book review

The Betrayed

Every time Irina Shapiro releases a new book, I wonder if it’ll have a happy ending. Will the couple who left only bones behind actually end up together? Will Quinn unlock her own past, which seems more unlikely with each page? In a collection of books that never get old, I’m always left with questions that never have easy answers.

Introducing The Betrayed, Echoes From the Past book seven by Irina Shapiro.

As always, I will try to avoid spoilers, but since this is the 7th book in the series, some things will slip through the cracks. Want to avoid that? Start with book one today, The Lovers. Trust me.

  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️
  • Genre: Historical and Contemporary Fiction
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

In 2005, Dr. Quinn Allenby unearthed a crucified skeleton in Ireland. Among the bones and dirt is a hamsa charm, a protective amulet often often used by Muslims. She can’t figure out how a Muslim would have found his way to Ireland and what led to the crucifixion.

In 1588, the Spanish Armada ship Rafael de Silva was sailing on crashes on the rocky coasts of Ireland. With limited English, a hidden hamsa, and wounded comrades, he’s trapped in hostile territory with no way home. And as the Protestant English forces progress into Catholic Ireland, protecting his identity becomes more vital than ever.

While trying to learn more about Rafael, Quinn is mired in mysteries in the present day as well. Her long lost sister isn’t lost anymore, not physically at least. But as Quinn pushes to get closer to Jo, Jo begins to run before her own past catches up to her. The secrets never end for poor Quinn, although she’ll do anything to set things right.

As always, I need a breather after each of Shapiro’s books. Not since Outlander has a series so completely set the bar for what a good book is. Each installment is so deliciously dark, but still makes you hope for just once, things won’t be as bad as Quinn’s skeletons make them out to be.

Quinn is completely lovable. Kind, selfless, and always eager to see the best in people, she’s never prepared for those close to her to betray her. Every book, I root for things in her life to go east on her, just once, and things always seem to just fall apart in both the past and present.

Overall, I suggest this book in ebook and audio format to all book lovers.

book review

Falling for Cowboys

It’s getting chilly in New Jersey, so soon I’ll be sticking inside and starting on my massive TBR list. Today, I’d like to share seven cowboy romances so you can add to your lists too!

Coming Home to the Cowboy by Megan RyderChampion bull rider Chase has a background that’s kept him constantly pushing people away. With his dude ranch failing, he’ll have to do the one thing he hates the most…ask for help. Accountant and small business advisor Hailey can turn any business into a gold mine. But when she’s called to fix the ranch of the one man she can’t stand to see, her job will get more difficult than she ever imagined.

Midnight Ride by Kat Johnson

Ranch hand Tyler isn’t a one woman kind of guy. Young, single, and ready to mingle, he’s only looking for a good time. Widowed rancher Janie is ready to get back into the dating scene, but none of the men she meets ignites a spark within her. When the younger ranch hand next door crosses her path, she’ll have to re-evaluate what kind of guy she needs.

Reckless in Texas by Keri Lynn Dell

Rodeo owner Violet is trying to run her family business, co-parent her son, and keep her life in order. Bullfighter Joe didn’t mean to get in trouble or end up in his old small town. In front of a crowd, they put on one hell of the show, but behind closed doors, things are much more complicated.

Corralled by Lorelei James

Sports therapist Lainie has seen and heard it all as she travels the rodeo circuit. She’s immune to cowboy charm until two different men make her reconsider her rules against riders. Both Hank and Kyle want to be her one and only, so she’ll have to choose fast before she loses them both forever.

Second Chance Cowboy by A.J. Pine

Jack is back home on the family land after ten years. He thinks it’s only for his father’s funeral, but now he has to take charge of his inheritance. Ava has a secret she’s been holding on to for ten years, one Jack has a right to know. When Jack comes back into town, old wounds will reopen.

Trouble in Texas by Katie Lane

Librarian Elizabeth is the last person suited to owning the local “house of ill repute,” but an inheritance and a group of women who like working at Hattie’s Henhouse means Elizabeth can’t sell. Cowboy Brant came into town to investigate a cold case and ends up handcuffed to a bed. Opposites attract and lines are crossed at Hattie’s Henhouse.

Big Bad Cowboy by Carly Bloom

Travis doesn’t want to return to his hometown, but his nephew needs him. He wants to sell the family ranch and leave town as soon as possible. He and Maggie have a past, one that left her hating him. But when they’re forced together, they might just have to learn to make it work.


Are there any cowboy romances you adore? Let me know!

book review, New Book

Once Upon a Highland Glen

It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of Suzan Tisdale for years. Before Outlander, she was my introduction to the world of hot Scots. And now she’s launched her own publishing house called Glenfinnan Publishing and launched her new endeavor with a historical, romantic anthology, Once Upon a Highland Glen.

Since there are six stories, I’ll have six sections in this review, with my thoughts italicized for easier reading.

  • Heat Level: the stories range from wholesome to steamy.
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Overall Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers

The Legend by Violetta Rand

Laird Bron Kieth was not a kind man, and one night when we went out in search of his prized ram. He was set upon by his enemies and drug himself to the safety of a glen. A mysterious woman gives him one wish and he asks for a second chance at life, so he can be a better man.

This short introduction set the scene for the rest of the stories.

Wager of the Heart by Suzan Tisdale

Graham Kieth is the descendant of Bron, but has yet to learn the same lesson. A directionless cad, he drunklenly stumbles into a glen after a game of cards, where he laments his loneliness and wishes he had a family to care for him. When he awakes to find his wish comes true, he’s less than thrilled with his new reality. But when he must decide what kind of man he wants to be, more than one future will depend on him.

I thought this story was cute and could have easily been a full length book on its own. Graham and Leelah weren’t a match made in heaven, and he’s certainly no match for her stubbornness. It’s hard to tell who needs who more by the end of this story.

Clouds Across the Moon by Kathryn Lynn Davis

Braida is only sixteen when her daughter is born. Her husband Bran is twenty-two, the tutor for the laird’s children, and not an overly kind man. He feels detached from his daughter and longs for his wife to be the carefree, moldable teen he once met.

I have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan of this tale. A husband being basically disgusted by his child bride’s changed body and her devotion to their baby made me uncomfortable. There wasn’t the romance I expected.

Highland Heart’s Desire by Victoria Zak

The fairy Breena was enchanted by the forbidden human world. While she’s not very good with magic yet, she does what she can to keep the animals in her forest safe. When a hunter is injured, she breaks the fae laws to tend to him. Robert Keith thinks he imagined the beautiful woman that day, but five years later, he’ll question everything he ever knew.

This story was sweet and charming with a lot of heart. Breena was adorable and Robert was a gem. Watching their romance span the years was lovely.

The Lost Soul by Ceci Giltenan

Spoiled Margaret Grant is sent to live with her betrothed, Logan Carr’s clan in an attempt to make her come to peace with her betrothal. After a fall, she finds herself in a glen where she makes a wish to prove she can be a better person. But before she can go back to her pampered life, she must walk in the shoes of another.

This story was a bit on the humorous side, without losing the message that’s been carried through the anthology. It also held a nice amount of detail that really set the tone.

Whispers to the Soul by Kate Robbins

Kenzie is on the run from a vile clan guardsman when she’s rescued by the handsome Gaelin. But she soon learns she is no simple kitchen maid as she and Gaelin go on a journey to find safety and the truth.

This was my favorite story in the anthology, so I believe Robbins has found a new fan in me! Witty and steamy, Kenzie was a heroine in her own right and I would have lived to read a full book focused on her tale.

The Courageous Highlander by Lily Baldwin.

Laird Owen MacArthur rules over a secluded clan where every year the laird must hunt alone to bring prosperity to the people. On one of these hunts, he finds the beautiful Gwynn help captive in a strange glen. He’s struck by her beauty and promises to free her, but at what cost?

A magic tale, Baldwin’s addition was action packed with a touch of mystery. It was a wonderful addition.


Overall, I enjoyed most of the anthology with a few standing out as deserving a full length novels. I recommended this collection to all historical romance fans.

book review, New Book

Goode Over Evil

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a debut novel by new author Leslie Marshman, Goode Over Evil.

  • Genre: Crime/Romance
  • Heat Level:❤️❤️❤️
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Texas Ranger Samantha Goode is no stranger to the dark sides of life. Drug busts and danger are just part of her job, and she knows she can handle anything…except going back to her small hometown where the ghosts from her past are much more dangerous than the criminals she meets at work. When her grandmother dies, she has no choice but to go back to Crystal Creek and face her demons, and the man she left behind.

Clay Barnett wants a simple life on the ranch, where he can take care of his little brother and be free from his father’s control. But his life is nothing but simple and things only get worse when the woman who walked out on him more than a decade ago comes back to town and a body is found floating in the water.

For a debut novel, this book was beautifully done. Marshman created a realistic world where relatable characters struggle to solve a murder while figuring out their feelings. Everything was fleshed out really well without taking away from the fast paced storyline.

Sam was a killer leading lady. Sarcastic, strong, and focused, she gives us a fantastic heroine to root for. And although this book has romance and steam, Sam doesn’t need a man to save her, or propel the book. She’s enough all by herself.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Goode Over Evil and look forward to seeing what’s next for my new favorite crime fighter.

New Book, Writing

Tule Birthday Bash

Tule Publishing is celebrating their 6th birthday! That means party favors for you! From Friday September 6th until Sunday the 8th, all ebooks are 50% off with the code TULE6 at checkout in their online bookstore HERE.

You can snag books about sweet cowboys, mobsters on the run, romantic pirates, and holiday escapades. We’ve reviewed several Tule books on this blog and haven’t read one we didn’t love. Sweet or steamy, it’s all there in the bookstore. Cick HERE to start shopping.

BTW if you haven’t read Kelsey’s contemporary romance series set in Scotland, the first two books are in the Tule book shop, ready to be read! Catch up with all the hot Scots before book 3 comes out this winter.

Match made in heaven or maid of dishonor?

Tight-laced Rose Henselarrives 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 don’t always stay there.

Order your copy in the Tule store HERE

Can she stop her past from ruining her future?

Sorcha Mackinnon isn’t your typical tortured artist. She is also a party girl, a vintage shopper, and the heiress to a whisky fortune. But when inspiration suddenly flies out the window, she’s left with an empty whisky glass and a blank canvas…until a childhood friend waltzes back into her life.

She’s known Danny Gordon since birth, but they lost touch as their careers took them in different directions. He offers to show her the parts of Scotland he swears will spark life back into her brushes. And as they tour the sights on the back of his motorcycle, Sorcha realizes that under the tattoos and smart mouth, Danny may inspire more in her than just a new painting.

But as a good time begins to morph into an ever after, Sorcha is reminded of old wounds that just won’t heal. Danny tries to open her heart, but her self-imposed isolation makes things harder than ever. Now she must decide what to do, because what happens in the ruins doesn’t always stay there.

Order your copy from the Tule store HERE

New Book

Back to School Booklist

Ring, ring, ring…school’s back in session and that calls for more books on your reading list. Today’s theme is teachers in love and at least one is featured in each of the fantastic novels below.

Blind Date Bet by Nicole Flockton

Fifth grade teacher Isabella isn’t interested in getting mixed up with a military man again. She’s been down that road before and isn’t keen on getting her heart broken. Air Force K9 trainer Ethan isn’t opposed to love, but isn’t too worried about settling down right away. But could a blind date change both of their minds?

Coming Home by Audrey Wick

When a cyber attack forces college professor Mallory to her hometown in Texas for some much deserved rest, she’s looking forward to letting things back at work die down. Professional mover Alec specializes in helping people get their lives back on track. But when the line between work and something more begin to blur, are they both in store for heartbreak?

Vision in White by Nora Roberts

Wedding photographer Mac is sick of bridezillas. She’s looking for something to take her mind off work, and English teacher Carter fits the bill. But as the casual fling begins to morph into something more, Mac isn’t so sure she’s ready for her own happily ever after.

Crazy for You by Jennifer Cruisie

Highschool art teacher Quinn’s life is in a rut. Her relationship is a wreck, she’s bored to tears, and her future seems bleak. But a stray dog and a local mechanic threaten to shake up her world…if she’ll only let them.

The Temporary Wife by Jeanine Moon

Kindergarten teacher Megan never expected to becoming the guardian of her best friend’s daughter, Molly, or to have the grieving grandparents suing her for custody. Billionaire Jason hates how his parents are treating Megan and will do anything to keep her and Molly happy…even faking a marriage.

Playing at Love by Ophelia London

Choir teacher Tess is struggling to get funding for her students. The school budget only has room for choir or football, so she’s up against her one time love, football coach Jack, to keep her class. Will old feelings get in the way of her big plans or will she be able to keep the choir running?

Getting Schooled by Emma Chase

Garret was the king of his small town when he was the high school football star and still is, years later, as the favorite teacher. Callie thought she’d left her past far behind her when she started a new life across the country. But when she’s forced to come home and work as a substitute teacher, she’s back in close quarters with the one man she can’t stop thinking about.

Take a Chance by Shelley Shepard Gray

Kurt moves his little brother Sam to a new town, hoping for a fresh start. But when Sam gets in a fight, he begins to wonder if he made the right choice. Teacher Emily thinks Sam just needs a little TLC. As she works in close quarters with Kurt to make things better, she begins to question her rule about never getting too involved.

First Semester by Sarah Fischer

College freshman Violet is looking forward to her first year at Elton Hall U. A chance encounter with a handsome stranger gets complicated when she learns he’s not a grad student, but a visiting professor. Will she ignore her feelings for the sake of following the rules, or give in to temptation?

(Not only is this book by the co-founder of this blog, it’s also free!)


What’s on your back to school reading list? Let us know in the comments! We’re always looking for a good book.

book review

Where They Found Her

I’m not normally a huge crime thriller fan. Slow burns can annoy me and I have a terrible habit of sneaking a peek at the ending since waiting isn’t my strong suit. But I heard wonderful things about Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight and decided to give it a shot.

(Trigger warning: this book touches upon off-page rape and infanticide. Nothing is graphic.)

  • Genre: Crime Thriller
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Molly is a recent NJ transplant, having followed her professor husband from NYC after a tragedy. While her young daughter is in school, she works as a local reporter, usually covering puff pieces. But when the body of a newborn is found on the outskirts of a university, and no one else can take the case, her job, and her life, becomes more complicated than she ever imagined.

Barbara’s motto is happy, not perfect. Although she finds it hard to not work her fingers to the bone to keep up with the facade of being perfect. The perfect wife of the police chief. The perfect mother to her children. The perfect neighbor, friend, daughter, she tried to keep her life flawless in the eyes of everyone who knew her. But when cracks appear on the surface, she may fall apart.

Sandy’s a teen who hasn’t had an easy life. She dreams of a better future, but feels it’s out of reach while she’s hiding money so her irresponsible mother doesn’t spend it on drugs. When she finally tries to go for her GED, she thinks there’s light at the end of the tunnel. But when her mom goes missing, only a peak into the past might be able to help.

A missing woman, a list of victims, a dead baby, and decades of secrets collide in the picture perfect town of Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Wow. I didn’t know if I’d like this book, but I was hooked from page one. From hiding the evidence to a mysterious package to a series of links holding a collection of unforgettable characters together, it was the perfect storm. Maybe my adversity to crime novels was having them be usually narrated by men, making them personally difficult to relate to. Having three women narrate was a choice I have to applaud McCreight for. I could see myself in Molly’s struggle as a mother, Barbara’s eagerness to stay “perfect,” and Sandy’s willingness to try to keep everyone afloat.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my leap into crime thrillers in a way I hadn’t in some time. If you’re new to the genre, unsure if you’d enjoy it, or just want to really go for a wild ride, pick up a copy of Where They Found Her.