Surprise billionaire in BBW romance


Make You Mine (A BBW Romance) (Fifty Shades of Romance (Curves)) – ♥♥♥

Synopsis:
Daryl works for a dating agency and it is her job to sign rich, single guys for mixers to meet single ladies. Tevin has an unassuming look about him but there are clues that he has money. Since he is good looking and rich, Daryl wants to sign him up with the agency. He agrees if she will agree to date him. That is not what she had in mind, but she does want to keep her job.

Opinion:
Daryl is a sweet girl that is in a catch-22 situation. She really likes Tevin and the more she gets to know him, the greater her feelings for him. But at the same time, she is thinking about her job. She needs him to sign up so that she can keep her job. Tevin outmaneuvered her into dating him. That was okay with me since he was a cutie.

If only all uber-rich guys could be as nice as him.

This is a cute novella. I like the fact that Daryl is a BBW who is not whiny about the fact that she is curvy. The love scenes are tame, not graphic. I previously read several books that were not so great, so I was not anticipating that I would like the book that much. Plus the title said “Fifty Shades of Romance” so I lower my expectations even more.

You ask “Why did I read it?”

I am addicted to reading, I guess. I wanted to occupy some time with mindless entertainment. Some people watch reality TV.
I read trashy romance novels. But I digress…

Since I had rock bottom expectations, I was delightfully surprised with this book. It was not trashy at all. The fact that I was expecting so little made the ending much sweeter. You know from the synopsis that the leading man is rich, but there is a surprise at the end that makes you want to say “Awwwww” and read the book all over again. I will not say anymore because I want you to buy Make You Mine (A BBW Romance) (Fifty Shades of Romance (Curves)) and read it yourself.

Overall, this short story is a great purchase when you have some free time.

Why Riu Palace Las Americas hotel in Cancun should be your next resort stay

If you are going to Cancun Mexico, you need to do yourself a favor and check out Hotel Riu Palace Las Americas. There are several different Riu locations in Cancun, but I think that Las Americas location is the best.

This is a 5-star hotel all inclusive resort. When we arrived, we received a fruity drink to welcome us. Then we went to our oceanfront room, which was fabulous. We quickly changed clothes and went to relax out by the beach.
The scenery and layout of the hotel was so beautiful. Some days I would get up early (and I am not usually an early riser) just to sit by the pool and enjoy the solitude.

When hubby and I wanted to do a little souvenir shopping, there were several shopping areas within walking distance from the hotel. There was a money exchange station and ATM across the street. We also like to go to Wal-mart in different countries which was a 15-minute taxi ride. It was a plus for us that the resort was centrally located.

Here are some of the amenities that I used quite frequently
Beachfront hotel – My tip: Request an oceanfront view room. It is so relaxing to go to sleep listening to the waves
Swimming pools with swim up bar, poolside bar, pool games (i.e. pool volleyball, pool basketball) – one pool has a chill vibe and the other pool has a party vibe. Of course the party vibe pool has the bar and games.
Jacuzzi, Sauna – My tip: You have to go through the Spa to take advantage of this. It is worth it especially after working out in the gym.
Renova Spa – Wonderful services! My tip: Negotiate a deal when you schedule your massage to receive a discount on whatever services you want.
24-hour room service – My tip: Waiting time is usually about 20-30 minutes. Even if you call 3:00 in the morning! Great service for me because when I am hungry in the middle of the night, I want to eat before I go to sleep. The food was good too! Sometimes the room service food can be sketchy. Not here. Some of the best nachos I had were through room service.
In room bar (with Rum, Tequila, Vodka on tap, beer and bottled water in fridge) – I might not drink all the time, but it is nice to know that it is available. My tip: Take a water with you every time you leave the room to make sure you stay hydrated. Request juice from housekeeping to mix with your liquor.

Restaurants (that I visited – another post will be dedicated to the food of Riu Palace )
Sakura – Japanese food (open for dinner only)
Los Arcos – Italian food
El Romero – Grill and Steakhouse
Don Roberto – Breakfast buffet – made-to-order omelets, chorizo, breakfast potatoes, fruit, breads, etc
Poolside Lunch – mouthwatering grilled chicken and ribs

Every time I go to a resort, I want to go canoeing or kayaking. I did not get to go this time because the water was too rough.

There were shows performed nightly. For example, one night there was a Michael Jackson cover songs show. The shows were not too cheesy and were very entertaining.
This location did not have a nightclub but there was one next door at their sister facility.

Overall, this was one of the best resorts I have visited. The quality of the facility was top of the line. We knew how much we paid and felt that we got our money’s worth. They know how to take care of their visitors and create a comfortable, relaxing environment. All the employees had smiling faces and looked like they enjoyed their jobs. That says a lot about the work environment. I am anxiously awaiting the next time I can visit this or another Riu location.

Places like this make me wish I was a travel agent so that I would get a commission for encouraging travelers to book their next vacation here.
Riu Palace Las Americas hotel
Boulevard Kukulkan Km 8.5
Mza 50 Lote 4 – Zona Hotelera
Cancun 77500 – Quintana Roo – Mexico
Tel (52) 998 891 4300

Safe in his arms Texas Ranger style


Safe In His Arms (Manhunt Book 1) ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis

Mia is an abused wife running from a crazy ex-husband. Because of her testimony, he was sentenced to prison. He is supposed to be gone for a long while and she thinks she will be able to heal and rebuild her life. Unfortunately, Texas Ranger Alex has to tell her the bad news. Her peaceful life has now become a nightmare because her ex-husband has escaped prison.

When Alex first met Mia while helping to convict her ex-husband of her attempted murder, he could not deny that he was attracted to her. But considering the circumstances of how they met, he was good not to try to put the moves on a recently battered woman. Now that he sees her again, Alex knows that he has to do everything to protect her while trying to deny the attraction that is still present.

Opinion

This is a short story with a very clear villain determined to get his wife back under his power. Fortunately for Mia, she picked a hero instead of an abusive, cowardly zero to love the second time around.

The story is gritty and action-packed. Mia’s ex has money and is well-connected. These are things that make it more difficult for the authorities to catch him and end and his reign of terror over her.

While all of this is going on, she still has time to fall in love. Granted I’m glad she does, but I wonder if it is too soon after a trauma. Maybe all she needs is a good man who would treat her right with tenderness and care (for any feminists out there, no need to hear from your peanut gallery- you know what I meant). However, a small part of me wonders how much healing does an abused woman need? It can be just as dangerous to leave one relationship and get into another without fully recuperating.

I know this post is turning serious, but when romance stories mix elements like this into their plot line, I worried about the message it sends. I do not think emotionally damaged women who have been abused and terrorized by significant others should be quick to get into another relationship ( even if the guy is a super awesome, physically well-built, make-ya-wanna-moan man). Getting physical with the new guy can confuse the situation.

Okay off my soapbox now.

Overall, I liked Safe In His Arms well enough. I was thinking about it long after I finished reading it. For the book to spur such thought and reaction says a lot. Bravo to the author for that.

To buy Safe In His Arms (Manhunt Book 1)  on Amazon click any of the links in this post

 

Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel

On a visit to South Miami Beach, we stayed at Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel.

Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel
1817 James Ave, Miami Beach,FL,33139

I used Hotwire (as usual) and chose a 3.5 star in South Beach. The resulting accommodation was Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel. This is a boutique hotel that is decorated in art deco style. From their website, they have locations globally and their Miami location is the only one in the US. While I like Hilton and Marriott chain hotels, it is nice to stay at an upscale, boutique hotel for something different.

Location: Plus for location! It is walking distance from plenty of stores for shopping, the beautiful Miami beach, and a wide variety of restaurants.

Room décor: The rooms are small. The bathroom did not have a tub, only a shower. There was not much empty floor space with the king sized bed, pullout full size sofa bed, and dresser. There were 3 of us in the room which I think added to the tight space. Despite the size of the room, I did not feel cramped because everything was white. It seemed to create the illusion of open space. As long as we were lounging in our respective beds, we were comfortable.

Parking: In a parking garage with valet. Parking was $25 per night. The only downside is that the parking garage is a block and a half away from the hotel. And I think the garage is shared by many of the local hotels. This means it can be a lenghty wait when you try to retrieve your car.

Amenties: Free wi-fi is always a plus. The connection was good in the room. The speed was fast enough to check email and Facebook. However, there are not a lot of outlets in the room (my one pet peeve). As mentioned in other posts, we need a lot of outlets to charge everything. I probably need to pack a power strip. I thought it was a plus that they had a docking station for iPods. That freed up one outlet.

Pool: The pool was wonderful. It was decorated in blue tile (my favorite color). There were cabanas for people to lounge around the pool. The pictures on their website do not do it any justice. So relaxing!

Overall, I like Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel for their art deco style and comfy beds. It was also in a nice location. The staff was very attentive. The bar foods was yummy and their Happy Hour prices were even better.

Top Ten Blogging Confessions

This is not a review but a blog entry extra–

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by the authors of The Broke and the Bookish.I found out about it from Heena Rathore after I visited (and promptly followed) her blog.

Top ten blogging confessions

  1. I am an eternal optimist. Even if a book is terrible, I have to finish it. I am hoping that everything will work out in the end. Many times I am disappointed, annoyed, and aggravated that I wasted my time, but that does not stop me from repeating the same behavior.
  2. I will ignore phone calls when reading a good book. I cannot talk on the phone. I’m READING!
  3. I have to read an entire book in one setting. Even when it is late and I want to go to sleep, I cannot sleep unless I finish the book. I have tried to sleep but the characters are in my head urging me to finish their story. This is why I have to gauge which book I can read by what time of night it is. If I get started around 5:30, then I can read 400 pages easily before bedtime. 9:00? I have to find 200 page-book. 10:00? Looking for a novella. For anything  more than 400 pages, that is my Saturday afternoon & evening.
  4. I hate book series when I am not forewarned ahead of time. Books that end (as in no more pages) like the end of a chapter (i.e. extreme cliffhanger) are my biggest pet peeve with writers these days. It makes me so irrationally angry that I feel like how Bruce Banner must feel as he turns into the Hulk
    (I realize he is an imaginary character but still, I believe you understand my point).
  5. I am extremely stingy with 5 heart/star reviews. I feel it is my duty and responsibility to balance out the “Oh my God, that book was awesome” reviews when in reality the storyline was mediocre at best.
  6. I am not a romantic. It may seem that I should be with the amount of romance novels that I read.
    I still have not figured that one out. 
  7. I am a Kindle book hoarder. I wish I had a dollar for every time I tried to buy a book on Amazon and received the message that I have already purchased the book. My response is “Really? I need to find it in my library and read it. That synopsis was as interesting now as it was a year ago when I bought it the first time!”
  8. I can go days without turning on the TV, but my Kindle battery has to be charged at least every other day.
  9. Amanda Quick is my all-time favorite romance novel author. I love her!!!!
        
  10. I like finding obscure authors that create stories that blow me away. If someone suggests a book on the NY Times best seller’s list, I am less likely to read it. I try to support indie writers and self-published authors. Of course this means that I have to read a lot of junk (editing should not be considered overrated) and trashy books (I’m learning to discern how “trashy” a book can be from key words in the synopsis) to find that one gem. In the end, it is TOTALLY worth it.

A kiss for Midwinter


A Kiss for Midwinter  ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis

When the book begins, Lydia is 15, unmarried, pregnant, and at the doctor’s office with her parents. Jonas is the doctor’s intern, there only to observe. Years later when he takes over the practice, he sees Lydia again. She remembers how they know each other and assumes he thinks the worst of her. Instead of choosing one of the women that obviously fancies him, Jonas is trying to figure out how to breakthrough Lydia’s wall of distrust.

Opinion:

Courtney Milan creates very complex characters her books. Her women are strong but usually damaged in some way. That is the case with Lydia. She was an innocent who suffered because she trusted someone who took advantage of her naivety. She had a great deal of self-recrimination that she had to come to terms with before she would be able to trust again.

Jonas was my type of guy. As a doctor, he was interested in honest, open communication, even when that meant explaining bodily functions and responses. Speaking frankly about intimate matters without attaching any stigma was important in helping Lydia to believe that he was sincere in his affections. If there had been more doctors like him during that time, I think there would have been less sickness and unwanted pregnancies.

Overall, I liked A Kiss for Midwinter because of its interesting characters. The story emphasizes an important lesson in love: forgive yourself first for past indiscretions before trying to love another. Sometimes it is nice to read a romance novella with such a positive message.

Handsomest man in the country


The Handsomest Man in the Country, #1 The Traherns: ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis:

After the Civil War, Mallory is forced to go west when her parents died. Through a series of misfortunes, she is forced to marry Trahern. Since she had to marry out of necessity, there was not any attraction between the two main characters. In fact, Mallory initially described her husband this way, “I did never seen the back end of a mule as ugly as this man”. Trahern realizes that he is a man with not many options. He is, however, willing do what it takes so that Mallory does not regret marrying him.

Opinion

This was a cute story about Mallory and Trahern getting to know each other after the forced marriage. I do not prefer stories told in the first person point of view, especially when the character is from a different era. Mallory talked and viewed the world like the backwoods, country girl she was. Some of her points of view were humorous, but at times it took me a minute to understand what she was talking about. This story was sweet enough to compensate for the fact it was told in first-person point of view.

As a novella, The Handsomest Man in the Country, #1 The Traherns is a short read for the afternoon or at the doctor’s office. The end is worth the purchase. If you do not mind first-person point of view novels, I would suggest this author’s series because I think they will all be very interesting.

To buy The Handsomest Man in the Country, #1 The Traherns  on Amazon click any of the links in this post