Saturday, February 25, 2017

I Would Recommend Maybe


Last updated on 25 Feb 2017

Bear Naked by Katie Kenyhercz - A novella in the Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology

First Nations defenceman Bear Thompson wants to spend his day with the Cup back home on the reserve, but first he has to convince his childhood sweetheart and current band chief Aria Paul to give him another chance and that letting the media in won't be the end of the world. The last thing Aria wants to do is fall back in love with the man who broke her heart and left her in the dust, but old feelings spark new ones, and when Bear sets his sights on a goal, it's only a matter of time.

Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology

The New Orleans Cajun Rage professional hockey team just won the Cup. No one thought they'd do it: they were a team of shoulda beens, never coulda beens and a star or two. They'd only been in the Crescent City for three years before this year's Cinderella run that had them skating off the ice with the championship. Over the following summer, each player gets to keep the Cup for a day. Nobody knows why, but whoever has the Cup falls in love.

USA Today Bestsellers Robin Covington, Kimberly Kincaid, Nana Malone and Virginia Nelson, Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Angi Morgan, along with Xio Axelrod, Christi Barth, Andie J. Christopher, Avery Flynn, Kim Golden, Lena Hart, Desiree Holt, Robin Kaye, Katie Kenyhercz, Heather Long, Kate Meader, Susan Scott Shelley, and Misty D. Waters bring you 18 romances with smoking hot heroes--both on and off the ice.


So I know this is a compilation book but I need to find out if any of these authors know about hockey? Call me a prude but I'm from North Carolina where the Hurricanes are and I'm a die-hard hockey fan and I'd like to say an aficionado. While I've been reading several of these, they've made me pause and go WTF? I mean, seriously...have you been to a hockey game? I know it's a novella and there's not a lot you can write in that short amount of space but then just call it something else....Like guys who whine too much. I know...harsh, I just can't get it in my head space to be accepting if you aren't going to do your homework.

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bullies, Love and Waiting

Wait, Wait Wait...On Me Says the Lord

I didn't date growing up and before you think it was some rule that I was subjected to, it wasn't. My parents would have thrown me out the door at the first good-looking guy that didn't resemble a "serial killer" as my mother now refers to everyone.  She really thinks that every guy wants to wear me as a skin suit - because really my skin is all that great? It's not like I moisturize daily or even every other day!  It's not like the "put the lotion in the basket" great!! Don't get me started on Internet dating where ALL the freaks hang out who really might make a skin suit out of me. My mother just thinks that every man is literally a serial killer and it doesn't even matter if it's our're a potential! She might not even meet you and all you'll really get is a roll of her eyes and a sign of SK for serial killer LOL.

There was a guy I grew up with and we were considered friends (Mom surprisingly didn't consider him a SK.)  I wasn't popular, I didn't hang with the "in crowd" and this guy only liked me when we weren't around others.  He'd come to the house and hang out or he'd like to hit on my 2 friends who were girls, trying to get with them.  It's almost like he was afraid that the dork might rub off on him...I think to this day it's still that way.  Which is fine with me because you find out who your real friends are and who aren't.  It's sad that some people will always have what I call "High School Mentality."  That's where your mentality is still having to keep up with everything you were in high school.  You still talk about things you did in high school or what you accomplished.  You want to know a really big secret?  I don't remember anything from back then because it didn't matter to me.  I didn't come into myself until I hit my 30's and I have a feeling my 40's are going to be spectacular.  I've kept in touch with 3 people in 20 years and can count on one hand who I'd really care to go to dinner with.  The rest I catch up on Facebook with. We all change in 20+ years.  I know I have, so I hope that others have as well.  

The guy I was friends with used to pick on me relentlessly and part of me is glad he did it...I know you're sitting there thinking "Huh?" He taught me to have a thick skin and to ignore all the other kids in my class who did it.  I could resent them or have little voodoo dolls made of them and poke them occasionally but that's a waste of my time.  Before you laugh - I'm in mental health and it's been done before by a patient so some people don't get over hurtful words or the past.  I also learned to watch what I say to people when it comes to hurting their feelings because what comes out the mouth can never be taken back.  I'm sorry is just a platitude that people use after they hurt someone and it doesn't help once something's been done.  They didn't have this anti-bullying crap when I was in school because if they did....Jesus knows I'd have been in the principal's office every day because someone was bullying me.  Like the time Jeff and Lee (last names have been withheld to protect the innocent) decided to throw around my bug purse because they thought it would be funny in the 4th grade.  FYI wasn't funny.  Nowadays it would be called bullying - go figure!  

The thing about being made fun of by people you trust and even people you don't trust, it sets you up for every relationship you'll have in the future.  People say that it's not that big of a deal and that it's just kids being kids, but it's not.  It's taken me all these years to figure out that there isn't anything wrong with me other than I don't let anyone form an attachment to me.  Therapists have a field day with me and I've worked in the Mental Health and Medical field for 20 years.  I find it very hard to trust people because I think they're going to hurt me.  I'd rather stay single and be alone than have someone who I thought was the love of my life hurt me.  Everyone is probably thinking that that's what opening yourself up to love and trust is all about but I can't really keep taking potshots to the heart without it taking it's toll.  The funny thing is that the same guy I once loved in my youth who made fun of me...kind of married a heavyset woman!!  Oh the irony of life! I guess God knew then that I wouldn't be happy if I settled for less than the best of what he had for me...So girls, women, men...Wait, wait and wait some more but do it with a trusting heart that's open to love.

If you or someone you love is being bullied, there is help out there.  Please contact Stop Bullying and help someone else find a way out.  Thank you!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: Her Secret Ranger

Her Secret Ranger Her Secret Ranger by Donna Michaels
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

By-the-book event planner Beth Brannigan’s best friend dared her to kiss a cowboy. She should have said no. Instead, she said please…again and again. If her brother finds out she’s dating—okay, kissing—okay, sleeping with—one of his military buddies, he’ll kill her. Assuming he doesn’t kill his friend first.

Former Army Ranger Brick Mitchum isn’t a relationship kind of guy. But then he meets Beth and starts to wonder if maybe it’s time he settled down. She’s mysterious. Unpredictable. Curvy in every way he needs… And hiding something. He’s just got to figure out what.

Brick is one of those guys that keeps everything close and that includes friends and family. Beth loves her brother, who also happens to be Brick's best friend and one of his Ranger buddies. A good part of this book is spent on some lovin' and I'm the type of person who likes some plot to my book, so this was an okay read for me. I must be in a book slump because lately all I'm reading is books that have nothing but sex and no plot. I want a good book with a plot. Throw in some sex and I'm good but if every other page is nothing but sex then I am like an ADHD kid hopped up without their meds...I'm skipping pages and jumping books back and forth. So why the 4 stars? I liked the writing overall and I can overlook the fact that it was overrun with sexual content. What I couldn't overlook was all the pouting Brick did because he couldn't date/sleep with his best friends sister when he thought she wronged him by keeping it a secret that she was "the secret sister." OH MY GOD MAN!!! Grow some man balls and grow up!! It's not the end of the everloving world or maybe it is because you're not getting your 20 times a day sex! LOL. All-in-all, if you want military turned cowboys in a sex-romp - this is the book for you.

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

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Review: Take Me Harder

Take Me Harder Take Me Harder by Jackie Ashenden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rush Redmond never expected freedom to taste so bittersweet. He spent eight years in jail doing someone else’s time, and for what? As an ex-con, Rush can’t work as a bounty hunter like his brothers—not in Texas. Better to drown his sorrows with a stiff drink and soft curves. Too bad the temptation he craves is a redhead with a badge: Ava St. George. Once upon a time, Rush would’ve done anything for the sheriff’s innocent daughter. Now he’s fighting the urge to let her sweet-talk him into some trouble he can’t afford.

Even though she’s a cop, Ava knows that sometimes justice means pushing the boundaries of the law. To track down her mother’s killer, she turns to the man with the county’s criminal underworld in his little black book. The boy she knew is still drop-dead gorgeous, with panty-dropping charm as smooth as his smile. But his sculpted arms and the menacing gleam in his eyes scream “Don’t mess with me.” Yet Ava needs Rush more than ever—in more ways than one.

So this was a hard book to rate for me. Usually I like Jackie's books but this one was kind of hard for me. I didn't like the all. I felt like he was kind of a tool. He could have been nicer to the heroine. Ava had treated Rush as her idol since she was a kid and he treated her now like a male chauvinist. I just didn't feel like they clicked. As a matter of fact I almost didn't finish it when he went to the strip joint and then threw in her face after he slept with her that she wasn't all that. That's a real DNF for me - when a hero treats a heroine like she's a whore and she's not...she just made a bad choice by picking him! It's not a romance, it's not angst because he's tortured - it just makes him a horrible character.

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

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Review: Coming Home

Coming Home Coming Home by N.J. Walters
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Kansas Fielding and Tobias Slater had always been friends, so when the two indulged in a kiss out of simple curiosity, the depth of the passion they ignited caught them both by surprise, and left them with an insatiable hunger for more. But the next day Tobias was gone, disappearing into a secret life Kansas knew nothing about. Now, two years later—years Kansas has spent building a life and forgetting Tobias—he’s returned, disillusioned and uncertain of his future.

Despite the unanswered questions hanging between them, neither can ignore the deep longing stirred up by that one long-ago kiss, and they recklessly surrender to the intensely erotic feelings. And while Kansas knows she’ll do whatever it takes to make Tobias admit his true feelings for her, it’s Tobias who will have to trust in himself to know he’s come home for good.

This is a revised edition of a novella that originally appeared in the Taming the Alpha boxed set.

I don't usually expect a lot from Novella's because they're short and I know that authors are usually trying to fit a lot into a short format but this book started with sex at probably 8 percent and that's all it was. I gave it 2 stars because it had a plot albeit a plot that was had one. I also gave it 2 stars because it was labeled correctly at being was definitely that! The sex scenes that I didn't skip over were well-written but excessive and I wouldn't let my 18 year-old cousin read them. If you like wham, bam, thank you ma'am then this is your book!!

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

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Review: Cheater

Cheater Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lucas Thorn wasn’t born a cheater. All it took was a single moment—say, a certain disastrous incident on the night before his wedding—and boom. Reputation destroyed forever and always. So now he owns it. He has a lady friend for every night of the week (except Sundays—God’s day and all), and his rules are simple: No commitments. No exceptions.

But a certain smart-mouthed, strawberry blonde vixen is about to blow that all to hell.

Avery Black has never forgiven Lucas for cheating on her sister. And suddenly being forced to work with him is pretty much a nightmare on steroids. Of course, it does afford her the opportunity to make his life as difficult as possible. But no good revenge scheme comes without payback. Because he didn’t become the Lucas Thorn without learning a few things about women.

Now Avery’s lust for vengeance has turned into, well, lust. And if Lucas stops cheating, it’s definitely not because he’s falling in love…

This book got me out of my book slump...I loved this!!! Avery and Lucas were great together. At first, after the Prologue Lucas was a pig...he had a woman for every day of the week except Sunday. Sunday was his sisters day lol. When he screwed around with a woman in his office in front of Avery, it made me want to reach through the kindle and beat him to death. There were times when you just wanted to shake him...with a hot iron - upside the head :)

Avery was one of those characters that's just snarky...she has a sarcastic remark for everything Lucas says. I love that she doesn't take any junk from him. It comes out that he liked her from the beginning and that she's the reason that he didn't marry her sister. He doesn't believe in monogamy and staying with one woman and doesn't realize that one by one he's getting rid of each of the women from his "days of the week." There's some angst, some sex, some love, some sarcasm, some humor and Van Dyken does ALL of this really, really well. She is a master at storytelling and doing it in a humorous way! It's a book you won't want to miss. I know that I'm going to reread it the first chance I get that I'm not speedreading!!

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

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Review: Undeclared

Undeclared Undeclared by Julianna Keyes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kellan McVey is Burnham College’s most prolific athlete, partier, and ladies’ man—and that’s just how he likes it. Returning to reign for his third year, he wants nothing to change. Then Andrea Walsh shows up.

It wasn’t too long ago that Andi and Kellan were lifelong friends, mortal enemies, and, for one hot summer, more. Then Kellan left and Andi stayed behind.

Kellan thought he’d moved past that last summer’s heartbreak, but with Andi sitting next to him in class, befriending his friends, and battling for the same once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity, he’s starting to remember why he hated her…and why he loved her.

Kellan has a long list of reasons that falling for Andi again is a terrible idea, though every new moment together challenges that theory. But Andi’s all too familiar with Kellan’s love ’em and leave ’em approach—and she’s found someone else to get serious about.

Burnham’s campus king has never had to fight for a girl, but if he wants Andi to give him another chance, he’ll have to do the one thing he’s never had the nerve to do: admit it.

I love Kellan!! I felt so sorry for him and I might be the only one who does but part of me just wanted to hug him!! This is a book that I had a bunch of mixed feelings about. The sex in this was OTT but in this case I thought it lent to the storyline. Some authors throw sex in just to throw it in with no purpose whatsoever but in this book, I felt that it worked to help with the story. She did something that made me read it and not put down, which I would have in anything else.

Andi is a complicated person. She grew up next door to Kellan and the summer before he left for college they had a sex-filled summer. He didn't want to go away to college a virgin and they decided to see each other that summer and Kellan fell for Andi. It takes Andi a couple of years to get a scholarship to college and when she gets one, it's to the college that Kellan's attending. Wonder of wonders, she acts like she doesn't know him and that ticks him off. Which in turn, also makes him go after her even harder.

This was an awesome, quick read and I will read the next book when it comes out. I have a new author that I've added to my list of TBR list. The only caution was that the language and sexual content was excessive at times and that may have taken away from the storyline sometimes.

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

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Review: The Feeling of Forever

The Feeling of Forever The Feeling of Forever by Jamie Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Juliet St. Clair has spent her life under Hollywood's spotlight. While being America's favorite girl next door has had its perks, having to testify against her stalker to put him behind bars certainly wasn't one of them. But when she thinks about walking away from it all, she can't help remembering the enormous pile of medical bills her family is drowning under. Bills that just keep on coming.

Felix Donovan had it all--stunning good looks, gorgeous women, and a spot as the drummer to a band that's sitting pretty at the top of the charts. Until one life-altering decision left him paralyzed from the waist down. He doesn't know whether to laugh or cry when he wins this year's Sexiest Man award, but the one thing he immediately does is send out a Non-disclosure agreement. Hiding his condition from the public is hard as hell, but he's not ready to face the world while he's still struggling to accept his new reality.

Except this year's Sexiest Woman--Juliet St. Clair--never looks at him with pity, only desire. But falling for Juliet means a permanent spot in the tabloids, a decision Felix isn't sure he's ready to make. And when Juliet's stalker re-emerges from her past, Felix's secret isn't the only thing at stake, it could cost Juliet her life.

Jamie Howard is a book genius that I rate right up there with Kristen Ashley and Jill Shalvis!! She did an absolute awesome job with this book. Not only do you have romance but you have some suspense and intrigue going on. I loved Jamie's writing style. It kept my attention from the beginning to the very last page and I'm on pins and needles as to the next book.

Felix, oh Felix...I freaking love you!! When I read a description of a book I look for something that literally tells a story. I want a plot....I want a beginning, a middle and an ending. I want the full monty. I like to have the fullness of a story told to me. This was that and more. Felix wasn't your average guy. He's a drummer and a year ago he was in an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. To say that he's a little down on life is an understatement. He doesn't really think that he'll ever date or go out again but then he has to do a photo shoot for Sexiest Man of the Year and he meets Sexiest Woman of the Year and they just click with a game of "Would you Rather." Jules is down to earth and she carries the world on her shoulders. She doesn't want to live in the spotlight. In fact, she'd be quite happy living her life in the shadows and being a nobody. Her assistant is the one who makes all her appearances for her since they look so much alike and she likes it that way. She can live on the quiet side of town while her assistant lives in a swanky apartment uptown. The only thing that throws a wrench in everything is the fact that she has a stalker and he just doesn't want to leave her alone...cause hello - stalker?! The thing about this book is, just when you think you know what's going to're wrong and it's taken in a completely different direction. I thought I knew what was going on because I have some keen detecting skills but I kept going back and forth. Who's the stalker? Will they get to Jules in time? It keeps you on the edge of your seat for the last 25 percent of the book and it's horrible if you have to work the next morning. I came to love Felix's roommate and I can't wait for his book. Seriously, there are just some books where you are like "I read that author, I love that author, I have to read all her other books if she has any." That's the kind of book this is. I would get this for my mother and I believe this is the one I woke her up at 3 a.m. over because of a crucial part in the book because I was like "You will never guess what happened in the book I am reading?" Yes, we are THAT type of family...we wake each other up if we read something that shocks us, makes us laugh, or makes us cry!!!! Well done Jamie Howard on this book!

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

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Review: Catch and Release

Catch and Release Catch and Release by Laura Drewry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hope Seaver is an up-and-coming TV producer tackling the hardest gig of her career: a reality show set at the Buoys, a scenic fishing destination owned by three handsome, stubborn brothers. Liam and Finn O’Donnell are willing to tolerate her crew for the sake of the business, but Ronan would rather chew off a limb than open up on camera. Somehow Hope has to convince him of her good intentions—and stop herself from swooning every time Ronan walks into the frame.

Ronan knows that he’s the reason his brothers gave up their old lives to run the Buoys, and he needs to make it worth their while. So if this out-of-towner with the kind eyes and dazzling smile wants to give them the free publicity they desperately need, Ronan can’t say no. He just won’t let himself get burned again by a double-dealing woman. But what if Hope’s good-girl routine isn’t an act? When Ronan lets his guard down long enough to catch a glimpse of the real Hope, he likes what he sees—enough to give love another shot.

I want to know where Laura Drewry got all her "useless information" for this book lol!! Like do horny toads really bleed from their eyeballs? There were so many uncommon factoids in this book that I felt like I needed to write some down just to have on hand. Hope was so awkward she was hilarious at times. Is there actually a town in Canada called Climax? Or Dildo? Cause they need to change that ASAP. I'm not sure I'd want to live there if it were. The fact is, at times this was a heavy book. It was funny but it also had parts that were equally sad and made you want to cry. To find out why Hope is always so prepared broke my heart...I cried! Hope leaves nothing to're on a plane and nauseous - she's got mouthwash and crackers, she's also got some napkins and a puke bag. She's always prepared for everything in the giant bag that she takes everywhere with her. She meets Ronan - who I imagine looks like Jason Momoa because who don't we imagine looks like Jason?? Ronan is just a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of guy. He loves the f-word and likes to use it frequently. Hope is a producer for a show about their family and the fishing lodge they own, so think Alaska: The Last Frontier and add in this storyline. After the first season, the shows producers decide to change it up and Hope coming in now as a newbie has to go and smooth over everything because Ronan's response to it all was essentially "F*** that!" What you get are two people who are really quite funny around each other and the family who you've met in the 2 previous books and already love. It's a quirky love story with a quirky hero and heroine and it works!

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

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In Honor Of Those You Love And Lose

I didn't know growing up that everyone wouldn't have my opinion...say what now?  I was an only child so there was an assumption that I was always right.  That's my email address.  I've had it since I was in high school and there was dial-up.  You're probably thinking that you're always right but that would be a wrong assumption because two people can't always be right.  That's a high improbability - look it up.  That and my Grandma Butcher told me this and she was never wrong😁.  At least, I like to think she wasn't.  What can I say about my Gran Butcher?  She was awesome!  She loved me more than anything in this world and that was a fact.  My heart was hers and hers was mine.  She may have had my dad and uncle but I was her sunshine. She even sang the song to me and believe you me...she couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.  There was just a little unknown fact about my Grandma...She was cray-cray.  She would tell me it was raining outside when the sun was shining so I wouldn't want to go outside.  You might be thinking to yourself - are you for real right now?  Yes I am and then people wonder why I'm ghost pale.  It's probably because she scared the light from my skin.  I'm really an Albino with really good makeup coverage😂😂.  Seriously, these are all true stories.

See Grandma had a problem with telling little fibs about things pertaining to things she didn't want to do.  Like if I wanted to go upstairs and she didn't want to...She'd tell me the vacuum cleaner was going to eat me.  See, for a 5 year-old that's terrifying but for a 10 or 12 year-old it was kind of funny!  It wasn't just funny, it was hilarious especially when she'd park the vacuum cleaner at the top of the stairs and I'd have to pee.  I'd have to pee a lot!! So, I learned that if I had to pee, I'd just have to hold it til I got home. Hopefully that wasn't 10 hours down the road!! Now, I know you're thinking that's cruel but it's really funny because Grandma didn't know she did this.  She was just extremely to the max.  It really started because she parked the vacuum cleaner up there to scare Mugs, who was her dog and scared of everything anyway.  You could blow on him and he'd run bless his heart.  So she thought it would work on me - but telling me it would eat me kind of backfired on her because my mother is a true mother bear with claws and teeth. It's a good thing she didn't see Grandma as a steak LOL! She would claw your eyes out if you looked at me wrong, but that's another story.

I remember when she told me I couldn't go down to High's or outside because it was raining out.  Now it wouldn't have been so terribly funny if it wasn't 70 degrees, spring and sunny and we hadn't just walked in the door.  Yes, my Grandma had her little quirks but I'd give anything to have them back.  You see once something is gone, you give anything to have it back. My cousin, Rachel didn't really get to know her like I did.  I got 19 years with her and even though that really wasn't enough - Rachel didn't get even half that. I'm the one that got to play house, grocery store and cash register with her.  I'm the one that played tea set, coloring books, pens and dolls.  I got to walk to High's and Drug City and pick out whatever I wanted but it was never about what she gave me.  I got all her time and love.  I have her memorial etched in ink on my back for eternity until I draw my last breath.  She's the person who loved me on the day I first drew breath, and I'm blessed to have loved her the day she drew her last breath.  She will forever be written on my skin as she is forever written on my heart.  Some people stay a short while and leave a lasting impression.  There were people she didn't like and she made it quite known but she loved her family more than anything.  To me, I saw what no one else could see and that was someone who accepted me just as I am.  She never tried to change me, mold me or make me into anyone other than who I was.  She never put me in dresses or pigtails.  Never told me to use my indoor voice and she never told me to eat an apple.  Maybe she should have but she didn't because she wasn't my mother.  She was my Grandmother and no one will take that place and one day I'll see her again.  She'll be standing beside my Grandfather, Maude, and my dog Shelby waiting with open arms to tell me that SHE was always right when she said that I could be whatever I put my mind too and not to let anyone tell me differently.  She might have been a negative Nancy in almost every aspect but when it came to me she was positive I would do great things and when I do something I wonder if she would be proud.  I wish everyone had a Grandma Butcher or at least got to meet her.

In Honor Of Grandma Butcher and Maude

Review: Sugar

Sugar Sugar by Kimberly Stuart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After realizing her coworkers at L’Ombre, a high-profile restaurant in NYC, will never appreciate or respect her, Charlie Garrett allows her ex-boyfriend, Avery Michaels, to convince her to work for him as executive pastry chef at his new Seattle hotspot, Thrill. She’ll have her own kitchen, her own staff—everything she ever wanted professionally.

When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realizes that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realizes that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.

The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.

I loved Sugar! Pastry Chef Charlie Garrett is a wonderful, vivacious, pretty, helpful woman who helps her friends and loves to bake!! Sounds like the all-around perfect woman? It's her life and she loves to create and watch people enjoy her creation. The place she works at has a real wanker for a head pastry chef (pun intended!!) That's wanker with a capital W!! She's worked hard to get where she's at and yet the creepy man just mistreats her. Her friend from cooking school, Avery wants her to work with him in Seattle as his head Pastry chef and her best friend Manda, who side note - I, so love!! Anyway, she packs up from New York and heads to Seattle thinking she's going to be top Pastry Chef...Well, she is but with a catch. Avery has been planning a TV Reality Show and the main star is to be Charlie and she doesn't have a clue.

I have to tell you that I fell in love with the side characters of Manda, little girl Zara and let me tell ya....when they all go out to the diner to eat - it is hilarious!! I almost wet my pants laughing so hard - so pick you up some poise girls!! When Zara asks Charlie out of the blue and real loud and proud "Aunt Charlie, do you have to go poopy?" I lost it. You have got to read this book. Every person you love has to read this book! There are so many different people that this book will attract.

I thought Kai, the owner of the diner and chef was sexy and sweet and just just yummy. We need more Kai's in our life...hint hint Kimberly Stuart! I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved everything about this book. It was that good for me. It will make you laugh, make you cry, then make you laugh again and then make you feel freaking good reading it. You ever sit there reading a book and you're just smiling ear to ear because it's that freaking awesome...yeah it's this book! I'd give it 10 stars if I could and I'm stingy with my stars and praise because I'm a picky reader...everyone knows that. They know I base books on plot, sexual content and explicit language and if you have too much of the last two and none of the first then it's a no-go. This book had so much plot and no real explicit language or sex and that is true talent! I can't wait to read any other books from this author. Please do yourself a favor and read this book and then read it again!! This is a book I would definitely share with my mom and she is the pickiest of them ALL!!

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review: Beauty and The Wiener by Casey Griffin

Beauty and the Wiener (A Rescue Dog Romance, #2)Beauty and the Wiener by Casey Griffin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Addison Turner has scripted a perfect future for herself, complete with a fairytale ending. She will become the name in doggie fashion design and live happily ever after with the husband of her dreams--and her dachshund, Princess, by her side. Just when her plan is on track and she's gaining recognition at the local dog show, Addison is hit with some Oscar-worthy drama. A group of prize-winning show dogs are stolen from under her nose, and she's stuck asking for help from Felix Vaughn, an infuriatingly hot bartender who is the exact opposite of Prince Charming.

When more dogs go missing--and Felix becomes a suspect--the two team up to clear their names. Although Felix and Addison fight like cats and dogs, there's an undeniable spark between them. And as the trail to the missing dogs heats up, so does their red-hot chemistry. Can Addison be persuaded to throw away her script to find an ending that just might be better than she ever expected?

I thought this book was going to be like Beauty and the Beast and to a certain extent it is. I really like the mystery of it and the characters. The mystery is one of those that you know from the start who it is...well for me I did. It had some twists and turns and at no time did I think "I'm not finishing this!!" I wish I had read Must Love Wieners first but I didn't because I might have appreciated this more. This isn't a book that you sit down and can't finish in one day and feel just absolute bliss. It's one that you really read over several days and you might read a couple books in between. All in all, I thought the author did an awesome job keeping pace and keeping our attention. I'll definitely read the next one because while it wasn't a wild, sexy romance - not all the time do you need that and I'm not one who needs explicitness in my books. This is one I can recommend to my mom and not be embarrassed that it might have sex or cussing in it. Kudos Casey Griffin!!

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cause My Grandma Told Me So!!

So in a couple months I'm going to be 40 and I know those of you out there that know me are saying "What? No, not you!!" Well, I am. I have all these things that I want to do - Like Tandem skydiving, Race Car driving (I know some are saying I do that now in my little Toyota Corolla - my reply is SHUT UP!) I'm looking at 10 day cruises and trips to Cancun. The thing is...I'm SINGLE!  I can do all this and not feel guilty that I'm leaving someone at home and that they're gonna starve or miss me.

My dad keeps making snide remarks like "did you take your meds bipolar Betty" and my personal favorite "what personality wants to go on this trip?"  They don't seem to realize that I've spent my ENTIRE life taking care of them.  I don't see it as a burden and I don't regret it but I woke up the other morning and realized that not only can I die tomorrow but what stories are my family going to tell about that I did? I haven't done anything worth telling.  I'm kind of boring.  I've worked since I was 16 and I haven't stopped.  I've treated my parents like my kids and I'm determined to make my forties the best.

I want a party when I die.  I don't want anyone grieving and crying - I want some partying and y'all I want some balloons that say "She went home!!!" I want people to say she lived life to the fullest and even though she didn't have any children or a man - she was an awesome role model for women of all ages and that it's okay to NOT have one!  It is better to be alone and satisfied than with someone and miserable.  My Grandmother is a prime example of that.  My Grandfather is the most sad person ever.  He didn't have the greatest upbringing but you are not the product of your environment because you can change.  Do you hear me? Are you getting what I'm saying out there people? You don't have to blame your past for who you are today.  You can break free from what is keeping you captive, held down and come into the light and live up to the potential that you were meant for.  My Grandpa has always been a bitter person and he's been married to my Grandma for 65 years or longer and she's been miserable almost all that time.  Now, if it were me....I'd poison his a...tail and call it a good day. Not my Grandma - She prays for that man.  I wouldn't even have it in me to make him an egg without throwing some arsenic on it and calling the funeral home for a fitting...I know it's harsh but I'm just that way.

If anyone could get Grandpa into heaven, it would be Grandma.  That woman has a 911 line to Jesus.  I swear!!  I know I shouldn't swear but I'm swearing because she is like a walking bible.  She cannot remember what she ate yesterday (unless it's one of mom's chocolate chip cookies or 12) but she knows her scriptures backwards and forwards.  It's amazing she hasn't held Grandpa hostage and beat him with the Holy Bible til he relented or is it repented?  He should do both!  IMMEDIATELY!

Everything I learned in my life, I learned from Grandpa (You're thinking what the heck) or should I say I learned what NOT to do.
  • If you love money...give it away. 
  •  If you covet possessions, give those away. 
  •  Work hard, work hard and work hard some more because laziness isn't an option.  That's the only thing that I think is a really good lesson.  The coveting of money and things...yeah, I'm not a coveter!! I go out of my way to be poor just so I don't come to love ❤ money.  It's kind of sad actually.  
  • If you're given money, spend it on someone else, it will make you feel better. 
  • Money is your no, Jesus is and you need to give that money over to Him and let him guide you with what to do with it.  That doesn't mean you be an idiot with it and throw your money away and not pay your own bills!!!! Do you hear my preaching??  If you are in DEBT - pay off your debt!!! Then give others the excess. Don't throw this crap around about God will take care of you because nine times out of's gonna be yo family that is gonna take care of you! Do you hear me?  This is because you keep dropping hints at how bad you're doing, all the while you're blowing your money on stuff "for other people" that you say God "laid on your heart."  God didn't lay that on your heart...He says in his word to be good stewards with your MONEY!!!  That means pay your bills and don't make anyone else pay them. Am I talking to thin air here?  Didn't think so.  Moving on.

When you walk into a store and go "Do I want this or need it" that's a problem.  It also stems from my father asking from the time I was five years-old that question.  Some of you out there might be scratching your head and asking yourself "Really?"  Um...YES!!!  I distinctly remember my dad asking me one day when I wanted an expensive pair of jelly shoes, if I needed them or if I wanted them. Well, I didn't need them per se but I sure did want a pair...I still want a pair.  Which reminds me that they are selling them on Amazon for $13.99 now.  I might buy some cause I want them.  I never got the name brand, I got the generic at Roses for $2.50 and they tore my toes up!!!!  The point is...Not everything in life you're meant to have.  Sometimes those things you wanted you really didn't need.

People today need to realize that not everything in life should be handed to you.  You're not owed anything and you're not guaranteed everything.  My father went without more times than I could count to give me what I needed not what I may have wanted.  It taught me a really good life lesson for when I got older.  My grandmother has taught me not to poison people you don't like (JUST KIDDING!!!) Actually, she taught me to persevere even when you want to give up and hate the one you're with.  She taught me that loving is easier than hating and that there are no colors in the world.  God doesn't see color but he does see ignorance and ignorance isn't bliss.  So be like Grandma...don't poison Grandpa!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review: Not in My Wildest Dreams

Not in My Wildest Dreams Not in My Wildest Dreams by Jamie Hollins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It really sucks to be in love with someone who sees you as nothing more than a friend. Darcy Owens knows this from personal experience. From the moment she met Sean McKenna as a shy ten-year-old, he’s owned her heart. So when he asks for her help with an important construction project, she can’t say no.

Building a boutique hotel on Boston’s waterfront is a career-making opportunity, and Sean needs Darcy’s interior design expertise. She’s incredibly talented, and there is no one he trusts more. He knows he can always count on his childhood friend, but doesn’t know why he’s thinking about her tight skirts and blue eyes instead of tight deadlines and blueprints.

When Sean and Darcy’s excitement about their work turns into an entirely different kind of excitement, it’s a sexy surprise. But they soon realize that building a new relationship is more challenging than building a new hotel, especially when life-long habits and old insecurities create cracks in the foundation.

This book had a really cute premise of girl meets boy at 10 and falls in love with him because he took up for her on a playground and she's been in love with him for 18 years. Boy is just often are men just clueless? All the time!! Sean is a magnificent hero. He's just effortless and he genuinely loves Darcy but he's so unsure of himself that he can't be sure of anyone else. This story had me at it had me at 5 percent.

Darcy is a smart aleck, she's sarcastic and snotty sometimes and that's okay because Sean likes her that way. He's the same way. I love the part where they're celebrating and she tells the waitress
"Excuse me but could you get your t*ts out of my drink?"
How many times have we been out and wanted to say something like this but thought "Nah, I'll sensor myself.." Darcy doesn't sensor. I don't really think she knows the meaning of the word.

My all-time favorite is where they're out to dinner with friends, they run into Lisbeth who's an Ex of Sean's. From the the description you get she's just a mean character and promiscuous to boot. Lisbeth says to Sean:
"You think about me in the mornings?"
Darcy wanted to vomit. "He can't help but think about you every morning. He's been living in fear that his night of poor judgement in high school will come back to haunt him. Lisbeth and herpes are synonymous, after all."
"Darcy! What the hell!" Lisbeth slapped Darcy on the shoulder before turning around to look at her date, "I don't have herpes."

Darcy is no push over except with Sean. She doubts herself with him and she's not a strong person when she's with him. I think EVERY woman can relate to Darcy. We all have our doubts but especially when we're around someone we love like Darc loves Sean. Sean on the other hand is always used to being second fiddle to his sister Megan and he doesn't know how to be first in Darcy's world. Sex he can do, unattachments he can do but he can't do love until she yells it at him.

This was an absolute gem of a book and I would recommend it to everyone. My one tiny pet peeve....the sex and language. I really wish they had like a clean version and a spicy version because they would make lots of money on books if they did that!! I'm not joking. So many times my friends are saying, I would love to read the books you review but they had too much sex and language and they're right. I know that in today's society that's okay but man would authors make a lot if they had 2 versions. So, if you don't mind skipping over the sex and ignoring the cussing then buy the book!!! It's definitely worth the hours it took to read!

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

God Gave You Singleness As A Gift, Don't Waste It

Well, not all the time am I politically correct and sometimes I get myself in trouble...Yep I do.  See I'm single and mostly I believe in the romance, flowers and all the crap that goes with the romance, flowers and lovey dovey crap.  I've got the parents with the 43 year marriage and the gooey hugs and kisses still as witnessed here...

And yet it's elusive to me because I'm such a polar opposite in everything that is in romances today.  They say giggle, I laugh til water comes out my nose like a fountain is flowing and at a good pace.  They say simper and wait on a man hand and foot, cooking him dinner and I burn his kitchen to the ground....while his animals are inside and the fire department has to go in and get them.  They say be a beta female, don't be an Alpha, no man wants an alpha female and guess what - I AM NOT A BETA FEMALE!!!!

I would have loved to have been that perfect, funny, skinny, brainless cheerleader of a girl growing offense to the cheerleaders, but I wasn't.  I was difficult, sarcastic, overweight, brainless (somewhat) and didn't come into my brain til I was in college.  My IQ is kind of high and that's not to brag.  It just is or it was when I was a kid, now I'm disturbed by the fact that everything's just went butt, my brains and probably my IQ.  Seriously, if you were a cheerleader I'm sure you were smart because you would have gotten kicked off cheer squad - we all know that!  Anyhow, in my almost 40 years I've gleaned a lot...A LOT! Most of which is that there are a couple things you need in life.

1.  No Rules - From the time I was a little girl I gave myself rules to live by and they all sucked!!  They didn't help me and they got me nowhere.  I am going to be that bitter old lady at the end of the road torching little kids and cats for coming in her yard because they're not following my rules...yeah I don't want to be that lady - she's mean, so no rules!!

2.  Real Men don't take Selfies Every Day!  If your man takes a selfie in his car, at the gym, in his bathroom, in the closet, in his bed, on the toilet (yes I've seen one) and he has the same crap-eating grin every time (no pun intended) there is something really wrong here!? You're either with a secret serial killer who likes to use Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest or he's into himself so much that there's no more room left for you!  If you take that many selfies together....hmmm maybe it's a match made in heaven or....ummm!

3.  If you're single at 39, it doesn't necessarily mean you're gay, that there's something wrong with you, there's not someone out there for you, or my personal favorite: that it isn't God's will!  It might just mean that you're perfect as you are and people need to shut up.  God gives mates to people 9 times out of 10 and those mates have qualities that complete the other person but what if you're complete all on your own?  Ever figure that maybe God made you and you didn't need anyone to complete you because you had a little of all the qualities and potential but you just need to know how to grow all of it together?  Some people have that.  We don't need a guy to make us who we are.  We're already that and you might think I'm joking but I'm not.  Stay with me here...Guys you can switch out the guy part and put gal instead because this is for you too.  We know of several people in the Bible who were single and were happy in their singleness but we're always striving for the next best thing.  Our next house, next car, next perfect child, next degree that we want to finish, next trophy wife/husband...What if we were just happy with who we were?

4.  Live life out Loud...Spend your day doing something, anything that you don't normally do.  Help out a family member you don't like.  We all have them!  You know you do and if you say you don't - LIAR!  Take them out and get to know them the way Christ would. Not the way you would because we all know you'd nail them to the wall the first chance you'd get the first time they said the first word wrong in a sentence.  I know because I would!!  If you saw me right now you'd see me doing the two fingers to my eyes and looking at you sign.   

5.  End all your sentences with a word that is hilarious to you but other people don't understand and watch their faces.  It's funny to watch and it will keep your blood pressure down.  My mother and I have been doing this for a week and it started by accident and now we do it because it's so funny, we can't quit laughing at each other.

Last but not least enjoy the life you're given because it's short.  You have no idea how short your life is until God tells you your time is up.  My advice is love fiercely, forgive freely and without consideration, show the ones your with how you feel so that when your gone, they never have to wonder how you felt about them.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Review: Turbulent Waters

Turbulent Waters Turbulent Waters by Melody Anne
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Coast Guard pilot Nick Armstrong savors the taste of danger. But after his helicopter crashes into the ocean during a mission, shattering his knee, he encounters a whole different type of thrill when he meets his new physical therapist. Maybe being grounded isn’t so bad after all.

Smart, sexy, and deeply guarded, Chloe Reynolds is the type of woman who drives Nick crazy for all the right reasons. But as she tries to help him heal, Chloe struggles to keep her heart—and secrets—safe.

For years, she has been told that Nick is responsible for her brother’s death, a “fact” that she slowly learns may not contain the entire truth.

But can Chloe’s growing feelings for Nick, and their undeniable chemistry, really overcome a years-long family feud? Or will the past ultimately destroy the future they both desperately want?

This book was like watching a train crash and not being able to stop it...I just hated it!! It had DNF written all over it. Written on the front, back, all around, top, bottom and in-between the pages....Like for real. I hate saying that! I really hate saying anything bad about any book because I think you can usually find at least a couple redeeming qualities in any book if you try hard enough. I'm usually so lenient when it comes to my stars because I KNOW the work it takes to put into a book but THIS book set my teeth on edge!

Can I just say that I have never in my almost 40 years - Yes 40 years...never wanted to nag slap a hero and I don't think I would call Nick a hero, by the way!! Side note - I think he's a man-child who doesn't listen to ANYTHING! I usually love Melody Anne's books but Nick, he had me wanting to bat for the other team! Seriously, I almost took up a whole new genre of books after reading about him and his needs, his wants and how he wanted it. Here's a hint for all the guys out there: If you want a woman and think being cocky about it is the way to go about it, go ahead but you're gonna come across as a dick and douche canoe which is what this guy was. If some dude showed up in my room buck naked and demanded I tell him "yes" I'd attach the prongs of a stun gun to his naked hiney (or something else) and light him up. Try it and see if I'm kidding! Chloe should have diagnosed him with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and got the heck out of dodge, thrown him some meds from a safe distance away and said buh-bye! Now, maybe I'm being old and harsh but maybe I'm being smart in a world filled with men who think they can treat women any way they want because of the Fifty Shades of Grey craze and No I haven't seen it and I'm not going to. So while I usually love Melody, I didn't love this book and I can't recommend it to women who I respect.

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's

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Review: Making Faces

Making FacesMaking Faces by Amy Harmon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ambrose Young was beautiful. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have . . . until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl.

This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

I dropped all other books when this showed up on my shelf. I've read this book three times and every time I'm a snotted mess at about 72 percent until the end of the book. This book is one that resonates in your soul and doesn't let go. It hangs on, it's one that you recommend to your friends, family and everyone in-between. I love it and hate it at the same time because I know I won't be able to breathe the next day. Amy Harmon has done something that not many authors do - she tells a story without explicit sex or language. She tells a story and keeps it going til the very last page and you're sitting there with a feeling of loss, strength, hope and love. I bought this book for my mother when it came out to read. My mother is someone who only reads Christian books but yet I wanted her to read this so bad. This book has some Christian scripture and references, it does have some language but not a lot. I bought it in hope that she would see past it and boy did she. She loved this book and for my mother to give her stamp of approval on a book, it means the world. I read this book in about 5 hours and didn't stop. That means radio silence for everyone and I was on-call.

This book is about Fern, Ambrose and Bailey (Oh Bailey, how I love you!!) and it goes back and forth through their childhood. I loved all these characters, there wasn't one of the main characters that I could say I didn't like. I loved Brosey's (Ambrose's) friends, even Beans. This book was a tearjerker. It was heartbreaking and tore at your heartstrings. Bailey has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and it can't be cured and the first time he finds out he's going to die, I thought I was going to go through a whole box of Kleenex so I cut up an old t-shirt and used it instead. To listen to Fern tell him she might die first by getting hit by a car while walking down the road to make him feel better is so real to life. She starts listing all the ways she might die first to make him feel better. How we all need a Fern!! She is his person. She's his helper but also his cousin who I honestly believe God sent to him and you find out at the end of the story that her father always believed that once Bailey was gone God would take Fern soon after because of it. It's a sad thought to think that God would do that and he's a pastor but he does. Fern always has Bailey's best interests at heart and always helps him and he is one of those characters you can't help but love. He's all about wrestling and wanting to wrestle but he's also all about Ambrose and helping him become a better person and wrestler. Bailey is really the hero in this story. Hands down, this book wouldn't be what it is if not for Bailey.

Fern is an ugly-duckling and she's never the one that the boys look at. She writes letter to Ambrose for her friend Rita who's beautiful, even though she's always been in love with him. Ever since he helped her bury BS "Beautiful Spider" and sang the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" at it's funeral when they were ten. She's a deep character who writes the most eloquent poetry that says:

If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?
Does he make the legs that cannot walk and eyes that cannot see?
Does he curl the hair upon my head 'til it rebels in wild defiance?
Does he close the ears of the deaf man to make him more reliant?
Is the way I look coincidence or just a twist of fate?
If he made me this way, is it okay to blame him for the things I hate?
For the flaws that seem to worsen every time I see a mirror,
For the ugliness I see in me, for the loathing and the fear?
Does he sculpt us for his pleasure, for a reason I can't see?
If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?

How many times have we all looked in the mirror and thought this? It's like the author reached inside my very soul and knew what I felt and how long I'd been feeling it. Those words I will have written on a plaque and framed, so I can read them everyday and know that I'm more than a face. This book just has all the feels!!

There's a scene in the book that I love where Fern refers to Bailey as BS like the spider but calls him "Beautiful Sheen, Beautiful Bailey Sheen" and it's at a part in the book that I'm not going to give away but I had to get up and take the dogs 4 a.m. because I couldn't breathe from crying. I literally was like "NOPE...can't handle no more snot, gotta get up and find something cause I'm dying here." And then I went right back to the book of the best night of my weekend.

You come to love all the characters in this book but one. Ambrose's friends: Beans, Paulie, Grant and Jesse - You love them all in their differences. It's not an easy story to read about them. It's about September 11th, the fallout afterward and 5 boys who join up to make a difference not knowing that the difference will be made in 4 families and a whole town.

There was a lot going on in this book but I didn't feel at any time that I didn't know what was going on. I always felt like everything was explained. There were some really hard topics in this book: War, domestic abuse, dying, peer pressure, ugliness of the world and of oneself, terrorism. It's all in there and it's dealt with appropriately.

Buy this book, buy it for your friends, family and gift it to people you love. It's an awesome book and has made me read all of the authors books since. You will not be disappointed you read it and if you are, then you're not just can't be!! I will guarantee that a part of this book will resonate with you somewhere unless you're a sociopath and then it probably won't!

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.

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