Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Video Trailer for The Christmas Cottage by Samantha Chase

While admittedly short, I think this makes for a cute attachment for Samantha Chase's holiday novella, "The Christmas Cottage".  Currently it is a best seller on Amazon in several categories and it's not only a great holiday story, but a great romance.

Available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle (only .99 cents!), you can also find it on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble.  

Instant Temptation by Jill Shalvis

T.J. Wilder is the perfect package of breathtaking adventure and raw sex appeal. Even better, he's about to reconnect with the one woman he's never been able to forget. . . 

Get Your Pulse Racing

To Harley, the landscape around Wishful, California, is exhilarating, untamed, and more than a little dangerous. The same could be said for T.J. Wilder, who's invited himself along on her trek to study a rare coyote. Harley's career is riding on this trip, and she doesn't need a stubborn, incredibly sexy distraction tagging along. But T.J. is a professional guide who knows when to stay back and when to provide invaluable expertise--just like he's done since they were in high school. And Harley, as usual, is torn between throttling him and giving in to the raw attraction that's been smoldering all these years.
After waiting so long, it's all about timing. . .

"Instant Temptation" is the third book in the Wilder series by Jill Shalvis and like the others, thoroughly enjoyable.  I mean, you know when it's a trilogy that all three brothers are going to find love - even when they claim that they aren't interested and so you go into it with a predictable premise.

The description really says it all and while I did enjoy this one more than "Instant Gratification", I still found "Instant Attraction to be my favorite.  T.J. Wilder is just as yummy as his brothers and your typical alpha male and he is what Jill Shalvis does best.

A great ending to an entertaining trilogy.  I am never truly disappointed when Jill Shalvis is telling a story!  

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Under the Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

There's no place like home for the holidays. And the Lucky Harbor Bed & Breakfast is bursting with festive lights and good cheer. But for Mia, Christmas is turning out to be anything other than merry and bright. Her recent break-up with her boyfriend Nick has made her return bittersweet. But then a surprise arrives, when Nick follows her to town bearing gifts-and asking for forgiveness.

Nick grew up without a family of his own so he's overwhelmed by the love that Mia receives from all her relatives, gathered together to celebrate the season. Under their watchful eyes, Nick finds earning back her trust the hardest thing he's ever had to do. If he succeeds, he will receive the greatest gift of all, Mia's love for a lifetime.
“Under the Mistletoe” by Jill Shalvis is a sweet little holiday novella for those of us who were hungry for some interaction with our friends in Lucky Harbor.  This was a great way to catch up with some of our favorite residents as well as get to know Mia a little bit better. 

With her three sisters all settling into their lives in Lucky Harbor, Mia is a little like the outsider, even more so now that she’s broken up with Nick.  But her alone time with her family is cut short by Nick’s arrival.  Watching Nick come to grips with her close-knit family as well as Mia’s first love and ex-boyfriend makes for some entertaining reading.

While this was a great story, I guess my issue is that it was so short and at times felt a little rushed.  I don’t think this was something that could have supported a full-length novel, it certainly had the potential to be a longer, more satisfying novella.  At 14,000 words, it could have easily been stretched to 20,000 words and been a better story.

Overall, it was a great holiday story because Jill Shalvis is so good at what she does.  It’s not something I was happy to spend $1.99 on; it should have been offered as a .99 cent download.  Just a way for the publishers to get more money because they can.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Instant Gratification by Jill Shalvis

Stone Wilder is no less a daredevil bad boy than the rest of his brothers, especially when the thrill of a lifetime is about to arrive in a surprising package. . . 

The Doctor Is In Deep...

Wishful, California, is 3000 miles from Dr. Emma Sinclair's last job in a New York City ER. Running her father's clinic for a summer, Emma treats bee stings, stomach flu, and the occasional pet cat. Then there's Stone Wilder: gorgeous, laid-back, and irritating beyond belief. Emma loathes him. Almost as much as she wants to throw him on her examining table and break every doctor-patient rule in the book. . .

Paging Dr. Sinclair...
I’m not going to lie to you, “Instant Gratification” was not a favorite.  Jill Shalvis does really amazing men in her stories and Stone Wilder is no exception.  Her females, however, sometimes are annoying. 

Dr. Emma Sinclair is unlikable and annoying.

She’s running her father’s clinic for the summer even though the two have a very distant relationship.  She’s not trusting, she’s a bit of a snob and all in all she’s just not likable.  I get the concept of creating characters who are flawed and redeemable but I had a hard time remembering that about her.
Stone was just sexy and yummy to read about.

A bit of a disappointing follow up to “Instant Attraction” but still a good read.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis

Accountant Katie Kramer is a quintessential good girl—working hard, recycling diligently, all the while trying to ignore the feeling that she doesn't fit in anywhere. That's all she wants. Well, that—and amazing sex, and the kind of daredevil escapade she can look back on when she's crunching numbers in a dusty cubicle. Which explains why she just took a job in Wishful, California, working for Wilder Adventures and Expeditions. Waking up to find a magnificently built stranger towering over her bed—that part defies explanation...

After wandering the planet for months following a life-changing accident, Cameron Wilder has come back to the only home he knows. Under other circumstances, he might be thrilled to find a gorgeous woman sleeping in his cabin, but now, while he'll risk his body taking clients on adrenaline-drenched excursions, his heart is off limits. Still, Katie's killer smile triggers something deep in his gut...among other places. Showing her how exhilarating it can be to stop balancing her life as if it was a checkbook is the biggest rush he's ever felt—and an adventure Katie's wishing would never end. . .

This story grabbed me from the get-go!  “Instant Attraction” by Jill Shalvis was the perfect title for this book.  While the attraction for Katie and Cam was instant, it took them a long time to actually act on it willingly.  They are two complex characters which made them interesting on their own to read about.  What bothered me in this story was that while having a couple get interrupted once when they are about to get busy is one thing, when it happens almost every time, it gets tiresome.  By the third time it happened in this book, I almost called it quits.

I’m glad I didn’t.

Fans of Jill Shalvis won’t be disappointed.  This promises to be a great series and I’m looking forward to the next ones for sure!

Monday, August 6, 2012

All Summer Long by Susan Mallery

Former underwear model turned entrepreneur Clay Stryker has loved, tragically lost and vowed that he'll never risk his heart again. After making his fortune, the youngest of the rugged Stryker brothers returns to Fool's Gold, California, to put down roots on a ranch of his own. But he's frustrated to discover that even in his hometown, people see him only for his world-famous…assets.

Firefighter Chantal (Charlie) Dixon grew up an ugly duckling beside her delicately beautiful mother, a feeling reinforced long ago by a man who left soul-deep scars. Now she has good friends, a solid job and the itch to start a family—yet she can't move toward the future while she's haunted by painful memories.

Clay finds an unexpected ally, and unexpected temptation, in tomboyish Charlie, the only person who sees beyond his dazzling good looks to the real man beneath. But when Charlie comes to him with an indecent proposal, will they be able to overcome their pasts and find a love that lasts beyond one incredible summer?
With the final Fool's Gold book of the summer I was both looking forward to it and dreading it because it didn't want it to end! Susan Mallery's All Summer Long is a great end to this summer's trilogy. Charlie and Clay, who seem like an odd couple on the outside, really have a lot in common inside. Both are judged for their looks and both want to change their lives and overcome their pasts.

There were parts that were a bit weird and for me, I think my biggest hangup was that in all of the Fool's Gold books that Charlie was mentioned it, she is not someone who I particularly liked or cared about and I certainly didn't see her in the role of the romantic lead.  It took a little while for me to get over that fact.

This book was sweet and charming at times and hot and steamy in others. You'll laugh and you'll love catching up with some favorites from Fool's Gold who we've met in previous stories. This is a must read for all Susan Mallery fans and even if you haven't read all of the books in the series, you'll be able to enjoy All Summer Long.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Nights by Susan Mallery

Horse whisperer Shane Stryker is done with passion. This time around, he's determined to meet someone who will be content with the quiet life of a rancher's wife. And the fiery, pint-size redhead who dazzles him at the local bar definitely does not fit the bill. 

Small-town librarian Annabelle Weiss has always seen herself as more of a sweetheart than a siren, so she can't understand why Shane keeps pushing her away. Shane has formed the totally wrong impression of her but only he can help her with a special event for the next Fool's Gold festival. And maybe while he's at it, she can convince him to teach her a few things about kissing on hot summer nights, too—some lessons, a girl shouldn't learn from reading a book!
With this being book #8 in the series you would think that it would be hard to keep it fresh while keeping up with the residents of Fool's Gold. Luckily, Susan Mallery is a master at her craft and "Summer Nights" just makes the little town of Fool's Gold, California seem more and more appealing.

With small town librarian Annabelle and horse whisperer Shane getting their turn in the spotlight, "Summer Nights" keeps with the long-standing formula of a great romance mixed in with the every day lives of people that we would all enjoy being friends with. Annabelle is looking to find someone who accepts her for exactly who she is without wanting her to change, unfortunately, Shane spots her at the one time in her life that she stepped out of her comfort zone and formed all kinds of wrong opinions of her! He's looking for someone who is stable and wants to settle down in to a peaceful existence with no drama and seeing Annabelle dancing on the bar has him thinking that she's the kind of woman who craves attention.

This was my favorite of this part of the Fool's Gold series and I found both of the leading characters to be very likable and people that I genuinely cared about.  That means a lot to me when I'm investing time and money into my reading addiction - give me characters that I care about and can relate to and a story that isn't completely far fetched.  This was definitely better than the previous title, "Summer Days".

The whole story is essentially wrapped around one of Fool's Gold's famous festivals and Susan Mallery lets us see how all of the locals are doing in their lives without letting them take up too much time from Shane and Annabelle. This is another great story for the series and a must read and a great addition to your Susan Mallery bookshelf!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Days by Susan Mallery

Locked in an unexpected land dispute, Rafe Stryker is trapped in the one place he vowed never to return to-the Castle Ranch in Fool's Gold, California. He made millions facing ruthless adversaries in the boardroom, but nothing could've prepared him to go head-to-head against stubborn, beautiful Heidi Simpson. No one is more surprised than Rafe to discover that he's finding Heidi-and life as a cowboy-much more compelling than he wants to admit.
For Heidi, the Castle Ranch is the home she's always wanted. After a life on the road, the vivacious blonde has finally put down roots. She won't give that up without a fight, not even for a man whose late-night kisses make her yearn to be a little less...wholesome.
As the two turn from passionate adversaries to passionate, period, they'll discover that summer love can last a lifetime.

I have been a huge fan of the Fool's Gold series since the get-go and I was very excited for the next trilogy to begin. Back in Fool's Gold (after almost a year!) we spend time with goat farmer Heidi (yes, like the children's story complete with living with her grandfather!) and sexy millionaire Rafe.

There were a few issues for me with this story.  For starters, Heidi's grandfather has done something illegal and although his heart was in the right place, it doesn't seem to be realistically acknowledged that what he did was a crime.  Enter Rafe and his mother and their living situation just becomes bizarre.  It's a very silly (and not in a good way) and awkward plot line that had it hard to focus on what we were really reading about - the relationship between Heidi and Rafe.
"Summer Days" was a little bit harder for me to get in to because the image of a grown woman in braids raising goats just didn't seem to sit right in my mind. But visual images aside, the book doesn't disappoint. Susan Mallery is wonderful at what she does and it was wonderful to be back amongst friends and Rafe and Heidi just had you rooting for them. Show more

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis

Mallory Quinn has had enough of playing it safe. As a nurse and devoted daughter, she takes care of everyone but herself. And as the local good girl, she's expected to date Mr. Right. But for once, she'd like to take a risk on Mr. Wrong. And who could be more wrong than Ty Garrison? The mysterious new guy in town has made it clear that he's only passing through, which suits Mallory just fine. Besides, his lean, hard body and sexy smile will give her plenty to remember once he's gone . . .

For the first time in his life, Ty can't bear to leave. Helping this sexy seductress-in-training walk on the wild side is making him desire things he shouldn’t including leaving the military for good. As their just-for-fun fling becomes something more, Mallory and Ty wonder if they could really be this lucky in love. 

After all . . . anything can happen in a town called Lucky Harbor.

I have to admit, I have read this series a bit out of order - meaning I read the newest one first and then started at the beginning. I enjoyed the trilogy with the sisters very much but "Lucky in Love" was just my absolute favorite. The characters were relatable and interesting and boy was there HEAT!

A spicy read that I did in a day and now am kicking myself because I'm done! This is a wonderful addition to the Lucky Harbor series and should not be missed!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Almost Summer by Susan Mallery

Ever since she was young, Paige McLean has longed to see the world. Still, she never imagined the world would land on her doorstep in the form of a charming British surgeon who needs a place to stay when his plans fall through.

After a devastating loss, Alistair Woodbury has vowed to live his life alone. But in all his travels, he hasn't encountered a town as welcoming as Fool's Gold, nor a woman as caring—or as beautiful—as Paige. Her compassion warms him almost as much as their stolen kisses.

When it's Alistair's time to leave, will his brief visit turn into a lifetime stay?

"Almost Summer" is a great little novella to gear us up for the next trilogy in the Fool's Gold series. We were briefly introduced to Alistair in book #5 in the series and it was nice for him to get his own story. Actually, this story and these characters were so engaging, I wish that they would have gotten their own full-length book!

I like the appeal of a novella but when you have the potential for a great story with characters who have some deep issues, it leaves the reader feeling a little gipped and cheated - and rushed. 

While not a full-length, it's a great story; enjoyable from start to finish and you don't need to have read the rest of the series to enjoy it.