Book Reviews

Hollywood Homecoming by Sasha Summers

I loved this book! The conclusion to the Red Carpet Series by Sasha Summers left me wanting this series and the characters to continue to live on.    9781939590190_p0_v1_s260x420

The heroine, Helen (sister to Josh, the hero from the first book) is surprised when her heartthrob crush Joseph is back in California for his mom’s wedding…to Helen’s dad. He’s older now, and so serious from his time spent working as a doctor in a third world country…and he’s even more devastatingly handsome. He needs a place to stay, her roommate is on tour, so what else can she do but offer him the extra room in her apartment?

Still drawn to him, she thinks he may like her…but the results of a health scare leave her in a life-changing position. Will he leave her to deal on her own? Or stand by her, no matter what the consequences.

Sasha Summers has once again written a love story that will make you laugh, cry, and sigh. Each book quickly becomes my favorite as I read it. They are definitely books I will read over and over again. I highly recommend that you read the series and fall in love along with Helen and Joe (and Claire & Josh from Book 1, and Jen & Gunner from Book 2!).

 

I love reading, so I am also a reviewer on Romancing the Book blog.  Please check out my posts for this blog here!   http://romancing-the-book.com/2013/02/meet-the-reviewers-allison.html

Cowboy Take Me Away by Jane Graves  

http://romancing-the-book.com/2013/06/review-cowboy-take-me-away-by-jane-graves.html

Forbidden Magic by Genia Avers

http://romancing-the-book.com/2013/06/review-forbidden-magic-by-genia-avers.html

Geoducks Are For Lovers by Daisy Prescott    

http://romancing-the-book.com/2013/06/review-geoducks-are-for-lovers-by-daisy-prescott.html

Lady Mercy Danforth Flirts with Scandal by Jayne Fresina   

http://romancing-the-book.com/2013/07/review-lady-mercy-danforthe-flirts-with-scandal-by-jayne-fresina.html

A Captain and a Corset by Mary Wine

http://romancing-the-book.com/2013/07/review-a-captain-and-a-corset-by-mary-wine.html

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Molly Cannon

http://romancing-the-book.com/2013/07/review-crazy-little-thing-called-love-by-molly-cannon.html

The Duchess Hunt by Jennifer Haymore

http://romancing-the-book.com/2013/07/review-the-duchess-hunt-by-jennifer-haymore.html

The Chieftan by Margaret Mallory

http://romancing-the-book.com/2013/06/review-the-chieftain-by-margaret-malllory.html

Reviews:

Engaging the Enemy by Heather Boyd    (Book 1)Engaging The Enemy (The Wild Randalls, #1)

Engaging the Enemy is the first book in the Wild Randalls of Hampshire series. This is the first book I have read by Heather Boyd, and I am now definitely a fan.
I do admit that the beginning started out somewhat slow for my taste, but by the middle of the book, I could not put it down. Secrets abound as Leopold Randall travels home to Hampshire to try and find the three siblings who were snatched from him years ago. Now that the fiendish old Duke of Romsey Abbey is dead, he must meet the young Duke and his mother, the Duchess of Romsey, and try to discover if she was complicit in the evil plot.

What Leopold does not expect to find is the woman of his dreams. Nor does he expect to become fond of the young Duke.
Mercy, the lonely widowed Duchess, is trying to keep her son safe from a threat when a handsome young man visits the estate to pay his respects. When she finds out he is searching for his siblings, she gives him free reign and begins helping him search the old Duke’s papers for any clue. But a major secret lies between them, and eventually they each realize just how much, and what, they are to each other.

Leopold has to learn to trust Mercy, as well as the people around him, in order to find the answers he is desperately seeking. Mercy had been content to spend her life quietly raising her son, willing to be alone in order to protect him. But she takes a chance on Leopold, who makes her feel alive, and that she might just possibly have a happy ever after of her own.
The author has crafted a plot rife with twists and turns, secrets and lies, and wonderful characters. The ending is left open for the next in the series, and as soon as I finish writing this review, I’m downloading Book 2 so I can find out what happens next!

  Forsaking the Prize by Heather Boyd    (Book 2)Forsaking The Prize (The Wild Randalls, #2)

Forsaking the Prize is book two in The Wild Randalls series by Heather Boyd. This series is about a family ripped apart by a dastardly devil of an uncle, the old Duke of Romsey. Upon his death, the first book (Engaging the Enemy) began with Leopold, the oldest of the Randall siblings, returning to the ancestral home to find what happened to his family. We begin book two with Leopold finding his youngest brother Tobias.

Returning home after being kidnapped at 14 years old and forced to work for ten years at sea, Tobias is the hero of Forsaking the Prize. After surviving the perils of the sea aboard ships, slavers, and whalers, as well as brutal beatings, Tobias finds it harder to return to genteel society and learning the proper way of conducting himself as a gentleman and how to speak to a lady. He is determined to marry wealth and live the way he wants. What he did not expect to find was a woman whose quiet, haunting beauty and bone-deep sorrow filling his every waking thought.

Blythe, Lady Venables, still grieves for her dead husband and son. While visiting her sister Mercy (from book one) at her home, she is astonished to meet another long-lost Randall, the brutish Tobias. As much as she tries to avoid him, the more she is fascinated by this wild man and his untamed ways. As they are drawn to each other, both try to help their siblings figure out who is leaving bloody messages for Mercy, as well as trying to figure out where the two remaining Randalls were spirited away to.

I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. Tobias returns with thoughts of revenge against the old Romsey, but he becomes a staunch ally for the family, and for the lovely woman he begins to care for. Blythe learns that she does not have to live her life still in mourning for what she lost, and that she can find another to fill her life and her heart with love.

My respect and admiration for this author has grown even more with this book, and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Guarding the Spoils by Heather Boyd   (Book 3)Guarding The Spoils (The Wild Randalls, #3)

Guarding the Spoils is the third book in the Wild Randalls Series. The first book, Engaging the Enemy, introduced us to Leopold who is desperately trying to find the siblings who were ripped away from him a decade ago. The second book introduced us to Tobias, a younger brother who was forced to live life at sea. With this third book, we are introduced to Oliver, who had been sequestered away in an insane asylum for the last decade. He was told if he escaped, his siblings would be killed. What man wouldn’t sacrifice himself to save his family?

Once rescued and back with his two brothers at the ancestral home, Oliver finds Elizabeth working as companion to his soon-to-be sister-in-law. Elizabeth was a familiar presence to him as she had been his sister’s best friend. But now she’s a beautiful woman, widowed with a young son.

Always the bookish sort, Oliver used to bury himself in books and studying the secrets of the old ancestral home. Home again, he still prefers the company of books to that even of his family. He longs to escape to the faraway places he’s always dreamed of visiting, and plans his long voyage even while his brothers try to convince him to stay. But Elizabeth and her son George are gradually falling into his line of sight and awareness. Young George and his thirst for knowledge and love of books reminds Oliver of himself, and he takes the boy under his wing and begins teaching him.

Oliver is very much a different hero than his brothers in their own stories. Whereas Leopold and Tobias both leapt onto the page in a “here I am” way, Oliver subtly wormed his way into my heart. He’s quiet, unassuming, bookish, unaware of how he comes across to others, and very much still loved by Elizabeth even all these years later.

Oliver does not want to be tied down – he wants to travel and explore, and have the adventures he’s dreamed of all his life. But someone is threatening to destroy Beth and her son’s lives, and Oliver must choose between his dreams and someone else’s.

I very much enjoyed this story, and am looking forward to the fourth book, in which (I hope!) these brothers find their missing sister Rosemary. Heather Boyd has a distinct way of drawing the reader into the story and keeping you involved in the lives of her characters. She weaves together romance, humor, intrigue, mystery, and secrets in such a way to craft a world in which the reader wants to be there firsthand as the Randalls find their ways home, and work to uncover the reason they were separated to begin with.

Sweet Inspiration by Penny Watson   Sweet Inspiration

Cheers to “Sweet Inspiration”! I loved this book.  Could not put it down.  It’s so full of love, magic, and Christmas spirit that it’s inspired me to work on my own hoiday manuscript again.

Penny Watson has added a new element to the legend of Santa Claus and his elves. Her descriptions of the North Pole made me want to live there, even with the constant cold weather. And the love between Lucy and Nicolas just made me sigh.  A definite keeper on my (digital)shelf, this is one I will read over and over again.

The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber   Product Details

The Inn at Rose Harbor is a beautiful book of healing and finding peace, not only within yourself, but with others.  I am thrilled I received an advanced reader copy.

Jo Marie Rose is recently widowed and just getting back into life. She moves to Cedar Cove and purchases a bed & breakfast in her husband’s memory.  Her first two guests, Abby and Josh, are back in town after leaving years ago.  Both are there for different reasons and filled with dread at having to be there.  Abby, because it’s the site of painful memories – the night her best friend tragically died, and Josh, to confront the dying stepfather who kicked him out of the house in high school.  While the three people don’t interact much, except at the inn, they each are finding their own paths to peace and healing.

I have been a Debbie Macomber fan for many years, and this is now one of my favorite books. It was wonderful visiting Cedar Cove again, and seeing familiar faces in the town.  I love the added twist of intervention from beyond the grave that the author has added, and I hope she continues to do so in future books.

Hollywood Ever After by Sasha Summers    (Book 1)Product Details

“Hollywood Ever After” is a smashing good read about a woman finding herself after a disastrous marriage.  On her first day of vacation in Hollywood, she attends a red carpet premiere and meets a dashing movie star.  The last thing Claire expects to find is a man while on vacation, but the attraction between the two flares instant and hot.  Can she learn to trust again?  Can she believe in happily ever after?  Or will her past rise up and destroy her chance at love.

Sasha Summers has once again created a wonderful story of two people from opposite ends of the spectrum who find each other and the last thing they expected – love.  Join Claire as she navigates on her journey and finds her true direction.

Hollywood Holiday by Sasha Summers   (Book 2)

Product Details

I love stories that revolve around Christmas, and this one quickly moved to the top of my all-time favorites. I love all of this author’s books – she never lets me down no matter the genre.

Jen, Hollywood bad-girl & papparazzi-magnet, meets straight-laced, to-die-for handsome veteran Gunner on the airplane heading back to California from rehab. She’s scared to death of flying and he gives her a rock-solid foundation to hold on to…and the best part is, he doesn’t know who she is!

Jen wants to get back into movies and have Hollywood love her again…all while she tries to keep Gunner from finding out about her previous bad-girl rep.

He’s a veteran of the war in Afghanistan with his own wounds that need to heal, and he thinks Jen is just the right medicine for him.

Jen and Gunner embark on a sweet and steamy relationship while battling their own demons. Author Sasha Summers has a way with words and telling a beautiful love story.

And if you like hot and spicy romances, be sure to check out the gingerbread cookie scene! Ooh la la!

Medusa, A Love Story by Sasha Summers   (Book 1)

I’ve always loved the myths and stories of the Gods & Goddesses on Mount Olympus.  Sasha Summers has brought the Gods and Goddesses to life with her new series.  “Medusa, A Love Story” quickly rose to the top of my all-time favorite books.

I was riveted from the very beginning of the story as the author took me on an incredibly joyous and tragic ride.  I was caught up in the love story of Medusa and Ariston, and the clever machinations of the Gods and Goddesses of Olympus.

I had never thought about Medusa as a person – just the Gorgon with the hair of serpents who can turn a person to stone with one look.  Sasha has written Medusa as so much more – a woman torn between duty and the love of her life, Ariston.

This is a beautiful love story, and the beginning of a fantastic series.  Do yourself a favor and read it as soon as it’s available.  Sasha is a very gifted storyteller and has a rich way with words.

For the Love of Hades by Sasha Summers     (Book 2)

I am a huge fan of Sasha Summers and have devoured all of her books. But with her newest book, For the Love of Hades, she has catapulted into one of my favorite authors of all time.

The author has put a new twist on the Gods and Goddesses of Olympus by making them all too human, with everyday lives, loves, and heartbreaks. With her first book, Medusa, A Love Story, we met Medusa before she became the monster. With Hades, she brings the God of the Underworld to life.

Now, I am a sucker for Bad Boys, and talk about a bad boy! I’ve read Ms. Summers’ newest tale several times, and every single time I read it with a box of tissues. Hades is the ultimate wounded hero, the best one I have ever read. My heart breaks for him and his tragic past. He wants nothing to do with Olympus, but is called repeatedly to convene with his fellow Gods and Goddesses. On one such visit, he stumbles upon the beautiful Persephone in a meadow. Right off, he must do battle to save her life, and earns her respect for his handling of the dead.

Persephone has no idea who her defender is – the god of the Underworld. She is drawn to him, and cannot stay away. Unbeknownst to her, her mother has betrothed her to a king. Persephone does not want to wed this stranger, but feels compelled to do her duty, even though her heart lies with Hades.

Poseidon once again makes an appearance, and wreaks havoc with the lives of Persephone and Hades. Hades must battle old and new enemies to save Persephone, and this time her very life hangs in the balance.
This is the ultimate Love Story, and ranks at the very top of my favorites list. Sasha Summers is a very gifted author, and she proves this time and time again.

Galileo’s Holiday by Sasha Summers

Sasha Summers has once again written a great story. This one is a total departure from her Hollywood “Red Carpet Series” and “Loves of Olympus” series. Her first foray into the Romantic Sci-Fi realm is fun; a very sweet (and hot) love story. Sasha Summers has used her true gift for storytelling to take readers to another world where Christmas has a whole new meaning.

“Galileo’s Holiday” takes us to a future world where Riley, the heroine, lives a solitary life as an ice-tugger. She is stranded on a planet when her ship is destroyed by raiders, and rescued from certain death by tall, handsome Leo. They take refuge with a group of people who are in the midst of preparing for “Holiday”.

Not used to being around so many people, Riley is inundated with new sights, sounds, the delights of real food, and this man she is attracted to. As she soaks in these new experiences, Leo is fascinated by her, and is as drawn to her as she is to him.
As they explore each other and their new relationship, they are forced to battle deadly creatures and the return of a band of nasty raiders.

I’m a big fan of this author, and she has once again delighted me with this new story. Sasha Summers has proven that no matter the genre, she has a true gift for storytelling.

Hearse & Buggy by Laura Bradford

Laura Bradford has written a wonderful, emotional Cozy Mystery set in the small-town of Heavenly, PA.   Claire Weatherly has left a high-stress lifestyle behind in New York to settle in this Lancaster County town.  Her shop, Heavenly Treasures, features homemade items from the Amish community.  She becomes embroiled in the case when a man is murdered, and the young man her employee and friend is sweet on is accused of the crime.

I love the Cozies that Laura Bradford writes.  But with “Hearse & Buggy” she has taken it to a whole new level, one filled with the emotions of complex characters.  Claire meets Detective Jakob Fisher, who left the Amish Community when he was young to pursue a career with the police.  Back home now from sixteen years in New York, he finds no one, not even his family, will speak to him.

This author has written of his emotions with such depth and feeling that I had a lump in my throat when Jakob talked about his shunning, and the results of turning away from his religion. I have continued thinking about this story even after I finished it.  Laura Bradford has begun exploring and writing about the Amish culture in ways I had never before considered.  It’s encouraged me to do more reading on that way of life.   Bravo, Laura!!

Criminal Promises” by Nikki Duncan   Product Details

This story is just as smokin’ hot on the inside as the cover is on the outside!  Excellent storyline – an escaped serial killer is on the prowl for the widow of the man she killed a year earlier, convinced the widow holds the key to a lost treasure.

Detective Harte is drawn to Maggie, the widow, but afraid to give her his heart.  The plot thickens as Maggie is terrorized by the killer, while she aches to be with the man sent to protect her.  A definite must-read!  Nikki Duncan has written a great story with passion and a fantastic twist. ‘m eager to read more in the series.

Product DetailsSlugfest by Rosemary Harris

Rosemary Harris hits another one out of the ballpark with “Slugfest.”  The fourth in the Dirty Business Mysteries opens with Paula Holliday back in her old stomping grounds of New York City.  She is there to help a friend and reclusive artist from Springfield, CT by selling his artwork at a legendary Northeast flower show.  Little does she know that the next four days will involve murder, mayhem, The Javits Curse, and a cast of diverse and zany characters.

I have been a fan of Rosemary Harris’ since her first in the series, “Pushing Up Daisies”. I prefer the books that take place in her new hometown, but this was a refreshing look at Paula in action in NYC.  Rosemary Harris has a great style of writing and always presents fresh mysteries. I did feel that a few of the most suspenseful parts were a little rushed, but overall it’s a really good story. I found myself laughing out loud several times.  I hope to see Paula’s new friends J.C. and Rolanda “Fort” Knox again, perhaps visiting Paula in Connecticut?

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