Review

Until You Loved Me. Brenda Novak

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Published: MIRA
Date: 25th July 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source:Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4 stars                      Add to Goodreads

After catching her fiancé cheating—with another man–usually straight-laced, workaholic scientist Ellie Fisher liberates her wild side just long enough to indulge in a passionate one-night-stand with a tall, dark stranger she meets at a trendy Miami bar. Embarrassed by her recklessness, she ducks out the following morning without learning the guy’s full name, something that shouldn’t have been a problem…until a pregnancy test turns positive.

Being a professional football player, Hudson King has always been cautious around women. But this one had been different—so disinterested in his celebrity, so convincingly into him. When Ellie tracks him down, claiming she’s carrying his baby, he’s stunned. And more than a little betrayed.

My thoughts banner
Until You Loved Me by Brenda Novak is #3 in the Silver Springs series. However it is perfect also as a stand alone as I hadn’t read the previous two, yet didn’t need to, to fully get involved in this story.
And get involved I did. I read through it speedily, picking it up every spare moment as I became engrossed in the story of Ellie and Hudson King. 
Ellie is a delight, she is a very bright clever young woman, somewhat serious, involved in important work as a scientist. However she is just off the end of a broken engagement, I mean you would if you came home and found your significant other in bed with another man.  While her heart is somewhat broken, her head is in the right place and when after a one night stand she finds she is pregnant, she isn’t easily pushed around.
Hudson King is a big football player, has made millions and every football fan in the country would know and recognise him.  (Not Ellie, she has no interest whatsoever in game and wouldn’t know a player if she fell over him!) Oh that’s right she did fall over him!
Hudson was found under a bush as a child and he has no family, even though he has some great friends and has over the last ten years or so endeared himself to a group of difficult boys whom he delights in mentoring. Hudson has huge trust issues – do people really see him or do they see big, famous and rich?  He’d like to know his parentage and has hired a PI to see what he can find. And believe me that’s when the “fun” starts.  Those causing the “fun” though don’t reckon on a very smart Ellie.
I enjoy this kind of romance trope and it worked beautifully in Until You Loved Me.  Loved the two main characters, the mystery and suspense and the final outcome. 
romanticpage turnerwell writtenfull of intrigue
Review

Secrets of the Tulip Sisters. Susan Mallery

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Published: MIRA (Australia)
Date: 10th July 2017
Format :e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre:Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4.5 stars             Add to Goodreads

The relationship of sisters Kelly and Olivia Van Gilder has been, well… complicated ever since their mother left them as teens, though it’s the secrets they have been keeping from each other as adults that have unwittingly widened the chasm. But one thing they do share is the not-so-secret torch they carry for the Martin brothers.

In the small enclave of New Holland, Washington, Griffith and Ryan Martin were demigods. While Griffith was the object of Kelly’s high school crush and witness to her mortal teenage humiliation, Ryan was for Olivia the boy who got away-something she’s never forgiven Kelly for-and the only person since her mother who appreciated her wild streak.

My thoughts banner
Secrets of the Tulip Sisters was a winning read for me. I really enjoyed the characters, the constant roller coaster ride of relationships between various people, and most of all the sisters themselves, Kelly and Olivia.
Both girls hold secrets that the other doesn’t know and some of them could push them over the brink of never speaking to each other again! Olivia has just returned home after many years away. Their mother left them when they were young girls, just let me say… no one would want her for a mother and that’s for sure. I liked both girls and the journey they take as they renew their relationship, and reach out into romantic relationships as well.
Olivia is a very organised person with a number of talents that see her making herself very useful to the people of Tulpen Crossing  as she sets about showing them how they might improve their businesses. Its not long into the time she realises Ryan isn’t the one for her, however unbeknown to her Sven, the one she attaches herself to might be a time bomb waiting!
Kelly has a best friend Helen, they are great mates, however Helen is falling for someone that is going to rock Kelly’s world. How will that work out? I wasn’t sure right to the last move, but it all worked out for the best in the end.
I loved the job that Griffith  had building tiny houses, and the tulip growing business that Kelly is so involved in. These combined with Olivia’s love of design and improving the appearance of her sister and others just sweetened this story.
Griffith was a piece of work! He is determined to have a relationship with Kelly but no commitment or love, he was burned once in marriage and never again. Of course the man is living in lala land, he’s on the road even though he doesn’t realise it. His care and concern over Kelly is admirable and the lengths he goes to – superb. Especially with one difficulty that Kelly has that he deals with by some research and very straight talking.
A wonderful, romantic story with that something extra that made it a delightful read.
sizzling romancewell writtencover lovepage turner
Review

Any Day Now. Robyn Carr

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Published: MIRA
Date: April 18th 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 336
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4.5 stars              Add to Goodreads

For Sierra Jones, Sullivan’s Crossing is meant to be a brief stopover. She’s put her troubled past behind her but the path forward isn’t yet clear. A visit with her big brother Cal and his new bride, Maggie, seems to be the best option to help her get back on her feet.

Not wanting to burden or depend on anyone, Sierra is surprised to find the Crossing offers so much more than a place to rest her head. Cal and Maggie welcome her into their busy lives and she quickly finds herself bonding with Sully, the quirky campground owner who is the father figure she’s always wanted. But when her past catches up with her, it’s a special man and an adorable puppy who give her the strength to face the truth and fight for a brighter future.

My thoughts banner
Any Day Now by Robyn Carr is #2 in her Sullivan’s Crossing series.  It could be read as a stand alone, however why miss out on the first one and the great story of Cal and Maggie?
I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Sierra, sister of Cal. She has had a very rough road to hoe, but when faced with very severe challenges those with power and strength show what they are made of. Not necessarily that Sierra would see herself as a strong kickass kinda gal, but she does have inner strength, and a group of people around her who care and are there for her. She faces into her life, makes amends for past misdemeanours and is an all round great model for a young girl who just might make an appearance before too long.
Connie is the firefighter, paramedic who is soon attracted to Sierra and Molly – you’ll have to read the book to find out who Molly is. Just let’s say she is adorable and just might have a thing going with Connie. 
I loved that we met up with the characters from book one and saw their lives as they moved on from where we left them last. It was especially great to check in with Sully, Maggie’s grandfather and Tom a local divorcee who realises there just might be more happiness in his future than he first thought.
I loved the little quotes from various well known people at the beginning of each chapter, little messages that can apply to life and in particular to what was about to happen next in the plot.
Another heartwarming, delightful story from Robyn Carr, with enough tension and drama to have me flipping the pages as fast as I could. Already looking forward to the next one in the series.
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