Two to Tangle by Melissa Brayden

Two to Tangle is the second installment in Melissa Brayden’s, Tangle Valley Romance series. If you read her first book in this series, Entangled, you will remember chef extraordinaire, Gabriella Russo. In this romance not only does the chef whip up culinary delights, but she also opens the winery’s newest restaurant with the help of a local construction crew and their boss, Ryan Jacks. Did I mention romance and sparks, well there are quite a few of them between Gabriella and Ryan!

Ryan Jacks is somewhat of a player. Ryan lets the ladies, and there are a number of them, know she is down for fun between the sheets but that is all. She isn’t interested in the commitment of any type. That is until she meets the tough but sweet newest resident, Gabriella. When they meet she second-guesses all her old ways, the only problem is that her reputation is already firmly in place.

Gabriella is currently creating amazing dishes out of her food truck, but the end goal is to create a world class restaurant that sets Tangle Valley Vineyard miles above the rest. She’s finally creating the food she wants and has found happiness in the beauty of Whisper Wall, Oregon. Everything is going according to plan until she meets the stunning Ryan Jacks. As Ryan’s company begins building Gabrielle’s dream these two grow as friends and then more. The only problem is Ryan’s reputation and cold feet seem to get in the way.

Melissa Brayden does it again with a sweet and sexy romance that leaves you feeling content and full of happiness. As always the book is full of smiles, fabulous dialogue, and characters you wish were your best friends. You don’t have to read the first in the series to dive into this one, but I would recommend it. Trust me, read everything by Brayden, you will not be disappointed.

4 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/melissa-brayden-166-a

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Entangled by Melissa Brayden

Entangled by Melissa Brayden
Swoon! That is the best way to describe Brayden’s newest novel, Entangled. The book just makes you swoon. This book makes your heart happy. It is sweet, romantic, fun and there is wine. How can you not love that delicious combination?

Joey Wilder inherits her family’s small but mighty Oregon winery. The grapes, the land, it is her life and she loves it. She wants to make her family proud and continue making world-renowned wine but she has some changes she wants to make as well, and she does by bringing in two friends to take Tangle Valley Vineyard to the next level. As open as Joey is to some change, she is definitely not okay with the new resort that is opening up in her town.

Becca Crawford is amazing at what she does. Opening successful resorts are her jam and she is excited about her latest project, The Jade, is Whisper Wall, Oregon. She wants to make this place her home, finally putting all f her attention in one resort from the ground up. Becca is stunned to find out that most of the residents while polite really don’t want The Jade to open. She has some fancy footwork to do to get her neighbors to accept the resort and the hardest to win over might be Joey Wilder.

As always Melissa Brayden writes a really good book. While this isn’t my favorite of her works, I enjoyed my time with it immensely. Being the first in a series, Brayden had a lot of characters and settings to get the reader familiar with. This is where I think the book lost traction in the romance department. I wanted just a bit more one on one with Becca and Joey. Still a fantastic read, one I highly recommend.

3.75 stars out of 5

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/entangled-by-melissa-brayden-3283-b

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To the Moon and Back by Melissa Brayden

Melissa Brayden, her books just bring me happiness and joy. Happiness and joy! Sometimes it is the little things in life like a fantastic run, a smile from a stranger, or a really good book that make the world seem just a little bit better. While reading To the Moon and Back that’s how I felt, just a little bit better, and you know what I’ll take it.

Brayden takes us to the theater in her latest novel. Carly Daniel is a successful actress in Hollywood. She’s made her mark out in LA, had a run of successful movies but now her star power is in trouble. A few antics here and there and her image and reputation has been tarnished. She has been labeled a diva who makes trouble on and off set and now her job prospects have all but dried up. Carly is given an opportunity to do theater work in the world-renowned McAllister Theater in Minneapolis. She has to take the gig, even if she really doesn’t want to because this may be her last opportunity to get her reputation back on track.

Lauren Prescott is the stage manager at McAllister. She has worked her tail off for weeks on end and is now scheduled for a vacation. When her boss lands Carly Daniel for their next play, Lauren’s plans for sunshine and relaxation are put on hold to make sure Ms. Daniel stays out of trouble and preforms to her highest potential.

Carly and Lauren have immediate chemistry. They know it, and better yet we as the reader know it. Add in some fabulous banter, fun stage antics and you have the recipe for a fantastic read. Melissa Brayden does what she does best, she delivers amazing characters, witty banter, all while being fun and relatable. I loved this book, and I loved the distraction and escape from the real world it offered. You cannot go wrong with this book.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Back to September by Melissa Brayden

Can we all take a second to jump up and down that Melissa Brayden has a new book out? You can stay seated but know, I jumped up and down with excitement and glee. The books Brayden writes just bring me so much happiness and joy. I live for her stories, her amazing characters, and their witty dialogue. Back to September does not let me down. What a wonderful book!

Hannah Shephard’s book store is in trouble. It’s in the red and even though it’s in an amazing location in Providence, it just does not have enough foot traffic to keep the lights on much longer. Hannah is a bit of a loner. She keeps to herself and her circle of friends, while amazing is very small. She likes it that way, she enjoys her solitude and thinks other than that her business woes life is perfect just the way it is. Luna, a friend/employee talks her boss into taking a chance on romance.

Parker Bristow is the queen of romance. Her books are best sellers and she has become a superstar in Hollywood. She is known for her books, her looks, and her on-screen personality. Parker’s people book her a book signing at A Likely Story, Hannah’s shop. The rest is history!

Out two mains hit it off right from the first meeting. They just have that chemistry, they know it and you as the reader can just feel it jumping right of the page. One problem, they don’t live in the same towns or move in the same circles. Time and distance keep pulling these two apart. You follow their journey navigating fears and self-doubt. No doubt you will feel emotionally tied to these two. Brayden writes in such a way you as the reader feel their struggles and share in their joy.

Back to September is a delightful story, with a lot of a bit of heart and a little bit of heartache. As always, anything by Melissa Brayden is worth reading, and this is one is no exception. As always I am excited about the next one!

4 out of 5 stars

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Beautiful Dreamer by Melissa Brayden

Absolutely freaking adorable! While reading Melissa Brayden’s newest novel, Beautiful Dreamer, I kept thinking are there little red hearts circling me? If not there should be! This book is sexy as hell, sweet as can be and makes you smile the whole way through. Beautiful Dreamer is a direct reflection of why Brayden is the very best at romance.

There is no doubt you should read this book. Brayden is at her very best with this one. Her characters are dynamic, multi-faceted and just so darn likable. The dialogue is rich and quirky, and best of all it sounds and feels real. When you read Beautiful Dreamer you are right there in the moment with our leading ladies. An absolutely stunning 5-star romance. This one I know I will read again and again and my heart is just still so delighted.

A BIG 5 out of 5 stars

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My Top Ten Romance Novels of 2018 – BETTER LATE THAN NEVER :)

  • The Music and the Mirror by Lola Keeley
  • Breaking Character by Lee Winter
  • Blend by Georgia Beers
  • Sparks Like Ours (Seven Shores #3) by Melissa Brayden
  • In Development by Rachel Spangler
  • Just For Show by Jae
  • Under Your Skin by Lee Winter
  • Casting Lacy by Elle Spencer
  • Survival Instincts by May Dawney
  • Black Ridge Falls (Above and Beyond #6) by Jody Klaire 

2018 is in the books and 2019 is here and into February already. I hit a major reading slump, I haven’t had one this bad in years. In terms of books, I thought that this year has some amazing books and a lot that left me wishing for more. This year I found myself going back to some old favorites and re-reading those gems and passing on some of the newer ones. Thanks to all of you on here, I love finding great recommendations from y’all and seeing your thoughts on the books that I loved or felt blah about.

FAVORITE OF 2018: Overall my favorite book of  2018 was an easy choice. Nothing even came close to The Music and the Mirror by Lola Keeley. This one is  walked right in as an all-time favorite. A book that you go back to time and time again. I read this book wanted to start right back over. 

 

Love Like This (Seven Shores, #4) by Melissa Brayden

In Love Like This series favorite, Hadley finally has her shot at true love. The fourth and final book in the Seven Shores series has been one I have anxiously awaited. My overall thoughts are pretty simple, I liked it, I didn’t love it.

Hadley is one of those characters who just draw you in and you cannot help love her. She’s super nice, genuine and has a uniqueness that just jumps of the page. I truly believe that her character has made this series have that little something extra that sets it apart. She’s just fun!

Hadley is introduced to an old high school friend of Elle’s, Spencer Adair. Spencer is an up and coming fashion designer who is seeing a lot of success selling her design’s through social media. With the help of Hadley and a few tweaks to her designs, Spencer has just landed a huge account selling her pieces on Rodeo Drive.

Hadley and Spencer have an instant connection. They notice each other right from the start and are on an unexpected first date by their second meeting. This relationship evolves easily. I think that’s maybe why it didn’t pull me in like all the other Brayden books. It’s just so easy there isn’t any angst, drama, denial, nope nothing but an easy transition that is sweet and nice, but kinda lackluster as well. To me, Spencer never really evolves into a spectacular character. She is great at what she does, fashion-wise. I felt as the story progressed Spencer never really pulled me in. She was always kind of flat and just didn’t have that magnetic quality that other love interests in this series had. I liked her but I didn’t love her.

This is the lowest I have ever rated a Brayden. I have always rated them a five with the exception of two before this one. This may just me being off this time. I want to say that this book is absolutely worth your time. It is good and I imagine that to a lot of folks it will be a great book. What holds me back from rating it higher is I just go no feels from it. It was missing that spark that I have come to expect from this series and Melissa Brayden.

Let me know what you thought of this one! 

3.25 out of 5 stars

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Sparks Like Ours by Melissa Brayden

I want to start this review by saying how glad I am that this is not a trilogy. There is one more and oh how I cannot wait for Hadley. Don’t get me wrong Hadley’s story is going to be outstanding but aren’t all of Brayden’s stories. Let me tell you Gia Malone and Elle Britton bring the heat. Hell yes they do, the heat they bring is hot, smoking hot.

Gia and Elle are fierce competitors. Elle is the currently the number one female professional surfer. She has adoring fans and is the face of women’s surfing. Gia is number two and is doing everything in her power to get her points total to top Elle’s. They don’t hate each other but there is some definite tension. Ooooh, don’t you just love the tension and the whole got off on the wrong foot/rivals scenario, Lord knows I do! Two elite athletes that are both fierce competitors, you know right off the bat that Brayden is going to give you some fabulous angst mixed in with amazing dialogue, light-hearted fun, and characters that steal your heart.

Gia is driven, ambitious and solely focused on being the very best female surfer. She loves surfing for the pureness of it and to fuel her competitive spirit. Catering to sponsors and being friendly with reporters is part of her job but something she is less than comfortable with. Elle gets under Gia’s skin because she not only knows how to play the game, she has reporters, fans, and sponsors eating out of her hand. This peppy people person drives her mad.

What draws you so much to these Gia and Elle is that they act like real people. They are flawed, they make mistakes, they get tipsy on margaritas in a bar and blurt out something that they shouldn’t. Perfection is boring. Brayden makes them come alive right off the page. You love them for their missteps and their triumphs. You love them because she makes them feel real.

We aren’t reinventing the wheel here folks. Brayden has her formula and by golly, I am so glad she does. It works and it’s not good, it’s great. I for one, think my lucky stars that Melissa Brayden writes lady loving books because she is one of the very best and takes it to the next level every single book. She writes the stories that you come back to. Not once, or twice, but time and time again because they give you all of the feels. Isn’t that why we love romance? Those little flutters that pull of your heartstrings, that paragraph that makes you smile, the joy of a first kiss. Her books are the ones you cherish.

An easy 5 stars!

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Hearts Like Hers (Seven Shores #2) by Melissa Brayden

Sooooo, I read Melissa Brayden’s newest book, Hearts like Hers. OMGeezy, let me tell you something, Melissa Brayden is a true romance badass. This book is everything. E V E R Y T H I N G! I could throw out adjectives for greatness all day long and it still wouldn’t be enough. The queen of romance has dazzled me yet again, and I cannot thank her enough for it. Brayden doesn’t just write a love story, she writes an epic love story!

Hearts like Hers focuses on Autumn Primm, the owner of The Cat’s Pajamas coffee shop. Autumn is witty, she’s sarcastic and an all-around adorable character. She has spent her life up until now completely learning the coffee trade and now running her small business. An invitation to her ex-girlfriend, Olivia’s, wedding hit Autumn especially hard. Not for the fact that she has any residual feelings for her former lover, no, that ship has sailed. What she feels is more the loss of a chance, she has let her love life evaporate while she has been solely focused on business. So she forces herself to watch the ex get hitched and comes to the conclusion its time to have a child, she’s going to take that next step in life even though she has not found her Mrs. Right.

Kate Carpenter is the newest residence at the Seven Shores apartment complex. She has taken a two-month hiatus from her job fighting fires in a small sleepy town in Oregon. She needed to get away. Kate was in the right place at the right time to save two small children from a house fire, but it wasn’t without pain and suffering for everyone involved. Touted as the town’s hero, Kate wants anything but the attention. She heads to Venice for some rest, relaxation and far away from anyone that will call her a hero.

This book, to me, deviates from the Brayden formula just enough. Now, I have never been one to knock said formula because to me it works and it works exceptionally well. There is a reason that readers drop everything for these books, they are time and time again outstanding reads. What I’m saying is this book is captivating and keeps you on your toes. The slight change up works but even more than that it’s just about two fabulous characters that have so much chemistry. I’m talking chemistry for days. Big and bold smoldering chemistry! This book is hot and sexy, with all the wit and spark you expect from the master of dialogue. Brayden stepped up to the plate with this one, she pointed her bat Babe Ruth style into the grandstands, and nails that sucker out of the park. This is a true romance that does every single thing to perfection. Every. Single. Thing! Once again Melissa Brayden stands at the top. She unequivocally is the queen of romance.

All the stars!!!

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Eyes Like Those by Melissa Brayden

I have a handful of favorite authors who I will read anything they write. What is glaringly apparent to me and my biased little heart is nothing, nothing, comes close to a Melissa Brayden book. (Well, there is one other writer, but we will leave her nameless for dramatic effect). How is she this good? Each book captivates me, her characters, their dialogue, it gets me every single time in the best possible way. I mean really, how is the dialogue so good? It just reads so well! I would give up coffee on a cold winter morning for this lady’s books. They are just that amazing!

After the reading slump of all reading slumps, knowing that this was on the horizon gave me hope for an amazing story with protagonists I couldn’t help but love. Did she deliver? Oh hell yes! Goodness gracious that was fantastic. Do you know a moment when you’re reading along and your heart stops, and you start talking out loud trying to get the character to listen to you? You are so immersed in a story you can feel every emotion radiating off the page. This happened to me with this book! How great is that?

The story starts off with Isabel Chase losing yet another terrible job and fretting how she was gonna pay the bills. Being a waitress is not a fit for Isabel but she keeps doing the job to keep her cat fed and force herself to continue to write, her one true passion. As lady luck strikes just at the right moment, Isabel gets the chance of a lifetime and heads to Hollywood to interview for a staff writer position on a hit television family drama. This is her big break if only she can keep her fears and anxiety at bay.

Taylor Andrews is the executive producer for said TV show. At 32, Taylor has become the It Girl in TV. Her shows have high ratings and basically, everything she touches becomes a success. Shonda Rhimes, better watch out! With five years at the helm, the ratings have dipped just a bit and it’s time to shake things up to keep the show going.

I will say both characters are fabulous. They’re fun, they’re interesting and Brayden makes them so real, with flaws and all. You can’t help for rooting for their success and romance. Not, to mention she gives you a handful of other characters that you will be chomping at the bit to hear their stories as well. I’ll wrap up my gushing, with this book is delightful. Brayden brought the heat with this one and I loved every second with it. I cannot wait for the next in the series. If you are a Brayden fan grab this one and enjoy the ride! Good Lord, it was good!!!

5 out of 5 stars

Eyes Like Those