Category: Contemporary Romance

Sweet Reality by Laura Heffernan

Posted September 5, 2017 by karenbaron in Contemporary Romance, Guest Post, Review, Series / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sweet Reality by Laura HeffernanSweet Reality by Laura Heffernan
Series: Reality Star #2
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Kensington on September 5th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 272
Format: ebook
five-stars

SUGAR, SEA SALT, AND SHOW BIZ   Jen Reid’s life after walking off a reality show has been great—she’s gone from being a broke twenty-four-year-old Seattleite with no love life and no job to the twenty-five-year-old who got the guy, moved to Miami, and is starting a bakery with her best friend. She thinks her showmance boyfriend might be about to propose. And with mouthwatering goodies based on everyone’s favorite shows, her business, Sweet Reality, is destined for success.   That is, until a killer competitor opens right across the street. If she’s going to save Sweet Reality, Jen has to come up with a secret ingredient—like the recipe that won the Totally 80s Bake-Off. Jen can get it—if she steps back into the spotlight. Soon she and her boyfriend are out to sea on a cruise ship full of reality stars, including her nemesis, Ariana; her lying, cheating ex; and some wicked producers looking to bring the drama. Separate cabins, “surprises” from her past, and scenarios tailor-made to spark fights are just the beginning. But with her self-respect, her business, and her future on the line, the fallout from this made-for-TV plotline will be all too real . . .   Praise for America’s Next Reality Star   “Smart, witty, and really freaking good, America’s Next Reality Star is a fun read that has you cheering from the first paragraph through the last page.” —Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal bestselling author   “Reality TV fans, this is your book! Laura Heffernan captures all the drama and over-the-top craziness in this fun and flirty romance.” —Amy E. Reichert, author of Love, Luck, and Lemon Pie   America’s Next Reality Star is one sweet, sexy brain-candy read! You won’t be sorry you indulged.” —Leah Marie Brown

A romantic cruise, some cupcakes and friends, what a delicious thought.

Sweet Reality by Laura Heffernan is the second addition of the Reality Star Series and it is great. Jen and Justin are dealing with family problems, a bar exam, a new bakery business, money, and trying to make time for their own relationship. Sounds normal, right? Now add in a offer of a free ocean cruise. This is just what they needed, time to themselves, beautiful scenarios, free publicity for the bakery and no cost to them. There has to be a catch, right?

They will be part of a new reality show called Real Ocean: Caribbean. Jen and Justin have a great relationship and being on a ship with all this negative feedback and people with different agendas really plays with their personal insecurities. On the ship we meet lots of reality stars from the other shows, this doesn’t promote warm fuzzy feeling between Jen and Justin.

It was nice to see some faces from the Fishbowl, like Rachel and Ed. It was nice for Jen to have that little backup that she needed. Justin was a little surprising, he did some things that seemed out of character. Oh, let’s not forget the return of Ariana, she was back in all her glory or was she? Then we meet some other reality stars, I will let you learn about them yourself.

I wanted to mention that I don’t actually watch reality tv (anymore), that being said I love this series. I think it appeals to me because even though they are on a reality show, we as readers get to see how the Network manipulates the stars and the viewers. Not to mention, it is easy root for Jen. Oh, you will never in a million years figure out the secret ingredient in Tammy Rae’s cupcakes. Crazy!

My rating is 5 stars. I loved this book this book as much as the first one, America’s Next Reality Star. Thank you Ms. Heffernan for such an awesome story, I read this book in a day. Yes, it is that fabulous! Please keep writing Ms. Heffernan.

**Where to find Sweet Reality**

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Laura Heffernan

Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off: AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR, the first book in the REALITY STAR series, is coming from Kensington’s Lyrical Press in March 2017. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.

 Some of Laura’s favorite things include goat cheese, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the Oxford comma, and ice cream. Not all together. The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, and reality TV. Follow her @LH_Writes or visit www.lauraheffernan.com for more information.


Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Posted July 21, 2017 by karenbaron in Contemporary Romance, Guest Post, Horses, Mystery, Review, Suspense / 0 Comments

Come Sundown by Nora RobertsCome Sundown by Nora Roberts
Published by St. Martin's Press on May 30th 2017
Pages: 466
Format: Hardcover, Kindle
five-stars

A saga of love, family ties, and twisted passions from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Obsession
The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…
When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.

Marvelous Montana is smaller than some would think.

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts is another hit. I loved the fast paced combination of mystery, romance, intrigue, and of course family.

The Bodine-Longbow family is very big on family, respect and taking care of their own, whether they are blood or not. All wonderful qualities that I have found in many of the people that I have met in Montana. I immediately like the Bodine Longbow, she smart, feisty, independent and an extremely hard worker. Although the rest of the family is full of characters, like Ms. Fancy and Cora. Those two are giving their two cents and holding their own, for the elderly women they are the bomb.

Then there is Alice. Alice is so strong and yet she has no idea. Her life has been tragic and yet she is now finding a positive in her life that is filled with family and love. Nora Roberts characters are so well written that its like she is just telling the story of this wonderful Montana ranch family, complete with all of the skeletons in the closets and the all the wonderfully sappy happy moments too.

I love the setting. Montana is one of my favorite states. The descriptions that Ms. Roberts uses are spot on. It was so easy to visualize the beauty and the isolation of southwestern Montana. Besides who can fault a book with cowboys and horses?

My rating is 5 stars, Nora Roberts doesn’t disappoint. If you haven’t read it Come Sundown yet, you will want to pick it up.

**Where to find Come Sundown**

** Goodreads **        **Turn the Page Bookstore**

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. After a school career that included some time in Catholic school and the discipline of nuns, she married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland.

She worked briefly as a legal secretary. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell, I was the worst legal secretary ever,” she says now. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate.

Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.

Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together.

Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.

Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”


American’s Next Reality Star

Posted May 15, 2017 by karenbaron in Contemporary Romance, Review, Romance, Series / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

American’s Next Reality StarAmerica's Next Reality Star by Laura Heffernan
Series: Reality Star #1
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Lyrical Shine on March 7th 2017
Genres: Romance
Pages: 254
Format: Kindle
five-stars

SEEKING THE SMART ONE
Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV.
Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .

Reality TV in a book? What a great concept…

I felt like a binged watch an entire season of The Fishbowl. I have to say first the concept of the fish bowl house with all glass wall and such is totally amazing. The description that Jen gave of the kitchen sounded so cool. I am not sure what I thought of the couch tree though.

I could totally get on board with Jen. I loved her naiveté with men, her acknowledging her inner nerd and that she tries to be a good person. Jen is the all-American girl next door. I would so be calling in and voting for her, even with all the bad press on the outside of the Fishbowl.

Justin is a law student from Florida. He is nice, athletic, smart and a little competitive. He is also so polite and such a gentlemen. Jen and Justin make a cute couple. They really need to get over the trust issues that they each seem to have.

Then there is Ariana, wow, what do I say about her? Scheming, lying, cheating, jerk, well those are some options. I am sure there are more of the same but you should just read it yourself so you can dislike her too.

The concept of the book was great, I loved the story. It kind of gave you this look into the hidden side of reality television. I can’t imagine putting myself or my family through all that drama. However, everyone has their own thing. Oh and that ending was so great. Right out of the fairy tales. I love happy endings.

My rating is 5 stars. I loved this book. Thank you, Ms. Heffernan, for bringing reality tv to books. It is much more fun to read about it than I thought it would be. I personally don’t watch reality tv anymore but this book is awesome. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series, Sweet Reality.

**Where to find America’s Next Reality Star**

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Laura Heffernan

Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off: AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR, the first book in the REALITY STAR series, is coming from Kensington’s Lyrical Press in March 2017. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.

 Some of Laura’s favorite things include goat cheese, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the Oxford comma, and ice cream. Not all together. The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, and reality TV. Follow her @LH_Writes or visit www.lauraheffernan.com for more information.


Protect Me by Margaret Watson

Posted May 10, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Review, Romance, Series, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Protect Me by Margaret WatsonProtect Me by Margaret Watson
Series: The Donovan Family #6
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Margaret Watson on October 31, 2015
Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction
Pages: 258
Format: ebook
five-stars

Police officer Mia Donovan is studying for the detective's exam when her captain offers her an assignment – be Finn O'Rourke's personal bodyguard for the next three weeks. He's in town to film a movie, he has a stalker, and the threats are escalating.

Mia isn't interested – she's focused on the looming exam. But her captain convinces her that successfully protecting Finn will look very good on her record when promotion decisions are made. So, reluctantly, she takes the assignment.

Finn isn't the arrogant, egotistical actor Mia expected. There's more than meets the eye when it comes to the 'most hated man in America', Finn's nickname since he cheated on his girlfriend, a beloved pop star.

But his stalker is lurking and the threat is escalating. Although Mia's feelings for Finn are growing, her job is to protect Finn, not fall in love with him.

"Margaret Watson, a star in the world of contemporary romance, grabs you on the opening page and keeps you reading to the happily ever after." -- New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips

My take on this book:              This is my first romance book away from Nora Roberts and Janet Evanovich and I have to say that Ms. Watson is an excellent writer. Without having to read the first five books in this series you immediately are brought up to date with the Donovan clan.

The main character of this book is Mia Donovan, the youngest of the Donovan kids. Mia is assigned to the protective duty to Finn O’Rourke, she doesn’t really want to do this, but her captain changes her mind. She wants to prove that she can do any assignment that was given to her. What I liked about Mia Donovan is that even she is independent. She grew up with big brothers yet she can still take care of herself. She doesn’t want a man to do something that she knows that she can do herself. I also liked how she kept it professional with Finn, throughout the assignment which was living in the same place as him for three weeks and pretending to be a couple. I, even more, liked how she tried her hardest to not let Finn back in once her job was done. I could tell that she was heartbroken when he didn’t follow her out of the hotel room. What I didn’t like was how she didn’t try to fight for him, before he left. She could have tried to make their relationship work despite what they sort of agreed on in the beginning. I also didn’t like how the police chief asked around all the precincts if they had a woman officer that he knew his godson couldn’t resist being with.  This was especially terrible after everything that had happened with Finn’s ex-girlfriend.

And then there is, of course, Finn O’Rourke, an actor who didn’t tell his story first in Hollywood about what really happened between his ex-girlfriend and himself. Now he is in Chicago shooting an indie movie to re-establish the image that he wants Hollywood to see him as. What I like about Finn is that he is able to not only keep up with Mia and her personality but is also able to keep her on her toes with his. Another thing that I like about him is that he is truly a gentleman around Mia. He only really shows Mia his true personality, the one that he only lets certain people see. What I don’t like about him is how he thought he needed Hollywood and his image more than he needed to be loved while also having a real relationship in the real world. I really hated how his pride kept him from realizing how much he really messed up with leaving Mia and how long it took him to realize that he actually loved Mia and missed her. He also knew that if he came back that she didn’t want to see him.

Protect Me by Margaret Watson, I am glad that I read this book. I am giving this book five stars as I loved every minute of reading it. The book also kept me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who the stalker person is. I also love with how, even though, it’s part of a series you don’t have to read the other books to know what had happened in those and with what is going to happen in this one. I am glad to have been asked to read and review this book. I am also recommending this book to any of my adult readers of my blog that like contemporary romance that is also wrapped up into a cop book.

Anyways until next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove

**Where to find this book**

** Goodreads **

five-stars

About Margaret Watson

Biography is from her Amazon page:

I’ve made up stories in my head for as long as I can remember – I put myself to sleep at night when I was young by rewriting the plots and endings of books I’d read. I assumed this was normal and everyone else did it, too, until I began getting weird looks when I talked about it. Finally, when I was twelve, I figured it out and decided I’d be a writer when I grew up.

I got sidetracked by my love of animals and the need for a ‘real’ job, so I became a veterinarian instead. Twenty-five years ago, when I realized I was making up stories about my clients and their pets, I decided to try putting them down on paper.

The result? After writing thirty books for Harlequin and selling millions of copies of them, I’m now writing The Donovan Family series, romantic suspense novels about a family of Chicago cops.

I consider myself the luckiest person in the world to be involved in two careers that I love. But more important than either career is my family – my husband and my three daughters. We live in a Chicago suburb with a menagerie of pets.


The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich

Posted August 15, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Comedy, Contemporary Romance, Crime, Fiction, Mystery, Review, Romance, Series, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

The Pursuit by Janet EvanovichThe Pursuit by Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg
Series: Fox and O’Hare #5
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Bantam on June 21st 2016
Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Women's Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
five-stars

Janet Evanovich, author of the blockbuster Stephanie Plum novels, and Lee Goldberg, writer for the Monk television show, team up once again for the fifth book in their rollicking, New York Times bestselling Fox and O’Hare series!
Nicolas Fox, international con man, thief, and one of the top ten fugitives on the FBI’s most-wanted list, has been kidnapped from a beachfront retreat in Hawaii. What the kidnapper doesn’t know is that Nick Fox has been secretly working for the FBI. It isn’t long before Nick’s covert partner, Special Agent Kate O’Hare, is in hot pursuit of the crook who stole her con man.   The trail leads to Belgium, France, and Italy, and pits Nick and Kate against their deadliest adversary yet: Dragan Kovic, an ex–Serbian military officer. He’s plotting a crime that will net him billions . . . and cost thousands of American lives.   Nick and Kate have to mount the most daring, risky, and audacious con they’ve ever attempted to save a major U.S. city from a catastrophe of epic proportions. Luckily they have the help of an eccentric out-of-work actor, a bandit who does his best work in the sewers, and Kate’s dad, Jake. The pressure’s on for Nick and Kate to make this work—even if they have to lay their lives on the line.
From the Hardcover edition.

My take on this book:              Wow!! The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg was just amazing. As anyone who has read The Scam will know how that ended so horribly for poor Nick and Kate. Well don’t be afraid my fellow readers of the Fox and O’Hare series, Kate O’Hare is going to get her con man back to her safe and sound. Even if it means not letting her boss know what she is doing and comes across as a rogue FBI agent.

Kate does get Nick back, but her boss wants her to catch Dragan and figure out why he needs smallpox. It all started with a bank heist for diamonds that Nick was needed to get them into the vault. After that, they had to focus on Dragan and figure out his plan to be able to stop him from creating a national disaster.

They were able to do that, however, a little something happened with Nick and Kate throughout the story. I do feel bad for Kate and Cosmo somewhat since the boss did something completely out of character to poor Kate. This especially bad since she already has to be Nick’s covert partner in doing stuff that is totally illegal.

The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg was such a great book that I’m giving it a five stars rating. I can’t wait to see what else happens with Nick and Kate. I will also recommend this book to anyone that reads Janet or even Lee books or to those who haven’t read any of their books. This series is so awesome that I am happy that Janet and Lee started it.

Anyways until next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

**Where to find this book**

** Goodreads **

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five-stars

About Janet Evanovich

Janet’s Bio (quoted from her website)

When I was a kid I spent a lot of time in LaLa Land. La la Land is like an out-of-body experience –while your mouth is eating lunch your mind is conversing with Captain Kirk. Sometimes I’d pretend to sing opera. My mother would send me to the grocery store down the street, and off I’d go, caterwauling at the top of my lungs. Before the opera thing I went through a horse stage where I galloped everywhere and made holes in my Aunt Lena’s lawn with my hooves. Aunt Lena was a good egg. She understood that the realities of daily existence were lost in the shadows of my looney imagination.After graduation from South River High School, I spent four years in the Douglass College art department, honing my ability to wear torn Levis, learning to transfer cerebral excitement to primed canvas. Painting beat the heck out of digging holes in lawns, but it never felt exactly right. It was frustrating at best, excruciating at worst. My audience was too small. Communication was too obscure. I developed a rash from pigment.

Somewhere down the line I started writing stories. The first story was about the pornographic adventures of a fairy who lived in a second rate fairy forest in Pennsylvania. The second story was about …well never mind, you get the picture.

I sent my weird stories out to editors and agents and collected rejection letters in a big cardboard box. When the box was full I burned the whole damn thing, crammed myself into pantyhose and went to work for a temp agency.

Four months into my less than stellar secretarial career, I got a call from an editor offering to buy my last mailed (and heretofore forgotten) manuscript. It was a romance written for the now defunct Second Chance at Love line, and I was paid a staggering $2,000.

With my head reeling from all this money, I plunged into writing romance novels full time, saying good-by, good riddance to pantyhose and office politics. I wrote series romance for the next five years, mostly for Bantam Loveswept. It was a rewarding experience, but after twelve romance novels I ran out of sexual positions and decided to move into the mystery genre.

I spent two years retooling –drinking beer with law enforcement types, learning to shoot, practicing cussing. At the end of those years I created Stephanie Plum. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Stephanie is an autobiographical character, but I will admit to knowing where she lives.

It turns out I’m a really boring workaholic with no hobbies or special interests. My favorite exercise is shopping and my drug of choice is Cheeze Doodles.

I read comic books and I only watch happy movies. I motivate myself to write by spending my money before I make it. And when I grow up I want to be just like Grandma Mazur.

About Lee Goldberg

New York Times Bestselling author Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee whose many TV writing and/or producing credits include “Martial Law,” “SeaQuest,” “Diagnosis Murder,””Hunter,” “Spenser: For Hire,” “Nero Wolfe,” “Missing.” “Monk” and “The Glades.” He’s also the author of the Fox & O’Hare series with Janet Evanovich (The Heist, The Chase, The Job), “The Walk,” “Watch Me Die,” “King City,” the “Dead Man” series, as well as the “Diagnosis Murder” and “Monk” series of original mystery novels.