Review: ‘Twas the Night Before Mischief by Nina Rowan

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About the book:

Twas the night before mischief and all through the house, a lady was plotting-it was time to break out!

When Penelope Darlington is persuaded to elope with a most unsuitable suitor, she wastes no time. With visions of passion and adventure dancing in her head, she steals away in the middle of the night, just before her father’s Christmas feast.

Fearing for his daughter’s reputation, Henry Darlington begs Darius Hall, the Earl of Rushton’s daring yet discreet son, to bring Penelope home. When Darius finally catches up to Penelope he is shocked. She’s not the silly little girl he expected, but a beautiful woman with a sharp mind and an allure that cannot be ignored.

Now forced to kidnap Penelope in order to bring her home, Darius and his new charge spend the next several days-and nights-in very close quarters. Penelope wanted passion and adventure, but she never could have imagined the pleasures Darius can provide . . .

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MISCHIEF is a delightful holiday read with wonderful characters and a romantic happily ever after. Penelope doesn’t want to be invisible. She wants more than the life she thinks that she will end up living. Darius is the one man who really sees her, but she doesn’t think that he sees her as anything other than his friend’s daughter. I loved their connection and how their feelings for each other change and evolve as they really get to know each other. Their romance is sweet and sexy. This is a great novella to read on a cold winter night.

the book girl gives ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MISCHIEF a 5/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Whatcha Reading Wednesday – Last one of 2013!

Since next Wednesday is Christmas and the one after that is New Year’s Day this is the last Whatcha Reading Wednesday of the year – and I’m not reading anything! I finished a book last night (ALL I’M ASKING FOR: A CONTEMPORARY CHRISTMAS ANTHOLOGY by Christi Barth, Brighton Walsh and Kat Latham) and don’t know if I’ll have time to start anything new till late tonight. Today is the last day before the kids are home for winter break that I can finish any last-minute Christmas shopping. Tomorrow is their winter parties at school and Friday is pajama/game day at school. I’ll be helping out at school both days and unable to get anything done at home. So today I plan to find the one last gift I need for my impossible to shop for brother-in-law, pick up a few presents for our dog and cat (can’t forget the animals!), and maybe something fantastic for myself as a treat for all the running around 🙂

What are you reading this week?

Review: Kisses, She Wrote by Katharine Ashe

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About the book:

Christmas in town has never been so steamy . . .

Handsome as sin and scandalously rakish, Cam Westfall, the Earl of Bedwyr, is every young lady’s wickedest dream. Shy wallflower Princess Jacqueline of Sensaire knows this better than anyone, because her dreams are full of the breathtaking earl’s kisses. And not only her dreams—her diary, too.

But when Cam discovers the maiden’s not-so-maidenly diary, will her wildest Christmas wishes be fulfilled in its pages . . . or in his arms?

I loved this story. Shy Princess Jacqueline and her diary of fantasy was the perfect match for Cam, the rake who takes care of those in need. Jackie is in need – in need of someone who sees the real her and Cam does after finding her diary. I love how they circle around each other as Jackie learns to flirt and becomes more confident and Cam realizes what he really wants. They both have external forces telling them what they should want, who they should be with and it isn’t who or what will make them happy. There romance is slow and takes awhile to come to fruition, but when it does it is magical. I loved them together and the fact that although they don’t seem to be the most logical fit and no one else thinks they should be together they both follow their heart and find each other.

the book girl gives KISSES, SHE WROTE a 5/5

to find the book:

Amazon 

Barnes & Noble

 

Review: Ripped by Sarah Morgan

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About the book:

“Wardrobe malfunction” doesn’t begin to cover it.

With a rip louder than the “I dos,” Hayley’s hideous bile-yellow bridesmaid dress explodes. She’s always had enviable curves, but nearly naked wasn’t quite the look she’d been going for at her ex’s wedding.

She’s rushed from the altar under the best man’s designer tux jacket. Hayley’s expecting a blast of icy disapproval from sexy, sophisticated Niccolò Rossi—his usual reaction to anything she does. What she gets is a kiss that nearly melts what’s left of her polyester nightmare gown.

It’s impossible on a million levels. Exuberant engineer Hayley and buttoned-up lawyer Nico have never seen eye to eye—but skin to skin? Oh, mio… So when Nico shows up at her flat on Christmas Day to give her a fabulous gift—himself—Hayley’s delighted to do the unwrapping. But it’s just a holiday fling. By New Year’s Day, she’ll come back to her senses…unless Nico’s sensual skills tear away all her resolve.

Normally I’m not a fan of books written in first person, but after hearing lots of good buzz about RIPPED online I decided to give it a shot. I’m so glad that I did. RIPPED is a sexy, romantic, wonderful story. Haley had me laughing and cheering her on at the wedding from Hell and hoping that her sexy Christmas present, Nico, would be so much more than she thought. I did wish to know what was going on in Nico’s head, but his actions broadcast loud and clear what he wanted from Haley. If you are looking for a short, sexy Christmas read, RIPPED is the novella to pick up.

the book girl gives RIPPED a 5/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Review: A Christmas for Carrie by Alison Packard

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About the book:

The very thought of Christmas is enough to darken Carrie Jones’s day. “Jingle Bells” and eggnog? Not for this girl; not anymore. But running into a handsome old crush might make this year different…

Home to celebrate with his parents, Nick Johnson loves the holidays and all that comes with them, from trips to the tree lot to the very last strand of tinsel. Stunned to bump into Carrie while on a coffee run, he realizes that his former study buddy has grown into a drop-dead-gorgeous woman. One with whom he’d like to share all the joys—and hidden pleasures—of the season.

Spending time with Nick and his warm, close-knit family, Carrie can’t help but feel the very beginnings of that elusive Christmas spirit. She’s falling in love with all of them…until an unexpected visitor arrives. It will take putting her trust in Nick—and all her new found happiness—to overcome the ghosts of Christmases past.

First, I will say that I hardly ever read books where the heroine and I share a name. It tends to throw me out of the story and I find it weird. It’s a quirk of mine. BUT, I love Alison Packard’s writing and really wanted to read this book, so I decided to try to read it even with the name thing and just hope that it wouldn’t bother me too much. I really loved this story. Nick and Carrie’s romance is sweet, sexy, and highly emotional. Carrie hates Christmas and for a very good reason. She wants nothing to do with it, but one sexy blast from her past has her thinking that maybe a few little Christmas touches wouldn’t hurt too bad. Nick is drawn to Carrie when he sees her and hates that he didn’t see how gorgeous she was in high school. I love how they reconnect and the attraction between them builds. Nick is able to make Carrie see how the life she has been living isn’t the life she is meant to live and that Christmas isn’t the terrible season she’s been letting it be. A CHRISTMAS FOR CARRIE is a perfect holiday novella and one that will be added to my annual reread list (even with a heroine named Carrie)!

the book girl gives A CHRISTMAS FOR CARRIE a 5/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

 

In My Mailbox / On My Kindle

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Review: Love a Little Sideways by Shannon Stacey

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About the book:

Liz Kowalski  is heading home to Whitford, Maine—this time for good. Eager for her family, a fresh start and some fun, she doesn’t count on being rescued by the chief of police her very first night back in town. Drew is everything she’s not looking for…so why is she still so attracted to him?

After a brief, forbidden rendezvous at her brother’s wedding, Drew Miller expects Liz to return to New Mexico and stay there. He’s searching for someone to settle down with, not a casual fling with his best friend’s sister. But when they’re stuck together on the annual Kowalski camping trip, things start going a little sideways. Keeping their hands off each other proves just as impossible as keeping their secret from becoming public knowledge.

Amid family, mud and melted marshmallow, Liz and Drew try to fight what’s growing between them. But a little time alone, a lot of chemistry and too many opinions might be just what it takes to bring together two people so determined not to fall in love.

I’ve loved all of the previous Kowalski books and really looked forward to Liz and Drew’s book. I’m not sure what it was, but I couldn’t feel the same connection. The fact that Drew and Liz fight their attraction to each other for more than three-quarters of the book and we only get to see them as a couple for a very small part didn’t help me see them as a forever couple. I loved seeing all of the couples from the previous couples and the interactions between the siblings and cousins. Those interactions made the book work for me even though the romance was lacking. The writing is excellent as always. There is enough humor, sexual tension, and family games of doom to keep the reader turning the page and wanting more. I’m more than a little sad that Liz is the last of the Kowalskis, but I’m hoping that this isn’t the last that we will see of them.

the book girl gives LOVE A LITTLE SIDEWAYS a 3/5

to find the book

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Whatcha Reading Wednesday and Unstoppable Winner

First, the UNSTOPPABLE contest winner. I’m sorry that this is so late. We had a winter storm and the kids were out of school for several days. We spent the days playing in the snow, building a gingerbread house, baking, watching movies, and enjoying the time together. I will admit that I was sad when they had to go back to school this morning. Only 7 more days until winter break!!!

The winner of the three Country Roads ebooks is…

Emily B

Please email me at carrie@thebookgirl.net with your preferred retailer (Amazon or Barnes & Noble) and your email address.

Now, for what I’m reading. I’m definitely on a Christmas romance kick. I just finished the new Carina Press holiday books and I’m now reading THE BILLIONAIRE’S CHRISTMAS BABY by Victoria James.

What are you reading this week?

 

 

Review: The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby by Carolyn Brown

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About the book:

‘Tis the season for…

A pistol-totin’ woman who’s no angel
A tough rancher who doesn’t believe in miracles
Love that warms the coldest nights

After a year in Kuwait, Lucas Allen can’t wait to get back to his ranch for Christmas and meet his gorgeous Internet pal in person.

When he pulls in, there’s Natalie Clark right in his front yard with a pink pistol in her hand and a dead coyote at her feet.

Lucas is unfazed. But wait…is that a BABY in her arms?

I really enjoyed this story. It took a little while for me to like the characters – I think because it took a little while for them to warm up to each other – but once I did I couldn’t wait to see how the romance would play out. Natalie doesn’t take anything from anybody. When Lucas returns and is shocked to find Joshua in her arms, she basically tells him to accept the baby or watch her backside as she walks away. Lucas was looking forward to moving his internet relationship with Natalie forward when he came home from Kuwait, but her having Joshua changed his plans in a big way. Lucas doesn’t want for things to be any way but how he pictures them, but as he gets to know the real Natalie and baby Joshua he realizes that he wants both of them to be part of his life forever. I loved Natalie and Lucas both. They are both such strong-willed characters that don’t put up with any nonsense. However, I think that my favorite part of THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY are the secondary characters – especially Lucas’s grandpa, father, and surrogate uncle. These men add so much to the story and help move the romance along with the matchmaking efforts. This story is a sweet and sexy holiday read.

the book girl gives THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY a 4/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

What I read in November…

November was a slow reading month for me. I think this is going to become more and more common as I focus on my writing more. My reading time is one of the areas that suffers when I really focus on writing my own story 🙂

Here’s what I read in November:

  1. LADY JENNY’S CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT – Grace Burrowes
  2. NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED – Sarah MacLean
  3. SLEIGH BELLS IN THE SNOW – Sarah Morgan
  4. SLOW RIDE HOME – Leah Braemel
  5. ‘TIS THE SEASON TO KISS SANTA – Kate Hardy
  6. HAVE YOU ANY ROGUES? – Elizabeth Boyle
  7. THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS – Elizabeth Essex
  8. SANTA TO THE RESCUE – Adele Downs
  9. NAUGHTY NICKS – Christine d’Abo
  10. SNOWBOUND WITH THE CEO – Shannon Stacey
  11. SINS OF A WICKED PRINCESS – Anna Randol