The Blow-In by Susanne O’Leary

The Blow-In by Susanne O’Leary 2017

511XhiWz+DL._SY346_This is another ebook I purchased. It is a modern sweet romance set in Ireland and to the author’s credit, she uses the setting and language to put you in the Irish countryside. If you’re going to visit Ireland, read this book first.

The story is told in first person by Finola McGee, a reporter who has quit her job after exposing corrupt politicians and moves from Dublin to the countryside of Knockmealdown. She takes over as editor of a small-town paper and plans not to stir up any trouble. But there is already a mystery as to why the previous editor left town in a hurry. Also her publisher informs her they need to double circulation or lose the paper. So much for resting.

Finola has three men introduced into her life for a new romance. Her old one crashed and burned.

One is a kind veterinarian but no spark; one if a momma’s boy with no spine; and one is a movie star named Colin working on a film that may save the paper.

The author introduces us to bullying in the small town and the hatred toward immigrants. Even Finola is called a “blow-in” for not being born in the town even though she’s Irish.

To discover more, you’ll have to read the book.

I Closed My Eyes by Regina Puckett

I Closed My Eyes by Regina Puckett 2017

I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend you try a book by Regina Puckett.

81hFisB7EmL.SR160,240_BG243,243,243I bought a variety of genres to read and this is a Regency Romance but had some interesting twists and a sweet sentimental ending that left me sighing in contentment.

The story begins with Lady Jane Blackmore seeking refuge in the corner of the room after her hateful rival Violet Collins dumps a punch bowl on her. Not only does Violet hate Jane, her stepmother is as cruel as they get in stories. Her father also has a cold heart and never warms to his enchanting daughter. He longed for a son and his new wife has failed to give him one. His anger should be directed at her instead.

Back to the corner of the room though. Jane is not alone and Phillip, Duke of Greystone is also hiding in the corner. Jane has her eyes closed shut as she tries to escape her problems and think of happier times. This is where the title comes from.

Violet is seeking Phillip as a husband, especially since he has recently inherited the title after the rumor of killing his father in self-defense. Phillip has a large scar on his face as evidence of the violent encounter with the former Duke. Phillip’s father was drunken and abusive to his mother and him, and Phillip has vowed never to father any children who may follow in his behavior. Phillip has sworn off liquor to keep from becoming like his father.

So we have two damaged young people who are very sweet and kind, and we know they must get together. Jane’s father insist upon a “shotgun” wedding after her stepmother lies that they were kissing in the corner. Jane can only wish Phillip kissed her and is more than happy to oblige to the wedding although she is disappointed Phillip says it will be a marriage in name only.

Their alternating POVs share the longing and frustration each feels as they battle to consummate their love. What keeps them apart is reasonable unlike some stories.

He also wins her heart by making sure she receives her inheritance, a cottage where she spent happy times with her mother away from her father. They spend their honeymoon there and fall in love.

The rest of the story involves Phillip’s true friend, his mother finding happiness, and the ultimate betrayal by Violet and Jane’s stepmother, but you’ll want to read about that yourself.

Regina Puckett is an author worth checking out. I recommend her books.

Millie Marries a Marshal by Linda K. Hubalek

Millie Marries a Marshal by Linda K. Hubalek 2014

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This is another of my ebooks that I am reading this year. This is a western romance genre and has both POV of the hero and heroine written in third person. The story is part of a series but stands alone. A lot of minor characters are involved in the story, mostly to introduce them for future stories.

The plot revolves around mail-order-bride Millie Donavon who arrives in a Kansas town with two-year-old Tate. Her would-be-husband is dead from an accident and Marshal Adam Wilerson tells her the bad news. Millie is running from a secret, and the story unfolds slowly to reveal her sister Darcie and new baby are hiding from an abusive husband. Tate is Millie’s nephew, which is obvious early on. Adam’s mother is playing matchmaker and enlists the women of the town to protect Millie and Tate. The characters are good, kind, and you wish the best for them. When the bad guy shows up, it is too brief an encounter to create any fear or tension. The book advertises itself as a sweet G-rated romance but the author could add a little more danger, especially in a Western, for the climax.

The Heartbroker by Kate O’Keeffe

The Heartbroker by Kate O’Keeffe 2015

This is a chick lit category written in first person but with a rom-com ending. I is told in first person and does not include the hero’s POV.

Brooke Mortimer has a successful personal growth business in New Zealand and is looking to partner with an American company. Logan and Brad are the representatives from the American company. Logan and Brooke have instant chemistry and fall in love and in bed midway through the story. But Brad, who is the son of the owner of the company, takes Brooke’s company over in an underhanded scheme. Brooke thinks Logan is part of it, romancing her to distract her from the coupe.

The story also has subplots with her family. Her stepmother is diagnoses with cancer and she finds her teen brother drunk and doing drugs. Her two best friends, Alex and Laura, have happy lives and worry about her romance with Logan since her previous romance with Scott, left her a shattered mess. Scott tries to reconnect with her after his romance fails. We hold our breath as she gets drunk. Will she make a mistake she’ll regret?

It has everything a chick lit book requires with a lot of inner debating by Brooke. Think sex in the city or Bridget Jones Diary. It was well written and the story has plenty to offer with the added bonus of sharing some of New Zealand’s charm with its scenery and language.