Review ~ A Teaspoon of Trouble by Shirley Jump

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Type-A chef Carolyn Henderson has walked away from her job at a trendy NYC restaurant after an abrupt family tragedy. Now, as a guardian to her four-year-old niece, Emma, and a very disobedient mutt – kids and dogs are so not her skill set – moving back to Marietta, Montana seems the best temporary option. But when confronted by her parents’ declining health, Carolyn has to face reality. And she’s going to need some serious help. So who better to ask than Matthew West, a blast from her high school past… and as hunky and helpful as ever.

Vet – and very eligible, if reluctant, Bachelor – Matthew West can’t believe his luck when his high school crush stumbles through his door. Dogs, kids, and gorgeous damsels in distress. Carolyn needs help with the pup, and he needs help whipping up delicious concoctions for the Bachelor Bake-Off. So she wants to make a deal: dog obedience lessons for cooking tips… but Matthew wants to broker quite a bit more…

In A Teaspoon of Trouble we meet Carolyn Henderson, a talented NYC chef who has just lost her sister and brother in law and was now tasked with raising her adorable little niece Emma. So back to Montana the girls go, with Carolyn hoping her parents can help her be the mom her sister knew she could. Only her parents are aging and filled with grief, which means she has to figure it out. But Carolyn runs into the high school boyfriend she’d left without a backwards glance, and Matt is better than she remembered. A small town vet, he loves his life but wishes for more. For love and marriage. Shirley Jump has written a fun small town romance that includes a fun bachelor bake off for charity, moonlight kisses and tons of romance.

Where Shirley Jump excels in A Teaspoon of Trouble is creating the small town atmosphere with fun, small town characters, plenty of adorable animals and we can’t forget little Emma who is absolutely precious. And Matt was incredible; hot and generous and kind. But Carolyn was kind of hard to like for much of the story because she was so focused on what she wanted that she never thought about Emma, only her career. It was kind of repetitive but she got her stuff together in time to redeem herself, at least in this reader’s eyes.

There were also some really great moments filled with emotions, particularly a late night scene with Carolyn and her niece. Those scenes gave this book the depth it needed to be more than your average romance novel.

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Review ~ Montana Maverick – Debra Salonen

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Be careful what you wish for-
Meg Zabrinski wants a child. She’s a successful scientist, a well-known environmental advocate, and a tenured professor. She doesn’t need a man in her life to make this happen. But having a baby alone is a weighty decision, so she retreats to her isolated mountain cabin to write and think. When Henry Firestone–an old foe from her distant past–drops out of the sky on Christmas Eve with three young children and a baby, Meg tells herself she’d be crazy not to consider all her options–especially when she’s always nursed a secret crush on the handsome rancher. Although the sparks between them ignite a mutual passion, Henry makes it clear he’s done having children. Falling in love with Henry Firestone and his beautiful family would require Meg to give up her dream. Can the Lone Wolf assimilate into a new pack, or was this Big Sky Maverick meant to be alone?

They say timing is everything-
Henry Firestone doesn’t recognize the “angel in snowshoes” who comes to his rescue in the middle of a blizzard, immediately, but Meg Z. knows him. Twenty years earlier, the media paired them as rivals to the death. Meg championed the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, while Henry argued just as passionately that wolves would put ranchers on the Endangered Species List. She’s still beautiful, independent and headstrong, and Henry’s now free to admit that he always had a thing for her. Unfortunately, he’s fighting for sole custody of his late daughter’s four children. They are his biggest priority. He’d do anything to keep his family together–even sleep with the enemy in hopes that she might join his cause.

I have been looking forward to reading Meg’s story since I started reading the Big Sky Maverick’s series. She was the strong one, the older one. The one who was a little bit gruffer than her siblings so I knew when she fell it would be spectacular.

Meg and Henry Firestone have a long history of disagreeing on a matter that impacted both of their respective careers. She spent her career fighting to re-introduce wolves into the wild which of course meant that animals on surrounding ranches and farms were in greater danger of being eaten by those wolves. So when his helicopter full of children crashes near her cabin I was ready for sparks to fly. Continue reading

Review ~The Baby Bombshell – Victoria James

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Lily Cookson has a few rules for the New Year, the most important being don’t fall for Jack Bailey. The gorgeous, rugged man returned with a new look and a determination to win her back, catching her off guard. After a forbidden night in his arms, she vows never to let it happen again. But when morning sickness kicks in a few weeks later, Lily realizes staying away from Jack just got a whole lot harder.

Jack Bailey left Shadow Creek behind five years ago when his world imploded around him, knowing it would be best for everyone if he was gone…including Lily. It took him a long time to get his life back on track and grow into the kind of man she needs him to be. Now he’s determined to prove to Lily that he’s back for good and ready to commit, but the secrets she’s holding onto are nothing compared to the bombshell he drops…

I only recently discovered Victoria James but I like her writing style and the small town stories she weaves so I decided to give The Baby Bombshell a try. Plus this story contains two of my favorite tropes! Continue reading