Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review: Covering Kendall by Julie Brannagh

Title: Covering Kendall
Author: Julie Brannagh
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins)
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Where to Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes
Rating: 5 stars

From the book:

Kendall Tracy, General Manager of the San Francisco Miners, is not one for rash decisions or one-night stands. But when she finds herself alone in a hotel room with a heart-stoppingly gorgeous man-who looks oddly familiar-Kendall throws her own rules out the window…and they blow right back into her face.

Drew McCoy should look familiar, he’s a star player for her team’s archrival the Seattle Sharks. Which would basically make Drew and Kendall the Romeo and Juliet of professional football…well, without all the dying. Not that it’s an issue. They agree to pretend their encounter never happened. Nothing good can come from it anyway, right? Drew’s not so sure.

Kendall may be all wrong, but he can’t stop thinking about her and he finds that some risks are worth taking. Because the stakes are always highest when you’re playing for keeps.

My review:

Julie Brannagh's fourth Love and Football series, COVERING KENDALL, is her best work yet. Brannagh is an author I've been with from the beginning - as an Avon Addict, I was introduced to her with her debut novel, Blitzing Emily (which I enjoyed). I saw improvement in her writing in her second, Rushing Amy, and her style became even better with Catching Cameron. (Why didn't I review this?! I loved this novel. I'll have to review it so you, dear reader, can make a decision to buy it. Spoiler alert: It's worth your money.)

But this one?

She. Nailed. It.

The characters' struggles are so real - career vs. personal life. It's one many of us struggle with in our everyday lives, and Brannagh injects so much feeling into the dialogue and setting that I related all over the place. (As I mentioned in earlier posts, I'm not a football lover. I'm not really a sporty type. But this series - this story in particular - transcends all that.)

Kendall is a busy career woman. She has climbed to the top by working her behind off; she's professional without being cold, which is a difficult thing for any author to pull off. Brannagh balanced her just right. One of the subplots in this book is that Kendall has to deal with one of her players involved in a domestic abuse case. Instead of going all icy and "I'm a woman and I'm bad-ass, I'm going to kick this guy out of the NFL," Kendall responds with such grace, humility and realism that I cheered out loud. It was wonderful. And that's just one example of the wonderfulness of this novel.

Drew is another well-rounded character. I wish I could turn on the TV and look for him on the field! Drew thinks he has it all together. He wants the perfect family - the same one he grew up with, really. Two loving parents, siblings, white picket fence. He even bought a house that would support such a family, when he found the perfect woman to marry. (Ha! I love that. He has such confidence that all will fall neatly into place. Life never works that way, and again, Brannagh nails this by blowing it completely out-of-the-water!) His high-profile job gives him a great insight into what it will be like for Kendall if their romance secret ever got out (which, of course, it does). Then it gives him great sensitivity to how she has to deal with it. He doesn't handle it perfectly - he is, after all, human - but his character arc is impressive, natural, and above all, realistic.

Drew's parents, by the way, are an excellent subplot that surprised me. Brannagh interwove it so seamlessly that I didn't see what she was doing until it was done. Read it. You'll know what I mean.

Five stars.

(Disclaimer: I was provided a digital Advanced Reader Copy (e-ARC) from the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.)

About the Author

Julie Brannagh has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She lives in a small town near Seattle, where she once served as a city council member and owned a yarn shop. She shares her home with a wonderful husband, two uncivilized Maine Coons and a rambunctious chocolate Lab. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, or armchair-quarterbacking her favorite NFL team from the comfort of the family room couch. Julie is a Golden Heart finalist and the author of contemporary sports romances.

Contact Julie:

Website |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


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Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Tour: Sweet, Texas Series by Candis Terry

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Halloween Socks and Halloween Candy!


If Charlotte Brooks thinks she and her TV makeover show can turn Reno Wilder’s hometown upside down, he’ll be happy to prove her wrong. The x-Marine has seen too much turmoil and he likes Sweet, Texas, just the way it is. Traditional. Familiar. A little dull. Everything Charli isn’t. But instead of backing off from his scowls like everyone else, Charli digs in her skyscraper heels.


Reno Wilder is a one-man unwelcoming committee, but Charli isn’t budging. It’s clear the gorgeous cowboy needs an overhaul just as much as Sweet. Someone needs to break him out of that gruff shell and show him how fun and rewarding a little change can be.


Check out my review of ANYTHING BUT SWEET!

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Firefighter and former Marine Jackson Wilder has tough guy down to an art, but he’s learned the hard way that promises were made to be broken. Abigail Morgan was once his best friend, his first kiss, his first love, his first everything. He’d just forgotten to mention all that to her and she blew out of his life. Five years later, she’s back and he’s battling a load of mistrust for her disappearing act. But for some reason he just can’t keep his lips—or his hands—to himself.


When her stint as a trophy wife abruptly ends, Abby returns home to Sweet, Texas, and comes face-to-face with Jackson—her biggest and sexiest mistake. Time and distance did nothing to squash her love for the act-first-think-later stubborn hunk of a man, and when he suggests they renew their old just-friends vow, Abby realizes she wants more. She’d cut and run once. Could she do it again? Or could she tempt him enough to break his promise?

Check out my review of SWEETEST MISTAKE!
Read an excerpt here.

 Amazon | B&N  | iTunes

The men in Texas are hard to resist...

Seattle event planner Allison Lane is an expert at delivering the perfect wedding—even if she might not exactly believe in the whole “’til death do us part” thing. When her father decides to tie the knot with a woman he barely knows, Allison heads to Sweet, Texas, to make sure his new honey is the real deal. What she didn’t expect to find at the local honky-tonk was a sexy Southern man as bent on charming her pants off as he is on blowing her “true love doesn’t exist” theory all to hell.

And they always promise...

Veterinarian, former Marine, and Sweet’s favorite playboy Jesse Wilder takes one look at Allison and knows she’s a handful of trouble he can’t deny. But even after a sizzling kiss and obvious mutual attraction, it seems Allison has no such problem. When Jesse uncovers her sweet side, can he crush his playboy image, melt her cynical heart, and change her mind about taking a trip down the aisle?

Check out my review of SOMETHING SWEETER!
Amazon | B&N | iTunes

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Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Caught in the Act by Sara Jane Stone

 Title: Caught in the Act
Author: Sara Jane Stone
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins)
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Where to Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iTunes
Rating: 4 stars

From the book:

Falling for his rivals' little sister could cost him everything … 

For Liam Trulane, failure is not an option. He is determined to win a place in Katie Summers' life before she leaves Independence Falls for good. But first, he needs to make amends for the last time they got down and dirty. 

Only problem? 

His professional success hinges on striking a deal to buy Katie's family business. And after Liam's relationship with their Katie went south years ago, the Summers brothers are more enemy than friend. If both parties agree to set the past aside, they can reach an understanding. But when Katie welcomes him back into her bed, Liam risks everything to make her his. 

After Liam betrayed her trust, Katie Summers will do anything to keep him from walking away with the family business. She decides to seduce him, knowing that when her brothers find out, they will back off from the deal. And she'll finally have her revenge. But when her plan spirals out of control, Katie learns that payback may come at too high a price …

My review:

The second book of the Independence Falls series (which can be read as a stand-alone novel) was a fun story about a scorned woman who really wanted revenge, but she simply couldn't make it happen no matter how hard she tried. The problem? Her own sweet nature and a true love's calling...

Liam and Katie have a bad past. After seemingly getting what he wanted from her, Liam left her in the dust and broken her heart. Now, seven or so years later, Katie's convinced herself she's moved on, yet Liam knows she's the one for him.

Watching Katie and Liam struggle - Katie with attempting her revenge plots that always seem to backfire in the best possible way and Liam with trying to convince Katie that he's changed for the better - was definitely the escape I needed this week! Katie's a spitfire and Liam is cool, calm and collected. The two of them burned up my Kindle with chemistry and sizzle, and I loved meeting everyone in Independence Falls. I can't wait to go back and read FULL EXPOSURE, the first in the series, and I'll definitely be picking up the next one!

Four stars.

(Disclaimer: I was provided a digital Advanced Reader Copy (e-ARC) from the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.)

About the Author

After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Join Sara Jane’s newsletter to receive new release information, news about contests, giveaways, and more! To subscribe, visit and look for her newsletter entry form.

Contact Sara:

Website |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


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