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Category Archives: 3 Stars

Review: The Prophecy Trilogy by Victoria Jayne

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/263569-the-prophecy-trilogy

Amazon Series Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/33j446c

Having a choice and having a good choice are two very different things…

The players of the prophecy are all in place. The vampire, the werewolf, and the witch. The fate of all paranormal beings hangs in the balance.

Too bad Divina, the witch in question, wants nothing to do with any of it.

She’s not about to let some ancient prophecy dictate who she’s going to love. She’ll be the master of her own destiny, thank you very much.

But the intense connection she feels to each of her sexy prophecy counterparts is making it difficult to avoid potential magical disaster.

And as everything continues to get more and more complicated, she’s starting to wonder—is she really the witch of the prophecy? Or is she something else entirely?

MY REVIEW

The Witch of the Prophecy is a fast-paced paranormal romance and is the first book in the Prophecy Trilogy. The Witch of the Prophecy really sets the scene and gives a great introduction to the characters. I think this series has a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to seeing how it will all come together in the end.

Rating: 3 Stars

Mistakes were made. Now it’s time to pay the price.

Werewolf Aric is losing his mind—literally. The incomplete mate bond with Divina is slowly killing him, and soon, it’ll become unbearable for her, too. He’s determined to do whatever it takes to make things right with his one true love.

Now all he has to do is find her.

But when his witch slips up and risks exposing the paranormal world to humans, Aric will need to do the unthinkable to save her and every other magical being on the planet.

He’ll have to work with the vampire of the prophecy, who just happens to be his mate’s ex.

Mistakes were made. He made them. And if the price of atonement is more than Aric’s able to pay?

Well, he’ll destroy that bridge when (and if) he gets to it…

MY REVIEW

This book picks up right where the last one left off and dives even deeper into the prophecy. I’m usually not a huge fan of love triangles, but this one worked rather well for me. I loved the push and pull, the angst of making the right decision. The characters had great chemistry and made it super hard for this reader to decide whom to root for. I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen with this prophecy and how everything will come together in the end.

A choice was made. Now it’s time to reap the rewards…or suffer the consequences…

It was all happening according to plan. Rori chose power over love, and as a result, put himself in the running to be the next emperor of all vampires. Then someone threatened to expose his witch (along with all other paranormal creatures) to humans…unless he gave up his claim to the throne, that is.

That’s when everything fell apart.

The Council has no idea what Rori did to keep Divina safe, and if they find out, the consequences will be deadly. It’ll take all his power, connections, and the help of his loyal guard to protect everyone and everything he holds dear.

But with time running out and enemies circling, can Rori survive long enough to complete the prophecy and maybe—just maybe—get a second chance at true love while he’s at it?

MY REVIEW

A fantastic ending to a really intriguing series. This book had lots of twists, turns, and moments I didn’t see coming. I really enjoyed the romance and paranormal elements. My only complaint is that I would have loved a little bit more from the ending. While it does wrap things up, it still felt a bit open-ended.

Overall I enjoyed this series and am glad to have checked it out!

4 Stars!

*I was provided ARCs’s of this trilogy via the author, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Custom Built (Fast & Fury #1) by Chantal Fernando

Review: Custom Built (Fast & Fury #1) by Chantal Fernando

New York Times bestselling author Chantal Fernando brings you Fast & Fury: A sexy new series fully loaded with intense emotions and edge-of-your-seat suspense.

After losing her job, saying goodbye to a lifelong dream and having an all-around cruddy year, Bronte Pierce needs a break. A job at Fast & Fury might be just the thing to reset her life, even though she knows nothing about custom motorcycles. But taking a job isn’t the same as keeping it, and her fresh start quickly turns into a fresh nightmare.

Starting with her boss. Crow is hardheaded, stubborn and brutally honest. He may be easy on the eyes, but he runs with an MC and he’s anything but friendly to Bronte. She suspects he has a softer side—just not for her.

Her whole life, Bronte has known that the only person she can truly count on to save the day is herself. But when a single murder turns into a conspiracy and the threat to her life is more than she can handle alone, it’s Crow who comes through—and her newfound family might just become her greatest strength.

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MY REVIEW

Custom Built is the first book in the all new Fast & Fury Series by Chantal Fernando and it follows the story of Bronte and Crow. Bronte has been having the toughest year. Her health hasn’t been doing well and she’s just lost her job. She could really use some good news. So, when her uncle has the in on a new job for her, she can’t help but jump on it. Little did she know that this opportunity was going to turn her whole world upside down….

Overall, I thought this book was a solid read. I thought the plot was entertaining and I enjoyed getting to know the characters. I really liked Bronte and Crow together. Their banter was fun and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. While they might have butted heads in the beginning, it quickly changed into something more. The chemistry was instant and just oozed off the pages.

I did have some issues with this story. At times, it felt like there was a lot going on. While there certainly wasn’t a dull moment, it felt like it was too much. Also, I feel like I need to mention the drama. Now, I like drama as much as the next person, but in this book, I’m sorry to say it was over the top. Some of it made sense, but the other instances were just drama for the sake of dram and it just didn’t work for me.

Custom Built is fast-paced and entertaining read. The characters draw you into their story and leave readers wanting to know what will happen next. There were some things that I didn’t like about this story, but in the end, I think this was a solid read and I’m glad to have checked it out.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Forgetting You by L.A. Casey

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In this fiery new romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L.A. Casey, can she unlock her memories—and find true love?

When Noah Ainsley wakes up in a hospital room with no recollection of how she got there, all she knows is that she needs to see Elliot, the love of her life. Then she learns the horrifying truth: her short-term memory has been destroyed by a car accident. She and Elliot broke up five years ago. And now she’s married to Anderson, a man she doesn’t even recognise.

In an instant, Noah’s world is turned on its head. All she wants is Elliot by her side, but it’s clear Anderson is hurt by her rejection. Can she really have fallen in love with this stranger? Nothing makes sense—and when even Elliot refuses to answer her questions, Noah is left feeling all alone.

But as her memories slowly return, Noah begins to wonder if she’s been wrong to shut Anderson out—and wrong to put all her trust in Elliot. The ex she loves and the husband she doesn’t remember hold the keys to her past. And when the truth is finally revealed, which future will Noah’s heart choose?

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MY REVIEW

Forgetting You is the lastest second chance romance from author L.A. Casey and it follows the story of Noah and Elliott. When Noah wakes up in a hospital room, she has no idea what happened to her or how she got there. Her brain seems to be stuck 5 years in the past. Noah is horrified to learn that Elliott is no longer hers and that she’s married to someone else. Even though Noah is married to someone else, she can’t deny the pull she feels towards Elliott. Elliott brings Noah calm in an otherwise chaotic world. Noah has a million questions and unfortunately no answers. When the truth finally comes out, Noah must decide which path is right for her….

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. I feel in love with the cover and synopsis immediately. I loved the idea of the story and couldn’t wait to dive in. Noah’s story intrigued me and kept me coming back for more. What was she doing that night? Why was she with Elliott’s sister? How did Elliott and Noah break up? And who the heck is Anderson??

However, there were quite a few things that just didn’t add in this story for me. First of all, I wanted more of a connection and chemistry with Noah and Elliott. Yes, we saw some flashbacks of their past, but I needed more. I needed to see how Elliott was struggling without Noah; how he still held onto his feelings for her despite her being married to someone else. Speaking of being married to someone else, we didn’t really get a lot of answers when it comes to Anderson. I feel like this story could have benefited from a chapter or two from Anderson’s point of view just so the reader could get a feel for him and see his connection to Noah. One of the biggest issues I had was Noah pursuing her feelings for Elliott even though she was technically with Anderson. I understand that she went through major trauma, but it just didn’t make sense. It frustrated me that Elliott went along with it and that is just a big no-no for me. I also felt like the story resolved itself far too quickly. All this build-up and climax and then the story was just over.

I wanted to love this book so much, but in the end, it just left me feeling meh. I guess you could say I had quite the love-hate relationship with this book. I think this is a book that may work for some and leave others hanging. I do think this book had some good things going for it, it just wasn’t a 100% hit for me. That being said, I’m still glad to have checked this book out.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Follow Me Darkly by Helen Hardt

I’ve been a control freak all my life. Yet he makes me want to give up control…

Working for a hotel heiress and social media influencer may not be my dream job, but at least it allows me time to do what I really love—take photographs. Pretty good for a wholesome farm girl from Kansas trying to make it in Boston. Life may not be easy working for a diva, but at least I know what to expect.

Until blue-collar billionaire Braden Black strides into the office. He’s beyond handsome and sexy, but also domineering with a definite hard edge. I’m not sure why he’s interested in me, but within a few weeks, he’s showing me a world I never knew existed.

He’s opened up a side of me I can only face in the dark, and it’s quickly becoming an obsession. How can I give up something this addictive—even if his secrets could ultimately destroy me?

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MY REVIEW

Follow Me Darkly is the first book in the brand new Follow Me Series by author Helen Hardt. Follow Me Darkly follows the story of Braden and Skye. Skye wants more from her life, and working for a social media influencer isn’t exactly the path she envisioned for herself. But, Skye is no stranger to hard work and knows that her hard work will one day land her the job she’s been hoping for. All is going well for Skye, that is until Braden Black turns her world upside down. Not only is Braden a sexy billionaire, but he’s got an air of mystery that surrounds him. He’s not afraid to go after what he wants and what he wants is Skye….

Follow Me Darkly was a rather quick read for me. I thought this story had a very promising and intriguing start. I loved the sexiness of the story and the edge of darkness. Braden was quite mysterious and I really wanted to know more about his motivations. He doesn’t do relationships, but can’t seem to drag himself away from Skye. As much as I was intrigued by Braden, I found myself constantly frustrated by him. His desire for control made him play far too many games. I know I wouldn’t have stuck around for him. Skye was the first woman to really challenge him and fight him for his control. Together these two shared a frustrating, yet all-consuming relationship. I found myself rooting for them and hating them at the same time.

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. This story had more drama and game playing than I would have liked. While I enjoyed the mystery around Braden, I would have liked a little more clues as to what the “big” mystery was. I can say with a 100% certainty that Follow Me Darkly has some serious 50 Shades of Grey vibes going on. All in all, this book wasn’t a 100% hit for me, but it wasn’t necessarily a miss either. I’m invested enough that I would like to know what is in store for our characters next and after the way this story ended, I definitely am going to need some answers….

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Vitality by Crysta Levere

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She’s fighting for life. He’s fighting for death.

What does it take to live? What does it take to love?

To Ava, love is about as real as fairy tales. But it might be that fairy tales, myths, and magic have some truth to them after all — as well as the monsters that lie in the shadows. Or she could just be completely out of her mind.

After a mental breakdown and a move to a new town, everything changes when Ava clashes with a stranger with eyes as black as midnight and a terrifying sinister air. Her wishes to feel something again become granted. But Ava soon learns that not only is he as cold as he is beautiful, but he brings something out of her, stronger than ever, like fuel to fire — something she’s desperate to bury. He haunts her dreams and waking life, and staying away becomes harder than she could have ever imagined, risking her life, her humanity, and the people that she cares about. Not to mention the fate of the world.

A violent passion. A dangerous bond. A nightmare that will change everything.

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MY REVIEW

Vitality is the promising debut novel from author Crysta Levere. Vitality follows the story of Ava and Layton.  After suffering a mental breakdown, Ava decides she needs to move and have a fresh start. She instantly becomes friends with her roommate Dalilah. Dalilah brings Ava into her circle and gives her the friendship that Ava hopes will help her move on. Everything changes for Ava when she meets a mysterious stranger named Layton. He’s beautiful yet cold. He brings out a side in Ava that she didn’t know existed. Layton is everywhere, even her dreams and staying away is proving harder than Ava thought….

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. I found the plot to be promising and original. I liked the darker tone that this book gave off. I thought this story was written well and I liked that it wasn’t your typical vampire romance. I thought the characters were interesting and they definitely left you wanting more. I also appreciated the way the author dealt with the heavier subjects and the plot did hook me from the beginning.

However, there were some things that bothered me about this book. While I felt that the story was written well, there were times where I was left utterly confused. I didn’t really know what was going on and that felt a bit distracting to me. Now, being left in the dark, isn’t always a bad thing, but there is a big difference with being left in the dark and feeling utterly confused. My other issue, and to some, it might seem like a silly one, was that Ava kept going to her locker. Now, if she was in high school, this wouldn’t even be an issue, but she’s in college–there are no lockers in college. And that little aspect just drove me nuts. My last issue was that when it came to the characters, I wanted more. Don’t get me wrong, I found all of the characters enjoyable and I liked what we got from them, I just wanted a little more depth and connection, especially with Ava and Layton.

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. It wasn’t a hit or miss for me, just somewhere in between. I think that this book wasn’t bad for a debut novel and I do feel that the author has a ton of potential. Vitality is an intriguing story with a different twist on vampire romance. While I did find some aspects of the story confusing, I will say that Vitality does deliver with the unexpected twists and turns, and an ending that I certainly didn’t see coming. So, even though this book wasn’t a 100% hit for me, I will say that the ending left me intrigued enough that I’d like to see what happens in the next book.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review* 

Review: The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

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From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author) The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own.

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.

MY REVIEW

I’m just going to keep this review short and sweet. The Honey-Don’t List is a book that you’re either going to love or you’re going to hate. For me, it was just an ok read. I thought the idea of the story was fun and different. I love home remodeling shows and would be perfectly happy lounging around the house, watching HGTV. I was excited to see where this writing duo would take this story.

What I liked: As I previously stated, the plot was unique. I found the characters to be likable and loved the humorous moments.

What I didn’t like: For me, this book didn’t read as a contemporary romance or even romantic comedy. Yes, it had both of those elements, but the romance between the two main characters really took the back burner in this story. I felt like the main focus of the story was the Tripps, when it really should have been on the budding relationship between James & Carey. So, while I found the characters likable, I was left wanting and needing more. I wanted to know why these characters were together? Why should I be rooting for the two of them? In the end, I just felt like there was something missing.

Overall, this book was an ok read. While there were some aspects that I liked, I just found the story to be lacking and wanted more. So, while this book isn’t a 100% hit for me, I’m still glad I checked it and gave it a chance. I adore this writing duo and will be looking forward to see what they release next.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via NetGalley & the publisher, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: The Billionaire in Boots (Princes of Texas #3) by Julia London

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London delivers a sexy new contemporary western, where a lonesome rancher and a no-nonsense cowgirl learn that you don’t choose who you fall for–love lassos you….

As the firstborn son, it’s been drilled into Nick that he is the heir apparent to the Prince family empire. But cattle ranching has never been his true passion. Nick wants to be a pilot. However, when his father dies, leaving Nick to clean up the mess, he knows he must do his duty before following his heart.

Charlotte Bailey can’t believe that Nick is back to run the ranch. As the office manager, she knows it’s her responsibility to help him. If only he wasn’t so brooding and cranky–and so hot it’s a wonder his chaps don’t melt right off him. But when sparks fly between them, she’s adamant about staying away from a cowboy on his way out the door.

Nick knows the ranch’s pretty, smart, and capable office manager is off-limits, but he needs her. And working in such close proximity to Charlotte every day is making Nick crazy. She smells good, she looks good, she makes him laugh, but most of all she makes him want to stay….

MY REVIEW

The Billionaire in Boots is the third book in the Princes of Texas Series and follows the story of Charlotte and Nick. Cattle Ranching may be in Nick’s blood, but it’s not where his passion lies. However, because Nick is a “Prince” that are certain expectations he must follow. And when Nick’s father passes, Nick has no choice but to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess his father left behind….Charlotte can’t believe Nick is back. As office manager, it’s her job to help the broody man out. The one thing Charlotte didn’t plan on was the intense chemistry between them….

Overall, this book was a quick and easy read for me. The story-line was fun and entertaining. I liked the tension and chemistry between Charlotte and Nick. I loved Charlotte’s spunk and how she wasn’t afraid to give Nick a piece of her mind. I liked seeing Nick try to figure out who and what he really wants in life. I thought Nick & Charlotte had some excellent push and pull and looked forward to seeing how their story would come together in the end.

The Billionaire in Boots is a sweet romance that is sure to leave you with a smile on your face.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment WeeklyMy Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

MY REVIEW

When we first meet up with Tate and Sam, their romance is sweet and innocent. Everything your first love should be. Tate and Sam found love and friendship without having to look hard for it, only for the deepest betrayal to happen. But, when it comes to Tate and Sam’s story, it’s not a malicious as it seems. There’s more to their story than meets the eyes, and it will be fourteen years before these former lovers are reunited and the truth finally sees the light….

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. So, let’s start with the things that worked. I really liked the beginning of the story. I loved the way that Sam and Tate met. They just hit it off and couldn’t help the pull they felt for one another. I think for Tate, it was a breath of fresh air to be around someone she liked, but that didn’t know her. She found it easy to confide in Sam and just be who Tate wanted to be. Sam and Tate’s beginning was filled with lots of stolen and sweet moments and those moments left me with butterflies in my stomach from all of the cuteness. The betrayal was a great twist. I wasn’t expecting it and definitely didn’t see it coming. I liked the overall plot of the story. I thought it was a unique take on a first love/second chance romance.

Sadly, this book was not a 100% hit for me. So, lets touch on what did not work. First thing being first. There is a huge gap of time between when we last see Tate and Sam. Now, usually that isn’t a huge deal, but for this story, that gap left me with a lot of questions. For me, I wanted to see what happened to both Sam and Tate after their separation. I wanted to see Tate rise up and also see what led her to her new career. I think if we had gotten to experience those moments instead of a blip of a mention of them, I feel like I would have connected to the “new” Tate better. Same can be said for Sam. His life changed in many ways and I would have liked to see how he got there and those moments that led to his reunion with Tate. This is definitely a time where I feel that dual point of view could have really helped with character growth and connection. My other issue was the ending. While I really liked it, it felt a bit rushed to me, like we hit our climax and that’s it, show’s over. After everything these characters went through, I would have liked to gotten more of their reunion and their future instead of just tiny blips of it.

So, my final thoughts. This book was an ok read. For me, it had a totally different feel from what we normal get from this duo. It was much lighter, less angst, less steamy moments. Don’t get me wrong, there was still drama and some steam. But, it just didn’t have that spark or signature humor that I’m used to from Christina Lauren. There were some parts that worked and some that just didn’t. I think this book will be one of those that some will love and some will hate. And while this isn’t my favorite book by this duo, I’m still glad that I checked it out and gave it a chance.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: The Debt by Jackie Ashenden

Ruthless billionaire Ash Evans finds the sexiest way to collect on a debt in the first installment in The Billionaire’s Club quartet!

Notoriously ruthless property developer Ash Evans never forgives a debt. And I have two days to convince the former street fighter not to pull his investment in my father’s company. Taking a job as his chauffeur in Paris is the only way to get close enough to ask the bad-tempered billionaire for a favor.

With his sexy tattoo, scars and magnificently cut body, he’s as powerful, sleek and difficult to manage as the sports cars my family designs. And after meeting his electric-blue eyes in the rearview mirror all night, I’m more than happy to rev his engine and take the boss for a ride!

But now Ash thinks I’m just using him to get what I want. And he’ll give me what I need, but there is a price—posing as his girlfriend to help him exact vengeance on his half brother. Pretending to love Ash is the easiest job I’ve ever had…and soon my heart is racing into danger. Will a man so full of anger ever be capable of loving me back?

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MY REVIEW

The Debt is the first book in The Billionaire’s Club quartet and follows the story of Ash and Ellie. Ash Evans is a nortorious investor who is know for his brash attitude and being unforgiving when it comes to debts. But, Ellie needs a favor from him, so she takes a job as his chauffer in an effort to get closer to him. However, Ellie didn’t plan on Ash being so tempting. A price will need to be paid if Ellie expects Ash to agree to her favor. Pretending to be Ash’s girlfriend is easier said then done. With so much on the line, will Ellie’s heart be put into danger as well? There’s only one way to find out….

Overall, I thought this book was a quick and enjoyable read. The story hits the ground running and the pacing never lets up. From the moment we meet up with Ellie and Ash, the chemistry between the two is instant. Ash is broody and arrogant. He’s used to being treated with the upmost respect and always getting his way. When Ellie enters the picture, all bets are off. Ellie is sassy and isn’t afraid to put Ash in his place. She challenges him in a way a woman never has before and she’s making him feel things that he’s not prepared for. Together, these two are absolutely combustible. Despite all their differences and baggage they each carry, somehow these two just click. Sure their journey won’t be an easy one. There is bound to be a little drama and heartache along the way. That being said, I had a lot of fun getting swept up in these two and their story.

If I had one complaint about this book, it would be the ending. Don’t get me wrong, the ending was great, but I just felt like it was a bit rushed. I didn’t feel like it did Ellie and Ash’s story the justice that I wanted. I wish that we could have gotten a few more chapters and that Ash would have been made to grovel a little more.

Other than that, I thought this book was a quick and fun read. You can totally read this story in a single sitting. So, if you’re looking for a quick and sexy read, look no further, The Debt might just be the book you’ve been waiting for.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: A Highlander Walks into a Bar (Highland, Georgia #1) by Laura Trentham

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The timeless romance, soaring passion—and gorgeous men—of Scotland comes to modern-day America. And the rules of love will never be the same…

Isabel Buchanan is fiery, funny, and never at a loss for words. But she is struck speechless when her mother returns from a trip to Scotland with a six-foot-tall, very handsome souvenir. Izzy’s mother is so infatuated by the fellow that Izzy has to plan their annual Highland Games all by herself. Well, not completely by herself. The Highlander’s strapping young nephew has come looking for his uncle…

Alasdair Blackmoor has never seen a place as friendly as this small Georgia town—or a girl as brilliant and beguiling as Izzy. Instead of saving his uncle, who seems to be having a lovely time, Alasdair decides he’d rather help Izzy with the Highland Games. Show her how to dance like a Highlander. Drink like a Highlander. And maybe, just maybe, fall in love with a Highlander. But when the games are over, where do they go from here?

MY REVIEW

When I first heard of A Highlander Walks into a Bar, I was totally intrigued by the story-line. It sounded like it was going to be a really cute read, so I couldn’t wait to dive in.

A Highlander Walks into a Bar starts off really promising. The dynamic between Izzy and her mother certainly was interesting. I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or cringe at times. But, those two certainly kept things interesting! Then we meet Alasdair. Alasdair travels to Georgia to try to talk some sense into his uncle and bring him home. Alasdair only plans to stay for a short time, but can’t help but be captivated by Izzy….

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. I think it had a lot of potential and is one of those books that is definitely going to be hit or miss for readers. Like I previously stated, this book did have a promising start. I was intrigued by the characters and was looking forward to diving deeper into their story. I enjoyed how cute the fictional town of Highland, Georgia was.  I liked all of the Scottish touches. I was really looking forward to seeing Izzy and Alasdair get to know one another more. And there were some nice steamy moments and surprises along the way.

However, I did have some issues with this book. The biggest and most important one I will be touching on today is the pacing. And for me, the pacing can either make or break the story. And when it comes to this one, the pacing just killed me. I can deal with a slow pace as long as the story is moving along and the plot is engaging. Sadly, that did not happen here. The pacing was far too slow for my liking and I found myself getting very distracted. At times, I even found myself skimming sections, just to move things along. And that is something I just don’t like to do.

My final thoughts on this book is that it was just an ok read. It had its moments where I thought things would turn around for me, but it never stayed consistent. As far as rating goes, this is a tough one. For now, I think I’m going to round up to 3 stars, because I do feel that the potential is there, it just needs more fleshing out. This is my first book by this author and while it wasn’t a total hit for me, I’m still glad that I checked out this book and gave it a chance.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

EXCERPT

From A Highlander Walks into a Bar. Copyright © 2019 by Laura Trentham and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

Chapter One

“I brought home a surprise!” Rose Buchanan threw her arms out wide as if embracing the world. From the stories she told to the way she entered the room, Rose was exuberant and entertaining and enjoyed being the center of attention.

Isabel Buchanan, who was perfectly content on the fringes, pushed her wavy hair off her sticky forehead with hands that trembled from the nightmare drive through At- lanta to the airport to pick up her mom. Her mom’s trip to Scotland had doubled as both research and vacation. The jammed stop-and-go traffic had left Izzy flustered and already dreading their exit from the airport.

Rolling her stiff shoulders, Izzy stepped around the bumper of the car, popping the trunk open on the way. Her mom had a beautiful plaid scarf of greens and browns and blues tossed over her shoulder and what appeared to be new earrings. Either purchase might inspire her mother to gush, and she would expect reciprocal gushing from Izzy. Making an educated guess, Izzy asked, “Are those ear-rings your surprise?”

Without waiting for an answer, she hauled one of her mom’s giant wheeled suitcases closer and prepared to heave it into the back. The sooner they got out of Atlanta, the sooner she could get back to work planning the High- land festival. Or she might pour an extra-large glass of wine and escape into a book. A guilty pleasure, considering how much she still had to get in order in three scant weeks.

“Allow me, please.” A bearded man who had been roll- ing cases to the curb stepped forward with a grin and an accent Izzy couldn’t place.

She checked her pockets and winced. No cash to tip the man, and no hope her mom had thought of something so inconsequential.

“Do you like them? They’re hammered silver.” Her mom flipped her bobbed matching silver hair to the side and displayed one earring with her fingers. “And as a matter of fact, I did buy them from a lovely shop in Edinburgh, but I brought something bigger home. Something more exciting.”

“Your scarf? It’s lovely.” Izzy gave her mom limited attention while she watched the man load suitcase after suitcase into her trunk, fitting them together like a puzzle. More luggage than her mom had left with. She waved to catch the man’s attention. “Hang on. That’s not all my mom’s stuff.”

For the first time, Izzy really looked at the man. He was close to her mom in age, and good-looking in a bear- like way with a gleaming white smile highlighted by a salt-and-pepper beard. His full head of hair was a shade darker, but graying heavily at the temples. The expression on the man’s face when he looked in her mom’s direction—a mix of adoration and amusement—cleared the fog of confusion.

Lord have mercy, her mother had brought back a six- foot, two-hundred-pound-plus souvenir from Scotland.

Laura Trentham Blog Tour Q&A A HIGHLANDER WALKS INTO A BAR

  1. What inspired you to write A Highlander Walks into a Bar?

It was actually a Buick car commercial from a couple of years ago where a grandson picks his grandmother up from the airport and she says saucily, “I did a lot of shopping in Italy.” From behind her luggage steps an Italian gentleman. Of course, my writer brain kept picturing what happened after the three of drove off and twisted it into an entire story but had to make up a town for them to return to!

Another big inspiration is a real-life place: Helen, Georgia, is a town that has transformed itself into a German village. It’s picturesque and they celebrate Octoberfest every year. I twisted that concept and made my little town of Highland, Georgia, into a Scottish village including an annual Highland Games that the Buchanan ladies put on every summer which is an important aspect of the book.

  1. Introduce us to your main characters!

Isabel Buchanan is the daughter who picks her mother up from the airport only to be surprised by the appearance of Gareth Blackmoor, who happens to be keeping his title of Earl of Cairndow a secret from everyone in Highland, Georgia, including Rose Buchanan, Isabel’s mother.

Alasdair Blackmoor is Gareth’s nephew and heir to the title and castle in Scotland. He’s been sent to round up his wandering uncle and to make sure he isn’t being taken advantage of by some pushy American women. Complications ensue, including love (of course!)

  1. Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?

To become a better writer, you must write. Sounds simple, but I know so many aspiring authors who get stuck in their own head. They plot and make inspiration boards and talk about writing, but when the fingers hit the keyboard, they get mired in doubts. Just get the words down. They don’t have to be perfect; they don’t even have to be good, but you can’t fix a blank page!

  1. How is A Highlander Walks into a Bar different from your other books?

While it’s still a Southern small town romance, it has a definite rom-com vibe. Expect low angst and lots of laughs! I love to read reviews where they reader has literally laughed out loud at several points.

  1. I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?

Two series I have loved lately are Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy (a fantasy retelling weaving medieval Russian history and folklore) and Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell’s mysteries (a Victorian butterfly hunter teams up with a taxidermist to solve mysteries. I mean, seriously, how can you beat that combo?!)

  1. Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?

If you need a pick-me-up, good-time, laugh-out-loud book, then read A Highlander Walks into a Bar!

  1. Favorite quote or scene you wrote in A Highlander Walks into a Bar?

As the woman continued to stare at him as if he were the bearer of the bubonic plague, his smile faltered. He stuck out a hand. “I’m Alasdair Blackmoor.”

Although he registered a split-second hesitation on her part, she took his hand. “Isabel Buchanan.”

Her handshake was firm and no-nonsense, but her palm was soft and her hand small in his. On closer inspection, her eyes striated into all different shades of brown and amber, and freckles dusted her cheeks. He hung on to her hand for too long, but couldn’t seem to pry himself away.

Breaking the spell, she wrested her hand from his, pulling it into a fist. Was she planning on throat-punching him? He rubbed his neck and took a step back, out of the radius of her magnetic energy, and her reach. On her approach, she’d seemed birdlike, insignificant even, but up close, he was having a hard time not staring like a first-class prat.

He was punch-drunk with exhaustion. It was the only logical explanation.

She stuck her hands into the back pockets of her jeans, stretching her red V-neck T-shirt tight. His gaze dipped instinctively and then stuck around to read the print on the pocket over the soft curve of her left breast: Highland. The Heart of Scotland in the Blue Ridge.

She cleared her throat. His gaze shot to hers, and he blinked to try to refocus his thoughts. “I was admiring . . . I mean, reading your shirt.”

“It’s not a novel.”

His face heated. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d blushed this hot and fierce.

  1. What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always been (and still am) a huge reader. My youngest child started preschool and I wasn’t ready to go back to work in what I’m trained for (chemical engineering) so I sat down one morning and started writing a book. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing until I was around halfway done and loving every minute! That book became a Golden Heart finalist, got me an agent, and is published as An Indecent Invitation, a Regency historical.

  1. What is a typical writing day like?

During the school year, I work while the kids are in school. I love the flexibility of being there to pick my kids up and drive them to soccer or gymnastics or chaperoning field trips, etc.

  1. Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits?

My only habit is a bad one in that I drink *way* too much coffee while I’m writing! It’s become a ritual, I suppose.

  1. What has been one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a published author?

How slow the industry can move, but also how quickly changes have come because of indie publishing.

  1. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next after this for you writing wise?

For my contemporary fans, I have my second women’s fiction releasing early February 2020, An Everyday Hero. The second book in the Highland, Georgia, series, A Highlander in a Pickup, releases late February 2020.

For my historical romance fans, look out for A Wicked Wedding in the Once Upon a Christmas Wedding anthology releasing in October 2019. And two more full length books in the Spies and Lovers series, A Sinful Surrender and A Daring Deception, coming sometimes in mid to late 2020!

  1. How can readers connect with you online?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraTrentham

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Author Bio:

Laura Trentham is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, including Then He Kissed Me and The Military Wife. She is a member of RWA, and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.