Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review and Giveaway: True Surrender by Tracey Cramer-Kelly

This review is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions, and the author is giving away a Fallen Soldier T-Shirt (red, size TBD)to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour -- so make sure you leave a comment!

Also if you visit the other stops on her tour and comment, your chances of winning increase. All the stops on her tour are here.

Now... down to business!

True Surrender by Tracey Cramer-Kelly

(a sensual, full length self-published contemporary romance)

When Major Aaron Bricewick is rescued from Afghanistan terrorists, he thinks the worst is over. But his personal journey is just beginning...

The first surprise is the amputation of one of his legs.

The second is the woman he left behind, now a widow with a 4-year-old son - and his new prosthetist (artificial limb maker).

He vows that losing his leg won't derail his career. But maintaining his outward appearance as a got-it-together officer becomes increasingly difficult as he faces one personal demon after another - and sees his career aspirations slipping away. And though he has no intention of expanding his life to include a woman, his heart has other ideas - and he finds himself questioning the very foundation of his personal beliefs.

When violence - and unexpected redemption - touch his life again, Aaron must make a stand. Which will he choose: duty or love?

This story captures the deep emotions of a soldier who had been tortured and maimed by the enemy in Afganistan. His feelings and thoughts are sensitively shown. It was sweetly romantic yet sensual. This is a tender romance which lets the reader see how the war affected his thinking, feeling and acting, in regards to relationships with others.

He suffers from anger, sadness, the loss of a leg, the feeling of helplessness, and frustration along with the sorrow and guilt about the harm that had been done to his companions. The heroine is caring, understanding and very patient with this soldier and shows how important this is to his recovery.

True Surrender follows his recovery -- both mental and physical -- and also shows how he finds the party who was responsible for his capture and torture. How he deals with his feelings of betrayal and how he overcomes his anger was wonderful to read.

I really enjoyed the story which helped me understand what some of our soldiers are dealing with in today's world. The only complaint I have about the story was the conclusion and resolution of the situation which had caused his capture and the death of others. I felt cheated because I didn’t see how it was worked out in real time. Instead I only found a few sentences that dealt with the conclusion.

All in all, however, I enjoyed the story and the people in it. I wouldn't have been unhappy with the ending if I hadn't been so completely invested in the characters, which shows the skill of the author. It is a very timely novel that's well worth reading, and I'd definitely be interested in reading more from Tracey Cramer-Kelly.

FTC Disclaimer: I received this eBook from Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter Reads

Top Ten Books On My TBR List For Winter

I love winter for reading--cuddling in bed or in my recliner with a good book and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. It doesn't get much better than that. Some of the books I'm looking forward to reading this winter (in no particular order):

1. I am the One, the all and the only. I live in the Pendleton as surely as I live everywhere. I am the Pendleton’s history and its destiny. The building is my place of conception, my monument, my killing ground. . . .

The Pendleton stands on the summit of Shadow Hill at the highest point of an old heartland city, a Gilded Age palace built in the late 1800s as a tycoon’s dream home. Almost from the beginning, its grandeur has been scarred by episodes of madness, suicide, mass murder, and whispers of things far worse. But since its rechristening in the 1970s as a luxury apartment building, the Pendleton has been at peace. For its fortunate residents—among them a successful songwriter and her young son, a disgraced ex-senator, a widowed attorney, and a driven money manager—the Pendleton’s magnificent quarters are a sanctuary, its dark past all but forgotten.

But now inexplicable shadows caper across walls, security cameras relay impossible images, phantom voices mutter in strange tongues, not-quite-human figures lurk in the basement, elevators plunge into unknown depths. With each passing hour, a terrifying certainty grows: Whatever drove the Pendleton’s past occupants to their unspeakable fates is at work again. Soon, all those within its boundaries will be engulfed by a dark tide from which few have escaped.

Dean Koontz transcends all expectations as he takes readers on a gripping journey to a place where nightmare visions become real—and where a group of singular individuals hold the key to humanity’s destiny. Welcome to 77 Shadow Street. TO BE RELEASED 12/27.

2. All of The Dark Tower series (actually, that's seven books... but I'll just count them as one.) I want to re-read the books I've read already and read the couple I've not yet read in preparation for The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole is coming out in March!!

3. I'm currently reading through this series and hope to make it to this latest book this winter.

4. One of my favorite authors, YA book, the start of a new series, and time traveling--what's not to like?

5. Yep, another one by Stephen King. It's already out and I'm on the waiting list for it. Gotta love the "liberry"!!

6. I found a series on Netflix that I'm really enjoying, The Murdoch Mysteries. Maureen Jennings wrote the the books the series is based on, and I'd like to read them this winter as well.

7. This is the third book of Karen White's Tradd Street books--and I can't wait to read it!!

Winter is not only good for reading NEW books like the ones above--it's also good for rereading some old favorites. I don't normally read books again, but there are a few that I try to read every year--and normally it's during the winter when it's too miserable to get out and about.

8. I love this series--and the movie versions are pretty darn good too.

9. This is a short little book, but a charming one.

10. Another series I really enjoy--and each time I read it, I find something new.

And...there you have it... ten books/series I want to read or reread this winter. Can't wait to check out everyone else's list...and see what else I can add to my own!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Virtual Book Tour: An Innocent Murdered by Tom Mach

Today we're welcoming author Tom Mach to the blog on his tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the mystery novel, "An Innocent Murdered". Remember, Tom is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to the commenter that Tom feels leaves the best comment during the tour. So comment today AND follow his tour (just click on the banner above) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND earn a GC to buy more books. It's win-win.

And now, without further ado, please welcome Tom:

I see you’re self-published. What are some of the pros and cons of doing so?

Actually, my paperback books were published by a small press which I happen to own, but my eBooks, including An Innocent Murdered, were self-published. Let me first discuss one of the negatives of self-publishing. A huge negative is the fact that the vast majority of newspapers and national magazines refuse to run any features on new books that are self-published. I believe their rationale is that if the book is self-published it doesn’t have the persona and high quality of a book published by a mainstream press. This is such an elitist and erroneous viewpoint. Most self-published authors, including myself, take great care in writing their books with a great deal of skill and go through the trouble of having their books professionally edited. Yes, there are some sleazy, poorly-written self-published books out there, but I am sure they are in the minority.

With that being said, there are some powerful reasons why self-publishing is the way to go for authors. Publishers are cutting back on staff and are turning down novels written by first-time authors. Authors who are lucky to get an agent can wait months before a mainstream publisher is found and then, they may have to wait at least a year or more before the novel sees print. On top of that, the author receives a tiny percentage of the sales and is expected to do most of the marketing and promotion himself. With self-publishing, an author does not have to wait long and can have his or her book out in a couple of months. He still has to do his own promotion (just like a first-time author published by the mainstream press) and can bypass those prejudiced newspaper and magazine editors and promotes his/her own books by other means. I sold over 3,500 copies of my paperback book Sissy!, largely through talks, book reviews, and word of mouth. Another reason for self-publishing is that it gives you freedom over cover design and book layout. You have very little or no control over what happens to your book if a mainstream publisher handles it. Also, don’t forget you get to keep all the profits from self-publishing, although for me that’s not important. I’m not interested in making money, just interested in sharing my stories with others.

Where did the idea for “An Innocent Murdered” come from?

I actually started on the basic idea for my whodunit novel, An Innocent Murdered, back in the 1990s. At that time, the media ran all sorts of stories about sexual abuse by Catholic priests and parishioners turned a wary eye on priests in general. I thought this attitude was grossly unfair as the vast majority of priests are God-fearing and God-centered men. So I conceived the idea of An Innocent Murdered as a novel concerning the murder of priest whom the media and the congregation believed was a pedophile. But as the fact come out—after his murder—the priest was unjustly accused. I relied on the advice of a detective to flush out the details of how a detective might go about solving this case. However, back then I was not satisfied with the way the detective went about solving the case in robotic manner. Back then he was just a detective, nothing more. Also, I found myself going into the mind of a molester and I didn’t want to do that either. So many years passed by with my original, draft of the book lying dormant. During that time, I learned how to develop real, three-dimensional characters and about two years ago I took another look at my draft. I ended up throwing out 2/3 of the manuscript, removing certain characters, adding other characters, revamping Detective Matt Gunnison so he became a much more believable person, and giving the molestation issue only a passing glance and not going into any detail about it. My focus was only on the murder itself. The term “innocent” in the title of my murder mystery refers to the priest who was murdered as well as to the 8-year-old child found murdered in another town 25 years earlier—a cold case that has great relevance to the murder of the priest in a bizarre way

Do you have any interesting writing habits or quirks?

Unfortunately, I do not have a regimen where I type X number of pages a day at a specific time of the day. I wish I had that sort of structured life. I tend to write whenever I get the urge to write (which is frequently) and when I get an idea for a scene that I must put down on paper as soon as possible. One quirk I remember having was when I wrote my novel Advent. I typed almost the entire novel while listening to Dvorak’s New World Symphony. The music put me into another mind space and I found my novel about the future of our world coming alive for me.

Give us some insight into normal day writing.

I get up out of bed at 5 am because I can’t sleep. I stumble over to my computer, turn on the light, and see what I’ve written so far. I picture the novel in my head. Type until I get tired. Wake up the wife. Go out for coffee, but think about my novel as my wife discusses her agenda for the day. Have lunch while thinking about my novel. Take a nap. Write more on my novel. Daydream. Check my Facebook and Twitter. Think about my novel again and make some notes. Have dinner and think about my novel. Then watch a little TV and stop thinking about my novel until the next morning.

Do you have anything new that you’re working on? If so, please tell us about it.

I’m working on two novels simultaneously. While I don’t want to be specific on what they are about (since, as you know, there are enemy spies out there wanting to steal my idea) I can say that one is a historical novel about a late 19th-century woman being hunted down by a deranged killer while the other one is about three men from different cultural background who want to seize the most important Christian relic of all time in order to suit their own purposes.

Sounds fascinating! Thanks for visiting with us today, Tom! Would you share the blurb and an excerpt of your book before you go?

Book Blurb: Father O'Fallon has been murdered, and police officer Jacinta Perez is arrested and charged. Detective Matt Gunnison, however, is not convinced and with the help of Susan, an ex-nun, he discovers a fascinating link between the priest's death and the death of a child 25 years ago. Will Matt be able to solve both murders? See video:


“What’s critically important here,” Matt said, “is the time this event happened. Mr. Zylinski, you said you knew it was about 9:13 pm when this occurred. How would you know that?”

“It’s all in the deposition, sir,” the man replied. “I checked my watch just before I got to my car. I had to be somewhere at ten and didn’t want to be late.”

The attorney leaned forward, a smile on her face. “I am sure you learned by now, Mr. Gunnison, that the bank clock was correct after all. During the day, that clock was not set back an hour for daylight savings time, but it was corrected by the bank manager at 6:00 that evening. So it really was 9:13 after all.”

Matt was a bit miffed at her know-it-all attitude. “Thank you for pointing that out to me, counselor.”

Tom Mach wrote two successful historical novels, Sissy! and All Parts Together, both of which have won rave reviews and were listed among the 150 best Kansas books in 2011.Sissy! won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award while All Parts Together was a viable entrant for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Award. He also wrote a collection of short stories entitled Stories To Enjoy which received positive reviews. Tom’s other novels include: An Innocent Murdered, Advent, and Homer the Roamer.

His poetry collection, The Uni Verse, won the Nelson Poetry Book Award. In addition to several awards for his poetry, Writer’s Digest awarded him ninth place in a field of 3,000 entrants. His website is: He also has a popular blog for writers of both prose and verse at

You can find Tom (and his books) at the following places:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

R.I.P. Anne McCaffrey

I was saddened to see the reports that the grand dame of SFF writing, Anne McCaffrey, died yesterday.

She was instrumental in making me the voracious reader I am today. I gobbled up her Dragonriders of Pern books, again and again. I imagined that I would impress a dragon one day, had an artist friend make me a life-sized cardboard fire lizard that I carried around as though it was real. My first childhood crush was on F'Lar ... alpha male personified.

While I haven't read many of her later books written with and then by her son, Todd, the original 20 or so are in my library on my keeper shelf, and I enjoy them again and again.

R.I.P. Ms. McCaffrey... you will be missed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: At My Thanksgiving Table

Top Ten Authors I'd Love To Have At My Thanksgiving Feast

So many authors... sigh... in no particular order, here are the first ten that come to mind:

1. Stephen King: I love this man's writing! He's definitely on my auto-read list.
2. Dean Koontz: I especially like his Odd Thomas series, but he's also on my auto-read list.
3. Alan Bradley--especially if he brings Flavia! The only problem is... I've read all he has out right now... and I'm already ready for the next one!
4. Jane Austen. Yes, I know she's still not living, but it's MY Thanksgiving table... so time and space doesn't matter :-)
5. Mark Twain. I think it would be great to just sit and listen to him and his stories.
6. Charles Dickens. Between Mr. Dickens and Ms. Austen, I could really enjoy the discussions of class and life in 19th century England.
7. Maeve Binchy. I want to live in a Maeve Binchy novel. 'Nuff Said.
8. Martha Grimes. First, congratulations to Ms. Grimes on being named the 2012 Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. Another auto-read for ALL her series.
9. Louise Penny. This is a new author to me, but I'm thoroughly enjoying her Three Pines series. If you like mysteries, and haven't yet checked her out, I recommend you do!
10. I would be remiss if I didn't include the first author I remember feeling a kinship with, Lucy Maud Montgomery. Her Anne of Green Gables series thrilled my young soul when I received them as a Christmas present umpteen-thirty years ago.

I would love to include more authors that have meant a lot to me over the years: Louise May Alcott, Arther Conan Doyle, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov,... the list could go on forever.

Who are some of YOUR favorites?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review: Liar's Guide to True Love by Wendy Chen

Liar's Guide to True Love by Wendy Chen
(a full length contemporary romance published by Carina Press)

Wedding planner Cassandra Hanley is in the business of making other people's dreams come true. But for some reason, whenever she meets a potential mate of her own, she finds herself telling little (and not so little) white lies. She's not trying to sabotage her relationships on purpose: as a people pleaser, she just naturally tells men what she thinks they want to hear.

When Cassandra meets Nick, she's determined to be herself this time—until she learns he abhors weddings. So she recasts herself as an advertising exec, and now she's scrambling to cover up the lie...with more lies.

Into the tangled web wanders Cassandra's college sweetheart, Kevin. Kevin, the one man who knows the real Cassandra, and loves her anyway. Could he have been The One all along?

Torn between the past and the present, Cassandra is about to learn that you can't plan the perfect life the way you can plan the perfect wedding.

I didn’t think I would enjoy this book as much as I did. As you follow the heroine through the story plot, you also follow her three friends, her family and ex-boyfriend. You get to know them all so well that, as you read, it is as though you are watching a movie. The author's descriptive writing showed me everything so clearly. It is a delightful story and fun to read. I gulped it down in one long sitting (it's not a short book -- but I couldn't put it down).

The main theme is, of course, relationships. Not only hers, but the others in the story. Her problem is that she lies constantly to make herself what she thinks the hero wants her to be. I giggled and laughed as I read about her misadventures as she tried to get herself out of the dilemma she caused.

The story is not as predictable as you might think, and so I had to keep reading to find out if she ended up with who I knew was Mr. Right. I also wanted her friends to end up with their own Mr. Right. You will have to read it to find out how it ended.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and hope the author releases something again soon. She made me a fan with this delightful tale. I'd highly recommend it to all readers, especially to women who didn’t marry early in life, of those looking again in their 30’s. Lots of fun.

FTC Disclaimer: This book is from my personal library.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Still on My Shelf Unread

Top Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf For The Longest But I've Never Read

I have to hang my head in shame to admit there are a LOT of books on my shelf I've not yet read...not because I don't want to, but... so many books, so little time. So, instead of "top" are ten books randomly chosen:

1. Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I didn't even remember having this book ON my shelf, but I can't have had it THAT long, since it just came out last year. I've pulled it down now, though. It looks GOOD!! I think I got it at a librarian's conference last year where I had the honor to meet Sherrilyn and have lunch with her (she's a doll, btw).

2. Memory of a Murder by Earl Staggs. This one I HAVE had a long time--Earl and I were both members of a writing loop a long time ago. :::waves to Earl:::

3. Irish Born by Nora Roberts. This was a gift, not because of the author, but because I'm a lover of all things Irish. One day, I'll get around to reading this one as well.

4. Cast in Chaos by Michelle Sagara. I have no idea where I got this one, but I love fantasy, so I'm sure I've picked it up somewhere :-)

5. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I got this book, intending to read the series before watching it on television... I've not had the time to read OR watch the show!!

6. Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst. I LOVED the cover of this book. The back cover blurb caught my attention as well.

7. On Off by Colleen McCullough. I loved The Thorn Birds, so when I had the chance to grab another book by the same author, I couldn't turn it down.

8. Pawing Through the Past by Rita Mae Brown. I've heard a lot of good things about this series...but there are too many series!! *sigh*

9. This Body of Death by Elizabeth George. I LOVE Inspector Lynley...another book that is NOT going back on my shelf, but being added to the ever-growing pile next to my bed.

10. Hades' Daughter by Sara Douglass. Another first book of a series I have waiting for me. Sigh....

I need to do nothing but read for the rest of the year... do you suppose my boss will mind??

Do you have any other books I can add to my list?

Monday, November 14, 2011

In My Mailbox: Mysteries and Romance and YA, oh my!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

This is my first In My Mailbox, and I'll let you know up front that I read a lot of small publisher books. I love the NYT Bestsellers ... I do! But small press books are a great place to find a gem that's outside the norm (and not break the bank doing it). I'm also quite eclectic, so you'll find a variety of genres popping up in my posts and in my reviews.

Now ... without further ado -- the books I got from various places this week:

You never forget your first...

In THE FIRST TIME, 25 young adult authors contribute 25 stories all about firsts: first loves, first kisses, first zombie slayings, and more. Featuring New York Times bestselling authors Carrie Ryan and Jessica Verday, plus a host of others. From humor to horror, and everything in between, these stories will make you laugh, cry, cheer, (and maybe even scream) as you experience something brand new from the authors that you love.

Father O'Fallon has been murdered, and police officer Jacinta Perez is arrested and charged. Detective Matt Gunnison, however, is not convinced and with the help of Susan, an ex-nun, he discovers a fascinating link between the priest's death and the death of a child 25 years ago. Will Matt be able to solve both murders?

For Leanne, infuriatingly charming firefighter Christian Welton is out of bounds. Not only is he too young for her, but his trail of broken hearts is legendary. Leanne's fought hard to be one of the boys, and won't let anyone see that Christian's smile makes her want to melt into his arms!

Christian wanted to discover the softer side of the tough-talking paramedic, but hasn't counted on how much the real Leanne affects him. He's vowed never to settle down, but under the mistletoe it's certainly the season to be tempted.…

What have you added to your TBR pile this week?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November Giveaway Hop Winner!

Congratulations to Miranda Grissom, winner of my November Giveaway Hop prize.

Thank you to everyone who joined in! It was great fun.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: eRevolution

E-readers like the Kindle and iPad are sweeping the nation … do you have one? Do you like it? Do you find it changes your reading/buying habits? If you don’t have one, do you plan to?

I actually won a Nook 3G Classic in an online contest a couple years ago. I'd always wanted one, but couldn't swing the cost (that was before the price wars between Amazon and Barnes and Noble... where we all win!). I was so thrilled because reading eBooks on my computer was hard (I'd often print them off instead, which sort of defeats the purpose of an eBook).

While it hadn't replaced print books for me, I do enjoy having one. It's especially nice to get the free downloads from new authors to help me find different things to read that might not have been something I'd have chosen on my own.

It's also easier for my to hold. My hands can get stiff and achy sometimes, and the Nook is lighter than a book, plus I bought a cover that works as an easel, so I can sit it on the table and not hold it at all if need be (and the pages don't flip closed!).

So, yes, I do enjoy having it. While it may not replace print books, it's convenient and easy and I can even borrow books from the library.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens
The Third Volume in the Cynster Sisters Trilogy
Releasing from Avon Books on January 31, 2012

Blurb: Three heros, three rescues, three weddings.

We joyfully request your attendance at the wedding of Miss Angelica Cynster

...but not until she and her hero confront a devious enemy and lay to rest an ancient grudge in the Scottish Highlands!

Headstrong Angelica Cynster is certain she'll recognize her fated husband at first sight. And when her eyes meet those of a mysterious nobleman across a candlelit ballroom, she knows beyond doubt that he's the one. But her heart is soon pounding for an entirely different reason--when her hero abducts her!

The eighth Earl of Glencrae has no choice but to kidnap Angelica, the one Cynster sister with whom he hadn't wanted to tangle. But to save his castle and his clan, he must persuade her to assist him--and he's prepared to offer marriage to seal the deal.

If you've been reading the Cynster Sister series, I'm betting that you (like me!) are waiting for this last book. I'm so pleased they are coming out only a few months apart -- I hate waiting a year or more between books.

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Out of My Comfort Zone

November 8: Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone (whether you liked them or not)

Disclaimer: I am an eclectic reader and there aren't many books I've found that are outside my comfort zone--if a book is TOO far outside my comfort zone, I'll tend to put it down and not finish it. Life's too short to spend on books I'm not enjoying. I did finally manage to come up with some books that left me ...uneasy...after reading them.

1. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
2. The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
3. Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
4. Night by Elie Wiesel
5. Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews
6. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (okay, I actually never finished this one)

Only 7 out of 10... that's what happens when you read anything...even the back of a cereal box!!! LOL

November Giveaway Hop - Win Prizes!

Thanks for visiting my blog! As you can see, I love books in all shapes, sizes, lengths and genres and will be posting reviews, giveaways, interviews and guest blogs, contests and more.

To win my giveaway, all I ask is that you follow my blog (make sure your email is associated with your profile). Earn a second entry by leaving me a comment on your favorite author or genre!

I'm giving away two romantic suspense books (US addresses only please) and a $5 GC to!

An ARC of "When You Dare" by Lori Foster
A new copy of "Hush" by Kate White

It gets better though! After you leave here... go visit one of the blogs listed below. Each of these fabulous blogs is hosting a giveaway for something a reader, author or blogger would enjoy (if the link below isn't working, please click on the banner at the top of the post to see the other participants).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Review: The Next Always by Nora Roberts

The Next Always by Nora Roberts
(a spicy, full length contemporary romance published by Penguin Group)

The Historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, the changing of hands, and even rumored haunting. Now it’s getting a major face lift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect in the family, Beckett’s social life consists mostly of talking shop over Pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on; the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was sixteen.

After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Though busy and with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look …at both the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett is happy to give Clare a private tour – one room at a time, in between blueprint meetings and kindergarten pickups. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something that could arouse the secret yearning that resides in Clare’s independent heart – and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next.

One of the things I love about Nora Robert’s stories is the way she gets you involved with the characters within just a few pages. I am a fast reader, but I can’t read her stories quickly. I especially couldn’t read this one quickly, I was so afraid I would miss something. There are so many interesting and important things she includes that make the story richer and more vibrant. I love her books. Did I already say that? Oops. *wink*

This story revolves around the Montgomery family: three men and their mother. As I met each one, I fell in love. They all have distinct personalities and appearances, they're rough and tumble and all man. They're very different from each other, but close knit and obviously a loving family.

Our heroine, Clare, is a young widow with three sons and is struggling to handle her emotions and pain. She deeply loved her husband and adores her kids. Her story is handled with love and understanding. Her children are normal, loving, rowdy boys. You can’t help but fall for them. She's a successful businesswoman who knows where her priorities are.

Beckett Montgomery has longed for Clare since high school. As an adult, he put those feelings on the back burner and just became her friend, especially after her husband was killed. But lately little electrical currents have started running between them, and all those old feelings have returned in spades.

This is definitely another wonderful story by Nora Roberts and illustrates why she's an auto-buy author for me. She has such a talent for bringing her characters to life. You feel as though you are a part of the story.

This book is touching, loving, humorous, nerve-wracking in parts and ... just when you think you have it figured out, it changes just enough to keep you interested.

There is a ghost in the Inn and a history of the building that goes back 200 years. It’s fascinating to read as it becomes renewed again. I can't wait to see what happens in later books as the ghost becomes even more present.

I didn’t want to put this book down, desperate to see how things turned out, but on the other hand, as I read more and more, I kept putting it down, because I didn’t want it to end. I don't want to wait six months for the next installment. In fact, I'm thinking about picking this book up and reading it all over again. I enjoyed it that much.