Perfect Pairing by Rachel Spangler

Rachel Spangler is one of the really good writers in this genre. She knows how make a romance jump off the pages, and has well-developed characters and plots. Add in the setting of a food truck chef meets and spars with an uppity banker and you have the makings for an interesting read. Right?

Hal Orion owns and runs a local Buffalo food truck. Her specialty is sandwiches loaded with unusual pairings and loaded with cheese. Hal hasn’t had the easy road in life, a product of the foster care system via a drug addicted mother, Hal doesn’t trust easily. She literally let know one below the surface other than best friend and employee, Sully. You can’t miss what you never had, is basically Hal’s life’s mantra.

Quinn Banning is an investment banker. She’s a no-nonsense kind of woman, who sets her sight on a goal and drives like mad till she gets it all the while wearing an Armani suit and pumps. She has her sights set on opening a one of a kind restaurant in Buffalo that will give the community something unique and flavorful. Hal is the chef she needs to jump-start her dream.

The book begins with Hal and Quinn having an epic clash, neither seeing eye to eye and starting off on the wrong foot. As the story progresses both ladies are basically a thorn in the other’s side with underlying sexual attraction. This is definitely a case of opposites attract. While the story was set up for a wild ride of excitement, sadly the romance just fell flat to me. After a while, it just felt like we were beating a dead horse to death and neither of these characters in real life would have anything to do with the other. I like each character fine but as a couple, it became forced. Hal lashed out on too many times and you would have to be a saint to keep going back for more.

If you are a foodie you will love the descriptions of sandwiches and dishes Hal whips up. Even a non-foodie like me was intrigued. Overall this a pretty good book, I don’t think its Spangler’s best but you will definitely get your money’s worth.

3.25 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Bywater Books

Perfect Pairing
by Rachel Spangler


Heart of the Game by Rachel Spangler

I am not a huge baseball fan, I am sure that is blasphemy to many Americans, but I am just not. Now don’t get me wrong I can enjoy baseball, it’s great to go to the ballpark grab a beer and sit back and watch the pageantry of any sport. I love sports! I also have become a great fan of Rachel Spangler’s books, and I was intrigued by the vastness of this books ratings.

Sarah Duke is a female sportswriter. This is no easy feat. This particular career is heavily dominated by men. A female will have to work twice as hard if not harder to break into this field. Sarah, who really only goes by Duke, has just landed her dream job working for, Duke is working as the sports commentator for her beloved St. Louis Cardinals. Baseball is her life, literally and figuratively.

Molly Grettano is a single working mother of two boys. By day she waits tables and any other moment she has is dedicated to her children’s happiness. Her oldest child, Joe, is somewhat of a baseball savant. Joe’s childhood is not playing sports or video games. No, he is a lover of baseball. He doesn’t excel at rounding bases or catching pop flys, no, Joe loves the statistics and math of the game. He knows batting averages, win-loss averages, which pitcher is needed for which opponent. So, Molly fosters that love and takes her sons to any Cardinals game she can. A chance meeting with the journalist Sarah Duke is a treasure for Joe, she fills his heart with more of his passion of baseball. This accidental run-in brings Duke into the lives of Molly and her two sons.

The third character in this book is baseball. Yup, this book is heavy in baseball, quotes, stats and life lessons learned from America’s pastime. Duke and Joe’s obsession with the game is heavy and it reflects as much in the book. In my opinion the third character takes over much of the book, leaving the main characters progression towards romance rather thin. You can only have so much of one subject before it becomes overwhelming.

I had a hard time believing that Sarah Duke would ever get out of Molly Grettano’s friend zone.  Don’t get me wrong Duke is nice and sweet, she is great with the boys but she is more like a teen than a thirty-something woman. Her singlemindedness was frustrating and I could not believe Molly would fall for someone who would put her so far second behind her career. She only spoke in baseball metaphors for goodness sake, who would find that attractive. Cute for a while maybe but after time it would be grating! I did not believe this happy ever after.

I love Rachel Spangler’s writing style. I liked this book, but it is definitely not my favorite of Spangler’s. If you are a baseball junkie, you will love this one. If baseball is not your thing, you may struggle a bit. For me it wasn’t a strike out, but it wasn’t a home-run either.

3 out of 5 stars

Heart of the Game
by Rachel Spangler

Does She Love You? by Rachel Spangler

Whew, I just finished Does She Love You? by Rachel Spangler. This book will take you for a ride on an emotional roller coaster. I felt sadness, oh the sadness. Then happiness, yay, I love happy feelings. Oh but the one emotion that stuck with me, hatred! Not for the book, no worries there, the book is damn good. No the hatred is for one character that I am 100% sure was an offspring of Lucifer. I’m being overly dramatic, yes, but let me explain and you can join in on the emotional roller-coaster that is Does She Love You?

So there are three main characters to this book, Nic, Annabelle and Davis. Nic is married to Annabelle. 13 years of wedded bliss for the couple, or so Annabelle thinks. They have it all, a large house in Athens, Georgia, a country club membership, and a loving marriage to boot. Annabelle, a former debutante, quit her job years ago to be the stay at home wife Nic wanted her to be. Annabelle does everything she can to be the wife Nic needs. She spoils her, helps her navigate the upper crust society of Athens and Annabelle also supports Nic in her drive to be the very best at her career. Annabelle is and has always has been the guiding force to Nic’s success. They only problem is Nic has become bored with her life, and frightened at giving Annabelle her true dream, to become a mother.

So what does the competitive, successful Nic do? She finds an unsuspecting lover on her weekly trips to Atlanta. Enter Davis. Davis is spunky, fierce and full of passion. She has a sassy way to her that captivates Nic. So after a few well-placed lies here and there, Nic has herself both an amazing sexy girlfriend and a beautiful supportive wife. This horrible little prick really thought she could have it both. She believed she was making them both so happy, so what is the harm in her deception. I told you hate was on this roller coaster. I HATED Nic! I wanted to slap the daylights out of her, squirt her with maple syrup and then release the fire ants on the evil hussy. That kind of HATE! (I promise I am not normally a violent person, pinkies swear 🙂

I felt so much sadness for Annabelle and Davis. These two amazing women were duped by a master manipulator. They gave their trust, their hearts and their bodies to Lucifer’s spawn. I literally jumped for joy when Nic got busted and the truth came pouring out.
By this point I’m wondering where the romance to this book is going to come into play. Surely Nic is out of the equation right? If not this book would be set aflame, (not literally cause I tend to read on my phone and that would be ludicrous but you get the point). Have no fear where there is a will there is a way!

So, a friendship of pain is forged between the cheated, Annabelle and Davis. They bond over their misfortune and help heal the wounds that the Devil’s baby, Nic, created. These two found strength in each other and discovered after much soul searching how Nic had been holding them back from their true nature. Annabelle was tired of being someone’s trophy and Davis was more than just someone’s between the sheets playmate. Lastly their friendship turns into something more, even though the odds are against them. So freaking sweet and abounding with happiness!

How the Rachel Spangler wraps this story up is excellent. The range of emotions is vast but the ending, oh well that is the best part! A great book is one that wraps you up in it, one that makes you feel real emotions. Rachel Spangler delivers in spades with this one. I cannot believe that it has taken me this long to read this book!

5 out of 5 stars

Does She Love You?
by Rachel Spangler

Sweet Hearts: Romantic Novellas by Melissa Brayden, Rachel Spangler & Karis Walsh

Sweet Hearts: Romantic Novellas is just what it says it is SWEET. Insert “awe” here, and feel free to really draw it out like us Southerners do, AAAWWWWEEE. This is quick read, distinctively broken up into three well written, compelling novellas. All three authors are quite frankly amazing writers, and it shows time and time again in the works that they produce. This book is no different, even though each story is relatively short.

Normally when I review a book I will give a brief synopsis of who each of the main characters are and what’s the basic premise of the story. I’m going to skip this step this time, and tell you what you really want to know, is this book worth your time. I think yes, would be my resounding answer. Yes, this book is good. Sweet Hearts is fun, it’s cute, and it gets right to the point in each of the three stories. Do I wish each was longer, hell to the yes for two of them, and one of the stories I was glad it was the length that it was. My final point is that well let’s be honest, it has a Melissa Brayden story in it, that’s really all you had to say to sell me.

4 out of 5 stars

Sweet Hearts
by Melissa Brayden et al.
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