SHOULD'VE BEEN YOU (Man Enough #3)

SHOULD'VE BEEN YOU                    NICOLE McLAUGHLIN



Childhood neighbors get a chance at love in Should’ve Been You, an achingly romantic novella in Nicole McLaughlin’s Man Enough series!

National Guardsman Jase Beckford wants to live a quiet life raising cattle and taking care of his mother. His childhood friend and neighbor Hannah is still his best friend, but when he walks into the Walters house one morning and sees her twin sister Becca for the first time in five years, he wonders if he missed out on something special.

Becca Walters has nursed a secret crush on Jase since childhood, but he always preferred Hannah, so she buried her feelings assuming her sister and Jase would one day turn their flirtation into a real relationship. And this Christmas, she is anticipating a proposal of her own, so Jase’s reappearance in her life doesn’t mean anything. Much. Okay, maybe more than Becca would like to admit.

However, when Becca’s sister gets engaged to someone who’s not Jase, Becca and Jase find themselves spending more together. And when secrets are revealed, suddenly those dormant feelings come back to life; but is the possibility of something between them worth risking the happiness of everyone they love?
 


MY REVIEW:


     When you're young you never look at the long-term effects of your actions.  As is so true for a little white lie that gets told to Jase Beckford and Becca Walters after that horrible Christmas eve night.
     The thing is it was told to Jase by his best friend in the world Hannah Walters, Becca’s twin sister.  Becca had lost her heart to him when she was ten and he was twelve basically the day the three of them met.  On that same eve is when Jase lost his heart.  It was his highest and lowest time ever.
     But the lie pulls them so far apart they hardly even talk from that Christmas day on.  Becca’s heart ached to see her twin with Jase.  She was taller, more athletically built with dark hair.  Where Becca was shorter, curvier, and soft, with blonde hair.
     Everyone now nine years later after Jase has served time in the service and both the twins have become teachers in different town, hours away from home for Becca.  Jase is back and Becca comes home for the first time since he has been home.  A spark is lit and Hannah gets engaged allowing them to talk and for moments to maybe become possibilities.  Oh!  Wait!  Becca has a boyfriend…
     This was such a good book!  Tangling and untangling of an emotional web.  Where two sisters are jealous of the same man.  One loves him while the other is in love with him.  Fast read and so worth the fun.  I just love family sagas.  I give this: 5++++ stars.  Provided by netgalley.com. 

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A BABY FOR CHRISTMAS (Sweet Home Montana Book 2)

A BABY FOR CHRISTMAS                   JOAN KILBY


When Mia Tempesta goes into labor during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve, she stumbles into Will Jackson's cherry packing shed. As a war widow, she's lost everything–her husband, her home, and her job. But when Will, a caring stranger, delivers her beautiful baby boy into her arms, she has hope for a brighter future. 

After being betrayed and dumped by his long-time girlfriend, Will’s dreading the holidays, but when he helps deliver Mia’s son on Christmas morning, he gains a renewed purpose in life. The beautiful Mia and her child tug on his protective heart strings and he finds himself longing to help. They fight their growing attraction–Will’s on the rebound and Mia is still grieving. Will their reckless passion end in heartbreak? 

Can two damaged hearts find healing and happiness? One Christmas baby might just be the miracle they need to love again.


MY REVIEW:

     There was an instant change in the life of Will Starr when a woman showed up Christmas Eve during a snowstorm at his cherry shed.  It was late and he had just been at his parents earlier.  But because he was still sulking over a lost high school love at Thanksgiving who had turned down after waiting for his long-awaited proposal.
     Considering they were thirty-two-years-old and had been on again off again, dating others, and traveling a lot not to mention she would take jobs in other towns in other cities and states.  Wasn’t the writing on the wall.  He was surprised though and angered when she said, “No.”  That she was in love with another man in the town where she had been working and living for the last seven months.
     Mia Tempesta Richards a widow and pregnant mom to be on her way to her sisters to give birth since her sister is a midwife.  She wasn’t due for several weeks and she thought since she just got fired two days before Christmas that why not leave to be with her since she no longer had a place to live either.  All thanks to her war hero husband who died almost a year ago.  She lost him eight months ago to be exact.  Everyone thought she had this wonderful marriage when in fact it wasn’t he left her with debt and so much pain she was just hanging on.
     Yet, going through this birthing experience with a stranger like Will makes her see life differently.  For Will, his outlook on life from the anger and pain he was in earlier that day to the elation at seeing the miracle of birth and the woman he helps makes life so much better.
     This was such a good story of two lost souls looking for a place to belong and a baby’s birth than finds them forever together.  Their struggles as to how and what that should look like.  Emotions run high.  I give this: 5++++ stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.

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BEGIN AGAIN

BEGIN AGAIN                                  MONA KASTEN


He makes the rules. She breaks them all.

A new start. It's the only thing keeping Allie Harper going, when she packs up her life and moves across the country to Woodshill, Oregon. She's about to start college, desperate to leave the ghosts of her past behind her. Even if that means never talking to her parents again.

Now the hard part - finding an apartment before classes start. Just when it seems she'll have to live out of her car, Allie visits one more place. It's beautiful. With one exception: can she stand being roommates with campus bad boy Kaden White? Sure, Kaden is sexy with his tattoos and careless attitude, but he's also an arrogant jerk. With nowhere else to go, Allie moves in.

The first thing Kaden does is make a set of rules. Either Allie obeys, or she's out:

1. Don't talk about your girl problems.
2. Keep your mouth shut if I bring someone home.
3. We will NEVER hook up.

Easy enough, thinks Allie. Who would want to get involved with a brute like Kaden? But the more she gets to know him, the more she sees beyond his gruff facade. He, too, is harboring some painful secrets. For Kaden and Allie, it gets harder and harder to ignore the sparks between them. And the lines between the rules start to blur-

Begin Again is a beautiful romance that shows us just how possible it is to start over. To find freedom in heartbreak and love in the most unlikely places.


MY REVIEW:

     Attraction can be a cruel thing when you know it can’t be good for either of you. And in this case, it was downright torture for Allie Harper and Kaden White.
     Both came from troubled backgrounds that now trickled into their present lives.  Causing havoc in their romantic lives.  Making them act and say the craziest things at times.
     Kaden needs to feel in total control at all times and had to keep all females at bay and his brash behavior was usually his way of accomplishing that.  That was until he met, Allie.  You see he never entertained having a girl roommate because he had fallen in love and been burned so all girls were evil.
     But Allie was as brash and foul mouth as he was and that gave him pause and well he was desperate to find a roommate as she was to find a place to live.  So, match made in heaven.  Allie had moved from Nebraska, to get away from her rich controlling parents and ended up with a conceded controlling roommate, instead.  Was okay with it anything to be able to get on the road to becoming a teacher.  She wanted that and freedom so badly she could taste it.
     Part way through not only does Kaden start to confuse and blur the lines for her with mixed signals, but her mother tracks her down like a dog.  Messes with her head and makes her more insecure that when she got there.  She tries to withdraw but Dawn and Scott her new and only friends ever try and help but it’s Kaden that pulls her through.
     Yet, when he falls on hard times he turns his back on her making her question herself and them as friends and more. 

     This story was so fast and complex.  Like an onion being peeled back quickly.  The story was interesting with the subject matters and how they were handled.  But also, how the couples and friends handled them all together.  I give this 5 ++++ stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

LET'S WELCOME BRENDA NOVAK AUTHOR OF UNTIL YOU LOVED ME

LET’S WELCOME

BRENDA NOVAK




AUTHOR OF:



Rad-Reader: In his past, Hudson was afraid to get hurt by getting involved after being with his girlfriend of seven years.  He says the only thing he felt when she left was lonely and missed the regular sex?  Really is that all?  Or was that just a safeguard?


Brenda:  I always tell my stories from the viewpoint of the character involved.  That was how he perceived his relationship with his ex, knew he steered clear of deep relationships because he distrusted love, but, of course, it was more complicated than that. 


Rad-Reader:  Ellie never noticed any clues what-so-ever about her and his boyfriend?


Brenda:  Again, the story is told from Ellie's point of view, so we don't get to see an objective judge's opinion on the matter.  There were probably clues along the way that she chose to overlook, correct?  But a lot of women do this.  Her part of the story was actually based on the experience of a woman I once met on a plane who saw an episode of Oprah that went over how to know if your spouse/significant other is cheating on you.  She told me she checked all of those boxes--and that's when she knew (even though they'd been married for a number of years and had two children.)


Rad-Reader:  If Hudson liked her more than the others why didn’t he ask more questions or for her number?


Brenda:  I assume you're talking about after Ellie first met Hudson?  He didn't realize he wouldn't have the chance.  They had that one crazy night together and then she disappeared before he could ask. (Until that point, he probably wasn't sure he wanted to, right?  That sort of takes a little bit of time.) 


Rad-Reader:  Was he adopted by anyone or did he stay the whole time at the home?


Brenda:  It's been a while since I wrote this story, but if I remember right, he stayed at the home after being returned a number of times by foster parents. 


Rad-Reader:  Why does Ellie care what others at work think of her she wasn’t the cause of her relationship demise?


Brenda:  I think any woman (or most) feel somehow "less" when something like this happens.  So, it's embarrassing, especially because everyone is talking about it and watching for her reaction.  


Rad-Reader:  What is your best advice for up and coming writers?


Brenda:  Believe.  If you truly believe in yourself, you'll do everything it takes to write the book you want to write.  


Rad-Reader:  What was your favorite book as a child?


Brenda:  Jane Eyre.  It completely captured my imagination and is one of my favorites to this day.  




Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when will it be coming out?


Brenda:  I will have two new books out this year.  The first is a continuation of my popular Evelyn Talbot series about a psychiatrist who studies serial killers at a remote facility in Alaska.  It's called FACE OFF and will be out August 28th.  The other one is a stand-alone, trade paperback release titled BEFORE WE WERE STRANGERS, and it will be released on September 25th. 



Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?


Brenda:  My books are available wherever books are sold-- in print and digital.  



Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web?


Brenda:  My website is always updated at www.brendanovak.com


Also, I'm very active on Facebook
(https://www.facebook.com/BrendaNovakAuthor/). I even run an online book group of 12,000 on Facebook where, in the months I don't have a release, we feature other authors. We have a monthly meeting where the author visits the book club in a Facebook Live Event to answer questions and discuss the book. Everyone is invited to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/brendanovaksbookgroup/.


I would like to thank Brenda for being with us.  I know she is on a tight deadline and this was a hard time to squeeze us in.  So, Bravo.
Char 

SCORING WITH THE WRONG TWIN (WAGS #1)

SCORING WITH THE WRONG TWIN         NAIMA SIMONE


Shy, awkward Sophia Cruz has a hard time telling her vivacious identical twin “no.” But when her sister begs her to swap places for a modeling shoot, she caves … again. Then Zephirin Black walks onto the set. The brooding, aloof, and gorgeous tight end for the Washington Warriors. But she can keep it professional… She has to. Because the adorkable Cruz twin has no luck with guys once they compare her to her sister. 

After a bad break-up, Zeph hasn’t been big on second chances—and even less with trust. But he finds himself giving please-call-me-by-my-middle-name-Sophia both. The woman he’d dismissed as a spoiled cover model is different from the first time he met her. Quirkier. Funnier. Definitely sexier. What started as one night turns into another…and another…and another…

Still, Sophia can’t go on keeping her secret from him. But telling Zeph the truth will mean losing him for good.


MY REVIEW:

     I really enjoyed this book the premise was one that was fun and made you want to keep reading.  You have two sisters, twins.  One, in the world of modeling, that at fifteen-years-old knew what she wanted.  At fifteen she was driven and making her mark to become the first Porte Rican top notch model in the business.  On set, she is known as all business.  Not a person that is one to mess around or sleep around.
     So, now she has a problem she has just booked a runway modeling event in Italy, Malan.  She just can’t pass it up.  They asked for her and it’s an honor.  But she booked a year ago to do a sports shoot for a magazine layout.  She has done it before and can’t cancel.  The thing is the shoot is the day after she will have left for Italy.  So, who does she call but her twin, Sophia?
     They are identical with the exception of piercings, a beautiful tattoo below the bikini line of a peacock, and blue tips on her chocolate long hair.  Although, this is not something Sophia feels comfortable doing and she gets Giovanna to promise to coach her for the next week before she leaves she agrees.
     This is totally out of her comfort zone.  You see, Vanna as Sophia calls her, always the more confident of the two of them.  The bolder, prettier, (so Sophia thought too), and the most outgoing.  Everyone wanted to be around her.  Stepping over her to get to her sister to do it.
     The football players would tease and torment her for being a geek and a nerd.  They even went as far as asking her out to find out info about her sister for dating tips.  The bullying was painful.  The thing is she was a brilliant minded as a computer specialist.  As a junior, she was an assistant teaching the class in high school.  Then in college, she created her own game app and companies were recruiting her.  At twenty-four-years-old she’s now been at a company that makes sporting apps but the company as a whole is not fulfilling her needs.  They are taking advantage of women within the company.
     She is saving though to branch out.  So, this one day although she is scared senseless.  It is better than facing Brian, her prick of a boss, for one day.  When she arrives the other person, she will be working with on the shoot is a player on the Worriers Football Team, tight end, Zephirin Black.  A sexy black god at 6’4’’, with tattoos, muscles, and eyes that look right through you.  When she says hello to everyone he says nice to see you again.  And her heart stops because she knows he knows she’s not Vanna.

     The chemistry between these two characters is so hot and steamy it melts the pages as your reading them.  There are times you are just laughing so hard or talking out loud to the characters.  I was a fun fast read.  5++++ stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

THE BEST MAN'S BRIDE (Royal Wedding Invitations #4)

THE BEST MAN'S BRIDE                ANNE McALLISTER


Rock star Jack Masterson is every woman’s sexy, heartthrob fantasy. He can have any woman he desires—except the one woman he wants — Celina Harris, the one who got away. Two years ago, focused on his career to the exclusion of all else, he let her slip through his fingers, but now there’s a royal wedding coming up, and both Jack and Celie will be there. 

It’s taken two long, lonely years, but Celina is finally putting the pieces of her life back together. Now appointment secretary to San Michele’s Serene Dowager Margaret she spends her days assuaging royal egos, and ensuring that all runs smoothly. Each night she returns home to solitary peace after the heart ache of her tumultuous relationship with Jack. 

Thrown together by the royal wedding arrangements, Celie knows the key to survival is to resist Jack’s careless charm. But Jack isn’t the man he once was, and seeing Celie awakens all his former desire. Can Celie resist the former love of her life, or will he break her heart all over again?

MY REVIEW:

     Wasn’t sure what to expect with this being about a prince getting married and all.   The woman works for his grandmother.  Never been a fairytale kind of a girl but the rock star aspect caught me.
     This was cute.  There was enough angst from Jonas’ grandmother the elder princess of San Michele the Serene Dowager Margaret or Maggie to family and friends.  The story revolves around three best friends, roommates from grad school in Iowa.  Jack Masterson, Jonas the prince, and their friend Celina Harris.  With a bit of a catch.
     Both men were smitten but it was Jack who was bold enough to approach.  A good thing too.  Because at the Frat party they attended he had to frog walk a frat guy out and toss him into the hedges for not listening to the word “NO!”  When it was uttered by “Celie” as he likes to call her.  He took her to his place to calm her down by playing his acoustic guitar for her. He played for hours.  You see Jack was part of the local hot rock/jazz/blues band.
     She felt safe and totally comfortable with him too.  When she felt better he walked her home asked her out to the concert he was playing the next night.  They became a couple.  They get married she finishes grad school, Jack on the other hand signs a record deal and starts touring the world dropping out of grad school.  They blow up.  It’s time for her graduation he is supposed to be on his way home when he calls and says the manager booked a charity gig on graduation night.  She’s disappointed but understands.  He wants her to come out to Barcelona to be with him but she had invited her parents to come be at her graduation. 
     But she changes her mind and shows up.  But there’s a problem when she gets there and she turns around goes home and files for divorce.  He never goes after her or tries to contact her.  Making her feel she wasn’t worth his time or effort.
     So, two and a half years later when she is now working for Maggie and Joe is getting married, his fiancĂ© and he run into Jack at his concert.  Jack assumes that Joe wants him to be his best man like he was for theirs.  Now there is a runaway train called Jack headed her way moving on the tracks toward Celina.
     This book is funny and a fast read.  The author made the characters enjoyable to read about even the ones that were ones you were not meant to like.  I loved Maggie, Joe’s grandmother, she really made the story pop.  I give this: 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com. 

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GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY (Romance By Design #3)

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY               VIRGINIA TAYLOR

They grew up together yet worlds apart. But a wealthy young man and a classy young woman find that some bonds can’t be broken . . .

The only thing Marigold Reynolds and billionaire Hagen Allbrook ever had in common was their attraction. Marigold made sure that never went anywhere by cutting ties with him six years ago. Now, however, she needs a job—and Hagen’s design assistant desperately needs someone to fill in for her at his family’s construction firm. Trusting that time has dimmed the electricity between them, Marigold accepts. But as she undertakes his challenging renovation of her own ancestors’ home, it’s soon clear she’s mistaken.

A year after his wife’s death, Hagen is coming to terms with the past. He’s as drawn to Marigold as ever, but as they finally cross long-held boundaries, a misunderstanding, and Marigold’s belief that she can never measure up to his perfect wife, threatens to tear them apart once more. Hagen’s only chance of winning her back is to reveal the truth about his marriage. And perhaps then Marigold will reveal a heartfelt secret of her own . 

MY REVIEW:


     I so love books with families that meddle for all the right reasons.  This surrounds Marigold Reynolds who lost her mother after a long illness.  Being that her parents were divorced it left her the primary caregiver.  Which she never thought twice about.
     Although her mother came from a family in good standing in the community several generations in they, unfortunately, lost their wealth.  When they divorced, her father also from a wealth, but newer money.  Their family name never held the same status as her mothers and he never shared it with her anyway.
     Yet, she was taught all the proper ways from eating, greetings, setting a table, and speaking.  She with her second-hand clothes was taught to stand proud.  It turns out she becomes best friends with Tiggy and her twin Calli but at six she lost her heart to their older brother by two years Hagen when he was eight.
     The Allbrook family never cared she dressed in hand me downs or that her hair is an orange-red so bright is could like your way in the dark.  She was always made to feel like part of the family.  Since the divorce, her father forgot he had a daughter especially when he had her first half-brother.  So, she craved family.
     Hagen never paid attention to his sister’s friend until the year she joined the swim team at sixteen, he was eighteen.  Life had changed he lost his heart to that day.  Marigold though was jailbait and so he shut the attraction down.
     At his parents fiftieth they meet up again.  She shuts it down.  Saying things that hurt his pride.  Rather than get to the root he beds all things on campus.  Six years have passed.  A year ago, he lost his wife.  Tiggy needs a break from being her stand in as hostess, interior homes dresser, and all-around sister.  So, she asks Marigold to step in.  She agrees.  Life just got interesting.  Why?  Because she doesn’t realize she will be working daily with you got it, Hagen.
     This was a quick read with a lot of fun reading fun.  You will enjoy it.  There is a lot of family underhanded fun afoot.  The soul-searching gets to the heart of it too.  I give this: 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com. 

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SHOULD'VE BEEN YOU (Man Enough #3)

SHOULD'VE BEEN YOU                     NICOLE McLAUGHLIN Childhood neighbors get a chance at love in Should’ve Been You, an aching...