Review: Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis

Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbor #9)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jill Shalvis brings us back to Lucky Harbor and introduces us to the quiet, sexy and grieving Ben McDaniel and former bad girl Aubrey Wellington. Two people who shouldn't have any trouble avoiding each other but who just can't keep their hands to themselves. You will find Once in a Lifetime to be a solid addition to the couples we've all come to know and love in the addictive Lucky Harbor series.

Our hero Ben is back in town after years spent away escaping to distant destinations in order to run from his grief. He's Lucky Harbor's golden child who can do no wrong. However, he's just sort of drifting and not committing to any one thing. Then he takes a fix-it job from Aubrey's uncle and the sparks start to fly. I loved how Aubrey and Ben worked so hard to convince the other that their affair was casual, when everyone but they could see how deeply they were involved with each other. Ben is a signature Jill Shalvis hero; hot, sexy, sweet and hoooooottt! Her heroes always make me drool.

Aubrey is the bad girl in town who no one thinks is good enough for perfect Ben. But Aubrey has been dealt some pretty unfortunate circumstances throughout her life that she's not always reacted well to. However, the wonderful thing about Aubrey is she's decided to take control of her life and works diligently to make amends for past wrongs. The transformation we get to watch really makes you fall in love with Aubrey and respect her dearly. In the end, the tables are turned and it's our bad girl who just might be too good for our golden boy hero Ben.

You'll find Once in a Lifetime to be the quintessential Jill Shalvis book in that it is full of funny and sexy characters, steaaaaaaammmmmy scenes and a touching and meaningful happily ever after.

Oh, and one last thing...if this book does nothing else for you, it WILL make you pine heavily for Jill's next hero Sam! I cannot wait!

**Thanks to Jill for providing the ARC to me!

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Review: Too Hot to Handle
by Victoria Dahl

Too Hot to Handle (Jackson, #2)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

ctoria Dahl has a real talent for funny and spice and I always love it. She created one of my all time favorite heroes ever: Jax Cullen! Totally worth your time checking out.

In Too Hot to Handle, we meet Merry Kade who doesn’t really have any roots, but it desperately looking for a place to call her own. She’s currently living on her best friend’s couch and working on restoring a ghost town into a thriving tourist’s attraction. However she soon finds her dreams of settling down and finally proving herself impeded by an incredibly hot cowboy and a pending lawsuit.

Shane Harcourt is our hunky cowboy who comes to light up Merry’s very celibate life. Shane makes it clear he’s good for any girl on a temporary lease, but you can’t tie him down long-term. It’s what’s in his blood, passed down from his grandfather to his father to his brother. But then he meets Merry she blows him away when he’s not looking. With Merry infiltrating into his life, Shane finds himself questioning everything he’s believed about his family and himself. He turns into a completely lovable hero who makes an incredible grand gesture.

Victoria Dahl delivers with the super steam in Too Hot to Handle, but I found the story a little empty, with very little depth. I didn’t get sucked into the town or the characters all that much, but I definitely will still be checking out her books in the future. Any author who can create the great Jax Cullen is an author I’ll be following for life.

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Review: Cailín by Rosalind Scarlett

Cailín (Anam Céile Chronicles, #1)
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Rosalind Scarlett has a skillful way of bringing the reader into the 17th Century. It is an intriguing historical paranormal romance that takes place in Ireland. It is a coming of age story with a little extra.

The main character, Aislinn, is the generic free-spirited teenager who does not seem to fit in. Aislinn always felt she was meant for more, with her re hair and left-handedness, she is an outcast not wanted what is excepted of women if her time. She does not have an interest in marriage or a family which adds to her fathers belittlement.

After a love spell gives her dreams that awake something primal in her, she meets the handsome stranger of her dreams. The romance between Aislinn and Donovan really sweeps the reader along in anticipation of what is to come. Aislinn struggles with her love and the darker side of her sexuality. This proves a good climax but the ending falls a little flat.

The reader will be easily drawn in with the beautiful language that sets the stage and the building suspense of not just the relationship between the two main characters but also the erotic driven vampire world that is trust upon Aislinn. The book is an interesting read and Scarlett is off to a good start.


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Review: The Sea of Tranquility
by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Sea of Tranquility is a book about healing, friendship, and love. It contains some of the most interesting characters I have met in a while. Katja Millay has written a book that I foresee resonating with many readers and have them counting the blessings in your life for a long time to come.

We get to meet Nastya and Josh, 2 young adults who have had very emotionally difficult lives before even turning 18. Nastya has a life changing encounter that takes away her talent, her voice, and her very identity. She moves to a new school and meets a boy who has lost every person in his family and leads a very lonely, solitary life. Together they find a way to heal one another through hours of consistent contact until it became impossible for them to be apart. This is one of the most emotionally charged books I've read ever. You will have your breath stolen, your heart broken, and your views on right and wrong questioned.

The spoiler I will give you is that you will have a happy ending with this book, but you will have to earn it. The earning of this happily ever after though is not hard to do, it will come quickly, it will entertain and engage you, and at the end of this book, you will feel so very satisfied and fulfilled.

This is a phenomenal debut novel by Katja Millay that you will definitely want to pick up, add to your keeper shelf and bookmark this author for her next piece of work!

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Review: Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas

Crystal Cove
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Laughter, tears, and an intensely hot love affair contained within a mere 300 pages? Why yes, I am reading a Lisa Kleypas book (and loving every second of it)! Lisa gives to us Crystal Cove, a place where magic literally does happen. A place where a cursed witch fated to never love, dares to break a horribly dangerous curse all in the hopes that she will just feel love for once in her life....and then she meets an enigmatic man with no soul.

Justine Hoffman, a hereditary witch who struggles to find love, discovers that there's a reason why and soon works to rectify the situation. What she uncovers though may put everything she holds dear in jeopardy. Justine has a long way to go to learn what true love is. Her mother will never win a mother of the year award, and she finds her trust tested time and time again. We get to go on a wonderful journey with her as she discovers love, submits to love, and finally fully embraces love.

Jason Black is classic Kelypas 'magic'. He sort of starts off standoffish, closed, selfish and a little cold. Once he meets Justine however, everything, absolutely everything changes. He unfolds as one of those heroes you will melt over again and again and again. Jason will do anything for the woman he loves. His love for Justine is so very precious and beautiful to watch unfold. He's a man who has everything anyone can imagine and finds himself desperately searching for a way to move heaven and earth to keep Justine in his life. The possibility that he may not be able to control the single most important thing in his life is incomprehensible. But his love for Justine has changed him completely and he finally learns what it means to really live. One of my favorite parts:

"What could you say to the woman you loved, the last time you might ever talk to her?
'You're everything to me. You've given me the best days of my life.'
One of the more ignominious features of love was that you could only express it with cliches... it made you sound like a fraud at a time when you were blazing with sincerity But at the end of the conversation, he found himself saying, 'I love you,' and she said back.

And it was enough. Those three well worn, everyday words got the job done."

Now on to the steam... Lisa Kleypas really outdid herself with this one. Jason Black is her typical alpha male, but with a little bit of Dom thrown in. He likes control. He likes a little bit of bondage play, and he likes his woman submissive. Its uber spicy and toe curling yumminess. His focus is completely centered on Justine, and Justine only. You will find yourself wishing for a moment you could trade places with her. The steamy scenes in this book will keep you nice and toasty in the frigid nights of this very cold winter.

***I am one of Lisa's Divas and receive benefits such as this ARC to read along with swag.

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Review: Shadow Woman by
Linda Howard

Shadow Woman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Linda Howard has always been a phenomenal romance author for me. She's fast becoming a phenomenal romantic suspense author for me as well. This story begins with a prologue that grabs you immediately and will not let you go. I loved how my fingers flew through the pages until I reached the very last one. You'll find you'll be as intrigued as I when you pick this one up.

We begin our story with Lizette Henry going through her normal routine as she does every morning getting ready for work at the exact same time, in the exact way. Except this morning as she glances in the mirror, she realizes she doesn't recognize the reflection staring back at her. Soon after that realization Lizette becomes violently ill. She soon realizes that she's missing a few years of her life and she doesn't know how she got her home, her job, or even the friends in her life. Its almost as if she's been created and planted in her life. She also soon discovers that she just 'knows' things; like how to ride a motorcycle, hot wire a car, and evasive driving.

Our hero, Xavier, has been keeping watch over Lizzie for years and is attuned to all the new changes she is experiencing. He realizes he needs to get to her as soon as possible in order to keep her safe. But will she remember him? He too adds to the mystery of the story as we try to unravel, alongside Lizzie, just what is or has happened to her. We know that Lizzie and Xavier need to find each other, and you'll be on pins and needles until the moment it happens. Believe me, its WELL worth the wait. I love that Linda Howard made me feel, as a reader, like I was right next to Lizzie as she was reeling over the complexities of her discoveries. My only wish for this would have been a bit more of an exciting end. Things ended pretty tidy in my opinion, when I was expecting a bit more of a war after all the pages and pages of buildup.

Regardless, it's a wild ride in more ways than one that will have you guessing until the very last page. Make sure you pick this one up!

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Review: Forever and a Day
by Jill Shalvis

Forever and a Day (Lucky Harbor, #6)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Grace Brooks and Dr. Josh Scott make for an exciting couple to read about. Dr. Scott needs to seriously let go and relax and Grace is the woman to make him to do it. Grace needs to find her dream and follow it, and luckily once she’s cracked the seal around the good doctor, he’s the man that’s able to show her all of the possibilities available to her.

Jill Shalvis has one again satisfied my need for yummy, sweet, sexy and light-hearted romance. I love the way Grace and Josh officially meet for the first time and I love Josh instantly. He’s so incredibly busy with his practice, the hospital, his sister and his son, but he makes it all seem so easy. I marvel at people who are able to run busy lives like that. You definitely get to see it finally take its toll on him physically, emotionally and romantically. Grace pops into his life and all of a sudden difficult decisions are easily made, time is taken to enjoy his son and his sister. There is just no way you can’t love Dr. Josh Scott, he perfect in every way; big, sexy, romantic and a doctor to boot!

Grace is instantly loveable as well. She doesn’t shy away from poking the big bear of a doctor and riling him up. She actively seeks out her fun with him and he’s ready every step of the way to meet her challenge and take her farther than she has imagined. The chemistry and intensity between the two is palpable and leaps off the pages to singe your fingers. Since it’s the middle of summer, be sure to have a bottle of water handy and the air conditioning on full blast.

Finally, the family that Grace and Scott create together will warm your heart tremendously and quite possibly cause you to shed a few tears in happiness for these two. It’s a modern story of two very genuinely great people, who happen to also be quite hot together, finally finding the true happiness they each deserve, and you will without a doubt sigh in contentment as you turn the last page of their story.

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