Review: Home to Stay


Home to Stay by Kate James
My rating:            5 of 5 stars

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Home to Stay is San Diego K-9 Unit Book 4.

Sawyer Evans’s four-year-old son, Dylan, was kidnapped from their campsite while vacationing with family.  San Diego K-9 unit officer, Shannon Clemens, is called upon with her search and rescue dog, Darwin, to try to locate the missing child. The initial search is unsuccessful and Sawyer is livid. Shannon’s emotions are stirred by Sawyer’s deep agony over his son’s disappearance, and because of her own prior personal experience with loss, she feels compelled to help Sawyer find Dylan. In time, the distraught father and caring, compassionate officer develop feelings for one another. But when another incident causes tension between the couple, their connection is strained. Will the feelings they’ve developed be enough to overcome the obstacles they’re currently facing?

Home to Stay was thoroughly engrossing from the start.  As new developments in the abduction case surfaced, the suspense and intensity continued to build, keeping me interested and engaged in the story. The intriguing mystery surrounding Dylan’s disappearance propelled the plot forward. I was put in the mind of a romantic suspense novel—albeit a milder approach to the romance and suspense elements, making it suitable for a wholesome romance book. The relationship and dialog between Sawyer and his son was endearing—so sweet and pleasant to read. Dylan was a darling little boy, and I looked forward to scenes where he was present. The relationship between Sawyer and Shannon was at times complex because of surrounding circumstances and I kept trying to envision how things would turn out for the two of them.

Riveting and imaginative, I enjoyed this book immensely. An intriguing mystery, suspense, police procedurals, a strained romance and HEA, are some of what you’ll get in Home to Stay. Very highly recommended.

I received a free copy of this book from the author. In exchange I have provided an honest review.

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Review: Recipe for Redemption

Recipe for Redemption
💚💚💚💚💚 Recipe for Redemption by Anna J. Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jason Corwin’s life is in a shambles when he arrives at the Flutterby Inn in Butterfly Harbor, a California coastal town, where he’s been sent to clear his head from the recent misfortunes that have befallen him. After having lost his twin brother, his career as a renowned chef and his reputation, Jason has convinced himself that walking away from his former life, instead of fighting to reclaim it, is the best option. That’s until he meets Abby Manning, the beautiful, young and feisty Flutterby Inn Manager who can’t cook if her life depended on it. So why on earth did she join a cooking contest? Abby could use Jason’s help in the kitchen if she has any chance at winning the prize money that she desperately needs to save the inn that’s been her grandmother’s home for decades. But Jason is uppity, reticent and judgmental, and he grates on her nerves. That is until Abby’s playful nature gradually peels away the layers of Jason’s scarred heart to reveal the sensitive, charming man underneath. Soon they are working together amiably, healing each other. But will a bombshell threaten everything they’ve managed to accomplish together and destroy the strong feelings they both share for one another?

I loved this sweet romance novel. The pacing impressed me as it built gradually and then gained impetus to the very last page. Sometimes a book starts strong and then wanes. This was not the case with Recipe for Redemption. It reached a point where I was flipping pages so fast I couldn’t believe I was at the end already. There are many things that I enjoyed about this book. I loved the relationship between Abby and her grandmother. There are tender, heartwarming moments between them that touched my heart. There are two very precocious kids that had me laughing out loud at their antics. Even the town, Butterfly Harbor, had much to recommend itself with its picturesqueness and supportive neighbors that rallied round Abby despite their knowledge of her inept cooking skills. A semi-eccentric character, a villain and the presence of butterflies all add to the endearing quality of this story.
Anna Stewart’s writing is emotive, funny and definitely worth investing time in. A most delightful read. Highly recommended.

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Sophie’s Path by Catherine Lanigan -Review and GIVEAWAY

Sophie’s Path by Catherine Lanigan 

My rating:  5 of 5 stars 💚💚💚💚💚

Sophie’s Path gets off to a highly dramatic start. Sophie Mattuchi, a cardiac ablation surgical nurse, who also dedicates time to assisting in the ER on weekends, has been called in to help with three individuals brought into the ER after being involved in a severe car accident. Jack Carter was the driver of one of the vehicles, and Sophie’s soothing voice comforts Jack while she addresses his injuries. Although badly wounded, Jack’s concern is not for himself, but it’s concentrated on two of his employees that were riding with him. Although in a fuzzy state of mind, he remembers the blood-curdling scream of his young protegé, Aleah. Is she okay? Sophie, tending to the stricken passengers, and noting the young girl’s deteriorating condition, rushes to assist her. At that precise moment, the man responsible for the accident, an addict, appears to be in a more critical state than Aleah. Sophie turns her attention to the dying man, to Jack’s shock and dismay. He’s enraged at Sophie for leaving Aleah to tend to the addict, and he doesn’t hide his feelings about it long after his release from the hospital. Consumed by Jack’s dissatisfaction with her decision, Sophie begins to question her judgment regarding her actions that night.

Not one to wallow in self-doubt, and realizing that she can’t alter the past, but that she can change the future, Sophie becomes determined to get support to provide assistance to addicts. In addition to those efforts, she begins sponsoring a young addict, Jeremy, through the Recovery Alliance initiative— devoting a lot of time she doesn’t have to nurturing and encouraging him when he’s feeling dejected, lost and hopeless. With her regular position at the hospital, weekend ER assistance, and her commitment to the Recovery Alliance program, Sophie is spreading herself dangerously thin. These varied demands are taking a toll, and lack of recharging is affecting her nursing abilities. She has to make a choice about priorities in her life. Will she ever have time for Jack Carter, the man whose ire has finally begun to soften towards her, revealing the compassionate, generous, attractive man that he truly is?

If that weren’t enough, Sophie’s beginning to feel a sense of belonging from the very people she’d tried to manipulate in the past. Their willingness to forgive and accept her is melting her heart. She wants the family that’s embracing her. She wants Jack. She wants to help with the Revovery Alliance. She wants to be a proficient cardiac surgery nurse. She wants to work in the ER. She wants to run to stay fit. She wants this, she wants that. She learns that she can’t have it all.

Arising circumstances will cause Sophie to change the course of her life and reexamine what’s truly important, and what’s worth fighting for.

Sophie’s Path is a tender, emotionally charged book without being angst-ridden. Catherine Lanigan delights us with her personable, conversational writing style that’s appealing in that it brings the characters, their surroundings and expressions to life in a relatable way. The companionable dialogue helped me to fully comprehend what the characters were feeling, and I formed an instant attachment to many of them.

Sophie’s Path was highly enjoyable and I will be sure to read more of the books in the Shores of Indian Lake series. Recommended.

To learn more about all of the books in the Shores of Indian Lake series, click here.
To find Sophie’s Path online, along with other books in the series, click here.

GIVEAWAY:

I enjoyed this book so much that I’d like to give away a copy to one commenter who will tell me if he/she enjoys reading sweet romance books, and why. I’ll choose a winner at the end of May. Please leave an email address so you can be contacted if you win. Since this is a paperback book, the giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  I sincerely apologize to my International readers.

As always, thank you for reading.  ( :

Review: Sanctuary Cove

Sanctuary Cove
Sanctuary Cove by Kate James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

💚💚💚💚💚 What do you get when you take a handsome, compassionate veterinarian; a beautiful, intelligent, yet insecure, animal lover; a small town in the Adirondack Mountains with breathtaking scenery; and a scandal involving a corrupt senator that could destroy many lives? You get Sanctuary Cove, a wholesome romance story with a healthy dose of intrigue for good measure.

Emma Meadows, Communications professional, is finding solace in her cottage in Sanctuary Cove with her Alaskan Malamute, Max, after having lost her job, criminal defense attorney fiancé, Richard, and the home they planned to live in after their nuptials. Realizing that Richard wasn’t the man she thought he was has been difficult, but Emma is determined to make a new start. When she spots a badly injured dog on the side of the road on her way to Sanctuary Cove and calls the resident veterinarian, Josh Whitmore, who arrives at the scene to care for the dog, there’s an instant attraction felt by both Josh and Emma, even though neither one is willing to acknowledge or entertain the thought of it at first. Josh is also moving on from a toxic relationship with crazy ex-girlfriend Crystal, and making any new love connections is far from his mind. But their attraction to one another is undeniable, and before long the two are getting to know one another. Josh detects Emma’s lack of confidence and is just the person to help her regain it and realize her full potential. But it’s a double-edged sword. When Emma’s work is sought after by a consulting firm that’s willing to give her everything she’s dreamed of professionally, moving to NYC could mean the end to her blossoming relationship with Josh. And since she’s embroiled in turmoil involving a corrupt senator and her opportunist ex-fiancé Richard, will she leave Josh behind in order to protect him?

Sanctuary Cove was a great story to get lost in. The descriptive surroundings, lovable canines, respectable main characters and an HEA that will melt your heart, makes it a wholesome romance book that you’ll want to invest time in reading. The scheme involving the senator was a nice subplot that added interest to the overall storyline. Imagining the trio of canines romping around in the open and lush landscape was soothing. I truly enjoyed this book. Recommended.

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Review: A Family Like Hannah’s

A Family Like Hannah's
A Family Like Hannah’s by Carol Ross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

💚💚💚💚💚 I loved A Family Like Hannah’s. Carol Ross has done it again with the fourth installment of her Season’s of Alaska series. At times heart wrenching, but mostly heartwarming, A Family Like Hannah’s is yet another example of her skill at creating solid, evocative stories. Carol Ross’s books exude a warmth and tenderness that immediately captures your attention and holds it as the story unfolds. Indicative of this is the natural, convincing way her characters find love. Hannah James, the principal character in A Family Like Hannah’s, is getting her life back on track after a tragic accident almost ended it. Still good natured, adventurous and athletic despite what she’s been through, Hannah’s dream has come true as co-partner and project manager for Snowy Sky, a ski resort in Rankins, Alaska. Tate Addison, Consultant for Snowy Sky, and unbeknownst to Hannah a dominant shareholder, has plans that threaten to upend her vision for the resort, and the two don’t get off to a promising start. Notwithstanding this, Hannah can’t deny her attraction to the handsome Tate. He’s stepped in to care for his neglected 6-year old nephew, Lucas, whom Hannah has come to adore. These factors and others endear Hannah to Tate, but Tate’s background of the same neglect and pain that Lucas endured initially causes him to conclude that Hannah is just too good for him with her large, perfect family and her seemingly unblemished life. He isn’t aware that Hannah’s hiding a secret that could halt any chances of the couples’ friendly relationship advancing to the next level anyway. Nevertheless, feelings between the two can’t be denied. Hannah is great with kids, especially Lucas, and she has an effect on Tate like no other woman he’s ever known. If they want to be together, the couple will have to see beyond the impediments that can easily keep them apart. The way they do this demonstrates Carol Ross’s adept ability to concoct sweet stories with a happy ending that leaves you feeling contented, satisfied and in anticipation of her next book so that you can revisit characters you’ve grown to love.

It was a delight to return to Rankins Alaska and to be reunited with characters from the first three books in the Season’s of Alaska series. And yet, A Family Like Hannah’s can certainly be enjoyed on its own. If an engrossing story with great characters, a sweet romance and a happy ending is what you’re looking for in your next read, you’ll love A Family Like Hannah’s. I did. Highly recommended.

I received a free copy of A Family Like Hannah’s from the author. No compensation was collected for my honest review.

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Review: Carousel Nights

Carousel Nights
Carousel Nights by Amie Denman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

💜💜💜💜💜 Carousel Nights is book 2 in the Starlight Point Stories miniseries, and it was a delightfully, enjoyable read. The story focuses on Mel Preston, head of maintenance at the Starlight Point Amusement Park; and June Hamilton, part owner of Starlight Point. The two had dated for a summer seven years earlier when they were teens.  June, feeling destined for the bright lights of Broadway in NYC, left Mel behind to pursue her dreams. Now she’s back at The Point to help out her siblings, co-owners of Starlight Point, with various park upgrades for several weeks before returning to her life in NYC.  It’s not easy seeing Mel practically every day while he carries out tasks around the amusement park. And his adorable 5-yr. old son, Ross, is subtly stealing June’s heart as well.  It’s becoming obvious that the two are still attracted to each other, but Mel’s reluctance to act on his impulses stems from being left behind by June once before. And although she seems somewhat interested in rekindling their lost love, Mel knows he has to tread carefully because this time around he has another to consider besides just himself.  So who or what will ultimately win out with June?Will it be the handsome maintenance worker that she left behind years ago?  Or will she choose the fame and opportunity of a lifetime that awaits her back in The Big Apple?

This book really drew me in and held my attention. The amusement park setting was vivid and lively. I could feel the energy of the crowds, rides, and fireworks going off. I imagined Mel Preston busily going about his day handling varying degrees of emergencies, and June Hamilton, dressed in sparkly costumes, dancing in the Midway Theater.  Little Ross’s appearance in this book added an endearing quality.  He was a sweet presence; not whiny or childish, but slightly mature for his five years, and the interaction between father and son was a joy to read about. There were also a couple of nail-biting scenes involving a storm and a fire that amped up the story and helped to move it along at a nice pace.  I was on the edge of my seat at times eagerly anticipating the outcomes.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book. The romantic element was convincing and the ending was as sweet and satisfying as a hot fudge sundae after a plate of comfort food on one of your best days. Highly recommended.

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Review: The Country Vet

The Country Vet The Country Vet by Eleanor Jones
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫  Cass Truman isn’t exactly receiving a warm welcome from the residents of the little village in the Lake District where she’s decided to settle and begin her career as a veterinarian. The old farmers regard her skeptically, and unfortunately her first emergency call results in permission from its owner’s father to put down a pony that was in extreme distress and pain.  The pony, Rosie, was special to Jake Munro, and his father’s permission for the vet to put it down enrages him.  Jake is unreasonable and unwilling to accept Cass as a capable, qualified vet. As Cass begins to build a respectable reputation with the village locals she wonders why Jake is still surly and obnoxious as ever towards her.  What’s with the tall, handsome man who is obviously skilled at riding and caring tenderly for horses, but who’s rude and taciturn with people?  Cass soon learns of Jake’s sad and tragic past and makes an effort to excuse his foul disposition. In time Jake can’t ignore the attraction he feels towards Cass, but when a love from his past re-enters his life, will he allow guilt and regret to cause him to give up a chance to explore new possibilities with the sweet country vet who’s captured his heart?
The author dedicated this book “to all those who love animals and the countryside.”  When I read that I figured The Country Vet would be a book for me, and it was. I learned a few things about horses which was interesting, and I got to take in the sights and sounds of the English countryside. Add to that a sweet, young woman with a passion for helping animals, especially horses; a beautiful, feisty mare named Carlotta; an adorable puppy, Puddle, and a handsome man who’s trying to find his way after suffering loss, and you’ve got a story worth investing time in. Another enjoyable Heartwarming read.

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