ROMANTIC PICKS REVIEWS

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THE LAKE HOUSE

Author: Kate Morton

ASIN: B00LD1S3PY

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

Ebook

606 pages

Women’s Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars

Sadie Sparrow a London Detective on leave in beautiful Cornwall, stumbles upon the estate of Loeanneth.  What stories lie within the ruins of this old English country mansion and gardens?  When Sadie finds out it is the home of a terrible tragedy seventy years prior, she becomes obsessed with finding out what answers can be found behind it’s doors.  I found this to be a beautifully written story of complex characters, secrets, and forbidden love set in the early 1900’s and continuing for over 70 years.  I thought I knew the answers, but Ms. Morton revealed a truth I didn’t see coming.

Reviewed by Joyce H. For Romantic Picks Blog

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 THE THIRD WIFE: A NOVEL

Author: Lisa Jewell

ASIN: B00P42WVUQ

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

Ebook

337 pages

Women’s Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars

Can someone be too close to the forest to see the trees?  Adrian Wolfe believe he is the center of one big happy family.  Though married three times, his current wife, Maya, and his ex-wives get along fabulously.  In fact, they vacation together and all his children appear well adjusted and seems to be very happy.  Then his life changes with the squeal of brakes as Maya tumbles into the path of a bus on a dark night.   Alone and depressed, a mysterious woman appears in his life only to disappear just as quickly.  Then Adrian finds the emails and his world is turned upside down.  Beautifully written I found myself turning page after page to find out more about this family and the secrets that must be told so that the blinders can be removed.

Reviewed by Joyce H. For Romantic Picks Blog

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THE READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL RECOMMEND

Author: Katarina Bivald

ASIN: B0108GOL9Q

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Ebook

402 pages

Women’s Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

What a lovely story.  Two pen pals; one young and one old, one in Sweden and one in small town America, drawn together by their love of books.  But what happens when the young Swede puts caution to the wind and travels around the world to meet her friend only to find her friend has passed away?  This is where our story begins. Katrina Bivald combines letters written to Sara from Amy to reveal an insight into this small town on the brink of extinction.  Its inhabitants embrace Sara and she begins to finally find herself.  With the help of Amy’s books, Broken Wheel begins to blossom.  I found myself transported to this town and I just wanted to curl up in the window of the Oak Tree Bookstore with a cup of hot chocolate, a good book and every now and then glance out the window and quietly observe the characters in this wonderful world.  Filled with many emotions and touching on some hot button topic such as bi-racial relations, homosexuality and the economic crisis, Ms. Bivald makes us laugh and wish that we could spend some time with these folks.

Reviewed by Joyce H

51yCx7lg3AL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_THE STONE NECKLACEAuthor: Carla DamronASIN: B0178I2YZUPublisher: University of South Carolina Press

Ebook

288 pages

Women’s Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

Our story begins with what seems to be simple indigestion but then escalates into a story about how our lives are so inter twined with others.  Carla Damron tells a story of how the loss of one life effects four different people.  Set in Columbia, South Carolina, our author does a superlative job of describing the diverse people of this southern town.  I found myself feeling such empathy for each of our characters, the widow who has been unable to see how ill her daughter is, a nurse trying to rebuild her life after a devastating mistake, the mother of a small child living with a husband she doesn’t recognize anymore, and a homeless man who has to fight demons both real and imagined in his world.  A beautiful story of life, love and hope.  Tears may flow with the story but they are not necessarily sad.  This is a story that will live with you after the last page.

Joyce H. Reviewer for Romantic Picks Reviews

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AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER

Author: Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

ASIN: B00ZP4KE70

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Ebook

624 pages

Hictorical Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

What a wonderful read!  “America’s First Daughter” is the story of Thomas Jefferson as told by his daughter Patsy as she relives her life while reading letter after letter written by and to her father and others after he passes.  We travel with her as a child when they are forced to flee Monticello in the dead of night in the early days of our country. We dance with her at balls in the palace of Versailles in Paris at the beginning of the French Revolution.  We are privy to conversations of historical figures as Patsy plays First Lady in her father’s White House and we sit by her side as her father’s last breath leaves his body. Most important we feel the love and heartbreak that this first daughter of our country must endure during her lifetime as our country grows around her. To me, this family saga of the Revolutionary War is equal to that of the O’Hara’s during the Civil War in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”.  A must read.  I know I will read again and again.

Joyce H. Reviewer for Romantic Picks Reviews

 

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THAT SUMMER NIGHT

Author: Barbara Freethy

ASIN: B00KPZSHSM

Publisher: Fog City Publishing, LLC

Ebook

305 pages

Romantic Suspense

Rating: 4 Stars

This novel while being the 6th in a series is an exciting action packed stand alone read.  The main heroine is a doctor who finds herself in a horribly traumatic situation in another country while working on a pharmaceutical trial.  Her mentor who helped her along the way in her career is missing and she’s tasked with doing him a favor by encouraging an estranged sibling to assist her.  The truth is that up front I felt like I knew where the story would go and I was pleasantly surprised when it didn’t go the way I expected.  Each time I thought I knew what was coming the author blind sided me with suspense and pulled me back into rooting for both answers and love to win.  The best part is when I finished I wanted to know more about this family.  Now I am off to download more of the series because all of the stories mentioned in this one that intersect with the characters sound fabulous.  I am hooked!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Romantic Picks.*

Heather J. Reviewer for Romantic Picks Reviews

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AN ALPHA’S PATH

A Redwood Pack Novella

Author: Carrie Ann Ryan

ASIN: B011JL6I0Y

Ebook

85 pages

Paranormal

Rating: 4.0 Stars

Melanie the chemist and Kade the contractor. Wow, Kade is all Braun and Melanie is all brains and mixed together they are a fierce couple. For a novella, this was a great story. It was a really good start to the series. It wasn’t to short and being a novella to long. The only thing I would have hoped was a little more of a conflict other than Melanie making a choice. I did love the feisty friend Larissa. Hope to see her in future books.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Romantic Picks.*

Malissa R. Reviewer for Romantic Picks Reviews

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WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND

Author: Ellen Marie Wiseman

ASIN: B00DV1IUNE

Publisher: Kensington

Ebook

337 pages

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Rating: 5 Stars

For an author to successfully weave two stories together it takes both skill and powerful imagery.  This book contains proof of both.  The characters pull you in and allow you to see snippets of lives impacted by lies, betrayal, abandonment, love, hope, mistreatment, bullying, and both the foster care and mental health care systems.  You can imagine down to the details what the impact of going from being a wealthy heiress and socialite to a committed and confused abandoned young woman.  The characters are so real you feel their despair.  You want to help them to escape.  Help them to bond.  Help them to be let go and be loved.  You cry in outrage at the injustice of a system that failed both ladies…and then when you least expect it you want to jump for joy at the reality that comes about.  You will lose yourself in the worlds that we often avoid wanting to know of and about.  I felt educated about an often glossed over subject.  We all owe it to ourselves to know more about the system of mental health care that once and may still exist in some communities.  We also owe it to those who lived in those asylums to hear parts and pieces of their stories.  While this is fictional it brings an awareness with it that is greatly needed.  This is an exceptional read.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Romantic Picks.*

Heather J. Reviewer for Romantic Picks Reviews

 

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FOOLING AROUND WITH CINDERELLA

A Storybook Valley Novel

Author: Stacy Juba

ASIN: B0173T2MMO

Publisher: Thunder Horse Press

Ebook

224 pages

Contemporary/Romantic Comedy

Rating: 4.0 Stars

This was a great twist on the Cinderella story. Loved the theme park storyline. The extra characters were interesting. Lots of detail on the characters and lots of issues with Janie but not as many with Dylan. I wasn’t happy with the plot. It happened then it was over as fast as it started. I recommend this book if your looking for a quick read.

I received an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Malissa R. Reviewer for Romantic Picks Reviews

 

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BEACHCOMBER INVESTIGATIONS Book One

A Romantic Detective Series Novel

Author: Stehanie Queen

ASIN: B0145M35MI

Publisher:Amazon Digital Services, Inc

Ebook

171 pages

Romantic Suspense/Mystery

Rating: 3.5 Stars

This was my first introduction to Stephanie Queen’s work, and I was impressed.  Beachcombers is fast past and an easy and enjoyable read.  The story is set in Martha’s Vineyards during a Surf Competition (or is it really?), when one of the contestants goes missing.  A firecracker of a detective from Australia is called in to team up with the local detective to find the missing girl.  A rollercoaster of an investigation ensues filled with plenty of sexual tension and a creepy bad guy. Enjoyed and look forward to reading more from Ms. Queen.

I received an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
JoyceH. Reviewer for Romantic Picks Reviews

 

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INDESCRETION

Author: Polly Iyer

ASIN B010EB14YU

Publishers: Kindle Press

Ebook

315 pages

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Rating: 5 Stars

The title of this murder mystery should have been Indiscretion AND MUCH MORE!  This was my first taste of Polly Iyer’s storytelling and I found it riveting.  Setting the scene in a beach community always is a nice way to go but the buildup in the beginning chapters really just sets the stage for a roller coaster ride of delight and emotions set in both a beach paradise and back alleys filled with underworld characters.
The author brings to life those things us good gals wonder about such as seductive affairs with handsome and dangerous letharios and suspenseful moments during dangerous “Bonnie” and her potential “ex-Clyde” action! This book finds something in you that is familiar and then shows you how different things could be with a single choice or action that is out of the norm of every day life.  One decision can find you in a world of intrigue and running for your life.
Seduction, suspense, genuine characters of substance, famiky loyalties straining, a puzzling thrill ride, and this read has all I need for an exciting evening of reading.  I couldn’t put it down.
My only issue….there wasn’t MORE.
*I received an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Heather J. Reviewer for Romantic Picks Reviews

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GRIFF MONTGOMERY QUARTERBACK

First & Ten Series

Author: Jean C. Joachim

ASIN B014RQ9RXI

Publishers: Moonlight Books; Book 1 edition

Ebook

214 pages

Romance/Sports

Rating: 5 Stars

So, great story with a very interesting plot and twist.  Love all the characters all of them. I was very intrigued by the story turn around of the dog. (Spoiler) Love how Lauren hated Griff and still allowed him to rent a room.
I was really worried the story was going to separate the two after the accident. I was excited that Griff came to his senses. Yelled at my kindle at the part at the end when Lauren decided that Griff gave up on her.
Can’t wait to read the next book in the series. This is a true romance and great story.

*I received an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

MalissaR Reviewer for Romantic Picks Reviews

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DANGEROUS PLACES

A Roman Cantrell-Nikki Holden Mystery, Book 1

Author: Elaine Raco Chase

ASIN B017862E1Q

Publishers: Damsel in Distress Publishing Company

Ebook

237 pages

Romantic suspense/Mystery

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Nikki Holden is an investigative reporter on the trail of a major story. Smart, sexy, and a survivor, Nikki is in deep trying to get an interview with a superstar jai alai player by using his mistress, Marcy. But Nikki is after much more than a simple interview. Then Roman Cantrell appears on the scene. Tall, dark and handsome, Roman is a private investigator looking for Marcy, who Nikki is painstaking keeping under wraps until she gets the information she needs for her story.

From the moment Nikki and Roman meet, the game is on with one surprising twist after another. I fell in love with Nikki from the beginning. Quick-witted and intelligent, she is no meek damsel in distress. Roman is her perfect match. Immediately, you can feel the attraction between the two.

The action-filled mystery with witty dialogue makes for a wonderful read. Miss Chase has done an excellent job of building up the suspense as the mystery deepens. I found myself reading late into the night until I finished it. I highly recommend the book for any romantic suspense reader. This is the first book in the Roman Cantrell-Nikki Holden Mystery series. I am anxiously anticipating the next book in the series.

One other thing I would like to mention. At the end of the book, Miss Chase included a small piece on the story behind the story. I have always been a fan of Elaine Raco Chase’s books. So, I found this information extremely interesting. I am happy that she was able to overcome her own obstacles and introduce Nikki and Roman into my world.