Thursday, December 31, 2015

Saving Grace (Love Under the Big Sky #2.5) by Kristen Proby

This was a short sweet novella about love at first trip.

Grace Douglas is clumsy with a capital C, so to help her learn to ski her friends get her skiing lessons for the weekend. What's the worse that can happen?

Jacob Berkley owns a lovely ski resort and is about to meet the woman of his dreams. All that's needed is for her confuse him for an instructor and have a little mishap.

It's a short feel good love story; although I will say that I would have loved it to be a little longer.

Rating 4 out of 5 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Caillou: The School Bus by Marion Johnson

This was a sweet short story about a little boy that is very excited about one day riding the school bus.

The story was short and cute, little readers will enjoy this one. The writing is simple that early readers will enjoy.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Caillou Waits for Santa by Anne Paradis, Eric Sevigny

Like any child awaiting the arrival of Santa, little Caillou wants to stay up all night. But like all children he doses off and doesn't wake until morning to find that Santa has come to visit.

This delightful short story is an enjoyable tale for young readers.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Kiss From Kringle (Frosty's Snowmen, #2) by Rhian Cahill

One super funny short holiday romance.

Leah Ward plays small switcheroo and takes her sister's place on her first day of work when her sister has to tend to her sick daughter.

Chris Kringle sees Leah and BAM, it's love at first sight. Soon Chris is making declaration of love and seeing a future with kids and the whole nine yards.

The characters were hilarious; Leah was very practical and thinking "okay, you're attractive, lets see where this goes". Chris on the other hand is just plain crazy adorable; he's always saying sweet things and going on about how his grandpa told him that when he met grandma it was BAM, love at first sight.

I liked this one, very light hearted, just one small thing; who names their child Chris Kringle. Can you imagine in school.

This is a nice holiday romance, with loads of laughs.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Terrible Terrible by Gabriela Rubio

1661067This was an interesting read, the story runs in parallel in both English and Spanish.

The story follows two little boys that are fighting over who is better, a bear or a tiger. 

Both boys argue the same points in their own language for their animals and in the end they come to realize that both animals are great and they should be friends.

Rating 4 out of 5 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Hometown Christmas Carol by Barbara Miller

This short holiday novella plays like a modern Christmas Carol. 

Two former sweethearts get to bring some Christmas cheer to their town with a very message full Christmas play.

It was such as sweet holiday read.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

What Color is Bear's Underwear? by Todd H. Doodler (Illustrations), Todd Harris Goldman

10878463This was such a funny way for children to learn basic color and the days of the week.

Children had so much fun reading this one. 

For some reason the thought of underwear makes the little ones laugh.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Secret Santa Baby by Robin Covington

I absolutely loved this lighthearted short novella. 

Nice guy Nicholas Boone is tired of finishing last and this year he is going all out to win Tessa Stoneman's heart.

Once upon a time Nicholas missed his chance, but now that Tessa is single, he's gonna win her heart with a lot of Christmas magic.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Second Chance Christmas by Ellen Butler

Major Colton Evans was minding his own business when he gets accidentally injured in a bar fight and who does the hospital call, his ex Emma Taylor.

At first Emma is super angry; how can she not be the last time they parted it was in less than ideal terms.

From this point on, the story is about reconciling and getting a second chance at love around the Christmas holiday.

My only issue with the story was that they got over all their issues in two seconds; like one minute it's "I hate you" and the next it's "I love you."

Rating 4 out of 5 

The Snowy Day (Peter #1) by Ezra Jack Keats

310258This lovely classic is fun for children of all ages.

A whimsical tale of the joys of first snow has delighted children since 1962. 

Granted here in Southern California, we've never had a snow day, or at least not in my lifetime; yet I can still say that this tale is a delight.

This tale reaches down to the whimsical innocence of youth.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Babar the Magician (Babar) by Laurent de Brunhoff

1557005This was a nice story, it was fun and entertaining.

Barbar has been learning magic and decides to put on a magic show, but not everything goes according to plan.

With a trick gone a-rye, Barbar and his audience are off to wake up a floating magician's assistant.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dig Those Dinosaurs by Lori Haskins Houran, Francisca Marquez (Illustrations)

16190501I would recommend this book for three year old children. 

The sentences are very basic and highly repetitive that slightly older children become annoyed with constantly repeating "dig, dig, dig".

Rating 3 out of 5 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

David Gets In Trouble (David) by David Shannon

Poor little David, he's always getting in trouble. Even the best of intentions tend to lead to chaos.

What's worse is his mom never believes in "it's not my fault", so that leaves David in trouble.

The story is fun and whimsical.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth, Laura Huliska-Beith (Illustrator)

This was a fun counting book. 

The story starts off with ten little ladybugs, but soon they disappear; the children loved trying to guess what happened to them.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman, Gris Grimly (illustrator)

Leave it to Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly to bring you the alphabet in the most creative and spectacular way.

Be aware this isn't your typical alphabet book, but it's fun and incredibly illustrated. It has a bit of a dark twist in the art, yet it's amazing.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs Board Book by Byron Barton

This book was a nice book to get little kids acquainted with dinosaurs.

Children will love this one, although, be prepared for a million questions about "can a T-Rex beat that dinosaur". 

Rating 4 out of 5 

Monday, December 7, 2015

I Will Take A Nap! (Elephant & Piggie #23) by Mo Willems

Gerald is dying to take a nap, but Piggie is being a little too loud.

Will poor Gerald ever get his nap? 

There's only one way to find out ...

Rating 5 out of 5 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Me and Meow by Adam Gudeon

This story was supposed to be cute, a little girl and her cat, however, it failed to engage the children in the reading group.

The illustrations were alright and for that I'll say the book is okay.

Rating 2 out of 5 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rainbow Fish Colors/Colores by Marcus Pfister

This was a nice book for children 2 to 4 who are learning their colors. 

The book is made of board, so you don't have to worry about a little pulling.

The book very colorful so it engages the children. It was even better because it came in English and Spanish so children can learn their colors in two languages.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Time for Bed by Mem Fox, Jane Dyer (Illustrator)

A nice short book for the wee little ones.

A sweet story, right before bed with wonderful pictures.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Billionaire Single Dad by Mandy Baxter

Ms. Baxter does it again, with another fun and delightful story.

Carter Christensen lost his wife two years ago and now his life is all about playing football and his five year old daughters. Granted he's making a mistake or two as a single father, well his little girls are planning their escape and they have secret lair and everything, in neighbor's Tess Adams barn.

Tess Adams isn't looking for love, after being betrayed by her boyfriend and her best friend she is just happy to be. Then she meets two adorable little girls planning their getaway and soon their daddy.

Okay this story was sweet and lovely; I was swooning with how dedicated Carter was to his deceased wife. There was a time or two when I wanted Carter to move on and not be such a jerk to Tess, but I forgave him because he was scared of moving on and he does do a nice groveling scene.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Christmas With the Billionaire Rancher by Mandy Baxter

I love Ms. Baxter's works; she has a way of drawing the reader into her stories.

Nate Christensen isn't looking for love, between past betrayals and some traumas he's just looking to get past his father's funeral.

Chloe Benson is looking for some serious money to save her charity.

After one night together Nate starts to think he might be able to build something with Chloe; Chloe will now seek her money elsewhere.

When old trouble and new secret come back to haunt them will they stand strong or not?

Like all of Ms. Baxter's works, this one does not disappoint, however, I would have loved if we got to see the confrontation between Nate and his ex and maybe a little more groveling on his part.

Rating 4 out of 5 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Stepbrother, Mine #3 (Stepbrother, Mine #3) by Opal Carew

The story has come to an end and as a parting we get one last crazy twist and a lot more of Mason being a jerk.

After X event which I will not give away Mason sends Dana away in the most callous and cruel way possible. At the end Mason gets his head on straight and goes after Dana, but there was not enough groveling.

I wanted to see Mason grovel a whole lot more, and maybe throw in a diamond ring or something to convince the girl

Rating 3 out of 5 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Stepbrother, Mine #2 (Stepbrother, Mine #2) by Opal Carew

Part two picks up where part one left off. 

At this point I'm kind of hating Mason, he plays hot and cold. Like we get it, some 8 years ago she was your step-sister for like a year, but come on.

Dana, Dana, Dana; there is absolutely no way a girl can be that naive. She begins to get a little annoying.

This one I didn't feel was that strong; I did not feel the connection.

Rating 3 out of 5 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Stepbrother, Mine #1 (Stepbrother, Mine #1) by Opal Carew

Ms. Carew brings us a new crazy romance with twist and turns and drama published in three parts. 

In part one Dana and Mason see each other again after so many years. This part was a little slow in terms of the two main characters, but as an erotic romance it delivered.

Rating 4 out of 5 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Choose Me, Cowboy (2015 Montana Born Rodeo, #4) by Barbara Ankrum

I had mixed feelings about this one, for all Finn Scott claims to love Kate Canaday I honestly think that had he not run into her at the school when his son fell, he never would have sought her out.

Finn knew when he moved to Marietta this is where Kate was from and ultimately throughout the story I felt like she did all the work in their relationship.

The only happy thing in this story was that Kate gets the guy she loves at the end

Rating 3 out of 5 


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Taming the Italian Bad Boy by Joanne Walsh

Shy sweet girl with an overbearing, crazy mother, meets sexy Italian stallion.

When Lucy Luxton's pet runs Danilo Spinozzi off the road it's attraction at first sight.

Danilo sees this Lucy and is struck by her quiet beauty, he makes an overture of friendship in the hopes of seeing her again when she moves to the same town in Italy where he lives.

Lucy is hesitant to contact Danilo, but a road encounter with Danilo's dog brings these two back together.

The story was sweet, they date, they get to know each other and the town's bad boy goes from being a commitment-phobe to the most devoted guy ever.

We do have a little drama when Danilo's ex tries to come between him and Lucy but Danilo stands strong and makes it very clear Lucy is the one for him.

I would have loved to see Lucy stand up to Danilo's ex or her ex for that matter, but over all this story just has you going awww. 

Rating 4 out of 5 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Getting Lucky (Nugget #5) by Stacy Finz

Despite being the fifth book in the Nugget series, this captivating and engaging story can be read as a stand alone.

Lucky Rodriguez and Tawny Wade spent a night together 9 years ago before Lucky left town to make a name for himself in the rodeo.

Tawny now has a little girl, unfortunately, her daughter has cancer and needs a marrow donor, this leaves Tawny no choice but to reach out to Lucky.

This is were the story really starts; Lucky sets out to be the best father he can be while slowly and I do mean slowly learning the woman he thinks he loves isn't the person that is right for him.

Tawny learns to include more people in her family circle and open herself to love. 

The story was nice because both characters slowly come together as they get to know each other. Plus there's a couple of very dramatic twist, so yeah it's good.

Rating 4 out of 5 


Monday, November 16, 2015

Nothing Like a Cowboy ( by Donna Alward

Brett Harrison is divorced and has been alone for a while; it's definitely starting to show in his mood, so to help his sister decides to set him up for a little online dating.

Melly Walker is a divorcee who has decided it's time to get out there so she signs up for online dating.

The story was short, but it was nice, you get some good laughs and two people looking for a second chance in the world of online dating.

Brett was a little grouchy, but after what went down with his ex you can't blame. Melly was so nice. A small misunderstanding does add a little drama, but nothing too big that these two couldn't overcome. I would have loved a bit more on the ending, but it was still really nice and enjoyable.

Rating 5 out of 5 


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5) by Melody Anne

This was a sweet story about two people that should be together. 

Taylor Winchester and Travis Montclave made such a wonderful couple.

I loved Taylor's mom playing matchmaker; granted she didn't have a lot of work to do because she could totally see the sparks flying.

Taylor was a bit hard-headed, especially when Travis goes all alpha male on her, but she's able to see reason after a lovely gesture from Travis. Travis did go all crazy alpha, but only because he really cares and his "I was wrong" moment was so sweet.

The story is short, but it's sweet and full of love.

Rating 5 out of 5 


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Matter of Time (Heat Wave #5) by Alannah Lynne

Did not feel the love in this one.

Logan Steele broke up with Lizbeth Sanders when he found out his former high school girlfriend had his child and he decided to do the honorable thing and marry someone he didn't love.

Fifteen years later Logan has had two more kids and divorced said woman. Lizbeth on the other hand has led a relatively lonely life, she's never found someone to live up to Logan.

Now Logan and Lizbeth reunite and Lizbeth basically acts like Logan didn't leave her or anything.

I could not get behind this story because Logan doesn't really work for his second chance. This is supposed to be a second chance romance and I just didn't feel the love. I would have loved it if in those 15 years Lizbeth had some sort of semblance of a happily ever after. The only reason I gave this story a two was because I really wanted Lizbeth to get her happily ever after, even if it was with Logan.

Rating 2 out of 5 


Friday, November 13, 2015

A Cowgirl's Christmas (Carrigans of the Circle C #5) by C.J. Carmichael

Okay so we finally get a real story for Callan Carrigan and it was OMG.

By now many of us have read all the other books in the Carrigans of the Circle C and know that some things were somewhat off in the familial relationship, mainly with the father.

Hawksley, the father has passed away and to the shock of his youngest daughter Callan, has left everything to this nephew Court McAllister, the girls knew nothing about.

Soon many secrets are revealed and believe they are just too juicy. The romance was a little crazy, but it worked in a weird way.

Rating 4 out of 5 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Down by the Barn by Will Hillenbrand

18984509This children's book was an absolute delight. 

The little ones learn about what kind of animals you can find in a farm and the brightly colored illustrations keep them engaged.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Unwrapped (Hunk for the Holidays #3) by Katie Lane

This one was funny, it was crazy, it was sweet.

Jacqueline Maguire, is the perpetual runaway bride. On the run from her latest attempt down the aisle, Jacqueline is involved in a crash. After walking some distance in the cold, she comes across a cabin and hottie contractor Patrick McPherson.

Patrick McPherson, thinks the pretty girl in the bridal gown is another attempt from his meddling aunt to set him up.

An unexpected little surprise brings these two unlikely characters back together.

Jacqueline was such a funny character and her misadventures and craziness will not let you put this book down.

Patrick was such a polar opposite to Jacqueline and somehow that just made both characters more likable. 

The supporting characters were also just so funny, Jacqueline's bestie Gerald was to die for dramatic and Patrick's aunt Weezie was just too much.

Rating 5 out of 5 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Five Things I Love About You by Sarah Ballance

There is just no better way to meet someone than by accidentally dropping a jar of pickles on them and covering them in pickle juice.

Crosby Chase accidentally drops pickle juice on Estelle Donovan and they're both struck by cupid. 

Estelle is in New York for a small amount of time to watch her brother's place and Crosby can't leave New York. Somehow these two have to find a way to make this love at first sight work and decide if they're willing to go the distance.

Rating 5 out of 5 


Monday, November 9, 2015

Return of the Jerk (Sweet Life in Seattle #2) by Andrea Simonne

I loved the first book in this series, unfortunately for me the second book fell flat. I did not feel the love between Blair Thomas and Nathan “Road” Church.

Nathan just leaves Blair five years ago and then out of the blue pops back into her life. What's worse is that Blair just accepts him back in, she tries to resist and then just buckles.

It took me forever to finish this one because I honestly did not find the main characters likable.

Rating 1 out of 5 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Year of Living Blonde (Sweet Life in Seattle #1) by Andrea Simonne

This was a really funny second chance romance; after being dumped by her husband Natalie Anderson makes a change for two in her life. As she goes about restarting her life she meets hottie Anthony Novello and although they hit a massive log in the road, in the form of Natalie's cheating ex-husband they're able to overcome and get their happily ever after.

Anthony was swoon worthy and you can really feel the love. Now Natalie; Natalie, Natalie, Natalie, that girl really made you scream. When Natalie's jerk of an ex returns, saying she should think about their daughter she actually takes him back. Even her daughter had more sense than her telling her she should be with Anthony.

Natalie learns to move on and that she deserves an second chance at love and Anthony is just the one for her.

Rating 4 out of 5 


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Before He Was Gone (Starstruck #2) by Becky Wicks

Ms. Wicks does it again in the second book of the Starstruck Series. 

Alyssa and Joshua come together in a very funny way. I love the reality TV angle, except I will say that the top secret mysterious illness was killing me. I kept wanting to know what it was.

You'll enjoy this story and the best part is that it's a stand-alone so you don't have to read Before He Was Famous, though you should.

Rating 4 out of 5 


Friday, November 6, 2015

How to Lose a Bachelor by Anna Banks

Rochelle Ransom and Grant Drake had a fairy tale romance until Rochelle announces getting into law school on the west coast and jumping to conclusions, Grant callously breaks up with her.

Ten years later, Grant has been roped into participating in reality show where a bachelor tries to find "love" and who should be one of the contestants?

Rochelle has joined this reality show to win the cash prize for women's charity, but one look a the bachelor has her wanting to run the other way.

Throughout the whole show Rochelle will do anything to get voted off and Grant will do anything to get a second chance.

The story was so funny, Rochelle's antics will have you on your side. It was really sweet how these two come together again. I would have loved a wedding scene at the end, but the ending was still very good.

Rating 4 out of 5 


Thursday, November 5, 2015

My Stepbrother the Groom: A Romantic Comedy by Lexi Maxxwell

Okay I can get past the coveting a taken man, but the characters here were just crazy. 

Ella Roberts the heroine is insane. Her rationalization throughout the story has you like "seriously". She was not a very likable character.

Nathan Hayes the hero is like blah.  He supposedly meets someone new and can't call of his engagement; in fact the only reason it gets called off is because we get such a random curve ball at the end.

I really didn't feel the romance in this one. Although the cover is beautiful. 

Rating 2 out of 5 


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Edward Scissorhands Volume 2: Whole Again by Kate Leth

I absolutely love Edward Scissorhands, but this story really missed the mark for me.

In this volume, we have Edward desiring to be "normal" so when he sees a woman on TV that claims to be able to work miracles and fix peoples imperfections he wants to go for it.

I'm not sure who the target audience was for this one, but I wasn't feeling this one. Perhaps the next storyline will feel better.

Rating 2 out of 5 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic by Mark Tatulli

This was a fun book for kiddies 10+, normally I never assign an age group to books, but this one is a bit lengthy and doesn't have that many illustrations, so younger children might get a bit bored.

In this book we meet Desmond Pucket, a very energetic middle schooler with a flair for monsters. As he navigates school, evil teachers and crushes, we see Desmond try really hard not to get into too much trouble.

You'll definitely laugh with this one.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Mutts Winter Diaries by Patrick McDonnell

25363439Earl and Mooch are up for some winter fun in this collection. 

Along with friends, the lovable dog and cat get into all sorts of fun. Children of all ages will enjoy this one, I know my inner child did.

Rating 5 out of 5 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York by Kory Merritt

Jonathan York has led a blah life; he's the perpetual goody two-shoes, he follows the rules and never veers off the track. When he decides to take a shortcut home one day and gets lots in the mysterious and spooky woods, he's suddenly thrown into a world of adventure. As the story progresses Jonathan goes from a shy introvert into a daring, risk taking extrovert.

This was an interesting story that captures the imagination. The art is also very wonderful; very spooky, just perfect for this October.

This is the first book I read by Kory Merritt and I will say that I am very much impressed and can't wait to see other works.

Rating 5 out of 5