Author's last name starts with M

Low Country Hero by Lee Tobin McClain

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Low Country Hero by Lee Tobin McClain comes out later this month.  The author is new to me, although a quick look at her blog page show a number of series prior to this one.  I enjoyed the storyline, characters and the warmth of the area. (Not just because it is cold here!) Lee Tobin McClain novel also includes spousal abuse, not an easy subject to add into a novel.  

Sean O’Dwyer and his brothers, Liam and Cash were left in Safe Haven by their mother and suspicious circumstances.  The town helped each of them find a home and helped them grow into the men they are. Low Country Hero focuses on Sean O’Dwyer, a contractor, who has come home to Safe Haven to work on some cabins by the sea.  He’s hoping that being home and having family around him will help him.

Anna George with her five year old twins, Hayley and Hope are running away. Anna’s ‘husband’ was an abuser and Anna knew she had to leave. She chose to drive from Montana to Safe Haven, South Carolina, specifically to a set of cabins by the sea that she remembers from a childhood vacation.  Anna found the cabin’s closed and managed to pry open a window and planned to camp out there until she found another solution. 

Sean found her there and went to check out the unknown cause of lights.  Pepper Spray was a part of their first meeting. He lets her stay and after seeing the twins and beginning to understand she was hiding, let her stay and gave her a job.  

Sean and Anna spark and things get interesting….and then ‘he’ shows up.   Other things are happening in the small town and old secrets might be coming closer to being solved.  I enjoyed the book and look forward to more stories in this series. Low Country Hero by Lee Tobin McClain is a great read.

Thanks Harlequin for the great read.

Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber

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Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber was a lovely romance novel that reminds you how precious love can be.

Josie Avery, a recent graduate from cooking school, has spent the summer in Alaska.  Her job to cook in a very remote location is just for the summer. She is loving her adventure, using local foods and cooking for townspeople and visitors alike.  She has a new job coming up in Seattle for a famous chef. She is excited about starting her new life in Seattle, but she really likes Palmer.

Palmer Saxon, a famed master swordsmith works in the remote Alaskan wilderness. He can build swords anywhere, but the wilderness and quiet of Alaska speaks to him.  He is entranced with Josie, walking with her every night. He is falling in love with Josie.

Palmer screws up his courage and asks Josie to marry him.  She is quite mixed and saddened, but refuses because staying in Alaska is not her dream.  And that is when things get quite interesting! Suffice to say, not everything that happens is expected.  

Alaska Holidays by Debbie Macomber was a fun, sweet read.  

The Good, the Bad and the Duke by Janna MacGregor

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The Good, the Bad and the Duke by Janna MacGregor was one of those romances that really tugged at my heart strings.  I have been enjoying The Cavensham Heiress series. This is the fourth book of the series and I know it is not the last.  According to Goodreads, there is another book going to be published in June next year.

Lady Daphne Hollworth has been unexpectedly left behind, so she decides to take matters into her own hands and use the time to plan her future.  Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart finds that she is alone and does his best to help her.  Little does Paul know that she has loved him all her life. Little does Daphne know that Paul has always cared for her.  Together, they work to help Daphne recover a missing item and maybe - just maybe - recover from their own wounds and find each other.  

I think the book really hit me because of how sad the characters are.  They love each other truly, but do not want to hurt the other. I love the Cavernsham family with the various family members. I love their loyalty and obvious regard for each other. The Good, the Bad and the Duke by Janna MacGregor was a lovely read.



Kassie's Cowboy by Lindsay McKenna

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Kassie’s Cowboy is a novella from Lindsay McKenna’s series Wind River Valley.  The book takes the owner of the popular eatery from Wind River, Kassie. As she was driving back from a funeral, she spun out and hit her head as a blizzard was coming in.  Luckily, Travis Grant saw lights flicking from his house and went out to investigate. Kassie and Travis have always had strong feelings for each other. Now they are stuck in Travis’s house until the blizzard passes.

Kassie and Travis are a fun couple.  Lindsay McKenna writes about veterans who struggle with PTSD. Her ability to give information intertwined within the romance is unparallelled.  Kassie’s Cowboy is a fun, short read.


California Girls by Susan Mallery

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California Girls by Susan Mallery is a story of three sisters.  Each going through a time of confusion and rewriting their life.  Finola, Zennie and Ali are all different for sisters. One is a part manager in a auto who does a popular morning show.  The sisters have a mother who is cleaning out a house and ready to move on and wanting married daughters with grandbabies.  

Each of the sisters have a crisis of relationships. 

Finola’s husband of many years has started an affair with a famous singer and leaves her ten minutes before Finola has to interview on air the singer.  She is devastated. Then despite her “closed-mouth moving-on” attitude, the news is out and she is chased by cameras and reporters. She is devastated again.

Zennie doesn’t feel like she is ever going to be one of two.  She is not a couple person. The very nice man she has seen a couple of times isn’t going anywhere. What is happening is that Zennie is pregnant. She is carrying her best friend and her husbands baby.  People either disparage her or love what she is doing. What she really wants is a cup of coffee and a glass of wine.

Ali is the youngest, and she feels that she is the afterthought.  She was all set to marry Gary, when he decides he cannot marry her, but isn’t going to tell her, so his brother did.  Ali is devastated and it is only with Gary’s brother’s help is she able to start again.

The stories of the sisters meander around each other.  They struggle to help each other and to help themselves, especially as their mother is a pill.  California Girls by Susan Mallery is a good read.

Lone Rider by Lindsay McKenna

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Lone Rider is the newest in the Wind River Valley series by Lindsay McKenna.  We are back on the Bar C Ranch designed to help veterans who are struggling with PTSD.  Shay was glad to see her friend from high school and wanted Tara to join the ranch. Tara has left the Arms Services.  Her tours left her with nightmares, anxiety and constant hyperawareness. Working outdoors as a wrangler and extra hand would be a godsend.  

Harper is fighting PTSD as well.  For him finding the ranch and being able to work with the horses helps him get through each day.  His marriage disintegrated and his life fell apart until he found the Bar C. Now he is working toward a future.

Together Harper and Tara spark.  They are both so damaged and afraid, but they are feeling things they hoped for but never expected.  I enjoyed the couple, but found the book dragged in the middle. I felt that the characters continued to repeat themselves and spent too much time in their head rehashing what happened and is happening.  I think the book could have included all the relevant plot line with more streamlined middle. However, the wordiness did not take away from the quality of the story with the mystery and adventure of Harper and Tara.  

I am looking forward to the next book in series when it comes out in the fall.  Lone Rider by Lindsay McKenna is a good read.

To Tame A Wild Lady by Ashlyn Macnamara

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To Tame A Wild Lady by Ashlyn Macnamara is a wild ride.  A proper lady and an improper estate agent.  A woman mad for horses and riding with no desire to be wed.  A bastard with no family, but an upbringing allowing him to make a living.  She wants to ride and hunt and he needs to sow and harvest the fields. Together they are fire, when in reality they should be servant and lady. Together they solve a couple of puzzles and set fire to their love.  Lady Caroline Wilde and Adrian Crosby… To bad they can’t be together.

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

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Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris was a thoughtful novel about the unexpected consequences of a photo.  The idea of selling children is the abhorrent event that starts off a series of events that are chilling and fascinating, sometimes in the same breath.  The story holds your attention even when you are hoping truly that the series of events are not accurate (but they are). One of the other themes that is prevalent is that of guilt for what happened even though no guilt should be applied.  

Ellis Reed snaps a photograph of two boys next to sign - 2 children for sale.  The photograph was never meant to be part of a story, but Lily Palmer found the photo and that starts a series of events.  Lily and Ellis are thrown together while working through the situation and their secrets come out. Ellis is marred by the outcome of the photo despite the situation.  Lily is marred by the children being given up by the mother. And then we start hearing about what happens to children who are sold. The story really grips at the heart of the reader.

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris was a good read.  

Why Not Tonight by Susan Mallery

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Why Not Tonight by Susan Mallery is the third book in her trilogy Happily Inc.  Ronan Mitchell has been struggling ever since he found out he was not part of the family, he always thought he was.  He moved to start over and two of his brothers moved with him. They found their happiness, but he has found himself becoming more and more withdrawn.  


Natalie Kaleta runs the gallery where Ronan and his brothers work and show their creations.  She realizes that no one has heard from Ronan in several days and becomes concerned. She takes it upon herself to drive to his house to check on him.  The problems of an old car and horrid weather do not stop her. Luckily, she makes it even if her car does not. Stranded with Ronan, Natalie realises he is more than just another artist.  Ronan’s trust has been eroded and he really does not allow himself to forgive and more on. Until he does Natalie and his relationship is in peril…


Once again, Susan Mallery has reminded me about why I love her books.  Her characters are well thought out and jump off the page as real people.  You find yourself cheering for them, hopeful for their successes and wanting to comfort them when things are not going well.   Why Not Tonight by Susan Mallery is a great read.


Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery was a fun read.  The book follows two sisters and their mother in Mischief Bay.  Since this is not a new setting (book 4), there were characters and story connections to past books, however the book could definitely be read as a stand alone.

Hannah, divorced and learning how to stand on her own feet has started a new business as a Virtual Assistant. Her daughter, Becca is a teenager with struggles of fitting in with her friends (mean girls) and is growing more distant.  Starting a new business and learning how to focus on what is important is very hard, especially when her mother, Bunny is constantly harping on her about how to be a perfect wife and mother.  

Stacey, a hugely successful doctor studying MS and Hannah’s sister is struggling as well.  All her life she heard she was different, unnatural and a problem by her mother.  In reality, it is clear to see she is brilliant, focused and terrified of becoming a mother.  She is clearly somewhere on the spectrum, but her husband gets her and loves her.  He is determined to stay home so she can work, but how will that go over with her perfectly traditional mother, who is inflexible.

Luckily Stacey and Hannah have each other and together they will support each other and find their way forward.  Once again Susan Mallery has brought us strong women characters who show that being strong means growing and changing and having each other’s back.  I was surprised by the honest and clear characterization of Stacey and loved the drive and determination by Hannah.  

Sisters Like Us reminds us of the powerful role sisters have in all of our lives!  Susan Mallery’s newest book is a great read.  


The First Kiss of Spring by Emily March

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Emily March is a new author for me, so reading one of her books from the middle of her series was a bold adventure.  The First Kiss of Spring was a lovely read.  There was angst, heat, love, secrets and a town full of family.  What more could you ask for?  For Caitlin, a long term relationship ending in marriage and children. For Josh Tarkington, friends (maybe with benefits) but NO long term commitments...ever!

Caitlin has decided that her life needs to change!  She want to live in a small town working with children.  She wants a long term relationship called marriage and children.  So it is time to change.  However, it is hard to change when your family is questioning your wisdom or your choices, especially the choice of Josh…

Josh has started over again.  He thinks he is the original bad luck person of all time. He does not want to love again - it hurts too much! He just wants his garage, his little house and the small town where no one knows his background and maybe more time with Caitlin, but not love…=

Surprises and secrets are the reality in a relationship where everyone does not share the truth. Caitlin hates that.  Josh needs to save her but pushing her away…  The First Kiss of Spring by Emily March is a good read!


The Holiday Cottage by the Sea by Holly Martin

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The Holiday Cottage by the Sea by Holly Martin was a contemporary fun read with some humor and some heat. The setting is a small town in the southwestern corner of England.  The small oceanside town is one of the few places where heart berries are grown.

Tori Graham is on vacation at Blossom Cottage in Sandcastle Bay.  The vacation is badly needed and in exchange for staying at Blossom Cottage she is going to help work on a berry farm picking heartberries. She chose this place as her best friend Melody lives there and it has been too long since they have spent time together.   

The owner of the cottage is Aidan Jackson, one HOT farmer.  He is the person she is going to be working for and according to his elderly aunt, marry and have five children with.  The cottage comes with some curious features like a dog who comes with the cottage.

I enjoyed the reading this book.  I loved the entrance that Tori made coming into town…it made me giggle.  I saw the dilemma with starting a relationship when worrying about the future.  The townspeople were characters and I enjoyed spending time with them.

The Holiday Cottage by the Sea by Holly Martin was a good read filled with humor and heat!


Sandpiper Shore by Debbie Mason

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Sandpiper Shore by Debbie Mason is the sixth book in a series called Harmony Harbor.  I have not read the previous books and did not find the lack of knowledge about the previous books a problem.  Sandpiper Shore is about Jenna Bell, an erstwhile matchmaker and in the midst of planning her own Cinderella wedding, when her soon-to-be husband breaks up with her for her stepmother.  This is just one more straw to break her back! Her father died. Her stepmother has stole her company. Her stepsisters put up with her. And then this - and when she runs out of the wedding gown shop, she is almost hit by a car she ran in front of and then there was the fight - oh and the dancing pole…now she is trying to manage her new reality by helping her old flame (more on her part than his) Logan marry a Princess… (Yes, a real life Princess!)

Debbie Mason has a following of readers who enjoy her series.  I did enjoy the book, even though it seemed more than once that the book was a little too cluttered with things that kept happening. The main characters seemed to be fun and the book was populated with various characters that could be next in line for a book from Harmony Harbor.  I did like how there was redemption for the creepy ex of Jenna’s.

Sandpiper Shore by Debbie Mason was a good read.  

All Things New by Lauren Miller

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All Things New by Lauren Miller was a good read!  The main character, Jessa was really good at presenting an image to the world, she thought.  But inside she was a mass of anxiety with panic attacks that were barely in control.  She struggled everyday and found her relationship with Wren, her boyfriend, a saving grace.  Left to live with her mother and her mother’s new husband and their twins Jessa didn’t feel like she belonged except with Wren.  

Until Jessa found out he was cheating on her and others knew about it.  Until Jessa was in a horrible car accident and her world imploded.  Now Jessa has a new chance to start again, living with her dad and going to a new school.  No one has to know about the panic attacks - and the other problems brought on by her head injury. RIght?

I enjoyed this book.  I like how some things were interwoven so seamlessly within the story.  Jessa’s dad’s patience with her was another element that I liked.  Jessa and her friends were well drawn characters and I felt the story was well done.  I feel the book was mislabeled and should be labeled as Christian as well as Young Adult and Contemporary.  I enjoyed reading the book and hope others who read this learn how debilitating panic attacks can be.  


Beach House for Rent by Mary Alice Monroe

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Mary Alice Monroe’s books are superb.  They show the passion she has for the beauty of the lowland country and its natural preserves.  I love how she imbues her books with enough facts to hook the reader while not becoming strident about the need to save our world.

Her newest book is called Beach House for Rent.  Mary Alice Monroe brings us back to Lovey’s cottage on the Isle of Palms. (Don’t worry if you have not read any of the prior books - this can stand alone.)  It is here we meet Cara Rutledge as she rents out her mother’s cottage for the summer to Heather Fordham. To Cara this is a winning situation!  Heather’s story unfolds in pace with Cara’s story about the summer.  Each woman is at a different point in her life and needs help connecting to others and themselves.  

Beach House for Rent is a wonderful novel about changes, growing, and accepting.  Mary Alice Monroe has written another hit that makes us look at what is truly important and how we embrace the changes and pull ourselves into new segments of life.

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Latest comments

30.03 | 21:07

📚🌻📚🌻❤️... GREAT REVIEW

24.12 | 00:28

Always look forward to your weekly blog, Marti ... safe travels this week. Merry Christmas!

01.10 | 16:20

Happy Birthday! I remember when book club started when you turned 50. OMG! 100% agree with political status. So disappointing. Happy Foliage!

27.05 | 23:23

Outraged, too! It is just getting coverage. This government is shameful under this leadership.

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