I love a good Sandra Brown book, and this one really stood out for me. This author truly knows how to depict characters and spin a plot and I'm always surprised at the end. Throughout this entire novel, you think you know who the baddies are--and they are the baddies, make no mistake. But there is a little something more.

My Rating: 5 ❀'s
Genre: Romantic Suspense
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Since I try not to include any spoilers in my review, I am not going to say what that little something else is, but it comes at the very end and it sure made me open my eyes wide.

Which is exactly what I love about Sandra Brown, it's not easy to figure out whodunnit, or where she is going to twist the plot. This time, it was really unexpected for me. So much so that I'm itching to get to another Sandra Brown novel just because I'm eager to see what else she has up her sleeve!

But, back to the characters. I loved to hate the Herbold brothers--they made my skin crawl. I was disgusted by the way they thought of the world, as though everyone and everything in it owed them something, and I was especially disgusted by their sexist attitudes, as though women were mere pleasure objects and disposable ones at that. Sandra Brown has that knack of painting characters just so vividly, and it's not just the villains that are so well portrayed. I loved our hero, Jack because he was that quiet sort of hero, the drifter sort that you always wonder about and I saw a vulnerability in him that tugged at my heartstrings. I was also very interested in Ezzy, who was still trying to unravel the McCorkle after nearly seventeen years. I'm glad he finally got his answer, and loved the way the author tied all of these characters together. They seem totally unconnected, and yet...well, dear readers, to say more would be to spoil but that's what Ms. Brown does, spins a tale that leaves you wanting more right till the end--and the end is always a surprise.

This is a favourite novel for me by this author. I loved every word and it's not a mystery I'll soon be forgetting.

Happy Reading,
Jewels
I'm going to start off the new year by wrapping some reviews of books I started in 2016. So today, I'm sharing with you a book I read during the holidays by Debbie Maccomber. I've liked other books I've read by this author so when I saw this one in the store I decided to pick it up for a friend, and got myself a copy too.

My Rating: 3 ❀'s
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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This story started off strong with Ashley trying to catch a flight home just before Christmas and being unable to, which is a problem also for the man behind her in the ticket line, Dash. The two end up travelling together in a rental car, and I have to say, I love the banter between them, and some of the situations they get into are hilarious.

But I'm going to be honest and say I didn't love the book. I think the writing is strong, the characters are great, and Ashley's is especially well developed, but I think the length of the novel as well as the reason why Ashley couldn't get a flight in the first place make the story a little too unstructured. I was thrown right from the beginning as to the why Ashley can't get a flight, and that why was not well developed enough in my books. It was also resolved extremely fast, with little explanation and that whole portion of the book I found silly and thought it added nothing to the plot or romance. It was page time that could have been used for Ashley and Dash's budding romance.

A light holiday read with some fun characters and a happily ever after, a novel that I wish had a sequel so that Dash and Ashley could have a more developed story because they are pretty awesome characters.

Happy Reading,
Jewels
I haven't finished any of my reads that I've been in the middle of for a while. The holidays have been busy. Filled with friends, family and lots of yummy meals. But little reading, sigh. I will probably have a couple of reviews up within the next week, but sadly failed at getting one more book under my belt before 2016 was out.

So, since I have no reviews to share with you, I thought I would share with you the best of my reads for 2016. After all, out of all the books, some shone more than others and deserve a last hurrah. I read a grand total of 61 books, which was far more than I thought I could get to this year, and I read lots that I absolutely loved. In no particular order, here are my best five reads of the year.


A Long Time gone was a lyrical read and I absolutely loved it. It definitely needs to be on this list. If you are looking for a story that is moving, rich and polished, this is one story that will stay you. I had never read Karen White before this novel, but I have read and will read more by this author.








I'm often against reading books that everyone is reading. The hype is a turn off for me, and I saw the movie for this novel early in the year and then HAD to read the book. Gone Girl is a delicious mess and simply blew me away. I had so many emotions while listening to this book that sometimes I had to pause and just be in that emotion and stew before I could continue listening to the story. It's a brilliant piece of writing.







Amanda Stevens is one writer who can creep you out and The Sinner certainly did that. I am enthralled by this series even as I'm disturbed by certain happenings, and anxious about others and this is one series I intend to re-read in 2017 because I adore not just the story but the writing. It's languid, lyrical and just wonderful. The very words themselves are so beautifully crafted that reading these novels is pure pleasure and this latest one made me shiver.





An Affair in Winter took me by surprise and was both a solid romance and erotic delight to read. This story was moving, sizzlingly hot and I totally loved it. There was something about the clandestine affair, the relationships and societal confines and taboos that made this both intriguing and titillating. The happily ever after was well earned and this novel was a strong start to the series with characters I adored from the first chapters.






I loved the premise of Twelve Days of Christmas and I had so much fun listening to this audiobook. It was a delightful, feel good story, but I loved the characters, the lessons learned and the chemistry between the hero and heroine. A refreshing read that tickled me pink, this is one holiday read I'd love to own and plan to get for myself. This book is light and sparkly and just so much fun.





These were my top five reads for 2016 and I hope that 2017 yields equally awesome reading for me. I hope you'll consider one or two of these for the new year, and no matter what you are reading dear readers, I hope you have a fabulous new year.

Happy Reading,
Jewels
The year is winding down--or wrapping up--and I find myself already thinking about 2017. And yet, it's not even Christmas yet. I mean, it's nearly here yes, but that special day hasn't come. And to be honest, this year I've been too busy to enjoy it. It was such a beautiful fall I wasn't ready to go Christmas shopping and to get out my snow pants. I wasn't ready for the cold weather, never mind the snow. But, alas, it's winter and without me really enjoying the season, Christmas is nearly here.

I'm sure I'll enjoy it once it's here here, but for right now I find myself thinking about 2017. What resolutions should I make? Or, more specifically, what reading resolutions should I make? I do know I'm starting to feel like I've read a lot of the same thing lately. It might be a reading slump, but I feel as though I need to more carefully select what I'm reading. So I am giving that some thought.

I'm also thinking of how many books I want to read for next year. I always do the Goodreads challenge and while I kicked my challenge's butt this year, I'm thinking I might set the number just as low again. Just because I want to really look at and select my reads more carefully.

Well, I hope to spend some of the holidays reading a book or two. But I think I'll spend the holidays thinking about what I'd like to 2017 to hold for me. what I'd like to aim for. And something I've gotten away from for far too long is writing, so I'm going to give that creative part of me some thought, time and more from me.

What would you like 2017 to hold? Share in the comments if you wish. I'd love to hear from you.


Happy Reading,
Jewels
I love a good love story, and Marie Force delivers two for two in her The McCarthys of Gansett Island series. Janey and Joe were intriguing in book one of this series, and I was curious to find out what, if anything, was between them. I have to say, I was a little shocked by how things played out.

Series: The McCarthys of Gansett Island, #2
My Rating: 5 ❀'s
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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I was not expecting things to end as they did with Janey and her long time boyfriend. And I was glad they did as I knew little about him except he wasn't around for Janey. Still, I ached for her. And I was angry for her too. I didn't see their relationship ending the way it did, though it certainly had to end.

And since it started out rough, I wasn't expecting things between Joe and Janey to develop as quickly as they did. I was thinking this novel was going to be more a slow burn but instead it was more of a sizzle. Yet, it made perfect sense that such long time friends could come together so....well, perfectly. I felt as though David had stolen so much from them in a way, that I was glad that they found their way to one another. It wasn't always easy. Joe was worried at times about whether they were moving too fast. Janey was scared she didn't know herself, or her feelings. But despite the little hiccoughs, this couple found their way together and it was high time too in my books.

If you've read book one, there's a wedding you won't want to miss in this book ;) I love the way family is such a big part of this series already, as is healing and I can't wait to read more from this author.

Happy Reading,
Jewels