on 2016-06-07 Pages:
• Narrator: Terry McMillan
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting To Exhale is back with the inspiring story of a woman who shakes things up in her life to find greater meaningIn I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young's wonderful life--great friends, family, and successful career--aren't enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, including quitting her job as an optometrist and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Georgia’s bravery reminds us that it’s never too late to become the person you want to be, and that taking chances, with your life and your heart, are always worthwhile. Big-hearted, genuine, and universal, I Almost Forgot About You shows what can happen when you face your fears, take a chance, and open yourself up to life, love, and the possibility of a new direction. It’s everything you’ve always loved about Terry McMillan.From the Hardcover edition.
I must admit, I was bored with this one. I was expecting entertaining drama but this quest to dig in the past didn’t hold my attention after awhile.
Dr. Georgia Young has reached 50 years of age and is now reflecting on her life thus far. She is doing well in her career, but her love life didn’t pan out the way she envisioned. She has been divorced twice and now she doesn’t have someone special in her life. Georgia decided to contact all her former flames to let them know what they meant to her and find out what about her (Georgia) they found attractive. Her quest was to learn more about herself.
In the beginning, I felt like this was the machinations of a lonely lady, testing old relationships to see if there was a spark still left. I quickly realized she was truly reflecting on her own weaknesses and strengths. Georgia was also trying to see herself from the eyes of those cared for her once upon a time. I actually found that strength impressive but I just never connected with her journey.
Georgia was open and honest about her past, and this one of the things that I love about Terry McMillan’s work. Strong heroines who just keep it real. The reader was shown the good, the bad and the ugly. In the end, Georgia was set up on a new path. I can’t say that I liked this new path either but I applaud her for taking that step.
*Special Thanks to Crown Publishing via Netgalley for the e-arc received in exchange for an honest review.
on 2017-04-01 Pages:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting story about friendship, survival and finding your voice Growing up, Mallory Dodge learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it's been four years since her nightmare ended, she's beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.
Now, after years of homeschooling, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at a public high school. But she never imagined she'd run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn't seen since childhood, on her very first day. It doesn't take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet soon it becomes apparent that she's not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider's life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants and the truths that need to be heard.
I have read a lot of books by this author and this one was the best I’ve read so far. The author took time to develop the story. This book had a good foundation and was tackled a sensitive subject with grace.
Mallory Dodge was a product of the foster system until a horrible tragedy facilitated a much better placement with caring parents. But Mallory never forgot Rider Starks, the young boy that always came to protect her when she was being abused at the hand of her addicted foster parents.
Imagine Mal’s surprise when four years later, she runs into her childhood protector Ryder at her new school. Of course Ryder had moved on, has a girlfriend and a new family situation. Both Mal and Ryder are desperate to leave the past in the past, but the magnetic pull is stronger than ever. Is it a hero-complex by Ryder as well as a hero worship by Mal, or is this strong connection something more romantic in nature.
While this was an intriguing story, the pace of the story was slow. It was also a tad angsty. I found myself rooting for the heroine and hero, but I didn’t want to the horror’s of her past to undo all the hard work the foster parents had put in aiding Mal.
“Forever was my heartbeat and it was the hope tomorrow held. Forever was the glistening silver lining of every dark cloud, no matter how heavy and thick it was. Forever was knowing moments of weakness didn’t equate to an eternity of them. Forever is simply a promise of more. Forever was a work in progress.”
This book was about courage and dignity. Not just existing but actually living. I enjoyed see Mal’s personal growth in this book. She was the most impressive protagonist that this author has tackled. I was moved with her inner fortitude and survival instinct. I also liked Ryder because he was a genuine guy despite being a victim of abuse as well. I thought the message in this one was heartwarming and powerful.
Series: Fusion #1
on 2016-04-12 Pages:
• Narrator: Arielle DeLisle
, Sebastian York
In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby’s brand new series, five best friends open a hot new restaurant, but one of them gets much more than she bargained for when a sexy former rock star walks through the doors—and into her heart.Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim 1/5 of the credit. She’s determined to make it a success and can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. Addie instantly recognizes him—his posters were plastered all over her bedroom walls in high school—he’s all bad boy...exactly her type and exactly what she doesn’t need.Jake Keller walked away from the limelight five years ago and yearns to return to what’s always driven him: the music. If he gets to work for a smart-mouthed, funny-as-hell bombshell, all the better. But talking Addie into giving him the job is far easier than persuading her that he wants more than a romp in her bed. Just when she begins to drop her walls, Jake’s past finally catches up with him.Will Addie be torn apart once again or will Jake be able to convince her to drown out her doubts and listen to her heart?
This audiobook was well narrated and engaging. I listened to it fairly quickly as the story was smooth and flowed really well.
Addison Wade and four other friends owned a restaurant called Seduction together. In order to add more flavor to their establishment, they decided to hire a singer to perform there. During auditions, Jake Keller, former lead singer of a defunct boy band, performed a song and made an impression. He was eventually hired to play at Seduction. Jake made his interest in Addison known fairly quickly, but Addison who had a pennant for bad boy rockers tried her best to resist him. Eventually, Jake wore her down and they began dating.
The story was told using a Dual Point of View so we could spend equal time in Jake and Addy’s head. They were both working out past issues that were added weight to their new blossoming relationship. Addison used to be a model but was now considered too curvy. Jake had overcome addiction and now worked hard to remain sober and present in his new reality. They were both really likable characters and their respective friends added a nice supporting cast to this love story. I can’t say the story was dissimilar to books in this genre but it was entertaining nonetheless. I couldn’t put it down because I really connected with Addison and loved Jake as a hero too. They were flawed characters but they were so relatable and delightful. Addison felt like a person everyone knows and cares about. You can only hope they would find their Jake someday. It hit all the right chords within me. I had a great time reading this book. It was pretty low on angst but there was still an emotional pull towards the main characters. I had read this author once before and it was just an okay experience. But this story was more developed and the characters had more depth. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to book 2.
*Special Thanks to William Morrow Paperback via Edelweiss for the book given in exchange for an honest review*
on 3/17/16 Pages:
• Narrator: Elizabeth Klett
Atlanta’s billionaire heiress Annie Hartford has been under her father’s thumb her entire life. At 29, he is now forcing her to marry a man she doesn’t love in front of 600 guests. With only moments to spare, she hijacks the family limo, which breaks down in small town Pinckney, Georgia. Annie, who has never wanted for anything, suddenly finds herself homeless, penniless, and with only the clothes on her back: a designer wedding gown and diamond tiara.
There she meets small town lawyer and restaurant owner Sam Ballard. Unlucky in love, the last thing Sam needs is a red-hot waitress who seems hell-bent on breaking every dish in his Dixieland Café. Still, he can’t very well fire her; she has already won the hearts of everyone in town.
After a lifetime of riches, can Annie find happiness in a garage apartment, second-hand clothes, and making her way around town on a borrowed bicycle? And how can Sam be certain that Annie won’t run home to daddy when her new life presents one obstacle after another?
3.5 stars rounded to 4
I received this audio by the author in exchange for an honest review. First of all, I want to thank Ms. Hughes for reaching out and offering this book. I really enjoyed Elizabeth Klett, the narrator. This was a sweet romance without any angst. Annie leaves her future husband stranded at the altar in Atlanta, GA. Her father is a billionaire and has chosen Annie’s husband for her. Annie’s father thinks that she is only good for hosting and preparing for large parties and wants a man to run his empire. However, Annie has decided that she will no longer be ruled by her dad or any man. She quickly leaves the church without her purse, any money, or clothes.
Annie drives until the Mercedes that she hijacked from her father dies and winds up in Pinckney, GA. I had to laugh as Annie is wearing a dress that most women would die for but quickly realizes the predicament that she is in when the local sheriff demands that she gets out of the car. With miles of tulle, Annie squeezes out of the car to be met with gaping eyes from the small Ga town.
Annie’s first round with the sheriff/restaurant owner/lawyer does not go well. Sam Ballard wants no part of loving a woman since he also had a bad experience with his future bride. Reluctant, Sam hires Annie as a waitress in his restaurant. He can’t very well fire Annie, even though she breaks several dishes. The town folk have come to love Annie and want to help her to become settled in her new life.
Annie had grown up with not wanting anything, but now she has to learn to survive on her own. Wearing second hand clothes, moving into a garage apartment, and getting around on a bicycle are just a few of the new changes that Annie must face. Sam has come to love Annie but is worried that she could easily run back to her daddy and beg for forgiveness.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. There was a twist and a slight mystery towards the end. I felt that the end of the book was rushed and could have included more detail on both Sam and Annie’s life. The twist that occurred could have also been a tad bit longer and could have given the reader more detail on how Annie’s relationship changed with Lillian and with Sam. I am from Atlanta, GA and could definitely see how a small town would embrace Annie as one of their own.
Series: Rising Storm
on 2015-09-24 Pages:
Secrets, Sex and Scandals … Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy… Get ready. The storm is coming. Nestled among rolling hills and painted with vibrant wildflowers, the bucolic town of Storm, Texas, seems like nothing short of perfection. But there are secrets beneath the facade. Dark secrets. Powerful secrets. The kind that can destroy lives and tear families apart. The kind that can cut through a town like a tempest, leaving jealousy and destruction in its wake, along with shattered hopes and broken dreams. All it takes is one little thing to shatter that polish. Ginny Moreno didn’t mean to do it, but when she came home to Storm, she brought the tempest with her. And now everyone will be caught in its fury…
This serial was really entertaining. It truly reads as a tv drama. If you enjoy evening tv dramas revolving around 3-4 families, then this book would appeal to you. Tempest Rising introduces us to Storm, Texas where the residents are connected in some way.
We start off with best friends Ginny Moreno and Jacob Salt coming home from college to visit their hometown Storm, when tragedy strikes. Ginny is in love with a married man and has a one-night stand with her best friend. In the aftermath of her heartbreak Ginny makes choices that seriously impact everyone’s lives. Book 1 sets a very solid foundation to a series that already features loss, betrayal, lies, love and family.
This book is my first book from the author Julie Kenner and I was impressed. It was well written, the characters were pretty well introduced for a short novella. I am now curious to try her other books. As for this seriesI can’t wait for the subsequent authors to continue weaving this tale using their own unique writing styles.
Special thanks to InkSlinger PR for the e-arc, which was given in exchange for an honest review
on 2013-06-04 Pages:
• Narrator: Tamara Lovatt Smith
For fans of Emily Giffin, another wonderful book from the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, THE HUSBAND’S SECRET... Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk. Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her. Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.
Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who is dating a nice widower, Patrick and his son. Unfortunately, Patrick came with excess baggage in the form of an ex-girlfriend Saskia who wouldn’t move on. At first, I thought this book was about Ellen, but at the end, I decided it was Saskia and Ellen’s book.
Two women in love with the same man and the effect on their self esteem and worth.
For instance, Saskia watched and followed Patrick everywhere, invading his space to the point that Patrick went to the authorities for protection. That chick was cray-cray.
Ellen experienced self doubt because deep down she wasn’t sure if she was good enough. Clearly Ellen had daddy issues that she wasn’t aware of and so she constantly compared herself to Patrick’s deceased wife. Also, when Saskia’s activity begins to escalate, the academic in Ellen got curious about “why” Saskia would behave so obsessively. I was actually shocked that a scholar who seemed to have knowledge about obsessive behavior wasn’t more concerned for her own welfare.
Saskia was out of control.
I felt like the author went out of her way to make Patrick seem sketchy and subtly show empathy for Saskia’s behavior. I appreciate in the end that it was stated clearly that had Saskia been a man, the behavior would have been completely condemned by all.
The writing was good but the story dragged. I think about 100 pages less would have been perfect. I liked Ellen and understood her issues, but I don’t like how she used her professional skills to get answers instead of communicating with her boyfriend—the same thing she tells her clients.
Saskia was a character I detested because I have known people like her in male form and it is the worst fear one could have. I didn’t like the fact the author tried to me “understand” her.
Series: Thunder Point #9
on 2015-08-25 Pages:
• Narrator: Therese Plummer
Blake Smiley searched the country for just the right place to call home. The professional triathlete has traveled the world, but Thunder Point has what he needs to put down the roots he's never had. In the quiet coastal town he can focus on his training without distractions. Until he meets his new neighbors and everything changes.
Lin Su Simmons and her teenage son, Charlie, are fixtures at Winnie Banks' house as Lin Su nurses Winnie through the realities of ALS. A single mother, Lin Su is proud of taking charge and never showing weakness. But she has her hands full coping with a job, debt and Charlie's health issues. And Charlie is asking questions about his family history—questions she doesn't want to answer.
When Charlie enlists Blake's help to escape his overprotective mother, Lin Su resents the interference in her life. But Blake is certain he can break through her barriers and be the man she and Charlie need. When faced with a terrible situation, Blake comes to the rescue, and Lin Su realizes he just might be the man of her dreams. Together, they recognize that family is who you choose it to be.
Robyn Carr is one of my favorite writers in this genre and this series is one of my favorites. This book fell short of her normal excellence. In fact, this was my least favorite Thunder Point installment because Lin Su made it hard to truly enjoy her perseverance and tenacity. The characters make this series so engrossing and Lin Su made me want to shake her a bit.
Lin Su was definitely a survivor and hard worker, but she took the “Lone ranger” thing to the next level. Life had dealt her some blows and she found herself a single mother estranged from her adopted family. She found a job as a home health care nurse for Winnie (Grace’s mom) and it was a good situation for Lin Su and her young son Charlie. Charlie has respiratory problems similar to asthma which causes problem breathing when he overexerts himself. Lin Su became over protective out of fear. Also, I suspect, Charlie is the only one she has, so fear of losing him made her so controlling.
When Winnie rents out one of her condos to a famous Triathlete Blake Smiley, young Charlie finds a hero and champion.
Blake had to overcome much to become the best in his sport, and he begins mentoring charlie much to Lin Su’s dismay. Lin Su resented Charlie listening anyone else but slowly she loosened the reins of Charlie enough to see him blossom under Blake’s guidance.
Also, Blake began showing romantic interest in Lin Su, but she tried o shut him down gracefully. After all, with her work helping Winnie deal with the effects of her ALS, and her son, she doesn’t have time for love.
Can Lin Su learn to let someone else into their lives after the betrayals she faced in her past?
She is my least favorite heroine in the series and they are my least favorite couple. Blake was everything I love in a hero. He was handsome, athletic, hard working, sexy, smart, generous and loved mentoring the disadvantaged. I kept thinking “girl, you need to snatch that up!” Blake was a really great guy and frankly speaking, I didn’t see why he had to have Lin Suh since she was prickly. I supposed he had to conquer the challenge. I didn’t feel the chemistry at all. I actually liked them better as individuals because they are both hard working and self sacrificing. I like Blake in Charlie’s life, but the romance with Lin Su was undercooked and lacked that hotness that I am used to in this series.
*Special Thanks to Harlequin MIRA via Netgalley for the e-arc given in exchange for an honest review.
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Series: Elements of Chemistry #3
on 2015-05-08 Pages:
• Narrator: Cris Dukehart
Part 3 of Elements of Chemistry
…What’s the worst that could happen?
It’s been nine months since Kaitlyn Parker has seen or heard from Martin Sandeke—nine months and five stages of matter. She’s lived through the worst of first-love heartbreak, and is most certainly stronger (and less likely to hide in science cabinets) than ever before.
But now Martin is back. And he wants to be friends. But he’s sending mixed signals to the Bunsen burner in Kaitlyn’s pants.
Will Martin re-capture Kaitlyn’s heart? Can Kaitlyn and Martin ever be just friends? Or, despite an abundance of chemistry, are some bonds just too unstable to endure?
Honestly, this was my least favorite book in the series. For a person who seemed to just say whatever she wanted to, Kaitlyn Parker “Parker” was decidedly reticent in this installment. Her decision to be tightlipped couldn’t have come at a worse time and so much of this book showcased a miserable Parker and a weird acting Martin Sandeke “Sandeke”.
This book spanned 9 months after Parker and Sandeke’s break up and how both characters tried to put their lives back together. Parker’s route involved her trying to do things that made her happy and attempting to take a little risk. She was doing okay until Sandeke shows up wanting to resume the friendship she had promised him that he would always have.
This last book dragged a bit as Parker was trying to find her footing with the robot impersonating as her mother and cowardly lion masquerading as her father. Parker was a stronger character in the prior books but she was quite obtuse in this one. This 3rd book lacked the humor and fast pace that the prior books had, but it was still an enjoyable end once the veil was lifted. I was very pleased with the end even though I found it anticlimactic.
*Special thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook, which was given in exchange for an honest review
Series: Elements of Chemistry #2
on April 19th, 2015 Pages:
188 pages Amazon
• Narrator: Cris Dukehart
Four days left.
Private beach (…and boat).
Not so invisible girl.
And maybe less of a jerk-faced bully than originally thought.
What’s the worst (or the best) that could happen?
Kaitlyn is finding life outside of the science cabinet of obscurity to be quite illuminating …and so are her pants.
When things heat up between Kaitlyn Parker and Martin—previously known as the jerk-faced bully—Sandeke, she places her trust in the one person she never thought capable of earning it, let alone keeping it safe. Fortunately or unfortunately for Kaitlyn, where she gives her trust she can’t help but also give her heart.
But how will the world beyond the sanctuary of their newfound connection react to their relationship? Soon senators, chinless billionaires, and elements beyond Martin and Kaitlyn’s control want to weigh in on the young couple’s future.
Navigating the chaotic inferno of new love might be more than Kaitlyn bargained for, and much, much more than her trust—or her heart—can handle.
This book picked right up where book 1 Attraction ended with Kaitlyn Parker at her Lab partner Martin Sandeke’s party watching him with another girl. But Martin manages to quell squash the misunderstanding and then him and Kaitlyn give into the attraction she has been fighting.
They are so cute together. I love Kaitlyn’s clear sense of right and wrong, and how she works hard to stay true to her values. She manages to get Martin to stop being so angry and share a little of his plans. Unfortunately, the plan Martin has to get vengeance has collateral effects for many people. Kaitlyn has to make a hard choice about how she can counteract Martin’s plan. Will their love survive Kaitlyn’s choice?
Martin Sandeke’s driving ambition:
left Kaitlyn Parker like this:
and Martin Sandeke like this:
I highly recommend having all 3 books on hand before beginning to read this series. I don’t know how people managed to read these books and wait for the next one. I love the writing, the humor, the character development and the narration of the series. What a refreshing change. I am about to move on to book 3.
**Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook given in exchange for a honest review.
on 2014-05-23 Pages:
• Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
When two unlikely allies become two unwitting outlaws, will two unforgettable lovers defy unbeatable odds? Bonnie Rae Shelby is a superstar. She’s rich. She’s beautiful. She’s impossibly famous. And Bonnie Rae Shelby wants to die. Finn Clyde is a nobody. He’s broken. He’s brilliant. He’s impossibly cynical. And all he wants is a chance at life. One girl. One boy. An act of compassion. A bizarre set of circumstances. And a choice – turn your head and walk away, or reach out your hand and risk it all? With that choice, the clock starts ticking on a man with a past and a girl who can’t face the future, counting down the seconds in an adventure riddled with heartbreak and humor, misunderstanding and revelation. With the world against them, two very different people take a journey that will not only change their lives, but may cost them their lives as well. Infinity + One is a tale of shooting stars and fame and fortune, of gilded cages and iron bars, of finding a friend behind a stranger’s face, and discovering love in the oddest of places.**
I enjoyed this Bonnie and Clyde story but for most of the audiobook, I was on pines and needles waiting for law enforcement to catch Finn. Amy Harmon writes such captivating stories with captivating characters. I loved both Bonnie and Finn. I was afraid to “Believe in Bonnie & Clyde” though. My gut kept telling me it wouldn’t end well and I thought some of Bonnie’s choices put Finn in a very dangerous positions. I was very afraid that Bonnie’s grab at freedom would cost Finn his life.
Amy Harmon’s has such a command on the written word that I fell transported into the story. She evokes all kinds of emotions, happiness, sadness, fear, excitement, hope, anger–just about the entire range. She is so gifted and have yet to read a book of hers that doesn’t have a profound effect on me long after I finish the book. I couldn’t figure out if Bonnie was crazy or just acting out because she felt so trapped. Finn was a much easier character to understand and love. Bonnie just scared me as she was just flawed yet so innocent too. I never truly understood the grandmother’s motivations. I also wanted to know the real deal about Bonnie’s mental health diagnosis. At the end of the day, I am so glad everything ended well. I had a Waiting to Exhale moment at the end of this book. It was just right!
Amy Harmon is now an autobuy author for me.