Friday, March 16, 2018

SUNSTROKED by Lex Valentine

Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Date published: 8/15/2017
Fantasy, Paranormal, M/M


Reviewed by Gabrielle (

Obtained via publisher

Rating: 4 Hearts

When Corey finds his mate sitting forlornly outside a wedding he grabs his chance and gives Seth a night to remember. The two quickly hit it off but Seth has his own demons to deal with and does not recognize that Corey is his mate and runs away without a backwards glance. For over a year Corey lives in pain, enough that is brings Corey to think of going back behind the Veil of the Jewel Box where his kind reside away from this world. Corey takes one last trip to get his head on straight to make the hard choice of staying or going. On that trip fate brings Seth back into Corey’s life. Can the two find their way or is it already too late to mend Corey’s broken heart?

Once again readers are treated to another glimpse into the Darkworld. I love Corey and was glad that he got his story told. Corey and Seth make a great couple and I enjoyed seeing their story play out. Their tale is full of emotions and will pull on your heartstrings at times. Corey is so different in this book. We see the pain that he endures, and it makes you wish for the old carefree Corey. Seth is so wrapped up in his own problems that he does not realize he has a mate let alone that it is the man he already loves. The two go through so much to find their happy ever after. I loved seeing Corey and Seth work through everything, in the end neither man comes out the same.  As opposite as they are the two find happiness by coming together. I enjoyed seeing Seth fight for his love and show Corey that he truly is sorry and wants a chance at love.

This story moves at a good pace and had me enthralled from beginning to end. I hope that this is not the last time that we get to visit this world.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT by Kristan Higgins

Harlequin Books
December 26th, 2017
Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Paperback ARC
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Publisher
3.5 Hearts

For Nora Stewart, leaving Scrupper Island was the best thing in her mind. Feeling like an outcast growing up, Nora tries to reinvent herself after being awarded the Tufts Scholarship and becoming a medical specialist. But being hit by a car and finding out your boyfriend hitting on another doctor while you think you are dying is one huge step back. So Nora does the sensible thing and runs back to the Maine island she hasn’t stepped foot on in over fifteen years. But things on Scrupper Island are not the same anymore and as Nora navigates small town drama and other issues stemming from her childhood, Nora reconnects with her family and tries to solve the mystery of her father leaving her and the family. As Nora navigates this new life she is making for herself, she finds the courage to make peace with her past, fall in love and put a dark event from her life to bed. But it will take is the courage to move on and forgive yourself to move on.

Author Kristan Higgins is at it again with a story about family and more within the pages of NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT. It took me awhile to get into the book as Nora just made me want o smack her the first few chapters. I swear she annoyed me to no end and I kept putting the book down repeatedly. But after the halfway point, Nora grew as a character and a person and I finally saw her redeeming qualities that you only caught glimpses of in the first half of the book. The rest of the cast of characters were quite unique and I absolutely loved Nora’s mom, niece and her new friends on the island. They were diverse and unique, quite enjoyable, especially Xiaowen, a classmate from high school who turned out to be one awesome friend to Nora as an adult. I loved how they interacted with one another and with Nora. They gave much clarity to Nora at times and other times, lots of laughs and humor. The author does a great job in capturing all these different personalities within the pages of NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT.

NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT is a nice story once you get past the first few chapters where we see how Nora got the Taft scholarship, how her family splintered, and life took them in different directions. The author does a great job in capturing those family dynamics amid the pages of NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT and this had a little bit more darkness to it in Nora’s past that caused her to act certain ways. What I did enjoy was how Nora finally -FINALLY- manned up and took charge of her own life, instead of being the perfect doctor, friend, girlfriend, etc. Perfect is so overrated as Nora finds out and learns a valuable lesson as she comes into her own on Scrupper Island. If you are looking for Ms. Higgins lighthearted story, then you will be glad to see that this has all the elements of it but the main character takes some time getting to know. If you take your time and continue to read, then you will see the real Nora stand up and take charge in the last half of the book. Even after putting it down several times, I still enjoyed NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT and look forward to seeing where the author goes in their next book.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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Monday, March 12, 2018


Butler, Vermont Series Book 3
January 23rd, 2018
Contemporary Romance, Small Town Romance
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Self-Purchase
3 Hearts

Wade Abbott knows who he wants to spend his life with and that is Mia Simpson. But fate plays a cruel joke as she isn’t free to be anything more than friends. Wade knows his feelings for her are strong but not logical since he thinks she is in an abusive marriage. All it took was one look, one touch from her and he was lost two years before, falling in love with a woman he couldn’t have.

Until she turns up half frozen on his doorstep two years later and all he can do is breathe a sigh of relief she feels as he does but Mia has secrets and those secrets can hurt Wade in many ways. Can these two make a go as a couple even as danger looms behind Mia, a sudden marriage proposal and wedding and the big question is- will Wade’s family ever accept Mia as Wade’s heartmate even with the suddenness of her arrival into their son’s life?

I normally devour this author’s books, especially this series since this is the first one I found of this author’s that had me laughing up a storm while reading and falling in love with a family that is as normal as you and me. But HERE COMES THE SUN fell flat to me and this was why. I could not at all fall in love with Mia as a main character as I did for the other women in the series. She annoyed me to no end and I just could not see how someone who was supposed to be abused act like that in any way.

What I didn’t really like was I think how Mia reacted, when she dropped into Wade’s bed even after being beaten by her ex, skittish at one point then falling all over Wade like he was going to leave her. As a person who has dealt with a physical abusive relationship, this had me not as keen as others were on Wade’s heroine, Mia. I found her to be not as authentic as I would have preferred a character would be dealing with the aftereffects of two years of abuse and more. To me, Mia was just not that enjoyable and I may get flack for saying that, but she just grated on my nerves. I love Wade Abbott and the whole Abbott family. I was eager to see where the author would go for Wade’s story and I just couldn’t get into this one as much as I did the other books in this series as well as in the Green Mountain Series. For me, Mia was fake and just going through the motions of being an abused woman and checking off boxes of what they are like. Check-bruises and emotional beatdown. Check-Fearful and self loathing. Check-Jump at every noise. It all felt off to me within the story. As much as I love the scenes with the Abbotts and all my favorite characters, I was not as enthused about this one as I normally would have been.

HERE COMES THE SUN is a nice story but I didn’t love it as much as I did in the past. Maybe it was because I am sensitive on how a good domestic abuse storyline should be used in a story or the fact I was once a statistic for being in an abusive relationship. Whatever the case, HERE COMES THE SUN is well written, great cast of familiar characters and a tease of a future books has me wondering if the twins will find their own happy ever after plus we got to see Fred, the Moose who I simply adore.

Ms. Force delivers a nice story that you may or may not enjoy depending on your trigger issues but its overall a good book, just not that great in my opinion as past works in the series have been.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

NEVER by Tara Lain

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Date published: November 3, 2017
ISBN: 9781640800502

Reviewed by Gabrielle (

Obtained via publisher
Rating: 4 Hearts


Opposites attract, and nobody proves it more than Wendell and Peter.  There are no two people who are more opposite than Peter and Wendell.  Peter is the living embodiment of the saying footloose and fancy free while Wendell is as uptight as can be. Both men have reasons for the way they are, but love does not care either way. It will blossom if given the chance, but will Peter and Wendell give it that chance?  Both men must learn to meet in the middle to get what they long for, but will their pasts ruin any chance at a future?

Even as different as they are Peter and Wendell are great together. The two make a great couple and their love shines through in all that they do. I enjoyed watching their relationship take shape. It is full of emotions and turmoil, but the two men fight hard to find their happy ever after. Each man has a past that they are running from and it takes a dire situation to make them see that they each have some growing up to do. When push comes to shove we see that both men can be counted on and that they each are ready to do what they must for love.  It was nice to see both Wendell and Peter fight their own demons and learn to let others help. Not only do Wendell and Peter have a lot to say but many of the supporting characters make themselves known as well. Once again, we get to see Mr. Pennymaker make an appearance and help love find its way.

Peter and Wendell’s story is an engaging read. You can quickly tell just where the inspiration for this story comes from. Grown up fairytales are always the best.  This is a nice addition to the Pennymaker Tales series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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