Carla Loves To Read



Summer Love: Take Two (Paradise Key Book 1) by Shirley Jump

Summer Love: Take Two (Paradise Key Book 1)4.5 Stars

Published April 29th 2018 by Tule Publishing

I am so impressed with these series published by Tule Publishers. The Paradise Key Series, all written by different authors, feature four young women who met in Paradise Key as teenagers. Over the years they have kept in touch and are still BFFs. Unfortunately, there were five of them but one of them, Lily, has tragically died. The remaining four meet up again while attending her funeral. This is Lauren’s story.

Lauren Webster works for her father’s marketing firm, but does not like her job. She is doing it for her father, trying to make him proud of her. After her marriage breaks up, she takes off for a weekend and some mistakes she made, cause the firm to lose a huge client. She heads off to Paradise Key trying to get the town to hire the firm for a media campaign. Her father has given her a timeline to land the client before he heads down and closes the deal himself. As she tried to convince the town councilors to hire her firm, she becomes reacquainted with Carter Malone. As a teen, she and Carter had a summer romance and he broke her heart. As the book unfolds, Lauren, Carter and her father, all reevaluate their lives to see what is really important to them.

This is a wonderful second chance romance which also highlights family dynamics, how people respond to tragedy in their lives, and how small communities come together to support one another. I really wanted to hop in my car and drive down to Paradise Key as I read this story. It seems to be such a wonderful community and a place I would love to spend time in. I loved the ending of this story and am ready to find out what happens to the rest of the friends. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book per my request.

Continue reading “Summer Love: Take Two (Paradise Key Book 1) by Shirley Jump”


Tying the Scot (The Highlanders of Balforss #1)

4 Stars
Published November 27th 2017 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Amara)
Paperback, ebook
Published February 6th 2018 by Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio
Audio CD or download
About the Book: At age eleven, Alex Sinclair pledges an oath to the Duke of Chatham promising to serve and protect his illegitimate daughter, Lucy FitzHarris. Nine years later, the duke unexpectedly takes Alex up on his vow, offering the future Laird of Balforss his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Now a man, hotheaded Alex has difficulty convincing Lucy—who would rather starve to death than marry a vulgar Scot—to go through with the arranged marriage. Once Lucy arrives in Scotland, she cannot resist the magic of Balforss or the allure of her handsome Highland warrior. But when Alex seemingly betrays Lucy right before their wedding, she is tricked into running away. Alex must rein in his temper to rescue his lady from unforeseen danger and Lucy must swallow her pride if she hopes to wed the Highlander she has come to love.

Continue reading “Tying the Scot (The Highlanders of Balforss #1)”

Betting the Scot (The Highlanders of Balforss Book 2) by Jennifer Trethewey

Betting the Scot4 Stars

My Review: This is the second book in The Highlanders or Balforss series. I didn’t read the first one, but had no trouble reading this book and following the story. I will go back and read the first story just because I enjoyed this one so much. It is the story of Declan Sinclair, the nephew of Laird John of Balforss. He has dreams and they come true. He has dreamed about the woman he will marry, now he just has to find her. While in Wick, Scotland, Declan and his two cousins stop at a local inn. From across the room, Declan sees his wife. As the evening progresses and Caya has retired for the evening, Jack Pendarvis challenges the highlanders to a card game. By the end of the night, Declan has all Jack’s money, his mother’s ring and Caya’s hand. Now Caya Pendarvis, is a lovely yet shy woman from Cornwall. Her brother has betrothed her to a herring business man in exchange for enough money to pay off his gambling debts. When he tries to sneak out of the Inn in the middle of the night with his sister, the highlanders are waiting. Caya agrees to go with them. However, what will her brother do when her husband to be turns up to collect his bride? How will he repay his debts now?

This is a highly entertaining read, a brilliant historical story with humour, suspense and romance. There is also plenty of action, several twists and turns, accusations of witchcraft, kidnapping, whisky, danger and more. There’s even another rival for Caya’s hand in marriage. Don’t worry, it does not become a love triangle. I enjoyed the strength of the women of Balforss and the backbone that Caya develops while living with the Laird. The men may be warriors, but they are gentle and loving as well. Declan is very persistent and it pays off eventually. Family means everything to them. I read this book very quickly and enjoyed it much more than I expected. I do not usually read historical romances, but this was recommended by a blogger I follow and she was not wrong. Get yourself a copy of the first two books in this series and enjoy them before the third one comes out. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Betting the Scot (The Highlanders of Balforss Book 2) by Jennifer Trethewey”

Take a Chance on Me (Love on Chance Avenue #3) by Jane Porter

Take a Chance on Me (Love on Chance Avenue, #3)4 Stars

My Review: Amanda Wright was raised on the wrong side of the tracks and was always looked down on in Marietta. When her parents got into financial problems, she helped them out and almost lost her salon. One of her favorite customers, Bette Justice, gave her a loan which she paid back. Bette is in her 80s and her grandson, Tyler, wants her to come and live with him in Austin, Texas. He also wants to check out this young woman who appears to be taking advantage of her financially. He sneaks into town a few days earlier than his grandmother expects and heads to the salon to check her out. What he finds is surprising. A young, attractive, friendly and sincere woman who gives an excellent haircut.

Meanwhile, Bette is hoping to play matchmaker with her grandson and the girl who she has come to think of as her granddaughter. Things do not go smoothly. Amanda has a lot of feelings from her youth about her inferiority and whether she is worthy of a wealthy suitor. When Bette shares other information about the past, she reacts like a wounded animal and goes into hiding. Can she -overcome the feelings she has about her self-worth and what she perceives others think of her? Will Tyler understand how Bette feels about Marietta and stop trying to get her to leave? Will he realize that Marietta is a great town to live in? A sweet romance that has its bumps along the way. I love visiting the town of Marietta, Montana in the various series and stories that take place here. Anyone who enjoys a sweet romance will love this story and the other two in this series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Take a Chance on Me (Love on Chance Avenue #3) by Jane Porter”

Forever at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn

Forever at Conwenna Cove

4.5 Stars

My Review: Even though Conwenna Cove is a relatively small town in Cornwall, it does not mean everyone knows everyone else, although, they know who they are. In this visit to Conwenna Cove we learn about Zoe. She moved there after a difficult episode in her life. Using the money left to her by her parents, she purchased and now runs the local diner. She recently lost her beloved adopted greyhound and is afraid to give her love to anyone or anything. In the other books in this series we met Nate. He is the local heartthrob, surfer dude and works at his uncle’s cafe. He is getting ready to travel the world, but wants to run the fundraiser for the Greyhound Shelter before he leaves. This is where he runs into Zoe. He is meeting with local business people to ask for their support. He knows who Zoe is, but when he actually meets and talks to her, he realizes there is something more to her than he initially thought. Although reluctant to make a commitment due to his impending departure, he cannot resist her. She is dealing with her past and her reluctance to open up to anyone. Will these two be able to connect romantically? We meet up with many of the same characters I have grown to know and love in this series. It is a nice enjoyable read, comfortable, with romance, friendships, camaraderie of small towns and the magic of animals. I recommend this read to anyone who enjoys a good, clean romance that is very realistic, as well as animal lovers. You do not need to have read any of the others in this series to enjoy this book. I have come to enjoy Darcie Boleyn’s books and look forward to the next one she has coming out. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Forever at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn”

Her Baby, His Love (Charity, Montana #1) by Lynne Marshall

Her Baby, His Love (Charity, Montana #1) My Review: 3 Stars

I enjoyed this second chance romance story about Taylor and Joe. When Taylor finds out that her boyfriend just got married and that he used her, she does what she always does, she runs. This time she ends up in the small town of Charity, Montana. The townspeople are just like the town’s name, well, most of them are. When she finds out that she is pregnant shortly after arriving, she is not sure what to do. Joe is an ex-con. He owns the local nursery as well as being the town’s resident handyman and landscaper. There is something between them, but they are both wary of a relationship. When Taylor’s ex shows up and threatens to sue for custody of the baby, things change in the town for Taylor. This was a sweet story that I enjoyed. I might have given it four stars if the storyline of the custody battle had not come to a rather simple end. I liked both of the main characters as well as some of the secondary ones. The town has some quaint aspects to it, as well as the mean girl, but overall, it seems to be a sleepy little town, that is home to quite a few ex-convicts who have pretty much turned their lives around. I am looking forward to reading more in this series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Her Baby, His Love (Charity, Montana #1) by Lynne Marshall”

A Winter’s Wish Come True

A Winter’s Wish Come Trueby Lynsey James

Kindle Edition, 254 pages
Published November 22nd 2017 by HQ Digital
3.5 Stars


My Review: This was a very sweet romance that I had planned to read at Christmas, but it got pushed back a bit. Cleo is still in love with her ex-boyfriend Scott who up and left her a year earlier to move to Australia. When he returns to Silverdale, he wants to get back together. He admits he has made a mistake and begs Cleo to forgive him. She is not willing to do that, at least not at first. As they run into one another a few more times, they spend one passionate night in bed. In the morning Scott is gone without even leaving a note. Once again, he has left her. When Cleo finds out that she is pregnant, she is not sure what to do. Having dealt with body dysmorphia in the past she is worried about dealing with a growing body. She is also still in love with Scott, but he had agreed to help raise the child, but not as a couple. Will they get back together? Will his old girlfriend Natalie get a hold of him again?

There is humour as well as angst in this story. Besides the fact that Cleo got herself pregnant, this could be a Hallmark Movie. Two twenty or thirty somethings dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, single parenthood, parents who dislike each other and some cranky hospital employees all add up to a nice romantic read. If you like feel good romance stories, then pick this one up, you will definitely enjoy it. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “A Winter’s Wish Come True”

Christmas at Conwenna Cove (Conwenna Cove #2)

Christmas at Conwenna Cove (Conwenna Cove, #2)by Darcie Boleyn

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published October 9th 2017 by Canelo
4.5 stars
My Review: This was on my list for Christmas reads, but I got behind. Better late than never they say, and I am glad I got to it. I enjoyed meeting Grace and her parents as she was helping them to relocate to the beautiful Cornish village of Conwenna Cove. She is staying with them until New Year’s then heading home to Cardiff Wales, at least that is the plan. Everyone keeps talking about the magic of Conwenna Cove and encouraging her to stay. She is an author, so can work anywhere. As she meets people from the village she becomes more and more enchanted. When she meets the handsome veterinarian, Oli, who is a widower with two adorable children, she considers it even more. Dealing with loss is tough and people may grieve for years. Grace has vowed never to get married or have children of her own due to her brother having Cystic Fibrosis and dying 9 years earlier. Can she get over this and open herself to possibilities? A great romance whether it is Christmas or not. The characters are lovely. They are caring, friendly and loyal to one another. The animals are a wonderful addition to the story. There is a greyhound sanctuary close by and several of the villagers own rescued greyhounds. An abandoned cat and three kittens found in the playground end up at the vet hospital and need to find homes. All this is woven into the story of this wonderful little village. There is a bit of talk about cruelty to animals, but it is done in discussions of saving them and how can humans be so cruel. This is a very clean romance that will melt your heart. I recommend this story to any romance lover. Grab a warm blanket of glass of whatever you want to drink (wine did it for me) and take a visit to Conwenna Cove. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Christmas at Conwenna Cove (Conwenna Cove #2)”

Do You Believe in Santa? (Evergreen Lane #1)

Do You Believe in Santa? (Evergreen Lane #1)by Sierra Donovan

Mass Market Paperback, 312 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Zebra (Kensington)
4 Stars

My Review: This is one of those stories that would make a perfect Hallmark movie. There is a small town, a beloved if not eccentric main character, someone new to town, a situation that needs to be overcome and of course romance. The plot in the story was very well paced and I was pulled in right from the start.

Mandy Reese loves all things Christmas. As a child, she saw Santa Claus, the real one, and has been in love with the season ever since. She is jokingly called “Mandy Claus” in the small town of Tall Pine in the mountains of southern California. She works in the local Christmas Shop called The North Pole. Her mother has died so she is all alone. She wants to find a man to fall in love with, but her claim to fame seems to have prevented that from happening. When Jake Wyndham comes to Tall Pine to see if this is a place where the hotel chain he works for might want to locate, he meets Mandy. He feels an instant attraction to her and wants to get to know her better. Mandy wants to get to know Jake without him finding out about her Santa sighting. She and Jake really hit it off and date for the short time he is there. When the town council balks at the thought of a chain hotel moving in, Mandy and Jake work together to make it possible. They have just met, they do not want to lose each other already. What will Jake think when Mandy reveals the truth about herself? This is an imaginative, romantic, sweet, touching story about love, belief and of course Christmas. The characters feel real, they made me root for them. This is a clean romantic read. I enjoyed it and I am sure you will too. Continue reading “Do You Believe in Santa? (Evergreen Lane #1)”

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