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Sharon Redfern "Sharon RS" RSS Feed (ELLINGTON, CT, US)

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Bridesmaid: A Novella
Bridesmaid: A Novella
Price: $0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, October 1, 2013
I've been a fan of Julia London for years and she never disappoints. In The Bridesmaid, Kate Preston is flying from NY to Seattle for her cousin's wedding. She shares her row with Joe Firretti who is going to Seattle for a new job and is a tad hung over. Kate and Joe spend most of the flight trying to outdo each other in getting the armrest so they aren't exactly in a cooperative mood when the flight is grounded for engine problems and they both need to get connecters to Seattle. When Joe beats Kate out at the car rental place, he decides to be the nice guy he really is and invites her to join him. This is the start of a wonderful relationship.
I really enjoyed this novella as both of the lead characters are funny and nice people. They actually talk to each other on the road even with a few jabs thrown in. Things don't get hot and heavy until a long way through the book and by then there was so much chemistry between the two that it was even better.
The other important character in the book is "the ugliest, most hideous, god-awful poufy piece of taffeta in the history of the world'. This is Kate's description of the peach colored monstrosity she will be wearing as a bridesmaid. The dress practically needs its own seat on the plane and takes up the entire back of the car they rent. The dress has a recurring role through the whole book along with Lisa the crazy bride with a terrible case of bridal jitters.
This novella is a nice sweet read that will make you say aww... when you finish it.


Mastering the Art of French Eating: From Paris Bistros to Farmhouse Kitchens, Lessons in Food and Love
Mastering the Art of French Eating: From Paris Bistros to Farmhouse Kitchens, Lessons in Food and Love
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tour of France wrapped up as a book., September 29, 2013
What a wonderful book! Ann Mah takes us on a veritable tour of France by the signature food item of each area in France. In each chapter she describes the food, the origins of the food and the modern life of the food item. Interspersed between food passages is the story of her life for one year in France while her diplomat husband was away in Baghdad, leaving her to fend for herself and develop a routine.
I have never been interested in traveling to France but after reading this book and a couple of other books with a French theme, I have changed my mind. When I read the descriptions of the people and the food I felt the pride and the joy that the various regions have in their particular contribution to the French food mystique. It made me want to go and see everything for myself. I'll admit some of the food would never pass my lips but it would still be interesting to see the process. After each region, the recipe for the dish is included so we can attempt to re-create the magic.
I'm not a gourmet chef but I can appreciate the unique qualities of each dish as described by Ms. Mah. I would imagine an experienced student of French cooking will enjoy the history and rituals of the food as well as the opportunity to cook a new version of a regional dish.
I also enjoyed the personal stories about her family and her previous moves with her diplomat husband, Calvin. Their mutual love of all things French added to the enjoyment of the book for me. I would love to read more about their travels.


A SEAL Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf Book 12)
A SEAL Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf Book 12)
Price: $7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice blend of paranormal and Christmas themes., September 24, 2013
A Seal Wolf Christmas is the latest book in Terry Spear's Werewolf series and is a great combination of a paranormal romance and a Christmas Story. Bjornolf Jorgenson has been a lone wolf for most of his life. He is not in a pack but he does have ties with one of the packs and acts as a shadow on their missions to help out as needed. Anna Johnson is a team member of the mission that Bjornolf is currently shadowing and is also a non-pack wolf. The mission involves rescuing a family in the Amazon and there is definitely something off about the whole kidnapping scenario but the wolves do their job and wrap everything up.

Once the mission is finished, Bjornolf and Anna find themselves find themselves playing happy family with a teen wolf named Nathan who recently lost his parents and has been going off the rails periodically. Nathan has evidence of a murder on the tree farm where he works and the family bit is the cover for Bjornolf and Anna to investigate. Interestingly, the tree farm human tree farm owner has a daughter who scents of wolf and who Nathan is attracted to.

This was an interesting book with the mix of murder mystery and Christmas feel good. Ms. Spears does a great job of intertwining two very disparate themes. I really enjoyed this book and all of the plot twists and turns. I also liked the fact that there was virtually no gore even though there was a lot of action in the story. Both Bjornolf and Anna are characters with troubled histories who need to find their nice in the pack and with each other. There are appearances by characters from earlier books that add to the whole feeling of pack and family. I am looking forward to the next book in early 2014.


The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap
The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Holiday Read!, September 24, 2013
I love anthologies especially when it includes authors that are unknown to me. The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap includes two favorites, Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell, and a new (to me) author, Kate Kincaid.

The book tells the story of three friends and is loosely based on cookie baking or in the case of the first story the inability to bake cookies. Where There's Smoke... by Donna Kauffman tells the story of the anti- baker Clara. Clara has just been dumped over speakerphone in the middle of the local grocery store and as a result she was also transferred from writing the advice column for the local paper to writing a cookie baking column. She's in the bookstore looking for a beginners baking cookbook when she happen upon a calendar signing event for a hunky fireman. The cover guy turns out to be her high school crush Will who has returned to the area but lives one town over. They reconnect, sparks fly (sorry for the pun) and Clara and Will survive a blizzard together and fall in love.

In The Gingerbread Man by Kate Angell, Abby is having a hard time getting over the recent death of her grandmother and even baking erotic gingerbread men for the town cookie swap can't get her into the Christmas mood. When a stranger who pops in to buy her cookies in exchange for directions, she wonders what he will do when he opens them. Unfortunately, she discovers his car crashed off the main road on her way home and she has to get him out of the car, breaking her toe in the process. Abby gets the handsome Lander to her cabin just before a blizzard hits and the power goes out. During their time together, Abby rediscovers the joy of the season when she and Lander make a love connection.

The last story, Sugar and Spice, by Kimberly Kincaid features Lily and Pete and a baking competition. Lily is friends with both Clara and Abby and Pete is the guy who was on the other end of the speakerphone with Clara. After clearing up the whole dumping issue, Lily and Pete discover that they are perfectly matched in the love arena but total opposites in the baking competition. They have more in common than they know and find that in this case opposites do attract.

The three stories were all very good with a bit of romantic spice in each one. The Christmas theme was perfectly done but with a different focus in each story. Ms. Kincaid is basing her new series on the setting used in this book which should be fun to read. Happily, now I have another author to look forward to reading!


The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells Mysteries)
The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells Mysteries)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $8.89

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this series!, September 24, 2013
Another adventure in "the Death Dorm"! Heather Wells, onetime pop princess, is now the head of Residential Services at Fischer Hall. Fischer Hall has been the site of several murders and has acquired the nickname of "the Death Dorm". Heather is juggling the arrangements for her long awaited wedding to Cooper Cartwright and the tribulations of coordinating the beginning of the school year at New York College. Students are usually running the other way trying not to get into Fischer. This year, Fischer is the dorm to be in this year because of the arrival of a Middle Eastern Crown Prince and that brings a whole other set of problems. When a RA is found dead in her room, Heather finds herself in the middle of another murder case.
One of the things I love about this series is the sassy attitude Heather has about her job and the upper administration of the college. Her coworkers are pretty funny for the most part and Heather's boss, Lisa, is going through a personal crisis in addition to the latest dead body discovery in the dorm. All of the shenanigans pulled by Cooper's twin sisters to make the wedding fun for Heather add to the mayhem and pluck Heather's last nerve. I enjoy the give and take between Heather and Cooper and how he is able to keep her calm and focused on their wedding. His character is just such a nice influence but Cooper can be a toughie when needed- usually to defend Heather.
There are all kinds of subplots winding through this latest books and a few red herrings to keep it interesting. Readers of the entire series will enjoy this book and the culmination of Heather and Cooper's romance. Newer readers will find enough back story to enjoy the book without feeling lost. I am looking forward to Heather and cooper's future adventures!


How to Tame a Wild Fireman: A Bachelor Firemen Novel (The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel Book 4)
How to Tame a Wild Fireman: A Bachelor Firemen Novel (The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel Book 4)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great series-glad to finally read Psycho's story., September 24, 2013
Patrick " Psycho" Callahan has a reputation for living life on the edge and living up to his nickname. When he "borrows" an earthmover and decides to dig out the backyard of the fire station to make a pool, his captain decides he needs to take a break and volunteers Patrick for a hotshot spot in Loveless, Nevada. Patrick is not happy with this assignment because it will bring him back to his hometown, a town he left under bad circumstances 8 years prior. He hasn't seen his family or his friend Lara Nelson since he left the area.

Lara has moved on from Loveless and in working as a Dr. in San Diego. Her memories of growing up in a sex therapy retreat house are brought to the forefront when her aunt dies and she inherits the property. She has to return to Loveless to settle the estate and ends up volunteering at the fire site. Needless to say, Lara and Patrick reconnect and old feelings are awakened.

I have really enjoyed this series and this is one of the best books in it. Patrick is a good guy with a lot of guilt about his part in a motorbike accident that impacted his brother Liam's life and caused Patrick's estrangement from his family. His life has become one big thrill seeking activity after another to keep his mind off of all his perceived screw-ups. The only good thing he has done was his decision to become a firefighter. Lara's reaction to the accident was to become a Doctor and lead a fairly restrained life. Confronting her past in Loveless and reconnecting with Patrick has thrown a wrench in her plans. Both Patrick and Lara have unresolved issues that are tied up with Loveless and each other. The chemistry between them is hot and they don't know how to handle their feelings for each other beyond the sex. There are a lot of ups and downs in their relationship which makes the end result that much sweeter.

Some of the characters from previous books make appearances in this one with the most time devoted to Vader and his troublesome relationship with Cherie. This is a teaser for the next book in the series due out in February, 2014.


Always on My Mind (Lucky Harbor Book 9)
Always on My Mind (Lucky Harbor Book 9)
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $7.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love a story with a hunky fireman!, September 24, 2013
4.5 stars
When Leah Sullivan returns to Lucky Harbor, she is carrying the weight of a secret on her shoulders. Everyone in town is excited about her being on a TV cooking completion show and they are all convinced she has won. Leah can't say how it ended but she isn't acting like a happy winner. One of the people who is really concerned about her is her lifelong friend Jack Harper. Jack is a hunky, serial dating, fireman who has been the one Leah has always gone to in difficult times.

While working at her grandmother's bakery, Leah loses her mind and tells Jack's ailing mother that she is dating Jack and they are a couple. This little bombshell causes all kinds of difficulty for both Jack and Leah and causes problems between them. When the pretend relationship become hot sexy fun between them, Leah makes her plans to escape. Jack isn't too happy about Leah planning to leave and he tells her a few hard truths about herself. While all of this romantic angst is going on, an arsonist is setting fires all over the town which adds to Jack's stress.

I love this series and have read every book in it. This book isn't as emotional as some in the series but the romance is still there and I wanted this relationship to work! Jack and Leah are running from life in their own way and need to stop and decide what the thing they desire most in their life is. I enjoyed the interaction with Leah's friends Ali and Aubrey and Jacks snarky cousin Ben. I really liked Jack's dog, a big lug of a Great Dane named Kevin. I especially enjoyed the description of his sleep position which reminded me of the dead horse in Animal House. It looks like the next book in the series will feature Ben and Aubrey which should be an interesting matchup.


The Seduction of Lady Phoebe (The Marriage Game)
The Seduction of Lady Phoebe (The Marriage Game)
Price: $0.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love a story where the hero has to work for the lady's love!, September 19, 2013
When Lord Marcus Finley falls in love with Lady Phoebe Stanhope, the timing couldn't be worse. Marcus is a callow youth of 20 being exiled to the West Indies because of his bad behavior and she is a sweet young thing of 15 with a tendre for Marcus. Desperate to secure her affections, Marcus makes a clumsy advance to Phoebe and scares the daylights out of her which results in her socking him in the nose and knocking him to the ground. After eight years have passed, Marcus returns to London and is determined to win Phoebe's hand. He has matured into a respectable person and realizes the grave error he made all those years before. Unfortunately for him, Phoebe's dislike of Marcus has turned into a virtual phobia and she cannot even stand to hear his name or contemplate ever seeing him again.
Through a set of unusual circumstances, Marcus is able to rescue Phoebe from a couple of sticky situations without her knowing who he is so when they finally meet face to face he is able to make some progress with his suit. When his identity is revealed, Phoebe is reluctant but willing to give him the opportunity to prove he has changed. Watching Marcus try to juggle private time with Phoebe against society's rules combined with family expectations makes for an interesting read.
I enjoyed this book and really liked the main characters. Marcus is a self-centered boor in the beginning until he realizes that he needs to make changes or he will never get his heart's desire. Phoebe is a beautiful but feisty woman who is not willing to marry for the sake of being married. She is holding out for love and has been raised to defend herself. The family members on both side add to the humor and help advance the romance between Marcus and Phoebe. As in all historical romances, there is an evil villain in the background and this one is really nasty right up to the end.
I discovered that Ms. Quinn has other books she has written and I am going to have to read those since I enjoyed this one so much.


Thankless in Death
Thankless in Death
by J.D. Robb
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.25
333 used & new from $0.01

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This series seems to be going darker with each book, September 17, 2013
This review is from: Thankless in Death (Hardcover)
I really love the ...in Death series. I have all of the books and also the audio versions. Eve and Roarke are one of my all time favorite couples. That said, I enjoyed this book but I wish that we would see more of the old favorite characters.

When Jerald Reinhold snaps and kills his mother in mid nag, he relaizes that killing is what he was meant to do. So, he waits in the house, kills his father, drains all of their accounts, and decides to live the high life while getting revenge on everyone who has ever done him wrong. Eve and her team realize very early on that Jerry is the killer but they can't find him ands he seems one step ahead of them. It takes a lot of work for Eve and Peabody with their unit to finally close this case.

I loved the whole eye killing tie bit in the book and Roarke's family coming from Ireland for Thanksgiving. But people like Mavis, Nadine, Charles, Feeney and even McNab have been reduced to "extras' in a crowd scene. Some of the earlier books in the series were very hard reading because of the victim or killer but there was a good bit of interplay with the people in Eve's life to balance the dark side. I would love to see more of that return to this series. I miss all of the quirky people that drove Eve crazy but also helped ground her and kept Roarke amused at her discomfort. I also liked the opportunity for advancement in this story that is offered to Eve and which signals an acceptance of her marriage to one time bad boy Roarke. This is still a great series!


Louder Than Love
Louder Than Love
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $4.27

5.0 out of 5 stars A librarian's dream come true...., September 17, 2013
This review is from: Louder Than Love (Kindle Edition)
As a librarian, I have to say I loved the plotline of Louder Than Love! When Katrina (Tree) Lewis tracks down Adrian Graves to perform at her library she had no idea she was putting onto motion the event that would change her entire life. Tree is still suffering from the loss of her husband in a train accident over two years prior and is still unable to fully move on with her life. She lives in her childhood home with her daughter Abbey and her only nights out are with her friends, Marissa, Leanna and Liz. Abbey is enamored of a children's show about a mystery solving cat and Tree discovers that Adrian Graves wrote the theme song so she books him to do a performance at the library.
Adrian is not what Tree expected as a children's performer especially since he arrives late and slightly inebriated. He's a lot older than she expected and a bit scruffy but he ends up wowing the children by performing a mix of children's songs and rock classics. They go out to dinner, kiss in the car, she almost kills him because she had shrimp and he is deathly allergic and Adrian ends up in the hospital. Great first date!
This is the beginning of a relationship that neither party expected. When Tree discovers information about Adrian's past life as a rocker and his failures as a husband and parent, she has to think hard about what she is getting into. I really enjoyed the interplay between the two characters and how the relationship develops. Both Tree and Adrian have hurt and loss in their pasts but have dealt with those issues in different ways. Actually, I thought that for all of the drama and glamor that Adrian had as part of his life, he was the one more grounded in reality than Tree. Her inability to let go of her husband Pete becomes a major problem in the romance but she doesn't see that at all.
I really liked this book and thought that Ms. Topper did an excellent job of portraying two people who are damaged but trying their best to keep going on with life. Adrian is a sexy and complicated man and Tree is quirky and interesting. The romance is sweet at the beginning and so intense later that when they have problems it's upsetting because they are perfect for each other. I thought the secondary characters all added a lot to the story and I loved Adrian's interaction with Abbey. I also enjoyed the ages of the main characters and that they had some life experience. I think I am going to have to add Jessica Topper to my must buy authors list.


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