Monday, April 27, 2020

Shattered Dreams by Diana Stout

...Doors opening...doors closing...

          Mason Baylock returns to his hometown of Laurel Ridge, the new judge in town, and hoping to reconnect with his high school love, Shelley Willis. Only—she's not interested. At all. Nada. Never. Go away. Being the tough-minded, super macho take it to the limit kind of guy he is, Mason refuses to give up.
Which, unfortunately, opens up a whole can of peas he'd not expected, or even imagined.

          Shattered Dreams, a sweet, delightful story which many devotees of short romances will relate to. Who hasn't asked themselves: What happened to that guy who got away and what would I do if. . .?

     What happened to Shelley and Mason years ago likely happened to many young couples. Mistakes happened, lies were told—and believed, but never questioned. It is a joy to see how these two deserving people come together and forge a future filled with love and trust and honor.

On a scale of 1—5, Shattered Dreams deserves a 5.

Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

Friday, April 17, 2020

That April in Santa Monica

Can Madison and Brandon's attraction survive reality TV?

     That April in Santa Monica, a contemporary romance by Melody DeBlois explores the coming together of two people desperately in need of love.

     Madison Gray, a high-powered, hard-driving talent agent working with differently-abled populations is over-weight, over-stressed, and courting a stroke or coronary if she doesn't make significant lifestyle changes—like now.
     Trained in alternative medicine, reality TV hottie, “Guru” Brandon Kennedy, is the man to show her how to make changes her life and survive.
Their attraction is intense and immediate. How can these two people make desperately needed changes in front of ever-present TV cameras?

    The characters, including the lush setting of Southern California, are the best parts of this story. How they came to be the people they are, driven by needs dating back practically to the womb ranks second. Each works hard to overcome fears and past failures. And watching them come together is the best part.

On a scale of 1—5, That April in Santa Monica deserves a 4.5.

Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

Monday, April 13, 2020

A New Face in Town by Susan Payne

A woman alone . . . and afraid . . .

     Na├»ve to the ways of the world and innocent about those who seek to weave malice simply because they can Victoria Watkins responds to an advertisement for a mail order bride.
     After narrowly escaping gang rape—or worse—she boards the first train out of town and ends up in Sweetwater, Kansas as . . . The New Face in Town. . .

Our Review:
     Once again Susan Payne brings her gift for creating multi-layered characters, colloquial dialogue, and describing rich settings. Writing a series is not as easy as some might think, particularly weaving names, faces and occupations into the story arc without confusing the reader. Ms. Payne does it with ease and comfort. We felt like we'd simply opened to the next chapter—and are better for it.

On a scale of 1—5, A New Face in Town deserves a 5.

Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

Monday, April 6, 2020

A Midwife for Sweetwater by Susan Payne

A woman ahead of her time.

     In Susan Payne's latest novel, A Midwife for Sweetwater, Book 2 in her Sweetwater series [the Wild Rose Press], we are introduced to Rebekka Johansen, a woman who travels to the small town in Kansas in response to an advertisement placed by the husbands of Sweetwater who are looking to hire an experienced midwife to care for their wives and newborn children.

     In a time when 'women's issues' were a topic never discussed by the 'menfolk' and therefore confined behind closed doors—and spoken in whispers or giggles—it is a pure delight to encounter a woman unafraid to strike out on her own in order to teach women about their bodies, pregnancy, and parturition in response to a group of men who care enough about the women in their lives to ensure they receive the best in obstetrical and neonatal care available. Wow.

     Determined to deliver the best possible care, Rebekka immediately instills trust and confidence in a strong show not tell manner. Shortly after she arrives in town, Daniel Walters, the local preacher with a troubled past, advertised loud and clear by the hair shirt he wears twenty-four hours a day. Rebekka stands her own when faced with Daniel's issues—and in that same quiet, capable manner shows him what's what. Sparks fly and readers cheer.

A Midwife for Sweetwater brings in many of the secondary characters from Payne's earlier Sweetwater novels, giving us a few more layers to chew on. This story is a pure delight to read.

On a scale of 1—5, A Midwife for Sweetwater deserves a 5.

Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews