‘Just One Night’ by Kyra Davis

jon kdSTORY: Kasie Fitzgerald knows who she’s supposed to be. She’s a rising-star-workaholic at a global consulting firm. She’s the fiancée of a well-connected man who’s won the approval of her parents. People know that she’s reliable, serious, proper, cautious, pragmatic, and yes, a little predictable. She’s who Dave and her family want her to be.

But as her thirtieth birthday looms, buried feelings begin to resurrect. Her friend takes her to Vegas for one last wild and crazy night. In a dress much shorter and sexier than anything she has ever dared to wear before, she hits the blackjack tables. And meets him. Under the tailored clothes it’s clear that this is a man who is intense, powerful, and maybe even a little dangerous. With a touch of trepidation she accepts his invitation to get a drink, and before long, she’s in his hotel room.

She never gets his full name. Perhaps his anonymity is one of the reasons she’s able to give herself over to him and to the moment so completely. Perhaps it’s why she’s just had the most exquisite and passionate sex of her life. Shaken by her own behavior, Kasie tries to chalk it up to one crazy night. But when the mysterious gentleman she’s just had a fling with shows up in her office—as the CEO of a firm her company does a billion dollars of business with a year, demanding that she handle his account, and so much more—things will never be the same again. And there’s no telling where this will go…

REVIEW: The above blurb would have you believe that the heroine knows herself. No. She does not. She’s all over the road and I didn’t like her one bit.

As a matter a fact, I hated the plot. I also didn’t like that the story has only heroine’s point of view. I truly think the reader would have benefited by knowing at least Dave’s and Robert’s point of view.

Listen, if you’re into erotica and a heroine who’s cheating on her fiancé, I think you’ll love this story, otherwise, skip it.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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‘Results May Vary’ by Bethany Chase

rmv bcSTORY: She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple.

In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can’t get off her mind.

Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband’s other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story’s ending will mean forgiving the man she’s loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.

REVIEW: Caroline is meeting up with her husband, Adam, for the opening of a new artist, Patrick, at a gallery in New York City. Caroline is a curator for a museum in Massachusetts. The artist is a gay man who has taken some photos of himself with other men. When Caroline realizes that Adam is one of the men in a photo, she is totally shocked and devastated. They had been in love since they were teenagers and have been married for a number of years.

Although Adam begs for forgiveness, Caroline cannot bring herself to forgive him and their marriage appears to be headed for divorce. We follow her as she slowly comes to terms with what has happened and starts to open up to dating.

She soon begins a relationship with her co-worker who is a widower with two young daughters. They are good together but they are both still hurting over the loss of their mates.

Caroline’s younger sister, Ruby, comes to stay with her as she is between jobs. Ruby is an out-going, devil-may-care type of person. While they are different personalities, they are still sisters and their time together brings them closer.

Will Caroline be able to forgive Adam and keep their marriage? Is he gay or bisexual? When does one know when a relationship is truly over?

The story here is good. I liked the characters but Caroline tended to grate on me. Yes. She has been hurt and disillusioned. But her jumping right into a relationship with her co-worker was certainly premature. I think as much as she loved Adam and he kept begging to talk to her and see if they could work things out, she should have agreed. I think she needed to talk things out with Adam and not every other person she could find to rehash things.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘The Bourbon Thief’ by Tiffany Reisz

tbt trSTORY: When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it’s to discover he’s been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it’s property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris.

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.

REVIEW: Cooper McQueen is a very wealthy man who loves a good bourbon. While sitting in his bar, he sees a lovely dark-skinned woman walk in. When she asks for a shot of Red Thread bourbon, she is told that it has not been made in many years. Cooper introduces himself to the woman, who calls herself Paris, and after some conversation, she agrees to meet him at his vast estate, Lockwood. She tells him she is a rich widow from Kentucky. When he teasingly asks her if she is after his money, she responds that he is after his bourbon – most specifically his prized possession of a one-million-dollar bottle of Red Thread Bourbon. It is the first bottle ever made. She claims to be part of the Maddox family who were the makers of Red Thread bourbon. She has inherited the business and begins to tells Cooper the story about the beginning of the Maddox family as follows:

Tamara Maddox, has just turned 16. Tamara and her mother, Virginia, have lived with her grandfather ever since her father passed away. Her mother and grandfather are always arguing. Tamara is spoiled and bothers Levi Shelby all the time demanding to ride her horse. Levi is much older than Tamara and works in the stables of her vast estate. When Tamara asks Levi for a birthday kiss, her mother catches them and is furious. She is given a choice of sending Levi away or she will shoot her beloved horse. Her mother explains to her that when her grandfather passes away, she will be the only Maddox left and it will be up to her to keep Red Thread going. But her grandfather has a even better plan to ensure the Maddox blood survives. When the truth comes out about the different family members, the shock is enormous.

After a night of violence at her home, Tamara runs away with Levi and thus begins her life of healing from the many disturbed members of the Maddox family.

This book is one that is quite mesmerizing. Starting from slave days to the present, we see the extent that men and women will go to to get what they want in life. The story is brutal at times, but expresses love as well. This historical novel is very good. I had some qualms about the character of Paris because I felt her actions conjured up racism where I don’t think it belonged in the story.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘Where We Belong’ by Emily Giffin

wwb egSTORY: The author of five blockbuster novels, Emily Giffin, delivers an unforgettable story of two women, the families that make them who they are, and the longing, loyalty and love that binds them together

Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her.

For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever.

REVIEW: Marian and Conrad are two young teenagers just getting to know one another. Marian is a shy girl and she and Conrad have sex. She is a virgin and since they used protection, Marian is shocked when she is late. She takes a pregnancy test which comes up positive. Not wanting Conrad to feel obligated to her, she lies to him telling him the test is negative and then proceeds to break up with him. Confiding in her mother only, Marian at first considers abortion but backs out at the last minute. She then chooses to go away for the duration of her pregnancy and gives her baby girl up for adoption. It breaks Marian’s heart to do so, however, she know she wants the best for her child and confidently gives her to a family who have prayed for a child for a long time and will love her and give her a wonderful home.

Fast forward 18 years and we meet the young girl, Kirby, who although she loves her adoptive parents, wants to find and meet her birth mother. She is given the information from the adoption agency and travels to meet Marian, who is a television producer living in New York City. Marion’s life has been successful and she is dating Peter, the CEO of the television company she works for. Theirs is a somewhat tenuous relationship with Marian wanting to get married and have a child and Peter who is not really ready for that. The reunion between Marian and Kirby is a bit rocky in that Marian lives a rather well-to-do life and Kirby’s life has been with her middle class family. However, they do enjoy one another and plan to keep in touch.

We follow Kirby as she finishes her last months of high school but is undecided about going to college. She and Marian decide to look up Conrad, the birth father. Conrad and Kirby bond well and find a mutual love of music but Conrad is furious at Marian for lying to him and not letting him know of Kirby’s existence. Marian feels extremely bad about lying to him but also finds herself drawn to him.

Do Marian and Peter end up together? Do Marian and Conrad stand a chance at life together?

Emily Giffin has penned yet another of her novels that gets right into life with characters so real you feel as though you’ve met them before. Her endings are always a surprise which makes the reader not want to put the novel down. I really enjoyed reading this and hope others will do the same.

Connie for b2b

‘Hotel Vendome’ by Danielle Steel

hv dsSTORY: When Swiss-born Hugues Martin sees a small, run-down hotel in New York for the rough diamond it is, he transforms it into a beautiful boutique hotel of impeccable elegance, run with the precision and attention to detail he learned through his hotelier training in Europe.

Renowned for its unparalleled service, the Hotel Vendôme soon becomes the ideal New York refuge for the rich and famous, as well as a perfect home for Hugues’ beautiful wife and their young daughter. But when his wife tires of his obsession for the hotel, she walks out on him for a notorious rock star, leaving Hugues a single parent to four-year-old Heloise.

Heloise and her family live happily amid a colourful, exciting and sometimes mysterious milieu of celebrities, socialites, politicians, world travellers and hotel employees–and their inevitable intrigues.

As unexpected challenges arise, the hotel is the centre of their world. And when Heloise grows us, she longs to follow in her father’s footsteps and one day run the Hotel Vendôme. The lessons she learned at his side will carry her through it all, in a story no reader will forget.

REVIEW: I have read many of Danielle Steel’s books over the years and agree that she deserves all of the accolades that she has received.

In “Hotel Vendome” divorced owner/general manager Hugues Martin is busy building a world class hotel while caring for and raising his daughter, Heloise. Heloise is fascinated by the hotel and at a very early age learns all of the ins-and-outs involved in running it. Thus, she decides to be like her father and attend hotel school to learn all she can about the business.

Along the journey, Hugues and Heloise find difficulties and triumphs. Although it was a little slow at the beginning, I did enjoy this books very much and highly recommend it.

Connie for b2b

‘Eight Hundred Grapes’ by Laura Dave

ehg ldSTORY: There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…

Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…

REVIEW: Dan is a scientist who has always wanted to make wine.  So, he takes a big step of finding the perfect acreage in California and with the help of his wife, Jen, forms The Last Straw Vineyard.  Twin sons, Bobby and Finn, and a daughter, Georgia, grow up in the midst of the winery, becoming well-educated on the wine making process.  But for Georgia, it has always been a true love.

After Georgia graduated from law school, she works for some time in a law firm in Los Angeles.  There, she met Ben, an Englishman, to whom she is engaged and soon to marry.  Their plan is to move to London after the wedding which is to be held at the family winery.  But when Georgia is at her last wedding gown fitting, she sees Ben walking down the street with a beautiful woman and a little girl. Georgia runs out of the store to say hello to Ben.  But his look of guilt combined with the little girl calling him “Daddy” shocks her and sends her driving straight home to the winery.  As her brothers both live nearby, she hopes that being back in the bosom of her family will help her decide if she can go through with the marriage or not.

Hoping to find comfort, Georgia soon realizes that she may just have to “take a number.”  Her brother, Bobby, married and father to twin sons of his own is having marital problems, and her other brother, Finn, unmarried and running a bar, has his own problems as well.  Oh, but let’s not forget Mom and Dad. They are estranged and have just signed papers to sell the winery to a conglomerate that produces wines comparable to “Two Buck Chuck.”

With the last harvest season upon them, the family comes together to pitch in.  At the same time, souls are bared and problems are shared.

What a completely dysfunctional family and Georgia is the worst.  Back and forth on her decision to marry Ben:  yes, no, yes no.  Gah!  My head was spinning!  Yes, there is a bit of humor in the book but I simply found it one that did not appeal to me.  However, there are many people who have loved it.  So, give it a try and share your review.

Connie for b2b

‘Then Came You’ by Jennifer Weiner

tcy jwSTORY: The lives of four very different women intertwine in unexpected ways in this new novel by bestselling author Jennifer Weiner (In Her Shoes; Best Friends Forever).

Each woman has a problem: Princeton senior Jules Wildgren needs money to help her dad cure his addiction; Pennsylvania housewife Annie Barrow is gasping to stay financially afloat; India Bishop yearns to have a child, an urge that her stepdaughter Bettina can only regard with deeply skepticism until she finds herself in a most unexpected situation.

Interlocking dramas designed to ensnare; bound to be a bestseller.

REVIEW: Jennifer Weiner never fails to write a book that wraps you up and doesn’t let go. Our heroine is a money strapped college student when she decides to sell her eggs to help with her expenses. We then follow the way her donation is used and all of the people whose lives are affected.

The story goes from character to character each chapter which can be confusing unless the reader is totally engrossed in the novel. To pick it up and put it down often can add to that confusion. I would advise someone to dedicate themselves to reading it. In the end, we find that it truly does take a village to raise a child. I enjoyed reading this book very much.

Connie for b2b