Merry Humbug Christmas

March 30, 2014

Here at Miss Book Lovers, we are not above throwing in a Christmas book when it's Spring. We're silly that way. Plus, this was like no other Christmas book I've read, so I had to share it.

Merry Humbug Christmas
Sandra D. Bricker
297 Pages

Best friends, Joss and Reese have a rather unusual Christmas tradition: join forces to do whatever is necessary to avoid everything having to do with Christmas. Each has their own reasons why the holiday season is one they wish to not enjoy. However, this several years long tradition has come to an end. One friend just got engaged. Their stories unfold within the 2 novellas: Once Upon A Jingle Bell & It Came Upon A Midnight Deer.

Sandra D. Bricker is great with characters. She has a knack for making them so life-like. You quickly forget you're reading about characters in a book. Instead, you feel like you're interacting with friends. It all makes for delightful reading. Joss and Reese were no exceptions. Joss was my favorite of the two, but both were fun getting to know.

Once Upon A Jingle Bell tells Joss's story. She finds out Reese has gotten engaged to her boyfriend, and so the joint cruise they had planed on taking to avoid Christmas this year is no longer happening. Not one to let something like that detour her plans, Joss goes on the cruise without her dear friend. However, she quickly learns on her arrival that the cruise she booked had been cancelled. She's now found herself put on the 12 Days of Christmas Fun Cruise, and she's one of the few not having fun. But God isn't done with her just yet. Not only does she meet a group of fellow cruisers, but she also meets Patrick. This handsome man with the Irish accent becomes her partner in dodging Christmas. But, is it just a cruise fling?

It Came Upon A Midnight Deer has Reese on her way to meet her new fiance's family. Damien didn't grow up with vegan parents who had tofurkey at the Christmas table. No, his family is quite different from Reese's. Will they all get along?

Sadly, I wasn't able to finish the second novella. My Kindle had technical problems, but I'm sure readers will have as much fun with Reese and they did with Joss. I look forward to seeing what happens with Reese.

I would definitely think of putting this on your holiday reading list for next year. (It's never too early to start making that, is it?) Sandra's books are fun to read.

An April Bride by Lenora Worth

March 25, 2014

What would you do if the man you were supposed to marry, came back from his deployment and couldn't remember you? That's what Stella was going now going through. 

Stella met Marshall when they were in kindergarten. They had gone all the way through school together and attended the same church. They'd been high school sweethearts who'd always planned to be married someday. While Marshall was deployed, Stella was in charge of the wedding preparations and wedding showers and everything involved in between. Marshall was to arrive home exactly a month before the wedding, but when he came home she quickly realized that he lost his memory. So what's a girl to do? They decide they would keep the wedding on as planned and would try and work it out. He goes back to his normal life and tries to remember the girl who is supposed to marry, and although he has some flashbacks which are a good thing, he also has some flashbacks/nightmares that scare him. Marshall is a good man and I liked him. He tries so hard to remember the past and the good times he had with Stella. He knew he was meant to be with her even though he can't remember how they fell in love. Even though I thought Stella was a little selfish at times and more concerned with herself, I ended up liking her in the end. I couldn't imagine being in his position! So it comes down to this - do Stella and Marshall go through with their wedding even though they both have some reservations about it?

I really enjoyed this book, it was both short and sweet. I have a soft soft for those serving our country and I can totally relate to this book since I'm sure this has happened to many couples. I look forward to reading more of the year of weddings!

Third Degree by Julie Cross

March 23, 2014


I used to be “Isabel Jenkins, child prodigy.” As lame as that sounds, at least it was an identity. But now I’m not sure what I am. I just failed the most important exam of my life—the emotional readiness test required to get into a medical residency program—and it turns out my parents can’t stand each other. Now I’m trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of my life, and that means re-enrolling as a college freshman, but this time I’m shutting the books and majoring in being eighteen.

But so far, my roommate hates me and I’m not into the party scene. The only good thing about school has been getting to know my insanely hot RA. Marshall Collins makes me wonder about everything I missed while I was growing up too fast. Pretty soon we’re hanging out constantly, but for the first time, I find myself wanting more than a no-strings-attached physical relationship. And the lesson I really need is one Marsh definitely can’t teach me: love. Because I’m going to be alone forever if I don’t learn fast.

When I first read the summary, I was thinking "hmm this seems like an interesting read!" Sure enough, I was right! The way Julie wrote this storyline was captivating and I couldn't put the book down. She truly placed you right in the middle of the story and I feel like I could visualize everything that happened.

Isabel Jenkins is a 19 year old prodigy. Being adopted at 5 years old, she was homeschooled the majority of her life. She has graduated medical school and is hoping to find residency at the local hospital that her heart surgeon of a father works at. It turns sour for her when she realizes she isn't accepted into any residency programs because she failed her emotional readiness test. The doctor insisted she experience some of the "normal" things 19 year olds do to help her with this until she can retest 6 months later. She decides to enroll in college where she meets her RA Marshall Collins (and boy did Julie do a fabulous job at his descriptions! I could visualize him perfectly, including every inch of his sculpted body!) Coincidentally he knows Isabel, Isabel's mother was his teacher at one point in his life! He decides to help her with her lack of social skills; in the meantime, she helps him in return with other issues he is dealing with. There is a shocking detail which emerges and it definitely leaves you feeling a wave of emotions!

I honestly couldn't put this book down! Although I had a hard time gripping the fact that a 19 year old was acting WAY above her age, I got over that fact as I was reading the book and I saw that she starting loosening up and acted a little more like her age. Maybe I was a little jealous too?! Who wouldn't want to start making $$$$$$ at only 19 years old? Cross's writing style was a pleasure to read! I had moments where I was cracking up with laughter: both at Izzy's awkward moments and at the other characters in the book. I look forward to the opportunity of reading another one of Julie Cross's books in the future!

Reclaiming Home by Milou Koenings

March 18, 2014

Ella Martin's always done what she should. But has she lost touch with what she wants?

When she gets the call that her father and stepmother have been injured in a freak accident, coming home to Green Pines to take care of them isn’t really what she’d planned. She’s spent her life getting away from small-town Green Pines. If ever there was a dying community in need of Ella’s expertise in neighborhood revitalization, though, this is it.

She’s willing to give a shot at saving Green Pines, but things get complicated when billionaire real-estate developer Covington Black moves in up the road. Sure, she’s got a crush on him – who wouldn’t? But he’s just taken out an injunction to keep her from picketing his construction sites, so when he starts romancing her, he must be up to something. Whatever game he’s playing, she knows he’s only going to break her heart.

Covington Black knows what he wants. He’s seeking solace in the only place he’s ever been truly happy – his grandfather’s farm in Green Pines. He’s got big plans for the place and he’s looking for a partner to share his dreams with. He wants to believe Ella’s the one, and yet it seems like falling for her is the one thing he shouldn’t have done.

Honestly I was very excited to read this book, reading the summary I knew I was hooked! However, the day before I started this book I lost someone very close to my family so when I first started on this book and first read that the main character's dad was in the hospital, I had a hard time getting into the book. But I was a trooper and kept on reading and I'm glad I did!
Ella reminds me so much of myself it's not funny. She is a determined girl who likes to do what's right! After coming home and learning that her town was slowly shrinking with less jobs and companies shutting down, she takes it upon herself to start rebuilding it and revitalizing her town again! Along the way she meets Tony Black who runs a real estate corporation of his own with many employees. She first meets Tony when her dad was involved in an accident in which Tony feels some responsibility for it. Tony decides to pay for her dad's bills and they meet while she was visiting her dad, and he was visiting his brother. Their relationship builds slowly, assumption and miscommunication occurs, and a plot twist thrown in by a member of Ella's family some disruption, but the ending was worth it!

Reclaiming Home was a very sweet read! I loved how Milou conveys the spirit of hope in the characters, I would definitely recommend this book!    

The Midnight Rose

The Midnight Rose
By: Lucinda Riley
496 Pages

In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impov­erished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of Indian royalty. As the princess’s official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of WorldWar I. There, she meets young Donald Astbury—reluctant heir to the magnifi­cent, remote Astbury Estate—and his scheming mother. 

Ninety years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she’s relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to a distant cor­ner of the English countryside. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita’s great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family’s past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty . . .  Publisher Summary

**** We apologize if our review sounds vague. We tried to give you important
story information without giving the details away. ****

Lucinda Riley is an author that we at Miss Book Lovers get all excited to read. We know that we are going to read a remarkable story that will takes us on an unforgettable journey. Not one of her books has let us down. We have eagerly devoured each one, and anxiously await her next creation. The Midnight Rose does not disappoint in these regards. We couldn't put the book down. We're pretty sure we burned calories with all the jaw dropping the story has you do. This captivating story gives you a front row seat to the royal life in the Indian culture. Lucinda makes you feel like you are right there as the story unfolds. You are really immersed in the Hindu culture for a good portion of the book. 

The book centers around Anahita Chavan's life. As she celebrates 100 years, she senses her time is ending. However, she still doesn't have a solid answer to the question her children and grandchildren have spent their lives hearing about: did her first born son really die, or not? Anahita leaves solving this family mystery to her great grandchild, Ahri. On their last visit, she gives him her life story that she wrote for her long lost son she is sure never died. Like everyone else, Arie doesn't put much stock into it. However, years later, with his own life in a brokenhearted shreds, he begins to read the story. His mission is now to find out what really happened to Anahita's son. This journey takes him to England, and Astbury Hall.

Rebecca Bradley has also found herself on the sprawling grounds of Astbury Hall. She's one of the numerous actors there to shoot a film. Looking forward to the break from her own life struggles, the last thing Rebecca plans on doing is getting to know the estates's owner, and getting swept up in a mystery. She, Arie, and an odd Lord Anthony Astbury look to find out what really happened to Anahita, and her son.

Related to the Indian royal family, Anahita is taken in by the Maharaja of Cooch Behar family. She and their daughter, Indira, having already formed a kinship with one another, they treated Anni as their own. The two friends were sent to England for school and found safety on the Astbury Hall estate when war breaks out in 1911. While there, Anni helps Lady Astbury's daughter, Selina, give birth. She makes lifelong friends with the children, but Lady Astbury doesn't like her. When romance forms between Anahita and Donald, Lady Astbury's son, they know their future isn't going to be easily obtained. Sadly, they are right. Their time together is surrounded in secrecy and takes a devastating turn when a wife and son are added to the mix. An unfortunate death leaves an infant orphan, but changes the lives of everyone else, as well.

Everything comes to an exploding head when a dinner between Lord Astbury and Rebecca goes horribly wrong, leading to the most shocking plot twist within the book's pages. Secrets, old and new, come to light as all the pieces of Anahita's life are brought together. 

The Midnight Rose is another Lucinda Riley masterpiece. Once again, readers will be glued to the book. You will be anxious to see what happens when you turn the page. What you think will happen, and what does happen are all too often different. And, oh, the ending!!! Lucinda Riley has done it again!!

Consignment Shop Series

March 11, 2014

I would like to share with you a cozy mystery series that is a favorite of mine. This fairly new series makes you laugh and long to be among the zany characters and their even more zany adventures. Allow me to introduce to you the Consignment Shop Series y the talented Duffy Brown.

Set in Savannah, you have a beautiful, historical backdrop to play with. You have the hilarious, charming Southern sayings that I enjoy to no end. You have characters who keep you interested. What's not to love?!

#1. Iced Chiffon

You meet Reagan Summerside. Recently divorced, and left penniless, she opens a consignment shop out of her own house by selling her old things. Things go from bad to worse when the woman her ex left her for, Cupcake, turns up dead. The cheating ex becomes suspect #1, but Reagan isn't convinced. Turning her Auntie Kiki into her sidekick, she snoops around and learns there was a whole conniving side to Cupcake no one knew of, but plenty didn't like.

It was love at first page between me and Iced Chiffon. I started it while in the car, and it wasn't long before I was chuckling and laughing. The Southern phrases were my favorite! I loved them!! How can you not laugh when you read "...butter my butt and call me a biscuit!!  The combination of Reagan and Aunt Kiki is priceless!! There is no shortage of laughs and fun in the series debut.

#2 Killer in Crinolines
Reagan and Aunt Kiki are back!! This time around, Reagan's friend, Chantilly, is accused of murdering her ex-fiance on his wedding day! The shop itself is less of a focus in this book, so the detective work can play more of a role. The Reagan/Boone dynamic (Boone was her ex hubby's lawyer) is nothing short of great! I loved every minute of it!

#3 Pearls and Poison

Reagan's Judge Mamma is stepping into the political ring. As usually happens, things get ugly and someone dies. This time it's Mamma's primary opponent. I haven't had the chance to read this installment yet. My Mom got the privilege of reviewing for this blog, but I plan to start very soon. I can't wait to go back to Savannah and all the Southern charm.

This series is so much fun to read. You will laugh your way through these books. Each one leaves you anxiously awaiting the next one's arrival. I encourage you to check this series out and fall in love with it like I did. You are in for a fun, Southern treat when you step into the Consignment Shop Mystery Series.

Pearls And Poison

March 10, 2014

Pearls And Poison
By: Duffy Brown
294 pages
Reviewed By: Betsey Brooks

I so enjoyed reading"Pearls and Poison", Duffy Brown's newest addition to the Consignment Shop mysteries. 

Reagan Summerside, owner of the Prissy Fox consignment shop, is the number one body finder in her town. This time the body she, and her Aunt KiKi, find is one of the candidates running against her mamma, Judge Gloria "Guillotine" Summerside. Unfortunately, Mamma just had two very heated "discussions" with Kip "Scummy" Seymour, the last one ending with her knocking him to the ground. This shoots Mamma to the top of the police suspect list. 

Reagan is sure that she is the only hope of finding the real killer. Two fires, several unique disguises, another murder, a touch of romance and some very funny situations kept me glued to see what new method of detection these southern belles could come up with. 

My favorite character is Reagan. She is one strong woman. Having been brought to a penniless state by an ex-husband and his lawyer, Reagan has turned her situation around. The Prissy Fox consignment shop is a success. I would love to visit this town and shop at the Prissy Fox.

Treat yourself and buy "Pearls and Poison". After that put a "DO NOT DISTURB" sign out , get some hot chocolate and curl up in a comfy chair and enjoy!

Rock It by Jennifer Chance

March 4, 2014


Lacey Dawes is a total pro at the talent agency where she works, and it doesn’t hurt that IMO Worldwide Media represents Dante Falcone. The rock god has starred in her fantasies since she was sixteen—and remains her secret crush to this day. So when Dante picks her to be the interim manager on his Dream It tour, Lacey can’t believe her luck. Handling Dante is sure to be the most exquisite, spine-tingling, nerve-wracking mix of business and pleasure ever.
Although Dante is grateful for the adoring fans who scream for one more of his full-throttle, soul-searing songs, being surrounded by a cadre of corporate types backstage is wearing thin. Then Lacey shows up. Yeah, she’s organized, smart, quick to get him what he wants before he knows he wants it—but Dante senses there’s something else going on with sweet, sexy Lacey. One kiss tells him what that “something” might be . . . and makes him hungry for more.

"Rock It" can be described as exhilarating and captivating; a book I couldn't put down! Jennifer does a great job at brining you into the story and feeling the emotions that the characters are currently experiencing.

Lacey Dawes is a 22 year old junior agent for IMO Worldwide Media. At 16 years old, she was in love with the rocker Dante Falcon. She was his #1 fan: she wrote him hundreds of letters, created 15 scrap books filled with pictures and places he's been, and attended numerous concerts. So when Dante Falcon walks into IMO, she is speechless. At a conference, Dante decides he wants Lacey to be his "handler" for his upcoming 14 day concert tour. Lacey's boss is against this, and later tells her she may fail, but he wants to please the client so he agrees. Obviously Lacey does not disclose that she is Dante's #1 fan to either IMO or Dante; she knows she needs to reign in her feelings for him in order for her to keep her job. That's a lot easier said that done especially when Dante sets his sights on Lacey. But when her scrapbooks suddenly leak out, what will Dante think of his #1 fan? 

From start to finish, I loved every single page of this book! Jennifer does an amazing job and she even brought some of my fantasies to life! I mean, who wouldn't want the chance of getting cozy with a famous actor/singer you loved when you were younger? Jennifer knows how to catch and keep a reader's attention! I loved the attraction that Lacey and Dante had with one another, their chemistry was undeniable! I look forward to reading more books by Ms. Chance, "Rock It" is a must read!

Falling for the Wingman by Crista McHugh

March 3, 2014

Falling for the Wingman is the 3rd book in its series. However, I personally have not read the first 2 which didn't matter, I followed along beautifully! This book had me captivated from start to finish - even with working my normal 8 hour work schedule, and going to the gym, I still managed to finish the book in 2 days I couldn't put it down!

This story features Caleb Kelly, the 3rd of the 7 Kelly sons. Caleb is in the Air Force has just came back from a 9 month deployment in Afghanistan to find a note from the woman he loved, Kourtney Leadbetter, saying that she couldn’t be a girl waiting around for her man to get home. He was shocked, he was planning on marrying the girl! He was confused at this - throughout the entire 9 months he was deployed, they were exchanging emails so what happened? He fell in love with the woman who wrote those letters to him!

Kourtney Leadbetter is a blonde headed materialistic girl who likes to be perfect (ex. new boobs, new nose, and new chin). She loves to be the center of attention and have men fall all over her. Not getting any attention from Caleb, she moved on to Ryan who knew how to shower her with affection. A complete opposite of Kourtney is her sister Alex. Alex is a spunky tomboy, a read headed girl who is very laid back. Shortly after her dads passing, she took over his mechanic shop and was the local town favorite who everyone loved. Compared to her mom and sister, Alex was more of the “plain sister” and the outcast of the family. Despite growing up in Kourtney’s shadow, She very confident with herself and is a down to earth girl.

After Caleb receives his “Dear John” letter, he immediately got in his camaro and headed straight for Kourtney’s home in Alabama. However, when he arrives what does he find out? That Kourtney is engaged to Ryan McClure, one of the local rich kids, and are set to marry in less than a week. Alex, who has always had a thing for Caleb, develops a plan to be his wingman: this way he can make Kourtney jealous, perhaps win her back, and he would be able to get close enough to Kourtney so he could see what happened between the two. However, what Caleb doesn’t realize is those letters he was receiving from Kourtney, the ones that made him fall in love with her, were actually written by Alex. Does Alex tell him? Of course not, she wants him to be happy. So when Alex and Caleb get together to formulate their plan, sparks start to fly and that’s when confusion starts. Alex is secretly hoping that Caleb falls in love with her and realizes that he and his sister aren’t meant to be. She wanted to be a good wingman to show him what he was truly missing…her. As they were trying to get the rumor mill kicking, they acting loving in public and they would put on a show so people would assume they were a couple which would get back to Kourtney. However as time goes on, they start to feel a lot more than friendly vibes! Their chemistry was undeniable! I loved them together, they sizzled!
So will Caleb realize the woman he is meant to be with? And finally, will he get a happy ending? Since he doesn’t live in Alabama, will he be forced to ground his relationship with the girl he loves before it has even had a chance to take off? Living in two different states while each has made a home for themselves is not a good idea, but making a home with one another will make it all worthwhile.

One of my favorite quotes from this book, one in which Alex (under Kourtney’s name) wrote to Caleb while deployed, was this:

“Courage is doing what you know is right, even when you’re afraid. Hope is what gets us through the dark moments when we doubt ourselves. And love is what makes the impossible possible.”

I truly enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to reading more stories of the Kelly brothers!


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