Sunday, July 31, 2016

Just Say Yes

Just Say Yes
Strictly Business #2
Elizabeth Hayley
Quinn has gone on yet another dud date. The guys that she seems to attract are soft, lack ambition, and typically live with their mother. Quinn is ready for change. So when she accidentally speaks out loud during a staff meeting where she works for a women's magazine, she finds herself stuck with an article about taking risks. Quinn has always admired Tim. He's an executive chef that has a checkered past. He's several years older than Quinn and is the polar opposite when it comes to experience with risk. So Quinn asks him for help. Tim has been in love with Quinn forever. But he knows he's not good enough for Quinn so he's kept quiet. But this article may be just what the two need to get past what they'd done in the past and take a risk on the adventure of love.

This was a quick, fun story. It was your typical, predictable girl and guy secretly love each other, have a conflict, and after some drama end up together. But it was still well written and entertaining. The characters were authentic and the situations realistic. The female protagonist was amusing and relatable. There are a couple of bedroom scenes, for those who want to know about such details. The story ended sweetly. Overall, this was a nice romantic story that I enjoyed reading.

I received this book free of charge from Goodreads in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Clash of Titles Winner

This week, we're pleased to feature the winner of the July Clash of the Titles competition. Susan Page Davis is the author of more than sixty published novels. She’s a two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award, and also a winner of the Carol Award,  the Will Rogers Medallion, and was a finalist in the WILLA Awards and the More Than Magic Contest.

A Maine native, she now lives in Kentucky. Her historical romance The Outlaw Takes a Bride is a finalist in the 2015 Will Rogers Medallion Awards. 
Her latest accomplishment is having her brand new June release, River Rest, be chosen as the July Clash of the Titles victor.

We asked Susan to tell us a little about writing River Rest. Here's what she had to say.

CBA: What made you choose the setting for your story?

SPD: My great-aunt left a journal she wrote in the 1920s and ’30s. It gave such a vivid picture of life in rural Maine that I wanted to write a story in that setting. I decided to push it back to 1918, near the end of World War I, because of the added tension and also because my grandfather (Aunt Belle’s brother-in-law) served in WWI. He was drafted close to the end of the war, and I adapted some details of his story to fit in for my heroine, Judith’s brother. River Rest is purely fiction, but many of the events in it were inspired by things that really happened in my family.

CBA: Do your characters have anything in common with real people?

SPD: In real life, my grandmother (Aunt Belle’s sister) was a schoolteacher before she married my grandfather. Judith has a lot in common with both my Nana and Aunt Belle. She loves her bird feeder, she learns to make quilts, and she cooks many of the same things my Nana served. Her life on the farm is a lot like theirs was. I love Judith because she keeps on, even when she is tempted to fall into depression as her father did. She knows people are depending on her, so she perseveres.

CBA: You mention your story was inspired by your great-aunt's journal. What's the best thing you learned from reading what she wrote?

SPD: My Great-aunt Belle, who wrote the journal, died in 1939, long before I was born. She was 55, and she died from complications of appendicitis. I never got the chance to know her, and I would love to be able to sit down with her for a cup of tea. As a side note, I had acute appendicitis myself in 1985, and it was no fun then, with modern medicine to help me out. Aunt Belle noted so many cultural things in her diary—who she voted for, the famous boxers of the day, the way the neighboring farm boys were building tractors out of truck chassis, and all the community events and gossip. She never had children of her own, but she doted on her nieces and nephews. I think I would have loved her.

Thanks to Susan for her insights. You may visit her at her website at: .

River Rest sounds like an interesting read. Here's more about the book:

Unable to depend on her father to heal the crumbling family, Judith is afraid to trust the mysterious neighbor, Ben, who lives with his own grief.

Maine, 1918

Judith Chadbourne gave up her teaching job after her mother’s death to help her father with her five siblings. But when her father sinks into deep depression and her brother Joel is drafted, the household chores and farm work may overwhelm her. Neighbor Ben Thayer offers to buy their farm, shocking Judith and angering her father. An outsider from New York, Ben seems rich and mysterious, but his heart aches from his own loss. Judith accidentally breaks the antique crystal Christmas ornament her mother loved. The splintering star echoes her family’s shattering. Ben’s efforts to help make Judith suspicious, but when Joel falls critically ill at the army camp, Ben’s aid brings the beginnings of trust. After the armistice, and the community and family start to recover from the strain of the war, but Judith learns independence is lonely. When Ben is injured, she is the only one who can help him. Can love take her beyond the frozen Maine winter?

If you're into period romances, be sure to check this one out! A plethora of people voted this into their TBR pile. You might want to join them!


No Way Up

No Way Up
The Cimarron Legacy #1
Mary Connealy
Chance, the owner of Cimarron Ranch, is badly hurt in an avalanche. The quick work of Heath, a ranch hand, is the only thing that saves him. But Chance is still not out of the woods and the local doctor decides the only way to save his leg is get him immediately to Denver by train. His children learn of Chance's peculiar requirements from Heath after his departure. All three must stay on the ranch and work if they don't want the ranch going to their lazy cousin. Their father hopes to bring them all back together and rekindle their love for the land that's been in the family for years. But a killer is on the loose and Heath may be the only outsider they can trust to help them solve an old murder and keep from being murdered themselves.

This was a fast-paced suspense novel with history and romance thrown in. The characters were well developed. The plot was detailed and kept me guessing. There was a lot of information about the local area, the generations who'd been in possession of the ranch in the past, and the details explaining one of the characters who was from another series. It felt like the author was setting the reader up for the next few books in the series. This book didn't have the same feel as her other books, but it was still good. There were some errors, which surprised me since Bethany doesn't usually have them in their books. Overall, I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

To Have and To Hold

To Have and To Hold
The Wedding Belles #1
Lauren Layne
Brooke fled to New York when her plans for marriage fell in a heap at the alter. Her fiance was carried away in handcuffs minutes before they said "I do". This effected her wedding planning business. So she applied for a job with the famed Wedding Belles. But her first client just may be the death of her dreams.

This was a fun, sweet story. It had some drama, girl talk, weddings, and lots of romance. The characters stood out and fit well with the plot. I enjoyed the chemistry between the two main characters. There are a couple of bedroom scenes for those who need to know about that before reading. It was also fun to get a glimpse of who the next books might be about when reading about the secondary characters. The two main characters had some annoying traits for me, but I think it was a personality thing. They were both very bull headed and stubborn. But this was also a positive, since they weren't too perfect. Overall, this was an entertaining story that I was able to read quickly and really enjoyed.

I received this book free of charge from Simon and Schuster in exchange for my honest review.


Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in Lauren Layne’s sizzling brand-new contemporary romance series The Wedding Belles, about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true but their own. Leading us down the aisle with the first in the series, To Have and to Hold, Lauren Layne will rouse summer lists with a reception line of great reading as she “produces winner after winner” (Fiction Vixen).