Today I'm going to catch up on a few reads I've finished lately:
First up is THE PROUD WIFE by Kate Walker - you can find the full review on June 30 at The Pink Heart Society.
CHAMPAGNE WITH A CELEBRITY by Kate Hardy:
The second book in a duet, which begins with the marriage of the previous two characters (Red Wine and her Sexy Ex). :-) Just like the previous book was a beautiful glimpse into the life of a vintner, this one immerses the reader in the world of a parfumier. It has Kate's trademark yumminess (I am always hungry when I read her books!) and a generous helping of hot sex. :-) I zoomed through this book - it was once again like I was on a dream holiday in France.
Amber kept insisting that she was a fluffy airhead socialite, but I never saw it. Instead I saw her as a lovely, genuine, very social person but not a party girl. Definitely more extroverted than Guy and accepting of the positive and negative side of celebrity and the paparazzi, but she was never an airhead, or fluffy. She was LOVELY and caring. Guy, too, was a delicious hero.
NANNY NEXT DOOR by Michelle Celmer: I read this in one sitting!
While I didn't quite like Sydney in the beginning - she seemed to be a bit passive and yet angry - I really warmed to things after a few chapters and as her growth arc really started to curve. :-) It's clear that her behaviour at the beginning of the book is because of the years she spent enduring a horrible marriage and then a horrible divorce. It was great to see her grow calmer with her increased confidence and trust.
Daniel was a great hero too and his love for his "daughter" April was sweet. I loved how he wasn't intimidated by Syd's ex (who is the mayor) and I also really liked the addition of his family to the story. The storyline of Syd's daughter was great too, as she had her own growth arc and it was nice to see her come into her own and stand up for herself.
The one thing I would have liked to see? Jeff (the ex) really getting what he deserved, though I suppose the point is for Syd to move forward and be happy (which is probably the greatest revenge). I still would have liked for their to be some real consquences for his bullying tactics, though. He was - as my teen would say - greasy.
A really enjoyable warm and sexy read!
ON SHADOW BEACH by Barbara Freethy
The second in the Angel's Bay series by Freethy. I liked this one even better than the first (Suddenly One Summer). It really ramped up towards the end with a bit of a twist I didn't quite see coming.
Some pieces did fit together rather conveniently at the end, and I wished that the epilogue had been another page or two longer - it felt rather rushed for such a momentous moment. But it was a great read that had me reaching for the tissues twice in the last 60 pages.
Now my big question is...when do we get Charlotte and Joe? Pretty please? I'm hoping their story is one of the ones Freethy's already written in the series!
THE REBEL by Julianne MacLean
This was in the Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance and then released on its own as a short, which I downloaded to Kindle. It's classic Julianne, lovely romance, lovely characters, and my only complaint is that it is too short! It was over too soon. :-)
NAKED TRUTH by Lilly Cain (Carina Press)
Naked Truth - Second in the Confederacy series. If you like your sci-fi with a bit of heat, check this one out. Neatest form of healing and interrogation you will ever see. :-) What I really liked about this one was the focus and depth of emotion of the main characters. I enjoyed the first book in the series but was more emotionally invested in this pair.
MARRIED BY MISTAKE - Abby Gaines
I read this on the plane to NY - it's been on my e-reader a while. I really enjoyed it - a unique premise and lovely characters made it a fresh, fun read.
FIRST COMES MARRIAGE - Mary Balogh
Can you believe this is my first Mary Balogh book? The first half was...okay. Good but not OMG I have to finish this. Vanessa was slightly annoying in all her always cheerful perfection. BUT once I got to the half way mark - and she and Elliott got married, it all picked up. In fact - I was going to go to bed early last night but stayed up to finish it. The marriage was really the turning point for me where it became unputdownable. And Elliott's former mistress really was a witch.
I did like how she set up Constantine, so we don't know if he's really the scoundrel Elliott believes or if there's something deeper at work. The doubt makes him a redeemable hero and guess what - I got his story at RWA in New York.
Meg and Katherine's story are on my shelf (the first 3 are on loan from a friend) so it means the only one I'm missing is Stephen's story...