Three River Ranch (by Roxanne Snopek)

Rory has escaped her home town and jerk-off ex. Pregnant and homeless, she rents a cottage on a former cattle ranch as a temporary place to stay until her baby is born. Unfortunately Carson, who plans on using the ranch as a sanctuary for wild mustangs also has a claim on the cottage.

They find themselves living under the same roof and eventually fall in love, but both have trust issues and can’t admit to their feelings which causes a little angst.

Three River Ranch has all the ingredients you expect from books in this genre…a tall, rough around the edges hero; a soft pregnant and emotionally bruised heroine; a dog; horses; puppies; and a run down cottage.

To be honest it’s exactly what I want. Books like this are a little like McDonalds. You can go to a McDonalds anywhere in the world and know exactly what you’re getting. I don’t buy these books to be surprised, I buy them to be entertained and to feel good about myself.

Three River Ranch delivers that and then some.

Many thanks to Entangled and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

Shadow Woman (by Linda Howard)

Lizette lives a quiet life. She has a mundane job and drives a boring car. Even the food she eats is boring. Then one morning she looks in the mirror and doesn’t recognize herself. She discovers she has lost two years of her life and every time she tries to pull at the threads of her memory she is wracked with an intense headache and nausea.

Xavier has been watching and protecting Lizzie for the past five years. The secrets buried deep within her could destroy some very dangerous people and they will kill to keep those secrets buried. He’s the only person standing between them and her but as her memory begins to return even he might not be able to save her.

Shadow Woman is great Romantic Suspense. I’ve often said that I don’t think Linda Howard writes villains very well. They are so hyper-evil that they could almost come straight from the pages of a comic book. Not so with this book. It’s a well written page turner which will sit very comfortably on the bookshelf beside anything written by Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum or Ken Follett.

Many thanks to Random House and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume (by Lisa Rumsey Harris)

“Have you ever tried to look really good for a special occasion and just ended up looking stupid?”
Aussie didn’t respond. “Well, I have. In middle school, I wore parachute pants on a ski trip. People drew cartoons of me for months.”

Treasure Blume has gone through her entire life as the girl nobody likes. She wears dowdy sweaters, lives with her cat and her grandmother, teaches first grade, and spends most of her spare time trying to keep her grammy out of trouble and dodge her well meaning family.

She doesn’t really have any expectations from life. Men aren’t interested in her and she has very few friends her own age. Despite that she is able to see beauty in everything and is a blessing to the people around her, even people who are unkind.

Despite his initial dislike of Treasure, Dennis has to admit that she is a good teacher for his daughter, Micaela. Under her care, Micaela who was quiet and withdrawn has blossomed. Over time Dennis overcomes his dislike of Treasure and starts to see her for the kind-hearted woman she is.

The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume is a gentle and sweet love story about a woman who doesn’t fit in anywhere, and a man who doesn’t trust easily. It’s a relentlessly optimistic book about resilience and perseverance.

Many thanks to Cedar Fort Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

Shannon A Thompson

This morning a 20-year-old gunman murdered 27 people, including 20 children, in Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Keep the victims and their families in mind today as this unfortunate incident is, sadly, not the first.

Read more about the shooting here, and keep your eyes out for ways to help the families.

Also, in regards to school shootings, I think education is very important, and I like to do this through writing and reading as many of you know. Even though I personally believe we cannot logically understand the illogical (situations like this), I still think we can try and/or cope. 9781442433564_p0_v1_s260x420

I read Todd Strasser’s, Give a Boy a Gun, many years ago, and I found myself deeply moved by the severity of school violence he exposed. I really suggest this reading and/or Rachel’s Tears, which depicts the life of Columbine victim, Rachel Scott.

Please educate yourself, share…

View original post 34 more words

My Bluegrass Baby (by Molly Harper)

“We’re going to talk and you are really going to listen to me. Because this isn’t coming from Kelsey, your awesome assistant who knows and sees all, but Kelsey, your friend, who cares about you as a person and the overall condition of your soul. You are heading down a very dangerous path, Sadie. If this promotion was the One Ring, you would be Gollum. If it was the white whale, you would be Ahab. If it was the Iron Throne, I’m pretty sure you would be a Lannister, and nothing good ever happens to a Lannister.”  

 

 

 

Sadie is a shoo-in for the job as director of the Kentucky Tourism Commission. That is until the government decide to bring in some fresh blood. Now she has to compete for the job that was supposed to be hers with a flashy, over-confident PR man from Atlanta.

With the battle escalating and everyone in the office taking sides, Josh and Sadie need to settle their differences and find a way to work together before the entire office descends into all out war.

My Bluegrass Baby is great fun. It has elements of romance, chick-lit and travelogue all rolled into a quirky book about a woman who loves Kentucky just a little more than is healthy. Reading this book I really got the sense of just how much Molly Harper loves her home state. The book has Molly Harper’s trademark snarky sense of humor and will sit very comfortably on a book shelf right along side And One Last Thing, her other foray into chick-lit.

Many thanks to Pocket Star Books (Simon & Schuster) and Edelweiss for providing me with this ARC.

2012 Books that blew my mind…

1. The Siren                                                                   (by Tiffany Reisz) Erotica

I couldn’t think of anything else for weeks after I read this book. A stand-out for the best book I’ve read this year.

(this book contains graphic depictions of sex and bad language. Some readers may find it offensive.)

 

 

 

2. Easy                                                                        (by Tammara Webber) Young Adult

Well written and well researched. It’s a book which deals with the difficult issue of sexual assault but it’s also a gentle love story.

 

 

 

 

3. Days of Blood & Starlight                                    (by Laini Taylor) Fantasy

Book two in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Days of Blood & Starlight is one of those rare books that change the way you look at a genre.

 

 

 

 

4. Flowertown                                                               (by S.G. Redling) Thriller / Suspense

I found this book uncomfortable and disturbing. A dystopian novel about a town which is put in lockdown after a chemical spill.

 

 

 

 

5. Checkmate                                                            (by R.L. Mathewson) Romance (I think)

In the space of twelve months R.L. Mathewson has gone from being a complete unknown to me, to being one of my favorite authors. Her Neighbor from Hell series has me aching from laughter.

 

 

 

6. Confessions of an Angry Girl                                (by Louise Rozett) Young adult

A book which deals with a whole grab bag of issues facing young adults and manages to do it without preaching.

 

 

 

 

7. Even White Trash Zombies get the Blues           (by Diana Rowland) Urban Fantasy

Book two in Diana Rowland’s White Trash Zombie series is every bit as much fun as the first.

 

 

 

 

8. Eleanor & Park                                                         (by Rainbow Rowell) Young Adult / Romance

This book is due to be published early in 2013 but it’s incredible. Intelligent and poetic.

 

 

 

 

9. My Bluegrass Baby                                               (by Molly Harper) Contemporary Romance / Chick Lit

I love Molly Harper’s snarky, often biting but always intelligent sense of humor.

 

 

 

 

10. Love You More                                                   (by Lisa Gardner) Mystery & Thriller

Lisa Gardner is a master story teller. She manages to write incredibly complex tales which still manage to be easily read page turners.