Tag Archive | Contemporary

Romance is in the Air…. Propose To Me! (Giveaway)

February. The month of Valentine’s Day, Romance & Love.
And what’s more romantic than a marriage proposal?

In my short story debut to the publishing world, Running Late, featured in the anthology Propose To Me, Paige is expecting a breakup, but like all of the heroine’s in the anthology, receives a marriage proposal instead.

What I love about Paige and Will’s relationship is that it’s very normal. A couple who meets in college and falls in love. I normally write (and read) about vampires and witches and other paranormal creatures, but writing about a completely normal couple was a refreshing change. Some relationships can stand completely on their own.


Scroll down to enter an ebook copy of the book (Kindle, EPUB or PDF.)
AND be sure to check out the rest of the great blogs participating in this blog hop!

But first…. enjoy a short excerpt from Running Late!


After a shower and a wardrobe change, followed by hair and makeup, Paige was ready.“There,” Lauren said as she bobby pinned the last stray hair out of Paige’s face. “He’ll wonder if you’re even the same girl!”

“Hopefully that won’t scare him off,” Paige said with a laugh. “He did buy coffee for the me with the untamed hair and grunge clothes.”

“He probably thought you were homeless,” Lauren joked.

Paige glared and punched her friend playfully in the arm. She couldn’t be too offended since she’d had the exact same thought after all. “I don’t do mornings.”

“Believe me, I know.”

At 5:40, the girls headed down to the front entrance of the dorm. Lauren insisted on escorting Paige, under the pretense of being a witness, just in case Will was actually a serial killer. Paige knew the real reason; her friend wanted to get a good look at Will, to see if he lived up to Paige’s description.

It was exactly 5:45 when a green SUV pulled to a stop in front of them. Paige waited with baited breath until she saw Will step around the front of the vehicle and smile at her. He looked delicious in a nice pair of blue jeans and a crisp button down dress shirt. Until that moment, she hadn’t been aware that college guys even owned dress shirts. She hadn’t been quite sure what to wear herself, but Lauren had insisted that you can never be overdressed. She had said, “It’s best to look better than everyone else, versus looking like a slob in comparison.” Therefore, Lauren had helped her pick out an earth tone print dress from Paige’s closet, paired with Lauren’s brown cowboy boots and brown leather jacket.

“You look amazing,” Will said as he stopped directly in front of her. They stood awkwardly for a moment, neither quite sure of the appropriate greeting. A hug? A handshake? Surely it was too soon for a kiss.

Lauren broke the tension. “Hi, I’m Lauren, Paige’s roommate.”

“Will,” he introduced himself, offering Lauren his hand.

“Now, I want you two to have a good time, but I expect her home by 9:30,” Lauren deadpanned.

Will looked confused for a brief moment before Paige cut in. “She’s kidding.” She forced a laugh, then glared at her friend.

Lauren grinned innocently. “But seriously, before you go, stand next to each other and smile!”

Will put one arm around Paige’s shoulder. Even through her jacket, she could feel the warmth of his hand on her skin, sending tingles of pleasure straight down her arm. She looked up at him, a smile on her face. Lauren quickly snapped a couple photos on her phone and said her farewells.

“Shall we?” Will gestured to the SUV.

“Let’s shall.”

Will opened her door and helped her in, then returned to the driver’s side.

“Where are we eating?” she asked to fill the silence.

“Have you ever been to Donatelli’s?” he asked.

She shook her head.

“It’s a family restaurant in a suburb northeast of here. They’ve been around for years and years. My parents took me and my sisters there a lot as kids.”

“Sounds good,” Paige replied. “How many sisters do you have?”

“Two. I’m in the middle. Rachel is twenty-five and Sarah is seventeen.”

“Do you get along with them?”

“For the most part. I think there’s a big enough age gap between each of us that we don’t have as much sibling rivalry as we would have if we were closer in age.”

Paige nodded.

“What about you?” Will asked.

“What about me?”

He chuckled. “Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

“Nope. It’s just me.”

“Do you like being an only child?”

She shrugged. “I don’t have anything to compare it to.” She paused in thought for a moment. “I always picture myself having at least three kids though, in the future.”

Was it bad dating etiquette to talk about how many kids you want on a first date? She blushed, afraid she’d made a faux pas. Too late now.

“Only three?” Will asked. She looked up at him in surprise, his face was dead serious. “I want at least seven. Maybe more.”

Her mouth fell open. “Seriously?”

He broke into a grin, then laughed. “No. I don’t think I could handle that many. I want at least two—that much I know.”

Paige tried not to smile. She failed miserably and broke into a fit of giggles as well.

Despite her first date nerves, Paige found it easy to keep up a conversation with Will. By the time they arrived at the restaurant twenty minutes later, it felt as if they were old friends. Almost. She was still a little nervous, but she was feeling more and more comfortable with Will as the night wore on. They talked about their hometowns, their school careers, their childhood friends. They discovered that both of their families spent a week or two each summer driving up to Northern Minnesota and renting a cabin on one of the many lakes. For all they knew, it was possible they had spent time at the same resort at one point during their childhood. Not likely, but it was fun to imagine.

When Will returned her to the dorms later that night, their bellies full and leftovers in a box, Paige was both sad the night was over, and relieved to be able to relax in her dorm and tell Lauren all about the date.

“So, this is me,” Paige said, looking out the passenger side window at the dorm looming before them.

“This is you,” he echoed.

Paige turned to face Will.

“I had a—” they each started at the same time. They both stopped and laughed.

Will gestured for Paige to go first.

“I had a really good time.”

“Me, too.”

Paige stared into his eyes and melted. She seriously felt like her insides were turning to goo. Her heart sped up as she stared at the smile playing on his lips.

Will leaned forward and Paige froze. Was he going in for a kiss?

He continued to lean closer and finally she snapped to it and leaned forward to meet him. Their lips met and Paige savored the warmth of his mouth on hers. The kiss was short, but intense. Paige felt like she was soaring. She felt like she could run a marathon. She had no idea how she would possibly sleep tonight after experiencing this kiss.

They slowly parted, eyes opening and staring at each other. Paige felt a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. It matched the one she saw on Will. They took their time, just staring at each other.

A horn honked somewhere outside their world, breaking the moment.

Will quickly opened the driver’s door and climbed out, walking around to open her door.

He offered his hand and helped her out.

“I had a great time,” she said.

“You already said that.” He grinned at her.

She blushed and looked down at her boots.

“Will I see you tomorrow?” he asked her. “At the coffee shop?”

She nodded. “You can bet on it.”

He walked her to the door, and as she made her way down the hall, she could feel his eyes still on her. She looked back before she turned the corner and waved. He waved back, then returned to his SUV and drove off.

Paige rounded the corner and let her body sink back against the wall.



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REVIEW: Finding Clara by Jannie Lund

Finding Clara by Jannie Lund

Read: October 26, 2015

Format: Kindle Ebook

My Book Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance


Eve Quinn was kidnapped. 27 years later, Clara Christensen discovers she is really Eve – a victim of a ‘white laundering kidnapping’ scheme. Her adoptive parents, now dead, had no clue their daughter was procured illegally. Now, Clara finds herself in a foreign country on the doorstep of her birth parents, preparing to meet the family she never knew—the family who has spent 27 long years waiting for her return.

In a twist of fate, the Quinn’s had taken in (though not officially adopted) a young man named Duncan. A man who would go on to meet and fall in love with a Danish woman named Clara while on vacation, only to find the phone number she gave him illegible.

This was my first book by Jannie Lund and it will not be my last. She has a way of making the characters real and come to life.

This is a sweet, clean romance. It’s also Clara’s story of discovering who she really is, learning to adapt to a large family who remembers her as a baby, and her parents having to realize that the Eve they lost will never return, and having to learn to accept Clara as she is.

And, as far-fetched as it is that the Duncan Clara met on vacation would just happen to be the same man her biological parents took in as a boy it’s easily overlooked. This is a feel good story I didn’t want to end.

Should you read Finding Clara? YES! If you enjoy sweet contemporary romances I think you’ll love this story.


Disclaimer: I work for the company that released this book, however I receive no monetary compensation for any sales of this book. My employment with the company in no way changes my opinions or rating of the book.

REVIEW: The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot

The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot

Series: Heather Wells #5

Read: October 11-12 2015

Format: Audiobook

My Book Rating: 5/5 Stars

Narrator Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance (New Adult)


Meg Cabot’s Mediator and 1-800-Missing series’ are two of my all time favorites. The last time I ventured into her adult books I was less than impressed. So, I shied away from them for a while. Therefor, this is my first Heather Wells book, and after reading (rather listening to…) this book, I’m kicking myself for not picking them up sooner!

Former pop superstar Heather Wells is in the midst of planning her wedding to PI Cooper Cartwright while working her job, helping run a dorm at the local collage. Things are going smoothly until a resident in her building ends up dead.

The events in this book are improbable and crazy, but Meg Cabot has a way of making them work. She makes a book about a murdered girl seem lighthearted. Her characters are fun, interesting and at times, down right hilarious.

Possibly my favorite character was Detective Canavan. He wasn’t in the book much, but he stole his scenes. I laughed out loud when he told Heather she has a habit of “kicking up shit.”

This book is definitely for the older teens to new adult crowd, but while there is sex, it’s pretty much innuendo and “off camera.” Which is what I prefer.

I’m eager to read the rest of the series and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys lighthearted mysteries with romance and humor.

REVIEW: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Read: September 2015

Format: Audiobook

My Book Rating: 4/5 Stars

Narrator Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary YA

Prior to this book, my only knowledge of John Green came from seeing the movie The Fault In Our Stars, and hearing about him from some of the Nerdfighters I used to follow on YouTube. I finally caved and decided to find out why people loved John Green so much. I’m glad I did because, though I wasn’t so sure about this book in the beginning, I had quite a laugh on the journey to THE END.

Colin Singleton has only dated girls named Katherine—nineteen girls named Katherine. There’s just something about that name that draws him in. After being dumped by yet another Katherine, his best friend Hassan convinces him to go off on a road trip with him.

Together the young men find themselves in Gunshot, Tennessee where they meet a lively cast of characters and Colin works on a mathematical formula to predict how long a relationship will last, using his own relationships with his many Katherines.

I’ll be honest, the mathematical theorem was ridiculous. All of the math jargon went right over my head because really, math and I don’t get along well. I spent quite some time trying to figure out what the actual plot of the book was, and though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it for some time, I didn’t really care because I was laughing out loud at some of the things Colin and, more notably Hassan, said. Those two are absolutely ridiculous together and I loved it.

In the end, the story did have a conclusion and I realized the plot was really Colin coming to terms with being dumped by his latest Katherine and learning to move on.

If you like comical, character driven stories you may want to give this one a try. If you’re looking for something with a lot of action and drama, look elsewhere.

REVIEW: Should’ve Said No by Tracy March

Should’ve Said No by Tracy March

Read: September 2015

Format: Kindle Ebook

My Book Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance


I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Should’ve Said No is exactly the type of romance I enjoy reading. It’s clean, you know there’s going to be a happy ending, the characters are easy to like, and there’s an actual plot – not just relationship drama!

After losing her job at the Smithsonian, Lindsey takes a job as a museum curator in the small town of Thistle Bend, Colorado. Moving from D.C. to this tiny town is a bit of a culture shock for her, but she makes the best of it, knowing she’ll be out of there within a year or so.

Carden is basically a dream boat. Not only is he extremely successful and one of the most eligible bachelors in Colorado, he’s also immensely generous, helping out anyone who needs it, despite his obligations to his career and the ranch he runs. When Lindsey first meets Carden, he’s taking care of some last minute fixes in the house she’s renting and she mistakes him for a handyman. He’s absolutely gorgeous, but Lindsey doesn’t want to get involved with anyone, doesn’t want to put down roots.

Another reason Lindsey knows she can’t be with Carden, despite the sparks that are flying, is the family feud. Carden’s family has been feuding over a land deal that happened over a hundred years ago, with Lindsey’s family. Well, her family by marriage anyway – her aunts marriage into the other family involved in the feud. Nobody knows that Lindsey is connected to one of the families, and as curator to the museum, it’s her job to try and find the truth of what really happened in that land deal and hopefully put the feud to rest once and for all.

I enjoyed trying to guess what really happened all those years ago along with Lindsey as she dug up the clues. She was a strong, independent woman who knew what she wanted. I often dislike the heroine’s in romance novels because their main focus is getting the man. That’s absolutely not the case here. And, if I don’t hate the heroine, I hate the hero. But I didn’t hate Carden either. They were both well developed, interesting characters.

This is absolutely an enjoyable read and I most definitely recommend it. I’ll be looking for more from Tracy March in the future!

REVIEW: Overexposed by Adrianne James

Overexposed by Adrianne James

Read: September 2015

Format: ARC Ebook (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary YA


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Overexposed is the story of three friends (Vi, Ashley and Macy) who get more than they bargained for when they uncover something dark in their small mining community. While working together on a project for their high school photography class, they see something that will put their lives in danger.

Overexposed was a book where, upon beginning to read, I wasn’t sure I’d like. In the beginning, the characters all seemed to blend together, and we’re told that Vi is a big gossip queen but we’re not really shown. We’re told over and over again how she needs to watch herself, but I didn’t observe her really doing any gossiping. We’re thrown right into the thick of things instead, which isn’t a bad thing, but being that gossiping is such a big part of who she is, I wish I’d been shown this instead of just told. I feel like Ashley was a little more developed, she was sort of a wallflower artist chick, with cool hair (it changes frequently.) I would say Vi was the main character, Ashley was her sidekick, and Macy was along for the ride, so we didn’t get to know Macy as much but that was okay.

The second half of the book almost made me forget the lack of showing-not-telling in the beginning. There was action and drama and people that made me so mad! When a fictional character can have you wanting to punch them in the throat, you know you have a winner.

I really don’t want to say much for fear of giving away the plot. I will say that this was an enjoyable read and I’m glad I read it. It touches base on bullying in school and so much more. Aside from the character development that I felt was a little lacking, I would recommend this book and also read more from Adrianne James in the future.

REVIEW: Wishing For You by Elizabeth Langston

Wishing For You by Elizabeth Langston (I Wish #2)

Read: September 2015

Format: ARC Ebook (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Tip for reading this book – do not begin immediately after reading book one, I Wish. Both books are told in first person, but two different characters. Book one is Lacey’s story. Book two is Kimberley’s. I had to keep reminding myself this was not Lacey narrating, this was Kimberley.

We first met Kimberley in I Wish, as Lacey’s new-to-town friend. A cancer survivor, one major lingering side effect from her ordeal is brain damage. Short-term memory loss to be precise. Kimberley has to carry around an iPad to record everything she does, otherwise she may not remember.

When Grant appears in a puff of smoke she is only mildy surprised to learn he’s a genie and there to grant her wishes. I honestly wasn’t sure how Grant could help Kimberley. Her challenges were so different from Lacey’s I couldn’t imagine where this would go. As it turned out, Grant was entirely beneficial for her.

Due to her disability, Kimberley relies very heavily on her parents, her mother in particular. Instead of helping her to be self-sufficient, they have kept her in a protective bubble. They drive her everywhere, she has no chores aside from keeping her bedroom clean, she doesn’t know how to cook or do laundry, the list goes on. With Grant’s help, she’s able to identify the reasons she should not do a particular task, and then find a way around that obstacle safely. Most importantly, Grant helps her become her own person and not just the person her family thinks she is.

Even though Grant was there to help her, that really wasn’t the main plot point of this book. Someone close to Kimberley has been diagnosed with cancer. She’s been there, she knows what he’s going through. Her friend is keeping mum, he asks her to not tell a soul (aside from her mom) and she agrees, because how could you let down your friend when he’s terminal?

The romance in this book was far superior to I Wish, in my opinion. It built slowly and realistically. There was no love triangle for Kimberley (thank goodness!)

What really makes this book memorable though is the friendship between Kimberley and her friend with cancer. Watching their friendship grow, only to end in heartbreak had me tearing up.

I have an idea of what will likely happen to Grant next, now that he’s completed his month with Kimberley, but I won’t say anything for fear of spoiling anything from this book.

Ultimately, I’d say this book was a little better than its predecessor and I do look forward to what book three will bring.

REVIEW: I Wish by Elizabeth Langston

This review is for book one of the I Wish series, a unique take on genies.
I would say this book is more of a contemporary fiction novel with a fantasy spin.

This was another I read via text-to-speech on my Kindle at work.


I Wish by Elizabeth Langston

Read: September 2015

Format: ARC Ebook (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy Romance



I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

On the surface, I Wish is a paranormal romance about a human and her genie. But really, it’s more than that.

I Wish is Lacey’s story. She’s nearly eighteen and the primary caretaker of her family. Her father died when she was six and her stepfather died one year before the books events take place. Her mother is suffering from sever depression and Lacey is sure if she tries to get help there will be social workers who will take Lacey and her eight year old brother, Henry, away. She’s been in child protective services once before, after her father died. She doesn’t want Henry to have to go through that.

To support her family and pay the bills Lacey has a job at a bookstore and she’s been pawning the family valuables at the local flea market. She receives money from her dad’s military death benefits, and her mother and brother receive social security, but it’s barely enough to pay the mortgage. They are in dire need, late on bills and living on pasta.

When Lacey gets her hands on a beat up music box at the flea market she thinks if she can clean it up she might be able to sell it for more. So she takes it home, starts scrubbing the box, and in a puff of smoke, her genie appears. And he’s an extremely attractive teenage boy who tells her his name is Grant. He quickly explains that he is there to serve her, she is his mistress, and there are rules. Lacey will not receive 3 wishes, instead she will receive 30 wishes—one per day for the next 30 days. There’s a catch, while Grant has magic, he is only able to grant wishes that are humanly possible. No wishing for a million dollars or a new car.

Lacey, being the practical and responsible person she is, makes a list of everything Grant can help her with and soon he becomes her personal handyman. While he helps her fix up the house and find ways to make money to help support the family, she also learns some life lessons. Lacey does not like to accept charity, she’s doing just fine supporting the family. Grant helps her learn to accept help and realize she can’t do everything on her own. It was interesting watching Lacey grow.

One of the things I most enjoyed about the story were the letters from Grant to hiss Boss at the end of each chapter, outlining the wish he granted for the day and his overall feelings/observations. It was interesting watching him learn and grow.

Now, my one gripe with the story is the romance between Grant and Lacey. The whole story we’re building up a relationship between Lacey and her classmate Eli (who is also her brothers soccer coach) and then we’re thrown a curveball when Grant and Lacey fall for each other. Sure she’s been physically attracted to him from the get go, but he does not have a full range of human emotions, because he’s not human. He doesn’t think the way humans think. I sort of feel like the author was expected to have Grant and Lacey be together, so she made it happen. Ultimately, I don’t think it really added a lot to the story the way it was done. If the romance build had been more organic and less sudden, I would be more okay with it.

Even with that small gripe (that others may not share at all!) I still give it 4 stars and do recommend this book. The sequel Wishing For You releases October 13. Watch for my review on that book very soon!