Magic in the Snow by Ryan Jo Summers

Magic in the Snow by Ryan Jo Summers
Publisher: Melange Books
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

He’s the town scrooge.
She blew in like a candy-coated snowstorm.
Can a young boy’s belief in magic bring them together?

The ink is barely dry from her divorce when Dawson Patrick and her three-year-old Autistic son, Adam, arrive in Cedar Falls, Maine. She’s here to help her aging father and doesn’t plan to stay long. Soon she and Adam will be on their way somewhere…to a new life.

When she finds her dad sitting in a cold house that’s falling around him, with little food, she realizes she might have a bigger problem on her hands. To make matters worse, she has no idea where to start on her long list of home improvement. She needs books on lots of DIY projects, and the man to help her is the local Christmas scrooge.

Samuel Johnson owns Chapter Twenty-Five Bookstore. He doesn’t enjoy the holiday season and he doesn’t ‘do’ gifts. He just happens to live in a town that wholeheartedly embraces it, so he’s learned to adapt and lay low to escape the memories of many an unhappy Christmas past. He can’t believe the blonde beauty who marches into his store like a candy-coated snowstorm, along with her pint-sized elfin toddler, and orders up a stack of DIY home repair books. Before Samuel knows it, he’s letting Dawson and Adam drag him to the town’s tree lighting ceremony, convincing him to foster kittens, and to give gifts.

Has Dawson just returned home to forget her past, only to slide into another relationship? Has the town scrooge finally seen the Christmas lights?

Magic in the Snow is a sweet, heartwarming and entertaining read. It has an original plot with a lot of potential. I really connected with it because the heroine, Dawson, has a son named Adam who is suspected to be high functioning autistic even though he wasn’t actually diagnosed by a doctor in the story.

Dawson and Peter, Adam’s biological dad, had just resolved a speedy divorce when this story starts. The reason Peter walked out was because they “suspected Adam to be autistic”. Peter even gives up his parental rights. That’s a pretty harsh decision from only suspecting a child isn’t “average”, especially since my impression of Adam was that he was not on the spectrum. I was really happy that Peter didn’t show back up in the story. I would have had a huge issue with that.

The story alludes to Dawson making an appointment to confirm what is suspected but doesn’t reveal the outcome of that doctor visit. I have a highly functioning autistic child and I have my teaching degree in Early Childhood Education. It’s a broad statement to say one is on the spectrum because autism isn’t the same for each child. Based on what I read, Adam may not be on the Autistic spectrum because he didn’t exhibit the classic red flags or triggers of being autistic. The only criteria Adam met was non-verbal and that can be attributed to having a mild speech delay, Apraxia or even a processing disorder. I have a sensitivity about the labeling of children, especially without a proper medical diagnosis.

Dawson meets the hero, Samuel, who apparently can relate to her son since he himself is considered to be on the spectrum. Samuel has other childhood trauma issues to resolve before he can give his heart away. Samuel did appeal to me as someone I could fall in love with. He and Dawson made for a sweet romance with some heartwarming kisses.

Another thread in the story is about the heroine’s father. Since Dawson is recently divorced, she is able to step up and help her aging dad, Lloyd. She moves in with him temporarily to access what she needs to do to help him and discovers her dad in dire straits. The heroine ends up as a single mother trying to “do it all”. There is mention of the heroine having a brother throughout the story, but I don’t ever get to meet him. Dawson says she’s going to call him but never does. Thank goodness Samuel is extremely supportive and helpful.

Another thing about the hero is that he’s observant. The author touched upon another emotional topic by having Samuel suspect that Dawson’s dad might be showing signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, even though Lloyd is taken to the doctors, I was left wondering about the outcome. The author never shared. Based only on what I read, Lloyd does appear to be symptomatic of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s.

There is more to this story without giving spoilers. There were some good times, sad times, frustrating times and sighs of relief at times. There were just a few too many unanswered questions for me. For example, I met Samuel’s mother only one time because she made a surprise visit. That visit didn’t go very well and Samuel was planning on having another conversation with her. I would have loved to have heard what was said but the story ended before they got to talk. I’m very detail oriented and I like all my plot threads tied up in a pretty bow. While I enjoyed how the story ended, I would have appreciated an epilogue.

Overall, this really was an entertaining read. I enjoyed the small-town Christmas atmosphere. There was no doubt that the Christmas magic was in the air, leaving the reader filled with hope and wonder. Dawson, Samuel and Adam made the perfect family. I’ve never read a Ryan Jo Summers book before but I would like to try to read another one in the future. Happy Reading!

Paws for Christmas by Mariah Lynne

Paws for Christmas by Mariah Lynne
Publisher: Satin Romance, an imprint of Melange Books, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

It’s the Holidays and Jessica Munroe seems destined for misery. Nonetheless, she is trying to make the best of it. Her fiancé, Jake, an emergency room doctor, dumped her for his nurse and just two weeks prior, she had to put her dog, her best friend, Mazy to sleep.

The pain of losing both the man she loved and her best friend has taken her to a new low. Jessica, determined not to stay down, is now hard at work trying to push through the holiday season by doubling up on the Christmas lights and decorations she’s putting up outside her residence.

As Jessica works, a big brown scruffy dog appears in her yard and refuses to leave when she tries to shoo him away. He’s filthy, looks hungry, and seems like he needs help. A dog lover, Jessica takes him to her vet who discovers a metal bone shaped tag buried in his matted fur. The tag reveals his name, Sam, and a phone number to call if he is lost or injured.
Transurethral therapy is another treatment done for curing impotence and natural cures for impotence is that, the actual pills really work? Well, the answer is generally, certainly. cost levitra lowest This helps the cyclic guanosine monophosphate online levitra tablet compound and eventually leads to difficulty in erection maintenance. The cr me should also contain L-arginine, which can further aid viagra tablet in keeping open those penile blood vessels so that the organ can be hard enough for penetration. However, studies have shown that long-term use of sibutramine could seriously damage human health. viagra uk without prescription
Sam’s owner, Trey Musgrove, is in the hospital, the victim of a head-on collision. Now, Jessica’s life is about to change forever thanks to Sam, this big brown scruffy lovable dog.

Kindness never goes unrewarded.

Jessica was a deeply kind and empathetic woman. She often bent over backwards to help others with no expectation of reciprocation or reward. Honestly, she’s the sort of person I would want to have around in a crisis. There was no limit to the thoughtful things she did to make the lives of other people better. My one wish for her was that she would finally get to be on the receiving end of all of the joy she created for those around her. She didn’t seem like the sort of person who would ever ask for something like that, but she sure did seem to need it.

The scenes that included Jessica getting regular updates about the health of the stranger whose dog she was taking care of yanked me out of the plot because of the strict rules that nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers must follow about sharing any information about their patients without consent. This is behavior that can result in healthcare professionals getting fired or paying huge fines in the United States, so I was quite confused about why it kept happening in this novel. There was no explanation for why no one was worried about this. It would have made so much more sense for a grateful relative to share updates with Jessica so she’d know if or when Sam might be able to go live with Trey again.

The island Jessica lived on had such a strong sense of community. Most of the people who lived there had known each other for years, and they were always around when someone needed assistance or had extra cookies to share. There was something wonderful about reading about all of the celebration they had, especially the ones that were somehow related to Christmas. They sure knew how to have a good time and include anyone who wanted to join in.

Paws for Christmas was a heartwarming read for the holiday season.

His Prisoner by Lois Carroll

His Prisoner by Lois Carroll
Publisher: Satin Romance, an imprint of Melange Books, LLC
Genre: Historical
Length: Full length (254 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

His specific interest is in driving industry improvements through the regulatory modernization frameworks of FDAs 21st Century Modernization and ICH Q8 – Q10. cialis online mastercard Include foods like avocado, eggs, pumpkin seeds, online pharmacies viagra broccoli, garlic, pomegranate, sesame seeds, almonds, watermelon and banana in your daily diet. That’s why The World’s Strongest Antioxidant or Acai Kapsule is considered a perfect weapon to achieve Beauty From Within such as Beautiful Skin; it’s able to adjusts the psycho-emotional condition.* And blood vessels of the retina of the eye and leads to estrogen viagra uk production. Possible side effects include tadalafil mastercard flushing, nasal congestion, headache, illustration changes, back pain and abdomen disconcert. Her father steals stolen gold, but she is hunted by the real robbers and held prisoner by a Pinkerton agentclose, very close.

This was an enjoyable book that I wasn’t able to put down. I found it to be well written and entertaining.

The hero, Jake was dreamy and I wouldn’t have minded being his prisoner. Kate was a lucky lady to be in Jake’s protection. Together they made me feel all gushy and happy. I feel the cast of characters were well developed and I connected with each one.

The plot was mostly believable with some pleasant twists and turns mixed with some suspense elements. The epilogue was appreciated at the end. I was left feeling like I had just watched a really good movie.

This would be a great book to read on a relaxing camping trip.

Vintage Dreams by Jannie Lund

Vintage Dreams by Jannie Lund
Publisher: Satin Romance, an imprint of Melange Books, LLC
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (166 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 2.5 stars
Reviewed by Quince

Scott Sullivan has been sent on a not all together pleasant trip down memory lane to secure a location for a client. Sure, it may take some charm and convincing to get the owners to sell, but he’s up for the task. And then he’s getting the hell out of dodge to escape the memories. In and out, quick and painless, that’s the plan. He just hadn’t counted on running into a fiery and stunning obstacle with gold flecks in her eyes.

Danielle Harris has worked hard to make her dream come true. With her best friend, she owns a boutique where she sells the vintage style dresses she designs. When a city lawyer comes along and tries to ruin everything, her Italian temper flares.
Truth be told, you can get about 2 ounces of eau de toilette for short of what you would pay for a typical blue pill in your local pharmacy. cialis 5mg discount Men these days are going brand viagra for sale through a lot of psychological and physical changes, post-pregnancy. Some of them include oral medications, buy viagra online injectable medications (e.g., alprostadil), penis pumps, and penile implants. Demand, especially in order cialis online the west, is at an all time high.
With Scott trying to conduct a business deal and Danielle fighting for her dream, sparks fly. Not least sparks of attraction and perhaps love. It’s clear that one of them needs to give in, but the feelings of resistance are deep-rooted in them both.

One of the reasons I enjoy reading romance novels is to see how a relationship between two people will develop. Also, I like to read them to see how they will overcome their problems and fall in love. And, if the story is good, I fall in love with the characters and I live through their fears and insecurities and become very happy when they find their HEA. I really liked how this story started so I was looking forward to more conflict between Scott and Danielle before they fell in love.

Unfortunately, that was not the case with Vintage Dreams. This book had a very promising start, but not so satisfying a performance. Scott Sullivan is sent on a business trip to his childhood town to try to secure a location for a client but it’s occupied by the fierce heroine, Danielle Harris. Under no circumstances does she want to sell her property. Instead of buying the property, Scott finds himself liking Danielle and ends up in a situation where he needs to reexamine his life and make some decisions about his future.

I was hoping that the story would focus much more on the development of the relationship between Scott and Danielle, but it was pretty much an instant love story. Right after their first date they were together and from that point on the focus was not so much on romance as on the resolving of past issues.

I have very mixed feelings about the characters. Scott is such a nice guy. He had a very tough childhood and he is carrying his father’s sins but he is willing to help and has a good heart. Danielle is also nice, but I did not like her temper. She is a bit over the top temperamental and often I did not understand her reactions. I wish there had been more emotional depth between the two.

All in all, Vintage dreams is an okay read. Readers who are looking for a subtle romance novel featuring a lot of nice vintage dresses and “love-at-first-sight” will not be disappointed.

Detour Trail by Joy V. Smith

Detour Trail by Joy V. Smith
Publisher: Melange Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Short Story (138 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Westward bound on the Oregon Trail, Lorena Emerson is alone after her uncle is killed by a thief trying to steal his money belt. Ignoring the wagon master’s advice to go home, she rounds up others needing help, and they join a later wagon train and are soon slogging through dust and mud and steep mountain passes. It’s a long way to Oregon, and because another woman needs her help, Lorrie again goes her own way, leaving the wagon train and the Oregon Trail to travel onward—off the beaten path—with her small group of wagons. She’s helped by members of her wagon train, people she meets along the way, and the mule, Jake, an integral part of the story. You’ll meet them as they join in her travels and encounters with enemies she also meets as she searches for a new home and supplies as winter reaches out its icy hands…. Settling the frontier isn’t easy!

The digestive system is thrown into a mess cialis generic canada with the effects of opioids. The benefits are viagra on line ordering ultimate and helps in reviving power and desire in lovemaking. Therefore man should go with sale generic tadalafil this solution if he is searching for a remedy that can heal his incapability in a short span of time. If the levitra uk disease is borne in the body of the victim could not generate the required amount of time. Her uncle, a lawyer, has taken her off to a new start. They’ll move west to Oregon and start a new life without the greedy relatives who want her inheritance. Things start to go wrong a lot sooner than expected. Thieves try to take her uncle’s money belt. Her uncle ends up dead and so do the two thieves. Now the wagon train master tells her to go back home. She can’t go on alone. Oh yeah? Lorena Emerson may never have been on her own before, but she’s determined to go west and make herself a new life. Now she just has to figure out how…

Ms. Smith writes a good western tale. She points out the hardships and the glories that are all part of life on the trail. She also has good and bad people populating her stories so there are challenges for her characters. I really liked Lorena. She started shy but she bucked up and defended herself. She’s a strong woman with a good head for planning and organization. The men in her life are mostly nice and good friends with her, but it takes a while for her to find love.

Wagon trips were hell. There were food shortages, wagon problems, sometimes illness, and no rest for anyone. When Lorena starts trying to get a group together to travel with her, she never realized she was developing a small, mixed family. She finds a young brother and sister and a Negro couple, and finds another wagon train that will let them join them. The problem is that there is a pregnant woman on the new train that is having problems from the travelling. When Lorena hatches another idea, the pregnant woman and her family joins Lorena’s little family and they look for a place to settle.

The characters are strong, work hard, defend themselves and offer each support. Lorena needs that since she never learned how to cook! Now she’s got free meals everywhere.

The pace is strong, there’s plenty of hard work and action to keep your interest and, while there are sad spots, for the most part this is a positive story about life in the west and how settlement changed it.

Murder Most Foul by Joanne Myers

Murder Most Foul by Joanne Myers
Publisher: Melange Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (191 pgs)
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Stephanotis

When two dismembered torsos wash up on the banks of the local river in the small industrial town of Pleasant Valley, residents are horrified. Between contradicting statements, police ineptitude, lust, lies, manipulation, incest, the motorcycle gang The Devil’s Disciples, crooked cops, and a botched crime scene, everyone becomes a suspect.
It generic cialis price is numbness of nose, hands and feet in chilly days. Changes in lifestyle can have a dramatic effect on your performance anxietyTry not to get to stressed out and nervous before sex. viagra online prescription It must have a physical address so you won’t possess to deal with embarrassing cases. levitra vs cialis Eggs: It is one cialis wholesale online of the best sources of protein that can be easily assimilated by body.
The young beautiful Jackie Reeves, a registered nurse, believes the killer is a man from her past. She contacts the dangerously handsome FBI Agent Walker Harmon. An arrest is made, but Harmon and Jackie believe an innocent man is being railroaded by local cops. Determined to find the truth, before anymore killings, Agent Harmon and Jackie are forced to run a gauntlet of deep trouble and turmoil, which marks them for death.

Murder Most Foul had the makings of a classic whodunit. Two bodies washing up on the riverbank, oddball characters, FBI agent, and to round things off, an amateur sleuth. However, the book didn’t have the I must keeping reading quality for me.

At the beginning of the story we learn a lot about one of the victim’s parents. They’re quirky, well described by the author, and despite their strange behavior and way of thinking, fun to read about. However, I did feel the main characters who actually drive the plot, Agent Walker and Jackie should have entered the story sooner than they did so I could feel some connection to them. I never felt like they were telling me their story and therefore I didn’t feel like cheering them as they worked to solve the crime and stop more killings from taking place.

The setting was great, lots of color added by Ms. Myers as to where this story takes place. Pacing was spot on too. The secondary characters were great and many for this short read.

If you like a quick mystery with some oddball characters thrown in, this might be one for you.