Browsing Tag

second chance romance

Book Recommendations

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Twice In a Blue Moon Book ReviewA second-chance romance and heart-warming rom-com, this one from Christina Lauren might push YA boundaries but it’s close.

Sam and Tate first meet on a trip with their grandparents to London. He’s twenty-one and she’s eighteen. His grandfather has a great sense of humor and warm wit. Her grandmother is protective and worried about every dollar she spends.

Tate tells him her deepest, most private secret because she feels she can tell this stranger anything. She falls for him during their light night meet-ups in the hotel garden and one afternoon away from their guardians she gives him her virginity.

The beginning of the story is completely YA. Then he does a seemingly horrible thing and Tate’s life changes forever.

Fourteen years later the two meet again. My wish upon a blue moon would be that Tate would be a stronger character, not quite so slow on the uptake and more the hollywood savvy self she realistically would have had to become in order to survive in Hollywood for fourteen years.

My second wish upon a blue moon would be that Sam would have manned up and run to Tate when she’s seemingly sold out once again by someone. Agreeing to go into hiding and not being there for Tate didn’t warrant her hunting him out and wrapping her arms around him for the expedient HEA.

So, yes, I have a wish for each blue moon. All that said, it’s still an entertaining book. I have a friend who truly enjoyed it. And I love the title and the book cover design. And if you are curious about life behind the scenes on a movie set, then this book will be doubly entertaining.

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Book Recommendations

Hold On To Hope by A.L. Jackson

Hold On To Hope Book ReviewEmotional, angst-filled best friend, second chance, single Dad romance.  Hold On To Hope features the now grown-up children from the Fight for Me series.

Evan, the son of Hope from Follow Me Back, and Frankie Leigh, the daughter of Rex from Show Me The Way are the stars in Hold On To Hope.

Evan is deaf and is a heart transplant survivor. He walked away from his family and from Frankie when his own version of guilt drove him away. Three years after abandoning his family he returns with a son in tow.

Frankie Leigh has stayed, working closely with Evan’s family, heart-broken but she’s attempted to move on with her life.

There is a lot going on in this book. For two kids with such awesome parents, they’ve got some heavy emotional baggage and a lot of issues unfold. The drama keeps the reader engaged, trying to figure out what happened and wanting to see what will happen.

I absolutely love the book cover for this book, but I have to say that that model looks way better than my mental visual of Evan’s heart transplant, limited life expectancy character. But, I’ll gladly take the book cover version. Even though he looks healthy enough to complete in an Iron Man Triathlon.

If you read the Fight for Me series, which I personally loved, this book will be like visiting old friends because you get to see Hope and Kale and Rynna and Rex once more. If you like AL Jackson and angst galore, then this is a strong recommend.

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Book Review

Book Recommendations Fave Authors

Dirty Secret by Mira Lyn Kelly

Dirty Secret Book ReviewOh, how I love a Mira Lyn Kelly romance! Dirty Secret does not disappoint. This hockey romance had me flipping the pages, smiling and burning up inside.

Yes, the book may have deepened the wrinkles on the corners of my eyes, but that’s why they created thick moisturizer.

This second-chance, big brother in-the-way romance had me lusting after Vaughn. Yum, yum, yum.

Personally, I’m the kind of gal who prefers to play the sport rather than spectate. And I’m extraordinarily wobbly on a pair of ice skates, so, there you go. But, the play by play action made me think dear Mira is one serious hockey fan. Mira could be a sports commentator. And, she makes me want to take the time, with a beer in hand, to watch a game.

I loved this book because it’s down to earth. My heart went out to Natalie. I’ve seen so many siblings get lost in the throes of one sibling’s sport success. And it starts so freaking young. To want a different life, a life away from whatever that sport is…….here it’s hockey, but you can substitute soccer, baseball, tennis…..if it has a ball, it’s game. That desire for a life away from said sport is real.

Vaughn proves himself swoon worthy to the tenth degree. He’s driven, focused, level headed and he knows how to love his woman. He’s a dream athlete. He pushes himself hard, doesn’t let the mind games off the rink play with his game on the rink, and he’s a genuinely good guy. He might be slightly behind the curve on social skills, but that’s only because of his deranged hockey fanatic Dad.

Series!

Dirty Secret also paves the way for Dirty Hookup. And, I’m kind of dying to hear about what went on with Quinn and George. Not that I personally have ever had too much to drink (there’s an evil twin I try to keep locked up who does all that), but my heart did go out to Quinn when it seemed he didn’t remember EVERYTHING….   So, in a nutshell, it’s the best kind of series. Warm, heart-melting HEA and I’m completely stoked for the next book.

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Book Review

 

Book Recommendations

The Day He Came Back by Penelope Ward

Book ReviewTorn apart by Gavin’s snobby, aristocratic West Palm Beach Mom, these two star crossed lovers are reunited ten years later. This second chance, rich vs. poor romance plucks at the heart strings.

About half of The Day He Came Back is a flashback to the summer the two fell in love, when she’s twenty and he’s twenty one. Her mother discovers she has breast cancer that summer, and his mother decides she will control his life.

Ten years later, Gavin returns to West Palm Beach to visit his ailing father. He’s shocked to discover his father’s nurse is none other than the woman who ripped his heart to shreds. He’s home for a month. Over that time, his brother returns home, his fiance surprises him, and he learns the real reason Raven walked away so long ago.

Authors walk a fine line when second chance lovers are reunited and there is a current lover in the picture. Penelope Ward walks the line well. There is no physical cheating. Paige has been Gavin’s rock, and he loves her. She isn’t a bitch. We can’t hate her.

While Gavin loves her, his deepest love is Raven, and the only reason he has ever been with anyone else is because he’s believed Raven wasn’t available. He even says he’s glad he found Raven before he got married, because he’s not sure the outcome would’ve been any different. Meaning, he would have gotten a divorce. He understands that life is too short not to be with those you love the most. It’s a tad ironic, given his father refused to divorce his mother, a raving horrific bitch.

Weldon, his younger brother, has the biggest character evolution in the book. I’d really like to read his story. He starts out as a self-centered, spoiled adolescent. Then, we meet him as a defeated, lost alcoholic. But he sees the error of his ways and he finds a way to be close to Raven and Gavin, and to AA.

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Book Review

Book Recommendations Series

Stay by Tia Louise

Stay by Tia Louise Book Review and Recommendation

Stay Book ReviewSecond-chance, first crush, single Mom romance.   This one has all the feels with a heart-gripping battle with a child’s illness.   Not only did this one keep me turning the pages, but it kept me on edge. I grew to care about these characters.  It’s a sexy love story with a heavy dose of real mixed in.

Emmy loses her virginity to Stephen the night before he heads off to join the Navy.  He’s her brother’s classmate and she’s had a crush for years.  He has no idea she’s a virgin.  Before or after.

Ten years later, their paths cross again.  She’s a divorced single mom working at a dry cleaners.   He’s a billionaire after selling technology he developed.   Chemistry zings, but she’s still pissed he wished her a good life after banging her in a bathroom ten years ago.   This time around, he does ask her out on a date.

Her son needs an expensive surgery.  Stephen comes up with the idea of a fake marriage to get her son on his health insurance and get them both into safer housing.   The chemistry between these two zings. Hot.  Tia Louise keeps the reader engaged with this story that tugs at the heart and makes you fall in love with this newly formed family.

Make Me Yours Book Review and Recommendation

Make Me Yours Book ReviewMake Me Yours isn’t marketed as part of a series (that I’ve seen) but Stephen Hastings from Stay plays a role as Remington’s friend and business partner.   Make Me Yours is a heart warming single Dad romance.   It’s lighter than Stay, much more in the romantic comedy range with no scary crisis.

Remington’s first wife passes away when his daughter Lillie is a newborn.   He’s been through grief therapy.  Four years have passed since he lost his wife.  When he meets Ruby, he wakes up and starts to live again.   Instant attraction to her in a heart swooning kind of way.

The obstacles they face include a mother-in-law (his first wife’s Mom who now lives with him), her Mom, and a bully bitch from high school.   Ruby and Remi handle them all maturely and with humor.  Who doesn’t love to hate a mother-in-law who’s all over healthy eating and dressing properly?   Take that bitch.  Remington stands up to her each and every time.  Swoon.

There’s another book, Make You Mine, that features Drew (Ruby’s BFF) and Grayson.    Proper reading order would dictate it’s read before this one.   Whoops.  My bad.  But these are all true stand alone.  Make You Mine is definitely on my to-read list.

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Book Recommendations

Entice by Stacey Lynn

Entice Book Review and Recommendation

Entice and Embrace, the first two books in the Tangled Love series and the two books that make up the Tangled Love Duet by Stacey Lynn, tackle romance from a different angle.

Laurie had the story book romance.  She and James fell in love in high school.  They were each other’s firsts.  Dated through college.  Married after college.  Had the marriage of dreams.  And then, they kind of grew apart.

This is the story of a marriage.  A story of one person cheating.   And then what happens when someone comes along and makes the jilted spouse feel gorgeous and wanted.

The story covers two books.   You’ll want to read both books.  It’s a true duet.

 

In the second book, Embrace,  Laurie learns more about herself.  She comes into her own.   She grows. And she decides which man she really loves.  Which man she wants to work for a relationship with.   Because, as Stacey Lynn shows, the sex may be off the charts hot, but the relationship still takes work.   Pain.  Strength.  Honesty.

There were times when reading these books I kind of wanted to bitch slap Laurie.  If she’d been my friend, I totally would have.

But, in the end, she gets it together.   I can’t say more without giving the ending away, but I will say that it’s a unique romance.   It’s kind of a deep dive into relationships.  The good and the bad.  To some degree, the reality.   And Laurie’s story won’t be the same for everyone.  Because, hey, no two relationships are the same.   But, there’s some good stuff in here.   Stacey Lynn takes the erotic romance novel to places many writers won’t go.  It’s worth the trip.

 

THE UPSHOT

Book Recommendations

Atheists Who Kneel & Pray by Tarryn Fisher

Opens with an email.  Then you meet Yara.   She responds with an email – one word shorter than his.   And from that moment on, Tarryn Fisher pulls you into a romance that’s gonna stay with you for years.

I read this book over a year ago.  Still one of my favorites.  Neon pink graffiti now makes my heart flutter.

“It’s always the eccentric ones who have the most wisdom.”   That’s a quote from David, a singer, romantic and just fucking amazing guy.   Tara, his love, well, she has a world of hurt and issues.

Their story isn’t perfect.  It’s not a fall in love with insta rainbows.  It’s gritty.  Hits you.  Ups and downs.  Over years they get there.  And when they get there, let me just say, it’s so fucking romantic. Love.  Just love.

 

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