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review 2019-01-12 06:23
Real
Muffin Top - Avery Flynn

Lucy and Frankie have already met through mutual friends.  When he rescues her - literally from a jerk who has approached her.  Can Lucy control her urges when she finds herself attracted to the hunky firefighter?

 

Frankie has suddenly found himself in a position to get to know the elusive Lucy.  The more her learns, the hotter the attraction between them fizzles and pops until an explosion is inevitable.  Now to convince her what he feels for her is real.

 

This is a great installment to The Hartigans series.  I am finding that each book gets better and better.  The family is fun to read about.  Each character has their own quirks and personality.  It was truly a joy to read each page!  I cannot wait for the next book in this incredible series.  I give this  5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2019-01-05 21:13
A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas - Maisey Yates

I received this book for free from the publisher (Harlequin) as part of their Bookstagram Christmas mailing.

 

This was my first time reading Maisey Yates and I throughly enjoyed it. I obviously haven’t read any of the other books in this series, but that did not hinder my reading experience. I was able to read this as a standalone with no problems. 

 

I loved Grant. He was a tall, dark cowboy with a tragic past. So swoon worthy. 

 

 

Plot-wise, the storyline was pretty good. It was well paced and the romance happened at just the right speed. However, Grant being a virgin was a bit unbelievable and kind of threw me for a loop. 

 

I loved the wintery Christmas spirit that the book had. I could just picture Gold Valley all decorated for Christmas. Also, McKenna’s search for a family and Grant overcoming his grief fit in perfectly with the holiday theme. 

 

The one thing that I didn’t like was that there was too much inner dialogue that didn’t really do much of anything. It got repetitive after a while. It felt excessive and could have been cut down significantly. 

 

Overall, I enjoyed this Christmas themed cowboy romance!

 

Note: This book also contains the novella, Snowed in with the Cowboy, which I will be reviewing separately. 

 

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review 2018-12-30 00:03
Thought the Premise was Cute, Heroine Was A Pain Though
Yours Truly - Kirsty Greenwood

I tried to like this one, but ultimately the character of Natalie worked my nerves. The premise of her getting hypnotized to tell the truth was truly hilarious in a couple of places, but I don't think the author did enough with it. And in the end, she wasn't that great IMHO considering that she went from being a doormat to just being a jerk about things and not discussing them. I did like the ending with her choosing herself though, and we do get a nice HFN.

 

Natalie is slated to marry her boring, but nice fiancee. She is troubled though by him saying that she's almost perfect (talking about her weight). And it doesn't help her mother and sister chose her wedding dress (she looks like a bedazzled ice skater). And she has a job she hates with a boss who talks down to her. When she and her best friend go out to a pub to meet a hypnotist, Natalie wakes up to find that if she is asked a direct question she has to tell the truth. Trying to track down the hypnotist has Natalie traveling back and forth to Little Trooley while trying to make amends with her fiancee and family.

 

Natalie is kind of a beige character. I didn't feel for anyone who just lets everyone walk all over them. Natalie's reasons are that her father left her mother, so she now has to be close and do whatever she says. Same issue with her sister forcing her to dog watch, and her eating food she doesn't like and having boring 5 minute sex with her fiancee. She is just passive to her own life. When Greenwood has her telling the truth, I did crack up a few times. But it just got old after a while. Natalie apparently can't be anything but blunt and rude when telling the truth so you go from feeling sorry for her, to feeling sorry for the people she's talking to.

 

The other characters read as wafer thin in this one. Natalie's two love interests, interested me not at all. Especially since one of them had a girlfriend and that whole thing turned into a mess that had me not liking anyone.

 

The writing was okay, I wish that we had spent more time on Natalie's love of cooking. When the author went in that direction I found myself more interested. The flow was not good though. Natalie runs away from Little Trooley I think like three times. I was tired of her going back and forth there (to look for the hypnotist) and it wasn't plotted very well. 

The ending was good with Natalie setting out to do something for herself, but she gets a nice surprise and a HFN ending. 

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review 2018-12-27 06:56
My Favorite Half-Night Stand - Christina Lauren

I received this book for free from the publisher (Gallery Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

So I liked this book. But did I fall completely head over heels in love with it? Not really. 

 

Basically, I found this to be a solid contemporary romance. It was fun and a little sexy. It hit all the marks on that. I just wasn’t super blown away by it. Millie and Reid are a cute couple, but I I didn’t feel anything particularly special about them. I wanted to fall in love with their romance, but sadly it never happened for me. That being said, there were some things I really loved about it.

 

 

I loved how current it was, especially with the pop culture references. At one point (page 125) the main characters debate which is the most underrated comic in recent years and my fav, Squirrel Girl, gets mentioned (it’s totally true by the way, her comics are so underrated). 

 

I also really liked the layout of the messages that the group sent each other. They had cute little profile pics which I thought was a nice touch. 

 

Lastly, this isn’t completely relevant but I just had to share. This book hit close to home for me, but not in the usual way. My grandfather recently passed away a little over a month ago. I found it to be such a coincidence that Reid’s birthday is April 2nd (my grandfather’s birthday) and that Millie’s dad has Parkinson’s (which my grandfather also had). I just thought that was the weirdest thing ever. 

 

Overall, this was a really cute romance, but for me it was just missing that special something to really make me fall in love with it. 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-12-06 19:29
It Was the Worst of Times...
The Empty House - Rosamunde Pilcher

It didn't occur to me this would fit for any tasks until I recalled that the Russian Mother's Day book tasks said read a book if it involves a mother. Luckily for me, the main character in this one is a mother of two.

 

Wow. I just cannot. This book was published in 1971 so I tried to make allowances for the main character Virginia. I just gave up that at the point that she literally decides to move her two children, who just lost their father, to live in a place with a man that she talked to only twice in her life, more than 10 years ago. 


I usually don't like to do spoiler reviews, but so great is my rage at this book, that I am going to do it.

 

So..."The Empty House" follows Virginia Keile. Virginia is visiting with an old friend of her mother's in Cornwall and essentially recovering from being made a widow at 27. Virginia has two young kids (a boy and girl) who are currently staying with her mother in law. It never seems to occur to Virginia that maybe she should be with her children by the way until the love interest pops up (I digress). This book really just goes into the backstory of Virigina and her love interest Eustace.

 

I hated almost every character in this one except for the kids and the poor mother in law. Virginia spends the book obsessing over Eustace. Though Virginia has been married for almost 10 years, she still wishes that Eustace had called her like he promised he would when she was visiting the family friends. She goes back and forth over everything and how even though she was 17 when she met his 28 year old self she fell for him. Their conversation was beyond boring and nothing of substance was even said. Sorry, the whole plot about her falling for him and he for her with the age differences just squicked me out. I would still argue how much did he fall for her though since the dialogue we get in this book is beyond boring. They just had two separate conversations. 

 

Virginia's mother is made to be the villain of the piece since she wanted her daughter to marry well, and probably had qualms about a 28 year old farmer romancing her daughter. I also didn't like Eustace since he was rude to everyone in this one, but hey, I guess he had ethics or something. I don't know.

 

“Hallo,” said Eustace, meeting her eye with an unblinking blue gaze.

Her hand was half-way out to shake his, but Eustace either didn’t see this or chose to ignore it.

Mrs. Parsons’s hand dropped back to her side.

Her manner became, subtly, a fraction more cool.

Yeah, if I meet someone for the first time that is trying to romance my daughter and they pulled this, I would totally be cool to them too.

 

Eustace is just nasty to Virginia from what I can see. He calls her a terrible mother for not being with her children and having them come and stay with her. He acts like the kids father as soon as they meet (it was disconcerting). And then pretty much within like a freaking day Virginia is all we will stay here and live with you forever. Let's go tell the children.

 

“I don’t think you can give a damn for your children. You don’t want to be bothered with them. Someone else has always done the washing and the ironing and you’re not going to start now. You’re too bloody idle to take them for picnics and read them books and put them to bed. It’s really nothing to do with Bosithick. Whatever house you found, you’d be sure to find something wrong with it. Any excuse would do provided you never have to admit to yourself that you can’t be bloody bothered to take care of your own children.”

 

Literally hasn't seen her for 10 years and this comes up.

 

“Well, what am I going to eat?” Eustace caught the tail end of this conversation as he came, dripping, up the beach. “What’s this?” He stopped to pick up a towel. “I’m very hungry and Mummy hasn’t brought anything to eat.” “Too bad,” said Eustace unsympathetically.

 

I guess screw kids being hungry and actually wanting food. I just cannot.

 

The book tries to paint Virginia as a victim to her mother and dead husband, but I had zero sympathy for her. She signed up for everything she got and didn't really care about her husband. She wanted something that she thought she glimpsed when she was in Eustace's home for maybe an hour 10 years ago. It felt childish to me. She put out zero effort with other people and just continued to allow things to happen to her. I assume if there was ever a sequel that Virginia would find herself fully under Eustace's thumb. That is 100 percent not love. 


The writing wasn't great. It just read as repetitive after a while. The dialogue between characters was stilted. The great reveal in the end about how Virginia was kept apart from her first love was beyond dumb. How she couldn't see that baffled me. Also who cares at this point?!

 

The flow was not good. I loved Piclher's other books so much and this one was just a dud. It was a chore to keep going since we had Virginia going back and forth about things and just generally acting like a victim the whole time.


The ending was ludicrous. She and her two kids are leaving Scotland forever to live with Eustace in Cornwall. I assume if there was an epilogue we would have heard how the mother in law tried to fight for custody or something. 

 

Russian Mother's Day

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