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review 2017-11-21 02:35
The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant
The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas) - Donna Grant

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I loved this book! I am not usually someone who reads a lot of Christmas stories. I will read them but I don't really look for them. This book made its way into my hands and something about that cover drew me right in and I wanted to start reading it right away. Once I started, I didn't want to stop and I ended up reading the whole thing from cover to cover in a single day. I really enjoyed every moment I spent reading this wonderful little story.

Clayton is ex-military and has been working overseas until he is called home to the family ranch. The ranch is in trouble and his dad is sick so Clayton must come home to run things and try to save the ranch. Abby has not had it easy. She has been raising her two younger brothers and doing her best to get ahead in life.

Abby and Clayton meet when Abby's brother is caught stealing cattle from the ranch Clayton's family owns. Not the best way to start things. Clayton turns out to be a really nice guy and instead of sending Abby's brother, Brice, to jail he lets him come and work his debt off at the ranch. Clayton also enlists Abby's help with the ranch's books hoping that she can sort out exactly what is going on.

I loved the characters in this book. Abby and Clayton were both amazing. Abby was strong and cared deeply for her two brothers. She was smart and willing to sacrifice her wants for the sake of other people. Clayton was such a good guy. He has had some things to deal with in his personal and military life. I loved this pair together. They had great chemistry from the very beginning and it was really wonderful to watch them fall in love.

The secondary characters were also really well done. Abby's two brothers, Brice and Caleb, played a large role in the story and were really great. Their relationship with their sister really helped illustrate how much she cared for them. Clayton's parents were also key players in the story. I liked how they welcomed Abby and her brothers as if they were family right from the start.

The mystery in the book kept things interesting. I really wanted to see Clayton save the ranch with Abby's help. There were a few scenes where we got to see Clayton, a former SEAL, in action which was pretty exciting. This was really a book more focused on romance than anything else and it did a wonderful job with it. I don't know that there was really anything too surprising in the book but everything was executed perfectly. I couldn't help but get swept away by this romantic tale.

I would highly recommend to fans of contemporary romance. This book had just the right combination of romance, action, and great characters. The story had just the right amount of Christmas adding just a bit to the story. This is the first book by Donna Grant that I have read and I am really looking forward to reading more of her work soon.

I received a review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press.

Initial Thoughts
I loved this book! Clayton and Abby were absolutely perfect together. I thought the secondary characters were amazing and the mystery held my interest. This probably falls somewhere between 4 and 5 stars for me so I am rounding up for now.

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review 2017-11-12 22:57
Fabulous Historical Romance
A Devil in Scotland: A No Ordinary Hero ... A Devil in Scotland: A No Ordinary Hero Novel - Suzanne Enoch

A Devil In Scotland is a thrilling historical romance by Suzanne Enoch.  Ms. Enoch has provided us with a well-written book loaded with amazing, lovable characters...and animals.  Becca is marrying Ian, the brother of her best friend Callum.  Callum throws a fit and is sent away and stays away until he learns of his brother's death.  Becca and Callum's story is full of intrigue, suspense, action and sizzle.  This is one historical romance you won't want to miss.  I loved reading A Devil In Scotland and look forward to reading more from Suzanne Enoch in the future.  A Devil In Scotland is book 3 of the No Ordinary Hero Series but can easily be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.

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review 2017-11-09 18:29
The Cowboy Christmas Hero Book Review
The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas) - Donna Grant

I loved this book. This is a fun Christmas story for the holiday's. I didn't feel that it overdid the Christmas theme. 

 

Back home, on the ranch is the last place Clayton, former Navy Seal wanted to be for the Holiday's. But when his mother calls desperate for his help he's obligated to help. 

 

Abby and her brothers are all that's left of her family, and as the oldest sibling its up to her to take care of her family. When her younger brother is caught steeling cattle she's thrown into Clayton's family. 

 

It's nothing out of the ordinary for a romance (especially the ending). But its enjoyable, fun and a quick read. I loved the family aspect of this book, especially the siblings. I always want more books with sibling characters.

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review 2017-11-07 21:35
Review for Third Son's a Charm (The Survivors #1) by Shana Galen
Third Son's a Charm (The Survivors) - Shana Galen

This story has the best love declaration I have ever read! It had me having all the feels, specially for Ewan, the most alluring non-Viking Viking I've read. 
Lorrie is a young, passionate, spirited woman that has gone as far as try to elope because her parents won’t allow her to marry the man she loves. Seeing how his daughter will not be dissuaded from marrying the wrong man, her father hires Ewan Mostyn, the third son of an earl and an ex-soldier that’s mostly known for knocking heads together at a gambling club than for appearing at a dance ball. 
Ewan is a taciturn man, rejected by his father because he considers him an unworthy son, and judged by society because he is considered nothing more than a brute. Ever since he was a child, he was told he was stupid due to a learning disability and it wasn’t until he joined the army and later some sort of “suicide unit” that he finally felt he belonged somewhere. I fell in love with his honesty and quiet way of communicating. He had this genuine way about him that made him both charming and alluring in a very unique, gentle way. The author made a fabulous job conveying his emotions because to me they all felt real and relatable. 

People tend to forget that historicals include debutants and most heroines are barely of age when they are thrown into the marriage market. Lorrie is young so yeah, she’s going to act recklessly at times, but in my opinion she was not stupid but naïve. She was also determined, curious, and true to herself. She was capable of seeing in Ewan what he was not able to see in himself and that in turn gave him the strength to fight for what he wanted. If that’s not a worthy heroine then I don’t know what is. 

We get a secondary love story between Lorrie’s parents that I would have loved to see more of but at least it gave me more of an insight of why Lorrie and Ewan’s closeness was allowed. Oh, and let's not forget the other Saviors! There was such a brotherly banter and comradery among them that my heart melted a little bit every time I got to read about them. I was a little off put with something towards the end but other than this was a great book and a great start to a new series. 

** I was gifted a copy of this book and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**
 

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review 2017-11-07 07:39
The Frog Prince by Mike Klaassen
The Frog Prince: The Brothers Grimm Story Told as a Novella (Klaassen's Classic Folktales) - Mike Klaassen

Title:  The Frog Prince

Author:  Mike Klaassen

Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling / Historical Romance

Year Published: 2016

Number of Pages:  114 pages

 

Date Read: 9/24/2017

 

Publisher:  Bookbaby

Source:  eARC (Book Unleashed)

Content Rating:  Ages 8+ (Some Intense Moments and Rude Behavior)

 

I would like to thank Book Unleashed and Bookbaby for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Now, I have been reading the Brothers Grimm fairy tale classics for many years and I have seen many retellings of their fairy tales such as “Rumpelstiltskin,” “The Bremen Town Musicians” and “Snow White.” But, I had never read a retelling of the “Frog Prince” before and when Book Unleashed gave me a free copy of Mike Klaassen’s retelling of “The Frog Prince,” I just had to check this book out and man was I blown away by this interesting retelling of the classic story!

Young Prince Gerit was out playing around the bog near his father’s kingdom when suddenly, he falls into the bog and could not get out of the water. Then, an old woman named Wibke came along and noticed that Gerit was in trouble. Gerit desperately asks the old woman to help him out of the water and Wibke promised that she will help the prince if the prince promises her that he will take care of her for the rest of his life. Of course, Gerit does not want to take care of the woman, but he agreed to the bargain anyway and Wibke helped Gerit out of the water. Then Gerit tried to break his promise to Wibke by running off to the castle, until Wibke transformed Gerit into a frog and she states that the only way that Gerit will turn back into a prince again is if a princess comes along and kisses him three times. So, Gerit goes on a long journey to find a princess who is willing to kiss him three times and Gerit stumbles upon a kingdom that is ruled by his father, King Egon’s enemy, King Torsten and he finds out that King Torsten has a daughter named Anneliese. Now, Gerit tries to make an effort to get Princess Anneliese to kiss him three times or else, he will remain a frog forever!

Wow…just wow…I never would have thought that I would read a retelling of “The Frog Prince” with so much energy and emotion! Mike Klaassen has done a fantastic job at retelling this classic fairy tale as he gives a more contemporary and in-depth spin to the story. I loved the fact that the story is told from the point of view of the Frog Prince himself and this made Gerit into an extremely interesting character as we get to see how he was like before he turned into a frog and we also get to see his struggles in becoming a frog and trying to find a way to change himself back into a prince. I also loved the character development that both Prince Gerit and Anneliese go through as they both started off as royal brats who only thought about themselves and believe that they will get anything they want because they are of royalty. However, the events of the story caused the characters to grow and understand the harsh situations that they are thrown into, such as the fact that their kingdoms are being involved in a war and how both Gerit and Anneliese may have to sacrifice their happiness in order to save their kingdoms. I loved the way that Mike Klaassen developed Gerit and Anneliese’s relationship with each other as I enjoyed the interactions that the two had with each other, such as playing ball together and talking about their favorite books. I also felt that Gerit and Anneliese’s growing relationship with each other was developed in a natural way and it felt more real than in the original fairy tale as the two did not love each other at first, but started developing feelings for each other over the course of the story, which I found to be pretty refreshing!

The only problem I had with this book was that the ending felt a bit rushed. It felt like they wanted to quickly skip to the ending of the original fairy tale and did not developed the resolution of the story a bit further to see how the actions of the characters would affect the overall scheme of the story. 

Overall, “The Frog Prince” is a brilliant retelling of the original fairy tale and anyone who is a huge fan of the “Frog Prince” will easily enjoy this book!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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