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review 2016-10-06 09:00
Review: She's Got a Way by Maggie McGinnis (@Maggie_McGinnis)


Series: Echo Lake, #3
Publisher: St. Martin's
Published: August 30, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 352 pages

First off let me say that I wanted to like this book, I really did. I enjoyed the other books in the series that I have read and looked forward to another enjoyable read.

Unfortunately my OCD germaphobe issues got in the way and I had to DNF at about 29%.  My personal "Ewww" was just too high.

See, our heroine and the 4 girls in her care are at a rustic summer camp. One that's not currently offering indoor toilets or running water. Yes, as in outhouses and bathing in the lake. Now, let me go one further and tell you that for many, many years this summer camp was an all boys camp. All I could think about was the fact that boys are known to urinate anywhere and everywhere and they were bathing in the lake.

First of all, whenever you get out of the water, any swimming type water, you should wash. With Soap and fresh water. And I don't care how much bio-safe soap you use, bathing in the lake is not really bathing. You are washing yourself where fish and other creatures live and potty. Don't try to tell me water from the tap is being pulled directly from similar areas. There are filters and such to keep most contaminates out. Plus let's not discount the many, many years of boys most probably peeing in that very same lake. Nope, nope, nope. Ewww, yuck, gross, blergh. *shudders*

Needless to say, I just couldn't keep going. I'm sure that for others, this is a non issue and are quietly laughing about my personal squicks. It's all good, I don't mind. :)  I will definitely try another book (as long as they don't use the lake to bathe in), but I had to pass on this one.

St. Martin's and Netgalley provided me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion.


Gabriela O’Brien is devoted to the girls at Briarwood Academy, the exclusive boarding school where she works—even when they screw up royally. Their latest prank has earned them an entire summer at a remote campground in Echo Lake, Vermont—no boys allowed. When the headmaster assigns Gabi to be their chaperone, how can she refuse? A long, hot summer with neither indoor plumbing nor wireless access might be just what she needs to get her own life in order… right?

Before Briarwood took over Camp Echo, Luke Magellan spent years there helping needy, troubled boys. He can do without four spoiled rich girls and their seemingly uptight den mother. It’s hard to hide his amusement as he watches them cope with collapsing tents and raccoon invasions. But it’s even tougher to resist the passion and strength he sees in Gabi—especially when he learns about her past, and sees how much she cares about her students. Is this destined to be just a grownup version of a summer-camp romance—or can they find enough in common to build a love for all seasons?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30111744-she-s-got-a-way  http://amzn.to/2c5YTue http://goo.gl/318YWL http://goo.gl/HKf7Ka 
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Source: www.musingsandramblings.net/2016/10/review-shes-got-way-maggie-mcginnis.html
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review 2016-05-06 09:00
Review: Heart Like Mine by Maggie McGinnis (@Maggie_McGinnis)


Heart Like Mine


Echo Lake, #2


Maggie McGinnis


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Date of Publication: April 5, 2016
Number of pages: 364



Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo

Delaney Blair loves her job at Echo Lake’s Mercy Hospital, where she’s developed a reputation for being smart, fair, and driven. When she’s assigned to cut funding, she has to temporarily relocate her office, put on borrowed scrubs, and go toe-to-toe with Dr. Joshua Mackenzie, the interim head of the pediatrics department. His killer smile and rock-star body are distractions Delaney could do without, but she’s determined to stay focused while she brings his budget into line. It’s not working.

Beloved by his colleagues and patients alike, Josh is too busy caring for sick kids to talk numbers with the sexy, stiletto-clad Delaney. Every time they talk business, tensions run high…but so does a powerful attraction neither of them can ignore. When an emergency brings Mercy to its knees, Delaney and Josh must work together to save lives. But can they also find a way into each other’s hearts?

Don't miss Heart Like Mine, the second Echo Lake novel from Maggie McGinnis!

I have become a fan of Maggie McGinnis' work with A Cowboy's Christmas Promise and Snowflake Wishes. Always a sucker for a Christmas story, these works transcended the holiday and still managed to tell a great story.  So when I was offered the opportunity to read another Echo Lake novel, I was all over it.  And I wasn't disappointed.  This time though, the setting was a small town hospital, specifically, the pediatrics ward.

I am going to straight up say, that I have no idea how true to life the story was in regards to doctor's and nurses working in a small town hospital. And you know what, I didn't care. Because in it the setting seemed idealistic, yet realistic, and just how I would want the pediatric ward to run if I had a young family member there. I also liked how both sides of the clinical versus clerical (ivory tower) were shown. There is a reason it takes both to keep things running smoothly in a hospital, as well as why both sides need to work together and have more open communication.

I liked Delaney from the beginning. She wasn't some cold fish that I had to warm up to, but a woman who had let fear guide herself for too long. Seeing her come out of her shell with the kids on the pediatric ward was touching. Delaney and Josh were great as a couple. They took their time getting to know one another, and it just worked for me.

Though I missed a book in the Echo Lake series, the book did a fairly good job of standing alone. This was a quick, fun read that still managed to tug on my heart strings. I gave this book 4 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review the book.


Source: www.musingsandramblings.net/2016/05/review-heart-like-mine-maggie-mcginnis.html
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review 2015-11-21 10:00
'Tis the Season Review: Snowflake Wishes by Maggie McGinnis


Snowflake Wishes


Echo Lake, #0.5


Maggie McGinnis



Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance Novella
Publisher: St. Martin's
Date of Publication: October 13, 2015
Number of pages: 93


Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo

Noah Drake was that guy--the one always on the lookout for his next adrenaline high, so it was no surprise when he took off across the world, seeking adventure as a travel writer. But one thing he could never escape was Piper Bellini, the girl who got away--the girl he let get away, a fact he's never let himself forget. When he returns to Echo Lake to see if there's any chance the flame between them can be rekindled, he never expects to spend the night holed up with Piper in a roadside diner while a blizzard rages outside. It's exactly the kind of situation that sent Piper running years ago. But this time, Noah may have been handed a Christmas miracle, and he intends to make all of his and Piper's wishes come true...

I originally picked this book up because I liked the cover. I’m not normally a fan of the minimalist object covers, but this one really worked for me. Holiday warm and fuzzy memories maybe? Maybe it was that I had author recognition, since this is the second Christmas book I have by the author. I don’t know, either way, I am glad that I took a look at it.

This is a second chance at love holiday romance. Surprisingly, it turned out to be a sweet/clean romance, but it wasn’t until well after the fact that I even noticed. Smexy times, or the lack there of, wasn’t crucial to the story being told. Noah and Piper had plenty of issues to work through, together and on their own. Events in the book allowed them to open up to each other in a way they hadn’t before and that lead to their resolution and the eventual HEA. Additionally, this is the prequel to a series, so no worries on jumping in on an existing series.

Overall, I enjoyed this read. I felt for both Piper and Noah, letting their fears keep them apart for 7 years. But the ensuing years allowed them to grow and mature, leading them back together. If you are looking for a sweet second chance at love and believe in Christmas Miracles, give this one a try. I gave it 3 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Source: www.musingsandramblings.net/2015/11/tis-season-review-snowflake-wishes-maggie-mcginnis.html
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review 2015-07-25 06:43
A second chance romance with some serious New England charm
Echo Lake (Swift River Valley Novels Book 4) - Carla Neggers

He slipped his arms around her. “What am I going to do about you?” Before she could get a decent breath, never mind respond, he lowered his mouth to hers. “I can’t stop thinking about you. I don’t want to stop.”
“Is that why you’re leaving?”

New England charm and romance abound in Echo Lake, the fourth full-length novel in Carla Neggers’ heartfelt Swift River Valley series. With a potential mystery to solve and sparks of attraction flying, settle in for a while. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.


Echo Lake, to me, was a novel about second chances, family, and new beginnings. Set in the quaint town of Knights Bridge, Massachusetts, Ms. Neggers did a fantastic job painting a picture of how a small town in New England functions.


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review 2015-02-06 01:27
Echo Lake by Carla Neggers
Echo Lake (Swift River Valley) - Carla Neggers

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Vic is a retired ambassador and quite possibly losing his mind in his retirement.  Phone calls that when answered there is no one there, items misplaced in his home, and a general feeling of unease.  Adrienne, his housesitter for when he was away on work and now his wine expert and Heather, the woman in charge of renovating his home haven't noticed anything unusual but Vic is uncomfortable enough to call on Brody a DSS agent (Diplomatic Security Service) and friend.  Brody grew up in the small town of Knights Bridge but left without looking back after an "incident" with Heather's brothers. Brody's not especially looking forward to being back but after a few meetings with Heather, he is starting to feel differently.  As secrets, truths, and feelings get revealed our characters will learn a little bit about themselves while growing together.
First off, I have to say that my rating for this book fluctuated crazily as I was reading it, from 2 stars to 4 stars so my review may seem all over the place.  Basically, I feel like the writing was high quality, interesting, and charming but I didn't read the story promised in the blurb.   I wouldn't really call this a romance, mystery, or suspense; it probably falls under women's fiction or just general.  In my synopsis I started with Vic, who is barely mentioned in the actual book blurb but this story is 80% about him.  I commented in my notes how "in Vic's head too much in the beginning" before I realized he was more or less going to be the star of the show.  Vic struggles over the decision to retire early, looking back over the moments of his life, and dealing with the reveal of a long held secret.  Again, his character was interesting but not what I thought I signed up for.
This is fourth in a series and for the first couple pages I felt thrown into the story, as if I was suppose to know the characters and scene but after a few chapters I was able to nestle in.  Echo Lake definitely offers a small town series feel, just be prepared for an overall feel instead of a focused concentrated interest on one main romance couple.  It's not until the second half of the book that Brody and Heather show any sign of truly coming together and get any major screen time together.  Even then, the process is pretty slow and except for a handful of paragraphs, this is basically a clean romance.  Heather was the easier character to get to know as her family life (a little overwhelming and repetitive at times with the talk of her five older brothers) and feelings were discussed more.  She came across sturdy and believable as a character but did not overly peak my interest.  Brody was meant to be a stoic, still waters run deep, and man of few words, unfortunately, that was all I got from him as a reader.  There weren’t enough pov scenes or screen time from Brody for him to become a prominent figure in my mind.  
Even with all this said, I still found Brody and his, limited, interactions with Heather charming, which I have to put down to the author's writing style/voice and like I said, Vic was interesting if not a bit overdone with “someone’s out to get me” tangent. If you have read the previous books in the series and enjoy the author's writing then you will definitely want to continue with this one, past characters are sprinkled throughout and definitely some future ones.  If looking for a comfortable mellow read and wanting to immerse yourself in the feeling of small town life with an open door into the life of an array of those town people's lives then this would be a good choice.

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