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review 2019-01-22 20:40
Coast Guard Courtship (Coast Guard #1) by Lisa Carter
Coast Guard Courtship (Love Inspired Large Print) - Lisa Carter

Coast Guard Officer Braeden Scott's life is all about freedom and adventure. Being assigned to a tiny Virginia coastal village is the last thing he wants. But thanks to a feisty redhead, he's soon discovering the charms of a small-town life. Amelia Duer is all about home and hearth. Taking care of others is her whole world. As Braeden spends more time with her and her nephew, his hopes for a family begin to resurface. Could Amelia prove to be the anchor this charming Coastie needs to stop wandering and create a home for good?

Amazon.com

 

 

NC based writer Lisa Carter places her Coast Guard centered romance in the small town of Kiptohanock, Virginia, where CG officer Braeden Scott gets stationed and quickly finds himself tangled up with feisty redhead Amelia Duer. Being a redhead myself, I had to chuckle at one point in the story where a comment is made about redheaded women in general being "insidious" LOL 

 

He filled his lungs with the bracing sea air. Not so bad. Not the most exciting place he'd ever been quartered, but as long as he could hear the crash of the waves, he'd do fine...Braeden's first love, the sea, remained the only love in his life that hadn't let him down. Give Braeden his boat, the rhythm of the sea and, as one poet had phrased it, "a star to steer by," and he was good. Better than good. Women were trouble he didn't need in his life.

 

Amelia runs her father's charter fishing business since her father decided to take up part time work in a boat repair shop. Running the shop serves as a perfect excuse for Amelia to keep a close eye on her dad as he recovers from a recent heart attack. She grew up in the kind of family where her father never got the son he wanted, so he raised her as he would a boy, turning her into his "fishing buddy", as he liked to think of her. Developing that bond early on has served them well now as they move into the adult phase of parent-child friendship.

 

Braeden's first impression of her is that she's not terribly feminine but certainly admirably gutsy and "tough as a sea barnacle"... the type of compliment that wants to make you say, "Thanks.. I think...". When Braeden rents out a boat shed property without first informing Amelia, she ends up nearly taking him out with a harpoon! (A simple misunderstanding... you'll see.... )

 

Braeden loves a life full of adventure and wild experiences while Amelia is all about having stability and a home & community where she can firmly root. She has reasons for insisting on a firm home base: she lost her mother to cancer and her sister to a drunk driver, leading to Amelia becoming the guardian of her five year old nephew, Max, who is battling leukemia. Max's father is also in the Coast Guard... or at least was... his role in this story is sort of that of "deadbeat dad who abandoned the family".

 

Trying to do her best, Amelia is struggling with Max while he works this phase where he answers all her instructions with "you're not my real mom". There's added pressure on her since she took out loans against her father's business to cover the cost of Max's chemo treatments. Now finding herself unbelievably stressed out and deeply in debt, there's an added layer of tension since her remaining family members grow to see her as someone generally too salty to associate with. 

 

While the arrival of Braeden is an unexpected upset to the routine at first, he proves to be a nice distraction from all the heavier dealings in Amelia's days. There IS something about him that she can't help but be drawn to, but thanks to the whole situation with Max's father, Amelia also happens to have a bit of a chip on her shoulder when it comes to Coast Guard fellas. Then there's the difference in faith between them -- While Amelia finds great comfort in fellowship, Braeden isn't much of a church-goer (but he has his reasons for being so).

 

Braeden unknowingly finds the ways to her heart ... largely by just being himself. He shows willingness to spend so much quality time with Max (such as teaching him how to swim), helping Amelia's sister, Beatrice aka "Honey" navigate out of her own Coast Guard romance gone sour, AND encourages Amelia to pursue art as a career, at the very least as a side gig. While she does love creating paintings of local seascapes and townspeople, Amelia has strong fears of taking her work public... but perhaps with Braeden's support to bolster her, anything is possible! It's also tough not to fall for a guy who insists on teaching the generation coming up about respecting women:

 

"Yeah, Mimi. Leave us guys alone." Max propped his hand on his small hip and jutted it, Honey-style. "We don't need you. Braeden's got this. Go away."

 

She blinked. Braeden frowned. He locked eyes with Max. "Let's you and me get one thing straight, Candidate Duer. Women are to be respected, cherished, and protected." Braeden threw Amelia a glance before his gaze returned to Max. "If I ever hear you disrespect your aunt Mimi or any other woman ever again, you can forget swim lessons or anything else from this Coastie."

 

The starch went out of her carrot-topped nephew. He drew a circle in the water with his toe. "Sorry, Mimi."

 

This is one well-balanced romance! It's part of Harlequin's "Love Inspired" line, so there are Christian themes mildly discussed within the plot, while also incorporating plenty of humor and warm & cuddly courtship scenes. Sometimes titles within this line tend to run a bit heavy on the sap but this one got it just right. To balance out the sweet, there are more serious topics woven in. Max's story as he battles leukemia has its bittersweet notes, but not to Afterschool Special levels. Still, that scene with Max getting attached to a Black Lab only to be told maybe a dog isn't a great idea, and him snapping back with "I'm gonna die anyway"... Kid put a chip in this heart of mine! Then there's the tough moments that circle Coast Guard life itself  --- the blessings of ships ceremony where a bell is rung for each crew member lost to sea, and the intensity that builds around responding to mayday calls. It's all in here! 

 

By story's close, the reader is left waiting to hear the results of Max's latest tests... but since he makes an appearance in Book 2, it looks like the prognosis is good! 

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review 2019-01-22 20:11
Review: "Shiver" (Unbreakable Bonds, #1) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
Shiver - Rinda Elliott,Jocelynn Drake

I absolutely loved, loved, LOVED this book and each and every character!

 

While the main romance between Lucas and Andrei alone made me melt into a puddle of goo, it was the friendship/brotherhood between Lucas, Snow, Rowe and Ian that really made this book absolutely compelling for me, and I cannot WAIT to read the other guys' stories (especially Ian's ❤️).

 

~ 5 STARS ~

 

 

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review 2019-01-22 18:56
Boss from Hell?

Her Scottish WolfHer Scottish Wolf by Theodora Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


For those looking for an interracial book with shades of Harlequin Presents with a black heroine, this would fit the bill. Good news is it's also a paranormal/werewolf romance.

Grumpy boss (check)
Plain Jane/Shy/Low Profile heroine gets her man and a great life (check)
Angsty angle (check)
Hot, steamy sexy paranormal romance (check)
Hunky hero with Scottish brogue (check)
Office romance (check)

I wasn't sure what to think when this book started. At first, I kinda hated Iain. He was being a total douche to Milly. And when she gives him her reasons why she's quitting, he goes full on a-hole with her. I didn't get him at all. I mean, who says that to someone who gives him that kind of news? It turns out that he had a plan all along, and things weren't how they seemed. His reasons for being a jerk become very apparent. Not an excuse, but there you have it.

There are some consent issues about something if I'm honest. If you've read Bitten, you know what I'm getting at. But it turns out better for Milly.

So that's not the happy ending, no Iain has to spend the rest of the book gaining Milly's trust. She has plenty of reasons not to want to be mated to him. Her life changes hugely, and I think any person in her situation would have had misgivings. I'm glad that she stayed true to herself and didn't lose her identity in the face of a very strong personality like Iain.

I loved the arguments between Milly's friend Tara and Iain's brother Magnus. They were a big source of entertainment, and Tara would go toe to toe with him in a way that Milly didn't with Iain.

For all the angst, there is some good humorous moments with Iain's villages wacky residents. There's some major culture shock for Milly, and Iain has to rearrange his life greatly, but he's got his mate, so that's all that matters.

I'd recommend this book, but we warned that Iain does start the book as a major ahole.



View all my reviews

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review 2019-01-22 18:02
Review: The Afterward by E.K. Johnston
The Afterward - E.K. Johnston

It has been a year since the mysterious godsgem cured Cadrium’s king and ushered in what promised to be a new golden age. The heroes who brought the gem home are renowned in story and song, but for two fellows on the quest, peace and prosperity do not come easily.

Apprentice Knight Kalanthe Ironheart wasn't meant for heroism this early in life, and while she has no intention of giving up the notoriety she has earned, her reputation does not pay her bills. With time running out, Kalanthe may be forced to betray not her kingdom or her friends, but her own heart as she seeks a stable future for herself and those she loves.

Olsa Rhetsdaughter was never meant for heroism at all. Beggar, pick pocket, thief, she lived hand to mouth on the city streets until fortune--or fate--pulled her into Kalanthe's orbit. And now she's quite reluctant to leave it. Even more alarmingly, her fame has made her recognizable, which makes her profession difficult, and a choice between poverty and the noose isn't much of a choice at all.

Both girls think their paths are laid out, but the godsgem isn't quite done with them and that new golden age isn’t a sure thing yet.

In a tale both sweepingly epic and intensely personal, Kalanthe and Olsa fight to maintain their newfound independence and to find their way back to each other.

 

 

*I received a free copy from the publisher via Bookish First and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*

 

 

3.5★

 

 

When I saw this on Bookish First and read the excerpt, I just knew it was something I would enjoy. Ans I was right... for the most part. Don't get me wrong I really liked this book and there was only one thing i disliked about it.

But we get to that in a minute, first the things I really enjoyed...... The world building was great and I really enjoyed it, it was well written and not over or underdone. It was a nice balance. 

The cast of characters, judging from the cover I thought we would have gotten more than we did. But that was okay. We get the main couple and a few side characters but that are equally important to the story.

The romance was also something I enjoyed. They balanced each other out so nicely and it was so, so much fun to read. It did say a romantic high fantasy but I would say it is more romance novel set in a fantasy world. As we definitely get more romance/relationship than other fantasy stuff. But that was A OKAY with me. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

That all being said, the one part I did not enjoy as much was eh layout/ structure of the book. It was all over a before and after alternating chapters , One before next after and that made it a bit hard to follow at times and timeline a bit wacky for me . But overall, I enjoyed this book.

I rate it 3.5★ and would have rated it higher if not for the back and forth with the before and after and it be easier to follow.

 

 

Image result for clarke and lexa gif

 

 

 

 

Will be available February 19th 2019

 

Amazon ** B&N *** Kobo 

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review 2019-01-22 14:01
ARC REVIEW 1001 Dark Nights: Ashes to Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

Ashes to Ink (Montgomery Ink: Colorado Springs, #2.5)Montgomery Ink: Colorado Springs #2.5, From the last book I kind of knew Ryan and Abby were meant for each other. This is a quick read novella but Carrie Ann Ryan still manages to pack all her emotional angsty stuff and her hotter than hell romance into such a little package. Abby whose past is an open book among their group of friends and  Ryan a new friend but already part of the family whose past isn't as easy to read.

Friends first Ryan and Abby start to show signs of a mutual attraction after Ryan rescues Abby and her daughter from a snowbank. Abby conflicted because her first love, Max, she lost before they could even get married. Ryan is pretty sure Abby is the woman for him but his past is standing in the way, especially when his past shows back up and threatens to ruin everything good Ryan has done for himself.

Overall, I loved this it was short and hot. Ryan and Abby burn up the sheets, their chemistry is outstanding. I especially liked the shy awkwardness between them when Ryan first asks her out it was sweet. Of course you have all the emotion that pours out of them confessing things they never told anyone else it grabs you and twist you up, yep Carrie Ann Ryan excels at that.   


 

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