Review: Roommate (Sarina Bowen)

Roommate
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: January 12, 2020
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:
Wanted: One roommate to share a 3-bedroom house, split the rent, and ideally not be the guy I can’t stop thinking about.
I’m a man with too many secrets, so the last thing I need is a new roommate with a sexy smile and blue eyes that see right through me. Eight years ago, Roderick left town after high school. We’re not friends. I owe him nothing. But back then, I let one of my secrets slip, and he’s the only one who noticed.
Part of me knows I should run far, far away. But the other part wants him to come upstairs and spend the night. But if I let him in, I could lose everything.

Seeking: A room to rent in town. I’m tidy, have no pets, and I will feed you homemade bread.
I should probably add: Gay AF, and has no filter. It’s no wonder my new landlord is so wary of me.
A smarter man would ignore those hot glances from Kieran Shipley. The broody lumberjack wants more from me than another homemade pretzel, but if I push my luck, I’ll end up back on the street.
Too bad I’ve never been smart with my heart …


Being back in Vermont and on the Shipley farm was a pleasure. It’s a place where Sarina Bowen’s writing shines. (Although, it shines in all her settings.) In Roommate, we got to see another side to the Shipleys and farming. This time it was a Shipley cousin who gets a story.

Kieran Shipley was my favorite type of Sarina Bowen character: a little gruff, a lot quiet. Behind those qualities was a man who was loyal to his family despite their actions and a good friend. Kieran was someone who was searching for his place in the world, but tried to do it without ruffling anyone’s feathers. I immediately liked him and wanted him to end up happy.

The newcomer to this small Vermont town was Roderick. Roddy had once lived nearby, but had left to pursue his calling. Now he’s back, broke, and looking to start all over. Roddy’s character was a lot more upfront and comfortable with his sexual orientation than some of Bowen’s previous MM couples. I think he might be Bowen’s first openly gay character, and it took me a while to get used to that in terms of what I’ve been used to in the MM romances she’s told before. I liked that she went this direction. It made Kieran and Roddy’s story standout from her other MM romances. There were some of the same aspects in relation to Kieran’s story compared to her others, but Roddy’s was all his own.

Kieran and Roddy had a sweet romance. It was almost a slow burn. Their attraction and relationship built naturally. They took their time getting to know each other as roommates and co-workers before moving onto anything romantic. That worked well for both Kieran and Roddy’s histories.

One of the things that made Roommate fun was seeing those Shipleys and friends from past True North books. Kieran’s branch of the family was a new experience, but I loved how Griffin, Audrey, and Zara framed Kieran’s life. I loved their reactions to Kieran and Roddy. That being said, this book is a standalone and can be read without reading the True North series.

Kieran’s immediate family members weren’t my favorite. I had a feeling why and it was proven correct. I didn’t have much respect for them. That didn’t really change by the end, sadly. There were some things I appreciated about them, but they kind of just sucked.

I’m so glad Sarina Bowen took us back to the True North world with Roommate. It was a special story and it deserved this magical setting. I loved how it was inundated with old characters who surrounded the new characters with love and acceptance. It was a joy to read.

PURCHASE LINKS

All Links in one spot: https://shor.by/roommate
Audible: https://geni.us/Audible-RM
Amazon: https://geni.us/Amazon-roommate
Apple: https://geni.us/Apple-roommate
Kobo: https://geni.us/Kobo-roommate
Nook: https://geni.us/Nook-roommate

Review: The Romantic Pact (Meghan Quinn)

The Romantic Pact
Series: Kings of Football, #2
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: December 10, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I haven’t seen her in three years.

I haven’t talked to her since the kiss.

So why am I on a plane, flying across the world to spend a week with her in Germany?

One word: Pops.

My life’s a mess.

My possible football career is hanging on by a thread.

I’m driving the roads of Germany in honor of Pops with the one girl I can never have.

And I’m sharing a bed with her, the girl I’ve measured everyone else up to, while desperately trying to not to touch her.

We made a pact growing up, never to get romantic with each other – never fall in love.

And I’m about to break that pact. For good. 


Only Meghan Quinn could write a book about dealing with the loss of a beloved grandparent and getting a second chance with a childhood friend/crush like The Romantic Pact. Somehow it ended up being both touching and hilarious. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh at times. It was magical.

The Romantic Pact is a holiday romance set along The Romantic Road in Germany. It’s not always easy to visualize settings I haven’t been to or seen before, but Meghan Quinn brought Germany to life for me. Every stop had a special sentimental quality to it that added to the experience. I ached for Crew and Hazel as they revisited Bernie’s path, but also grew happier for them with each moment they spent with each other.

Crew and Hazel were such different people. Crew was all about football, while Hazel was all about his grandfather’s farm. I loved each of their characters for a different reason. They almost wouldn’t seem like they would be a good fit, but their personalities meshed so well. I adored their easy banter and friendship while getting caught up in their chemistry.

What I loved most about this book was everything. Yes, everything. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t love. It was the magical setting, Bernie’s involvement in everything, the romance and friendship between Crew and Hazel. Heck, it was even the biggest problem they faced and how it resolved. All of it was simply perfect. A+ to Meghan Quinn for giving us such a unique and special holiday romance novel.

    

AVAILABLE NOW!! FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2KcbLUU
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3lkdjZY
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2HVDqZy
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/33qoDxk

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54451134-the-romantic-pact

 

About Meghan Quinn:
USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

Connect w/Meghan:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360513.Meghan_Quinn
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormeghanquinn/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorMegQuinn
Website: http://authormeghanquinn.com
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meghan-quinn
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LitE4x

Review: The Wedding Date Disaster (Avery Flynn)

The Wedding Date Disaster
Author: Avery Flynn
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Hadley Donavan can’t believe she has to go home to Nebraska for her sister’s wedding. She’s gonna need a wingman and a whole lot of vodka for this level of family interaction. At least her bestie agreed he’d man up and help. But then instead of her best friend, his evil twin strolls out of the airport.

If you looked up doesn’t-deserve-to-be-that-confident, way-too-hot-for-his-own-good billionaire in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of Will Holt. He’s awful. Horrible. The worst―even if his butt looks phenomenal in those jeans.

Ten times worse? Hadley’s buffer was supposed to be there to keep her away from the million and one family events. But Satan’s spawn just grins and signs them up for every. Single. Thing.

Fine. “Cutthroat” Scrabble? She’s in. She can’t wait to take this guy down a notch. But somewhere between Pictionary and the teasing glint in his eyes, their bickering starts to feel like more than just a game…


The Wedding Date Disaster is one of those books that hit all the right notes. This feel good romance couldn’t have come at a better time because all I want to read is books that leave me feeling happy, and this one accomplished that. Everything about it was enjoyable — even the drama. There was just the right amount of humor infused throughout this enemies to lovers romance. Plus, there was a fun small town, farm feel to it that I loved.

What about the characters? I don’t think I would have loved these characters as much if they hadn’t been thrown into a book together. Neither really stood out on their own. Hadley was trying to run away from her small town roots and make it in the big city. Will was a skeptical rich guy with a chip on his shoulder. Will thought Hadley was trying to hook his twin brother to get his money, and treated her poorly. She retaliated. They had enemies down. Their banter was top notch, and when hate started turning to something else… the chemistry was there.

The thing that made this book, and Will and Hadley’s relationship, go from good to great was the setting and the hilarious side characters. So many, many hilarious things can happen on a farm and in the small towns around it. A quirky family member can also be rom-com gold. Hadley had more than one that made me laugh. All the things that pushed Will and Hadley together in this book helped make them shine as a couple.

Was there anything I didn’t like about this book? No, there really wasn’t. The Wedding Date Disaster was truly a good time. Low angst, just the right amount of drama, an adorable romance. There wasn’t anything for me not to like. It’s a great book if you’re looking for a good beach read or fun escape.

Review: Heartland (Sarina Bowen)

Heartland
Series: True North, #7
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

An emotional friends to lovers romance full of risky secrets and late-night lessons in seduction.


Dylan is my best friend, and the only person in my life who understands me. He doesn’t mind my social awkwardness or my weird history. The only glitch? He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard.
But I know better than to confess.
Now that we’re both in college together, I’m seeing a new side of him. College Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me.
Until the night I foolishly ask him to tutor me in more than algebra…and he actually says yes.
But the cool morning light shows me how badly I’ve endangered our friendship. And I don’t know if anything will be the same again.


From the moment I opened Heartland, I felt like I was back where I needed to be. Reading a True North novel is like coming home. Well, all of Sarina Bowen’s books feel like coming home to me, but especially this series. There’s just something about small farm town Vermont that makes me feel all warm and gooey inside.

I normally start out a review with what I love about a book, but with Heartland I’m going to start with the one and only thing that drove me a little nuts. If you’re a fan of this series, then you know Dylan Shipley is a man who likes the ladies. He’s a commitment phobe. There’s some other woman drama in the beginning of this book that made me cringe. It wasn’t so much that it made me want to stop reading. It did make me question Chastity’s sanity a bit.  BUT, as a die hard Bowen fan, I knew she had a path in this romance that would lead me to happiness and it did.

Despite Dylan’s wild woman ways, I still loved his character. Mrs. Shipley only raises the best of children, and Dylan was a guy who really cared about people — especially Chastity. (She’s the girl who ran away from the cult and is now neighbors with the Shipleys.) He had some stuff to work out in this book, but I loved how it all came together for him.

Chastity was a breath of fresh air when it comes to sheltered, virginal young women characters. I loved how she challenged the beliefs she was raised with and came to terms with how she viewed sex and relationships. This book was sex positive in ways I wasn’t expecting and loved.

Dylan and Chastity’s romance is one of those book romances where you can’t wait for them to get together because you’re already invested in them as characters from previous books. It wasn’t an easy road to romance, but it was one that was appreciated because of all the prior knowledge I had of them, their families, and the town they grew up in. That’s not to say you couldn’t enjoy it without reading the previous six books, it was just more fun having had the knowledge to understand and love the characters despite their flaws.

As for the rest of the Shipleys and friends… All of my old favorites were around to spend some time with Dylan and Chastity. I love how they were woven into the story. There were also a couple of newer characters that I loved meeting. I’m pretty sure Sarina Bowen gave us some hints at what’s next in the True North series, and I honestly can’t wait!

Heartland was a great trip “home” to Vermont. Despite a few reservations at first, I ended up truly loving Dylan and Chastity’s romance. It was sweet with moments of humor and a couple of tears. If you’re a fan of this series, you will love finding out how they get their HEA.

All in one link page: https://shor.by/Heartland

Goodreads: https://geni.us/HeartlandGoodreads

VENDOR LINKS

Amazon https://geni.us/HeartlandAmazon
Apple https://geni.us/HeartlandApple
Kobo https://geni.us/HeartlandKobo
Nook https://geni.us/HeartlandNook
Google https://geni.us/HeartlandGoogle

Review: Strawberry Wine by Darly Jamison

Strawberry Wine
Author: Darly Jamison
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Zebra Shout
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

How do you know if a first love is made to last?
Addison Monroe was eighteen when she fell for Jake Grady, a college student working on her family s farm for the summer. With his sapphire eyes and killer smile, Jake could have had any girl in Lakeside, Georgia. But he wanted Addy, and for those brief, wonderful months before circumstances drove them irrevocably apart they belonged to each other.
Ten years later, Addy is engaged to a doctor and working in Atlanta as a physician s assistant. Life feels full and satisfying. Yet memories of that long-ago summer and wine-flavored kisses are hard to shake. On a return visit to Lakeside, Addy crosses paths with Jake again, and soon finds herself at an unexpected crossroads. So much has changed, and Addy has chosen another route. And the magic of first love can never be rekindled…can it?”

 


Strawberry Wine is the story of a teenage girl experiencing her first love only to lose him. Flash forward ten years later, and Abby runs into her first love Jake again. Their reunion is bittersweet because Abby is engaged to marry another man. Seeing Jake again makes Abby begin to question the life she has chosen.

Strawberry Wine was a of mix of romance genres. Part One was a young/new adult romance filled with lots of immature teenage drama. It was the story of Addy’s past with Jake, and it nicely led into Part Two. The switch from Addy’s teenage view-point to her adult one was well done. She felt like the same person just older, which is what you would expect. Part Two was an adult contemporary romance.

Addie was a typical teenage girl navigating falling in love for the first time. She was dramatic and teenage girl crazy. There was an innocent sweetness of her relationship with Jake that I really loved. In some ways, I wish time hadn’t jumped so much in Part Two and that they could have resolved their issues earlier.

Jake was that hot cowboy of your dreams with a sensitive side. I couldn’t find much wrong with him other than he let Addie slip through his fingers and he made a questionable decision at one point in Part Two. Otherwise, he was perfect.

What kept Strawberry Wine from earning a higher rating from me was the inconsistency in pace of the story. The slow, drawn out beginning of Addie and Jake’s relationship in Part One didn’t feel cohesive with fast-paced conclusion of Part Two. Part Two felt like it abruptly ended and then everything was quickly explained in the epilogue. It felt like something was missing. I would have rather have experienced the time between the end of Part Two and the epilogue.

Strawberry Wine was a good debut novel. Darly Jamison is an up and coming writer with the potential to become great. She created an entertaining story with interesting characters and a lot of fun drama. I’m looking forward to reading her next novel.

Review: Say You Want My by Corinne Michaels

30326632Say You Want Me
Author: Corinne Michaels
Publication Date: October 29, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: Say You Want Me is a standalone novel about new characters, but follows events that occur in Say You’ll Stay. I would recommend 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From New York Times Bestseller, Corinne Michaels, comes a new friends to lovers standalone romance.

There’s no way I’ll fall for Wyatt Hennington.

He can keep his Southern drawl, irresistible smile, and those pick-up lines all to himself. I made the mistake of sleeping with him not once, but twice. I’m not stupid enough to give him round three, especially after he left me in the middle of the night so I could see myself out. I vow to return to Philadelphia and forget him.

It proves easier said than done.

When the doctor informs me I’m the winner of door prize number two, I put my life on hold and head back to Bell Buckle. Three months and if we can’t make this work, I’m gone.

The problem is—when the cards are stacked against us, and I can’t bring myself to leave him, I’ll finally know if he truly loves me or if all my fears were real . . .


Say You Want Me started off feeling like a fun contemporary romance. It felt light and fluffy and not really at all like what I expected from an author who tugs at my heart-strings. I was having so much fun reading Angie and Wyatt’s friends to lovers romance that when Corinne Michaels piled on the emotions, I wasn’t quite prepared. This book broke me. It brought me to tears — that doesn’t happen often with books.

I loved everything about this book. It consumed me, and it took me on an emotional roller-coaster. I adored Angie with her pride, feistiness and independence. Wyatt was everything I expected him to be. He was sexy, determined and the perfect amount of cocky. I loved their romance from hook up to more.

That’s all I’m going to say about Say You Want Me because I think everyone should experience this wonderful book themselves. Corinne Michaels did an amazing job writing this story. I absolutely loved it. I would advise readers to start by reading Say You’ll Stay before reading Say You Want Me, though. Both are standalone novels, but Say You Want Me follows events from Say You’ll Stay. The main characters are different, but all of the characters and settings overlap. You don’t want to miss out on anything happening in Belle Buckle! I can’t wait to see what’s next for the Hennington brothers!

 

Review: Keepsake by Sarina Bowen

29087466Keepsake
Series: True North, #3
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Rennie Roads Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

There’s a first time for everything.
Lark Wainright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.

When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.

Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.

Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.

Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he’s good for much more than farm labor.


This review is **SPOILER FREE**.

I need to say one thing before I start my review of Keepsake:

2016 is Sarina Bowen’s year!

I’ve always loved her books, but this year’s releases have all quickly become some of my favorite romance novels ever. Keepsake is definitely one of those books.

Keepsake is the third book in the True North series. You don’t have to read the books in order to enjoy the story, but it does help for character history. For readers of the series, I would classify Keepsake as a combination of Bittersweet and Steadfast. It takes readers back to the fun of Bittersweet‘s Shipley Farm where they get to reconnect with all of their favorite characters, but it also carries an emotional punch and touches on deeper aspects of life like Steadfast.

In Keepsake, farm hand Zach’s contentedly quiet life is forever changed when former wild child Lark comes to stay at Shipley Farm. Zach knows Lark is trying to recover from a horrible experience and that he should give her space to heal, but his intense attraction to her makes that impossible.

Lark may be beautiful and outgoing on the outside, but her insides are wracked with turmoil and guilt. The only comfort she’s been able to find since returning home has been on the Shipley Farm, in Zach’s arms. He, too, understands what it’s like to try to find peace. But Zach’s comfort may not be enough to save Lark or their relationship from the memories that haunt her.

Keepsake was mesmerizing. The amazing characters, gorgeous Vermont setting, and emotional plot made it impossible to put down. It was such a beautiful story. The minute I finished reading it, I wanted to pick it up and start all over again. I loved it that much!

I couldn’t get enough of Zach. I loved reading his point of view. His calming demeanor and quiet ways were so appealing. I adored the care, concern and sweetness he showed Lark. He was probably the kindest and most respectable book boyfriend I’ve ever read. Plus, he was so sexy! I wasn’t expecting that based on his past, but I guess I should have been!

Lark was pretty amazing, too. She was one of those characters who inspires me to live life to the fullest. She had an abundance of emotional baggage she was dealing with in Keepsake, but the strength that kept her going was very admirable. Her journey to mental wellness was one I imagine many people will identify with.

Keepsake was one of those romances that was more than just a romance. It was an inspirational story filled with love, hope and forgiveness. I would highly recommend reading it and the rest of the True North series. I know it will be a while until the next book in the series is released, but I can’t wait to find out what’s next for my favorite Vermonters.

Review: What Light by Jay Asher

29093326What Light
Author: Jay Asher
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from Kelly @ Here’s to Happy Endings. (Thanks for the book trade!)

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.


I have to admit I hadn’t read any of Jay Asher’s previous novels prior to picking up What Light. I’m ashamed of that because I actually own Thirteen Reasons Why. It definitely won’t be sitting on my shelf much longer!

In What Light, Sierra and her family make their yearly voyage from Oregon to California to sell Christmas trees. While some teenagers might not want to leave high school and their friends behind for a month, Sierra looks forward to being reunited with her Christmas town and friends.

This year is different, though. Sierra meets Caleb. The cute and troubled boy has her rethinking her no holiday romances policy. The more Sierra gets to know Caleb, the more returning home to Oregon doesn’t sound as exciting as it has in the past.

I was immediately enchanted by Jay Asher’s writing. The way he puts words together is so simple, yet pretty. There was a lightness to the tone, even though there were some darker issues to parts of the story. We all have pasts we want to leave behind, and I loved the lessons this book shared relating to that topic. I was very impressed and flew through the book.

What Light‘s setting was really cool and unique. I was intrigued by the traveling Christmas tree farmer part of the story. Honestly, I’ve never thought much about Christmas tree farmers. There’s several in my area, but I have only seen the local aspect to their business.

I loved the main character, Sierra. She was pretty, smart, and mature. Sometimes I couldn’t believe how mature she was, but I felt like going back and forth between California and Oregon probably gave her a greater knowledge of the world than her peers. I loved that she wasn’t quick to judge others and set such a great example of how to treat others.

What really made me love What Light was the relationships between the characters. All the relationships revolved around the main character, Sierra. First, there was the close and open relationship she had with her parents. I loved how honest they were with each other about their feelings. Then, there was Sierra’s relationship with her different sets of friends. Their friendships weren’t without teenage drama, but way they stood by each other was really cool. Everyone should have friends like them. Finally, there was Sierra’s relationship with Caleb. That was my favorite one. There was just a teenage innocence and sweetness to it. Their influence on each other was really special. I won’t go as much into as I would like to because I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone, but the way they fell in love made me so happy!

What Light was a sweet holiday story that will have you smiling. I’m so happy I got the chance to experience it. I would highly recommend reading it. It’s filled with warm and touching moments that are sure to inspire readers this season.

 

Review: Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

Cream of the Crop
Series
: Hudson Valley, #2
Author: Alice Clayton
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Synopsis:

Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, is…cheese.

Natalie’s favorite part of each week is spending Saturday morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where she indulges her love of all things triple cream. Her favorite booth also indulges her love of all things handsome. Oscar Mendoza, owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery and purveyor of the finest artisanal cheeses the Hudson Valley has to offer, is tall, dark, mysterious, and a bit oblivious. Or so she thinks. But that doesn’t stop Natalie from fantasizing about the size of his, ahem, milk can.

Romance is churning, passion is burning, and something incredible is rising to the top. Could it be…love?


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I’ve been dying to read Cream of the Crop ever since I read the preview for it at the end of Nuts. I knew it was going to be a fun and sexy romance. I wasn’t wrong. It was witty, sexy and I couldn’t put it down. I had to force myself to stop reading and go to bed after midnight. It was that much fun.

“If I ever developed lactose intolerance, I’d throw myself into the East River.”

Dramatic, much? Natalie was a hoot. I loved and appreciated her self-confidence. She wasn’t afraid to flaunt her plus-size body, and she wasn’t going to put up with people who couldn’t appreciate that great comma big ass. She knew she was beautiful inside and out, and her size had nothing to do with it. Her self-talk made me smile so many times. Plus, she loves cheese. I love cheese. Who doesn’t love cheese?

“You’re the Brie girl with the great big ass.”

Oscar was this gruff, incredibly sexy farmer who didn’t waste words. He was knew what was important to him and didn’t care what anyone else thought. His history was perfect. Deep, but not too deep for this light, steamy romance. His blunt, commanding ways were super sexy. I adored how he turned Natalie into a blubbering mess.

“Look at you, dirty girl,” he murmured, showing me his now-mud-covered-hand.
“You have no idea,” I murmured, tilting my head and gazing up at him.

Natalie and Oscar together…Fireworks! Not only was their sexual chemistry was off the charts, but their banter was so much fun! I liked that their new — possibly long distance — relationship had issues that I could see a real life couple having. I loved Natalie and Oscar so much together that I would read another book about their relationship even if it only involved them churning butter.

Cream of the Crop also brought back so many of the characters from Nuts that I loved. It was fun to see what Roxie and Leo were up to. Plus, Chad Bowman. (I really, really want Chad Bowman’s story!) Even that little cutie Polly made a few humorous appearances. 

Cream of the Crop had everything I love in a contemporary romance. It was fun, light and made me laugh. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes humorous romances…or cheese. Even though it’s the second book in the series with characters who overlap, it can totally be read as a standalone. Cream of the Crop would make the perfect summer read whether you’re at the beach, on vacation or just relaxing at home.

Review: More Than A Feeling by Sara Richardson

More Than A Feeling
Series: Heart of the Rockies, #3
Author: Sara Richardson
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received this book from Forever via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Synopsis:

STOP RUNNING . . .AND START FALLING

For Ruby James the Walker Mountain Ranch is her safe haven. Here in Aspen, Colorado, she can finally build a quiet life for herself without fear of her old one rearing its ugly head. Or so Ruby thinks. Any single woman would be happy to indulge a tall, dark, and curious cop-but the closer Ruby gets to him, the closer she gets to losing her newfound peace.

Police officer Sawyer Hawkins is no stranger to secrets. He’s ready to leave town for good until a security threat brings him back to Walker Ranch, and Ruby’s gorgeous green eyes soon have him second-guessing his decision to go. Her kindness and quiet strength awaken feelings he’d thought long buried, even as her reluctance to talk about her past worries him. The cop in Sawyer only wants the truth-but the man in him wants Ruby in his arms forever. . .


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


More Than A Feeling is the third book in the Heart of the Rockies series, but is easily read as a standalone romance. It was the first book I’ve read by Sara Richardson and I was impressed with her writing style. I would put it in the same category as some of my favorite contemporary romance authors (Shalvis, Higgins, Kantra — to name a few).

This story was filled with interesting and engaging characters. Ruby was a woman struggling to leave her past behind. She was running from an abusive relationship and feared she would never be able to live her life the way she dreamed.

Sawyer was a man who protected those he loved. His job as a cop overflowed into his life and he was always trying to solve the problems around him. He was a genuinely nice guy who deserved to find love and family.

Ruby and Sawyer’s relationship was a slow burn romance. With Ruby’s fears of being discovered, she was reluctant to begin a relationship with Sawyer. Sawyer was always full speed ahead when it came to Ruby. It took a while for them to get on the same path, but it was so sweet watching them figure things out. I loved how their problems were resolved in the end.

There were also a ton of great supporting characters in this story. The foster kids visiting the ranch for a week were cute and well thought out. I also loved getting a glimpse of the characters from the other books in the series. It would to go back and read their stories.

More Than A Feeling was a sweet, timeless contemporary romance. It had everything I would expect in an adult contemporary romance. Readers who want a slow and steady relationship build up are sure to love this book.