Friday, November 26, 2021

Red Velvet Sprinkles and Christmas Sprinkles by Maria Imbalzano

           Competitive, work-obsessed Bella Simonetti has just been fired from her high-paying job at a Manhattan law firm. At an all-time low, she returns home and helps her parents at their small-town gift shop, but the business is failing and may not make it past the Christmas holidays.

Successful landscape architect Dean Jackson is like a son to Bella's parents. But he's a persistent annoyance to her—he seems to have forgotten his unforgivable blunder thirteen years earlier.

When Bella transforms her parents' gift shop into a cookie cottage, Dean's generosity and magnetic smile are hard to resist, and those feelings of unrequited adolescent love come rushing back. But can Bella let go of the past and accept Dean for the man he is today?

Our Review: Author Maria Imbalzano continually treats her many fans to another of her sweet, contemporary romances. This one features Bella and Dean, two people who knew each other as teenagers and now are thrown together when they attempt to help her parents reinvent their gift shop into a cookie haven. In more ways than one, Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles is a story of starting over, putting the past in its proper spot: the past in order to forge a future filled with love and promise and hope.

Based on a scale of 1-5, Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles earns a 6.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Kisses and Lemon Snowflake Cookies

           Fireman Dustin Keith didn't realize women would be coming out of the woodwork after he posed for the local fundraiser calendar. But the one who catches his eye is a baker with trust issues. Can he scale the wall she's built around her heart, or is fate destined to extinguish the flames of desire before they engulf his heart?

Lauren Badini came to Cedar Bend to lend a helping hand at her aunt's bakery, not fall for Mr. July. The image on the calendar she received last Christmas fueled her fantasies, but the in-person version is too hot to handle. But if life after her ex has taught her anything, it's okay to look...but don't touch.

 Our Review: When it comes to teaching the basic elements of writing romance, the experts have always said: Put the hero and heroine together immediately and keep them together. Give each strong, relatable and realistic goals. Individual conflicts—internal and external—must be realistic, reasonable, and impossible to overcome. And they must be in direct conflict of the other’s, enough to make the reader think ‘these two will never get together’. Sounds simple. It’s not.

          In Kisses and Lemon Snowflake Cookies, author N. Jade Gray clearly demonstrates she learned the above rules, puts them down on paper, and turns out a beauty of a story. It’s sweet, simple and a total delight to read. Congratulations.

On a scale of 1-5, Kisses and Lemon Snowflake Cookies earns a 7.

Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Winter Storm by Ellie Gray

 She trusts everyone, he trusts no one. As danger closes in, can they trust each other?

Willow Daniels has a heart of gold and is willing to help anyone who needs it, but when she helps Ethan McCormick one snowy night, she may just have made the biggest mistake of her life. Trapped by a winter storm in a tiny, North Yorkshire village, Willow is forced to re-evaluate everything she believes in, and wonders if anyone is truly who they seem. 

Fate may have brought her to Ethan, but as danger closes in around them, Willow must draw on a strength she never knew she possessed in order to protect the man she has grown to love, not only against his worst enemy, but also against himself.

Our Review:  Set in a small Yorkshire village, Winter Storm is the story of a gentle, trusting woman who willingly tends to a wounded stranger because that’s her nature. Ethan McCormick is clearly on the run—but from whom he will not say. He cannot say—because it would put Willow, as well as himself, in greater danger. This is also a story of complete opposites. She is sweet, trusting, and kind to all. Ethan is rough, rugged and loathes Christmas and all it stands for. In the middle of a hard December storm, he’s trapped in a home that looks like something out of a Father Christmas catalogue. The culmination is an edge-of-your-seat chase through the twisting corridors, hidden nooks and crannies of a small rural school. An excellent work of sweet romance and brilliant danger.

Based on a scale of 1-5, Winter Storm deserves a 7.

Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Christmas in the Wylder County Jail by Nicole McCaffrey and Kim Turner

 Adelaide Willowby is having a bad day. First, the madam of the Wylder County Social Club has kicked out the love of her life—for good this time. One of her best girls is getting married and her sister and daughter are barely speaking to her. Then, her long-lost brother-in-law shows up, claiming ownership of her business. What else can go wrong?

          Russ Holt has relied on alcohol to quiet the ghosts from is past for far too long. When his latest bender causes him to let down both Addie and his son, he knows something has to change. When a stranger in town is found dead and Miss Adelaide is arrested for murder, Russ smells a rat. Can he come out of the bottle long enough to save Addie—and win back her heart?

 Our Review: Welcome back Miss Adelaide and the ladies of the Wylder County Social Club! The women, as usual, juggle several balls while assisting a bevy of nuns as they care for victims of a violent train wreck—in the middle of the blizzard of the century—all the while trying to help Addie prove herself innocent of murder charges. Just your average day in Wylder, Wyoming.

With the usual snappy colloquial dialogue authors McCaffrey and Turner are known for, the descriptions of the causes and effects of long term alcohol use/abuse are spot-on and detailed for a common sense approach to getting sober. Well done, ladies!  

 On a scale of 1-5, Christmas in the Wylder County Jail deserves a 7.

 Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Starlight Mint Murder Mystery

      After a serious on the job injury, LA cop Mel O’Rourke leaves the force battered both physically and mentally. Looking for a fresh start, she moves to a quiet mountain town and opens the Babbling Brook Inn. Excited for her new life, Mel decides to participate in the town’s holiday cookie contest, but her newfound joy crashes when one of her guests turns up dead in the Inn’s lobby.

     Tempted to attribute the death to natural causes, Mel’s cop sense kicks in after a second guest dies. The local sheriff tells her to stand down, but with her own life in danger, Mel refuses to back off. With everything on the line, she has to push through her own fears to catch the killer before more bodies drop, perhaps even her own.

Our Review: In this fun, fast read, script writer turned author Marla White shows off her talent for writing crisp, snappy dialogue and creating unique, one-of-a-kind characters capable of invoking some laugh-out-loud moments. Just when things are running smoothly, another monkey lands on the pile of wrenches, sending B&B owner Mel O’Rourke off and running—literally if not figuratively. The Starlight Mint Murder Mystery is an homage to small rural communities and those who flock to them—as well as large, Irish families who pass down their traditions—flawed by accident, or maybe not. We hope this story is the beginning of even better stories to come.

On a scale of 1-5, The Starlight Mint Murder Mystery deserves a 6.

Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

Monday, November 8, 2021

Christmas in Wylder by Sarita Leone

 in that moment she realized she didn’t know the man’s name but she put her life and trust in him, and willingly followed him through Hell…

        And so describes the plight of Margaret Channing, a young Boston woman who escaped brutality and ran—somewhere, anywhere—in order to be free of one man’s power and abuse. Meg is brilliantly portrayed in Christmas in Wylder, a short historical romance by Sarita Leone, and part of the Wylder West series out of the Wild Rose Press.

The man Meg follows through Hell is Tate Taylor, owner of the local mining supply store. He rescues Meg and others after a violent train derailment outside Wylder just weeks before Christmas. While caring for her and other victims of the wreck, he searches for a shipment of explosives lost in the crash. If he fails, the entire town is at risk for annihilation.

 Our Review: Again, author Leone treats the reader to a story filled with non-stop action as well as a deep and touching romance as it develops between two people who, while brutalized in the past, come to find in each other a balm for more than just a broken heart. Well done!

 On a scale of 1-5, Christmas in Wylder deserves a 5.

  Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

 

 

 

 

Monday, November 1, 2021

A Wyld Night for St. Nick by Laura Strickland

When a train jumps the rails near Wylder during a blizzard one December night, mountain man Nick Robinson rushes to the rescue. It's only a few days before Christmas, and the young boy he saves from the wreck is convinced his rescuer is St. Nick. Since the frightened child is crying for his ma, Nick figures the best thing he can do is go back and rescue her, too.

Ella Fielding is instantly captivated by the man who carries both her and her boy to safety. St. Nick or not, she'd like nothing better than to claim such a strong, gentle man for her own. But Ella carries a secret she dares share with no one, not even when Nick asks her to trust him with her heart.

 Our Review: As we’ve read and reviewed other books for the diverse Wylder West series, we’ve heard rumors about the ‘great train wreck’ and couldn’t wait for the real deal to land on our desk. With A Wyld Night for St. Nick we have the details in spades. Right from page one, Author Strickland offers the reader a breath of fresh air for her talent in applying speech patterns common to the West—as well as the late 1800’s. Clothing styles, social mores and taboos are included in subtle ways as well, enriching this delightful story about a lost little boy and his worn to the bone mother who is rescued by a man the little one becomes convinced is Santa Clause. Well done, Ms. Strickland!

 On a scale of 1-5, A Wyld Night for St. Nick deserves a 7.

Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews