The Taming of a Wild Child | 4 Stars

The Taming of a Wild Child
by Kimberly Lang
4 Stars

For a story featuring a passionate fling between two young people, this story is surprisingly sweet. The family dynamic between the heroine and her parents and sister is just lovely and very believable. There were times when I had a little difficulty swallowing the restrictions her place in society was putting on her, but then again, I think many readers would, and that’s what makes us feel for the heroine as she is being stifled. While thrilling and forbidden, the love affair between the characters is held behind closed doors – I would have been floored if the author had chosen to keep the bedroom doors open so to speak and let the reader into these scenes. As it was, the story was sweet, fun, and fresh, and it was definitely enjoyable to read.

Phaze | 5 Stars

Phaze
by S. C. Mitchell
4 Stars

I LOVED this book! The flirtatious tension between the two main characters is absolutely delicious, and the author has a real way of making the secondary characters come alive. There was plenty of action and romance, as well as a fun amount of comic relief to keep things from getting too dark and heavy, even in these life and death situations.

As always with this author, my favorite part of reading his work is just how knowledgeable he is about science and technology. It makes everything seem completely plausible and I never question what he says. Another great book!

Happy Holidays!

I just want to take a moment to wish everyone a safe and Happy Holidays! For those of you who have procrastinated on getting your gifts ready or who are so excited to give someone a gift this holiday season that they can hardly contain themselves, we’re in the home stretch! As I write this, I just finished my last homemade gift of the season, and I have just a few gifts to wrap this afternoon. Then the Christmas party season starts tomorrow, with Christmas Eve at my in-laws, followed by my boyfriend and I having our own Christmas Eve together. Then Christmas Day I’ll be at my mom’s bright and early (my sisters will text me at least once to make sure I haven’t ignored my alarm and that I’m on schedule to arrive by 7), followed by Christmas at my Grandma’s with the aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’m excited for a great holiday season, and I hope you are too!

P.S. It’s snowing a few snowflakes right now, which seems promising to me!

Holiday in Your Heart | 4 Stars

Holiday In Your Heart
By Susan Fox
4 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Susan Fox has a unique and brilliant way of seamlessly melding sexy relationships with the homey comfort of living in a small town. Holiday In Your heart encompassed both of these traits beautifully – something I’ve never seen done before. I haven’t come across a small town family-based romance before where the physical romance jumped off the page, but there it was. Beautifully done. Watching the characters learn, grow, and compromise their relationship was fun. I haven’t read the other Caribou Crossing books, but fans of the series will enjoy seeing the post happily-ever-afters of their favorite characters.

My only complaint (and the reason I didn’t give the story 5 stars) came at the very end. I felt that the hero, who had been very set in his opinion of a certain issue he and the heroine disagreed on, had a complete change of heart and took the heroine’s side without a big incident to change his mind or an obvious progression to get him to that point. I needed a bit more to make it believable, but other than that aspect, it was a delightful read.

The Christmas Rescue | 3 Stars

The Christmas Rescue
By Laura Scott
3 stars

I had mixed feelings when I picked up this book. First, the heroine’s name is Kayla and she lives in Wisconsin. So do I, so I thought this might be interesting, kind of like reading a book about myself. On the other hand, it sounds like a crime-thriller, which is not my cup of tea. Still, it was a gift, so I thought I’d give it a go.

It was an interesting read. The thriller plot was well paced, a little information being revealed at a time so that I felt like I was investigating right alongside the characters. The ending of the romance fell just a little flat for me. The heroine got over her (very justifiable) fears very quickly, because she realized that was what God wanted. I agree, once you know what God wants for you, things fall into place, but her realization happened out of the blue. Nothing really triggered it. The ending didn’t work for me, but the rest of the story was an interesting read, especially if you enjoy watching someone come to faith.

Where I Belong | 5 Stars

Where I Belong
by J. Daniels
5 Stars

Hot, hot, hot read! Our characters jump into bed in the opening scene, and I was hooked from the start. It was great to watch their relationship build into something more. Also, enemies to lovers? Love that. The hero and heroine grew up together (her BFF’s older brother – another win for lovers of tropes!), and he was a total jerk to her. I found it very believable how they slowly overcome their past together; they didn’t just fall in love and “get over it” overnight.

Clear your schedule when you pick up this book—I couldn’t put it down until I finished.

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished | 5 Stars

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished
by Sarah MacLean
5 Stars

I was just a bit skeptical of the premise on this one (the heroine faked her death and blamed it on the hero, sending him into a life of exile) and was wondering just how the characters would overcome such a terrible action on the heroine’s part–one that she hasn’t rectified in over a decade. But I needn’t have worried. Sarah not only redeemed the heroine, but did it in her traditional fashion: with spunk, charm, and wit. Not to mention plenty of love/hate interactions between our characters! I never doubted they would get together in the end (it’s a romance, after all), but there were moments where I was on the edge of my seat, asking, “How are they coming to come back from THIS? How can their love overcome THAT?” A delightful read that I’m sure others will enjoy as much as I did!

Close Up by Virginia Kantra | 5 Stars

I LOVE the compound-related storyline, SO intriguing and very timeless. The relationship between the compound and the town was also handled very nicely. The compound’s people weren’t painted to be the “bad guys.” Instead, the author showed how they were a peaceful if radical people and the townspeople lived alongside them harmoniously.

I also found the characters very believable. Sometimes with crime/investigation stories, the character who isn’t a police officer is either completely helpless or so experienced with law practices that it doesn’t make sense. In this case, the heroine’s experience and inexperience were perfectly balanced, and I really enjoyed a character who sometimes needed to be saved but who could also save herself.

I think my favorite part about this story was that I truly believe that our hero and heroine belong together. It’s easy for the adrenaline of a life-and-death situation (like theirs) to create an ideal atmosphere to fall in love, or at least in lust, but I felt that these two characters fit together so well that if they’d met at a coffee shop or on the street somewhere, they would have fallen in love just the same.

Tempests & Slaughter | 3 Stars

Tempests & Slaughter
By Tamora Pierce
3 Stars

Let me start out by saying that I have been waiting for this book for 15 years. Well, since I first heard that Numair was going to get his own book. So I came into this with a lot of expectations – 15 years of pent up hopes and dreams.

Basically, I spent the whole book waiting for something to happen, and nothing ever did. There was no climax. I never felt like we were building toward anything, and there was nothing to overcome. Essentially the entire book is spent watching Arram go to class and hang out with Varice and Ozorne. I understand that we need to set up Arram’s relationship with these two, but there really was no story. I felt like the author started the book too soon, and we simply followed Arram along while waiting for the actual story to begin – which hopefully will be book 2.

That being said, Arram’s character was on point. There were so many times when what I was reading about his childhood completely clicked with his adulthood. You could tell that the author really knew her character inside and out, which was great to read. That was probably the best part of the book – really feeling like I was reading about the younger days of a character, not reading about a different person.

For someone who’s never read the Wild Magic series (the adult years of our main character), I wouldn’t recommend Tempests & Slaughter because it doesn’t pack enough punch to stand on its own. For fans of the character, however, we will all read this story, regardless of reviews.

Z-Bot | 3 Stars

This was a fun sci-fi romance. What really drew me in was the incredible wealth of knowledge the author has of computers, technology, and the complex functions that all work together. There were layers upon layers of technical plots, things I never would have even dreamed about. I am not a tech savvy person, but the author presents the information in such a way that I was never confused by the information or doubted its authenticity. Really, for me, the technical information was what made this book so fun and exciting, even more than the thrilling plot: after a man dies, his body is reanimated by a computer—but then his soul returns to his body and he must fight to regain control not just of his body, but of his new life.

The romance between the two characters was sweet and believable. I particularly enjoyed that Chris, our hero, was a nerd. Sure, he had recently hit the gym as part of his plan to gain confidence and appeal with women, which he completely succeeded at, but he’s also still somewhat shy and sweet—very refreshing traits in a genre often filled with alpha males.