Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ask Me Why Anthology w/ Jodi Thomas, Virginia Kantra, Marie Force & Shirley Jump

Ask Me Why was a lovely little anthology. I'd read Kantra before but Thomas, Force and Jump were all new to me. And...not bad! Easy reads, comfortable characters and romances that tugged at the heart just a little. It was perfect for a sweltering Summer afternoon where I just needed something easy and romantic with a tiny bit of heat. 

Each story was a case of knowing each other for ages (in one way or another) and finally finding love and romance sometimes where least expected. It was sweet and just a tiny bit steamy (2.5ish on a 5 scale). While they didn't all blow me away they were all very nice reads and for the three authors I'd not read before I do plan on picking up others of theirs so overall pretty pleased with the antho. 3.5 overall stars. 

When cousins Rick and Lizzy Matheson of Harmony, Texas, wind up on the wrong side of an attempted shooting, they know they’re in deep. Still, the biggest danger is losing their hearts—Rick to an old flame and Lizzy to an old friend she’d never noticed before…

Type:  Contemporary        Heat: 2 out of 5          Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Midnight Bet was my first from Thomas and, gotta say, I enjoyed it! It took a little bit for me to get into her style and word flow but once I did it was easy to go along for the ride with the characters as cousins--Lizzy and Rick--are brought together by a car ride and a stray bullet that might not have been so accidental.

I really liked all of the characters. Lizzy who was boldly quirky and never felt like she fit anywhere and the reclusive veterinarian who lived next door to her were both lovely and sweet as the spark between them finally lit.

And then there was Rick and his lady love, Trace, who is a US Marshall who'd been fighting her feelings for him for months. They weren't as sweet as Lizzy and her Vet--she was more no-nonsense-- but I loved watching them finally work things out and how he got her to admit she loved him too.

Two separate romances--which both totally worked, some life or death moments as Lizzy is targeted for some unknown reason, lots of herd babes and all in 75 pages. Not bad, Thomas. Not bad!

Will Abbott and Cameron Murphy are finally ready to tie the knot—as long as family, friends and a love-struck moose don’t get in the way.

Type: Contemporary         Heat: 2.5 out of 5         Rating: 3 out of 5
So. You'll Be Mine, I think, was very much a story for those who already read the series. It wasn't hard to get into--it's a wedding weekend for the main couple with all the bells, whistles and events--but I think I would have enjoyed it a good bit more had I known and cared about all of the secondary characters and the town and such first.

There wasn't anything I actively didn't like about the read. I mean, there's a good bit of cheesy happening now and again but it's a wedding celebration and that happens. And it was a nice wedding weekend with the rehearsal, everyone coming to town, the night apart before the big day which was spent with friends. But I never felt all that committed to Cam and Will like I think I would have if I'd already known them and seen them falling in love, ya know? Since I wasn't I got a tiny bit bored during some of the wedding details and speeches.

There were some very nice bits though with animals. A smitten moose and lots of dogs that were totally doted on. And it did get me curious about the series as a whole. So I think I'll be checking it out. But as a stand alone read...decent...but not a show stopper. 

Maggie McBride is just one of the guys in the hard-knocks world of construction. Until she’s dared to ask Nick Patterson to a wedding, enticing her to knock down some walls—and risk falling in love.

Type: Contemporary         Heat: 2.5 out of 5          Rating: 3.5 out of 5
*squee* My favoritest of favorite storylines...fake mates! And best friends. Aws but Wrapped Around Your Finger was a cutie of a read and definitely has me wanting more from Shirley Jump.

The quick of it is that Maggie and Nick have worked together for a couple years now on a construction site--yeah, chickie works construction!! yay!--and they joke and tease and she's just one of the guys (at least she thinks so) and now she needs a date to a friends wedding and against her better judgement she asks her playboy bestie to fill in for the job.

They were so cute! I loved that they'd known each other, that they were great friends and he adored her for all of her bits and pieces. Dolled up and girlie for the wedding and dressed down and sweaty on the construction site. And that he'd maybe been crushing on her hardcore without her knowing for quite some time. It was sweet and fun and made me sniffle once. A tiny bit of heat and just a great hero. I liked Maggie too though there at the end she needed a good shaking she was running so hard from what was in front of her. That brought it down from a 4 for me. I kind of needed one more chapter or just a couple more pages after she'd run so hard for things to work out perfectly on my reader end. But it was a great read and I'll be back for more. 

Determined to leave her wild past behind, Cynthie Lodge is forging a new life for herself and her daughters—one that’s man-free and drama-free. But when her high school crush shows up on Dare Island, he’s determined to make her break her rules… 

Type: Contemporary         Heat: 2.5 out of 5         Rating: 4 out of 5
Oh, yes! Carolina Heart was an excellent way to end the anthology. It's a series I've enjoyed so much but it works completely as a stand alone. A slightly nerdy hero who blushes and gets flustered but has some oh so sexy moves and is an amazing man. And a single mama doing everything she can to give her daughters a good life and plan for their future. And who had had his eye since they were teenagers without her even knowing.

I loved these two. Everything about them. Their history, the slow romance (the novella goes over 5-6 months), the heart and love and sweetness of Cynthie and her daughters and Max getting to know them. Plus a little steam as he woos her something fierce and finally gets her to see him and that he wants to be a part of their lives. Just a lovely romance and start to a new family. Kantra left me smiling and wishing the novella was just a little bit longer so I could spend more time with them.

Have you read any of these ladies?
Have a favorite known-each-other-forever romance?

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