Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Maybe by Amber L. Johnson

From Goodreads:

Letting go is hard. Admitting you need each other is harder.

Emily Portman loves her job. A writer for Breakout! Magazine, she shadows and showcases up-and-coming bands. When her next assignment takes her to Austin, Texas, she can’t wait to add the city to her map of places she’s visited. Places she’s left without looking back. Her plan is to keep moving on, and the last thing she needs is a man holding her back. She’s not going down that road again.

Tyler Macy is stuck in a rut. Despite his exceptional talent as a musician, he has chosen to take a back seat with his music and let others grab the limelight. Wounded and mistrustful, he doesn’t appreciate his friends’ efforts to bring him back to center stage. Emily comes onto the scene and sees his full potential, but he fights to stay in the shadows, shutting her out before she can add to the scars another woman gave him.

For Tyler to find his music again, he needs to accept the help that Emily and their friends offer. When he discovers that his muse lies underneath Emily’s skin, it is still not enough to keep her from walking away. Neither will admit what they really want until it is too late.

Emily is once again thrown in Tyler’s path when she is assigned to join them on tour. Despite the pain in his past, Tyler sees that she is worth it, even if she’s stolen both his heart and peace of mind. In order for them to be together, they both must discover whether the music and their passion are enough to overcome the obstacles that separate them.

Maybe finding love is worth the risk.

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
(Does include descriptive intimate scenes) Length: 249 pages Price on Amazon: $4.99

~R.E. Hargrave's Review~
* * * * *
"Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. No Maybe about it."

These were the words I left on the Ms. Johnson’s Facebook wall the moment I finished reading her latest offering. This contemporary romance is a fairly quick read, not because it’s short, but because it sucks you in and doesn’t let you go.

It’s riveting.
It’s gut-wrenching.
It makes you FEEL.
Maybe is the story of a Emily Portman, a music journalist whose cross-country travels have her crossing paths with the penultimate ‘rockstar’. Tyler Macy (later dubbed Mace Face by Emily due to an amusing misunderstanding) is gorgeous, a handyman, fantastic on the drums, and liquid sex when he takes the mic.
All things Emily has sworn she would never fall for. She never wanted to be ‘that girl’ … the band groupie. After her childhood dreams of being a ballerina were shattered with a knee injury, her goal in life was to be good at her job and get lost in the music, nothing else.
Ms. Johnson will take you on a musical literary journey with her style and quick wit. Her story is told in first person present tense, not a style that is easy to pull off without it becoming a hodge podge of telling instead of showing. Yet she does it brilliantly. You feel the turmoil within Emily as she fights the growing attraction to Tyler. You experience the power of their physical touches. You soar with delight when things work out, and you cringe in despair when they don’t.

In the past Tyler opened his heart to a woman, and after she destroyed it, he swore he’d never fall in love again. He never counted on meeting Emily, and certainly never thought he’d feel the music within again. Funny how love works.
Maybe is an emotional powerhouse and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

**I was given an ARC by the author and TWCS Publishing House in exchange for an honest review. This review was first posted Feb. 18, 2015 on www.rehargrave.com**

Monday, February 23, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The One That Got Away by M.B. Feeney

From Goodreads:
There’s something about that one person we date in our teens but never become intimate with. Why does a sexless relationship render us unable to stop carrying that person, the what if, with us into our adult life?

For Heidi Johnson, Shane Hughes is her “one that got away.” Through the years, he has stayed in the back of her mind while she became an adult, a mother, and her own person. Meanwhile, Shane has lived a life of regret that he let Heidi go for the wrong reasons: fear and a misguided sense of not wanting to hurt either of them. 

When they reconnect online, the memories they've tried to suppress over the years return, reigniting the feelings never explored ‘back in the day.’ Will a school reunion in their home town of London, surrounded by old school friends, help the pair address the questions the years apart left unanswered? Or will they still be left with wanting more?

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 116 pages
Price on Amazon: $2.99 (Kindle)

~R.E. Hargrave's Review~

* * * * *
I’ve been a fan of Ms. Feeney for quite some time now, and her latest offering hasn’t changed my opinion at all. Except to cement my adoration for her work. She always writes with a crisp, clean style and engaging dialogue between her characters which brings heaps of realism to the party.

In The One That Got Away we meet Heidi and Shane, two characters who are clearly meant for each other but need a few years to figure it out. With most contemporary romances we see the girl second-guessing everything and making rash decisions on behalf of the relationship, whether they are good or not. Not the case for OTGA. Heidi, while far from selfish, makes no apologies for who she is or what she does. Shane however, finds himself fumbling through the rights and wrongs of love. Neither have been able to forget the other over the years, and when their high school reunion crops up they are handed another chance to make things right.

Heidi is a divorced mum of two (note I said ‘mum’ because like all of Feeney’s works, OTGA is set in England). Shane has never gotten married, but is in a floundering relationship when they reconnect online and begin building a friendship from a safe distance. Circumstances align to allow these two another shot at love, and this time neither is prepared to let the other get away. 

Low angst, steamy encounters, and all around feel good interactions will have The One That Got Away finding its place in your ‘so glad I got to read this’ stack. Oh, and unless you’re dead from the brain down, I imagine you’ll also be #SwooningForShane after just a few pages in. Happy reading!

**DISCLAIMER: I was on Ms. Feeney's editing team.**

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Guest Post from Author Sherri Hayes

When I set out to write Chris and Elizabeth’s story in Behind Closed Doors, it was supposed to be a standalone book. But as I began building Chris’ family, I was drawn to the brothers. I knew then that I would have to give each brother his own book.

A lot of my readers were surprised after reading Behind Closed Doors that Gage’s book was next in the series. They thought Paul would be next in line. It wasn’t meant to be, however. I didn’t know why at the time, but once I was about halfway through Gage and Rebecca’s book, Red Zone, I knew. Megan, Rebecca’s sister, was the missing piece.
I knew before I started writing, Paul’s book would be an emotional one. He’s a widower who lost his wife in a tragic accident. They were childhood sweethearts whose lives together were cut short way too soon. Paul still loves his wife, and I knew going into it that wasn’t going to change.
This was why Megan was the perfect fit for him. When I met her in Red Zone, she had all the qualities that I felt Paul needed in his life. She was young, full of energy, and yet she’d been through some tough times herself. Megan could be that pillar of strength Paul needed to move on.
(Originally posted 9/9/14 on Books For Fun)