Tag Archives: sweet

Rekindle the Flame…

Rekindle the Flame (Hot in Chicago, #0.5)Rekindle the Flame by Kate Meader

My rating:  3.75 of 5 stars

Ever since they were teenagers, there was incredible heat between Darcy Cochrane and Beck Rivera. He wanted to be a firefighter like his foster dad, Sean Dempsey, and she was an heiress in Chicago. And since Beck knew nothing could come of their attraction, he told her he didn’t feel anything for her so that she’d move on to a better life. And too bad if his heart hurt just at the look of betrayal in her eyes.

But Darcy wasn’t interested in her father’s lifestyle and wounded beyond belief by Beck’s declaration, she left town and traveled the world, learning her art from some fabulous tattoo artists. She’s back in the city and meeting her friend for a drink when they run into Beck at a local bar and she finds he realized his dream of becoming a firefighter after all.

And when he’s obviously still attracted to her, she decides that maybe one night before she leaves him will give him a taste of his own medicine. But she finds that’s not really possible when the fire still burns so brightly between them.

This is a cute little novella that precedes the other books in the Hot in Chicago series. It’s short and sweet and a quick holiday read with a nice HEA.  And who better to accompany this review than Elvis? 😉

Once Touched…

Once Touched (Silver Creek, #3)Once Touched by Laura Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a sweetly written story, the third in the Silver Creek series, about the youngest sibling, Quinn Knowles, a young woman who has adored being around animals ever since she was a little girl. Her dream is to create an animal sanctuary on land she can purchase near her parents’ ranch. She has a rescue horse that she knows won’t be able to live away from her, dogs and even a parrot. After spending the weekend at a wolf sanctuary where she sponsors an abused and recovering wolf, her parents ask her to stop at the airport and pick up the son of old family friends who is coming to stay with the Knowles’ family.

Ethan is a photojournalist who has spent decades traveling the world documenting injustice and atrocities. His latest assignment was to be embedded with a military unit in Afghanistan. And when the group of soldiers he is photographing and travelling with are all killed in an attack, he is the only survivor, though he suffers grievous life-changing injuries. After being hospitalized in Germany and then at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, he knows he needs to get away from his parents’ worry and fear for him, because it’s only making him more anxious about facing his future. And the only place he can think of that he’d like to go is the Knowles’ ranch in California, which he lived near growing up and spent a lot of time at learning to ride and care for some of the animals.

And, yes, it’s not surprising that Quinn would discover the wounded spirit behind Ethan’s cold and unfriendly manner as she gets to know him. He’s adamant about not working in photography any longer and she’s not entirely sure what happened at the time of his injuries, but since she’s in charge of finding him a job on the ranch, she has him start working with her goats. She eventually decides a rescue dog for him to work with just might rescue Ethan, too. He claims not to be interested, but before long, the dog and Quinn’s other animals are allowing them to spend plenty of time together and he finds he’s enjoying himself.

There’s also a young, handsome cowboy named Josh who asks Quinn out and she’s sure her mother was instrumental in setting her up. Because, at age 24, she’s not really had even a serious relationship and is beginning to feel that there’s something lacking in her basic makeup that keeps her from being attracted to and comfortable with anyone. Being such a lovely young woman, Quinn has never lacked for male attention, but whenever dating would progress to intimacy, she just never wanted to take things any further and had been called frigid or, even worse, a tease.

So when Quinn starts to feel that Ethan might be more like her than he realizes, she’s intrigued but also a little afraid to pursue her feelings. And when Ethan finds himself feeling jealous of Josh, he tells himself that he’s too old and too damaged physically and emotionally for Quinn, but he’s angry nonetheless that the young cowboy would pursue her.

As their relationship progresses slowly and tenderly, it becomes clear that Ethan is exactly the man who Quinn needs in her life. But when he tells her that he had been contracted to put together a showing of his photographs in New York and he flat-out refuses to look at the photographs, Quinn feels that Ethan has to face his fears head on if he’s ever to get past them. It seems as though the perfect opportunity arises when Ethan finally agrees to go with her and her family to her brother’s upcoming wedding in New York, but Quinn wonders if her interference will help or ruin things between them.

I loved the tender way that a relationship developed between Quinn and Ethan before they took things to a physical level, not something you see that often in contemporary romances.

Cute but Predictable HEA Romance…

Your B&B or Mine?Your B&B or Mine? by Melissa West
My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

Savannah Hale and Logan Park have reluctantly returned to their hometown of Maple Cove, Georgia, both thrilled to see each other and determined to stay away. Savannah used to be Logan’s best friend’s girl — until Will was killed in combat. And even though Savannah was engaged to Will, Logan was the first boy she cared about. But she’s not sure she can ever get past the fact that he’s her former fiancée’s best friend and they got a little too close when they comforted each other after Will’s death.

After her mom dies, a heartbroken Savannah returns to Maple Cove to see what needs to be done about the B&B her family owns, being the take charge sibling. What she finds out is that the B&B is in terrible shape, both physically and financially, and the Hales are going to lose it to an investment company soon if they don’t come up with the money to save it. And Logan, who served with Will, is a guilt-ridden survivor and tries to atone for staying alive when Will didn’t by living the life he thinks his friend wanted. So he’s now working for the company that’s interested in acquiring the hotel, even though he’s not sure that trying to buy it is a good idea. And even though he’s still in love with Savannah after all these years, he can’t bring himself to let her know the truth.

A cute and sweet story with a fairly predictable storyline and, of course, the HEA that all we romance readers love!

Sexy, Silly, Sweet, that’s Snowflakes on Silver Cove…

Snowflakes on Silver Cove (White Cliff Bay #2)Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Libby Joseph and George Donaldson are neighbors and good friends in White Cliff Bay.  Libby writes Christmasy romance novels and is having a hard time finishing her current one. After this book is done, she plans to have the next book set in New York and she always moves to the city she’s writing about. This helps give her books a realistic feel and also never, ever allows her to get very close to anyone.  She’s beginning to wonder if the reason she’s having so much trouble with her current book is because she isn’t really ready to move on again.
Her neighbor, George, was married and his wife left him after she had an affair, which left his self-confidence in shreds. The fact that he’s been crushing on Libby and she’s never even noticed hasn’t helped, either.

So this holiday season, they decide to help each other out.  Libby will allow George to practice his dating skills on her and she will finally be able to finish her book, drawing on all these wonderfully romantic ideas from their dates.  And then she’ll be able to move on.  Maybe.

There are lots of mix ups and crossed signals and quite a good bit of fun.  (Did that sound a little British there?)  Another couple, Seb, the widowed, tattooed biker guy who runs the local pub and Amy, the girl who knows he’s interested but still feeling too disloyal to his deceased wife to ask her out, provide a wonderfully funny secondary story, along with his Seb’s mother who is convinced the flamboyant Amy is totally wrong for her son.

This book totally works as a stand alone, but you might want to read Christmas at Lilac Cottage, which precedes it and which I’ve reviewed here.  I’m finding that for cute and fun holiday reads author Holly Martin is definitely my cup of tea!

Happy Sweetest Day…

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Today is Sweetest Day and since I review romance books, I thought I’d share some fun facts about the holiday from the always reliable Internet:

The first Sweetest Day was celebrated on October 8, 1921 in Cleveland, Ohio and really started as a day to help the less fortunate.  According to Wikipedia, “The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s October 8, 1922 edition, which chronicles the first Sweetest Day in Cleveland, states that the first Sweetest Day was planned by a committee of 12 confectioners chaired by candymaker Adam Olis. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee distributed over 20,000 boxes of candy to ‘newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor.’ ”

Hallmark says, “Legend has it that Sweetest Day was established around 1922 by Herbert Birch Kingston, a Cleveland, Ohio, candy company employee who wanted to bring happiness to the lives of those who often were forgotten. Kingston and others distributed candy and small gifts to orphans, people confined to their homes and others to show them that someone cared.

In the early 1930s, movie stars got into the act. Ann Pennington distributed candy to 2,200 Cleveland newspaper boys, and Theda Bara gave candy to theater-goers and patients in Cleveland hospitals.”

Everyone seems to agree that Sweetest Day is most popular in the Great Lakes region, with the two most celebratory cities being Cleveland and Detroit.  Who knew?  It’s come to be known as a holiday to give flowers, sweets or cards to your sweetie, and is now always the third Saturday in October.  Hallmark assures us that the trend is spreading across the country…

A few years ago, a co-worker of mine gave his fiancee five pounds of sugar for Sweetest Day and she married him anyway…

Do you and your sweetie celebrate the holiday?