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Last Train Home (Home #1) by Megan Nugen Isbell – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Last Train Home (Home, #1)Last Train Home by Megan Nugen Isbell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Last Train Home is the first book in the Home series by Megan Nugen Isbell. Written in first person, we follow Riley’s story as she’s forced to move across the country to her Mum’s hometown. While set in high school, this book is filled with more than just your typical teenage drama. I was hooked after the very first chapter and know I have found a new series to fall in love with!

Riley Regas has spent her entire seventeen-years on the planet in her beloved Boston. So when her mother announces they are packing up and moving to Carver, Kansas, Riley is less than impressed. She’s only visited her mother’s hometown a handful of times before and she has no desire to spend her senior year surrounded by country folk. Despite a rocky start, and a run-in with Queen Bee Adrianne, Riley starts to find her feet. Then she meets Alex Bettencourt. While Adrianna teasing only seems to get worse because of this, Riley finds herself drawn to the gorgeous guy with the brown eyes that make her melt. Never in her wildest dreams did she think she could be happy her, but that’s exactly how Alex has made her feel. But her new friends are sceptical, with Jesse Baylor warning Riley about Alex’s character. She struggles to find a balance between her friends and Alex and then the unthinkable happens. One decision changes everything and Riley finds herself unable to cope with what she’s done. So she makes another decision: one that will risk her losing everything she’s come to love.

I love myself a young-adult read, especially one with a bit of romance! At seventeen-years-old, the characters in this book are slowly creeping into the new-adult genre, and this just makes them all the more interesting to read about. During a pivotal time in her life, we meet Riley. She’s lived a good life, so being told she’s moving from big-city Boston to middle-of-nowhere Carver, she is furious with her mother. This is a theme that runs throughout the book, and while it might seem like Riley comes across as whinging and bratty (yes, I admit I did think this at points!) it’s integral to the overarching plot of the book. And that isn’t the only problem Riley has to deal with. No one likes starting a new school, especially not for their senior year. So Riley’s reaction to this was perfect, made even more so by that immediate run in with Adrianna. Wow, what a piece of work that girl is! Luckily, she’s saved by Holly, meaning we are introduced to the most wonderful group of friends! I love these guys, as their lunchtime scenes were always comical and fun.

But who am I kidding? You want to know about the boys in Riley’s life. Alex or Jesse? Jesse or Alex? What a choice. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know the answer is easy. But don’t worry, no spoilers here. Intiial impressions of both guys are good, so I’ll let you read and make you own mind up. I’d like to say though, I was firmly on * someone’s * side from the moment we met him!

Upon finishing this book, what have I done? Jumped straight into the next one of course! So expect a review for that soon; yes, I really have read that much already! I have completely fallen in love with this series and I know you will too. So, what are you waiting for? Read this book now!

Review by @ashleighw

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Four O’Clock (Time Series Book 2) by Josephine Traynor – Review by Debi Kircher

Four O'Clock (Time #2)Four O’Clock by Josephine Traynor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Four O’Clock by Josephine Traynor is book 2 in her Time Series, it is a romantic comedy about two people that are completely misunderstood, with dreams of successful futures and no plans for any sort of committed relationships.

Charlotte runs her family’s clothing store. Her family expects her to take over the business someday. All Charlotte wants to do is design and feels under appreciated and not taken seriously. She tried the dating thing and it ended in heartbreak and has made up her mind that that will never happen again.

Chris, behind on his bills, moving back in with his brother who pretty much raised him when they lost their parents when Chris was very young. He works in the kitchen of his brothers restaurant with dreams of becoming an architect someday, if he could only afford to go to school. Always being reminded that he is a screw up he has never shared with his brother any of his dreams for the future.

Charlotte and Chris meet when Chris and his brother Patrick rush into her store to buy a new suit for Patrick’s first date with someone he met online. Through conversation Charlotte realizes that this someone he is meeting is her best friend Ava. With events that follow it seems the universe is against Patrick and Ava meeting which sets Charlotte and Chris on a matchmaking mission, that ends up making them both question their thoughts about dating. Their connection is immediate, what they have in common is undeniable. Can these two fulfill their mission? Can they let their guards down enough to realize what is staring them in the face? And most importantly can they both find a way to be taken seriously in their hopes for the future?

I did not read the first book of this series, but I plan to as soon as possible. I absolutely loved this book, I loved the way the author brought these characters to life for me. Her writing style grabbed me from page one and didn’t let go. Every part was perfect and I didn’t want it to end!! 5 amazing stars!!

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Moments of Joy (Moments to Remember #1) by Ysa Arcangel – Review by Debi Kircher

Moments of Joy (Moments to Remember #1)Moments of Joy by Ysa Arcangel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Moments Of Joy by Ysa Arcangel, Book 1 of her Moments To Remember series. The story of Brandy and Ivo.

Brandy is 27 years old and doesn’t do commitments due to her family history with Alzheimer’s. She’s watching her Mom fade away to the last stages of this awful disease and she is afraid that someday all her memories will fade the same way. She has started keeping journals to record everything important so that she will always be able to remind herself.

Ivo, doesn’t believe in love anymore, he’s been hurt too many times.. He is a doctor and understands the effects of Alzheimer’s.

Brandy and Ivo meet while Brandy is in Italy for her brothers wedding. They meet and spend some time together and decide to hook up, a one nighter, no strings, casual, and easy. Problem is her worst fear is realized, her heart wanted to love so badly and the connection between her and Ivo is undeniable. As their feelings grow her memories start to fade. Problems arise when something happens and Ivo tries to help her. She finally realizes she has to say goodbye to him and as heartbreaking as it was leaves him behind and goes home, never to see him again.

Until circumstances bring him to town…..can Brandy let herself have the joy she craves? Can she accept Ivo’s love and support and allow herself to be happy before this disease wins?

This story touched me in ways that brought back so many feelings of watching this disease take my own Mom. I absolutely can not wait for book 2, and will read it the minute I get my hands on it. I love how this author created these characters and this story. She made everything real and I absolutely loved it.

Review by @debikircher

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Playing for Keeps (Playing Series book 3) by Ashlie Knapp – Review by Shannon Fowler

Playing for Keeps (Playing Series Book 3)Playing for Keeps by Ashlie Knapp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ashlie Knapp earns her own Championship Ring with this book! I love it! Playing for Keeps is book three in the Playing Series. I really love a good romance story where the main characters say they are not looking for love. You just know they are going to find it. It’s the adventure they take to finally get there that truly makes a great story.
Our heroine is Aria. She is such a well rounded person. She sings, dances, bar tends, plays guitar, loves animals, is a great friend. She is almost perfect. Except that she thinks she’s broken and unworthy of a loving relationship. Until Trevin breaks down all her walls.
Trevin is NBA’s bad boy, the biggest player, and we aren’t talking playing basketball. He is a womanizer. Until he meets Aria of course. Trevin isn’t a jerk about his relationships, he just knows he wants to have a good time. The women he hooks up with know this.
I loved so many of the references to pop culture, the reality TV shows, the celebrities. I found myself laughing out loud several times. And of course I was sighing, because this story is sweet too. Love is what everyone wants, in the book world and in real life. Ashlie Knapp has found what makes readers fall in love with her books.

“I know you don’t. But having someone to share your day with, someone who’ll rub your feet when they’re hurting, someone who’ll listen to you go on and on about something they don’t care one whit about but listen anyway because they care about you…well, that’s something not everyone gets in life. If you get the opportunity, you better hold on to it with both hands.”

You can not go wrong with this book or anything Ashlie Knapp writes!

Review by @shannonlovesbooks

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Playing To Win by Ashlie Knapp – Review by Debi Kircher

Playing to Win (Playing Series, book 1)Playing to Win by Ashlie Knapp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Playing To Win by Ashlie Knapp
5 twitterpated stars!! 🙂

Callie Thompson is 21 years old and a journalism student at University of Oklahoma, with hopes of becoming a sports broadcaster when she graduates. She is an Oklahoma City Thunder dancer, which helps pay her tuition and also gets her foot in the door for her future. Losing her Mom at a young age and being raised by her awesome Dad she’s always been just a bit tomboyish, she loves her sports but especially basketball. She’s been feisty and competitive her whole life. She has amazing friends and a loving father. Her biggest rule in life is no dating athletes. Her past experiences have taught her that they are all alike and the heartbreak is just not worth it.

Kyle Kelly is 26 years old and star player for the Thunder. His team is looking at a possible championship this season and that’s all he wants is an NBA title. The youngest of five kids and the only boy, he was brought up learning southern manners, how to be a gentleman, and learning how to work hard. After one of his games Kyle has a chance to meet the feisty dancer when she literally runs right into him. Shocked by how she’s not falling at his feet and pledging her undying love to him he realizes this is someone he wants to get to know. It takes a bet and a game of H.O.R.S.E. to get his chance. Can he prove to her that he is worth the chance? Can he change her mind and prove he’s not like all athletes as she believes?

This is an awesome book, I read it in one sitting and there are two more after this one that I’m already chomping at the bit to read. The author did an awesome job building each one of these characters and their comical interactions were fantastic. I’m looking forward to finding out who the next two books are about. I no doubt will be adding her to my favorite author list. Loved it!!!

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Life’s Second Chances by Anne Stone – Review by Debi Kircher

Life's Second Chances (Show Me, #1)Life’s Second Chances by Anne Stone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Life’s Second Chances by Anne Stone is Book 1 of the Show Me series

This is the story of Alejandro and Angelina.
4 Stars

This story starts out with Angelina applying for a teaching position with St. Margaret’s Catholic school. She had been teaching with another school since college and that sadly ended with the closing of the school due to decreasing enrollment. It’s only a week before school starts and Angelina is thrilled when she hears the words “You’re hired”. While being shown to her new classroom she runs into a familiar face, her best friend from college Gabriella, Angelina is thrilled that Gabriella is also a teacher at St. Margaret’s and her classroom is right across the hall. They haven’t seen or talked to each other much since college as their lives just got so busy, so they are thrilled to be able to reconnect. While catching up with each other and their families Gabriella tells her that her brother Alejandro, a renowned transplant surgeon, has moved back to town to head up the local transplant services. Angelina and Alejandro had never met but had spoken on the phone a few times during their college years. They finally meet for the first time at a surprise birthday party for Gabriella, where he had to leave early for hospital business. They run into each other again at a bookstore and he asks her to grab a bite to eat. When the night ends a phone call comes in that there had a been a terrible accident involving Angelina’s younger sister and Alejandro does all he can to help her and her family through what has happened. Then when Angelina is faced with her own health issues that will change her life forever, Alejandro feels he is the one to get her through it, although he himself is dealing with heart breaking issues from his past. Can these two people get past all the roadblocks keeping them from thinking of a future together? Can they learn to trust each other, lean on each other and find love?

This was a very refreshing, clean, sweet love story. I loved that both of them had very close supportive families and that these families came together often. I did find some of the book to be a bit wordy but that did not take away at all from the storyline and I just got used to it not far in. This was my first book by Anne Stone and definitely won’t be my last.

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