Posts in category Contemporary Romance

Review: The Girl From Summer Hill (A Summer Hill Novel) by Jude Deveraux

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The Girl From Summer Hill
by Jude Deveraux
(A Summer Hill Novel)
May 3rd 2016 by Ballantine Books
384 Pages
ARC Copy (Net Galley)
 
 
THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL, the first novel of New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux’s new series, is set against the backdrop of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. 
 
Enter Elizabeth Bennet. Chef Casey Reddick has had it up to here with men. When she arrives in the charming town of Summer Hill, Virginia, she leaves behind a demanding boss at a famous D.C. restaurant and a breakup with a boyfriend jealous of her success. Some peace and quiet on the picturesque Tattwell plantation is just what she needs to start fresh. But the tranquility is broken one misty morning when she sees a gorgeous naked man on the porch of her cottage.
 
Enter Mr. Darcy. What Tate Landers, Hollywood heartthrob and owner of Tattwell, doesn’t need on a bittersweet trip to his ancestral home is a woman spying on him from his guest cottage. Mistaking Casey for a reporter, Tate tries to run her out of her own house. His anger, which looks so good on the screen, makes a very bad first impression on Casey. Hollywood he may be, but he’s no sweetheart to Casey—and she lets him know it!

With more than sixty million copies of her books in print, Deveraux has captivated readers worldwide with her spirited characters, sizzling chemistry, and page turning storylines. In this new series, Deveraux outdoes herself by once again delivering yet another trademark spellbinding-love story.THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL (Ballantine Hardcover; On Sale 5/3) is guaranteed to win the hearts of old fans and new readers alike.

 
 

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There was a naked man on Casey’s back porch.  She would have called the police or, at the very least, screamed if he hadn’t been so damned beautiful.
*~*~*~*
Maybe it was pride, but all sense of fear vanished.  She put her shoulders back.  “i don’t know who you are but I want out of my house.  Now!”  She grabbed her phone.  “I think the sheriff would like to hear about a man stripping on my porch and tearing out my screen to get inside my house and threatening me.  Unless you want to be in handcuffs, I suggest you leave immediately.”
*~*~*~*
“Cook for Jack and me and when Nina and Emmie get here, add them to the list.  And play Elizabeth.  But only if you swear that you won’t look at me like I’m some chocolate statue you want to devour.”
*~*~*~*
He held out his hand, but before Casey could take it, he drew back.  “Better not risk it.  With our mutual thoughts, if we touch we might start a forest fire.  How would we explain that areson to the fire marshal?”

 

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I have been a fan of Jude Deveraux’s historical romances for a long time now.  A Knight in Shining Armor is my favorites of all time.  Besides her Nantucket Brides Series, The Girl From Summer Hill is the only contemporary romances I have read of hers.  With The Girl From Summer Hill, Jude takes a literary classic, and puts her on spin on it.  I don’t usually read books or watch movies that are a contemporary  version of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, but I decided to give Mrs Devereux’s a try.  

 

Casey Riddick is a chef, and a pretty good one too.  She came to Tattwell to relax, and get away from a failed relationship to man that couldn’t handle her success.  Instead of relaxing she ends up getting roped into helping Kit write a play for Jane Austen’s, Pride & Prejudice, then play the part of Elizabeth Bennett.  All the while cooking for the whole cast, crew, and it seems half of the town.

 

Tate Landers comes to Summer Hill to visit Tattwell, his mother’s childhood home.  The home that he finally was able to buy for her, but she passed away before she seen that happened.  He is also here to play Mr. Darcy in the fundraiser play for Summer Hill.  Tate Landers is a successful actor, and has made many a hearts flutter, with his dark good looks, and swoon worthy roles as a historical romance movies.  He is a little confused when Casey is not taken in with his charms., and he set out to prove to her that she has him all wrong.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Girl From Summer Hill’.  I liked Casey’s character, she was a delight to read, even though she was a little naive to Devlin Haines’ (Wickham in the play) tactics.  Tate Landers was the perfect gentlemen, uncle and friend.  I feel that Jude did a wonderful job in capturing the personality of ‘Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’ in Casey and Tate.   In this story we get to see Kit again (he was in the Nantucket Brides series), and find out more about him.  There were a lot of characters introduced in this story, but there were many characters in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.   The author did a great job in fleshing out Devlin Haines (Wickham), and making me dislike him.  He was a snake!

 

There was a lot going on in this book with the secondary characters, but I enjoyed that.  Without all of those other back stories going on this book would not have been as enjoyable.  I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Pride and Prejudice modern retellings.  If enjoyed Jude Deveraux’s, Nantucket Brides trilogy, you are sure to enjoy this one too.   I received an eARC copy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Happy Reading!

 
 

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Praise for Jude Deveraux

“Jude Deveraux is an amazing author and her Nantucket Brides series will sweep you away. A beautiful island, a sexy man and plenty of secrets—this is a wonderful writer at her best.”—Susan Mallery, New York Times bestselling author of Three Sisters

“A new Jude Deveraux novel means a very late night turning the pages straight through to the delicious end.” —Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Escape

“Best-selling romance author Deveraux is at her spellbinding romantic finest.”
—Booklist

“Destined to be an instant romance classic . . . will haunt you long after you read it.”
—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on True Love
 
 

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About Jude Deveraux
Jude Deveraux is the author of forty-three New York Times bestsellers, including For All Time, Moonlight in the Morning,and A Knight in Shining Armor. She was honored with a Romantic Times Pioneer Award in 2013 for her distinguished career. To date, there are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide.

 
 

Review: Not Quite Mine (Not Quite Series, Book 2) by Catherine Bybee

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Not Quite Mine
by Catherine Bybee
(Not Quite Series, Book 1)

Narrated by Amy McFadden
Brilliance Audio, 2013
Unabridged, 8 hrs 6 min
http://catherinebybee.com

Her life is missing the love… When Katelyn “Katie” Morrison attends her brother’s wedding, the glamorous hotel heiress wonders if she’ll ever find “the one”… especially when she sees her sexy-as-sin ex, Dean Prescott. After the nuptials, she’s shocked to discover an infant girl on her doorstep. Deciding to keep the baby until she can locate the mother, Katie doesn’t have the time – or energy – for Dean’s suspicions. But she still can’t shake the longing she feels for him.

While attending his best friend’s wedding, Dean can’t stop staring at Katie’s sinful curves. He swore he’d never repeat the mistake of falling for her. Learning that Katie has a newborn, Dean knows there’s more going on than Katie admits… just as he knows their attraction hasn’t faded. But when he and Katie uncover the identity of the baby’s mother, they may lose their second chance at love.

 

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Not Quite Mine is the 2nd book in the Not Quite series by Catherine Bybee. I read book two before the first book, Not Quite Dating. While you can read each book in the series as a stand alone, I recommend starting with book one first.

Katie Morrison is a pampered, Texas hotel heiress to the Morrison Hotels. She loves tight mini skirts, the spotlight, and has had her share of dates. All of that comes to a screeching halt when a sweet baby girl (Savannah) is left on her doorstep. Katie has been yearning for a baby, and it the abandoned baby girl seems to be a godsend.

Dean Prescott is Katie’s ex, and the lead building contractor for the Morrison Hotels. He has been asked by his best friend, Mike (Katie’s brother) to watch over Katie while he is out of town. Dean knows that something is up with Katie, and he sets out to find out exactly what it is.

I chose to listen to book one first because of the whole ‘baby left on a doorstep’ thing, and blurb sounded good. The story moved along quickly, and there were a few misunderstandings, and a whole lot of fireworks between Dean and Katie. There is a little mystery as to who baby Savannah’s mother is, but I guessed who it was about half way through the book.

I enjoyed this book, and the friendships between Mike, Dean, Katie, and Monica. There was some steam in this book, and the chemistry between Katie and Dean was palpable. I love a story where everyone gets their happy ever after, and this one did. Even though there were a few moments where I thought, ‘tell him already!’ We weren’t kept in the dark too long.

I am not sure how many men in Texas are actually like Dean, but I am sure there are a few. The story was mostly believable, but the wonderful thing about fiction romance is that it can be larger than life.

I wasn’t to sure about the narrator, Amy McFadden, at first, but after listening to the first chapter she grew on me and I realized that she was a perfect choice for this story. She has the Texas drawl down pat.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a touching, and fun romance read.

Happy Reading!

 

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Review & Giveaway: Doing It Over (Most Likely To, Book 1) by Catherine Bybee

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Doing It Over
(Most Likely To, Book 1)
by Catherine Bybee
334 pages
Montlake Romance
(Contemporary Romance)
Format: eARC NetGalley
 
Voted Most Likely to Succeed, Melanie Bartlett ended up anything but. The down-on-her-luck single mom wants a complete do-over—is that too much to ask? With her family long gone from River Bend, strong, independent Mel is as surprised as anyone to end up in the quaint small town she once called home. But with her friends, Jo and Zoe, by her side, and a comfortable room at Miss Gina’s quirky bed-and-breakfast, she just might have turned the corner on a new life.Wyatt Gibson never liked the big city. River Bend suits the ruggedly handsome builder just fine. Wyatt knows he’s home, even if that means being charmed by the appearance of Melanie and her spunky, adorable daughter. Is Wyatt’s calm devotion—even amid a coming storm—enough to convince Mel she may have found a home to call her own, a family that never leaves, and a true love to last a lifetime?
 

 
 

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‘Doing It Over’ is the first of Catherine’s contemporary romances I have read.  I love her historicals, and decided to give this one a try.  I am so glad that I did.  I love, loved this book, and I can hardly wait for the next in the series.

Have you just wanted ‘a do over?‘ I know that I have a time or two.  That is what Melanie is hoping for when she returns home to River Bend, after being gone for ten years.  Melanie is a little embarrassed to be returning to River Bend as an unwed mother, no job, and a car that ‘died’ 25 miles before reaching town.  She knows that everyone expected more from her, and they all think that she was married to Hope’s father, Nathan. She wouldn’t change being a mother to Hope for anything in the world.  It’s her ex, Nathan, the dead beat dad that she could’ve done without.  Melanie is stronger than she realizes, and that is something she will come to realize the longer she stays in River Bend around her family and friends.

Melanie and her two best friends, Zoe and Jo were inseparable, and in high school Melanie was considered  ‘the most likely to succeed’  , while Zoe was considered the most likely to never leave River Bend, and Jo, the most likely to end up in jail. They all have grown up, and while they have talked over the years, they haven’t seen much of each other.

Wyatt Gibson is not from River Bend, but he has come to considered it his home. He is keeping out of trouble, and building his contracting business. He is confident, sexy, protects those he cares about, and down to earth. He is also just about the only contractor in River Bend, so he stays pretty busy, and has made some good friends along the way. He is not looking for a serious relationship. The truth is he could have his choice of women, he just chooses not to. He steers clear of women in River Bend, because he doesn’t want all of the drama in case something goes wrong (and it usually does). So when he does want female companionship he goes to the next county over. He wants a simple life in River Bend with his family and friends. When he meets Melanie for the first time, he is determined to have her.

I loved that Melanie and Wyatt’s relationship wasn’t a ‘cat & mouse’ game. They were honest about their attraction to each other, and that is refreshing in romance books these days. Mrs Bybee did a wonderful job! I enjoyed the secondary characters, Zoe, Joe, Luke, William ‘Wild Bill’ Gibson (Wyatt’s father), Miss Gina (I wish I had a Miss Gina), and Hope was an absolute delight. I despised, Hope’s father, Nathan. Mrs Bybee knows how to make you dislike the bad guy. Well I am not sure ‘bad’ is a strong enough word. He was a disgusting, pitiful excuse of a father and human being.

I felt a kinship to Melanie, and I believe that is why I liked her so much. Everyone needs friends like the ones Melanie has in River Bend. The characters were believable, the story was fun, and the plot kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. I liked the town, and people so much that I felt like I was right there with them every step of the way. There are a few laugh out loud moments, and a few times I actually cried a bit (yes I did).

I am betting that the next book in The Most Likely To series will be Zoe and Luke’s. I suppose we will have to wait and see. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys romance, likeable characters with depth, an H&H with real chemistry, and a story that isn’t only about the sex (while there is a scene or two), but about family and friends that takes care of each other, and new beginnings. I loved this book!
 

Happy Reading!
 

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I received a eARC copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  I have received no compensation for this review, besides the free eARC.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  You can read my Disclosure Policy here.

 
 
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New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Weekday Brides Series and the Not Quite Series. Bybee lives with her two teenage sons in Southern California.

 
 
 

 
 

Praise for Doing It Over

“The romance between fiercely independent Melanie and charming Wyatt heats up even as outsiders threaten to derail their newfound happiness. This novel will hook readers with its warm, inviting characters and the promise for similar future installments.” –Publishers Weekly

“This brand-new trilogy, Most Likely To, based on yearbook superlatives, kicks off with a novel that will encourage you to root for the incredibly likable Melanie. Her friends are hilarious and readers will swoon over Wyatt, who is charming and strong. Even Melanie’s daughter, Hope, is a hoot! This romance is jam-packed with animated characters, and Bybee displays her creative writing talent wonderfully.” –RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

 
 

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Book Review: A Moment to Dance, Book 2 (A Whistle Stop Romance) by Jennifer Faye

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A Moment to Dance by Jennifer Faye
(A Whistle Stop Romance) Book 2
Published on April 28, 2015
Format:  Paperback
294 pages

When trouble strikes…Whistle Stop pulls together

For Ella Morgan, moving to Whistle Stop is a chance to start over, put her horrific past behind her. But now she’s living in a mountain cabin—in dire need of renovation—that her grandmother left her, along with a sizable tax bill. Her job teaching school isn’t going to cover it. She needs cash, and soon.

Volunteer firefighter Tony Granger has returned to Whistle Stop to run the family ranch and be guardian to his orphaned nephew, Johnny. But being a single parent isn’t coming easy, and he’s worried sick he won’t succeed with his plan to adopt the boy, especially if Johnny’s grades don’t improve. He needs a break, and fast.

When Ella finds out Tony doesn’t have a partner for the Dancing With the Firefighters’ benefit—which is offering a large cash prize—and he hits upon hiring her as Johnny’s tutor, it looks like their problems might be solved. But taking dance lessons to win the competition sets alight a burning attraction between them. Can they let go and learn to trust again, or will the scars of their pasts still haunt them?

 
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A Moment to Dance is the second book in the Whistle Stop Romance Series by Jennifer Faye.  Although you can read this book as a stand alone, it would be more enjoyable if you read A Moment to Love first.  Jennifer introduces several of the towns characters in the first book.

 

Ella Morgan has recently moved to Whistle Stop after her grandmother passed away, and she inherited her cabin.  A cabin that needs more work than she can afford.  She is working as a 4th grade substitute teacher, until a permanent one is hired.   Ella is hiding a secret, and she is terrified that if anyone finds out, especially Tony Granger, that they will find her repulsive.

 

We were introduced to Tony Granger in book one, A Moment to Love.  Tony is a Firefighter in Whistle Stop, he runs a ranch, and cares for his nephew Johnny.  He has a lot on his plate, and feels inadequate at being a father to his nephew.  Tony has a few demons of his on.  So when he meets Ella for the first time, he feels guilty for being attracted to her.

 

Out of the first two books in the series, A Moment to Dance was my favorite.  I believe it had something to do with, Patch, the orphaned puppy, and Johnny.  Kids and dogs do it for me every time!  Jennifer Faye has a way of making you feel at home in her stories.  The plot was set at a nice, slow pace.  I liked Tony and Ella’s blossoming romance throughout the story, but it was predictable.  Predictable is not all that bad, because I enjoyed reading it.

 

I do feel that the issues, and demons that Tony and Ella were dealing with could have been delft with more swiftly in the story.  Communication.  I wont say what those issues are because I don’t want to give too much of the story away.  I liked Tony’s mother, Carlota.  She is a sweet woman that loves her son, and wants to see him happy.  Like A Moment to Love, A Moment to Dance, reminds me so much of a Hallmark movie.  I love Hallmark movies!

 

I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Jennifer Faye’s writing, small town romance, and a sweet and clean love story.

 

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3.5/ 5 Hearts

*There is kissing in this book, besides that it’s clean
*I was given a free copy of this book by the author, in exchange for my honest review

 

HAPPY READING!

 
 

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If We Were A Movie by Kelly Oram (Power of the Matchmaker #3) Review & Giveaway

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If We Were A Movie (Power of the Matchmaker, Book 3) by Kelly Oram

Music meets Movies in this sweet college romance from the bestselling author of Cinder & Ella.

NYU freshman Nate Anderson is a triplet who is desperate to escape his wild and crazy brothers. After they screw things up for him one too many times, Nate flees his housing situation and takes the first available room for rent as far from his brothers as he can get.

Enter his new roommate Jordan–a quirky LA girl who believes that everything in life has already been done in the movies. In this heartfelt tale of love, friendship and family, Nate learns how to deal with his new adult life using Hollywood films as a guide.

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“So this is what a Pearl-approved guy looks like.” She shook her head once and cracked a smile. “She’s got good taste, I’ll give her that. You’re an odd mix of sexy and adorable. Don’t see that often.”

I was a little taken aback by the compliment, if that’s even what it was. She may have just been stating what she considered to be fact. She laughed at my surprise and held out her hand to me. “Nice to meet you. I’m Jordan Kramer.”
I’d been afraid of that. “You’re a girl.”

Jordan laughed. “That’s what it says on my birth certificate, but I’m really glad you were able to figure it out without needing to read it.”

Nope. I definitely didn’t need that.

 

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  ‘If We Were A Movie’ is the first book I have read by Kelly Oram, and I LOVED it. This book is the 3rd book in The Power of the Matchmaker Series. There will book a book in the series released each month til the end of the year.

Nate is a triplet, and sharing a dorm room with his brothers. He is the more serious and studious of the three, and his brothers are more interested in parting and finding girls. They are always trying to get him to go out, instead of staying in and studying. They also dislike Sophie and are constantly pushing girls on him, in hopes that he will break up with Sophie. Everything comes to a head one night, when the brothers are trying to get Nate to go out with them instead of finishing a project that is due in the morning. He leaves the dorm room angry, and wanting to get away from them. Everything changes this night, and you will have to read the book to find out what happens.

The story takes place in New York city, and I thought of my niece the whole time I was reading the book. It is her dream to move to New York. Kelly Oram has written a book full of likable characters, with Nate, Jordan & Colin being my favorite. My least favorite was Nate’s girlfriend, Sophie, his high school sweetheart. She is controlling, snotty, and just an all around brat.

Pearl makes a brief appearance in this book, so you don’t see as much of her as you did in Almost Happenstance by Rachael Anderson. If We Were a Movie was an extremely FUN read, and I didn’t skip over any parts, because there was not one sentence that was boring. I will definitely be reading some of Kelly Oram’s other books. This was a clean, sweet read, with some kissing. Please don’t confuse sweet, and clean for a boring book. This book was anything but boring.

‘If We Were A Movie’ is the first book I have read by Kelly Oram, and I LOVED it. This book is the 3rd book in The Power of the Matchmaker Series. There will book a book in the series released each month til the end of the year.

Nate is a triplet, and sharing a dorm room with his brothers. He is the more serious and studious of the three, and his brothers are more interested in parting and finding girls. They are always trying to get him to go out, instead of staying in and studying. They also dislike Sophie and are constantly pushing girls on him, in hopes that he will break up with Sophie. Everything comes to a head one night, when the brothers are trying to get Nate to go out with them instead of finishing a project that is due in the morning. He leaves the dorm room angry, and wanting to get away from them. Everything changes this night, and you will have to read the book to find out what happens.

The story takes place in New York city, and I thought of my niece the whole time I was reading the book. It is her dream to move to New York. Kelly Oram has written a book full of likable characters, with Nate, Jordan & Colin being my favorite. My least favorite was Nate’s girlfriend, Sophie, his high school sweetheart. She is controlling, snotty, and just an all around brat.

Pearl makes a brief appearance in this book, so you don’t see as much of her as you did in Almost Happenstance by Rachael Anderson. If We Were a Movie was an extremely FUN read, and I didn’t skip over any parts, because there was not one sentence that was boring. I will definitely be reading some of Kelly Oram’s other books. This was a clean, sweet read, with some kissing. Please don’t confuse sweet, and clean for a boring book. This book was anything but boring.

I loved all the references to movies in this book. Jordon was always comparing life’s happenings to a movie and it’s characters. If you love clean, sweet romance, with characters in their early 20’s, this book is for you! I was given a free eBook in exchange for my honest review.

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4.5/ 5 Hearts
Sexual Content:  Some kissing
Cursing:  Some mild cursing, but no vulgar curse words

 
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Kelly-Oram
 

About Author Kelly Oram
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She’s obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.

 

Don’t miss the latest news from Kelly Oram! Sign up for her newsletter to receive e-mail notifications for all of her new releases, events, sales, & giveaways. This is a monthly newsletter often with exclusive giveaways and freebies from some of her favorite authors.  You can sign up for Kelly’s Newsletter here.

 

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