Friday, 23 March 2018

Hot Mess by Emily Belden

Micky Barnard 

Hot MessHot Mess by Emily Belden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars which I’m rounding up the rating for because it was just that good.

Some books explosively blow you away and some subtley creep and invade your mind until you are powerless in your interest. HOT MESS was the latter, it built and built to a cluster of addictive, messed up reading. I would categorise it as a mix of contemporary romance and women’s fiction.

This story that’s all hot and messy, charts a relationship between the ‘It-Chef’ Benji and his girlfriend who literally hangs on for dear life during the ride. Allie is rather weak, totally infatuated and swept along. This story is about addictions, manipulation that comes with said addictions and a restaurant that’s needs to open on time and be successful. There are real highs but there is rock bottom and it’s a grim place.

Benji was like a magnet to all around him and I have to admit that I had a cautious like of his charisma, talent and looks but as a reader, you cannot help but feel wary. Allie was a little insignificant to start but this is a story written to show how characters can really grow and grow realistically. I loved Allie being at the fore and hitting the lows but scrabbling tooth and nail to survive. The angst was palpable at times. I truly felt what it was like to be duped.

“Underneath this total fuck-show front, there was something - a lot of things, actually. There was a lost soul that needed direction. A man with a good heart and an insane amount of talent.”

The story is full and developed, I felt interested throughout and from half way, I really couldn’t put the book down; I couldn’t put Allie down.

“You’re the star of your own show and that show must go on.”

This is a fictional debut by Emily Belden and I am suitably impressed. I’ve already recommended it to a number of my friends and I’m keeping my eye out for more from this new talent.

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book. Thank you Harlequin Publicity Team for the instagram mailing.

Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.

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Stranded with the Mountain Man by Aislinn Kearns

Joanne Swinney 

Stranded with the Mountain ManStranded with the Mountain Man by Aislinn Kearns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh! Man, I would climb the highest mountain in the world if it meant I’d get to be with, Elijah. He’s like Tarzan of the jungle only in this definition it’s Man of the mountain. His sex appeal is off the charts, and he doesn’t know it, which in turn is even more appealing. He’s become my biggest wet dream, um-hum it’s all Elijah goodness in my dreams at night.

Gia is on the run looking for somewhere safe to hopefully live out the rest of her life without fear. Only her destination is altered by fate when her plane crashes on a mountain. Gia is a city girl and has no idea what it means to live on a mountain, but she’s about to find out. Feeling safe is more rewarding than Gia ever thought possible, being with Elijah is like what dreams are made of. It’s all so unreal, but yet she’s safe and stuck on a huge mountain hundreds of miles aways from civilization.

Elijah has a small cabin but it’s always been enough for just him, however having Gia there makes it so much smaller. There is no electricity in his cabin, but sparks are definitely crackling with the chemistry between these two.

Elijah is enjoying Gia’s company, he’s been on his own for so long, and believed he was happy, but with Gia there things are different. She’s eager to learn how he lives and how things are done. Wanting to help out, he gives her tasks. He has a deep need to do everything he can to protect Gia.

Gia worries about what she’ll do once she gets down from the mountain. If she gets down. Does she really want to go? Elijah doesn’t want her to go, but he has nothing to offer her either. Neither are ready to let the outside in, but eventually they will have to face what is out there.

There’s an old saying, that springs to mind ‘If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain' in this case if the mountain will not come to Gia, then Gia must go to the mountain.

If you love all things romance then you won’t regret one clicking.

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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Wait With Me by Amy Daws

Melinda Lazar 

Wait With MeWait With Me by Amy Daws
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wait With Me by Amy Daws

I started this book and by the end of chapter one, I’d messaged a friend to stop whatever she was reading and start this straightaway - it was just that good!

Kate, aka Mercedes Lee Loveletter, is experiencing a terrible case of writers block. She quickly figures out that her creative juices seem to flow quite nicely in the Customer Comfort Center of Tire Depot and takes to toiling her days away, drinking free coffee and consuming an alarming number of baked goods while writing all the words. Here she meets one the of the mechanics of Tire Depot, the licorice smoking Miles. They get to know each other and develop a great friendship but while there’s an obvious attraction between them, Miles is very clear that he wants to stay just friends and not progress to more than. Considering the drama of his previous relationship, I could understand his somewhat flawed logic but still wanted to give him a good kick.

The first fifty percent of this book was five stars all the way! I read it all with a huge smile on my face and a refusal to put the book down. The second half of the story was slightly less enjoyable but only because I really wanted to smack Kate into telling Miles the truth. One thing that amused me greatly is that my brother in law is a mechanic and bless his brake fluid covered heart, but he is the complete antithesis of a book boyfriend and doesn’t look a damn thing like I imagine Miles does!

I think Wait With Me was such a great book and I’m hoping Daws writes about some of the characters we met here.

*arc received in exchange for honest review.

**Reviewed by Melinda for Joandisalovebooks Blog.

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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Six Feet Under by Tonya Kappes

Tina Shobe

Six Feet Under (A Kenni Lowry Mystery Book 4)Six Feet Under by Tonya Kappes

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Six Feet Under is Book 4 in A Kenni Lowry Mystery Series. I think this book could be a stand a lone but personally I would read the books in order as it makes it seem like the books roll into one another and you get a better understanding of the characters and the town of Cottonwood.

Celebrity Chef Frank Von Lee comes to town to taste Sheriff Kenni Lowry's, mama's chicken pot pie. He is murdered. When the cause of death is food poisoning Mama becomes the #1 suspect. Kenni knows things are not going to be good be the ghost of Poppa, her grandfather. He shows up when someone has been killed to help with the sleuthing.

What I really loved about this book and author does such a good job with is that as I am reading along I'm right there within the book trying to figure out who is the killer and what was the motive. As an extra bonus there is actually two mysteries going on within this book.

I love the characters is this book and I loved that this book made me think. Everytime I though I had it figured out who was the murderer there was a twist and my mind would go in a different direction. This book had me guessing right till the very end.

This is the type of book that you want to pick right back up and read again.

Does anyone else think there's something that Finn is hiding? I'm intrigued.

**Reviewed by Tina for JoandIsaLoveBooksBlog

Fearless by Carly Phillips

Tina Shobe 

Fearless (Rosewood Bay, #1)Fearless by Carly Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fearless is Book 1 in the Rosewood Bay Series.

Kane Harmon is a mechanic and runs his family's garage. He took over from his dad when he dad's demon's got the best of him. Kane avoids summer flings with the summer people after being burnt.

Halley was put in the foster care system due to neglect from her drug addicted mother. Halley was bounced from home to home due to no fault of her own until her sister, Phoebe and her are taken in by their aunt. Her mom came from a wealthy family and it's hard for Halley to accept that.

After Kane rescues Halley's broken down car he finally convinces her to accept a date. These two have baggage. Kane with growning up with a dad who has a gambling addiction and Halley's with her past experiences in the foster care system.

What I loved the most about Kane (trust me there is a lot to love) is that he seems to know exactly how to tread with Halley. How to get her to open up a little at a time and how to back off when she's getting uncomfortable. This wonderful man has a lot on his plate, he's running the family business, helping his single mom sister out by taking care of his nephew when needed and being the adult child when his dad goes off the rails.

I loved it when jealousy reared it's ugly head and made Halley claim Kane as hers without even thinking about it. Suprised him too in a very good way!

When Halley's past comes into her present and shakes her beliefs in herself she shuts down again and this time the only one that can save her is herself.

When Halley blocks Kane out of her life it's soul crushing. They both finally had a well deserved happiness going. They were each making changes to gain control of their lives and their possible future and now their future seems to be one that they will not have together. The struggle that Halley had was so real. I wanted to help her out and give her words of encouragement to reach for her happiness.

This series is off to a great start! Can't wait to read Book 2, Breathe

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Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely

Monique Cashmere

WanderlustWanderlust by Lauren Blakely
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Le grand amour! 4.5*'s

What is the best way to get over a break-up?
Move to Paris and start a new job.
What is the best way to get over grief?
Move to Paris for a year and learn to live life again.
That is how Griffin and Joy stubble across each other in the city of love. He is a British linguist who becomes American Joy's interpreter for her new job. This book is full of romance, filled with hope and copious amount of enlightenment. It was a joy to read - pun intended.

So many things made me happy when reading this book. I felt like I was there with Joy discovering Paris for the first time, and searching out with her the best places to eat and see. I even had to look up a map of Paris so I could get a better feel of where she and I were going. I also got a big kick out of Griffin and how he could speak fluent French, and I am sure I mispronounced many of the sayings, but had fun trying.

The story was one of a sweet instant love, and then trying to make it work with many obstacles in their path. It didn't have as much humor as I was expecting from a Lauren Blakely novel, but it was a pleasant change of pace. There really aren't many secondary characters, it is solely on Griffin and Joy's conte but her next release has Christian and Elise's histoire.

*I was grateful for the copy from the author for my honest opinion.
**Reviewed by Monique for JoandIsaLoveBooksBlog.

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Nailed Down by Chelle Bliss & Eden Butler

Tina Shobe

Nailed Down (Nailed Down Series, #1)Nailed Down by Chelle Bliss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kitty and Kane work together on a Late Night DIY Show. When I started reading about Kane I instantly pictured Ty Pennington from TLC's Home Improvement Show, though more bulked up.

Kitty and Kane have had some underlying feelings brewing for awhile. Neither one of them is willing to act on that attraction as they don't want to ruin their current working relationship and friendship.

Kitty has just attended her cousin, Jess's funeral and returns home with a bucket list that her cousin is challenging her to complete. Her cousin is trying to get her to 'live', to open up more to life. Kitty doesn't want to do it on her own and plays the quilty card to get Kane to help her. Though there are some items on his bucket list he does not want to help with. He is beyond her biggest supporter. He pushes her when she needs to be pushed and comforts her when she's having a rough time. He also is her protector. It was interesting when he would step into the protector roll.

The banter these two have just pulls you into the story more. There were times I was laughing out loud as I read along. They are just awesome. The more time they spend together the more the lines blur. It doesn't take long for Kitty to realize she knows just what to do to get Kane to give in.

Probably one of the best parts in the book is Kane's reaction to his brother, Kiel's button pushing. He has know idea of the depth of his feeling for Kitty until then.

It is just unbelieveable that this book was written by two authors. The story flowed seamlessly. I can't wait for Kiel's story in the next book.

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Hot Mess by Emily Belden

REVIEWED BY  Micky Barnard  Hot Mess by Emily Belden My rating: 5 of 5 stars 4.5 stars which I’m rounding up the rating for bec...