If Wishes Were Kisses

Captivating reads for the discerning romance enthusiast.

Review of The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

Title: The Simple Wild
Series: Standalone
Author: K.A. Tucker
Published: 07 Aug 2018 by Atria
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance


City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot in this masterful new romance from acclaimed author K.A. Tucker.

Calla Fletcher was two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when her father reaches out to inform her that his days are numbered, Calla knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this new subarctic environment, Jonah—the quiet, brooding, and proud Alaskan pilot who keeps her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. As time passes, she unexpectedly finds herself forming a bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago.

It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

The Simple Wild is an exceptionally readable story that will alternately incite laughing and crying, oohing and ahhing. It's a book you'll not want to end but a story that will stay with you for a long time. It also features one of the most integral parts of a successful relationship: COMPROMISE! Really loved it!

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Recommended Reads: The de Vincent Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Moonlight Sins
Series: de Vincent #1
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 20 Jan 2018
Genre(s): Romantic Suspense


New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout delivers the unforgettable story of a woman whose new life has just begun—but may end in murder . . .

Julia Hughes has always played it safe until she learned a very painful lesson. Now Julia’s starting over with a job in the Louisiana bayou—and a scorching encounter with a stranger, only to discover he’s Lucian de Vincent . . . her new employer. The de Vincent brothers share a massive fortune and a dark reputation. Julia cares for their troubled sister, but a menacing presence in the mansion—and the ever-present temptation of Lucian—prove dangerously distracting.

Lucian’s grandmother claimed de Vincent men fall in love once—and hard. Apparently, it’s Lucian’s turn. Julia’s compassionate care of his twin makes Lucian want to lay himself bare. But some secrets are better for Julia not to know.

The recent “suicide” of Lucian’s father is the latest in a string of deaths on the estate. Someone is eliminating the de Vincents. And the best way to get to Lucian may be through Julia. . . .

Amazon Links: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback | Audio CD | Audiobook 

Title: Moonlight Seduction
Series: de Vincent #2
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 26 Jun 2018
Genre(s): Romantic Suspense


The de Vincent brothers are back—and so is the intrigue that surrounds them—in New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s sizzling new novel . . .

Nicolette Bresson never thought she’d return to the de Vincents’ bayou compound. It’s where her parents work, where Nikki grew up . . . and where she got her heart broken by Gabriel de Vincent himself. Yet here she is, filling in for her sick mother. Avoiding Gabe should be easy, especially when so much of Nikki’s time is spent trying not to be stabbed in the back by the malicious hangers-on who frequent the mansion. But escaping memories of Gabe, much less his smoking-hot presence, is harder than expected—especially since he seems determined to be in Nikki’s space as much as possible.

Gabriel spent years beating himself up over his last encounter with Nikki. He’d wanted her then, but for reasons that were bad for both of them. Things have now changed. Gabe sees more than a girl he’s known forever; he sees a smart, talented, and heartbreakingly beautiful woman . . . one who’s being stalked from the shadows. Now, Gabe will do anything to keep Nikki safe—and to stop the de Vincent curse from striking again.

Amazon Links: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback | Audio CD | Audiobook

Title: Moonlight Scandals
Series: de Vincent #3
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 29 Jan 2019
Genre(s): Romantic Suspense


It takes a fearless woman to love the most scandalous man alive in New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s breathtaking novel

Even a ghost hunter like Rosie Herpin couldn’t have foreseen the fateful meeting between two mourners that has brought her so intimately close to the notorious and seductive Devlin de Vincent. Everyone in New Orleans knows he’s heir to a dark family curse that both frightens and enthralls. To the locals, Devlin is the devil. To Rosie, he’s a man who’s stoking her wildest fantasies. When a brutal attack on her friend is linked to the de Vincents, he becomes a mystery she may be risking her life to solve.

Devlin knows what he wants from this sexy and adventurous woman. But what does Rosie want from him? It’s a question that becomes more pressing—and more dangerous—when he suspects her of prying into the shadows of his past.

Now, the legends surrounding the de Vincents may not be myths at all. But if she’s to discover the truth, she must follow them straight into the arms of the man she can’t resist—the handsome devil himself.

Review of An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur

Title: An Exaltation of Larks
Series: Venery #1
Author: Suanne Laqueur
Published: 22 Nov 2016 by Cathedral Rock Press
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance



September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he's taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.

September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan's top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he's long suppressed.

Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. Each was shaped by a 9/11, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.

"Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn't yours."

Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur's fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love's downfall can turn to exaltation.

Never before have I felt I knew characters from a novel so intimately. Suanne Laqueur wove this story of strangers to friends to soul sharers so eloquently; I felt consumed by their hopes, passions, consciences, motivations, loyalties, dreams, and struggles. The beauty of this epic story will remain with me for a long time. I am in awe.  Really loved it! ❤

Amazon Links: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback | Audio CD | Audiobook

Review of The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

Title: The Girl He Used to Know
Series: Standalone
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Published: 02 Apr 2019 by St. Martin's Press
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, New Adult


Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people's behavior confusing, she'd rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game—and his heart—to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She's living the life she wanted as a librarian. He's a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

The Girl He Used to Know was such a unique story. It elicited quite an array of emotions in me while reading it, and I have a feeling many of those will linger. Annika and Jonathan’s relationship was singularly captivating. Reading of Annika’s social anxieties and how hard she worked to fit in was both sad and inspiring. Jonathan was a quietly supportive, understanding, and loving hero for this uniquely remarkable heroine. Oh, and if I may make a recommendation. Have tissues handy for a variety of tears. Really loved it!

Amazon Links: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback | Audio CD | Audiobook

Review of The Witness by Nora Roberts

Title: The Witness
Series: Standalone
Author: Nora Roberts
Published: 17 Apr 2012 by Berkley
Genre(s): Romantic Suspense


In her stunning 200th novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts proves why no one is better “when it comes to flawlessly fusing high-stakes suspense with red-hot romance" (Booklist, starred review).

Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth Fitch finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive.

Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance security systems designer, her own protection is supplemented by a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. Unfortunately, that seems to be the quickest way to get attention in a tiny southern town.

The mystery of Abigail Lowery and her sharp mind, secretive nature and unromantic viewpoint intrigues local police chief Brooks Gleason, on both a personal and professional level. And while he suspects that Abigail needs protection from something, Gleason is accustomed to two-bit troublemakers, not the powerful and dangerous men who are about to have him in their sights.

And Abigail Lowery, who has built a life based on security and self-control, is at risk of losing both.

Note: The Witness is worth re-reading, which is the highest kind of recommendation!

A rating of five stars is grossly insufficient. Best. Nora. Ever. (Her 200th book!) I couldn't help but feel great empathy, respect, and joy for the characters, Abigail (Elizabeth) and Brooks. I marveled at how wonderfully Nora crafted Elizabeth's tale. Whereby she showed us how this brilliant, literal, and resourceful girl went from simply staying alive to trusting someone so much she learned how to live. The character introduction and development is fascinating. The curiosity that drives Brooks to seek out Abigail is understandable. Her discomfort in all social situations is palpable, sad, and offers great insight into her strong ability to design a life far exceeding the coldly clinical upbringing she was subjected to. Her gradual acceptance of Brooks and her eventual love for him makes complete sense. His patience, kindness, honesty, and understanding allows Abigail to remain true to herself while he introduces her to a life of more. More "every day" possibilities - of friendships and family and sharing and love. Ah, yes, he's very special! I've said it many times - Nora writes the best dialogue! Her skills in creating the back-and-forth dynamic conversations between all of her characters blows me away! What they say. The timing. The appreciative vibrations ring through me as I read it. Abigail's literal thinking and Brooks' casual conversation style makes for consistently delicious repartee. They are simply and utterly an enchanting couple!

The description of Abigail's computer skills came across satisfactorily - enough detail to be impressive but not enough to sound ridiculous. The strategic planning and execution leading to the "take down" of the Volkovs and their minions was extremely clever. The "getaway" that Abigail devised was dramatic and efficient. The epilogue was as good as it gets in a happily-ever-after ending. Oh, and I adored Abigail and Brooks ever so much more for the way they spoke to Bert. I totally "get" people who talk to their dogs. Really loved it!

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