Review: Jinxed By Kathryn Leigh Scott

Review: Jinxed By Kathryn Leigh Scott

Jinxed_finalcoverReviewed by Karin

First book Down and Out in Beverly Heels

I really enjoyed this book.

This book takes Meg a bit further down the path from where she was dead broke because her ex-husband was a conman (now in prison) and she was living in her car because that was all she had.

She had had a successful TV series 20 years before where she played Jinx, complete with a magician’s hat. Now she is caught off guard to find they are reprising the show — but not with her. The young actress is surprisingly good, with an interesting voice, and a few secrets of her own. And Meg has been asked to give her lessons on how the hat was used in the old show and how it will be used in the new.

Then she goes missing.

Throw in an extremely irritating first husband; the wealthy woman who lets Meg live in her mansion (complete with paraphernalia from old movies and an old doll collection) … a young man who is talented as a film director who is filming Meg (who wants to further him in the business); a couple of detectives; an older male friend; … Jack, her lover, who is also with the FBI. He’s on a case involving sex rings, which may or may not be part of the missing actress.

And there’s a murder and attempted murder …

I didn’t see it coming (whodunit) … I suspected someone who wasn’t the one (good) …

The book was well written. I would definitely read another of her books.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Jinxed (A Jinx Fogarty Mystery)

Review: One Mad Night Anthology by Julia London

one mad night

One Mad Night

Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty are high profile ad execs in cutthroat competition for a client. When a major winter storm puts New York City on lockdown, the two rivals have to make it through the night together-oh, the many ways in which opposites attract…

Review: Julia London is an author I love to read. In this book, I really enjoyed Chelsea and Ian as a couple. They were competitive, and tried to one-up each other all the time, but they weren’t nasty about it. They played fair which was sexy. Even when the outcomes weren’t what one or the other wanted they would use the defeat to push forward and do better next time. Their chemistry sparkled and as I read I wanted them to hurry up and kiss already! Good thing they get snowed-in because it gave them both the push they needed to succeed at love.

The two leads were very likable. Ian had a very strong sense of right and wrong. He likes to win but he doesn’t like to win by default or get handed things. Chelsea wasn’t whiny. She had a lot of dignity and high standards.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Bridesmaid – Bonus Novella

Kate Preston has just moved to New York. Joe Firretti is contemplating a move to Seattle. When the weather wreaks havoc with transportation systems, Kate and Joe meet as they are both trying to rent the last car available… As Kate races to make her best friend’s wedding, and Joe races to a life-altering job interview, it looks like together is the only way they’ll make it at all

Review: This book was not in the digital ARC I received.

Buy: One Mad Night: A Novella

Get into bed with Julia London (a delicious author interview) to learn more about the author and this book in particular!

Review: Gilded Lily (Gilded Flower, Book 1) by Vivian Winslow

gilded lilyReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: When Lily Baron catches her fiancé Jack in bed with her sister the day before the most important day in her life – her wedding day, she leaves for Rio alone which would have been her honeymoon destination. Things aren’t all bad though as she soon meets the enigmatic and sensually sexy hotel masseur, Marcelo who unleashes a sexual passion she never thought she had with the man she would have married. It’s a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire for her though as she starts to get interested in another man, who is totally loaded, called Gustavo de Lima – her only problem is he is married.

Review: This is a good premise for a novel. After being cheated on, does a woman who felt such awful emotions for her fiancé help a married man cheat on his wife? I suppose it depends on the person, but Lily gets a deep sexual thrill being with men who turn her on, something she never got with Jack, so as she is free of him and not in a serious relationship, I think she might have forgot what a relationship means and the commitment involved. What is interesting is that for the woman who has everything, money, beauty and social status, she doesn’t have a man who would do right by her.

Good Bits:

  • Jack’s her childhood sweetheart and it’s awful to think that he would do that to her – but it’s amazing how many of these kind of relationships don’t tend to work out.
  • The intense sex scenes between her lovers.
  • The question of whether she would do the decent thing and not be Gustavo’s bit on the side.

Summary: I liked the idea of an independent woman out for thrills and sexual exploration. After all, that’s what her would be husband, Jack wanted to do with her twin sister. There are the concepts of right and wrong to consider and whether she would like it if she all of a sudden got into a serious relationship again only to have her man cheat on her the same way Jack did. As this is an erotic novel, the same can’t be said for Lily as she is caught up in the sexual thrills of being with a man who pushes her buttons and makes her feel good about herself in bed. The way Winslow weaves a story is as erotic as it is sensual and I would definitely recommend reading more by this writer.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Gilded Lily (The Gilded Flower Series Book 1)

Review: Catch of The Day by Carla Caruso

Catch of The Day by Carla CarusoReviewed by Fleur, of A Daily Romance

Glamorous but flawed Winnie Cherry is exiled to small town Australia for work, following an imbroglio involving a senior staff member. Upon immediately entering the local area, our heroine has an accidental run-in with worldly local hunk Alex Bass. As superficial as this sounds, readers may fall in love with Alex before he even opens his mouth.

Excerpt:

Woah. The sunnies were up and she sucked in her breath. He was actually quite dreamy-looking, if you liked rugged seafaring types. Up close, he had ocean-green eyes, an aqualine nose and just the right amount of sexy stubble. His fair hair looked artfully tousled, a style that would take Sydney pretty-boys hours to perfect with texturising sea-salt spray, but was no doubt au naturel. His biceps, straining beneath the polo fabric, looked like they could bench press the Big Lobster any day.

Winnie’s tumultuous beginnings with Alex, sets the stage for many more contretemps and some fiery dialogue. Not only is the sexual tension between the two protagonists enthralling, but the insight into small town living is really interesting and makes for a great story. The side characters are real characters, in some cases a bit odd if not dysfunctional. The story is also littered with quirky details, like reference to slogans on the coffee mugs in the office, “wake up smarter, sleep with a mortgage broker.”

While providing a contrast between town and country life, Catch of the Day explores issues that women in their late 20s and early 30s often ask themselves, is life in the fast lane all it’s cracked up to be? Are my relationships meaningful? What do I really want out of life?

This book is hilarious and if you liked reading Bridget Jones’s Diary then you will probably love this book.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Catch of The Day: Destiny Romance

Review: Once Upon a Kiss (Book Club Belles Society, Book 1) by Jayne Fresina

once upon a kissHero: Darius Wainright doesn’t know it, but the ladies of the local book society of Hawcombe Prior have labeled him a real-life Mr. Darcy. He doesn’t have plans for matrimony, he just wants to sort his uncle’s things, sell the house, and leave for society as quickly as possible, but all that changes when he realizes who is in town — that young lady who jumped on him in his bed one year ago in Bath.

Heroine: Not only does Justina Penny not understand her friend’s fascination with Darius Wainright, but she doesn’t understand the appeal of the priggish brute Mr. Darcy. Clearly Mr. Wickham is the hero of Pride and Prejudice. So while she has her sights set on a certain local captain, Jussy plans to help her sister snag Darius… only things don’t quite go as planned as Darius Wainright is the WRONG MAN she encountered a year ago.

Review: Jussy is a fun heroine to read due to her misadventures. She loves a good romp, a fast dash, and a delicious escapade here and there. Her parents have no hope for her to get married and rely on their other daughter to make a great catch. Justina is virtually overlooked when compared to her sister – that is until her scrapes call attention to her unladylike ways. Darius catches her in two scrapes involving his property and decides to teach her a lesson which leads to quite a lot of fun and misadventure. Darius draws on Mr. Darcy in a number of ways, but is still a unique character. Like Justina, he grew up under the shadow of his sibling, but whereas Jussy’s sister is kind, his brother was not. Darius has never been comfortable around women and had to go to great lengths to overcome a strong stutter. Around Jussy, he gets tongue-tied and that my dear readers makes him all the more adorable. I fully recommend this book and consider it one of the best reads of the year.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Once Upon a Kiss (Book Club Belles Society)

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Review: Until We Touch (Fool’s Gold, Book 15) by Susan Mallery

until we touchReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Jack McGarry is having a talk about Larissa Owens and learns something interesting.  Larissa is relatively new to Fool’s Gold but she loves it there.  They work together in the same office.  The reader should realize early on that this is going to be a book that is hard to put down.  You will realize that this can be read as a stand-alone.  But you will find it very hard at times not to either smile or laugh.

So if you’ve never read this series before you won’t be lost.  And I hope that if this is your first read in the “Fool’s Gold” series that this will be incentive for you to read the other books.  If you stop over to Susan’s web site, http://susanmallery.com/series.html, you’ll notice that she makes it easy for her readers – she breaks this series down by years.

I’m not joking when I say how easy it is to get lost in this story.  I was never so happy to have a day where I had to take my father to a series of medical appointments.  I got to finish this great book with only a few interruptions.  But be prepared – I took him to one of our local bookstores and was getting toward the end when I started to get tears in my eyes.  But luck was on my side because I could blame it on my Frappuccino.  The only disappointment in the ending was that there was no picture – you’ll understand when you get to that point.

This book is a must have.  If you’re a reader who still loves paperbacks and also has an e-reader, personally this is a series that is perfect to have in paperback form.  With the amount of time I spent reading that day I was out with my father, my e-reader would have run out of power.  Make sure to also mark your calendar; the next book will be coming out in October.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Until We Touch (Fool’s Gold Book 15)

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Review: Healing Her Heart (Stanton Family, Book 3) by Audra North

Healing Her HeartReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Greg Stanton is a cardiac surgeon – which I found interesting because recently I had to take my father to his cardiologist’s office. Carrie Jankowski works for an assisted living facility. This is a story that makes the doctor seem more human and shows that they go through the same types of things us “normal” people do. Greg is also one smooth talker – will Carrie stand a chance? You’ll just have to read in order to find the answer to that question.

I loved the idea of having some of the scenes taking place where Carrie works. I’d love to think that there are some characters like in the movie “Cocoon” – think Don Ameche. And that thought was answered when you meet Robert. I have to apologize to our author but I just fell in love with his character the minute I “met” him. I’d love to know if his character was based on an actual person.

Something that I thought was a great idea was having doctors working in a facility as part of their rotation – I think this would be a great help in how doctors treat the elderly or a disabled patient. This is also a case of love can be found anywhere. For those single readers – this may give you some hope to keep your eyes open to all possibilities. Having an open-ended ending was great. This leaves it up to the reader to decide where the couple can go from here. If you like this book, you may want to check out Audra’s other two titles from this series that are out now. They are titled Falling for the CEO and One Night in Santiago.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Healing Her Heart (A Stanton Family Novella) (Entangled Edge)

Review: Thornbrook Park (Thornbrook Park, Book 1) by Sherri Browning

thornbrook parkReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: After the death of her husband, Eve Kendal has only one option when she is disowned by her parents for marrying beneath her. She must leave India and go to London to live with her friend Lady Sophia Averford. The place that has become a new home for her is called Thornbrook Park, and the Dower House is where she will be living for the duration of her stay. Although she is in dire circumstances, she does have a plan for the future. An investment her husband put aside for her will come to fruition soon and when it does, she will use the money available to buy her own house.

Review: The synopsis sounds like the perfect start to Eve’s life, but life is not that reliable when other people are concerned and before long we find that an unscrupulous investor has stolen the money her husband had invested for her, and she is left with nothing. No future and no house to be hers. At least that is what she thinks until she meets Marcus and is instantly attracted to him. Unfortunately for her, he is betrothed to Alice, at least as far as Sophia is concerned, so he is out of bounds to her romantically. That doesn’t stop her having feelings for him though, and the feelings are reciprocated. In fact his interest runs so far that he is willing to help her uncover the mystery of her stolen money and make accountable the cad who stole it.

Good bits:

  • The initial meeting between Eve and Marcus.
  • The setting of the story. Thornbrook Park sounds like a wonderful place.
  • The other characters all have something interesting to hide, so be prepared for some revealing side stories.

Bad bits:

  • It took a long time to get to the good bits.
  • Some of the characters could have been left out.

Summary: As it is set in 1906, the story does mention what happened during that time and how difficult it was for most people who didn’t grow up with wealth. If readers like the period TV series such as Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice, this is one that will thrill readers as some of the characters are believable as is the setting. Eve’s affair with Marcus might sound like a great one for her, but Marcus has problems of his own as he feels the guilt of being alive while many of his friends he served with in the war died.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Thornbrook Park (A Thornbrook Park Romance)