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review 2018-03-22 14:24
Review: Cowboy SEAL Homecoming (Navy SEAL Cowboys #1) by Nicole Helm
Cowboy SEAL Homecoming - Nicole Helm
Cowboy SEAL Homecoming

Navy SEAL Cowboys #1
Nicole Helm
Contemporary Romance
Sourcebooks Casablanca
January 2nd 2018


Three former Navy SEALs
Injured in the line of duty
Desperate for a new beginning...
Searching for a place to call their own.


Alex Maguire never thought he'd go home again. The perfect soldier, the perfect leader, he's spent his whole life running away from Blue Valley, Montana―but when a tragic accident bounces him and two of his men out of the SEALs, there's nowhere left to turn but the ranch he used to call his own...and the confusing, innocently beguiling woman who now lives there.


Becca Denton's like nothing he could have imagined. She's far too tempting for her own good, but when she offers to help turn the ranch into a haven for injured veterans, he can't exactly say no. He'll just need to keep his distance. But something in her big green eyes makes Alex want to set aside the mantle of the perfect soldier and discover the man he could have been...safe and whole within the shelter of her arms.


The Prodigal SEAL has come home.




Barnes & Noble




Cowboy SEAL Homecoming is a sweet and adorable romance.


I picked this one up; because of a teaser Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup shared. It’s the first night/morning the guys are at the ranch and that morning a goat gets in the house. That scene was so funny. I had to just smile and laugh. It reminded me of farm life. I didn’t have any goats, but I sure did have several other farm animals. You can check out her review and see the teaser; here. Their was also another goat scene that made me smile as well. Goats, they are just too funny!


Becca reminded me a lot of myself. She has been sheltered her whole life; because she was a very sick child and her mother worried, so as a result she’s made animal friends on the farm. I wasn’t sheltered, but I didn’t have many friends and preferred to spend my time outside with my animals then with people. I had a great time watching Becca come out of her shell and stand up for herself and her needs and wants. I like that she wants to open an equine therapy ranch for wounded veterans and her stepbrother is all in to help, now that he is out of the service.


Alex returns home after pretty much running away from home. The ranch and town hold difficult memories for him. Coming home he is forced to face his situation and all those memories in the past. My heart went out to him. I would have liked to see more time spent on Alex getting help and dealing with his issues.


Becca and Alex are step-siblings, but they didn’t grow up together and barely have any type of a relationship, so the romance; between them didn’t raise any issues that I usually would have with this type of a set up. Their romance isn’t steamy, it’s a slow and sweet build. I think anything more wouldn’t have been believable; especially with how sheltered Becca was and the issues Alex has.


I had a delightful time with a Cowboy SEAL Homecoming. It had some wonderful touching moments and showcased life’s struggles and overcoming them.


Rated: 3 Stars


Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!


Challenge(s) (2018): Try Something New (Author/Series)





I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/03/review-cowboy-seal-homecoming-navy-seal-cowboys-1-by-nicole-helm
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review 2018-03-22 12:45
Insecure Main Character Drags Book Down
The Art of French Kissing - Brianna Shrum

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my review or rating. 


Well the book started off promising and then faltered for me pretty early on. And even when the book tries to right-side itself it goes back down again due to the actions of the main character (Carter Lane). I did read the book synopsis so the author/publisher is up front about the fact that Carter is going to get revenge on a boy that screwed her over in a culinary competition she is competing in. The issue is for me, what the boy did was minor, he apologized repeatedly, and the actions that Carter took could have gotten him sent home so I was not on her side. But the words he used when talking to her were sexist so they pretty much cancelled each other out. There was also very little discussion of food to be had. I didn't get a sense the author was a cook. I wanted more descriptions of what the food they were making was and the ingredients they were using. 


"The Art of French Kissing" has 17 year old Carter Lane going to Savannah, Georgia to compete in a culinary competition. Carter wants the win so bad she can taste it (pun intended). However, the first day of the competition, a rival, Reid Yamada lies about cheese she needs for a grilled cheese sandwich and she vows to get revenge on him. The revenge consists of Carter tripping the guy in a kitchen and I was not down for that. All I could think of was how he could have been hurt and injured someone else. 

So most of this book is Carter hating Reid and doing things to get back at him and bah. It was not that interesting to me. Besides the big issue I really had is that they both like each other and you are supposed to be rooting for two people who acted like a couple of assholes towards each other when they first met and afterwards.


The competition is mentioned, but the author doesn't even bother describing the secondary characters beyond a few. And for me, I was more interested in two secondary characters (Will and Riya) than I was in Carter and Reid. I wish we had gotten a chance to know more than just four characters. We also have a bigoted ass in the competition which I think we are supposed to be happy gets taken down a peg by Carter, but she actually shoves this guy at one point and I just rolled my eyes. She goes around shoving and grabbing to the point I wanted to say "just because you are a teen girl does not mean you don't respect others spaces." 


The writing is just okay. I wanted more description of the food, the recipes, I wanted to see why Carter was supposedly so good at cooking cause I didn't get that at all. I said in one of my updates, that a good idea would have been to end each chapter with a recipe of the food that Carter was cooking in the competition or something she mentions so that way there is a nice linkage there. 

I also had a huge issue with most of the story reading about Carter's feelings of doubt, insecurity, and immaturity. I just was over it by the end of this book. You find out she's lashing out at Reid because even though he never said anything, she feels inadequate and like she shouldn't be at the competition. This comes out of nowhere by the way. I think it was just a justification for once again why Carter is an ass to Reid. It also doesn't work for me that it would be Reid making her feel this way since bigoted ass character flat out tells her repeatedly she's not good enough to be there, so her ire should really be focused on him. 


The flow was not great. I thought things got better once Carter and Reid came to their "truce" and actually seemed to be working together and were not being jerks. Of course that all comes to an end due to Carter being an ass again. I was so happy to be done with this book.

This takes place in Savannah, but besides the author talking about how hot and humid it is, she didn't work a lot of the city in this book which is disappointing. Savannah is a great place to eat some Low Country food. I would have thought a culinary competition taking place in the south would have at least thrown a soul food or country challenge at the teens. Also speaking of the competition, it was not interesting at all. Probably because we only follow four (well five if you count bigot and okay six because the author does mention another female competitor by name) and you don't get a chance to really hear how others cook. I love Top Chef and other food shows like that so I was thinking this book would be up my alley. Instead I was just bored and really annoyed you had people hiding food and sabotaging recipes and the "judges" not saying anything about it.

The ending was okay, I just was glad to be done with this book when I finished.  

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text 2018-03-22 12:28
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Art of French Kissing - Brianna Shrum

This ended up being so frustrating to read. The author had a good idea and if the main character wasn't so aggravating this could have been cute. Bah. 

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text 2018-03-22 01:36
Reading progress update: I've read 84%.
The Art of French Kissing - Brianna Shrum

Well things finally got off the revenge kick and got more about the cooking. Backstory to Reid is interesting. Honestly though I'm more intrigued with two secondary characters, Riya and Will. Both are Indian and are really good in this competition. I still wish the chapters had been broken up with a recipe featuring the food that they were cooking. 

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review 2018-03-21 23:05
4.7 Out of 5 "Whirling Ball" Stars
Forever Right Now - Emma Scott




Forever Right Now

Emma Scott



Darlene Montgomery has been to hell and back…more than once. After a stint in jail for drug possession, she is finally clean and ready to start over. Yet another failed relationship is just the motivation she needs to move from New York to San Francisco with the hopes of resurrecting her dance career and discovering that she is more than the sum of her rap sheet. As Darlene struggles in her new city, the last thing she wants is to become entangled with her handsome—but cranky—neighbor and his adorable little girl... 


Sawyer Haas is weeks away from finishing law school, but exhaustion, dwindling finances, and the pressure to provide for himself and his daughter, Olivia, are wearing him down. A federal clerkship--a job he desperately needs--awaits him after graduation, but only if he passes the Bar Exam. Sawyer doesn’t have the time or patience for the capricious—if beautiful—dancer who moves into the apartment above his. But Darlene’s easy laugh and cheerful spirit seep into the cracks of his hardened heart, and slowly break down the walls he’s resurrected to keep from being betrayed ever again. 


When the parents of Olivia’s absentee mother come to fight for custody, Sawyer could lose everything. To have any chance at happiness, he must trust Darlene, the woman who has somehow found her way past his brittle barbs, and Darlene must decide how much of her own bruised heart she is willing to give to Sawyer and Olivia, especially when the ghosts of her troubled past refuse to stay buried.






My second Emma Scott book and I think I've found a New Adult Author that I love.  Her stories are genuine and heartfelt, with no over-the-top drama.  Her characters are the same.  I can't help but advocate for them.  The feels that she invokes for me are indelible, and the best part about her books, no gratuitous sex scenes.


"You get back what you put in.  Negative shit gets you negative shit.  Positive energy begets positive energy.  Whatever you put out there in the universe...it listens.  And then it answers.  So when I talk, I try to give it something it wants to hear and hope it answers with something I want to hear."











Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.


Book Cover~  It's okay…it goes with the story well.

Series~ A stand-alone but Darlene's Character is a secondary character in The Butterfly Project.

Setting~ San Francisco, California

Source~ Own on Kindle eBook.



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