Tag Archives: 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge

Book Review: ‘Capturing the Cowboys Heart’ by Lindsey Brookes


Title: Capturing the Cowboys Heart

Published: 11th November 2011

Author: Lindsey Brookes

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lindsey.brookes.9

Twitter: @Lindsey_Brookes


After losing his wife in an accident two years before, not long after he’d been forced from the circuit by an injury, thirty-two-year-old Cade Tyler, ex-rodeo champion, thinks life has thrown him more than lemons. But life isn’t done…it sends him Lacy Dalton.

She’s a reporter.

He hates reporters.

She’s pushy.

He hates pushy.

She’s sexy.

He…well, he just won’t let himself think of her that way.

The more Lacy learns about Cade’s past, the more she finds herself wanting to prove to him that not all reporters are bloodthirsty vultures. But her growing attraction to him puts not only her heart in jeopardy, but her life as well, because someone is out to ruin Cade and will do anything to make that happen.


Goes down as the last one off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A Western. Well not quite a western but its got a cowboy on a ranch with horses so I’m counting it.

So Lacy is thinking this interview with ex-rodeo star Cade might help her move up in her career, even get her a column in the magazine. Which is great but what she is really looking at is if it goes well she will get a pay increase to help with her Grandmothers care. Full of confidence she doesn’t expect to be shot down the moment she gets there, after a whole day of travelling mind you, at the set interview time. Cade is nothing but a hotheaded – drool worthy – rude man who makes her feel like an idiot the minute she speaks to him. Seems there was a bit of a misunderstanding with the interview, or more like Burk Cade’s best friend was just trying to help out. Both famous rodeo rides in their day but now they raise bulls for the games on the ranch.

It seems the Flying T ranch is loosing money though and he thought it would be a good opportunity to drum up business. So this interview was kind of a sneak attack on him. Shame Cade has no intention of doing said interview so sends her away even after the offer she makes. Seems Burk and his dog are good at making people feel like crap though as Cade soon changes his mind, mainly due to the way he treated her, and goes to track her down. Seems he is now prepared to agree to her terms. He will give her an interview if she helps out on the ranch while there. I think he just wanted to put her to hard work so she would leave on her own and he wouldn’t feel guilty about it. From the moment she appeared she caused feelings to come to the surface again. Feelings and urges he thought never to have again after the death of his wife two years before. He feels guilty for having them and does everything he can think of to push them aside – shame Lacy isn’t easily removed though.

Tempers definitely rise to the occasion when Cade and Lacy are together, mainly due to passion brewing just below the surface. First comes to ahead when he has to rush into a field to save her. One that just so happens to contain his prize bull. Fear that she would be harmed and then frustrated anger that she went in to save a kitten (a farm one that knows what its doing) leads to the first of many heated kisses. Seems the longer she is in his presence to more intense his feelings become, hers also but as he keeps reminding her she’s there to do a job. She just happens to have the one job he hates, a reporter. She starts to bring out a jokey, carefree side to him. Funny when Burk and Cade create some mischief in regards to the hot water tank not working. A joke that just so happens to backfire on them quite quickly and turns out very hot between Cade and Lacy. Lets just be glad they had somewhere to cool off. Passion aside though, trouble is brewing at the ranch with someone from Cade’s past wanting to ruin him and get revenge. Can they ever work together without arguing? Though sometimes the passion that follows is worth the fight. Happiness can come around a second time but you have to grab it with both hands when it does.

The story did get a little predicable with who might be causing trouble on the ranch so didn’t create too much intrigue but it was good to just focus back on the romance brewing up a storm. Burk was a funny character that brought a great bit of banter throughout also so he was a good distraction at times.


3 out of 5 stars

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts, Romantic Comedy / Humour

Book Review: ‘Wild Designs’ by Katie Fforde


Title: Wild Designs

Published: 5th June 2003

Publisher: Arrow

Author: Katie Fforde

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatieFforde

Twitter: @KatieFforde


Althea is the mother of three strong-minded children – one of whom is a Buddhist – and owner of a finicky dog named Bozo.

Saddled with too large a house (albeit in a beautiful Cotswold village), worrisome mortgage payments, a bossy younger sister and irksome ex-husband, Althea still manages to muddle through life comfortably enough. Until she loses her job.

Seeking solace in her borrowed greenhouse, Althea decides to develop her passion for gardening. And when she wins the opportunity to design a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show with the unexpected help of gorgeous architect Patrick Donahugh, it looks as though Althea may have unearthed a new man as well as a new career…


Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set in your current town or region, the Cotswolds.

Althea’s life is already a bit manic with being a single mum to three children. She then finds out her ex-husband is intending on coming back to the UK from Hong Kong to be a father again now they have grown up. You just know he has an ulterior motive, as shallow as they come. But its about to get turned upside down more when she finds out she is being made redundant from her post at the school. Swiftly followed by finding out that the derelict house she uses the greenhouse for has been sold. Wouldn’t seem so bad if she actually had permission to be there in the first place. She may be a receptionist as her day job but what she really wants to be is a garden designer. She needs the greenhouse to keep her plants in for the few people she does help so needs to convince the new owner to let her stay until she can find somewhere else to put the plants. More so after she wins a competition to compete in the Chelsea flower show. A little white lie about being a garden designer to the new owner Patrick wouldn’t hurt anyone, would it?

One last task before she takes redundancy is to go along on a school trip to France. What she thought would be a fun trip with her co-worker Sylvia, along with taking care of the kids, turns into a bit of an uncomfortable re-meeting with Patrick. Seems she went to him stating she was already a garden designer and would be thankful if she could continue using the greenhouse until she has somewhere else to put the plants. Reluctantly agreeing for a price to be determined later. So he is none too pleased that she lied to him and they don’t get off to a great start. When they find out that they have to share a room together at the house they are staying at things get interesting. Seems he thinks sharing the bed isn’t an option, no matter what she says, so insists he will stay on the floor. From comments made later in the book though I think this is really because he wouldn’t have been sure he could keep his hands off her. He may have a girlfriend at the time – Topaz his much younger assistant who is another character who is very shallow – so seem off limits to Althea but I think he starts to rethink things that weekend too. So maybe he’s not completely off limits.

Can you guess what might happen when two very shallow people meet? After a certain something happens its funny how both Althea and Patrick wanted to console each other when they found out but neither really needed consoling at all. Seems their romance was like a plant. It was going to take some time to get good roots down before being able to blossom. He does make her feel quite cherished when they do come together though. Chemistry is seen but shied away from by her. Only when she sees things a bit clearer does she fear she’s lost the one man for her. She seems very indecisive and selfless to the point of almost giving up on herself in regards to happiness. Make up your mind or the one you want will get away! Well maybe not for a while as it seems he’s just as into her and is willing to wait – but for how long? Also question, since when is 39 old. The way she talks sometimes you’d think she was 59.

Felt this one had a few too many sub stories going on trying to be interlinked around the main one with Althea’s ex-husband, sister, work colleagues and Topaz all pulling the story in different directions. Gardening of course played a key part and you can almost imagine the one she creates at her home and then Chelsea. Gardening is her one release, something just for her that she would never give up. It was a good book, funny in places, but not my favourite with how ‘back and forth’ Althea was being with her decisions. Good winter read though to get you in the mood for getting the garden ready for the season ahead. A good garden is the best place to read in.


3 out of 5 stars

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Review: ‘Captured by the Pirate Laird’ by Amy Jarecki


Title: Captured by the Pirate Laird

Published: 18th January 2014

Publisher: Rapture Books

Author: Amy Jarecki

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amyjarecki

Twitter: @amyjarecki


Wed by proxy to a baron old enough to be her grandfather, Lady Anne trudges up the gangway of a galleon that will deliver her into the arms of a tyrant. Crestfallen, she believes her disastrous life cannot get worse—until she awakes to the blasts of cannon fire.

Facing certain death, Anne trembles in her stateroom while swords clash and the chilling screams of battle rage on the deck above. When a rugged Highlander kicks in her door, she prays for a swift end.

But Laird Calum MacLeod has a reason for plundering the ship—and it’s not a stunning English lass. With no other choice, he takes Anne to his crumbling keep on the isle of Raasay and sends a letter of ransom to her husband. In time, Anne grows to understand MacLeod’s plight and finds it increasingly difficult to resist Calum’s unsettling charm—until the baron sends a reply agreeing to terms.

Ripped from passion that will be forever seared into their souls, will Anne and Calum risk everything for love?


Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a pirate in it. I love highlander books and this one had an extra twist that he was a pirate to boot – brilliant!

Anne has been wed by proxy on the word of her uncle to Lord Wharton, a man old enough to be her grandfather. She may have caught his eye at the Queens coronation, not the she remembers, but he couldn’t be bothered to collect her himself when she is sent to him. Instead he sends her alone out on a ship so she can be delivered almost like cargo. It might look bleak to begin with but that’s just the start as pirates soon take over the ship and all its cargo – her included.

Calum MacLeod, pirate captain of the Sea Dragon and Laired of Raasay, gets a bit of a shock when he comes across English lass Anne hiding in a room on the ship he just concurred. Unsure what to do with her at first his plan is to take her back with him until he knows more about who she really is. When he finds out that she is wed to Lord Wharton he knows the only outcome is to ransom her to the English Lord. A fight is brewing between the English and the Scots and it seems this meeting by chance is the catalyst that starts it all again.

Anne may not have thought her life had much of a bright outcome on the start of her journey but she soon learns that meeting Calum could be the best thing that ever happened to her. Especially if he keeps looking at her the way he does. Passion is brewing, more than she really knows what to do with, so it’s a good thing that Calum does. She thinks she always has to do the right thing for her family but can Calum show her another way? They both need a little faith in each other to get what they really want.

There are lots of other key players throughout that play a part in creating an interesting world. Too many to mention them all but with Bran, the young squire, you get a feeling he is going to be key to the future of Calum’s land. Good way to set the scene for the rest of the series. It almost has a Robin Hood feel to it with the fact that Calum only steals from the wealthy so he can feed his people – you even have a Friar, though he’s called Pat not Tuck. Anne may not condone what he does but she can see why he would need to. Its not just Calum’s friends and family that make up the interesting group but the people along the way that help Anne get back to where she really belongs. Lets hope they are all strong enough to band together against the danger that follows them in the form of Lord Wharton, his henchman Denton and the army he has claimed along the way.

4 out of 5 stars

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Filed under Historical Romance, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Review: ‘Summer of Love’ by Katie Fforde


Title: Summer of Love

Published: 16th February 2012

Publisher: Arrow

Author: Katie Fforde

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatieFforde

Twitter: @KatieFforde


Who knows what might happen in a summer of love?

Sian Bishop has left the hustle and bustle of the city behind and has thrown herself into a new life in the country.

With her young son, her picture-postcard garden and her small thriving business, she’s happy and very busy. She is not – repeat not – looking for love.

And then, one glorious summer evening, Gus Beresford arrives.

One-time explorer, full-time heart-breaker, Gus is ridiculously exciting, wonderfully glamorous – and, Sian tells herself, completely wrong for a romantically cautious single woman like her.

But she and Gus have met before. And, despite Sian’s best intentions, it isn’t long before she’s falling for him all over again…


Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book by a local author. A great light read that feels like a cosy warm romance novel to get stuck into when it’s wet and windy outside. Really like stepping into a Katie Fforde book as she has the ability to transport you to a rosier existence.

A story of two parts coming together to create an interesting, if at times predicable, love story. Sian is a single mum to Rory her four-year-old son. The result of a magical moment in time with Gus – not that he knows this yet. An explorer who captured her from the moment they met, shame he was leaving a couple days after to travel the world. Feeling the London life was no longer for her and her son she moves out to the country, with the help of her friend Richard. He is a husband/stepfather wannabe when it comes to her and Rory. He presents an easy, safe (if some what boring) option – one at times she seems to consider. At her new home a friendly neighbour Fiona comes to check her out. Loved her from the start, more so when she enlists Sian’s help with Internet dating. A close friendship is formed but you know there’s change coming when she keeps mentioning that her son Angus is coming home. Have him crash into a dinner party and Sian almost forgets to breath. The father of her son just walked in and is looking at her like he would love to continue where they left off. Chemistry and passion can be seen from the start which grows the more time they spend together but with the ticking time bomb of telling him the truth about their son hanging over her how will it play out.

If their romance wasn’t enough to keep you entertained then Fiona’s definitely will. First guy she meets turns into an interesting event. Good job she gets a knight to come to the rescue – well James a bookshop owner really. Theirs is a more mature romance that starts with friendship first. With being older they don’t want to mess around with mixed signals. Just say what you want, and mean, and go for it. Which is something Sian and Gus could do with copying as they do get themselves into a bit of a pickle at times. Loved their son Rory though, such a sweet little boy. The things he came out with sometimes shows the innocence of a child’s point of view.

Love the village settings the author creates. Almost homely with how they are, making you wish you lived in the idyllic places.


4 out of 5 stars

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Review: ‘Stormblaze’ by Kate Bonham


Title: Stormblaze (Volume 1)

Published: 24th July 2016

Author: Kate Bonham

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorkate.bonham.7

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/katebonham_author

Twitter: @kbonhamauthor 

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/katebonham


The year is 2119 and the world is not as it once was. Hadyn’s been lost since before the Change, before all technology was cut off from the world. The Slayers have been after him for decades, one with a special interest in seeing him ripped apart, slowly, painfully. How long can Hadyn stay hidden? When he is being hunted at every turn. Then he met her. Edana didn’t expect her life to get this interesting, nor did she think she’d ever find a dragon. She knew they existed, she’d always felt there was a world that was hidden. A chance meeting with Hadyn has confirmed her beliefs. Are all dragons as devastatingly handsome as Hadyn? Could she be that lucky? When the Slayers find them, she is caught in the middle of a battle between two rivals who have been hunting each other for centuries. Can Hadyn keep her safe from his world? Or will she burn along with them?


Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set in the future. Loved this book from start to finish, so intriguing all the way through. The year is 2119 where all technology has gone due to a virus and the world seems to have gone back to the dark ages. If you are different you have more than just the average person to look for with the Government and Slayers out in force. Especially if you’re born a drakon – drakon not dragon mind you!

Hadyn has been on the run for years from those that would see him dead for what he is – a drakon, one from a very powerful bloodline. His kind has been hunted for generations so he lives a life of solitude to keep others safe. He may want to live alone but when his protective nature starts kicking in things soon change. When he sees two men hassling a woman he wastes no time in helping her out – mainly by frying the men to a crisp. Thinking the woman would have run away now she’s free from harm, and probably scared of him, he’s shocked to find she stayed and seems more intrigued than anything. Seems he’s stuck with her now – as she’s got nowhere else to go – whether he wants her there or not. Her ever many questions get the best of him and she soon wares him down enough to let her return home with him, just for the night mind you. Well that’s what he thinks! He is wary of having her so close as he fears his drakon is getting wilder and starting to lose control with not being able to control his shifts. He shouldn’t worry too much though as even in his drakon form he manages to protect. Case in point when he shifts in his sleep and almost burns the place down. She would have been toast had his drakon not spotted her and crashed out the window to keep her safe. This unplanned shift has caught the attention of the Slayers though who are soon on their way to take him out. When Edana catches up with him she fills in the blanks and pretty much says he’s homeless now too. Knowing there is a chance that the Slayers think she’s with him they need to stay together and find shelter in another state where hopefully they won’t be followed – famous last words! Seems the Slayers are only be a couple steps behind and they’re catching up fast.

Edana has been on her own ever since her mother kicked her out as a teenager. She is beyond fascinated by Hadyn – well when he’s not being a complete rude moron that is! A few days on route to another state and you soon see sparks fly – from annoyance as much as chemistry. He knows it’s not really safe for her to be with him, or by herself, so goes with the lesser evil. He can’t let himself getting too close to her for the last time he took a lover they were killed because of what he is. Easier said than done when skinning dipping in a hot spring. One kiss is all it takes to fuel the fire that’s slowly been building but he still manages to snuff it out. Back at their tent later that night though he throws caution to the wind, as he can’t seem to help himself when she’s close. They needed to stay hidden and quiet to be safe but both seem to disregard this when getting down to it – not that either really cared at the time. Now he feels the need to protect her even more as the following day danger lingers.

Slayers are closing in and it’s not just with them. The leader of the Slayers – Halvar, has taken hostage Hadyn’s old mentor Rowen and Keelia, a young woman carrying a drakon baby (one he might have a use for), hoping to lure him out to rescue them. He has an ulterior motive for everything and being in his presence for a moment you can tell he’s evil. How he treats his four wives is something else entirely. You soon learn that they really shouldn’t get so attached to the “enemy” as their lives depend on it. Karma is a bit of a bitch, but rightly deserved in this case, for him when he realises that you really shouldn’t come between sisters.

That isn’t the only sub-plot of the story as you are soon introduced to a whole clan of drakon’s – the more the merrier I say. Ones who would do whatever it takes to save one of their own kind and those mated with them. Interesting mix and I hope to see some fun stories for them later in the series. When Edana gets taken all seems lost but with help from inside and outside the castle she shouldn’t fear too much. It might help her look deeper within herself to see something starting to wake up. Something powerful enough to make others afraid it seems. A storm is coming along with a battle and only one side can come out on top. With some kick-ass drakon’s though I know whom I’m betting on.

Great book that kept you hooked from the start. Had a little inkling as to how the storyline might go and what might happen to certain characters but that just made it more interesting as you are creating scenarios while reading, all the while wondering if they will come true. Side note loved the blaze scene. A blaze is when a storm hits and due to the bad weather drakon’s can fly high together undetected. Lets just say that when Hadyn goes flying his reaction after is something Edana could get used too.


5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of the book from the author for my honest review.

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Filed under Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Reading Nook Blog Posts