Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: Broken by Christa Cervone

Sometimes before you can truly move on in love, you need to forgive past wrongs. You need to forgive yourself.

Leila has been in a downward spiral for four years. Ghosting through life, mindless sex and alcohol fill the void left behind from a shattered heart. She broke not just herself but the only man she has ever loved as well. Just the thought of him opens old wounds she can never stem, but a chance encounter with him propels her to finally come face-to-face with her past choices.

Garrett carries the scars—some deeply buried, some more noticeable—from his relationship with Leila and the path he took after her. Trying to outrun the pain she caused, Garrett enlisted in the Marines, a decision that proved both costly and rewarding. But in the years they’ve been apart, he never stopped loving her.

Broken was a heart-wrenching, poignantly told second chance love story. It’s a story filled with hurt, regrets, love, forgiveness, and a whole lot of steam. Told from Leila’s perspective in both the present and the past, we watch how she and Garrett came to be as a couple and where it all went wrong.

Leila holds so much guilt against herself, damaging her chances of being whole again. Seeing Garrett and growing tired of the revolving strangers in her bed finally leads her to seek outside help. Coming to terms with her destructive behavior is the first step. Opening her heart to the possibility of love again...with Garrett is a major hurdle of vulnerability for her. Losing him once broke her, if she were to lose him again, it’d destroy her. But what she ultimately realizes is that she alone is the last barrier to her healing. She is the biggest obstruction in her path.

I applaud Ms. Cervone for such an honest story. Not all romances are fairy tales. As in real life, love takes work by both parties, but the end result could be so much more than you ever expected. And Broken was just much more.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Review and Giveaway: The Trouble With Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay #2) by Jill Shalvis

If she has her way ...

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her ...

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him ...

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice ...

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work ...

 Add to your Goodreads

The Trouble With Mistletoe is my new favorite Jill Shalvis read. It’s full of charm, sweet, and plenty of heat to warm you up on a winter night—or early fall in my case.

Willa is a charismatic pet shop owner. Having had a rough childhood bouncing from foster home to foster home, she truly values and fiercely loves the people in her life. Her friends are her family. But one thing she has to learn is that she equally deserves to be loved by someone outside her circle of friends.

Keane is a self-made man. He’s worked incredibly hard to get where he is in life. And though he had a stable home growing up, it sadly lacked emotion. Keane never saw himself as a forever type guy. He didn’t think he was made for it...until Willa.

I loved watching these two fall for each other. Their chemistry is of course radiating, but when it comes to the heart they were flailing. Neither of them knew how to define what they were feeling nor were they eager to. Keane clued in a little sooner. But Willa struggled to realize the issue wasn’t was her.

Overall this story kept me engaged from the beginning to the end, and very well past my bedtime. Jill Shalvis does a remarkable job creating not just the main characters but a family of side characters as well. Friends that stick by each other no matter what. And each one of them settled into a small place in my heart. 

Willa sighed and headed to the door.
            Again Keane held the pink bedazzled cat carrier, which should have made him look ridiculous. Instead it somehow upped his testosterone levels. His sharp eyes were on her but they turned warm in a way that melted her right through her center as she moved toward him. She stopped with the glass door between them, hands on hips, hoping she looked irritated even if that wasn’t quite what she was feeling.
            His gaze lowered from her face to run over her body, which gave her another unwelcome rush of heat. Dammit. Now she was irritated and aroused—not a good combo.
            His mouth quirked at the saying on her apron that read Dear Santa, I Can Explain.
            Drawing a deep breath, she opened the door. “You’ve got Petunia again. I hope that means your great-aunt Sally isn’t still sick.”
            He looked surprised that she’d remembered his aunt’s name, or that she’d care. “I don’t know,” he said a little gruffly. “She left me a message saying that I was in charge for the rest of the week but for two days now Pita’s been happily destroying my jobsite. I’m throwing myself on your mercy here. Can you help?”
            Wow. He must be really desperate since he was actually asking and not assuming. But since Petunia was a sweetheart, she knew she’d do it.
            “I’ll even tell you where I went to high school,” he said, adding a smile that was shockingly charming.
            Wow. He hadn’t lost his touch when it came to turning it on. “Not necessary,” she said, painfully aware of their audience.
            Keane’s attention was suddenly directed upward, just above her head. She followed his line of sight and found a sprig of mistletoe hanging from the overhead display of small portable doggy pools. Mistletoe? What the hell? She glanced behind her and what do you know, suddenly Rory and Cara were a flurry of movement racing around looking very, very busy. “When did the mistletoe go up?” she asked them. “And why?”
            “FOMO,” Cara said from behind the counter.
            “Fear of missing out,” Rory translated. “She was hoping a hot guy would come in and the mistletoe would give her an excuse.”
            Willa narrowed her eyes and her two soon-to-be-dead employees scattered again.
            “Interesting,” Keane said, looking amused.
            “I’m not kissing you.”
            His mouth curved. “If you take Pita for the day, I’ll kiss you.”
            “Not necessary,” she said, gratified no one could see her heart during the two-step in her ears. “I’ll take Petunia for the day. No kiss required or wanted.”
            Liar, liar

And don’t miss the first novel in Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series, SWEET LITTLE LIES, now available! Grab your copy HERE

About Jill Shalvis:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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