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Crazy Thing Called Love

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Two high-school sweethearts marry and prepare for a life together. Billy Wilkins is a rising star in the hockey league with a bright future playing his dream, but the cost he ends up paying is his wife, Madelyn. They grow apart until one day Madelyn decides to divorce him. Over the next 15 years, Madelyn builds her dream in a journalism career and Billy succeeds as a famous hockey player. Fifteen years later, Billy Wilkins has reached the end of his career and agrees to a guest spot on Madelyn’s popular morning show, much to Madelyn’s dismay. This is the first of Molly O’Keefe’s books that I have read, and I must confess, I had thoughts of not reading another as I read the first half of this book. I was bored with story of lost-ex-husband-chasing-popular-and-self-sufficient-yet-pathetic-ex-wife. I found the characters to be flat and uninteresting, and the continuing self-imposed prison Madelyn put herself into due to the pain Billy put her through 15 years ago was tedious. I wanted to scream “get over it already”.I felt this until, midway through the book, Ms. O’Keefe threw her readers a little curveball. This little curveball (which would be a spoiler, so I won’t divulge) brought a plot to the book that I then found myself liking the characters and the growth I was now seeing. This situation change seemed to give the author more to work with and opened up doors for Billy and Maddy to evolve and become more interesting. I began to wonder what was going to happen next, which kept me turning the pages.All in all, I would say don’t judge this book by the first 100 pages. The author is setting a scene, which is valuable, however, I do believe it could have been accomplished in fewer pages. How the author wraps up this story does make the book worthwhile.I believe I will read another of Ms. O’Keefe’s books.
Night Road

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Mia, Zach, and Lexi are three best friends in high school, and Mia and Zach are even closer since they are twins. Jude Farraday is Mia and Zach’s mother, and Lexi has become a part of their family since the day she met and formed a lasting friendship with Mia. Jude, a very protective mother, has reservations about Lexi at first due to Mia’s insecurities, but after a few years they settle into a nice relationship. In Night Road, Kristin Hannah has written a novel which took me on a roller coaster of emotions. Her characters were faced with numerous situations which they had to face and overcome, and some of those situations were less pleasant than others. We watch Jude struggle over parental decisions that most parents of teenagers face, and wonder if Jude made the right choices. We witness the consequences of actions of teenagers, and parents, and wonder how things may have been different had the decisions been different. I am still asking myself how I would done things differently, and I still don’t have those answers.I found this novel to be quite engaging and I had a hard time putting it down. A very insightful, and thought-provoking, work by Kristin Hannah.
Call Me Irresistible: A Novel

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I have always loved Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books, so when I was able to review this one I was very excited. And I was not disappointed.Meg and Lucy are good friends, and Lucy is about to get married. Meg doesn’t believe her best friend’s wedding is the best match, and decides to do something about it. All the townsfolk love the couple, and don’t hesitate to turn on Meg when she succeeds in her plan.I enjoyed the book, but I had a difficult time at the start. Lucy is such a lovable character, and of course Ted is the typical wonderful groom, so how could I want Meg to succeed? Plus, I didn’t think Meg was painted by the author as a very likeable protagonist at first. As I continued to read and the story unfolded, I was able to set aside my reservations and truly enjoy the book.Another thumbs up for Susan Elizabeth Phillips!
After Midnight

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I loved it. Teresa Medeiros has yet to disappoint me. I read this before I knew I would like paranormal books -- and this one is on the lighter side with more romance. This book is on my keeper shelf!
A Bride in the Bargain

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In the 1850s, Joe Denton had a wife and planned to settle in Seattle. He acquired a considerable amount of land through a deal with the government. His wife died before she could join him, and the judge in town tells Joe he has to give up half his land due to the stipulation in the deal that he must have a wife. Either produce a death certificate for his dead wife, or produce another wife. That was the order. Joe couldn’t produce a death certificate due to a records fire, so his only other option to save his land – and the last 10 years of his hard work – is to produce a new wife. Asa Mercer is arranging marriages, and Joe Denton begrudgingly signs up to be a groom. Anna Ivey is tired of working for a letch and living alone in post-Civil War Maine. She decides to travel by sea to Seattle and become a cook. Asa Mercer, her means of travel, allows her to believe she is travelling to take on the job as cook, not as a bride. All is well until Joe and Anna meet and Anna refuses to marry.A Bride in the Bargain is a captivating historical romance which follows the typical boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl can’t be together for whatever reason, and all ends well. However, Deeanne Gist is able to create characters that draw you into the tale and invest your emotions in their lives. The secondary characters are just as endearing as the hero and heroine, and there is no surprise that the couple and their friends must stay together in order not to disappoint the reader. The author does break from the traditional mold and adds a little twist, just when you think the story is coming to an end. An unforeseen complication arises and takes hold of the reader until the close of the book. A enjoyable, romantic read which I highly recommend.
The Valcourt Heiress

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Merry escapes her recently deceased father’s estate in the hopes of avoiding her evil mother’s plans to wed her to a despicable man. She runs to Wareham Castle where she poses as the bastard daughter to the former priest. Everyone at Wareham Castle knows the truth except for the new Lord of the castle, Garron. She is accepted into the castle and soon plays a vital role in bringing the destroyed estate back to its former glory. The mystery that surrounds the Black Demon and his malicious attack on Wareham becomes the focus of Garron and Merry, and the two build a bond as they work to revive the spirit of the people as well as rebuild the estate and the surrounding holdings. Catherine Coulter has always been a favorite of mine, and this latest installment in her historical romance collection hasn’t changed my mind. Ms. Coulter has weaved a simple romance into a moderate mystery and included a few twists, just enough to keep the reader wondering who can be trusted and how will this play out. Some aspects of this story are predictable, but there are a few areas of intrigue that keep the story fresh and compel the reader to continue turning the pages.If you enjoy Catherine Coulter’s historical romance novels then I don’t believe you will be disappointed with her latest work. I enjoyed reading The Valcourt Heiress.
Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand

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Kitty Norville is getting married, but she doesn’t anticipate all the responsibility that goes along with the wedding plans. Las Vegas! When her boss finds out she’s traveling to Vegas to get married, he suggests she throw in a little business while she’s there and do a live installment of her radio show. Las Vegas brings her more than just wedding troubles.I had committed to reading this Book 5 if the Kitty Norville series before I had completed the first four books. I had read Book 2 and had some background, but was worried I hadn’t read the others yet. It didn’t matter. Carrie Vaughn does an excellent job building on past books, but if you didn’t read them, you still won’t feel lost. Again, I enjoyed the character of Kitty Norville as Ms. Vaughn continues to present us with the trials Kitty must endure to be human and wolf in an intolerant society. In Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand, the characters are questionable until the end – the author kept me guessing. I didn’t find myself “on the edge of my seat” throughout this book, but I did enjoy the characters, the conflict, and the wondering. I give this book 4.5 stars only because I was able to put it down in between sittings.
Dirty Girls on Top

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I thoroughly enjoyed Dirty Girls On Top, Alisa Valdes -Rogriquez' sequel to The Dirty Girls Social Club. The author continued the tales of the six young ladies to whom she introduced us in the first installment of the Dirty Girls, and she stayed true to the characters, their actions, and their reactions. I found this novel to be highly entertaining, somewhat thought provoking, laugh out loud funny, and absolutely engaging. I liked how Valdes-Rodriguez was able to refresh the reader's memory with subtle references to occurances in the first book without using tedious flashbacks or beating the reader over the head with in-depth details. She used just enough to bring the first book back to life and remind me why I enjoyed these characters in the first place. This novel does, however, contain a considerable amount of foul language and sexual scenes, so I would not recommend this novel to anyone who may find this sort of writing offensive. I will be looking for this author's next publication.
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