Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Book Bites: Learning to Ride by Erin Knightley & The McCullagh Inn in Maine by Jen McLaughlin

The tagline for the Bookshots Flames line from James Patterson is "Novels you can devour in a few hours. And ...impossible to stop reading" and damn if that wasn't true.

Learning to Ride by Erin Knightley

A cowboy, a city girl, a sleepy little town and unstoppable attraction...Learning to Ride pulled me in and wouldn't let go.

The quick of it is that Madeline's come to a small town in Texas to manage a merger for her company. She plans on sticking around for a year, not getting attached, then heading back to the big city and career advancement. Little did she know a one night stand with what turned out to be a local heartthrob--and former rodeo star-- would muck that all up and leave her heart in a tangle.

"If you can't find something in New York, it doesn't exist."

"What about peace and quiet"

She rolled her eyes. "I should have said, if you can't find it in New York, you don't need it."

"Yet you had to come all the way to Texas to find a date."

He laughed when she swatted at him. She shook her head even as she suppressed a grin. "Very funny. And this is not a date."

"Course not," he said easily, his rough velvet voice nearly a caress. 

I really liked these two. They're opposite as can be when it comes to pretty much everything other than having a little lust fest over each other but they so worked. Tanner is one of those soul-deep good guys that you can't help but fall for. And Madeline. Well, she's a little prickly and a total fish out of water but I enjoyed her and seeing her getting to know the town--the people, the nosiness, the local book club, etc--and seeing them change her mind about what life in a small town was like. These two were fun, sexy, and entertaining as they felt each other out, butted heads a little and then fell into a sweet little relationship.

Knightley usually does sweet historical romances so it was interesting getting to see her take on a contemporary with a little heat. Details were kept somewhat light but it was nicely done and she felt like a natural stepping into the contemporary world.

All in all, Knightley delivered a fun romance that swept me away and had me smiling...and losing a few hours sleep. Seriously. I couldn't stop reading. Love that!

Rodeo king Tanner Callen doesn't want to be tied down. When he sees Madeline Harper at a local honky-tonk and everything about her screams New York, he brings out every trick in his playbook to take her home. But soon he learns that he doesn't just want her for a night and, instead, hopes for forever...

Challenges: Pick Your Genre (contemporary) | New to You (new genre for author) | Goodreads

The McCullagh Inn in Maine (McCullagh Inn #1) by Jen McLaughlin

A not so squeaky clean heroine on the run, the man who broke her heart a decade earlier, a quaint New England Inn in need of repair...emotions are flying in The McCullagh Inn in Maine.

The quick of it is that Chelsea's aunt left her an old Inn in Maine. It's the perfect solution and just what she needs to start over now that she's on the run from her former life and the dangers it entailed--yeah there might be some very bad people after her. What she absolutely does not need is her old flame trying to get back in her good graces but that's just what Jeremy is bound and determined to do. He's been looking for the woman who stole his heart a decade earlier and he'll be damned if he's gonna lose a second chance at a happily ever after with her. Now to just convince her to give him a try...one Inn repair at a time.

This one was interesting. Chelsea isn't your typical heroine. She's done a lot of iffy things over the years and comes from a family that rides the edge of the law and usually falls on the wrong side of things. She's prickly and running scared from the life she's trying to escape but I managed to like her. She's a tough cookie for sure. Jeremy was a nice guy. Determined to win his girl back and a calm to her edgy fear. He can go all sexy growly alpha but also has a playful side.
He lowered his face to mine, his eyes seductive.

I closed my eyes, breath held, ready to be kissed, and then he...

Ran the paint roller down my face.

Fricking Jeremy Holland. 
There's a lot of growly tension between them over their past and, whew boy, Jeremy has to work right hard to get his girl. No matter the bad blood, though, the chemistry is definitely still there and even after all these years the two just get each other completely. Some nice sexy moments, some silly ones as they work on the inn and some that'll get your blood pumping as Chelsea's past catches up to her all made for one unputdownable read.
Her second chance at love. . .

Chelsea McCullagh escapes to Maine with a gun and fresh bruises. She's ready to begin anew-until she runs into her old flame, Jeremy Holland. As he helps to fix her inn, her heart heals and they rediscover what they once loved about each other. But as the two play house, it starts to seem too good to last. . .

Challenges: New to You (series) | Goodreads

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