THE GUEST COTTAGE

THE GUEST COTTAGE                                NANCY THAYER
Posted:  June 11, 2015

The Guest Cottage by Nancy ThayerThe New York Times bestselling author of Nantucket Sisters whisks readers away to the island of Nantucket in this delightful story about two single parents who accidentally rent the same house one sunny summer.

Wendy Anderson is 35, the mother of two children, and happily married—until she discovers her husband Zack has cheated on her. Confused, angry, and lost, she rents a house on Nantucket for two summer months. When she and her children arrive at Isle Stay, she discovers that Trevor Black, 30, recently widowed, and his son Dylan, 5, have also rented the house. Neither one is willing to give up their much-needed vacations, so Wendy and Trevor devise a plan to share the house for the summer. Preparing meals in their one kitchen, Wendy and Trevor become friends, and chemistry builds throughout the seabreezy summer. But the house is full of their children, and neither is sure they’re ready to move on after recent heartbreaks. Over the last sun-soaked weekend of the summer, as chaos reigns and emotions run as high as the temperatures, Wendy must decide where her heart truly lies.
 

MY REVIEW:
     When you're young and find love you think it will be forever.  The thing is it doesn’t always take you long to find out that you have been looking through rose colored glasses. 
     That is exactly what happened with Sophie Anderson.  She had been married 16 years, had 2 children, Jonah 15, and Lacey 10.  The rug was pulled out from under her when she found an entry on her husband Zack’s computer entered on his calendar.  “Discuss div with S.”  She had hoped it didn’t mean what she first thought but it did.  But deep down she knew that the bubble that they had lived or should she say she lived in burst a long time ago.  She was just content to raise her kids, have a nice roof over their heads and money in the bank.
     When she had confronted Zack he said that she shouldn’t have so surprised they were really not a couple anymore anyway that she had shut him out when the children came.  What he was really saying was, “I AM NOT NUMBER ONE!”
That they had drifted apart and that the children had become the center of her world.  The fact that she was not yelling, crying or asking for him to stay said it all!  Because all she was worried about was how the kids would react.
     Sophie asked him if there was a chance if they could work it out he flat out said no.  That Lila made him feel wanted, loved, young and alive.  So, they decided they would hold off until after the summer as to not ruin it for them.  Sophie used her inheritance she was left from her Aunt Fancy for July and August, since Zach refused to pay it for her and the kids to have that time together.
     Upon arriving there they explored the guest cottage as Susie Swenson called it, her friend, explained that it was large when really it was like a hotel.  Soon after arriving, a young man and his son, in his 30’s, arrived saying that they were also renting the house from Ivan Swenson.  Ivan and Susie Swenson are cousins.  Since Sophie had spun a yarn about their dad not coming because he was overlooking the work that was being done on the house.  When in reality he was moving in with Lila.  Trevor couldn’t leave either because he had sublet out his apartment for two months.  So, they decided to stay at the cottage since it’s so big.
     What’s the story with Trevor you ask?  Well, he is a widower.  His actress wife Tallulah died not long ago.  She was found from a drug overdose.  Leaving behind now 4 year old Leo.  Who has picked up some OCD traits and is afraid of his own shadow.
     Once moving in with the Anderson’s their lives change, at the cottage, them and the Anderson’s see positive changes and heartaches.
     I totally enjoyed this book.  The characters are all bigger than life yet they all have their own gentleness and spunk.  You will not regret reading this book.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by Net Galley. 
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BETWEEN EVERYTHING AND US

BETWEEN EVERYTHING AND US                REBECCA PAULA
Posted:  June 11, 2015

Between Everything and Us by Rebecca PaulaMatisse Evans is determined to make her sophomore year of college successful after failing out of a prestigious art school and spending a horribly boring gap year at home. Despite her focus, time isn't on her side as she struggles to hold down three jobs so she can afford her first apartment while juggling course work. In the chaos of it all, Beau Grady moves in and shakes up her world. A college dropout and tattooed bad boy, the rumors about Beau mean one thing for Matisse—trouble. Paralyzed by the fear that she's missing out on life, Matisse discovers plans may unravel, but what rises in their wake can be worth the uncertainty.

After spending the summer couch surfing, Beau Grady moves into an empty room at his ex-girlfriend’s Portland bungalow, skipping his senior year of college to spend his days working at a Vietnamese food cart instead. Once a star hockey player and gifted student, he’s put his life on hold after receiving a life-altering diagnosis, complacent to live in the moment. Hiding behind false rumors and bad habits, Beau falls for Matisse, letting her believe the worst until their relationship blooms into something they both can’t ignore. Falling for her means having to face a future he’d rather forget, but loving her just might be worth it.

MY REVIEW:
     When you have an autoimmune disease/chronic illness it makes it hard to adjust to a new normal.  That is exactly what is happening to 22 year old Beau Grady who found out 2 years ago he has MS.  That day he woke up and he could not move his legs.  It was by far the scariest day ever of his life and still is.
     What makes it even worse is there is only a handful of people that know what is wrong with him.  Boy have the rumors been flying.  He can’t seem to care since he is just trying to exist at this point.  He is trying to work up the nerve to tell one special girl what is wrong but he can’t since he really hasn’t wrapped his own head around it.  So how can he expect her to wrap her head around it let alone her heart?
     That special person would be Matisse (Mati) Evans.  She’s this girl who seems to have her own troubles.  She seems so prim and proper and on a schedule that leaves her so exhausted.  She pushes herself way too hard.  From day one Beau has loved just about everything about her.  From the way she cusses like a truck driver, to speaking her mind, and calling him on his shit.  Yet, she can do it with a smile mostly and kindness.
     Mati is smitten with Beau but knows by all the women he brings home to his bed that she is not his type or even in the girl’s league.  That smile of his and those dimples can cause any woman the big “O.”  Plus for sure the way he makes jabs at her tells her that he sees her as a girl not as a woman on his level.
     There is this force that keeps pulling them together and then rips a wedge between them.  Making you believe that they are beyond hope.  Until Christmas break things change but will it be for the best or will it only cause more doubts and heartache?  For her, if his truth is revealed, are they ones worth fighting for or saving a friendship that could lead to more?  Illness and Heartache… I give this 5 stars.  Provided by Net Galley.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com

COWBOY VALENTINE

COWBOY VALENTINE                                 MIA HOPKINS
Posted:  June 11, 2015

Cowboy Valentine by Mia HopkinsForget chocolate and flowers. This homegrown honey is all the sweetness he craves.

Small-town life is nothing but a waiting room for eighteen-year-old honor student Corazón Gomez. Work and school leave little time for love, but with a full-ride Ivy League scholarship and a one-way ticket out of the boondocks, who needs it?

The answer appears on Valentine’s Day when her old cowboy crush ambles into the ice cream parlor where she works, inviting her to go on a late-night ride in his truck. For the first time she wavers between staying on the straight and narrow, and going off-road with the handsome heartbreaker.

After four years working on ranches all over the country, Caleb MacKinnon is back on the family farm helping out his mom and brothers while his father fights cancer. The one bright spot: smart, funny, and wickedly sexy Cora.

From the start, they both know this blazing-hot love affair can’t last. But when autumn comes and Cora has to leave for the East Coast, Caleb must find a solution to keep himself—and his heart—from falling apart.

Warning: Contains hard, cherry-poppin’ sex in a pickup truck and a cowboy charmer who talks dirty in two languages.

MY REVIEW:
     This story is about a very smart American-Mexican, (18), young lady by the name of Corazon (Cora) Gomez.  She was smart enough to know that she wanted out of the boondock down so she studied and applied herself.  Enough to get her a full ride to Brown and Ivy League school.  Yet, she never learned how to kiss or date.
     What she kept in focus was that her mother had her at 16, left her with her grandmother, and bailed out of town as fast as she could.  So she studied hard and worked hard to save.  She needed to get out and stay out of town.  Only to visit her grandmother on occasion. 
     On Valentine’s Day of all days a man she crushed on for years moved 4 years ago.  Looks like he has now come home again.  Who you ask… Caleb MacKennon was in fact the man she dreamed about for years.  So when he asked if she wanted to go for a ride she said yes right after she closed the ice cream shop she was working at.  Before he left town he stopped at the liquor store to get alcohol and who knows what else.
     She told him once they got to the overlook of their town that she had never been on a date, had a kiss, or had sex.  Then she ask him to show her before she leaves off to college in 6 weeks.  He asks her during each step being loving caring. 
Once he breaks through her virginity he is rough and hard.  It becomes all about him not one thing about her joy and comfort.  He becomes almost possessed.  When he goes to drop her off he ask when she leaves she says Aug. he says wow Feb. to Aug.  She says we shouldn’t get involved I don’t need a boyfriend since I’m leaving.  He says well either do I.
     He asks her what time she gets off work.  She says we shouldn’t see each other again.  He repeats more forcefully, “What time?”  So she tells him.  When she sees on his arm, “Heartbreaker” at that moment in the daylight she saw the danger in his eyes.  She didn’t need to fall in love that’s for sure.  Really though he got that tattoo that matches his dad Dale’s.  He got it one night when he was drunk after he found out his dad’s cancer was back.  As much as he loved his family he was now drunk on Cora.
     That first night didn’t shake her.  If anything she became more outspoken and into her own.  Almost empowered.  Caleb may have been her teacher but Cora had control of his heart. And he was a goner but oh so willing.
     See how these two make this non-relationship work.  How they both have to learn how to give and take in and out of the truck???  Hahaha!  Cora’s time in Oleander is limited so Caleb feels as if the clock ticking.  This is an erotica with a love story.

WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN

WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN                  BETH RINYU
Posted:  June 11, 2015

When the Chips are Down by Beth RinyuMelanie Hanson's life didn't go quite the way she had planned. Her cheating ex-husband traded her in for a newer model and she’s in over her head dealing with the drama that comes along with raising her twin teenage daughters.
The last thing she is looking for or needs in her life is a man - or is it?
Ben Wilder is the boy that Melanie loved to hate throughout high school, the boy that all the girls loved and the boy that didn't give Melanie the time of day, unless it was to tease her. When she runs into him once again she realizes...he’s not a boy anymore. Older and wiser, she’s determined not to fall for her secret crush from all those years ago. But sometimes our heart has different plans than our head. Will she finally get her happily ever after with the man she least expected to have it with?
Take a humorous journey with Melanie and her daughters as their lives begin to parallel and they discover that although they may be separated by a generation their struggles are still the same.
*Book 1 of The Three Of A Kind Series 

MY REVIEW:
     This by far has to be one of the most enjoyable books I have read.  This was so laugh out loud funny it made it effortlessly enjoyable to read.  Each character has their moment at least once if not several times to take the lime light.  Yet, there are some very tender moments that are so heartwarming that you realize just how truly gifted this writer is.
     The story line mainly revolves around Melanie Hanson, 37 and her two twin daughters Gia and Carrie Maynard (16).  Of course what would a special or should I say non-special appearance be by her ex Alec and his oh so young ex-mistress and now new wife and mother of his new bouncing baby boy, Amber, (24) be if not exciting.
     Two years since her divorce and all she does is get up, get the girls off to school, work at her bridal salon (that she is part owner with mom,) come home cook dinner, visit with the girls and start all over again.  The last 2 years they go to their dad’s every-other-weekend and this weekend was extend due to vacation.  So Jodi who has been her best friend since 6th grade books them a mini vacation to Cancun, Mexico.  When you are with Jodi you never know what’s going to happen this mini vacation was no exception.  She thought that 2 years without my vajayjay being visited by anything other than my super powered shower head.  They were going dancing and drinking.
     It’s all fun and games until you wake up next to the most gorgeous, muscled, and sexy naked man she’d ever seen.  Damn he couldn’t be more than 25.  Oh no when she looks down she’s naked too.  She very gently gets up not to disturb him she gets dressed.  She finds one of her shoes but can’t find the other until she sees it under him… She can’t believe what a perfect specimen like himself would ever see in a much old woman with, “Oh No!  I had twin’s scars!” 
     She’s been home back in the swing of things when she goes into work her mom says she has someone in to fix that leak in the sink.  Melanie goes to put her lunch in the refrigerator and she sees the guy under the sink and sees by his junk that that is not elderly Tony the man that normally does it.
     As she goes walking back in the direction of the front of the store she hears this guy cussing up a loud storm.  She laughs and says what happened to Tony?  Her mom said he just sent him his nephew.  What the heck is going on back there is all she could think of.  Her mom goes down to the coffee shop to get them some coffees when she decides to do her makeup before the store opens. 
     When all of a sudden the guy sneaks up behind her making her drop her very expensive face powder.  When she turns to scream at him her air is cut off and she can’t speak.  She knows him.  He made her life a living hell, for two years in high school.  Calling her, “Smellanie” OMG! None it’s none other than Ben Wilder, (39), who sat behind her in French class.  Seems he has no clue who she even is or was.
     On one of her many calls throughout the day Melanie fills Jodi in on who and what the kids are doing.  She tells her that she ran into Ben.  It was the girl’s weekend with their dad so Jodi said they were going out.  Well, who do they run into?  Ben and his friend Rick.  By the end of the night Rick and Jodi were paired off and Ben and she were too.  The affair started soon after hot and heavy.  Ben is always holding back and never shows emotion.  Other than when he’s having sex.  I mean no one knows he has a son for a while that in fact goes to school at the same high school as Melanie’s girls.
     Life becomes crazy when they realize their kids go to the same school.  Events that happen are beyond funny.  You will not regret reading this story.  You will find yourself at times picking sides and then jumping sides.  But all the time you know Melanie loves her girls and they love her.  I give this 5++++ stars.  Provided by Net Galley.
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Extreme Prey (Lucas Davenport #26)

EXTREME PREY                                               JOHN SANDFORD After the events in  Gathering Prey , Lucas Davenport finds him...