Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsay

 Release Date - September 25, 2012

The last thing photojournalist Lark expects is to find herself in the small town Last Chance, but that's exactly what happens after her father's death. His final wish was to have his ashes scattered on the town's mini-golf course. What Lark doesn't know is that her dad fled town right after the death of a prominent member of the town. Many people object to her presence and the owners of the mini-golf seem unwilling to consider her dad's last wishes.

Stone, the local police chief, isn't happy that Lark's in town, and he is one of the first to admit he wants her gone. The widower is busy raising two girls, and his oldest daughter's fascination with Lark's work isn't helping. His daughter is happy Lark's in town and is doing everything possible to get to know her. 

With some of the Christ Church Ladies' Auxillary trying to get Stone to see that Lark's a suitable match, Stone is finding it hard to ignore that there is something about Lark that's intriguing. But, he also has too much on his plate between one daughter seeing a weeping angel, a murder to solve, and a town that seems mixed on what he should do about Lark's request.

I never got around to Last Chance Christmas many years ago. It's been tucked in a box, and I pulled it back out. I'd read other Last Chance romances, and this one just never struck the same note. I liked Lark, I liked Stone, but the mystery of her dad's past was enough. Add the murder, the paranormal aspect of the weeping angel, and the story to me took off in too many directions for my liking.

Friday, March 18, 2022

The Suite Spot by Trish Doller

 Release Date - March 8, 2022

This book is everything. I loved Trish Doller's previous release and The Suite Spot confirmed that she needs to be at the top of my must-read list. I described Float Plan as "lovely." I feel the same about Doller's latest.

After a rich, handsy frequent guest lies, Rachel Beck loses her much-needed job as an evening manager at a luxury hotel in Miami. As a single mom, she needed that job, worse her reputation is in tatters. When she's given the chance of a lifetime to move her and her young daughter to Kelleys Island in Ohio, she's hesitant. Ohio's weather is nothing like Miami's, but she needs a job that makes her happy. Working at sleazy hotels is not making her happy.

Once she arrives on the island, she learns Mason didn't exactly tell the truth. The Lake Erie island does have a brewery and cabin rentals, but it's not completed. If she stays, Rachel would be helping with everything from the construction to the decor. It's a dream job for her, and her daughter's making friends. She decides to stay, even though Mason doesn't seem thrilled to share his home with Rachel and her daughter. 

As she gets to know Mason and learn more about him, Rachel can't help but find herself attracted to him. She loves her new life and wants to make it work, but that may mean taking life one step at a time and see if the pieces fit.

I loved this book. Mason is broody, sure, but there's good reason. Rachel is cautious and just as likable as her sister was in the previous book. I loved the crossover between the two and hated that the story eventually came to an end. 

It's a book full of passion, frustration, and some of the friendliest people around. It felt like home. Thanks to Trish Doller for another memorable romance. It warmed my heart and made me happier than I've felt in ages. I appreciate that.

For me, some books bring out cravings for food or beverages. This one is packed with foods and beers that I was dying to try. One of the first is going to be creating a healthier take on Black Forest cake. I'm pretty sure I can do it once I have more Swerve in hand.

For now, I settled for a matcha latte. There's nothing better than a latte and a great book. Sometimes, matcha fills a craving, and Mason's passion for green tea left me craving a matcha latte. I make them with almond milk. I fell in love with yuzu last year, so I pair the two. If you need a unique matcha, I highly recommend this one.

Unmissing by Minka Kent

 Release Date - February 15, 2022

While he's at work, Luca's wife Lydia disappears. She's never seen or heard from again. He's moved on and ten years later, he and his second wife have a child and another on the way. Merritt and Luca are happy and settled into an enjoyable life.

One night, a knock on the door changes everything. Lydia is back and demands to see her husband. Luca's out of town, but Merritt turns the stranger away. She needs time to process what she's learned and decide if this stranger is a con artist or the real deal.

It's the real thing. Lydia's been held captive for many years. At the very least, Merritt feels they should help Lydia start over. It doesn't take long before Merritt realizes there is far more to Lydia's story than she could have imagined. 

Unmissing takes a lot of turns. It's hard to like Lydia, even though she was kidnapped and treated badly for so many years. It's hard to like her when she could unravel Merritt's life. Worse, she doesn't do things you'd feel a victim would do. Her odd behavior made me dislike her.

That said, I also questioned Merritt's motives. In her shoes, my kids would have come first. No way would I have let a stranger walk away and ignored calling the police with news that someone claiming to be a missing person had just come to my door.

In the end, I'm not sure how I feel about the book. I was drawn in from the start, but by the end, I didn't like anyone in it. I also questioned every gut instinct I had as the "shocking secret" was revealed. It left me with questions.

The Road to Christmas: A Sweet Holiday Romance Novel by Sheila Roberts

Release Date - September 20, 2022  Sit down and explore the holiday season through four sets of eyes in Sheila Roberts' latest holiday...