Archives

Being Brooke by Emma Hart #romance #review #bookaddict #KU

Being Brooke by Emma Hart

Synopsis
My name is Brooke Barker…
And I’m a freaking disaster.
No, seriously. I’m a college drop-out working a dead-end job, my best friend Carly’s dog gets more action than I do, and I have more bad dates in my diary than there are movie remakes.
Not to mention I’m completely and utterly in love with Cain Elliott.
The problem? He’s in a relationship. With a girl who’s so plastic she makes Barbie cry herself to sleep with jealousy.
The second problem? He’s my best friend.
My shut-up-and-put-on-Harry-Potter, yes-this-is-your-shirt, help-I-have-no-power, crap-I’m-out-of-tampons, kinda best friend.
And that’s all he can be, right?
Right.

Opinion
Brooke is loud, brash, and snarky. I should have loved her. Instead I was annoyed. I could not understand why she seem so intent on sabotaging the relationship.

Brooke’s life tip number one is “don’t fall for your best friend”. It is too bad that she already did that. She could have embraced it, but she was so sure they would not succeed as a couple. As a result, she was all over the place and it seem to me that she was being extremely weird.

Cain was cute but super clueless. I cannot see how it was possible for him to be that dense. Everyone else seems to know Brooke was madly in love with him while he obliviously is dating someone else. They wonder how long Brooke will carry a torch for him. When he finally finds out that Brooke wants more, I thought he was extremely patient to deal with all of her antics.

The supporting characters made this book for me.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BORROW. I loved Cain in a he-is-too-cute kind of way. Brooke was too annoying for me.

Book details
Series: Barley Cross
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥 🔥
Print Length: 288 pages



This post is full of Amazon affiliate links. Support my blog by clicking those links if you are thinking about ordering any of these products. Thanks!!!

Guest Hope Clark talks about #beachvacation #guestpost #SCbeaches #Edisto

This guest post is by C. Hope Clark from www.chopeclark.com

The Atypical Beach Vacation for the Atypical Tourist – Edisto Island

Beaches conjure visions of motels, neon, souvenir shops, lifeguards, and a sea of visitors strewn across the sand. Partying, maybe. All sorts of floats and rafts in the water, close enough to bump at the next wave. To some, that’s the typical beach vacation. To others like myself, the more atypical tourist, those are the opposite of what makes for a great getaway.

And the ultimate atypical beach vacation is hands down Edisto Beach, South Carolina.

 

One hour south of Charleston, down a long two-lane highway that ends in the Atlantic. No motels. No franchises. No buildings allowed over 41 feet tall. Porch lights off at dusk to keep from confusing the turtles. One old grocery store that’s a far cry from a rambling, neon Publix. The tap water tastes salty, and there isn’t any room service. You might have to bring your own sheets and towels.

There’s you, the beach, the jungle of the island you go through reaching the beach, breezes, and no traffic noises. You usually rent one of the worn-out houses, none of which are more than three blocks from the ocean on one side, and the marsh and its jaw-dropping sunsets on the other.

The Edisto mantra is that you leave your problems on the other side of the Big Bridge, which is otherwise known as the McKinley Washington Bridge over the Dawhoo River. And few people go back across at the end of the week without wishing they could remain on that beach forever. Very few. But there’s one time of year, that doesn’t involve summer, that attracts the Edisto faithfuls, and that’s in October for the Edisto Museum’s annual Edisto & Beyond Tour of Historic Plantations, Churches and Graveyards.

Unbeknownst to most, Edisto Island families pre-Civil War once rivaled the richest of Atlanta, Charleston, and New Orleans. Sea Island Cotton amassed what today would be millions for the Seabrooks, the Jenkins, the Townsends, and a dozen or more other old families. Edisto’s history is long and rich. The Edisto Museum, via its tiny white house on the corner of Highway 174 and Chisolm Road, with its fierce graciousness, preserves this history in all its dignities and atrocities, preserving the past of the white and black cultures that gave the island its magic.

I belong to the museum not to support it, but also to receive early access to the Edisto & Beyond Tour each October. No two years are alike with different plantations, graveyards and churches opened to the public. Amidst the shadows of oak trees hundreds of years old, dripping in Spanish moss, you envision the people who preceded you on that island, picture the enchantment, sweat, and strife while you stand where others stood. Seeing where they worked, dined, and ultimately rested in peace. Ghosts, lovers, patriots, and rogues.

I was lucky enough to serve as a docent at Middleton Plantation, also known as Chisholm Plantation at one time and The Launch at another. These family properties sometimes changed titles as families passed them down. It offers a divine open view of the Combahee River.

 

 

Most folks in South Carolina can appreciate Middleton Place in Charleston County on Highway 61, the home of then Governor Henry Middleton. The Governor’s son Oliver built Middleton Plantation on Edisto.

Assigned an upstairs bedroom that belonged to one of the Middleton children, I’d spent much time investigating my assignment. I could tell you that the brass knobs on the doors, though antique, weren’t original because Union soldiers stripped the house of its valuables. That the handmade desk was a gift to the daughter, and the sea trunk used for European treks. That the plantation gained a reputation for its long-staple cotton only viable on the sea islands of South Carolina and Georgia, varieties developed and transported by land barons and slaves alike.

As an author of two mystery series, one centered in the rural reaches of South Carolina and the other on Edisto, my research served me well as touring visitors asked questions about the time period, the families, and the architecture. Thank goodness for my agriculture degree from Clemson, enabling me to answer questions about the cotton.

Another docent handled the bedroom at the other end of the short hallway who turned out to be the sister to Lowcountry author Dorothy Benton Frank. What a joy to share literature, history, and a love of Edisto with someone equally infatuated with all three realms.

Each locale on the tour comes with a docent or two, each equipped to answer questions, each carrying a deep reverence for the graveyard, church, home, people, or in some cases, ruins and gardens that they are entrusted to teach about.
And the entire island embraces that day. You’ll find art shows in parks, and usually an author signing at the Edisto Bookstore. The museum opens its doors with remarkable and fresh displays to aid to your knowledge along with gifts of handcrafted jewelry, indigo, paintings, and more, each distinctively tied to Edisto.

There’s a reason people return to Edisto rather than bounce from place to place for their vacation needs. There’s a reason your watch changes to Edisto-slow time when you cross the Big Bridge. This is a beach where they define calm, promote simplicity, and accept visitors seeking that lifestyle, if only for a week. Like Shangri La, Edisto is a permanently happy place, isolated from the world, and deeply grateful to each generation that came before for creating such a haven.

BIO

BIO: C. Hope Clark’s latest release is Dying on Edisto, Book 5 of the Edisto Island Mysteries. She has also authored one other award-winning mystery series and is working on another. She founded FundsforWriters.com, selected by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for 18 years. Her newsletter reaches 35,000 readers. www.fundsforwriters.com / www.chopeclark.com

LINKS

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44089103-dying-on-edisto

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130656357

Edisto Island Mysteries

 

 

BOOK BLURB

One death. Two detectives. And unexpected backup.
A Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade crossover, standalone mystery!

When a renowned—and now dead—travel blogger washes ashore on the banks of Indigo Plantation, Edisto Beach Police Chief Callie Morgan agrees to head the investigation as a favor to the county sheriff, whose reasons are as questionable as the death itself. When death turns to murder and a watchdog from the county makes her investigation difficult, Callie reluctantly turns to Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo, vacationing agents with the Department of Agriculture.

Because poison is growing on this plantation and someone knows how to use it well.

 

TESTIMONIALS

Murder, corruption, and page-turning intrigue are usually the elements that shine the brightest in mysteries like Hope Clark’s latest Dying on Edisto. But it’s the characters that bring a vivid literary element to Clark’s prose and create a strong emotional response to their tangled lives. The scenic town of Edisto Beach is peopled with a modern-day pirate claiming to be a descendent of Blackbeard, a degenerate travel blogger, a yoga teacher who drives a baby blue vintage Benz convertible, a mixed race waitress and her matriarchal grandmother, and a whole slew of wealthy and crooked good ole boys. Leading the cast are two strong female protagonists—a police chief and an investigator with the Department of Agriculture. Did someone say hemlock? —Susan Cushman, author of Cherry Bomb and editor of Southern Writers on Writing

“In a plot as complicated as the numerous waterways that create Edisto Island in South Carolina, C. Hope Clark has combined the characters from her two series to solve the murder of a renowned travel blogger. They mystery requires all of their detective skills and blends the two mystery worlds in a page-turning standalone. The story opens with a floater and progresses with edge-of-your-seat action. Prepare to be absorbed by Clark’s crisp writing and compelling storytelling. This is one you don’t want to miss!”— Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of three mystery series. She is the author of over 80 books and has received numerous writing awards.

Hope Clark converges her sleuths, Carolina and Callie Jean, on Edisto Island for the finale, Dying on Edisto, concluding her two murder mystery series. Slews of fans always awaited these highly addictive and superbly penned novels – grabbing you from the first page and not letting go until the last. A pristine, sleeper sea island, two determined masters of law who butt heads, a mystery corpse from Atlantic waters, a few idiosyncrasies along the way – the absolute best cast and plot for an intense coastal thriller. ~Karen Carter, Owner, Edisto Bookstore

Single billionaire boss #bookreview #romance

Single Dad, Billionaire boss 

Synopsis
Stuck with a blistering hot, filthy rich, and thankfully single billionaire? It’s the vacation of a lifetime alright…

Sometimes, the worst of circumstances can lead to the best of times. Harper Kelly has just been fired from her dream job, but rather than wallow in her misery, she’s taking the opportunity to cross some items off of her bucket list. Forget job hunting, she’s going skiing in the Alps!

It’s not long, however, before her dream vacation is marred by a fraught encounter with a ridiculously handsome guest. Cue a freak avalanche, and the two are snowed in together, along with his adorable son. What’s more, Harper soon discovers the irresistible vacationer is none other than Jason Raynes, the notoriously reclusive billionaire!

With a luxury hotel to themselves, it’s not long before Harper begins to thaw the frosty single dad’s heart, and break down the walls that seek to keep her out. And when Jason unexpectedly makes her a job offer she can’t refuse – as a tutor to his beloved son – Harper doesn’t know how to feel; is this his way of keeping her around, while keeping her at arm’s length? For every step he takes toward her, he pulls two steps back. Could it really be true that to be so close to him is to live in danger?

After an eerie encounter on the historic streets of Dublin, Harper begins to wonder if her new lover’s past is coming back to haunt them. Can she get him to open up to her before he pushes her away? Or before malevolent forces catch up with them both?

Opinion
The story line was OK but I have questions

1 How were they skiing and missed an avalanche and the hotel evacuation? This seems extremely far-fetched and unrealistic.

Related image

2 Why did Harper flirt so much with Jason and then blame him for being hot and cold? He wasn’t looking for a girlfriend. She pretty much just pushed herself and the relationship on him.

3 After they slept together, why did Harper think she was going to receive proclamations of love? They had no romance before that besides one kiss and a few glances.

Image result for don't be desperate girl meme

4 Where were Harper’s girlfriends? She needed someone to tell her to stop throwing herself at her boss and trying to make him love her.

5 Did Harper have absolutely zero common sense? She was so dumb at times. When confronted with danger on multiple occasions, she lacked the common sense to do what she needed to do in order to save herself.

6 Why did it seem like Jason was not sure if he wanted a serious relationship or just a new mom for his son? I cannot tell if he was still grieving for his deceased wife or if he was emotionally ready to be in a new relationship. On an unrelated note, his way of handling the conflict was infuriating to me. He was withholding pertinent facts for no reason!

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?

BORROW if you like nanny/single dad romances. The story line showed a lot of promises, but the characters were weak.

Book details
Series: Billionaires of Europe
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥
Print Length: 261 pages

 

This post is full of Amazon affiliate links. Support my blog by clicking those links if you are thinking about ordering any of these products. Thanks!!!

The Man In The Mirror #BillionaireRomance

Man in the Mirror

Synopsis
Brett King, Billionaire.

Yeah, that’s me. Once, I had everything: power, looks, fame, an obscene amount of money, a trophy wife, and a beautiful little boy. Then, in a blink of an eye my enviable life was taken away.
I was left with nothing except my dirty money and my heart of stone.
I looked in the mirror and could not recognize myself. God had a sense of humor. I was ugly inside and now I was ugly outside too. It was divine justice.

I retreated to my castle in Wales and allowed no one to come face to face with me. My staff carried out my instructions and asked no questions. The only thing left to me was to acquire more money that I would never spend.
The months passed and I grew accustomed to my isolation. As I roamed about alone I even began to appreciate the darkness of my life. I lost interest in the world outside the thick walls of my castle. Nothing held any interest for me anymore.

Until she came. Charlotte Conrad, the nanny.

At the end of every evening we communicated through the intercom system. She kept me informed about the progress she was making with my son, Zachary.

I was just an employer listening to his employee, but slowly, insidiously, I began to imagine her young body; soft and sensuous against mine.

I wanted to take her. I wanted to hear her talk dirty to me.

I wanted her to unleash the wild, unrestrained animal that was lurking inside me.

I was becoming addicted…

Opinion
I wanted to like the story because the premise was good: a scarred man and the woman who loves him.

BUT…

He is still married! Yeah, I took a heart away because he is still married when they start sleeping together. I know that author tries to set the stage and justify their actions because his first wife is sleeping around on him. Seriously, she was an awful human being. He is going to get a divorce, but two wrongs do not make a right.

Image result for no meme

I cannot understand why Brett kept funding his first wife’s escapades. It was obvious she was not a good mother. She was drunk all the time and partied all night. He said it was out of some supposed sense of duty to his deceased mentor, but I did not see it.

Image result for why meme

If he could work, surely he could figure out how to spend time with his son. It seemed that he was over complicating matters. Obviously, his voice was like butter. He could have spoken to his son through the intercom and had a relationship with him that way. Instead, he did not have any contact with him besides what information the derelict mother deemed necessary to relay.

I liked other books by this author, but this one misses the mark a several levels.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BORROW if you like nanny-dad romances.

Book details

Series: N/A
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥

Print Length: 300 pages

 

This post is full of Amazon affiliate links. Support my blog by clicking those links if you are thinking about ordering any of these products. Thanks!!!

I married a Dragon by Beverly Rae #romance #whattoread #bookaddict #dragonshifter

I Married a Dragon (Para-mates)

3heart

Synopsis
Chrissy Taylor doesn’t believe in a lot of things. Her life, and her career as a supernatural myth-buster, are ruled by logic and skepticism. Love at first sight? Forget it—until she’s swept off her feet by Mr. Tall, Dark and Mysterious.

The next thing she knows, she’s done the most illogical thing imaginable: run off to Vegas for a quickie marriage. And Mr. TD&M’s insatiable hunger for her body is starting to feel suspiciously like an attempt to make her the one thing she fears most. Pregnant.

Even though Kaine sets Chrissy’s world on fire—literally—she can’t resist embarking on her toughest debunking mission yet. She must unearth the truth about her new husband before desire consumes the last of her reason.

Kaine Delcaluca is withholding the fact that he’s a dragon, but time is of the essence. He desperately needs an heir to save his dynasty. Plus, he has an even bigger problem. The Scepter of Fire, the only weapon powerful enough to kill a dragon, has gone missing. If he fails to find it—and knock up his new bride—within the next few days, his people are doomed…

Warning: Sizzles with graphic language, set-the-sheets-on-fire sex, and snarky personal assistant machines.

Opinion
The pace of the story was so fast. Chrissy meets Kaine and it is love at first sight. After meeting him and learning his name, it seems that they run off to Vegas to get married.

Chrissy and Kaine’s whirlwind romance meant that they did not discuss any of the important topics that could be deal breakers. A few days into their honeymoon, Kaine is telling her that he is trying to get her pregnant.

Image result for say what meme

In Kaine’s defense, he did try to tell Chrissy some things but she thought he was not being serious.

The story was told from the POV of Chrissy. She was mildly annoying to me. I thought that Chrissy could have taken to heart the adage “curiosity killed the cat” because she got herself into some sticky situations because she was too inquisitive and impulsive. It is okay to ask questions but think before leaping!

As a side point, I keep saying that I don’t prefer first POV, but it seems authors love writing in that style. I wish that they would say in the blurb so that I could mentally prepare myself ahead of time.

Overall, it was a mostly fun story and everything gets resolved.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
This is more of a BORROW or BUY AT A THRIFT STORE if you like dragon shifter romances.

Book details
Series: Paramates
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥 🔥
Print Length: 272 pages

borrow
This post is full of Amazon affiliate links. Support my blog by clicking those links if you are thinking about ordering any of these products. Thanks!!!