Review: Change of Hart by M.E.Carter

01changeHave I said how much I LOVE reading from the the guy’s POV??? Well, I totally do. I mean, I’m a girl, so I already know how a girl’s mind works. But when I get to step inside of a guy’s head, I’m almost giddy with anticipation. And add in the fact that he’s an athlete, and I’m a happy girl.

SYNOPSIS
My name is Jason Hart.

As the best defensive lineman in the country, I eat, sleep and breathe football. And I like it that way. I’ve only got a few more years before I’ll have to retire, so expending energy on anything other than football seems like a waste of time.

That is, until I have a random meeting with a little boy who just lost his father. We have more in common than you might think and it creates an unlikely bond. As our friendship grows, so do my feelings for his mother.

I know Addison, as a recent widow, isn’t ready to date again. But I want to get to know her better, in spite of all her rejections.

Is it possible that I, a self-proclaimed bachelor, could be having a Change of Hart?

I loved reading about Jason Hart. He is what I picture, when I think of single athletes. Which is basically a different girl on his arm, every time you see him. But there is so much more to him. After a chance encounter with a little boy, his life makes a complete 180.

Addison has been raising her son, alone, for the past three years, and was not prepared for Jason whatsoever. She is trying to protect her and her son’s heart, but it’s no match for this lineman.

This book was a nice little slice of perfection. This story brought the romance, the funny and a whole lot of heart. One minute I was snorting as I tried to control my laughter and the next, I was sure I was going to hear the “awwww” soundtrack. The sweetness was overflowing.

I’m so glad I was able to read this sweet story. As a romance book lover, my heart was very happy, and I know yours will be also.

~Melpomene

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Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

IMG_2194-0.JPGThere are many ways to choose a book. By its cover, by a favorite author, bestseller lists, book review sites, blogs, write ups in popular media…My all-time favorite way to pick my next book to read, however, is by looking at and listening to the books my friends are talking about.

So there’s this Muse you may know. Her name is Melpomene. And she’s a bit of a book nerd, thus explaining why we’re friends. She also is slightly obsessed with the author Colleen Hoover. She’s read everything Colleen has written, stays up until midnight to buy and read new releases, travels to author events just to meet Colleen, and can quote anything from any book ever written by her.

I on the other hand had never heard of this author until meeting Melpomene. But of course, when someone I know and trust speaks so highly of an author, I’m intrigued. So my question was, which book to start with? The answer was Slammed, so Slammed it was. And what a great first read it was!

Let me preface the remainder of this review by stating that I am in no way, shape, or form what one would consider a fan of traditional romances. My fellow Muse, however, is exactly the opposite. So it was with a slight bit of trepidation that I began this book. Would I like it enough to finish it? Would it be too mushy for me? Would I have to lie about how much I disliked it to avoid awkward moments and hurt feelings? No worries on all accounts.

When 18 year old Lake’s dad dies unexpectedly, her family leaves Texas for Michigan searching for a fresh start. They are now a family of three, and Lake knows it’s up to her to hold it together for her mom and her brother Kel. So, as miserable as she is about the move, she puts on a happy face and gives it her best shot. She’s not counting on the handsome new neighbor, though. Sparks fly instantly, and suddenly Lake’s not missing Texas any longer. Alas, happily ever after is never easy to come by…

And that’s all I’m going to say. It’s hard to give much more away without ruining the story. But I will say that it’s an amazing story, one that made me keep reading even after it was lights out on a school night. Yes, it’s a love story. But it’s also a story of loss, of grief, of resilience, of trust, of moving on. It’s a story I won’t soon forget.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Slammed: A Novel

Review: Jacked by Tina Reber

01jack Holy suspense and romance, Batman!! My goodness!! Tina Reber has done it again. Truly. Let me calm my nerves, after that ending, and perhaps I can put my thoughts down.

SYNOPSIS

We all have skeletons in our closets.

Doctor Erin Novak was only sixteen when she was accused of a crime she didn’t commit. Since that moment, she has made it her life goal to pursue emergency medicine, pouring her heart and soul into assuring another innocent life isn’t lost to the hands of the wicked.

We all have secrets we’ve never shared.

Detective Adam Trent has lost control of everything, starting with losing his partner to a punk with a gun and then everything else to the crushing guilt. Now a member of the elite Auto Theft Task Force in Philadelphia, it’s his job to be one step ahead of the criminals stealing expensive cars in the city. Too bad the television cameras keep getting in the way of his investigation.

We all have pasts that we can never escape.

A stolen car, a tragic chase, and a traffic stop crosses the fates of these two, tying them together in ways that are unimaginable. As their love and trust grows, so do the enemies that threaten their survival, testing the strength of their commitment. Can true love endure half-truths, past pains, and secrets never meant to be shared?

Some things are just out of our control.

This story was a breath of fresh air. I gotta tell ya, I was not expecting this at all. After reading Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed, part of me wondered how Adam Trent was going to be. I mean, I loved Ryan, don’t get me wrong. But we met Adam’s brother, Kyle, and he was kind of a jerk. But Adam was far from that. No guy is perfect, but he is trying the best he can.

Adam is the face of a new show about auto theft. He’s a bad ass cop, who just wants to do his job and go home. But having cameras in his face, make his life a bit more difficult. And one evening, a decision was made that caused a chain reaction, that would change his life forever.

Erin is a spunky ER nurse, with a secret she’s kept for many years. It’s a part of her that gives her the drive, and has shaped her goals in life. She’s happy with her friends and content with her life, until one evening it was completely flipped upside down.

Adam, is all man. He likes what he likes and he when he meets Erin, he is determined to get close to her. She is weary of getting close, after a string of bad luck with guys. But Adam isn’t taking no for an answer. He’ll woo her slowly.

Just standing next to her seemed to calm me, as if she were coated in some sort of magical aura that made me feel as though I wasn’t so lost and alone in the ugliness of life.

Adam has seem his share of ugly. The loss of his partner was the breaking point for him. But when he meets Erin, it’s like everything just clicked. He describes her as, an angel sent to heal my broken soul. I like that Adam is real. If he’s hurt, he’s not afraid to show his pain, whether by tears or words.

As they grow closer, past insecurities start to creep up and they have to work even harder to earn each other’s trust. But once that trust is there, losing it makes earning it back twice as hard. But Adam has his ways, and let me tell you, his are very very hot.

I just loved these characters. They’re not perfect, but together, they are. They just fit. All it takes it that one person, who truly knows you, then BAM!

Tina Reber knows how to twist my gut and my heart. She knows how to make me cry and make me laugh. I have a feeling that the Trent Brothers are going to destroy me one by one.

The best thing about this book, besides the suspense and romance, is that portions of the proceeds goes to The Sweeney Alliance, which provides support to those who are “first responders” and who deal with unimaginable stress and horror daily – Fire, Police, EMTs, etc. As a firewife myself, I hear some of the stories and I can’t imagine experiencing them first hand. To have an organization that helps with them deal with those stresses, I want to support that. So I will definitely be grabbing a few paperbacks, when they’re available, and gifting them to some of my girls. Helping our men by buying books, sounds like a perfect combination!

~Melpomene

Buy Jacked (Trent Brothers Book 1)

Review: Yours for Christmas by Susan Mallery

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Fun and emotional romance set in Fool’s Gold! It’s finally Kenny’s turn to fall in love, though he fights it every step of the way. Good thing Bailey is persistent. 🙂

This generously long novella tugged at my heart strings as I watched not only a man and woman fall in love, but a child feel some extra Christmas love as well. From tree-trimming to Christmas galas, this book burst with all the verve of Mallery’s full-length novels. And I love Fool’s Gold, whether I get it in big doses or small. ❤
-calliope

buy YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS for just $1.99

Review: The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

***!I can’t really say that this is a bad book. It’s just so depressing. I suppose people might think differently….that the dead wife comes to terms with her lot and everyone ends up being as happily ever after as possible….but the wife is still dead….so screw that….life doesn’t just happen because it’s fate and it was meant to….sometimes life just sucks…..

Okay….maybe I’m jaded. My pops died several months ago and I think it is still hitting me….I find myself thinking of him more often then not lately and I overwhelmed sometimes….maybe that’s why I disliked this book so much….but maybe it isn’t.

We’ve all been told and comforted by the thoughts of our loved ones watching over us….right? Well this novel really put that into perspective for me. However, it was no comfort at all. It’s horrifying. None of us are saints. Sure, some people will be saintly and be happy to know that our loved ones continue to live and move on from their grief. However….let’s be honest…..would you really like to watch your husband and daughter move on with their lives without you…..we’re not talking mythically….we are talking literally….

Because of my dad and the reasons that he died….I’ve been angry….I love him…not one bit less….but I’m pissed at choices he made and how those he left behind have to continue on without him….however….to think of him sitting there looking down and watching us suffer because of those choices…well, it makes me ill.

Yet, this is a novel where a dead wife is made to watch her husband and daughter move on in life without her….no matter how happy she is supposed to be…..it must be horrifying….

But to take it a step further….if we actually know that our loved ones are watching our every move….and not just the *romanticized* version of looking over us……well, I can’t even imagine how that husband could have coped.

I won’t go on….it’s obvious how this book made me feel. Maybe it will give someone else comfort. However it just depressed me. I will also note that although time elapsed 2 plus years in this novel, I didn’t feel as if the daughter aged at all. Her behaviour at the end seemed pretty spot on to what her behaviour was at the start…..I think the author got the behaviour correct at the start, but that the girl needed to progress….not how emotions or how she felt about her mum….or the new person in her life…..but just how she expressed it. She still acted like the 7-year-old at the start and not the almost 10 year old….although it’s not a huge age difference, the behaviour between the two ages for a young girl is huge….I also thought the added drama (no spoilers) that the new love interest shared of her life was unnecessary and was only added to gain sympathy votes from the reader….it had the opposite effect on me….I felt that the author tried to make this woman out to be absolutely perfect…..and really……no one likes perfection…..so although the whole subject was horrible, the author wrapped it all up in the disguise of happening to perfect people…it would have been much more interesting if at least one person got ugly and things got messy….instead everyone just gathered around at the end and sang Kumbaya…..

ummmm….no……that’s not for me……

Now that I’ve run my gob……Please don’t let my somewhat negative review put you off this book….it was a very personal read for me and one I might not be emotionally equipped for at the moment….then again, this book was utterly depressing for me…..the whole concept….before I started it, it seemed like it would be fascinating….but right from the start it was just so depressing…..so hey ho…there you have it….I can’t tell you if you should or shouldn’t…..but if you start it and find it depressing for the reasons I mentioned….well….don’t expect it to change by the ending….

Until next time….

Urania xx

ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

Review: The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice

IMG_2160.JPGHorror story with supernatural elements set in the swamps of Louisiana? And an amazingly beautiful cover? You bet! When I requested this book from NetGalley I had never heard of Christopher Rice but I was intrigued by the promise of a good spooky story.

After the Delongpre family mysteriously vanishes one night in the bayou, those left behind are forced to carry on without truly knowing what became of Noah, Millie, and Niquette. Young Niquette’s best friend Ben and boyfriend Anthem are the hardest-hit by this tragedy. A decade has passed and they both still struggle with her memory in their own ways. However, when strange events begin happening around those connected to the family, the real frightfest begins. What is causing animals and people alike to lose control of their minds? What really happened to the family along that dark stretch of swampy road years earlier? Is the family still alive?

This story was a true horror story. It was creepy and spooky but also had an engaging storyline with good character development. On a side note, I feel that any review of this book must mention the fact that the author is the son of horror story master, Anne Rice. That being said, I didn’t know that when I requested the book and it didn’t sway my opinion at all. A definite must-read if you like creepy paranormal stories!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Heavens Rise

Review: Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

Looking for a Christmas read? We’ve reviewed many… Here’s the fifth and last Christmas book review reblog.

Random Book Muses

20140417-215356.jpg The edition I read was comprised of two separate stories: Call Me Mrs. Miracle, and The Christmas Basket.

What I love about Debbie Macomber’s books (similar to Deborah Smith and Melody Carleson novels) is the magic. I don’t mean wizardry or sorcery. I mean a spiritual, magical change of heart that the characters undergo. It fills my own heart and reminds me of the beauty of my fellow man.

These stories are Christmassy, and I enjoyed reading them as much now as I would have in December. In Call Me Mrs. Miracle, Holly meets Jake Finley, heir to the successful Finley’s department store. With a little help from Mrs. Miracle, Holly and Jake develop a friendship, Holly’s nephew gets a Christmas surprise, and old Mr. Finley gets the best Christmas present anyone could wish for: peace.

The Christmas Basket illustrates how a petty grudge between two families turns into an…

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Review: A Fool’s Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery

Christmas reads, reblog #4!

Random Book Muses

20140419-094524.jpg I’m late reviewing a bunch of Christmas-themed romances, and I have to say I’m enjoying myself.

The Christmas spirit manifests in many ways. For Evie and Dante, newcomers to Fool’s Gold, they just want to get through the holiday emotionally unscathed. They lean on each other through Dante’s bad memories and Evie’s Christmas dance recital responsibilities. And then they lean on each other for love.

This is a typical Fool’s Gold romance in that it’s focused on the hero and heroine, there’s a wonderful sense of community, and love seems to thrive at the seasonal festivals.

But Evie and Dante’s story is original and emotional. I keep reading Susan Mallery because she knows how to make each relationship unique and compelling.

As soon as I was done with this novel, I moved on to When We Met, to be released April 29. Thank you, Ms. Mallery for providing such an…

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Review: Candlelight Christmas by Susan Wiggs

Christmas reads reblog #3!

Random Book Muses

20131022-173802.jpg Release date October 29. 4 stars!

Want to feel the magic of Christmas? Complete with snowy mountains, a house full of loved ones, peppermint hot chocolate, and walks in a winter wonderland? Susan Wiggs delivers all that and more in Candlelight Christmas.

Darcy meets her best friend India’s brother Logan and it’s Like At First Sight. When she sees him again at Thanksgiving, sparks are flying. By Christmastime, they know they have to decide whether or not to pursue a relationship.

Between Darcy’s ex and her demanding family, and Logan’s hard-to-please dad and beautiful son Charlie, the pair have many outside influences. Together they figure out how to overcome the family challenges so their relationship can grow. As Darcy and Logan find out, the spirit of Santa Claus doesn’t only touch children at Christmas. The magic is alive and well in romance too.

I love this book for the Christmas…

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Review: Huckleberry Christmas by Jennifer Beckstrand

Christmas reads! Reblog #2.

Random Book Muses

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Aaah. The coolness of autumn, the crunch of the leaves, the brisk wind at night… It’s all preparation for winter. And winter means Christmas novels. I’ll be reading and reviewing more over the next couple of months, but here’s the first taste of Christmas, Amish-style.

Beth endured verbal abuse from her first husband. When he died, she vowed to grow stronger and more independent for the sake of herself and her son. But Beth didn’t count on falling in love with mellow Tyler. He had Beth’s best interests at heart, but needed to be persistent if he wanted to gain a place in her heart.

I’ve enjoyed all of Beckstrand’s Huckleberry Hill books, and I certainly loved this one. Beckstrand balances the stereotypical sober Amish lifestyle with lighthearted fun that comes from being unencumbered by modern distractions.

I laughed a lot at Tyler’s facial expressions (great descriptions, because I could…

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