We are 2 Moms whose passions for reading only come second to our families. Between the 2 our us, we have 7 kids ranging from 13 to 2, work outside the home and still find time to each 100+ books each a year. Welcome to our wild world filled with tons of books (and reviews!) and no more diapers! (Thank the Lord!)
Before we get to the AWESOME SAUCE that is the COVER REVEAL for I Need a Hero, I need you to understand that this author rocks!!! And she loves her readers! Even when we stalk her at book conventions. Hehe! So... if you haven't already hopped on the Codi wagon - here is all her Social Media Dets...
Sergeant Oliver Martinez joined the military to serve his country—not plan parties. But after a run-in with his commanding officer, Oliver is suddenly responsible for the Alpha Dogs Training Program’s upcoming charity event. Worse, he’s got to work with the bossiest, sexiest woman he's ever met—who just happens to be the general’s daughter.
When it comes to military men, Evelyn Reynolds is not interested. And with the opportunity to launch her new PR firm at the charity event, she doesn't have time for some sexy, arrogant jerk with a hero complex. Evelyn is determined to keep things professional—if only she can ignore how Oliver’s muscles fill out a t-shirt and the infuriating way he makes her heart pound.
But when tempers flare and a scorching kiss turns into so much more, Oliver and Evelyn will have to decide if this attraction is forever…or just for now.
I kid... I kid... here is the BEAUTIFUL cover to what I am sure it going to be another amazing series! Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! What makes a GREAT cover for you?!? Share some of your favorites with us too!
Adam Dorsey was used to living a life of deceit and falsehood both professionally and personally. The former CIA operative—with an extremely high IQ—was ready for a quieter, more authentic life. Enter Jane, a gorgeous and adorable hazel eyed beauty that complicated his plan. No matter what she made him feel, he knew that he had to stay away from her for fear of damaging more than just her innocence…
Jane Marshall always believed in the power of positive thinking and all that could create. She felt accomplished in her career, and was blessed with great friends and family. And yet, she questioned whether or not there existed a man that would be able to unleash and explore her inexperienced heart…until she laid eyes on Adam.
Will Adam be able to let go of his past and accept Jane for the genuine soul she truly is? Will Jane be able to navigate through never before had feelings? Are there some things that are even beyond the control of two highly intelligent people? Discover the truth in …Secret Kiss
A few things:
Any book with Vanilla Ice references is a book I can dig! Her motto came from the immortal words of Vanilla Ice: if there was a problem, yo, she'd solve it.
Same goes for a funny Twilight reference! Why you ask? Maybe it allows me to really feel into the book. I worked at Borders during the CRAZINESS that was Twilight in real time. He'd never had vampire urges before, but apparently, Jane brought out the Twilight in him.
Crazy family members are THE BEST!
And then there is Jane. I love Jane. Jane is awkward in social situation, uncomfortable being the center of attention and clumsy. So, to say to simply - she is me in book form. Therefore, I love her.
Back to the book. Secret Kiss stars Jane, who we all know and love from working for Mike Gowan, a former congressman who moved to Hope Falls after falling in love with Nikki. Jane caught the interest of one Adam Dorsey. Adam, cousin to Levi (who owns JT's Roadhouse and is newly married to Shelby! LOVED their road to HEA too!) Adam is not interested in taking that road again with any woman, let alone the one who seems to captivate every thought whether he be working...working out or sleeping. When fate, and Lauren (Hope Falls resident celebrity realtor) places Adam in the only other house near Jane's cottage in the woods things become REAL. She was already concerned with her ability to share her office space with such a distracting specimen... but now she would have to see him in his sweat-drenched workout clothes that clung to every contour of his carved from stone body. Jane put it best when she thought:
Things between these are comical. Everything from split pants, to robes caught in doors to looking for the contact on the floor that YOU DON'T need - this coupling is made for Rom-Com success.
"Has anyone ever told you that you are adorable?"
The small wrinkle appeared, once again, above her nose as she shook her head, "Uhh...what? No."
"Well, you are," Adam said matter-of-factly.
One misunderstood conversation with Jane's well-meaning, but meddling grandparents leave her explaining to Adam why they think he is her beau. Mind you, he meets them after being involved in an intense lip-lock with their bunny, Jane. To Jane's surprise, Adam just rolled with the flow taking every chance this opportunity gave him to touch Jane - which he has been thinking about since he first saw her at JT's.
I friggin LOVE Jane's grandparents, Wally & Delores. They cement the awkwardness that is the epitome of Jane.
"Oh, yeah. She's very big on text slang. Half the time I have to Google what she puts because I have no idea. The first time she wrote SMH, I thought it was a new medication that she was taking. My grandparents have always been much cooler than I am." She smiled and ducked her head.
This book was so well written, that it left me feeling like I had just experienced the turmoil of a divorce that was dragged out too long, of a crush that left me breathless with every thought of those dimples, and of friendships that left me giggling with how blessed I was to have girls who had my back like those in Hope Falls.
"Oh yeah. That boy's a smitten kitten fo'sheezy breezy," Karina stated in her perfect slang, as if this were a fact. She was the only one of them would could pull that off.
Finally, a few more things:
The love is real. The authors love for the characters they pen. REAL. The love between friendships. REAL. The love that everyone has for this little town. REAL. The love that Adam felt when he first laid eyes on Jane. REAL. I think this is what I love most about the books written by Melanie Shawn. The emotions are real. Not adjective filled ideas of emotions, but straight-up Paula Abdul lyric filled emotions. (Maybe with a little Vanilla Ice on the hook!)
The humor that fills these novels is a perfect amount, not too much that it overwhelms the storyline, but the perfect dose that makes it feel like a real relationship developing. Those innocent quirks that you sweetly pick at. Adam teasing Jane about her snoring is one that makes me think about the first time my now-hubby heard me snore! Of course, I denied it too.
"Looks like you and your nana are sharing a canoe on your river trip down Denial."
Friendship. I think this is the key element throughout the last 10 books. Yes, I will admit - the sex is HOT! The love is swoon-worthy, but the friendships take the cake. Adam with Declan. (Which, by the way is a damn swoon-worthy name!) The Fabulous Four, and those added along the way. These are the relationships that keep the author's loyal fan base coming back for more! (In my opinion) As Jane started clicking away, Nikki called out for the kitchen, "Side note: ummm, hello? How hawt was Tow Truck Driver Lance?!" "I heard that!" Mike shouted from his office." "Yeah, babe," Nikki yelled back playfully. "I wasn't trying to be subtle."
I need Eli to have his own story. I feel like he is ready to get down to business, and he is like the man who tries to pick up the woman RIGHT BEFORE she finds the one. :) I think he deserves a woman who is a damn handful. Like the Fab Four wrapped up into one kind of handful.
Lastly, I will leave you with this: Yes, my reviews are random. And OMG, there is SOOOO much more to this story that I didn't touch. That is the magic of Melanie Shawn. The books have so many layers, you feel like you just keep peeling. In a GREAT WAY! Another FIVE STAR READ from these lovely ladies!
NOW GIVE THE DUO KNOWN AS MELANIE SHAWN SOME LOVE!
T.J. Kline first stole my book heart with her amazing Rodeo series. Let me dust of them cowboy boots and head out on the circuit. I was roped in! (Pun totally intended!) Her latest series, Healing Harts, is one of those series that grabs a lot of your heart strings and doesn't let them go until you are a whimpering emotional wreck in the corner rocking back and forth need of a hug. Wow. In a GREAT way, of course.
Heart's Desire you meet "Jessie Hart has a soft spot for healing the broken, especially horses and children, but her business is failing and bankruptcy is looming. The one man who can save Heart Fire Ranch is the last man she wants to take advice from—financial expert Nathan Kerrington, the same man who broke her heart eight years ago. Nathan Kerrington has it all, except the one thing he wanted most—Jessie. Now that he’s finally freed himself from his corrupt family, he wants to make amends. When he’s called in to save Jessie’s ranch, he sees his chance to win her back—if only he can prove to her that she can trust him with her heart…" (Blurb from Goodreads)
I adore Jessie. She is snarky and the kind of girl I could be friends with in a heartbeat. Nathan may have broke her heart over 8 years ago - but she is still going to give him a hard time as if no time has passed. And then there is Nathan. Nathan is so not a cowboy. At first, this hurt my heart. *sigh* But, Nathan's chemistry with Jessie and the rest of the Hart family allowed for me to forgive 'Wall Street' for his ties and lack of dust on his boots. "Nathan Kerrington. You've got some brass ones showing up here." Gosh - even his name is stuffy. Jess in her jeans and Nathan in his polos and slacks seemed comical to everyone (Except Justin - who is unaware of their history!) - but you get to catch glimpses of the moments when they let their guards down and see a real sense of love and respect forming.
"I'm not going to hurt you," he whispered.
"Yes, you will," she disagreed. Her voice choked with emotion she didn't want him to see. "You're going to destroy me."
Without giving too much away, this romance is full of mystery, shady supporting characters, death, murder, embezzlement and so much more. I was shocked with some turns this book took - but so excited to turn (or swipe!) each page. The confidence that Jessie showed as the story developed made me proud.
She'd no more closed the door when Jessie crooked a finger at Nathan.
"You think that's all it takes, woman?" he asked.
(spoiler? That is all it takes!!!!)
Taking heart brings you back to the Hartland (hehe) to dive back in and find out about how "Julia Hart knows how much good she does training therapy dogs—it's what helped her overcome her own trials after a relationship turned unexpectedly violent. But moving beyond her mistakes meant trusting only her family with her heart.
Dylan, a former soldier, has run out of hope for recovery. Plagued by nightmares and flashbacks, he doubts anything will help him overcome his PTSD. When his brother convinces him to try one last time, he agrees to get a therapy dog.
Dylan didn't expect to find Julia or a chance for a "normal" future again. But when Julia's attacker is released from prison, Dylan and Julia will have to face the past together. " (Goodreads Blurb)
Julia doesn't do much other than spend time with her siblings and her dogs. Her past experiences have left her unable to trust anyone aside from her dogs. Pairing the right dog with the right person is her passion in life. Dylan is humoring his brother's final attempt to help him with his PTSD and lack of luster for life. He didn't know what he was getting himself into with a Hart woman. They are a damn handful. Totally worth it, but still. One thing I was waiting for was the initial showdown between Dylan and Justin. Those two are such men. Let the pissing battle ensue.
"You don't like me, I get that. I can even respect that, but could you at least show your sister some gratitude for her hospitality and stop making her feel like her every move is being scrutinized?"
Justin took a long draw from the bottle and met Dylan's gaze, his brows climbing high on his forehead. "Not a man to mince words, huh?"
A few thoughts on this installment from the Hartland:
I love Gage. Gage is the lucky brother (of Dylan) who seems to have to greatest (or worst) timing of catching Julia and Dylan every time they find themselves unable to fight the magnetic connection.
"You need some help, Dylan? They just went to halftime and... Again?" Gage complained as he walked into the kitchen. "This is getting old," he muttered to Jessie.
"Really?" The screen door slammed, and they froze as Gage entered the house. "You two are like a couple of rabbits. Get a room!"
Bailey is the BEST supporting character ever. Late night condom delivery and snark all wrapped up into one.
TJ Kline needs to write Suspense movies because I would watch them... or she could just keep writing... yeah. She does Suspense well!
In Close to Heart, you finally get to see the inner-workings of the only brother on the Heartland, "As the only veterinarian in town, Justin Hart doesn't have time to think about romance. So when A-list actress Alyssa Cole crashes her car outside his clinic, it's entirely unexpected when there's a spark between them he can't ignore. Still, she's a movie star, and he's just a small town cowboy.
Alyssa has learned the hard way not to believe first impressions, especially not in Hollywood. But, 400 miles from her former life with nowhere to go and no one to turn to, she places her trust in the handsome vet who comes to her rescue.
There's no denying the connection between them, but when Alyssa's past shows up at the door, will their new relationship be able to withstand the storm?"
I just love how this couple comes to play. He doesn't do commitment, and she is married AND expecting. TJ really shows us life is funny about giving us what we need and deserve. Lyssa is a quiet and submissive soul when Justin finds her stranded outside of his office. As she realizes she doesn't need to settle on what she has been told she deserves - the fire she had starts to show itself, and Justin and I both laugh.
"I was just waking you up. I thought that's how you princesses liked it."
She frowned, letting her gaze slide over him. "I don't remember Disney ever having a jack-ass in one of their movies.
"Ouch! You wound me, m'lady."
Justin lacks the confidence to think he can provide and be what Lyssa wants and needs and so he thinks... He's better savor every moment because it wouldn't last. Woman like Alyssa, with champagne dreams, didn't want to settle for a country vet with a beer budget. And then you have Lyssa who is so filled with her renewed sense of freedom that she doesn't want to allow Justin to take care of her because she fears it is what she is escaping with her ex.Lyssa shook her head and arched a saucy brow at him. "Look, Aquaman, I'm not letting you boss me around, too." Happy to see the spark in her, Justin simply replies, "I thought we agrees, I'm more like Thor."
I don't want to give anything away, but you get one laugh-filled proposal, a WHOLE lot of sass, comic book love and a sense of complete in the Hartland. If you love a well-written story of love with a little country and a whole lot of real emotions from fear to laughter to the overwhelming need to protect by any means necessary - then this series is JUST FOR YOU. Before I leave you to go ONE-CLICK, I must leave you with some parting thoughts:
When Gage's story comes out - HANDS OFF. He is mine. Period. No arguments, no bribes. Mine. Capital M...Mine!
His eyes went dark, hot, and heavy as they skimmed over her. "Honey, you know what they say about dancing, that it's an indication of how a man is in bed." Be still, my beating heart... Justin is... damn.
Nathan laughed quietly. "I'll admit I don't miss the suits, but no gel? That's just uncivilized." Too much Nathan!!!
I can't get enough of the covers of these books. They are beautiful. Intense. Perfect. You can tell the love put in to choosing each one for the story. And it made the story that much more powerful. From the cover to the last word, you sense the author's love for the story she was telling. A huge FIVE stars from this lady.
The thrilling conclusion to the Billionaires and Bikers series!
One tiny mistake turns Bee Carter's worst fears into a terrifying reality. She knows she isn't alone. The sexy, honorable man she adores stands by her side, willing to sacrifice his freedom to ease her concerns.
But she yearns for more than he is offering. She wants a partner who will love her as fiercely as she loves him, who will say the words and mean them, and someone who will choose her because this is what he desires more than anything else, not merely out of a misguided sense of duty.
Will saying no to the man she loves earn Bee unbearable heartache or will she finally get the forever she craves?
A few thoughts.
I cannot believe that I have been on this sinful ride with Cynthia Sax for a whole YEAR now! My eyes tear up a little thinking about the whole in my heart that will not be filled with my monthly dose of Bee, Hawke and Nicolas.
Purple! What a perfect way to end. It is my favorite color. And speaking of covers - How hot is this one?!? *fans self*
I saw a lot of talk that there was little need for a 12 because 11 was pretty well ended. Let me tell you something I have learned... Cynthia doesn't write to fill pages. Everything in 12 was needed. Period.
A proposal of epic proportions happens at a not so epic time causing doubt to fill Bee's mind. My heart ached for Hawke. This man of few words may not verbalize the feelings he feels, but he shows her. Hawke, once again, understands what Bee needs to feel no doubt. In his unique way, he sums it up perfectly:
"My lame-ass proposal, my offer to permanently fuse my life with yours, wasn't enough, was it?" He bites off each word. "You need more from me."
He's angry and hurt. I hurt the man I love.
"I'll get you more, sweetheart." Hawke puts a sarcastic twist on this endearment. "I'll get you so much damn proof, you won't have room for doubt. We'll settle this insecurities shit once and for all."
And he leaves. OUCH! And then who better to show up, then my all-time favorite crappy friend - Mr. Nicolas Rainer. YAY! I adore his tone and snark. When Bee goes on and on (and on...) about how Hawke doesn't love her because their situation doesn't match the movies (hehe) - he stops her and simply says
"Don't you have an article on this?" I love him for this. I love Nicolas for his blunt manner of speech. Similar to Hawke in the way of being blunt - but oh so different. His eyes sparkle. "I've never said I love ice cream." He shovels the sweet treat into his mouth with a boyish glee. "But I do. Very much." His lips curl upward. Let's talk about my feelings in regards to my jellybean billionaire. First, I was #TeamNicolas for a large portion of this series. Even when it was obvious that Hawke was her person. Nicolas has something about him that calls to my soul. Or maybe it is just the love for jellybeans that he and I share. When I finally converted to the dark side and joined #TeamHawke, I fell for Nicolas on an entirely different level. His loyalty to Hawke and the protective vibe he had with Bee was beyond sweet...sprinkled with the perfect amount of sarcasm. Hawke plans this perfect scenario for Bee - everything she has always wanted - and offers her the grand gift of proving to everyone she is not who they think... and Bee makes me SO STINKIN PROUD in her reaction and her realizations that none of that matters. She has her man, she has her true friends (even if they are terrible...hehe) her Mom and she has her life. That is all that matters. Bee, Nicolas and Hawke were bound to have a fun dynamic once they got together, and they don't let me down with the asking of him to be the best man:
"I'll also need a best man, someone who doesn't mind wearing a tux and can make it through an entire speech without cussing... The pickings are slim."
"I'll be a terrible best man." His eyes shimmer with moisture.
Those can't be tears. The billionaire would never cry.
"I'll send you some articles."
So much of this story warmed my heart. Seeing the final pieces of this story come together was breathtaking. All the players in Bee's life that she didn't think would come together did - and for one beautiful reason: The love Bee & Hawke share. The final part I want to share is my favorite because it shows Lona, Cyndi and Nicolas (along with Bee's mother in the background) all together in the name of Bee.
Nicolas gazes at me, appreciation in his brown eyes. "Are you trying to get me killed, Miss LaMarre? I'm not commenting on the attractiveness of our bride-to-be. I like my head where it is."
"Stuck up your ass," Cyndi mutters.
"Straight men don't know about fashion.: Kenzie is on Cyndi's side.
"Maybe not.: Nicolas's voice is curt and clipped. "But this straight man does know he'd rather not look at his best friend's nipples all night."
"She's not your best friend." Cyndi jumps to her feet. "She's mine."
Cynthia simply put - made a series that glowed throughout the entire 12 installments. You fell in love, had your heart broken, made friends for life and realized that you are stronger than you thought, braver than you thought and deserve all life has to offer. This series was more than an erotic tale of love - it was about family, blood and not; friendship, simple and not; striving for all you deserve and want while surviving all the world is going to hit you with. Perfection. Beautiful. A series I will read again and again.
I binge read.
When I find an author that is as incredible as Melanie Shawn, it becomes a mission to read EVERYTHING.
I reviewed a few books individually, and then got so ridiculously caught up in the series - I looked up and had read over 10 books. When you read a series like this, where each book builds on the previous relationships, it is incredibly hard to see where one story starts and one ends... so what does a reviewer do?!? I review the hell out of the series... or try! LOL
Welcome to Harper's Crossing. This series has a total of 8 books and a HOT holiday novella. I have been debating on how to approach this posting, and I am not sure I have fully decided as I type... But, I am going to try a MEET THE CAST post. We will see if I can stay focused enough to try this.
The Sloan Boys
Jason Sloan - We met Jason in the first book. Harper's Crossing's very own Romeo. Or so everyone thought. Alert: this man is swoon-worthy indeed. He is the boy who bends over backwards to make you happy, but takes NO credit. Does it for the smile. And this particular man did it for the smile of one girl named Katie. And this is where my obsession with Melanie Shawn began.
Riley Sloan - The Sloan brother of few words. This guy is loyal. So much so, when he falls for Eddie's (his best friend) sister - he doesn't initially act on it. These Sloan boys are a force to be reckoned with when they set their sights on "THE ONE" And Eddie's sister, Rachelle "Chelle" Thomas doesn't stand a chance once she realizes she has been settling and that Riley is it for me. Man oh man...
Alex Sloan - Alex. Let me start by saying OMG. Alex doesn't do relationships. Alex is clear with his expectations. Alex doesn't need to work for female companionship. A sexier than legal firefighter finds himself in the hospital after a work related accident. And this is where it gets interesting. Jamie Miller is new to HC and she happens to have been given ALEX DUTY at the hospital. Within minutes of waking up out of a coma and surrounded by his family - he asks a simple, yet loaded question of Jamie. "Will you marry me?" he asked with a sexy, tempting half-smile on his face. And Jamie's simple whispered reply of "Yes" is all he needed. I love the dynamic between these two. Nobody (Alex included) expected him to fall. But fall hard is what he did. When he finds out Jamie lives with a male by the name of Joey - he becomes insanely jealous asking her roommate and their family friend, Amber all about the situation. When the teasing stops and he is made aware that Joey is her young son - he feels a sense of relief. Amber sums up this humorous turn of events perfectly. "Oh, how the mighty have fallen..." The tough part, Jamie wasn't going to date. It seems the town has a different plan. It seems everyone is in cahoots to get them hitched. I have said it before and I am sure I will say it again - the grand gesture is my FAVORITE part, and Alex doesn't slouch in this area.
"As far as me not being real big on monogamy, well, yeah - that was true - was being the operative word. That was before I met you, Jamie. But, now that's not the case. You are it for me. You are my social life. So if you don't date, that means I don't date. I could sit here and tell you exactly what I feel for you and make you a bunch of promises, but talk is cheap. I know the only way you will ever be able to trust me, to trust us, is to show you with actions how I feel and what you and Joey mean to me." WOW. The thing about Jamie is... "She got it. She got him. She was his person." This story had so much more in it, but I refuse to ruin it for you. You will be a smitten kitten all over Alex like I was.
Seth Sloan - The final Sloan boy not to be snatched up. (To explain, Bobby was the first married and we will learn about him in the end. And trust me, he is worth the damn wait!) Seth is the strong, silent type. He held the brunt of the guilt and pain surrounding the passing of his mother. A one-night stand that left him frazzled for years. When returning to HC, his world is flipped upside down with the mystery woman turns out to be HC's very own Amber. Amber has told stories about her Mystery Man and the night they shared so many years ago and her world was equally rocked when it is revealed "Seth is Mystery Man!?" So what does a resourceful woman do? Send their men to hold a pancake intervention to find out info from the mystery man himself. Again, Melanie Shawn pens the perfect dynamic. Amber and Seth are too funny together. "And awkward silences don't really seem to bother you either." Her voice sounded shaky. "Is this awkward?" he asked, huskiness filling his voice. I must admit that one of my favorite things about his series is the references that bring me back to my childhood. Sometimes I find myself having to Google something to understand (which don't get me wrong I LOVE because I learn new stuff) but I felt at home reading these books.
"You think that many people are still so angry that they never had a hit after Peaches in 1996 that The Presidents of The United States of America has to hire a security detail this many years later?" This coupling has so much unspoken emotion that I can't help but smile. Everyone has that person that just knows what the other one is thinking or feeling. Seth is very protective of Amber and she finds humor in some of his antics and ultimatums. My favorite exchange between them was wordless. "What's he doing? Hmmmm...well, currently, he's sitting across from me, eating pizza. And if my mind-reading skills are up to par, then I would say he desperately wants to call me a smartass right now." Seth lifted his water bottle and nodded his head, indicating that she was correct. And then you have the fact that Seth is a scary man. A man that has faced all kinds of evil in his years of service, but he was no match for Amber. "Amber," he growled. "What?" she s asked faux-innocently. He stared at her. A stare that had broken assassins, terrorists, traitors. She just smiled. Toss a bouquet and a garter belt and call it a day with this couple.
Bobby Sloan - Bobby. Bobby is the youngest of the Sloan boys and the first to be hitched. Bobby married Sophie after 6 months of dating and has been happily married for the last 3 years. Bobby has been working for his Dad's construction company for as long as he can remember. He hates it. Patiently waiting to find a way into his brother, Seth's security company. When the opportunity presents itself, he hands in his resignation to his other brother, Jason. Bobby, being a man of few words, shares a moment with Jason that Alex so appropriately ruins in his sexy Alex way. (Yes, nine books into the series and Alex still does it for me!) Jason nodded, and Bobby could see that his words had meant something to his brother. He pulled Bobby into a hug as Alex sniffed and teased, "I feel like such a third wheel in this Taster's Choice bromance moment." Throughout the series, I always had questions about Bobby, and was so pleased to get a glimpse... even just a novella size glimpse into the inner workings of the first marriage. Bobby may not say much with his words, but his actions always showed he meant business when it came to Sophie. Alex often joked around that Bobby should just get it over with. "Just whip it out and pee around her feet to mark your territory." I can't go into much with this novella, without giving too much away. This was a perfect way to wrap up the series. I loved the kinky texts exchanged between the two. It was sweet to see an established relationship and not one still in its infancy. I will leave Sophie to sum up their story with one line,
In one day, her perfect, balanced life had gone all Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and gotten flipped, turned upside down.
The Sloan Girls- Also known as the Quad Squad were like sisters to the Sloan boys. The four sisters grew up in Harper's Crossing with their rambunctious male cousins and often gave them a run for their money too. You got to know them while the males each were shot with Cupid's arrow, but now they may soon realize Cupid isn't stopping with the Sloan boys.
Haley Sloan - Haley, the oldest of the Sloan girls is first up to bat with her longtime crush on Eddie Thomas. (Yep! You read that right. Eddie, Chelle's brother...let the drama begin!) Haley and I could be friends. She had her fair share of book boyfriends. She'd had - still had!- a serious thing for Gilbert Blythe. The summer of her sixth grade year, she'd read Anne of Green Gables at least twenty-five times. Haley and Eddie's situation made my heart ache. Eddie is such a great guy, and didn't want to date again until his daughter was in college. He didn't need another woman who could potentially walk out of Em's life. (Awww!) And Haley was Eddie's go-to gal. Not in the same way those whom he shared his monthly night's out with... but she was the one who babysat Emily. She passed out the cake at birthday parties. She painted nails and did hair. She moved across the street from him to be closer, and Eddie Thomas was none the wiser. (MEN!!!!) Haley realizes that subtle hints were not going to work with him, so she chooses BLUNT. And I love it. "Look, I don't know how you feel about me but - " ... "I love you," she said simply, her expressions still unreadable. What?! Okay, he had not seen that one coming. His face must have shown his shock because she calmly added, "I do." Eddie, who is the VP for Sloan Construction was hired for the work that is being done on the street that Tempting by Bella is going to be opening on, which leaves Eddie working hand in hand with Haley. Eddie, honoring his decision to stay away from her took it very literally. She'd step to him, and he'd step back.
While they'd been doing their little dance, the lyrics of that old Ludacris song were playing her head. "When I move you move, just like that. When I move you move, just like that." It had been so comical she'd almost burst out laughing. As a mother, stories that involve children always touch me in a special way. Nothing is more beautiful than a person who loves a child that is not theirs as if they were their own flesh and blood.
Krista Sloan - Krista grew up with the Chase Malone. Chase has been in the spotlight years as a part of a very successful band, and now as a solo artist. Chase never forgot Krista. He, without fail, acknowledged birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's day, and their anniversary. Krista never forgave. But she also never forgot him. And being the girl who was on-again off-again with Chase often lead to a LOT of questions about him. When he returns to CH to see his mother who was in the hospital, Krista is the one who takes his breathe away. When her sisters grilled her about seeing him again, her response made me giggle, "I felt like I was going to throw up and also like it was Christmas morning and I'd just opened up the toy I'd wanted all year." I adored their rekindling, and it warmed my rock star loving heart. Chase had never given up on Krista, but he never wanted to return to HC. Once he did, he knew she was home. The path might not be clear, but the answer to those questions was as clear as a bright, sunny day: whatever it took.
Jessie Sloan - Jessie is my favorite Sloan sister. Her quiet demeanor and refusal to have useless chatter makes me giggle. Jessie liked her space, and this is why she was house hunting in the city. Enter Zach Courtland. Holy mother of pearl. By a hilarious misunderstanding, they enter an agreement to be a fake couple to acquire the amazing rental. Let the comedy begin. This lady of few words, like several of her male cousins, finds herself a bumbling mess around Zach. "What I mean before was that you can leave the house now if you want. Until I get rid of my family Usually, I am an excellent communicator. I mean, in the sense that I can clearly communicate what I want to. Not that I communicate all that often. Well, around you I do, but not well. You seem to have caused a short circuit between my brain and my mouth." Zach is NOT Jessie's type. The boxer is sweats and taped up hands while Jessie is a PR genius. They are the epitome of opposites attract. Where Jessie refused to repeat her ABC's as a child because nobody offered a valid reason for her to, Zach had her opening up about stuff she didn't dare touch with a ten foot pole. Zach took care of her in a way she didn't realize she craved.
Honestly, if she found out that Zach was Superman - not in the abstract sense, but really Superman - it would make more sense to her than his just being a normal man who did not possess superpowers. The fake relationship that grew between them was visibly turning into something real to everyone except the two involved. At Thanksgiving, at holiday work parties and her sister's wedding, feelings became something more than just a situation of convenience. Even Becca, who was 3...maybe 4 sheets to the wind was able to see what they couldn't. "Because," Becca sighed dramatically, "He doesn't know that you know that he's your lobster." (Swoon at the Friends reference!) Once they realize they are acting stupid - then life gets in the way. Man, this one was bumpy!!! But, I love a Vegas wedding as much as Britney Spears! YAY!
Becca Sloan - Becca has been denying to everyone (and their mothers) the connection that her and Brian share. Brian and Becca have been the best of friends for their entire lives. And Becca has become incredibly used to this line, "He's not my boyfriend..." He was her ninja in Pre-K, and the best friend a girl could ask for. And for him, The yin to his yang. The Scrappy Doo to his Scooby Doo. The Robin to his Batman. His partner in crime. Becca was his heart. Brian attended film school in NYC, but has been home the past year doing what he does best. Taking care of those he loves. During that time, he has been Beckles' dates to family weddings and realizing that he might have always loved her. She definitely didn't have the voice of an angel. Honestly, Brian was pretty sure that Becca couldn't stay on key if her life depended on it, but hearing her sing was one of the sweetest sounds in the world to him. (Crap a duck... Brian MIGHT give Grandpa J a run for his money in the sweet department!) This summer they both were just trying to get through the summer without ruining their friendship.
Toss in a reality dating show, a cowboy named Colton and a few bimbos in a castle, and you have the recipe for a love story that people write about in fairy tales. (SIDENOTE: Becca's need to reference 80's movies to calm herself down is beautiful. Straight up perfection.) Brian is no slouch when it comes to expressing all the feels, but Becca is awkward. When she so eloquently expresses why Brian rocks, I teared up - had to grab tissues for reals. I will not give you the whole speech, because you need to READ THE DANG book!!! But, I will share my favorite part. "...He has a smile that makes you do things you would never do in a million years. I call it his bad-boy smile. When he flashes that smile, people - myself included - just follow him blindly. And then in pure Brian fashion, when asked on the show about his friendship with Becca, he flawlessly replies, "No, Becca's not just my friend. She's part of me. As much a part of me as my limbs, because she's the strength I stand on. My lungs, because she's the air I breathe..." HAHA! You didn't think I was gonna give up all the goods, did you?!? I am not THAT easy.
Other faves from the series!!!
There is always talk about the proposals, and the boys are always trying to outdo each other. Well, as Grandpa J has done their whole lives, he can teach these boys a thing or two about the most EPIC proposal. "Well, I puffed out my chest and put on a little show like i was might offended at her accusation. Then I got down on one knee, pulled out the ring I'd been saving up for all summer, and I said 'Yes ma'am, they were. I was practicing keeping a smile on your face, which I plan to do for the rest of my life, and getting my confidence up to ask you to do the honor of being my wife." (Holy double SWOON to the second power.)
But the fact that he'd saved "our" seats made her want to do the happy dance. In fact, inside she was doing the Moonwalk, Electric Slide, Cabbage Patch, Roger Rabbit and Pony. (Eddie & Haley)
Zach made me giggle with the inanimate objects he became jealous of: Forks, Straws and Jessie's thumb. Lordy lordy.
Jessie's take on Christmas tree decorating: "It just drove me crazy that there were no patterns, no structure. I couldn't be a part of that, so I had to remove myself." Jessie's voice was filled with conviction. "But you stopped helping decorate the tree at three." Haley shook her head with a look of disbelief of her face. "At three years old, you went on strike because you didn't like how we put up the decorations?" "Pretty much."
I hope for a spin-off or a novella with Billy's story. (Billy is Zach's boxing buddy) "You all right?" Billy looked up at Zach like he wasn't really sure how to answer that. "I mean...damn" "If boxing doesn't work out, you should try to get a job at Hallmark," Zach teased. "Come on. 'Damn' wants us to follow her."
When Becca and her "prince" Colton realized they would never work out. "Then he just smiled and said that he knew it would never work out between us. I said 'Yeah, because we're both in love with other people.' He said, 'No, because you're a vegetarian and I'm a cattle rancher." (Oh geez!)
Chelle's thoughts on Sloan men: "What is it with you Sloan men popping the question first and declaring your love second?"
Alex being Alex. Seth took a deep breath through his nose, then instructed Alex. "Stay with her." As he walked to go check out the back lot, he heard his brother say, "Is it wrong that I want to tell him he's not the boss of me?"
And I am done... *sigh* This series was beautiful. This series had so much love, and it didn't feel repetitive. Each character had a strong, individual voice. Often times you find an author writes the same characters with a twist in each book - but not here. You have dozens of stand out characters. BRAVO!!! An all-round solid FIVE STAR series. And sorry for the long winded review... Now to finish reading what is out of Hope Falls so far...
but not before reminding you to give these ladies some LOVE!