Reluctantly Married is the second installment of the Married Series by best-selling author Victorine E. Lieske. This is also the second book from this series that I have read. You can find my post about Mistakenly Married HERE.

Because these are all standalone novels, you can read them in any order. That explains why I have yet to read the first, lol! Someday, though!

Anyway, back to the review. Let me share with you the cover to this book, as well as its blurb, before filling you in on what I liked, didn’t like, and my overall rating.

 

Megan Holloway can’t stand her local morning show co-host, Adam Warner, even though he’s a total hunk. He goads her on-air until she says things she regrets. But since ratings increase each time they have an on-air fight, the producer encourages his behavior.

When a relationship specialist comes onto the show purporting that Adam has hidden feelings for her, she reluctantly agrees to go out with him—on camera. What starts out as one date turns into a viral dating show with Megan and Adam alternating between locking lips and knocking heads.

As Megan fights her growing attraction to Adam, their popularity increases and ABC takes notice, offering them their own program. Not a morning show like Megan is hoping, but a dating show in which she and Adam must marry at the end. With the promise of a hundred thousand dollars and the possibility of scoring what she really wants, her own national program, she signs on.

What she doesn’t know is that Adam has fallen in love with her, and his objective is to get her to do the same.

 

MY REVIEW

This book reminded me of two TV shows. One was Full House. There is an episode where Danny Tanner and Vicki Larson bicker on set. Maybe not exactly bicker, but you can tell there’s tension. Later in the season you see they end up dating and so forth. This is exactly the type of atmosphere you’ll find in Reluctantly Married. The two main characters are co-hosts. You can tell there’s tension. At first it’s for ratings, but things eventually get real.

Another show it reminded me of was The Bachelorette. The climax of this story is the two main characters doing a show pretty much exactly the way The Bachelorette goes. There’s more than one man trying to win the female’s heart. In the end they get engaged.

So having said that, I thought it was kind of cool to relate to some things I have seen before.

The storyline is clean and well written, and started out fun at first. I liked having the “war” between the two characters. There’s even this one date night activity I’d like to try with my husband. If I do, I’ll blog it so you can all know!

There were a couple of things I didn’t like. I didn’t think this was a comedy, even though that’s what the book’s page on Amazon stated. However, that’s just my opinion. I also thought that the storyline got old. Like I said, started out fun at first. After that, though, I just wanted them to move on with it. The whole dating dragged on.

One final thing was how it ended. For most of the book, we see the female’s view. She’s falling for the male. Occasionally you get a small idea that the male is falling for the female, but not enough to warrant the ending. Basically, at the end, it’s the male character declaring his “love”, but I just didn’t feel it. I would have thought the female would have.

All that said, the ending was still great. I always like happy endings!

I have rated this book 4 stars! If you’d like to read for yourself, please go to:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QEE7MHA

October Banner

Yesterday we began a countdown. To what? The release of J. Grace Pennington’s new book, October. Yep, she named her book after the month we are in. Check out the great giveaway, and the other posts in this countdown!

About the Book

CoverFor Emily Baxter, life is simple. Her world is made up completely of school, church, and the community in the small farming town she calls home. All that changes one fateful Sunday, when a new girl shows up at Pleasanton Baptist—a girl unlike anyone Emily has ever seen. A girl with long red hair, crystal green eyes, and style and posture like royalty.

A girl named October.

The months that follow are filled with magic—the magic of ordinary things, of finding pictures in the stars, of imagination and a new sense of beauty. But as time goes by, Emily begins to sense that her enchanting new friend may have secrets that could break the spell. Is October really all she seems to be?

About the Author

Author photoGrace Pennington has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them down since age five. Now she lives in the great state of Texas, where she writes as much as adult life permits. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading good books, having adventures with her husband, and looking up at the stars.

Preorder here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076JMZCYX/

Excerpt

We laid in silence for awhile, watching the stars appear one by one, adjusting slowly to the cooling temperature of the summer air.

            “What should we do tomorrow?” I asked at last.

            “Whatever we want.”

            I giggled. “What will we want?”

            She poked my shoulder. “We can’t decide now, silly. That messes up the magic.”

            “Magic?”

            My question had been in the most teasing tone possible, but her reply was as serious as I had been silly. “Whenever a decision is made in the heat of the moment—when we allow ourselves to be carried on joy or sorrow or mere simplicity and quiet—whatever it is, a moment of magic is created. Not always good magic, of course. But magic, nonetheless.”

            From anyone else, it would have been the most absurd thing imaginable. I would have laughed. But here, under the stars, with that hint of wonder I had never heard in anyone else her age—I believed it.

            “Then let’s have a magical day tomorrow,” I said.

            It was dark, but I could feel her smile.

Giveaway

Grace has generously offered a paperback book of her new book as her giveaway prize. You can enter at this link.

Tour Schedule

October 25, 2017
Bookish Orchestrations – Introductory post
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae – Character Spotlight
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – Character Spotlight
Lisa Swinton – Queen of Random – Book Spotlight
Audrey Rich – Book Spotlight

October 26, 2017
Frances Hoelsema – Excerpt
Jaye L. Knight – Character Spotlight and Excerpt
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke – Review

October 27, 2017
Liv K. Fisher – Author Interview and Excerpt
Opinions, Thoughts, and General Rambling – Character Spotlight and Excerpt
Leila’s Bookshelf – Book Spotlight
Britbear’s Book Reviews – Guest Post

October 28, 2017
Rebekah Lyn Books – Excerpt
In the Bookcase – Review
Roxbury Books – Character Spotlight and Excerpt
Grace Pennington – Special author’s post

October 29, 2017
Bookish Orchestrations – Giveaway Winner

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How can a book be big and small at the same time? Big and small are opposites of one another so it surely can’t be real, can it? I’m so glad you asked these questions because I am willing to explain what I mean in this book review.

Yes, this book is big and small at the same time. When I say small, I mean that it’s technically a short story. I was able to read it within 20 minutes. This would be a perfect read for those on break, waiting in line, and/or just short on time.

Now, when I say big, I mean that even though it’s such a short story, it packs a big message. Actually, there are two big themes present in this book that are relevant to today’s day and age, making for an excellent read.

What is this book, you ask? Here it is!

It’s called Faith is the Victory, and it’s by Faith Blum. That name shows up a lot within my blog posts, mostly because she orchestrates blog tours that I participate in.

This, however, is the first time I got a taste of her writing. I was not disappointed! And for FREE, you can also get a taste of her writing! This short story is permanently FREE – you can find it HERE!

To give you an idea of what makes this book pack such a big punch, here is the blurb, and then following that will be my own little remarks that share what I rated it and why.

BLURB

I don’t like change. I know most people get used to it, but I have never been able to. When Dad announced their move and I couldn’t go with them, I didn’t handle it well. Would I ever find the faith to be victorious?

REVIEW

That’s not a lot information to know if you want to read it or not, is it? Let me give you a little bit more. This short story is about a teen who is going through a rough time in life. What makes it so much worse is the constant bullying he gets from school. We all know that bullying is a huge problem in today’s schools, right? Totally not cool.

The second big topic discussed in this short story is suicide. The main character, with all his struggles and bullying, feels he isn’t worth going on. He takes it upon himself to end his life, or at least try to. Attempted suicide and successful suicide is no laughing matter. But it’s very real. It affects many, and not just those actually trying to go through it.

In comes faith. Just at the brink of committing suicide, memory verses flood the teen’s mind, reminding him God is there. Slowly, but surely, he decides to live and becomes victorious over his life situations.

I gave this short read four stars. Here’s why. I love the reality behind it. I love how faith was the victor here. I love how memory verses popped up, and I love how it was written in first person point of view. It was excellently written. It held my attention.

I think the issue of why I didn’t give it all five stars, though, is two-fold. First, I don’t have a lot of experience with suicide. I do have experience with being bullied, though. Never fun. But it was a different type of bullying so with not fully connecting on those two big topics, I felt overall my connection to the story was not as deep. And these two topics can be a little tough to read in general. And second, being as short as it is, there’s just not much of a chance to get much out of it. And really I don’t mean any of this negatively. I’d recommend the book for sure. And who doesn’t like a book where faith reigns?!? That message is crucial!

For FREE, you can’t go wrong. So give it a try! Maybe it’ll be the type of book that can help you or someone you love!

And as a side note, if you or someone you know is dealing with bullying or suicide, please seek the appropriate help you need!

What I am about to share with you, I would like you to pay full attention to. It’s no big deal, really, when I do book reviews. But this one is different. This one is a huge deal! Why? Because this novel that you’re about to see is hands down one of thee best romance novels that I’ve ever read. And truly believing that, I am so excited to share it with you, and am hoping you’ll also give it a chance. Like me, you’ll see why I highly recommend!

The book is called Her Best Match. It’s Book 1 in The Best Girls Series by Tamie Dearen. Let me stop there for just one minute. If you don’t know who Tamie Dearen is, please do yourself a favor and pick up one of her books. (If you like romance, make it Her Best Match!) Oh…my…goodness. She has talent! She’s not just romance, either. So, seriously, go check her out!

Back to the book. Let me share with you a little bit about it. Here is the blurb, as well as the front cover.

Feisty, stubborn, and bored with life in Texas, Anne Best is about to get more than she bargained for.

The lovely widow heads off to the Big Apple for a job interview, expecting no more than a few days adventure in New York City, only to find herself with a new job working for the most infuriating man she’s ever met.

Billionaire Steven Gherring is one of New York’s Most Eligible Bachelors, and he has every intention of staying that way. But Gram has other ideas. She’s on a not-so-secret campaign to find a wife for her grandson.

As fearless as she is clumsy, Anne tackles every challenge (including her new boss) enthusiastically, with two lone exceptions… public speaking and recognizing her own feelings. Passions rise along with hemlines as Gram joins forces with Anne, a veteran matchmaker, to find the perfect match for Steven.

This book currently has a 4.4 star rating out of 375 reviews!!!! That’s three hundred seventy five!! If you haven’t guessed by now, I rated it 5 stars. Here’s why… Continue reading “The Best Girls”

Can love trump faith?
Seventeen year old, South Floridian Trina Weber has the world at her feet: beautiful, part of the in-crowd, and with almost enough college credits to earn her AA while only a junior at Stonehaven High.
With her whole life planned, all she needs to complete her perfect world is a boyfriend.
But not any guy will do.
This boyfriend must accept her goals to become a family doctor.
When the gorgeous, equally ambitious college freshman Stuart Grant blazes into her world, he fits right in. He’s everything she dreamed of and more…except he doesn’t agree with the most important part of who she is.

 

www.amazon.com/dp/B071F9L2Y3/

 

In Thinking About Love we follow a girl who is crushing badly on a lifeguard. Good news for her is that he likes her, too. We see the relationship blossom. Only one thing is getting in the way, however. It’s the most important thing to Trina, but not even on Stuart’s radar. I’ll let you in on a little secret as to what that “thing” is…it’s faith. In Part 1 of Thinking About Love, we see what happens in regard to this hurdle.

There were many things that I loved about this book. The first was that right at the beginning of it, the scene is set on a beach. I could actually picture myself hanging out with the girls, the wind blowing through our hair, and the sun shining down on us. I could picture the waves. Audrey Rich did such a good job describing each scene that I felt like I was actually there. And I love being at the beach!

Another thing that Audrey did well at was developing each character. Not just the main character, but all the supporting roles as well. And they were believable! It was neat to see how all the personalities came out in each person.

I love that this was a clean, Christian, young adult love story. I would highly recommend it to those who are interested in this genre. And remember, Part 2 is coming so that’ll be something I will watch for.

One slight, slight, slight, slight, teeniest possible downfall, however. So much of the first part of the book is all around the beach and following day or so. Towards the end of the book it seems like much more time passes on. Nothing was confusing. I’m just simply stating that the pacing wasn’t equal from beginning to end. For me, not a problem. For others, maybe.

Overall, 4 stars!!!

 

I have been feeling so generous lately, and thought it would be a fantabulous idea to let you all in on a little secret regarding a freebie. Well, I guess it won’t be a secret any longer! (And I really didn’t want it to be a secret anyway. I want the whole world to know!)

Today, Friday, April 21, 2017, until Monday, April 24, 2017, my second novel, Next Door Neighbors, will be FREE! (The eBook version only). Yes, I know that I just had my debut novel, Growing Up Neighbors, for free not too long ago, but since that book is a different genre, I thought it would be a good idea to also try Next Door Neighbors for free.

Next Door Neighbors is my first contemporary romance. Don’t let that scare you away, though! It’s completely clean so you don’t have to worry about reading things that will make you blush or feel ashamed about. You can also feel perfectly good about sharing, which I hope you will!

One great thing about Next Door Neighbors is that it also has an underlying message of what true love is all about. It’s not something you just feel and say to one another. It’s actually something you DO! Throughout this novel, you’ll see some strong attraction, yes, but you’ll see some ways the main characters show true love.

Sweet, right? I thought so! And this is all for FREE!

I’d be so honored if you’d take a chance on me and read it! I’d be even more honored if you’d share this great news!

Oh, and one more thing. Though this is the second book in my Neighbors series, it is a completely standalone novel. You do not need to read the first book, Growing Up Neighbors, or last book, Long Lost Neighbors, (though, I hope you do!) in order to enjoy Next Door Neighbors!

Here is the book’s blurb, as well as a link on where to get your free download:

Elena Montgomery, an elderly victim of fibromyalgia, has two main loves in her life: Brian, her attractive and hard-working son; and Jill Stevens, her caring friend and next door neighbor. When Brian and Jill meet for the first time, they have a chemistry that no one can deny.

Although Jill finds herself wanting to get closer to Brian, she believes she can’t. Being hurt in the past, she vows to remain single the rest of her life, thinking it’s better not to love than to love and get burned. Brian, on the other hand, wants to get to the bottom of her fears and show her that not all men are the same. He is determined to win her trust, her heart and her hand in marriage.

Through pain, passion and pursuit, will Brian be able to prove to Jill what true love is all about?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D8XZJ1U

I’m sure that a few of you reading the title of this blog are scratching your heads, wondering what this one is all about. I promise you it’s not something weird! Mistakenly Married is actually a book! Let me share with you some things about it!

Mistakenly Married

By: Victorine E. Lieske

 

 

Penny’s gotten herself into another one of her crazy messes. She’s broke and about to be evicted. When her online boyfriend suggests they elope, she agrees. Why not? She loves him, even though she hasn’t met him, so she blows the last of her cash on a fun Las Vegas wedding. Except, William stands her up and the limo driver picks up the wrong guy. A smokin’ hot wrong guy. Too bad she doesn’t find out who he really is until after the wedding.

Harrison Williams needs a wife to gain access to his trust fund account. He goes to Las Vegas to meet someone, but there’s a mix up and he ends up at the Chapel-O-Love exchanging vows with Penny, a spirited girl in a cheap veil. When they realize the mistake, he convinces her to go back to Bel Air with him to prove that he’s married, and he agrees to pretend to be William so her family doesn’t have to know about her big mistake. Sounds like a good plan. What could go wrong?

 

If you’re into clean romances, this book is a must read! It does say on the Amazon page that it is a romantic comedy, which for those of you who like that will appreciate it all the more. However, I don’t consider it a romantic comedy myself. There was nothing that really made me laugh. But that doesn’t mean the book wasn’t good!

Quite the opposite, really. I think this book was great on many levels! I thoroughly enjoyed the character development and descriptive elements that were part of the story. Though the two main characters made a mistake, it was neat how they ended up falling in love with one another in the end. The build up of attraction and desire between the two was amazingly written!

Although I loved the ending where the two do end up together, I wish the way the book got there was different. But that’s not something I would change the rating of the book for. It’s just a personal opinion. The ending it has is still good!

Overall, Mistakenly Married is very well written! It was a fun, clean, and enjoyable read. I found myself wanting to read more each and every time I had to put it down! And, as a side note, I hear Victorine E. Lieske is kind of the queen of clean romance novels, having books on the New York Times and USA Today best sellers lists. So you know that this book is going to be good! I totally recommend reading if this is your sort of style!

 

To purchase, please visit the book’s Amazon page at:

www.amazon.com/dp/B01D3U63NG

 

 

 

Who of you, by a show of hands, like to get things for free? I’m not talking about something broken or worthless or even something like a McDonald’s toy. What I’m referring to is something of value! Something you can actually use and enjoy very much! Even something that you could keep forever! Wouldn’t you love to have that “something” for free?!?!? I know I would!

 

So……that’s what I’m giving! Let me explain.

 

Saturday, March 25, is my 11th anniversary to my amazing husband. Though we’ve been married 11 years, we’ve known each other since 1994, making it 23 years of adventure, fun, and eventually love!

 

For those that don’t know, my husband and I grew up across the street from one another. His family moved in back in 1994, and since then our two families have been united in one way or another. We were good friends then, and after doing some growing up, we are very much in love!

 

Does that sound familiar to you? If it does, it’s because that is the storyline of my debut novel, Growing Up Neighbors! Being my first book and all, I wanted to write something I knew, and that was my own romance.

 

So what does this have to do with free?!?! I’m getting there! Because this weekend is my anniversary, and because this book is about my life, I am going to give away, to anyone who wants it, a FREE eBook copy of Growing Up Neighbors!! I have never given away a free novel before, but I figured this would be a good time to start!

 

To get your free copy, just go to the Amazon website and order it. It won’t cost a single penny! You’ll be able to keep it for as long as you want obviously, and I really think that you’ll enjoy it tremendously.

 

 

Growing Up Neighbors is considered a coming of age, young adult novel with a sweet, believable love story woven throughout. Starting today, Thursday, March 23, through Monday, March 27, you can get it for FREE here:

 

www.amazon.com/dp/B00PJGYW40
Dating the It Guy by
Krysten Lindsay Hager
YA contemporary romance
Published by Clean Reads
Blurb:
Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.
Short Excerpt:
“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”
“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.
Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”
“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.
“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”
I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?
“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”

Continue reading “Dating the It Guy”

BLURB

Librarian Chloe McAlister finds solace in her books—and hats—but doesn’t know where to turn when her longtime crush gets engaged. On a whim, she signs up for a speed-dating mixer and convinces her best friend, Dill Thomas, to attend. All goes as planned until she realizes Dill means more to her than she thought … and he goes and falls for someone else.

This 10,000-word short story is perfect for your lunch break, workout, or while you wait in line at the mall. Read it today to experience a hint of spring any time of the year!

EXCERPT

“Is the beard a deal breaker? Serious question here.”

Chloe raised her brows. “Hm?”

“Do you like me rugged or clean? Be honest, I can take it.”

Dill had never cared about his appearance before, much less asked her about it. He was a no-frills kind of guy who couldn’t be bothered with designer clothes or the latest fashions. That’s why he lived in jeans and T-shirts at work and at home. For some reason, he was concerned about a beard? “You want my opinion?”

“Sure. You understand women better than I do. Would they be cool with this?”

Tilting her head to one side, then to the other, Chloe took a long, hard look at him. She pretended to give his question some thought, pursing her lips as she studied his face. His eyes still had the same self-assured, friendly sparkle in them as the freshman boy who always asked to borrow her lecture notes. A grin tugged at the corners of his mouth, revealing his playful, easygoing nature that hadn’t changed over the years. However, that’s where the déjà vu ended. Continue reading “Of Buds And Blossoms”