*The Stranger I Wed by Harper St. George


*The Stranger I Wed by Harper St. George
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group, Berkley
Genre: Historical, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

New to wealth and to London high society, American heiress Cora Dove discovers that with the right man, marriage might not be such an inconvenience after all. . . .

Cora Dove and her sisters’ questionable legitimacy has been the lifelong subject of New York’s gossipmongers and a continual stain on their father’s reputation. So when the girls each receive a generous, guilt-induced dowry from their dying grandmother, the sly Mr. Hathaway vows to release their funds only if Cora and her sisters can procure suitable husbands—far from New York. For Cora, England is a fresh start. She has no delusions of love, but a husband who will respect her independence? That’s an earl worth fighting for.

Enter: Leopold Brendon, Earl of Devonworth, a no-nonsense member of Parliament whose plan to pass a Public Health bill that would provide clean water to the working class requires the backing of a wealthy wife. He just never expected to crave Cora’s touch or yearn to hear her thoughts on his campaign—or to discover that his seemingly perfect bride protects so many secrets…

But secrets have a way of bubbling to the surface, and Devonworth has a few of his own. With their pasts laid bare and Cora’s budding passion for women’s rights taking a dangerous turn, they’ll learn the true cost of losing their heart to a stranger—and that love is worth any price.

Harper St. George knows how to write a rich and satisfying story with characters that are entertaining and interesting. I loved this enchanting historical story set in the late 1800’s so much, I never wanted it to end.

Cora, the eldest of the Dove sisters, must marry a titled gentleman to gain her inheritance, so she and her two sisters travel to England to find a groom. When Cora arrives in London, she meets an assortment of potential husbands including Devenworth.

Devenworth needs a rich bride to save his ancestral home. Although he is attracted to Cora, he ultimately marries her for her dowry. They marry first and slowly fall in love as they become acquainted with each other. The more they learn about each other, the deeper they fall. However, they are afraid to let down their guard and trust each other completely.

I loved Devenworth and Cora together and enjoyed all of their encounters. Sparks would fly whenever they were together, and I found myself immediately immersed in their story. I felt like I was right there with them, and I easily connected with all the characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and can’t wait to read future stories featuring the two other Dove sisters.

*Loving Georgia Caldwell by Victoria Chatham


*Loving Georgia Caldwell by Victoria Chatham
Publisher: BWL Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Professional football was Ty Harding’s life. Injury and age ended it. Now what? Returning to the family ranch after two decades to decide his future, he finds it in crisis. His mother needs help, and Ty’s ranching skills are rusty. His only recourse is his high school sweetheart, who runs the adjoining property.

Georgia Caldwell manages her thriving spread and competes in team cattle penning. She has little room for anything more, especially an injured football hero. She only agrees to give Ty Harding a crash course in Ranching 101 because of what they once had.

Ty is captivated by the strong woman Georgia has become. Is her busy life the reason she keeps her distance from him, or is it something else? Could whatever she is hiding keep them apart, or can Ty become the man Georgia needs for them to rekindle what they once had?

This is a small town story with a lot of heart. The characters are realistic, vulnerable and easy to connect with.

Ty is a former football player trying to figure out what his life without football looks like. He returns home and wonders if he can still fit into small town life. Even though many things have changed, Ty still finds himself attracted to Georgia, his former girlfriend. Since Ty has left, Georgia has learned to be tough and work hard. She knows how to take care of herself and has made sacrifices to help others.

I enjoyed reading Ty and Georgia’s story and I thought they were perfect for each other. The story is engaging and I was happy Ty and Georgia had a chance to be together again because they deserve to be happy.

*Fashionista’s Playbook by Candi Scott


*Fashionista’s Playbook by Candi Scott
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

The door to the New York fashion world shut firmly in her face, Moriah Stanhope’s only option seems to be to return to her small-town home as a failure. At least, she would go home in disgrace, but her car was just repossessed. In front of the hottest guy she’s ever seen.

Travis Madera is supposed to hire an assistant. One with qualifications and experience. Someone who won’t be starstruck by the fact he’s a professional football player. But he never could resist a damsel in distress, especially one with all those curves.

Moriah’s been humiliated in front of guys like Travis before. But as his assistant, she has access to every moment of his day-to-day life, so surely she can stay ahead of any potential problems.

Until the past comes rushing into the present.

Candi Scott writes an emotional and entertaining, sports romance. The story is well written, the characters were easy for me to relate to and the story immediately drew me in.

I loved everything about the two main characters. Moriah is curvy, smart and sweet and Travis is a hot football player with a heart of gold. Moriah and Travis have undergone pain and hurt in their pasts, which makes them vulnerable and slow to trust others. However, when these two meet, they meet they have a strong connection and attraction. They feel comfortable with each other and are able to put down their guard.

It was so much fun reading Travis and Moriah’s story as they fall in love. I easily connected with them and enjoyed all of the interactions. They have a strong chemistry and thought they were perfect for each other. You don’t want to miss this captivating story.

*All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata


*All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
Publisher: Avon and Harpers Voyager, Avon
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

The people we lose take a part of us with them…but they leave a part of themselves with us too.

Aurora De La Torre, or Ora to her friends, knows moving back to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, a place that was once home and is now full of bittersweet memories of her late mother, isn’t going to be easy. Starting your whole life over probably isn’t supposed to be.

But after breaking up with her longtime, famous musician boyfriend, hiding out in a small town in the mountains might be the perfect remedy for a broken heart. And checking out her landlord who lives across the driveway just might cure it, too.

Only Tobias Rhodes didn’t rent out the apartment to her, rather it was his teenage son, Amos. Fiercely protective of his family and distrusting of strangers, gruff and grumpy Rhodes initially keeps little miss sunshine Ora at a distance. But over days and weeks, long hikes and fireside chats, Aurora breaks down his walls and soon an unbreakable friendship blossoms into a once-in-a-lifetime love.

When I first read this book in 2021 I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now that it has been rereleased, I decided to read it again and I found that I loved this story just as much the second time around. Mariana Zapata knows how to paint a picture and make the story come alive.

All Rhodes Lead Here is a slow burn, emotional story with realistic character development. The two main characters Rhodes and Aurora, are confident, successful people, but they also have insecurities in some areas of their lives.

Aurora is recovering from a breakup that left her devastated. She had no power or control in her last relationship and is now on a mission to achieve some goals she has set for herself to regain her self esteem. Aurora is slowly learning to believe in herself again, face her fears and regain her confidence that her last relationship destroyed. She has nowhere to go and nothing to show for the years she wasted on her past relationship so she decides to move to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. She meets Rhodes when she rents an apartment from him.

Rhodes is the strong silent type and he keeps his emotions hidden behind his stoic demeanor. He is perfect for Aurora because he is protective, has a big heart and he is willing to wait to give Aurora the time she needs before starting another relationship.

I enjoyed reading Rhodes and Aurora’s story, they have loads of chemistry and I loved all of their interactions. These two cautious people are perfect for each other. This beautiful story is filled with emotion and yearning and it immediately drew me in. I cared about the characters and I couldn’t stop reading until they found their happily ever after. I loved this endearing story and I think you will too.

*Merry Pucking Christmas by Kelly Jamieson


*Merry Pucking Christmas by Kelly Jamieson
Publisher: Victory Editing Netgalley Co-op
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Harley Reid
My holiday plans? Boxed wine, flannel pajamas, and Netflix minus the “chill”. I hadn’t planned on getting off my apathy until after New Years—until I accidentally crash into my ex’s new girlfriend’s car. But it’s the motivation I need to flee to my Aunt Nora’s place in NYC for Christmas.

Colliding with a typically grouchy New Yorker isn’t my best foot forward. But sweet Jesus on a cracker, he’s a lickable, Viking-size hunk of hotness. As we somehow keep running into each other, I begin to believe I can shed the hurt and humiliation and be fearless.

Nils Axelsson

My holiday plans? Spending my hockey team’s break alone. My friend Nora, however, won’t let me escape her vortex of holiday cheer, and I find myself agreeing to take her niece to a Rockettes show.

I was expecting an awkward teenager in braces, but it’s the same woman who plowed into me in the elevator. A knock-me-sideways stunning blonde whose beauty and kindness hits me like a puck to the chest. The more time I spend with her, the more I want as much as I can get before she has to go back home. Unless I can give her a reason to stay.

This is a heartwarming Christmas novella about Nils and Harley, two broken-hearted people not interested in celebrating Christmas.

When Harley decides to go to New York for Christmas, she meets Nils and as they spend time together, they start to fall in love. I love reading stories about hockey players and Nils is the perfect guy for Harley. I liked both Nils and Harley and they share tons of chemistry whenever they are together. I was cheering for them and hoping they would get the happy ending they both deserve.

I enjoyed reading this enchanting novella. It put me in the holiday spirit and left me with a smile on my face.

*All I Want for Christmas is You by Erika Kelly


*All I Want for Christmas is You by Erika Kelly
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Holiday, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Her children are grown, her ex betrayed her in the worst way, and it’s her first Christmas alone. What better way to spend it than with the hottest man she’s ever seen? She deserves a little fun after losing everything she’s worked so hard for.

Margot Rhodes is glad to wake up in her hotel room to an empty bed. Her one and only hookup was phenomenal, but she doesn’t need to say goodbye to a man she’ll never see again. Except when she comes downstairs…she finds him in the lobby.

A snowstorm shut down the airport, and now she’s stuck with him for three days.

She needs to rebuild her life–not fall for some guy who lives two thousand miles away–so she does her best to avoid him, but the infuriating man keeps teaming up with her in the holiday events the hotel owner’s arranged to keep her guests happy.

And then, when it’s time to go their separate ways, he makes an offer she can’t refuse. It requires a move to his hometown…but what does she have to lose? She’s starting from the bottom which means the only way forward is up.

She’s got a second chance at life…is she willing to risk it all for a dirty-talking stranger?

All I Want For Christmas Is You is a delightful story filled with Christmas cheer and good feeling. I immediately connected with the two main characters, Beau and Margot and I enjoyed reading their story. In fact, I couldn’t stop reading their story until I was sure they would get the happy ending they both deserve. They have an immediate connection with each other, and their chemistry is intense.

Sadly, Beau and Margot’s first marriages were not happy because they were married to selfish people and after divorcing, they never expected to fall in love. Beau and Margot aren’t looking for a relationship but love unexpectedly finds them. They have both been hurt by their former spouses and have a hard time trusting each again. Their story shows the ins and outs of a new romance and how hard it is to take a leap in faith and trust another person after being hurt. I admired both of them. They are wonderful parents to their adult children, have a great relationship with all of them and have so much love to give. Beau and Margot deserve to be happy after all they have gone through.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful and heartwarming Christmas story. Beau makes all of Margot’s dreams come true and Margot shows Beau how wonderful love can be.

Erika Kelly is one of my favorite authors and this story left me with a good feeling and put me in the Christmas spirit.

*The Last Close Call by Laura Griffin


*The Last Close Call by Laura Griffin
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group. Berkley
Genre: Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

A talented genetic analyst and a detective who’s haunted by an elusive cold case team up in the new standalone romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.

Forensic genealogist Rowan Healy has made a name for herself by helping investigators trace the family trees of violent criminals who have eluded justice for years. But the pressure of police cases left her burned out, and she’s shifted her focus to helping adoptees find their biological parents.

Austin detective Jack Bruner has spent his career successfully tracking down vicious criminals—with the notable exception of the West Campus Rapist, a meticulous offender in Texas who has never been identified. When the latest two victims come to light, Jack sees his target is escalating his violent behavior—and only with Rowan’s help does he stand a chance of cracking this case.

Moved by Jack’s dedication and the brutal details of the attacks he lays out, Rowan agrees to help. When her ground-breaking DNA research sheds new light on the criminal’s background and helps them zero in on a search radius, Rowan and Jack must race against the clock to find a ruthless killer who’s growing bolder the longer he evades the law.

Laura Griffin writes a compelling story filled with mystery, romance and lots of suspense. The Last Close Call, her latest book, had me on the edge of my seat, quickly turning the pages to find out what would happen next.

This enthralling story takes place in Texas. The two main characters Rowen, a genealogist and Jack, a detective meet while working on a case involving a serial rapist. Jack and Rowen have an immediate connection, a lot of chemistry and I enjoyed all of their interactions. They are both dedicated to their jobs and don’t have time for relationships, but the pull they feel toward each other is impossible to resist.

This intriguing story was the perfect mixture of romance and suspense. The plot is interesting and the story held me spellbound. I felt like I was right there with Jack and Rowen and this story kept me interested until the very end. I enjoyed reading about all the behind the scenes police work Jack is doing trying to catch the serial rapist. Jack feels a lot of pressure because he knows time is running out, until the rapist strikes again. Laura Griffin is one of my favorite authors because she knows how to write an intriguing romantic story and she never disappoints me.

*Wilde Love by Jennifer Ryan


Wilde Love by Jennifer Ryan
Publisher: Avon and Harper Voyager, Avon
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thrillers, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Welcome to the Dark Horse Dive Bar, where the Wildes throw one hell of a party and love could be a barstool away!

When Lyric Wilde’s not whipping up the best food in town at the Dark Horse Dive Bar, she’s making a name for herself as a rising singer-songwriter. And if any of her online followers cross the line from friendly to fanatical, well, Lyric figures it goes with the territory—and she can take care of herself. But there’s one fan she wants to get to know better—a silent, sexy biker named Viper. A man who makes her think mine every time she looks at him. But who exactly is “Viper?”

Undercover FBI special agent Mason Gunn has been hiding in plain sight and alone for far too long. And while he fantasizes about a peaceful life with beautiful Lyric by his side, he knows that until his mission—to take down a murder-for-hire network—is accomplished, his dark world is no place for her. But when frightening encounters and threatening text messages from a stalker bent on keeping Lyric all to himself and his most wanted criminal target his sultry songbird, he will stop at nothing to protect the woman he loves…

I enjoyed reading this small town story filled with suspense, intrigue and romance. I also enjoyed all the entertaining characters included in the story. I thought the two main characters, Lyric and Viper were good together and they shared a lot of chemistry.

Lyric and Viper meet under unusual circumstances and slowly fall in love.

There are people who try to interfere in their lives, but in the end, good overcomes evil.

Viper is rough on the outside but inside he is caring and loving. When Lyric meets Viper, she sees something in him that others don’t and she instinctively knows she can trust him. The way Viper treats Lyric melted my heart and I loved that he is willing to do anything to keep her safe.

When Lyric’s simple life is turned upside down, she learns the only one she can depend on is Viper. Viper and Lyric are good together and good for each other, but there are so many things going on around them and so much they have to get through, before they can be together. I was rooting for them the entire time and hoping everything would work out for them.

I enjoyed reading this story.

* Remember Me by Mary Balogh


* Remember Me by Mary Balogh
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group, Berkley
Genre: Historical, Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Can Lady Philippa Ware forgive the man who once shattered all her youthful dreams? Discover the passionate and heartwarming new novel on the redemptive power of love from New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh.

Philippa, elder daughter of the Earl of Stratton, grew up eagerly anticipating a glittering debut and a brilliant marriage. Then her brother caught their father out in a clandestine affair and denounced him publicly. The whole family was disgraced, and Philippa’s hopes grew dim, then were fully shattered when she overheard the dashing, handsome Marquess of Roath viciously insult her upon learning of her father’s identity. Only years later does Philippa find the courage to go to London at last to meet the ton. She is an instant success and enjoys a close friendship with the granddaughter of a duke. Only one man can spoil everything for her, but surely he will not be in London this year.

The Duke of Wilby is nearing death and has tasked his grandson and heir, Lucas Arden, Marquess of Roath, with marrying and producing a son before it is too late. Lucas, who usually shuns London, goes there early in the Season in the hope of finding an eligible bride before his grandparents come and find one for him. He is instantly attracted to his sister’s new friend, until that young lady asks a simple question: “Remember me?” And suddenly he does remember her, as well as the reason why the daughter of the Earl of Stratton is the one woman he can never marry—even if his heart tells him she is the only woman he wants.

Unfortunately for Philippa and Lucas, the autocratic duke and his duchess have other ideas and believe them to be perfect for each other. They will simply not take no for an answer. Telling Philippa the full truth is the hardest thing Lucas has ever faced, and the discovery of it will change them both before they discover the healing power of love.

Remember Me is a delightful and entertaining historical romance set in the 1800’s. This story has all the elements I love in historical romance. The two main characters have large families who love to meddle and offer unsolicited advice. Also, we are thrown into the glittering world of the London season and it is fun imagining what it would be like living during these times. The story is well written and easily transported me into their world and the two main characters, Lucas and Philippa are likable and easy to relate to.

Things do not go well the first time Lucas and Philippa meet and there is confusion and misunderstandings between them when they meet again, several years later. However, when Lucas and Philippa are continually thrown together during the London season, their feelings for each other slowly change. Lucas tries to show Pilippa that he is a nice guy, but Pilippa can’t forgive him for the harsh words he uttered years ago. I enjoyed all Lucas and Philippa’s encounters and I could feel the sparks igniting between them whenever they were together. I thought they were perfect for each other and wanted everything to work out between them.

What I love about Mary Balogh is she knows how to paint a picture and write an intriguing plot and a beautiful story. She does a great portrayal of the characters in this story and was able to make them sympathetic, vulnerable and easy to connect with. This story is full of richness and depth and kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next.

*Truly, Madly, Deeply by Erika Kelly


*Truly, Madly, Deeply by Erika Kelly
Publisher: Self Published
Genre:, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

What’s the worst thing that can happen to a single dad trying to avoid temptation? Crossing paths with the sexy runaway bride who’s looking to get as far away from her ex as possible.

When runaway bride Grace Giordano needs somewhere to regroup, groomsman Jaime Dupree offers her a guest house on his ranch. It’s no skin off his nose—she’s only in town a few days. Besides, between his daughter and his professional hockey team, he’s got his hands full. Surely, their paths won’t cross.

But when Grace gets the opportunity to run a food truck at the town’s annual music festival, she decides to stay all summer long. The singing baker’s a hit—at the festival and on the ranch.

Jaime might want to focus on his kid and his team, but the singing baker proves to be a mighty big distraction.

One he’s not sure he can resist.

Truly, Madly, Deeply is an emotional and heartwarming romance story about a broken man and a runaway bride who are unexpectedly brought together. I enjoyed reading Jamie and Grace’s story and thought they were perfect for each other. They are both on a journey of self-discovery and it was fun reading their story as they learn more about themselves and slowly fall in love. I really connected with them, and I wanted everything to work for these two, so they could find their HEA.

Jamie is a hockey team owner who loves everything about the game, including playing goalie. Although it looks like Jamie has everything, he is a broken man and when he meets Grace it shakes up his world.

Erika Kelly is one of my favorite authors because she knows how to write stories about tough alpha males who fall hard when they meet the right woman. In this story, Jamie fights to resist Grace but he just can’t help himself, he loves being with her. Grace isn’t intimidated by Jamie’s dour demeanor, and she isn’t afraid to give him her opinion, she is just what he needs.

Jamie and Grace deserve to be happy, and I was rooting for them throughout this story. I enjoyed reading this delightful story and I think you will too.