A Mackenzie Yuletide

Jennifer Ashley is back again with my favorite series the Mackenzies & McBrides. I have followed this series from the beginning and this one, A Mackenzie Yuletide, is full of fluff but I loved it. The ever growing family has gathered for the holiday and with this family comes mischief, especially from Jamie who is Ian and Beth’s oldest son. Jamie is on a quest to get the necklace for his father who is also looking for it to give to Beth. Jamie does not want to beat his dad, but to show him that he is just as smart, which would make his father proud. Now of course Ian is proud of all his children and by the end of the story Jamie will once again be reassured that his parents are proud of him.

Within the story there are a lot of offspring that comes from these families and it can get a little confusing but I think Jennifer Ashley does a good job. I thought that the story was very simple but it was great for the holiday season with the celebrating of Christmas that includes a little mystery with a theft and ghost. I am really looking forward to having the children who are all growing up to have their own story.

Grit: A Love Story on 7th and Main

Melissa Oxford is a widow and a rancher, with a ten year old daughter. She gets by and is trying to make a profit with her farm. Melissa does not like to ask for help but she will get it with her neighbor and friend Cary. He was strictly in the friend zone but when he kisses her, everything changes.

Cary Nakamura has loved Melissa from afar. He has been patient and helping out when he could but he knew that he had to make his move. He wanted to have Melissa in his life as more than a friend.

Grit is the third book to the series 7th and Main by Elizabeth Hunter. Since reading Ink and Hooked I have been anticipating Cary and Melissa’s story. I am absolutely in love with this friends to lovers book. Everything about this book was charming, sweet and steamy. If you have not tried Elizabeth Hunter’s series 7th and Main check it out.

Melissa is a hard working woman who does not take handouts from nobody. She is stubborn and prideful but a good person. She makes sure that her daughter is provided for, even though her in-laws keep trying to make it seem that she could be doing more, that they could be giving more if she lived with them. Melissa was not going to do that. I was happy that she was fighting them, she should not be under their thumbs, but I was frustrated with Melissa since she kept Cary out. She does let Cary help some but only a little at a time, though it did make sense because of Melissa’s fear when it comes to relationships. She does not want to be alone again. Cary was amazing. He is a man who knows what he wants but is patient and gentle, and playful when he needs to be. It was also so sweet that he never gave up on Melissa, he kept going because he knew that she was worth it.

Abby, Melissa’s daughter, was too precious for words. She is ten years old and has a head for business and a love of goats. Her obsession with goats was pretty darn cute. There was one part that Abby had that was a major part in and it made me cheer for the little girl. She was brave to say the words that were needed, which also let some of the healing begin.

I hope that the series continues but will have to wait and see. If it doesn’t this was a great finish to the series. If the series does continue I would like to see Adrian, who is the lawyer in the story, to be the next main character in the book.

The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter

Tristan Sinclair, Viscount St. Ashton lived in a world of debauchery and wealth but then it all goes away. The life that he loved just did not feel right. He will visit a notorious house party and expecting to enjoy a month of drinking but then he meets Valentine March.

Valentine March is a companion and someone who is unnoticeable but she will be noticed by a notorious rake, Tristan. He will soon learn that she is not the drab little spinster she appears to be. Valentine will be tempted by Tristan, she will know that he is not for her but with one scandal her life will get turned upside down.

The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter by Mimi Matthews is the first book that I have tried from the author. I found this book to be enjoyable and refreshing. There is nothing new to this story line to make it original but the fact that I have not been reading a ton of romances could be the reason. This book was lighthearted and intriguing with Tristan and Valentine. I was cheering for Tristan to get his act together and to be ready to be with Valentine. I wanted him to be the man that was hidden behind all the debauchery. Then there was Valentine who was trying to get answers about her past. I found her story interesting and enjoyed the mystery of her life.

Based on this book I will be back to read more from Mimi Matthews.

Tucker

Kady Kasper is the local weather girl for her small town and has loved Tucker for as long as she can remember. She could not get through to him that he was the man for her. It will take a dangerous storm for Kady to get Tucker to realize what they could become.

Tucker Turley has wanted Kady but was conflicted. He didn’t know if she wanted him because she was always flirting with everyone else. He will soon realize that all her flirting was saved just for him.

Tucker is a novella that is part of the Buckhorn Brothers, its number 9.5 in the series by Lori Foster. I always look forward to reading more from Lori Foster’s Buckhorn series but this one was okay. It wasn’t up to the same level as the original books in the series. I want the series to continue with the offspring but this one needed a little more substance to the story and it felt too rushed even for a novella. I hope that the next one gives a little more to the story.

A Very Dare Christmas

Ian and Riley are back in this quick short story! A Very Dare Christmas is a novella, number 6.5, in the series Dare to Love by Carly Phillips.

Its Christmas time and Riley is feeling overwhelmed with everything she has to do and her husband sees her exhaustion. Ian will do what any good husband would do, he will whisk his wife away for a romantic getaway to reconnect.

I really loved reading this story because it gave an insight into Ian and Riley’s lives which seemed realistic. The romance was leaving because all their attention was on their children. Getting back the romance was easy for them and very steamy. Though after reading this short story I found myself annoyed because it was like a teaser to the series. I want Carly Phillips to finish the series. I believe there are only three more siblings to write about and I just want them to be written so I know what is going on. I also hope that there is some actual justice when it comes to their cheating father.

I am looking forward to reading more from the series. Please Carly Phillips finish these novels!

Devil’s Daughter

Lisa Kleypas has been an author that I have loved to read. Lately it has been a toss up if I liked the book. Previously I read Devil in Spring ( Gabriel was the son of Sebastian and Evie) and I had thought it was good, not great, but then I re-read it and fell in love with the story. Sometimes it really matters what mood you are in to read a book.

Now that the fifth book to the Ravenels series, Devil’s Daughter, is out I decided to revisit one of my favorite books, The Devil in Winter where Sebastian and Evie first met. I wanted to remember them as Phoebe was their daughter. I loved re-reading the story and it got me in the mood to read about Phoebe.

Phoebe, Lady Clare, will meet the man that had bullied her husband when he was a boy. She expected to hate him, she did not expect to be attracted to the man. She will have to fight the attraction at her brother’s wedding but it will be difficult when West Ravenel will be intensely watching her with heated stare. Something inside Phoebe will be awakened.

West Ravenel has lived a tough life and he makes no excuses for it. Then he meets Phoebe and everything changes. Although West wants Phoebe he knows that he needs to stay away from her.

At first you wondered if Phoebe would be a character you would like based on her previous interaction in Devil in Spring. Although, with her own book you got to see that there was a woman who was passionate that was screaming to be let out of her shell. I loved that West Ravenel was that man. She needed to take a chance otherwise she would live her life in the shadows and that would have broken her. West Ravenel was a good man even though he did not always act like it. He was a broken man due to his childhood but that did not mean he had turned out bad. I loved his interaction with Justin, Phoebe’s oldest boy.

Like in Devil in Spring Sebastian and Evie made an appearance. I loved their interaction because it showed that their love was still very present. Also, Sebastian showed that he was a good father and protective of his grown daughter.

Devil’s Daughter’s was a great addition to the Ravenels series.

Miracle on 5th Avenue

Eva Jordan is a romantic who will always look on the bright side of things. She had lost her grandmother but she had the support of her friends to get through the loss. She will be given a job to help design Lucas Blade, the writer, apartment but she will be surprised that he was at home. Lucas Blade was supposed to be writing in Vermont but will be staying at his apartment trying to write through his writers block.

Miracle on 5th Avenue is the third book to the series From Manhattan with Love by Sarah Morgan. Alright I liked the book, it was cute and sweet and all about moving on but I guess I just wasn’t as invested in this book.

Now I liked Eva’s character but she was a little much at times with her positive behavior. I didn’t want her character to not be positive but it was a lot at times. Other than her enthusiasm I liked that she was kind and did what she could to help others. Lucas’s character was still brooding about his wife who had passed away several years ago. He also had writers block because of his mood. It was interesting that Eva helped solve the writers block. What happens to his story is predictable and a little comical but it helps bring them closer. I will say that even though I wasn’t that invested in the book I thought the ending was sweet and brought a smile to my face as I finished the book.

Once Upon a Maiden Lane

Miss Mary Whitsun will be stopped at the bookstore by a man who thought she was his fiancee, Lady Johanna Albright. She will be told that she was the missing twin of the Albrights. Mary will immediately be taught all that it meant to be a lady and will learn that with this came a fiancee, Viscount Blackwell.

Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell was to marry the oldest daughter of the Albrights. It would have been Cecilia but she was never found, he was told to marry Johanna whom he thought as a sister. Now with Mary, he believes that she is the missing twin and Henry finds himself wanting Mary from the moment they interacted.

Once Upon a Maiden Lane is the third story from the Maiden Lane Novella series by Elizabeth Hoyt. I really loved this novella. It was really well done and it was fun that Mary Whitsun was the main character. She was always in the background.

Mary’s character was wonderful. She is a servant but really more of a friend to Lady Caire since she grew up in their orphanage. I liked that Mary was strong in her character. She did not back down but you knew that with everything that was happening it was overwhelming. She will be up to the challenge especially as she gets to know Henry more every time he stops by. Henry’s character was charming and smiled at the right times. I liked that he had to work at getting Mary to like him. I also liked that true feelings started to form.

There is a twist that is a little sad but with that twist comes an opportunity to change the situation and make a new future, which I really loved.

Now, I keep reading that this is the last book of the series for Maiden Lane. Don’t know if it is true. If it is then this was a great ending to the whole series.

Once Upon a Christmas Eve

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque was in his carriage with his grandmother when their wheel was broken. Adam will be fortuntate that they were close to another house. He found out it was St. Johns which was less than perfect as Sarah St. John was in the house. She had a very low opinion of him.

Sarah St. John hated rakes which was what Adam was, though as the days go by with them at being together Sarah started to feel something for him. She started to see that he was not just a rake.

Once Upon a Christmas Eve is the second book to the Maiden Lane Novella series by Elizabeth Hoyt. I liked this novella. I thought it was a sweet addition and perfect for the Christmas season.

Sarah’s character had a very poor view of men especially rakes because of her past. She will be shown that some rakes were not so bad. That they had layers underneath their mischievous ways. Adam’s character was more than he appeared. He had a tragic story with his parents which helped explain his desire never to settle down. I liked Adam for the most part. I thought at times he was a little too pushy with the teasing but in the end he redeems himself.

Cake on a Hot Tin Roof

Rita Lucero did not want to host the Mardi Gras party but was forced into the role. She will work hard to make the party a success but when one of the guest winds up dead a whole lot of trouble starts for Rita’s family.

Cake on a Hot Tin Roof is the second book to the series A Piece of Cake Mystery by Jacklyn Brady. I am really enjoying this series. It actually surprised me because of my lack of interest with mystery’s. Although to be fair this is definitely not a very serious mystery, this is what is considered a cozy mystery. It was fast paced and it kept me interested.

Rita’s character is out of her element with the amount of work to do. Although she is ready for that hard work. Personally she needs to take a break and chill out for a moment but that would be unlikely to happen. With the investigation Rita stays close to it as her family could be in trouble. I liked her tenacious attitude with the investigation but she was too head strong and acted first then thought.

The investigation was interesting as she did her own interviewing of the bystanders. I was wondering who had done it without too much success with guessing the right person. The main police officer was Liam Sullivan who had been introduced in the first book. Now as a romance reader I am always looking to see who will become attached. Liam definitely has a shot and then there is Gabriel the bartender. Only time will tell if Rita’s character will become more than interested in one of them. I just don’t want the whole love triangle thing happening. It gets annoying and I lose interested.

With each story I am also learning more about the staff and I have to say I am not too impressed by them. They are clearly resentful of Rita for invading their territory. Though I have noticed that some of the ice has thawed and they are warming up to her.

I decided to continue with this series and will be reading Arsenic and Old Cake next.