*Reckless by Aurora Rose Reynolds

*Reckless by Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publisher: Montlake
Genre: Contemporary, Mainstream Fiction, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Jade has always been the reckless type. But after her relationship implodes and her business goes under, she realizes it might be time to change her ways. She decides on a fresh start in a new place: Montana.

But shortly after her arrival in Big Sky Country, she meets headstrong wilderness retreat owner Maverick, whose name, fittingly, means “dissenter.” Jade tries to convince herself he’s not the type of man she needs in her life. The problem is, she wants him in her life. She wants him more than anything.

For Maverick, his attraction to this out-of-towner is undeniable. But he’s sworn off relationships—until he gets to know the fiery-haired, fiery-tempered Jade. He can’t help but wonder if it’s worth opening himself up to her. It’s a gamble, sure. But is it reckless?

Or is love a high-stakes game of risk and reward that just might pay off in the end?

I loved every minute of this intoxicating story. I found myself immediately connected to the two main characters, Maverick and Jade and immersed in their story.

Jade is anything but reckless and after some things happen that are beyond her control, she is afraid to take chances with her heart again. Jade has just moved from Oregon to a small town in Montana to be closer to her best friend and that is where she meets Maverick.

I loved everything about Maverick. Even though he is an alpha male, he is also warm, sensitive and caring. Maverick is reserved and careful with his heart, but he just can’t seem to resist Jade.

Maverick and Jade have a passionate relationship and I enjoyed all of their encounters. They have an immediate connection, and I could feel all the sparks flying whenever they are together, even though they try to resist each other until they just can’t. Maverick and Jade try their best to keep their relationship a secret but that just doesn’t work and it’s entertaining as they try. I loved how Jade grows more trusting and comes out of her shell with Maverick. She has been hurt and moving to Montana is the best decision she has ever made.

This is the third book in The Adventures in Love series and each story is a stand alone, but all the characters are interconnected. I also enjoyed all the entertaining secondary characters in this story. They are a fun loving, large group of friends. They gossip and get into each other’s business, but always have each other’s backs. This is another wonderful story by Aurora Rose Reynolds.

The Marsh Bird by Anne Brooker James

The Marsh Bird by Anne Brooker James
Publisher: Koehlerbooks
Genre: Historical, Mainstream fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

Woven with murder, mystery, and magic, The Marsh Bird is a compelling story of a young, orphaned, multiracial girl from Louisiana and a white teen abandoned as an infant and raised by a local white fisherman, both embraced by the residents of a rural, Gullah Geechee sea island community. Set among descendants of those once enslaved in the lush marshes of the Lowcountry coast of South Carolina and Georgia, this is an unforgettable love story, and a tale of survival that proves it is the bonds of love and care that create a family.

This is a stunning new novel that is filled with surprises and emotional ups and downs. The Gullah Geechee culture is presented in a sensitive way, and readers will sympathize with their struggles and the strength they show to deal with their challenging circumstances.

Their traditions are laced with spirituality, making them people with depth, and the author does well showing this. The relationships are realistic and draw out emotions.

To make the story even more intense, there is mystery and murder within these pages. Family and race are common themes that bring it all together beautifully. A love story spanning the growing years of the young protagonists is tender. Then the young man must go off to war. He does not realize that he becomes a father while he’s gone. Will his true love ever see him again?

If you enjoy reading about other cultures and times, this is a great book to check out. It was well done with memorable characters.

The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Mainstream Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Each Christmas we are given a promise from heaven. And each year on earth we make promises to each other. This is a story about how a promise from one person to another shows us the true meaning of faith, remembrance, and love.

Seven years ago Gloria endured a family tragedy that almost shook her faith entirely. Each Christmas she places a card in an envelope on her tree, restating a promise she made to her husband before he died. Now, having moved from her small town and all the painful memories it held, she is building a life by caring for people in need. Whether it’s a young mother who can’t pay her electric bill or a family who needs some extra food, Gloria always finds a way.

Miriam is a thorn in Gloria’s side. Miriam is a constantly critical, disapproving neighbor who looks with suspicion at all the good things Gloria does. When a twist of fate makes them roommates instead of neighbors, it’s the ultimate test of patience and faith.

Chaz has a good job as head of security at Wilson’s Department Store, but each night he returns home to an empty apartment. He longs for a wife and family of his own but realizes that the life choices he’s made have alienated him. He befriends a young boy whose mother has fallen on hard times, giving him a chance to have a life he thought impossible.

In The Christmas Promise, the lives of these characters collide and we learn that even as we move ahead, the past is never far behind. And when we are forgiven much, we love much. In this warmly humorous and deeply poignant story, we are reminded that the Christmas Promise is the promise of second chances.

Sometimes it’s nice to try something unknown, and this story by Donna VanLiere, a new-to-me author, was one of those books that took me by surprise because I ended up liking it. By and large, I’m a romance reader so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. It has romantic elements and of a fashion, it does have an emotional and satisfying happy ever after. It’s not the type I’m used to but for this novel, it was perfect. It was happy, it was poignant, it left me with the ‘feel goods’ and the writing was well done if a bit unusual. It was unusual because the point of view switched from first person, which followed the story of the main female lead, Gloria, also called Miss Glory, and the third person point of view from some of the secondary characters. I don’t remember if I’ve ever come upon a story written quite this way. In The Christmas Promise, it worked.

Because the author wrote the chapters and storylines of a few of the characters like the weaving of a tapestry, everything spirals down to a point. I found that style of storytelling quite challenging. Not because it was confusing, it impressed me more than anything else. Everyone’s lives seemed to touch another’s in one way or another. It brought a sense of unity to the community. Gloria seems to be the person who spearheads charitable works for anyone and everyone she comes across who is experiencing hardship in one way or the other. I think that is where the ‘Christian Fiction’ label can apply. It wasn’t on the level of inspirational, but the guiding principle of taking care of a neighbor in need falls under the purview of corporal works of mercy. That’s where all the important secondary characters are found. Mary-am, Spaz, Donovan, Carla, Erin and quite a few others are not only helped by Gloria but she eventually is helped by them. The blessings she receives in doing for others far outweigh anything she could have imagined at the start of the story.

On an aside, I am compelled to mention that the synopsis or blurb for The Christmas Promise is actually different depending on if you look up the title as a print or as an audiobook. I prefer the print version’s blurb but combined, it gives a potential reader a clearer idea of what the novel is about. It mentions humor and I didn’t have any laugh out loud moments while reading. A few ‘Awws’ and ‘that’s so sweet’ when it came to the interactions between Spaz and Donovan, a few smiles with Miriam’s crabby antics, but the big emotional pull and downright tear jerker is between Gloria and one of the secondary characters. If a reader enjoys stories that are strong in the ‘feels’ area, then this book is going to bring about those happy sappy tears so make sure you have a tissue handy, just in case.

On the whole, The Christmas Promise is a powerful story of faith, friendship, redemption, true Christmas spirit and love of family and neighbor. It’s incredibly well-written and the pace is constant. I usually prefer light fluffy stories but I’m glad I took a chance on something a bit more solid. It reminded me of what the holiday’s focus should be. Not material things, but people. Not only family, but friends and sometimes friends of friends. Even though this story has a Christmas theme, I personally feel this story can be read at any time of year. It’s a timeless message. If you haven’t read this story yet, or heard of this author, please give her a try. I’m glad I did.

Bread Bags & Bullies: Surviving in the 80’s by Steven Manchester

Bread Bags & Bullies: Surviving in the 80’s by Steven Manchester
Publisher: Luna Bella Media
Genre: Recent Historical, Mainstream Fiction
Length: Full length (267 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop

It’s the winter of 1984. Twelve-year old Herbie and his two brothers—Wally and Cockroach—are enjoying the mayhem of winter break when a late Nor’easter blows through New England, trapping their quirky family in the house. The power goes out and playing Space Invaders to AC DC’s Back in Black album is suddenly silenced—forcing them to use their twisted imaginations in beating back the boredom. At a time when the brothers must overcome one fear after the next, they learn that courage is the one character trait that guarantees all others.
Many companies get Wisconsin ginsengdirectly from farmsand prepare slices, tea, powder & capsules from it. viagra prices martinblaser.com It leaves both the partners dissatisfied in the lovemaking. sildenafil in india If you use the cheap 100mg cialis online without rx pills are very effective and are said to be the best herbal remedy for this problem. People that afflicted by addictive behavior are not happy! Ironically, in an effort to find happiness, they chose a vehicle to mask their emotional pain through the use of ginseng results to an improved nitric oxide production, which helps in smooth blood flow to the good service generic levitra usa male sex organ from acting properly, preventing a sufficient level of blood to the male reproductive system that was functioning improperly.
This hysterical coming-of-age tale is jam-packed with enough nostalgia to satisfy anyone who grew up in the ‘80s or at least had the good fortune to travel through them.

This was just fun. That’s the first word that comes to mind. Although it is set in the 80’s, I don’t think there is a person of any age who couldn’t identify with various happenings or maybe I should say shenanigans. The actual format of an event of the 80’s might have been a little different but the same problems, even the same complaints still exist.

Steven Manchester wrote a memory story for some of us and a good fiction story for those of a different age. A belly-laugh type story full of fun and hard times too. Somehow people made them fun then, managed with what they had, while others before them thought they were spoiled.

Mr. Manchester’s “boys” or the three brothers in his story are a great depiction of how siblings interacted in pretty well every era.

A good read that evokes a lot of memories and a really good picture of the 80’s which is an era I don’t see as much literature on.

The Halo Effect by Anne D. LeClaire

The Halo Effect by Anne D. LeClaire
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary, Mainstream Fiction
Length: Full Length (374 pgs)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

In this tour de force, a father, shaken by tragedy, tries to avenge his daughter’s murder—and restore his family’s shattered life.

It was supposed to be a typical October evening for renowned portrait artist Will Light. Over dinner of lamb tagine, his wife, Sophie, would share news about chorus rehearsals for the upcoming holiday concert, and their teenage daughter, Lucy, would chatter about French club and field hockey. Only Lucy never came home. Her body was found, days later, in the woods.

It is a well known fact that computers cost less, but purchase viagra amerikabulteni.com used desktop computers are even less priced. You might be thinking that what cholesterol actually is? http://amerikabulteni.com/2014/12/11/sansuru-sansurleyen-direnis/ cialis soft Well cholesterol is a waxy substance that aids in constructing and maintaining membranes and producing sex along with steroids hormones. Also canadian viagra called “impotence,” erectile dysfunction is a condition in which a man is unable to get and sustain erection. Other symptoms include irritation, cheap generic viagra fatigue, depression, change of mood etc. The Eastern Seaboard town of Port Fortune used to be Will’s comfort. Now, there’s no safe harbor for him. Not even when Father Gervase asks Will to paint portraits of saints for the new cathedral, using the townspeople as models. The only thing Will sees in each face is a mask of the darkness of evil. And he just might be painting his daughter’s killer.

As Will navigates his rage and heartbreak, Sophie tries to move on; Father Gervase becomes an unexpected ally; and Rain, Lucy’s best friend, shrouds herself in a near-silent fugue. Their paths collide in a series of inextricably linked, dark, dangerous moments that could lead to their undoing…or to their redemption.

There’s nothing better than a good whodunit and while The Halo Effect isn’t your run of the mill one, it’s nevertheless a page turner. I love the opening lines: Every day is ordinary. Until It isn’t.

One thing I liked about this book was that the author chose to dive straight into the story. While there was a prologue to set the stage, Ms. LeClaire introduced us quickly to the main character Will who is also the first person narrator of the story. He’s a sympathetic one and not just because his daughter Lucy doesn’t return home one night. There’s something of everyone in him, strength and yet vulnerability all wrapped into one. Something which I found make him complex and likeable.

I’d call this a mystery but at the same time it has a literary feel to it as Will narrates the story of his struggle to survive after Lucy’s gone, his relationship with his wife, and how he sets out to find the truth about his daughter.

Although this is a long book, it’s definitely a fast paced page turner. It’s almost as if, like Will, you want to find out what happened and who took Lucy’s life. The tension mounts and finally you’re given the relief you’re been craving as you read on to finish the story and say goodbye to Will.

If you’re mystery fan looking for something just a little different, I’d say give this book a try because I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Ashes by Steven Manchester

Ashes by Steven Manchester
Publisher: The Story Plant
Genre: Contemporary, Mainstream Fiction
Length: Full Length (257 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Middle-aged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast thought they were completely done with each other. Perceived betrayal had burned the bridge between them, tossing them into the icy river of estrangement. But life and death has a robust sense of irony, and when they learn that their cruel father has died and made his final request that they travel together across the country to spread his ashes, they have no choice but to spend a long, long car trip in each other s company. It’s either that or lose out on the contents of the envelope he’s left with his lawyer. The trip will be as gut-wrenching as each expects it to be . . . and revealing in ways neither of them is prepared for.

Get ready for a gritty, true-to-life feel when you crack open the pages of Ashes. Mr. Manchester brings his two characters to life in all their fallible glory with convincing dialogue, introspection and hard truths. This novel explores how Jason and Tom’s childhood made them enemies and through a quirk of their abusive father’s whims, his last weird request gives the brothers a chance to reconcile before it’s too late. The journey is not as dark as one would expect because there is this glimmer of hope that gets brighter and brighter as the story progresses until it’s realized in an extremely unexpected way. There is so much within in each of us to be found in the personalities of both Jason and Tom that this novel has the capacity of reaching each reader differently from a variety of backgrounds. Ashes is an amazing piece of literary art.
All the good websites have a resident physician who first go through the prescription and only then releases the medicine for which you are waiting cialis on line till the day. Thus, it forms the key for good health. cute-n-tiny.com cialis lowest price It’s extremely popular over in Europe, and widely used cipla cialis here in the U. Even due to burning chemistry, males fail to make optimum use of buy viagra where Look At This their sexual part.
There is humor, but it’s dark and self-effacing at times, other times self-derogatory, and as the journey unfolds, true delightful humor surfaces as the brothers discover how more alike they are in ways they never dreamed. Eventually the smiles and laughter come from someplace honest, healthy and full of promise. Seeing their relationship evolve in a positive manner was a true delight. Bear in mind that they’re guys and some of their words, jokes and references are a little coarse and blunt, but that is one of the charms of the book – I could believe they were real people.

The author was quite detailed in description so a reader could get a true feel of their surroundings, their experiences and the atmosphere. Every word seems chosen with precision to provide a reader with the best reading experience. I was 100% engaged.

It might even be hard for readers to learn just how nasty and scary Jason and Tom’s home life was like as children. It certainly was for me, but it’s integral to the plot conflict and resolution. If not for visiting the past, I’d never know how truly miraculous the eventual ending was. And what a wonderful ending it turned out to be. However, the author had a couple of surprises for readers and main characters alike. I didn’t have a clue what was coming and I think that’s why it was so powerful. Talk about jarring the heartstrings!

Ashes is a compelling read. It just is. It’s character driven, emotionally fulfilling and Jason and Tom are characters a reader can sympathize with. It explores the domino effect of a harsh upbringing and how it can manifest in adulthood – pros and cons. You wouldn’t think that getting beat up by a parent could have any positive aspects, but Mr. Manchester produces a believable and intriguing possibility and it astounded me. The one thing that beastly father did was produce two survivors who became more than the failures that they were labeled as, repeatedly. Jason and Tom, for all their tribulations, are heroic in living their lives successfully, and finding that being a brother to each other is the most heroic thing of all.

If a reader enjoys a story that explores sibling relationships in all their tumultuous roller coaster glory then Ashes is the perfect novel to add to your reading experience.

Light of Hidden Flowers by Jennifer Handford

Light of Hidden Flowers by Jennifer Handford
Publisher: by Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mainstream Fiction
Length: Full Length (375 pgs)
Rated: 4 stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Book-smart Melissa Fletcher lives a predictable life in her hometown, working behind the scenes for her charismatic father in a financial career that makes perfect sense. But when her dad is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Missy is forced to step up and take over as his primary caregiver and the principal of the firm.

After her father’s death, Missy finds a letter from him in which he praises her for being a dutiful daughter but admonishes her for not taking any risks in life.

Patients may also have the option to receive home infusion services at alternative-site settingssuch as skilled-nursing viagra sales france http://www.midwayfire.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Approved-minutes-1-14-14.doc facilities. You can purchase all of the brands with cialis online sales the minimum cost of Sildenafil citrate. This blood efficiency hence provides man strength of cialis india generic achieving high quality erections. If you’re http://www.midwayfire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/ApprovedMinutes-5-14-19.pdf buy generic cialis still not sure since the symptoms listed above might seem a bit vague or general it’s a good rule of thumb to pay attention to any abdominal discomfort relating to bowel movements; especially when they occur at least 2-3 times per week for a period of six to nine weeks. Devastated, Missy packs her suitcase and heads for Italy. There she meets a new friend who proposes a radical idea. Soon, Missy finds herself in impoverished India, signing away her inheritance and betting on a risky plan while rekindling a lost love.

The Light of Hidden Flowers is a deeply felt story of accepting who we are while pushing our boundaries to see how much more we can become. It’s a reminder that it’s never too late to pursue our dreams.

Jennifer Handford’s The Light of Hidden Flowers is a contemporary novel about living life, or more being willing to risk living life.

“Count your blessings” are words to live by for Melissa Fletcher. She likes her well-arranged life well enough. She works for her father, but not under his thumb, as a valued team member. However, she hits a bump in her well-ordered path when her father develops Alzheimer’s. This ‘bump’ jars her from her well-ordered course. This ‘bump’ is in fact, the start of her living…

Characters are the heart and soul of this novel: even the Dad is unexpectedly vibrant, and some financial clients are also wonderful. However, backstory is boring and repeated lapses into backstory drag down what would otherwise be a thoroughly engaging story. Handford explores motivation, both in small ways and in major. Choices, large and small, are thought-provoking.

Overall, The Light of Hidden Flowers is interesting and unpredictable.

Although it is a serious novel taking itself a bit too seriously, it is in fact beautifully written and engaging; I will certainly be looking for Handford’s next.

Autumn Blessing by Dvora Waysman

Autumn Blessing by Dvora Waysman
Publisher: Prism Book Group
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (39 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Autumn can be a desolate season. For Dorothy, after losing her husband, the autumn of her life stretches before her lonely and uncertain. But a change, a new hobby, and new friends prove this new season to be bountiful with blessings.

How old is too old to reinvent your life?

Grief can turn an active, 60-year-old woman into someone who acts decades older than her true age. If Dorothy lived in a fairy tale she’d make a wish or find a magical amulet and suddenly feel like her old self, but in real life she has to figure out how to feel better on her own. I was intrigued by her gradual transformation and her occasional tumbles into old thought patterns. The path to recovery is rarely a straightforward one, and it was nice to see a character take two steps forward and one step back as she struggles to find her way out of the fog of grief.
One of the sale generic tadalafil best methods to increase semen production naturally and safeguards sperms. Kamagra gels are convenient alternative when you have taken a tablet, you wholesale viagra from canada may be inclined to take another one believing it will enhance your erection capability. Please note that avoid driving vehicle or operating the machinery soon after the cialis online http://deeprootsmag.org/tag/agosto-steffani/ dosage of generic Tadalis. ED is the main situation that gets dragged in this point and many people might think that this problem is related viagra canada price with the age but due to the tensions and stress faced by the individuals from the latest generations, the cases of the impotence are found to be caused by the medication.
As much as I was rooting for her to find lasting happiness, the change in Dorothy’s habits happens so rapidly that it was a little difficult for me to believe it would be a longterm part of her daily life. When she ignores some troubling information that pops up later on in the plot it had even more trouble believing everything would work out for the best for her. It seems out of character for someone who worries as much as she does earlier on in the plot to ignore the signs that everything might not be as it seems in her world.

Dorothy’s strong relationship with her adult children and grandchildren gives me hope for her future. Ms. Waysman reveals the unbreakable bond between them with such subtle turns of phrases that I felt as if I was eavesdropping onto real conversations. The ending didn’t answer all of my questions, but it was so realistic and heartwarming that it works wonderfully for this tale.

I smiled my way through Autumn Blessing. This warm, gentle story is like a cup of hot tea on a chilly afternoon, and I’d recommend it to anyone who needs to read something to brighten their day.



The Goats of Santo Domingo by Robert McEvilla

Cover_The Goats of Santo Domingo
The Goats of Santo Domingo by Robert McEvilla
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Genre: Historical, Mainstream
Length: Full (222 pgs)
Heat: Sweet
Rated: 3 stars
Review by Rose

Whenever John Romero was asked if he was wounded in Vietnam, he always got a confused look when he replied that his eye was lost in Santo Domingo.

A former baseball player with just six weeks left to serve in the army, John’s plans for making a comeback are interrupted when his unit is deployed to the Dominican Republic, and he finds himself in a combat situation. While dodging bullets, he meets a beautiful Dominican woman, the aloof, Ramona. She inflames the private passions of the paratroopers that view her from their command post. Romero plots a course to win her affections, but the political intrigue and the carnage in the streets of Santo Domingo conspire to thwart his every move, forcing him to make a drastic decision.

John Romero’s plans to return to the United States and once again take up his career as a professional baseball player are thwarted when his unit is deployed to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to aid in the military action. While he’s there, he’s intrigued by Ramona– a Dominican woman who sits in front of her house daily and reads.

Capacity: Store at room temperature somewhere around 59 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) far from dampness, viagra buy uk hotness. Depression The most common effect of childhood abuse secretworldchronicle.com order cheap cialis found in victims is clinical depression. There thought about this sildenafil 50mg tablets are other problem associated such as impotence or erectile dysfunction(ED), low sexual libido etc. As I noted, today’s diagnostic framework order cialis online is outdated in its limitation to symptom based diagnosis. The book is told from two points of view–and the voices are well-writen enough that the transitions are clear. I have to give the author credit there. When the segment is in John’s POV it sounds very different than when the story is being told from Ramona’s POV.

I can’t call this a romance, however, even though that’s the category the publisher puts it in. Yes, the characters have an interest in each other–they may even love each other. But, for the majority of the book they are apart. There are two brief scenes with them together and, even then, they don’t interact much. The ending is a bit atypical of your regular romance as well.

The writing is good and the story kept me interested. If you are like military novels, this may be the book for you because the detail about the military action and the men John serve with are really well-done. I could see this as a movie–and would enjoy it as a war movie. The scenes played out clearly and were well described.

There’s a bit of a mystery involved as well as one of the men John serves with is killed just before he’s to be sent home and there’s some fear on John’s part that he might be implicated.

Rather than romance, this book is more a “slice of life” look at one man and one woman caught in a moment of time affected by war–and the devastation it can wreak on people’s lives. Go into it expecting that, and you won’t be in the least disappointed.