A Better Man (Sunshine Creek Vineyard #1) by Candis Terry
Avon -- March 29, 2016
RATING: 4 STARS
Hockey star Jordan Kincade wasted no time ditching Sunshine Valley and everyone who mattered for a career in the NHL—a truth Jordan confronts when his parents’ deaths bring him home. Now he’s back to make amends, which begins with keeping his younger sister from flunking out of school. It’s just his luck that the one person who can help is the girl whose heart he broke years ago.
Lucy Diamond has racked up a number of monumental mistakes in her life, the first involving a certain blue-eyed charmer. She has no intention of falling for Jordan Kincade again, but when he shows up asking her to help one of her students, Lucy just can’t say no. Worse, the longer he’s back, the more she sees how much he’s changed. And so when a blistering kiss turns to more, she can’t help but wonder if her heart will be crushed again . . . or if she’ll discover true love with a better man.A Better Man is the start of the Sunshine Creek Vineyard series which focuses on the Kincade siblings whose lives are thrown for a loop when their parents are killed in an accident and they must come together to save the family business. I thought both Jordan and Lucy were really well-written. They were relatable and I wanted them to be happy. They each had their own issues to deal with (Jordan developing a new role within his family and Lucy trusting someone with her personal feelings) and I thought those were handled well within the overall storyline. I thought the romance was very sweet and I could tell how much they suited one another. I also really liked the secondary plot involving Jordan's family and their reactions to their parents' deaths. The lone girl, Nicole, is especially intriguing to me and readers get to see her a lot in this book since she is the catalyst for Jordan and Lucy's reunion. I am definitely looking forward to more stories about the Kincade clan. This was my first experience with Candis Terry's writing and I can definitely tell why her contemporaries are so beloved.
I received a free copy of this book via the Avon Addicts Program in exchange for an honest review.
If the Duke Demands (Capturing the Carlisles #1) by Anna Harrington
Forever -- February 28, 2017
RATING: 4 STARS
Miranda Hodgkins has only ever wanted one thing: to marry Robert Carlisle. And she simply can't wait a moment longer. During the Carlisle family masquerade ball, Miranda boldly sneaks into his bedchamber with seduction on her mind. Soon she's swept into rock-hard arms for the most breathtaking kiss of her life. But when the masks come off, she's horrified to find herself face-to-face with Sebastian, the Duke of Trent—Robert's formidable older brother.
Shocked to find Miranda in his bed, Sebastian quickly offers her a deal to avoid scandal: He'll help her win his brother's heart if she'll find him the perfect wife. But what begins as a simple negotiation soon spirals out of control. For the longer this reformed rake tries to make a match for Miranda, the more he wants to keep her all to himself.
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book because of the premise and the beginning, but it ended up being really engaging to me. There were a lot of tropes that I tend to enjoy like childhood friends, class differences, forbidden love, and matchmaking. I thought Miranda and Sebastian had good chemistry, physically and emotionally. Sebastian is sweet and helpful for most of the book while Miranda is lively and entertaining without being annoying. It was fun to see them realize their feelings for one another throughout the course of the story. I could have done without the unnecessary snobbery from Sebastian towards the end, but, overall, I thought this was a cute and surprisingly dramatic romance. I am intrigued enough by the depictions of the other Carlisle brothers to return to this series in the future.
I received a free eARC of this book from Forever via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Pretty Face (London Celebrities #2) by Lucy Parker
Carina Press -- February 20, 2017
RATING: 4.5 STARS
It's not actress Lily Lamprey's fault that she's all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that's not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn't so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.
Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He'd be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily's suddenly rising career, it's threatening Luc's professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they're not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…I fell in love with Lucy Parker's writing in Act Like It and had high expectations for this book. Thankfully, I found this book to be even more enjoyable and am happy to have found an author who has hit it out of the park twice. I thought Lily was amazing. She had to deal with a lot of crap in her job yet still kept going out of determination and pure strength of character. Luc was a bit of an asshole, but I ended up finding him very likable by the end. He is definitely a character that requires time to really get and I thought the author did well developing him. The romance between Lucy and Lily was super hot and very easy to get wrapped up in. I usually am not a fan of external conflict affecting the love story, but I thought it worked really well in the context of this book. I also continue to love the insight that Lucy Parker is giving into the acting world. I want more from this author and this series!