The Winning Season by Allison Packard

The Winning Season

The Winning Season By Allison Packard

  • ISBN-13: 9781426895821

  • Publisher: Carina Press

  • Pages: 384

  • Source: Netgalley

Book Description:

Kelly Maxwell has finally landed her dream job as publicist for the San Francisco Blaze. But the team’s newest member, handsome bad boy catcher Matt Scanlon, is refusing every interview. She’s got to get him to open up before the season ends, or she may not be back next year. And after everything she overcame to achieve her dream, Kelly’s not about to let that happen.

Matt Scanlon just wants to be left alone to rebuild his life and his career. After a year of masking the pain of a recent loss with hard partying and fast women, he finally hit rock bottom and was traded to a team he’s loathed his entire life—a team with little to no chance at the post-season.

Butting heads is getting Kelly and Matt nowhere but annoyed, and with the team’s schedule on the road, they can’t avoid close quarters—or their surprising attraction to one another. As the season winds down, Matt finds his growing feelings for Kelly have brought his numbed emotions back to life. But when betrayal shatters their fragile trust, winning it all seems more impossible than ever.

My Thoughts:

The Winning Season drew my attention quickly with just it’s description and kept it through each and every page.  It starts with Kelly who has landed her dream job working for the San Francisco Blaze Baseball Organization as a publicist.  She finds herself to deal with the newest catcher Matt.  Matt is in the worst possible place.  He has the job working for his favorite team because his life fell apart.  Matt got traded to the team that is his rival and is refusing to doing any interviews.  This leaves Kelly continually trying to convience him to do his job. not just on the field but off it as well.  From the very moment they met it has been an utter disaster.  

As Kelly is dealing with Matt and his issues, she is also dealing with something interesting going on in the office.  Kelly has always had challenges of her own that include an eating disorder.  When Kelly notices the signs in an intern, she had to figure out what she is going to do about it.  She knows that she can’t come on too strong or she will drive the girl away.  She just wants to help her, but how.  I liked this twist on the story.  It made it about so much more than the electric spark that happens between Matt and Kelly as their relationship starts to change.  

Not only is all of this happening, but Matt’s history is eluded to and it makes you want to figure out just what his deal is.  Matt has a deep secret and when it ends up public he blames the wrong person and causes him even more heart ache.  Matt is a very diverse character and one who drew me in and make me want to like him despite how frustrating he acts.

I liked the balance in this book.  There was a little bit of everything from laughter, to growing relationship, to anger and a little of everything in between.  It is so much more than just a sports book.

My Rating

4 Penguin

Big Sky River by Laurel Lael Miller

Big Sky RiverBig Sky River by Laurel Lael Miller

 

 

      • ISBN-13: 9780373777204
      • Publisher: Harlequin
      • Publication date: 12/18/2012
      • Format: Mass Market Paperback
      • Pages: 362
    • Source: Netgally

Synopsis:

Sheriff Boone Taylor has his job, friends, a run-down but decent ranch, two faithful dogs and a good horse. He doesn’t want romance—the widowed Montanan has loved and lost enough for a lifetime. But when a city woman buys the spread next door, Boone’s peace and quiet are in serious jeopardy.

With a marriage and a career painfully behind her, Tara Kendall is determined to start over in Parable. Reinventing herself and living a girlhood dream is worth the hard work. Sure, she might need help from her handsome, wary neighbor. But life along Big Sky River is full of surprises…like falling for a cowboy-lawman who just might start to believe in second chances.

  

My Quick Thoughts:


It is often difficult for me to review books that come from series that are well established because well since I liked the first books, I can almost guarantee that I will like the next.  That being said this will be a pretty quick take on my thoughts.  

Boone Taylor, is the Sheriff in Parable, we have gotten to know him a bit in the previous stories.  His wife died leaving him with two small boys who have been living with his sister a few hours away.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, Boone brings his boys home to stay.  He has been living in the trailer he purchased before his wife passed away and has just been making it day to day.

Just across the way, Tara Kendall, has moved into a home once owned by Boone’s family.  Tara is annoyed by the shabbiness of Boone’s trailer.  On a surprise call, her ex-husband basically tells her that he is shipping his twins off to visit while he takes the new girlfriend away without the kids.  Tara is annoyed but she loves and misses the girls.

These two unlikely groups of people with cross lives and things will never be the same.  

This was a great story.  I can actually believe that it could really happen.  That is what I like in a good solid romance. 

My Rating:

4 Penguin

A 4 penguin read

Postcards from the Dead by Laura Childs

Postcards from the Dead (Scrapbooking Series #10)Postcards from the Dead by Laura Childs

    • ISBN-13: 9780425252758
    • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
    • Publication date: 10/2/2012
    • Pages: 336
    • Series: Scrapbooking Mystery Series , #10
    • Source: Purchased

Synopsis:

New Orleans is in the throes of another fantastic Mardi Gras celebration when the party gets crashed by a murderer. Now a scrapbooking sleuth is going to have to stop the partying to catch the killer… 

There’s a parade rolling through the historic French Quarter, with gigantic floats, silver beads, and dizzying lights—and Kimber Breeze of KBEZ-TV is broadcasting live from a small balcony on the fourth floor of the Hotel Tremain, interviewing locals and capturing the spectacle down below. Her next subject will be Carmela Bertrand, owner of Memory Mine scrapbooking shop. Carmela has never been a fan of Kimber, but she isn’t about to turn down the chance of good publicity for her shop. 

But before Carmela’s shop gets its five minutes of fame, a killer slips onto the balcony and strangles Kimber with a cord, leaving her body dangling above the parade. Carmela is horrified, but she quickly discovers the nightmare isn’t over. Because someone is now leaving strange postcards at Carmela’s shop—signed by the dead Kimber. Now Carmela and her friend Ava will have to risk their own necks to find out who’s posing as a ghost—and to expose a killer…  

My Thoughts:


Postcards from the Dead is the 10th book in the Scrapbooking Mystery Series.  While I have not read all of the books in this series, I have read a good chunk of they and find that of all the cozy mystery series I have read, this is by far my favorite.  I think in part this is because I scrapbook as my second hobby so I find the fact that Carmela owns Memory Mine, a scrapbooking store, to make a great setting.   There is always some project going on and it is something new and interesting that I have never heard of.  In Postcards from the Dead it is cigar purses.  What a cool project.

The book starts during Marti Gras just days before Fat Tuesday.  New Orleans is full of people, parties, parades and so much more.  Carmela has found herself at a party, that she doesn’t really want to be at, but she knows that it will be great for her business.  The local television station is interviewing local business owners.  She would rather do anything that talk to Kimber, the station star, but she knows that with the economy following Hurricane Katrina she had to take every opportunity to advertise for her business.  While talking with one of the camera men, also a friend, something goes weird.  When she goes out to the balcony, she find Kimber murdered, hanging over the balcony with a cord around her neck.  

Carmela’s boyfriend happens to be the investigator for Kimber’s murder.  He makes it very clear that Carmela should stay out of the investigation  something  that she has failed to do in the past.  Like always things start well but then things start rolling around in her mind and she finds herself looking into things even though she knows that she shouldn’t.  That’s when the postcards start arrive, all signed from the dead Kimber asking why she didn’t save her.  Next, her apartment is smoke bombed.  Someone is trying to scare Carmela into minding her own business.  The problem is it just pushes her further and her list of suspects keeps getting longer and longer. 

I love that there is the very strong story line for the murder itself but there there are many subplots as well.  There is Carmela’s business and how it fits into the community that is explored book to book.  There is Carmela’s life, her friends, ex-husband, current relationship and so much more that gets looked at and provides a story that is full of life.  Laura Childs is great at creating a world that I would want to be a part of.  The descriptions of the places, people and parties is done so well.  

It was a light enjoyable story.  One that is perfect for a cold winter night.  

My Rating:

4 Penguin

A 4 penguin read