Saturday, February 24, 2018

Want You by Stacy Finz

Want You by Stacy FinzDeb Bennett has loved TJ Garner since she was a child but she knew that she would never measure up to the Garner's golden boy so she settled for his brother, Win. The two of them got along quite well since Win is sort of the family black sheep, the one least likely to succeed (though that's not hard in a family of overachievers.) But Win isn't coming back to Deb and she knows that it's for the best. For TJ, that means it's an opportunity to win the woman he's always loved, first by wooing her with a marketing job.
And Deb ends up being amazing at the job even though she's only worked as a server and never went to college (or only went for a little while... I don't remember). While I'm sure there are many people who can do this, I didn't get any sense that Deb was going to be that person. And I have to admit that there was so little time between Deb and TJ on the slopes. We're told over and over that Deb is this amazing sports-woman but we never actually get to see it. And TJ's story of angst is... a little disappointing. I didn't love this story but am definitely still looking forward to the next.

Three stars
This book comes out February 27
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Deja Moo by Kirsten Weiss

Deja Moo by Kirsten WeissSan Benedetto has an interesting tradition, they build a thirty-foot star cow in the middle of the town square for Christmas. And for many years, the cow has gone down in a fire blaze. Maddie Kosloski would like to get to the cow to help her mother guard it, but her usually reliable truck has suddenly decided not to run. And that turns out to be a problem when one of the guards, a dairy farmer who has been pissing a number of people off, turns up dead, an arrow in his chest.
It's up to Maddie to find out what is going on. Mostly because her mother seems to be in danger even though she saw nothing the night of the murder.
I liked that Maddie doesn't seem to be one of those cozy-heroines who is perpetually caught up in a love triangle. There was a lot of wackiness in this book like Weiss felt like she had to make zanier and zanier characters. It was sort of overwhelming at points but I think this book would hit the spot for most contemporary mystery fans and all Kirsten Weiss readers.

Three stars
This books comes out February 27
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Best Laid Plans by Brenda Jackson

Best Laid Plans by Brenda JacksonNolan Madaris is smarter than the average bear. He's prepared for his great-grandmother's matchmaking and he's not going to settle down with anyone, not even a gorgeous IT genius like Ivy Chapman. Sure, his foot-loose and fancy-free life might be wearing on him a bit but that doesn't mean he's ready to settle down.
Ivy has a terrible ex-boyfriend who has made her wary of all men. Even a smoking hot ladies man like Nolan. So when her grandmother starts working with his great-grandmother to try and hook them up, she knows it's time to do something drastic, something she would never normally do. She proposes a fake relationship.
As we know from most romance novels, this trick never works (at least in Romancelandia). While this is a perfectly fine book and I think regular Jackson readers won't be upset they bough the book, I never really connected with either Nolan or Ivy. They seemed like glossy, but rather shallow characters. A fast, fun, and fluffy read.

Three stars
This book comes out February 27th
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Who Moved My Goat Cheese? by Lynn Cahoon

I generally like both of Cahoon's other series so, when I saw she had a new series, I immediately requested it from NetGalley.
Who Moved My Goat Cheese? by Lynn CahoonIt's an interesting premise. Angie Turner is a chef who is returning, not to her own hometown, but to the place where she went through most of high school, her grandmother's house. She went there to live after her parents died. Now that she's inherited her grandmother's house, she's decided that it is a good place to return to, along with her best friend and co-owner, Felicia. They had owned a place in San Francisco with another chef, but it had closed (and there's definitely a story about Angie and Todd but we only got quick glimpses.) So Felicia and Angie decided to do a farm-to-fork (is this different than farm-to-table?) in Idaho.
This is fine but one of the people that Angie is hoping will supply them with local cheese is murdered. He was a grumpy old man who had wronged a lot of people so there is not a lack of suspects (is there ever?)
Angie just wants to open her restaurant but she's curious as to why the man was murdered. And why so many people seem to be looking her way.
It was a nice story but suffered from being a first book. There was a lot of extraneous information so that we could get to know people. And a lot of little twists that were introduced and just as suddenly untwisted.

Three stars
This book comes out March 6
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Smooth-Talking Cowboy by Maisey Yates

We met Olivia in the last book of the Copper Ridge series and she helps to bridge over to the Gold Valley series. She is the prototypical "good twin." Her sister went deep into the dark side so Olivia did her best to always conform to expectations. When she didn't, her parents laid down the law. She's always done what's expected of her.  At least until she broke up with the perfect boyfriend. The impetus was not so much that he didn't propose as he didn't think he was going to do it any time soon. Frustrated, she ended things hoping that he'd see how much he missed her. So far that plan's not working and now she has a flat tire. And who is it that (reluctantly) stops to help her? Her ex's nearly-brother, Luke, the man with whom Olivia has such an antagonistic relationship.
Luke doesn't much like Olivia. She's a golden girl who has never known hardship and has always gotten everything she wanted. He grew up with an alcoholic mother and was more the parent than the child for most of their life together. He just doesn't see what they would have in common. Except that he wants to buy a piece of land her father listed but refuses to let go to just anyone. And Olivia needs some help prompting her ex. Fake relationship? Sure. Except it doesn't stay that way for long.
This was a good book except that Olivia was a little too good. Not good at what she does (wish we had gotten to see her more at work) but goody-two-shoes. And it causes a lot of angst. Like, a lot of angst. And Luke is patently unmovable... until he's not. A pretty good book and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

Three and a half stars
This book comes out February 20
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley
Followed by Claim Me, Cowboy

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner

I requested this book from NetGalley because the title and cover reminded me of "Warren the 13th
and the All Seeing Eye." And most of the book reminded me of that, sort of a new story but mostly familiar tropes. Prime reality? Earth Prime?
Atticus 'Tick' Higgenbottom is one of many people to receive an envelope inviting him into danger. But he seems to be one of the few who answers the call. He is trying to solve the 12 clues that are very slowly being given to him while trying to make it through school alive.

Three stars
This book comes out February 8
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Shot on Gold by Jaci Burton

Love on the ice, a figure skater and a hockey player find true love at the Olympics. For Amber Sloane, this is her last chance at gold. She was at the Olympics twice before and is about to age out of the general age of figure skaters. Like many elite athletes, she's been sheltered in the past but, like many romance heroines, she's ready to break out of her shell. And the Olympic village is the perfect place to to do that. And Will "Mad Dog" Madigan is the perfect man to help her spread her wings.
For his part, Will is ready to win for the US and he's even more ready to spend some time with the gorgeous Amber. The question is, is this just a gold medal fling or the golden ring of true love?
Since this book doesn't overlap too much with other books in the series, I don't think you need to have read previous titles to get the story. There is a deep dive into both sports that was nice. I just didn't feel the connection between Amber and Will. This series has evolved over 14 books and several novellas and I miss the sparks that flew in the early books (more the relationships than the sex scenes.) Still a good book but not quite to the level of earlier books in the series.

Three stars
This book comes out February 13
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley
Follows The Final Score