Author Archives for Isabel Jolie

Things We Never Said by Samantha Young

May 19, 2019 8:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Samantha Young, the writer of the On Dublin Street series, creates a world you'll want to escape to, and possibly move to, in The Hart's Boardwalk series. Things We Never Said marks the third in the series, following One Real Thing (book 1) and Every Little Thing (book 2).  I'm gonna go out on a limb and say there's definitely at least one more book, because all signs point to book 4 being about Emery and one of the town's maybe bad guys.  Oh, and I will definitely be reading it. In Things We Never Said, the characters' back story carries you out of the seaside town quite a bit. Flashbacks throughout the book keep the reader turning the pages, trying to figure out what happened in the past.   This is a second chance your heart will pull for, all while enjoying time away in a New England seaside resort small town complete with pizzeria, bar and hotel.    

Dance with Me by Kristen Proby

May 15, 2019 8:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Adored this romance.  The twelfth book in With Me In Seattle series by Kristen Proby, I picked it out because it's a new release and it's been a while since I've read a Kristen Proby book.  I've read several of her series, but for whatever reason didn't dive into the Seattle ones.  Which, given Seattle is the one city I'd move to in a heartbeat if my husband and daughters agreed, doesn't really make sense.   Anyway, the whole series just moved up onto my "must read" list. Starla and Levy take centerplace of this one, but you can tell as you read it there are several good love stories among their friends and families.   We didn't cross ELEVEN couples, so I'm gonna guess not all of the characters in the eleven prior books have a role in this one. This one includes a little bit of dramatic suspense.  The intrigue keeps you turning the pages even after the H/H know they've found the one who will be, as Starla says, "the last man to see me naked."      

Method by Kate Stewart

May 13, 2019 8:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

OK.  First, can we take a moment to appreciate this book cover?  If it came in poster form I'd be willing to hang it on my wall. Kate Stewart uses flashbacks to tell us the story of how Lucas and Mila fell in love, while we read through chapters getting closer and closer to the present day.   This romance shows marriage isn't always easy and it's a choice we make everyday. Lucas uses the method approach to acting and completely alters himself in the pursuit of his art.  Grief overwhelms him after his best friend commits suicide.   Mila tries to hang on. Method submerges the reader into the world of acting and Hollywood while unfolding a love story that will stay with you. Side note - Two characters, Stella and Reid, from Drive, another book I posted about, make an appearance here.  This isn't a series at all, but it's rather cool how Lucas in Method happens to have played the lead in the film Drive, based on the book Stella wrote about her experience with her rock star husband.    

Limit by Molly McAdams

May 12, 2019 8:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The third book in the Rebel series, which is a spin-off of her Redemption series, Limit brings back all the old characters for a page turning conclusion. This time, it's Conor's time to fall.  It's a good love story, but this is really romantic suspense.   Both series are mafia stories, but not your mother's mafia.   This is modern day, iPhone carrying, tech savvy law breakers where the hackers are as important as the highly trained assassins. These guys have broken away from the mob and started a nonprofit that helps women in abused homes.   Scary tattooed guys, rough pasts, big hearts.  The women rock as iron strong powerhouses. The series should really be read in book order.  You'd probably figure it all out skipping around.  You could also probably figure out Game of Thrones if you started on the last season, but no one recommends that! Book order:   Redemption Series - Blackbird, Firefly, Nightshade    Rebel Series - Lyric, Lock, Limit  

Drive by Kate Stewart

May 8, 2019 8:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

This book blew me away when I read it in 2018.  Almost a year later, it's still with me, the story lurking in the back of my mind and coming front and center when a certain song plays on the radio or I stare at the steering wheel in my hand while lost in my mind. The story starts off with Stella learning about an ex getting married.  She's supposed to fly home, to her husband, but she decides to drive.   And as songs play on the radio, she thinks back over her past decisions that involve two men.   I became absorbed trying to figure out what happened, what she ultimately decided, which man married someone else and which man was she driving home to? The story reminded me of a book I read ages ago, "Love is a Mix Tape", by Rob Sheffield.   That one hit home because, and I guess I'm giving my age away here, but my mixed cassette tapes never failed to bring me back to that moment in time when I loved a song so much I'd wait for it on the radio to copy it.   Cassette tapes journaled my formative years. I suspect Kate... View Article

London Lovers Volume One by Amy Daws

May 5, 2019 8:28 am Published by Leave your thoughts

London Lovers,Volume One includes three books:Becoming Us, A Broken Us,and London Bound. As the names imply, Becoming Us and A Broken Us tie together.   These two are essentially one book.  You'd never read Becoming Us without also reading A Broken Us. Becoming Us covers Brody and Finley during their college years, or really, their senior year.   And, if you don't read the second epilogue, you can close this book and be happy.  If you read the second epilogue, you'll keep on reading to follow them in their post college years.   I kind of like this stories approach because, let's face it, relationships in college ARE different than post college relationships.   Brody and Finely have one of the best first dates together (in college) that I've ever read.   In A Broken Us, the two face heartbreaking, emotional issues that ultimately brings them back together and to a more mature, solid, real place.   Yeah, you'll cry during the second book. London Bound tells the story of Finley's crazy best friend Leslie and the guy that falls in love with her 'sparkle' at first sight.   This is more of a romantic comedy, with Leslie's gay roommate, Frank, making the whole story fun while... View Article

Hopeful by Louise Bay

May 1, 2019 5:53 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Hopeful tells the story of two college kids who fall in love but are too young to figure out how to stay together, and maybe too wise to make those sacrifices.  Eight years later, Joel returns to London and they have a second chance.  The story unfolds through flashbacks to the past mixed in with present day occurrences.  I couldn't put the book down as I tried to piece together what had happened and then, more importantly, what was going to happen.  In the end, this is a love story that a year after I read it, it's still with me. Oh, and the sex.  This book has a few scenes you'll want to earmark to re-read.  So freaking good. This book turned me onto this author and I love her work.  One day I'll do a whole page on all of her books with a reader order, although, she does true standalones so reader order doesn't really matter.    

The Mister by EL James

April 28, 2019 8:44 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The Mister by EL James tells the love story of Maxim and Alessia.  Let's just say it's not at all what one would expect from an EL James novel titled "The Mister". It's good though!  The romance stays with you after you finish reading.  The suspense that EL James seems to gravitate to is definitely present in this book.  What's missing?  BDSM.  Yep.   Pretty much totally absent.  If you were expecting another peek into doms and subs - nope, not what you're getting. Is it worth reading?  Yeah, it is.   Especially if you are an anglophile or just like stories set in Europe.  Or if you like love stories where the hero is super wealthy and the heroine cleans houses for a living.   Or you want to be in the know on EL James' newest novel. Where does it rank on the believability scale?  I mean, maybe it's a little low on the whole "yeah, this could totally really happen" scale.  But, it's more believable than say, a Mission Impossible film, and there are legions of people who keep watching those movies.   I could detail the points I personally scratch my head on, but I'd give away too much and... View Article

The Blindfold Club

April 23, 2019 9:12 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The Blindfold Club by Nikki Sloane includes six books in total plus a novella.  These are true standalones, which means you aren't left feeling like you haven't finished the book at the end.   The first three books cover "The Monsanto Years". Three Simple Rules kick starts The Monsanto Years with Logan and Evie. I read these books in 2018 and their love story still makes me feel warm inside. Nikki Sloane knows how to write sex.   Yes,  blindfold club = sex club.  Strong, empowered women fill these stories.   The club itself allows the women to do what they want with dignity intact.   If I explained how the club manages this, I'd give too much away.  Just know, it's not a situation where the women have no other options or have hit rock bottom.