Reviews, reviews

I got myself to the local bookstore the other day and got some books and well, my lovely hubby didn’t hear me for a couple of days but I loved every minute of it. And here, in no particular order, are my two cents on these books.

The best man by Kristan Higgins

The Best Man: Amazon.ca: Higgins, Kristan: Books

The best man is one of those books I just love to sit and enjoy. It has a love story, funny characters and a family that I love spending time with. It’s a wonderful read and one of the reasons I love Kristan Higgins.

Our heroine is Faith Holland, who was left at the altar and is coming back home a little wiser and older. Home might not be completely ready for her and there are obstacles on Faith’s way as she makes a place for herself. Faith is hardworking, kind and really easy to like. It’s not hard to root for her as we learn about her past and see her help out family and friends.

Our hero is Levi Cooper who is part of Faith’s past and has his own story and reasons for what he did. It’s delightful to not only get to know him but to reveal his personality and see the why’s behind his choices. It makes the final ending so much richer.

This is a book I would recommend to any Kristan Higgins fan, definitely to anyone who likes romance and to those who like family stories with a bit of humour added in. Kristan Higgins is one of the greats. She’s a fantastic writer and she treats the reader with respect. Things happen logically, organically and smoothly so that we travel with the heroine to the end barely noticing the pages turn. This one is a great read.

Always the last to know by Kristan Higgins

Always the Last to Know: Amazon.ca: Higgins, Kristan: Books

Always the last to know is a slightly different book for Kristan Higgins. There is, of course, a fantastic family that we get to know and there are amazing characters in the story but this isn’t her usual romantic tale. This is more of a work of fiction.

The book tells the story of a family that has maintained untold and unacknowledged lies for years when suddenly the father, John, has a stroke. The tragedy forces everyone to face aspects of their lives and themselves that they have carefully avoided for years. The two daughters, Sadie and Juliet have to come to terms with who they are and what they are doing with their lives but they are not the only ones who change. Their mother, Barb finally starts doing some changing of her own and faces things she has avoided for years.

There is a love story here and it’s a beautiful love story, but it’s not the central focus of the book. That’s why I said this is a different book for Kristan Higgins. Still, the usual things that make her so amazing are still there. The characters are real, complete and rich. The plot is compelling and engrossing. The ending makes sense and came naturally. And it was a beautiful story.

Though slightly different than her usual books, this one is a definite must read for Kristan Higgins fans. It’s also a great read for any fiction fan and for those who would simply be interested in reading a great book. With Kristan Higgins, you simply can’t go wrong.

After sundown by Linda Howard and Linda Jones

After Sundown: A Novel : Howard, Linda, Jones, Linda: Amazon.ca: Books

After sundown checked a lot of boxes for me. It was written by Linda Howard (one of my absolute favourite authors), it was romance, it had great characters and it had a great premise. It tells the story of what happens to a little town after there is a catastrophic solar storm that wipes out all electricity in the planet. I loved that premise. I was in from the very beginning.

Sela is our heroine and she’s just wonderful. I love that she’s shy and has a lot of trouble speaking up for herself, I love that she ran her own business and I loved how kind she was. Sela ends up being a reluctant leader in the little community where she lives and making sure everyone has food, shelter and the necessities of life, keep her busy and me, engrossed in the tale.

Ben is our hero and he’s tough as nails. I loved him because he was such a loner that he kept everyone at bay with a gruff grunt, until he met a little puppy who won him over. Aw! Puppy. I love stories that involve animals.

This is one that I will definitely read over and over. A delicious story, wonderful characters, a love story and a premise that kept me hooked, it was a great find and a wonderful read. I would highly recommend this book to any romance readers, dystopian readers and Linda Howard fans.

The woman left behind by Linda Howard

The Woman Left Behind (GO-Team, #2) by Linda Howard

I had eyed this book a while back but then Covid hit and bookstores shut down. So, it’s been on my radar for a while. I finally got my little paws on it this week and read it in under three hours. It was worth every minute I waited for it.

The woman left behind tells the story of Jina who’s a tech person working for a paramilitary organization. All is well with Jina, who loves her job until the forces that be decide she has to change jobs and she’s going to do her tech stuff while on the field. That means that Jina has to go with the elite teams who drop down in unusual places and do remote, dangerous missions.

Suddenly, poor Jina has to do training akin to the Marine Corps one. She has to learn to run for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot guns, or lose her job. I would simply lose my job, let’s be honest. But Jina isn’t a quitter and she sticks it out. Along the way, she impresses herself and the team she’s assigned to.

The early training mishaps and personality conflicts from the tough team guys with Jina are hilarious. I loved every word. She gives as good as she gets, though and is always ready with a smart come back that had me cheering her own from the start.

This book is simply delicious. Filled with fast-paced action and tough as nails guys, this is a fish-out-of-water, funny story that had be riveted to every word. Forget the ‘saggy’ middle, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to keep reading. It was that good.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes romance, action, or humour. Definitely one that will show the reader why Linda Howard is one of the greats, this book is not to be missed. I’m so glad I finally got my hands on it.

Review: Heartbreaker

I’ll admit that Linda Howard is on my automatic-buy list. She’s just awesome. So when I spotted this new one, I didn’t even read the back, I just bought it.

Turns out that this book is more romance than mystery. Lately, Linda Howard had been moving towards mystery–to the dismay of this reader–but this book was a return of good, old romance. A change in the right direction, in my humble opinion.

Troublemaker is the story of Bo, our feisty chief of police heroine, her sweetie dog, Tricks and Morgan, a team leader of a paramilitary group, our hero.

When Morgan gets ambushed and shot, his boss sends him to stay with Bo and recover in her sleepy, little town. When she first sees the deadly-sick man at her doorstep, Bo throws a fit, but finally has to give in. And both chaos and romance ensue.

There’s a little bit of fish-out-of-water challenges here because Morgan is way in over his head in this tiny town of quirky characters. Add to that the comical antics of Tricks and I laughed out loud at some parts. But the best part was, of course, the romance.

Bo and Morgan fall for each other without realizing it in a way that’s almost funny. He’s not used to her ways and she’s definitely not used to his, so they start out not liking the other and basically realize they’re in love long after it happens. It’s lovely and I won’t destroy it by trying to explain it here.

There’s also mystery, which always does me in and makes me super anxious. I’m someone who never sees those twists coming or how things are going to get better. In my head, I was terrified for all three, Bo, Morgan and even Tricks. If you’re like me, rest assured, there’s a happy ending for all of them.

If you’re a Linda Howard fan, you won’t be needing my recommendation, because you know what she’s like but if you have never tried her, I recommend you give this one a shot. It’s romance with a little mystery and a wonderful pet. I couldn’t ask for more than that in a great book.

(credit:goodreads.com)

(credit:goodreads.com)

Note: to go to buy links, click on book cover.

 

Up next in books…

My hubby was going to go to the hardware store…so I asked to be dropped off at the local bookstore and…

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Happiness followed.

So these are the books I’ll be rambling about in the next few weeks. I’ve already started Troublemaker by Linda Howard, so that one will come first.

Are you reading anything exciting? Share with me!

Review: Strangers in the Night

Strangers in the Night is a story collection from Linda Howard. It contains three short stories written by this author. In my mind, there’s no better way to know if you like an author than to try a short story. It’s like the book equivalent of an hors d’oeuvre, small, delicious without any commitment.

The first story is Lake of Dreams and it’s almost a fantasy. It definitely has a fantastical element in it. Sick of not getting enough sleep, Thea Marlow goes to the cottage by the lake that has been the scene of most of her disturbing dreams. Unfortunately, instead of getting exorcising those issues, she meets a stranger who turns out to be the main character in her dreams.

In Blue Moon, Sherriff Jackson Brody is sent out to deal with a drunk man and ends up meeting the town’s odd lady, a so-called witch. Instead of a toad, she turns out to have a winning personality and feistiness to match his own.

Finally, in White Out, Hope Bradshaw offers shelter to a stranger in the middle of a blizzard and, when they share more than some body heat, suspicions start to rise as to his identity.

Linda Howard never disappoints. She writes consistently authentic characters that are fully developed and realistic. Already an absolute fan, I loved reading these short stories and watching her set the setting, introduce the characters and stir the plot in a few short sentences without making the reader feel robbed or rushed. If you’ve never tried Linda Howard, let me encourage you. She’s the number two most popular author of contemporary romance for a reason and these tiny stories are a great way to get to know her.

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

What I’m reading…

 

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

Strangers in the night is a story collection from Linda Howard. It has three short stories, all romance written by her. If you’ve never tried Linda Howard, this is a great way to see if you like her because those stories are really short. There’s no commitment.

Personally, I love Linda Howard and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this puppy simply because I hadn’t read these three stories by her. Short or long, she’s simply awesome.

 

 

 

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

 

Mean Streak is a mystery-romance by Sandra Brown. Sandra Brown is a fantastic author and I loved the premise of this book. It’s the story of a kidnapping and that idea had me already interested. A man, her captive stuck in a cabin in the mountains? Love it.

I’d also highly recommend Sandra Brown to anyone who likes mystery or a show like CSI or Criminal Minds. She’s a master twists and plots that leave you hanging in the best of ways.

 

 

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

 

Indecent proposal was another must-have because of the plot. It’s a forced marriage and it’s one of those plots that I love. Add a great writer and you’ve got a book that I read under 3 hours. It was absolutely delicious.

I haven’t read Molly O’Keefe before this one and I was delighted to find she’s awesome. Finding a great author is like discovering a precious gem. Such a gift!

 

 

I’m reading these three right now and I’ll share my thoughts on them coming up on this humble little blog. If you’ve read them, feel free to share yours too!

Monday Morsel: Strangers in the Night

Monday Morsel is a little twist I put on the bookish meme Teaser Tuesdays hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. It works just like Teaser Tuesdays…except it’s on Monday. 🙂

Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other Monday Morsel participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“Because in her dreams, only sometimes did he make love to her. Sometimes he killed her.” Pg. 12 from Strangers in the Night by Linda Howard.

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

The 4 horrors of book-lending

Today, someone at DayJob commented on how much they’d like to try a book by Linda Howard.

Then, they pointedly looked at the book in my hands (by Linda Howard) and asked if I was done with it.

I was done alright. But I wasn’t letting that book out of my hands. Not only is Linda Howard one of my favourite authors, I’ve lent out books in the past and horrible things have happened.

Allow me to explain the insufferable horrors and my reactions.

HORROR #1.

They broke the spine or tore pages.

I read my books and hold them like cherished babies. Nothing gets folded or disrupted. If people break any part of them from the spine to the pages, I cry.

Reaction: I cursed all their ancestors and wished they were geckos.

HORROR #2.

They spilled something on it.

I don’t care if it’s water (and it usually isn’t). People have returned books after spilling coffee, gum or some strange, sticky substance among the pages.

Reaction: I cursed all their ancestors and wished they were geckos.

HORROR #3.

They lost it or ‘lent’ it to someone else.

With or without apologies, the bottom line is my book is gone and I have a hole in my heart.

Reaction:  I cursed all their ancestors and wished they were geckos.

HORROR #4.

They wrote in it.

I don’t care if someone thinks they’re Plato with the insight to move millions or if they saw an ‘editing’ mistake and had to fix it. I don’t want their writing in my book.

Reaction: I cursed all their ancestors and wished they were geckos.

 

After experiencing all 4 of these horrors, I’ve resorted to not lending out books. Ever. I keep them in their shelves, neatly and carefully organized by genre. Not a page out of place.

I like to think they’re happy. More importantly, so am I.

And so are the geckos.

leopard-gecko-cute

 

Review: Mackenzie’s Pleasure

I’m a sucker for a good rescue. I’ll just come out and admit it now. And I absolutely adore Linda Howard. I think her writing is pure gold.

So, here’s the thing. Mackenzie’s Pleasure has both of those. Together.

Barrie is kidnapped and meets Zane when he rescues her. Though she’s definitely victimized, she’s an easy heroine to like because she’ll go down fighting rather than give in. She has spunk in spades.

Zane is wonderful combination of power and strength with gentle caring. He’s as smart at Barrie and, of course, they butt heads. Reading their bantering is absolute joy.

Interesting, if you’re a fan, this is one of Linda Howard’s earlier works. You can actually see how much her writing has evolved when you compare this one to one of her later works. So interesting for a humble indie author like myself.

With a plot that had me biting my nails, Mackenzie’s Pleasure is a fantastic read. It’s number four in the Mackenzie series but can be read alone. I would so recommend this group of books to anyone who enjoys romance. Linda Howard can’t be beat.

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Monday Morsel

Monday Morsel is a little twist I put on the bookish meme Teaser Tuesdays hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. It works just like Teaser Tuesdays…except it’s on Monday. 🙂

Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other Monday Morsel participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“He folded his fingers around hers and solemnly shook hands. “Lieutenant-Commander Zane Mackenzie, United States Navy SEALs.” ” Pg.68 from Mackenzie’s Pleasure by Linda Howard.

(credit: amazon.com)

(credit: amazon.com)

Top 5 series I keep rereading obsessively

I reread some books over and over. I reread some series over and over. These are the series I keep rereading like an obsessed addict.

5. The Mackenzie Mountain series from Linda Howard. Just yum!

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4. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Of course!

outlander-series

3. J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Sigh…so good!

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2. Lisa KleyPas’s contemporary series starting with Sugar Daddy.

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1. Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. I just can’t get enough of her writing.

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How about you? Do you reread some series over and over?

 

(Note: click on covers to go to sites.)