Bite Sized Books // Three New Release Romances I Enjoyed

06 March 2017

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Welcome to another round of bite-sized reviews for the romances I’ve read lately. I am constantly reading romances lately and I have plenty to review, here is a small collection which I haven’t had a chance to post a review for recently. They are all contemporary romance and each satisfied a craving although some did it better than others.

Published: 7th March 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
Ethan Gallagher is a firefighter in Darling, Vermont, who followed tradition and pledged his love on the Kissing Bridge to ensure lifelong happiness. A few years later, he’s a widower with two rambunctious boys who no longer believes in magic. But even he has to admit that free-spirited Willow Dunaway fills him with wonder…and an attraction he cannot deny.
Willow’s come back to Darling a different girl than the one who left after high school. Overcoming her past and owning her own business has made her into a strong, independent woman. Single dad Ethan appeals to her in a way she didn’t expect, even though settling down is the last thing on her mind. But after fire destroys the local food bank, the town rallies, and a fling between Ethan and Willow leads to unintended consequences. Can they find a way out of their heartbreak to make a home in each other’s hearts?

I said I enjoyed the first book in this series, and I did. Fine, I was more interested in a secondary character's storyline at times, but the romance, the setting and the entire feel of the book worked for me. As such, I totally jumped on the chance to read the next two books in the series (why wouldn’t I?) and this is the second book.

This book is all about Ethan and Willow and they are definitely an opposites attract kind of couple. I mean, Ethan is very reserved and straight-laced as he is a single dad and a widower trying to raise his two boys and move past the death of his wife. Willow, on the other hand, is an ‘earth child’, she has an organic restaurant and practises yoga daily and meditates and is much more alternative with her dyed hair and nose piercing. They aren’t a typical couple but those two work together.

It was an interesting read both because Willow isn’t the usual type of character I’d be interested in with her meditation and yoga, it’s very not my kind of thing, and then Ethan and his kids aren’t the type of thing I’d be interested in a romance either. Yet, bring those two together and something just works. Sure, Willow may be a character I wouldn’t immediately gel with but when she’s with Ethan they both bring out a different side to one another which works. Also, I don’t even care there were kids in this romance (I’m just not a fan of a whole family situation when I’m reading romance).

Sadly, George wasn’t really present in the book, but there were plenty of familiar faces so I could still enjoy. There were also hints about the next book (which I loved) so I’ll be reading that soon. In the end, this was a good romance, not a favourite but definitely enjoyable. I had an issue with some of Willow’s decisions in the book but they were explained. It wasn’t amazing but not enough to put me off the next one so that’s good.

Published: 7th March 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
Get ready for the ride of your life...

A cowgirl at heart, Skye Martinez has a rebellious streak she's determined to shake. Especially since she's poised to take the reins of her family's business at Briscoe Ranch Resort. It's time for her to settle down and get serious about her future...right after one last night of fun with a handsome stranger she meets in the resort's stable. But when a midnight horseback ride turns into a red-hot weekend with one of country music's biggest stars, Skye's world is rocked beyond her wildest dreams...

Gentry Wells rode his bad boy image all the way to the top of the country music charts. But churning out hits has dried up his creativity, and he can't remember the last time his life was his own. Skye is a sexy distraction he can't resist, especially since she breathes new life into his music. They bring out the wild side in each other, which is great for Gentry's career—but a major threat to Skye's. Too bad he's fallen in love with her. With their hearts and futures on the line, can Gentry convince Skye to turn their joyride into a real chance to ride off into the sunset together?
This book ended up being a pleasant surprise. I’d been emailed about it by the publisher and was intrigued, despite it being part way through a series, and so I agreed. When it came to reading I was a blank slate, I had no expectations and didn’t know what kind of book this was going to be so was thrilled to get reading and actually be surprised by it. Now, just because the publisher emailed me about it no way affects my opinion. I expected a fun romance that may or may not be memorable and really I should have disliked it as I’m not always a fan of musician romances, and certainly not when they rich and successful, I can often end up rolling my eyes. And this book was kind of dramatic which does normally put me off. Yet, despite all these points against it I enjoyed reading this, so much so I had to stay up to finish.

You haven’t lived until you’ve read a romance which begins with a spell to get a man and then has a country singer wearing a pink banana hammock who sings songs like ‘Beer O’Clock’ and ‘Well Hung’. I mean, seriously? And the fact that Skye’s mother performs a spell to find her her perfect man at the beginning of the book should have meant I was rolling my eyes throughout reading yet I didn’t. In fact, this book sucked me in somehow. Maybe it was that I liked the character of Skye who seemed to be trying to be a good girl following her mother's wishes and settling down, taming her wild streak, yet she ended up having one wild night with Gentry helping a runaway couple and spending time in Nashville. After that wild night, they both vowed to not pursue a relationship as they each have other plans… life has plans for those two and that’s when the drama strikes.

I hate when books get dramatic, I want fun and some sense of reality when it comes to my reading (fake relationships not included) so when several things happen one after another to both bring this couple together and drive them apart… well, it should have put me off yet it didn’t.

I don’t know, in the end, this romance hooked me with the drama and absurdity because it was the right balance of that with touches of reality. I think it helped that I liked both the characters and wanted them to get together. Maybe it’s just that it was written right for me. I don’t know, but somehow this book worked for me whilst I can’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like drama, I can recommend it to folks looking for a book to surprise them.

29875884Home At Last (Sanctuary Island #6) – Lily Everett
Published: 7th March 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
Home is where the heart is...

Marcus Beckett left Sanctuary Island after his mother's funeral, and he hasn't been back since. Until now. Needing a change from the high-risk, high-stakes life of a bodyguard, Marcus makes a solitary life for himself running the neighborhood bar in his hometown. His only mistake? Seducing and then dumping the town's sweetheart, Quinn Harper. Marcus knows he did the right thing—a good girl like Quinn has no business with a broken man like him. But now no one will come to his bar, and he's watching his last chance at a peaceful life go up in smoke. So when Quinn proposes a fake four-week courtship, he can't refuse...even though he knows it's a bad idea.

It's a romantic charade that will buy Quinn time to distract her mother and father from their own martial problems—and will help Marcus welcome back some paying customers besides. But what begins as an engagement of convenience slowly transforms into a deeper connection, one that heals both of their hearts...and ignites the simmering passion between them. Could it be that pretending to be together is just what Quinn and Marcus needed to give their real love a second chance?

"Heartwarming, emotional, extremely romantic...Enjoy your trip to Sanctuary Island! I guarantee you won't want to leave."—Bella Andre, New York Times bestselling author
As I said in my review for Close To Home, I had been interested in Quinn and Marcus’s story and romance far more than the main couple so seeing them together in this book made me completely happy.
I cannot claim the book wasn’t predictable (it was) and it certainly wasn’t original… but I liked it. I liked Quinn and Marcus staging a fake relationship to help her parents stay together and also they did it to save his bar because they first break up put him in the small town bad books for messing around with the town sweetheart. I loved the fake relationship and the second chance romance and the basic
I think I enjoyed this book because it was exactly what I expected it would be after reading Close To Home. I knew that Marcus had his reasons for wanting to distance himself from Quinn, the main one being the age difference, and I knew he had his own issues. I knew Quinn had an old crush on Marcus and had issues with people not treating her like a grown up. I knew together they would be brilliant if they could overcome what was holding them back. I knew all this so that when it happened in the book I was in no way surprised, I could simply read and enjoy myself. Basically, this book followed exactly the path I thought it would and as there were no major twists or major angst I could simply sit back and enjoy myself, and I did.
That may sound like a negative, this book in no way surprised me or did anything unexpected, but sometimes you crave a bit of predictability and I love that with romance I know what I’m getting. This was a sweet romance that didn’t get sucked into too much angst or drama to put you off and had plenty of lighter moments too. It was just a really enjoyable read.
And there you have three new release, all romances, that I enjoyed in one way or another. Have you read any good romances lately? And don’t you love it when you are surprised by a book?
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