Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry

April 30, 2014

Wow - what a story! I couldn't put it down - this was a cute and easy read that leaves you with a big smile on your face!

Can a guy and girl be just friends? That's the question. Well Nick and Jayne have been best friends since Kindergarten. Jayne's always loved Nick but being clueless as ever, he never knew. Jayne grew up with her Gran, who never loved her. She treated Jayne so horribly and forced her to move away right after high school. Jayne was away for about 12 years, only returning to attend the funeral of Abby, Nick's wife. After learning that Jayne's Gran passed away and left her the bookstore, Jayne returns and starts getting things in order for her to re-open (not realized that Gran left the place a completely disorganized mess!) Being a knight in shining armor that Nick is, he lets Jayne stay at his place while they clean up the bookstore (with a connecting apartment for her a quick 13 steps up a flight of stairs). As days pass and they start getting accustomed to one another's company, Nick starts to realize that he cares deeply for Jayne and when he starts referencing her as "my Jayne" he starts to question himself. However, his girlfriend Lisa is very caring and Jayne tries her best not to come between them. Can Jayne tell Nick how she feels without losing him? Will Nick realize how he feels about Jayne? 

This was my first book I read by Laura and I loved it!! It's such a great story and the way she describes the characters and how they feel is really captivating!This is a must read and you won't regret it!

What Follows After by Dan Walsh

April 27, 2014

In October 1962, Colt Harrison and his little brother, Timmy, hatched a plan. They would run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Savannah, Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents got back together. But things go terribly, terribly wrong. Colt's mother and father must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their broken marriage. 

In this emotional story, Dan Walsh takes readers on a jo
urney to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family.

I can honestly say I couldn't put this book down! This was an amazing read and Dan Walsh really has an amazing way of telling a story and the transitions between one scene to the next. I felt connected with the characters and could easily relate to them. This book allows you to determine what is really important in life and to learn your priorities. One of my favorite lines was one which was said at the end, "No one fixes broken things better than God." And I couldn't agree more! 

Set in the 1960's, Colt and his little brother Timmy decide to leave school after their mom drops them off. They take a bus to visit their Aunt and Uncle which would end up being a couple hour drive for them. They stop at a cafe and after Colt goes to the bathroom, he returns to find that Timmy is gone. A man with comic books apparently bribed Timmy away and they ended up getting on a different bus. After the FBI gets involved, they learn the main reason the boys ran away: apparently his parents have been separated close to a year now. The family has been living a lie in public (school, family events, etc) acting like a perfect family. After a Christmas party 10 months earlier, everything changed for their family. Will this kidnapping situation bring them together as a family or end things completely? 

This book had me on the edge of my seat! I kept telling myself after the next chapter I would stop for the night, well a couple chapters later I was still reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more! 

The Day He Kissed Her by Juliana Stone

April 18, 2014

He can’t wait to leave…

Mac Draper finally has everything he’s always wanted: An amazing career. A New York City apartment. He’s this close to being free of his past forever. But a mind-blowing encounter with the sexy yet tough-as-nails Lily St. Clare has him delaying his plans to put Crystal Lake in his rearview mirror for good.

When I first read the summary, I was intrigued off the bat and I knew I had to read this book! At my first opportunity, I dived right into it! "The Day He Kissed Her" is the 3rd book in its series, the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake, but it works great as a stand alone novel - you catch on very quickly! When I first read about Mackenzie Draper, oh man was I hooked! The way Juliana described him had me picturing all sorts of hotness!
Mac Draper is a typical bachelor with the life he has always wanted: living in New York, getting any woman he wants, successful, and can come and go as he pleases! Mac had a hard upbringing: his father wasn’t shy in hurting him and he spent countless nights at his friends’ houses. However, he turned his life around and was making it happen for him.

During a family get together after he returns to Crystal Cove for the summer (to help his friend Jake on a project), he reconnects with Lily St. Claire. He first met Lily on New Year's Eve as a result of a one night stand. Lily St. Claire is somewhat of an heiress. She has a sister with a reputation of her own (not a good one at that), and she is very close to Jake who she bonded with after she lost her brother. So when Mac sees Lily he was immediately attracted to her again. He pursues her and is drawn to her to bees to honey! They mutually decided to start an exclusive but no strings attached relationship. Their chemistry is undeniable! However when they start to develop stronger feelings for one another, will it scare them away? Or will their family scare them away first?

I honestly couldn’t put this book down! It was captivating from start to finish. Juliana has a way of transitioning from Mac’s viewpoint to Lily’s flawlessly and the description she creates allows a reader to imagine the scene perfectly. I look forward to reading more books written by Juliana!

Guidebook to Murder

April 17, 2014

Guidebook to Murder
By: Lynn Cahoon
160 Pages

When Jill's elderly friend, Miss Emily, calls in a fit of pique, she already knows the city council is trying to force Emily to sell her dilapidated old house. But Emily's gumption goes for naught when she dies unexpectedly and leaves the house to Jill--along with all of her problems. . .and her enemies. Convinced her friend was murdered, Jill is finding the list of suspects longer than the list of repairs needed on the house. But Jill is determined to uncover the culprit--especially if it gets her closer to South Cove's finest, Detective Greg King. Problem is, the killer knows she's on the case--and is determined to close the book on Jill permanently. . . --Publisher Description

I love  a good cozy mystery and Guidebook to Murder was just that! I have found a new series to visit, full of new characters I call friends.

Jill Gardner has just inherited Miss Emily's house and money. Being South Cove's resident grump, Miss Emily wasn't loved by many. In fact, the city council has been after her property for years. The City Council wants to tear down her house to make way for a retail store, she isn't willing to give it up. The fight has turned nasty and involved threatening letters. Now a big city developer is involved, and playing hard ball. So when Jill finds Miss Emily in her bed, dead, foul play is her first thought. but is it the right one?

There may be more to Miss Emily's property than a run down house. The rumor is that it's built on the same property as an old mission once lied. Could a gold coin fortune also be there?

Jill struggles to get the house renovated before her deadline. However, numerous people complicate her mission. Miss Emily's only living relatives were a greedy nephew and his even greedier wife. Neither were pleased to learn they got nothing from her estate of any monetary value. The town Mayor is a shady character, as is the people he deals with.

Everything takes a dramatic turn when Jill's best friend, Amy, goes missing. A regular to surf trips. was her disappearance a planned trip, or did something else happen? Can Jill  get all the answers she needs, and still run her beloved book/coffee shop, Coffee, Books, and More, before her Aunt Jackie takes over completely?

This book was a great introduction to this new series. It got to the point of the story quickly. You had fun meeting the characters- both primary and secondary. The action was on balance with the story. The only downside I saw in this particular book was that it seemed, at times, like you were reading a book in an already established series.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next installment of this series. The first chapter is included at the end of Guidebook To Murder, but I'm trying hard not to read it now. I'd rather have the whole book to read at one time. I think cozy mystery lovers will embrace this series.

Blossom Street Brides

April 9, 2014

A Spring Break Recommendation!!

Blossom Street Brides
By: Debbie Macomber
336 Pages
Reviewed By: Betsey Brooks

Summary: bells are ringing in the tight-knit community that gathers around A Good Yarn, a store in a pretty Seattle neighborhood. Knitters come to the store to buy yarn and patterns but somehow they leave richer in friendship and love.

Lauren Elliott has waited years for her long-term boyfriend, Todd, to propose, yet he seems more focused on his career than their relationship. When Lauren learns that her younger sister is pregnant before she herself even has an engagement ring, she feels overjoyed yet disheartened. Knowing she can’t put her future on hold, Lauren prepares to make a bold choice—one that leads her to a man she never dreamed she’d meet.

Newly married to her second husband, Max, Bethanne Scranton is blissfully in love. But with Max’s job in California and Bethanne’s in Seattle, their long-distance marriage is becoming difficult to maintain. To complicate matters, Bethanne’s cunning ex will do anything to win her back.

Lydia Goetz, too, is wonderfully happy with her husband, Brad, though lately she worries about the future of A Good Yarn. As she considers how to bring in business, she discovers that someone has beaten her to the punch. Baskets of yarn are mysteriously popping up all over town, with instructions to knit a scarf for charity and bring it into Lydia’s store. Never before has her shop received so much attention, but who hatched this brilliant plan? ---- Publisher's Summary

Debbie Macomber's new books "Blossom Street Brides" takes us to Blossom Street where old and new friends work, shop, visit and help each other with life's ups and downs. It is spring and love is in the air along with quite a few sparks and a tear or two. 

It all started with a beautiful baby blanket featured in the window of Lydia Huffman's yarn shop, "A Good Yarn".  Lauren Elliot has made two major decisions. First she will make the baby blanket as a gift for her younger, married, pregnant sister. Second is to end the three year relationship with the handsome television news man Todd Hampton.  

Bethanne Scranton wants to make the beautiful blanket for her very first grandchild and keep her ex-husband from breaking up her happy new marriage. 

As the women gather in the yarn shop they learn that someone has started a wonderful community project using the yarn from the Lydia's yarn shop, but she says she knows nothing about it. The story takes an interesting twist when two bikers drive into town, park in front of the yarn shop and hurry inside.

Oh the enjoyment you will have as you settle into a comfortable spot with "Blossom Street Brides". Whether you are new to Debbie Macomber's books or have enjoyed them for years this book will be pure delight. Enjoy!

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