Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Something Great, Something Wonderful, & Something Forever by M. Clarke

She didn't know what she was missing...until he found her.

Maxwell Knight was dangerously good-looking, seductively charming, and definitely trouble. He was everything Jeanella Mefferd did NOT need now.

Fresh out of college, life was predictable and comfortable for Jeanella. She had the strength of her friends, the security of her job, and she was dating a reliable man; it was all smooth sailing. That was until one night, when she met someone who made her feel things she'd never felt before—dangerous, heart pounding, breathless heat. 

Never imagining she would see him again, Jeanella has no idea what to do when fate steps in and thrusts Maxwell Knight into her life, just as things were beginning to change around her. When she lands her dream job and travels to New York for Fashion Week, can she focus on her career instead of on Maxwell? 

Will she ignore all the danger signs and jump straight into his arms; or would she miss out on the chance of finding something great?

Once again I have found a great trilogy of books through that dependable and ever productive service called "Book Bub."  And this first book in the series was free to boot.

It is the story of a woman who has been very limited in her dating life, especially since finding her almost fiance in the bed of her roommate in college.  Add to that the fact that the affair had been going on for several months.  Since then Jenna (as her friends called her) had been definitely reluctant to date and most certainly wasn't interested in any many who was less than steady, who was low risk, etc.  She had found that in Luke, a man she had met through her contacts in her present job.  They had a very low key relationship--Jenna hadn't even allowed him to kiss her until challenged by her friends.  (It's about time you found out if he makes you sing the "Hallelujah Chorus.")  It is then she meets Maxwell Knight, totally unaware that he is about to become her new boss.

Maxwell is a man who is one of those guys who could be featured on any GQ magazine cover in the world.  He makes the women in his company swoon just in his daily business suits.  Yet he is more than willing to admit that he really doesn't know what love feels like.  When he first encounters Jenna over a series of random meetings, he is quite "taken" with her and pursues her even after she becomes one of his employees.  He is a man of principle, has lovely manners, and doesn't seem to  harbor any scandalous secrets.  Yet Jenna is still worried that he will be "too much" for a low key girl like herself.

This story is really about two people who have tasted disappointment and who are both wary of what it might be like to take an emotional risk.  Even as a a high profile character in the high-powered world of fashion publishing, Max is still not sure he can ever find a woman who will love him for himself and not his money or contacts.  So their story is full of ups and downs, miscommunications and misunderstandings, hard lessons learned and a number of important "ah ha" moments about themselves and each other.  

The background characters in this story are important.  Max's brother Matthew is a man who is working so hard to gain back a life that is not mired in grief over the loss of his fiance.  Becky, Jenna's best friend and present roommate is a far more experienced woman sexually, yet she and Jenna have become sisters in every way and are equally important to one another as each must journey toward their destinies.

This trilogy is a really delightful set of three stories, and each is important in fleshing out the journey that Jenna, Max, Matthew, and Becky must take toward the future.  There are other good friends who are present and who compose the context of these books.  Each is so well written and I am delighted to have found another author who seems to have such a good "handle" on what life can offer, how people interact romantically, and how the rough and tumble universe of human love and be endured and sometimes bring the joy we all ultimately seek.

This second book is really about how Max and Jenna now move into a more mature aspect of their growing relationship.

Sometimes falling in love means letting go of the past…

Jeanella’s confidence and trust in Max continues to grow, and life seems to be on track. Then Crystal decides to pursue a sexual harassment lawsuit, and Jeanella’s world turns upside down. Once again, she wonders if she will ever be enough for Max. Jeanella is forced to make a decision; stay and fight for her man or leave him for good. 

Becky's unexpected friendship with Matthew continues to blossom, as they try to define the boundaries of their relationship; but a one-night stand threatens to ruin it all. As Matthew’s feelings for Becky grow, he’s torn between guilt and heartache over his deceased fiancĂ©e. Can Becky break through his wall and help him heal?

This third book definitely has some unexpected twists and turns for both Max/Jenna and Becky/Matthew.  There are still the old hurts of the past and the shadows of ghosts that haunt Becky and Matthew.  And life hands Max and Jenna a surprise they may just not be able to move beyond.

A heated moment.
Desperate decision.
Life altering choices.

Max and Jenna are forced to test their relationship. Will they be able to embrace the challenges life throws their way? Secrets can ruin the foundation of a relationship. Will Matthew choose to withhold vital information from Becky that could consume her with doubt about their future?

When it comes to love, Something Great can turn into Something Wonderful, but can it be Something Forever?

All in all, this is a terrific set of books and one I highly recommend.  They have made their appearance over the past months of 2014 but their subject matter is as contemporary as ever.  I highly recommend them and hope some of you will search them out and enjoy them as much as I did.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

If You Like Shifter Stories, You'll Love This Boxed Set: Fated Mates by Adrianna Hunter et al

If you like your men dark, dangerous and alpha, this exclusive shifter romance boxed set is for you. Featuring hot stories from popular New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble bestselling authors, including Adriana Hunter, Liliana Rhodes, Lynn Red, A.T Mitchell and more, these steamy books and alpha shifters will be sure to whet your appetite and leave you howling for more.

All American Wolf by Adriana Hunter: If Serena's not careful she may lose her heart to Brody Sullivan - the dangerously possessive stranger who is willing to break every one of her rules.

Charming the Alpha by Liliana Rhodes: Hannah Crane's ordinary life changes after she meets Alpha wolf Caleb. As the center of a centuries old curse, is Hannah a wolf charmer or Caleb's fated mate?

Change For Me by Lynn Red: Motorcycle riding, tattooed bad boy alpha werewolf fights to save his mate from his terrifying rival. Steamy, seductive, sensual werewolf romance.

Bear King's Curves A BBW Werebear Shifter Romance by A.T. Mitchell: Curvy Lyla's bad attitude toward bears is about to change. Destiny blind Nick is the Alpha to do it, no matter how much passion, mystery, and danger it means...

The Alpha's Mate by Michelle Fox: Chloe Weiss has finally met the mate of her dreams, but jealousy in the pack and a murderer on the loose make for a dangerous 'happily ever after.'

Romancing the Wolf (BBW/Werewolf Romance) by Skye Eagleday: The romantic adventures of two curvy sisters and one hot pack: Can the werewolves survive Bree and her sassy sister?

Witchy Wolf by Alexis Dare: A brutal attack alters Chloe’s life. As her world crumbles, biker Gabe steps in to pick up the pieces. Can he save her from the danger lurking in the shadows?

Delicate Freakn' Flower by Eve Langlais: Can a pair of hunky shapeshifting jocks convince a not-so delicate freakn’ flower that they can handle her thorns—and her passion?

The Alpha Claims A Mate by Georgette St. Clair: Curvy Ginger Colby accidentally insulted the Alpha of the local pack when she rejected him at the local honky tonk-and now he's seeking delicious, sexy revenge.

A Change To Bear (Last of the Shapeshifters) by A.E. Grace: Liam, shapeshifter, is on the run. Hunted by a man who will hurt anyone he cares for, it's why he can't fall in love. Until he meets a curvy Terry Spencer...

Protecting The Alpha by Tabitha Conall

Curves For The Lone Alpha by Molly Prince

The blurb pretty much tells it all.  These stories, however, are novella length, but all are interesting and pack a fine literary wallop.  There were some I found more interesting than others, and one or two I had found in other anthologies.  But for 99 cents, what's not to like?  Actually, I like shifter stories a lot, have liked them almost from the beginning and keep on being fascinated at the various "takes" authors have on their abilities and lifestyles.  All in all, each story is very romantic with a moderate amount of "hot lovin'" and are more than good enough to be given a chance to engage the reader's imagination.

I am delighted that publishers are making these boxed sets available to those of us who like the eReader format.  Lots of money I don't have to spend and yet I have been introduced to some new authors.  That is definitely the case with this boxed set.    My best guess?  I think you'll experience lots of good reading here.  I give the set a rating of 4 out of 5.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Strange Christmas and A New Year

It was a tough Christmas for us this year.  Early in December we were with almost our entire family as we gathered for an important family birthday celebration.  But it was sad to have to say "Good-bye" just a few days later and know that the kids and grandkids were going home in all directions and we didn't know when we would be seeing them again.

As if that weren't bad enough, the dreaded "holiday virus" that seemed to afflict so many this year made a stop at our house.  The Saturday before Christmas I began to have a very uncomfortable feeling in my chest and before another 24 hours had passed, I was one sick cookie.  Add in the fact that between that Saturday and Christmas Day, I had been contracted to play the organ at eight -- that's right, 8 -- holiday church services in our area of Tennessee.  I made it through, but by the last service on Christmas Day I was thrashed good and proper.  My hubby had fallen ill on Christmas Eve, so instead of celebrating and sharing with the few family members living close by, we hunkered down in our blankets with our scrambled eggs and cottage cheese and toast and tea, and somehow got through the difficult days.  It is definitely true that the older one gets the longer the recovery.  We were fortunate that we both tested negative for the H1N1 flu. but the virus we did have was no fun either.\

Now it's a few days into the New Year and we are recovering well.  But there is no doubt that it didn't come in with a blast, at least not at our house.  We did get back on our feet sufficiently to get together with one of our daughters and her family for a scrumptious prime rib dinner, a trip through the community's "Galaxy of Lights" which was spectacular, and then a bit of a drive home before the party folks spilled out on the roads.

So now we look forward to some special things.  Our daughter-in-law celebrates a birthday, our first great-grandchild has his first birthday this month, great-grandchild #2 is due to arrive early in February, and great-grandchild #3 sometime in April.  That means lots of knitting of baby afghans and sending special stuff through the mail since we are a long distance from some of the action.  Yet we are delighted as our family increases and as we see the new generations arriving.  It is humbling to know that it all started decades ago with two people who fell in love in a train station in Chicago and somehow we have made it until now.

My prayer and hope for all of my friends, family, and followers of this blog are that you will all experience really good things this 2015, that when the down times come you will have the friends and support you need to weather the life storms, and that we will all continue to enjoy the best of good romance fiction along the way.

My own New Year's Resolution -- and the only one I am making this year -- is that I will be so much more consistent in touching base with all of you and keeping this blog in touch with the good books I am reading.

New Year's blessings to you all!!