Cake (Cake #1) by J. Bengtsson

Book Description:

Published: May 14, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Jake McKallister might have been a rock star, but he was no ordinary one. Surviving an unspeakable crime as a young teen had shaped him into a guarded workaholic, and he now lived his life trying to forget. If it hadn’t been for music and the redemption he found through it, he might not have survived. Career success came easily for him. Personal connections did not.

When outspoken, vivacious college student Casey Caldwell was paired with the famously reserved rockstar for a friend’s wedding, she was prepared for the worst. What could they possibly have in common? She was a bubbly talker; he was a reclusive loner. His life was filled with music; she couldn’t carry a tune. She’d enjoyed a happy childhood; his was a well-publicized nightmare.

Yet despite their obvious differences, Jake and Casey found each other, and her light balanced out his darkness. Would their love be strong enough to survive the weight of his tragic past?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a *full-length* standalone romance. Cake is a love story at heart but does deal with a sensitive topic and may not be for all.
Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of eighteen.

Review –

I’ve had this book in my Audible library for a very long time but never got around to listening to it until now.

I thought ‘what in the world does CAKE have to do with a Rock Star themed contemporary romance?’ Is that the name of the band? But, no, CAKE is an acronym of the names of the two main characters.

I don’t  read rock star romances too often,(they are my favorite) but this book was delightful. Now it might not be for everyone especially if you are expecting a steamy read. Because this book has only one or two bedroom scenes and they aren’t too detailed (the sex is mostly implied) but I found the chemistry between these two just wonderful. And their fun bantering from the beginning just draws you in immediately. Seeing Casey go on tour with Jake for the summer and then seeing their relationship take on a great test with facing Jake’s past and seeing that these two work together and that they don’t give up on each other was heart-warming and heart wrenching at the same time. There is conflicts of course, but NOT in the relationship. I love that the minute that they are “together”, they never stop fighting for each other and keep working on their relationship and making sure it’s as strong as ever.

There are some hints of darkness though when dealing with Jake’s past and seeing him work through this was really hard to see because Jake is so talented and kind and down to earth and he has really gone through hell and back and is still fighting for his sanity and his past does haunt his intimate relationship with Casey. But Casey….she is a fighter, she never stops loving him or standing by him. She is very true to Jake and is willing to stay by his side through the good and the bad times and I LOVE this aspect to the romance. They go on an incredible journey and it definitely was written so well and tugged at my heartstrings.

Fantastic read!

 

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Claim Me (Brie’s Submission #9) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: September 12, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Fairy tales come true…

Brie Bennett’s Master is about to make all of her dreams come true. The wedding is almost here but darkness lies ahead—a plot so horrendous it will rock their foundation to the core.

Yet love as fierce and passionate as theirs cannot be denied. Join our favorite submissive as she discovers the romance that awaits when an Italian Dom plans the wedding of the century for his cherished bride.

Review –

I also read numbers seven and eight of this series and enjoyed them, but this one has been my least favorite of the series so far.

There was just too much “lovey dovey” and everything coming up roses because of the fairy-tale-like wedding and honeymoon, until the  end and then we were back to fictional reality. 

The next book, Enchant Me, is about the honeymoon and getting Brie pregnant (which does happen) and ends with  a great cliffhanger. 

The next two books deal with Master Brad Anderson and Tono and we learn some of their background  and their quests to find their soulmates.

I’m just about to finish up  A Cowboy’s Heart, which deals with Sir Brad Anderson and will report on it shortly.

 

 

 

Damaged (Rosato and DiNunzio #4) by Lisa Scottoline

Book Description:

Published: August 16, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Damaged finds Mary DiNunzio, partner at the all-female law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio, embroiled in one of her most heartbreaking cases yet. Suing the Philadelphia school district to get help for a middle school boy with emotional issues, Mary ends up becoming the guardian ad litem of her minor client. As she goes up against Nick Machiavelli, her opposing counsel and the dark prince of South Philly lawyers who will use any means necessary to defeat her, she becomes more and more invested in the case—and puts everything, including her engagement to her longtime boyfriend, on the line.

Review –

Mary DiNunzio, a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio, takes on a heartbreaking case involving a dyslexic fifth grader, Patrick O’Brien, who’s bullied at school and is getting no support for his language disability. Patrick, who’s being raised by his paternal grandfather, allegedly attacked a school aid with scissors, and now the aid is suing both Patrick and the school board for damages. On the brink of her wedding to college professor Anthony Rotunno, Mary becomes emotionally attached to Patrick, more so than any previous client, and finds herself pitted against a diabolical attorney, Nick Machiavelli (aka the Dark Prince), who’s determined to win a settlement, despite the emotional cost to the 10-year-old boy. In her struggle to save Patrick, Mary finds herself fighting her associates, her fiancé, and social services. Tensions mount until the story concludes with a satisfying, unexpected twist. 

This was the fourth  book in the Rosato & DiNunzio series, and it’s an excellent addition to the series although it can certainly be read as a stand-alone novel. Damaged made an excellent addition to my Scottoline collection, and I highly recommend it!

The Chocolate Bridal Bash (Choloholic Mysteries #6) by Joanna Carl

Book Description

Publication Date: August 1, 2006

Caught up in a whirl of champagne and china patterns, bride-to-be Lee McKinney has butted heads with her future mother-in-law over every detail of the wedding bash. The last thing she needs is trouble with her own mother. But this is bigger than the hot versus cold hors d’oeuvres debate: Sally McKinney doesn’t even want to be at the wedding if it takes place in Warner Pier, her hometown.

Irked that her mom might be MIA on the Big Day, Lee heads to her aunt’s chocolate shop, TenHuis Chocolade, for advice. There, the bride is shocked to learn that years earlier, her mother ran away on what would have been her own wedding day—hours before her fiancé was found dead, an apparent suicide. Now, to smooth things over with her mother—and ease her own way down the aisle—Lee must untangle a mystery older than she is….

Review –
Before this installment of the Chocoholic Mysteries I had only read volumes one, two and three. Don’t ask me what happened to four and five, I guess I’ll have to pick them up sometimes when I don’t have anything else to read, which doesn’t happen often.  Anyway, this is my favorite so far. The characters work well together and are believable although we don’t see as much of the regulars as in previous books and the main character has a very bad habit of saying the wrong words when she’s nervous and that trait went to the extreme in this book and was distracting. All in all, it’s a nice read for a hot afternoon in Oklahoma.

About the Author

JoAnna Carl is the pseudonym of a multipublished mystery writer. She spent more than twenty-five years in the newspaper business, working as a reporter, feature writer, editor and columnist. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and also studied in the OU Professional Writing Program. She lives in Oklahoma but spends much of her summer at a cottage on Lake Michigan near several communities similar to the fictional town of Warner Pier.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Summary of Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn begins with the wedding of Bella and Edward. Bella has wanted Edward to change her to a vampire for a while now, so they have compromised. He will change her, but only after they are married and have a real honeymoon. Of course, nothing ever seems to go the way these two plan it. On the honeymoon Bella gets sick and discovers that she is pregnant.
Being pregnant by a vampire is not the same as a human pregnancy. The fetus is very strong and is growing rapidly. As Bella fights to stay alive throughout the pregnancy, Edward and Jacob worry about her deteriorating health. After the baby is born, another vampire believes the baby is an immortal, and immortal babies are very dangerous. This results in a visit from the Volturi. The Volturi are the head vampires and they enforce the laws that have been laid out to prevent vampires from being discovered. Edward and Bella have to protect their daughter and convince the Volturi that she is not a danger to others and that their secret identity is not in jeopardy.
Review –
With the movie coming out next November, I spent the week-end re-reading Breaking Dawn for the third time and I’m very anxious to see how the director will depict the pregnancy, Bella’s body changes and the birth.  Everyone is worried about the honeymoon scene being too racy-I think that would be the least of their problems because the other scenes will be bloody and gory so I guess we will see a lot of special effects. Either way I can’t wait.
 
 

Wedding Day Murder by Leslie Meier

From Publishers Weekly

Tinker’s Cove, Maine, is the cozily evoked setting of Meier’s lighthearted Lucy Stone novels, which are usually set around holidays or significant life events. Here a harried Lucy is trying to juggle children, husband and a full-time job when her best friend, Sue Finch, asks for help in planning the wedding of Sue’s mother, Sidra, and Internet millionaire Ron Davitz. Lucy agrees to let the ceremony take place in her backyard gazebo. When the groom and his social-climbing mother arrive on a large yacht, tempers start flaring among the townspeople. Local fishermen are being displaced from their moorings in the harbor to make way for summer visitors in an attempt to raise much-needed revenues for the town. Davitz proves to be a singularly graceless, stereotypical computer nerd, but when he’s found floating dead in the water, suspicion quickly focuses on an old flame of the bride. Lucy once more finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, and at first she fears that Sue, or Sue’s temperamental husband, might have done something drastic to get rid of a potential father-in-law he despised. In a leisurely paced investigation, Lucy perseveres through various irritations to dig up the truth. Despite the obvious pall cast by the murder of the groom, Meier manages to pull off a happy ending, replete with a charming wedding in which her fans will rejoice. 

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review-

A very pleasant warm weather read.