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 distribution and escape from the real world it offered. You cannot go wrong with this book.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Whether we love sports or not, most of us a drawn to the Olympics in some sort or fashion. We find ourselves drawn to sports that we have very little knowledge of, fascinated by the athlete’s backstories and their single-minded pursuit of their dream. So take this subject and throw in a romance, well, yeah I’m totally going read that.
Ellie Engebretsen is a seventeen year old Olympic hopeful in the ski jump. Finally, the Olympic committee has agreed to allow women to compete in this event. (Side note: women have been ski jumping for over 100 years, but it was finally included in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.) Her father competed years ago in this discipline ad has been grooming her since birth to be the next champion of the sport. When we meet Ellie she is recovering from a broken heart. Her girlfriend has run off with a fellow teammate, who happens to be a guy. To make matters worse she runs into them sucking face all over her mountain in Lutsen, Minnesota.
Enter Kate Moreau. Kate becomes Ellie’s rebound fixation. These two meet, hookup and are never supposed to see each other again. Yeah, okay, totally doesn’t happen that way. Kate ends up moving to Lutsen and taking a part-time job at the Engebretsen’s pro shop. Kate is tough, keeping her heart locked away. Abandoned by her father, and being raised by her free spirit mother, Kate doesn’t take anything from anyone. Self-reliant and fearless are two easy ways to sum this teen up.
So what did I think? This one is kind of a conundrum to me. The writing overall is done fairly well. I thought the relationship development was kind of shallow, but not bad. What stuck out to me the most, and I wrestled with, was the dialogue. Ellie for a seventeen-year-old is way over the top crass. I couldn’t buy that this was a teenager. I think her dialogue kept throwing me out of the story. The final chapters were way over dramatic, unnecessary conflict that didn’t make the story more enjoyable. Now with that being said, I would still read another book by Juliann Rich, I am interested to see how her other characters will be developed.
2.75 out of 5
by Juliann Rich
I can’t believe I just got around to reading this book. So glad I finally did. Great read, that is relatively face paced and was a great book to escape into.
Cassidy Miller is a Marine Corps veteran. After serving two tours in Afghanistan, she heads home and enrolls in the Minneapolis police academy. After a year on the job the horrors of war are still effecting her. PTSD is a bitch, and the nightmares won’t quit. Cassidy decides to try her hand at becoming a cop in a small town, maybe the change in scenery and a slower pace will help her heal.
Julia Desjardin is the the city attorney for Embarrass, Minnesota. She is an absolute ice princess. Beautiful, smart, rich and does not let anyone close to her. Julia is a fascinating character, you could not help but be drawn to her. She had an air of mystery surrounding her. I wanted to know what made her tick. Julia could not be any more different from Cassidy, but these two are drawn together.
Eliza Lentzski writes beautiful characters, who are flawed, but have such amazing hearts. This book is full of angst, mystery, and a great love story. This book is also very sexy if you know what I mean.
4 out of 5 stars
Don’t Call Me Hero
by Eliza Lentzski