Short Story Category

Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Sand and Kisses

Buy Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Sand and Kisses

Open for Love by Elana Johnson

Sabrina Arnold runs her family’s Bed & Breakfast, trying to save pennies where she can, meaning that it’s up to her to fix plumbing issues at the same time she is booking wedding packages to famous guests.  However, when a new Bed & Breakfast is set to open right next door, Sabrina can’t help but snoop.  Snooping always brings more trouble than it’s worth, and this trouble comes in the form of a very good looking Carter Hammond.  Little does Sabrina know that Carter is her competition, and he omits the fact he’s the owner.  Trying to get past deceptions, business differences, and a painful loss can their small romance bloom?

 

Secrets in the Sand by Cindy M. Hogan

We’ve seen Christy Hadden, young talented spy, before.  She has a knack of finding trouble when she should be planning and enjoying a secret rendezvous with her handler/boyfriend.  A night of romance quickly turns into a vacation of hide and seek from the police and an attempted murder turns into a real murder gone wrong, with all the evidence pointing at Christy.  It quickly becomes a race of finding the real culprit and freeing an innocent kid.

 

Life’s a Beach by Jo Noelle

Trying to get away from love and all the horrible baggage that comes with it, Jenna Brennan tries to stay far away from Misty Harbor Cottages.  Attending a faraway school and accepting internships.  Finally giving in to her Uncle Walter’s requests, she finds herself sucked back to the Cottages and finds herself accepting a challenge against her longtime friend, and the man she loves: Cole Zamora.  Competing for the chance to own the cottages while trying to fight her growing love, Jenna finds that she can’t win every competition.

 

The Upgrade by Candice Toone

Amanda Ford has graduated from college, and taking the big step into being an adult with responsibilities is proving rather difficult.  Throwing caution to the wind, Amanda follows her friend to a college football game which turns into a date with a cute very cute guy.  Things get complicated when that cute fling happens to be a college student who shows up to her study abroad orientation.  Trying to keep the relationship strictly professional and nip the feelings before they begin is proving more and more difficult with the time the two are thrown together.

 

Surfboards and Star Trek by Donea Lee Weaver

Anna is enjoying a last get away with her daughter, before she heads off to college, and as a single mom they both don’t mind enjoying a little eye candy on their vacation.  Things seem to go well when the two meet Derek, and Anna finds herself falling madly in love.  However, their age difference raises several concerns and she runs for the hills.  Can Derek prove to Anna that their love is real and that they are good for each other?

This has been another fun anthology to read.  It wasn’t my favorite anthology, but they stories were engaging and kept a steady pace.  I happened to enjoy Surfboards and Star Trek the best, a little quirky romance that kept the characters real.

 

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReview

Ranch Hand For Auction: A Western Romance Novella

Buy: Ranch Hand For Auction

Meg, a successful artist and business woman, has been living in Colorado in a going-nowhere-dead-end relationship.  Looking for a break and a chance to relive the traditions of her late Mother, she takes off to Montana to help her father with processing grapes.  The county fair is known for its auctioning off ranch hands to help farmers out for a week, giving them that extra hand to get things finished up for the season.  When Meg saw the gorgeous hunk, Jake Billings, up for bid she couldn’t stop herself from yelling out and winning him for the week.  In one short week, Meg realizes there’s more to her relationship with the ranch hand than their ever could be with the commitment-phobia man she has back home.  Now she just has to make a choice: jump at the chance for something new and lasting or stay safe in something that she knows but it’s not going anywhere?

I have read several of Kimberly Krey’s books and I will be the first to jump on any new books that she has.  She is, by far, my favorite author.   Once again, she’s created a short romantic novella that has captured everything that makes a great romance. Strong characters, engaging conversation and there’s never a dull moment.  Her writing just keeps flowing.  I enjoyed reading Ranch Hand for Auction and will be recommending to my friends.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

Spring in Hyde Park (Timeless Regency Collection Book 3)

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Spring in Hyde Park (Timeless Regency Collection Book 3)

 

A Happy Accident

Jennifer Moore

Jonathan Burles, questioned his decision even as he found himself slowing his horse down to pull over to help the two people trying to pull their carriage from the mud.  It was pouring rain and everybody was soaked to the bone.  Sending the servant for help, the soon to be Marquess of Spencer, stayed with the woman trying to stay dry in the comfort of the carriage.  Little does he know that one decision would lead to a very upset father and a forced marriage?  Maryann Croft couldn’t be more embarrassed by her father’s outrage and threats, with no other choice but to settle down as the new wife to the Marquess of Spencer she figured she should make the best of the situation, while trying to keep her family’s secret from her new husband.  Jonathan and Maryann were strangers, but now they have no other choice but to get to know each other, and maybe if they are lucky, find love in Hyde Park.

 

The Disdainful Duke

G.G. Vandagriff

Lady Saphronia Huffington has firm strong beliefs in subjects that tend to be suited more for the gentleman of the Ton.  Content with standing on the sidelines next to her beautiful younger sister, Saphronia finds that she is unable to resist the deep conversations and arguments with the dashingly handsome rogue, Duke of Mayfield.  When her sister, Lady Lavinia become engaged to his brother, Lord Gilbert Caldwell the Duke and Saphronia find that they are thrown together more and more, and the sparks are flying.  When an accident almost takes Saphronia’s life, the Duke realizes that he could never live without the spirit, her wit, or her beauty.

 

An Invisible Heiress

Nichole Van

What do you do when you are a young single woman that’s inherited a very successful business from your father?  You propose marriage to an unsuspecting stranger and try to talk him into letting you purchase him, of course.  Colin Radcliffe is more than shocked when the young Miss Belle Heartstone meets him in a park with a list of reasons why he should agree to her proposal.  The Marquess of Blake may be hurting for money, but he’s not so desperate to marry the first title hungry heiress that comes along.  Through a face alias, Belle helps to fund Colin’s 0business venture overseas, and through letters and time, Belle finds that she has fallen                 madly in love with a man who believes her to be an old man and silent business partner.  Once Colin realizes the truth, can he overcome the betrayal and see the beautiful and smart woman in front of him?

I love these Timeless Regency Collections. They are able to capture an amazing story in a short amount of time.  I feel the authors are always chosen wisely and I continue to look forward to reading each one that I’ve come across.  The regency period has always been my favorite, and these collections never disappoint.  I especially loved the letters that were shared in An Invisible Heiress, it’s been a long time since I’ve read a story written that way, and I loved it.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

A Midwinter Ball (Timeless Regency Collection Book 2)

Buy from Amazon: A Midwinter Ball

Another Timeless Regency Collection, have you caught a theme yet? I LOVE anthologies and I LOVE regency romances!

MUCH ADO ABOUT DANCING by Heidi Ashworth

Miss Analisa Lloyd-Jones may as well have the plague for as much attention as the men give her.  She sits as a constant wall flower at the dances, she’s become the running joke among the ladies, and men don’t even give her a second glance when in the same room as her.  Her plague comes with a name: Lord Northrup.  Lord Northrup has made it clear that while he is abroad traveling that Analisa is his, no man with any brains will touch her while he is away.  When he shows up unexpectedly at a party, Analisa is confused and angry.  Time may not have changed him and she’s not ready to give him a chance to prove his adoration.

SWEETER THAN ANY DREAM by Annette Lyon

Olivia Wallington lives with her sharp tongued mother and aunt, forced to endure hurtful jibes and withering glares.  Destined to live out her spinster life living in daydreams and quietly enduring the two strong women in her life, Olivia has all but given up hope.  When her brother comes home with his new wife and a promise to sneak her out of the house to enjoy a ball, Olivia feels that she may have a chance to build a new and everlasting memory to get her through the rest of her years.

AN INVITATION TO DANCE by Michele Paige Holmes

Living quietly alone in her home while her father travels and her dear mother has passed away, Lady Ella spends her days outdoors riding horses and enjoying the more unladylike activities.  When a stranger shows up on her doorstep with a request from her dead fiancé asking for her to join him in London, her curiosity is more than peaked.  Packing up her meager belongings, Ella makes the trip to London only to find that the rules of stuffy society are not what she enjoys.  With the help of Alex Darling, she learns that there are ways to have fun and escape the ton.

 

These are sweet regency romance novellas.  My favorite would be An Invitation to Dance by Michele Paige Holmes, and my least favorite would be Heidi Ashworth’s Much Ado About Dancing. I found the latter dragged and I couldn’t get into the characters or the dialogue.  I enjoyed Michele Page Holmes’ tale because the Tomboy, Ella, reminded me of myself and I found myself with a smile as I read her plight.  I do enjoy anthologies, they always give you a taste of a new author if you are not familiar with them and you get a chance to read more of the authors that you have come to love.

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

Miss Demeanor Suspense Series: P.I. I Love You, Bare, Choreographed Crime, Golden Ribbons

 Miss Demeanor Suspense Series

Four female cops are tired of not being promoted and the lack of excitement that comes from being an officer in a small town.  After they meet online in a group called “Lady Cops” they decide to start a private investigation business called “Miss Demeanor Private Detective Agency” in Seattle.  In this series we follow four strong women as they fight drug rings, murderers, kidnappers and sex rings in the Emerald City.

P.I. I Love You by Joanne Jaytanie

River Nightingale just watched another promotion pass her up.  She’s closed more cases than anybody in her town, only to watch a man with half the experience who works the least amount of anyone take the job.  Enough is enough and when the possibility of joining her new friends as a private investigator in Seattle becomes a reality she calls her uncle, pulls a few strings, and makes the move to The City of Flowers.  With their new business up and running a new client comes in asking for help with finding who murdered his parents and tracking down a long lost half sister that had been secretly adopted.  Unfortunately for River, tracking down the murderer means working with bossy and prideful Homicide Detective, Gage Hamlin and reopening his case.  He hates nosy private investigators and she hates smug arrogant policeman that look down their noses at woman cops.  They need to put their differences aside and work together to solve the cases, because it seems like someone else is on their heels ready to do whatever it takes, even kill a cop, in order to hide the truth.  This is an amazing story, the suspense dripped from each page and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.  This is the first time I’ve read a book from Joanne Jaytanie, and I loved it!

BARE by Angela Ford

Shay Brooks has found that she’s hit that invisible glass ceiling, especially because she’s a female cop in a small town and not taken seriously by her partners.  Agreeing to start up the “Miss Demeanor Private Detective Agency” with her friends in Seattle, she is excited to kiss her town good bye.  Her first case has her taking an undercover job as a waitress in a gentleman’s club, where she’s trying to “save” the client’s daughter from the club’s owner.  Once inside BARE, Shay finds out not everyone is who they say they are.  I enjoyed Shay’s story and was impressed with the strong characters that were portrayed in a short amount of time.  Angela did a great job setting the scene and creating a plot that was suspenseful from the beginning.

Choreographed Crime by Jackie Marilla

When Maile Kuhiwinui decided to leave Hawaii, she didn’t realize how homesick she would be.  It seemed like a great idea at the time, join a group of female officers, and become a private investigator in Seattle, leaving behind the small town cop mentality in her review mirror.  However, she feels like she’s not being productive as she sits back and watches the other women close their cases.  Trying to get rid of her homesickness by comforting herself with food from back home, Maile meets Kalama Haleamau and realizes that Seattle might not be so bad.  However, when a murder case is brought to Maile, she finds that Kalama is right in the middle of it and he might just be a suspect.  This was not my favorite story in the book.  Maile seemed very weak and didn’t seem have to have the mentality of a cop.  She cried a lot and it frustrated me, I was happy to see this story over.  I feel like Maile is the weak link in the series.

Golden Ribbons by Lauren Marie

Cassie Holmes is spunky and tough, she doesn’t take no for an answer and she isn’t scared to tell a complete stranger- who she lovingly refers to as “Sasquatch”- to take a hike.  As tough as she is, she has a soft spot for the client who has taken what money she has to secure the aid of the private investigator.  The client’s daughter, Cami, is a fourteen year old girl who ran away and has found herself victim of a child prostitution ring, and it’s up to Cassie and Sasquatch, aka Jack Donovan to help Cami and the other girls find safety.  I like Cassie, she was my favorite character, and she is sassy and has a no-nonsense personality.  She knows what has to be done and doesn’t stop to question it.  I enjoyed Lauren Marie’s writing and will be reading more of her books in the future.

I did love this series, although I could have been happier without reading Maile’s story.  The women in this story must step aside and learn to let a man help them even after they have played hardball with the men back in their small towns.  This is about taking a big jump and changing your life when you find yourself in a rut. I will read more from Joanne Jaytanie, Angela Ford, and Lauren Marie.

*I bought this series to be a part of the Magic Books Promotions*

*This contains Adult Content*

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

Power of the Matchmaker

Power of the Matchmaker

Mae Li and Chen Zhu have been in love for years, and now it’s up to the matchmaker to make their dreams come true and give her blessing for their marriage. However, the matchmaker has other plans for them. She recommends another boy in the village for Mae LI and Chen Zhu is promised to another. Devastated, Mae Li writes a letter to Chen Zhu begging him to run away with her. Unable to bring dishonor to his family, Chen Zhu stays behind to marry another. Setting off with only her clothes and the pearl embedded comb that Chen Zhu gives her in remembrance of their love; Mae Li starts a new life in Shanghai. However, life isn’t that simple and she must beg, plead, and starve before she’s given a chance to live as the next matchmaker.

This is a prequel novella to the Power of the Matchmaker Series and it was a quick read. Introduced to the magical world of matchmaking and it introduces us to the Matchmaker and her promise to never love again in order to keep the magical powers to help others find love. I definitely recommend this book if you are interested in reading the series.

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

Christmas Romance 2015 (Places to See Series)

Christmas Romance 2015 Places to See

Mr. Simon’s daughter has passed away leaving him heartbroken and determined to make sure he helps her four friends break away from their workaholic lives and live by seeing the world while they are still young.  His daughter only got to travel after she had received the news that she was dying and he didn’t want the girls that have been like daughters to him, to suffer the same fate of never seeing what the world has to offer.  For Christmas he offers them a gift to travel the world, anywhere they want to go, all expenses paid and their only requirement is to have fun.

Kisses and Strudel (Places to See Germany) by Jennifer Conner

Aubri knows she has explicit directions that she is to enjoy her vacation, but she’s unable to break away from her addiction to work.  Picking Germany, Aubri decides she’s going to do what she does best as head buyer of Christmas decorations for Simon’s Department store, and she’s going mix mostly business with a little pleasure by searching for products while in Germany.  Rothenburg, Germany has the best Christmas stores in the world and she’s going to begin with Weignachten Haus.  Mr. Frost is the store manager and Aubri is pleasantly surprised at how good looking he is and sparks immediately start flying.

In Love with Paris (Places to see France) by Sharon Kleve

Paget Murphy is in the airport on her way to Paris when she accidentally stumbles into Christopher after leaving the airport’s bookstore with a book from her favorite author in hand.  After mumbling something embarrassing about him looking like “Michelangelo’s David” they both are pleasantly surprised that they are on the same flight.  Paget can’t believe her luck when she gets to sit next to her favorite author and a gorgeous man is taken with her.  Her trip to Paris is sure to be an eventful and love filled trip.

Christmas in Tuscany (Places to see Italy) by Angela Ford

Erica runs the wine and chocolate shop inside Mr. Simon’s store and what better place for her to enjoy than Tuscany.  Not only would she get to discover new wines but she’ll also get to visit the place where her parents shared their first kiss.  Lucky enough to be able to land a spot in a very elite tour, spots availability is only open to about twenty. However, the man who runs the tour is older and has fallen ill and asked he late friend’s son, Massimo to take his spot.  Immediately Massimo and Erica are drawn to each other, but another sinister plot starts to unravel to derail the blossoming relationship.

Twice as Nice Christmas (Places to See Bulgaria) by Natalie-Nicole Bates

Jade usually isn’t one to be instantaneous, but the cute house and the late night on the internet leads her to signing the closing papers on a small fixer upper in Bulgaria.  Excited to finally have a vacation, she jumps on the plane and starts her journey to see her new “vacation” home.  On the flight, she saves a man from having to sit near a screaming toddler by offering up the seat next to her.  Little did she know that they would soon be sharing more than polite conversation when they landed in Bulgaria.  A snow storm and full motels have Jade and Damyan sharing a room for three days before they take a journey to see Jade’s new home, and during that time they hit it off and they find themselves falling in love.

This was so fun to read Christmas Romance 2015-Places to see Series.  It was fun for all four girls tied to the same beginning and each setting out for their own journey.  The series was short and fast, but the characters were strong, the images were beautiful, and the recipes found in the back of some of the stories were a delightful surprise.  It definitely is a book about love at first sight, and it doesn’t take long for the characters to exchange more than just kisses.  I enjoyed this book and the authors who wrote the stories.

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

*This book does contain sexual content*

 

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

 

A Kiss From Kringle (Novella) (Frosty’s Snowmen Book 2)

A Kiss From Kringle

Leah Ward is very protective of her sister and her niece. So when her sister’s first day of work rolls around and her niece is sick Leah steps in and tries to keep her head low and blend in so the bosses won’t catch that she’s filling in. But the only thing that she’s filling in is her sister’s too small and tight elf suit, catching the eye of one of the bosses. Chris Kringle knows that the elf in front of him is one of the girls he’s hired, suspicious and a bit aroused by the sexy beauty he investigates a little further. Chris believes in Christmas magic and love at first sight and with Leah he gets a little of both he just has to get her to believe with him.

This short Novella is perfect for a quick getaway from your hustle and bustle. It was fun to see Leah squirm and try to explain why she’s there instead of her sister and see how she fought her attraction to the good looking Mr. Kringle. The story did move quite quickly, and you do need to be a believer in love at first sight to appreciate that romance that blossoms quickly in less than a day between Leah and Chris. It was a little bit of a stretch for me to see Chris fall so quickly, but that’s the joy of short stories, they don’t need to be realistic they just need to make me smile.

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
*This book contains sexual content and is intended for a mature audience*

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReview

 

Merry Christmas, Henry

Merry Christmas, Henry

An extremely gifted artist, Henry, also doubles as night guard at a local museum. He is painfully shy and content with his life, as quiet and isolated as it is. With one true friend to take him under her wing once every week and during holidays, Henry is free to live his life painting and protecting the museum, and spending every moment he can falling love with a woman in a painting. For years, Henry talks to the woman on a cliff and tries to picture her life, what makes her so forlorn and how can he make her happy. With a mission in mind he takes to adding subtle changes to the paintings, slowly adding something every night up to Christmas Eve, which is the night he realizes that the picture is now complete and is it his imagination? Or does this beautiful woman now wear a smile?

Not one my favorite books, the writing was beautiful, but I felt like there should be so much more to the story. I realize it was a short story, and there is only so much that can be said. However, where was the romance? Why couldn’t the painting come alive? Why couldn’t he actually interact with her? Obviously we stepped away from a realistic book, so why not bring the painting to life. I feel the story line was there; it just didn’t come to life and didn’t have a true romantic feeling to it.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Rating: 

 

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