Saturday, July 30, 2016


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received my copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review.

I know, I know, I've told you before - I am a sucker for wounded soldier romances and Tamara Ferguson has delivered again!

When was the last time she'd ever felt tongue-tied around a man?

She shook her head numbly. Never! This was silly - the guy was young. He had to be at least ten years younger than her. Taking in a deep breath, while attempting to regain her, normally rational, sensibilities, Beth stuck out her hand to introduce herself. "I'm Beth Bowen."

Beth is all kinds of tough, independent woman material. The 45 year old single mother decided to come home to Crystal Rock after 40 years away when the company she works for closes up shop. She takes herself, her fairly nonverbal football player sized son Kyle, and the promise of a great program through the Crystal Visions charity (see Two Hearts Surrendered for more about the great giving hearts the owners of the Dragonfly Pointe Inn have!) and brings them to Crystal Rock not long before Christmas. You'd think this kind of transition would be hard on them both, but on their way into town is when it starts. She almost runs over a dog with her SUV. Then, when walking near the water on the beach, Kyle decides to tackle the owner of said dog, Zach and a match is made!

Zach is one of the men that Luke (again see our ruggedly handsome hero of Two Hearts Surrendered) had saved. Although Luke Bryant walked away with some burns and scarring, his biggest injury was the loss of a leg while Zach was left with horrendous scars from the burns he sustained to a great deal of his body. For a good long while Zach's biggest obstacle to overcome was the scarring he sustained and how could anyone ever desire him now. It's something that is consciously holding him back even though it's obvious he is smitten with Beth from the moment they met.

What in the hell had he been thinking, earlier today? Sure, the burns only covered about twenty percent of his body - it could've been a heck of a lot worse. His face had been saved - although there was still a lot of scarring covering his neck and the underside of his chin. But looking at himself in the mirror, he couldn't help thinking - what female would ever want him, the way he looked now?

It breaks me that he could feel so down about himself, I want to cuddle him up in a soft fleece blanket and protect him from the world. That even as he gets to know Beth, that he could think that she would think that way of him... That she wouldn't continue to be attracted to him if she knew the extent of his scarring! Beth is not immune to struggle. Her son's struggles have taught her to see the beauty on the inside rather than just the beauty on the outside of people and that's what makes the moment that they finally succomb to the feelings they've been trying to suppress that much more wonderful!

Did you love Kelly and Luke, just like I did? Well, don't worry, they make an appearance in TWO HEARTS UNSPOKEN to play matchmaker to Zach and Beth. Kelly is in the perfect position as a Callahan cousin to Beth and Luke, being the one who helped save Zach, find a way to bring these two crazy kids together. It was nice to see what a family atmosphere with great big hearts can do, and they really do take Beth, Kyle and Zach completely in.

Don't worry, there are still four legged friends involved. Watch for Emily and see the love between a child and their dog (of course that child needs to meet the dog of his mother's future love, but what harm does a little tackling do, am I right?).

Five very enthusiastic stars with two hearty thumbs up! Honestly, I feel like I liked this one more than the first one, and I loved that one! Really there is something for EVERYONE!

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review: Every Beat of My Heart

Every Beat of My Heart Every Beat of My Heart by Bella Andre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've read pretty much EVERY Sullivan book - and this... just OMG how perfect!!!!

Thank you to Bella Andre for making the Audible audiobook of this Sullivan's novella, Every Beat of My Heart, available for FREE!

What a beautiful time to take a step back to two of my favourite couples, to see them married before their family and friends by mama Mary Sullivan. I love this world that had been so intertwined with the family that started it all. I look forward to all the books that come out in this series. Now I think I'm going to have to go cry a little bit more at the beauty of this love story!

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Review: The Truth About Fragile Things

The Truth About Fragile Things The Truth About Fragile Things by Regina Sirois
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


My name is Megan Riddick.
I am a junior in high school.
I killed a man when I was two years old.
It all started with a stuffed monkey and a butterfly.
I don't want to tell this story.

Powerful, right? Intriguing? Definitely. A fabulous read? ABSOLUTELY!

I received my copy of this eBook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

What should have been buried in the past comes back to haunt Megan Riddick during one of the most trying times of anyone's life - high school. At two years old, Megan had been chasing a butterfly and wandered out into the street in front of oncoming traffic. A young man named Bryon Exby saved her life, and in the process, lost his own leaving behind a wife and small child.

I don't remember the sirens or the screams from that terrible morning. I can't recall my mother's panic or the pain of my skinned knees. Not even Bryon Exby's strangely calm face when he looked up at the people who raced to him first. We found out his name that night when the hospital called and told us he hadn't made it. I learned all of that from other people, snatches of old news reports and witness accounts in the newspapers, and turned them into a memory that is mostly artificial. But I do remember the strange orange butterfly - bright as a drop of sun, brief as the gold light of a struck match. One flap of color that rippled and wrinkled all the fabric of fate and led me to the street where I would kill a man before I even knew my last name. And to this day the impossibly beautiful insect looks like nothing but death to me.

Megan believes the worst of herself, thinks that her small two year-old self chose to end Bryon Exby's life by running out into that street. No one she knows at school, not Alicia nor Phillip, her best friends, know about the story of the butterfly and man who saved her life. Megan hasn't been able to tell it, she has kept it quiet because of the guilt that she feels over her part in his death. This is possibly why when Charlotte Exby, the baby left without the guidance of her father, comes to find her, to offer her forgiveness for taking her father from her life even though she doesn't want to just because her father had it on his bucket list... I broke down sobbing. The relationship that is developed between first Megan and Charlotte, something tenuous and fragile forged by a horrible tragedy, turns into to something beautiful and familial involving Charlotte, Phillip and Megan.

Charlotte looked out across the empty auditorium and breathed in the power of the stage. I watched it happen as her shoulders relaxed and she leaned into one leg, comfortable, at home. "Maybe I don't hate her. She's the last thing of him that I have left. The last thing he did."

Phillip and Megan help Charlotte tick off the items on the bucket list one by one. This provides a kind of closure for both Megan and for Charlotte who both sorely need to experience something where they feel they can pay homage and respect to Bryon the Hero they never knew. Bryon's list takes them backpacking on Taum Sauk Mountain to watch a meteor shower while sleeping beneath the stars in hammocks slung between trees. It finds Megan relinquishing her lead in the school play to her understudy Charlotte so that the wish of performing on stage can be fulfilled. Bryan's list brings them closer together and brings both girls comfort and closure for what happened the day a little girl ran into the street after a pretty butterfly.

This is a beautifully written tale that took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I cried both tears of joy and tears of sadness, my heart soared for Charlotte when she found love, and it wept for Megan when it looked like she could lose her best friends. I watched these characters grow and fell in love with them as they struggled to find peace within themselves. Five stars well deserved and two overly enthusiastic thumbs up for a book that has captivated my heart and soul!

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Review: Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time

Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time by Steve Jenkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Has a pig ever changed your view of the world? Esther has done this for so many! I mean, look at this face, how could you not adore her????

I happily met Esther, and her dads, last fall and though it is something I will never forget, I'm sure she's long since forgotten because HAVE YOU SEEN HOW MANY PEOPLE COME TO THE FARM JUST TO SEE HER????? I've followed Esther and her dads for such a long time and though I know most of the stories in the book already, it was beautiful to read the unending love that they have for each other and for every animal they have. I have read the eBook, the hardcover and have even listened to Steve read the audiobook. I think the audio was the best one - hearing the love in his voice and the determination to achieve their goals of living their Happily Ever Esther (whoops, I mean after, Happily Ever After!) was moving and motivating. If you have a good sense of humour and a love of animals, especially one beautiful porcine Princess, this book is for you!

The Esther Effect is real - it changes lives and changes motivations. These are some positive, wonderful people who have beautiful hearts. Esther is an inspiration to us all!!!!

Peace. Love. Esther!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review: Two Hearts Surrendered

Two Hearts Surrendered Two Hearts Surrendered by Tamara Ferguson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Steve cleared his throat to get Kelly's attention. "I know that it's not really any of my business, Kelly - but what you really need to do, is to just give Luke a little more time. Once he begins to get stronger, and he feels better, it should improve his mental state. And seeing a shrink should help. I know this from personal experience with other patients. Let's just wait until he's ready."

I received my copy of this eBook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I am a sucker for the injured soldier romances! I pictured these two - Kelly and Luke - rather like Logan and Veronica, of Veronica Mars fame, though with a tighter relationship in their backstory (and certainly more siblings on Kelly's side than Veronica had!) and history together. You could feel the love radiating off the two of them, the electric spark of attraction that had been growing and brewing beneath the surface for them for years.

From the moment he saved a six year old Kelly from drowning, it was pretty apparent that she was special to Luke, to everyone who mattered. That her sisters marriage brought the two of them back together was heaven sent, though the timing could have been better as it was merely hours before Luke was set to return to the Air Force ending his leave. It was enough of a motivator to bring the two back together, despite Kelly's confessions years prior on the same beach near Dragonfly Pointe.

After a few quiet moments, he finally spoke. "You don't know how many times I've thought about coming back here, Kel... how many times that I've dreamed of you when I was overseas."

Her eyes jerked immediately to his. "Oh, Luke. You've never said those kinds of things to me before." She closed her eyes. "Don't tell me you're finally going to admit your feelings for me now-when I've worked so hard trying to get over you? You shot me down pretty good a few years back."

"You'd never believe how hard it was for me to say no to you."

I love when a couple seems to be falling together into something divine right at the very beginning! They'd had a friendship of sorts, based on her brother Dan's drive to help save a battered and abused young Luke in his teens, but it was also something familial. Like he was a fixture, big brother's friend that she'd always adored. Of course, shipping out at the end of the next day when they'd resolved themselves to be together would be their first hurdle. A man who had not had anything in his youth, nothing he was truly proud of or loved but the skill and the career that he had made for himself in the Air Force. Remind me of anyone?

Yeah... If you know me, and how much of a 'Team Logan' supporter I am, than you know how I feel about broken yet strong, caring men like that. I think that was one of the reasons this book did so well for. Luke Bryant was so compelling and soooo broken! His childhood had been shattered by abuse and then, when he finally feels like he has something to live for and something to dream about to come home to... It's all ripped away from him through a devastating combat injury. He's left burned, more scarred than ever physically, and now with the added prospect of life without one of his legs. You know he must feel like something so shattered and broken, and Kelly, who was seven years his junior couldn't possibly be interested in being with him now that he is so disfigured. Who would want to dump that kind of life on anyone? She had thought he would be whole, or as whole as he could have possibly been physically, not what he'd become - the useless, helpless mass he'd become. He'd lost his sense of worth, and he'd lost faith in the strength of the beautiful woman who wanted to spend her life by his side.

Jake hesitated, staring intently at Kelly. "Well, are you strong enough to handle this? That's why Luke's probably never thought he was good enough for you, sweetie - he's putting on a front to protect himself, from the hurt he'd be feeling, if you rejected him the way he was now."

"Nothing's gonna ever make me stop loving Luke," she answered fiercely. "That's the way it's always been, and that's the way it's always gonna be."

Time and patience is all it takes. Kelly refuses to give up on him, and the payoff in the end is so rewarding!

A wonderful love story about perseverance in the face of adversity and that even though someone is injured or disabled, that doesn't make them any less the person that they were before. Love can overcome all obstacles with a little faith and a lot of hard work. Four stars and two enthusiastic thumbs up!

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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Review: Chasing Fireflies

Chasing Fireflies Chasing Fireflies by Taylor Dean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received my copy of this eBook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I have loved every part of The Power of the Matchmaker series. They've all been sweet, and wholesome with enough suggestion to fuel any love story. Not all romances need to be tawdry affairs, and not all clean romances need to be preachy and spiritual. This series is an example of one that is the perfect amount of fluffy courtships when you've had your fill of the rogues and rakes of the more torrid and steamy romances.

Chasing Fireflies was a one sitting book! I couldn't put it down until I had finished it, and that doesn't happen as often as you would think nowadays! I felt like I was reading about myself for a very long time. Savannah Tate is so similar in personality to me that I felt so connected to her in mere pages of reading and the hope that I had for her to find her happy ending held on until the very end. I had guessed at her life changing news, what she perceived as being the "broken" part of her long before the book gave its answers to us. It couldn't be that she is a shy introvert because she is accepting and loving of that viewpoint from the very beginning. It's very rare that I find a heroine who is like me in that regard and so aptly explains what it feels like to be an introvert. It's not that we don't like the interaction with other people, it's that we need to recharge afterwards because it is so draining on us emotionally and physically. It's rare that anyone gets this right, so kudos to you Taylor Dean for an accurate portrayal of an introvert!

The thought niggles. And burrows. Forages in my heart. I don't let it take root. I don't plan on letting bitterness overcome me.

No, instead I need to find the real Paul. He's out there somewhere, I just know it.

Savannah has been through the ringer by this point. She has broken relationships, with limited interactions with males unless they are named 'Paul' all because of a chance meeting with Miss Pearl when she was a young girl. Searching far and wide for her 'Paul' finds her as an English teacher on exchange to China. She makes great friends but definitely meets the love of her life - there's only one problem - his name isn't Paul! Julian is PERFECT for Savannah, it's something that you can tell from the moment that they first meet. He is definitely drawn to her from first meeting, but Savannah is so set on her search for Paul that she doesn't seem to pay him that much attention.

When the Paul she thought she had come to China to find turns out to be a cad who wanted no more than whatever physical comforts she could have offered, it's Julian who helps heal her heart and it's then that the great love affair between them begins.

He sets his glass down. "I've liked you from the moment I met you. You were so quiet, yet I could physically feel your presence, like there was a force in the room pulling me towards you. That's never happened to me before."

Touched, I don't know what to say. Instead, I swallow and it turns into a gulp.

His eyes bore into mine as he says, "My answer is a big, fat, huge yes. I want there to be something between us."

This was a sweet tale, where the heroine learns she is stronger than the she ever appears and that sometimes the best coincidences bring you down the path to love. I loved reading from Savannah's perspective, I think the story would have lost something if we had jumped back and forth between her and Julian's POV. This was excellent. A delightful read that showcases the beauty and the power of love. 5 enthusiastic stars and two hearty thumbs up!!!!

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