Tag Archives: love

The Dating Dance by Danielle Nowell (Book Review)

When Sarah Shuster meets Theodore Caddel, she’s certain she’s found the perfect man, although after what happened with Jake Leifhour, she’s hesitant to get involved in a relationship. Sarah has a good job as a dance teacher and a steady life in Grenvale. As their relationship blossoms, Sarah is presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity: a dream job in New York City. The problem? it’s over 2,000 miles away from Grenvale, and Theodore. Sarah is torn between her relationship with Theodore and her desire for career success. She doesn’t want to leave Theodore, but also knows turning down the job would be a huge mistake. As she grapples with this decision, Sarah starts to wonder what truly matters to her and what she’s willing to sacrifice for her own happiness. Will Sarah choose the guy or her career? Or is there a way to have both? Follow Sarah’s journey as she navigates the highs and lows of her relationship, professional ambition and search for fulfillment.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

It’s hard to get back into the dating game when someone’s been burnt in a relationship. Fear of a repeat performance is never far from their mind. Sarah’s ex burned her badly eight months ago, so she’s hesitant to date again. Through her best friend’s pestering, Sarah reluctantly decided to join iMatch. Thanks to their algorithm, online dating apps are supposed to take the guesswork out of dating. However, no app is perfect, and Sarah’s first couple of dates were proof of that. 

An old proverb states you must “kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.” Sarah didn’t technically kiss the toads, but she found her prince anyways. Theo was everything Sarah was looking for in a partner: well-read, sweet, thoughtful, hardworking, and kind. He made her homemade soup when she was sick. He wrote beautiful poetry and made her heart skip a beat by walking into a room. They had chemistry and fun together and seemed like a perfect fit. But, a secret was tearing them apart. 

Sarah, a dance instructor, always dreamt of teaching at the New York City School of American Ballet. With her dream finally within her grasp, she faced a hard decision: choose love or follow her dream. Sarah met a tough decision, the biggest one of her life. She didn’t expect to find love. She never expected to fall in love again. 

Following most romance scripts, this story’s secret led to hurt feelings, leading to a time apart. And in true romance fashion, they realized life apart was unbearable. Readers will be delighted by the sweet, romantic reunion scene. The epilogue was also quite lovely. 

The Dating Dance by Danielle Nowell is a clean and wholesome love story with zero explicit love scenes. It’s roughly 150 pages, a perfect story for any time of year. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

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Meet the Author

Danielle Nowell currently resides in Orlando with her husband and two dogs; although she’s originally from Miami. When not hanging out at home, she can be found at the theme parks or exploring the city’s food scene. She enjoys the beach and also enjoys traveling and has been to many different countries.
 
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Mr. Opposite Billionaire Grump by Cameron Michaels (Book Review)

I couldn’t have run into a bigger jerk. And, of course, he’s loaded with cash and attitude. I’m fine…until I run into him again…and again.

My new client has issues, and my job is to figure them out and fix them. She didn’t tell me that her big brother would become my issue…one I’d have to fix.

Whether I like it or not, I’m going to fall for someone whose first words denigrate my profession.

Fine…it seems like I can make it work. Until his past comes back to take him away.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Mr. Opposite Billionaire Grump is a romantic comedy you can’t help falling in love with and won’t want to see end. 

Natalia and Declan each made the mother of all bad first impressions. In Declan’s defense, he didn’t know Natalia was his sister’s therapist when he said disparaging comments about her profession. She didn’t know he was her next patient’s brother when they butted heads in the elevator. Insults flew, but we all know what that means in a rom-com. Sparks! 

Natalia was drawn to Declan, and it had nothing to do with the size of his bank account. She saw the man behind the fortune. He was kind not only to his baby sister Jillian but also to his employees as well. He had known them since he was a teen, and many current employees had a hand in raising him. He treated them like family because they were. 

Declan was confused about his reaction to the fiery therapist. He couldn’t stop thinking about her and found himself driving past her work, hoping he would catch a glimpse of her. It was one such drive-by that changed their dynamic forever. 

Declan and Natalia found reasons to spend time together. They also found reasons to drift apart. As with any rom-com, there is a pivotal moment when a misunderstanding causes the couple to take a break to think things through. Since Natalia was a therapist, I found it ironic how communication issues caused them to spend weeks apart. 

As you’d expectedly, there was the ah-ha moment when the two lovebirds realized they loved each other and rushed into each other’s arms. Natalia and Declan didn’t have the perfect start, but their ending (scene) was quite sweet. 

As much as I loved this novella, several noticeable editing mistakes occurred. Most readers will overlook the indention errors, but using the wrong character name in dialogue won’t be ignored as easily. It happened once, but reviewers note the small things when critiquing and calculating a score. 

If Mr. Opposite Billionaire Grump were longer, I would’ve liked to see the writer dive more into Declan and Natalia’s family history. The author gave us a glimpse into their separate lives but quickly moved on. Too quickly. 

Cameron Michaels left me wanting more, and that’s the sign of a good story. I look forward to reading more of their books. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 1/2

Book Funnel Link

 

 

Meet the Author 

As a romance author, I am passionate about crafting stories that capture the intricacies of love and human connection. My writing is characterized by vivid descriptions of emotions and settings, dynamic characters, and captivating plotlines that keep readers engaged from start to finish.

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Gladiator (The Arena Book 1) by Casey Lea (Book Review)

One Arena. One Love. ONE DAY.

Happy-ever-after is never guaranteed but that’s the gladiator’s mission. It wasn’t his plan to fight to the death, but plans change. When Harvesters steal his wife, he tracks them down. The hunt takes all of his money and most of his self-control, but she’s worth it. He joins her as a slave forced to fight for his life without hesitation.

His wife is a deadly warrior, so it’s too bad she doesn’t know him. Memory stripped and struggling to survive she has no interest in the fool claiming to be her husband. He’s just another target standing between her and freedom, but not for long. She’ll take down anything and anyone in her way.

Can the gladiator live long enough to win his wife’s love? Unlikely. It’s the end of the season and the final day of fighting. They’re about to enter the Carnival of Death which leaves only a single survivor.

One of them must die.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Imagine waking up and not knowing who you are, what species you are, where you are, or how you got there. That’s how Gladiator (The Arena Book 1) by Casey Lea begins. Haze’s com (nicknamed Connie) informs him that he is on the slave-trading planet Vertigo. It claims he’s seeking work in the arena as a gladiator. Haze is confused. Nothing makes sense. 

Slowly, snippets of who he is resurface and, with it, a name. Silk is his wife, and he’s on a mission to find her. The path takes him to the Carnival of Death, a battle where many walk in, but only one will leave…alive. 

Haze will do anything, sacrifice anything to ensure Silk makes it to the center of the area (the maze) and claim the prize, the knife. However, there are several obstacles in Haze’s way. For one: the other contestants vary in size and species from an enormous dragon to a scrawny guy. Two, he has to face non-contestants who love to snack on the fighters: eels and wolves. Thirdly, there’s Umpyre, the guard of law, who is a stickler for following the rules he made up. And finally, the most challenging obstacle of all, Haze’s wife, Silk, doesn’t remember her hubby. 

The cards are stacked against Haze, but he is a tenacious S.O.B. He will battle creatures, contestants, and even his wife’s stubbornness. I won’t disclose what Haze is, but he’s not your typical lawyer. He puts fear in many, and you’ll understand why once you see him lose control. 

Many shall enter. Only one is supposed to win. The road to victory was hard. The fights were intense, bloody, and brilliantly written. 

There were several shocking developments as the day came to a close. I did not see the twists coming. I was left stunned, like the characters in the book. 

Who survives 24 hours of hell, aka the maze cut out of stone? That question will only be answered by reading the book. So read it! 

The story did end with a set-up for a sequel. I can’t wait to read it as well!

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤1/2

Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Authors

Casey Lea is the pen name for a mother and daughter creative duo, dedicated to sharing their passion for all things sci-fi and fantastical.

A doting grandmother with too much time on her hands took the opportunity to put pen to paper.  Her older daughter kindly placed the resulting scribblings in one of those new-fangled so-called “computing machines” and a writing partnership was born.

The Lea (pronounced Lee) half of Casey Lea now spends her days wrestling with words and her memory while reading aloud to any cat careless enough to settle nearby. Daughter Casey edits the results while wrangling her adorable offspring.

After a decade on the rollercoaster ride of indie publishing their shared passion for epic love and grand adventure, spiced with advanced tech and ancient magic, remains undimmed.

 

You can find us at:

Sci-fi Fantasy Authors / Caseyleabooks.com
Casey Lea | Facebook
 Casey Lea (@CaseyLeaBooks) / Twitter

 

 

 

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Gladiator (The Arena Book 1) by Casey Lea (Book Spotlight)

One Arena. One Love. ONE DAY.

Happy-ever-after is never guaranteed but that’s the gladiator’s mission. It wasn’t his plan to fight to the death, but plans change. When Harvesters steal his wife, he tracks them down. The hunt takes all of his money and most of his self-control, but she’s worth it. He joins her as a slave forced to fight for his life without hesitation.

His wife is a deadly warrior, so it’s too bad she doesn’t know him. Memory stripped and struggling to survive she has no interest in the fool claiming to be her husband. He’s just another target standing between her and freedom, but not for long. She’ll take down anything and anyone in her way.

Can the gladiator live long enough to win his wife’s love? Unlikely. It’s the end of the season and the final day of fighting. They’re about to enter the Carnival of Death which leaves only a single survivor.

One of them must die.

Purchase Link

 

 

A Beginning

I want to tell you my story—or at least my part in a much larger story. It may seem sad, but like all of us, this story is a work in progress.

                                                                                           The Old Man’s Journal

 

 

The man standing in darkness had no idea who he was. That realization hit like a fist in the gut—folding him forward to rest his hands on his thighs. His head ached and dizziness came with the movement, tipping him to one side.

His shoulder collected a cliff face. He let the rough rock hold him in place while his fingers explored the pain in his temple. He found a sticky mass cutting across his brow. It felt like a furrow that was damp in the middle, but dry and crusted around the edge. When he lowered his hand to inspect his fingertips, they looked dark in the low light.

It took him a long slow minute to realize they were wet with blood. His blood.

The man sucked in a breath. He was shocked to be hurt, but not surprised. The wound explained his amnesia, although little more. Was he a fighter? A criminal? Someone who courted danger, or an innocent who’d suffered an unprovoked attack? More importantly, was he still at risk?

A careful step let him turn to brace his back against the wall.

Sweat coated his bare skin and he tasted bile when he tipped his head back to rest it against the cool rock face.

The stars above were strange.

He took a long breath and held it until his panic settled.

The confusion still made him dizzy, but he ignored it to look around, gathering information. It was night-time, with no sign of dawn or dusk on the horizon. His fingers drifted carefully across the cliff supporting him until they found a straight line of something more brittle than rock. It flaked away under his touch, and he realized it was mortar. He was leaning against a wall made of massive blocks.

They scraped the man’s bare shoulders, and he was suddenly aware of the chill night air against his uncovered skin. He looked down and was relieved to find he wasn’t naked. He was wearing a leather vest with a cloak thrown back over bare shoulders, and trousers with reassuringly solid boots beneath.

There was a matching wall opposite, across a rough path. He was standing in an alley that felt more like a gully. It fell away to angle down toward a cluster of lights in the distance.

Where the hell am I? he wondered and shrugged. He was jumping ahead, but questions were like that. They tended to stack up quickly. He needed to start at the bottom of the pile. He drew a deep breath, and his voice was surprisingly steady. “Who the hell am I?”

“Your gene tag identifies you as a gladiator. You are seeking work in the arena on the slave-trading planet Vertigo,” a warm female voice said beside him.

Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Authors

Casey Lea is the pen name for a mother and daughter creative duo, dedicated to sharing their passion for all things sci-fi and fantastical.

A doting grandmother with too much time on her hands took the opportunity to put pen to paper.  Her older daughter kindly placed the resulting scribblings in one of those new-fangled so-called “computing machines” and a writing partnership was born.

The Lea (pronounced Lee) half of Casey Lea now spends her days wrestling with words and her memory while reading aloud to any cat careless enough to settle nearby. Daughter Casey edits the results while wrangling her adorable offspring.

After a decade on the rollercoaster ride of indie publishing their shared passion for epic love and grand adventure, spiced with advanced tech and ancient magic, remains undimmed.

 

You can find us at:

Sci-fi Fantasy Authors / Caseyleabooks.com
Casey Lea | Facebook
 Casey Lea (@CaseyLeaBooks) / Twitter

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Finding Common Ground: A Story of Brotherly Friendship: Growing up together, even when growing apart by Dr. Charan Surisetty (Book Review)


Finding Common Ground is a heartwarming and relatable story about the unbreakable bond between two brothers, Alex and Max. As they grow up, they discover that despite their differences, they always find common ground and stand strong together through the ups and downs of life. This beautifully illustrated book is a celebration of sibling love, and a reminder of the joy and comfort that comes from having a lifelong friend and supporter. With engaging storytelling and a touching message, this is a book that both children and parents will cherish.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Finding Common Ground is a heartwarming and relatable story about the unbreakable bond between two brothers. Alex and Max discover that despite their differences, they always find common ground and stand strong together through the ups and downs of life. 

As the brothers age, their interests begin to divide them. Space forms between them, literally and figuratively. They still love each other, but they lose their connection along the way. Instead of laughing with one another, they yell at each other. Fights brew, temps flare, and harsh words are spoken. Friends behave like enemies. 

Finding Common Ground focuses on siblings’ bond, but this story could’ve applied to any form of relationship. As people age, their interests change. Their viewpoints change as well. Most of us have said things in the heat of the moment that we regret. Alex and Max demonstrate that what’s broken can be fixed. Talk calmly. Listen. Apologize for mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. It won’t be easy, but a shattered relationship can be fixed if both parties are willing to try. 

I adored watching the brothers make up and sharing their interests with one another. Through storytelling, children learn to have an open mind regarding new experiences. It shows two brothers being there for one another during the most important moments of their life and helping each other through tough situations. Life will get hard, but they know (deep down) they can always count on the other to be by their side. 

As a mother, I teach my children to cherish their family and friends. I tell them to be apologetic when they’ve done wrong and accept a heartfelt apology in return. Again, this picture book is centered around two brothers, but the lessons conveyed pertain to any relationship. 

Amazon’s recommended reading age is 6-12. I would also recommend this book to four- and five-year-olds. They could follow the story and understand the beautiful message. The story was lovely, and so were the illustrations! 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Charan Surisetty: children’s book author capturing the bond between siblings. Inspired by my boys, my characters embark on fun adventures and learn life lessons. Join us on this journey of discovery and imagination! Check out my books on Amazon.

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