Review: Love After All by Jaci Burton

love after allReviewed by Jaimie

Love After All is the fourth book in the Hope series by Jaci Burton and when I heard who was going to be paired up, I was a tiny bit sceptical that this would work.  Chelsea is a math teacher who likes lists, including one that has all the qualities she expects in her “perfect’ man, and Bash is none of those things.  Despite my hesitation, I have to admit it really worked for me. [Read more…]

Review: Hope Burns by Jaci Burton

hope burnsReviewed by Jaimie

Hope Burns is the third full length book in the Hope series by Jaci Burton and I was really looking forward to this one.  The story focuses on Emma’s sister Molly Burnett and local business man Carter Richards, and it was clear from previous books that there was some serious history between these two.  The former high school sweethearts have not seen each other for 13 years as Molly has not been back since she skipped town all those years ago.  Coming home for Emma’s wedding, Molly is determined to get through the ceremony and get right back on the road.  A family emergency puts her careful plans – and her heart – at risk. [Read more…]

Review: Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton

hope ignitesReviewed by Jaimie

When I found out Jaci Burton was releasing a new series, I could not wait to get my hands on it.  I didn’t read Hope Smolders which was the introductory novella for Burton’s new Hope series and instead dove right in to Hope Flames.  You can check out my review of Hope Flames on the site, but I was sadly underwhelmed by it.  Despite that, I wasn’t about to give up on the series because I love Burton and the secondary characters sounded really appealing.  I am so glad I stuck it out!  Hope Ignites is the second full installment and revolves around rancher Logan McCormack and movie star Desiree Jenkins.  I loved both of the main characters and their chemistry was smokin’ hot! [Read more…]

Review: Hope Flames by Jaci Burton

hope flamesReviewed by Jaimie

Hope Flames is the first book in the new Hope series by Jaci Burton.  I am a huge fan of Burton’s Wild Rider series so when I saw that she had a new series coming out, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  She writes smoking hot sex but one of the things I enjoy about reading her books is that the sex isn’t the primary focus.  A lot of authors lately seem to build a storyline around the sex but Ms. Burton builds strong characters and interesting worlds, and then adds the sex as a bonus. [Read more…]

Review: Romancing the Holiday

Reviewed by Allison

“We’ll Be Home for Christmas” by HelenKay Dimon

Lila Payne has been trying to find her way after her marriage fell apart and she thinks that moving to Holloway to take care of the campground “resort” that her uncle gave her is as good a place as any to start over. Only she didn’t expect that when she went to Thomas Nurseries to pick up something her uncle ordered, she’d run into the man she hasn’t been able to get out of her head for three months… not since their hot and heavy 3-night stand. Once Spence spots her, he can’t help but be drawn back to her with memories of that weekend in the swank hotel, and he’s dying to know if it was just a one-time sizzle or if the fireworks are still there.

My trip back to Holloway was even better than the last! Spence was the perfect balance of smart and sexy with shake-your-head-he’s-such-a-man. This short story was so emotionally charged between the devastation of a marriage gone wrong that Lila was dealing with and the lifetime of women leaving (starting with his own mother) to complicate his commitment issues on Spence’s end of things.

All the smexy lovin’ happened behind closed doors but this story was SO good, it didn’t even matter. The emotions were intense, the tortured hero just right, and the “moment of truth” so satisfying that even though it wrapped up a bit quick, it was easily forgivable.

The growth that he showed in just a few chapters was truly a joy to read and made it hard to stay mad once he decided to finally make the dive into the unknown with the woman he found himself willing to risk being with – whether she stayed or left.

Grade: B+

“Ask Her at Christmas” by Chrisi Barth

This short was about best friends, Caitlin and Kyle. BFFs since high school, they take care of each other, lean on each other, talk each other to sleep every night… and hold back their true feelings in order to keep the friendship at a safe level. Unfortunately, when Kyle pops the question and reveals that Caitlin is his “practice run”, she might have lost him for good.

Kyle explains that he is proposing to his girlfriend of six months to make his father proud and to solidify a merger between the two families companies. He figures that even thought it’s essentially a business transaction, he’d put a little effort into it to try to at least base the marriage in respect and friendship.

Although the romantic in Caitlin is completely horrified (I’d feel the same way!) she has always supported Kyle and won’t stop now. She does everything she can to plan a romantic proposal, giving him plenty of Christmas-y ideas like the ice rink, a fairy tale ending in front of Macy’s Christmas windows, and a surprise Christmas gift. Nothing seems right to Kyle but as the days to Christmas tick down, the plan gets more real, and he doesn’t know if he can go through with it.

It was absolute torture watching Kyle try to please his dad by ruining not only his life, but Caitlin’s. These two are so perfect for each other that while rooting for them you go from wanting to beat him over the head with a blunt object one moment, to cheering like a crazy person the next!

This story will make you fall in love, get pissed, stand proud, and swoon in 24,000 words – in short, you’ll love it!

Grade: A

“The Best Thing” by Jaci Burton

Tori has worked for Kent Construction for a few years, but the past 10 months have been especially difficult – ever since Brody Kent kissed her at the company Christmas party and she bolted. She’s been in love with Brody for years, but can’t let her heart get involved because of Brody’s playboy reputation. She knows she wouldn’t be able to handle being used and tossed aside by this man. So when Brody’s brothers tell him to “fix it”, he starts a dialogue with her that eventually ends in a magical weekend for the both of them… but can Tori get past her trust issues and can Brody finally man up and settle down?

I really liked Tori and Brody, but I think some background from the previous stories (this is book 3 in the series) would’ve helped frame their struggles a bit better. I also think that Tori had good reasons to be wary of Brody and while he did prove himself, I think she forgave him a little too easily. That’s probably due to the nature of the short story though, because it’s still a great tale of love and family with a Christmas twist!

Grade: B-

All three of these stories are the absolute perfect Christmas read, they’re emotional without being overwhelming and will satisfy every hopeless romantic’s need to swoon this holiday season!

*ARC provided by Carina Press via Netgalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Romancing the Holiday
by HelenKay Dimon, Jaci Burton, & Christi Barth
Release Date: December 3, 2012
Publisher: Carina Press

5 for Friday – October 5

Happy Friday everyone! And a happy birthday shout-out to Jennifer at the Book Nympho. You’re almost as old as I am now, chica!

I survived the mini-vacation to Atlanta and I even got to read a little bit in the car. But this weekend, I have big plans to sit down and really catch up on the TBR.  No. Really. Please?

5. I have never read a Jaci Burton book.  You guys know I’m not big on contemporary romance. But her covers are to-freaking-die-for.  Every cover in the Play-by-Play series is drool worthy and the new one is no exception.

It’s because of this series I know who Jed Hill is.  (*sigh*) Thank you Jaci Burton (or the art department for your publisher.) You make my days a little brighter.  One Sweet Ride is out in June 2013.

4.  Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series may be over, but it’s not over-over.  In her newsletter this week, Kelley announced a new Jaime novella. Amityville Horrible will release through Subterranean Press later this year.  The Clay & Elena novella, Forbidden, releases in December.

In other Otherworld news (*giggle*) –remember that Bitten tv show I told you about earlier?

I wondered if the upcoming Canadian TV project would/ could make its way across the border to the US. Well, Kelley says the producers are working with a company to seek international distribution. Hooray!!

3. I love Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London books.  Love.  This week she announced tidbits on book 4 in the series.  It’s called Shadowdance. She said on her Facebook page that it will feature shifter Jack Talent and Ghost in the Machine Mary Chase. I saw this and was ready to pee my pants.  I am still anxiously awaiting Winterblaze, people.

I need this book now. Someone tell the calendar to jump ahead to February 13th.

2. Another cover reveal for you… this one for book three in Amanda Bonilla’s Shaede Assassin series.

Nothing comes easy for Darian. Her heightened powers make her indispensable to the Shaede Nation, but dangerous missions have driven her lover, Tyler, to his breaking point. Darian must salvage their bond, but a new assignment to protect Anya—a fellow Shaede and the first of their kind to become pregnant in centuries—stands in their way.

It doesn’t help that the two Shaedes are longtime rivals and share nothing besides mutual hatred. But when it becomes clear that someone—or something—is bent on destroying the expectant mother and her unborn child, Darian must put her feelings aside and track down Anya’s would-be assassin.

As she probes into Anya’s past, Darian digs up long-buried secrets—and a connection between Tyler and the mission that could destroy everything between them.

It’s gorgeous.  But Amanda Bonilla already knows there’s gonna be trouble if she breaks up Darian and Tyler.  Big, big trouble.

Crave the Darkness, which I will henceforth refer to as The Book Where Tyler and Darian Reconcile, will be out March 5th. (Don’t correct me if you know something I don’t. Let me keep my dreams.)

1. And finally… Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series is one of my great guilty pleasures. I can do no other but to keep reading them.  (Feehan fans will get that joke.)  Well, the book trailer came out for her new installment, Dark Storm.

This book released on Tuesday.  I must go buy.  (Anyone read it yet?)

That’s it for now. Hope you guys are enjoying the Favorites From My Favorites feature!

XOXO,
Jen