Thursday, December 31, 2015

Review: From the Start by Melissa Tagg

About the book:

From the Start by Melissa Tagg
Walker Family: Book 1
Bethany House

 Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn't kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays...until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley.

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend's hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he's lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he's never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it's like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn't part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that's ever happened to them?

My review:

Melissa Tagg is a new author to me and I was so delighted with what I found. From the Start is the beginning of a new series following the Walker Family. This first book follows Kate, a writer who has lost her flow. In an act of desperation, she returns home and agrees to be the writer for a sports book about Colton Greene, a former NFL player who is just as down and out as Kate. Tagg’s writing has depth and draw and I am looking forward to getting to know the rest of the Walker family.
Kate writes about love for a living but after an ill-fated relationship left her guarded and cynical her stories fall flat. It was beautiful watching her open up to Colton and find her inner romantic again. With a spark from the start, this relationship was beautifully slow blooming. Colton had a tragic story that broke my heart at times as he slowly came to terms with his sad childhood and a future that is drastically different than what he planned.
 I will definitely be picking up the rest of the Walker Family series as well as diving into Tagg’s two previously published novels. I’d recommend this author for fans of Becky Wade and Susan May Warren.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. *

Review: After a Fashion by Jen Turano

About the book:

After a Fashion by Jen Turano
A Class of Their Own: Book 1
Bethany House

 Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself without an income.

Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiancée causing the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can't make her fashionable. She'll never truly fit into Oliver's world, with its fancy dinners and elegant balls, but just as she's ready to call off the fake relationship a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

My Review:

Jen Turano is quickly becoming a must read author for me. Her novels always grab me from the very first sentence and refuse to let me go until I close the back cover. The first in a new series, After a Fashion is a comical ride that is bursting with wonderful characters who promise adventures of their own to come.
 The story opens with an altercation that leaves Harriet Peabody in need of a job and Oliver Addleshaw lacking a dinner companion to help him woo a potential business partner. Oliver and Harriet tentatively join forces but, when do things ever go according to plan?
Harriet and her friends Millie Longfellow and Lucetta Plum are delightfully witty and are not afraid to take matters into their own hands if need be. Then if you throw into the mix the reclusive and eccentric Abigail Hart, who is bent on seeing each of the girls married, you get a delightful cast of characters to carry us through a delightful new series.
 Every time I read a new Jen Turano book her writing and the ease of her comedy strike me. I always find myself laughing out loud and even crying on occasion. I would recommend her book to anyone who enjoys comedy and light romance.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. *

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell

About the book

Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell
Bethany House

 He Stole the Work She Loved.
Will She Let Him Steal Her Heart as Well?

It's all her uncle's fault. For years Charlotte Withersby has been free to pursue her love of plants and flowers by assisting her botanist father. But now that she's reached the old age of twenty-two, an intrusive uncle has convinced her father that Charlotte's future--the only proper future for a woman--is to be a wife and mother, not a scholar.

Her father is so dependent on her assistance that Charlotte believes he'll soon change his mind...and then Edward Trimble shows up. A long-time botany correspondent in the South Pacific, Trimble arrives ready to step in as assistant so that Charlotte can step out into proper society--a world that baffles her with its unwritten rules, inexplicable expectations, and confounding fashion.

Things aren't perfectly smooth between Trimble and her father, so Charlotte hatches a last gasp plan. She'll pretend such an interest in marriage that the thought of losing her will make her father welcome her back. Only things go quickly awry, and she realizes that the one man who recognizes her intelligence is also the person she's most angry with: Edward Trimble, her supposed rival. Suddenly juggling more suitors than she knows what to do with, Charlotte is caught in a trap of her own making. Will she have no choice but to leave her beloved flowers behind?

My review:


                For years Charlotte Withersby and her botanist father have lived a happily reclusive lifestyle immersed their research. All that changes, however, when Charlotte’s well-meaning uncle convinces her father that a woman Charlotte’s age should be running her own home and raising a family. Then the audacious Mr. Edward Tremble has the nerve to take up her job as assistant to her father and do a good job to boot!
                This was my first read by Siri Mitchell and while this was not my favorite book I enjoyed her writing style greatly and plan to read more of her books. This book had a large focus on botany and while science has always interested me it just felt like some of the terms and ideas were a little forced and out of place. Perhaps a small glossary would have help for a quick reference.
                I also had a hard time relating to Charlotte and Mr. Trimble. Charlotte seemed disinterested and Mr. Tremble was more like background noise. All that aside, I did enjoy most of the book and it kept me reading which is what I always ask of a story. I very much enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Miss Templeton. She always made me chuckle and was absolutely not what I had expected of the character.
                All in all, this was definitely worth the read and fans of the author and the historical romance genre should pick it up. As I said before, the author’s writing was superb and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*