Friday, July 22, 2011

Coming Home by Anna James

My Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Title: Coming Home

Author: Anna James

Publisher: Mélange Books LLC
      Cover Art: Caroline Andrus

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: 135 Pages


Two years ago, Christine Kincaid found her sister, Andrea, in the arms of her fiancé, James Buchanan. This after Andrea confessed to having an affair with James and being pregnant with his child. Distraught and wanting to escape the pain of James 's betrayal, Christine fled her home, just outside of Washington D.C., to London, England, her birthplace.

As startling details of her parents' tragic romance come to light, Christine now suspects she was deceived by Andrea and is determined to return home and win James back. Only James seems to hate her now. She'd known that it wouldn't be easy. She'd hurt him deeply by leaving. But she believed that somehow he'd forgive her and they would finally be together. Why did he have such a bad opinion of her? And what was she going to do to make him see that he was wrong? 


Ever had a misunderstanding with your significant other that was so huge you thought you would never get past it - that you had to really struggle to overcome? That sums up the gist of Coming Home. A huge misunderstanding, life changing revelations and overcoming major obstacles, with an element of Cinderella in it.

I really enjoyed this story. The author managed to pack a lot into 135 pages and the pacing was perfect. Christine and James come alive on the pages, as do most of the secondary characters. James is a sexy business man and Christine is a determined, independent woman. Both are very stubborn. Ms. James did an excellent job with these characters. Business men are not usually my type. Give me a cowboy over a man in a suit any day. I usually like my men rough and rugged. For me to say that James, as a business man always in suits, is sexy says a lot.

I do wish we could have gotten a bit more of a taste of the evil step-mother. We get to know (and loathe) her quite well through back-story but she only has a brief cameo appearance in the present chain of events. I think seeing her in action would have been a lot of fun. That said, Christine handles herself beautifully in the situation where we finally meet the step-mother and Christine's sister.

The interactions and reactions of the characters among each other is very realistic. I could totally see me or someone I know having the same reactions to things. I did think some things between the parents were rushed a bit. I can't say much more than that without giving something away, so I'll just leave it at that.

The only complaint I could really give about this book would be that the beginning was just a little confusing until you really understand what is going on. It was not enough to make me even think about putting it down though.

Overall, a great read and worth the time and money to invest in this one. There is some mild (but steamy) sex but nothing graphic. This is a great story of true love conquering all without being cheesy. A great first read for this author.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Matrimonial Mayhem by various authors

My Rating: 5 Stars

Title: Matrimonial Mayhem

Author(s): Elaine Cantrell; Kim Bowman; J.F. Jenkins; Kay Springsteen; Therese Gilardi; J. Gunnar Grey

Publisher: Astraea Press
Cover Art: Elaina Lee

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: 198 Pages


Revisit some of your favorite characters and meet some new ones along the way!

Matrimonial Mayhem is an anthology of wedding stories, to benefit the Governor of Alabama's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, for the hardest hit areas of the state. There are six stories:
  • Elaine Cantrell, "It All Started with Cinders Malone's Dress," based upon A New Dream. From the wrong dress to a canine disaster with the wedding cake, can anything go right for Matt and Violet on their wedding day?
  • Therese Gilardi, "Marriage on Sunset," based upon Matching Wits with Venus. Before Colin and Amelia, came Amelia's parents Stella Sweetwater and Gerard Coillard. Maybe not a match made in Heaven, but certainly one arranged by Venus...on Sunset Boulevard.
  • J.F. Jenkins, "Legend of the Aero Dragon," based upon The Legend of the Oceina Dragon. When a young dragon falls in love, best not to be standing between him and his chosen mate...especially if his choice doesn't exactly match the choice of his father.
  • Kim Bowman, "The Ballad of Brenda and Willard," based on a true urban legend Third time was the charm in the wedding tale of this author's parents, but exactly what date their anniversary should be celebrated on is anybody's guess.
  • J. Gunnar Grey, "The Lilies at Laura's Wedding," based upon Deal with the Devil. No happy hitching to be found here, but sometimes the better course to take is to say "I don't."
  • Kay Springsteen, "Camp Wedding," based upon Heartsight. A blind Marine, a nervous bride, and an adorable child who loves them both is an equation for another tug on the heartstrings in the story behind Dan and Trish's wedding. 


    Oh, where to start? As a whole, I loved this book. I got to revisit some of my favorite characters from some recently favorite authors and basically see part of the “happily ever after” played out. Annnnd, proceeds from this book is being used to help contribute to the victims and survivors of the tornadoes that devastated the south not long ago. You can't beat that! You get a great read and you get to donate to a good cause. You can't go wrong.

    To review individually:

    Elaine Cantrell, "It All Started with Cinders Malone's Dress,"
    Poor Violet. Seriously. Anything that possibly go wrong for this poor couple on, and leading up to, their wedding does. It's not as though they haven't been through enough (Seriously Ms. Cantrell, they've been through enough!) to get to this point finally.

    Therese Gilardi, "Marriage on Sunset,"
    This was fun to read. While not the main characters from the original book, we did get to revisit a couple of the secondary characters (the parents) and see how their marriage began. This one held so true to the personality of the characters, I was laughing.

    J.F. Jenkins, "Legend of the Aero Dragon,"
    Now this one was a lot of fun for me. When I originally read The Legend of the Oceina Dragon I was intrigued by the idea of the other elemental dragons. We got a little glimpse of them in the first book, but just enough to tease. This little short takes us back to the same world, but instead of revisiting known characters we get to meet some new ones within the air dragon family rather than the water dragons. Another tease for future installments. Makes me look forward to it all the more.

    Kim Bowman, "The Ballad of Brenda and Willard,"
    What can I say? I loved this one. It's not based on any of Kim Bowman's original characters – it's the story of her mom and dad. This one is so much fun and so amusing. I can very easily imagine this being the story in the family for generations. I did find it a little sad because of a certain situation, but with that said, her parents are such characters that they truly deserve their own story someday.

    J. Gunnar Grey, "The Lilies at Laura's Wedding,"
    This one was interesting because I haven't yet read Deal With The Devil so I wasn't familiar with the characters at all. The author managed to convey the personalities of the characters very well in such a short length story. It intrigued me and made me want to learn more about Harris while simultaneously making me loathe the character of Laura. I will definitely have to check into this book.

    Kay Springsteen, "Camp Wedding,"
    Ahh, love. I loved this story originally, and I still do. Getting to re-visit Dan, Trish and Bella was like reconnecting with old friends. They all stayed true to form and, of course, Bella stole the show. We got to meet Dan's family, which I loved! 

    Again, as mentioned above - proceeds from this story are being donated to "the Governor of Alabama's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives" to help the devastated victims of the tornadoes that swept through the south a few months ago. The book is definitely worth the price.


    Monday, July 11, 2011

    For Love of an Angel (Fallen Warrior Series) by Rosalie Lario

    My Rating: 5 Stars

    Title: For Love of an Angel (The Fallen Warrior Series)

    Author: Rosalie Lario

    Cover Art: Brittany Smith (Find her here: )

    Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance

    Length: 152 Pages


    In a world where angels rule over humans, twelve outcasts dare to defy expectation, warring with their angel brethren to prevent the extinction of humankind.

    They are The Fallen...

    Michael is one of twelve angels who have been outcast due to their determination to protect humans. In order to preserve his immortality and strength, he must find a mate with angel blood. Eva Smyth has never believed the propaganda spouted by the Consortium—the elite system of guards put into place once angels took over reign of Earth—but she never expected to learn the angels plan to eradicate all of humankind, or that she herself is part angel. Joining Michael means living a life on the run, at war against the angels and hunted by the Consortium. Eva must decide whether to risk it all...for love of an angel.


    In a previous review, I stated that the paranormal genre is my favorite genre. Despite that, I haven't read many novels that feature angels as the paranormal aspect in the book so I really wasn't sure what to expect with this one. Let me begin by saying this: quite simply – I adored this book! I'm so happy that it is a series because I cannot wait for the next one.

    When angels took over the world a lot of things changed drastically and even though the angels are rarely actually seen, the world worships them. Now they answer to the Consortium and there are rules in place that never existed before. Eva was only thirteen when the veil fell, but she remembers life before the angels and wonders if everything is truly as it seems. Sometimes Eva feels like she was meant for something more. Or at least wishes she had the opportunity.

    Then she meets Michael. Michael shows her that, indeed, things really aren't as they seem and tells her things that could mean a death sentence if she believes him.

    Whoever thought that men with wings on their back couldn't be considered sexy, needs to read this story. Because, seriously, Michael could best be described with one word: “yuuuuummmmy”. Yep, I think that pretty much covers it all. “Wow” might actually work too. Or maybe “drool”. And I loved Eva. She is a sassy, spirited little thing and her internal thoughts are so realistic and hilarious.

    The book is very well written and the pace is realistic. One thing that drives me crazy with novellas and shorts sometimes is when the pace goes at warp speed and nothing seems like it could realistically happen at that pace. Ms. Lario manages to convey a sense of time passing, without taking up too much space to do it, and keeps the story moving forward while still making it all believable. And the sexual tension between Eva and Michael is smoldering.

    The background given for the angels is very interesting and I can't wait to learn more and see how it all plays out in future sequels. There is black and white (literally) and shades of gray. It's a very interesting take on good versus evil and reality versus pre-conceptions. Despite the fact that this is about angels, there isn't really much (if any) religion in the story so don't let that put you off, if that's something that would sway you one way or the other.

    If you enjoy paranormal romance, this is not one that you want to miss. You won't regret it and at $.99 you can't go wrong. It is a quick, entertaining read that will leave you looking forward to the sequels.