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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-20 07:45
Just A Kiss (Summer Harbor #3) by Denise Hunter
Just a Kiss (A Summer Harbor Novel) - Denise Hunter

Watching the love of his life fall for his brother was enough to send Riley straight to boot camp. But over a year later, he’s officially a marine, and Beau and Paige are no longer an item. When Riley’s tour in Afghanistan is up, he intends to confess his feelings to Paige and win his best friend’s heart once and for all. But all that changes when an IED takes the life of a comrade and leaves Riley an amputee. Now he’s heading home, injured and troubled. His plans to win Paige are a distant dream. She deserves so much more than the man that’s left. All he can do now is put some healthy distance between them. But upon his return he discovers his family has arranged for him to stay with Paige. Paige is a nurturer at heart and happy to take care of her best buddy. By all appearances Riley is adjusting miraculously well to his disability. But as the days pass, Paige begins to see that the smiles and laughter are just a mask for the pain he’s hiding. To make matters worse, her job is in serious jeopardy. The animal shelter that she’s poured her heart into has lost its funding, and she has three months to come up with the money needed to save it. As the weeks wear on, Paige’s feelings for Riley begin to shift into uncharted territory. Why is she suddenly noticing his arm muscles and the way his lips curl at the corners? Will she be able to deny her feelings for another Callahan brother? And will Riley let his heart heal so he can let Paige in?

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, now it's time to for Riley Callahan to get the spotlight! Moving in the background of the first two books, here we get to know his story a bit better as he returns from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. 

 

Through the earlier books in this series, the reader sees Riley struggling with the romantic relationship between his brother Beau and Riley's best friend, Paige. Riley himself has been secretly in love with Paige for years. To cope with his emotions, he chooses to enlist in the military. Almost immediately, he gets word he's getting shipped to Afghanistan. Now fifteen months later in Just A Kiss, Riley is returning home after surviving an IED attack that costs him one of his legs. 

 

Prior to the explosion, Riley had plans to return home to Summer Harbor and finally reveal his true feelings to Paige. Now things sit a little differently, as he is moved into Paige's home for the recovery / physical therapy process and Paige takes on the role of caretaker. Not exactly what he had in mind. Riley struggles with feelings of only being half a man, still tempted to confess his love to Paige but also feeling like she deserves better than what he feels he can offer as an amputee. In response to his inner struggle, Riley begins to distance himself emotionally from Paige, thinking he's doing her a favor. But as these romances tend to go, as one pulls back, the other party involved leans forward. 

 

Paige, when not helping Riley, has her own professional stresses. The shelter she runs is at risk of being shut down for lack of funding. On the suggestion of Lucy (Riley's sister-in-law you met in The Goodbye Bride), Paige puts together a bachelor auction fundraiser and, with a bit of a struggle, gets Riley to agree to serve as one of the bachelors. Seeing him in this light where many of Summer Harbor's single ladies going crazy at the chance to have a date with him, Paige is shocked at her own feelings of jealousy towards these women. Slowly the thought creeps into her mind that maybe, just maybe she herself feels something beyond the platonic for her best bud. But of course she takes the Riley approach to things, keeping her complicated emotions to herself. So as you can imagine it takes forever for these two to get anywhere fun with each other.

 

Author Denise Hunter offers a note to the reader right off the bat letting one know that any of the Summer Harbor books can be enjoyed as a standalone piece. With this closing book to the series, while it was cute I was a left a little disappointed overall. It's pretty standard romance fare, safe romance that was built a little TOO slowly for me, and closed on a pretty bland ending. 

 

Though this is technically a Christian romance series, the religious element is pretty light through most of the books. This one though, there is a pretty heavy dousing of religion near the end, which felt a little odd... like it was getting jammed in there real quick before the doors closed... when the rest of the series was so light on it. 

 

That aside, decent light summer fluff you can have fun with on a chill-out day without too much mental commitment required. 

 

FTC DisclaimerTNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own. 

 

 

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My review for Falling Like Snowflakes (Summer Harbor #1)

My review for The Goodbye Bride (Summer Harbor #2)

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review 2018-07-20 05:09
Falling Like Snowflakes (Summer Harbor #1) by Denise Hunter
Falling Like Snowflakes (A Summer Harbor Novel) - Denise Hunter

Speeding north through rural Maine, Eden Martelli wonders how her life came to this—on the run with her mute five-year-old son dozing fitfully in the passenger seat. When a breakdown leaves them stranded in Summer Harbor, Eden has no choice but to stay put through Christmas . . . even though they have no place to lay their heads. Beau Callahan is a habitual problem solver—for other people anyway. He left the sheriff’s department to take over his family’s Christmas tree farm, but he’s still haunted by the loss of his parents and struggling to handle his first Christmas alone. When Eden shows up looking for work just as Beau’s feisty aunt gets out of the hospital, Beau thinks he’s finally caught a break. Eden is competent and dedicated—if a little guarded—and a knockout to boot. But, as he soon finds out, she also comes with a boatload of secrets. Eden has been through too much to trust her heart to another man, but Beau is impossible to resist, and the feeling seems to be mutual. As Christmas Eve approaches, Eden’s past catches up to her. Beau will go to the ends of the earth to keep her safe. But who’s going to protect his heart from a woman who can’t seem to trust again?

Amazon.com

 

 

 

Eden Martinelli is on the run with her five year old mute son. Though her one persistent thought is "keep moving!", once her car breaks down she is forced to at least temporarily settle in the small town of Summer Harbor, Maine. With holiday season on the horizon, Eden gets a job at a local tree farm, the farm owned and operated by former cop Beau Callahan. When Beau's aunt, Trudy, suffers an accident that leads to a fractured leg, Eden is hired on as her home aide while Trudy recovers and works through physical therapy. 

 

As Eden settles into the Callahan home on the farm, her very presence seems to gradually knock loose some repressed feelings in multiple family members, feelings wrapped around long-running unaddressed hurts.Beau notices this influence, and though his heart begins to warm toward Eden, he's still troubled by the mysterious air she keeps around her. Why is she so evasive with any personal questions? What is she hiding? Beau low-key worries that she might be running from the law and he just hired a criminal to look after a beloved family member, but his gut tells him she's not dangerous, just scared. So who put that kind of fear into her?

 

This is a nice holiday read. It's not brimming with over the top holiday cheer, but instead offers a cozy balance of wit, small town charm, a slow-burn romantic interest, and a dash of mystery. Perfect for those who like their suspense on the more mild side of things...sort of in the thriller-lite vein of a Hallmark Mystery Movie. The bad guy scenes got a little cliche at times for my liking, but the Callahan brothers are so likeable in this series that minor eyeroll moments can easily be forgiven. 

 

For those in book clubs, discussion questions for this story are offered at the back of the book. 

 

I've been reading these out of order, which -- I thought I would mention -- works fine, as each book focuses on a different Callahan brother (of three). But looking back, there are some minor chronological aspects -- mainly with the storyline of Riley's military service -- that will flow better if you read in order. 

 

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My review for The Goodbye Bride (Summer Harbor #2)

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review 2018-07-18 19:16
MERCY BLADE by FAITH HUNTER
Mercy Blade: Jane Yellowrock, Book 3 - Audible Studios,Faith Hunter,Khristine Hvam

Audiobook

Each book in this series gets better and better. A little cliffhanger of an ending. They had a little of the next book in the series after this audiobook was finished that I hoped would say what happened next. But nope, it was a few days/months(?) later. I'm so interested in what is happening next that I'm going to read all of the novellas between this book #3 and the next #4. I think there are about 4-5 novellas. Good book/series.

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review 2018-07-18 18:05
Horror Giveaway – Jurassic Florida by Hunter Shea @huntershea1 @SDSXXTours
Jurassic, Florida - Hunter Shea

I love dinosaurs and horror, so I am super excited to be a part of the Jurassic Florida tour.

 
Jurassic Florida
One Size Eats All #1
by Hunter Shea
Genre: Horror
 
MY REVIEW
 
Woo Hoo, another creature feature, Jurassic Florida by Hunter Shea. I love his horror stories and to see that fabulous cover and know there’s gonna be some munching going on makes me eager to begin.
 
Humans:  They’re what’s for dinner.
 
And it’s all you can eat...
 
With a start like that, I don’t think Hunter Shea can go wrong. If you could see me now, all you would see is my teeth, because my smile is so wide….
 
So…let’s travel to sunny Florida, my neck of the woods. I see a lot of lizards hanging around, but nothing like these blood thirst buggers. There are lizards galore, but,more than that, is the hurricane heading their way.
 
Sinkholes, everyone in Florida know what sinkholes are, but these are something else entirely.
 
It’s hard to write a review without giving things away, so I’ll just say this….
 
Hunter Shea can sure spin a wicked tale. In Jurassic Florida, he starts out slow, feeding me a little at a time…Until the storm hits and all hell breaks loose.
 
I must warn you not to get attached to any of the characters. It’s hard to say who or how many will survive, because Hunter Shea is not afraid to kill them off in a savage and brutal way. I must be sick because I can’t help but laugh as I picture the events unfold like a movie in my mind.  I love all the blood curdling gnoshing going on and revel in their misery.
 
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of Jurassic Florida by Hunter Shea.
 

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

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review 2018-07-17 02:43
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
The End We Start From - Megan Hunter

This is a poetic novel about a natural disaster hitting London, and presumably the world, told from the perspective of a young woman and her family. Nothing is certain, and the future seems bleak indeed, but her focus is on her young baby.

It is beautifully written, and sparse. The narrative style of the book had a very different effect on me then many other readers it seems, I felt too far away from the events of the book by the prose style. There was a lot of terror and heartbreak and numbing hopelessness between the lines here, and I wanted to get inside the narrator's head. She kept me at a distance. I liked the naming of characters by single letters, but everything else about the book was cut down to its bare essentials. Aesthetically this is intriguing, but its not for me.

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