Review: Belly Up by Eva Darrows

cover150128-mediumWhen 16 year old Serendipity Rodriguez attends a house party to celebrate the end of sophomore year, she has no intention of getting drunk and hooking up with a guy she’s just met, let alone getting pregnant. To make matters worse, she has no way of contacting the father and she and her mother are about to move to a new town and in with her grandmother.

It’s hard enough to start your junior year as the new kid in school, but at 5-months pregnant it’s even harder. So when Sara meets Leaf, who asks her out and doesn’t seem to care that she’s pregnant, she finds herself falling.

Juggling the realities of a pregnancy with school and a new relationship are hard enough, but when Jack, the father of her baby, turns back up, Sara’s life goes from complicated to a complete mess. With the help of her overbearing mother and grandmother, Sara will learn to navigate life’s challenges and be ready for anything, as she prepares for the birth of her baby. Continue reading “Review: Belly Up by Eva Darrows”

Review: Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates

cover148992-mediumDane Parker traded in his trailer-park roots for glory as a bull rider. But when a serious injury sidelines him for months, it’s the first time he can’t just pull himself up by his bootstraps. The last thing he wants to deal with is sweet family friend Bea treating him like one of her wounded animals—or the unexpected attraction that suddenly flares between them.

Beatrix Leighton has loved Dane for years, while he’s always seen her as another sister. When she enlists his help to start her animal sanctuary, she thinks it will give him purpose. Instead, it brings all the desire she feels for him to the boiling point. Bea’s father taught her early on that love means loss. But could her forbidden crush turn into a love that will last a lifetime? Continue reading “Review: Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates”

Review: Play It Again by Aidan Wayne

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The videos are fun.

But it’s the host who has him coming back for more…

When Seattle-based blind YouTuber Dovid Rosenstein finds Sam Doyle’s Let’s Play channel, playitagainsam, he’s instantly captivated by the Irish gamer. Everything about Sam is adorable, from his accent to his personality, and Dovid can’t get enough of his content.

Dovid’s glowing shout-out on Don’t Look Now, his own successful channel, sends Sam’s subscriber numbers skyrocketing overnight. He has more comments than he can read. And while the sudden surge in popularity is anxiety inducing, Sam decides it’s only right to dedicate his next episode to Dovid…which soon leads to a heart-pounding exchange of DMs.

They may have never met in person, but Dovid’s never felt this close to anyone before. What they have feels worth exploring—no matter the distance. But is it possible to already be in love with someone who’s half a world away? Continue reading “Review: Play It Again by Aidan Wayne”

Review: Hot Texas Sunrise by Delores Fossen

cover151592-mediumLove was the last thing on this untamed cowboy’s mind…until she stole his heart away.

Cleo Delaney will do anything to keep her promise and raise her best friend’s sons—even if it means telling a little white lie to the state to keep them. So Cleo turns to the only person she can trust to help her—her first love, Judd Laramie. If he fosters the three young brothers in name only, she’ll do all the heavy lifting. It’s a foolproof plan…but she never imagined that the feelings they once shared would return. With a vengeance.

Texas deputy Judd Laramie is stunned by Cleo’s request. Being a dad—even on paper—is the last thing this cowboy needs right now. But no one knows better than Judd how flawed the foster system is and how much these brothers need Cleo’s protective love. What starts as a simple lie becomes so much more, and soon it’s clear Judd needs Cleo and the family they’ve created as much as they need him. Now he’ll do whatever it takes to win Cleo’s heart and claim the future they all deserve.

Cleo Delaney is the kind of woman I’d love to have as a friend.  Funny, feisty, and loyal to a fault, she’s the person you’d call in a pinch.  She’s also the perfect person to wrangle her friend Miranda’s three orphaned sons.  Her promise to Miranda coupled with her love of the boys made me really want to root for her to gain custody.  Her business partner, Daisy, was an amusing addition as well, always supporting Cleo and helping to guide her in the right direction.

Judd Laramie is one hot cowboy deputy.  In addition to being Judd the Stud, he’s also an upstanding man with a history of alcoholism.  I think that his sobriety is approached in a realistic way with real worries.  His sponsor, Mercy, was one of the brightest spots of the book.  Although she was a little over the top, she was often needed comic relief.  Judd’s relationship with Cleo as well as with the boys was sweet and heartfelt, but I wish he’d have stepped up sooner.  There were a ton of opportunities, but he never did.  I have no doubt he was probably feeling cut out of the situation as well as doubting his ability to help due to his past, but he really could have said, “Wait, I want to help!” long before he actually did.  That said, the way he reached out to Beckham was wonderful.  He saw a lot of himself in the kid and it showed.

As a parent, the blurb caught me hook, line, and sinker.  Who can resist three young boys who have not only lost their mother but are also about to be thrown into foster care because their only living relative doesn’t want them?  The way Cleo, Judd, and the entire Laramie clan came together to keep these boys together was truly heart-warming.  Although this is only my second book by this author, it’s definitely not going to be my last.  She’s proven to me that she can write varied and enjoyable romance novels with characters that are not just likable, but relatable as well.

*Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for an e-ARC in exchange for a fair review.

4/5

Review: Stroke of Luck by B. J. Daniels

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He’s hoping to bury the past. She’s ready to settle the score.

The Sterling Ranch’s season opening isn’t going so smoothly. With the ranch’s lodge full of guests and a Montana blizzard threatening, Will Sterling needs help—and he needs it fast. So when his childhood friend Poppy Carmichael agrees to lend a hand, he’s grateful for a second chance…and more enticed by the woman she’s become than he cares to admit.

For Poppy, it was supposed to be a retreat full of horse rides and hoedowns—with a side of showing Will what he’s been missing all these years. But as the snow deepens outside, the guests’ suspicion and mistrust turn sinister inside, catching Will and Poppy in the crosshairs.

Weathering the storm in each other’s arms is all too easy for Will and Poppy, but will a confrontation with a killer mean their reunion is short-lived?

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author B.J. Daniels starts her Sterling’s Ranch series off with a bang in this suspenseful story of romance and revenge.

I have an affection for cowboys that knows no boundaries, so when I saw this book available for request at Netgalley, I jumped on it.  If you could look at my Netgalley shelf (and well, honestly, my physical bookshelf at home), you’d see exactly how much this appeals to me.  Also, I’ve heard a ton of good things about B. J. Daniels over the years and I thought that I should finally check her out for myself.

Anyway, I’m not sure where to start this review.  So much happened in this book!  I went in expecting a straight forward romance, had no idea there was a mystery angle to it.  Somehow, I must have completely missed ‘killer’ in the blurb.  Note to self: read the whole description, please and thank you!  However, this is a good thing because romantic suspense has become a favorite genre of mine.

The author does an excellent job of keeping the tension tight and keeping the reader from figuring out exactly who the bad guy is.  I went back and forth between suspecting two or three people the entire book.  Admittedly, I was not expecting it to be who it was in the end, either.

On the romantic side, the tension was high as well.  Loved the back and forth between Poppy and Will.  Poppy is such an upbeat and fun woman, exactly the kind of person I’d want to hang out with.  Especially with the way she cooks!  Will is a total cowboy, through and through, but he’s not completely immune to Poppy’s charms either.  They are definitely meant for each other.

Okay, and I have a confession: I love a good cover and this one is gorgeous.  All dark and broody with a handsome cowboy, can’t get any better, right?  But is it just me or does the cowboy look like Zachary Quinto in a Stetson?  Not that I’m complaining, but I was curious to see if anyone else thought the same.  Now, on to the next in the series because I can’t wait to see what else the Sterling brothers got up to while I was away.

4.5/5

*Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.