Genre: Romance

Better Homes and Hauntings

Posted September 4, 2016 by karenbaron in Audiobook, Ghosts, Paranormal Mystery, Paranormal Romance, Review, Supernatural / 0 Comments

Better Homes and HauntingsBetter Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper
Published by Pocket Books on June 24th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 318
Format: Kindle
four-stars

Author of the beloved Half Moon Hollow series of vampire romances (Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs), Molly Harper has created a standalone paranormal romance in which a dilapidated haunted house could bring star-crossed lovers together—if it doesn’t kill them first!
When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate—he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in nineteenth-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”
But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like his fortune more than himself—while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart.
But something on the island doesn’t believe in true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.

My Thoughts:                    Spooky, funny, witty, supernatural mystery with a touch of love.

I really enjoyed this audio book. The story is wonderful. I loved the nerdy comments, the film references, and the witty conversations. The hauntings added just the right amount of spookiness.

Deacon is an unusual hero. He has the background of old money and yet the money he uses to rebuild the family home is from money that he has made himself in the tech world. I love that Deacon was extremely comfortable in his own skin, even though others didn’t agree with his decisions. He has an eclectic taste in movies and is a self-proclaimed Si-Fi nerd. Deacon has a way of making things fun even when it is serious. However, Deacon doesn’t believe in the hauntings at first but he goes along with the others.

Nina is a great character. She starts out meek and afraid of her own shadow, who unfolds much like her beloved flowers. It just took friendship, love, and acceptance for her to bloom. She is extremely talented in landscape design. The indoor room that she creates is so easy to picture. I loved the ideas that Nina has for the gardens and the interior. She loves to dig and design but she truly has a heart of gold. Nina is highly sensitive to the hauntings on the island, it made me think that she was the one related to the ghosts.

The supporting cast is great too. They all make a wonderful team. Jake and Cindy with their little romance of sorts, along with Dottie and the others all fit together wonderfully with a comedic attitude toward finding the cause of the haunting. The way they each deal with the supernatural haunting on the island adds a real belief to the story. They form this wonderful family unit. It is extremely nice the way that they protect, support and work together.

The narrator, Amanda Ronconi does a wonderful job. She has a way of playing off the suspense in the story and the voices that she uses to add a warmth to the story are lovely.

This was the first book that I have read (heard) by Molly Harper, I truly enjoyed it and will be looking up some of her other books. The pop culture references and snarkiness is the best. My rating is 5 stars.

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

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four-stars

About Molly Harper

About the Author:

Her Tagline: Snarky Romance with Bite

“My mother remembers an 8-year-old me setting up my “writing office” in our living room by putting her old manual typewriter on the couch next to a toy phone. And I (very slowly) pecked out the story of my third-grade class taking a trip around the world and losing a kid in each city.

I had a dark sense of humor, even then.

In high school, when other girls my age were writing poems about dying unicorns and bleeding roses, I was writing essays about having political arguments with my dad at the dinner table. (Whoever made the other person laugh at their own political party won the argument.) I knew I wanted to write when I grew up, but I also knew there was very little chance I could make a living writing books, so I went for the next best thing – newspaper writing.

I majored in print journalism at Western Kentucky University and used my shiny new degree to get a job at my hometown newspaper. I married my high school sweetheart, David, a local police officer. And for six years, I wrote about school board meetings, quilt shows, a man “losing” the fully grown bear he kept as a pet in his basement, and a guy who faked his death by shark attack in Florida and ended up tossing pies at a local pizzeria.

I loved my job at the paper. I loved meeting new people every day and never knowing where I would end up. But somehow, the ever-shifting schedules of a police officer and a reporter did not equal “family friendly.” One of us needed to take a normal job for the sake of our young daughter. I took a secretarial position at a local church office, which left me with dependably free evenings for the first time in my adult life. David was working the night shift that summer and I was losing-my-mind. We were living in “The Apartment of Lost Souls” while building our new home. This was the place where appliances and small electronics went to die. Every night I would tuck our snoozing child into bed and wait for the washing machine to start smoking or the computer to suddenly flash the “blue screen of death.” Then there was the plague of frogs in the bathroom that put our daughter of potty-training for about six months. “ ~to see the rest visit her author page on Goodreads (just follow the link below).


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

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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.


Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Posted July 19, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Animals, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Drama, Fiction, Horses, Review, Romance, Tear Jerker, Teen, Womens Fiction, Young Adult / 0 Comments

Dear John by Nicholas SparksDear John by Nicholas Sparks
on October 30, 2006
Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction
Pages: 276
Format: Paperback
five-stars

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart.
But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else.
Dear John, the letter read... and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life.

My take on this book:              Wow. To be expected of a Nicholas Sparks’ book Dear John was a tearjerker throughout some parts of the book. I think I should only reading one Nicholas Sparks book a year. Two times this year that this man has made me cry and I don’t know if I like that. Besides the crying bits Dear John by Nicholas Sparks is a great book.

John Tyree and Savannah Curtis met one summer and in a week the two fell in love. We follow John through this whole thing with Savannah and hoping that things will work out in the end. This book is a little hard to get into but once you do you don’t want to put it down. Like I did today,  when I was supposed to be cleaning up from breakfast I instead was trying to finish my book to see what will happen for John and Savannah.

Savannah and John have the type of romance that everyone wishes for and could only hope to experience something like that at one point of their lives.

This book is an excellent book and one that I hope I will never forget. Despite the rocky start I am giving this book a five star review. Even though I am done reading the book and I am sitting down writing this review I am still thinking about Savannah and John’s romance and wondering how their lives would be different if they took a different route then they did in the book. Their story is honest and I totally see how it could be a real life story. It’s books like this one that makes me happy that I’ve read them and able to share my views of the book with other people. I will also recommend this book to anyone that asks me about it!

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

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five-stars

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.


This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Posted July 7, 2016 by karenbaron in Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Music, New Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Review, Romance, Teen, Womens Fiction, Young Adult / 0 Comments

This Lullaby by Sarah DessenThis Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Published by Speak on March 8, 2004
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 345
Format: Paperback
five-stars

There is an alternate cover edition for this ISBN13 here.
When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

My take on this book:              This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen was such a great book. It was published back in 2004 before we had the “New Adult Fiction” book category and I think that is exactly where this book fits. Remy grows a lot in this book in my opinion while trying to figure out with why Dexter is different than the normal boys she goes after.

We follow Remy throughout most of her summer vacation as she navigates her life, her mother’s new marriage, and trying to figure out what is up with her and Dexter. The book starts off in June and then we go to July and then August. Remy tries to keep her life all nice and orderly while trying to help her mom out with some things when her mom is focused on writing her current novel.

Remy is a character that not a whole lot of people will like but at the same time she has these layers about her personality that she built from the concept of how she saw her mom living her romantic life. She just built a shield around herself hoping that it will keep herself from feeling heartache while actually not putting herself out there but wanting to find love even if she doesn’t think that she believes in love.

Remy’s friends are also very different and I think that they also reflect her personality as well. One of her best friends Jess, the motherly one, reminds me of the way that Remy is with her mom. Remy’s mom needs help with planning a wedding or even just getting a divorce going first. Another one of her best friends Lissa, the romantic one, is the one that tries to see the happiness and romantic part of everything. Her last best friend Chloe (the anti commitment one), is much like the person that Remy is when we first met her. Remy doesn’t care how many guys she goes out with as long as they are gone and out of her life by her cut off point.

Remy and Dexter though are very opposite of each other and in every sense of the word their relationship is like “opposites attract” and it’s really cool to see their relationship unfold in this book.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen is an awesome book and one that I would totally recommend for other people to read. I am also pleased to say that I am giving this book a five stars rating since it was so awesome and kept me hooked for the entire time I was reading it.

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

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five-stars

About Sarah Dessen

Hi. I’m Sarah. Writing a bio is always a little weird, if only because it seems completely self-absorbed. I have a standard one that I send out, which lists where I got my degree, the names of my books, all the same boring basic facts. But for this website, I’m supposed to do something more, give a sense of who I really am. So here goes.

The books I read when I was teenager, the good ones anyway, have stuck more in my mind than anything since. I still love books, but while I couldn’t tell you complete plots of novels I read even six months ago, I do remember even the smallest descriptive details from Lois Lowry’s A Summer to Die or Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I think it was because back then books were still somewhat new to me, and when I found an author who seemed to say just what I was feeling, it really struck me and resonated. I hope that my books do that for the people who read them: I think it’s the best thing to which any writer can aspire. I’ve also been lucky enough to teach writing and see my students find their own voice. Teaching was great for me, because I got to show people how writing can really change the way you see not only yourself but the world. I’ve found in my own life that if my writing isn’t going well, not much else will. It is the one constant, the key to everything else.

Now that I’m writing full time, I have my good days and bad days. But I’d rather be doing this, even on the worst days, than anything else. As far as my other life, my non-writing life, I live in the country with my husband, my daughter, and two very spoiled dogs. I like to work in my garden—although I have not yet perfected the art of keeping everything alive—-and, in my weaker moments, shop. What else can I tell you? I love Starbucks mochas but they make me way hyper. I subscribe to too many magazines. I make a mean bean salad. I could go on, but the truth is, my books are much more exciting than I am, and that’s a good thing. It’s always more fun to make stuff up anyway.


The Shifter Romances the Writer

Posted June 18, 2016 by karenbaron in Fairies, Gargoyles, Ghosts, Nymphs, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Rooks, Series, Shape Shifters, Supernatural, Valkyrie, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches / 0 Comments

The Shifter Romances the WriterThe Shifter Romances The Writer by Kristen Painter
Series: Nocturne Falls #6
Series Rating: five-stars
on May 24th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 364
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year.
The tourists think it's all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.
Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.
For romance writer Roxy St. James, living in Nocturne Falls also means a fresh start. And as soon as her unbearable ex signs the divorce papers, that new beginning will be a reality. Unfortunately, her ex doesn’t seem ready to let her go and the subtle threats he’s been making leave her no choice but to confide in her oh-so-handsome neighbor, who just happens to be a deputy with the sheriff’s department.
But Officer Alex Cruz isn’t just the law. He’s also a panther shifter, a secret he’s sworn to keep (along with the truth about Nocturne Falls) from the very foxy Roxy. Humans aren’t supposed to know the town is filled with supernaturals. Then she starts seeing things she shouldn’t and thinks she’s losing her mind. His attraction—and concern—for her wars with the promise he’s made.
Will his truth be more than she can handle? Or will it cause her to write him out of her life?

My Thoughts: Holy Black Panthers!

We heard of Roxy St. James as she went to school with Delaney Ellingham. Roxy is a romance writer of the paranormal nature. She is hoping for a fresh start in Nocturne Falls, leaving behind all of the bad (her ex), only bringing the good with her (her corvette, writing and the essentials). She buys a beautiful home next door to one of the sheriff deputies, Alex Cruz. We have also met Alex quite a few times in the past books.

The two of them don’t start out on the best of terms but their attraction quickly turns that around. Alex is always the gentleman and Roxy is sweet, funny and learning to like herself again.

We get to see what the other residents of Nocturne Falls are up to. Delaney’s pregnancy is going forward.  Ivy Merrow is pregnant now, Shanna has hooked up with Alex’s brother Diego, and they moved in together. We also heard from the Valkyrie sisters, got to check in with Pandora. We also met a few other residents, like Agnes the book shop owner.

Kristin Painter really spins a wonderful story. Honestly, if Nocturne Falls were a real place I would move to Georgia to live there. If you haven’t already read this series check it out, it’s fabulous. I can’t praise it enough. My rating is 5 stars.

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

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About Kristen Painter

About the Author:

Kristen Painter likes to balance her obsessions with shoes and cats by making the lives of her characters miserable and surprising her readers with interesting twists. She currently writes award-winning paranormal romance and urban fantasy. The former college English teacher can often be found on the social media links below where she loves to interact with readers.