The Convenient Cowboy

Marry me or walk…
Nate Hansen desperately needs a reboot to his playboy image that doesn’t involve women, drinking and fighting. Rehabilitation and building a solid future proves elusive as he can’t land a permanent job until someone mentions local widow Joy Mitchell who’s advertising a full-time ranch job. Perfect.
Joy Mitchell is desperate for a ranch hand to help keep her dead husband’s legacy alive out of the greedy grasp of her manipulative father-in-law. Nate’s reputation precedes him, none of it good, but the ranch is running on empty, and Joy make the hard choice. Problem is the job she’s offering isn’t exactly what Nate had planned. 
Nate knows what its like to lose everything, but seriously, become a mail-order groom? But Joy won’t or can’t compromise.

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Best-selling author, Ann B Harrison has the perfect backdrop for her imagination to run wild, the lush wine growing region of the Hunter Valley in Australia. She alternates her time between writing western romances, romantic suspense and walking her dog, Chilli.

Two kinds of hero make Ann to a mass of nerves. The hot cowboy with a slow sexy drawl (she used to live out in the desert where they were more common than where she lives now) and a man in a kilt. Imagine Jamie Fraser and you’ll understand why. She can’t wait to visit Scotland where she can get her fill of the tartan clad hotties for, um, research purposes, of course.

In the meantime, her dear husband puts up with her talking to her characters and getting lost in worlds only she can imagine as she battles to bring stories to the page for everyone to enjoy.

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Heart of the Texas Doctor

Opposites attract… 

Graham McBride is a cardiothoracic surgeon and the eldest of the McBride siblings. Dedicated, hardworking, traditional, and oh, yeah, hot. But Graham married young and divorced, and is now convinced no woman will tolerate his dedication to his career. When he meets Bella Benson at a party he’s immediately attracted to her, probably because she’s totally different from any woman he’s ever dated. 

…but can they stay together? 

Bella owns one of the local hair salons. She’s young, hardworking, successful and unconventional. And to Graham there’s no denying that, from the tips of her rainbow-colored hair to the soles of her fancy turquoise cowboy boots, Bella Benson is smokin’. 

Bella is no more interested in getting serious than Graham. After all, other than a sizzling physical attraction, they don’t have a lot in common. But oh, that sizzle! Irresistible right? So they jump into the fire, both confident they can keep their emotions in check. Love and passion rarely stick with a plan, and while Graham has expertise in repairing hearts, he is disastrously clueless figuring out his own. Can he prove to Bella that he’s worth the risk?

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Eve Gaddy is the award winning, national bestselling author of more than thirty novels and novellas. Her newest release is Heart of the Texas Doctor, first in her Heart of Texas series and first book from Tule publishing’s newest series, Last Stand, Texas.

Eve is a member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll for bestselling authors. Her books have won and been nominated for awards from Romantic Times, Bookseller’s Best, Holt Medallion and many more. She was awarded the 2008 Romantic Times Career Achievement award for Series Storyteller of the year, and was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Innovative Series romance. Eve writes a little bit of everything in theromance genre–including contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and romantic mystery.

Eve also loves a happy ending. That’s why she writes romance.

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Betrothals and Betrayals

I’ve never read a Pride and Prejudice variation before. I suppose I’ve watched a few adaptations with Bollywood spins or a teenage case. But I enjoy Jane Austen’s work and thought it would be the perfect sort of historical to dive into. So, today I want to talk about Betrothals and Betrayals, written by Cinnamon Worth and Kay Springsteen, narrated by Megan Green.

Genre: Historical Romance

Story Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers

Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Fitzwilliam Darcy knows he must marry and has a short list of suitable ladies to propose to. Passionate love isn’t a huge concern, as he aims for a marriage that could be comfortable and sturdy instead. He doesn’t want to take a gamble on feelings when he could have the stability of facts. But none of choices work out, leaving him more annoyed than heartbroken. And when he returns to Pemberley to “woo” the brother of a potential bride, he’s faced with his biggest challenge yet, the formidable Elizabeth Bennet.

Elizabeth Bennet has resigned herself to spinsterhood, unwilling to live on the charity of her relations. She decides to spend her life as a companion or governess, giving up on love and the idea of a family of her own for the stability of a wage. One cold day she meets Georgiana Darcy, a young heiress with a heavy weight on her shoulders. Soon, their complicated relationship brings Elizabeth towards the future she never thought she could have.

Darcy and Elizabeth enter into a timeless tango. Both are strong-willed and have a very specific idea of what love is and how they want to spend their lives. At first, they want nothing more than to be rid of each other, but we all know how the story goes!

I don’t want to spoil anything, since there are plot points that are different than the original work. But some of the storylines seemed to just end or disappear with no warning or explanation. You’re left wondering what happened to one character while trying to unravel the twisting lives of those in England’s high society. It’s nothing too major, but I would have liked some clarification in regards to some things.

Books like these are where Megan Green shines! She was born in the south of England, giving her the perfect voice for a classic work. Sometimes narrators take on projects with accents they’re not familiar with, leaving you with a botched attempt at a western twang or an Australian one that makes you cringe. But Green uses her natural accent to create well-rounded voice for everyone in Austen’s world.

Overall, I enjoyed my first Austen adaptation. It was interesting and comfortable, like revisiting an old story, but with enough twists to keep you focused. I think any Austen fan would find this book a lovely treat to listen to on a warm spring day.

What Happens in the Highlands

Match made in heaven or maid of dishonor?

Tight-laced Rose Hensel arrives in Scotland for her best friend’s wedding with a plan—to be the greatest maid of honor ever, let loose for the first time in years, and find out what Scottish guys really wear under their kilts. After meeting the best man, she thinks she found the man who checks all the boxes for a no-strings-attached romp among the heather.
Lachlan Calder-Mackinnon knows how to show a girl a good time. Gourmet dinners in castle ruins, picnics among rolling hills, and a seaside escape create some unforgettable dates. But as the fling begins to morph into something more, an unexpected wedding guest threatens to ruin Rose and Lachlan’s new romance.
With a plane ticket in one hand and her broken heart in the other, Rose prepares to head home to reality. However, she’s about to learn that what happens in the Highlands doesn’t always stay there. 
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The Christmas Challenge

I’ve been getting into the world of Westerns lately, and was lucky that my introduction to it was through The Christmas Challenge, The Wilder Brothers Book 3, by Sinclair Jayne.

Heat Level:❤️❤️❤️

Genre: Western, Holiday Romance

Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Tucker goes back to the Triple T Ranch as little as possible. But when her twin sister plans her wedding for Christmas Eve, Tucker has no choice but to leave LA and head home to Marietta, Montana. She plans on being the perfect wedding helper and staying so far out of trouble, no one in town can even begin to gossip. However, she has a less than chaste background with the groom and when a hot cowboy comes within range of Tucker, she finds it hard to say no.

Laird has to Marietta with one goal in mind, to unlock the secrets of his past. He doesn’t expect Tucker to be the first person he meets. She’s a redhead with a bite and he’s drawn to her like no other. But she’s made a promise to herself to stay away from sex, so he makes due with coffee meetups and midnight ice skating.

Their secrets bind them together and they confide in one another with the knowledge that after the Christmas wedding, they’ll both go home. But midnight skating turns into all night talking and some chemistry no one can ignore.

Okay, I want to start with the chemistry between Tucker and Laird. The way they skimmed the unspoken line people do before falling into bed was electric. I just wanted to push them together and yell, “just get in bed!” But the slow burn between them was just another element I really enjoyed, and in retrospect, wouldn’t change a thing.

Tucker’s growth in the book was also very well done. She blew into Marietta as a headstrong, selfish, girl, but by the end, she certainly learned a few lessons on humility and patience. But her flaws made her human and the way she was able to self-reflect was fantastic.

Overall, The Christmas Challenge was a funny, sweet but sexy, holiday romance that made me want to put on my ice skates.

Bad to the Crone

I love all things witchy, so when the fabulously talented Meghan Kelly came to me with Bad to the Crone by Amanda M. Lee, I was sold. I’ve heard of the author, but this was my first work by her.

  • Heat Level:❤️
  • Genre: Paranormal, Cozy Mystery
  • Story Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Scout’s origins are a mystery. After being left as a toddler at a fire station with no memory of her parents, she’s taken in and given a name. As she grew, it became apparent that she had a special set of gifts. She feels it’s her duty to use her powers for good and joins a biker club called the Spells Angels to fight evil. It means a nomadic lifestyle, loose roots, and the chance to find out where she came from.

When she rolls into Hawthorn Hollow, it’s quieter than she expected and Scout can’t imagine what dangers the small town could possibly hide. It’s so little, she doesn’t even need her bike to get around. But it turns out evil likes small and quiet, the kind of cozy places where neighbors trust one another and never lock their doors.

With a team of powerful witches, including a broody, handsome Gunner, Scout fights to keep her new post as monster-free as possible. But questions about her own past and getting to know the ins and outs of her new crew makes for a complicated time for our witchy heroine.

I wish the actual Spells Angels bikers played a bigger part in the book. It had great potential and I thought a witch on a motorcycle was such an awesome idea, but once she’s in Hawthorn Hollow, Scout’s biker crew is just, well, a crew. It would have made more sense to just make it a coven instead of build up the biker stuff in the beginning just for it to fall a little flat. Since this is a series, I’m hoping the next books have some serious Harley vibes.

Scout was a fun character and I really want to know the rest of her backstory. Strong female leads who don’t take any back talk are some of favorites and her sassy comebacks were always welcome. Perhaps Gunner might be strong enough to take her on, but who knows what their idea of romance would be! Knowing them, it’d be rounding up some varied and hitting the biker bar for some wings.

The narrator Kelly couldn’t disappoint me if she tried. This particular cast of characters was wild compared to the traditional romances of hers I’ve heard in the past. The range of her voice is always impressive. She’s gone from a sweet school teacher in the Midwest to a werewolf king to a strong biker witch and have none of them sound the same. I like to think I could identify each of the books she’s worked on with nothing more than a character clip! Maybe I’ll try that one time and put my possible skills to use.

Overall, Bad to the Crone was a fun, light listen that’s squeaky clean, making it safe for fans of all ages.

Aliens and Ice Cream

Happy Sunday everyone! Start the week with a new book, Aliens and Ice Cream by Michael James,


They’re everywhere. 

If you go outside, they’ll kill you. 
If you try to run, they’ll kill you. 

Ice cream probably won’t help.

On an entirely normal summer day, the sky rips apart and aliens pour from the wound. Black, featureless pods, they are horrifying in their efficiency, killing anything that steps foot outside. Inexplicably, they don’t attack anyone indoors. 

No one knows where they came from, what they want and when—or if—they’ll go away. Matt Cutler wanted to spend Sunday with his family. Now, he’s trapped in a tree fort outside his house with his neighbor, Heather Keene, and his little sister Abby. 

They can’t go outside. 

They’re running out of water. 

If dehydration doesn’t kill them, the aliens will. 

But Matt thinks he’s figured out a way to save everyone… if the aliens don’t kill him first.

Irish Reads

Ireland is a colorful country with a history and culture that’s reflected in its art. The book are no different, and I just wanted to throw out a few of my favorite works by Irish authors. Some you’ve probably read, a few have movie deals, and others are hidden gems from the Emerald Isle.

The Wanderings of Oisín by W.B. Yeats is technically a book of poems. While I’m not a poetry expert, or normally even a fan, I really enjoy how he fleshed out Irish legends and think he did a marvelous job. For the full effect of his work, look up “The Stolen Child.” You’ll see what I mean.

You’ve probably seen Brooklyn, starting fabulous Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, but Brooklyn was a book first by Irish author Colm Tóibín. It’s a very moving piece of fiction about a young woman named Ellis who leaves Ireland for America and ends up straddling two worlds. It’s a book about tough decisions that belongs on any bookshelf.

Here’s another book turned movie where the book is better, in my opinion. PS. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern is about a widow named Holly, living in Dublin and grieving the premature loss of her husband. He left her a stack of letters to help her through life without him. It’s a tear-jerker for sure!

Seventeen year old Maggie was a steerage passenger on the Titanic who woke up in New York. She decides to never return to her native Ireland, or speak of her journey again. But secrets never stay that way forever in The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor.

How Many Miles to Babylon by Jennifer Johnston explores class differences in Ireland before the onset of WWI. An aristocrat and one of his laborers begin a friendship that follows them into the trenches. It’s a historical fiction of the highest caliber.

The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill is a novel that fits perfectly in the historical thriller section of any personal library. A mysterious death in Northern Ireland brings two women together, intertwining their lives for decades.

Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes is a romantic comedy suitable for anyone who wants a light read. After visiting a psychic, Lucy thinks there might be love on the horizon, but life’s never that easy.

Here’s a dark comedy that takes place in Cork. There’s a wild cast of character in The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney that are brought together by an accidental crime that has unintended consequences.

That’s it for my short list! Have you read any of these books, or do you have any others to add? Let me know in the comments!

Hang Your Heart on Christmas

It may not be Christmas anymore, but New Jersey is still completely freezing, meaning that books with a winter feel get first dibs on my list. This lovely Friday, I have the sweet audiobook Hang Your Heart on Christmas, written by Heather Blanton, Narrated by Meghan Kelly.

Genre: Sweet Western Romance

Heat Level: ❤️

Story Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers

Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Dent wasn’t always a stone cold killer. Granted, a steady shot and a way with a noose has made him one of the best US Marshall’s in the west, but with each dead outlaw, he loses more of himself. And until he finds the man who killed his father so many years before, he won’t hand in his badge or hang up his guns.

Amy just moved to Evergreen, Wyoming to be the sleepy town’s new school teacher. She fled her home for her new post with a few scars that left her scared of men, the dark, and the unknown. She was promised the quiet life, and intends to heal with the help of her adorable students and a new place.

They’re so different, they immediately butt heads. Any thinks Dent is surly and abrasive. Dent thinks Amy is dull and too bookish. But you know what they say about opposites attracting. And when the towns new mayor and a mystery from the past invades Evergreen, the marshall and the teacher might have to join forces.

I thought this book was adorable. The romance was sweet with a nice, slow burn that really built up over time. It allowed me to get invested in Dent and Amy as characters without the “insta-love” some stories have. They had their own identities outside of the romance, which I loved. It wasn’t just a man and a woman, it was two individuals with complicated feelings and pasts that weren’t just slapped on a page.

The action in the book, which I won’t go into so I don’t spoil anything, also added a nice layer. Sometimes with sweet romances, it’s easy for me to get bored. But with murder, crime, and mysteries to keep things spicy, I was fully invested. The one thing I felt was missing, was the Christmas. They were carving pumpkins, not decorating for the holidays, so I would have liked to see more Christmas from a book with it in its title.

Finally, how is it that Meghan Kelly seems to get more talented with every book? Really, I was impressed with the first, but it’s like she keeps surprising me with the range of her voice. I think by the next one, I’ll be able to identify each character by tone alone! Between the light accents and the inflections unique to each character, she does a lovely job.


Today I have another book/audiobook for you. Blinded, Elkridge Series: Book #1, written by Lyz Kelley and narrated by Meghan Kelly.

  • Genre: Contemporary Romance and Suspense
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️
  • Story Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

A terrible accident as a teen robbed Mara of her parents and her sight. Now she lives above her flower shop with her trusty seeing eye dog, often visited by her older brother, who now has a life and family of his own. It’s taken years for her to be completely independent and she still mourns the life she once dreamed of–romance, a family, maybe even a musical career. And when a blast from the past shakes things up, her dreams threaten to turn into nightmares.

Joey left his small town as soon as high school graduation was over, and never looked back, building a life in Seattle as a detective. But when his older brother is found dead, and the deputies at a loss for what happened, he takes a week off work to bury his sibling and search for clues. When he steps into the local flower shop to buy something for his mom, he finds Mara right where he left her so many years ago.

He thought she got married and had no idea the accident left her blind. She never thought he’d come back into their small town. Joey’s flight leaves soon and Mara isn’t interested in having her heart broken again. But some bonds are unbreakable.

Mara’s blindness was a topic that could have gone very well or very poorly. I was pleased to see that Kelley created a character that wasn’t defined by her blindness, but it was just one layer in a very complex young woman with strength and passion. The small “tells” were there as well, like Mara’s wording to her seeing eye dog and the way she spoke of her therapy after the crash. The author did a lovely job of not just sticking the word “blind” in a book, which is very important when it comes to embracing characters in literature.

The mystery aspect was strong as well, a true “who done it” that makes you think as you listen. I appreciated that the crime plot line wasn’t cut and dry, tied with a pretty bow after an hour like a TV cop show.

Meghan Kelly was already a pro when I came across her work, but she’s really outdone herself with Blinded. From a kid nephew to an old, angry Italian man, everyone has a distinct voice that never wavers. She gave this thrilling contemporary romance with and edge a life.