2017 Book #59 – Together by Linda Lael Miller

9780062005908_5b5a4Title: Together
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Date finished: 7/15/17
Genre: Historical romance, contemporary romance
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: July 25, 2017 (Reprint; originally published 1996)
Pages in book: 432
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

For the first time in over ten years comes New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller’s breathtaking stories filled with the promise of love. Five unforgettable tales, Together in one volume…

Together…for a second chance at life and love—THAT OTHER KATHERINE

Together…when misdirected desire unexpectedly leads to lasting happiness—STORE-BOUGHT WOMAN

Together…as mistrust turns into steadfast devotion—THE SCENT OF SNOW

Together…a couple once torn apart by greed is now reunited by a vow of eternal love—IN ALL SEASONS

Together…a cat in the family way helps ignite love in two sparring neighbors—FAMILY AFFAIR (Interestingly enough, this story is not included in the book. Switch is included instead about two twin’s switching lives for a few months)

My rating:  2.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is a compilation of 5 short stories all by the same author. In order within the book: In All Seasons: This story is of Melissande Bradgate, the daugher of a wealthy shipping merchant, and Christian Lithwell, the second son of an Earl. These two fall in love but tragic events tear them apart. When they are brought back together it takes a lot of time to see if they can be together again. I thought this story was ok but, like the other stories in the novel, I couldn’t really get into the story line and characters I couldn’t see any development. The Scent of Snow: This story is about Rebecca and her two half-sisters Annabelle and Susan. Rebecca thought her friend Lucas Kiley died but when he shows up after she’s told the whole town they had been married so now they have to pretend to be married. I particularly didn’t care for this one, it was unrealistic and puritanical. That Other Katherine: This story is about Katherine Hollis, who realizes that she is dying in a hospital in 1991 and after begging to live wakes up in the body of Katherine Winslow in the year 1895 during the midst of childbirth. Her husband Gavin hates her and the whole town knows about her most recent affair. This story was really interesting and I thought it had a lot of potential but then the ending kind of lost me, everything was wrapped up too quickly. Store-Bought Woman: Bess Campbell travels across the country to marry John Tate, only his brother Will is the only one she finds. They basically figure out how to make it work. This one was really cheesy and made me roll my eyes a bit. I didn’t particularly like it. Switch: This book weirdly enough is not listed in the description, but anyways this story is about Jamie Roberts, who switches places with her twin sister, Sara, at Sara’s request. Unknown to her she’s walking into a world of danger. Luckily she finds she can count on Sara’s previous lover, Rowan Parrish, to help her out. The concept behind this was weird, the whole Rowan + Sara and then Rowan + Jamie thing. Other than that there were some ok points to the story but I wasn’t engaged much at all.

The bottom line: I didn’t particularly like this book. There wasn’t much character or plot development, even for short stories. I wouldn’t recommend.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #54 – Say Yes to the Scot by Various authors

51d+0xRp1GLTitle: Say Yes to the Scot
Author: Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harrington, May McGoldrick, and Sabrina York
Date finished: 7/3/17
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Swerve
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Pages in book: 410
Stand alone or series: Many of the stories are part of other series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

You are formally invited to the Highland wedding event of the year. These four lasses are about to meet their matches in an original digital anthology featuring stories from New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harrington, and May McGoldrick.
In this retelling of The Princess and The Pea, Laird Alex Munro of Culmore has just five weeks to find a bride and marry her…or else the clan will be cursed with ill luck. Cait MacLeod finds herself caught in a clan feud, and when she tries to stop a deadly raid, she ends up as Alex Munro’s prisoner. With timing running out, is this couple meant to be?
A MATCH MADE IN HEATHER by Anna Harrington
She was the laird’s daughter. He was nothing more than a penniless, nameless Scot with nothing to offer but his heart. Fate tore them apart, but now he’s back in her life with status, money and a title. Can they let go of past hurts and find love?
Their marriage was two decades in the making. The young, educated woman and her highland, pirate husband, betrothed when they were still children. But on the day of their wedding, Elizabeth Hay and Alexander Macpherson are in for a surprise.
THE SCOT SAYS I DO by Sabrina York
Catherine Ross’s world is turned upside down when her brother gambles away every penny they own. But to make matters worse? He’s lost everything to none other than Duncan Mackay, the rugged Scot who Catherine loved for years–but he never noticed her, and now she positively loathes him. But her brother’s in danger of going to Newgate, and the despicable Duncan has a plan– she can claim back the money and save her brother. If she marries him…

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is an anthology of 4 books by 4 different authors. The first book, How a Lass Wed a Highlander by Lecia Cornwall, was pretty good, although it got to be pretty frustrating that no one would listen to or believe Cait about who she was. The ending was very romantic, although it wrapped up pretty neatly in a short time. I liked the magical aspect of this story as well. The second story, A Match Made in Heather by Anna Harrington, was ok, although the ending was a little too cheesy/mushy for me. And I didn’t like how the heroine couldn’t seem to admit her part of the issue from the past. Other than that there was great tension/chemistry between the main characters and a good plot line. The third book, A Midsummer Wedding by May McGoldrick, was one of my favorites in this collection. There was a great amount of chemistry between the main characters and the plot line was romantic and interesting. It was noted after this story that this was the prequel to a series by this author, I’d definitely be interested to read books in this series! And the fourth book, The Scot Says I Do by Sabrina York, was a sweet story and I especially liked the hero in this one. Overall all of the stories were quick, heart-warming reads and I would recommend this book!

The bottom line: This was a great collection of stories, I would definitely recommend!

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #108 – Candy Cane Christmas by Laura Trentham

51sbunwkaplTitle: Candy Cane Christmas
Author: Laura Trentham
Date finished: 11/14/16
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Swerve
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Pages in book: 67
Stand alone or series: Cottonbloom series short story
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

A very Cottonbloom Christmas!
Jeremy Whitehurst has tried to leave his bad-boy behavior and tarnished image behind in Alabama for a fresh start in Cottonbloom, Louisiana. Unfortunately, trouble has dogged him across state lines. Stepping up and protecting a young woman from her abusive boyfriend earned him a beat-down and got him fired. Although the thanks in the girl’s dark eyes made it all worth it, he recognizes she’s just a different kind of trouble. A trouble he’s not sure he can stay away from.
One rebellious summer dented Kayla Redmond’s carefree innocence. Now her focus is on completing her associate’s degree for bookkeeping, and no one is going to derail her plans. Unfortunately, her job at Fournette Brothers Designs puts her in the path of the one man who has seen her at her worst, yet his blue eyes don’t judge her. He sees beyond the brokenness inside of her and rouses her wild side once more. But, that’s what got her in trouble in the first place.
Christmas is coming and Kayla’s ready to forgive herself and take a chance. But the holiday has only ever brought heartache to Jeremy. No Christmas miracle kept his mother clean or out of jail. Will one reckless night and some time spent in the back of a cop car be the best present Jeremy’s ever been given?

My rating:  3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I recently read Laura Trentham’s Till I Kissed You and I really enjoyed it so when I saw this short story on NetGalley I was glad to have the opportunity to read it. Not only because I got the chance to hear Jeremy’s story but also because I’m really starting to get into the holiday spirit and have been looking for books to nudge me in the right direction. While this story was indeed quite short, I still think it was a good addition to the series and a good story to read. It is hard to create a very developed plot when you only have about 70 pages to get from beginning to end but I thought that the author did a good job of developing the relationship between the characters and also giving both characters good background stories. Kayla and Jeremy make a sweet couple and after what both have been through already in life, its heart-warming to see that they’re both still willing to take a chance on love. This was a good read for a short story and I would recommend, especially if you’re reading the other books in the series.

The bottom line: This was acute short story but it was definitely that, short. It was a good addition to the series though and I’m still interested to read more by this author.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #90, #91 & #92 – Short stories by Renee Ahdieh

So last year I read The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and just loved it. I pre-ordered the 2nd book in the series pretty much immediately (The Rose and the Dagger) which unfortunately I haven’t gotten to yet. I was also excited to discover that Ahdieh published a few short stories within The Wrath and the Dawn series to help give the reader various backgrounds to the main story line. I recently read all 3 so I thought I would share my thoughts, though since they were such short reads I decided to put them all into one post.

The Moth and the Flame – 4.0 stars – 37 pages – This short story tells some of the back story of Despina and Jalal, which I really enjoyed. I almost felt like I would have been interested in hearing a longer version of this, maybe even a full-length novel. I thought this was a great pre-quel to the series. This short story even has some interactions with Ava, the first Queen so it has some great background information for the first book.

The Crown and the Arrow – 3.25 stars – 11 pages – This short story tells of Khalid’s point of view on the day that Shahrzad was chosen as his seventy-second bride. I thought it was a good view into Khalid’s thoughts and a good lead-in to The Wrath and the Dawn but other than that did not include many new details.

The Mirror and the Maze – 3.75 stars – 11 pages – This short story is actually from the period after the first book but before the second book in the series. It tells Khalid’s point of view upon returning home to Rey and finding his city is in flames and his people killed and injured. I think this was a great short story for leading into the second book and I find that I’m itching to get to it now!

2015 Book #41 – Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James


Title: Seduced by a Pirate
Author: Eloisa James
Date finished: 5/1/15
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
Pages in book: 136
Stand alone or series: #4.5 Fairy Tale series

Blurb from the cover:

Seduced by a Pirate is an original, RITA-award winning e-novella from New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James. Sir Griffin Barry is one of the most feared pirates on the high seas, piloting the Flying Poppy, a ship he named after the wife whom he fondly (if vaguely) remembers, since they were together only a matter of hours.
What happens when a pirate decides to come home to his wife…if she is his wife, given that the marriage was never consummated? And what happens when that pirate strolls through his front door and is met by…
Well, that’s a surprise!

My rating: 1.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This was a short story which in the sequence of events comes after The Ugly Duchess. The hero from that book ends up being a pirate/privateer with Sir Griffin Barry for 7 years,though Barry was actually out there for fourteen years. He technically was kidnapped and woke up on a boat but still he could’ve escaped and come home any time in the FOURTEEN YEARS he was gone. But no, instead he decided to leave his wife alone in England. For fourteen years. I obviously just couldn’t get past that. Anyways so the hero comes home after he becomes crippled and decides he’d like a wife now. After fourteen years. And his wife, who is kind of used to living on her own at this point, says no thanks. And he just doesn’t take no for an answer. He was obnoxiously forceful. It really turned me off to the whole story because it wasn’t romantic, it was scary and creepy. I didn’t like this really at all.

The bottom line: I would not recommend.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2014 – Book #92


As part of my October spooky series reading challenge, the ninty-second book I read in 2014 was Dead and Loving It by MaryJanice Davidson. This is a collection of 4 short stories, all 4 involving werewolves. The last short story, A Fiend in Need, is set between the fourth and fiftth book in her Undead series about vampire queen Betsy Taylor. This is the series I will be focusing on this month for my Spooky Series reading challenge for the month of October. I finished this book on 10/12/14. I rated this book overall at 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5.

Santa Claws tells the story of werewolf Laird Alec Kilcurt and human Giselle Smith. When Alec first meets Giselle in a Santa suit standing on a street corner ringing a bell for donations, he knows immediately that she is the one for him. Apparently he knows that because she smells like ripe peaches, but hey to each his own. I thought this story was ok but it was pretty steamy, more so than I am used to. Honestly was kind-of borderline erotica considering its a short story and the bulk of the story seemed to be about sex.

Monster Love actually starts off at the wedding of Alec and Giselle from the last story, which I thought was nifty. Werewolf Janet Lupo leaves Giselle and Alec’s wedding in a huff and runs into vampire Richard Will. They make a date for the next night but due to a significant misunderstanding, Richard ends up kidnapping Janet and holding her hostage for like 2 weeks. Richard doesn’t believe that Janet is a werewolf so when she Changes during the full moon and runs off, he is just bereft. Honestly, this story got a little weird to me. I mean if you like rough sex that’s fine, whatever floats your boat. But Richard basically rapes Jane in this story and I didn’t really think that was cool. Other than that and the fact that Janet swore in every sentence, the story was ok.

There’s No Such Thing As A Werewolf tells the story of blind werewolf Doctor Drake Dragon who falls in love with a girl named Crescent Muhn. Crescent has this fascination with trying to fly. She’s also apparently 24 to Drake’s 40 and is homeless so Drake takes her home, like a lost puppy he’s decided to adopt. Long story short, they do it, and through a series of events (including running into Janet and Richard from the previous story) we find out that Crescent is actually a fairy! Pretty cool. I liked this story, only thing I didn’t like was the age difference between the two main characters. Was a little weird but other than that the story was good.

A Fiend in Need is the novella between the fourth and fifth books in the Undead series. Antonia the future-seeing werewolf. Antonia has a vision that she can get something she wants by traveling to Minnesota and helping “the queen.” And so she travels, and meets fiend George, who she knows to be someone named Garrett Shea. Garrett falls in love with Antonia instantly and they do it and stuff. That’s pretty much it. The thing I liked best about this story is that we got to see Betsy’s household from an outsider’s point of view, I found that interesting.

Link to author website: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/

Link to Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Loving-Undead-MaryJanice-Davidson-ebook/dp/B000PDYVUC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1413148507&sr=8-2&keywords=dead+and+loving+it

2014 – Book #44

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The forty-fourth book(s) I read in 2014 were Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift and The Untamed Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley. These were both short stories connected to the Highland Pleasures (Mackenzie family) series by this author so I counted the 2 short stories as 1 book. Together the 2 short stories were 396 pages, which is about the size of a normal novel.

Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift is book 4.5 in the Highland Pleasures (Mackenzie family) series by Jennifer Ashley. This short story therefore takes place between books 4 (The Duke’s Perfect Wife) and 5 (The Seduction of Elliott McBride). I finished this book on 5/27/14. I rated this story 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This story was fun because it was about all the Mackenzies! The family has gathered for Christmas and all 4 brothers and their wives and children and relatives, plus the Mackenzies’ half brother Inspector Fellows. It was interesting to revisit many of the characters from the previous books. You hardly ever get to read about how well your favorite characters are doing in their marriages after you read their books. They might show up in books on their relatives but usually they play only a small part in those books. This book featured each of the couples from the previous 4 books in different scenes. It was great! What a lovely addition to the series.

The Untamed Mackenzie is book 5.5 in the Highland Pleasures (Mackenzie family) series by Jennifer Ashley. This short story therefore takes place between books 5 ( The Seduction of Elliott McBride) and 6 (The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie). I finished this book on 5/28/14. Unfortunately, this book was only available in e-book format. I rated this book 4 stars out of a scale of 5. This tells the story of the Mackenzies’ half brother Lloyd Fellows, Chief Inspector for Scotland Yard. He has run into Isabella’s sister Louisa Scranton at a few family functions and each time he is drawn to her. They have kissed twice and neither can deny the sparks that fly between them. Louisa has been hurt by her scandalous family though and wants to find a respectable man to marry so that her family’s name might be drawn from the mud. When a respectable man proposes to her and promptly perishes however, Inspector Fellows is called to investigate the crime. Everyone seems to think Louisa killed the man (which if you ask me is a little ridiculous) but Lloyd knows she’s innocent.  I thought this short story was great because it didn’t even feel like a short story. It felt like a regular novel with its plot and story line. And I have been wanting to hear Lloyd’s story so overall I thought this was great!

Link to author website: http://www.jennifersromances.com/

Link to Mackenzie family series website: http://www.jennifersromances.com/NewSite/Mackenzies/mackenzie_main.html

Link to Amazon – Mackenzie Family Christmas: http://www.amazon.com/Mackenzie-Family-Christmas-Highland-Pleasures/dp/1481268007/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1401372840&sr=8-1

Link to Amazon – The Untamed Mackenzie: http://www.amazon.com/The-Untamed-Mackenzie-Mackenzies-Series-ebook/dp/B00AEDDSMA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401372873&sr=8-1&keywords=the+untamed+mackenzie

2014 – Book #29


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I only count the two novellas connected to the Beautiful Creatures series as one book so the twenty-ninth book(s) I read in 2014 were Dangerous Dream and Dream Dark by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I finished these books on 4/22/14.

Dream Dark takes place between the second and third book in the Beautiful Creatures series. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5, mostly because it was so short and honestly I was expecting a little more substance. It was an interesting filler story though, it tells the story of Link after he finds out that he’s been bitten and is turning into an Incubus. He begins being trained by Macon to control his new abilities. Macon asks him to deliver a message to a friend in Barbados and Link doesn’t expect to encounter what he finds when he arrives with Macon’s message.

Dangerous Dream takes place after the fourth book in the Beautiful Creatures series and leads into the Dangerous Creatures series starring Ridley Duchannes and Ethan’s best friend Link. I rated this novella 4 stars out of a scale of 5. This novella starts with Gatlin High School’s graduation ceremony and leads into Ridley’s freak out when Link tells her that he loves her. She gets herself into a bit of trouble which is where this novella ends and I’m guessing is where the Dangerous Creatures series is going to begin. (Release date May 20th!)

Overall these were both interesting stories and good additions to the overall series. Not sure about the prices though. These novellas are only available in E-Book format and one was $2 and the other $3. And considering combined they were only about 100pages, some of which is just previews for other books, the prices seemed a bit steep for what I got. However, the events in Dream Dark are referenced in the fourth book in the Beautiful Creatures series and Dangerous Dream leads into the Dangerous Creatures series so I guess its worth it to understand what’s being referenced.

Link to author website: http://beautifulcreaturesnovels.com/

Link to Amazon for Dangerous Dream: http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Dream-Beautiful-Creatures-Story-ebook/dp/B00F3GBRBM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398219795&sr=8-1&keywords=dangerous+dream

Link to Amazon for Dream Dark: http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Dark-Beautiful-Creatures-Story-ebook/dp/B0054LDAZ2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1398219917&sr=8-3&keywords=dangerous+dream