Category Archives: contemporary

Review: Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett (Star Harbor #2)

Summary: In the second book of the Star Harbor Series, Seb’s twin brother, Theo, returns to Star Harbor in an effort to shake his writer’s block.  Theo is a widely successful author of fiction and his editor has been breathing down his neck.  Feeling stifled by his life in San Fransisco, he decides some time in his hometown might be just what he needs to gain some perspective and refocus on his work.  After a tragedy at work, social worker Avery takes a leave from her job in Boston to travel to Star Harbor to help her aunt run the Inn.  She meets Theo when he takes a room at the Inn and sparks fly from their first meeting.  Theo is immediately intrigued by Avery and pursues her relentlessly, convinced that if Avery would just open up that they could have something magical.  But, despite her deep attraction to him, Avery refuses to let Theo in, which might cause her to lose him forever.  Add some bumps in the night (is the Inn haunted?) and the return of the hilarious cast of characters from the first book in the series (including 3 more hot Grayson brothers) and you get a fast-pased and entertaining contemorary romance novel.

Rating: 4/5

Reasons: I really liked this book! The second book in the Star Harbor series, this book picks right up where the last one left off.  And if you liked Seb Grayson, you will LOVE his twin brother Theo!  He was such a great guy – honest, direct, romantic and a really sweet guy.  But, like all “alpha males” he knew what he wanted and went for it – Avery.  I also really enjoyed Avery’s character.  She was strongwilled, dedicated to her job and her clients, and focussed on helping her aunt through a difficult time.  She was awesome.

I really enjoyed the return of all of our favourite characters, including the last 2 Grayson brothers.  The author was already setting us up for the next installment, which I will definitely read. 

The author added in some “action” to keep things moving, and I found that this helped with the pacing of the book.

Overall, it was a great read and I would definitely recommend this book (and series) to anyone looking for a good contemporary romance.

*This book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Deep Autumn Heat (Star Harbor #1) by Elisabeth Barrett

Summary: In order to escape an abusive ex-boyfriend, Lexie Meyers moves across the country from California to Star Harbor, Massachusetts.  An amazing chef and baker, Lexie opens her own restaurant and begins to build a new life for herself.  Sebastian Grayson, celebrity chef and major player, returns to Star Harbor from New York City for a long weekend to reconnect with his 3 brothers.  When the two meet, Seb decides to extend his trip, claiming that he wants to focus on his new restaurant and television show.  In his heart, though, he knows that he wants more time getting to know the intriguing Lexie.  But, Lexie has been burned in the past, and she’s not willing to give her heart away a second time.  As Lexie’s past comes back to haunt her, will she allow Seb close enough to reveal his true feelings for her?  Is she strong enough to admit that she has feelings for him too?

Rating: 4/5

Reasons:  This was an easy, light, romantic read.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I was in the mood for something “fluffy” and this book hit the spot.  I enjoyed the author’s description of the small town and the people living in it.  Lexie was a great female lead – strong, determined, a survivor definitely.  She was so afraid to get hurt again that she tried to bury the feelings she was developing for Seb.  Oh, Seb.  You were kind of obnoxious but I loved you anyways.  Not afraid to tell Lexie what you were feeling, you captured her (and my) heart.  I mean, a tall, dark, handsome, sexy man on a motorcycle who can cook you an amazing breakfast in the morning – what else could a woman need or want?

I know this book is part of a series, so it was interesting to see how the author introduced the other Grayson brothers in this first installment.  The next book is about Seb’s twin, Theo, and I will read that soon.  I really liked how the brothers were such a tight family unit.  I also really loved how they were such troublemakers as children, and all their pranks were hilarious.

My only negative, which isn’t really a negative at all, is that this book reminded me of Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbour Series, which I have already read and absolutely LOVED.  So, I guess compared to those books, this book fell a little flat – BUT I still really, really enjoyed Deep Autumn Heat and plan on reading the next book in the series.

**NOTE: This book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: About Last Night by Ruthie Knox

Summary: Mary Catherine (but her friends call her Cath), is a reformed bad-girl from Chicago now living in London.  Since she was 14, Cath lived a wild life filled with drinking, drugs, and lots of boys.  She was a wild-child into her twenties, but after her mother’s death two years ago, she decides to change her ways and “New Cath” was born.   New Cath doesn’t drink, doesn’t date (in fact, doesn’t even flirt), certainly doesn’t have sex, and works herself to the bone as an assistant to the curator at a museum.  New Cath is doing just fine until one morning she wakes up, hungover, in a stranger’s bed.  Uh oh.

After finding a very drunk Cath late at night, Nev brings her home to keep her out of trouble.  What he doesn’t expect is to feel an instant connection with her.  He can’t get her out of his head.  The two start a heated romance, but Cath won’t open up to him.  She won’t tell him about herself, her past, nothing.  Nev tries to break through, and just when he begins to get a glimpse past Cath’s tough exterior something happens to tear them apart. 

This is a lovely story about love, loss, finding who you are and acceptance.

Rating: 3.5-4/5 stars

Reasons:  I didn’t expect to like this story as much as I did.  Primarily, I really enjoyed the characters.  I thought Cath was a great character – she was strong, determined, definitely flawed, but also lovable.  But, oh Nev! What a great guy.  Sure he had some family issues, but he was just so honest, and strong, and sweet and totally devoted to Cath from the beginning.  I loved the scenes when he was pursuing her.  And I loved that Cath tried so hard to deny her feelings, but then ended up showing up on his doorstep night after night. 

The passion between the two characters was well described, and I totally fell for it.  Hook.  Line.  Sinker.  The romance aspect didn’t feel contrived to me.  I felt that their relationship developed organically – from their instant attraction, to the gradual development of their relationship. 

My only negative (and which brought by rating down from a solid 4/5) was that the book was a little short – I would have liked to see the ending developed a little bit more.  It seemed a bit trite to me how everything worked out (I won’t say more because I don’t want to give it away). 

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an adult fiction romance.  There is a ton of romance, enough steam, and a male character you will definitely have a crush on by the end of the book!

**A copy of the manuscript was provided to me for free by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.