PRACTICE TO DECEIVE

PRACTICE TO DECEIVE                           ANN RULE
Posted:  Dec. 23, 2013

Practice to Deceive by Ann Rule  With more than 50 million copies of her thirty-four books in print, from The Stranger Beside Me, her chilling personal account of knowing Ted Bundy, to fourteen hardcover books— including Small Sacrifices; Green River, Running Red; and Too Late to Say Goodbye—and sixteen collections in her #1 bestselling Crime Files series, Ann Rule is without a doubt “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews). In Practice to Deceive, her first book-length investigative chronicle since In the Still of the Night, Rule unravels a shattering case of Christmastime murder off the coast of Washington State—presented with the clarity, authority, and emotional depth that Rule’s readers expect. It’s a case with enough drama, greed, sex, and scandal to be called “The Real Housewives of Whidbey Island,” but this was not reality television. This was murder: pure, cruel, ugly, and senseless. And someone had to pay the price.

Nestled in Puget Sound, Whidbey Island is a gem of the Pacific Northwest; accessible only by ferry and the soaring Deception Pass Bridge, it is known for its artistic communities and stunning natural beauty. Life there is low-key, insular, and the island’s year-round residents tend to know one another’s business. But when the blood drenched body of Russel Douglas was discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV in a hidden driveway near Whidbey’s most exclusive mansions, the whole island was shocked. A single bullet between his eyes was the cause of death, but no one could imagine who among them could plot such a devious, cold-blooded crime. At first, police suspected suicide, tragically common at the height of the holiday season. But when they found no gun in or near the SUV, Russel’s manner of death became homicide. Like a cast of characters from a classic mystery novel, a host of Whidbey residents fell under suspicion.

Brenna Douglas was Russel’s estranged and soon-to-be-ex wife, who allowed him to come home for a Christmas visit with their children. The couple owned the popular Just B’s salon. Brenna’s good friend Peggy Sue Thomas worked there, and Brenna complained often to her that Russel was physically and emotionally abusive. Peggy Sue’s own life has been one of extremes. Married three times, hers is a rags-to-riches-and-back-again tale in which she’s played many roles: aircraft mechanic, basketball coach, the “drop-dead gorgeous” beauty queen as a former Ms. Washington, Las Vegas limousine driver, million-dollar horse breeder, wealthy divorcĂ©e. But in 2003, her love affair with married guitarist Jim Huden led the two Whidbey Island natives to pursue their ultimate dreams of wealth and privilege—even at the expense of human life.

Unravel the tangled web woven by Russel Douglas’s murder in Practice to Deceive, the newest heart pounding true-crime tour de force from Ann Rule.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:

A true story about a murder and how the police work the case. This story follows the lives of the victim, suspects and the police. Ann Rule, goes into much detail as to how the evidence is gathered and the motive that the person or persons reason or there idea of a reason for murder. There is so much information that one actually feels like you are part of the investigation. You are able to see the determination of the police and crime lab to make sure that they have everything right. They go by past cases that have gotten thrown out of court so they make sure not to make those mistakes again. One detective pass away from natural causes during the investigation but it stills goes on. This case took years but it is a very interesting story and you get caught up in the way she wrote the book to make you feel like you were there with the investigators. An excellent book and story. I got this from net galley.

THE LAST CLINIC

THE LAST CLINIC                                  GARY GUSICK
Posted:  Dec. 23, 2013

The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick In a fast-paced, suspenseful debut novel for fans of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, detective Darla Cavannah goes Deep South in pursuit of a merciless killer.

Outside the local women’s health clinic, the Reverend Jimmy Aldridge waving his protest sign is a familiar sight. But that changes early one morning when someone shoots the beloved Reverend Jimmy dead. Sheriff Shelby Mitchell knows the preacher’s murder will shock the good people of Jackson—and the pressure to find the killer is immediate and intense, which is why Shelby calls in detective Darla Cavannah.

When police detective Darla moved from Philadelphia to Jackson with her husband—hometown football hero Hugh “the Glue” Cavannah—she never imagined the culture shock that awaited. Then after Hugh dies in a car crash, Darla enters a self-imposed exile in her Mississippi home, taking a leave of absence from the sheriff’s department. Now she’s called back to duty—or coerced, more like it, with Shelby slathering on his good-ole-boy charm nice and thick, like on a helping of barbecue.

Reluctantly partnered with a mulish Elvis impersonator, Darla keeps a cool head even as the community demands an arrest. The court of public opinion has already convicted the clinic’s doctor, Stephen Nicoletti, but Darla is just as sure he’s not guilty—even as she fights her growing attraction to him. From the genteel suburbs to a raunchy strip club, Darla follows a trail of dirty money and nasty secrets—until the day of judgment comes, and she faces down an ungodly assassin.


HUBBY'S REVIEW:


This is an excellent story of who done it. There is actually more than one crime going on but no one puts them together until the end. Still the person who you think is the killer is not, turns out to be someone else and that along with the female detective really make this story stand out. A very good and fast read for you want to find out who the person is and how they are going to put everything together. It all works at the end, and is a good book. I got this book from net galley.

BAGHERIA

BAGHERIA                                                 DARCIA MARAINI
Posted: Dec. 23, 2013

Bagheria by Dacia Maraini  In Bagheria, Dacia Maraini revisits the landscape of early memory. She describes Sicily in sensuous detail, the town of Bagheria, and the ancestral villa to which she returned as a child after two horrific years of imprisonment with her family in a Japanese concentration camp. The Villa Valguarnera and Maraini recalls the spiritual struggles and her rebellion against the elitism of her class. She also discusses her experience of child abuse. Bagheria is also a tale of corruption: centuries of the town's past unfold alongside Maraini's family history as she details the involvement of the Mafia in the architectural decimation of Bagheria in the 1970s



HUBBY'S REVIEW:

This is a story about a women who is remembering about her family’s life when they have returned from Japan after WW2. They arrive back in Sicily and notice how much has changed in the years that she has been gone. First from the village then to the place she calls home Bagheria. How once there were so many fig and olive trees. To now only a few have survived from the war like so many people of the village. Throughout this story she is always remembering the past. Either people or the way her home once look and smelled. Not just from the plants around but also from the cooking, always something being cooked and you could smell it know matter where you were at. An interesting story of people and a way of life that I am sure the author was trying to get us to see what her life might have been if there was not a war. A good book.

WELCOME BACK TO APPLE GROVE

WELCOME BACK TO APPLE GROVE      C.H.ADMIRAND


Welcome Back to Apple Grove by C.H. Admirand There's No Place Like Home...

Grace Mulcahy thought she'd finally gotten Apple Grove, Ohio, out of her system. Then she's lured back for a family barbecue and spies a broad-shouldered hottie hanging out at the grill. He somehow seems utterly at east, whether flipping burgers or horsing around with her hellion nephews. Why didn't her brother-in-law tell her he had such gorgeous friends? Suddenly her mouth is watering for more than her best friend's famous pie.

Some fires aren't meant to be fought

When firefighter Pat Garahan sees Grace, it's like a five-alarm bell goes off and he's the one ablaze. She says she wants to leave Apple Grove, but he will do whatever it takes to keep her around. The life of a firefighter isn't an easy one though, and he'll have to prove their immediate spark can have a lasting chance at love..


HUBBY'S REVIEW:


This was a story about a girl who is the youngest of three daughters and moves away from home because she is tired of living in a small town in Ohio. She is still close enough to go home for it is about a 90 min drive. But she likes the museums, concerts, restaurants and other things of a big town. Not everyone knowing everything that goes on in your life. She still calls her best friend and her father. Her sisters talk as well. She comes home for a weekend not knowing that her sisters are tryin...more This was a story about a girl who is the youngest of three daughters and moves away from home because she is tired of living in a small town in Ohio. She is still close enough to go home for it is about a 90 min drive. But she likes the museums, concerts, restaurants and other things of a big town. Not everyone knowing everything that goes on in your life. She still calls her best friend and her father. Her sisters talk as well. She comes home for a weekend not knowing that her sisters are trying to fix her up with one of the local firemen. He is fairly new to the town and comes from New Jersey. Where his family is all fire fighters. He has only told a few of the guys why he moved. When they meet there is an instant connection it just takes them a while to work through that part. Then when her father asks her if she could help out at the store she finds that it is a mess. She doesn’t know who to tell her father that she wants to quit her job and move back home to help him. When it comes up one day and they both agree. She still wants a relationship with the firefighter but he is not opening up to her. When a big fire breaks out and he gets hurt he still does not want to talk to her. It is not until some of the guys come around and talk to him that have known her and tell him she is a strong Irish girl who you need in your life to kick your butt. They let her in and they leave. They talk and work it out. This was a good book because a lot of it was more real, her talking to a doctor about PTSD trying anything to find a way to get him to open up. Also the way guys talk to one another not just guys but firefighters, law enforcement. There is a certain speak and she got it. A good book and a good story.

THE NEON RAIN

THE NEON RAIN                                         JAMES LEE BURKE
Posted:  Dec. 23, 2013

The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke  Introducing the New Orleans detective Dave Robicheaux Johnny Massina, a convicted murderer bound for the electric chair, has warned Dave Robicheaux that he's on somebody's hit list, and now the homicide detective is trying to discover just who that is before he ends up dead. Meanwhile he has taken on the murder investigation of a young black girl found dead in the Bayou swamp - a case no one seems keen for him to investigate. But Robicheaux persists and uncovers a web of corruption that some would kill to protect, leading him to a terrifying confrontation with the one horror he fears most of all.


HUBBY'S REVIEW:


This is the first book in the Dave Robicheaux, character and you do get some back ground information about and Clete, his partner. You also find out about his relationship with his wife from some of the other books Annie. You also find out how he buys the boat shed or fishing shed / dock that is in some of the other books. He is also having problems with alcohol and falls off the wagon. He stops going to meetings and this plus his job puts his life in danger and he does not care. He does go back to the meetings but it does not work out right away until he realizes he has no control over what people think. Then people start to see what he was saying about the crime but it is too late. When they offer his job back he leaves instead, fills out the papers and goes to a meeting and feels better. This is a dark book but a good story and I was glad to have finally read this book in the series

PLAY BY PLAY

PLAY BY PLAY                                          KATE DONOVAN
Posted:  Dec. 23, 2013

Play by Play by Kate Donovan  Former college football star Jake Dublin’s wildly popular sports blog also details his personal life. And lately it’s all about Sophie, the pretty young woman who just moved into his apartment building. His readers know her only as “Elevator Girl,” and they’re all rooting for Jake to score.

The blog posts and banter with his followers are all in good fun, and he fully intends to come clean with the woman he’s wooing and wowing. That is, until she confides that she grew up in a house full of jocks and even dated a few. Her verdict? Never again!

Jake knows he needs to confess. But somewhere along the line he fell in love with Sophie and can’t stand the thought of losing her. So he procrastinates, and blogs, and digs himself deeper into a hole, until it all leads to a showdown that’s so nail-biting, not even the best play-by-play guy could ever have seen it coming.



MY REVIEW:

   This was a very cute story about Jake Dublin who writes a sports blog.  One day he is riding the elevator at his apartment complex and rides it with one of the newest tenets to the building.  It is love at first sight.

     He asks if she needs help she says “How sweet of him for asking, but no.”  Then, she gets off two floors before him.  He is so taken by her beauty and by the instant emotional pull he felt toward her he writes about her on his blog.  His followers respond.

     Then, he hangs out in the parking garage to run into her again.  Which he writes about, which is pretty funny and creepy at the same time.  Which his followers tell him too.  This time he gets her card and he tries to ask her out but she says no.  She does say that she jogs at the park on Tues. and Thurs. if he is interested.  Now “Elevator Girl” as he is calling her on the blog is a regular discussion topic.  His following gets bigger so does their relationship.

     On small problem she says she doesn’t want to date guys that are all about sports 24/7.  “Houston we might have a problem.”  What does Jake do now?

     Sophie James is a Lawyer who has just moved to the area after having to leave a job she was with straight from college.  The reason being there was a guy who was one a boyfriend that got a little too pushy and clingy.  Basically was stalking her so she moved.   Not to worry her cousin handled the situation, you see after she lost her parents she went to live with her uncle and male cousins. 

     This is where the no sports 24/7 comes in.  They were a big sports family and never anything but sports all the time.  So, she wants nothings to do with it.  She wants someone who will think of her 24/7 now not sports.  She thinks she has it with Jake until one big event and then hell breaks loose.  This is just one sweet and funny read.  I know you will enjoy it too.  


DARE TO LOVE

DARE TO LOVE                                           CARLY PHILLIPS
Posted:  Dec. 23, 2013

Dare to Love by Carly Phillips  New York Times Bestselling Author Carly Phillips turns up the heat in her newest sexy contemporary romance series, and introduces you to the Dare family… siblings shaped by a father’s secrets and betrayal.

Since finding out his father had another family on the side, Ian Dare swore to be the upstanding, responsible man his cheating parent had never been. When it comes to his relatives, he gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. But one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts and Ian is entranced. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him extending an olive branch to the half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.

Independent and always in control, Riley Taylor makes no apologies for choosing men carefully. Relationships have never been a priority and she believes herself hardened to domineering men – until she meets charismatic Ian Dare. He manages to turn a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and when he takes control in the bedroom, she’s stunned to discover she likes it. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything.




MY REVIEW:


     The Dare Family is one of pain.  Brought on by its patriarch Robert Dare.  When he decided to have an ongoing affair with Savannah, his mistress, which he is now married to.  Which is not the worse part.  It might have stayed an affair of which they produced three children, with his wife 5 with oldest 30 years old and 3 children with Savannah.  Oldest is 25 years old, but his youngest from Savannah was ill and needed a bone donor so he had to see if any of the other siblings were a match otherwise they may have never known there was another family.

     One of the two girls bonded as did his other sister but Ian the oldest of all the Dare children could not do it.  Being the oldest of all the children he saw and felt the pain his selfish father had caused and could never forgive.  He would not play nice in front of others to be kind either but only when asked by his sisters, like at his father’s birthday party.

     Where Alex the eldest of the other family walks in with the most curvaceous beautiful woman he has ever dreamed of in his entire life, Riley Taylor, but she was with his half-brother.  Damn it!  Off limits, Right?...He waits till Alex is on the dance floor then he speaks to her after he notices that they have both been taking glances or rather he has been all out staring at her.  She turns from the bar with a glass of water bumping into him sending ice water down her neckline and cleavage, sending shivers and causing her nipples to pebble.

     Ever the gentleman he gets a napkin and dabs her off.  She makes eye contact and is struck speechless.  When he talks he introduces himself, finally finds out who she is and gets her name.  Most important of all he finds out her and Alex are just childhood friends, leaving her fair game.  She mentions her feet are killing her so he takes her to and unused patio to sit and rest her tired feet.

     These events are just not her, with Alex such a dear friend she had to come.  No more excuses she could use to get out of it.  Outside, as they were sitting and talking Ian made his move and Alex caught them kissing.  He saw fire he was so mad.  Riley was in the crossfire of their family feud. Of course she left with Alex he is her friend.  Ian saw it as she was blowing him off and once again losing to Alex.

     Less than a week goes by and Riley is in crisis and reaches out to Ian by calling and leaving a message.  He doesn’t return her call since Alex told him to leave her alone.  Plus he was hurt.  The next thing he knows he has Alex breathing down his neck for not calling her back too little to late is what he basically gets from him.

     Come along on this hot, sweaty, raw sexual adventure these two embark on.  Will it become more or will they allow the darkness from their backgrounds tear this thing they have when they are together in and out of the bedroom?

     Especially, when Riley is not into Alpha Males and Ian is in no way interested in touchy feely from the heart relationships.  Love and romance has other plans for this couple that neither of them saw coming.  Is it lust or love?  Find out if this blended family can really be one, if Alex is a true friend to Riley, or could he have deeper feelings?  You’ll need to read to find out.  What are the secrets they are keeping locked away about their past that they won’t let them move on to a happy future?

     Wow, does Riley and Ian have an explosive sexual appetite.  I love how Riley is able to tame the beast in Ian.  It’s enjoyable to read how calm Riley can make Ian and how Ian can make Riley feel so secure and free.  Most of all I love all the bantering between the two.  It makes you laugh.  Between the couple, the two brothers, Alex & Ian, and then all the siblings and the mom.  The bantering is endless and you find yourself smiling. 

A Hero's Heart

A HERO'S HEART                                     AMBER DAULTON
Posted:  Dec. 23, 2013

A Hero's Heart by Amber Daulton  Ten years ago, Jarrett Brandt left home and abandoned everyone of importance. After a hard reality check, the irresponsible young man matured into a ballsy DEA agent with a kickass Harley Davidson and a million-dollar bounty on his head. Ordered by his superior officer to take refuge at a safe house just days before Christmas, he headed back home to Washington State, instead, to make peace with his deceased brother’s memory.

Marissa Reinn Brandt never expected to see Jarrett again. Best friends since childhood and lovers as teenagers, immaturity, over-demanding parents and illicit drugs ripped them apart. Now a successful chef at a posh restaurant, the young widow and her son offered Jarrett a place to stay for the holiday. Even though she expected nothing from her former lover—the twin brother of the man she married—fate intervened.

As Jarrett and Marissa rekindled the flames of love and lust that once bound them together, an enemy from his past and a trusted mentor from his present vied their time in the snowy dark and threatened to destroy everyone he held dear. Needing a Christmas miracle to save his family, Jarrett needed the love of a good woman to save his battered heart. His second chance with Marissa meant the world to him and nothing, no one, would stand in his way of cherishing her for all time.

MY REVIEW:


     Marissa and Jarrett were high school sweet hearts, each other’s first too.  Marissa although a wonderfully sweet, loving caring girl came from the wrong side of the tracks.  Jarrett on the other hand came from the other.  His daddy was a lieutenant in the police when he had to retire due to illness.

     Jarrett was a twin, his brother Joel was 2 minutes younger and the favorite son to his father.  The good son who could do no wrong.   Jarrett was always known as the one to buck the system which his father Harold hated since he came from a long line of cops it was expected that both boys would become one.  That was not in Jarrett’s life plan. 

     First of all he hated his father and all his rules, he hated the small town life and he was hooked on drugs.  Not to mention his father always favored his brother more so why bother to achieve more than what was expected?

     One day he had it out with the family he tried to talk it out with Marissa but his drug induced brain couldn’t focus.

So, he went home to get what he needed and runs into his mom, Linda, and Joel.  They argue and as he is leaving he runs into Marissa again with his face all bloodied from the fight he had with his brother.  He asks her to come she won’t so he hops on his Harley and leaves.  Never to return for 10 years.

     The sad thing is Joel’s been dead now 5 years, Marissa has a 5 year old child, his parents are madder than hell and he really can’t tell them too much or he puts them in danger.

This books has so many twist and turns you need a seat belt but man is it good.  Just when you think you have a handle on it think again.  These are some strong characters and you can’t wait to get to the end.  Marissa is force to be reckoned with.  So, watch out.

A HERO'S PRIDE

A HERO'S PRIDE                                       APRIL ANGEL
Posted:  Dec. 23, 2013

A Hero's Pride (BBW Interracial Romance) (Wounded Soldiers #1)Kayla Santomas has never been on a blind date. Ever. One bad marriage and way too many useless relationships have convinced her to allow her best friend to set her up. Tired of dating frogs, she decides she wants dinner with a nice guy as a birthday present to herself. Who knows? He might not be so bad.

After losing part of his leg in Afghanistan, Ryan Mitchell lost interest in dating and even worse, the urge to get aroused. He finally gives into his badgering family and decides to go back into the dating world. What better way to do it than to allow his brother and friend to set him up? According to them, he needs the extra help.

Sparks fly between Kayla and Ryan. Each quickly realizes that they want more time with the other. Hours rush past them in a blur. But when Ryan says something that Kayla misinterprets, will this be the end of a great night? Ryan will have to forget his pride and say what's inside in order to keep her.

Reader Warning: This is a super sexy short that contains: A stubborn war hero, a mouthy Latina, and some incredibly sizzling loving. Your e-reader might need some cooling.


MY REVIEW:


Kayla comes from a well to do family that really wants to see her settled and with a man.  It’s not like she’s never had a man in fact she was married before but that ended in divorce.  Now she just can’t seem to find the right fit.  The blind dates from parents and friends have been nightmares.

     Now she is all most 30 and the “No more frogs” rule she will have to fudge on.  She would like to find the one.  So, she agreed to a hook-up with Ryan Mitchell.  She just hopes he is not a frog.

     Ryan Mitchell has never had a confidence issue before until now.  He had the looks, friends, and fit for military duty.  Yet, was also injured in the military and lost part of his leg.  Now he is not only in pain but he is unsure of everything.  Tired of sad looks he gets for having a prosthetic leg especially from women.

     Watch these two find a place in this world for each other where no one else seems to really see them at least not the real them.  See how they awaken their true selves just by trusting their inner selves. 

     I really enjoyed this book.  However, it did remind me of another book I have on my blog that was almost the same.  Both had similar storyline and outcomes but both equally good.

LAST CHANCE KNIT & STITCH

LAST CHANCE KNIT & STITCH             HOPE RAMSAY
Posted:  Dec. 23, 2013

Last Chance Knit & Stitch by Hope Ramsay  "Last Chance captures the essence of Southern charm and quirkiness. I'm totally captivated!" --- Sherryl Woods, New York Times bestselling author

Molly Canaday wishes she could repair her life as easily as she fixes cars. She was all set to open her own body shop in Last Chance when her mother ran off and left her to manage the family yarn shop instead. Now guided by the unsolicited-though well-intended-advice of the weekly knitting club, Molly works to untangle this mess. But her plan unravels when the new landlord turns out to be difficult-as well as tall, dark, and handsome.

Simon Wolfe returns to quickly settle his father's estate and then leave Last Chance for good. Still wounded by a broken heart, Simon is surprised when the town's charming streets and gentle spirit bring back good memories. Soon the beautiful, strong-willed Molly sparks a powerful attraction that tempts him to break his iron-clad no-commitment rule. Can Simon and Molly find a way to share work space-and build a future together in Last Chance?



MY REVIEW:

        Simon Wolfe has issues with his hometown or should I say the bad memories his hometown bring to mind.  He left home some 19 years ago and has never returned until today, the day of his father’s wake.  He figured he would be in then out again.  He has an art piece that has been commissioned to be done that he has to get back to that is due in two months. 

     But, now at the wake he finds out from his aunt that for the last five years that not only has his mother’s mind been slowly slipping away, but the business, car dealership which employees 40 people, is going belly up.  Everyone is truly expecting him to stay.

     Molly Canaday, the young lady that recued Simon on the side of the rode with the tow truck has her own problems to deal with.  Coach her father is off on a fishing trip, her one lazy brother is just hanging around doing nothing, the other twin (the good one) is off at college, and her mom who owns the Knitting shop that she helps out with when not working at the garage, has run away from home.  And like that is not bad enough she has left Molly in charge of it all.

     Did I happen to mention that her mother did everything for family like cooking, cleaning, laundry grocery shopping and paying the bills?  Yeah, well, Molly does not do any of those things at all. With maybe the exception of buying groceries.  Now, the light bulb has just gone off.  Not good.  Let’s just say Molly is not happy, because of her mother running away from home has really made her have to really take a look at her own life to see where she needed to make some changes.

     What did she see?  No man (a grease monkey), which was okay with her, no southern lady (made everyone else nervous), a girl who liked to knit who wanted to open her own body shop not run her mom’s yarn shop.  So now what?  You will have to read it and see.  I really had a fun time reading this one.  Provided by netgalley.com

 


MARRIED FOR CHRISTMAS

MARRIED FOR CHRISTMAS                  NOELLE ADAMS
Posted:  Dec. 23, 2013

Married for Christmas by Noelle  Adams     After years of dreaming, Jessica is finally getting married, but the marriage isn't exactly what she thought.

Daniel is her best friend, and she's known him all her life, but he's never gotten over losing his wife two years ago. His dream is to become the pastor of the church in their hometown, but the small-town congregation keeps balking over calling an unmarried minister. Since Daniel needs a wife and Jessica wants a husband and family, she proposes an arrangement that benefits both of them.

They can get married. They can build a life together. They can celebrate Christmas as a couple. It's fine that he doesn't love her. And it's fine that she's not exactly suited to be a small-town pastor's wife. And it's fine that she's more attracted to her sexy, brooding husband every day.

Jessica can be practical about this marriage. She knows what she's getting into, after all...

This book includes fully-developed sex scenes between a husband and wife.


MY REVIEW:


     Jessica and Daniel grew up together.  They were friends in the same town in fact he lived next door.  When they went to college Daniel found Lila his one true love that God had sent him.

     Lila was the perfect pastor’s wife too.  She could cook, clean, sew, host parties, you name it she could do it.  After eight years together she was killed in a car accident.  Now even though Daniel and Jessica had grown up together when Lila met Jessica at the church that they attended at college it pulled them together as friends again only through Lila.

     After she died they stayed friends who helped each other through the loss.  They had a comfortable relationship.  Daniel was in need of a new church and was really hoping to get his church back in their hometown.  The elders were saying that he was not married and he was too young but not being married was the main problem.  So, Jessica came up with a plan.

     They she get married, so that he could get his church and she could get a family with children and a husband.
There doesn’t have to be any love connection just friendship, understanding and a goal was her argument.
Yet, Jessica felt more alone then she had ever felt and Daniel felt more guilt than ever for moving on with his life.

     Will they be able to make this marriage work?  Will it truly be a normal marriage?  Can they be happy by tearing down the wall and allow trust, love, and happiness to replace loneliness, fear, and pain? 

     I did enjoy this book just felt sad for each of them at different times and wanted to shake them at others.  Provided by netgalley.com

    
 

A CHRISTMAS FOR CARRIE

A CHRISTMAS FOR CARRIE                  ALISON PACKARD
Posted: Dec. 23, 2013

A Christmas for Carrie by Alison PackardThe very thought of Christmas is enough to darken Carrie Jones's day. "Jingle Bells" and eggnog? Not for this girl; not anymore. But running into a handsome old crush might make this year different…

Home to celebrate with his parents, Nick Johnson loves the holidays and all that comes with them, from trips to the tree lot to the very last strand of tinsel. Stunned to bump into Carrie while on a coffee run, he realizes that his former study buddy has grown into a drop-dead-gorgeous woman. One with whom he'd like to share all the joys—and hidden pleasures—of the season.

Spending time with Nick and his warm, close-knit family, Carrie can't help but feel the very beginnings of that elusive Christmas spirit. She's falling in love with all of them...until an unexpected visitor arrives. It will take putting her trust in Nick—and all her newfound happiness—to overcome the ghosts of Christmases past.

MY REVIEW:



  I have to tell you I really enjoyed this book.  At first I wasn’t sure.  The synopsis sounded interesting but once you got into it and you see how much Carrie Jones hates Christmas and why it seemed a little depressing even with the sexy Nick Johnson thrown into the mix.

     When Carrie says she hates Christmas she means everything…music, parties, decorations, lights, trees all of it.  Then in the parking lot of Starbuck she runs into her high school all-time crush, Nick, her “Study Buddy” as he calls her.  He says he thought of her often saying if it weren’t for he would not have made it to college or have the business of being a sports agent.  In her head she is saying, “Yeah, Right!”  She knows he was always crushing over a certain cheerleader who never knew he was alive because she thought he was a geek like her.  But, now they are both swans. 

     Nick gets her number and says he will call her and wow he really does.  One date leads to several since he is visiting his parents for a month.  Nick makes a deal with her to allow him to help her change her mind about liking Christmas.  Nick is so sweet and gentle with her they make a great couple.  Sex is steamy when they finally get there so beware.  What happens when Nick goes back to San Francisco and Carrie is left behind?

     Read and find out.  There are some heart breaking moments with her and her mom too.  Where she tries to find out why Christmas’ were so bad.  Why did you always ruin that holiday?  I have to say it turned out to be a really good book.  Provided by netgalley.com

THE WINNING SEASON

THE WINNING SEASON                       ALISON PACKARD
Posted:  Dec. 23, 2013

The Winning Season by Alison Packard
  Kelly Maxwell has finally landed her dream job as publicist for the San Francisco Blaze. But the team's newest member, handsome bad boy catcher Matt Scanlon, is refusing every interview. She's got to get him to open up before the season ends, or she may not be back next year. And after everything she overcame to achieve her dream, Kelly's not about to let that happen.

Matt Scanlon just wants to be left alone to rebuild his life and his career. After a year of masking the pain of a recent loss with hard partying and fast women, he finally hit rock bottom and was traded to a team he's loathed his entire life—a team with little to no chance at the post-season.

Butting heads is getting Kelly and Matt nowhere but annoyed, and with the team's schedule on the road, they can't avoid close quarters—or their surprising attraction to one another. As the season winds down, Matt finds his growing feelings for Kelly have brought his numbed emotions back to life. But when betrayal shatters their fragile trust, winning it all seems more impossible than ever.


MY REVIEW:



     Okay, truthfully I think I put off reading this book just so I could keep the cover on my phone.  Right you feeling me ladies?  Really though, I totally enjoyed this book.  It has so much going on in its 23 chapters.  You get two strong willed, sexually charged, bantering, funny, hurting, struggling and pure enemies that turns into friendship then more.  Wow, that was a lot of words.  But this has a lot packed in it.

     Kelly Maxwell is a spunky 30 year old who works as a publicist for the San Francisco Blaze baseball team.  She has been raised with her sister by her parents and a daddy who love the Blaze (all things baseball really) and hot rods.  She couldn’t play in the MLB, so she got as close as she could.  She does however play a mean game of fast pitch co-ed softball.  All or nothing for her.  At 6’0’’ she never felt girly like her sister who is an actress on a soap opera and is big breasted to boot.  In fact Kelly had an eating disorder at one time trying to be like all the other girls.  The thing was boobs don’t grow and she was not going to shrink.

     Matt Scanlan had a rough year with the Dodgers and was traded to the Blaze.  He met Kelly through Sean his best friend since he was ten.  Sean is Kelly’s sister Kayla’s boyfriend.  It was during Matt’s darkest hours of his life when he met her.  It was instant hate, especially since he was drooling over her sister at the time and Kelly was not drooling over him.  That bothered him so he was rude and hateful to her.  Saying mean and hurtful things, as did she.

Never knowing soon after Matt would be traded to the team Kelly worked for so she would have to see him all the time and work with him.

     Since him would not tell anyone what caused him to be so outlandish.  Causing the Dodgers to trade him in the first place everyone just thought he turned into an ass.  Including Kelly.  What is it Matt can’t talk about?  Can Kelly figure it out?

     Will Matt learn to trust again once he becomes friends with Kelly?  How does Kelly’s Dad play a part in all this relationship of them playing nicely?  You will have to read and find out.  Provided by Netgalley.com

UNTIL YOU LOVED ME (Silver Springs #3)

UNTIL YOU LOVED ME                             BRENDA NOVAK Sometimes starting over means finding everything you’ve been missing… After ...