July 30, 2014

Mr Right Goes Wrong. Pamela Morsi

Mr Right Goes Wrong
Mr Right Goes Wrong
Pamela Morsi
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Date: 29th July 2014
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 400
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Like a bad-choice-making boomerang, Mazy Gulliver has returned to her mom's tiny house in Brandt Mountain. But this time, she's got her teenage son, Tru, in tow and no intention of messing up ever again. Mazy's so determined to rebuild her life she hardly minds being the new loan collector, or even working for Tad, her ex (and Tru's dad, which—awkward). She's not here to make friends—or fall in love.

Sweet, dependable Eli Latham has loved Mazy since they got pretend married in second grade. But after being ignored and/or burned by Mazy for two decades, Eli's got a new strategy. Mazy likes bad boys, so a bad boy is what he'll be. How hard can it be to act like a jerk? Until now, Eli could've taken SOB lessons from Tad. But suddenly Tad is playing Mr. Nice Guy. What gives?

Not for the first time, men are making Mazy crazy, though she's determined to do what's right for her and Tru. But breaking old habits is hard, and if she really wants things to change she'll have to face her biggest adversary: herself.
My thoughts
Mr Right Goes Wrong was an entertaining read.  From the time I sat down to begin it, I was totally engaged by the characters and what was happening to them.  

Mazy is returning to her home town, with her 14 year old son.  She has  just come from a very bad experience - from which she has picked herself up - and is ready now to take up a new life and provide for her son.  Up until now she has always seemed to pick guys who treat her badly, and then abandon her.  She is now determined to turn that around.  There are times when she does that mighty well.  I loved the scene where she lays it on the line to Tad, when she applies for a job at the bank.  She is not deterred with the menial job she is given, and sets about it in such a way as to show she can't be rattled and she is there to help people.

Eli is the boy who lived next door to her growing up.  Now he owns his own business, but still lives next door to Mazy's mother.  He has always loved Mazy and she has counted on him as a friend that she can share her soul with.  However Eli has assessed that Mazy seems to go for 'no good' guys and he decides he is going to win her by being one.  He is far from being a bad boy, he has always been responsible and caring.  Yet before too long he is finding that role playing 'the bad guy' is at times rewarding, even if at times he feels a little conflicted.

While Mazy finds Eli's behaviour a little strange, she struggles with it, until finally she reacts and makes her decision about where this relationship is going.

Tad, Mazy's boss and the father of Tru, is a character that makes Eli's efforts to be bad, very mild.  I liked how Mazy dealt with him all the way through, and it was this relationship that attested to how much she has grown, developed and changed since being an unmarried teenage mother.

This story has a small town feel to it, Eli's family situation showed how much he cared and perhaps was a little too soft as well.  The good thing was, while he was role playing 'the bad boy', he found a genuine stronger voice.  This brought about some much needed changes in others.  I also liked the relationship that Eli and Tru form as Tru takes on a after school job with Eli, and Eli becomes a mentor for him.  

The icing on the cake for this book was the epilogue at the end, very heart warming and emotionally satisfying.
4 stars

July 28, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sheila at Book Journey runs It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Thank you to Sheila for hosting this meme, which always adds books to my TBR wishlist!

This past week I tidied my bookshelves a little, went through cupboards etc., and put all my TBR books on one bookshelf and then set aside a carton of books to go to our local book fair in October.  I find it hard to part with books, but some books I know I won't read again!  Might as well pass them on for a good cause.

This week I read:
Another book by my 
favourite Australian author
Finished my audiobook

1st one in her Green Mountain series
Liked it, but love Marie Force's writing .

At present I am reading:
Fiona's Flame by Rachael Herron

I have begun listening to:
Stealing Home by Sherry Woods
After reading Swan Point, I fell in love with the Sweet Magnolia series and have started at the beginning!  I know should read in order, but actually didn't realise Swan Point was a series book when I requested it from NetGalley.

What's up next:
Most likely Seduction in Death by J. D. Robb

July 27, 2014

Swan Point Sherryl Woods

Swan Point   Book Cover
Swan Point
Sherryl Woods
Published: Harlequin MIRA
Date: 29th July 2014
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 368
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Determined to build a new life for her family after her divorce, Adelia Hernandez has bought a home in the historic Swan Point neighborhood of Serenity. Promoted to manager of Main Street's most fashionable boutique, she feels revitalized and ready for a fresh start as a single mom. But barely into this new independent phase, she crosses paths with the sexiest man to hit Serenity in years.

Gabe Franklin, back in town to make amends for past mistakes, has no intention of settling down, but Adelia's proving irresistible. Cheered on by their friends, "the Sweet Magnolias," Gabe is bringing long-absent passion and laughter into Adelia's life. To his surprise—and hers—sometimes a rolling stone is just what it takes to build the rock-solid foundation of a family.
My thoughts
Swan Point is # 11 in Sherryl Woods Sweet Magnolias series.  It is set in the vicinity of Serenity, where a band of strong, caring women live and work - the Sweet Magnolias.  Each of these women have had their own challenges and come through on the other side.  They are willing to extend a hand of friendship and support to others in a time of need.  

I really enjoyed this book, I liked Adelia, a woman who was facing the challenge of bringing up her four children, after her husband has been unfaithful to her.  She's had to face the disapproval of family members who think marriage should last, whatever the circumstance.  Her children are pretty normal, and I liked the part Tomas and Serena played in the book.  I am never adverse to having children play the role of a cute or a strong character in my reading.

Gabe has returned to the area after some time away, he grew up in this neighborhood and has been the victim of scorn and derision, because of his mother, who had numerous lovers.  There is no easier way to wound a boy, that to taunt him about his mother.  Gabe earns a name as a troublemaker, yet his motive was to stand up for his mother.  At first he finds it a struggle to accept the gossip side of the town.  Go somewhere, do something, kiss someone and the message spreads like wildfire!

Adelia and Gabe begin to develop a good relationship, and Gabe wins the hearts of Adelia's three girls and Tomas.  He brings back 'family' for them, being a father to them in a way their own father never has.  However is this going anywhere?  Adelia's family are on the watch, the Sweet Magnolias are putting in their penny's worth, and Adelia's divorced husband begins to wield his own ways of putting a spanner in the works.  Gabe too is used to spending only a certain time in a place before moving on.  Does he want the responsibility of a ready made family?

This is the kind of small town series that I really enjoy, there is friendship, family, loyalty, support in times of challenges and the fun of everyone working towards the best outcome.  
4 stars

July 25, 2014

BookBlogWalkers Check In 25th July

This challenge is organised by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog.

Saturday and Sunday:  30 minutes each day walking
Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: 30 minutes walking
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday and Friday: 30 minutes each day walking

I think this has been our coldest week this winter, so my rest days centred around the wettest and windiest!  However I know that our winters are reasonably mild, although sometimes wind off the South Pole can be rather mean!

Still listening to Mary Kay Andrews Save The Date - about two thirds of the way through.

July 24, 2014

Moon Called. Patricia Briggs

Moon Called
Moon Called
Patricia Briggs
Publisher: Ace
Date: 2006
Format: Kindle
Pages: 317
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Own book

Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy's next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy's connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water...
Mini Review

Moon Called is the first book in the Mercy Thomson series.  I decided to try out this one - the first in the series because of all the readers who were raving about the latest book in this series.  It's a violent, fast paced story,  action filled with very interesting characters.

By the time I was halfway through, I thought to myself - no this book is not for me.  I am not a paranormal reader - except of course for Nalini Singh. (Love her books)  However by the time I got to the end I have to admit I was thinking - well I can't leave it there now, I want to find out more about Mercy Thomson.  She obviously has powers she is not aware of yet.  She has a very interesting relationship to Adam, the Alpha of the local werewolf pack.  Where is that going to go?

I don't like all these odd characters that populate the paranormal, yet dang it - I get drawn in.  With this one I think it is Mercy herself that I find intriguing, and I want to know more about her.  It looks like I'll be reading the next book at some time in the future.
4 stars

July 23, 2014

A Man to Hold on To. Marilyn Pappano

A Man to Hold on To book cover
A Man to Hold on To
Marilyn Pappano
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Date: 2014
Format: Audiobook
Length: 11hrs 10 min
Narrator: Loretta Rawlins
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Own audiobook

Therese Matheson doesn't know if she'll ever get over losing her husband in Afghanistan. Surviving Paul's death has been hard, but raising his sullen son and his thirteen-going-on-thirty daughter alone has been even harder. All they need is a fresh start, and Tallgrass, Oklahoma, could be the perfect new beginning . . . especially when Therese meets Sergeant Keegan Logan. The sexy combat medic and single dad soon awakens a desire she'd thought long buried.

Keegan always wanted to be a father . . . someday. So when his ex-girlfriend disappears, leaving her daughter in his care, Keegan's hands are tied. He has to find the girl's father. His search leads him to Tallgrass and to a beautiful brunette widow who has no idea her husband was ever unfaithful. What begins as a friendship soon ignites into something far more and gives him the courage to be the kind of man-and father-he always dreamt he could be. But his secret still stands between them. Can Keegan reveal the truth and convince Therese they share something too special to lose-a love that can bring two families together?
My thoughts
A Man to Hold on To is the second book in the Tallgrass series by Marilyn Pappano.  I liked the first one so decided to listen to the audio of the second one.  We were introduced to Therese and her stepchildren in the first novel.  Therese belongs to a group of women who meet regularly - they have one main thing in common - they all lost their husbands in war.

Therese has battled to connect and love her stepchildren, but they have been resistant and at times downright rude.  We meet them as again as they return from a visit from their mother.  What? You might ask - why aren't they with their mother full time?  Good question - however Therese does have custody, and I know if I was either one of the children, I know who I would rather be with.

Into this situation walks Keegan with a youngster - almost three.  Mariah and she calls him Sally's boy - she has been taken care of recently by her grandmother - Keegan's mother.  This has been going on since the mother dumped Mariah on them.  One of the delights of this book is when Keegan is enforced to spend a couple of weeks in Mariah's company.  He finds his heart opening up to her.

Mariah also scores a hit with Abby and Jacob - the horror children.  Or are they such horrible kids? I suspect their behaviour would be quite typical of children who have lost a father, find their own mother doesn't really care for them, and they are stuck with a stepmother.  I read a review of this book where the reader was sorry that Therese didn't score over Abby in the book.  Yet as Therese kept reminding herself - she was the adult!  And a very good one too.

The book also keeps us in mind of Jessie, another war widow, who has a problem with drinking and can end up drunk in anyones bed - and she isn't doing too well at work either.  She had such a one night stand with Dalton in the last book, and it looks like now this could be going somewhere.

The narrator, Loretta Rawlins did a competent job of narrating, and I will be quite happy to listen to the next one in this series as an audiobook if she is narrating.  I enjoyed the story, and the characters.  I hope  we hear a little more of Therese and her family in the next book.
4 stars

July 21, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sheila at Book Journey runs It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Thank you to Sheila for hosting this meme, which always adds books to my TBR wishlist!

Well I had another restful week on holiday, returned to work on Friday for a staff meeting and will be in class again Monday morning.

Books I read last week:

Part of a series and enjoyed it.

 A marvellous western

Mr Right Goes Wrong
Enjoyed this one too.

My first cozy mystery - enjoyable!

What I am reading at present:
I am just starting Hooked on a Feeling by Ainslie Paton - an Australian author and so far love her writing.

Next up:
I think I will read - All You Need is Love by Marie Force, the first in her Green Mountain series.

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