Review: The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend by Annabelle Costa

time-travelers-boyfriend-by-annabelle-costaSummary: Claudia loves her boyfriend Adam and would love to marry him. Unfortunately, he’s not ready for the next step. He’s leery of commitment because he had been deeply hurt by a girl he met just after the accident that left him paralyzed. When Adam invents a time machine and asks Claudia to use it to save him from the accident, she’s not sure what to think. But then Claudia sees this as the perfect way to separate Adam from the emotional wounds of his past. If he never meets that girl then he’ll be emotionally ready for marriage in the present when she gets back… of course it’s not that simple and things go awry.

Review: This is a cute, fluffy romance that is quick to get into and quick to read. I loved Claudia’s and Adam’s interaction after her first foray into the past. Oh my! Not quite what either one were expecting. I liked how Claudia accidentally-but-eventually-purposefully influenced her younger self toward the career path she finds so rewarding. I like how young-Claudia and time-travel-Claudia butted heads about things. I love young-Adam and Adam-at-the-end-of-the-book. It’s hard to say what made this work for me without giving too much away. I hope though, if you’re in the mood for something lighthearted you’ll consider reading this book!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend

Review: Lingerie and Felons by Ros Baxter

9780857991393Summary: Lola is always wearing the wrong underwear at the worse times… like upon arrest. Wait! Let’s back up a minute!

Lola’s parents repeatedly told her she could make a difference growing-up. Lola wants that. She wants to have purpose and be a force of change… The trouble for Lola is that she’s not sure what force of change she wants to be. As she tries to help she slips into and out of tricky legal situations such as the aforementioned arrest.

Along the way Lola meets a handsome Australian broker and a sexy lawyer with Superman tendencies. Her heart is torn and the choice should be easy, but there isn’t a pair of undies to tell a girl what to do and who to be with… Lola will have to figure that out on her own.

Review: I really enjoyed Wayne. When he’s first introduced he’s clearly the opposite of the heroine. They butt heads on a lot of issues. I loved that he switched Lola’s nickname on the first date and started to call her Rocket. That was really cute.

Wayne gets Lola on a level that she’s terrified of because on the surface Wayne is all wrong. She’s hardcore save the planet, hippy, libertarian, democrat and he’s a “heartless” and “soulless” suit, except he isn’t. Wayne is greatly amused by Lola and her passion for making a difference. It changes him throughout the novel. I really felt for him and wanted him to find someone special who loved him and wanted to be with him.

The greatness that is Wayne aside, I do not like Lola, and since the story is from her point of view (POV) that puts me in a predicament. I liked her fine in the beginning of the story, but actions she takes reveals that Lola is narrow-minded and shallow about what is right and what is wrong, and she argues instead of debates. Wayne gets in a really good point about money when she’s on her high horse and it makes her very uncomfortable.

Then there is Lola’s emotional immaturity. She ends her and Wayne’s relationship when it gets to be “too real” and hides her emotions in another relationship because the man is a safe choice. He’s rebound all the way and she uses this other man, who is equally great (but not great for her), to hide. This is perfectly acceptable in the beginning of the novel when she’s younger and a grad student. Everybody needs some time to figure out what they want and who they want.

But, as the years go by, she should have a better grip on what she wants/needs and not face a panic attack every time she and Wayne cross paths. Lola pushes Wayne away at all of their encounters, tells him lies when she’s scared she might fall back into a relationship with him, and misdirects him (regarding her daughter, Eve). She feels that wanting Wayne means being untrue to herself and punishes him for it. I’m honestly surprised he wanted her after all the years apart and all her crazy. And she hurts another in her endeavor to protect herself from what loving Wayne might mean.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: Lingerie For Felons

Review: The Perfect Match (Blue Heron, Book 2) by Kristan Higgins

The Perfect MatchReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Honor Grace Holland has a unique experience that I don’t think I’ve ever read in a Prologue before – I feel for her. She has an agenda and it includes Brogan Cain. But what’s great about an author’s imagination is that nothing is ever set in stone.

Tom Barlow is a college professor who’s a transplant and it seems that the women of his class like that. I like how Kristan doesn’t make things nice and rosy for everyone. There are real life issues that intercede to cause real problems. But Honor seems to take it all in stride even though she may not want to. Tom’s life doesn’t seem to be that much better. But these conflicts are what hold your interest. Being that this is a book with quite a few pages, if there weren’t any issues that got in the way would you want to read it until the end?

It also surprised me how quickly I got through the pages – I just couldn’t stop reading. There were so many characters that I wanted to know how they made out. One young man that stood out was Charlie – you could feel his growing pains. He’s also a character that you can relate to.

I was left wishing I was part of this family, hating Brogan and Honor’s best friend, and wanting to know what Charlie was like as an adult. It also has me wanting to take a road trip to New York and find this quaint town. Since I was reading this book during the Fall season, I think that it was the perfect time of year. You want to read a book that you just want to curl up with and have something hot, like apple cider. By the time you finish, you’ll be left with a smile on your face – a great HEA ending.

You’ll also be happy to know that there’s a book three in this Blue Heron series. The bad news is that it doesn’t come out until almost the end of March. But if you haven’t read book one, titled The Best Man, you will have plenty of time before Waiting On You comes out. This is not a series you will want to miss.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: The Perfect Match (The Blue Heron Series)

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Audio Review: Loving Lady Marcia (House of Brady, Book 1) by Kieran Kramer

lovingladymarciaHeroine: Lady Marcia Brady believes in fate, true love, and the goodness of others, until the cruelty of one severs her from her heart’s one desire. The man who did this was her lover’s older brother. It’s not until much later she finds out the fellow she entrusted her heart and virginity too was a cad of the first order. And the brother? Why Lady Marcia’s heart would want no other! A truly impossible match… it’s a good thing she’s got a school to save to distract her from all these unwanted feelings.

Hero: Duncan Lattimore, Lord Chadwick, has cleaned up after his brother, Finn, time and again. Little did he know that his brother’s one seeming attempt at responsibility was in actuality his quick escape from the parson’s noose. Luckily for Duncan, his brother’s lack of interest means he can swoop in and claim Lady Marcia for himself. For a man who never thought true love could exist, all it took was one slip of a girl to change his mind. Now he must convince her that her youthful dreams of love are not lost forever.

Review: There was much of the story to like – young/older Duncan, young Marcia’s idealistic nature, and how they are together. On the other hand, the whole school business, bastard child, and the “black” widow character could have gone away. I couldn’t give a fig about them and they took too much time from the romance and oft times were repetitive in actions/dialogue. The very best sequence after the youthful encounter between Duncan and Marcia on the ship was when Duncan runs into Marcia in London and realized he is on the wrong side of Lady Marcia’s goodwill. He must discover why she dislikes him and why she’s changed from her sweet bubbly persona into the woman he met on the streets. When he does – he blackens his brother’s eye and gives him a good licking. Go Duncan! Hot.

Narrator: Alison Larkin is a terrific narrator. I loved her voice and would listen to her in another book. Very precise “s” sounds, very proper.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: Loving Lady Marcia (House of Brady)

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Review: Courting a Cowboy by Patricia McLinn

Courting a CowboyReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Sophie Vandercook works as an instructor at Mrs. Forestell’s Academy. She tells friends about having an absent husband and plans to convince them by trip to Wyoming. She’s actually using the trip to go visit her brother.

Nate Abbott has been corresponding with Sophie. But when she walks into the store he’s in, he doesn’t recognize her. Then eventually the light bulb clicks on for us, as we read their interaction. But something is amiss. The ranch hands will have you chuckling. They remind me of the male version of the ladies of River City from “The Music Man”.

The ranch hands think of Sophie as part of their family. How the ranch hands feel about Sophie is like how the lost boys felt about Wendy. And yet everything they know about Sophie, up until now, was based on letters that they received. But Sophie doesn’t realize what a flim-flam her brother was. The ranch hands respect her and don’t want to let her know the truth.

Nate seems to be a man that keeps his feelings close to the chest – makes me wonder if it was because of a woman. Sophie is as stubborn as they come. It will be interesting to see who wins this war.

I love the character named Doughy. I grew up watch Bonanza and thinking that Doughy would fit right in. He would be just like Hop Sing. My family watched the show religiously and I could picture Doughy cooking up a storm for the Cartwright family.

I love how Patricia describes the surrounding landscape. She’s like an artist putting bold colors on a canvas – but her canvas is paper. She also has a way with words. Sophie, at times, uses some pretty big words. I have to wonder if Patricia had to keep a dictionary or thesaurus handy. It also has me wondering if Sophie uses the big words so that people won’t get too close. I also get the impression that Patricia knows quite a bit about ranch life.

I fell in love with everyone at the OS. Sophie has a couple of women that she writes to at the Academy where she works. I wonder if Patricia will continue the adventures of the OS and have the story revolve around Alice. It will be interesting to see if she gets her own story.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Courting a Cowboy

Review: The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano

girl she used to beReviewed by Karin

A different romance
Not exactly a romance; almost a character study of the two main characters; yet a romance. This is a thinking man’s (or woman’s) romance.

I have to admit I started with the last chapter, then read the next to last, etc. for a few chapters, then reread from the beginning. I had to know how it ended before I began.

The story: Melody Grace McCartney has been a lot of different people over her 26 year lifetime. When she was 6, she and her parents witnessed a horrific mob hit by the Bovaro family. Since then, they have been on the move in the witness protection program, though her parents were later murdered. Their testimony didn’t matter in the the case against Tony Bovaro, because the elder Bovaro got off. Seemingly it did matter in a lot of peripheral cases, though that doesn’t hold any significance for Melody.

She contacts the program again, claiming she has been found, simply because she is bored.

And now as she is being moved again, the younger Bovaro shows up with orders to kill her, but he has other ideas. He has the crazy idea that he can set her free to find her own self, when she doesn’t even know who she is. Will his plan work?

In the meantime, she is pulled back by the witness protection program who finally offers her an offer that might mean something. They treat criminals in the program better than they do innocent witnesses. Which will she choose?

Jonathan Bovaro is already in love with her, with the real her, with the her that has been so many different people. He knows them all. And their two lives are not so very different in many ways.

The math: She’s a mathematician and in her most recent life, the program set her up to teach math. (Never mind she has no real credentials.) How she grades her average class is a sweet revelation. The sense of certainty that is math pervades a lot of the book and how she reasons.

I thought it was clever to start each chapter heading with an algebraic equation. I thought they might be a title for the chapter, some cryptic thing, but once I figured out chapter 2 and chapter 5, I had a pretty good idea, then I had to figure out what some of the symbols meant, because I have long ago forgotten them, though I used to love algebra.

At one point she is bothered by three young men. Her put down of the young man that comes over to her sounds like a mathematician — and is surely one for the books.

My take: This book is well written. There is much to like about the book!!! My only reservation is that Jonathan is a kind of loose cannon, with a short trigger. He has no problem with violence, but he has never killed before. I wondered how little it might take for him to turn against her and how far that violence would then go. I’m guessing RL might go that way, but this is a book.

I understand there is a sequel. The Exceptions.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Girl She Used to Be

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Review: The Scent of Jasmine by Barbara Delinsky

The Scent of Jasmine Barbara DelinskyReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This is a reprint of a book that was written back in 1985. You will realize this when certain music is mentioned.

Pepper MacNeil is a mail carrier in Naples Maine. She loves her classical music. As you are sitting reading this story, you may want to have some classical music playing in the background. If classical isn’t your thing, you could try listening to some music of the eighties. Personally, I fell in love with a Maine folk group years ago called “Schooner Fare”. So I will be putting on some of their music to give me some ambiance.

If you’ve never been to Maine, you may want to check out what that state has to offer. I have to warn you, some of the towns may be few and far between and malls may not be close. This is a state where you go to relax and enjoy the nature around you – unless you’re looking for one of the bigger cities. I also found it interesting that this story takes place in a town that I used to vacation in as a child.

John Smith is outside his house applying shingles to the roof. He’s new to Pepper’s route. They start flirting with each other almost from the first. Ladies, can we say eye candy? He certainly knows his way around tools.

Barbara describes a scene where Pepper has the day off and she’s in Portland. I feel like I’m right there with her. There’s nothing like being in Maine in the summer time. Even when the Portland Mall is crowded, it doesn’t feel the same as walking around my local mall.

There’s another scene where John and Pepper head south of Portland to go to the beach. It’s another reminder of my summers in Maine. We used to spend time up in Old Orchard Beach – I can smell the salt air now. This story just brings back so many family vacation memories.

This book is the greatest type of beach read. It sets the scene during the summer months. It’s set in a vacation state. And even the music is something that will relax you as you enjoy your vacation. Make sure to add this to your list of books when you take off to enjoy yourself – whether at a lake, an ocean, a pool, or even camping.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Scent of Jasmine

Review: Murder, Mayhem & Mama by Christie Craig

murder mayhem and mamaReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Calie McKay is in Hopeful, Texas. She’s a teacher and her mother recently passed away. Her boyfriend, Stan, isn’t very sympathetic. Detective Brit Lowell works in the Hopeful’s Homicide Division. He’s currently working the graveyard shift.

One night Cali comes home and Stan’s not there. When she goes to sleep her mother fits prominently in her dream. You would think with the title Christie used that it might be a little dark but it has some quirky moments – not to give too much away but “I hear dead people”.

I think that this book would make a great murder mystery movie. Christie gives us the dark side of murder. We get to see how the police department works to solve the murders that have occurred. And she makes us laugh a little when we see the ghostly side of the story. We would need actors that can be serious one moment, make us laugh the next, and then talk to people they cannot see. Who would you choose to play the parts?

There was one scene that just started getting to the interesting part and then we cut to another scene. You’re left wondering “what happened, what happened!” But this is what makes a great page turner. We have to keep reading so that we can see what’s going to happen next.

Christie shows her readers how officers feel, and act, after one of their own has been killed. This hit home for me after one of our area towns had an officer that was killed in the line of duty. And as I read this story, I’m reminded how my own mother passed away several years ago. I would like to think that she’s somewhere looking after me.

One thing that I found a little predictable, probably from watching too many cop shows on TV, was how the cops believe that somehow Cali is involved with what is going on. Brit surprised me too when there were times he could be romantic. He seemed like such a jerk. You’ll love the nickname that Cali gave him.

I have read some other of Christie’s work and this is another good one. Her story flows right from the beginning. She makes us think that guardian angels are possible. It also shows that our men, and women, in blue go through a lot to protect us. If you get this read within the next couple of months, you will be ready for her blog tour that starts toward the end of August. If you visit her web site, http://www.christie-craig.com/, you will find out what book will be involved with the tour.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Murder, Mayhem and Mama

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