Holiday Spice by Samantha Chase

HolidaySpiceHoliday Spice by Samantha Chase

As soon as the mistletoe goes up, that’s when life gets really interesting

Darcy Shaughnessy has gotten used to her overbearing brothers chasing away any man she wants to date. But a chance meeting with a brooding – and deliciously handsome – artist is about to make this holiday season one to remember.

There’s only one thing Benjamin Tanner loves more than his woodcarving: solitude. Then he gets snowed in with Darcy in his cozy cabin in the woods, and their heated feelings begin to melt the icy barrier between them.

With Ben’s need for privacy and Darcy’s love of family and social life, will opposites still attract once the snow clears and the holiday festivities come to an end?

The Shaughnessy Brothers Series:
Made for Us (Book 1)
Love Walks In (Book 2)
Always My Girl (Book 3)
This Is Our Song (Book 4)
A Sky Full of Stars (Book 5)
Holiday Spice (Book 6)

This book has the perfect release date. Weird thing to notice, right? I haven’t ever felt like a book came at just the right time, but this book does.

A big reason for that is Darcy and Ben meet well before Christmas, in October. For me, this added some build up to the holiday season and made their story more than a holiday love story.

Darcy is the youngest in the Shaughnessy family and the only girl. I felt the author really captured Darcy’s personality perfectly. I say this because at times, I almost felt like she was a little bit bratty, but then I would be able to align with her on her brothers and dad not entirely understanding her. In past books in the Shaughnessy Brother Series, we always see everyone going overboard with Darcy and you can really understand how she feels sort of trapped because it’s like she can’t ever get on her own two feet.

Ben, on the other hand, has his own family issues to deal with. His parents died two weeks before Christmas, several years back. Since then, Ben doesn’t do the holidays. He doesn’t do family, he doesn’t do traveling. Ben’s preference is solitude, which puts him in direct contrast with Darcy, who is social all the time.

Darcy mentions several times that Ben is a man, not a frat boy. I can’t really pinpoint why, but I loved that the author chose to have Darcy make this distinction. Maybe it’s because as young women, so often we choose someone who might not be the best fit just because someone sort of fits with us. Seeing Darcy realize this is pivotal in a few ways. Throughout the story, we see Darcy trying desperately to make her own way, but not having any luck. With Ben, you can see Darcy’s eyes opening up to other possibilities. This includes her career.

This story seems a little bit deeper than some of the books in the series. Each sibling has truths they have to accept and learn from, but Darcy’s seemed a bit more intense. This was appreciated because Darcy and her story has been a bit of a buildup throughout the whole series. There is also a scene where Owen dishes out some advice to Darcy, and while it might not be easy to hear, it’s a truth that Darcy needs to learn.

This book is the last in the Shaughnessy Brothers Series and I loved the ending. This story summed up the entire series beautifully and I admit that I shed a few tears. The author has created this incredible world with the Shaughnessy family and while I’m sad to see it come to an end, the ending is one the Shaughnessy family would have loved themselves.

 

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Complicating by Samantha Chase and Noelle Adams

Complicating

Complicating by Samantha Chase and Noelle Adams

Forget all those other accidental pregnancy romances you might have read.

Daisy and Carter don’t have a one-night stand…because it’s thirty minutes in a back room at a wedding reception. And Carter isn’t a bad boy baby-daddy…except for the motorcycle, tattoos, and attitude. Daisy doesn’t have the typical issues with her pregnancy…if you don’t count the morning sickness, food cravings, and occasional horniness. And Carter doesn’t hang around all the time, wanting both her and the baby…until he falls in love.

But they definitely don’t become a happy family…right away.

Daisy has always been a good girl. She’s never done anything wild or spontaneous until she has a little too much to drink at a wedding and has a fling with a sexy stranger. She thought they were careful, but accidents happen. And now she’s going to have the baby of a man she barely knows.

Carter is her opposite in every way and completely the wrong man for her. They can still work out a reasonable arrangement regarding the baby. But the more time she spends with him, the less reasonable she feels. And he’s acting all possessive and protective, so it gets harder and harder to convince herself that he’s just the father of her baby.

She wants him to be so much more.

Welcome back to Preston’s Mill! In this book, we find Daisy and Carter meeting at the wedding of Heather and Chris, the couple from the first book in the Preston’s Mill series. This can be read as a standalone but if you wanted to read the other books, you certainly could and this story might be enhanced for you (just in that you’d recognize some past characters).

I will be honest and say this book was good, but not one of my all-time favorites from this author-duo. So I will focus on the things I really did enjoy and then touch on some of the things that just didn’t work for me as much.

First, I like these authors writing together. I’ve read several books from Samantha Chase and I have a fairly good beat on her writing style, so it’s easier for me to see where Noelle Adams comes in. I think they compliment each other really well.

I love the entire vibe of Preston’s Mill. I love the small town; I always feel like I’m right there when I read these books. You can picture these small restaurants and the apartment complex that our characters live in. It really comes to life and I actually find myself hoping that some holiday books come out in this series.

One of the biggest things I struggled with in this book was Daisy’s character. She bugged me a lot and there were several times where even I thought Carter was wasting his time on her. I feel terrible even saying that, even though these are fictional characters. Daisy’s character is pretty conservative but she manages to let loose for one night and that night leads to Carter and then an accidental pregnancy. Carter really likes Daisy and he keeps trying to be in her life and be a good father to the baby. But Daisy just keeps pushing him away and just being hard to deal with. Again, this was an area that I struggled with. I feel like the intention was that Daisy is protecting her heart but it just didn’t really translate well for me here.

I enjoyed Carter’s character a lot. When he finds out about the baby, he tries so hard to step-up. There is one scene that was funny where Carter just goes overboard, trying to read the baby books and change air filters, bring purifiers, antacids, etc. He’s trying so hard to be a good father.

Overall, I think readers would enjoy this book. If you are already fans of these authors, you’ll enjoy the story and the continuation of the Preston’s Mill series. Even without my feelings for Daisy playing into it, I did enjoy the story line and how everything played out for this couple.

A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase

A Sky Full of Stars

A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase

He’s always looked to the stars
Now she’s the brightest light in his universe.

Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He’s great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn’t factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.

Polar opposites in personality, the friction between Owen and Brooke threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw them together—and she’s going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.

“A sweet romance that takes its time to court the reader: classic, thoughtful, and sometimes as lyrical as the stars.” —Kirkus Reviews

The stars are about to align in the newest Shaughnessy Brothers romance!

The Shaughnessy Brothers:
Made for Us (Book 1)
Love Walks In (Book 2)
Always My Girl (Book 3)
This Is Our Song (Book 4)
A Sky Full of Stars (Book 5)
Holiday Spice (Book 6)

I’m going to make a bold statement. This is my favorite book from Samantha Chase. “One More Kiss” in her newer series is a really close second, but this one has officially wormed its way into first place.

As a long time lover of the Shaughnessy Brothers Series, I’ve been anxiously waiting for Owen to get his story told. And it was so worth the wait. (As a disclaimer, you could read this book and not be familiar with the other books in the series. For maximum enjoyment, I would recommend having read at least one of the other earlier books).

Owen Shaughnessy is, for a lack of a better word, the genius in the family. He’s also a socially awkward genius. Or is he? One of my favorite themes in this book is the insecurity that we feel, or we perceive in ourselves. That might seem like an odd factor to enjoy but the reason I liked it was because we all feel that way. To others, Owen is successful and brilliant. But in Owen’s own mind, he’s just in a permanently awkward place. Then he meets Brooke Matthews.

Brooke is outgoing, beautiful, and an artist. She meets Owen at the urging of her uncle, who is a colleague, and friend, of Owen’s. One thing that I found fascinating about Brooke is that while Owen wouldn’t guess it, she feels just as awkward as he does. But for different reasons. Brooke has grown up in a world of beauty pageants, while her brother is treated as the “smart one”. So Brooke is immediately intimidated by Owen, because she feels like she isn’t smart enough.

This parallel worked for me because I think we’re all awkward. Everyone can’t be good at everything and Owen and Brooke show that, but they also do compliment each other. Another facet of their relationship that I enjoyed was seeing Brooke open up to Owen. And I mean truly open up. Not in a superficial way, or just pulling each other out of their shell. I really can’t explain it in words but it worked for me and I really found myself loving this couple.

I would definitely recommend this book. Seeing Owen finally get his story told was so satisfying for me, as a reader. Even if you aren’t familiar with the series, Owen and Brooke are a couple that will have you believing that true love isn’t only in the stars.

Marry Me: A Wedding Romance Duet by Noelle Adams & Samantha Chase

MarryMe

Marry Me: A Wedding Romance Duet

What could be more romantic than a wedding… unless you’re stuck in a fake relationship with a hot man you don’t like. Warm up after a long winter with two fun, romantic wedding romances available together for a limited time.

Hired Bride by Noelle Adams – For years, Deanna’s eccentric grandmother has been trying to marry her off to a rich man, and she’s finally managed to do it. Sexy, obnoxious Mitchell Graves needs a wife to finalize a business deal, and he thinks she’ll be easy enough to manage as a wife. He couldn’t be more wrong.

The Wedding Season by Samantha Chase – To get through the six weddings she has to attend this summer, Tricia plans to pretend her best friend, Sean, is her boyfriend. But then Sean sends his brother, Ryan, in his place. Now Tricia has to go to all these weddings with her best friend’s brother, who is stirring up feelings she never expected.

The first story is Hidden Bride from Noelle and I really enjoyed it. The story is set in Savannah, Georgia and while its set in modern times, we do see a lot of the history of Savannah culture and the old families in the area. Our hero and heroine meet by chance at a Savannah social event. Deanna’s grandmother is constantly trying to marry her off and Mitchell is only there for business purposes. Somehow, they end up with the story they’re engaged to be married. Mitchell wants the 6 month marriage for business purposes and Deanna is really only doing it to assist her family.

One of my favorite aspects of this story is that its really the hero, Mitchell Graves, who really undergoes the transformation. Deanna changes some, but for her, its more about letting go of the tension and responsibilities that she puts on herself. But Mitchell’s character really evolves as his relationship with Deanna continues.

The next book is from Samantha Chase and is called The Wedding Season. Our story starts with friends Trish and Sean agreeing to endure the wedding season together. Many of their friends are getting married and both are tired of people pitying them or trying to set them up. But Sean can’t make it home for the weddings and asks the next best person to step up to the plate, his brother, Ryan.

Ryan and Trish’s story is really sweet. I actually really enjoyed this story and it follows some of the more traditional aspects that I see Samantha Chase go towards but then she adds in these twists that kept the story new and different from her other works. I really respect that, as an author, she does this. The stories have the feeling I’ve come to know and love but still add new elements and new situations for our characters to experience.

I would definitely recommend both of these books. The stories are sweet, feel-good love stories.

One More Kiss by Samantha Chase

One More Kiss.jpg

One More Kiss by Samantha Chase

MATT REED IS HIDING


...from his fans
...from his past
...from a failure too painful to contemplate
Most of all, Matt is hiding from himself.

VIVIENNE FORRESTER IS A WOMAN WHO GIVES HER ALL
...to her friends and family
...to her online food blog
...to the man she loves

Vivienne will try anything and everything to coax Matt out of his self-imposed exile. But for this to work, Matt is going to have to meet her halfway...

Welcome to the new series from Samantha Chase! This series is called “Band On The Run” and in it, we meet more members of band, “Shaughnessy”. Readers of Samantha Chase are familiar with the Shaughnessy family and Riley’s band. However, if you were to new Samantha Chase, you would be able to read this book and understand everything that is going on.

I can honestly say this is probably my favorite book from Samantha Chase! I had trouble putting it down, and when I did have to go back and actually do “adult” stuff, I couldn’t stop thinking about Matt and Viv.

One of my favorite aspects of this book is that while it’s a new series, and different direction for the author, she still maintained a lot of the qualities that make her one of my favorites. One example of this is that we see Matt talking to someone about how he’s feeling regarding the break from the band. Later, he opens up to Viv. Instead of making the characters rehash the same topic, this author simply conveys that Matt opened up to her. As a reader, we already know what is on his mind. I like this because it leaves more room for other parts of the story.

I really loved Viv’s character. I could see a lot of myself in her character and so I was able to align with her easily. Viv could be described as kind, caring, rigid, and maybe somewhat distant. She is focused on her career and is incredibly talented. The reason I list these things is because Matt brings her rest. Matt is the more spontaneous side of the relationship. He’s much more relaxed and I enjoyed seeing him bring that side out of Viv.

I think many times in books, we see characters that are really similar and we can understand why they get along. But in this book, the characters are similar but yet very different. I really enjoyed seeing the push and pull between Viv and Matt, and watching them bring out the best in each other.

I can’t recommend this book enough. I enjoyed it so much! It’s sweet, sexy, and one of the best love stories I think I have read.