Summer Vows by Rochelle Alers

Summer Vows (Harlequin Kimani Arabesque Series)Summer Vows by Rochelle Alers

  • ISBN-13: 9780373534777
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 7/24/2012
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Source: Netgalley

Synopsis:

Twins Ana and Jason, along with their cousin Nicholas, are successful thirtysomethings who are single—and loving it. They have no idea that their relatives are betting on which one of them will get married first. But by the family’s New Year’s Eve reunion, will all three have learned what it means to be really lucky—in love?

As CEO of Serenity Records, Ana Cole never backs down. Now the hot new recording artist she’s signed has made her the target of death threats, forcing her to go into hiding. And protecting her is U.S. marshal Jacob Jones.

Jacob has better things to do on his vacation than play bodyguard. Until he gets a glimpse of the body he’ll be guarding… Spending days and nights together in close quarters stokes their mutual attraction into an inferno of desire. But if Jacob can outwit a would-be assassin, will their love outlast his assignment?

My Thoughts:

There was something about this blurb that just grabbed my attention and said yes you want to read Summer Vows even though it was typically not a book that I would pick up to read.  What made this even better was how ticked I was at the beginning of the book when I find out that Ana, Jason and Nicholas’ fathers make a bet as to which of their children would be married by the end of the summer.  And there was no small amount of money on the life.  This made me root of all of their children to remain single even though I knew that this is not what would happen but each time things started to fall apart I would cheer them on.

Ana Cole is the CEO of Serenity Records, and she is know for going in and doing whatever she has to in order to sign the musician she wants.  This time she may have fought a little to hard and made an enemy.  She has started to get death threats and while leaving lunch with her cousin, he is shot and gravely injured.  It is quickly determined that the shot was intended for Ana.  She is swept off very secretly to Florida where a family friend, who she had never met, is on vacation from his job as a U.S. Marshall.  Jacob appears to be the best person to protect Ana.  Ana is not happy with hiding and is one stubborn woman especially when she feels trapped in Jacob’s vacation home unable to leave for fear of her being recognized.  What Jacob doesn’t expect is the sparks that seem to fly between them but this is a job and he is only on vacation at some point he is going to have return to his crazy job and he really can’t afford to fall for Ana.

As things heat up in the search for who exactly is after Ana, they had a strong idea from the very beginning, the family decides that it is best that Ana is out of the country so they make arrangement for Jacob and Ana to be flown to the private island resort the family owns to “review” the resort and arrange the paperwork for them to be legally married.  Having to act the part the two fall for each other but soon realize that there are a lot of issues that they would have to deal  with, where to live, why style of living, and the biggest problem money, the fact that she had it and he really doesn’t.  

This book is the best of both romance and suspense of trying to figure out how to stop the competition from taking Ana out.    I found the balance to be outstanding and with so much going on that was not an easy thing to accomplish.   This was the first book I have read by Rochelle Alers and I was impressed with her writing style, it is so diverse in writing the highs and lowers of the series and knowing exactly when the reader needs a break from the romance and a reminder of the bigger plot.  I didn’t want to put this one down because I really wanted to know if they would ended up together and under what crazy terms that might be.

My Rating:

4 Penguins

A Long Time Coming by Jennifer James

Long Time ComingLong Time Coming by Jennifer James

  • Publisher: Etopia Press
  • Publication date: 8/9/2012
  • Source: From Author

Synopsis:

One scorching weekend of no-strings sex? Or the first two days of something special…

Going home for his older sister’s wedding has been a real pain. Unable to get a room at a local hotel, he’s stuck in his parents’ spare bedroom, in a twin bed too short for his six-four frame, with nothing to do but fantasize about his sister’s maid of honor and her little purple bikini. Joey Sanchez: the woman he’s had a crush on for the last ten years. All grown up in all the right places.

And it just so happens she’s had a crush on him too.

Lucky for him, Joey knows what she wants. In the pool, in the movie theater, with some very hot text messages, she quenches his desire and demands no promises. She’s married to her career, and that’s the way she likes it. But with the weekend winding down, Rob realizes she’s only left him wanting more. And he doesn’t want to spend the next ten years without her…

My Thoughts:

This is one HOT read!  I liked the idea of this story right from the beginning and it starts off strong and stays that way all the way through.  Rob has returned for his sister’s wedding and while he thought he would he would the queen size bed in his sister room, he was bumped out by the bride and her best friend, Joey, the girl that Rob has always had a thing for.  All Rob can think about is the fact that he is stuck in the twin bed that is way to small for him.  Looking for some type of relief he heads for the pool in the middle of the night hoping to cool off.  He is very surprised when Joey shows up and offers him some fun.  

The interactions and sexual tension in this story are outstanding, some of the best that I have read.  I think what makes this so different from other books I have read in this genre is how natural and real it really is.  I can see any of these interactions happening in real everyday life, perhaps in a perfect situation but really they could happen.  There was good relationship development and more depth that just sex.  There is a strong background that is referred to but the reader does not miss what they don’t know, you can just accept that it must have happened.  Each character is well developed.  I love that Joey is such a strong woman, she know exactly what she wants and she is not afraid to say it or do it. 

This was a very strong read and I enjoyed every page.  At the end, I was left wishing that this was a full length novel because I wanted more of both Rob and Joey.  I wish much success to Jennifer James because I cannot wait to read more from her.  She caught me hook, link and sinker.  Go check this out ~ just be prepared for the heat!

My Rating:

4 Penguins

The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White

The Unfinished GardenThe Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White

  • ISBN-13: 9780778314127
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Pages: 384
  • Source: ARC from Pages of Forbidden Love

Synopsis:

James Nealy is haunted by irrational fears and inescapable compulsions. A successful software developer, he’s thrown himself into a new goal—to finally conquer the noise in his mind. And he has a plan. He’ll confront his darkest fears and build something beautiful: a garden. When he meets Tilly Silverberg, he knows she holds the key…even if she doesn’t think so.

After her husband’s death, gardening became Tilly’s livelihood and her salvation. Her thriving North Carolina business and her young son, Isaac, are the excuses she needs to hide from the world. So when oddly attractive, incredibly tenacious James demands that she take him on as a client, her answer is a flat no.

When a family emergency lures Tilly back to England, she’s secretly glad. With Isaac in tow, she retreats to her childhood village, which has always stayed obligingly the same. Until now. Her best friend is keeping secrets. Her mother is plotting. Her first love is unexpectedly, temptingly available. And then James appears on her doorstep.

Away from home, James and Tilly forge an unlikely bond, tenuous at first but taking root every day. And as they work to build a garden together, something begins to blossom between them—despite all the reasons against it.

My Thoughts:

I am not sure if it was the beauiful cover or the interesting blurb that first grabbed my attention for The Unfinished Garden.  Typically, I would say that I am not drawn to books in this genre.  If I read “romance” books they are typically a part of a series that I have been reading for years and very rarely a stand alone story.  There was just something that grabbed my attention and I am glad that it did.

I found The Unfinished Garden to be emotional on many different levels.  The story opens with Tilly, who has recently become a widow, and her son, Issac, getting by in their lives after the dramatic changes.  Tilly has turned to gardening, something that is keeping her sane.  She is surprised when a stranger, James as we will learn, shows up at her home and basically demands that she design his garden.  This is something that Tilly just does not do and flat out refuses the business.  What Tilly does not expect is James to continue to force the issues, it seems that he will just not take no for an answer.

Unexpectedly, Tilly’s mother falls and hurts herself.  Tilly and Issac take off for England and where she grew up to take care of her mother.  The ever persistant James calls her there again demanding that she take him on as a client.  Tilly doesn’t know what else to do but tell him that she will think about it.  When Tilly does not follow through with her promise James shows up in Englad and turns life upside down.  There is tension between James and her old friends, something that she did not expect.    She comes up with the plan that she will teach James how to garden using her oldest friend’s mother’s garden.  It isn’t long before Tilly figures out that James has OCD, which adds to this adventure.  James ends up being the rock that Tilly needs through some health issues.  And James has completely fallen for Tilly causing issues all over the place.  While all of this is happening, Tilly’s mother announces that she will be selling Tilly’s childhood home. And the drama continues.

I enjoyed the depth of this story, it was so real.  At first, I was thinking there is no way that all of these things could be happening in just one woman’s life but the further the story line developed the more real it became.  I was drawn in and just could not put the book down.  The book was much deeper and emotional that I thought it would be and I figured that it would be high emotion thoughout.  Barbara Clayp0le White has a way with creating characters and storylines that at first seem so unreal but as it move on just spring to life and you wonder what you were thinking.

I love that I was able to connect with Tilly so easily.  She had such deep rooted pain and watching he blossom and change throughout the story was a pleasure.  While, we did not get to know Issac all that well, his impact on Tilly was paramount.  I cannot imagine Tilly without Issac and the life she has built for them.  James and his OCD had me drawn in.  I feel as though I knew very little about OCD prior to reading this story.  Let me clairfy, I knew what it was but I did not undestand how it effected people.  This description gave me a much stronger understanding.  I think that I have been miselad by some of the other media I have encountered about OCD.  This was a very real and raw exposure and one that I am glad that I got. 

Expect tears when reading this story, it will tug at your heartstrings.

My Rating:

4 Penguins