Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Make-Believe Wedding

In Make-Believe Wedding (Montana Born Brides #9) by Sarah Mayberry, Andie has know Heath was the one for her since she was 13.  Best friends with Andie's brother, Heath has yet to figure this out.  For now, Andie and Heath remain friends, and she works for him.

When a Valentine's Day dance mix up suddenly has Andie and Heath as semi-finalists in Marietta's Great Wedding Giveaway, everyone thinks they really are engaged.  Andie is mortified by what she inadvertently caused, and Heath is mystified.  Seeing how Andie is reacting to the news, Heath decides to play along.  They decide to pretend they're engaged and when they don't win the Giveaway, quietly 'break up' after all the fuss dies down.

Spending so much more time together, Heath suddenly is seeing Andie in a whole new light and the chemistry between Andie and Heath is unmistakable.  Soon they are no longer just acting, but can it last?

Make-Believe wedding is a fast paced, easy to fall into novella about a couple of friends who are suddenly so much more.  Andie has always been fixated on Heath though, to the point where no one else will do.  She doesn't act on this though, until she has to!  I really like Andie's independent, strong willed character.  Heath is a hottie!  I admired him for first wanting to help Andie, then not being afraid to move things forward.  I liked his honesty, especially with Andie's brother Beau.

There are a lot of great secondary characters in Make-Believe Wedding, many you will recognize if you've read the other Montana Born Brides books.  In particular I really liked Andie's brother Beau and her friend Lily.  The interactions they have are realistic, warm, and filled with humor.  I especially like Andie's relationship with her brother.  Beau and Lily came across to me as having something simmering beneath the surface, and I'd love to know what their story is.

Make-Believe Wedding is the perfect length novella for the story being told that can be read alone, but I do highly recommend reading the other Montana Born Bride books too!

Sarah writes smoothly with lots of wit and emotion that entertains and makes you feel for the characters.  I'd recommend Make-Believe Wedding to any romance reader looking for a quick, entertaining romantic read.

4/5 stars

Monday, July 28, 2014

Temptation Bay

In Temptation Bay (Windfall Island #1) by Anna Sullivan, private investigator Dex, posing as a lawyer, heads to Windfall Island in search of a long lost heir.  Before he even gets to Windfall Island, he is distracted, attracted and intrigued by Maggie.  Helicopter pilot Maggie calls Windfall Island home, and is very protective of the place and the people there.  As soon as she sees Dex, she is conflicted because she is attracted to him, but doesn't trust him.

Dex's mission on Windfall Island is top secret, he doesn't want anyone to know why he's really there.  As he unsuccessfully searches for answers, he is more and more drawn to Maggie and the desire to be with her.  Maggie feels the magnetism between them also, but refuses to give in to it.  She does her best to avoid Dex.   Dex soon realizes he's going to need help to find what he's looking for though, and it's Maggie he turns to.  Reluctantly, Maggie agrees to help Dex even though it will mean spending way more time with him...And as they do, they become closer.  Somewhere between pushing him away and denying her feelings, Maggie finds herself in deep with Dex.

As a new kind of relationship starts to develop between Maggie and Dex, someone knows what they are doing.  Someone who doesn't want them to find answers and will do anything to stop them.

Temptation Bay is really two stories that come together.  Maggie and Dex's relationship, and Dex's search for a missing heir.  Anna gives us romance with a lot of conflict between Maggie and Dex, and a very intriguing mystery.  I love the setting of Temptation Bay, the small island population and all the quirky characters who live there.  Anna does a great job of bringing Windfall Island to life.  

I did  find it difficult to identify with or feel much for Maggie.  Yes, she has her past issues and secrets...but she is all grown up now, and the way she acts and treats Dex at times did not reflect positively on her character.  Maggie is very aggressive where I found Dex to be much more laid back, even if he is full of secrets himself.  He is open that he has them and his reasons for not revealing them.  Sometimes I was full of wonder that Dex actually still wanted to be with Maggie.  The chemistry between them is undeniable though, and Anna write this well as they find their way together.

The mystery part of Temptation Bay was a bit slow to get going, and a bit difficult to get into because so much of the book is about the turmoil of Maggie and Dex's relationship.  It is a solid plot, and I found myself wanting more of that!

Anna does a great job of concluding Temptation Bay so that part of the story finishes, but there's still more to be told, without a cliffhanger.

I'd recommend Temptation Bay to romance readers who like a lot of conflict between characters, a mystery, and a great setting!

3/5 stars

Fiancee For Hire

In Fiancee For Hire (Front and Center #2) by Tawna Fenske, Mac needs a fiancee.  A former Marine now working undercover, his latest assignment requires someone to wear his ring.  Mac's sister knows just the person for the job.  Her best friend Kelli has been hot for Mac for years.  Mac hasn't seen enough of her to realize this, and he's never really paid much attention to her.  That is about to change!  Kelli, who is definitely not looking for any kind of long term relationship, jumps at the chance to be with Mac.  Even if it is just pretend, Kelli will hold nothing back in her short term seduction of Mac.  

Playing a falsely engaged couple soon turns out to be more than either of them bargained for when they find out they have more in common than they though, and the chemical attraction soon starts to feel like something so much more.  Having to deceive everyone to maintain Mac's cover, soon things start to feel more real than either of them anticipated.  Is it real though?  Will they survive the dangers of Mac's job to find out?

I loved Fiancee For Hire!!  Tawna easily brings Mac and Kelli to life with their sexually charged adventure.  Kelli is straight forward, not afraid to go after what and who she wants.  Despite her big heart, her past holds her back from any serious involvements, and she is up front about this.  Even as Tawna gives us more details of Kelli and what has made her who she is today, Mac is a bit more of a mystery.  His full story slowly unravels through Fiancee For Hire, and Tawna draws it out well enough to intrigue but not frustrate.

Tawna expertly weaves humor through out Fiancee For Hire, and she had me laughing out loud numerous times.  Within this though, is a more serious aspect, and with her excellent blending of characteristics and scenes, Tawna really made me feel for Kelli and Mac.  I could easily feel their heart ache and their joys through Tawna's writing.  Their feelings and experiences are realistic, making them believable characters.

I loved Fiancee For Hire because Tawna managed to make me feel a variety of emotions, and Mac and Kelli real enough that I'd love to consider them my friends!

I have not read the first book in this series (yet!) but did not feel like I was missing anything in Fiancee For Hire.  I'd highly recommend Fiancee For Hire to any romance reader looking for a lot of laughter, a lot of steamy chemistry and action, and the best feelings when you finish Mac and Kelli's story.

5/5 stars

For Love of a Cowboy

In For Love of a Cowboy (Montana Born Fair #3) byYvonne Lindsay, 27 year old Willow has come from New Zealand to Marietta, Montana to find her father.  Willow lost her mother to cancer, and after finding her diaries, thinks she's found her father.  She is searching for a place to belong.

Booth is a Marietta man.  Protective of his family and his town, the instant he sees Willow he pegs her for a transient hippy who will end up using and hurting people, especially his family.  He reluctantly helps Willow out, hoping it will make her leave sooner, hoping he can ignore the impossible attraction he feels for her.  But Willow has a lot on her plate.  She is determined to meet her father, she needs to make a living, and she likes Marietta.  She also likes Booth way more than she should.

As Booth battles preconceived notions and mistrust, he continues to try to push Willow away from him and out of Marietta.  Willow resents how he treats her, but at times they really click and the chemistry sizzles between them.  Neither wants to back down from their end goal though, and soon Booth might have pushed Willow far enough that he's pushed away any chance for her not only to belong in Marietta, but to belong with him.

There is nothing straight forward about the romance in For Love of a Cowboy.  Willow and Booth both have a lot of issues from their past that continue to weigh heavily on them.  Yvonne writes characters with a lot of inner conflict that makes the journey to romance anything but smooth.  I liked watching Booth and Willow's push and pull, wondering what would happen next with them.  Both of them are strong characters, but I would have liked a little more of a background on Willow and her mother to help round out Willow's characters.  I did enjoy the journey Willow and Booth took us on, and their character growth is very noticeable.

The concept of Willow and Booth's relationship is believable.  How Willow goes about getting to Marietta from New Zealand with no money or real plan outside of finding her father is a little out of the ordinary, but her feelings are easy to relate to.

I love the secondary characters, some we've seen in previous Montana Born Books, with the subtle interlinking that brings everyone together but at the same time makes it easy to read For Love of a Cowboy alone.

I love the setting and the fair, I can just picture all the booths Yvonne describes!

For Love of a Cowboy is a great well paced summer read that I'd recommend to all romance readers.

4/5 stars


Love is a Battlefield

In Love is a Battlefield (DreamMakers #2) by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy, Jack is a former army ranger now in the dream making business with friends Parker and Dean. These alpha men have found their niche in everything from organizing dates to romantic celebrations on a larger scale.Read More

4/5 stars

Where Evil Waits

In Where Evil Waits (Mann Family #2) by Kate Brady, people are dying around Kara.  Thinking her husband's death was an accident, everything is in question now that Kara and her son are threatened.  Receiving frightening 'gifts' and no longer safe, Kara, a prosecutor, seeks help from Luke.  The one man who might be able to keep her safe.

Luke is deeply involved in the criminal world, and not someone Kara would usually find herself associating with.  But there is more to him than meets the eye, and Luke is going to do what he can to keep Kara and her son safe.  Neither of them trust easily, but they no longer have a choice when they are trying to outrun a mad man with his own agenda.

Kara and Luke both have things they are hiding, but secrets must come out for them to stay safe.  The truth is so much more and different than either of them imagines.  Will they find answers, and along the way a future neither of them expected?  Or will it be too late?

Kate sucked me in and kept me glued to the pages of Where Evil Waits!  Kara and Luke are both strong characters.  Kara is smart and loyal, and will do what it takes to keep her and her son safe.  I would have liked a bit more background about Kara's adult life and marriage to help me know her better.  Luke is also smart, loyal and so protective!  Kate really brings him to life and made me love him from the start...no matter what brush he was painted with!  I liked how Kara and Luke interacted and worked together with a subtle attraction nibbling around the edges.  Their characters, their feelings are believable and very like-able.

Kate gives an intriguing addition to Where Evil Waits with flashes of the killer/stalker's POV.  This adds a very edgy dimension to an already action packed, suspenseful story.

What you see isn't always what you get...sometimes you have to dig a lot deeper as Kate demonstrates well in various ways in Where Evil Waits.  Where Evil Waits is fast paced and easy to become immersed in.  Kate weaves the plot with lots of mystery and the unexpected to make you stay and find out what and why!

I'd recommend Where Evil Waits to readers who enjoy a suspenseful mystery with romantic undertones.

4/5 stars

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flirting With Forever

In Flirting With Forever (Island Bliss Book 1) by Kim Boykin, romance writer Tara finally hits it big with her non fiction book about marriage.  Her book tops the charts as unexpectedly as her husband suddenly leaving her.  Tara is devastated and confused, trying to move on but at the same time wanting answers.  When a book tour is offered to her, her dream come true, she can't be happy.  Not with everything else going on in her life.  But needing the money, Tara puts everything she can aside to go on tour.

Jake is the publicist Tara ends up with when hers is injured.  10 years her junior, Jake is not thrilled with the idea of 'babysitting' an author who is new to everything.  As Tara and Jake spend much more time together, getting to know each other, their relationship soon blooms into much more than either of them anticipated.  Will it last though?  Is Tara ready to move on, even when her husband unexpectedly turns up again?

Flirting With Forever is a quick romantic read about Tara struggling to accept the changes life is throwing at her, and continues to throw at her.  At the beginning I felt like I'd jumped into something I had no clue about, and a bit more background or build up might have helped me understand Tara more.  I did feel like by the ending of Flirting With Forever I had a bit more of a feeling for Tara.   I did enjoy watching Tara's character grow and develop through Flirting With Forever, and feel happy again.   I did enjoy Jake's character, how he changed and was more open minded than I thought he would be!  I do wish Flirting With Forever could have been a bit longer and deeper, not leaving me feeling so rushed through Tara and Jake's story.

Romance readers looking for a quick romance that will leave some things to the imagination will enjoy Flirting With Forever.

3.5/5 stars

Monday, July 21, 2014

Handled By The Officer

In Handled By The Officer by Kym Roberts, Kiley is a police academy recruit for the Kansas City Police Department...talked into it by her sister Kay "Lee".  Kiley can't help but noticing Officer Walt Raynham, he "...commanded attention.  Demanded to be acknowledged whether she wanted to or not."  It's even trickier to not acknowledge him because he is her instructor...and despite his resistance, he is definitely noticing her.  "Unwanted desire burned hot and primal in her core.  Both of them felt it.  Neither one of them wanted it."

When Kiley concludes being a police officer is definitely not her calling, she turns her back on the man who makes her lose control, going back to the safety of her former boyfriend.  Kiley isn't easy to forget though, and despite Walt's determination that his career is not one meant for someone with a family, he still thinks about her...especially with her sister as his partner.

When circumstances bring them together again, and in Kiley Walt sees everything he didn't know he wanted, will they still resist each other?  As events become more serious, more dangerous, will they even have a chance?

I loved Handled By The Officer!  Kym had me laughing from the start...I love her descriptions of the new recruits, they struck me as believable.  I could feel Kiley's nervous energy.  I admired Kiley for the courage to do something she was so unsure about, then having the strength to walk away when it was time.  Walt and Kiley are a great hero/heroine, they try so hard to not be together.  The circumstances they find themselves in are a perfect blend of humor and serious.  I really liked both of them.  I loved Walt and his initial partner Bret's interactions.  There is great character development in Handled By The Officer, Kym really pulls you in and makes you want to know more about Walt and Kiley right away.

There are a lot of great secondary characters in Handled By The Officer who add a lot of dimension to the plot without taking away from it.

I really liked the time frame that Handled By The Officer was spread out over, Kym made it work really well and transitioned so smoothly.  Handled By The Officer is well paced, with enough action and suspense to keep you on edge, well balanced with romantic conflict.  I loved the unexpected plot twists and seeing how Walt and Kiley dealt with life's unexpected turns.

I'd highly recommend Handled By The Officer to any romance reader who wants to go from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other thanks to some great writing, not to mention a man in uniform!

5/5 stars!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Other Side of the Bridge

In The Other Side of The Bridge by Katharine Swartz, a surprise inheritance from her Grandmother Sophia comes at just the right time for Ava.  With a floundering marriage, grief and heart ache weighing heavily on her shoulders, Ava leaves England for Greece and the small home there her Grandmother has left her in rural Greece.  When Ava arrives in Greece, she doesn't know how long she'll stay, she just knows she needs the space and time.  Is her marriage over?  Does she want it to be?

Ava cleans up and sets up house in the small run down home.  As she is welcomed by the people in the village, one who knew her Grandmother, Ava realizes she didn't know her Grandmother very well at all - only that she left Greece after WWII.  When she tries to find out more, no one wants to talk.  The heavier the silence, the more intrigued Ava is, and the more she feels she needs to know who her Grandmother really was.  Will Ava get answers or will the past stay in the past?

I love how Katharine has written The Other Side of The Bridge, spanning two distinct era's in time - present day with Ava and during the war with Sophia.  Katharine weaves the stories together so well the flow is seamless.  I really loved both story lines, but in particular Sophia's Greece and all the history it brings with it.  Katharine manages to take you to Sophia's time, feel what she's feeling, and see what she sees.  Sophia kept me glued to the pages, getting to know her and really wanting to see how things worked out for her.  As Ava reached into the past along with us, it gave her something else to focus on other than her own sorrows.  Both Ava and Sophia are strong women in their time, and Katharine keeps both of them realistic with believable story lines.  I saw a lot of growth in Ava as she tried to come to terms with what has been happening in her life.  Sometimes distance really does help one gain perspective, and for Ava this seemed to help.

I also really like the setting of The Other Side of The Bridge, both past and present as Katharine writes them.  She brings a different side of Greece to life so easily.

The Other Side of The Bridge is an easy story to become immersed in.  A journey to find herself also becomes one to find the past and to help not only Ava heal, but others.  Katharine writes an emotional story of personal growth in The Other Side of the Bridge, and I'd recommend this to all women's fiction readers.

5/5 stars

After the Rain

In After The Rain by Lilian Darcy (River Bend #4), Casey has not been back to Marietta, Montana since he was a teenager.  After a prom night tragedy when his girlfriend Neve died, his parent's decided it was time to start fresh.  Now all these years later, a successful architect, Casey is returning to Montana for a rare work opportunity at an artist's foundation.  He knows there will be memories only Montana can provide...he does not expect one of the first people he meets at the foundation will be Kira, his former girlfriends younger sister.

There is a subtle attraction between Kira and Casey, and Casey is sure Kira is flirting with him.  Kira has no clue who Casey is...he went by Jay in high school...and Casey struggles with the need to let her know who he is and the fact that it will irrevocably change how she feels about him.  Casey is not wrong about that, and as Kira struggles to accept who he was and who he is today, the past that has never really been put to rest continues to haunt them both.  Both of them hope to find answers, to ease their sorrows of the past.  Will they be able to do this together, or is that shared part of their past to painful?  Will either of them ever be able to let the past rest and finally stay in the past?  

Lilian gives us a lot of emotional depth in After the Rain.  I felt like I got to know Kira very well in After the Rain.  Her experiences, her emotions, and how she faces life are all realistic and make her someone you feel like you can understand.  I really liked how Lilian explores Kira's character and lets us see her falter and flourish.  I really saw a lot of growth in Kira.  Kira and Casey's interactions and the slowly growing heat between them made them seem like real people.  I really liked how Lilian gives us Casey's POV from both the past and the present.  It helped me to know him better, even though I feel that Kira is the more dominant character in After the Rain.  I really liked the maturity of the main characters, and this shows in their thoughts and actions.

There are a few subplots, surprises and some great secondary characters in After the Rain that really help round out the story.  

With a believable plot, After the Rain is about two people finding each other After the Rain.  Lilian will draw you in with her characters and the hope of answers, the hope of love.  After the Rain is part of the River Bend series and while I believe it can be read alone, I think it would be easier to understand some of what is going on if you read the rest of the series also.

I'd recommend After the Rain to contemporary romance readers.

4/5 stars

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Honeymoon Trap

In In The Honeymoon Trap by Kelly Hunter, Eli and Zoey have been on-line gaming partners in a virtual world every Friday night for 2 years.  When he's on line, Eli can escape to a world where nothing is really real, where he doesn't have to communicate real life stuff.  When his brother's become involved and 'meet' Zoey, they decide it's time for Eli to stop hiding and start living again.   Pushing Eli to go to a gaming conference where he'll not only meet Zoey but room with her seems like the perfect idea.  Especially when the brothers book them the Honeymoon Suite!

Eli is not looking for love though.  He lets the past and what happened there dominate his life.  Zoey has her own problems, but she definitely doesn't let them pull her down.  She embraces and lives life.  When she can feel the attraction between her and Eli, she's excited for it and interested to see where it could go.  An attraction Eli doesn't want but can't ignore, an attraction Zoey accepts as a good thing and starts falling for Eli.  The chemistry between them is heating up...  What started out as a virtual friendship suddenly is on the verge of becoming so much more if they will let it.  Will they?  Can Eli finally move on from the past that haunts him and look forward to the future?

Kelly gives us an ultra modern romance in The Honeymoon Trap with Elia and Zoey.  With a unique concept and well paced writing, The Honeymoon Trap has both funny and more serious elements to it...just like real life.  I really liked Zoey's character.  Despite her problems she is happy, has a very positive outlook, and lives in the present.  I also liked how even when she wasn't sure where things would go with her and Eli she didn't become clingy.  Eli has never moved on from the death of someone he loved 5 years ago.  He is comfortable in his life (alone) and with his on line friends.  I saw a lot of personal growth in Eli, it was really sweet and I was so happy to see him moving on, even if it is a struggle for him.  He is way too young to not give the future or any other woman a chance!

Eli's brothers are great secondary characters, I'd love to meet them again!  Since it's a novella, there isn't a lot of background on anyone, but enough that it is easy to get to know Eli and Zoey.

If you are a romance reader looking for a fast paced, fun, uber modern read, you'll enjoy The Honeymoon Trap!

4/5 stars

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pick Me

In Pick Me by Erika Marks, Thea left Magnolia Bay after high school graduation, worked hard, and is now a lawyer.  When her relationship of 3 years is suddenly and unexpectedly over, Thea heads back to Magnolia Bay for some much needed down time.  She certainly does not expect her neighbour to be Calder...the motorcycle "bad boy" every girl in high school lusted over.  Or that she can still feel regret over a kiss that never happened, that he is hotter than ever, and she still tingles when she's near him.  Thea is coming away from a break up though, and is still working through her feelings for her ex.  Calder is only in town for a brief period, for work and family obligations...then he'll be gone again, right?  Thea has never listened to her heart though...maybe it's time she did.

Pick Me is a fast paced novella that packs a lot into it without overloading the reader.  Erika made me feel like I really got to know Thea (as much as she drove me a bit crazy at times!), the feelings, doubts, and insecurities she has all add a very real touch to her character. Calder has come a long way from his "bad boy" image, but he still rides that motorcycle and thanks to Erika I can totally see him on it in my mind!  Great imagery!!  He is dealing with family issues while back in Magnolia Bay, and those issues actually help to bring Thea and Calder closer, even if he didn't want to involve her.  Erika manages to let us look at the whole package of Erika and Calder in Pick Me, and she blends it all together very well.  Their characters are strong, and in this brief novella the character growth is enough to make your heart happy for Thea and Calder.

I loved the integration of Calder's family as a sub plot in Pick Me.  Erika manages to make it completely relevant to the story line and uses it to draw us in even farther.  I also liked seeing Thea's relationship with her sisters.

Well paced, Pick Me is all about following your heart.  I'd recommend it to any romance reader looking for a very well written novella!

4/5 stars

Purchase from Amazon

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Honeymoon Prize

In The Honeymoon Prize by Melissa McClone Addie and Nick have known each other for what seems like forever.  He first proposed to her in kindergarten, but it seemed they were destined to a lifetime as friends only.  They have both been attracted to the other at different times, not acting on it, not wanting to ruin a friendship.  When it seems like Addie's world is falling apart, Nick is there for her.  He offers a solution that will help both of them.  But can either of them last a 5 year marriage of convenience?  Keeping up the facade is even more difficult when they head off to a private island in Fiji for The Honeymoon Prize they've won, completely unaware that they will be part of a reality show.  Soon the lines start to blur and it doesn't feel like such an act anymore.  But is it real or not?  What will happen when the honeymoon is over?

The Honeymoon Prize was a fast paced, intriguing novella.  I love the setting Melissa used, she took me right there...I can feel and smell the tropical air and the water.  Addie and Nick are great friends but they've kept things hidden too, and it was great to be along for their combustible ride.  They are a couple who are so obviously connected in so many ways and they have fun together despite everything which I love.  I liked that they were up front and honest as things progressed.  Nick and Addie are great characters who drew me in and made me want to know so much more about them.  

There were just enough secondary characters in The Honeymoon Prize, and I really liked how Melissa brought them in and used them in a positive way, especially for Addie.  You will see what I mean when you read The Honeymoon Prize.

I'd recommend The Honeymoon Prize to any romance reader.

4/5 stars

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

On Sunset Beach

In On Sunset Beach (Chesapeake Diaries #8) by Mariah Stewart, Carly is working on a project that will thrill the art world and finally prove that she deserves to be where she is today.  Growing up with it all, Carly has worked hard to be successful on her own.  A splashy debut in one of Carly's galleries of previously unknown artwork of a famous painter from St. Dennis, along with a book Carly is writing about the painter, will demonstrate how far Carly has come on her own. 

In St. Dennis, Ford Sinclair is finally home again after 7 years away with the military.  He's been places and saw things most people don't see even in their worst nightmares, and he is having a hard time knowing where he belongs now, what he should do, how to fit back into civilian life.

When Carly ends up bringing her exhibit to St. Dennis, it is inevitable for numerous reasons that she will meet up with Ford.  When she firsts meets him at his mother's Inn, not knowing who he is she is drawn to him...to his eyes, to his touch.  Neither of them are looking for relationships or forever...Carly is only in St. Dennis temporary, and Ford is home, but he doesn't know if it's for good.  But the attraction is strong, and as Ford is slowly drawn into more and more in St. Dennis, he is drawn more and more to Carly.  They start a slowly growing, open and honest relationship, one that gives them both hope for a future.  Ford has finally found someone he can just be with and talk to, but is it enough to move him away from his past to a brighter future?

Mariah gives us another great story in On Sunset Beach.  I love that characters we've met in previous books are woven into the story line well enough to catch up with, but at the same time if you haven't met them in previous books you won't feel like you're missing anything.  The Chesapeake stories are interlinked but completely separate stories.  I really enjoy Grace's (Ford's mother) diary entries inserted in various spots of On Sunset Beach, they give a whole other perspective to the story outside of Ford and Carly's.

The main characters, Carly and Ford are both mature and strong.  Carly is where she wants to be in her life, she's happy and positive.  Ford is still finding where he should be after the military.  I loved Mariah's descriptions of him in his kayak on the water...I could feel myself there too!  This is where Ford does a lot of thinking and where we share Ford's memories and insights as well as his struggles.  Mariah brings you right to his special place with him.  I liked how Mariah didn't have to go into a lot of detail about what Ford's been through, but she manages to still evoke the images and feelings.  Mariah brings Ford and Carly together very well.  The spark is there, but they are slow to get things moving, and this felt very real.  They felt real, and the relationship believable.

Mariah gives a great small town feel in On Sunset Beach.  It is a well written and paced story that entrances and gives your heart hope and happiness.  I'd recommend this to contemporary romance readers.

4/5 stars