Rachel's books

I'm a registered nurse.  Reading gives me that escape I need.  I read primarily romance in all genres.

 

 

Snowflakes, Exes, and Ohs

Snowflakes, Exes and Ohs - Melanie James

At 18, Dylan left his small town for the navy. The problem? He did so without telling his family and girlfriend Abbie. He waited until the last minute and then sprang it on them. Then, while he occasionally speaks to his mom, he has zero communication with Abbie. He also didn't want commitment and ran from relationships for the next 6 years.
Meanwhile, Abbie has something to tell Dylan, but didn't say anything when he choose to leave. She also continued to withhold the secret because of his lack of communication. His family also withheld the information from him. 
Fast forward 6 years. He is back in town for his dad's funeral. He also feels guilt for not being there for his parents and the why he handled his enlistment.
I didn't like how Abbie didn't share her news, but understood why. You want someone to be with you because they want to be, not because they think they have to or because it's expected. That being said, Emmie knew about Dylan. 
This wasn't bad, but I think if this would have been better if longer I would have liked it more. There is quick forgiveness. No groveling (IMO). Dylan very quickly got over his commitment issues. I didn't really believe it.
One last thing, the synopsis hints at a love triangle. There isn't one (thankfully). In fact, Jason is so fucking awesome, where is his story?
This wasn't a 2* read, but not really a 3* read for me. 2.5* (rounded up)

Collide & Burn

Collide & Burn - Claudy Conn

Wade is a very rich businessman who does what he wants, gets what he wants, etc. He decides he wants to buy a get away from the city. While meeting with his realtor, he hears a laugh and is entranced. He noticed the signage on the vehicle and lo-and-behold! It's on the list of properties for sale. So, he buys a horse farm.
Charlie's parents have worked 24/7 on their horse farm. They are selling in and retiring to Florida. As part of the bargain, Charlie gets to stay in an apt above the barn and, in return, help out around the farm. 
So, of course, Wade is very sexually experienced with a list of partners more than a mile long. Charlie, of course, has had 1 (I should thank my lucky stars she wasn't a virgin) and has never had good sex. You see where this is going? Yep. The sex is the bestest ever between them (of course it would be).
Wade is the typical Alpha-hole. Charlie does call him on it. I didn't like all the "baby" this and "baby" that. 
Unexpected attempted arsenic poisoning, jealous ex (being generous with the "ex" part, since Wade "doesn't do relationships").

I. Just. Had. To. Share. This!

A Superhero-Inspired Workout

This made my evening, still laughing!!

Christmas With the Billionaire Rancher

Christmas With the Billionaire Rancher - Mandy Baxter

Nate's father was a rich, nasty bastard. He treated Nate horribly. Nate ended up enlisting in the military to get away from him. This story opens up at Nate's father memorial service. It turns out each of the Bastard's 4 sons inherits his money. Nate's decided he doesn't want it and plans to give it away.
Chloe founded a charity that supports at-risk youth. She is in need of funds to keep the doors open. She crashes the memorial service in hopes of getting at least some of that money Nate is so eager to give away. 
Even though Christmas is mentioned in the title, the holiday doesn't factor into the story in any way. Nate and Chloe fall hard into love lust. What follows has a beginning, middle, and an end. I enjoyed this one!

Christmas at Seashell Cottage

Christmas at Seashell Cottage - Donna Alward

Charlie is fairly new to Jewell Cove, a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business. She's been trying to fit in and volunteers to help with holiday decorations. Charlie has noticed Dave before (she watches him work while on her lunch break). Dave is also new to the town. They get introduced. Their night is interrupted when they find an abandoned baby in the nativity scene. 
What followed was a nice, sweet holiday romance. I liked both characters. I did get to know Charlie, but Dave not-so-much. I would have liked to have learned more about him. Well paced, story worked well with the length. (If this had been a full length novel, I would have gotten annoyed- probably- with the "I liked you, but..." issues).

Hot Toy

Hot Toy - Jennifer Crusie

It's that time of year and I want to read some (hopefully) good holiday romances!! 
Trudy is a university librarian. She gets asked out by (who she thought was) one of the university professors. They go on some dates and she thinks it was going well. Until he doesn't call. 
Fast forward a few months. Trudy is at a toy store looking for the year's hottest toy for her nephew. Who else does she run into but THAT guy. Nolan. Who happens to be working undercover. 
What happened next was a matter of national security (really). This *could* have been fun. While it was different, fun it wasn't. 
Trudy, Nolan, and the secondary characters were annoying and stupid. Nolan never did gave Trudy and adequate (IMO) explanation for his silence. Trudy was all forgiving and shit. Yeah, no.

A Perilous Passion

A Perilous Passion - Elizabeth Keysian

Charlotte lives with her mother and aunt in a somewhat remote part of England. Charlotte's dad was a smuggler and was going to confess and receive a pardon. He was murdered before he could receive the pardon. Rafe, the Earl of Beckport, had an Incident happen while in the military on an important mission. Now, he is undercover with the goal of capturing an English traitor (and some smugglers too).
I did enjoy this book. But. There was a lot going on and it was a bit slow in spots. I thought the traitor was revealed early (and it was early enough, I was waiting for a twist. But nope, all signs pointed to him and it was). I liked the spy aspect, but thought it dragged in spots. I liked Flora's doctor, but didn't like how he was dismissed (when his brews showed that they were effective). (Don't get the meet the doctor, but he is talked about. Plenty.).
I did like how Charlotte came to the rescue not once, but twice, (and could argue a 3rd time). However, that got overshadowed when she got kidnapped and had to be rescued (of course, this over-used trope is used). Overall, I did enjoy this one. 
I would recommend this for those who enjoy historical romance, but like something a tad different.

eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing and NetGalley.
Publishes on Dec 11th

eARC: Chaos & Control

Chaos and Control - Season Vining

At 18, Wren left her small town behind in her search for adventure and to see this world. She opts to come back 3 years later after getting involved with the wrong guy. Preston works works at her sister's music store. He happens to grab her attention. 
I really liked Preston and I thought he was portrayed very well (from his mannerisms to how he get through each day). Preston has OCD. What kept me reading was Preston. I liked his poetry at the end of each chapter (I think there was 1 that didn't have any). 
Wren, on the other hand, was immature. Yes, I did like her by the end of the book, but it took me the whole book to get there. I didn't like how she treated her sister Bennie. She's gone for 3 years, arrives (not having told Bennie) and acted surprised when she didn't have her job/apartment any more. While she on "on the road," her sister had no way to contact her. Wren shrugs it off because she sent post cards! Well, that's just ducky! Wren's expectation of honestly was also annoying because she wasn't honest either. Pot. Calling. Kettle. Black.
Wren *did* get better as the book went on and I did like how she would try to protect Bennie from their toxic parents. 

eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing and NetGalley.
Publishes on Dec 11th

Hollywood Dirt

Hollywood Dirt: Movie Edition - Alessandra Torre

Pleasantly surprised.

Cole is a Hollywood hunk who was cheated on by his wife.  While going through a divorce, he starts to work on a movie in a small town.  It is there he meets Summer.  Summer, an outcast in her small town, is looking at getting out of said town.

I liked how Summer didn't treat Cole differently due to his fame.  She calls him out, and I liked that.  While I liked the slow burn romance- enemies to lovers- it was slow at times.  But, this fit the mood I was in.  This was a light, fun read.  

The rooster, Cocky, was an awesome addition.  

Her Halloween Treat

Her Halloween Treat - Tiffany Reisz

Joey just found out that her boyfriend of 2 years is a lying, cheating, asshole. (He's married. And she didn't know. Had no clue, none). Her best friend's advice is to get laid and get laid now. Joey heads home a little early and runs into one of her best friends from high school, Chris. Chris (yes, you guessed it!) has been in love with Joey since high school. 
I liked that the first to fall was Chris. The banter between the two of them was fun. The secondary characters: Kira, Dillon, Oscar were all likable and added to the story. I really liked this, not sure why this took so long for me to finish it. (2 days for just over 200 pages).

Siren's Call

Siren's Call - Debbie Herbert

This was Lily's story. She has an enchanting voice and is beautiful. Therefore, all women in town hate her. All of the men want her. (Oh please). In the previous couple of books, I felt she came across as cold and a little bit shallow. I wasn't looking forward to her story, but wanted to finish the trilogy.
I had a hard time getting into this one. Disappointing considering I liked 1 and 2. Learn early on who is targeting Lily. That was another disappointment. Really?! Nash was interesting and his ability. More background on mermaid mythology would have been nice, because what was there was unique/different.

The Virtues of Christmas

The Virtues of Christmas - Grace Burrowes

Nice group of holiday novellas. Both were nice, sweet stories with unconventional heroines. 
Respect for Christmas:
I liked that the heroine was a courtesan. I liked the interaction between Michael and Henrietta.

Patience for Christmas
Patience is an advice columnist(!). I enjoyed the banter between Dougal and Patience. Also introduces the Windham sisters (the Windham Bride series).

The Snowflake Inn

The Snowflake Inn - Samantha Chase
Riley was discharged from the military and comes home to try and get his mother to sell her inn. Grace is living and working at the inn. Having met each other in rehab, Grace and Corrine became friends. (Not that rehab, both were getting PT- Grace for a broken leg, Corrine for a hip replacement). 
I would have liked this better if I had liked Riley more. He annoyed me. What kind of person gets injured and doesn't tell their family? (So not to worry her). Then, because of the injury, gets discharged from the military. Doesn't share/say anything. Just shows up. After spending a few days in town first. That just annoyed me.
 
 

 

Mistletoe Between Friends

Mistletoe Between Friends - Samantha Chase
Lily and Cameron have known each other since childhood and were always best friends. Each also secretly crushed on the other too, but never wanted to confess it for fear of ruining their friendship. (Yeah, didn't see that coming, right?). Both, under pressure from their parental units, decide to fake date each other. With the holidays coming up, neither want to be setup and just want to be left alone. 
Predictable, but sweet. The story worked well for the length. In fact, if this were longer, I would have been ready to slap and yell at both Cameron and Lily. It was amazing at how well they knew each other, but at the same time, didn't.
 
 

 

Dual post: Witch Is When Life Got Complicated and The Chase

The Chase (Brides of Beadwell) - Sara Portman Witch Is When Life Got Complicated (A Witch P.I. Mystery Book 2) - Adele Abbott

For some reason BL wants to post the review for The Chase under Witch is When (WIWLGC).  When I change it, the WIWLGC review appears under The Chase....and on and on.  I tried to do a completely separate post, but it still did it.  So, dual post it is.  I'm going to outside and scream now.  Star review is for The Chase.

 

WIWLGC:  2 stars

Jill Gooder (yes, that's her last name) is a PI and a witch. She's new at the witch thing. I liked the first book. But what I like about the first (quirky, fun) was overshadowed by the other issues I had. This, like the first, was very light on the mystery. Jill is a decent main character. What annoyed me, is I wish she would stand up for herself more and be less of a doormat. Just. Say. No. I didn't like the secondary characters as much. I thought they (mainly Jill's sister and cousins) were rude, immature, and just plain annoying. It sucks that a book with so many (human) characters, the one I liked the best was Winky, a cat.

 

 

The Chase:  3.5 stars

Juliana is on the run from her abusive father. She possesses a photographic memory. She found a letter when she was around 12 that mentioned an inheritance when she reached her majority (25). This is the main reason she runs when she does. She sees Michael and asks him (mainly because of her cane and limp) for help in getting to London. 
Michael is on his way to London to answer his father's summons. His father has decided it is time for Michael to get married. His bride has been picked out.
I did like both Michael and Juliana. Michael comes across as a good person already; mainly because of the way he treats Gelert (his dog). Juliana is a little harder to like at first. I believe it's because of her background. She doesn't trust that once Michael finds out he won't return her to her father. (The whole property thing, what good girl leaves her father's protection- on purpose?)
I both liked and didn't like the resolution with Juliana's father. Yes, he got what he deserved, but it was too quick and the whole issue with Juliana's mother could have been more. Michael was pleasantly surprised with how his family viewed him (that was nice). I also liked that Juliana's inheritance seemed to be hers to do what she wanted with it (at least with how I interpreted the epilogue). 
3.5* rounded up for GR since GR doesn't "do" 1/2 stars.

eARC courtesy or Kensington Books/Lyrical Press and NetGalley.
Publication date: Nov 21st

 

 

 

 

 

Guardian Ranger

Guardian Ranger  - Cynthia Eden

Veronica's brother, Cale, is missing. She turns to Jasper, an ex-military friend of Cale's. Unbeknownst to her, Jasper is also looking for Cale. It appears that Cale is guilty of murder. Jasper works for an elite, off the books type, government agency. 
Veronica was nice, although very sheltered. She grew on me as the book progressed and I liked how she came out of her shell. Yes, this contemporary romantic suspense still hit a pet peeve of mine (the heroine is a virgin- at 28).
I realize there were some things that Jasper couldn't share. My issue is he had moments where he lied and I didn't think he had to. He could have been more honest (to a point). Veronica forgave Jasper too quickly. Overall, this was satisfying. 
I do know who the next couple is (Sydney and Gunner), with Cale's coming in book 4. I'm assuming the underlying storyline (who was the one paying for the hits) will continue on the next book.

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Professional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published 80%