and the only physical interaction she’s had is with her mother when she comes to visit.  Normally a character like Olivia would frustrate me to tears with her huge mood swings, but not once was I frustrated with her.  I put that down to reminding myself that she had depression, but I think it’s also because Marie James did such a good job of writing her that you can’t help but feel sad for her every time she suffers a setback.

Now Bryson on the other hand did frustrate me several times.  I did like him, and I loved that he helped bring Olivia out of hiding, but sometimes he flat out treated her terribly.  He tells himself he wants to help her and that he needs to be patient with her, but when she didn’t adjust as quickly as he’d like, or when she’d have a setback, he’d get angry and mean and would pull away from her.  His night with Simone was done deliberately in front of her to humiliate and punish her, all because he wanted her but couldn’t have her.  Quite honestly, I thought his mood swings were bigger than Olivia’s, but then I did have to remind myself that he was only twenty and clearly not equiped to handle her very well.

MORE THAN A MEMORY is told in dual POVs and is currently a stand-alone.  I say currently because the story is left open for two of Bryson’s teammates to get their own story.  I did enjoy the story and it certainly brought out some strong emotions; I was crying so much at one scene that I had to stop and take a break.  It does come with a HEA, but I was left wondering one thing: Did Bryson go pro?

More Than A Memory

My Rating:  3 Hearts

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Wild Heart (Viper’s Heart # 2)

By Beth Ehemann

Promo - 0729 Wild Heart

Synopsis

For Lawrence “Viper” Finkle, hockey isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of life. Since the first time he stepped onto the ice at just eight years old, he knew what he was meant to do, and he does it well. When his career takes an unexpected hit, and his relationship is pushed to the breaking point, he’s left sidelined and wondering what his future holds. 

Just when he’s sure things can’t get any worse…they do. 

Can Viper pull himself together in time to save his career, his girl, and his sanity? Or will he be permanently benched?

Review

WILD HEART is another winner from Beth Ehemann.  If you’ve read CEMENT HEART (and the Cranberry Inn series), you know that Viper is easy going, carefree and the life of the party, but when things get real, he can’t cope and usually handles tough situations in the worst possible way, and that’s still the case here.  His future in the NHL is at stake, which sends him to a dark place, and while trying to cope with that, he gets some more news that he wasn’t expecting, which takes right him over the edge.  Instead of leaning on those that love him for support, he shuts down and shuts everyone out.  He becomes angry and who does he punish most?  Michelle, of course.  It’s been a long time since I wanted to reach into my Kindle and slap the shit out of a character, and Viper’s actions certainly brought that desire out of me.  Thankfully, after some reflection, wise words and tough love, he redeems himself and becomes the Viper we all know and love.

“No man ever lay on his death bed pissed off that he apologised too may times throughout his life, but plenty wish they’d apologised more.”

I loved Michelle, who once again went through the emotional wringer.  When Viper broke her heart, my heart broke for her.  When he came back ready to admit his mistakes, I liked that she stood up for herself and her kids, showing that she wasn’t a pushover and wouldn’t tolerate that sort of behaviour again.

“You weren’t here when I needed you most.  You rejected me⎯and my kids.  How are you gonna fix that?”

WILD HEART is told in dual POVs and is part of a duet, so it can’t be read as a stand-alone.  Well, maybe it can be, but you’ll love CEMENT HEART (book 1), so why not read them both?  This book had me feeling a whole lot of things, such as sadness, happiness, fear, frustration, anger and humour, and those are just the emotions I can think of at the top of my head.  I love it when a book grabs me, when I feel like the characters are real and I feel real emotions for them.  After being taken by surprise by the direction of Viper’s story in CEMENT HEART, I made sure to mentally prepare myself for WILD HEART before I started reading it.  As with all of Beth’s books, I couldn’t put it down and I when I got to the end, I had a smile on my face.  While I found it was nowhere near as emotional as CEMENT HEART was, there were times where tissues were a must.  I loved the characters, both primary and secondary.  I loved the story.  I loved the humour.  I loved the beautiful HEA.  In short, I loved it.  I can’t wait for Andy’s story in EVEN THE SCORE.

Wild Heart (Viper’s Heart # 2)

My Rating:  5 Hearts

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Viper’s Heart Series

Cranberry Inn Series – Connected

Andy’s Book – Connected

Searching For Harmony (Boston Love # 1)

By Kelly Elliott

BR Searching For Harmony

Synopsis

Firefighter and first responder Preston Ward thought he had grown immune to the job’s emotional burns. But when he goes out on a particularly tragic call, he realizes that some scenes are too devastating to forget. And yet, if it weren’t for that terrible night, he never would have met the woman who makes him want to risk his heart.
 
More than once, Harmony Banks has watched her perfectly ordered world torn apart by fate. Now she’s finding out that what she lost wasn’t as perfect as she thought—and it’s tearing her apart. The only thing that keeps her going is the kindness of a stranger: the firefighter who saved her life the night everything changed.
 
Preston isn’t like the men who have come before. For one thing, he’s far more genuine. And the love Harmony feels growing between them is almost too intense for her wounded soul. But if she and Preston can push past heartbreak, they’ll find that something incredible awaits in each other’s arms.

Review

So after experiencing a bit of a book funk in June, I’ve been blessed with some amazing reads in July, and SEARCHING FOR HARMONY is another book I’m adding to that list.  Make sure to have your tissues handy when you start because you will need them.  Without trying to give anything away, Harmony endures quite a lot in this book and the worst is experienced in the first few chapters.

With everything she’s suffered⎯and all before she’s twenty-one⎯you can’t help but feel awful for Harmony.  All she has left in the world is her older brother, Jake, and her new friendship with Preston, that over time turns into love.  While she has moments where she breaks down, and rightly so, I loved the moments where her strength shined through.  Preston is definitely book boyfriend material.  Firstly, he’s a firefighter.  Secondly, he’s a genuinely nice guy.  It was so easy to fall in love with him, especially after the non-date he planned for Harmony, which was thoughtful, romantic, sweet and funny.  That day was totally swoon worthy.

Opening up the passenger side door, I smiled as I pushed a piece of hair behind Harmony’s ear.  Smiling, she opened her eyes and I knew in that moment I was done for.  Yep.  I’m totally fucked.

SEARCHING FOR HARMONY is a story that will have you experiencing a wide range of emotions.  It’s sad and emotional as you see Harmony suffer, but it’s also beautiful when you see her fall in love with Preston.  I thought the story flowed really well and that the romance between Preston and Harmony moved at a realistic pace.  The only thing that bothered me was the occasional skips in time that came without notice; the characters don’t mention how much time has passed until several paragraphs into the chapter, and by then I found myself feeling confused, like I was missing something.  It’s not a major thing, but just something that niggled at me enough to make it worth mentioning.  SEARCHING FOR HARMONY is told in dual POVs, appears to be a stand-alone and comes with a beautiful HEA.

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the way her touch makes my stomach drop.  I’ve never had that happen with any girl I’ve ever dated.

Searching For Harmony (Boston Love # 1)

My Rating:  5 Hearts

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Boston Love Series

Heat It Up

By Stina Lindenblatt

BR Heat It Up

Synopsis

Some games are hotter off the ice…

Sofia Phillips feels cursed. Her father cheated on her mother, her boyfriend cheated on her—she’s done with dating. A summer work-exchange program in Finland is the perfect escape. But instead of gaining experience as an athletic trainer, she’s cleaning toilets. Awesome. The trip is a disaster, and even better, she meets Kyle Bennett. In the sauna. Naked.

Sexy hockey player Kyle was the star right wing for an NHL team. But after an accident killed his wife and left him injured, Kyle has appreciated the “therapeutic” benefits of booze and puck bunnies. Now in Finland for the summer, he’s coaching in an elite hockey-training camp for teens. When Sofia’s grandmother decides to set her up with a nice Finnish man, Sofia recruits Kyle as her make-believe boyfriend. Neither expects their first kiss to sizzle. And neither expects, while stranded on an island during a storm, to have a scorching night of passion.

But as their charade, and then their attraction, develops into something deeper, the past comes back, threatening to destroy them. They must decide if their feelings for each other are strong enough to survive—or it will be game over.

Review

Unknown to each other, Sofia and Kyle have travelled from Minneapolis to Finland to get a temporary break from their painful pasts.  When they happen upon each other at the local sports centre, the attraction is instant, but Sofia doesn’t trust men to be faithful and Kyle is too busy enjoying his current lifestyle of one-night stands to consider a relationship.  But as they spend more time together, they wonder if they’ll get more out of this trip than they were expecting.

HEAT IT UP is told in dual POVs and at this point in time, it appears to be a stand-alone.  I liked both Sofia and Kyle; I thought they made a great couple and I could feel their attraction through the pages.  However, I did feel that Sofia was a little weak with how she handled the love triangle, and it was hard to sympathise with Kyle at times when his lifestyle of booze and women was less “grieving widow” and more “making up for lost time”.  I’m not a fan of over-the-top drama and angst, so I was really happy to see that I didn’t need to be worried about that in this book, especially given the youngish ages of Sofia and Kyle.  That being said (and this is where I come across as completely hypocritical), I think this book could have used a little more angst and/or drama, as everything that happened between Kyle and Sofia was a little too easily forgiven and resolved.  Overall, I thought HEAT IT UP was a nice way to spend a few hours.

Heat It Up

My Rating:  3 Hearts

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