Review: Unrequited Alice by Sarah Louise Smith

Unrequited Alice
by Sarah Louise Smith

“I stared at my suitcase, contemplating the following three facts:
1.After months of planning, it was finally time for Hannah’s hen weekend.
2.In just one more month, she’d be getting married to Ed.
3.I really had to fall out of love with Ed before the wedding.”

A bridesmaid really shouldn’t be in love with the groom…but Alice just can’t help herself. Ed is her perfect man, and she can’t get him out of her head.

Until she meets Toby – who offers to help her move on. But what if he’s just setting her up for an even bigger fall?

Alice had always been in love with her oldest friend’s boyfriend, Ed. She knew she wouldn’t have any space inside his heart especially now that he was gonna marry Hannah. Tough as it was, she still organized her friend’s hen weekend in Niagara Falls, hoping to extinguish any more feelings she had for Ed.

And then she met Toby over the weekend. Toby, who was hot and cold. Toby who, like Alice, held a torch for someone else, someone like her brother’s fiance. Toby, who unconsciously crawled to Alice’s heart, making her forget about Ed, but still failing with this unrequited love.

Alice is a character I’d love to comfort and confront at the same time. This girl has got a lot of love to give, and it pains me to see her conflicted and distressed over the men who didn’t love her back. Between Ed and Toby though, I’d place my bets for Toby right from the start because he’s such a kindred soul. Hannah, her oldest friend, was unfortunately lame and selfish, I disliked her instantly, and I don’t know why.

The thing about unrequited love is, it suffocates your heart, taking it all in, somehow wishing for something that doesn’t really belong to you. Yes, such is the tragedy of unreciprocated feelings. I know, I’ve been there, I’ve wallowed in it, I’ve lucked out, and in the end, I moved on. But that’s another story.

Unrequited Alice is a light romantic story that is heavy on the feelings. The story about two people not sharing the love isn’t really new to me. Surprisingly though, in this book, I was able to relate with the main characters and felt the instant connection I don’t usually get from other books. Sarah Louise Smith got me reading this in the break of dawn and reluctantly finishing it the next day. I didn’t want to part with Alice, I didn’t want to forget about the Niagara Falls, I didn’t want to forget about the wedding dances and the flights from London to New York and vice versa.

In the end, love prevailed. How it happened, it’s up to you to work on it. Read this and you’ll know.

 

Review: The Proposal by Lily Zante

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The Proposal
(A Perfect Match Series Book 1)

by Lily Zante

coffeesynopsisdNadine Stefano is a high flying career woman. She has no time for relationships and is looking for a promotion. At her sisten’s hen party Nadine comes across Ethan, one of the performers. She finds herself attracted to him and they end up talking that first night.A few weeks later, there is a company convention at Nadine’s firm. Not having a date to take with her, and wanting to present the image of a settled and happy woman in a relationship, Nadine resorts to calling Ethan at the escort agency and asking him along. Theirs is a strong attraction, although there are various company politics and characters that stand in their way.Will their meeting lead to love, despite seemingly different career choices, or will Nadine dump Ethan in order to pursue her career goals?

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Lily Zante is a good writer. Time after time, she has me fallin’ in love again with the book’s male character, a hot gorgeous escort named Ethan, who danced with his skivvies in a bachelorette party.. How hot could he be? Steamy!

And Nadine, a very career-oriented woman who finally succumbed to her innermost desire one night when she and Ethan attended a party and pretended to be lovers. The Proposal got me hooked right from the beginning. It also made me realize that not everything is about work and power and money and solitude. Sometimes, or most of the time, one should learn how to stop and smell the flowers.

The ending was something a little mellow-dramatic, but still light-hearted. A great afternoon read. Hoping to read the next one in the series.

4cups

Blog Tour/Review: The Whole Man by CF Rose

twmThe Whole Man
by C.F. Rose

Evan O’Cleary was in college when she spent a passionate 48 hours with up-and-coming baseball star Jesse Walsh. But after he broke her heart, she vowed to never see him again. So why does her heart leap when she runs into him ten years later?

Jesse not only abandoned Evan, but also his dream of becoming a major league baseball player when his brother died in Iraq. Shattered by the loss, Jesse turns inward. He refuses to commit to more than a one-night stand, until he sets eyes on Evan again, whose body still draws him dangerously near…

Evan knows better than to trust Jesse, but when he protects her against an abusive ex-turned-stalker, one thing leads to another and she finds herself in a delicious encounter on his living room floor. Jesse may not be willing to commit just yet, but maybe Evan can break down the wall. As she gets close, though, Evan uncovers a devastating secret that could destroy their families and drive them apart forever.

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Two lost souls struggling to find the way to mend their broken hearts. Their past was instant, almost a blur, it happened so fast. And now, ten years later, they met again, each still bearing shattered pieces of their hearts.

Jesse Walsh spent two days with Evan O’Cleary, both in celebratory mood, both high in spirits. But a war, a delayed flight, and a fire had put an end to their happy days. When they saw each other again, the past kept haunting them, torturing their present with guilt, forbidding them of a possible future.

This has been an emotional read. My heart cried out for Evan and Jesse, both victims of circumstance, both casualties of their own guilt, each hopeful for a second chance. This story was beautifully written, the pacing wasn’t rushed, the romance was slow burn and comforting. I cried a tear or two, mostly because of Evan’s mom and Jesse’s dad. My emotions were all over the place, but that was okay. In the end, everything became clearer and whole. And I loved how it all turned out. Thumbs up!

 

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Cheryl Rosenberg, writing as C.F. Rose to protect the innocent, is a sportswriter turned romance writer. When she’s away from her laptop, you can find her at the gym or serving as her kids personal uber driver. She grew up on the East Coast, but survives in too-sunny Southern California with her husband, the three kids and two rescued mutts. The Whole Man is her first book.

Links

Buy:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MUH1S45

Website: http://www.cfrose.com

Twitter: @cherylrosenbrg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorcfrose/


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Review: The Perfect Kiss by Susan Hatler

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The Perfect Kiss (Kissed by the Bay #2)
by Susan Hatler

Olivia Lane wants to become the premiere event planner for Blue Moon Bay’s rich and famous. But first she has to impress Greta von Strand—millionaire and bestselling author of Men: Who Needs Them?—by pulling off a two-week luxury getaway for women. The retreat’s all about getting women to embrace their independence by nurturing themselves and each other, and Olivia, who’s never been lucky-in-love herself, is looking forward to it.

The retreat and Olivia’s goals hit a roadblock, however, when sweet-talking firefighter, Brody Mitchell, and his smoking hot friends take up residence at the mansion next door. Now, she must successfully keep Greta and the other women away from their male neighbors, fight her attraction to Brody, and pull off the retreat of a lifetime in one fell swoop.

It’s a battle of the sexes she’s determined to win, otherwise she could lose everything—including her heart.

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Olivia Lane was determined to show everyone that she wasn’t just a girl who sells fish in the Market.. No. She’s going to be a successful event planner and she would do everything to achieve that goal. And that meant sacrificing her love life. Not that she had any, though. After an ugly breakup with Hunter Cartwright, Olivia had sworn off men from her life. All she needed to do was to impress Greta Von Strand, author of Men: Who Needs Them? in their Date Escape event and her future is set.

Brody Mitchell was bartending at his uncle’s bar when he met Olivia and was immediately attracted to her. Too bad though, this red head had clearly warned him she didn’t want to get involved. But how far could Olivia resist temptation when her scheduled two-week retreat with single ladies was threatened by hot men and hunks vacationing next door?

Oh how I enjoyed this book! The Perfect Kiss is quite entertaining and definitely all sorts of romantic. Main issue here though was lack of communication from the characters which lead to lots of misunderstandings and breakups and broken hearts. Typical scenario but the fun and giggles in this book were a blast. I loved Brody the moment I met him, I can’t say the same with Olivia though.. I thought she was too uptight. Great thing there was the Date Escape that helped her loosen up. Love how everything turned out in the end. That perfect kiss was sure worth the wait.

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4cups

Review: Loving Mr. Daniels by Brittainy Cherry

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Loving Mr. Daniels
by Brittainy C. Cherry

coffeesynopsisdTo Whom it May Concern,

It was easy to call us forbidden and harder to call us soulmates. Yet I believed we were both. Forbidden soulmates.

When I arrived to Edgewood, Wisconsin I didn’t plan to find him. I didn’t plan to stumble into Joe’s bar and have Daniel’s music stir up my emotions. I had no clue that his voice would make my hurts forget their own sorrow. I had no idea that my happiness would remember its own bliss.

When I started senior year at my new school, I wasn’t prepared to call him Mr. Daniels, but sometimes life happens at the wrong time for all the right reasons.

Our love story wasn’t only about the physical connection.

It was about family. It was about loss. It was about being alive. It was silly. It was painful. It was mourning. It was laughter.

It was ours.

And for those reasons alone, I would never apologize for loving Mr. Daniels.

-Ashlyn Jennings

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LovingDanielsMeet Ashlyn Jennings.
Her mother didn’t love her. Her father left her when she was a child. Her sister was the only one got. But then she died when cancer took over. She’s got no one else now.

Meet Daniel Daniels.
His brother was involved with gangs and drugs. His mother died in the arms of those thugs. His father succumbed to death next. Then his girlfriend died after a car accident. He’s got no one else now.

Then she saw him. Standing from a distance. Inside a train. He had the most beautiful blue eyes she had ever seen. And in those deep blue eyes, she drowned with his voice, his music, his passion, his life.

His eyes were so blue and filled with interest. For a second, I thought they were a passageway to a different world.
Beautiful.
Breathtaking.
Brilliant.
Blue eyes.
I sighed. Maybe there were a passageway to a better world.

He couldn’t forget her. He found her reading a Shakespeare book inside a train. Her gorgeous green eyes captivated him. And in those soulful green eyes, he fell into the deep abyss of her life, her books, her intelligence, her life.

“I was lost, but so were they.
There were no maps to be found.
At least I wasn’t walking alone.”

Little did they knew that they were bound to see each other again. In school. He was the teacher. She was the student. They both had miserable lives. They both lost the ones they love. They were both hurting and trying to move on. When they met, their worlds collide. The world couldn’t have been more unfair. The world couldn’t have come at a swell time.

I don’t know why, but everytime I read a book that involves musicians and family drama, I am easily reminded of Colleen Hoover’s Maybe Someday. And when I encounter a book fulfilling bucket lists, A Walk to Remember immediately comes to my mind. These books happened to be my Top 2 Favorite Books of all time. But now, after Loving Mr. Daniels, I think I can safely declare that this is going to be the best book I’ve read in 2015 and one that I would never forget in a long time. Maybe this would be my Top 3!

“You know what I like about you so far?”
“What’s that?”
“Everything.”

Yes, absolutely everything. I loved everything in this book. From the characters, to the tragedies, to the bucket list, to the Shakespearean quotes, to the music and lyrics, to the gut-wrenching emotions, to the forbidden love affair, to the oh-so-sweet moments to the break-ups, to the real-life family drama.

“I don’t want to be your friend. I want to be yours, I want you to be mine, and I hate that we can’t be us. Because I think we were meant to be us.”

I think Brittainy Cherry is meant to write this book. I applaud her for effortlessly making me cry. I love a good book that always make me cry. As in a really ugly cry. The kind of cry that would need a lot of hankies or rolls of tissues. The kind of cry that will leave you sobbing, breathless, sniffing and crying all over again. I immediately got lost in Ms. Cherry’s world, and I had a hard time finding the way out. Loving Mr. Daniels is totally worth pouring one’s heart out.

Now, I’m going to read Art & Soul, Ms. Cherry’s other blockbuster novel, in the next few days. I can’t wait!

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5cups

Review: Haley’s Hangdog Holiday by Tamie Dearen

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Haley’s Hangdog Holiday (Holiday, Inc. Book 2)
by Tamie Dearen

This Christmas, Haley Martin may be harder to catch than her runaway dog.
Haley has a chance at her dream job working for Holiday, Inc. There’s only one drawback. Her ex-boyfriend, Gavin Holiday is her supervisor.

Seeing Gavin again makes her heart pound and her soul ache, yet Haley knows he deserves someone better. And her secret crisis of faith is only one of the reasons.

Add one very recalcitrant Basset Hound to all her other problems, and it looks like Haley is going to have a real hangdog holiday.

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Haley and Gavin were the perfect couple. They’re both at the top of their class and we’re competitive and passionate about their love. But when Gavin was about to ask her to marry her, she turned him down.

Two years had passed and their paths had met again. But both seemed to hate each other’s guts and didn’t want to work together ever again. Would they ever settle their differences now that they had to work with each other in the same team?

I loved this heart warming story about love and faith. Gavin and Haley’s story tugged strings to my heart. They showed what it was like to be in control of one’s fate, how to decide for a possible future and how not to lose hope when all the rain clouds seem to fall on you. That God has plans for us and works in mysterious ways, for us to learn how to trust in Him again. Seeing Gavin’s and Haley’s unwavering faith brought a smile to my heart. Another beautiful story from the ever compassionate, Tamie Dearen. Thumbs up!!

In the spirit of Hallmark Movies, this inspirational romantic comedy tells the story of two young believers, struggling to find faith and love in the midst of adversity.

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4cups

Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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The Hating Game
by Sally Thorne

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

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Oh this is sooo good… This book really proved that the more you hate, the more you love.. Oh yeah!

Joshua Templeman sits across Lucy Hutton’s desk every single day ever since the Bexley-Gamin merger took place. And every single day, they play a game. The Hating Game… There’s also the Staring game, the How You Doing Game, the You’re Just So game, and my personal favorite, the Or Something Game.. It’s delicious. Don’t ask.

While Joshua is silent and brooding, Lucy mentally murders him in her mind. They’re exact opposites, Lucy’s so nice upfront, never says no, wears Flamethrower lipstick and collects Smurfs. (I like her already!) In short, everybody loves Lucy.

Josh, on the other hand, scowls, frowns, narrows his eyes, jots down on his planner with his pencil, he’s full of temper and annoys his co-worker so much. Everybody’s afraid of Joshua. Except Lucy.

And then, that announcement about a new COO position in the company happens. Lucy and Joshua are the front-runners, of course, and it’s taking all their efforts and time to prove which one deserves the spot. Both are intense, electrifying, indulging, magnificent.

Until that one fateful afternoon, in the elevator, Lucy and Josh, all alone, kissing the hell out of each other. Dayum!

I’d like to go on and on… but I don’t wanna spoil you the good treats. Oh my, I think I love everything in this book. Joshua Templeman, he’s my number one.. his robin’s egg-blue shirts and room and tin of mints, included. I love Lucy Hutton, too. Okay, she’s my number one on the list actually, because …. man, she’s one feisty lioness and I cower like a cub when she talked to Josh father. Wow! That part was my favorite in the book. Lucy’s mouth was like a weapon ready to attack all the villains she could see. Oh she is Lara Croft alright!

Second favorite – when Lucy’s sick and Josh sees her in all her vomiting glory. Yowzers!

I love their office banter, their cajoles, their flaws, their paintball protective stunts, their family issues, their business suits, their weekend escapade. I love their strawberries, their roses, their cakes, their hotel room, everything!

Heck I love their hate-me-all-you-want-but-i-know-you-love-me kind of game.  I love their slow-burn romance, it’s so ridiculously sweet, I think I’m gonna die of diabetes.

If there’s one thing or subject I love in a book, it’s the enemies turned to friends to lovers kind of story. That theme always gets me. I feel vulnerable inside and joyful and in-love and fantastic all at once. It’s ridiculous!

Sally Thorne, I can’t believe this is just your first book! You write so darn well, you have captivated me from head to toe and now I can’t help but face outside the window. You are now my newest favorite author. There, I said it.

Okay now, I think I’m gonna need more days.. weeks… months… to process this wonderful book that’s invading my mind.  This is my first 5 star book of 2017 and it’s making me weepy..  Josh Templeman,  you annoyingly gorgeous brute….  I’m gonna get you from Little Lucy… Mark my word!

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5cups