HIS SECRET ALASKAN HEIRESS by Belle Calhoune

lgcover_9780373622986

Since I moved to Alaska decades ago to snag my man, it was only natural that this little beauty snagged me.  You may remember a while back the state of Alaska became famous for, among other things, not having enough women to go around.  I prefer a buffet, so when I was ready to settle down I went the Last Frontier to make my selection.  The heroine in this story, Sophie, did the same, but she also had another motivation.  She was trying to get away from her rich daddy and the unwanted fiancé he’d set her up with.

Alaska’s a great place to hide.  Seriously.  Cut it in half and Texas becomes the THIRD largest state in the union.  If someone pushes you out of a plane over Alaska, odds are your body will never be found.  Except by the wolves.  Or bears.

Anyway…

Sophie’s having a good ol’ time hiding out in Love, Alaska, working in a little café, enjoying the kind of downhome dirty living she missed in the Big Apple.  It’s small town.  Everyone knows everybody and they really do care, even if they can’t get anything out of you.  Only one person knows Sophie’s a secret heiress, her best friend, Grace, and she’s not talking.  Grace is busy living happily ever after with her own Alaskan man, Boone, and their new baby.  Sophie wants that too.  So far, none of the local guys are ringing her bell though.

My husband likes to say if you go looking for a man in Alaska, the odds are good, but the goods are odd.  And I say, Well, I bagged you, didn’t I?  Throw head back and laugh wholeheartedly.

Anyway…

Noah shows up, sent secretly by Sophie’s ex-fiancé to find out what in tarnation is going on.  He’s been told the Ex is just heartbroken, wants to find his lost love, make sure she’s okay.  And I’m thinkin, ‘right, sure he is.  Of course, he makes Sophie’s bells ring when he walks in the door, presumably as the newly hired cook.

Noah’s been paid a lot of money to track down some rich brat chick who skipped out on her loving fiancé.  But…Sophie is not a rich brat chick.  She’s…nice.  Kind.  Generous.  Grateful.  And loving her new life and friends in Alaska.  It just don’t add up.  Little red flags are going up and he’s got to keep reminding himself he’s not there for any kind of relationship.  It’s just business.

The townfolk pick up the tempo and Noah resists getting roped into their social scene.  He has every reason to be on the Ex’s side.  His own heart was broken by a rich brat chick and he don’t aim to have it broken again.  But, he just can’t stand it when another guy kisses Sophie’s hand either.

Meanwhile, Sophie has no idea why Noah’s really there, but he is bringing up memories of her old life and making her homesick.  She’d had a happy childhood, but then her dad struck it rich, her parents got divorced, and her mother died.  She didn’t expect anyone in Love, Alaska to understand her poor-little-rich-girl dilemma?  They lived paycheck to paycheck.  She just wanted to live happily ever after.  But, that takes love and love takes honesty.

Just when Noah’s believing Sophie’s the nice one and the Ex is the bad one after all, the Ex wants Noah to date Sophie to keep her away from the other guys in town.  This is typical behavior from people who are so self-absorbed it makes them stupid.  Noah is a hottie and Sophie doesn’t care about the Ex’s money.  Noah’s a born and bred Alaskan boy too, from Homer.  Been there.  Had the best halibut in the world fresh off the boat in Homer, Alaska.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer,_Alaska   And thing is you call a spade a spade in Alaska, or maybe I should say an Ulu is an Ulu.   http://alaskagiftcompany.com/products/alaska-ulu-knife

Ulu+Knife

So these two lovebirds are finding their way together through honesty and the value of family and community, friends, forgiveness, all those good things.

So, if you’re looking for a feel-good romance set in the Land of the Midnight Sun, pop over and get this book-   https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9780373622986_his-secret-alaskan-heiress.html

Also, pop over to the author’s website to learn where you can find more great stories-  http://www.bellecalhoune.com/

Want to know my real life Alaskan Romance?  Okay, here it is.  I was pushing thirty and finally ready to settle down.  So, I asked my brother what I should do.  He said move to Alaska, walk into church and just take your pick.  So, I did.  I walked in, found the guys outnumbered the girls fifteen to one and the only other girl there was already engaged, and I said, “Okay, I’ll take that one.”

toyotaNice, huh?

🙂

 

Advertisements

CAT ABOUT TOWN by Cate Conte

31450617__UY2288_SS2288_

In an effort to find greater variety in contemporary, non-paranormal reading, I deliberately searched out the cozy mystery section at my local store.  I haven’t read out of that bunch of books in many years.  I came up with this book, which my grand-kitten, Tigey, wholeheartedly applauds.  In fact, she thinks Orange Guy is a total studmuffin.  Okay, I’m exaggerating.  She’s fixed, so she don’t care.

IMG_2195

Anyway…

Maddie travels from her studio apartment and successful juice bar on the West Coast to her little seaside hometown on the East Coast for her grandma’s funeral.  Grandma loved cats and Orange Guy shows up by the tombstones too.  No identification and he takes a liking to Maddie who reciprocates.  But, it’s busy and noisy and Orange Guy slips away.

Grandpa is now alone in a big, beautiful house that’s been passed down in the family for generations and Maddie is his favorite descendent.  They’ve been hanging out and reading books together since she was knee-high to a grasshopper.  So, she’s pretty annoyed when she finds out the local snake-like rich dude, Frank, is after Grandpa’s house, now Grandma’s gone.  While Maddie takes her walk down memory lane, remembering all the people she grew up around, the places, and streets, and her high school sweetheart and bff, she’s also trying to figure out how to help Grandpa.  Orange Guy finds her again and follows her everywhere, meeting friends, et cetera.

The prose is superbly written.  I totally envied Ms. Conte’s descriptive ability.  It’s so hard getting what I ‘see’ in my imagination down on paper so other humans can ‘see’ it the same way in theirs.  She totally nailed it.  Made me want to cry.  Also, her description of Grandpa made me miss my dad so much I had to call him.

Maddie insists Frank meet her at a café to talk about the situation and he’s a slippery dude to pin down to such a thing too.  He implies Grandpa’s losing his memory and one foot in the grave and all that, the same as he’s been implying to everyone else.  He goes on about his plans to turn the property into a major business for his own family.  She’s none to pleased with that and tells him so.

But…just when you think Frank’s the villain…

Orange Guy slips away from Maddie at an outdoor festival later that day.  She searches for him, almost frantically.  These two bonded that fast.  Then, she sees him and he leads her to…

…Frank…dead Frank.

Ut-oh.  The plot thickens.  Of course, the police show up and interview Maddie who had words with Frank earlier that day.  Did I mention Grandpa is the retired Chief of Police.  Well, the investigator is kinda cute, but he’s no Sherlock.  Maddie’s casually interviewing several useful people without realizing it for a while, before the police get a clue.  They’re not used to murders in their quiet community, just bullying business-dudes.

In fact, there are several adorable romantic possibilities for Maddie, though this is not a Romance genre novel.  So, don’t even go there.  Nevertheless, I liked Damian, the seafood stand guy, best.  Maddie favors the musician and I’m thinking it’s no wonder she’s still single.

More clues pop up that Maddie doesn’t seem to take conscious note of, like how not every business owner belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and maybe ’cause they don’t really want to.  Hmmm…  Kinda fishy.

There are several colorful secondary characters, like the Tai-Chi bookstore guy and the guy who wonders around dressed in a leopard-pattern outfit, quoting Shakespeare.  Makes you feel like you live there too, or want to.

The list of suspects piles up and Maddie starts to be more deliberate.  Meanwhile, Orange Guy (officially named JJ) has achieved hero status by virtue of having discovered the dead body and Grandpa is grumpy about all the attention on his family and his private life.  An unknown person hires a contractor to fix Grandpa’s roof while she’s butt-naked in the shower and an old friend offers to help her buy a house when she moves back.  When she moves back?  But, she has a life in California, right?

This book is on the shelves right now or you can order it.  Here’s a link to get you started on that-   https://us.macmillan.com/catabouttown/cateconte/9781250072061/

Here’s the author’s Facebook Page-  https://www.facebook.com/CateConteAuthor/

But, she also publishes under another name and you can find her on Twitter through that-   https://twitter.com/Lizmugavero

Tigey says buy this book and you’ll be happy.  Actually, she says nothing, because she is asleep and she is a cat.

Tigey

Happy Reading!

Book Review: SURVIVORS by Sophia Littlefield

lgcover_9781459207769

I stumbled onto Sophia’s Aftertime novel back when I was going through a severe overdose of the endless parade of sameness in the New Release aisles.  Fiction is prone to trends.  That is why there were so many knock-offs after Twilight hit the bestseller list years ago.  The Romance Genre is particularly vulnerable.  Being a reader who prefers a buffet, I get sick of it very quickly.  Anyway, I’d remember LUNA, a Harlequin imprint which rose out of success of Twilight, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.  I remembered really enjoying the variety and it turned out that Harlequin still sells those books on their site, even though they closed the imprint a few years ago.  Links to LUNA and my review of Aftertime are at the bottom of the post.  So, I ordered Rebirth, the sequel, and bought Survivors, a novella in the same fictional universe, as it’s only available as an eBook now.  That leaves Horizon as the only book left in this series that I need. 

Anyway…

These are zombie novels, more or less, a post-apocalyptic series.  It starts with the end of the world as we know it and follows Cass in First Person as she searches for her daughter, rescues her, and rebuilds with her mate, Smoke.

Survivors opens with Cass and her little girl, Ruthie, and Smoke living at the Box, a survivors’ community which houses some really tough people and their hangers-on, and the kind that come riding in on white horses to rescue you and make everything pretty again.  Ruthie is the only child, until an old woman and a young boy show up, practically dead.

Feo is about nine and he’d survived, holed up in an old house with his grandma.  Then, she had a stroke and they ran out of food and water.  Cass and Smoke take in the little boy while the few medical people try to help ‘Nana.’  It’s like an echo of the world Before, Mom, Dad, son, and daughter.  The little boy starts to hope, it seems.  During the process of feeding the child, he disappears.

Cass tracks Feo down to Sam’s shack.  Apparently, the little boy went looking for a big brother or uncle and found him among the ruffians.  Sam and Feo bond, but Cass knows the boy’s days at the Box are numbered.  The glorious leader doesn’t want children around.  Ruthie will have to go when she’s older too.  Too much nasty stuff.  They find kids, they send them to a community that accepts them.  Families are splintered, shattered, and orphans are a nuisance.  Plus, little kids can’t defend themselves or find their own food, unless they manage to go feral.  At this point, I’m thinking Cass knows a new family forming when she sees one.

Then, the Beaters attack.

Beaters are zombies, for all intents and purposes, but I happen to think they’re more believable than the ones in The Walking Dead, for example.  They’re infected, animalistic, they can still think and learn how to avoid, et cetera.

The Beaters take down a new arrival, a young man which sends Feo screaming, ‘Tio!”  The young man was his real uncle.

By the time the story ended, I wanted it to go on and on.

Sophie-Littlefield-May-2012-by-Gigi-Pandian

Sophia has an awesome way of bringing humanity and maternal feeling to such a grim landscape.  You’ll have a hard time finding a more haunting, suck-you-in-believable storyteller in this subgenre.

I’m still waiting for my copy of Rebirth to get here and I’ll let you know about that one when it gets here.  Meanwhile, pop over to Sophia’s website and learn all about her fabulous stories.  You’ll be glad you did.  Here’s the link to my review of Aftertime–  https://kimberliweb.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/aftertime-by-sophie-littlefield/

Buy Link-   https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781459207769_survivors.html

LUNA books-   https://www.harlequin.com/shop/brand/harlequin-luna.html

Sophia’s website-   http://www.sophielittlefield.com/

Happy Reading!