Posted:  Nov. 24, 2014

Alex by Sawyer BennettHockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn’t afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn’t so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.

As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people—like Alex, who’s been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team’s effort to clean up his image. What she doesn’t expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn’t one to cross professional boundaries—and besides, Alex doesn’t do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex’s bad-boy façade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.

  This I have to say was an amazing story.  If you have come from an out of control childhood or are living in a relationship that is…this story will hit some sore spots for sure.  Yet, with such a sense of hope to know there is always hope for you and those living with their addiction.  May take a few times to work and others may not at all.
     This story is about Alex Crossman, mid-twenties, plays hockey for the Carolina Cold Fury, #67.  Alex has a bit of an attitude problem as well as a real hate for his profession causing a disassociation with the team, the fans, and life in general.  What no one knows is Alex’s dad was not only his first coach but his constant abuser after his mother died.  His father’s drinking got out of control and he would verbally and physically abuse him. 
     Now that he’s a pro, it makes no difference to his father. After every game he calls in a drunken stooper to tell him what he has done wrong and that he’s worthless.  He has really learned to hate hockey and life.  He doesn’t know how to take praise hence no friends on the team because no matter what they say he does not respond correctly to them.
Being a star player though he’s the MVP= Most Valuable Prick in his case.  The press and his fans have a field day with that one but as long as he is winning they put up with him but barely.  So, management takes a stand.  They send him to do volunteer work with a counselor at an At-Risk Anti-Drug Center which he would have done if they asked him but now that they are making him he is fighting it because they are making him.  He is pissed because he will have to work closely with this guy and Alex thinks that “I will not make it easy for him.”  Because the guy will have to report back to management. 
     Except when he gets to the office he is running a half hour late.  Which does not go good for him to begin with.  He gets there and there is a pretty lady working at the desk.  He gives his name, ask to see Sutton Price, and she ask him to have a seat.  He says no and then ask her out.  She says no.  Then the real receptionist comes back and relieves the person sitting at the desk.  When she stands and then turns to Alex and says, “Please follow me Mr. Crossman.”  He looks surprised to find out that she is in fact Sutton Price the one he is to work with.  Which is not good since he was looking forward to trying to talk her into his bed.  Sutton is 22 years old, a college graduate with a masters.  She is already not impressed with his lack of consideration for others and their time when for their first meeting he’s 30 minutes late. 
     They both need each other, her this is a chance to get ahead in the profession she loves, in a profession that means a great deal to her. To him it could mean his career.  So they will need to work together or at least meet each other half way.  She was attracted to him as he was to her.  Sutton still sees him as a celebrity who is arrogant and thinks he’s entitled.  And Alex looks at her as the lady that holds his career in the palm of her hand.  When he hands her the letter from the front office that is sealed, she reads it.  Then hands it to him to read.  It’s the guidelines that have to be met by him or else.  Then he sees it says, don’t let him read it.  He laughs within.  She tells him she doesn’t like to have to babysit him and that she would much rather he do what he is supposed to do.  Meaning to get to appointments on time.
     He has homework on this day but something Sutton says sets him off and he walks out.  Not taking the homework with him.  Sutton knows there is something deep rooted she has seen the signs before even in herself.  You see Sutton comes from a dysfunctional background too so she herself has fought hard to overcome her demons.    
     Watch this couple as they dance through the mind-fields of their pasts.  Only deal with some harshness in their present but they have to walk through it to get to their futures.  Do they have it in them?  The supporting characters are so interesting they keep you engaged.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by Net Galley.
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INDECENT PROPOSAL                              MOLLY O'KEEFE
Posted:  Nov.  24, 2014

Indecent Proposal by Molly O'KeefeWith his chiseled jaw and his thick blond hair, Harrison Montgomery was born to lead. Four generations of Montgomery men have served the state of Georgia and now he’s next in line. Harrison, though, is driven to right wrongs: namely to clean up the political mess left by his father’s greed and corruption. But Harrison must first win his congressional bid, and nothing can get in his way—not even an angel who served him whiskey and gave him a shoulder to lean on and a body to love for a night. Problem is, she’s pregnant. Scandal is brewing and there is only one solution: marriage.

Damage control? Ryan Kaminski can’t believe that a cold, calculating political animal now inhabits the body of the emotionally vulnerable stranger who’d given her the most unforgettable night of her life. Really, she doesn’t want anything from Harrison, except to be left alone to have her baby in peace. But Ryan is broke, jobless, and essentially blackmailed by Harrison’s desperate family to accept this crazy marriage deal. For two years, she will have to act the role of caring, supportive wife. But what is Ryan supposed to do when she realizes that, deep in her heart, she’s falling in love.

     Can you call a one nighter that produces a baby a relationship?  It’s happened more than we have time to talk about.  What are the odds when one of the parties lies about who they are?  When you find out that you had waited 4 years to be with someone sexually again because your first husband was such a peach do you have a right to be mad?  That’s what Ryan Kaminski wants to know.
     She was kicked out of the family home due to poor decisions.  She moves to NY and gets a modeling contract.  Until she was known as “difficult.”  So, bartending helped pay the bills.  This is where she meets Harrison Montgomery from Atlanta, Georgia.  He is in politics the same as his father who was Vice President of the United States.  He comes into the bar where she works and orders a beer on tap for 3 solid days on the 4th he orders a hard liquor, downing them fast.
Ryan tries to ease the effects of too much alcohol all at once by giving him the chicken and waffle meal.  He eats most of it.
     The next thing you know they are talking such foreplay at work.  It’s all fun.  She asks where his room is and the number.  He gives it to her and she shows up.  It’s bim bam thank you ma’am.  They have only exchanged first names Ryan and Harry.  Now you may notice that one of those names is altered.  Well, she doesn’t figure that out until a week or so after she finds out she’s pregnant and she passes out at home from morning sickness all the time and not eating.
     Her brother finds her calls 911 she wakes up tells her brother parts of the story about Harry.  Wes is not happy.  Then they are watching TV together in the hospital room and they are talking about a senator’s sister that was kidnapped.  Her brother turns the sound up.  When she looks up there’s Harry.  That’s what she says too, “That’s him, Harry!”  Wes explains to her no he’s Harrison Montgomery and that he lied to her.
     Wes thinks she should contact him and tell him.  She says no, that if he wanted her in his life he would have given his right name or contacted her already.  Harrison is thinking of her but feels he has nothing to offer her especially “time.”  Wes being her big brother can’t take no for an answer.  When he barges in on Harrison and his parents he doesn’t know it the press is there and…
     This was such a good book.  Funny, heartwarming, sad, and the characters totally engulf you.  They were frustrating, maddening, and endearing also.  This is so emotional and if you have ever been pregnant I can’t imagine going through half of this.  I give this book 5 stars.  Provide by Net Galley.
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Posted:  Nov. 24, 2014

Treasure on Lilac Lane by Donna AlwardOnce upon a time, Rick Sullivan had a promising future. One of Jewell Cove's star athletes and reigning heartthrobs, he joined the Marines and had the world in the palm of his hand…until it all came crashing down. His honorable discharge doesn't make him the hometown hero everyone wants him to be, and there's little reprieve from the demons that haunt him at night. Still, even though it seems that all hope is gone, fate has something else in store…

Just hearing Rick's name is enough to give Jess Collins a headache. Years ago, they'd been close. Now she barely knows the man Rick has become since his return from service…then again, Jess isn't that same young, naïve girl anymore either. And while there's a powerful attraction between them—one that yields a greater passion than Jess could have ever imagined—both are wary about opening their hearts to love…and loss. But happy endings don't come easily when long-buried secrets insist on rising to the surface. Will their pasts tear them apart—or can love find a way to heal them both?

     She was 17 and he was 20 when she finally got her first kiss from Rick Sullivan behind the sand dunes.  He was part of the family really, he was her brother and two cousin’s best friend.  Jess Collin now 28, is still pissed that her brother Josh and her two cousin’s Bryce and Tom are still friends with the guy that kisses her once then runs away and joins the Marines.  Then, he comes back missing a hand and has PTSD.  Like that’s not enough he finds out soon after returning that his mom is dying of a terminal cancer.
     So, what’s a guy to do with all that pressure, anger, and fear?  Well, for Rick he turned to booze in a big way.  Causing him to visit the “Pokie” a couple of times care of his best friend and Jess’s cousin now the Chief of Police Bryce.  Not plus the gal he’s been crushing on for forever is not one of his biggest fans now, for sure.  She in fact bashes him every chance she gets. 
     But, on her death bed Roberta, Rick’s mom ask that Rick stop drinking for good and he did promise her.  Doing so he releases, all errs that have happened to him, by painting, it calms him.  It really saves his life.
     I enjoyed this story just so much.  It had so much emotion is just the short amount of pages that it had on my kindle phone edition.  It tells such a loving story of what one of our service men goes through as he tries to acclimate himself back into his life.  But when you get to much put on you all at once like Rick does it takes a strong woman like Jess the most unlikely person to just be your friend again.  They learn to form a civil open line of communication which is really nice.  Not easy but nice. 
I give this story 5 stars.  Provided by Net Galley.
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LET’S WELCOME SHIRLEY JUMP   AUTHOR OF: Rad-Reader:  How did you come up with this concept for this book? Sh...