Hoagie and Katie in Space, by: Rio M. Koviak

Hoagie & Katie in Space

Hoagie and Katie in Space (Children’s Fiction)

Synopsis:

After being accepted into the capybara herd, Hoagie lives the easy life of catching worms, playing with young capybaras, and sunning with his best friend Katie. Still, he can’t wait to go on another adventure. After trying to persuade Katie to travel with him, he falls asleep and when he awakes, Hoagie finds himself transported to space! Hoagie is relieved to discover that Katie is with him on this incredible space journey.

The two friends explore different planets, face danger, and meet aliens who think Katie is their queen. When Hoagie isn’t allowed into her new kingdom, Katie has to decide whether to remain a pampered queen or leave her throne behind!

My Review: 5 Stars

Another great book filled with wonder and adventure for Hoagie and Katie, which ultimately leads them to space. Now the two best friends must embark on a journey that will truly test the bonds of friendship. A delightfully delivered story that provoked squeals of laughter from my little guy. We all laughed and truly enjoy the quirky and hilarious scenes of Hoagie and Katie in Space.

I recommend this book to all families with children who enjoy laughing unabashedly as they soar through adventure after adventure.

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Hoagie and Katie by: Rio M. Koviak

Hoagie & Katie (Hoagie series) by [Koviak, Rio M]

Hoagie and Katie (Children’s Fiction)

Synopsis

Hoagie finds himself in a strange world when his hamster ball rolls a bit too far from home. Adventure ensues as Hoagie makes an unlikely friendship with Katie, a capybara, who has wandered away from her family too! The two embark on a journey that leads them through wonder, danger, and surprise as they meet a memorable roster of characters on their way back home.

My Review: 5 Stars

A wonderful book filled with adventure and a little bit of danger for Hoagie and Katie. I love how two unsuspecting strangers meet in unfortunate circumstances and make the best of their situation while becoming best friends. A great way to show children that no matter what trials you go through, make the best and stay optimistic. Our family had a ton of fun reading this book together for our story time and we can’t wait for the next Hoagie and Katie story!

I recommend this book to all families with children who have a love for a fantastical adventure!

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Going All In: By, Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley & Wayne J. Keeley

Going All In by [Lyons-Keeley, Stephanie C., Keeley, Wayne J.]

Going All In (Suspenseful Romance)

Official Synopsis: 

Three mismatched suburban couples, Steve and Katie, Marty and Erin, and Scarlett and C. Thomas, have been neighbors and friends for years. During a pummeling Connecticut Nor’Easter, the members of the bored triptych engage in a friendly game of Texas Hold’em in front of a fire and over more than a few bottles of Merlot. The impromptu get-together eventually leads to the institution of alcohol-driven, bi-weekly poker nights.

One evening on a lark, someone suggests an alternate payout – instead of pocket change, the winner may choose a player (other than his or her spouse) with whom to spend the night. The proposition takes shape, but complications arise as these things will.

All too quickly, friendships are strained and relationships begin to crumble. Lies are told, truths are exposed, and feelings are hurt. In the end, can anyone bear the weight of this wanton self-indulgence? They are six fully consenting adults, and after all, it’s only a game. Or is it?

My Review: 4 Stars

Just a warning that I have a lot to say about this book! I will try to keep it all mysterious and tempting so you may read it for yourself. So…here goes! 

What happens in Going All In, is what I’d classify as a prime example of opening Pandora’s box; they know they shouldn’t do it, but, the lure of naughty curiosity traps them in a death grip they can’t shake…And before they know it, everything spins out of their control! 

In this riveting tale of romance, drama, and suspense, three decidedly boring, yet normal couples take a dip into unknown waters, tempting fate, and their humanity. You have C. Thomas and Scarlett, the youngest couple in their 20’s, Marty and Erin, a married couple in their 30’s, and Steve and Katie, a married couple in their 40’s. Each couples’ relationship has some major flaws that bring them all a heaping amount of discontent and unfulfillment. Finding some way to lighten their stress load and blow off some much-needed steam, they all decide to take their Saturday poker nights’ to the next level. A line that they soon realize,  should not have been crossed. All decide to have a ‘risky hall pass’ for the winner, in which, the winner choose someone other than their significant other to spend a night with. But, what they thought was a game…they soon realize was their most fatal mistake. Desires soar, temptations heighten, tempers flare and jealousy rears its ugly head, as the dangers of lust turn into a psychological battle of life and death. 

Wow, wow and wow again. I started this book around 10a.m and read it throughout the entire day until I finished it! I didn’t want to put it down and needless to say…some chores went undone! I just had to know how everything was going to play out. For me, the book started kind of slow, but, around chapter 6ish…when the game truly began, everything sped up and I was ensnared! The characters were fully developed to the point that I could easily compare them to my own neighbors. I felt for them(everyone except the men mostly) and cared about what was going to happen to them. The plot…amazingly thought-out. The pace, as said before, was kind of slow, but sped up perfectly after a few of their background stories. The drama that unfolds in this book and the scenes were quite vivid. I was mentally and emotionally there with the characters. Hell, I think I even had some cards in my hand, lol. Just joking. But, a very well-imagined story that put me in the front row of all the drama unfolding. I learned a great deal about Texas Hold Em’ and trust me, I’ve never played poker a day in my life, but feel I can stand with the best, after Braun’s teachings. My favorite character is Erin, hands-down because she is such a sweetheart and my empathy went out to her the most. My least favorite character is Marty(I wanted to slap, choke, kick, punch…and I could go on forever!). Poor Erin. The ladies in this book, I give major props to because they went through so much, even Scarlett. 

The only other negative thing I’d like to say is that the ending seemed rushed. I would’ve liked to read more about what happened after the deadly incident. After Steve left to go to ‘you know who’s’ and what he found. Who found the body? And more about that last part with C. Thomas, the girl, and Steve. Will there be a sequel? I certainly hope so! 

I recommend this book wholeheartedly for those who love a lot of suspense, a small dose of romance and a lot of “oh snap!” moments. 

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Wild Bells To The Wild Sky, By: Laurie McBain

Wild Bells to the Wild Sky

Wild Bells to the Wild Sky (Historical Romance)

Official Synopsis

West Indies, 1571. Shipwrecked on an island for most of her young life, Lily Christian is rescued by the dashing sea captain, Valentine Whitelaw. On the voyage back to England, Lily falls hard for the sun-bronzed man, but her love is not returned.

Back among the glittering halls of court, Valentine tries to forget the young beauty he plucked from the Caribbean. But when he discovers innocent Lily is caught up in a treacherous plot to murder the queen, he will do everything in his power to protect Lily and save his liege. Thrust together into perilous adventure, Valentine and Lily have only each other to trust…and to love.

My Review: 3.5 Stars

This book brought some mixed feelings. I typically don’t read Elizabethian era romances but decided to give this one a chance because the synopsis intrigued me. While the synopsis isn’t entirely correct, it reveals the main point of the story rather well.
This novel follows Lily Francisca Christian, through a rough and awe-inspiring childhood. Lily becomes an orphaned and somewhat untamed castaway, because of a certain Spaniard who had a penchant for getting even. She spends seven years on the island, becoming its Captain…and learning secrets told through a cherished loved one. Little does she know that those secrets told could be deadly.
Dashing rogue and sea Captain, Valentine Whitelaw has lost a lot to the sea…or so he thought, until news comes along, sending him to a certain island, looking for clues. While there, he finds not only Lily, the young daughter of his close friend, now 14 years old…but, more than he thought he would find…and less.
Lily becomes enamored by Valen, but, is heartbroken when he doesn’t stick to his promise, leaving her and her siblings fending for themselves. Years later, an all-grown-up Lily, who’s been through traumatic experience after traumatic experience, bumps into Valen again…only they might not recognize each other. Once being reacquainted, they solve deadly secrets in an attempt to not only save themselves…but, Queen Elizabeth, the first of her name, as well!
Wild Bells to the Wild Sky is definitely a great read with a rich history! And that’s why I love and dislike this book. The plot is undoubtedly one of the best I’ve read, the characters and their backstories are well-defined, there is a ton of suspense and heartfelt emotion…my eyes watered when a certain ship and her Captain went down…and the mystery of the traitors kept me turning the page to figure out who they were! I absolutely adored those parts of the book.
The parts of the book that didn’t really capture my attention are the romance between Valen and Lily; There was no heat, no fire, no spark between them really. Another part I didn’t care for, was the dialogue. Many times, I found myself thinking, ‘Wow, this person sure does have a lot to say’. Some of the characters gave long-winded speeches when short and simple would’ve been better. There was so much that was left unsaid and many questions at the end of this book.
Overall, I liked this book and I would love to read the rest if there is a series…which I couldn’t find. But, I would’ve wanted to read about the younger siblings, Tristram and Dulcie, the cousin, Simon, and even Mustafa.
I know it’s a long review, but I felt the need to say it! I liked this book 85% of the time and would recommend to historical romance readers.

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Sinful Scottish Laird (Highland Grooms, #2) By: Julia London

Sinful Scottish Laird: A Historical Romance Novel

Sinful Scottish Laird (Historical Romance)

Official Synopsis

Widowed and forced to remarry in three years’ time or forfeit her son’s inheritance, Daisy Bristol, Lady Chatwick, has plenty of suitors vying for her hand…and her fortune. But a letter from a long-lost love sends Daisy and her young son to her Scottish Highland estate to buy time for his return. Along the way she encounters the powerful Cailean Mackenzie, laird of Arrandale and a notorious smuggler, and she is utterly—though unwillingly—bewitched.

Cailean has no use for any Sassenach in his glen. But Daisy’s brazen, flirtatious nature and alluring beauty intrigue him. When her first love appears unexpectedly at her estate, Cailean knows that a passionate woman like Daisy cannot marry this man. And to prevent the union, Cailean must put his own life at risk to win her heart.

My Review: 5 Stars

In Sinful Scottish Laird, the feisty and rich Lady Chatwick meets the sensual and seductive Laird of Arrandale, Cailean Mackenzie. Lady Chatwick, Daisy Bristol has two choices to make within three years:  1. Find a suitable husband or 2. Don’t choose a husband. If she doesn’t choose a husband within that timeframe, she will lose her son’s inheritance. At first, she isn’t sure what she should do; then a letter from her childhood beau helps her to decide to head to go back home…to Scotland, right next to Cailen. Cailen is undoubtedly attracted to Daisy, but, he’s fighting against his feelings because he doesn’t want her anywhere near him or his estate; due to her being a Sassenach. There is no way he’s giving in to the attraction he feels or feeding the frenzy of sensual emotions sparking between them. But when her old time love shows up, Cailen realizes he cannot escape his feelings and makes plans that don’t involve Daisy ever leaving his neck of the woods.

I loved reading this book. It has a great plot, memorable characters and the heat of a delectable romance. After reading book one in this series, I decided to read this book, the second in this series. Another hit and has solidified my decision the read the rest of the Highland Grooms series. Do I recommend this book? Yes, yes and yes again. I believe all romance readers would enjoy this book by Julia London. 

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Between the Devil and the Duke, By: Kelly Bowen

Between the Devil and the Duke (A Season for Scandal Series #3)

Between the Devil and the Duke (Historical Romance)

Official Synopsis

Their love was always in the cards.
He should have thrown her out. But when club owner Alexander Lavoie catches a mysterious blonde counting card at his vingt-et-un table, he’s more intrigued than angry. He has to see more of this beauty in his club, in his office, in his bed. But first, he’ll have to devise a proposition she can’t turn down.

Gossip said he was an assassin. Common sense told her to stay away. But Angelique Archer was desperate, and Lavoie’s club offered a surefire way to make quick money-until she got caught. Instead of throwing her out though, the devil offers her a deal: come work for him. Refusing him means facing starvation, but with a man so sinfully handsome and fiercely protective, keeping things professional might prove impossible . . . 

My Review: 5 Stars

An exciting and fun read! I love rags to riches stories, especially when it involves a damsel in distress and a dashing rogue! Though, I have to say that this heroine took matters into her own hands and made moves to help secure her future. And the hero offered his help…and something much more. 

Dangerous…maybe. A rogue…for sure. Rich as sin…absolutely! Alexander Lavoie plays the sly and calculating hero, so that he may get what he wants from Angelique Archer. Her perilous situation can’t go on for much longer and so she’s grasping the deal that the sinful Lavoie is dangling in front of her. But when things start to get too steamy, Angelique isn’t sure whether to get caught in the passion that is Lavoie or find another, less passionate way out. 

A truly entertaining story to read and I can’t wait to continue this series. I recommend to those readers who believe in a little luck and taking chances. 

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Wild Wicked Scot (The Highland Grooms #1), By: Julia London

Wild Wicked Scot (Historical Romance)

Official Synopsis

Wicked intrigue unfolds as an unlikely marriage leads to a path of risky desire in the lush, green Scottish Highlands

Born into riches and groomed in English luxury, Margot Armstrong didn’t belong in a Scottish chieftain’s devil-may-care world. Three years ago she fled their marriage of convenience and hasn’t looked back—except to relive the moments spent in wild, rugged Arran McKenzie’s passionate embrace. But as their respective countries’ fragile unity threatens to unravel, Margot must return to her husband to uncover his role in the treachery before her family can be accused of it.

Red-haired, green-eyed Margot was Arran’s beautiful bride. Her loss has haunted him, but her return threatens everything he has gained. As the Highland mists carry whispers of an English plot to seize McKenzie territory, he must outmaneuver her in games of espionage…and seduction. But even as their secrets tangle together, there’s nothing to prevent love from capturing them both and leading them straight into danger.

My Review: 4 Stars

I adore Julia London’s historical romance novels! Especially if there are hot scots involved. This book was no different, another hit in my readers’ eye.

The hero of this story, Arran McKenzie, is fiercely handsome, loyal and easily heartbroken. The heroine, Margot Armstrong, is beautiful, outspoken and spoiled. Margot’s persona didn’t catch my attention as much as the plot did, and whether or not she was going to be loyal to Arran or the crown. But, Arran…passionate and proud, had my heart from the beginning.  Through the turmoil and chaos and secrets, the two just may get through it all together. And that’s what kept me turning the page…not knowing until the end, what was going to happen. 

I do recommend Wild Wicked Scot to all historical romance fans, especially those who love to read about strong highlanders with a lot of love to give. 

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