Monday, November 10, 2014

"I Saw Her Standing There" by Marie Force

There’s a budding romance on Butler Mountain, but in the hornets’ nest known as the Abbott family, keeping a secret is no easy feat…

Colton Abbott and Lucy Mulvaney have a secret. Colton’s nosy siblings have begun to put the pieces together, but it’s not like Lucy to keep things from those closest to her—especially her best friend, Cameron, who recently moved to Vermont to live with her true love, Will. But Lucy isn’t about to tell Cam she’s having a fling…with Will’s brother.

Flitting between New York and Vermont is exhausting, so Lucy is looking forward to a long weekend with Colton at the Abbott family lake house in Burlington. Too bad Will and Cameron have the same idea, and once Colton and Lucy are caught red-handed (and red-faced), will their clandestine romance lose its appeal or will their secret beginnings be the start of something lasting?

My review:
** spoiler alert ** Marie Force has done it again with "I Saw Her Standing There". We return to Green Mountain to check up on the Abbott family and explore Colton's "secret" relationship. We were introduced to Colton and intrigued by his solitary lifestyle on the mountain in our first two books. Who knew his interest would be sparked by a city girl from New York! I loved how Marie developed the relationship between Colton and Lucy. It took some clear dedication by both parties, but especially Colton, to work on the beginning of their relationship. I laughed out loud when Will and Cameron walked into the cabin and caught Colton and Lucy. What a great way for the family to find out, except of course we know that Lincoln and Elmer knew all along!

I really liked the character development of Colton and how we got to know him. I was impressed that he went to so much trouble to prove that he was willing to do what was necessary to be with Lucy. And introducing Colton to New York at a sex toys convention was masterful - I laughed out loud at his mortification, and then again when he decided to experiment with some of the goodies from the convention.

It did bother me that Lucy didn't seem to be willing to even consider leaving the city, and that her family was feeding into that. I was happy when her father realized what he was doing and spoke to her about considering her future.

I also liked to see the relationship between Colton and his siblings. The glimpses into life with Max are intriguing and I look forward to more of that storyline woven into future stories. In the end, Colton and Lucy found a way to work out their relationship between two places and I'm thrilled they realized they found something important enough to work for!

The only thing I wish was that we had a bit more in-depth flashbacks of the very beginning of Colton and Lucy's relationship. We got information about how the met and the beginning evenings of their relationship - I would have liked a bit more in-depth development of that first night, maybe a bit more of each of them remembering when they saw each other in the initial meeting, at dinner, etc.

Marie hit it out of the park with this installment of the Green Mountain series. I was captivated from start to end! And not to be left out, I really liked how Fred was worked into the story and I find myself looking forward to how he'll be brought into each story!
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Friday, October 17, 2014

"I Love How You Love Me" by Bella Andre

Dylan Sullivan, a renowned boat builder, has spent his entire life sailing around the world. But while he’s always enjoyed the freedom of the ocean, when Grace Adrian shows up at his Seattle boathouse to interview him for a magazine, it’s love at first sight. Love for both Grace and her ten-month-old son, Mason, with whom Dylan has an immediate bond. And every moment they spend together makes Dylan more and more certain that a love like theirs is worth risking everything for.

A year and a half ago, Grace’s entire world turned upside down. Not only did she learn that she was pregnant, she also found out that she was nothing but a dirty little secret to her boyfriend and his elite Washington D.C. family. Since then, Grace has been rebuilding her life in Seattle, giving one hundred percent of her attention to her son and her freelance writing career. Believing she can never risk her heart—or her son’s—again, especially to a man like Dylan who could sail away at any moment, Grace tries desperately to guard her heart from the charismatic and sexy sailor.

For as sweet and protective as Dylan is during the day, at night when one incredibly hot kiss turns into so much more, Grace simply can’t find a way to keep from tumbling into his arms again and again. But can she ever learn to trust in love again?

My review:
I loved the most recent installment in the Sullivans series - I Love How You Love Me! Usually Romance novels have the girl falling head over heels for the guy and the guy having issues. I loved how Dylan knew it was "love at first sight" but knew to take it slow with Grace so that she could get used to the fact that she was it for me. I would have loved a bit more character development of Dylan and Grace - I felt like the character development was rushed a bit. I also felt that Grace's ex backed down a bit too quickly. I would have liked to see that portion of the storyline developed a bit more. But, all in all, I really enjoyed this story.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Before We Kiss" by Susan Mallery

Former pro-football kicker Sam Ridge has notoriously bad luck with women—from cheaters to fame chasers. Still, the gorgeous brunette at the bar in Fool's Gold looks harmless—until she takes him home and he discovers a room devoted to securing a man, for life.

Dellina Hopkins never guessed that storing gowns from a friend's bridal boutique would chase away her first and only fling. After her parents died, she skipped her "wild youth" to raise her sisters. She doesn't want forever from Sam, but one night—all night—would've been nice.

His clean getaway gets messy when his firm hires Dellina to plan an event. As long hours lead to late nights, the two succumb to temptation again. Has Sam's luck finally changed? Or this time, will Dellina be the one to run?

My review:
** spoiler alert** Before we Kiss was a great addition to the Fools Gold city. I always enjoy being able to catch up with previous characters through the storyline of subsequent books, I LOVED the addition of Sam's parents. His parents complete lack of inhibitions when it comes to their - or anyone else's lives - was fun to watch. It was even more fun to watch Sam's reaction to their comments. Over and over I was laughing as I read something his over the top mother would say and his reaction to it. I really appreciated how he "benefited" from his mother's comments in his relationship with Dellina - like when he told her "that was it" in response to her previous question after their encounter in the bathroom. In the end, I was thrilled to see that Dellina told his mother that she was too over the top with other people's lives and feelings, and Sam accepted her apology with a joke! (not quite rated PG to put here). And in the end, Sam stepping out of his comfort zone to demonstrate his love to Dellina was a perfect ending to their love story.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"When We Met" by Susan Mallery

Angel Whittaker earned his scars the hard way, but the scars that can't be seen are the ones that haunt him the most. Since he moved to Fool's Gold, California, he's cobbled together a life for himself as a bodyguard trainer. If he's not exactly happy, at least his heart is safe.

Working with pro-football superstars taught tough-talking PR woman Taryn Crawford one thing—she can go toe to toe with any man. But then dark, dangerous former Special Ops Angel targets her for seduction…and challenges her to resist his tempting kisses.

Even in four-inch heels, Taryn never backs down. Unless, somehow, Angel can convince her that surrender might feel even better than victory.

My review:
** spoiler alert ** When We Met introduced a new group of young, single guys and girls to Fools Gold. Taryn has moved her PR firm to Fools Gold, at the request of her 3 "boys". While she was scouting the town last fall, she caught the eye of "Angel", who we knew from previous books that had him working at the "bodyguard school". Angel "decided" that Taryn was going to be his conquest, and early in this book, he "informed" her. Taryn was a strong female and needed an equally strong personality in her relationships - she got that with Angel. But their dynamic seemed so "stilted" and "unnatural". I didn't get the butterflies in my stomach as the romance developed, like I have in previous books. Angel and Taryn both have baggage - I felt that Angel's baggage was sufficiently explained and dealt with in this book, but Taryn's was glossed over. Her reactions to steps in her relationship with Angel seems "disproportionate" to her experiences with her father, and with Jack. I thought it a bit unusual that she went from "not trusting" Angel to save her life in the rapids, yet immediately made love with him on the creek banks.

And I wish she had delved further into how Angel got his injury - the scar on his neck was reference often but always with a "the other guy was worse" without more details. I wish we had learned more about Angel's military experiences.

There were lots of good parts of this book - I loved how Angel discovered things about himself by becoming a Grove Leader for a bunch of 7 year old girls ... I bet those girls LOVED him (and I'm surprised the moms didn't flock to him more). I loved how he became more and more comfortable with the girls over time, and in the end, wore the wreath on his head in the parade. I was glad that he came to the realization that he was wrong to leave Taryn, although I think she took him back too easily. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED how her boys constantly came to her rescue - with her "pity party" after Angel broke up with her, and when Angel approached her at the parade. I could literally see them squaring up to Angel in that scene.

So, I felt this was a good, but maybe not a great installment in the Fools Gold series. But, Susan has set up a lot of future romances that I really look forward to - Jack and Larissa, and Sam and Dellina. The "boys" have some great personalities and I look forward to reading their stories.
Amazon: Amazon Listing
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"All You Need is Love" by Marie Force

Hoping to take the magic of the island and move it to the mountains with the Abbot family, purveyors of the odd and hard to find relics of a time long gone by in small-town Vermont. Hope you'll come with me to the Green Mountains! Watch for the first book in the series in early 2014!

The family-run Green Mountain Country Store is cherished by locals as a reminder of simpler times. The Abbott children are determined to keep it that way—but their father has different plans…

When Cameron Murphy heads to Vermont to build a website for a new client, she imagines a more relaxing trip than she gets. After wrecking her car by colliding with the town moose, she meets the most handsome hero she’s ever seen. Unfortunately, her savior, Will Abbott, is also the son of her client—and he wants nothing to do with the new website or the city girl creating it.

For all Will cares, Cameron can march her fancy boots right out of town and out of his family’s business. But he can’t seem to get her out of his head. As his family’s dispute heats up, so does the chemistry between the two, leaving them wondering if simple is better after all—especially when it comes to matters of the heart.

My review:
Cameron is heading to the middle of nowhere Vermont to pitch a web site to a family business - a job she needs in order to keep her company's doors open. On the way into town she meets Fred - the town Moose. But more importantly, she meets Will - and her life will never be the same. As Cameron fell in love with Will, and the entire Abbott family, so did we. I loved how the family dynamic of the Abbott's was shown - they are a wonderfully loving family. And Will's mom understood how Cameron's reactions were based on her not growing up with a mother. So many romance stories need to introduce strife into the relationship. There was none of that - no hidden secrets, no lies, just complications and struggles that they worked through. I loved how the rest of the family (including the dogs) was introduced and they were enough a part of the story to make us long for more about them. I even think Marie should consider a future novella featuring the dogs and Fred! :). Great first installment of Green Mountain and I can't wait for the next book.
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Goodreads: Goodreads Listing