Monday, November 30, 2015

Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton

Title: Winter Oranges
Author: Marie Sexton
My Rating: A+

Genre: Paranormal Romance (m/m)
Series: -
Main Characters: Jason and Benjamin
Release Date: December 2015
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Jason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.

There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.

But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.

-----------------------

Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.

Founded in 1996, the GLBT National Help Center is a non-profit organization that provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Utilizing a diverse group of GLBT volunteers, they operate two national hotlines, the GLBT National Hotline and the GLBT National Youth Talkline, as well as private, volunteer one-to-one online chat, that help both youth and adults with coming-out issues, safer-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems and a lot more.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: http://www.glbthotline.org/

My Review:
This book was so incredibly good. I almost didn't pick it up because the cover has a very historic look to it and I don't read historical...but then I read the description and was intrigued...rightly so. I loved this story.

This story is about Jason...a B-list actor who is tired of the tabloids following him and blowing up his life in the tabloids. To get away, he's moved to a remote house away from everyone and everything...at least he thought so. He wasn't prepared share his home with a ghost from the Civil War, Ben.

Ben never died. His sister trapped him into a snow globe to keep him from going off and joining the war...and then she lost the snow globe. He's been trapped with it ever since. He can come out of the globe in ghost form and occupy the room where the globe is stored, but that's his limit. It's been an awful existence for 150 years...and Jason has been the first person that entire time who's been able to see him.

This book is so wonderful. After Jason gets over his shock and fear, he becomes friends with Ben and can't help but feel awful about Ben's situation. Anyone who got to know him would be naturally empathetic to this torturous existence. As a result, Jason has done everything he can to help Ben experience life again. But that's easier said than done with Jason is someone famous...who is acting more than a little crazy because he's talking to someone that's not there and carrying an antique snow globe with him everywhere.

Everything about the way this story unfolded worked for me. I was completely caught up in the story and the impossibility of these guys together for the long-term. Both their back stories were unique and not the expected. I really liked that Jason is a B-list actor rather than an A-list. The scenes with them watching his old horror movies were great. And Ben's last 150 years haven't been easy...despite his obsession with 80's nighttime soap operas. (His first question to Jason is 'Who shot J.R.?'.

This is a book I fully plan to buy in print because I want to reread it every year. It's just a fantastic story and 20% of the profits go to GLBT National Help Center so it's a huge win/win. I highly recommend you check this one out. I think you will be swept away by the beauty and magical qualities of this beautiful romance!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Rekindle the Flame by Kate Meader

Title: Rekindle the Flame
Author: Kate Meader
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hot in Chicago #0.5
Main Characters: Beck and Darcy
Release Date: November 2015
Publisher: Pocket Star
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Cuddle up by the fire with the irresistible prequel to Kate Meader’s smokin’ Hot in Chicago series—originally published in the sizzling holiday anthology Baby, It’s Cold Outside—a superhot e-novella that will warm you from your head to your heart and all the way to your toes!

Chicago firefighter Beck Rivera always knew his destiny would be defined by two things: his dream to follow in the footsteps of his legendary foster father Sean Dempsey and his teenage passion for heiress Darcy Cochrane, the one girl who could both stoke and cool his fire. Loving her meant setting her free and breaking her heart—and his. But when a chance reunion at his family’s bar, sparked by a drunk Santa, places her in his path again, destiny can no longer be denied.

The last thing heiress-turned-tattoo-artist Darcy Cochrane needs is the rollercoaster of emotion stirred up by her first love: sexy, gorgeous man-on-fire Beck Rivera. But he always had such talented hands. And more talented lips. And...maybe one time can’t hurt. Then she’ll send him packing like he did to her all those years ago. But Darcy and Beck soon discover that nothing ignites holiday flames like rekindling a lost love...
My Review:
I've been lucky in that I've been reading this series since the first book, but somehow I missed the very first story that was a part of the Baby It's Cold Outside Anthology. I'm so glad I was asked to review this novella that started it all so I could truly catch up with all the Dempsey stories. 

This story is a second chance at love story and I love those. Beck and Darcy were high school sweethearts, but Beck broke Darcy's heart when he dumped her. What she didn't know was that he was giving her up so she'd have a real chance at life...something he didn't think she'd have with him.

So when he has a second chance, he's not willing to give her up again, but it's not so easy to convince her that she can trust him with her heart again.

The best thing about this story is the transformation Darcy has gone through in the last seven years. I love what a badass, awesome chick she is now. She's awesome...even if she is in denial over her feelings for Beck and what she wants from him now.

My only complaint about this book...it's a novella. While the story feels very complete, I feel like I didn't get a chance to truly become attached to these characters in the amount of pages in the story. Luckily, I've read the rest of the story, so I know the other characters so well, it still worked for me. 

I highly recommend this entire series. The premise is that these six foster kids that were taken in by the Dempsey family then all followed in their foster father's footsteps after he and the oldest brother died in a tragic firefighting accident. They have strong bonds, but with their backgrounds, the stories are very varied...and ALL good. Start with this one and then enjoy getting into the rest of the series. I definitely recommend them all.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Single Undead Moms Club by Molly Harper (audiobook)

Title: The Single Undead Moms Club
Author: Molly Harper
My Rating: A
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Half-Moon Hollow #4
Main Characters: Libby and Wade
Release Date: October 2015
Publisher: Pocket
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
In the next book in Molly Harper’s Half Moon Hollow paranormal romance series, Libby (a widow-turned-vampire) struggles with her transition, and finds out it sucks to be the only vampire member of the PTA…

Widow Libby Stratton arranged to be turned into a vampire after she was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. It wasn’t the best idea she’s ever had, but she was desperate—she’s not about to leave her seven-year-old son to be raised by her rigid, overbearing in-laws.

On top of post-turning transition issues, like being ignored at PTA meetings and other mothers rejecting her son’s invitations for sleepovers, Libby must deal with her father-in-law’s attempts to declare her an unfit mother, her growing feelings for Wade—a tattooed redneck single dad she met while hiding in a closet at Back to School Night—and the return of her sire, who hasn’t stopped thinking about brave, snarky Libby since he turned her.

With the help of her new vampire circle, Libby negotiates this unfamiliar quagmire of legal troubles, parental duties, relationships, and, as always in Harper’s distinct, comedic novels, “characters you can’t help but fall in love with” (RT Book Reviews).

My Review:
Overall...4.5
Performance...4.5
Story...4.5

Molly Harper is back. Honestly, I think this is one of the best books she's ever written. I loved it so much. She was able to take vampirism and use it to make fun of the everyday things that mom's have to deal with. As a mom, I loved the humor in it and the tongue in cheek sarcasm that M. Harper excels at. 

And the whole setup of the story is wonderful. Libby was dying of cancer and the thought of leaving her 5 yo son an orphan isn't something she can deal with, so she advertised on Craig's list for someone to turn her...something the vampire community frowns on. So they aren't real happy about how she goes about getting turned. 

And then things become even more complicated from there. It's not easy to be a newly turned vampire, a single mother, and an effective member of the PTA. But overall, Libby is sure she's made the right choice. She just has to get the rest of the world to agree with her...or at least stop harassing her over her choice. Between snotty mom's, rogue chupacabras, sexy, sweet-smelling single dads, and irate in-laws.

This book is hilarious. I had so much fun listening to the audiobook...to the point where I was searching for housework to do so I could listen for just a little bit longer to the audiobook. Amanda Ronconi is brilliant in her inflections and voices. If you like your stories with a tongue in cheek sarcasm and humor, I HIGHLY recommend this story. It's part of a series, but easily works as a stand-alone. 

I loved Libby and Wade and Finn and of course, Jane and Dick...who always bring in a great wit to the story. I really liked this one because Dick was in a place of authority for it. I like to see him trying to be the voice of reason. It makes me laugh. They all make me laugh.

If you haven't tried Molly Harper, I highly recommend you try her...and this one is a great place to start, especially if you're a mom.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Truth About Him by M. O'Keefe

Title: The Truth About Him
Author: M. O'Keefe 
My Rating: B+

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid #2
Main Characters: Dylan and Annie
Release Date: November 2015
Publisher: Random House
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic


Story Overview:
For fans of Christina Lauren and Jodi Ellen Malpas comes the next novel in M. O’Keefe’s breathtakingly sexy series about a woman called into a journey of the heart, body, and soul.
 
We played our roles, told each other lies.
 
But now Dylan is no longer just a mysterious deep voice on the other end of the line. We’re face-to-face and our relationship is very, very real.
 
We still have secrets—but so much is crystal clear:
 
The thrilling danger.
 
The raw, naked desire.
 
The need to keep feeling the way he makes me feel. Forever.
 

Dylan is putting up walls, trying to keep me safe, but he can’t shut me out. He has seen my darkness and rescued me. Now it’s my turn, if only he will let me.
My Review:
I didn't think I could stand it when book #1 ended in a cliffhanger, but this book picks up right where that book left off... and those scenes are just as horrific as I expected. 

In fact there's a whole lot of awful happening in this book, but don't worry...it's in the very best way, because in the midst of all those awful events are some incredibly emotional, romantic, sexy scenes. Although toward the end of the book I was seriously cursing the author because I couldn't see how she could make this a good ending for everyone. But I should have had more faith.

I liked the way this book was written. Dylan's POV was written as 1st person whereas Annie's was written as 3rd person POV. That really worked for me in this book. I liked feeling like I was deeper into Dylan's POV although Annie shows amazing depth of emotion throughout this book. I loved how the author wrote these two. Their's should be an impossible connection and they both know it, but they both want this relationship so much, they are making more effort, even when they think they'll live to regret it. 

I enjoyed the whole story with Max and Ben and Dylan. Talk about emotional. To see all these alpha men try to make a connection again melted my heart and even I knew the odds were so against them, I really wanted them to work it all out. What Dylan has gone through...sob. And once again in this book, Joan's story line shocked me. Well done to the author.

And this book is sexy. Take note...this is an erotic book. There's a LOT of sex. Sometimes it was too much, but some of those scenes were so emotional for both Dylan and Annie. I liked how sometimes Dylan was even more slayed. So many times only the woman gets really emotional after the physical connection. In this book, Dylan was so often knocked sideways by the deep connection. I loved that.

Overall, this has been an incredible series. But warning...it is really gritty and raw at times, but that worked so well for both these characters, so while it's not my usually favored style, this series worked for me. I liked it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Taking It Off by Claire Kent

Title: Taking It Off
Author: Claire Kent 
My Rating: A-

Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: -
Main Characters: Matt and Elizabeth
Release Date: November 2015
Publisher: Loveswept
Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: erotic

My Review:
Can't get enough Magic Mike? Let bestselling author Claire Kent introduce you to Matt Stokes, the sexy-as-sin male stripper and club owner who knows what it really means to bare everything.

Preschool teacher Elizabeth Marks isn't exactly thrilled to be attending a college friend's bachelorette party at a male strip joint. The sights—screaming women, half-naked hunks—are just as sleazy as she expected, with one exception: the man standing at the back, radiating sensual heat despite being fully clothed. When Elizabeth takes refuge outside, he chases her down and dares her to stay. It turns out that her mystery man is the owner—and, as tonight's headliner, the one guy Elizabeth wouldn't mind seeing naked.


Matt Stokes lives his life one day, one dance at a time. But as he challenges Elizabeth to get in touch with the passionate, impulsive woman behind her prim fa├žade, she brings out another side of him as well. This girl isn't just another pretty face—or paying customer—and Matt can't help wanting more. Onstage, he's used to exposing his body. Now Matt will have to expose his heart. Because when it comes to real love, that's the one striptease that matters.
My Review:
I really enjoyed this book. It was fun and sexy and just pure entertainment. But one of the things that was so good about it was that Elizabeth and Matt come from such extremely different places, but they work so well together. I've read one or two other books featuring a stripper, but I liked that Matt has the whole history of the strip club and is now the owner...and sometimes reluctant stripper when one of his regular guys flakes. 

Elizabeth goes to the club as part of a bachelorette party and hates every single minute of it. Matt sees her misery and takes it upon himself to teach her how to loosen up and have fun...challenging her to visit the club twice a week for the next month so she can learn to enjoy it. What she learns to enjoy is Matt...and he finds that he likes this uptight miss, too. 

It really was a fun read. I enjoyed it. The visuals the author drew were really fun...hello, male strippers. And the family dynamics behind both Elizabeth and Matt added to the depths of the story. I liked that everything about this relationship took Elizabeth out of her norm. As a result, she had a great character development arc over the length of the story. She grew to be a better stronger person by her journey of self discovery. By the end, she deserved Matt, even if he didn't quite agree with that. And that fact made me sad for Matt. He has such a hard time seeing his own self worth.

I liked it and definitely recommend it, but that recommendation comes with a warning...at first Elizabeth is really hard to take. She has no sense of fun or adventure and is completely straightlaced and rigid. But give her a chance. Give Matt a chance to show her how to find her true self. In the end I loved what and who she became and loved the two of them together. They are good influences on one another and they need that support since neither one has ever really had that before. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ghost of a Chance by Kelly Apple

Title: Ghost of a Chance
Author: Kelly Apple 
My Rating: A-

Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Pinnacle Point #1
Main Characters: Chance and Alison
Release Date: November 2015
Publisher:  
Links to Purchase:


Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
When he was alive, Chance Harker was stuck in a boring job and a relationship that was going nowhere. Now that he’s dead, a whole new world has opened up for him.

He has a challenging job with a PI firm, his run of a swank hotel, and plenty of interesting people to keep an eye on. The only thing missing from his afterlife is great sex. Hell, he’d settle for mediocre sex at this point. Any sex at all, in fact.

Finding out the research facility run by Pinnacle Point Pharms is looking for those with strange and unusual sexual issues, Chance decides to check it out. Because if a sex clinic with supernatural ties can’t help him get a little nookie, he’ll have to resign himself to an eternity of unfulfilled desires.

And no self-respecting ghost wants that.

Warning: This book contains a horny ghost who tends to go invisible at the worst possible moment, a woman with exceptional flexibility, and a box of powdered donuts. The break room will never be the same again.
My Quickie Review:
At this point, I know when I go into a Kelly Apple read that it's going to be fun, fast, and really sexy. This book did not disappoint. I read the story when I had a horrible headache, but even with that, Chance kept me giggling. I loved his snarky inner voice, while at the same time, I feel really sorry for the guy. It's hard being a horny ghost. But then he answers an ad for Pinnacle Point Pharms and meets Alison and really sexy times ensue. (I'll never be able to look at a powdered donut the same again.) I loved how open she was to him and helping him out. 

This was a really fun one and I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the series...next book is a zombie, who just happens to be related to Chance. I can't wait!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Steal Me by Lauren Layne

Title: Steal Me
Author: Lauren Layne
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: New York's Finest #2
Main Characters: Anthony and Maggie
Release Date: November 2015
Publisher: Forever
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy




Story Overview:
Being a cop might be in Anthony Moretti's blood, but protecting and serving the city of New York has always been more than just the family business. If that means his love life stays locked up, well then that's just another sacrifice made in the line of duty. That is, until he sets eyes on the gorgeous new waitress at The Darby Diner and suddenly Anthony's morning coffee is leaving him a whole lot more hot and bothered than usual.

Though waitressing at The Darby isn't exactly Maggie Walker's dream job, it pays the bills and gives her time to work on her novel. Now if only she could stop fantasizing about gorgeous Anthony Moretti every time he sits down at her table, she'd really be in great shape. But when he needs her help identifying a criminal threatening The Darby—and Maggie recognizes her ex-husband—she fears her fresh start might be a pipe dream. Faster than a New York minute, Maggie and Anthony find themselves in one perilous pursuit that only gets hotter with each and every rule-breaking kiss.
 

My Review:
I love this series. But one of the reasons I loved this particular book so much is due to Lauren Layne's incredible ability to build up sexual tension. Wow...I'd love to read her rough drafts to see how much of that ability is just innate talent and how much she adds in as she goes in through the rewriting process. Because her books are so amazing for the push/pull of the emotions of the characters. This one in particular was fabulous just because Anthony is such a repressed character. 

Anthony's issue with his emotions, dealing with having them at all, is what makes this book so good. He's trying to balance his career aspirations and his promotion to Captain with his family obligations and trying to solve a crime that involves a girl he's interested in which is a serious breach in protocol. Not a good thing for his first big case as a Captain...at least not if he wants to progress any farther up the chain. This is a guy who is seriously conflicted and that means he continually jerks Maggie around. 

I loved Maggie's connection to Anthony's family and how they were all rooting for her. They sense that she needs someone in her corner and are perfectly willing to throw Anthony under the bus and tell him to get his head out of his butt. It made for a fun read and I laughed out loud several times during the family interactions. I love the siblings relationships and how they are all close enough to be completely honest with one another. 

It was just a great book. I cannot wait for Vincent and Jill's book. It promises to be another great one. 

Note: even though I get these books for review, I always buy a copy of Lauren Layne's books (the ones I can anyway) because her's are ALL definitely worthy of a place on my keeper shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Fighting For Devlin by Jessica Lemmon

Title: Fighting For Devlin
Author: Jessica Lemmon
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Lost Boys #1
Main Characters: Rena and Devlin
Release Date: November 2015
Publisher: Loveswept
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Katy Evans, Jessica Lemmon’s irresistible Lost Boys series kicks off with the story of a good girl who plays by the rules—and the bad boy who brings out her wild side.

Devlin Calvary makes his own luck. Orphaned as a young child, he was taken in by a crew of bookies and gamblers—and they became his family. They’re the reason Dev’s running a trendy bistro, living in a high rise, and enjoying the good life with a string of women who never ask for too much. Until, one night, he finds out how much it hurts to trust the wrong people.

Rena Lewis sticks to the straight and narrow, determined not to slip up again . . . like the terrible night of partying four years ago that ended in tragedy. A waitress at Oak & Sage, she knows that sleeping with her boss is not a smart move. But when Dev shows up on her doorstep, beat up and clearly shaken, Rena’s not about to turn him down . . . or kick him out of bed.

Dev reawakens something primal within her—a need to go wild. And Rena soon finds out that the heart she’d sealed away years ago still has the power to fight for love.


My Review:
When this book first began I wasn't so sure this was one that would be for me. Devlin lives in a hard (and illegal) world, but at the front of it he runs his very successful restaurant, Oak and Sage. This is where he meets Rena, who works there as a waitress.

Rena has a tragic history of being the bad girl, which cost her everything. Since then, she tries to do everything right. She's uptight and very responsible about everything, but when Devlin shows up on her doorstep bloody and beaten everything changes. 

Devlin made this story for me. I loved his photographic memory and how that's played into his story and how he ends up at Rena's. He has a pretty tragic history, too, but I love how it all plays out so that he overcomes that. 

I totally bought the connection between Rena and Devlin. She can't stand by and not help him, despite her resolutions. And he can't seem to make himself stay away from her, although he knows that he really shouldn't drag her into his life. It made for some explosive, sexy times. I loved that about the book. It is a really hot story.

This is also a story about hope. There are a lot of people caught up in circumstances that they aren't sure how to get out of, but overall, the ending is maybe not good...but it's right for everyone. It was an interesting story and I'm even more excited about the follow-up book, because my heart is hurting so much for Cade. I can't wait to read his story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Denial by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: Denial
Author: Lisa Renee Jones 
My Rating: B+

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Careless Whispers #1
Main Characters: Ella and Kayden
Release Date: November 2015
Publisher: Gallery
Links to Purchase:


Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Book one in the CARELESS WHISPERS series. This is a standalone spin-off of the INSIDE OUT series (soon to be a TV show) that follows Ella Ferguson, Sara McMillan's best friend.

Ella Ferguson awakes alone in Italy, unsure of who she is, and a gorgeous man has claimed her as his own. He’s tall, dark, and sexy, with money and power, the kind of man who makes a girl want to be possessed. And he does possess her, whispering wicked wonderful promises to her, stealing her trust and her heart. Soon though, the past finds her, yanking her from a cocoon of passion and safety. Everything is not how it seems. The truth will shatter her world, but it can set her free, if it doesn't destroy her first.
 

My Review:
Lisa Renee Jones with another twisted, suspense-filled sexy series with more twists and turns. 

I wasn't a big fan of the last book I read by this author, so I went into reading this one with some doubts. But Kayden and Ella quelled them rather quickly. Although that sure doesn't mean that I'm not still sitting here with questions...lots of them. Like most LRJ books, this one left me with more questions at the end than I'd had throughout the entire book, but her ability to weave these stories is exactly why I love her writing. 

Ella is an American in Italy who woke up in a hospital with a concussion and no memory, and the gorgeous, extremely wealthy and powerful Kayden promising to take care of her. Nothing to be suspicious about there, right? It's everyday that strangers offer to take on a mountain of problems for people they don't know, right? Yeah, exactly. But despite those doubts, I like Kayden...a lot. Do I think he's hiding things? Hell, yeah. But he's one of those guys who's an alpha protector. I think he's hiding things with the best of intentions for Ella... and maybe for himself too. 

I wasn't too sure about Ella for a lot of the book...but a lot of that is because she's not a fully-formed character. She has no memory of herself, so she doubts everything including her own intuitions. But as her memory is coming back and details are emerging, I'm liking her more and more. I also like that she's becoming so much more herself and a force to be reckoned with. I love a girl who can take care of herself. 

I have no idea where this series is going to take us (I need to go back and re-read from the other series because they loosely tie together to see if there are any hints that I simply don't remember), but I'm anxious for book #2. It's called Demand and that title alone tells me I'm going to like Ella in the next book. She's definitely owed some answers. 

This is a book full of twists and turns. Don't go into it expecting anything to be answered. It will happen eventually in the series, but until then it's a fantastic ride of trying to figure out how all the players impact the story and the mystery. I have a few suspicions, but I have a feeling I'm guessing more wrong than right. LOL. Bring on book #2!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Should've Said No by Tracy March


Title: Should've Said No
Author: Tracy March 
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Thistle Bend #1
Main Characters: Lindsey and Carden
Release Date: November 2015
Publisher: Loveswept
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:

Welcome to Thistle Bend! Perfect for fans of Susan Mallery, this charming series debut introduces a small town where old secrets are revealed—and wounded hearts are opened to new love.

A year after being laid off from the Smithsonian, Lindsey Simms says yes to a job offer as curator of a heritage museum in Thistle Bend, Colorado (population 1,519). It could be worse—and it is. Because the new museum has escalated a dispute between the Karlssons, Lindsey’s relatives, and the Crenshaws, a blood feud which goes way back to a land deal that changed the fortunes of both families. Trying to stay objective, Lindsey can’t tell anyone about her conflict of interest—especially not the ruggedly handsome handyman fixing up her cabin, who seems to be keeping secrets of his own.

Although he’s the executive director of the family trust and one of Colorado’s most eligible bachelors, Carden Crenshaw prefers getting his hands dirty in town and on his sprawling ranch. Staying busy has given him an excuse not to risk heartbreak, but getting to know the beautiful “museum lady” makes him reconsider. Little does he know, the heat between them will only add fuel to the fire—unless this unlikely couple can prove they’re lovers, not fighters.
 
My Review:
This book had an interesting premise. The small Colorado town is setting up a new museum and Lindsey is a museum expert who's been brought in to tackle the job. But the job is much more than she expects since she's expected to unravel the town's family feud that's gone on for the last 150 years. But it's a family feud that involves HER family...it's just that only three people in town know that...Lindsey and her great aunt and uncle. 

Of course, in a love story trope as old as Romeo and Juliet, you know that the hero is going to come from the family on the opposite side of the family feud. Lindsey is feeling pressure from all sides to track down the correct details of what really happened so long ago. 

There were things that I loved about this book:
*the setting was pure perfection. Such gorgeous imagery in this book especially the wildflowers. I've spent a bit of time in the mountains of Colorado and after reading this book, I felt like I'd been for a quick visit back to the state.
*Carden...I thought it was great that he acts as the town's handyman especially since he's also part of the town's richest, most powerful family. It made him seem more real and down to earth.
*I loved the elderly ladies (and now can't remember their names...Milly and ???). They were awesome and I loved the slightly paranormal/magical aspect they added to the story. There wasn't any of that actually happening, but they had that kind of magical air to them like they knew so much more than everyone else.

At times, the story seemed to lag a little bit, but I think a lot of that was simple repetition. Lindsey is searching for answers and not having much luck...for weeks. She needs that to earn her a way back to DC. I get that, but it was maybe stated in the book a few dozen too many times. Overall, that was a tiny niggle, but the repetition did slow down the story and took me out of the book quite a few times.

Note: the resolution for the controversy...I never would have guessed that and LOVED the real story. That was a serious highlight of this book. Brilliantly written by the author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.