Thursday, July 30, 2015

Not Without You by Dianne Venetta

Not Without You by Dianne Venetta

Summary from Goodreads:
Grad student, Lisa Richardson, scours the high country in search of her beloved boreal toad. The amphibian is in danger of extinction, a fate she is determined to change. Single-minded in her focus, Lisa doesn’t realize that she’s being followed by a mysterious stranger.

Enter McIntyre Walsh. Ex-marine with a heart of gold, this man lives and breathes duty. Protection. Content with his self-exile on a mountaintop in Colorado, he inadvertently witnesses a female hiker in danger, a situation he cannot ignore yet is unable to rectify. When their paths cross, Lisa and Walsh refuse to stray from their avowed goals, and carry on—despite the other.

It isn’t until a killer ramps up his game that both are forced to relent. Battling the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains and an undeniable attraction between them, Lisa and Walsh must work together against the odds if they intend to get off the mountain alive.

3.5 Stars

Received ebook for an honest review

My Review:
There were lots of things that I liked about this book.  I liked the setting, high mountains in Colorado, clear skies, crisp air.  I liked the suspense of the story.  There were threats from the elements of the location as well as the threats from a killer in the area.  And the touch of romance was just the right amount for this book.  It didn't take over, but added something to the story.  I liked Walsh and his sense of protection.  

Unfortunately, I wasn't a huge fan of the main character.  In many ways I liked her, especially her strength of will to keep going under dire circumstances.  However, she was stupid.  I'm sorry to say it, but who goes after scientific samples when you have a serious ankle injury as well as a killer on the loose?  I thought she was way over the top in her environmental zeal.

Because the character had this need to find her samples, the characters were put in increasingly difficult situations.  It dragged a bit and I was ready for them to finish this adventure.  

And, the author used the word "breast" way too much.  I wished she would find other words to describe that area, sometimes "chest" would have been appropriate.  

Warnings: Word "Breast" used

I would let my 17 year old read this book.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity by Rachael Anderson

Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity by Rachael Anderson

Summary from Goodreads:
Home for the summer, Samantha Kinsey steps into her role as nanny for her two favorite little charges. But when she realizes she'll be playing chauffeur more than playmate, her summer outlook quickly turns from fun to bleak. That is, until she meets Colton McCoy--a genuine, hard-working cowboy, who's as set in his ways as he is handsome. Although he claims he doesn't need any spontaneity in his life, Sam's determined to help him find it. But she'll soon discover that cowboys are about as easy to change as wild mustangs.

Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity is about an adaptable girl and a not so adaptable guy. It's about learning to accept people for who they are and realizing that sometimes who they are is exactly who they should be.

5 Stars

Received ebook from Publisher in exchange for an honest review

My Review:
This is the 3rd book in the Meet Your Match books by Rachael Anderson.  I  have loved this series! The first is Pride Meets Prejudice.  The second is Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined. One wouldn't have to read all three books to understand the stories, but the characters do continue from one book to the next.  I highly recommend reading them in order to be able to develop along with the stories and characters.

Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity follows the story of Samantha, a recent college graduate who has time during the summer before she starts a fantastic job in New York City.  Within the first few days she meets Colton McCoy, a young, hard working rancher who will some day take over his family's ranch.  From the moment they meet, sparks fly.  Sometimes it's good sparks, sometimes not.  Sam finds herself being more clumsy than usual and unsure of herself around the horses and the ranch.  Colton is impressed with this "city" girl that keeps getting back on the horse, in actuality and metaphorically.  Soon, Sam has found a place that she really enjoys, the horses and farm, but especially the McCoy family.  Unfortunately, she has a job in New York waiting for her in just a few months.

Sam and Colton are from opposite lifestyles, but somehow they fall in love.  Samantha enjoys trying new things on their dates and pushes Colton out of his comfort zone.  Often, Colton refuses Sam's wild schemes.  At times, I am really frustrated at how unadventurous Colton is.  I don't understand how he doesn't want to at least try something, even if it is just to appease Sam. 

I am not the most adventurous of people, but I am willing to push myself a little, just to see if I can do something.  Last year I did something I never thought I would ever do...I biked around San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge!  For me that was a big deal.  I had only ridden a bike around our neighborhood.  But it was something my husband wanted to do and I did it.  Was I really scared at times? Yes.  Was I unsure of what I was doing? Most of the time.  But I did it and that brings such satisfaction.  Now if my husband asks me to go sky diving the answer is no.  I can only be pushed so far.

As I read this book, I don't see any way that this relationship can work.  If Samantha gives up her job to stay in Colorado then she will always wonder "what if" and resent Colton for keeping her there.  If she goes to New York, then Colton, "Mr. Stick in the Mud", watches her go and feels rejected.  Can they survive a long distance relationship?  

Luckily, Rachael Anderson has a great story that pushes both of these characters in to new territory. 

I have loved the characters and stories from all 3 books and being a part of their lives.  I highly recommend the series and I also look forward to reading other books by Rachael Anderson.

Warnings: None

I would let my 17 year old read this book.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Annette Lyon Collection

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Annette Lyon Collection
All stories by Annette Lyon

Summary Goodreads:
The ANNETTE LYON COLLECTION contains brand new contemporary romance novella OUR SONG, as well as five hand-picked readers’ and reviewers’ favorites of Annette’s popular Timeless Romance Anthology novellas. Readers will love this selection of three contemporary and three historical romance novellas.

In OUR SONG, a charming romance novella, Cassie and Matt have been dating in the Yellowstone area for two years, and things are, well, average. When Cassie meets up with two college friends who are visiting, their love lives like sound like fairy tales: rose petals, chocolates, candles on the beach… Cassie goes home feeling like she’s missing out. After all, repeatedly watching Old Faithful erupt and walking through sulfur-smelling gases at Fountain Paint Pot don’t exactly say “romance.” Maybe things with Matt aren’t going anywhere, and it’s time to move on. Then she discovers that perception and reality are completely different things. Now she can only hope it isn’t too late to show Matt how much she really cares.

In the sweet novella GOLDEN SUNRISE, Natalie takes time out of her crazy schedule to fly to Vegas for her best friend’s wedding. Sierra and Jason, high-school sweethearts, are finally getting married. Fortunately for Natalie, her old high-school flame, Adam, has a work commitment and can’t be there as best man. But when she arrives at the wedding rehearsal—late and ragged—Adam is there. When Adam makes a wild suggestion, Natalie just may take him up on it, even though she knows he’s moved on. A single choice may mean Natalie is taking a shot at reclaiming the past—or that she's putting her heart in harm’s way a second time.

FIRSTS AND LASTS, an enchanting novella, begins with Dani’s last week in New York. She’s failed in her dreams to catch a break as an actress and is now ready to return home and dust herself off. As she visits the places on her final to-see list, she meets Mark, another New York City transplant with big dreams. Except Mark hasn’t given up on his. As they spend the day together, Dani realizes that even though she hasn’t hit the “big time” she might be living her dream after all. Only problem: she has a one-way ticket back home.

In the compelling novella WAR OF HEARTS, Anna, a journalist, is desperate to escape the magazine where Pete, her now-former boyfriend, also works. Heartbroken and still in love with him, Anna snags an assignment to cover the Winter War in Finland. She arrives at a snowy Finnish battlefront only to discover that Pete is already there—as her photographer. She’s determined to be professional about the situation until a battle breaks out in camp, putting her and Pete in harm’s way and putting their love to the test.

The captivating novella BETWEEN THE LINES follows Jane Martin, who is intelligent but extremely shy, especially around men. When the Aid and Cultural Society proposes a letter-writing program, Jane signs up, hoping she can find true friendship. The program doesn’t run as smoothly as expected, and unknown to Jane, one of the men in her city becomes her writing friend. Thomas Allred has always known shy and quiet Jane, but reading her letters written to his secret persona, opens his eyes to what an amazing woman she is. The only trouble is, Jane doesn’t know that the man who she is falling in love with through letters is also Thomas, the man who is falling in love with her in person.

In the charming novella A TASTE OF HOME, we meet Claire Jennings, who’s on her way to spend Christmas with her family. As she rides the train with William Rhodes, who grew up across the street, memories of Christmases past flood her mind. He may be twenty-one now, but she can’t forget his torturous teasing from their school years. At the rail station, Claire discovers that her home is under quarantine because her little brother has measles. She's stuck in town, away from her family, on her favorite holiday. William stays behind with her, and as Christmas Day approaches and her homesickness deepens, she discovers that perhaps he has changed in more ways than one.

4 Stars

Received ebook from publisher for an honest review

My Review:
Annette Lyon has written stories in each of A Timeless Romance Anthology Collections.  I have never read any of her other books (of course I have them on my to read list!).  This collection was all stories by her from the other collections, except for the first one which was a new story.

Having read all of the other collections, the other stories were familiar to me.  However, I enjoyed reading them again, especially since many of them I read a long time ago.  

I really enjoyed the new story, Our Song.  Since it wasn't one I had read, and it was the first in this collection, it was a great way to start of the book.  It reminded me about how we often compare ourselves to others, whether in a good light or bad light.  Comparing can hurt all involved.  I really loved seeing how this couple worked through their conflict, especially in comparing their relationship to others' relationships.  

We are each individuals and our relationships with others are individual as well.  What a good reminder.  Thank you, Annette Lyon!

Warnings: None

I would let my 17 year old read this collection.