Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Review: Honeymoon for One

Book Review:  Honeymoon for One
Author:  Chris Keniston
Rating:  Five stars 

Honeymoon for One is the love story of Michelle Bradford and Lloyd Kirkland McEntire, Jr.

Michelle Bradford had to grow up fast.  When both her parents were killed in a car accident, she was left alone to raise her ten year old sister.  Michelle sheltered the responsibility and chucked the life and dreams she had for herself to be a responsible role model for her sister.  The one dream she didn’t abandon was the “happily ever after” complete with a husband, house and babies.  Those dreams go awry when three days before her wedding, her fiancĂ©e and her best friend announce they are in love and leaving for Las Vegas to get married.  When word gets out that Michelle has been jilted, her next door neighbor and her co-worker insist that she go on the honeymoon cruise anyway, to get distance from the situation and have a little fun.

Lloyd Kirkland McEntire, Jr likes to live hard and play hard.  He’s a shrewd businessman who comes in and shakes up companies on the brink of disaster and turns them around, which sometimes involves closing the business or eliminating departments within the business.  When he’s done with his dirty work, he lets loose and plays hard by travelling the world. 

On her honeymoon cruise, Michelle has left the old Michelle behind in her hometown.  Where at home she wears dresses well below the knee and attends PTA meetings, on this cruise she’s a fun-loving, risk taking, fly by the seat of your pants having carefree person.  She’s donned the long dresses for clothing that reveal a little skin.  Gotten rid of the one piece bathing suit for a more dangerous bikini that leaves little to the imagination.  She’s also enjoying a few too many alcoholic beverages which makes her let her hair down.

The responsible Michelle would never gamble.  But this new Michelle (filled with three or four BBC’s—Baileys Banana Colada’s)—takes a chance at the craps table.  There she meets Kirk.  With his jet black hair and Mediterranean blue eyes, he takes her on one adventure after another on their ten day cruise.  Although a shipboard affair is not what she planned, knowing she’ll never see him again gives her something to hold on to when she goes home and settles back in to her boring existence.

To him she was “Micki.”  Adventurous, fun loving, play hard daredevil.  The kind of woman he’s used to finding on cruises, having a liaison with and forgetting as soon as the ship docks.  He doesn’t want the complicated clichĂ©’ of wife, white picket fence, two point five children and nine to five.  It’s boring.  And he is all about living life to the fullest.

To her he was “Kirk.”  A sexy, adventurous stranger who made her adventurous as well.  With him she went parasailing, climbed rock walls and lived a carefree existence.  An existence she thought would never follow her home to Bluffview. 

When they meet in her tiny town of Bluffview, it changes both of their lives completely.

This story was pretty predictable.  Several things happened that I saw coming from the proverbial “mile away.”  All in all, they worked for this story.  All the characters were well developed and relatable.  I felt a kindred spirit in Michelle.  She reminded me of me. 

This was a very quick read had good story pacing and kept my interest.  I didn’t want to put it down.  I read it on the train to and from work, during my lunch hour and finished it the same evening.  I love stories that pull me in and make me want to finish them.  I almost wished this was a little longer.  This was well written.  I didn’t find any errors, typographical or grammatical. 

If you are a fan of romance, which I am; this is the book for you.  Highly recommended.  Five stars. 

Read my review on

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: To Be With You (The Sunset Series)

To Be With You (The Sunset Series) - Kindle Edition
Author:  Opal Mellon
Publication Date:  April 27, 2013

***Note*** I didn't finish this book.  I tried to.  I wanted to, and I've kept it on my Kindle, just in case I want to give it another try.

To Be With You is the love story of Nicole Pierce and Sean Rollins.  Nicole and Sean were best friends as children.  Nicole moved away when Sean was eleven to live with her Aunt but they kept in contact through letters and eventually, with the evolving world of technology, through email and instant messaging.

Nicole has a disastrous dating history:  she always goes for the wrong man.  He starts out fine, but turns into a womanizer or abuser.  After a series of failed relationships, she decides to try her hand at a "host club"--a dating club, called Club Blue, where the men are charming, fashionable, and treat women with respect.  After all, it is part of their job description.

Nichole tells Sean during one of their chat sessions that she's going to check out "Club Blue" to find an escort for an event she has to attend.  She goes for an interview as a potential client and meets with Hope, the co-owner of the establishment and three male hosts, to decide which would suit her for her event.  After talking to Justin, Jason and "John," she senses something familiar with the man who calls himself "John."  He reminds her so much of her best friend Sean.  He should.  He is Sean.

Sean, as "John" knows that his facial features and body have changed over the years since Nicole last saw him, but to hide his identity during their initial meeting, he wears a mask over his eyes and tells her his name is John.  This causes the other two escorts to raise their eyebrows, but they don't give away his secret.

Nicole picks John/Sean as her date and soon realizes that he is her childhood friend Sean, but doesn't let on.  After a couple dates, Sean takes a stroll on the beach to clear his head about Nicole.  He's debating if he should come clean and admit who he is, knowing that he could ruin their longtime friendship by admitting that he lied to her about who he really was and knowing how she mistrusts men, he doesn't want her to end up hating him.

Nicole lives with her aunt who has a house across the street from the beach.  The very same beach that John/Sean has decided to walk around while hashing out his thoughts.  When she sees this strange figure sitting there at dark, pretty much "baying at the moon," she goes to see if the person is okay.  As she approaches the figure, she realizes it is John/Sean and confronts him and tells him she knows who he is.

After talking a little more, they each ask the other to try and help them find a suitable match.  Both secretly hoping to make the other jealous at the prospects of setting the other one up with a "perfect match."  As Sean has always loved Nicole, even when they were children, he knows he's the man for her.

Okay.  This is pretty much where I left off.  Honestly, I wanted to love this book.  When I read the book blurb I thought it sounded like a good premise and promising storyline.  I was wrong.  I don't like giving negative reviews because as a writer myself, I don't want to read them about my book that I've poured my heart and soul into.  No author wants a negative review of their "baby." But I just couldn't make it through this book.  I got a little over halfway through and gave up.  I really don't know what it was, but it didn't hold my interest.  The writing and grammar were pretty flawless.  I didn't find any errors that jarred me out of the story.  The story itself was just dry.  I love books where I jump into the story and can't put the book down.  Generally fly through them in a couple days (if I read non-stop, don't cook for my kids or clean the house) you know, pretty much don't do anything else.  LOL  It took me over a month just to get halfway and give up.  That's so disappointing.  Like I said above, it's still on my Kindle and I might try to finish it.  Some other time.

I'm not giving up on Ms. Mellon as a writer.  I will read more of her books.  But "To Be With You," I have to give a 1 star rating.  And this truly breaks my heart.

Read my review on Amazon:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book Review - Taken by Storm

Book Review:  Taken by Storm
Author:  Rochelle Alers
Release Date:  8/1/2008

Taken by Storm is the third book in the series of the Whitfield Brides.  It covers the love story of Simone Whitfield and Raphael “Rafe” Madison. 

Simone Whitfield is a 33 year old, five foot-three inch, petite divorced florist, who is out jogging one morning and witnesses the brutal attack on her friend and neighbor, who happens to be a federal court judge.  As a federal witness, she is placed in protective custody under the watchful eye of hunky lawman, Rafe Madison.

Rafe Madison is a 35 year old, six foot-three inch, two hundred and ten pound, blue-eyed, blond-haired Deputy Marshal from Kansas.   Ruggedly handsome, and extremely athletic, Rafe walked away from a promising career as a pro baseball player due to domestic problems on the home front.  Ever since then, he’d been sworn to “protect and serve.”

I have two words for this book:  Awe – Some! 

I’m not being biased because Rochelle Alers is my fav romance author.  No.  Not at all. 

I will admit I thought there would be more action, maybe an attempt to get to Simone, or something.  To me, this was just a series of family gatherings with a sprinkle of witness protection thrown in to break up the parties.  I still give it a big thumbs up because of the character development.  I love well-written, character driven romances.  And this one fit the bill.  Leave it to me to read the last book in a series, first.  Ha-ha.  I guess because I didn’t read them in order, I kept getting the other characters mixed up.  And there were quite a few characters.  Lots of family members.  One of the things I like about trilogies is catching up on past couples’ stories.  Seeing how things have progressed.  I missed that by starting with the third book.  But I loved this one so much, I don’t care about the others. 

Simone is feisty, quick-tempered, and independent.  She will mouth off at the drop of a hat and hunky-hunk can stop her tirade with just one word:  “enough.” 

Since her business is based out of her home, Rafe moves into her house to protect her until the trial.  In public they pretend to be a couple so people won’t question why Rafe is following her around like a lovelorn puppy.  The pretense turns into reality as Rafe quicky realizes his feelings for Simone are more than pretend. 

I can’t rave enough about this book.  I truly enjoyed reading about Rafe and Simone.  Rafe is my kind of hero:  over-protective without being smothering; assertive without being arrogant and intelligent without proving himself by spouting off the Pythagorean Theorem.   And, Oh-Em-Gee, is he super-fine. 
Read my review on

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Etsy Feature Item of the Week

Hey everyone,

I have a new item I posted in my Etsy shop the other day.  It is a three piece hat, neck wrap and fingerless gloves set.  In black, red and white stripes, this set is perfect for cold weather.  See details below.

Black, White & Red Crochet Hat Set - Slouchy Hat, Neck Wrap, Fingerless Gloves

Black, red and white striped slouchy hat set.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Till next time. 

Stay Blessed and Happy.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Etsy Feature Item

The feature item for the week is this gorgeous Blue 1920's style Flapper Cloche.

Blue Flapper Style Cloche - 1920s Flapper Style Cloche

Fits 21" to 24" circumference.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Etsy Shop - Now Open

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update you all on my Etsy Shop.  The title of my shop is "Creations by Laya," and you can access it here.  I'm working on updating the photos, and overall appearance of the shop, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know.  Below is my first feature item.

Plum & White Newsboy Hat
with Matching Earrings 

Crochet Newsboy Hat & Earrings

This Newsboy hat is made with acrylic yarn in double crochet stitches.  The brim on the hat can be worn up or flipped up on one side.  The large matching earrings are for pierced ears and have silver plated ear wire.  Ear wire contains nickel.

Thanks for stopping by my Blog, and for visiting my shop.  Till next time.

Stay Blessed and Happy.