My Kind of Wonderful

*This was a book I purchased. All thoughts about the book are my own. I have not been compensated in any way for my review*

My Kind of WonderfulPublished: December 22, 2015

My Kind of Wonderful — Jill Shalvis

I’ve recently been able to (kinda) beat back the funk I’ve been in. Depression isn’t a fun thing, and I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until I realized that I hadn’t picked up a book (or rather, my kindle) to read in about a year. A year. For someone who can read several books a week…that’s saying something.

But thanks to my wonderful doctor (and anti-depression meds) I’ve been able to lose myself in books again. Or start to.

The first book I read post-depression funk was My Kind of Wonderful by the hilarious Jill Shalvis. This is book two in her Cedar Ridge series, and it was amazing.

In it, we have Hudson Kincaid (or Hud for short). He’s the younger half brother of Gray (who I don’t think has a book. Humph) and Aidan (Second Chance Summer). He — along with his brothers and sister — run a ski resort in Cedar Ridge, Colorado. I’ve never been to Colorado, but I have seen mountains…and this book made me long to be back out west, admiring their beauty. Hudson is the head of the resort’s ski patrol and also a cop in town…so he’s basically a badass.

If you ask his family…he’s a grumpy badass. I think the leading lady of the story would agree with them. Bailey Moore is an artist. And a cancer survivor. So basically, one hell of a woman. I really, really loved her character and as the book went on, loved her more.

She’s sassy, independent and doesn’t take Hudson’s shit. Which is something he needs, I think. She forces him outside of his comfort zone, and it’s good for him. He does the same for her, but in his gruff dude way.

I loved that when he figured out that she’d had cancer…he didn’t baby her. Oh, he probably would have wrapped her in bubble wrap if she’d let him…but she didn’t, and he respected that. I mean, that doesn’t mean that he totally didn’t go out of his way (sometimes) to help her. But he wasn’t a jerk about it.

Though…he was a jerk sometimes. A big fat, say things without thinking them through, jerk face that I wanted to strangle a few times. But in the end, he pulled his head out of his ass. Bailey wasn’t without her flaws too though. A cheater for an ex-fiance (how she could remain friends with him…I’ll never understand) and an overprotective mother, plus having cancer for the majority of her life made her want to keep things light and fluid. Probably mainly so people wouldn’t get attached if things went sideways with her illness.

Keeping things light and fluid is all well and good…until you find THE ONE and fate knocks you on your ass. Or fate has you read a map upside down and you end up on the hardest trail on the mountain and you’re a novice skier….and you’re rescued by Mr. Hot Grumpy Pants.

I can’t wait for the next book in the series Nobody But You, but luckily for me… because I’m so late to the game on reading this book… I only have to wait until tomorrow. Because that’s when it comes out. It’s about Hudson’s twin, Jacob…and after reading My Kind of Wonderful I’m STOKED for Jacob’s story.

I’d give this book a 10/10 because it was amazing and it has helped pull me out of my funk.

Now I need to load up my kindle with more books.

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Loving You Always

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

Loving You AlwaysPublished: October 7, 2014

Loving You Always — Kennedy Ryan

Remember last year when I read When You Are Mine and I got mad? Actually… I was pretty pissed with how things ended. I actually wrote TWO posts about the book (I don’t normally).

I’ve had this book to read since before it came out. I don’t know what has taken me so long to read it. I loved this damn book. I could NOT put it down and it seriously made me go on a rollercoaster of emotions.

Loving You Always picks up right where When You Are Mine leaves off. Kerris (still love her name) and Cam are married. Walsh is on the other side of the country and is miserable. All three of them are miserable.

Kerris and Cam are trying desperately to make their marriage work. Cam knows that she still loves Walsh, and is beyond bitter about it. He holds it against her. He holds both Kerris and Walsh’s attraction to each other against Walsh.

When two people get married for the wrong reasons…things don’t normally work out too well. At least, that’s my experience. I still don’t like Cam all that much. He hasn’t really endeared himself to me in any way… but I feel like I understand him a bit better. Even if I really didn’t want to.

After Kerris is in an accident and things turn to shit, Walsh is brought back into the picture by one of Kerris’ friends, much to the displeasure of Cam. But it was exactly what Kerris needed. Cam decides that he is going to follow his own passions as an artist and knows that Kerris isn’t going to follow him. Things are too broken between them. Their sham of a marriage ends, and that’s when Walsh really steps up to the plate.

Poor Kerris. I just wanted to hug her for the majority of the book. The ending of her marriage was devastating. The results of the accident were even more so (I’m not going to spoil the book, you’ll have to read it to figure out what I mean). After all that heartache, she needed a chance to just be herself. Learn who she was again. Maybe even for the first time.

Even though Walsh wants nothing more than to finally be with Kerris, he respects her decision that she needs space. Only…that space is a YEAR. A whole YEAR. But after waiting as long as he has…what’s another year? Because he loves her, he agrees to the time and leaves her be. I can’t even express how much I loved that. I don’t know of many men (in fiction or in real life) that would give someone a year of space. It was wonderful and made me love him all the more.

I still love Kennedy’s writing. She’s got a serious talent for making you fall in love with her characters, and makes you start to reevaluate how you feel about the ones that you don’t  like. If you haven’t read either book by her, you’re seriously missing out. This book made me laugh, it made me cry (damnit, Kennedy!) and it definitely gave me my warm and fuzzy feelings that I’m always looking for in my books.

I can’t wait to see what she does in Be Mine Forever (Cam’s Book). I’m hoping that he’ll have enough growth that I’ll be able to like him. I’m seriously crossing all of my fingers AND toes on that one.

I give this one a VERY solid 10/10 recommendation.

The Marine’s Temptation

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

The Marine's TemptationAvailable: March 3, 2015

The Marine’s Temptation — Jennifer Morey

This book was delightful. It had a nice mixture of lighthearted banter between the two main characters (Carson Adair and Georgia Mason), intrigue, danger and of course…the romance.

I think this isn’t the first book in the series (I’m not 100% sure about that) but regardless, you’re able to jump right into the story and not feel like you’re missing anything. Well. I was, anyway.

Carson Adair is a former Marine and son of a wealthy business man. When his father dies, Carson comes back to the family to help pick up the pieces and figure out what exactly happened. His family has skeleton’s in their closet…some rather large ones.

Georgia Mason is the step-daughter of Carson’s father’s first wife. She’s also a librarian (which I just loved). She’s sassy and spunky… but she’s got a bit of a chip on her shoulder when it comes to the wealthy.

I loved the interactions between Carson and Georgia. From the very start it is very clear to the reader and to all the secondary characters that there’s something between the two of them. Carson teases her about her dislike…or is it disapproval?… of the wealthy. The way he’d do it was in a way that wasn’t too much of a jerk. He was able to get her thinking about her prejudice and start to change her way of thinking. It was wonderful.

Carson was fun to read. He’s a badass Marine and he’s also a sweet dude. He could be ruthless and deal with the multiple dangerous situations that himself and Georgia found themselves in, and he could make Georgia blush like nobody’s business. He didn’t let his injury that resulted in his discharge from the Corp define him. Sometimes the leading guy (when he’s military) in a book when he has an injury…he let’s it really effect his character…Carson didn’t have that problem. He knew what he was capable of doing and delt with things within his limitations.

Georgia was also fun to read. She’s a librarian, so she’s naturally curious. I just really loved her. She didn’t let Carson bulldoze over her, and she wasn’t afraid to call him on his shit. She also knows when she’s wrong about something, and can admit it. All around just loved her.

I loved Jennifer Morey’s writing style and how she was able to draw me right into the book. I read it while I was at work, and only put it down when I really had to. I can’t wait to see what other books she has available and for what else she puts out next.

I give this a solid 10/10.

Undone

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

UndonePublished: July 2, 2013

Undone — Shannon Richard

I won this book in a contest that I entered. I won three other books and a tote bag… this was the first book in the set I received that I read.

Or rather… devoured.

I could not put this book down. Okay. I could. But it was really hard. I stood at the stove and cooked my lunch while reading this book. I stood at the stove and cooked my dinner while reading this book. I ate both meals quickly…just so I could get back to this story.

It took me about seven hours (with a few interruptions…humph) to finish this book. Seven torturous hours.

This book made me laugh. It made me mad (more than once) and it freaking made me cry. It is VERY RARE that a book will hit me right in the feels like that and activate my tear ducts… but lawd have mercy. I cried. Damnit.

Paige Morrison is someone that I could totally see myself being best friends with. She’s sassy, funny and once you’re her friend… you’re set. She’s a bit of a free spirit. Kind of. She has a serious love affair with shoes (the higher the heel the better) and bright colors in her wardrobe is an absolute must. She’s got some baggage from the break up, but overall she’s a pretty happy lady.

After a bad breakup and job loss, Paige moves from Pennsylvania to Florida to move in with her retired parents. Things don’t exactly go according to plan. There’s that thing about Southern Hospitality… but if you move to a small town… well. Good luck.

I LOVED that she moved to a small beach town in Florida. I’m from a small beach town in Florida. I kid you not. My beach town was further west than Paige’s Mirabelle… but things were pretty similar. When I pictured Mirabelle in my head, I pictured a combination of my hometown and Carabelle, Florida (which is totally a real place. I’ve been there).

If you’ve never spent any decent amount of time in the south, firstly… bless your heart. Secondly, 95% of the things that were portrayed in this book are so totally TRUE FACTS. Yes, you can buy doe/buck urine in stores on the side of the road. It smells horrible and if you get it on you, you’re screwed. Small town gossips are a thing and there is no getting around it. If you mess up badly, expect to see it in the paper.

Brendan King is DEFINITELY my new book boyfriend. Tall, has a southern accent (it’s sexy, okay), has pretty blue eyes and when he knows how he feels…he knows. There’s no “well maybe” with Brendan. If he likes you, you know it. If he doesn’t… you know that too. I just loved him. He was thoughtful and sweet when he should be and a badass “don’t mess with my girl” when that was called for too.

Their relationship was so sweet. They didn’t immediately jump into bed, which was a bit different from the books I’ve been reading. In fact, I can’t remember the last book that I read that the couple didn’t jump into bed within a short time frame of meeting each other. I loved that they took it slow and really got to know each other before their relationship progressed. Though, when it did progress… lawd.

I won’t tell you what made me cry…but I will say that as you get closer to the end, make sure you have tissues. I’m completely not kidding. YOU WILL NEED THEM.

Another thing I loved about this book? Each chapter has a “title”. It’s not exactly a title I don’t think, but it’s a sentence that gives you a small hint about what the chapter might contain. Example: Chapter Nine — The Case of the Disappearing Bra. Makes you wonder what happens…right?! So clever. I loved it.

I seriously loved this book. I’m so terribly sad that I’m done with it…but I’m already planning on getting the next two books in the series. I have to get them. I just have to. Shannon Richard is so talented. I loved her writing style and her ability to give me warm and fuzzies at the end…even though she freaking made me cry!

I wholeheartedly give this book a 10/10 recommendation. I loved it.

Living In Secret

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

Living In SecretAvailable: February 24, 2015

Living In Secret — Jackie Ashenden

I’m pretty sure I’ve read books by Jackie before… but I can’t find any reviews that I’d written since starting TGGR blog. Humph. That mistake ends now.

I got this book from Jackie on twitter. She’d offered a few ARC copies of the book, and I was the lucky third person to ask. I’m so so happy that I asked.

This book is the third in a set that she has. In it, we have Connor Blake. He’s a lawyer and pretty much at the top of the playing field. Rich, gorgeous, broody. What more could you want? Well. His soon-to-be Ex-Wife (if he’d just sign the damn papers) Victoria Blake could probably make you a list a mile long.

I loved Victoria. She wasn’t perfect and was pretty hard on herself for things that had happened in her past…but she was pretty strong and knew she didn’t need to be taken care of. She could take care of herself.

Connor. Oh, Connor. Some of the time I wanted to strangle him. Some of the time I wanted to hug him. Then there were the other times that I just wanted him. Like Vic, he has his own demons from his past that are affecting his present day life, and if he’s not careful…his future.

Their relationship was crazy amazing. It started off very cold. Their marriage was basically a business transaction, and Vic decided she’d had enough. Well. That and her secret finally came to light. Connor, the ass, decides that he’s not going to sign the divorce papers until Victoria spends one more week with him, so he can get his fill.

Why do men always think that they can work a woman out of their systems? Silly men. That’s not how it works.

Once the week starts, that’s when things really get heated. You might want to have some ice water when reading this. Seriously. I wish that I’d had some ice water when I read the book. Anyway. Things get seriously hot and seriously interesting.

Secrets from both of them become unburied and both Vic and Connor must deal with the discovery that neither of them are perfect. And they both have to realize that even though they’d been married for several years… they didn’t know each other. Not really.

This was such an amazing book. I loved it so much, I went out and bought the book that came out before this one! I definitely give this one a 10/10. I’d rate it higher if I could.

His Only Valentine: Part 1

*This was a book I purchased. All thoughts about the book are my own. I have not been compensated in any way for my review*

His Only ValentinePublished: February 2, 2015

His Only Valentine – Various Authors

I discovered this book…or rather, set of books because an author tweeted about it. I clicked on the link and decided I couldn’t pass up the deal. Thirteen (that’s right…THIRTEEN BOOKS) books for about a dollar? Yes, please.

Because this “book” is thirteen books long… that means that I’m still reading it. Yes. I know. I’m having problems with that too, don’t worry. BUT, I’m not going to make y’all wait until I’m done with all of it to start reviewing. I figured I could review the books that I’d already read. I’ve decided that I’m going to have to break this review into parts. I’m thinking there will be three reviews for each part. That way my posts aren’t too terribly long.

So, without further procrastination… here’s part one. (Most of these books are connected…but not all of them…just fyi. And by connected… I mean that they’re set in the same town).

Tease Me, Cowboy — Rachael Johns

I’m not terribly sure that I’ve read anything by Rachael Jones, but I really enjoyed this one.

Selah Davis is back in her hometown to do a story for the town. She has a few reservations about being back home, but she’s loving the time to catch up with her friends.

Things seem to be going fine until her former flame (and still serious hottie) Levi Monroe comes back into her life. That’s when things really start to heat up.

I loved Selah. She’s just as unique as her name (which I’ve never heard before…and loved). She’s got some baggage to deal with from her previous relationship with Levi, and also just from her past… but she grows so much over the course of the book. She really comes into her own and learns that she has to take risks and take a chance… even if she’s not sure that risk will pay off.

I really liked Levi too. He was a bit of an ass at some points of the book, but he learned his lesson and decided that ass like behavior was not the way to Selah’s good graces (smart man). He’s a cowboy, so he’s of course good looking. There were definitely times where I wanted to either shake him, or smack him upside his hard head… but he redeemed himself in the end. Both to myself and to Selah.

I really liked Rachael Jones’ writing style and I loved what she was able to do with Selah and Levi. I’m going to be looking for more of her work to read, for suuure.

I give this one a 10/10

Please Me, Cowboy — Megan Crane

Awh man. This one hit me right in the feels.

I think I’ve read Megan Crane before… but I’m not 100% positive on that one. If I haven’t…I should have.

[Edit: I have read her. She also writes as Caitlin Crews…]

But back to the feels. There were SO MANY FEELS with this one. SO. MANY.

In Please Me, Cowboy we have Gracelyn Packard, a sassy secretary type to the brooding billionaire Jonah Flint. She’s not easily intimidated, even by the reputation that proceeds the man. Though, it’s probably pretty hard to be intimidated by a man that has to ask you to pretend to be his girlfriend for a week.

I loved Gracelyn. She was passionate and really a huge sweetheart. She was insanely loyal to Jonah and the deal that they had made… even though she didn’t agree with it.

Jonah. Oh man. Jonah. He’s definitely a handful. Insanely rich, stupid attractive and he’s a twin. What could be better? Well. He could be less of a hardass… but beggars can’t be choosers. Right? Jonah has it in his head that he must protect his twin Jasper from marrying a woman that he hasn’t deemed worthy at all costs. Even if that means hiring a woman to be his girlfriend.

The chemistry between Jonah and Gracelyn was electric. Faking a relationship is hard enough, but having to do it in front of family is probably harder. It’s pretty easy to have the lines between what’s real and what’s not blurred. They both give it their best shot though. The whole “staying professional” thing. Everyone around them can see the attraction and chemistry sparking between them…except them.

This book made me mad, parts of it made me sad, but at the end it gave me the warm and fuzzies that I’m always after.

Megan Crane crafted an excellent story. You can’t help but fall for the characters, and after reading this one I definitely want to visit Montana. It’s only something like a seventeen hour drive from here to Billings. I could do that in a day and a half! Now I just have to find the time. Maybe I’ll find my own cowboy…

I give this one a solid 10/10 recommendation.

Kiss Me, Cowboy — Melissa McClone

I know for a fact that I haven’t read anything by Melissa McClone before this book, and after reading this one… she’s on my author list. I loved this story.

In Kiss Me, Cowboy we have Zack Harris. Former military, current cowboy hottie. He’s got some serious baggage that he kinda deals with, but he’s got a good heart. We also have Charlotte “Charlie” Randall, horse whisperer and cowgirl extraordinaire. She’s one of the guys and wishes that they would see her as more than just Charlie.

One kiss turns their whole friendship on it’s head. Zack thinks it was all a mistake, and refuses to think anything else. Charlie thinks it’s meant to be and can’t think of anything else.

So… that’s a problem.

But dear Zack wants it both ways. He wants Charlie to stick around on the ranch that they both work on, but only wants to remain friends. She wants him but can’t just be friends. Being in the friend zone isn’t fun, y’all.

Zack’s realization of his feelings over the course of the book were fun to watch… even if they were a little painful at times. Charlotte’s realization that she didn’t have to settle, and that she needed to do what was best for her, even if it hurt was a great thing to see. So much growth happened with both of them.

I think my favorite part was when one of their kisses got interrupted by a horse. I could totally picture that happening in my mind. Or maybe it was when Zack lost his cool and counted to twenty to try to calm down… but then had to start over in Arabic because counting in English wasn’t helping. I literally laughed out loud.

I wanted to kick Zack’s ass part of the time but mostly I just wanted to hug him. I want Charlotte to be my best friend.

I loved Melissa McClone’s writing style. I can’t wait to see what else she has out, or what she has coming out next.

I give this one a 10/10 recommendation.

I Dare You

*This was a book I purchased. All thoughts about the book are my own. I have not been compensated in any way for my review*

I Dare YouPublished: January 19, 2015

I Dare You — Leslie Kelly

This book and Truth or Dare are connected. They’re in the same “world” and have some of the same characters in them. I don’t think I’ve read anything by Leslie Kelly before this book and I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly I got pulled into the story.

In I Dare You we have Marcus “Bigs” Bigsby (Amber’s big brother from Truth or Dare), a former Professional Football player and a big hulk of a man. Tired of the fame and busy life of being a NFL player, he moves home to Caribou, Oklahoma to get back to his roots and let his life calm down a bit.

But then the girl that got away literally falls into his lap. Blaire Tremaine is the girl that tries to fly under the radar and does her best to not to give the gossips in town anything to gossip about. Which, y’know, isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do when you live in a small town.

Blaire and Marcus reconnect and each of them has to come to terms with their past and who they are now as adults.They definitely have some bumps to deal with along the way — her insecurity about looking bad in front of the community, his ex that doesn’t want to stay an ex — but they are able to work around the bumps to get to the end goal.

Marcus might be my favorite hero so far this year. I really, really, really just loved him. He’s a big badass NFL guy (I’m so not a football fan… sorry) but he’s a total marshmallow. I want my own Marcus. Newest book boyfriend? I think so.

I really loved Blaire too. She was so smart. Not just book smart, but also street smart. When the ex that doesn’t want to stay an ex comes to town, Blaire doesn’t let the woman wreck things between her and Marcus. Which is rare in these types of books. Normally the “other woman” comes in and mucks everything up. Makes the leading lady doubt her man… but not with Blaire. Nope. She wasn’t having any of that nonsense.

Leslie Kelly made a fantastic contribution to Carly Phillip’s Dare to Love world. I seriously loved the book and loved the characters. I’m putting all the other books in the DTL world on my “to read” list, and hopefully they’re just as great as these last two. Fingers crossed!

I give this one a very solid 10/10 recommendation.