CALLING IT

CALLING IT                   JEN DOYLE

Baseball player Nathan Hawkins needs to get away from Chicago. After a near career-ending car accident and with paparazzi surrounding his penthouse, Nate can only think of one place to go: home. But when he finds his old apartment occupied by a half-naked woman wielding a baseball bat, he's not sure what to think...except that maybe his luck has finally changed for the better.

Librarian Dorie Donelli never thought she'd get to meet her fantasy man in person--much less while she's wearing her bathrobe. To her surprise, her nearly naked run-in with Nate leads to more unclothed encounters. But Dorie is sure their fling is only temporary. As long as she remembers he'll be gone once his life gets back on track, she won't get hurt. In the meantime, she throws herself into enjoying their three weeks together before he has to report for spring training and go back to his old life.

For Nate, being with Dorie is the only time in months that he finds himself smiling. Laughing. And he has no intention of letting that go. He might even be falling in love...if only Dorie will let him say the words. What they have isn't just a dream, but the start of a dream come true.
 

MY REVIEW:
         Nathan Hawkins, a catcher for the Watchman a recent free agent change.  But in a blink of an eye his whole world was turned upside down.  Exactly like the car he was driving in did when he injured his knee.  It was not clear right away so it was hitting the media in a blitz that was horrible for his career.  Not to mention his fiancĂ©e at the time was in the car and had lost her baby for she was pregnant.  It was not his but in fact his best friends from the team he was just traded from.
     She ends up publicly breaking up with him which of course was a bomb shell but it was fine with him.  Especially since she cheated on him.  The other firebomb from it was that since normal practice is to take a breathalyzer, which he gladly did, since he had not been drinking.  Yet, that was causing speculation without cause to say that it was Nate’s fault that a young boy was hurt along with his mother.  His new team with management was taking the high road.  He was on his own.  The radio and TV jocks were having a field day.  He needed a change.  It was time to go home to Iowa. 
     He knew it had been two years since he had really been home or connected you know really connected with his friends and family.  Basically since he gotten together with Courtney.  Not that he blamed her for it he was a big boy and that accident was making a lot of things clearer.  As he was thinking things over he saw flashing lights in his rear view mirror and then the loud speaker blows out words that make him laugh.  It turns out to be an old friend from high school Tuck he hadn’t seen him in thirteen years.  They caught up for a bit and then Tuck asked so where are you planning on staying you did call ahead now didn’t you?  No, he said just over to his mom’s he said.  Well told him he might want to find another place that his mama has a sleepover he had been told.  When he was asked who he said he didn’t want to know and neither do you.
     Having three sisters Nate knew he could stay with them but one he paid rent on one of their apartments, Fitz.  He lets himself in it’s so late but music is playing in the bathroom and a casserole is on the oven.  As he is hunched over eating, coming out of the bathroom yelling, “Tommyyyy!”  But she stopped dead in her tracks because you see since she never expected company since she had just started this job.  She was from Boston.  All her family was there all six overly protective brothers with keys.  So surprise visits she expected at some point but come on it had only been three weeks. 
     But this wasn’t Tommy without her glasses or contacts on from being in the tub she couldn’t see who it was but by the build she knew it wasn’t him or really any of her brothers but it was a lot like the guy, pro baseball player Nathan Hawkins, she was just fantasizing about and using those jets for.  Okay change in subject.   So she says, “Which one of my brothers sent you to check up on me?”  Which he had no clue what she was talking about.  When he says great casserole.  Was he laughing?
     When the guy spoke he had a smirk to his voice and said, One, sorry about the casserole it was great though.  Two, I don’t know your brothers.  Stepping back a few steps she reaches for the bat that was left by her landlord that has a brother who is a baseball fan collector.  She picks up the bat and by the way she has a perfect stance but doesn’t know her robe has not come undone, then ask who he is?  He points to the bat and say DB and she says what?  He says again on the bat DB.  Then he says Fitz moved out?  She says Fitz is my landlord.  He’s like yeah my sister, then she saw similar dynamics.  She said sit tight she went and got dressed put on her glasses and called Fitz about DB and yes he was telling the truth.
     When Fitz wants to talk to him she goes out and his back is to her and she tells him Fitz wants to talk to you.  When he turns around he looks defeated.  But she is about to have a heart attack because he is really Nathan Hawkins.  She hands him the phone turns and walks to her room to start changing the sheets.  Her fantasy since she was thirteen is now sitting in her dining area.  When Nate saw her in her glasses he gets twice as hard than when her robe opened up.  Especially, when she took the perfect batter's stance.  Are you kidding me she is a fantasy to all guys.  He was a goner.
     This was a perfect mix of family saga which I love and love story.  You have two people who have the same end game but different ideas on how they will be affected if something should go wrong.  Hearts and feelings are exposed and all kinds of funny.  I give this 5++++ stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

SILENT HEARTS

SILENT HEARTS              MELISSA WEST

The Hamilton brothers have horse racing in their blood, and their sprawling Kentucky farm is the family's pride and joy. But they've got plenty of passion to spare…
Nick Hamilton has always known he'd take the reins of the family business when his father died, but that doesn't make it any easier when the time comes. Especially with his two siblings tempted by a shrewd offer from a huge corporation to buy Hamilton Industries. Needing advice, Nick turns to his sensible childhood friend, Becca Stark—and finds her suddenly grown-up beauty ignites brand-new confusion, and crystal clear desire…

Becca has loved Nick for as far back as she can remember, but she decided long ago that telling him would be a mistake. Stubborn, strong Nick doesn't see her as anything but the tomboy she used to be—or does he? As she helps him untangle his feelings about the ranch's future, the familiar bond between them heats into an explosive attraction—and the kind of love that just might take the lead…

MY REVIEW:
     Best friends are awesome and Nick Hamilton had found his at the age of eight.  Yet, he lost his heart at the age of ten.  That girl was Becca Stark.  Now their thirty-three and he feels more unsettled than ever.
     You see Nick comes from what most would call the royal Hamilton family.  There is Trip the eldest son who handles the Stables, Nick handles Industries, and Alex the Breeding.  Yet, when their father passed Nick became robotic.  In a very short time he had lost three very important and close people in his life.
     Because he was going to be working in the business end of it he had gone to an Ivy League school.  While there he met a girl Britt that he fell in love with.  He brings her home with him never telling the one person he had no secrets from or at least she thought they never did, Becca.  So when she got all ready and did herself up all nice and pretty and went to meet up with him and guess who was with him?  Britt.  She was heartbroken.  To find out he was engaged to another woman was a lot to take in and that is when she knew at that moment.  She knew she would never be more than that tomboy best friend to him and nothing more.
     She had left Kentucky nursing program to care for her ill grandmother when no one else in her family would.  It broke her heart when she passed Nick was there for her when she passed just like she was there for him when his mama passes and when Britt ended up passing.  But the one that just did him in was when his dad passed.  He couldn’t go home for a long time so he stayed with her for at least a month if not more.  But he changed after all that.  He crawled into himself and started spending more and more time with her.  He wasn’t with her with her but the town was talking, his family was talking and her customers at the diner were too.  Yeah she was a diner waitress and even though the people liked her they didn’t think she was good enough to be with royalty like Nick.  So when they heard he was sweet on someone from the family and from the ranch staff they just knew it couldn’t be her.  The town was split half and half for her and half against.
     When Becca finally caught the gossip she heard he was dating a doctor.  So once again she wasn’t good enough and also not a friend enough for him to tell her he was dating. 

     This book is like the game of telephone.  You tell the first person and they tell someone and they tell someone and see where your message ends up and how it comes out.  It is very cute and the characters are very down to earth.  It is about two hearts that fell in love before ever telling their owners.  By the time they caught on they had made one royal mess of things.  It wasn’t until another guy starts to really see Becca before Nick sees Becca.  Interesting.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

THE NANNY WITH THE SKULL TATTOOS

THE NANNY WITH THE SKULL TATTOOS         ELIZABETH BARONE

Single dad Max isn’t looking for love—he only needs someone to help take care of his two-year-old daughter, Chloe. Or so he thinks. After being kicked out of his parents’ house, he’s determined to make it on his own. But juggling a full-time job, an undergrad program, and childcare is pretty much impossible. When his best friend jokingly suggests he post an ad for a live-in nanny on Craigslist, he goes for it. After all, he has nothing to lose… right? 

When artist Savannah quickly responds to his ad, Max is thrilled. Her resume is perfect and Chloe seems to like her, despite the slightly menacing tattoos decorating her arm. Savannah brings a light and warmth into his life that he never thought possible. Max hasn’t so much as dated since Chloe was born, but he’s willing to give it a shot with Savannah. There’s just one problem. 

Everything is perfect just the way it is. Even his daughter is happy. If he messed up things up with Savannah, how could he ever forgive himself?

MY REVIEW:
     Max Batista, 20, was a young single father when the book opens up who was babied and given no skills and then thrown into the great big world with NO SKILLS & no money, and support from those who said they love him. Now this would be okay in theory and even for the most part overall. But when the parents treated his older brothers differently than wanted to make an example of him but yet still enabled him it is not right to threw him out. Now here is why because he was made to leave with a 2-year-old daughter Chloe. Especially when they went into court with him to fight for her life and full custody. Getting joint custody with him.
Did he need to take responsibility for her, yes? Did he need to work and provide for her, yes? Did he need to get an education in order to have a long term future, especially where this high functioning family is concerned, yes? For his brothers consisted of a surgeon, a writer and lawyers like their father.
But because in his senior year he got his long term girlfriend pregnant he was made to pay verbally and so many other ways for this mistake as they saw it. Chloe to him would never be a mistake. But the pressures were many. Working 30+ hours, full-time school, studying, and spending some time not much with Chloe when he could. His parent’s idea for him to continue onto college to be a teacher all he wanted was his music but now not even half way through and his mom wants to bail on him and she’s kicking them out with less than 30 days’ notice to find a place and no money. Hardest of all to take is no babysitter for Chloe and she knows it and doesn’t care.
While talking to his best friend on the phone, Riley, once he did find a place using the money he was saving for something. She told him to use the ads to find a nanny and half-jokingly when he said yeah Craigslist she yelled “NO!” She said she was just kidding that it could be an ax murderer. But he was stuck finals were coming and he needed help and Riley could only sit for him so many days since she had her own job. His parents never even call him for well over a month if not longer.
He placed the ad and after a week he almost gave up hope. He got the email from Savannah Santos. She looked good on paper but he wanted to see what she was like around Chloe. So they agreed to meet for coffee. Chloe loved her right off the bat. Kids and dogs they say will let you know who is all wrong or all right. The only thing that bothers him is that she has a whole sleeve of skull tattoos on one arm but he doesn’t ask about them. As for her she is a very pretty and a straight forward person you never have to wonder what she is thinking. The best thing for him she was available that day.
As things start to settle in he realizes she is a spitfire and when she gets upset she spews Spanish at a high rate of rapid fire. It actually turns him on. So when he smiles it makes more come out. Which at first does not work well for him because he knows there shouldn’t be blurred lines but things tend to change working with her has more than a few benefits.
I enjoyed this book, there were some funny moments, but Max’s whining sometimes was a little much. Otherwise it was fun to see Savannah go off in Spanish. I give this book 4 stars.
Provided by netgalley.com. Follow us at:

SOMEONE LIKE YOU

SOMEONE LIKE YOU             JENNIFER GRACEN

Pierce Harrison--yes, that Pierce Harrison, black sheep of the wealthy Harrison clan--has come home to his family's luxurious Long Island compound. The big question is why the dangerously sexy soccer star agreed to coach a kids' soccer team. His co-coach Abby McCord should be grateful. Instead she's fending off some seriously smoldering advances from the scandal-ridden athlete. Good thing bad boys are so not her type . . . 

Abby is definitely not lacking in passion, but the sweet-faced beauty needs to learn a thing or two about taking a team to the championship--and a whole lot about how to let a man into her once-broken heart. Pierce definitely knows how to make the moves, but will Abby trust that the bachelor the world has condemned as a scoundrel can settle down with the one woman who has taken hold of his heart?

MY REVIEWS:
     This was a funny yet eye opening story on some family dynamics, relationships and life in general.  The author has an interesting spin on how she goes about introducing tough topics on and in relationships.  Yet covers them without hitting you over the head and yet you really feel them.
     Abby McCord is a young woman who has been in relationships where she has been hurt.  So, she is I guess you could say guarded.  Being hurt is not on her schedule, planner or clipboard that is for sure.  She is what some might call overly cautious.  She might say she likes to be prepared like a girl scout.  It has almost been a year since her last relationship and although she says she has gotten over it, it doesn’t appear that way.
      Pierce Harrison on the other hand has had many encounters.  Just not, ever, any lasting relationships so has no clue what one would even look like.  He has had nothing but one night stands.  The only lasting you could say he has ever had is with his sister Tess, who he adores and vice a versa, she is the only female for sure too.  His father Charles II hates him to the point of despising him and his brother Charles III never seems far behind since he is more or less his clone.  As for his brother Dane he has to give him some credit while he was across the pond, still playing soccer & before retirement, he did keep trying to reach out to him.  Pierce just didn’t always reach back after being ignored for so long.  He always felt so cut off from his two brothers it always felt weird.  Not so natural like with Tess.
     On the day he sees Abby at the soccer while waiting for his friend that he was waiting for at the park and she was coaching her nephew’s soccer team he could not get her out of his mind.  His eye kept going to her.  So, when one of the players on her team lost track of the ball and it ended up coming toward him he did what he did best he returned it in the style he had mastered.  Catching not only the eye of all the team but the eye of the coach.  She was not too happy for here was this stranger coming up to her boys and he had no kids on the team or on the field or even at the park.  Stranger danger and all that.  She was all over him like a mother cub protecting her cubs and he didn’t blame her it just turned him on even more.  She was a spitfire this one and she was not afraid to get in his face but when she was telling him he would have to leave one of the fathers told her to wait.
     You see he was known to this father a being a player for a team in the UK.  Once he said he was it spread like wildfire and pictures started and then it was mayhem.  His beauty had backed off and was only stealing look through her lashes.  And every time he would catch her and he would wink she would blush a dark shade of red.  He didn’t know what it was about her that turned him on but she had him wound tight.  She had none of the characteristic of the woman he liked to date.  She wasn’t as tall, not the hair color he usually went for, or the girly girl type.  But since he got there she was all he thought of and that was good because after the game the president of the league asked him to not only to do a clinic with the teams but to be a co-captain with Abby. 
     He asked her if she knew anything about him and why he had left the UK and the stories that were flying.  She said yes and that she didn’t believe them, well not all of them.  She was willing to have him work with the kids and so were the parents.  The poor kids hadn’t won a game and Abby could use the help.  He said he would love to.  That night when the president called her she was totally rocked and nervous because she had been totally rocked by Pierce.  When he shook her hand she felt “IT.”

Boy was she in trouble.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

THE CHANGE UP

THE CHANGE UP                  ELLEY ARDEN
Commercial real estate mogul Rachel Reed followed her workaholic father's footsteps to success, so when he's diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she vows to rise to the occasion. She'll help her father get the Arlington Aces independent professional baseball team up and running, then sell the franchise off to recoup their investment. It's a tall order, but Rachel knows one thing for sure: a few acres of trees aren't going to stand in her way of building the facility they need.
Landscaper Sam Sutter is surprised to find his brother's high school girlfriend lurking in the woods behind his secluded log house. This former minor leaguer's even more upset to learn "his" trees are on her chopping block. There's no way he'll help her erect a painful reminder to his failed career in his backyard. But butting heads with the beautiful businesswoman proves to be a tricky task, and before long, he finds himself heading up the grounds keeping crew at her father's stadium.
Working under Rachel's watchful - smoldering - eyes might be Sam's undoing. Can he cut into her plans without felling their chances at a home run in love?
Sensuality Level: Sensual
MY REVIEW;
     We all want to make our parents proud but at what cost and to what extent?  That was the question in the end for both Sam Sutter and Rachel Reed.  Yet, under very different circumstance. 
     You see Rachel grew up as the oldest of two children to a father who on several occasions made no bones that he had wished he had a son to share in the male gender bonding moments.  Always making Rachel feel less than but all the more determined to prove herself to him.  Not to mention her parents had definite rolls in the family.  Her mom: homemaker and care take, dad: was the traveled on business and carried all the money and that’s what she wanted to be like, her dad.
     Yet, instead of becoming her own person over time and thinking outside the box she stayed his puppet.  No more than someone who followed his directives.  Don’t get me wrong she was good at what she did at second in charge.  She was trained by the best but really a robot could be programed too.  Is that really what she wanted?  So when her parents walked into her office to give her not only a professional blow but a personal one she is reeling.  She should have known something was up when her mom came with her dad she never came to work.  Work was work and home was home to her father.  You see her father had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
     Before he is too far gone he gives her power of attorney to do the things needing done including at least 30 pages of items.  One big one selling the baseball team in their hometown she never wanted her dad to buy in the first place.  Which means not only getting the new stadium ready (an old college refurbished) but hiring all of the staff from the front office, the stadium, the GM of the team, coaching, and oh yeah the team.  What was her father thinking? 
     Soon after arriving home she has a run in with the same pest, that hadn’t changed, she had when she dated his older brother, Luke.  None other than Sam Sutter.  He was already baulking about the trees they had scheduled to cut down something about them being 200 years old some of them.  Like always he could be a problem.  But she thought but he was sure nice on the eyes.
     Sure enough the next morning her father got a call from the city saying if Sam got some people behind him on it he could get things at the very least delayed on the project while talking to the assistant and friend Liv she came up with a plan.
     You see Sam’s father along with Luke and Sam all owned a landscaping business.  She decided to make his dad an offer he couldn’t refuse in hopes of getting Sam off her back.  She hired them to be the groundskeeper for the stadium.  Sam, he may not have gone to college to go off to play semi pro baseball, but he smelled the Rachel rat that she was and he called her on it.  The thing was their sexy banter did even more, it turned him on.  Messing with Rachel’s head since she was 5 years older for Sam it was like waving a red flag in from of the bull.
     But the job was bringing up old hurts for Sam and he was having old ghost and dreams he couldn’t shake so easy.  And Rachel in a way was a balm or was she? He was about to find out.
     I really enjoyed the banter and the trueness of emotions this couple carried.  I welcomed the frank thoughts of the way Rachel was having to deal with her emotions over her father and his illness.  I give this book 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.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 ...