Monday, 13 July 2015

Review & Giveaway: Ask Me Why by Virginia Kantra, Shirley Jump, Marie Force & Jodi Thomas

Ask Me Why by Virginia Kantra, Shirley Jump, Marie Force & Jodi Thomas
Publisher: Jove
Publication date: July 7th 2015
My rating: 4 stars 
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New novellas in the Green Mountain, Harmony, Southern Belle Book Club, and Dare Island series!

From four contemporary romance stars, stories filled with first kisses, first dances, and happily-ever-afters…

You’ll Be Mine by Marie Force: 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.

Midnight Bet by Jodi Thomas: 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…

Wrapped Around Your Finger by Shirley Jump: 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.

Carolina Heart by Virginia Kantra: 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…

My Thoughts on each novella:
Midnight Bet by Jodi Thomas:
This was a double romance, one for each Matheson cousin, Rick and Lizzie.

Rick’s an attorney with a lot of enemies and Trace is a U.S. Marshall who has guarded him in the past. Since they parted ways, Trace hasn’t answered any of his emails or calls, but Rick can’t get her off his mind. Trace can’t hide her feelings when a Rick’s life may be in danger again.

Lizzie’s is the oddball of the Matheson clan. She’s never fit it and she’s long past trying to. Lizzie has a big heart, but someone has it in for her. When it becomes apparent that her life is in serious danger, the town vet and her neighbor, Dr. McCall steps in and an attraction Lizzie never considered starts to simmer between them.

I liked Rick, but Trace was a little too remote for me. I never got a real handle on her. I was rooting for a happy ending for the two, but their story paled compared to Lizzie and McCall’s.  Their  quiet, but moving romance between Lizzie and Dr. McCall. They lived right next door, but Lizzie always thought a broken heart kept McCall at a distance, or maybe that he just preferred animals to people. McCall turned out to be all sorts of perfect for Lizzie and sort of her knight-in-shining-armor!  So very sweet!
Rick & Trace’s romance: 3 Stars
Lizzie & McCall’s romance: 4 Stars

You’ll Be Mine by Marie Force:
I adore Marie Force’s Green Mountain series! Every story is charming with plenty of sizzle, but Will and Cameron’s romance will always hold a special place in my heart. “Getting to attend” their wedding was a real treat. Will and Cameron’s special bond was brilliantly captured in this novella, with some super hot sexy times, of course! The Abbott family’s love and hilarious antics won Cameron’s heart and mine from the first book forward. Fred the Moose, who was partly responsible for bringing Will and Cam together, makes a memorable appearance, rounding out the evening.

I was very intrigued by the prospect of a romance for Patrick, Cameron’s rich city dad, who has a player reputation.  Mary, the Abbott’s store manager captures his eye, and although Mary is flattered, she’s cautious. I’m crossing my fingers, but I guess we’ll see.
4 Stars

Wrapped Around Your Finger by Shirley Jump:
Maggie the opposite of a Southern Belle, she’s a construction worker, but has to go back to her roots for her best friend’s wedding. She’s been dared to bring a date, and if she doesn’t Maggie knows she’ll be paired off with someone’s wacky second cousin. Maggie’s always been attracted to Nick, her sexy co-worker, but he’s had a revolving door of dates (so she thinks) and Maggie doesn’t want to be another one of many, but Nick’s about the only guy she can think of to bring.  Can she keep her feelings in check spending a week pretending to be a couple? Well, we certainly hope not!

Nick was a peach and I just melted over him. Maggie was tough as nails and just wouldn’t budge or believe in Nick’s sincerity. Her constant denial and pushing was seriously annoying. I face palmed several times, but I glad Maggie finally pulled her head out!
3 Stars

Carolina Heart by Virginia Kantra:
Cynthie’s mother has always said “You have a soft heart and willing hands. A pretty girl don’t need more.” So Cynthie has never thought of herself as a smart girl, but she’s trying to make a better life for her and her girls by going back to school.  Max was in love with Cynthie in high school, a fact she never knew, being she was the school’s looker and he was just a nerdy kid. But now, Max is all grown up, back working on Dare Island, and seeing Cynthie again brings back all his feelings.  He’s determined to get the girl this time.

I admired Cynthie so much. She worked hard as a single mom and wanted to be a good example for them. She was cautious about Max, partly because of her girls, but also because her low self-esteem made her feel inadequate for someone successful and smart like Max. Max was such a super sweetie and I fell hard for that man! He helped bolster Cynthie’s confidence and provided support without robbing Cynthie of her dignity.  She in turn cared for Max, something he never had growing up, and it meant the world to him. I loved Max and Cynthie’s story. Virginia Kantra skillfully avoided the insta-love pit a novella can fall into, and instead gave us a slow (but very HOT!) burn romance full of longing and with just enough build-up to make the payoff oh-so-sweet!
4.5 Stars

The publisher has generously provided a Paperback Copy of Ask Me Why to one Readers Den follower. Entrants must be 18 years or older.  Giveaway is open to US or Canadian Residents only. Simply fill in the rafflecopter for a chance to win. 

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  1. When a story has 2 romances, I often myself gravitating towards one more than the other, which seems to have happened to you with this book. I really do love the sound of Lizzie and McCall's romance. Those slow, but really powerful romances are some of my favorite!

    I've never read a Marie Force book before, but I've heard so much about her writing! I love that this novella revisits one of your favorite couples. And steamy times at that! Woo!

    I would be annoyed by Maggie's constant pulling away too! Especially since this is a novella. I do really like the sound of Nick, however. :)

    Ahh this last one sounds perfect for me. I love that it's slow burn but still manages to be really hot. I think I'm going to like this one a lot!

    Wonderful reviews, Rachel.

  2. I'm not the biggest fan of novellas, because they usually seem lacking in some aspect because of their shortness, but this summer I've read a fair number of them and really enjoyed some. Glad to hear that this one was a winner. Nice reviews, Rachel!

  3. I'm completely unfamilliar with all four of these series, but I should really change that! Like Nick, I find myself far more attached to one romance when a story offers two (or three), and I usually get annoyed when the focus shifts. The heat wave around here is killing me, which makes easy, light-hearted and short romances pretty much all I can read. I should probably take this one to the beach one of these days.

  4. I'm not big on novellas, but these sound interesting. I especially like the sound of Nick-the-peach :P

  5. I am with Ramona and Maja. I really struggle with novellas because I feel like I am always wanting more, and then when I do engage in the story it ends. Still this looks like a reasonable read, and I am glad you enjoyed it overall. I like the sound of Nick!

  6. This sounds like a great compilation, isn't it? I feel like it's going to be a start of a brand new addiction though. Lol.

  7. Ooh, thanks for putting this on my radar, Rachel, since I'm a fan of the Dare Island Series and could definitely go for more! ;) I love a slow-burn romance so this is definitely up my alley. Fantastic, comprehensive review, dear!

  8. Thanks for the book giveaway. I am following.

  9. All of these stories sound good, but I am especially interested in reading Carolina Heart.

  10. I do enjoy reading novellas, and from your reviews, each of these seem to be very different and good as well. I hope to read them sometime. Great reviews, Rachel!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  11. I have a hard time with romance novellas because, if I like the couple, I usually want to spend more time with them! But novellas are good when you just need a little visit back to a place you like (like with Marie Force's stories). lovely reviews!


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