Review: The Liar

I love Nora Roberts. She’s truly the master of romance. She’s on my automatic-buy list for good reason and she never disappoints. Case in point, The Liar.

It’s the story of Shelby who’s husband is just about the worst sort of person you could know. He lies to her (ahem, title!) and sucks her into a huge debt. Shelby stays oblivious to this because Richard (the slug of a man) belittles her into not asking financial questions by calling her names and basically emotionally abusing her.

Shelby finds out the truth when Richard dies in an accident and comes to face one surprise after another. He leaves her in crippling debt–and I mean millions of it–with a little girl to take care of and not a single support system in place. Turns out, he wasn’t rich, he wasn’t loyal to her and he wasn’t even called Richard. Shelby valiantly fights off the debt by selling most of their things, including engagement ring that wasn’t real, and the house they lived in. Then heads back to her home to continue dealing with the debt by getting a job but doing it while surrounded by family.

It’s when she returns home that the story really takes off. She’s in a deliciously tiny town full of great characters that are both wacky and hilarious. Her family is awesome, just the sort I’d like to have if I was in her shoes, and her daughter is cute as a button.

It’s also here that Nora shows her true brilliance. One of the most difficult parts of a book that includes a move is the saggy middle. Nora keeps the story rolling with Richard’s past resurfacing its ugly head and Shelby having to deal with one surprise after another.

Another truly difficult challenge was the hero. Griffin is a wonderful hero, patient, caring and funny. But a hero like that runs the risk of becoming too nice and entering the brother-affection area. Under any other author, I could see Griffin and Shelby quickly losing chemistry. He’s so nice, she’s so nice…it would be just plain boring. But here, they keep that spark and I credit Nora for that.

And finally, those cute village people and Shelby’s daughter are in the story but they don’t take over the story–something that is another dangerous pitfall for some books. They leave the centre stage clearly to Shelby by carefully constructed phrases that move the story along. Nora Roberts is a pro. She does it so well, it looks effortlessly. Just like it should.

The Liar is a contemporary romantic story that’s just simply delicious. Absolutely a great summer read, but also something to enjoy in the fall, or the winter months or reread for those blah February days. I know I’ll go back to it again to revisit those great powerful scenes and fabulous characters. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in romance and certainly to any Nora Roberts fan. What a great read.

(credit:amazon.com)

(credit:amazon.com)

Note: to go to site, click on cover.

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.

 

In Appreciation

My latest addiction, this great blog is just about cutie-patootie animals. Every day, there’s a new picture to make me smile. I love it.

https://wickedaww.wordpress.com

This one is a fantastic article and I found it thanks to Winter Bayne who’s got an eye sharper than an eagle’s for this sort of thing.

Huge thumbs up to them both!

What about you? What’s your latest find or addictive blog?

P.S. If you’re into books, check out this new post by All About Romance with upcoming beauties to read!

For Authors

This is for those among you who are authors. Positive Writer has this great compilation of fantastic blogs just for you. In fact, they have the top 50 from 2016 with their top posts ready for your inquisitive click.

Here’s the link: http://positivewriter.com/top-50-writing-blogs-for-2016/

And a huge, HUGE thank you to Positive Writer for that awesome gem of a post!

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Review: Walk Through Fire

Walk Through Fire is the latest Chaos novel by Kristen Ashley. It was one I saw while buying groceries and I thought: ‘I’ll just take a quick read…’. Well, one chapter and I was done. Kristen Ashley is like that. I just can’t read one part. I’m hooked.

Please understand, I was shopping with my hubby at the end of a very long day. We were both tired, hungry and crabby. I didn’t have time to stop and read. I had things to do at home–namely his lovely mother was coming–and not a lot of time to do everything in.

I managed to read one tiny chapter while he put the groceries on the conveyor belt. That was all it took. I bought the book and took it home.

Millie Cross made a mistake a long time ago. A huge one and Logan ‘High’ paid for it. Now, she’s run-in with the old Chaos gang and she’s the most hated woman in the planet for them. They treat her like dirt–Logan included–and she takes it, knowing she hurt him. She hurts and tries to get by. It’s absolutely delicious angst.

Still, how on earth was Kristen going to reconcile these two?

Well, I’m not one to spoil things, so I’ll just settle for telling you that they do reconcile, it’s romance after all, but it’s a credible reconciliation and that was what made me a believer. Millie and Logan don’t just go from hurt to love overnight. Things are worked out and along the way there are misunderstandings and mistakes that are both adorable and believable.

We also find the reason why Millie did what she did. And I won’t reveal it here except to say it was both credible and understandable. Which made that angst all the sweeter because she was an undeserving victim of their hatred.

Like all of Kristen Ashley’s books, this one is a great, long read and that wasn’t a disappointment for yours truly. I love getting into her books because she’s a reliable author, who delivers a great story with solid characters and spicy romance. But a great aspect of her books is the length. There’s nothing better than knowing I’ve got a nice, thick book to read. Heavenly.

This is one I’d recommend for any reader of contemporary romance or those who are into edgy, urban romance. It’s one in the Chaos series but can easily be read alone and it’s certainly a great intro to Kristen Ashley. I would highly recommend it.

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

Note: click on cover to go to site.

Review: The accidental Duchess

Madeline Hunter is one of my favourite authors for historical romance. She’s truly a pro and that genre is all that she writes. The Accidental Duchess was no exception. Check it out at her site: madelinehunter.com.

Lady Lydia Alfreton is in a fix. Once upon a time she wrote a work of fiction and a nasty man is blackmailing her for money in order to get it back. Desperate to obtain the manuscript and keep her virtue (something really important back then to a Lady of the ton), she agrees to an old wager against the Duke of Penthurst.

Now, Lydia is no fool. She only agreed to the wager because she’s incredibly lucky at cards and knows she’s going to win but the impossible happens and she loses. Now, her fix has doubled. She has that horrid blackmailer on her tail and a Duke at her elbow determined to collect the winnings of the bet.

No worries, it all works out in the end, it is romance after all, but there are more than a couple of twists and turns. This is a very active version of historical romance. Lydia is pretty smart and she comes up with all sorts of ways to keep her pursuers at bay (some quite funny) but one in particular ends up catching up with her.

The Accidental Duchess was a delight in many ways. There’s humour, something that doesn’t often happen in historical romance. The characters are awesome and very credible. The dialogue is definitely a slice of the time period and completely transported me back there. We have a strong, alpha hero and an intelligent, determined heroine. It’s like having a taste of Regent history without leaving your home. Delicious.

I would certainly recommend it to fans of historical romance. And, if you’re one and haven’t discovered Madeline Hunter, give her a shot. She’s really one of the best in the genre.

Note: click on the link to go to site.

 

Review: Virgin River

Virgin River was the first book from Robyn Carr that I’ve ever read. It’s the beginning of the series of the same name and I was pretty taken just with the set up. The writing didn’t disappoint.

Virgin River is the story of Melinda; a nurse who grieving the loss of her husband. She moves to the tiny town of Virgin River to try and start over. The move, for someone who’s coming from the big city, is a complete culture shock and, of course, she ends up in a run-down cabin with a suitcase full of impractical, expensive boots.

Our hero is Jack Sheridan who runs the local hang-out/restaurant. He’s a former marine who moved to the small town to find peace and calm after several tours of duty. He’s tough, protective and a really good guy.

I loved the set up from the get go. I foresaw all sorts of small-town shocking adjustments and looked forward to each one. I liked Melinda who had integrity and values she defended. I liked Jack who was kind and protective. Most of all, I liked how the book took its time moving things along. I make up that one doesn’t get over someone they love and move onto a new relationship quickly. This story gave Melinda’s mourning time. She develops feelings for Jack cautiously and slowly, all the while wondering where she fits and if she should stay.

There are a ton of fun, quirky characters in the story and realistic turns of events that kept me interested and kept the book from feeling too ‘nice’. So, I would highly recommend it. Robyn Carr writes a beautiful love story in a gentle, romantic way that doesn’t shock or scare the reader. Even better, it’s only the first in a series, so you know you have lots of great reading ahead.

(credit: robyncarr.com)

(credit: robyncarr.com)

Note: click on cover to go to site.

5 Awesome Blog Features

I love finding references to other blogs and Blog features. I know I’m in this one (and truly grateful to be there!) but there are others who are amazing blogs (like Sourcerer!) and certainly deserve a look. Why not check them out? I’m off to do just that! 🙂

Sourcerer

We are in a lull with our Monday content this week, and I had a crazy weekend of chattering on threads so I don’t have anything substantial loaded. But I don’t want to publish just a photo on a Monday, so here are five regular features at other blogs that I just love. And by the way, regular features are very helpful for keeping a blog rolling and developing a regular audience.

Taylor Grace’s “Posts I Loved this Week” is great for finding new blogs to read. It always features excellent blogs, and sometimes my own posts make the list.

Therefore I Geek’s “Around the Web” always includes a collection of geeky and interesting stories from (you guessed it!) around the web.

The Comic-Verse: Awesome Art and & The Top 15 Featured Links” at the Speech Bubble combines a roundup of comics links with high-quality…

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Review: Finding the Dream

An absolutely delicious ending for a great trilogy, Finding the Dream was a book that read itself. It’s the classic story of the bad boy and the good girl and it was as beautiful as a dream.

By the third book, we’ve already met Laura and I had already fallen in love with her. She’s hardworking, selfless and determined to do the right thing no matter what it costs her. She’s also pretty and elegant but she doesn’t give those things much value.

Michael Fury is our hero. A man rough, tough, daredevil of a man who lives by his own rules. He’s been dealt some tough cards in life and is trying to do the best he can with what he’s got. He has come back to where he grew up and is trying to start a business but old prejudices die hard and he finds his history working against him.

Unlike the rest of the population, Laura does give him a chance and lets him stay in Templeton house to start his business raising and selling horses. It’s a decision that takes a risk with her heart because, though she’s determined to maintain a polite distance from Michael, life keeps throwing them together.

Laura likes her life predictable and organized. Michael is chaos, passion and action. It takes his fire and courage to show Laura what she’s missing and to help her realize there’s passion inside her waiting to be discovered. It also takes Laura’s open-minded, compassionate heart to help Michael see how his own prejudices are keeping him from realizing his potential.

Finding the Dream is a delightful love story, written with wonderful, realistic dialogue, a quick, lively humour and filled with likeable, easy-to-relate-to characters. It made a wonderful ending to a delightful trilogy and is definitely on my keeper shelf. If you’re a fan of contemporary romance, don’t miss out on this series. They’re a fantastic trio of books.

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Review: Holding the Dream

I was a huge fan of this book. I know it’s only part two and some times those middle books tend to sag, but this one shone.

It’s by Nora Roberts, so it was incredibly well written. There was witty dialogue and the characters were awesome but, if I’m honest, the big hit with me was the heroine, Kate Powell.

Kate is a woman after my own heart mostly because she’s a lot like me. She’s determined to rescue herself (I might defer there. I love a well-timed rescue), she’s hard working, a bit bookish, nerdy, nervous and she loves math. To make her even more likeable, she adores the hero’s two puppies.

Byron is the hero and he rescues a very reluctant Kate from the mess she finds herself in. Nora being Nora, Byron only helps Kate get back on her feet before she finds her voice and fixes the issue herself. Still, there was enough of a rescue to satisfy the romantic in me and make me sigh with delight. And Byron was determined without being obnoxious which Nora does with tons of class. He was awesome, easy going, yet very determined to get his woman.

The trio of women who create this series are easy to like. They’re all hard working women (when has Nora Roberts ever written a woman who’s not?) and stand by each other through thick and thin. Add in a touch of humour and a beautiful love story and you’ve got a hit. If you haven’t tried this series, give them a go. They’re absolute keepers.

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Note: click on the cover to go to site.