Book Review – Broken (Redemption #1) by Lauren Layne

21408690I blush a little when I get caught enjoying a young adult novel at my age. Yet even I can appreciate this endearing love story. Olivia Middleton is a college student who decides to take a hiatus from education to gain some life experience caring for an injured war veteran. Olivia is looking at this employment opportunity a chance to escape her problems and a to redeem herself. While her past actions are far from admirable, they were not as dreadful as I expected by the weight that she gave them. Regardless, I enjoyed watching the maturity and determination for which she approaches her new role. The following excerpt provides an insight into her personality.

Your social life is no longer dropped into your lap by virtue of shared classes and extracurricular activities. Relationships, whether with friends, family, or romantic partners—from here on out, they’re going to take a lot more work. No more built-in friends at the sorority, or hollering down the stairs when I need my mom. It’s certainly not going to be as easy to meet guys now that I’m done with school. It’s not like I can just chat up the cute guy in econ class anymore.

Paul Langdon Is challenged with being physically disfigured as a result of his injuries.  Rehabilitation feels overwhelming to overcome. We come to learn that Olivia’s primary purpose is to be on suicide watch as she is challenged with bringing him out of his depression.  He is certainly a challenging case, but little by little he starts to come alive again and to recognize the value in Olivia.

I’m not proud of myself, Olivia. Not even a little bit. Do I wish I’d never let you go? Obviously. Do I wish I’d come to my senses sooner? Of course. And maybe if it had taken me only a day or two to clear my head, then yeah, I would have called. But when you fuck up as badly as I fucked up, for that long, you don’t call. You don’t text. You don’t email. You go to your girl and beg.

This has become one of my favorites! I laughed out loud and I swooned over the touching scenes.  I appreciated each of the characters. The relationship between Olivia and Paul was heartwarming and inspirational.

5 Stars

Book Review – Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor

Squee!  This is definitely one for my Favorites shelf. It has everything a good story requires. I laughed, I cried. I was happy and sad. I couldn’t stop reading until it was over.  The story has stayed with me, and I miss the characters!

This was a truly heartwarming story. Andy and Matt both come from difficult pasts. They meet while on vacation. From the synopsis, I expected the whole story to take place on vacation and I was very happy for this story to continue beyond, when everyone returns to reality. The relationship between Matt and Abby is strongly felt. The scenes with the children are so well written I can only imagine how difficult it is to write dialogue for the little ones.

The erotic scenes are well written and steamy. However, the romance of this story is so much MORE. Matt falls so hard for Abby, the children and the whole package.

She stood and their eyes met again, this time with her fingers still clasped tightly in his. Something moved inside him, slightly painful, like parts rearranging into a better fit.

I am totally in love with Matt McKinney! While his character is described as handsome, he is so much more than external. He is humble. He is a loyal soldier, a friend and family member. He knows no fear, including becoming attached to Abby’s four young ones, and he makes an amazing step-in dad.

If you are a fan of romances, this is one not to miss. It is part of the series The McKinney Brothers but can be read as a standalone.

5 Stars

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Book Review – Making Faces by Amy Harmon

This is a wonderfully told story that is truly one of my favorites. A truly heartwarming story, the relationship between the central characters is strongly felt and remained with me several days after reading. The main story is the budding romance between Fern and Ambrose. We see Fern develop from sensitive and awkward teenage years into a well-rounded, blossomed young woman. Ambrose is a soldier returned home injured. At the same time, we witness a friendship between Fern and her cousin, Bailey, who is afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Fern is the glue that holds the trio’s friendship together. She helps bring the strength out of both men.

I wrote Ms. Harmon thank you note for writing this story. I had several friends pass away after high school from DMD. Visiting with Bailey was like revisiting with my high school pals and helped me remember just how much I miss them and what influence they had on my life. I was pleased to receive a personal and thoughtful response from Ms. Harmon to my note.

This story had me laughing and crying, and rereading it ASAP.

5 Stars