Category: Book Reviews


The new “Vengeance Series” by Kaylea Cross made an exceptional start with the first “Stealing Vengeance”. And what a brilliant storyline!

StealingVengeance-VengeanceSeries#1-KayleaCross

Megan and Tyler, two strong individuals, two amazingly courageous people and with a past that has so many questions, and a present with more betrayal and unanswered questions, both have the deadly task of weeding out the evil among them. And no review would do justice to this story, as each line, situation and action is a reading pleasure and thrill!

A definite read and Kaylea Cross outshines herself with this new series!

Received an ARC from the author via NetGalley for an honest review.

How hot can a weekend get with a rock star and his childhood love staying under one roof. Too hot, too fast!!!

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Melanie Shawn’s latest release “Resisting Romeo” is another passionate weekend reader, as Romeo comes back to win his Juliette. This is one love story with a happy ending! 

Ten years of staying away, Romeo Whitehall can no longer get over his love for Juliette. Ten years after getting her heart broken, “Resisting Romeo” is no easy task for Juliette Pierce, as she battles her feelings and fears about a future with Romeo. 

Here is another quick and intense read, perfect for a weekend!!! Melanie and Shawna do not disappoint as always and their books a reading pleasure.

Received and ARC from the author for an honest review.

“Let Your Down”, gal and #RubyGoesRogue, is just the beginning of an adventure for Ruby, away from the confines of a loving family, her forever friends and beating an illness that had her down for a while. And an illness that had her life mapped into organizing, spreadsheets, charts and itineraries. But it’s time to let her hair down and live her life. With an adventure  calling, Ruby takes the first steps to freedom, new experiences and Flynn Bowen.

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Helping run his family business is what Flynn Bowen does, but his heart and soul seem to have a different calling; for an identity of his own, making his own markings and maybe a dose of fate that brings him his destiny, Ruby. 

With an entertaining story, engaging camaraderie among friends, an utterly charming romance between Flynn and Ruby, Rachel Lacey gives us another worthwhile read from her Almost Royal Series.

Received an ARC from the author for an honest review.

A Highlander Walks Into a Bar Cover Image

Buy-book link: https://us.macmillan.com/books/978125031502

SYNOPSIS:

The timeless romance, soaring passion—and gorgeous men—of Scotland comes to modern-day America. And the rules of love will never be the same…

Isabel Buchanan is fiery, funny, and never at a loss for words. But she is struck speechless when her mother returns from a trip to Scotland with a six-foot-tall, very handsome souvenir. Izzy’s mother is so infatuated by the fellow that Izzy has to plan their annual Highland Games all by herself. Well, not completely by herself. The Highlander’s strapping young nephew has come looking for his uncle…

Alasdair Blackmoor has never seen a place as friendly as this small Georgia town—or a girl as brilliant and beguiling as Izzy. Instead of saving his uncle, who seems to be having a lovely time, Alasdair decides he’d rather help Izzy with the Highland Games. Show her how to dance like a Highlander. Drink like a Highlander. And maybe, just maybe, fall in love with a Highlander. But when the games are over, where do they go from here?

AUTHOR BIO:

Laura Trentahm II

Laura Trentham is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, including Then He Kissed Me and The Military Wife. She is a member of RWA, and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

Laura Trentham Blog Tour Q&A A HIGHLANDER WALKS INTO A BAR

  1.  What inspired you to write A Highlander Walks into a Bar?

It was actually a Buick car commercial from a couple of years ago where a grandson picks his grandmother up from the airport and she says saucily, “I did a lot of shopping in Italy.” From behind her luggage steps an Italian gentleman. Of course, my writer brain kept picturing what happened after the three of drove off and twisted it into an entire story but had to make up a town for them to return to!

Another big inspiration is a real-life place: Helen, Georgia, is a town that has transformed itself into a German village. It’s picturesque and they celebrate Octoberfest every year. I twisted that concept and made my little town of Highland, Georgia, into a Scottish village including an annual Highland Games that the Buchanan ladies put on every summer which is an important aspect of the book.

    2. Introduce us to your main characters!

Isabel Buchanan is the daughter who picks her mother up from the airport only to be surprised by the appearance of Gareth Blackmoor, who happens to be keeping his title of Earl of Cairndow a secret from everyone in Highland, Georgia, including Rose Buchanan, Isabel’s mother.

Alasdair Blackmoor is Gareth’s nephew and heir to the title and castle in Scotland. He’s been sent to round up his wandering uncle and to make sure he isn’t being taken advantage of by some pushy American women. Complications ensue, including love (of course!)

    3. Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?

To become a better writer, you must write. Sounds simple, but I know so many aspiring authors who get stuck in their own head. They plot and make inspiration boards and talk about writing, but when the fingers hit the keyboard, they get mired in doubts. Just get the words down. They don’t have to be perfect; they don’t even have to be good, but you can’t fix a blank page!

    4. How is A Highlander Walks into a Bar different from your other books?

While it’s still a Southern small town romance, it has a definite rom-com vibe. Expect low angst and lots of laughs! I love to read reviews where they reader has literally laughed out loud at several points.

    5. I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?

Two series I have loved lately are Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy (a fantasy retelling weaving medieval Russian history and folklore) and Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell’s mysteries (a Victorian butterfly hunter teams up with a taxidermist to solve mysteries. I mean, seriously, how can you beat that combo?!)

   6. Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?

If you need a pick-me-up, good-time, laugh-out-loud book, then read A Highlander Walks into a Bar!

   7. Favorite quote or scene you wrote in A Highlander Walks into a Bar?

As the woman continued to stare at him as if he were the bearer of the bubonic plague, his smile faltered. He stuck out a hand. “I’m Alasdair Blackmoor.”

Although he registered a split-second hesitation on her part, she took his hand. “Isabel Buchanan.”

Her handshake was firm and no-nonsense, but her palm was soft and her hand small in his. On closer inspection, her eyes striated into all different shades of brown and amber, and freckles dusted her cheeks. He hung on to her hand for too long, but couldn’t seem to pry himself away.

Breaking the spell, she wrested her hand from his, pulling it into a fist. Was she planning on throat-punching him? He rubbed his neck and took a step back, out of the radius of her magnetic energy, and her reach. On her approach, she’d seemed birdlike, insignificant even, but up close, he was having a hard time not staring like a first-class prat.

He was punch-drunk with exhaustion. It was the only logical explanation.

She stuck her hands into the back pockets of her jeans, stretching her red V-neck T-shirt tight. His gaze dipped instinctively and then stuck around to read the print on the pocket over the soft curve of her left breast: Highland. The Heart of Scotland in the Blue Ridge. 

She cleared her throat. His gaze shot to hers, and he blinked to try to refocus his thoughts. “I was admiring . . . I mean, reading your shirt.”

“It’s not a novel.”

His face heated. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d blushed this hot and fierce.

   8. What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always been (and still am) a huge reader. My youngest child started preschool and I wasn’t ready to go back to work in what I’m trained for (chemical engineering) so I sat down one morning and started writing a book. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing until I was around halfway done and loving every minute! That book became a Golden Heart finalist, got me an agent, and is published as An Indecent Invitation, a Regency historical.

   9. What is a typical writing day like?

During the school year, I work while the kids are in school. I love the flexibility of being there to pick my kids up and drive them to soccer or gymnastics or chaperoning field trips, etc.

   10. Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits?

My only habit is a bad one in that I drink *way* too much coffee while I’m writing! It’s become a ritual, I suppose.

   11. What has been one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a published author?

How slow the industry can move, but also how quickly changes have come because of indie publishing.

   12. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next after this for you writing wise?

For my contemporary fans, I have my second women’s fiction releasing early February 2020, An Everyday Hero. The second book in the Highland, Georgia, series, A Highlander in a Pickup, releases late February 2020.

For my historical romance fans, look out for A Wicked Wedding in the Once Upon a Christmas Wedding anthology releasing in October 2019. And two more full length books in the Spies and Lovers series, A Sinful Surrender and A Daring Deception, coming sometimes in mid to late 2020!

   13. How can readers connect with you online?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraTrentham

Or join my reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1733284316920632/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraTrentham

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lauratrentham/

Sign up for my newsletter:  https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/w7o6b1

Follow me on Bookbub for new release or sale announcements: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/laura-trentham

*******************

EXCERPT:

“I brought home a surprise!” Rose Buchanan threw her arms out wide as if embracing the world. From the stories she told to the way she entered the room, Rose was exuberant and entertaining and enjoyed being the center of attention.

Isabel Buchanan, who was perfectly content on the fringes, pushed her wavy hair off her sticky forehead with hands that trembled from the nightmare drive through Atlanta to the airport to pick up her mom. Her mom’s trip to Scotland had doubled as both research and vacation. The jammed stop-and-go traffic had left Izzy flustered and already dreading their exit from the airport.

Rolling her stiff shoulders, Izzy stepped around the bumper of the car, popping the trunk open on the way. Her mom had a beautiful plaid scarf of greens and browns and blues tossed over her shoulder and what appeared to be new earrings. Either purchase might inspire her mother to gush, and she would expect reciprocal gushing from Izzy. Making an educated guess, Izzy asked, “Are those earrings your surprise?”

Without waiting for an answer, she hauled one of her mom’s giant wheeled suitcases closer and prepared to heave it into the back. The sooner they got out of Atlanta, the sooner she could get back to work planning the Highland festival. Or she might pour an extra-large glass of wine and escape into a book. A guilty pleasure, considering how much she still had to get in order in three scant weeks.

“Allow me, please.” A bearded man who had been rolling cases to the curb stepped forward with a grin and an accent Izzy couldn’t place.

She checked her pockets and winced. No cash to tip the man, and no hope her mom had thought of something so inconsequential.

“Do you like them? They’re hammered silver.” Her mom flipped her bobbed matching silver hair to the side and displayed one earring with her fingers. “And as a matter of fact, I did buy them from a lovely shop in Edinburgh, but I brought something bigger home. Something more exciting.”

“Your scarf? It’s lovely.” Izzy gave her mom limited attention while she watched the man load suitcase after suitcase into her trunk, fitting them together like a puzzle. More luggage than her mom had left with. She waved to catch the man’s attention. “Hang on. That’s not all my mom’s stuff.”

For the first time, Izzy really looked at the man. He was close to her mom in age, and good-looking in a bear-like way with a gleaming white smile highlighted by a salt-and-pepper beard. His full head of hair was a shade darker, but graying heavily at the temples. The expression on the man’s face when he looked in her mom’s direction—a mix of adoration and amusement—cleared the fog of confusion.

Lord have mercy, her mother had brought back a six- foot, two-hundred-pound-plus souvenir from Scotland.

**************************

Jennifer Ryan has always been and always be one of my favorite writers; not only have I read every single one of her books, but they hold a special place in personal library. 

And it is no surprise that her latest “The Me I Used To Be”, is just as brilliant (and in my personal library), and yet it surprises you at so many levels. The first few pages of Evangeline Austen’s life is a tear jerker, yet you can feel the strength and faith in her thoughts, courage and determination in her actions. 

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Chris Chambers has a goal –  to do right by Evangeline. As Evangeline’s capturer and then her releaser, he’s yet to redeem himself in is own eyes. Nothing short of loving Evangeline with his heart and soul, and bringing down the person behind her prison stay, would give Chris peace of mind and a life with Evangeline.

“The Me I Used To Be” is a brilliant narration of a young women’s fight to find a way to “the way she used to be” and make a place for herself in the judgmental society. A great read of family dynamics and the consequences of a single act that throws the entire family into a roller coaster ride of pain, betrayal and death. An exceptional story of love and hope, as faith leads to friendship and support in the most unlikely of places. 

Jennifer Ryan always had an exceptional writing and narrating talent of portraying emotions of her characters unsurpassed as well as give equal importance to supporting characters as she weaves them into the main storyline with great mastery. Her stories of women overcoming adverse situations with strength and courage are always a reading pleasure. And when, I as an avid reader cry reading a book, that is the ultimate mastery of writing!

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