Saturday, March 11, 2017

Review: The VIP Doubles Down

The VIP Doubles Down The VIP Doubles Down by Nancy Herkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE VIP DOUBLES DOWN
Wagers of the Heart – Book 3
By
Nancy Herkness

SYNOPSIS
Gavin Miller, the billionaire author of a bestselling thriller series, struggles with a grim secret: he hasn’t written a word in more than a year.
Writer’s block is killing his spirit and jeopardizing his contracts with his publisher and his Hollywood producers. Prodded by his agent, Gavin reluctantly agrees to see Allie Nichols, a sassy physical therapist tasked with treating the novelist’s severe neck and shoulder pain—and maybe his writer’s block, too.
The tempestuous Gavin and no-nonsense Allie soon find themselves entangled in a steamy affair that sparks Gavin’s creativity again. But their manipulative ex-lovers and Gavin’s lingering childhood scars threaten their happily ever after. Can Gavin and Allie find their way to love when the stakes are high and the obstacles are overwhelming?

REVIEW
Every once in a while I have the privilege of reading a story that reaches down deep, that connects on a special level. It is these stories that are filled with the same magic that the fairytales of my youth captivated me and drew me into their special world. A world where the hearts of the hero and heroine twist and bleed in their misery and longing for what we long for most—love, kindness and acceptance.
Within a few opening pages, I began feeling the magic draw me into the story of Gavin and Allie as each fought their own demons. But there was more. Having had the opportunity to read two previous novel series written by Nancy Herkness, I have come to know her and her style of writing. I also have a common touch point with my love of West Virginia and the wonderful years that I had the privilege to live in the same area of the woods where she grew up.
Suddenly, I realized, that this was more than just another of her very well written books. This is a book of her heart. It comes out in the pain of the author struggling to write. It shows in the despair at trying to grasp for words from the thin air of a muse who has left residence and taken her word-craft with her. Only one who has starred into that bleak dark void could understand and write of it with such passion. I felt the pain, saw the tears slide off the page.
Introducing Allie, a gentle woman born and bred in the depths of Appalachian West Virginia, was the light to the darkness of Gavin. Even though she had demons of her own, the light that glowed from within and the prevailing positive outlook on life of her people kept the story light. Overtones of a masterful Literary “Beauty and the Beast” came to mind.
The VIP Doubles Down is the third book in “The Wager of the Heart” Series. Each of the books is easily read as a stand-alone novel, but read together as a unit, each shows the growth and development of her characters as the overall storyline progresses. The growth of maturity in the relationships between the characters and the affect of love on the lives of the couples graces the pages. Love is prevalent in living and lives, not words.
With the writing of this, her third book in the series, Nancy Herkness shared her heart. She poured her laughter and tears into the pages and allowed us to see the soul of a writer. Oh yes, she still had those steamy scenes that readers seek, but the soul of this book went far deeper and touched the very soul of this reader.
I wish there were more than FIVE STARS to give this book. I love how she ended the story and would love to have been able to turn another page or two to see where it went.
A CEO, a quarterback, and a writer walked into a bar. . .”
Gavin waited for the ripple of laughter to die down before he said, “And they came out better men.”

ABOUT NANCY HERKNESS
Nancy Herkness is the author of the award-winning Whisper Horse series, published by Montlake Romance, as well as several other contemporary romance novels. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America RITA® award. Her new series, Wager of Hearts, follows the romantic adventures of three very wealthy men who make a life-changing bet.
A member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, and Novelists, Inc., Nancy has received many honors for her work, including the Golden Leaf Award, the Maggie Award in Contemporary Romance, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.
Nancy graduated from Princeton University where she majored in English. In addition to her academic work in literature, she was accepted into Princeton's creative writing program, and her senior thesis was a volume of original poetry.
After graduating, Nancy had a varied career which included retail management and buying, COBOL programming, computer systems sales and marketing, and a brief stint as a receptionist at a dental office. Once her children were in school full-time, she sat down and wrote A Bridge to Love, her first romance novel to be published.
Nancy finds nothing odd about writing in the genre she calls “the “Rodney Dangerfield of the literary world. It gets no respect.” She explains: “I was trained as a poet, but from the day my grandmother gave me my first Georgette Heyer novel I wanted to write romance. Romance is the genre of optimism, and that's why I like it.”
A native of West Virginia, Nancy now lives in suburban New Jersey with her husband, two mismatched dogs, and an elderly cat. She cheers loudly for the New Jersey Devils hockey team.

For more information, visit Nancy’s website: www.NancyHerkness.com
Or email Nancy at nancyherkness@comcast.net .



View all my reviews

Review: The VIP Doubles Down

The VIP Doubles Down The VIP Doubles Down by Nancy Herkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SYNOPSIS
Gavin Miller, the billionaire author of a bestselling thriller series, struggles with a grim secret: he hasn’t written a word in more than a year.
Writer’s block is killing his spirit and jeopardizing his contracts with his publisher and his Hollywood producers. Prodded by his agent, Gavin reluctantly agrees to see Allie Nichols, a sassy physical therapist tasked with treating the novelist’s severe neck and shoulder pain—and maybe his writer’s block, too.
The tempestuous Gavin and no-nonsense Allie soon find themselves entangled in a steamy affair that sparks Gavin’s creativity again. But their manipulative ex-lovers and Gavin’s lingering childhood scars threaten their happily ever after. Can Gavin and Allie find their way to love when the stakes are high and the obstacles are overwhelming?

REVIEW
Every once in a while I have the privilege of reading a story that reaches down deep, that connects on a special level. It is these stories that are filled with the same magic that the fairytales of my youth captivated me and drew me into their special world. A world where the hearts of the hero and heroine twist and bleed in their misery and longing for what we long for most—love, kindness and acceptance.
Within a few opening pages, I began feeling the magic draw me into the story of Gavin and Allie as each fought their own demons. But there was more. Having had the opportunity to read two previous novel series written by Nancy Herkness, I have come to know her and her style of writing. I also have a common touch point with my love of West Virginia and the wonderful years that I had the privilege to live in the same area of the woods where she grew up.
Suddenly, I realized, that this was more than just another of her very well written books. This is a book of her heart. It comes out in the pain of the author struggling to write. It shows in the despair at trying to grasp for words from the thin air of a muse who has left residence and taken her word-craft with her. Only one who has starred into that bleak dark void could understand and write of it with such passion. I felt the pain, saw the tears slide off the page.
Introducing Allie, a gentle woman born and bred in the depths of Appalachian West Virginia, was the light to the darkness of Gavin. Even though she had demons of her own, the light that glowed from within and the prevailing positive outlook on life of her people kept the story light. Overtones of a masterful Literary “Beauty and the Beast” came to mind.
The VIP Doubles Down is the third book in “The Wager of the Heart” Series. Each of the books is easily read as a stand-alone novel, but read together as a unit, each shows the growth and development of her characters as the overall storyline progresses. The growth of maturity in the relationships between the characters and the affect of love on the lives of the couples graces the pages. Love is prevalent in living and lives, not words.
With the writing of this, her third book in the series, Nancy Herkness shared her heart. She poured her laughter and tears into the pages and allowed us to see the soul of a writer. Oh yes, she still had those steamy scenes that readers seek, but the soul of this book went far deeper and touched the very soul of this reader.
I wish there were more than FIVE STARS to give this book. I love how she ended the story and would love to have been able to turn another page or two to see where it went.
A CEO, a quarterback, and a writer walked into a bar. . .”
Gavin waited for the ripple of laughter to die down before he said, “And they came out better men.”


View all my reviews

Monday, August 1, 2016

Review: Relativity

Relativity Relativity by Antonia Hayes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Relativity was a beautiful, but tragic story. It was a story of struggle and survival by a little boy who knew he was different from others in the world around him. We were provided the opportunity to see life through his eyes, to experience a viewpoint that few are allowed to see. At the same time, through flashbacks, we see the heartbreaking story of a young family torn apart by tragic circumstance and grievous consequence to one night turned upside down. The entire storyline is viewed through the eyes of the mother, the young son with s special genius in mathematics and physics, and later the father. Together, the three telling of the same story come together to give us a spell binding story line that would allow me to put the book down. My heartstrings rooted for healing for the child and the family, but life does not always give us what we want. The ending was a gut twisting surprise that left this reviewer with an empty box of kleenex and a longing for a few more chapters.
Antonia Hayes did a marvelous job of character development for her central characters. You felt every sigh and breath and saw every tear slide down the page as you reached to turn for the next ragged breath.
Though not the easiest read of the year, Relativity is one of my top reads,for dynamic stories. It made me think. It made me feel deeply. It made me,want to live my life to its fullest. If give this book a good 4.5 stars f I r the creativity and story telling skills shared with us by Ms Hayes.
Relativity was provided to me as an ARC to read and assess in exchange for a fair and honest review of the material

View all my reviews

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Review: The Girl from Summer Hill

The Girl from Summer Hill The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

The Girl from Summer Hill was one of the most creative and fun re-telling of Pride and Prejudice's' stories that I have come across. I have always loved the way Jude 'Deveraux writes, looking forward to each of her new releases for years. When she took on the challenge of mashing Jane Austin's classic tale up with her own wonderful modern romantic summer style of romance storytelling, I knew we would all be in for a true treat. I was not wrong.
From the opening page, to the final chapter, Jude kept this reader in stitches while simultaneously steamrolling us forward in a rollicking narrative that left us with no doubt that we had landed in the land of Austen (Jane, that is). In the true style of Deveraux, she threw in a good dose of mystery to keep us and the characters within the pages guessing as to what the next turn would bring.
Short of being a royal stick-in-the-mud, I can't think of a reason that any reader who loves Jane Austen and/or Jude Deveraux, or just a fantastic summer read, for that matter, would want to miss a chance to read THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL. This reviewer gives this delightful novel a full FIVE STAR review for the storyline, captivating characters, and plain fun of this wonderful summer read.
Blogging Under the Shade Tree aka Shade Tree Book Reviews was provided an ARC of THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL to read and assess in exchange for a fair and honest review of the material.

View all my reviews

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review: Stranger on the Shore

Stranger on the Shore Stranger on the Shore by Marilyn Brant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

STRANGER ON THE SHORE
(Mirabelle Harbor, Book 4)
By
Marilyn Brant

REVIEW:
The Mirabelle Harbor Book Series has been a delight for the reading pallet as Marilyn Brant has released each of her continuing stories about the families and interesting characters that have grown-up and live in and around Mirabelle Harbor. With each addition to the series, we have come to know the characters a little more, laughing at their foibles and commiserating with them over their sorrows and mistakes of life.
I first read little hints, snippets and short chapters and tantalizers about this book last year in a group where she was sharing her ideas about Stranger on the Shore. I loved where the story was going then, so was excited to finally have the completed release ARC copy to finally read the whole story.
Unlike the other Mirabelle Harbor stories, this story takes place on the coast and glorious beaches of Florida instead of the Midwest. This time instead of young love finding its way, it is a story of healing and of love coming softly to a woman in her forties who finds herself homeless, childless, and divorced. It wound its way through the hilarity of a gaggle of mismatched women who bonded together through a common love of crafting for a local beach shop, to care for each other and lift each other up through their trials and sorrows. They did this all while having fun and bonding as only women can, along the way.
Love crept softly through the crevices of this story and amongst this gaggle of women as it slowly melted the hard place that had formed in Marianna’s heart. When her elder sister shows up with Marianna’s daughter, it all goes to hell in a handbasket. For it turns out that the healing needs to go deeper than just the loss of a marriage, but also needs to find peace between sisters. In doing so, Marianna finally finds herself free to love again.
The summer on the beach and the stranger on the shore is more than a shallow summer read. Though light with characters who keep you in stitches, as only Marilyn knows how to write about, each one adds her piece of blessing to the recipe for a wonderful story with a magical ending. There is no disappointment in this book that is perfect to carry to the beach (or wherever your vacation takes you) this summer.


View all my reviews