Review: The Promise (Thunder Point, Book 5) by Robyn Carr

the promiseReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Peyton Lacoumette stops in town not realizing that she’s looking for a job.  Dr. Scott Grant is looking for some help with his practice.  Ms. Carr has a way with words – you can feel the connection as it develops between Scott and Peyton.  She also catches the readers up on some of the characters that we met in previous books.  One thing that is constant in this series is how quaint the town is and how friendly everyone appears to be.

There’s one scene that ends with Peyton making me very jealous – she has a gallon of my favorite ice cream.  That makes it definite – I’m moving to Thunder Point.  Robyn has a way of creating a sense of community in this series it’s not all about a couple falling in love.  You come to care about the people she writes about.

Women aren’t the only ones that can find love the second time around.   This author makes Scott out to be a very romantic man who thinks about the woman he’s with.  He’s also a man who’s very understanding.  He also doesn’t try to stand in the way of Peyton doing what she wants.

This author takes great care in creating her scenes, which makes it very easy to picture what’s going on.  You can count on her to help you forget the stress that for some can almost be constant.  I’m able to just sit back, relax, and get lost in a town that you want to find and get to know the people there.

If you’re looking for a story that will make you smile – you’ve found a great choice.  There are a lot of pages, not as many as some, but you will get so lost in the story that you don’t realize how quickly they go by.  The disappointment comes when you realize that you’ve come to the end.  But then you realize that there’s another book just around the corner.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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: The Dog Year by Ann Garvin

dog yearReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Dr. Lucy Peterman is a woman who’s not very happy right now. Her life seems to be on the downturn. Lucy lets the reader see a true account of what her life is like since some personal issues happened. People tend to have a preconceived notion that a doctor’s life is so glamorous. But they are human and tragedy can even happen to them. It also reminds us that not everyone is perfect and that’s ok.

This book shows the reader that not everyone deals with tragedy the same. Sometimes people just need a little push, or intervention, to help put them back on track. Some people notice subtle changes in personality, maybe how the person looks, or even on how they behave.

Mark Troutman knew her way back when. There’s a scene where they’re catching up and she’s Miss Personality. And this is one thing that I like about this book – Lucy’s not perfect and that’s what makes her seem human. And then a dog and Sara came into her life. They all seem to be good for each other – they all have significance in Lucy’s life. Will Mark be able to have a place in there too? You’ll just have to read and find out for yourself.

This book would be a great book club read. Our author also graciously put discussion questions at the back. I can also picture sitting in a beach chair down at the beach staring out to sea and then getting hooked into Ann’s book. I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I did.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Dog Year

Review: Urbino, Unexpectedly by Maria Chiara Marsciani

urbino unexpectedlyReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Twenty-two year old Clara is a student in Milan and wants a future as a lawyer, but is that all she wants in life? Even though the backdrop of everything that is beautiful about Italy, its alps, romantic hamlets, Rome and Milan, she soon discovers she hates everything about Italy due to her parents expecting too much of her. For her, meeting Leonardo is the best thing that has happened to her even though her parents do not approve of her wanting to marry him later on.

Review: Though Clara is from an upper class background she feels she doesn’t fit in wherever she goes. Her father is someone who is also influential and to be feared, while her mother tries to organise her life from the start. For her, her grandma is the only one who she can talk to, that is until she meets Leonardo who shows her she can enjoy herself without being trapped in her parents’ morals, and lifestyle. You would think that Leonardo being a doctor would make her parents approve, but for her parents, no one she chooses to be with is ever good enough for their high standards. In order to be her own person, Clara knows she has to break away from the parents she soon realises are stifling her creativity and general life, and it will be a big problem for her to do this as her parents have been controlling her for so long.

Good Bits:

  • Leonardo – he sounds very attractive in this book
  • Readers get to appreciate Clara’s cramped life and can come to the conclusion that having money and connections isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Bad Bits:

  • It can be dull at times

Summary: As everything crumbles around her parents’ lives and their control is lessened due to Leonardo’s influence, the story changes from being one of depression and doom to being a more positive outlook on her life, but the depression element has to be ground in so that the changes can show later in the story. There is a lot of romance in this story, and it is one not to be missed.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Urbino, Unexpectedly: a story of love and self-discovery

Review: The Black Sheep’s Inheritance (Dynasties: The Lassiters, Book 1) by Maureen Child

black sheep's inheritanceHeroine: Colleen Falkner receives an unexpected legacy from her client J.D. Lassiter in his will. Three million dollars is more than enough to help her achieve her dreams and fulfill her mother’s too. Colleen wants to be a nurse practitioner for the remote mountain area in Wyoming around Cheyenne. The money will more than enable her to get her license, buy a cabin, and set up a practice. When Sage, J.D.’s son, appears to have an interest in her, she is flattered and excited. She feels like she knows him from all of the stories she’s heard.

Hero: Sage Lassiter wasn’t close with his adoptive father. In fact, the two were loggerheads most of the time they got together after an incident in college. So he’s not surprised when J.D. pulls something crazy in his will. What he is surprised about is that the person who was screwed-over wasn’t himself, but was his sister. The one person who might know about why J.D. did what he did would’ve been his private nurse. And, the woman, just got a three million dollar legacy, so clearly, she’s up to no good.

Review: I’m not sure who the black sheep is supposed to be in this story. I felt the inheritance most in question was the heroine’s (and the hero’s sister’s), but it was the hero who had conflict with his family. The story is adorable and I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Colleen and Sage go to look at houses and she nearly falls into the ravine… which leads to fun sexy times. I also loved how Sage pulled out all the stops to win her over again after making an ass of himself.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: The Black Sheep’s Inheritance (Dynasties: The Lassiters)

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Review: The Hero (Thunder Point, Book 3) by Robyn Carr

The HeroReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Devon McAllister is carrying her three-year-old daughter and then is lucky enough to catch a ride to Thunder Point. I hope if you’re reading this book that you’ve also read the other two in the series. You will continue getting to know about the town and some of its inhabitants. It will also leave you wanting to pack your bags and moving there.

In this story, we finally get to know the character named Rawley Goode. Rawley is a very caring soul and I wish there were more people like him in this world. Robyn makes me wonder if she has fashioned him after someone she knows.

Spencer Lawson is the new Athletic Director at the high school. He and his ten-year-old son, Austin, are staying at Cooper’s old place for now. He also has something in common with Devon.

While reading this book, in the beginning I kept thinking of Devon as a man – I have a nephew of the same name. The difference is that he spells his name with an “I” and she spells her name with an “O”. So now that I have that figured out, I don’t have that problem any more.

Robyn has put an interesting twist in this book – Devon has two men to choose from and both men have children. Scott is a doctor and Spencer is a coach – what an interesting dilemma. What a great reason to keep reading in order to find out who wins her heart.

This isn’t just Devon’s story. We get to see what’s happening with the other characters that we’ve come to love in the first two books. This book will have you smiling – our author knows exactly how to please her readers. She also creates a town where everyone cares about everyone else.

In my opinion this is a series that would be a good fit for the Hallmark Channel. Yes, there’s some violence but that is part of where Devon came from so it needs to be there. It also makes me wonder as to the type of research Robyn needed to do in order for the storyline to at least appear accurate. She also knows when to add something that will have the reader on the edge of their seats and holding our breaths until we know that everything is all right.

A great author knows how to create believable characters. It makes me wonder if she questioned any males to find out how they would behave during certain situations – this would include both civilians and men in the military. Or does she just instinctively know how to get these characters right? You will be happy to know that the next book in the series, titled The Chance, is due out in March 2014.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Hero (Thunder Point)

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Review: Stay by Allie Larkin

stay-allie-larkinReviewed by Karin

This is a sweet romance. A friend enjoyed the book and shared her copy with me. Here’s the short take: Girl pines for boy-friend; girl gets dog; girl gets other guy.

Savannah ‘Van’ Leone is maid of honor for her best friend Janie, who just happens to be marrying Van’s heart throb, Peter. Van has loved Peter since college, and while it seems he loves her, they never got together once his family realized she was not from money. Peter’s life has been orchestrated by his family. And he is compliant. On the other hand, Peter and Van are best friends. But it is hardly fair to Van.

Van’s mother worked as head housekeeper for Janie’s mother, Diane. But Diane and she were good friends. (Her mother is now dead.) (Warning: breast cancer.) At the same time there were financial constraints that kept Van’s mother there instead of leaving. Van and her mother lived in the carriage house on the grounds, so when Van said she lived in Westchester, she did, but as the maid’s daughter, not the home owner.

So it’s complicated. And it gets moreso, when Peter shows up immediately after the wedding at the carriage house in a maudlin drunken state. She sends him off, but Janie’s mom sees the whole picture, and essentially buys her off. But that doesn’t exactly work. And it isn’t exactly what happened. Maybe.

When Van gets home, she gets soused, and begins to watch a marathon of Rin Tin Tin movies. Before she knows it, she wants a dog, and is searching the Internet. She buys a German Shepherd puppy from Slovakia without even knowing the exchange rate. The puppy ends up being a lot bigger than she anticipated.

And then she meets the veterinarian…

And it’s complicated, but you know it all ends well.

And the dog is very cute, very slobbery, and a real ally to her. She feels less alone. I love how the dog expresses protectiveness, love and concern for her.

There are other peripheral characters, equally interesting and well developed. I especially liked how Peter’s Aunt came through for Van. She is a character in herself. And it looks like she will have a love interest too, which is quite delightful.

Have you read it?

I got tired of reading the dog’s antics. I surely got tired of how much Van drank (which she stops.) I could hardly stand the descriptions of how dirty/messy she lived. I liked how she realized what kind of a man Peter is. I liked how they could all remain friends. I liked how she realizes she no longer loves him and how they resolve that. I like how Peter mans up for her at a certain point. (Other than that he reminds me of Ashley in GWTW.) The parental generation is certainly lacking, but the ‘grandparent’/aunt situation is delightful.) I liked how she stands up for herself and what she needs and deserves. It took her long enough to learn it. Of course, it is always easier to see in someone else’s life. How she gets to that point is the point of the story, which is very well written.

The dog on the cover is the cutest thing ever! And so is the Vet and his ‘grandfather.’

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Stay

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Review: Breaking the Rules by Melinda Dozier

Breaking the Rules by Melinda DozierReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: After an accident keeps Hope Robinson in a cast hobbling around at work, she has time to think about what she has done in her life, and whether she has made the right decisions in the past. She is the sort of woman who keeps to the rules and plays it safe in work matters as she is a middle school principal in Harbor Bay, Florida.

Her reason for being this way is that a previous love affair didn’t go the way she had hoped, and it left her feeling bad about what she had done. She vowed she would never let her heart rule her head, and never let her passions for men come before her work, at least that was before she met Dr. Colin Calaway, a widower and father who wants to be her lover, friend and confidante, but she has to think long and hard on what she is doing, and whether her job is worth the risk.

Review: The story starts where the two of them meet as Colin’s son has been sent for detention for fighting again, and she wonders how it is that someone who is a professional can have such a difficult child, especially when he is such a nice guy. Colin on the other hand wonders why it is that other guys in his profession get all the hot patients as Dr Patel is Hope’s doctor, and wishes she were his.

Though there is a definite chemistry between them, she finds it hard to accept that a principle should never have relations with a parent, but as their son’s misbehaviour is what brought them together, maybe it was fate that decided their life for them.

Good bits:

  • Colin and Hope meet straight away – but under difficult circumstances.
  • They are opposites, but after they get talking, he feels that she is a hotter woman than she first appears.
  • The fact that Hope has fractured or broken her leg ten times – she’s a bit reckless, or clumsy!

Bad bits:

  • The story is good, but only if you are impressed with doctor and patient romances.

Summary: Breaking the Rules isn’t short on comedy, or fun moments, but as the title suggests, Hope breaks the rules as a school principle, and it is up to her to make their loving relationship work even though it does have its ups and downs.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Breaking the Rules