Wednesday, February 13, 2013

LOVE IS IN THE AIR: HOT READS FOR A COLD WINTER'S NIGHT


I've found some yummy books to read by the fire this week. Hey, this is the week of romance, flowers, chocolate, and love. This week's selections cover a pretty wide range but all are worth the read.

THE SECOND CHANCE CAFE
Alison Kent  

Growing up, Kaylie Flynn was shuffled from foster home to foster home before being welcomed into Winton and May Wise’s family. It was May who taught Kaylie the comfort of home, and the healing power of baking the perfect brownie. Years later, May leaves Kaylie the money she needs to open her own cafĂ© in the charming Victorian they once shared. Now back in Hope Springs, Kaylie’s determined to finally make all her dreams a reality—and unearth answers to lingering questions about her past.


Soon, however, Kaylie’s carefully laid plans take an unexpected turn. The house needs far more work than she realized, and Tennessee Keller, the carpenter Kaylie hires, is proving to be a very handsome and very unneeded distraction from her quest to uncover the truth about her parents. When a crisis threatens to destroy everything she’s worked so hard to build, Kaylie must decide where her heart lies: with the ghosts of her past or the love and promise of her future. Excerpt

I always enjoy a well put together and layered read. This story by Alison Kent fits the bill for that and adds a good love story, sprinkles how past experiences--especially when we're young--can impact our life in the present and the choices we make. Plus, Alison shares some fabulous brownie recipes. I loved some of her secondary characters like Luna, Mitch, and Dolly (I'd love to see where the last two end up). The story kept me glued to the pages and the ending...well, Alison added the perfect touch. Well worth picking up and reading. I'm looking forward to other stories set in Hope Springs, Texas (I also enjoyed the clever pay on cliches such as 'hope springs' and where this cafe is located).
                                                                                                                                                          


A SEAL'S SEDUCTION
Tawny Weber  

Subject: Navy SEAL Lieutenant Blake Landon
Current Status: Two weeks of enforced leave
Mission: Distract himself in any way possible
Obstacle: A woman who tempts him to break the rules…including his own!
Navy SEAL Blake Landon (a.k.a. “Boy Scout”) knows the rule book inside and out. Checked. Rechecked. But when a mission ends badly, his entire team is ordered on leave. And that’s when Blake sees the tall redhead whose dark eyes suggest that the rules— especially those in bed—are made to be broken.
Scientist Alexia Lane has sex on the brain—partly for work, but mostly because she needs a man who makes her girly parts do the happy dance. Her only no-no? No military dudes. But Blake’s rockin’ bod promises delicious pleasures, and Alexia is halfway to sexual Nirvana before she can find out he’s actually a Navy SEAL.
And where one rule is broken, more are sure to follow…. Excerpt
I've made no secret of the fact I love Tawny Weber's stories for Blaze  and for a lot of reasons. She tells a great story, her characters feel real and the heroines are spunky and sassy, and I love her dialog and she's very, very good with dialog. Her books fun and sexy (without the detailed sex by-play of erotic romance), they make me laugh, and I love the way she layers in issues without detracting from the overall story. Best of all, you gotta love a happy-ever-after-ending. Or, at least I do. 
This one adds a serious thread of danger which showcases what SEALS do, then there is the whole family issues type of danger, and there are some great secondary characters. I love Michael and Cade is just delicious (can't wait to read his story next month). Speaking of happy endings, A SEALS Seduction, has the perfect ending, in my opinion. I laughed!
                                                                                                                                                                                
If you like your stories young and sweet and short, you might enjoy Rachel Morgan's YA Novella.
THE FAERIE GUARDIAN
Rachel Morgan  

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day's work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone--she's about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until one of her assignments--a human boy who shouldn't even be able to see her--follows her into the fae realm. Now she's broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.
The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he's discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? But Nate and Vi are about to land themselves in even bigger trouble--and it'll take all Vi's training to get them out alive. 
I'll be the first to admit, I rarely read YA. Having said that, I'll also say that I have read a few good ones. I was curious about Rachel's story and since she's one of my blogging buddies and I love the cover, I wanted to read her work (I do manage to do that with many of my blogging buddies). 

I found the story to be a good read. Nice flow to the story and the characters are easily pictured, the dialog fits the generation (and I usually have a houseful of members from this generation at any given time). Rachel skillfully hooks her reader in the opening and keeps you moving forward because you want to see what happens. Her world is surprisingly well developed considering it's a novella. The Faerie world had a bit of the feel of what I loved about Hogwarts but without the darkness of that particular series storyline. I liked the attraction between Nate and Vi. Secondary characters like Tora added the right spice to the mix and Ryn...Yeah, he needs a smack upside the head. 

I'll be reading the next installment of this series--not because Rachel is my blogging buddy (that only gets the first book read), but because she tells a very good story.

                                                                                                                                                
AND A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE!

                                                                                                                        

10 comments:

Rachel Morgan said...

Oh wow, it's my book! Thank you so much for reviewing it! Yay :-) I hope you enjoy the rest of the story ;-)

Melanie Schulz said...

What an eclectic mix!

Johanna Garth said...

I just might have to pick up A Seal's Seduction because (ahem) I once dated a Navy Seal and I'm a little curious to see how accurately the character is portrayed.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I know Rachel! Good choice.

~Sia McKye~ said...

@Rachel--I really enjoyed it and yes, I'm sure I'll enjoy the next one as well.

@Melanie-I'm an eclectic reader.:-) I enjoy different genres or even different sub-genres of romance. Variety is the spice of life.

~Sia McKye~ said...

@Johanna--sure. Actually, Tawny's book is a light read but what she does add into the book is accurate. It's sexy and fun.

@Alex--yah, I loved the cover when I first saw it but my TBR pile is precariously high. I get to them when I can. I'm glad I read this one.

Tawny said...

Sia, thank you so much for the fabulous comments on A SEAL's Seduction :-) I'm so glad you enjoyed the story!!!

Mason Canyon said...

Sia, these all sound like great reads and especially perfect for this week. I just requested The Second Chance Cafe on audio. Now I'm really looking forward to listening to it.

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day filled with lots of chocolate (and coffee of course). :)

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Sheila Deeth said...

Cool, and great variety. Thanks.

L.G. Smith said...

Fun choices for Valentines. I have to admit I'm sort of partial to the fairy stories.