Tag Archives: Lori Wilde

Holiday Books

Barbara Vey -- November 1st, 2013

Well, Halloween is a thing of the past for 2013 and it’s November.  You all know what that means…time for Christmas books.  There is a whole slew of them this year, so we will have them today and next Wednesday.   These books will definitely put you in the holiday spirit.  BTW, the winner of Tuesday’s giveaway by Kensington is Jenny St. G. Please send my your street address bvey@ publishersweekly.com

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joysann

joysann

Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

Read by joysann

Lady Jenny Windham has longed to be taken seriously as an artist and allowed to pursue her painting passion, but that’s just not what ladies do. When famous portrait artist Elijah Harrison is commissioned to take family portraits, it’s not just Lady Jenny’s charms that enthrall him, but the genuine quality of her talent and skill. But endorsing and encouraging the talent of a mere woman may force him to relinquish his dreams of a seat in the Royal Academy of Artists.

Lady Jenny’s story must not have been uncommon in centuries past, and Grace Burrowes has well described the heartache of a young woman unable to achieve her dreams because of her gender. The touching story of the growing respect between these two characters is heart-warming and romantic. Wrapped around the holiday traditions of Regency England, it’s a lovely read for this season.

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joysann

joysann

The Christmas Cookie Collection by Lori Wilde

Read by joysann

Twilight, Texas is a small modern town whose tourist popularity is based around a legend of romance and a penny in a fountain, that young lovers will be reunited in love. These four stories of members of the town’s Christmas Cookie Club show that true love might take more than a wish.  Carrie and Mark went their separate ways after high school so Mark could follow his dreams of big career; after a long, happy marriage, Earl left Raylene after she told him a 35 year old secret; bakery owner Christine has resigned herself to never having a family of her own when high school crush Eli waltzes in the shop door; and after long years of hard separations Flynn and Jesse are expecting their first baby, but it can’t be that easy.

Good contemporary romances woven around the holiday season in a small town always touch a soft spot in my heart, and this Christmas Cookie Collection made for a sweet treat. The interwoven stories makes one remember that everyone has a story, and in these, they are all about love.

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Joan

Joan

A Cowboy Christmas by Janette Kenny

Read by Joan

In 1894 Wyoming, Reid Barclay is trying to save the only home he has known. When Eleanor Jo Cade shows up to temporarily replace his cook, he is shocked that she is not at all what he expected. Eleanor, raised to be a lady, is praying she will be able to pull off the role as a cook; how hard could it be? She had taken the job hoping to be able to spend a Christmas with her horse thief of a father, thought to be making off with Reid’s prized thoroughbreds, and the salvation for the Crown Seven Ranch. Eleanor wants this to be a wonderful Christmas, however, Reid could care less – after all, he is to be married on Christmas Day.

This book was fun to read. I love Christmas myself and could understand Eleanor’s need to see her father and to decorate Reid’s home, to make the holiday special. I could also identify with her trying to follow a recipe and still burning the food.  Marvelous!

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joysann

joysann

The Christmas Cuckoo by Mary Jo Putney

Read by joysann

Tired and disheartened, Major Jack Howard has just returned to England from the Peninsula and winds up at a country inn in an inebriated state. Miss Meg Lambert’s brother writes that his fellow soldier and best friend Jack would arrive before he does and she should pick him up at the inn to spend the holidays with the family. So Meg brings Jack home where he enjoys his best holiday ever, only he’s the wrong Jack.

Mary Jo Putney has totally charmed me again. This delightful short is a re-release from an older anthology, but even if you read it several years ago, you’ll love again. The unlikely zany circumstances of mis-identity and miscommunication can be easily overlooked as these wonderfully splendid characters come together in love and good cheer.

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Joan

Joan

The Christmas He Loved Her by Juliana Stone

Read by Joan

Jake Edwards and his fraternal twin brother Jesse grew up in Crystal Lake doing everything together, including loving the same girl. However, Jesse was the one that married Raine. When Jesse is killed in Afghanistan, Jake returns for the funeral, unable to be around his family or Raine. When Jake returns over a year later, he brings the sister of one of his unit’s members. Her brother was left in a coma by the same attack that killed Jesse. Raine sees Jake’s absence and bringing home this “girl” friend as a sign of betrayal. Was he with her when she needed him to be there for her?

I sort of wish I lived in Crystal Lake at Christmas time. This was a very good book to read, showing what some of what our soldiers and their families go through. Though parts of it were sad, it left me feeling happy and hopeful. This is a happily ever after with room for more stand-alone stories that I  hope Juliana Stone will write.  Heartwarming and uplifting.

Bottom Line:  Only 53 days until Christmas!

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- November 28th, 2012

Hi There! joysann here. Barbara’s off being a lady of leisure somewhere and has asked me to post the book blurbs this week. I find this is that awkward time of year when I can’t decide whether to read only holiday books or indulge in a variety of reading pleasures. Fortunately, this week’s blurbs provide several terrific choices. There goes any dents in my TBR pile… not that I’m complaining. Happy reading!

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Joan

 Iced Chiffon: A Consignment Shop Mystery by Duffy Brown

Read by Joan

Savannah raised and recently divorced, Reagan Summerside is left with only Cherry House, a Victorian fix-it-upper, and a pile of mounting bills. Her ex and his good-looking attorney, Walker Boone, took everything else. In order to survive she has been selling off her furniture, and without trying, Reagan has started a consignment store that her aunt names the Prissy Fox. Without telling her ex, she and Aunt Kiki borrow his Lexus to move a water fountain she sold, and they find the ex’s girlfriend dead in the trunk. Determined to hang onto her home and not wanting to pay Walker Boone’s excessive attorney fees, Reagan knows she will have to find the killer before he does.

This is a new mystery series that I have been looking forward to reading, and I really did like Iced Chiffon. The fact that the author actually works at a consignment shop peaked my curiosity even more. I cannot wait for the next book to come out in 2013; I do wonder if Reagan will fall for Boone.

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Heidi

Heidi

Werewolf in Denver: Wild About You Series by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Read by Heidi

Stillman Lodge in Estes Park near Denver is a private hotel, the perfect place for a conference where werewolves can meet, be themselves and work together. Were blogger Kate Stillman agrees to debate political “bad boy” Duncan MacDowell about werewolf segregation. Kate and Duncan are delayed getting to the conference by a huge blizzard and are stuck in a remote cabin, where their attraction to each other is conflicts with their beliefs and loyalties to their organizations. But as the conference continues, they need to decide whose side is the best, while keeping their feelings aside for the good of all.

Even though this isn’t a holiday book, it certainly put me in some holiday spirit: with the blizzard, the fight of opposing sides, all wrapped up in a beautiful lodge. I thought this book would be super serious, but there were so many enjoyable funny sides to this book, that it really went full circle for me. I am looking forward to the next installment of the Wild About You Series: Werewolf in Alaska.

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Kym L

Kym L

Queen’s Ransom: A Sofie Metroplis Novel by Tori Carrington

Read by Kym Lucas

Sofie Metropolis is having a hard time finding the holiday spirit. First, one of her suitors has been deported and the other is playing “now you see me, now you don’t.” Next, she’s somehow managed to acquire yet another lost animal case. Oh, sure, finding Rudolph the reindeer should be easy enough, but when a Greek tycoon tasks the frappe’-gulping PI with finding his kidnapped daughter, Sofie discovers it will take more than iced coffee to get through Christmas alive.

Because I’m a big fan of — okay, sucker for — holiday tales, and also have met Lori and Tony Karayianni (the couple who together write as Tori Carrington), I welcomed the opportunity to read this, their sixth Metropolis novel. As usual, the pair made me long for an ice-cold frappe’ despite the chilly weather. In Queen’s Ransom, the Karyaiannis have gifted us with a holiday tale that’s light on the tinsel, but rich in fun. Now, where did I put that frappe’ recipe?

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joysann

joysann

Charming Freaks by Koko Brown

 

Read by joysann

This fun title holds two erotic novellas:

Charmed – Chloe enjoys the most amazingly realistic erotic dreams starring a handsome Tristan Smythe, only to discover she isn’t dreaming. She has married Tristan during a whirlwind Las Vegas vacation, and now finds herself wondering if his vampiric intimations indicate he’s crazy or she’s crazy, or if her choices were somehow magically influenced.

Nerds Are Freaks Too – Computer nerd Leo has kept his feelings for his best friend Roxanne under wraps for years, but when she hints that she’s looking for something a little less vanilla in her sex-life, Leo knows he can give her what she needs, and more. Now he just has to convince her.

Both of these erotic stories are titillating, but I have a fondness for those beta-male types that sneak up in nerd stories and end up so appealing. Those guys are never quite what you expect them to be. Koko has delivered some sexy fun fantasies.

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Heidi

Heidi

His Mistletoe Bride by Vanessa Kelly

Read by Heidi

When her long-estranged grandfather asks her to leave her Quaker background and return to England, Phoebe Linville made the brave decision to leave America and return by ship, knowing that things will be different. When she arrives, she is met with an unusual request from her grandfather; to marry Major Lucas Stanton. Lucas is handsome and irresistible to Phoebe, and she isn’t sure the marriage is the best idea, but caught in a compromising position, they don’t have a choice. Their stubbornness could cause them not to find true love, especially during the holidays.

This historical brings all the traditional feelings of the holidays, along with family beliefs both from England and America. I found Phoebe delightful with her headstrong ways that had her standing up against her stubborn husband, as well as her seductiveness with him too. The entire book felt full of love, laughter, family, elegance, and happiness, all while dreaming of fancy clothes and sparkling jewelry. A perfect holiday treat to read.

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Joan

Rescue My Heart: an Animal Magnetism Novel by Jill Shalvis

Read by Joan

Adam Connelly was always in trouble growing up and, after a tragic accident, he enlists in the National Guard. He leaves behind a broken-hearted Holly Reid, who tries to move on, but makes some unfortunate choices until returning to run her father’s ranch in Sunshine, Idaho. Adam Connelly has also returned after his years of military service, specializing in search and rescue. Adam still suffers some PTSD from his time in the military, but with the help of therapy, his family and current work training and working with search and rescue dogs, he is doing better. When Holly’s father goes missing she reaches out to Adam to help her find him before a huge snow storm hits the mountains.

This is the third book in Jill Shalvis’ Animal Magnetism series. Though I have not read the previous two books, Animal Magnetism and Animal Attraction, I felt I did not need to have read them to enjoy this story. I enjoyed this book as it deals with what our soldiers can go through and how animals can be a comfort and great therapy for them or anyone.

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Heidi

Heidi

A Cowboy for Christmas: A Jubilee, Texas Novel by Lori Wilde

Read by Heidi

Lissette Moncrief is facing more loss than she cares to think about. Her husband dies in Afghanistan and leaves all his benefits to his half-brother Rafferty Jones, a man she never knew about. Now, she learns her little boy Kyle is slowly going deaf, and she has no extra money for his health care. As she feels her world crumbling, she runs her car right into Rafferty’s pickup truck. Rafferty is in town to offer help, and she wants none of it, no matter how attractive Rafferty the cowboy is.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It put me in such a holiday mood, even with the seriousness of loss and love of a sick child. I admired Lissy’s character so much. She shows so much strength, love and drive to help her little boy. The secondary story line of Lissy’s mother-in-law Claudia not only creates conflict, but shows the strength in Lissy. This book has motivated me to read more from Jubilee.

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Bottom Line: Whatever I choose to read on these cold, dark evenings heading into winter, I’ll be snuggled down under a nice warm afghan and a couple of cats. Toasty.

 

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- October 10th, 2012

I had a great birthday this weekend.  Breakfast with my sisters, a movie and dinner with my son, Andrew.  We saw Looper with Bruce Willis, a time travel movie that really makes you think.  Andrew and I saw different things in the movie, I like that.  Now I’m going to check out what the WW Ladies have been reading this week to add to my TBR pile.

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Ashley

Ashley

Return of the Viscount by Gayle Callen

Read by Ashley

Desperate to get full access to her inheritance Cecilia weds a complete stranger, a solider who fought with her father in India. She expected an older and equally desperate man who would spend his time in India and not in England. What she didn’t expect was a young, vibrant and breath-taking handsome man. But can two strangers really fall in love and live happily ever after?

Return of the Viscount tells a non-traditional heart-warming love story. It was very interesting to read a romance where they were already married and to watch their love unfold. A very refreshing and cherishing story.
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Michelle

Michelle

The Spia Family Presses On by Mary Leo

Read by Michelle

This is a Deliciously Entertaining murder mystery ensconced in Olive Oil.

The Spia family grows and harvests Olives, and is best known for their Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  The business is threatened when Cousin Dickie is found murdered his first day home from prison.  The entire family becomes a suspect as these recovering ex-mobsters have such a venomous hatred for Dickie.  It is up to Mia and her best friend Lisa to protect the family and find the killer before someone else dies.  Now the killer is targeting them and Mia is starting to doubt the ones she loves.  She is uncovering secrets about her loved ones that will change her outlook forever.

For those of us who enjoy a good meal, you will love the delicious Italian Olive recipes found at the end of every chapter.  I had a great time reading this novel and anxiously await the arrival of The Spia Family Branches Out the next book in this new series.

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Ashley

Ashley

The Cowboy and The Princess by Lori Wilde

Read by Ashley
Princess Annabelle decides to have her first and last fling before she is forced to take the ring.  She flees to Texas to begin her six week adventure before returning to Europe to be married. Brady was your typical loner cowboy, living out of his horse trailer; he thought he had it all. Then “Annie” comes along and both of them have their emotions whirling out of control, but how can they have their happily ever after when she is getting married in six short weeks!

This contemporary romance book has it all! I smiled, laughed, and cried in this heart wrenching love story.  I just couldn’t put it down til I found out if they lived happily-ever-after or not! A must read for all romance lovers. This book is sure to be an instant classic!

 

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joysann

joysann

Hot Head by Damon Suede

Read by joysann

FDNY firefighters Griff Muir and Dante Anastagio have been best buddies since they were kids, always sharing everything, even Dante’s close, loving family. But it wasn’t until 9/11 almost took Dante away that Griff realized that their friendship meant a whole lot more to him than he had known, and for 10 years now he’s remained silent, sometimes even to himself. When Dante needs some fast money, he talks Griff into posing with him for an erotic photo shoot for a gay porn-site, and that opens a whole new reality between them.

I enjoy good erotic romance, and I found the passion and romance in Hot Head convincing and touching, and I am enamored of these two male characters, especially Griff. Damon’s writing is certainly plenty hot, hot, hot, but more compelling was the feeling and compassion written into Hot Head, and, as in all good romance, I loved the hope of a happily-ever-after.

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joysann

joysann

Immortally Yours by Angie Fox

Read by joysann

Just beyond the sight of normal mortals rages a centuries old war between the gods, and the troops are beings with even just a little touch of supernatural. Dr. Petra Robichaud was drafted into the M*A*S*H unit to paste together the broken immortals and get them back to battle. But she has a secret talent that would mean certain death if anyone learned, and when demi-god Commander Galen of Delphi discovers her gift, he will not let her go.

Angie Fox’s new series begins with an exciting premise and the promise of a magical new world. Immortally Yours has interesting, likable characters that kept me entertained, and the writing, as we would expect of Angie, was humorous and fun. I expect to continue enjoying this series even more than I did her last, and look forward to the next book.

 

Bottom Line:  I think instead of celebrating birth-days, we should celebrate birth-months.