CATCHING SUMMER

CATCHING SUMMER                          L.P. DOVER

Former nurse Summer Jacobs has seen her fair share of suffering, but she never expected tragedy to hit so close to home. After watching her husband die in the MMA ring, Summer spends the next two years fighting her way through the darkness. The last thing she needs is another hardheaded athlete turning her life upside down. But that’s exactly what happens when she meets a gridiron star who’s as skilled at stealing hearts as he is at snagging passes.

Carolina Cougars wide receiver Evan Townsend usually has no problem winning fans, so he’s intrigued when Summer shoots down his go-to plays for winning a woman’s attention. Never one to back down from a challenge, Evan turns up the heat, setting off sparks that neither can deny. But as his slow seduction begins to chase away Summer’s pain, he gets the feeling that someone is desperate to keep them apart. Now Evan will do anything to protect her—because he never misses a chance to make a perfect catch.

MY REVIEW:
     At the tender age of twenty-eight Summer Jacobs had already been married, widow and an unwilling captive victim to her husband’s brutal murder.  He was an MMA fighter who only wanted to love Summer, be a great fighter, and make enough money at it to open his dream southern restaurant with his brother, Greyson.
     You see her husband, Austin, was asked to fight in a private off the books fight in Vegas for a big amount of money.  So from their home in George off they went.  Once they arrived they were blindfolded beaten and taken to an undisclosed area.  She was held with the blindfold on and he was taken into the arena and beaten by at least 3 men to where Summer could hear the pounding him unmercifully and breaking bones.  She could hear him yelling, “Just let her go.”  She didn’t say a word she didn’t want to add to his pain of hearing her be in pain or fear.  For if by some miracle they were to make it she didn’t want him to feel guilt more than he had to for any pain that happened to her. 
     The thing was she felt and heard the moment that her love affair was over forever with Austin.  That Austin was never coming back to her and she wanted to go be with him to say goodbye.  But that is when she herself blacked out from her beating.  Yet to her way of thinking she was unfortunately enough to wake up in a hospital badly beaten and bruised not knowing what happened and who she was.  Slowly but surely the nightmares began and one day Austin’s friend, undercover cop, and  MMA fighter, Mason Bradley, and he sparked a memory and it all came back to her.
     Mason found who murdered Austin and they all were brought to justice.  He was almost killed himself in the process of getting the job done.  Nothing would bring her Austin back.  She moved in with her twin sister Lara, in North Carolina, after selling her home in Georgia.
     After six months she was still a shell of herself and the nightmares were not lessening.  Lara finally was open and honest with her.  Saying Austin wouldn’t want her to stop living and to be like this.  She told her she needed to see a therapist. 
     Fast forwarding two years…her therapist Phillip is saying that she is doing well and that she is ready to be out there.  In fact she has been ready.  In fact she needs to dip her toe in the dating pool.  She wasn’t sure about lighter.  She invited him to show up to the restaurant that she and Grayson had opened that was getting busier each day.  He said of course.
     When she leaves she’s engulfed in looking at her phone for Dr. Kate Davis’s phone number, she is the team doctor for the Carolina Cougars an NFL team. Not only that her husband Cooper and her brother Evan Townsend, and Cooper’s uncle who is the head coach are all part of the team.  When she runs into a brick wall of a chest.  It’s none other than Kate’s brother Evan.  She tells him that she was just trying to call his sister.  She explains that she has some classes to take to keep up her license for nursing.  He says he remembers that she said something about it.  He asked if she thought she was ready for such a rough crowd she said yes.  He said, good.  In his heart he was worried because from the first he met her over two years ago he wanted to ask her out but his sister had said she wasn’t in the right place yet.
     Kate would know.  Kate’s first husband had cancer but had taken his life by overdosing before it could take him.  Before they could get to talking more Evan’s teammate Derek sticks his head out from the gym and asks if he’s coming.  He introduces Summer and they say goodbye.  Summer feels an odd emotion with Evan but doesn’t want to but is surprised because she never thought she would feel it again with another man.
     This was an amazingly fast paced book.  You don’t want to put it down once you pick it up.  It is a love story, a tragedy, a who done it, and so much more.  The characters are well thought out and keep you guessing.  I give this 5 ++++ stars.  Provided by netgalley.com. 

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THIS ONE MOMENT

THIS ONE MOMENT                               STINA LINDENBLATT

When Nolan Kincaid skipped town to chase the music career of his dreams, he knew he wouldn’t miss the reminders of his broken family—he wasn’t so sure he could forget the girl he left behind. Now his band is touring nonstop, the recording sessions go all night, and the groupies are crazed. But when he hears that Hailey Wilkins is in trouble, he drops everything.

Hailey thought she’d missed her chance with Nolan. Five years ago, the moment she realized she loved him was the moment he decided to leave. Now, when a brutal assault lands her in the ICU, Nolan flies straight to her bedside, acting like nothing’s changed. What’s a rock star like him doing, canceling shows and risking his record deal, just to nurse an old friend back to health? And why should Hailey believe he’ll stay this time?

With her attacker still at large, Nolan’s ready to rise to the occasion. He knows he let Hailey down once before, but he’s ready to give her everything, heart and soul—and he’ll fight for the chance to prove it.
 

MY REVIEW:
     When you grow up in a house of hate yet find love in others you gravitate toward it.  For Nolan Kincaid that is the way it worked when he met his female best friend Hailey Wilkins.  She lived across the street.  He and his male best friend Brandon were playing and she wanted to play too.  Nolan said okay but Brandon was having no part of that.  Hailey was ready to physically fight her way in.  In order to save Brandon a black eye, Nolan explained that she could be a good asset.  Reason being her mom baked the best cookies.  Brandon voted her right in.
     From that day forward they were always together even more than him and Brandon and that was a lot.  Hailey was a huge soccer player and Nolan spent countless hours in the backyard with her doing her drills.  He would spend all kinds of hours writing music and playing his guitar.  The two supported each other’s through everything.  Until the teen years the secrets they used to share were not as much because well they had fallen for each other but neither would ever tell the other.  At Hailey’s house he was normal at his house all hell would break loose.
     You see his dad would start drinking and then become violent.  Not only with his words but with his hands.  At 19 Nolan was feeling trapped at home.  He wanted to leave so badly he could taste it.  He couldn’t not with his little sister, Sarah, 11, still stuck there as well as his mom.  His dad was a monster.  He had to be there to protect them.  But on this one night something had gone terribly wrong.  His mom and sister were dead by the hands of his father who almost killed him too.  His father was killed by the police in the act of doing so.  If only he could remember the details that led up to it but he was told he may never get it the memory of that night back.  That’s how bad it was and his brain is trying to protect him.
     Now five years later, Nolan who is Tyler Erickson, lead singer for Pushing Limits a rock band.  For all this time the girl he loved, he said, and carried her picture on stage every night with him, he has not once called her to say HI!  “F off!” Nothing.  The ironic part is she nursed him back to health, drove him to the airport, and was his biggest fan and supporter and after 4 months of calling him and texting him she gave up on him once he made it to LA.  He did have the decency to send a text when he arrived safely to say he arrived after that nothing.
     Yet, her parents are caring for his home still because he can’t seem to let it go yet.  So he is alive.  He needs some paperwork from the house and her dad couldn’t get over there so he asked her to go to get it.  Later that night they found her brutally assaulted and left for dead in the seedier side of town.  Nolan gets a call from Brandon saying Hailey is in a coma in ICU.  He finishes the concert and takes the first flight home. He needs to be by her side no matter what.
     See if the two damaged and hurt souls can find a place in each other’s lives and hearts.  Is her attack random?  Or is there something to really worry about?  Can Nolan restore his memory enough that he can forgive himself?
     This was an intense love story that keeps the reader on their toes.  There were very tender moments but there were very tense ones where you want to bite your nails too.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at:

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FROM THIS DAY FORWARD

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD                LAUREN LAYNE

Up-and-coming wedding photographer Leah McHale’s career is on the rise–thanks in no small part to the Wedding Belles, the elite New York wedding planning agency that always throws top-tier business Leah’s way. So when one of the Belles asks Leah to fill in at the former First Daughter's wedding, Leah is overjoyed to say yes–until she finds out who she’ll be working with.

Jason Rhodes is the one man who was able to capture Leah’s heart and, once he had it, promptly stepped all over it and left her broken. Now he’s working side-by-side with her at the biggest wedding of the season and Leah is determined to give him the cold shoulder. Despite his persistence, she is not going to fall for his charming, impish ways again. Not even if he still has that killer, irresistible smile...
 
MY REVIEW:
     This was a cute short.  It’s about an ex-couple who broke up a year ago over a misunderstanding.  And when a mutual friend wants both Leah McHale and Jason Rhodes to work together she knows it could be risky.
     Yet she is in a tough place.  This is the ex-president's daughter’s wedding.  The bride was going to have a college friend and her husband handle the pictures.  But there were complications with her pregnancy.  So the wedding planner Alexis Morgan a friend of Leah’s.  They started about the same time in the bridal industry and Alexis’ business, Wedding Belles, throws her a lot of great leads.  So she had told her “YES” as soon as she said she needed help.  Even before she knew it was for the president’s daughter’s wedding.
     But as they were talking Alexis started to say there was one glitch, when she looks over Leah’s shoulder.  She was looking at Jason, Leah’s ex.  She tells him he’s early.  Leah is not happy yet she agrees to do this once in a lifetime wedding.  But can she ever erase why she broke up with him?  Seeing that woman at 7a.m., in only the shirt she bought him, and answering his door sent her over the edge after a late night of taking pictures.
     See if this wedding can go off without a fireworks show.  Can Jason get out of his own way and allow his pride to take a rest to see it from Leah’s side?  Or will he continue to be a pitiful boy or act like a scorned Playboy Bachelor? 

     I enjoyed the story wished it had a little bit more to it or an epilogue.  I give this 4 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN WEDDING

ROCKY MOUNTAIN WEDDING                   SARA RICHARDSON

If anyone had told Ruby James she'd be marrying the man of her dreams after starting over at the Walker Mountain Ranch, she'd have keeled over laughing, if not crying. Yet here she is: ready to walk down the aisle with her soul mate, Sawyer Hawkins-and make the adoption of their sweet foster daughter, Brooklyn, official. But just days before the event that will make their family complete, a miraculous little wrinkle appears in her plans . . . 

Ruby's already the most beautiful woman in the world to Sawyer, but she seems to be glowing even more than usual . . . and now he knows why. Sawyer couldn't have wished for more. Soon enough he'll have a new wife, a new daughter, and a new bundle of joy. But not everyone sees a happy future for him and Ruby. With a blizzard rolling in, Sawyer must help his family-to-be weather a different kind of storm-and clear the skies for an unforgettable Rocky Mountain wedding.

MY REVIEW:
     Ruby James had moved to Walker Mountain Ranch after leaving a relationship of domestic violence.  She had finally left her boyfriend and no an ex-fiancĂ© who wanted to control and keep her fearful.  So becoming a cook at the ranch just worked because Elsie asked no questions and only knew that she was in need of help, love and comfort.
     Meeting and falling in love with the local cop Sawyer Hawkins was the last thing that she ever expected to happen to her.  Because not only did she gain a boyfriend she gained friends and family.  You see Sawyer’s family owns the ranch Ruby works at.  Namely his cousin Bryce and his wife Avery and his aunt Elsie is the head chef.  His aunt Elsie is the sister to his mom.
     For a girl who was raised in the foster care system it was a bit overwhelming at first.  As their relationship heats up he asks her to marry him and they decide to adopt a young foster girl Brooklyn/Brookie who had been moved around a lot and needed a good stable home and they wanted to be it.  Sawyer had already lost a son, Matthew, and a wife, so it meant a lot to be a father.  He knew Ruby felt the same way never have either in her life.  Since Ruby had a medical disorder that lessened her chance a great deal, of ever getting pregnant.  A lot of hope of a happy family was set in motion with this adoption of Brookie.  So when a crisis occurs that threatens it will it cause it all to crumble?

     I really enjoyed this short the characters were well thought out and believable.  There are times of joy and pain.  Actually read this book first. I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t more backstory especially if it was a standalone so that might have been nice.  Still a lot of unanswered questions remain about some of the characters.  I give this 4 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

MORE THAN A FEELING

MORE THAN A FEELING                     SARA RICHARDSON

STOP RUNNING . . .AND START FALLING
For Ruby James the Walker Mountain Ranch is her safe haven. Here in Aspen, Colorado, she can finally build a quiet life for herself without fear of her old one rearing its ugly head. Or so Ruby thinks. Any single woman would be happy to indulge a tall, dark, and curious cop-but the closer Ruby gets to him, the closer she gets to losing her newfound peace.

Police officer Sawyer Hawkins is no stranger to secrets. He's ready to leave town for good until a security threat brings him back to Walker Ranch, and Ruby's gorgeous green eyes soon have him second-guessing his decision to go. Her kindness and quiet strength awaken feelings he'd thought long buried, even as her reluctance to talk about her past worries him. The cop in Sawyer only wants the truth-but the man in him wants Ruby in his arms forever . . .
 

MY REVIEW:
     This book revolves around Walker Mountain Ranch and those associated with it.  Namely the owners of course: Bryce and Avery Walker with his mother the head chef Elsie.  She seems to be the heart and soul of the place with the love that keeps it glued together.
     Then there’s Bryce’s cousin Sawyer Hawkins but also he is his best friend.  Right now they are in a transition period close but Sawyer is on the back end of a messy divorce.  Because his wife cheated on him with a friend he can’t stand running into them and all the memories all around him in the small community of Aspen.  So he is transferring to Denver’s police department to be a detective.  Bryce says he’s running away from his problems and Sawyer says he’s right well maybe?
     Bryce would know a few years back his wife was killed in an accident and instead of talking he drank.  After a long while that didn’t work so he got help so he is now sober, in a happy new marriage, and have a new baby.  He never in a million years he thought he would ever have that in his life or would allow another woman in.  Since Sawyer’s house was sold so fast and he has a little over a month before he leaves to Denver he needed a place to stay so Bryce and Avery gave him one of the cottages to stay in.
     In exchange for the no rent Sawyer wants to help out as much as he can around the Ranch.  So he would do odd jobs and one on this day was putting shelves in the pantry.  Since he had to work a shift that day he got up extra early, not really sleeping much lately anyway, and went to work on it while no one would be in there anyway.  Since he practically grew up on the ranch he knew when his aunt always got to work so he knew he could finish before she got there.  Not knowing that Ruby James the pastry chef would be getting there so early.  So when things started to crash in there he didn’t think anything of it.  But when he came out into the kitchen area and only the night lights were still on he had no clue what to think when a woman yelled, to stop dirt bag!
     You see Rose’s past was one of pain and sorrow.  She was in and out of foster homes.  Until the age of 18.  Then she struggled to make a living.  She meets a man that should have been good to her but he wasn’t after he gets her to move in he then isolates her from everyone and everything she knows.  He starts to berate her, beat her, so finally she ran.  Never going back but always living in fear and looking over her shoulder.  So with rolling pin in hand she tells him to stop but when she advances saying words she heard before she swings.  Landing on his family jewels.  Enough to stop most men but not Sawyer.  He saw the fear and this fear was not normal.  She had a glossed over look of one that was no longer in the room.  A look of one that had been a victim before.  He knew to tread lightly. 
     When he started to ask questions when things calmed down she clammed up.  Wouldn’t make eye contact.  He knew something was wrong.  It was okay though he like to solve puzzles.  Never liked seeing women scared, and he loved Rose’s curves and beauty so he would do it for her.  She lit his torch.

     Very good story.  Wish I would have read this one first made more sense for me to help book 2 to this storyline, not that I was too lost in the next one.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

NEVER LET GO

NEVER LET GO                               ALLISON B. HANSON

Just one gorgeous weekend away from reality. Then they can go on like it never happened…
Riley Fisher doesn't have time to chase after men. As a single mother working two jobs, she barely has time to eat or sleep. But a girl has needs. So when handsome veteran Sam Brooks asks her out, she decides she deserves some R&R. She doesn’t expect anything else from him—after all, he’s hardly the type to get serious.

Sam came back from Afghanistan lucky to be alive, despite PTSD that hits whenever he lets down his guard. His therapist told him to forget about relationships. When he meets Riley, he’s not planning on breaking the rules. She’s cute, petite, and a total smartass—not even his type. But she’s hard to forget. Especially once he runs into Riley and her toddler on a rustic mountain getaway and sees what he’s missing. Her kid makes him laugh all day. And Riley makes him burn all night.

Too bad a relationship is impossible. But they can enjoy the attraction. It’s not like they’re going to fall in love…

MY REVIEW:
     When Riley Fisher married Evan she thought it would be forever.  Boy was she wrong.  After dropping out of college to help him finish his degree by working and when she ended she would go back.  Well before that could happen she got pregnant and it seemed it was for the best.  She figured that she would go back once he was established.  But not the way it worked out.
     Three months after giving birth and although she had noticed a change in his personality she never saw it coming.  Evan came to her and said he had found someone else, when Luca their son, was three months old.  As if that wasn’t bad enough he says not only did he find someone else, but that this new girlfriend was pregnant.  He said he was sorry and then cried as if that somehow made it better.  She tried to care, to feel something, but all she could think of was her son.  That this was not what she wanted for him a broken home like she grew up in.  
     Now fast forward two years and she is working two jobs to make ends meet. Evan's own mother is helping her because she knows her own son is not meeting his responsibilities to his ex or his son. They had to garnish his wages so that she could get child support and he has asked her many a time to get that stopped as well as gone to court to ask the same. His mom feels such a sense of shame for how he has turned out and wishes she could help out more but Riley is just grateful she babysits for free.
     Then one day this handsome olive skin, green eyed, and a body to die for guy came into the jewelry store she worked in.  A mutual friend had sent him to get a piece of jewelry made for his niece.  His niece was graduating from high school.  On his return trip to pick up the item he thought she didn’t charge enough for the beautiful item she had created from the keep sake pieces and asked her out to dinner to repay her.  Surprising her and himself.
     You see Sam Brooks was an ex-Marine who had three tours of Afghanistan.  His last tour being the hardest.  He lost all of his men as well as getting shot himself and receiving a Purple Heart.  He just could resolve that in his heart and mind that he made it and not them especially the ones that had families.  He was a severe case of PTSD which had been treated upon arriving back home but it had been 7 years and he was still having the nightmares.
     For the most part he had been able to keep it in check but the first therapist had made the statement that he should never have a relationship.  For no woman should have to deal with his nightmares.  So Sam stayed far away from them.  One nightstands were his thing.  Not by choice but by orders really.
But his dinner with Riley was causing feelings, things he tried not have and avoid at all cost.  Their overnighter hit a glitch when her baby daddy brought her son, Luca, home early from his weekend with her ex.  The son Sam knew nothing about and why would he she planned only for a one night stand also.  “No hits, no runs, no errors.”  Which freaked him out.  Which Riley called him out on since she said you were going to find a graceful way to exit and never call again and don’t act like you weren’t. Bam! 
     See if this couple are able to master an ongoing fling or will their pasts be a little too much to make it more?  Will it be worth a shot or did they just shoot their own feet?  It is funny and it is sad all rolled into one but with a HEA.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com. 

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LET'S WELCOME: PARKER S. HUNTINGTON AUTHOR OF: ASHER BLACK

Let’s Welcome Parker S. Huntington The Author of: Rad-Reader:  What was your inspiration behind it? Parker:   John Wick ...