Tuesday, January 28, 2020

5 big stars for Heartland (True North #7) by Sarina Bowen


An emotional friends to lovers romance full of risky secrets and late-night lessons in seduction.

Dylan is my best friend, and the only person in my life who understands me. He doesn’t mind my social awkwardness or my weird history. The only glitch? He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard.

But I know better than to confess.

Now that we’re both in college together, I’m seeing a new side of him. College Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me.

Until the night I foolishly ask him to tutor me in more than algebra…and he actually says yes.

But the cool morning light shows me how badly I’ve endangered our friendship. And I don’t know if anything will be the same again.

What I thought about Heartland

In this friends to lovers tale of first love, Dylan Shipley's helping Chastity, a runaway from Paradise Ranch with her algebra. They are both attending Moo U and working at home on the weekends. Chastity has it bad for Dylan which just about everyone can see, except for Dylan, but maybe that's because he has other things on his mind -- like whether he's going to help Griff with the family farm or do something else. He's getting pressured about what he's doing with his life.

I thought this book really did a wonderful job of showing young, first love. Dylan is so very careful with how it treats Chastity since he knows a lot about her past, but when they finally kiss, all they both want is more. Dylan does spend a lot of his time avoiding his own feelings, and everything comes to a very dramatic climax. And Chastity was just amazing in so many ways, especially how she loves Dylan.

The Shipley family is the cornerstone of this series and Heartland does an amazing job of bringing them into Dylan's story. The tension between Griff and Dylan is played out so well with the Christmas holiday bringing the situation to a head in a very emotional scene.

There were some things in Heartland that came as a surprise too, and I liked that about it. Dare I hope for Daphne's story now? And that's the magic of this series. I was left feeling both satisfied and wanting more!

I adored Dylan and Chastity's story. It made me remember that "first love" feeling. It's another great addition to this True North series from Sarina Bowen. Definitely recommended.

A complimentary copy was provided for review.

About Sarina
Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont's Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

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Release Day Review: Firecracker by Kelly Jamieson

Will you give in to the spark? |
Firecracker by Kelly Jamieson is now available!

Arden Lennox’s charmed life may be in pieces, but she’d sooner get her hoohaw bleached than move back in with her parents. She’s no longer the prom-queen princess married to the football star. She’s a broke, penniless widow, and it’s time she stood on her own two feet.An under-construction unit in a quaint Chicago brownstone is cheap (free), but it comes with an unexpected surprise. Tyler Ramirez, her brother’s gawky high school best friend, is now a smoking hot firefighter who spends most of his spare time in her unit hammering, drilling, and screwing. Usually with his shirt off—a temptation she has no intention of indulging.

Tyler can’t believe his high school crush is living right across the hall, or how fast his fierce lust for her comes blazing back. She’s still gorgeous—a little sadder, a little quieter, but still with the amazing smile and sweet body that fueled his awkward teenage fantasies.

Despite her best intentions, Arden can’t resist grown up Tyler but the sparks between them send her into full retreat. And by the time she realizes the heat between them could last a lifetime, it could be too late to tell him…
What I thought about Firecracker

In this second-chance story, Arden Lennox returns home to Chicago after what she thought was a perfect life basically implodes, leaving her with a lot of pain and some guilt.  Being a widow at a young age can do that to you.  

Her living choices are limited due to her financial situation, so moving into a under-renovation building is her best option.  What she finds out is that one of her former classmates (and her brother's best friend) is working on those renovations, and he isn't quite the same guy he was during those high school days.  He's a hottie and that isn't just because he likes showing off his physique while he's renovating -- he's also a firefighter! 

Things are plenty hot and steamy once they get past their hesitations -- after all, Arden does have quite a few adjustments in her life.  But there's also growth for Arden and their budding romance, as long as she can move past some of the lingering emotions.  

I really did like this standalone.  It was a quick and easy read.  The supporting characters contribute to the story and it's just an all around feel good read.

A complimentary copy was provided for review. 

About Kelly Jamieson

Kelly Jamieson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 40 romance novels and novellas.

Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. She likes black coffee, white wine and high heels…and of course cheering on her Winnipeg Jets during hockey season!

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

5 stars for So Close (Tierney Bay #1) by Serena Bell

The inn is her life. He needs to tear it down.

Auburn Campbell loves Beachcrest Inn. Working there saved her sanity as a teenager and got her back on her feet after a controlling relationship. So when Trey Xavier shows up, threatening to demolish Beachcrest, she’s ready to fight. Nothing riles her up like a hot guy in an expensive suit on a power trip—in the worst and best ways.

Trey screwed up. And now he needs this land deal or he’ll lose his business. He built his company from scratch so he could take care of his family the way his dad never did. But it would be a lot easier for Trey to stand his ground if Auburn didn’t tempt him so badly. He hasn’t wanted anyone like this in a long time. Maybe ever.

After a few days of summer sun, Auburn and Trey are both losing their heads—and maybe their hearts, too. Except they’re both out of practice at losing.

Only one thing’s certain: The Fourth of July in Tierney Bay will have plenty of fireworks this year.

SO CLOSE is 40% off from now until January 31st
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What I thought about So Close

In this new Tierney Bay series from Serena Bell, Auburn Campbell wants to save the Beachcrest Inn, a place that means a whole lot to her.  Standing in her way is Trey Xavier, a guy from the city who is threatening to take down the Inn for a major land development deal.  But Auburn needs to convince Trey that tearing down the Beachcrest Inn isn't the way to go. 

Both characters have some past histories that color their world and they'll need to get through those feelings.  It's a frenemies to lovers story that brings a whole lot of emotion to the table.  Trey has a lot of layers and Auburn is going to have to get through them if she wants to save the Inn and potentially have a relationship with Trey. First she has to convince him that the Beachcrest Inn in the magical Tierney Bay is worth much more than just money.

There's a hot spark between these two characters that helps bring Auburn and Trey together, and things do move fast between them -- a first kiss changes everything. There's a lot of steam along with hurdles for them to jump if they are to be together.  It's a great start to the Tierney Bay series. Looking forward to more!

A complimentary copy was provided for review.

About the Author

Photo credit Susan Young

USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes contemporary romance with heat, heart, and humor. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.

Serena’s books have earned many honors, including an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance. 

When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends. 

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