Category: Contemporary Romance

The Scam by Janet Evanovich

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

The Scam by Janet EvanovichThe Scam by Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg
Series: Fox and O’Hare #4
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Bantam on September 15th 2015
Genres: Crime, Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 286
Format: Hardcover
five-stars

Nicolas Fox is a charming con man and master thief on the run. Kate O’Hare is the FBI agent who is hot on his trail. At least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality, Fox and O’Hare are secretly working together to bring down super-criminals the law can’t touch. Criminals like brutal casino magnate Evan Trace.
Evan Trace is running a money-laundering operation through his casino in Macau. Some of his best customers are mobsters, dictators, and global terrorists. Nick and Kate will have to go deep undercover as high-stakes gamblers, wagering millions of dollars—and their lives—in an attempt to topple Trace’s empire.
It’s a scam that will take Fox and O’Hare from the Las Vegas strip, to the sun-soaked beaches of Oahu’s North Shore, and into the dark back alleys of Macau. Their only backup—a self-absorbed actor, a Somali pirate, and Kate’s father, and an ex-soldier who believes a rocket launcher is the best way to solve every problem. What could possibly go wrong?

My take on this book:                         The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg is the fourth Fox and O’Hare book and it was amazingly awesome. I give this book a five star rating because this book just like all of the others is fabulous. I love that in this one just like the first three, it starts with these little cons leading into the big one that they are going to end up doing. Their first con is in Hawaii mostly because that’s where Jake is when he needs Kate’s help and they figured might as well start conning the Oahu mobster first, then that leads them into going to Las Vegas where they see Evan Trace and that starts the big con that way.

That leads them into going to Macau with two other guys that they had help them before and eventually they get the Hawaiian mobster in there. They had to then turn things around when Evan Trace decided to ask their two friends, and the Hawaiian mobster into doing something for another casino he has going up in Macau which led them into doing a 180 turn with their own con.

That got them to get their big con going really well. Overall though they got two bad guys for the price of one in witness protection and they got everyone that Trace was laundering money for. It was an awesome book that was filled with a lot of awesome scenes, funny antics. I am quite happy with The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. I will highly recommend this series to my friends.

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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.


Keeping the Peace by Hannah Hooton

Posted May 2, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Animals, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Horses, 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.

Keeping the Peace by Hannah HootonKeeping the Peace by Hannah Hooton
Series: Aspen Valley #1
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Aspen Valley Books on August 16th 2012
Genres: Fiction, Romance
Pages: 380
Format: Kindle
five-stars

London waitress, Pippa Taylor has no interest in horses or country-living. But when she inherits Peace Offering, a hopeless racehorse, she embarks on a career change in order to see her late uncle’s wish to run him in the Grand National come true.
But having talked her way into a job as racing secretary to champion National Hunt trainer, Jack Carmichael and moved to the West Country, Pippa finds herself faced with more daunting obstacles than even the Grand National can throw at her.
Most take the form of Jack, her moody boss. Although easy on the eye, he's certainly not easy on the ear. And after a Christmas they would both rather forget, danger and deception threaten Pippa’s life in the country. As her time at Aspen Valley Racing Stables draws to its conclusion she discovers Peace Offering is not the only thing she must fight to keep.
Amazon Sports Fiction BestsellerRunner-up Best International Romance, SKoW Awards 2010Inducted into the Hall of Fame, A Drop of Romeo

KeepMy take on this book:             Keeping the Peace by Hannah Hooton is just wow. Pippa Taylor is an awesome character and she is just so three-dimensional. We go through this journey with Pippa when she is on her way to Aspen Valley Racing Stables to see the two racehorses that her dearly departed Uncle Dave left her and decided to sell them. Of course she changed her mind and is lucky enough to still own Peace Offering. She ends up talking both herself and Jack into being his secretary so that she could be able to have Jack as Peace Offering’s trainer.

We see how much she has changed from the beginning of the book to the end of the book and she has made a lot of changes.  I’m giving this book a five star rating as it is a perfect mix of romance, the racing part, and other things. It took me some time getting used to the way the British and Irish talked in the book but it was so good that I totally didn’t care once I got into it. Hannah Hooton is an incredible author and I am so happy to be able to read these books from her. I love the actual racing facts that she researched for the book as it gives it more of a feel that it is actually happening around the reader as we are reading the novel.

Overall I would recommend reading Keeping the Peace by Hannah Hooton to everyone (at least adults to read it, it is a little much for the young adults).

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About Hannah Hooton

Hannah Hooton is a multiple award-winning author and screenwriter based in UK.

After splitting with her literary agent to venture into indie-publishing, Hannah burst onto the contemporary romance scene in January 2012 with the release of her debut novel, At Long Odds. This was followed by the Amazon bestselling Aspen Valley series, which charts the lives, loves and dramas of a jump racing yard.

The inspiration for her novels came while combining her wanderlust with her love of horseracing when travelling around Australia and working from one racing stable to the next as a strapper (not to be confused with stripper) and the exuberant imagination of a girl with an empty purse and a passion for a very expensive sport.

Giving Chase was the winner of Best International Romance at the Some Kind of Wonderful Awards in 2012, one place better than Keeping the Peace finished the year before.
Share and Share Alike won the ARU Katy Price Prize 2014 and finished runner-up in the RWA Marlene Contest 2014.

Recently graduating from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge with First Class Honours, Hannah was also awarded the McCleod Prize for finishing top of her year.

Hannah balanced her time at university writing her novels and improving her craft, but also learning the art of screenwriting. To date, Hannah has completed three screenplays (one of which sparked her abrupt change in career to return to university as a mature student just so she could learn how to write it properly), all of which received critical praise and first class marks. The feature-length script, Incarnate, is a science fiction WW2 drama with romantic elements, a world – quite literally – away from Hannah’s comfort zone of horse racing romances.


A Healing Spirit by Melissa Hanson

Posted November 29, 2015 by karenbaron in Contemporary Romance, Fiction, New Adult Fiction, Review, Romance, Series, Teen, Young Adult / 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.

A Healing Spirit by Melissa HansonA Healing Spirit by Melissa A. Hanson
Series: Riverview #2
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by mah on August 16th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: Kindle
five-stars

A freak ski accident brings nineteen-year old Mia Kinney within minutes of death. Hurt and scared, Mia is calmed by the southern drawl and clear green eyes of her rescuer.
Twenty-one year old Dylan Blackburn is one of the first Ski Patrol members on the scene. As his patient is airlifted to the local trauma center, he can’t shake her from his thoughts.
As Mia fights for her life, Dylan, is haunted by the blond hair beauty, and knows he needs to make sure she’s going to be okay.
With a troubled past Dylan has vowed never to completely open himself up to another girl, but Mia continues to knock down every wall he’s constructed. When his past arrives at his front door and threatens once again someone that he loves, will Dylan be able to save Mia yet again? Or will he be too late this time?
A story of love, friendship, and the determination to turn a horrible experience into something worthwhile.
"A Healing Spirit" is book 2 of the Riverview Series, however each is a standalone story.

My take on this book: All I got to say is WOW! This book is so incredibly well written, a book that I will so totally tell people to read, and it makes me want to hug Mrs. Hanson for giving us another well thought out book. Not only that but this book was also inspired by Keely Proctor who sounds like an amazing kid from the articles I have read online. This book definitely deserves five stars. A Healing Spirit by Melissa Hanson grips on about three things that I think is pretty important for us to know about. Much like it’s first counterpart A Healing Heart.

A Healing Spirit takes us into the world of Mia, Quinn, and Dylan. The things that A Healing Spirit grips on is mostly ski accidents since this book first takes place during November and then ends in March or April. Ski accidents take place a whole lot more than what people think especially in chairlifts. Mia, much like Keely, is all about trying to get it with where people can see more about these risks that they are taking on chairlifts than with what they think.

The second thing that this book grips on is domestic violence. This is more publically known than the ski accidents, well unless you live somewhere near a ski resort, and more something that television shows would rather introduce than a ski accident if it takes place near a mountain. Heading off topic though back to domestic violence. The second main character, Dylan, dealt with domestic violence and probably a whole lot of other people have as well. Not a whole lot of people would like to talk about it but sometimes talking about it helps. This is also a really big thing that not a whole lot of people actually really know a whole lot about but it’s becoming a bit more well-known than a ski accident.

The third and last thing that this book grips on is romance. Yeah I know this book is a young adult romance book but it’s a pretty good one. Especially since with how Dylan and Mia met which turned into romance. There is quite a lot. Like Mia and Dylan’s relationship along with one other that doesn’t end up happening but I don’t want to tell you since I would spoil it and yeah that’s all there is about the romance part I think.

A Healing Spirit by Melissa A. Hanson is such a wonderful book that I think everyone will love to read and tell other people about it. Surely it might make you cry in some parts but what type of romance book doesn’t?

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

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About Melissa A. Hanson

Melissa A. Hanson lives in Southern California with her husband and two sons. Growing up in Southern California, inspiration for the city of “Riverview” is based on her hometown. Melissa enjoys scrapbooking and reading when time permits.


A Healing Heart by Melissa Hanson

Posted November 29, 2015 by karenbaron in Contemporary Romance, Fiction, New Adult Fiction, Review, Romance, Series, Young Adult / 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.

A Healing Heart by Melissa HansonA Healing Heart by Melissa A. Hanson
Series: Riverview #1
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Melissa Hanson on February 14th 2012
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 270
Format: Kindle
five-stars

On a bitter cold winter night Bailey Walsh’s family was killed in a traffic accident. Two years later as she lives with her aunt and uncle in Southern California, Bailey is still plagued by the nightmares of that terrible night. Everywhere around her are reminders of what she lost. Even her aunt, in a cruel twist of fate, is not just her mom’s sister, but her identical twin. Babysitting Riley, a spunky two-year old, is a sweet distraction and one constant light in her life. One day as she takes Riley to the park she meets Collin McKenna, a senior at her high school and her life is changed forever as he helps her find herself and realize her life is worth living. As the romance between them grows her broken heart begins to heal. However, still nagging in the back of her conscious is the fear that her newfound happiness could come crashing down and she could lose everything she loves, yet again. Outside forces begin to tear them apart and Bailey must learn to trust in herself and realize that she is worthy of happiness. That sometimes love and healing comes in unexpected forms.

My take on this book: All I got to say is WOW! Melissa Hanson just gave us a really good book and one in my opinion that touched at least four gripping things in my mind. There is a car accident/survivor’s guilt, romance, friendships, and high school. I am going to be giving this book five butterflies because Melissa A. Hanson knows how to make a story so realistic and well written that you believe that you are there with the characters and are seeing them go through all these different emotions that you can’t help but encourage in your head for the characters to keep going to not give up.

The first gripping thing that Melissa incorporated into her novel is the car accident/survivor’s guilt. The main character that we get introduced to is Bailey and she has had to deal with the aftermath of the car accident that killed her parents and then slowly killed her younger siblings. Which leads to her having survivor’s guilt and not really moving on from the accident. I feel bad for Bailey since she had been dealing with the survivor’s guilt for two years before she was able to get over it slowly but surely.

The second gripping thing that Melissa incorporated into her novel is the romance. Now this was weaved into it slowly and it was kind of cool to see it blossom for these two throughout the story. The main romance in the story is of Bailey and Collin. Those two throughout the book made me feel so happy for them at least until Collin’s friend Savannah came into the picture. That is all I am going to say about that. Collin and Bailey preserved through it and came out stronger than ever by the time Bailey graduated the next year.

The third gripping thing that Melissa incorporated into her novel is the friendships. This is a big thing between Bailey, Natasha, and Mia in the beginning because those three have been friends since Bailey first arrived two years ago. Natasha and Mia where friends a little bit longer and when Bailey came to Riverview they took her under their wing. This friendship was the first of many that started to help Bailey recover. Her second friendship happens to be with the little boy that she is babysitting named Riley. Well not only him but his mom. I think the reason for that is because with the help of Bailey Riley’s mom was able to recover from losing Riley’s mom to the war. Plus it gave Riley someone to play with.

The fourth and last gripping thing that Melissa incorporated into her novel is the high school. To me, and I’m only twenty-two, I feel like high school for any teenager especially one dealing with survivor’s guilt from being the only one to survive in a car accident, to the romance that you might lose because you are insecure, to the friendships that you have and one that is also a job takes a toll on someone. Even more so when it’s your last year of high school and you have just a whole lot of stuff to do. I don’t think anyone really realizes the amount of stress you go through with anything during your four years of high school until you go through it.

I think that Melissa A. Hanson has done a wonderful job with this book and I can’t wait to read the next book and any others that she might put out from the Riverview series. A Healing Heart by Melissa A. Hanson in my opinion deserves having a five stars rating.

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

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About Melissa A. Hanson

Melissa A. Hanson lives in Southern California with her husband and two sons. Growing up in Southern California, inspiration for the city of “Riverview” is based on her hometown. Melissa enjoys scrapbooking and reading when time permits.


The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Posted November 11, 2015 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Book to Movie, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Review, Romance, Series, Tear Jerker, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

The Notebook by Nicholas SparksThe Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Series: The Notebook #1
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Bantam on July 5th 2004
Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction
Pages: 214
Format: Paperback
five-stars

Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned from the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories...until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.
Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. It is a story of miracles and emotions that will stay with you forever.

My take on this book: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks is an excellent book that almost anyone could read. One that has a happy ending while in certain parts of the book it will make you cry. The tears won’t be sad instead they will happy tears. Tears that make anyone feel like they could have a love like that one day. I feel bad for Noah having to deal with seeing his wife but not really seeing her.

Mr. Sparks has this way with words that makes the reader believe in whatever he is writing about like he does with The Notebook. The thing that he wants you to believe in is that your first love is the one that you are meant to spend the rest of your life with and when they leave you feel like you are missing something that you don’t realize you’re missing until you look back at those memories. That make you realize with what you are missing. Or when you try to move on but are just wasting time searching for your first love while not finding it in the person that you are dating with at the time.

Granted I don’t know many people like this but I know of some people that are married to that wasn’t their first love. It is the look in their eyes that you can see from not even reading this book to know that they have found their true love and that they aren’t going to let that person go without a fight. I see it every day with my mom and step dad and through pictures of my cousins through Facebook. I am very happy to know that they have found their true love and that they won’t stop fighting for them if they have to. I hope that they don’t have to go through the pain that Noah does in this book.

I am giving this book a five stars rating because it is good and I couldn’t put the book down once I got into it. I can’t wait to read another book. I will also love to recommend it to anyone that would like to read it.

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

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About Nicholas Sparks

As a child, Nicholas Sparks lived in Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Grand Island, Nebraska, finally settling in Fair Oaks, California at the age of eight. His father was a professor, his mother a homemaker, then optometrist’s assistant. He lived in Fair Oaks through high school, graduated valedictorian in 1984, and received a full track scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.

After breaking the Notre Dame school record as part of a relay team in 1985 as a freshman (a record which still stands), he was injured and spent the summer recovering. During that summer, he wrote his first novel, though it was never published. He majored in Business Finance and graduated with high honors in 1988.

He and his wife Catherine, who met on spring break in 1988, were married in July, 1989. While living in Sacramento, he wrote his second novel that same year, though again, it wasn’t published. He worked a variety of jobs over the next three years, including real estate appraisal, waiting tables, selling dental products by phone, and started his own small manufacturing business which struggled from the beginning. In 1990, he collaborated on a book with Billy Mills, the Olympic Gold Medalist and it was published by Feather Publishing before later being picked up by Random House. (It was recently re-issued by Hay House Books.) Though it received scant publicity, sales topped 50,000 copies in the first year of release.

He began selling pharmaceuticals and moved from Sacramento, California to North Carolina in 1992. In 1994, at the age of 28, he wrote The Notebook over a period of six months. In October, 1995, rights to The Notebook were sold to Warner Books. It was published in October, 1996, and he followed that with Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), and Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), Three Weeks with my Brother (2004), True Believer (2005) and At First Sight (2005) all with Warner Books. All were domestic and international best sellers and were translated into more than 35 languages. The movie version of Message in a Bottle was released in 1999, A Walk to Remember was released in 2002, and The Notebook was released in 2004. The average domestic box office gross per film was $56 million — with another $100 million in DVD sales — making the novels by Nicholas Sparks one of the most successful franchises in Hollywood.

The film rights to Nights in Rodanthe, True Believer and At First Sight have been sold, and Nicholas Sparks has written the screenplay for The Guardian, though he has not offered it for sale at this point.

He now has five children: Miles, Ryan, Landon, Lexie, and Savannah. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and children.