Category Archives: Recommended Reads

The books listed here are recommended by either myself or one of the reviewers who contribute to this site.

Served Cold by Marie Harte – Review

Reviewed by Cara M.

Rating: ★★★★★

Sexy and entertaining, Marie Harte’s Best Revenge series starts off with a bang!

Second grade teacher, Ann Weaver has never gotten over Jack Bloom. Not only had he been her first in every way, he’d been cruel in the way he’d ditched her in high school. But now Jack’s back…and everyone knows the best revenge is served cold!

So when Ann and her two friends are indulging in their weekly wine night, they hatch a little plan on how Ann can get back at Jack. But really, all Ann wants is to know why he’d acted the way he had. And what better revenge is there than to show him what he’s been missing in the past decade!

Jack has never forgotten how Ann cheated on him high school…or how she made him feel. Ready to let the past be the past, he returns to his small town and immediately runs into Ann. She’s still the sexy redhead that sets his body on fire, so why not show her what she gave up and how much better he is at it now!

Ms. Harte weaves a tale that you know stems from a misunderstanding that could have been handled if the two involved had only talked to each other instead of being dramatic, but well…it was high school. Throw them together as adults and the past doesn’t have a chance. These two characters are so made for each. From Ann’s sweet, almost angelic way about her to Jack’s nice guy attitude, the two quickly fall back into love. Only Ann holds a secret that she never shared with Jack and then there’s the silly little idea of getting revenge on him…so what happens when he finds out? It devastates him and makes him question her feelings for him and their future. Can the two get over the past and work toward a future? Or will high school always stand in their way?

I would highly recommend this story. As a start to a trilogy, it drew me in and made me eager to read the next. I thought Ann was a little too good girl—except in the bedroom!—and Jack was a little too over her ‘betrayal’ in high school before it began. It made me question if he didn’t secretly have a little get-back-at-her going on in his mind as well. But overall, I enjoyed the story. I loved the secondary characters. And I certainly felt like these two should and would get a happily ever after out of the deal!

Order your copy of Served Cold now!

Shatter by Erin McCarthy – Review

“…another fabulously romantic young adult story!”

Larissa M.

Rating: ★★★★★

In Shatter, Ms. McCarthy’s fourth book in her True Believers series, she presents us with another fabulously romantic young adult story!

Rounding out the friendships and bringing closure to the dramatic blow up in Believe, Shatter starts off with Kylie Warner—a beautiful, formerly energetically optimistic girl—coming to terms with the way her love life and friendships have changed in the past few months. Not only did she find out her boyfriend cheater on her but with one of her best friends! To top that off she’s failing chemistry. Enter hunky nerd, Jonathon Kadisch. Not only is the grad student super sexy he’s pretty much a genius. He helps Kylie study but never expected to hookup with her. Nor did he ever imagine their one night of passion would lead to her being pregnant!

This is a stunning conclusion to Ms. McCarthy’s True Believers series. Not only are the two main characters front and center, as well as their mini-drama called life, you get a wonderful glance at a few of the other couples you’ve fallen in love with along the way.

You also have a wonderful heroine in Kylie. She’s interesting, smart in her own way, and is so much more than the bitter girl you’d think she’d become after being the betrayed like she was. There’s also an enormous growth to her carefree character. She matures along the way and you can almost feel her grow up on the pages. Then you have the already mature, super smart hero, Jonathon. Not only is a standup guy, he seems to love with all his being. Very perfect pairing for Kylie. The ultimate tragedy for the couple could have torn them apart, but in the end I believe it only made them stronger. Making this a definite keeper for me!

Buy your copy of Shatter now!

Fast Track by Julie Garwood – Review

“…interesting, suspenseful, intriguing, heart-wrenching, heart-warming and oh, so sensual.”

Rating: ★★★★★

Fans of Julie Garwood’s contemporary series romances are in for a real treat with her recent release of Fast Track! The long awaited story of Aiden Hamilton Madison—oldest brother and ultimately the family patriarch—and the sweet, uber smart Cordelia Kane—best friend to Aiden’s sister Regan (see her fall for Alec Buchanan in Murder List)!

I’d like to start this review by saying I’m a huge fan of Julie Garwood. Pretty much anything she’s written from her historical romances to the latest contemporaries I’ve never been let down…or led astray. But the back cover copy for this one was a little misleading. I imagined a whole different book from what I received. Now, I’m not complaining. Not in the least. This one was SO much better than what I’d imagined. But there was something of a little disappointment as I imagined a whole push/pull scenario where Aiden was concerned for Cordie’s safety because of something to do with him. And an admission from Cordie about how she’d been in love with him for years. But what I received was interesting, suspenseful, intriguing, heart-wrenching, heart-warming and oh, so sensual. The two have been meant for each other from the beginning. Though I had some issues with parts of how this one played out, those issues were my personal failing as I’ve had way too much time to imagine this one since it’s been so long since Fire and Ice was released and the stories in between weren’t really involving the three friends or the Madison brothers.

Ultimately, though, I fell in love with this romance. From Aiden, who’s the perfect hero. He’s the alpha and always has been so responsible. Maybe a little too involved in everyone’s life but we see he’s changed some over time and is willing to spread the responsibilities around and doesn’t shy away from stepping back to enjoy life some. To Cordelia, who despite being smart is just a shade naive in a good way. The whole story—from the characters to the plot—played out really well. From Cordie making up her mind (with a little advice from her dying father) to move on and forget the childhood infatuation she had with Aiden, to Aiden realizing he wanted Cordie in his life forever. The two had a few obstacles from the outside, but not a whole lot of angst or struggle internally. Might have liked a little more there and Cordie sticking up for how she feels/has felt, but overall not disappointed with how it worked itself out. The supporting characters were wonderful as always. I enjoy visiting old characters to see what they’re up to. And since that is one of my favorite things about all Garwood romances—how the book stays centered on the main couple—I know this is one I’ll keep and re-read over and over.

I’m not sure where Ms. Garwood will go next but I can say I’ll have it on auto-buy!

Get your copy of Fast Track by Julie Garwood now!!!!

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry – Review

“Filled with realistic emotional issues for young adults today and dangerous, edge-of-your-seat action, this book is a keeper that you will re-read over and over!”

Review by Cara M.

Rating: ★★★★★

Crash Into You, the third novel in Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series packs an emotional punch. Filled with realistic emotional issues for young adults today and dangerous, edge-of-your-seat action, this book is a keeper that you will re-read over and over!

Rachel Young is a smart, rich young lady who’s family pressure to fill a role left by a dead sibling pushes her to the edge of reason. Hiding health issues and personal needs from her family is the norm, so what is one more secret like having six weeks to pay off a debt that should never have been hers in the first place or the fact that she’s head over heels for the super sexy, tattooed Isaiah Walker.

For Isaiah, Rachel is his angel. His miracle and chance to finally belong and be loved by someone. Only it seems there are a number of obstacles in his way starting with a street bully and ending with Rachel’s family. But he’s finding love is definitely worth the risk.

Crash Into You has turned into one of my go-to romantic reads when I need a little pick-me-up or a need to escape for a bit. It’s sweet, full of action, a surprise ending. It kept me guessing, and even re-reading had me enthralled to the point I couldn’t put it down. There’s even a sneak peek at the next book in the series, Take Me On. I can’t wait to read it and check in on my favorite teens!

How to Handle a Heartbreaker by Marie Harte – Review

“…characters are fresh, not cookie cutter…situations are interesting yet realistic…though terribly sweet and emotional in so many parts, the heat the main characters put off will have you fanning yourself!”

Reviewed by Larissa M.

Rating: ★★★★★

How to Handle a Heartbreaker, Marie Harte’s second book in her sexy McCauley Brothers series, steams up the pages once again giving you the hunky, emotionally scarred ‘brother’ Brody Singer. She pairs him with his brother’s sexy yet insecure next door neighbor, Abby Dunn.

Following the fabulous first book, The Troublemaker Next Door, I worried if Ms. Harte could pull off another hit. You know how sometimes the first book or the last are always the best and those in-between books often fall short. That is so not the case!

Brody Singer was all but adopted by the McCauley family at the tender age of six. He’s the best friend and business partner of Flynn from The Troublemaker Next Door (Book One). Flynn and Brody are often referred to as the twins because they share everything with each other. But there are things about Brody even Flynn doesn’t know. Things he’s ashamed of. Parts of himself he’s always hidden…that is until Abby.

Healing from an emotionally draining relationship that has left her questioning herself on many fronts, Abby isn’t sure becoming involved with Brody is a good idea. But there’s something about him that draws her in. He’s hot, no doubt. But there are many layers to him that have her opening up and sharing her dirtiest fantasies, the same ones that made her ex call her a freak. Only Brody isn’t turned off by her adventurous side. He’s having a hard time controlling his need for her.

Still, there are things from his past that put up emotional barriers. Can these two make it through to a happily ever after? Or will Abby have what it takes to handle her heartbreaker?

As with the first book in this series I was hard-pressed to put it down once I started reading. The characters are fresh, not cookie cutter. The situations are interesting yet realistic. And though terribly sweet and emotional in so many parts, the heat the main characters put off will have you fanning yourself! Add in the addition of a new one, Del—who I’m hoping pairs up with Mike!—you’ll see the same secondary characters as with the first book. A sneak into the lives of the McCauley parents, and more of the sneaky, adorable Colin and this book just leaves you wanting more!

In fact, I am eager for the next installment as I believe it will be Cam and Vanessa and the sparks those two set off each other will have the already paired off couples hiding…in their beds, hopefully! 😉

Order your copy of How to Handle a Heartbreaker now!

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker – Review

“…hijacks your emotions from the first page to the last!”

Review by Alex C.

Rating: ★★★★★

K.A. Tucker’s Ten Tiny Breaths hijacks your emotions from the first page to the last!

Whether you’re reliving the event that caused Kacey Cleary’s life to change forever or the emotional breakthrough she has at the end with the help of a not-so-little push from Trent Emerson, it’s an all out journey through a gambit of emotional turmoil. I swear the story is so well written that it pulls you in and you’ll feel every bump and bruise along the path with her.

Because for Kacey, one drunken mistake made by a college student cost her almost everything. Haunted by the memories and tortured by the dreams, she redirects her energies from self-destruction to saving her fifteen-year-old sister from a lecherous uncle. They escape to Miami, and while tough, they manage to carve out a life and make friends. For Kacey it isn’t easy. She’s skeptical of people and their motives. She also has some demons surrounding physical contact, but her new neighbor is more than willing to help her through her issues. Only he has secrets of his own. Secrets that could shatter both their worlds when revealed.

It’s a tough call when you review a book on how much to share. In this case, less is definitely more. You’ll be pulled in all directions with this story and not knowing in advance what to expect I believe will make it more enjoyable. That being the case, I won’t reveal the ending. But I will say the story itself is tragic. Not a lighthearted read for sure. But well worth the time and emotion you’ll expend. The heroine is well worth of the status. She’s strong, determined, responsible, honorable. And yet above all and underneath the veneer, she’s a bit vulnerable as well. The hero is a little hard to get a read on at first. He’s definitely strong, determined, and in the end has honorable intentions. Though he hides his secrets well and you’ll find yourself a little on edge of whether he’s hero or not… For me, I remembered all the tender ways he handled Kacey. In the end, I determined he was swoon worthy after all. If you can handle the heart-wrenching sadness in a story like this, you’ll love this book. I’m off to find the first book by this author. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. 

Order your copy of Ten Tiny Breaths now!