Review ~ Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles

Echoes of You (The Lost & Found, #2)Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was excited for Nash and Maddie’s story and it certainly didn’t disappoint. What Maddie had endured not only early in life, but also as of late was heartbreaking. But it was sweet to see that Nash still cared immensely for Maddie. Both of them maintained a strong connection over time and distance. It was only a matter of time before they got a nudge towards one another and feelings were realised.

Drama and suspense followed Maddie and it was scary thinking what was coming. Her ex was certainly a bit messed up and kept everyone on their toes. I felt this was a bit repetitive from the first book, following the same sort of plot type towards the end. The ending certainly had excitement and suspense! I did enjoy how it all turned out and how deep the love hat Nash and Maddie had for one another.

Title: Echoes of You
Author: Catherine Cowles
Series: Lost & Found #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: May 2, 2023

Nash Hartley has always been my everything: Protector. Partner in crime. Best friend. The person who was there for me in my darkest hour.

But my heart wanted so much more. So, when I knew for certain Nash didn’t feel the same about me, I tried to move on. What a mistake that turned out to be.

Now, I’m back in our small town, desperate to escape my living nightmare, and the only person I want to see is him.

As secrets are revealed, and Nash finds out what happened to me, he’ll do anything to keep me safe.

But there are those who will do anything to stop him, and this time neither of us may make out alive…

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Review ~ Whispers of You by Catherine Cowles

Whispers of You (Lost & Found, #1)Whispers of You by Catherine Cowles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a great romantic suspense. I was captivated by the opening chapters and kept on the edge of my seat! I was enthralled by Wren’s story, what she had been through, what she’d lost and how she survived and became a stronger version of herself. Holt was a lost soul there for a while, but returning home for a longer period was good for him, to help him heal and rebuild relationships."

I liked the way Holts family stuck together through thick or thin. They took Wren into their family despite her relationship with Holt. They were all fantastic and I want more of these characters. The suspense element kept me on edge, and had me guessing. I had my suspicions, but I’m happy to say I was wrong! So I was shocked when it unfolded. It was such a good read, and hard to put down!

Title: Whispers of You
Author: Catherine Cowles
Series: Lost & Found #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: January 31, 2023

One night—a single bullet—cost me everything.

My body, broken beyond repair. The boy I’d thought was my forever. The life I’d always dreamt of.

Now, Holt’s back. And he’s no longer a boy, but a man with shadows in his eyes and demons haunting him.

He says he’s here to make things right. To get back a little bit of all we’ve lost. And he doesn’t show any signs of leaving the small town that has been my refuge.

As stolen moments turn to days, Holt’s around every corner. With his burning stare and lingering touches. Before long, my walls come crashing down and I’m just hoping that taking this second chance isn’t as reckless as it feels.

But not everyone is happy that Holt has returned. As tragedy strikes again, I’m the one left in the crosshairs. And Holt might not be able to save me this time…

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Audiobook Review ~ Rich in Your Love by Pippa Grant

Rich in Your Love (Tickled Pink, #2)Rich in Your Love by Pippa Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Tickled Pink series has been an amusing series to listen to. Savannah Peachwood and Sebastian York delivered Tavi and Dylan’s story with spice and flair! It was such an entertaining and light read that I enjoyed being immersed in. I liked the real side to Tavi, she wasn’t the spaced out girl that she portrayed herself as. She had goals, and was using her contacts to get what she needed to do.

Dylan was such a kind guy, who could see past Tavi and her walls. He could see the good side to her and kept all her secrets. He wanted to do what she asked of him, despite not being comfortable with everything. He opened up to her and I could see that these two were a match. It was lucky that Tavi’s wacky grandmother dragged her family to this small town. All the characters I met have been fun, I hope theres more.

Title: Rich in Your Love
Author: Pippa Grant
Series: Tickled Pink #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: December 13, 2022

A sweet, lighthearted romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author Pippa Grant about one social media influencer’s dream of going off the grid and the IRL love she finds along the way.

Secrets always catch up with you. The world knows me as Tavi Lightly, sugar-free social media influencer. But my true purpose lies in secretly restoring a cacao farm in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, to save the farm, I need access to the trust fund that my grandmother has frozen. She’s requiring me to do charity work in Tickled Pink, Wisconsin, and until I meet her ultimatum—no trust fund. So to Tickled Pink I go.

My first grandmother-approved charity project? Helping local reformed bad boy Dylan Wright. He has secrets too, like how he’s hung up on his married best friend. Kick-starting his dating life is as easy as making him famous through association with me.

Not so easy is the fact that we’re falling for each other. He belongs in Tickled Pink, and I belong on my farm. We might share our secrets with one another, but can we really share our lives too?

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Audiobook Review ~ The One Who Loves You by Pippa Grant

The One Who Loves You (Tickled Pink, #1)The One Who Loves You by Pippa Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a fun and enjoyable read to listen to. Anything that Sebastian York narrates has the tendency to hook me and paired with Savannah Peachwood I was lost into this world. Pippa Grant wove this story perfectly and I was easily lost in her story and you bet that I want more from this world and the quirky family that took over Tickled Pink. This rich family turned the small town on its head!

Teague and Phoebe didn’t hit it off immediately, but I liked watching each interaction, how they changed and grew together. Teague didn’t want his town to change and it appeared that he had his reasons. Phoebe grew as a person and learned there was more to life than her heritage and money. She made mistakes and this small town changed her for the better. It was amusing to see her and her family make mistakes.

Phoebe’s grand mother was amusing, and each of her family members had their own demons and it will be interesting to see what happens to them in future reads. I loved Teague's family, even if a little different from the normal. This was such a great romantic comedy, and I’m looking forward to more!

Title: The One Who Loves You
Author: Pippa Grant
Series: Tickled Pink #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 12, 2022

From USA Today bestselling author Pippa Grant comes a fabulously sharp-witted romantic comedy about a socialite’s fall from elitist grace to backcountry purgatory—and her accidental tumble into love.

If the Upper East Side had an evil twin, it would be Tickled Pink, Wisconsin. This run-down, backwoods town isn’t worthy of the footprint of my Louboutins, never mind all of me.

But when my grandmother has a near-death experience and realizes we Lightlys can’t buy our way into heaven, she relocates the family to Tickled Pink to work on improving our souls. And that’s how I trade my heiress existence for gigantic bugs, dishwater coffee, and a cranky single dad named Teague Miller.

Teague spends his days fishing, raising his spunky teenager, and after an unfortunate incident involving cheese curds, living rent-free in my head. The one thing he and I can agree on is that I don’t belong here. He’s willing to help me escape—until the unexpected happens.

I kind of like him. I might even more than like him.

But am I ready to give up the life I adored for a man I love to hate?

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Review ~ Heartless by Michelle Heard

Heartless (Enemies to Lovers #1)Heartless by Michelle Horst
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This wasn’t a bad read, however I felt it was quite rushed. Della was used to flying under the radar, and at the end of college the screw crew noticed her. They boys liked to tease, starting a bet to put her on the list. She was determined not to bend and the banter between them all was amusing. Carter appeared heartless, but there was something about Della that drew him to her, and he tried to be mean to her.

I felt that Carter was a jerk at times, but did 180’s so quickly that even my neck hurt. It was definitely a love/hate relationship, and the connection was strong. Next thing I know, we’ve jumped 4 years and despite the money and connections Carter had, he never found her. Some elements of the book seemed forced in the story, like the chat in the middle of foreplay. Jumping a huge amount of time made my head spin.

I did like Carter and Della together and how good the Screw Crew guys actually were. They stood up for those who became part of their group. They were good to one another. The suspense element further in the book seemed a bit forced, but overall the read was ok.

Title: Heartless
Author: Michelle Heard
Series: Enemies to Lovers #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: August 26, 2017

From International Bestseller Michelle Heard, comes a new, sexy novel in the Enemies To Lovers series.

I’m warned that Carter Hayes is heartless.

He’s part of the screw crew.
He’ll just use you and leave you.
He’s ruthless and always gets what he wants.

Just look for the trail of broken hearts and dreamy sighs, and you’ll find him.

“Hot as sin, Carter.”

I don’t have time to fall head over heels for any guy. Besides, he’d never notice someone like me. I have a three-step plan. Get through college. Get a job. Get my sister out of the hell hole I left her in. That’s all I have time for.

That’s until I hear of the betting pool the guys started. Whoever screws me first gets the money. The moment Carter looks at me, I know it’s only because of the bet.

I tell myself our first kiss is only for show.
I hate my heart for falling for his irresistible charm.

For one foolish moment, I actually want him to be my first earth-shattering love. All it takes for me to give in is a little attention, a cocky smile, and a fake promise of a happily-ever-after.

When I’m surrounded by crumpled sheets and the smell of sex, I realize I let him have me for four hundred dollars.

To save what little pride I have left, I pretend it didn’t mean anything, that he’s just one last screw before we all leave college.

I’ve spent the last four years lying to myself. When I’m ready to take the final step of my plan, and save my sister, guess who walks through my front door?

This is book #1 in the Enemies To Lovers Series. Each book in the series is about a different couple. To get the full experience of their friendship, I'd recommend that you start with Heartless.

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Review ~ The Girl in the Corner by Amanda Prowse

The Girl in the CornerThe Girl in the Corner by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great audible read. I honestly was drawn into this story and couldn’t stop listening to it. I was riveted, wanting to know more about Rae and how her world was turned upside down. It was interesting to see how her world evolved around Dolly - her best friend, Dolly’s brother - Howard and Rae’s husband. They’d been married for 25 years, and his decision, tore them apart.

It was such a difficult time for Rae. Her best friend was in the middle, and she didn’t have a person she could relay all her feelings too. Rae had been such a quiet and shy personality all her life, and really didn’t get a chance to shine. I could see the real Rae trying to break out, but she kept keeping the peace. She was good to all her family and willing to do anything for them. I just wished she would stand up for herself and break free.

There was an element to the story that changed Rae, and she started to express herself more. She was still a bit of a push over, but started to open up. She was there for her children, and supported them at all costs. At the end, I would’ve liked to see a bit more of Rae.

Prowse did a fabulous job of narrating her story. I was captivated by her story and really enjoyed the story from start to finish.

Title: The Girl in the Corner
Author: Amanda Prowse
Genre: Chick Lit 
Published: December 20, 2018

From bestselling author Amanda Prowse comes the poignant tale of a woman who has always been there for her family. But will they be there for her?

Rae-Valentine and Howard were childhood sweethearts. They’ve shared twenty-five peaceful years since they were brought together by Dolly, Howard’s larger-than-life sister. But now, on the night of their wedding anniversary, Howard reveals a shocking betrayal that leaves Rae reeling.

Heartbroken, she takes Dolly on her would-be anniversary trip to Antigua and the two women drink and dance and talk like they haven’t in years. But in the break from real life, Rae realises her choices have always been made for her, and suddenly she’s questioning not only her fragile marriage but also her one-sided friendships. Is she really the pushover everyone else sees?

When Howard comes looking for reconciliation, Rae has a choice to keep the peace, as she always has, or put herself first for once and find out who she really is.

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Review ~ Black Ties and White Lies by Kat Singleton

Black Ties and White Lies (Black Tie Billionaires, #1)Black Ties and White Lies by Kat Singleton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a sweet read, and I enjoyed getting to know Margo and Beck. Beck had his plans and goals, and Margo was a big part of them. They had an earlier connection, with Margo dating Becks crappy brother for a while, but there’d been some time between them breaking up and now.

I really liked Beck, he was pretty genuine and laid almost all his cards out from the beginning. Although wealthy, he wasn’t an ass and was quite a caring gentleman. Margo wasn’t using her talents in her original job, so jumped at a chance to work with Beck and become part of his plan. I liked seeing her grow and fall for Beck. I enjoyed their banter and how easily their worlds entwined. Their connection helped fuel their current situation. Margo was quick to question Becks true intentions, which annoyed me because he did a lot to gain her trust.

Title: Black Ties and White Lies
Author: Kat Singleton
Series: Black Tie Billionaires #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: February 2, 2023

Life is never black and white.

One minute you’re a struggling graphic designer in LA that's finally coming to terms with being single forever, and the next you're flying to New York in a private jet to get engaged to your ex-boyfriend’s older brother.

At least...that’s what everyone thinks. Forced to clean up his playboy image in order to protect his company, Beckham Sinclair, the city’s most eligible billionaire bachelor, wants me to be his fake fiancĂ©e and personal assistant.

Now I'm spending every spare second with a man I thought I’d never see again.

My freshly mended heart has barely recovered from the first time a Sinclair broke it. But with each passing day, Beck’s dirty mouth and lingering stares make me question his motives—and mine.

As the line blurs between real and pretend, only one thing is certain: there are secrets hiding in this city full of black ties and white lies.

Black Ties and White Lies is a billionaire, fake relationship, forced proximity, and ex's older brother novel and a complete standalone by Kat Singleton.

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Review ~ Hate Mail by Winter Renshaw

Hate Mail (Paper Cuts #1)Hate Mail by Winter Renshaw
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I felt that this one started really well, as we got an insight into both Campbell and Slade in the present, and a few letters at the end of each chapter from their past. I liked getting to know both of them, and seeing how they interacted with their parents.

Campbell didn’t engage in conflict, and seemed to be a bit of a pushover at times, always doing what she was told. She didn’t seem to be her own person. When Slade pushed her too far, she exploded and I liked seeing that fire in her.

Slade seemed like he disliked Campbell, but he struggled with his feelings. He was a very private person, like his family. I didn’t like the way they kept things from Campbell, and I think they should’ve opened up to her. It confused me a little. I liked that Slade made an effort with Campbell, but she was quick to accept everything.

The twist in the end threw me a little and the book wrapped up quickly after that. I was sad that things went in that direction, and that we didn’t get to see a lot of them together. The last 10% of the read is a chapter from another book, so be aware that the read is shorter than you think.

Title: Hate Mail
Author: Winter Renshaw
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: August 10, 2023

In the Wakemont family, it’s tradition to arrange a marriage before the ink is dry on your birth certificate. I was five hours old when my father promised me to the son of a man with “more money than God.”

As we grew older, my future groom and I were encouraged to exchange “love letters” to get better acquainted—except the correspondence he sent read more like hate mail.

Slade Delacorte hated the arrangement.

But more than that, he hated me.

He was moody, intense, arrogant, and darkly gorgeous. A villain—not a prince. The last man on earth I’d ever marry (if I had the choice).

On my 24th birthday, we exchanged vows in front of six hundred guests who had no idea we weren’t every bit the blissful couple we pretended to be.

But as we began our new life together, I soon learned there was only one thing worse than marrying the man I’d hated my entire falling in love with him.

AUTHOR'S NOTE —This angsty, steamy contemporary romance is a complete standalone with a happily ever after.

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Audiobook Review ~ Throttled by Lauren Asher

Throttled (Dirty Air, #1)Throttled by Lauren Asher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maya and Noah's story was a nice read to listen to. The narration by Ramona Master and Aiden Snow really flowed nicely and I enjoyed how they delivered Lauren Asher's story.

I liked seeing how Maya became what Noah focused on. He was determined to win her over, but his family put a lot of pressure on him. It was sweet how Maya's family was so close. I thought Noah may've been one to hold a grudge, but I liked how he would do a lot for his team. It was great to see Maya carving her own path seperate from her brother. Maya and Noah were a cute couple.

Title: Throttled
Author: Lauren Asher
Series: Dirty Air #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: January 9, 2020

What happens when my brother's rival becomes my secret crush?

Noah Slade is a Formula 1 legend in the making.
Focused. Unapproachable. Ruthless on and off the track.
A man with walls higher than the Grand Canyon.
And my brother's new teammate.
I want more of the prince who disguises himself as the villain.
But while I crave a happy ending, he wants to destroy his.

Maya Alatorre is a forbidden temptation.
An ambitious post-grad I should stay far away from.
And chaos wrapped with a bow.
We're a ticking time bomb, about one wrong move away from exploding.
I want to trip the wire, detonating together in passion and pain.
Because in the end, all's fair in lust and war.

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Review ~ Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

Under LockeUnder Locke by Mariana Zapata
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mariana Zapata builds worlds and characters that I can’t help but love. She spins some elements that pull on your heart strings, but you can’t deny the passion and loyalty that the characters have for one another. Iris and Dex were such beautiful characters to get to know and watching Iris find her own feet after what she had been through and what she lost was was hard but sweet.

Dex didn’t make it easy for her. He was hard on Iris to begin with, but I could see that she was getting under his skin, especially when she started to stand up for herself, and trouble landed at her feet. I loved how possessive Dex became and how he let Iris take her time to come to realise her feelings. They were perfect together, and it was surprising to see the big behemoth be won over by the little lady. I also loved the Motorcycle Club, Dex's employees and how close they all were.

Title: Under Locke
Author: Mariana Zapata
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: January 19, 2014

He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly... even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.

And the last thing they ever expected was each other.

But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.

… she should have chosen the strip club.

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