A Note of Change

noteSorry, April and half of May have seemed to disappear from my life and I haven’t been able to find them. I have lots of catching up to do now, because although those months have been lost to me, I still managed to read a bunch of awesome books since my last post in March. Reading always happens…even if time stops.

Today I wanted to talk about a new anthology of three stories by three different authors–A Note of Change. Isn’t is a beautiful cover? And the stories were excellent. I loved-loved every story and author in this one, which rarely happens. I highly recommend it. Here’s a quick summary of what I thought about each book.

Waiting for the Post by Esther Hatch

This was a cute story about Harrison (Harry) and Christine. For six years, Harrison has tried to put Christine out of his mind. He was the poor steward’s son on her father’s manor house and took off without a goodbye, hoping to work hard to become a man worthy of her hand. But now, six years later, he wonders if he even wants anything to happen between them. He has grown up and is fighting the laws that hold Christine’s family in power. But when his house servant sends a letter he wrote years ago to Christine in Dorset accidentally, he leaves London in a hurry to try to intercept that letter before he is made to look the fool. Loved this story. It was fun, with great characters in a friends to lovers scenario. Super sweet

A Ring of Gold by Nichole Van

Oh my! Van is the master at weaving her stories and characters into my heart uber-fast. This one is about the famous woman author, Viola Brodure, who all of England and Scotland wants to get together with the famous Scottish poet, Ethan Penn-Leith…to have a romance of their own. When her father pulls strings to get them invited to Scotland to actually meet her literary hero, she is dismayed to realize her heart feels a huge disconnect from him, but not for his farmer brother. So much emotion and sweet angsty romance in this one. Probably my favorite of this whole set—although it’s a great set of stories…so I hate to pick favorites. This one didn’t disappoint me on any level though. Excellent story, characters, and romance.

A Rose by Any Other Name by Annette Lyon

Heart-tugging story about Rose, an orphan foundling who meets and falls in love with Oliver when she is hired occasionally to work at his parent’s fancy home for parties. Oliver wishes to marry her, but when he tells his parents, they threaten to cut him off and he would have no way to take care of Rose. Then his parents go to devious means to keep the two apart and you think it’s going to be awful…and for a while it is. A forbidden romance with class warfare that definitely will keep you turning pages until you’re done. Good thing it’s short.

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If you need a great read, check this one out. I picked it because I read all of Nichole Van’s books, but loved the other two author’s stories as well. Highly recommend.

Happy Reading!

Charissa (4)

Simply Starstruck

simplyI’ve just recently found this author – Aspen Hadley – and I have really enjoyed her books so far. I already reviewed another book by her–Blind Dates, Bridesmaids, and Other Disasters. Today’s review is on a second one by her. Simply Starstruck.

This super cute celebrity romance was thoroughly enjoyable. The heroine is determined NOT to fall for Mr. Gorgeous Heartthrob, who has moved in next door to her. She has an eight-year-old son and is content with her life. Men can only complicate it and cause her more grief and loss. Her heart can’t deal with that again.

But Kate keeps running into Jess Sullivan, and not ever at her best moments. He’s seen her in stained sweats and with messy hair. He’s seen her with mud on her face, for goodness sake. He’s seen her temper at high flare and he’s seen her break down and lose it. No way would he ever want a nutcase like her, who’s slightly overweight when he has thin, stunning models always by his side.

But what we imagine about ourselves is not always the truth, and Kate grows to learn her value and worth over time as she slowly becomes friends with Jess and lets him into her heart.

This book was great – a solid 5 on the rating scale. Characters were great. Plot was fun. Romance was a slow-burn build up, but super awesome when the sparks finally ignited. Overall, it was a great read that I highly recommend.

Fun Quote

Every woman knows that when you are deliberating over something as troubling as relationships, you don’t up and start a new hobby. That adds frustration to doubts, which whips up a nice batch of angry. Then throw in needles, or crochet hooks, or whatever they are called, and you are brewing up a disaster. Painting it was.

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Here’s the Amazon link if you want to check it out. Happy reading!

Charissa (4)

Romancing the Rake

02A71A26-6631-4FA0-BD00-7742F79B0CF5How are you doing during this unique time of social distancing? Are you finding it difficult to stay at home? We are definitely having to be exercise more creativity to do things differently than we’re used to. What has been your favorite/least favorite thing about this time?

One of my favorite things is all the awesome books that have come out. This latest book by Nichole Van made my heart so happy. I absolutely loved-loved this book. It’s even better than the first in the series.

Romancing the Rake is a stellar forbidden romance, with lots of heart-tugging, tear-jerking, and nail-biting action involved as you journey along with the characters. Sophie feels invisible and overlooked. She has a scientific brain in an era that girls are looked down upon for that quality and called bluestockings. She has labeled Lord Rafe a Rakus Licentious (or something to that affect) because of his rakish ways with the ladies. She has watched him from behind the curtain at several balls and is intrigued by his instinctual habits to charm every female in the vicinity.

When he surprises her by joining her behind the curtain, she is aghast to find that she, too, is smitten by his charms—even knowing that it’s all an act. Her heart races, her body warms, and all that good stuff. But Rafe’s ducal father, Kendall, forbids his son from seeing Sophie again when he spies them spending time together at a later ball and realizes his son is falling for her. For some reason, he despises Sophie and threatens his son with his mother going to an insane asylum if he ever speaks to Sophie again.

I won’t spoil anything, but years go by and Rafe has let his dad hold him on a tight leash to keep his mother safe, giving up the woman he loves most—the only woman he’s ever loved. You’ll have to read it to see how and if they get together and what barriers stand in their way, but I will say that this book kidnapped me quite literally and I couldn’t get anything else done until I finished it. It has tenderness, heartbreak, laughter, and oh-my moments. It’s clean, yet sizzles with that tension of the heart that keeps you on the edge of your seat. SO. DANG. GOOD!!! Going on my favorites list.

Awesome Quotes

Perhaps. But at the very least, consider harnessing all your rage and molding the energy into determination for good. Otherwise, I fear the power of it will destroy your soul. You will burn on the pyre of your hatred.” Sophie to Rafe 

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Love did not need similarity of thought or interest. Love required only attention and care, thoughtfulness and generosity of soul.

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This was a great one. If you have extra time to read, consider adding this one to your list. You won’t regret it.

Stay safe and be healthy,

Charissa (4)

Blind Dates…& Disasters

feb1Another fun surprise from my February reading. I wasn’t expecting much from this one when I grabbed it off of Kindle Unlimited. The cover didn’t really mesmerize me or anything like that, but after reading it, I fell in love. Blind Dates, Bridesmaids & Other Disasters by Aspen Hadley was a super awesome piece of chick lit. A book I would definitely read again in the future.

Rachel has been out of the dating loop for years. After she broke off her engagement to James 7 years ago, she hasn’t had any heart left to put into finding someone else. James was perfect, but she’d been a scared 20-year-old who had run when her doubts got the better of her. But now, just as she agrees to go on 6 blind dates before her roommate (James’s sister) get married, James moves back into town. But Rachel knows there is no hope there, after slamming the door on his heart all those years ago.

As Rachel goes on her blind dates, disaster after disaster happens. It’s quite hilarious all the lame dates she endures (and the funniest is that they’re all based on real dates readers wrote in about to the author. Yikes!).  Rachel figures she deserves the disasters happening to her after breaking James’s heart all those years ago.

But things aren’t always as they seem, and maybe, just maybe, a happily ever after awaits Rachel…if she just keeps putting her heart out there.

I don’t want to give anything away, but this story was a gem. I couldn’t put it down once I started it. I loved every character, the main and the side ones. It made me laugh. It made me swoon. It made me cry. I highly recommend this story if you’re longing for a great romance to make your heart feel happy.

Charissa gray heart (1)

27 Ways to Find a Boyfriend

feb3Here’s another February read. I vacationed in Northern California last week and finished several books when we relaxed each evening in our hotel room.

27 Ways to Find a Boyfriend was a super cute chick lit. Addison and Carter are the MCs and they are adorable. Carter works for Addison’s dad as a mechanic of classic cars. Addison works there too and has had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But her dad’s rule for all the guys who work for him is to leave his daughter alone…or they’re gone.

Carter has the chance of a life time to work on a celebrity’s fancy car restoration, but his growing feelings for Addison as she starts working on her list to get a guy threatens all his dreams. Yet, he can’t stand to sit by and watch her attract the wrong guys to her as she tries to act helpless.

This was a fun forbidden romance with lots of sizzle and witty dialogue that kept me turning the pages to get to the ending. It’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited, so check it out if you need a good read.

Also, if you haven’t already joined, check out the giveaways on my Stuck on Love FB page. Most weeks I do a giveaway and there is a birthday drawing each month. Also, I’ll be hosting characters from my books on MCMondays on my FB author page. Get to know them a little better outside the pages of the books. See you there.

Charissa gray heart (1)

 

The Dear Wife

dear wifeHere’s a book (or series) that everyone should read. Seriously. It’s amazing and I can’t say enough good about this book. It delves into a deep, hard subject–pornography and how it tears apart a marriage. Yet, it’s one of the best romances I’ve ever read. That’s talent!

The Dear Wife is the last in the More Than A Wife series by Jennifer Peel. It was a beautifully told tale of true love and what it takes to hold onto that precious gift. Avery and James have been side characters in the other 2 books, but this is their story. We’ve known they lost their ten-year-old daughter four years ago, and knew something was up between this wonderful couple…but we never knew what their issue was.

The poop hits the fan in this book though when Avery discovers texts on her husband’s phone to the bookkeeper at his business—intimate texts that should be to her, not another woman. She’s devastated, but determines not to keep her silence any longer about his pornography problem that has led to this ultimate betrayal.

They separate while she tries to find herself again, and James spirals into drinking and self-destruction. She loves the man she married, but doesn’t know where he’s gone. This tragically heartbreaking love story was a skillfully woven tale of betrayal, deepest love, hard work and sacrifice to become one again and earn trust back when it’s been shattered. I couldn’t put the book down once I started. I loved these characters so much and am in awe of what this author created…a masterpiece of the heart.

Get yours today HERE.

Did you have a great weekend? I just returned from a fabulous trip to Monterrey bay area in California. It was fantastic. First time to Northern CA, and I’m now a super-fan. 🙂 Saw some redwoods (had one even fall down about a minute up the trail from us–whew–that was slightly terrifying), saw sea lions, otters, and magnificent ocean and cypress trees. I’m in love with that rocky coastline. Hope your weekend was awesome as well.

Charissa gray heart (1)

 

 

 

Too cute!

my fairAh! This set of  2 shorter novels was a gem. I like this author, but didn’t know if I’d like this set, since I’m not a fan of novellas. But I was drawn in and wowed by Rallison’s writing and this turned out to be one of my favorites…enough so that I am excited to blog about it.

The first story, My Fair Lacey, is a contemporary twist on the My Fair Lady story, with the educated man teaching the uneducated heroine to speak right so she can get a loan from the bank…and if he successfully achieves his goal, he will have his doctoral thesis done as well.

Characters are Garrett and Lacey. And they were super adorable. The author did a super good job, even though it’s a shorter novel, at pulling me in to love them both and enjoy every single page of this romance. Though I knew how it would end, I had fun all the way through and totally loved it. Bravo! Continue reading