Single Mother

Heart of the Game by Rachel Spangler Review

Heart of the Game by Rachel Spangler  4 Stars! 

Sometimes baseball is just a metaphor for life, and sometimes it works the other way around. All Sarah Duke ever cared about was baseball, and she’s finally earned her shot as a full-time sports writer. She loves the work, she loves being one of the few women to ever gain access to a man’s world, but most of all, she loves the game. When Duke meets Molly Grettano and her two sons at the ballpark, she instantly connects with the young family, but Molly isn’t sure Duke’s ready for something more. Molly wants someone softer, more feminine, and more importantly, someone steady. She and her boys have been abandoned before, and she’s vowed to never to put them in that position again. If she were ever to trust anyone, it would have to be someone fully dedicated to her and her children. Duke has a lot of heart, but neither woman is sure there’s enough room left in it for anything other than baseball.

Reviews

5 Stars for the Baseball and 3 Stars for the Romance.

If you love baseball, you have to read this book. Even if you don’t love the sport, you should read this book. This story is such a love letter to the game. I adore reading about anyone’s passions and the writing here is just exquisite when it ponders baseball.

The setting is mainly in Busch Stadium where one heroine (Molly) is season ticket holder and takes her sons and the other heroine (Duke) is a sports writer.

The child characters are so well drawn.

I love Duke. Molly doesn’t thrill me and I have little idea why Duke is so gone on her but that (not knowing why someone is into someone) happens to me in real life too so I can let that go.

The love story is pretty achy for a ton reasons but all the reasons are based on well developed character foibles. We get a nice happy ending and a lot of great baseball.

I will for sure being reading by this writer!

Rising Tides: Chesapeake Bay Saga Review

   Rising Tides by Nora Roberts 3.5 Stars! 

Ethan Quinn is a waterman. He wasn’t born to the tradition but has embraced it. He’s a quiet man whose heart runs as deep as the waters he loves. And now, with his father gone, Ethan is determined to make the family boatbuilding business a success. But amidst his achievements lie the most important challenges of his life…

There’s a young boy who needs him, and a woman and child he loves but never believed he could have. To shape his life around them, Ethan must face his own dark past—and accept not only who he is but what he hopes to become.

Review

I am often amazed when I read a Nora Roberts book. The opening of this book is just so lovely in terms of place, feeling, and character. How does she do this so prolifically?

I love that Ethan is a working class hero and so devoted to his family. The loved forever theme is a fun one and Grace is great as well.

Roberts writing shines but I am kept from falling in love with this book because I want to send Ethan to therapy and want what happens at the end of the book to occur in the middle of the book so that we get a love story of acknowledged equals rather than 95% of the story with Ethan doing what he thinks is best instead of evolving.

British Bad Boys: A Bad Boy Romance Boxed Set Review

  British Bad Boys: A Bad Boy Romance Boxed Set 3 Stars!

Come and spend time with a dirty-talking London tattoo artist, a Scottish bad boy, a British gangster who won’t take no for an answer, and MORE! These men are all hotter than hell and have accents to die for. Whatever your desire, you’ll find it within these pages.

What are you waiting for?

 

Review

Carved in Ink by Marissa Farrar

The heroine inherits a building with a tattoo shop and the grumpy tattoo ship owner. The hero is a bit too hot and cold for me but it is an enjoyable read.

Fast Lust By Lucy Felthouse
I enjoyed this peek into British Motorcross with a romance between a reporter and motor cross rider.

Heavy Metal Lust by Victoria Blisse

Younger Rocker Hero with an older single mom heroine. Fun stuff that would have made for a good longer romance.

Innocent Lies by Lexie Bay

Mobster Romance. Not my favorite.

In Training by K D Grace

Reality show back drop in this quick fun romance.

The Gamesman by Tabitha Rayne

I always have fun at the Highland Games! Could have had a bit more development but a fun one.

Embattled Minds (Lost and Found #2) by J.M. Madden Review

   Embattled Minds by J.M. Madden  3 Stars!

Zeke Foster has little to no experience with women over the past couple of years, after being injured in Afghanistan. Brutally scarred, he has no expectation that he’ll ever find a woman capable of accepting him the way he is. But he can’t help but be enamored of Ember, the waitress of a local watering hole.
Ember Norton’s life has turned into one devastating catastrophe after another. When the scarred soldier with the kind eyes brings some security to her life, she’s afraid to trust her luck. She’s been self-sufficient for a long time. But his wounded soul calls to her and she finds herself falling for him.
In spite of the secrets he continues to keep.

Review

The portrayal of PTSD mirrored differently in several characters is very engaging in this romance.

The heroine crush on the hero and struggle with her loving but troubled father makes her endearing.

The hero has self esteem issue that while reasonable are a bit one note.

I like this book slightly better than the last one as it was more character driven which I prefer.

Someone Else’s Love Story (Shandi Pierce #1) by Joshilyn Jackson Review

  Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson 4 Stars! 

Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents. She’s got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up and falling in love with William Ashe, who willingly steps between the robber and her son.

Shandi doesn’t know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It’s been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his world. But William doesn’t define destiny the way others do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in facts and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.

Review

There is a so much to love about this b0ok. The lyrical writing, amazing characters, details of place and time.

This isn’t a romance really (exactly) as the actual couples (there are two) spend most of the book apart but we do get Happily Ever Afters that are well earned,

Our hero is a brilliant neurodivergent and utterly wrecked with grief and rage. We get his love story in flashback. He is the king of romantic gestures and has an amazing bestie.

The heroine is much younger (and not his heroine it will turn out. Not a spoiler! The title gives this away). You have to read the book to get her story (cause that would be a spoiler) but the writer has a very interesting exploration of a pile of topics with her. You may or may not like it but it will make you think.

I wish her love story had been given more page time and after time. I am a romance reader and I want my romance. lol

It is a great book with a lovely ending.

Romancing the Inventor (Supernatural Society #1) by Gail Carriger Review

 

  Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella by GAIL CARRIGER 4 Stars! 

Imogene Hale is a lowly parlourmaid with a soul-crushing secret. Seeking solace, she takes work at a local hive, only to fall desperately in love with the amazing lady inventor the vampires are keeping in the potting shed. Genevieve Lefoux is heartsick, lonely, and French. With culture, class, and the lady herself set against the match, can Imogene and her duster overcome all odds and win Genevieve’s heart, or will the vampires suck both of them dry?

Review

This is an achy novella about a maid who is too pretty and her crush on a French female inventor.

It is moving exploration expectations and class burdens taking place in an historical steampunk world with vampires and werewolves.

It is a cruel place and part of the pleasure of this little sexy book is the heroines finding a way with very little room to maneuver to get a happily ever after.

I might have enjoyed this book even more if I was a devoted reader of the series but it was a lovely read on its own.

Her Protector’s Pleasure (Mayhem in Mayfair, #3) by Grace Callaway Review

   Her Protector’s Pleasure (Mayhem in Mayfair Book 3) by Grace Callaway 3 Stars!

She Breaks Society’s Rules
Wealthy widow Lady Marianne Draven is as notorious for her behavior as she is for her beauty. Unbeknownst to the ton, however, her scandalous image obscures a desperate quest: to find her kidnapped daughter. Clever and daring, Marianne will stop at nothing to get her little girl back … and the last thing that she expects is for her heart to get in the way.

He Stands for Justice and Order
A man of honor, Thames River Policeman Ambrose Kent has devoted his life to duty and doing what is right. When his father faces financial ruin, Kent takes on a risky yet lucrative assignment to save his family. Fate has him investigating a mysterious and unscrupulous beauty, a lady he has no right to desire … and no power to resist.

When Two Opposing Forces Collide
Passion ignites between the unlikely lovers. As secrets unravel, can Marianne and Kent trust one another and work together to rescue her child from a dangerous foe? Can their love survive betrayal … and will Marianne surrender to Her Protector’s Pleasure?

 

Review

I adore this hero. I love his mind. The rest of the book is just okay for me with endless peril that keeps me from enjoying the romance as much as I would like to have done.

Callaway writes super spicy Historical Romance with interesting characters so I am always happy to pick up her books.

Just Say Yes (Escape to New Zealand #10) by Rosalind James 5 Stars Review!

5 Stars!

Some fires warm you up. And some burn you down.
Kevin McNicholl may be a brutal force on the rugby field, but off the field, the star New Zealand All Black is a famously nice guy. His new tenant, though, arouses more than his protective side. She sets him on fire. Pity he’s evicting her.

Every woman deserves her dreams. Chloe Donaldson can’t afford dreams, though, so she’s given them up. Marriage, her ballet career, and now, her beautiful tower apartment with its view of the sea. Her new landlord is kicking her out, along with her three-year-old son, Zavy.

She should hate him. But when a man looks at you like that, it’s so easy to lose your focus.

Review

It is a devine feeling when the 10th book in a series you love is this good.

This book is good. So, very, very good.

It has all the great parts of the series with the wonderful New Zealand setting and culture as well as all the joy that is rugby. We get to see a lot of couples from other books.

However, what makes this such a great romance is the coming together of this couple–a ballet dancer and a rugby player. They are very different from each other and yet it is in the startling overlap of the physicality, drive, passion, and dedication of their lives that they see, know, and love each other.

Wonderful. Sexy. Emotionally compelling.

The hero. Ahhhh. I love a steadfast kind hero. James does a great job showing all layers of a person and gives us the kind of hero that well books should be written about. He exists inside a complex family and work life. He is complex and really sexy in all his ways.

The heroine is a single mother who is coming out of the haze of early motherhood and has family dynamics of her own to sort out. She is so herself and its wonderful. She is sexy as hell too.

Together. Boom. The celebration of bodies in this series is especially good in this editions. Very body positive for all the varied body types here. (with a little wobble on the weight issues of one side character). In every word, this book relish the unique bodies we all have. A really gift in this book.

The plots out side the romance are inside them because that is how life works and this is a well told story that will move you.

Deeper Than Dreams (Love & Steel #1.5) by Jessica Topper Review

Review:

Deeper Than Dreams (A Love & Steel Novella) - Jessica Topper

Falling in love with rock star Adrian “Digger” Graves was a dream come true for former librarian Kat Lewis. But with a little help from friends and family–including Kat’s adorable daughter, Abbey–Adrian has planned an evening and a proposal beyond her wildest dreams. 

The night before, Kat witnessed the triumphant reunion of Adrian’s rock band at Madison Square Garden. Tonight, he will escort her to the elegant, ultra-exclusive Library Lion’s benefit. It seems like a fairytale, but even fairytales have a deeper, darker side. When old habits return to tempt her knight in shining heavy metal armor, will Kat’s happily ever after come crashing back to reality?

 

 

Review

 

This is a charming story which is really the Epilogue to Louder Than Love a book I adored.

 

If you loved that book too, you need to read this one. It will make you feel gooey.

Original post:
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Louder Than Love (Love & Steel #1) by Jessica Topper 5 Star!!!!!

Review:

Louder Than Love - Jessica Topper

It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it’s unclear whose past looms larger: the widow’s or the rocker’s. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

 

 

Review

 

I discovered this book when someone listed it as a comfort read and I thought I can always take comfort in a rock star.

 

Oh. This book. I love character driven romance and this love story is wonderful in the complexity of the characters and the rich development of who they are apart, together, and with the people in their lives.

 

The book is achey dealing with grief of all kinds, trust, past mistakes, current mistakes with hope and risk pushing the plot forward.

 

The characters are both grown with complete lives, interests, talents, strengths, and failings so the intersection and opportunity of their falling in love is pretty special.

There is just right tension but the heroine does frustrate me a bit when she holds back too long but then so does the hero. They are flawed and yet tactically real and loving.

 

The book is also a love letter to New York City.

 

There could be more reckoning with the addition past of the hero but this is quibble because really a what could be more joyous the an British metal post punk rocker? That accent, oy!

 

I really loved so much about this book and will for sure be keeping on the shelf for when I want to be comforted by a wonderful romance.

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