Tagged: Contemporary

The Finish Line

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews book 1 in Leslie Scott’s Arkadia Fast series, The Finish Line

About the Book

The Finish Line; Leslie Scott
Adult; Contemporary Romance; 368 Pages

The Wild Rose Press, Inc. (Champagne Rose) (December 11, 2017)

Another night at the races is more than burnt rubber with a hit of nitrous. For one young woman, it’s navigating trauma, love, and loss in the stifling Texas heat under the watchful gaze of her brother’s best friend and reigning King of the Streets, Jordan Slater. Home in Arkadia again, Raelynn Casey starts to heal from a terrible incident at college. She finds love in Jordan, a member of her brother’s circle of racing buddies. When another in the racing circle, the guy who took her to her high school prom, exposes his feelings for Raelynn, tragedy erupts like a tank of race fuel. Guilt, remorse, and pain must be overcome before Raelynn and Jordan can race to The Finish Line.

About the Author

Award-nominated author of Two Hearts, One Stone and the Arkadia Fast Series, Leslie Scott has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. The happier the ending, the better. Currently, she lives and writes amidst her own happily ever after with her soul mate, son, and a domestic zoo. http://lesliescottromance.com/

Jenn’s Review

Leslie Scott brings the high-octane, sizzling romance to her readers in book 1 of the Arkadia Fast series, The Finish Line.

Raelynn Casey comes from a family steeped in street racing, and she’s just returned home from a disastrous attempt at running away from everything she’s known. What else can a girl do when the man she’s loved all her life tells her he doesn’t want her? Problem is, running away only created more problems, and Raelynn isn’t about to tell her family, let alone her adrenaline junkie friends, any of whom would happily rearrange the face of the man who hurt her.

Jordan Slater? He tried his best to pretend he doesn’t want Raelynn, because one of his best friends would be crushed. But he can see the shadows lurking in Rae’s eyes, and with his own past haunting him, he finagles his way past her defenses to get to the painful truth.

As Jordan and Raelynn grow closer, will their love and friendship last when disaster claims the life of someone they both love?

Leslie Scott drives this story forward with emotional and sexual tension that pulls out all the stops. I’d already read book 2 in this series, and I was still swept away with every twist and turn in this plot. Hot contemporary romance at high speed.

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Jenn reviews book 1 in Leslie Scott’s Arkadia Fast series, The Finish Line

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, Audiobook and Paperback here.


Also by Leslie Scott

Two Hearts, One Stone (Stand-Alone Novella)
Hot Lap (Book 2 Arkadia Fast)


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Chasing Lightning Bugs

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews JL Keathley’s Chasing Lightning Bugs

About the Book

Chasing Lightning Bugs; JL Keathley
Teen/Young Adult; Romance; 138 Pages

Merfire Publishing (August 15, 2019)

Angel is a surfer from California. He has money and an ego to go with it. Before his grand college adventure, he gets booted off to Arkansas for the summer to visit his dad. He believes it’s a cruel, unusual punishment and that this will be the worst time of his life, but he couldn’t be more wrong…

Faith is a waitress at the local diner in a small town in southern Arkansas. Happy and not expecting life to change much, her only goal was to support her family. She never thought everything could change so much in one summer, some for the better and some for the worst.

Faith and Angel are from completely different worlds, but it doesn’t matter. Sometimes fate has a plan for you, even if you don’t have one for yourself…

About the Author

。☆✼★J.L. Keathley is a self-published author who focuses on YA Fantasy. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and two daughters. She loves animals and has a variety of pets. She has always loved to read and decided to write what she wants to read about. She likes to travel with her family and find adventures.★✼☆。

Distant Memories (The Shadow Realm, Book 1) Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/t6-d3zWgFk8

。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆
Amazon Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B2GYGKT

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17740041.J_L_Keathley

GoodReads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38743860-distant-memories

J.L. Keathley Blog:
https://jlkeathleyyaauthor.wordpress.com/

J.L. Keathley Facebook:
https://facebook.com/J.L.Keathley/

J.L. Keathley Twitter:
https://twitter.com/jlk_ya_author

J.L. Keathley Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/j.l.keathley/
。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

Jenn’s Review

Young adult author, JL Keathley, branches out into Contemporary YA Romance in her new release, Chasing Lightning Bugs. California bad boy meets Sweet Southern girl in this inspirational, happily ever after perfect for young teens.

Angel is a California city-boy who loves to surf, hang out with pretty girls, and generally postpone the doom and gloom of college and adult-hood. So when his mom tells him it’s time to catch the plane that will take him to the tiny town of Fouke, Arkansas for a visit with his dad, he did what teens do best – he procrastinated and complained. He doesn’t want to spend his summer in a little hick-town with nothing to do.

Faith just wants to live her quiet little life in Fouke. The people there are friendly, she loves her church, her sister, and her mom, and she sees no reason to even look twice at the pretty city boy. He’ll just leave at the end of summer, and she’s got her priorities straight.

So when Angel proves there’s more than what she can see on the surface, she does her best to hold him at bay. Until her life starts to fall apart, and he offers her a shoulder to lean on and blows all her preconceived notions out the window.

Ms. Keathley presents a sweet little love story with a true happy-ever-after in this little volume. Its simple voice and diminutive length will have you adding her other work to your to-be-read pile.

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Jenn reviews JL Keathley’s Chasing Lightning Bugs

Buy the Book

This book is available on Kindle here.


Also by JL Keathley

Distant Memories (Shadow Realms book 1)


Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

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We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.

Good Luck with That

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins' GOOD LUCK WITH THAT - Contemporary Women's Fiction with a dash of romance
Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That

About the Book

Good Luck with That, Kristan Higgins
Adult, Humor, 480 Pages
Berkley (August 7, 2018)

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults. 

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her. 

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves. 

A novel of compassion and insight, Good Luck With That tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.

About the Author

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. She is a five-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for Best Work of Fiction, and her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year of many prestigious journals and review sites. If you want to keep up with Kristan’s new releases and get a free short story, sign up for her mailing list at www.kristanhiggins.com.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two long-lashed children, a couple of frisky rescue dogs and an occasionally friendly cat.

Jenn’s Review

I had the good fortune of attending a writing class taught by Kristan Higgins over the summer, and when I had the opportunity to read one of her full novels, I jumped on it. Good Luck With That is warm, witty and honest women’s fiction with a hefty dose of romance in the second half.

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley met at “fat camp” in their teens and became fast friends for life. Georgia and Marley share a house (kind of), but try to stay in touch with Emerson over the years. But the best of intentions go awry, and Georgia and Marley are called to Emerson’s hospital bedside just hours before their friend passes away. In their grief, they agree to follow the instructions in an envelope that they aren’t allowed to open until after Emerson’s funeral.

Good Luck With That is an honest and compassionate look at life with obesity and eating disorders, as well as a window into how society treats women based on their weight and size. As a woman who’s struggled with weight and eating disorders all my life, I found myself between the pages of this book. I’ve lived so many of the experiences that the protagonists endure, and their eventual triumph is heartening. The book also prompted some honest conversation at home with Hubby and Daughter (who is 13 and already struggling with society and her weight). These conversations will continue and battles will be won and lost, much like the trio in this book.

Have a hanky handy for this book, and be compassionate with yourself and others as you read. Five stars and highly recommended!

Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins' GOOD LUCK WITH THAT - Contemporary Women's Fiction with a dash of romance
Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That

Buy the Book

 This book is available in Kindle, Library Edition, paperback,  and in audio book editions from Amazon  [affiliiate link}

Off the Map – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

About the Book

Off the Map, Sierra Dean

Adult, Romantic Suspense, 220 Pages

Sierra Dean (October 2, 2018)

Her last job won’t be a day at the beach.

Harper Barton has one reason and one reason only to be in Colombia, and it isn’t for fun in the sun. As an expert in “acquiring” antiquities, she’s been tasked with collecting a valuable necklace from a gala. The problem? A drug kingpin wants the piece for himself, and won’t let a cat burglar get in his way.

Diego Morales is in Colombia doing research for his next book. The mild-mannered professor was expecting dusty books and boring lecture halls, not a beautiful woman sweeping him onto the dance floor and planting a kiss on him before being chased out of the building by armed guards.

Harper and Diego find themselves neck-deep in trouble when they’re kidnapped by the drug kingpin, but things go from bad to worse when they both go overboard and end up lost in the middle of the Colombian jungle. Can they stay alive long enough to get home? Can they stop fighting long enough to realize there’s more than just jungle heat simmering between them?

Off the Map is high-stakes adventure with spark, snark, and plenty of danger. 

About the Author


Sierra Dean is a reformed historian. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies and is allowed annual exit visas in order to continue her quest of steadily conquering the world one city at a time. Making the best of the cold Canadian winters, Sierra indulges in her less global interests: drinking too much tea and writing urban fantasy.

Ever since she was a young girl she has loved the idea of the supernatural coexisting with the mundane. As an adult, however, the idea evolved from the notion of fairies in flower beds, to imagining that the rugged-looking guy at the garage might secretly be a werewolf. She has used her overactive imagination to create her own version of the world, where vampire, werewolves, fairies, gods and monsters all walk among us, and she’ll continue to travel as much as possible until she finds it for real.

Jenn’s Review

Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider in Sierra Dean’s action romantic suspense Off the Map, complete with a snarky, dare-devil heroine and anthropology professor (albeit far less daring) hero.

Harper Barton’s career as a specialty cat burgler goes sideways as the intelligence reports for a quick grab-and-go job in Columbia turns out to be utterly wrong. In an effort to get out alive, she wrangles an unassuming man into a dance at the museum gala, plants her prize in his pocket, steals a hot kiss and attempts to make a getaway.

Diego can’t believe his luck. He’s in Columbia to study some artifacts that appear to be from a lost warrior culture, and has a speech to give at the museum gala. So far, his trip has been less than exciting, and his sister back home has pestered him for years to have an adventure. When the beautiful woman who invited him to dance kisses him so passionately that he can’t wait to see her again, he thinks he might finally accomplish his sister’s challenge.

Until the beautiful woman dashes away, with armed guards on her heels.

The pair alternate between attraction and bickering over the course of the ensuing days, trying to survive their explosive escape from captivity and certain death at the hands of Columbia’s most notorious and insane drug lord. Free of his clutches, can Harper and Diego survive the jungle to make it back to safety?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Dean’s world-building and character development are spot-on. The tension, both sexual and plot, kept me reading long past bedtime, and her twists in the plot kept me guessing what misfortune might befall the couple right up to the end.

This was a satisfying story, but I felt it ended very abruptly. Ms. Dean does suggest that this may have a sequel, but with so little space between the couple’s reunion and the end… The only other down-side of my review of the book is that the editing was incomplete, but not so much as to make the book unreadable.

Off the Map is an adult read, steamy, without edging off into erotica. Action-packed, thrilling, and immersive, this one gets a thumbs up.

Jenn reviews Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format here:

Pieces of Me – Review

About the Book

Pieces of Me, Carrigan Richards

Teen/Young Adult Drams 302 Pages

Carrigan Richards Publishing (August 13, 2013)

One second. 

Seventeen-year-old Corinne has everything. Her life. Family. Friends. Boyfriend. But in that one second, she loses it all. Now she’s left with harrowing nightmares. Hallucinations. And panic attacks that seem to come out of nowhere. She tries everything to take the pain away, but there’s only one option she sees as a true way out.

When Corinne is sent to live in a psychiatric institution, she doesn’t want to talk. It’s pointless. They can’t help her. But slowly Corinne opens up and wants to remember what it’s like to be happy so she begins reliving her past life to her doctor. She knows she can’t live in the past, but she sees no future and is faced with the hardest decision of her life.

About the Author

Carrigan is the author of Pieces of Me, a young adult contemporary romance, and the Elemental Enchanters Series, a young adult paranormal romance. She was born in Cullman, Alabama, but grew up in Birmingham, and moved to Atlanta at 18. She earned her BA in English at Kennesaw State University. For as long as she can remember, she was always making up stories and characters inside her head, sometimes using her dolls to act out the scenes.

When she’s not writing (which is rare), she’s spending time with her family and friends, listening to music, playing with her two furbabies, or cheering on her Atlanta Braves.

Jenn’s Review

Another debut novel. YA/teen lit, not exactly romance, but it has a sweet little love story built into it.

This wasn’t an easy read for me. I kind of knew it wouldn’t be when Carrigan emailed me about reviewing PIECES OF ME. My family has front row seats to the unpleasant faces of mental health problems, and this stirred some painful memories.

Corrine is dealing with a lot. So much, that her parents are checking her into a psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt. She’s been through a lot, and at seventeen, she doesn’t have the life experience to sort out who she can really trust.

The author’s style feels a little clunky to me, not uncommon in debuts, but she more than makes up for it with realistic, sympathetic characters. I had a few moments when I needed to put the book down for a reality check (I really wanted to have a heart to heart with the protagonist, Corrine, about her less-than-best-friend, Lisa, who has serious issues of her own).

This is a teen read, but as a parent, I would approach this with caution. I would like my own daughter to read this, because, at 13, she’s already dealt with a suicidal friend. However, the storyline is heavy, and I’m not sure her attention span would stick it out. Without pulling out my personal soapbox, mental health issues, especially anxiety, depression, and PTSD are things that need to be talked about. They need to be on the table, and it’s time for the stigma to fall away. Ms. Richards takes a giant step in that direction with this story.

All of that said, the writing is a bit stiff, and the flashbacks get blurry, making the timeline a little hard to follow at times. This is one of those times that I would encourage the reader to stick it out. The story is worth it. The ENDING is worth it. Grab your tissues and hang on, because the further you get into the book, the harder it is to put down.

For those who might write this off as a depressing book, I challenge you to stick it out. Millions of people deal with these kinds of debilitating mental health issues every day, and Ms. Richards adeptly portrays the headspace of someone (especially a young someone) at the end of their rope.

And spoiler alert: the story has a happy ending. It’s not a unicorns and rainbows happy ending, but it’s a well-written happy ending. Four stars, and a standing ovation for Carrigan Richards for tackling this book.

Jenn reviews YA Fiction PIECES OF ME, a Carrigan Richards novel, in this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog.

Buy the Book

 This book is available in Kindle and in paperback editions from Amazon  [affiliiate link}

Mindfulness – Review

About the Book

Mindfulness, Mark Williams, and Danny Penman

Adult Health 288 Pages

Rodale Books; 1 edition (November 13, 2012)

Mindfulness reveals a set of simple yet powerful practices that you can incorporate into daily life to help break the cycle of anxiety, stress, unhappiness, and exhaustion. It promotes the kind of happiness and peace that gets into your bones. It seeps into everything you do and helps you meet the worst that life throws at you with new courage.

The book is based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT revolves around a straightforward form of mindfulness meditation which takes just a few minutes a day for the full benefits to be revealed. MBCT has been clinically proven to be at least as effective as drugs for depression and is widely recommended by US physicians and the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence—in other words, it works. More importantly, it also works for people who are not depressed but who are struggling to keep up with the constant demands of the modern world.

MBCT was developed by the book’s author, Oxford professor Mark Williams, and his colleagues at the Universities of Cambridge and Toronto. By investing just 10 to 20 minutes each day, you can learn the simple mindfulness meditations at the heart of MBCT and fully reap their benefits. The book includes links to audio meditations to help guide you through the process. You’ll be surprised by how quickly these techniques will have you enjoying life again.

Jenn’s Review

I picked this book up some time ago, and due to Life happening (including buying a house and various upsets to my usual routine), this eight-week plan took me almost four months. Did that affect the overall benefits of the plan?

Not at all.

This book was worth taking my time to get through. Between practical explanations in each chapter, the downloadable, guided meditations, and independent practice, I finished the book with more tools than I began with (and I have been meditating for years).

The authors of MINDFULNESS lay a solid foundation of research and application before starting the reader on a series of weekly steps, gradually building on the previous week’s learning and practice.

This is more than a simple how-to book. You *could* just read straight through, but the better investment of time would be to tackle one chapter a week. Repeat the week until you are comfortable with the given practice before you move on.

I’ve read a number of books on meditation and mindfulness, but this is, by far, the most practical of them all. I’ve fallen back on the tools learned in this book to manage stress, anxiety, panic attacks and dietary issues. Definitely worth trying if you are interested in deepening your mindfulness.

Jenn shares her experience with the book, MINDFULNESS - AN EIGHT WEEK PLAN, on this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog.

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, Audiobook, paperback, hardback and CD Audio formats from Amazon. [affiliate link]

Unfinished – Review

Thrice Read Books review blog post - UNFINISHED by Amy Snyder - Adult Contemporary Women's Fiction

About the Book

Unfinished by Amy Snyder

Adult Contemporary Women’s 262 Pages

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC July 25, 2017

Mirabelle is a writer who just can’t finish any of the stories she starts. When her twins leave home for college, they take with them Mirabelle’s sense of identity. As she strives to adjust to her empty nest she is visited by someone unexpected: a character from the very first novel she ever attempted to write.

Characters from all of her unfinished works begin to materialize in her home, in her car, at her job. They talk, yell, and some even throw things at her. Mirabelle can see them, smell them, touch them and though she knows they’re not real, she can’t help but engage them. She created them, after all. They become part of her daily life and she finds herself alternating between hiding them from and sharing them with her almost-always-doting husband, Alex.

Some of Mirabelle’s characters are like good friends, encouraging her to finish something she’s started. Others manipulate her for their own needs and storylines. Good and bad, these characters are part of her and Mirabelle discovers she needs to both fix and finish them before they destroy her life, her sanity, and her marriage.

About the Author

Amy Snyder began writing when she realized the strange things that happened in her imagination were far more interesting than the things that happened in her real life. After earning her degree in Radio, Television, and Film from Northwestern University, she worked at a financial brokerage house, a nationally published magazine, an advertising agency, and most recently, an elementary school as a Math Tutor, Substitute Teacher, and Library Paraprofessional. But she’s always been a writer. UNFINISHED is her first novel. Read more at www.amysnyderauthor.com.

Jenn’s Review

A cautionary tale for aspiring authors, Unfinished is a tense tale of dreams deferred and the high price of leaving projects incomplete. While this isn’t the first story of its kind that I’ve read, it’s the first that hit close to home for me.

Mirabelle is facing middle age, an empty nest, a job she hates, and the sudden appearance of the characters she’s written into the collection of unfinished fiction sitting in her closet.

As one protagonist after another shows up to confront their creator, Bella alternatively wants them to leave her alone and considers that she might be going insane. The problem escalates, forcing her to confess to her husband, who starts out understanding, if dismissive and progresses to taking Bella to a mental health professional for help. Ultimately, Bella has to choose between her creativity and her marriage as the plot develops.

As I dived into this story, I found myself alternately wishing the protagonist would stop whining, and seeing far too much of myself in the story (12 manuscripts on my WIP shelf… Yup). This is more than a story about a middle-aged woman on the brink of insanity – it also touches the tender points of finding balance in a marriage and standing up for your own dreams.

This is told in first-person, and while the dialogue is snappy, there were moments when I wished the protagonist would quit complaining to herself and DO something. The author definitely captured the troubles that we married writers face (we’re not always free to stop and capture great ideas, after all), and the timeless space that many of us slip into when deeply absorbed in writing a story.

This was a fast-paced story that kept me turning pages, even when it felt a bit draggy. A must-read for aspiring authors and women headed towards that scary, middle age/empty nest time.

Thrice Read Books review blog post - UNFINISHED by Amy Snyder - Adult Contemporary Women's Fiction

Buy This Book

This book is available from Amazon in paperback format only. [affiliate link]

Love on a Limb – Review

About the Book

Love on A Limb, Laurie Lewis (Great Expectations Love Stories: The Graykens Book 1)

Adult Religious Romance 344 Pages

Willowsport Press, November 26, 2017

Matthew Grayken is young, successful, and dying, which is why he’s about to propose to a total stranger. He isn’t interested in love. He needs a caregiver, a companion, and someone to be his legal voice when he can no longer speak for himself.

Lonely, compassionate nurse Mikaela Compton is intrigued by Matt Grayken’s tender request, but when their friendly marriage turns into love, she rejects the inevitability of Matt’s death and prays for a miracle instead.

Mikaela succeeds in reigniting Matt’s will to fight, but his body is losing the battle, and her determination to save him causes her to betray the fundamental promise she made him–to help him die peaceably. 

Their last hope at saving Matt’s life will require a sacrifice from each of them, and force them to decide how far out on a limb they’re willing to go for love.

About the Author

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis knows that wherever life takes her, she will always be a Marylander at heart—a weather-whining lover of crabs, American history, and the sea. She admits to being craft-challenged, particularly lethal with a glue gun, and a devotee of sappy movies. 

Therapists have been chasing her down to diagnose her multiple personality syndrome since she writes under three names–historical fiction as L.C. Lewis, romance and women’s fiction as Laurie Lewis, and general fiction as Laurie L.C. Lewis. 

Jenn’s Review

Cancer. It’s one of those words that make just about anyone cringe. But what happens when you’re fighting a losing battle? For your life, for your voice, for dying on your own terms?

That’s the question that bachelor Matt Grayken faces when he makes the choice to propose to Mikaela in the opening chapter of L.C. Lewis’s contemporary romance, Love on a Limb.

Matt has been battling cancer since childhood. He’s made a decent life for himself with the help of his adoptive, Irish immigrant parents, in the United States. This time, he’s chosen to withhold his renewed battle, to fight cancer his own way. 

He’s been observing gentle, compassionate Mikaela as she works with patients at the cancer treatment center when he’s in for chemotherapy. She’s exactly what he wants as an end-of-life partner, prompting his audacious proposal. They’ll be legally married, she’ll be his voice and nurse when he can no longer speak for himself, and she’ll inherit his home and a substantial endowment towards getting her medical degree. No one’s feelings get involved, no one gets hurt. 

Mikaela isn’t entirely on board with Matt’s plan, but she reluctantly agrees. It’s a break from trying to juggle everything in her life, but… 

Featured on the Thrice Read Books review blog: LOVE ON A LIMB by Laurie Lewis - Adult Contemporary/Inspirational Romance

The agreement works for both Matt and Mikaela, but a hitch develops in their tidy agreement. They’re falling for each other, fast. 

Ms. Lewis tenderly weaves the emotional turmoil of a life with cancer into a sweet romance. She tackles the billionaire rich boy stereotype and mixes it with a compassionate male character, whose purpose in life is to help others live their dreams. Mikaela is the compassionate nurse who strives to ease the emotional, physical and financial struggles that accompany the battle with cancer, and the two mesh beautifully. She refuses to give up hope and shows her backbone and stubborn will to beat Matt’s cancer right into their black moment, and against the odds. 

This is the first in a series, and my hope is that Matt and Mikaela win their battle against his cancer in the long run. Love on a Limb is for fans of sweet romance who don’t mind a tear jerker.

Buy the Book

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

How to Write Dazzling Dialogue – Review

About the Book

How To Write a Dazzling Dialogue, James Scott Bell

Teen to Adult,  Reference, 136 Pages

Compendium Press (July 14, 2014)

There is one sure-fire way of improving your novel fast. . . You may know the fundamentals of how to write fiction. You may be more than competent in plot, structure and characters. But if your dialogue is dull it will drag the whole story down. On the other hand, if your dialogue is crisp and full of tension it immediately grabs the reader. And if that reader is an agent or editor, sharp dialogue will give them instant assurance that you know what you’re doing as a writer. Writing a bestseller or hot screenplay is no easy task, but dazzling dialogue is an absolute essential if you want to get there. The best part is, the skills of the dialogue craft are easy to understand and put into practice. #1 bestselling writing coach James Scott Bell has put together and expanded upon the dialogue lectures from his popular writing seminars. In How to Write Dazzling Dialogue you’ll learn:

  • What fictional dialogue is … and isn’t
  • The 11 secrets of crafting memorable dialogue
  • The 5 essential tasks of dialogue
  • 5 ways to improve your dialogue ear
  • 4 can’t-miss methods to increase conflict and tension in any dialogue exchange
  • The top 10 dialogue issues, and how to resolve them

You’ll also see dazzling dialogue in action with examples from hit novels and screenplays. Don’t sabotage your chances of selling your work to readers or publishers because the dialogue is unexceptional. Dazzle them with what the characters say. How to Write Dazzling Dialogue will give you the tools to do it.

About the Author

For notifications and deals about JSB’s new releases, sign up for his occasional update at www.jamesscottbell.com (the signup box is on the left side of the screen). Your mail box will never be overstuffed nor will your address be shared with anyone else. 

JAMES SCOTT BELL is a winner of the International Thriller Writers Award (for his novel Romeo’s Way) and the author of many bestselling thrillers. He is a popular writing instructor and conference speaker, and formerly served as the fiction columnist for Writer’s Digest magazine. Jim attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied writing with Raymond Carver, and graduated with honors from the University of Southern California Law School. He lives and writes in L.A. and blogs weekly at Kill Zone — www.killzoneblog.com

Jenn’s Review

Dialogue is something I struggle with as a writer. I know that my characters’ mediocre, and often lackluster conversations are about 50% of what’s holding me back from getting published, so, I went out looking for a book to help clarify where I was going wrong. I also attended some great workshops on dialogue at RWA2018, but I was still missing a LOT.

Enter How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell. Bell’s thrillers are multiple times best sellers, his books on writing craft are multiple times best sellers; this guy has some street credentials, even though I’d never heard of him.
Why his books make bestseller lists so often is clear, all the way through this slim volume on fiction dialogue. The instruction is concise and liberally peppered with examples, both from existing literature and off-the-cuff.

I took this book one chapter a day and will be applying it to my own writing going forward (I’ve already started on that, and the lessons are sinking in, as I notice dialogue more in what I read). Bell tackles such topics as tension, style, info-dumping, punctuation, and cursing. Period dialogue and dialect are also touched on in various degrees within the 134 pages of this book.

Bell’s book on dialogue is written so that most folks can easily understand what he’s demonstrating. If you are a writer, wanting to get published; if you teach writing; if you are the parent of a young writer; and yes, even if you’re an already published author — give this book a read. It’s now a permanent part of my writer’s toolkit, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to up their fiction writing game.

Jenn reviews HOW TO WRITE DAZZLING DIALOGUE by James Scott Bell in this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog.

Buy the Book

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Two Hearts, One Stone – Review

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Thrice Read Books helps contemporary romance author Leslie Scott celebrate her new release with a review of her new release: Two Hearts, One Stone

About the Book:

Two Hearts, One Stone by Leslie Scott

Contemporary Romance

The Wild Rose Press – September 26, 2018

Horse trainer Stone Dempsey’s life is all about the ride—with horses and women. He uses his equine talents to impress the country club set and earn money for Smoky Mountain Reining Horses. When his drug-addicted sister deposits her sick baby on his doorstep, he’s suddenly saddled with real responsibility.

Dr. Emmersyn Cole’s goal of starting a practice in her favorite place on earth is finally coming to fruition and she is not going to be sidetracked. Everything is going great until Stone swaggers into her life, half-dressed with a smile that could melt her insides. She’s determined to keep her distance…until he rushes into her grandfather’s home, clutching a feverish baby, terrified and vulnerable, and her heart’s hard shell begins to crack.

In only a few short weeks, Stone’s wayward heart suddenly relies on two women—one who needs him—and one that he might not be able to live without.

Excerpt (by permission of the author & publisher)

He was spinning and dizzy because of Emmy. He hadn’t expected her to throw him for a loop like she had, have him waiting on her after work, cleaning up his cabin, and all the other silly things he’d done in the past few weeks.

Yet there he was, with a shoulder against the stall door, watching the sparkles of faded sunlight dance in her reddish, curling hair.

He was a goner.

“I feel naked when you look at me like that.” Her fingers trembled as she tucked a lock behind her ear.

“That’s not the way I look at you when you’re naked.”

About the Author:

Leslie spends most days attempting to wrangle the voices in her head and often wishes she could clone herself so that their stories get told faster. She loves words, romance, and characters that feel like family and spends almost all of her free time with her own family; including a boisterous eleven-year-old that she homeschools and an assorted cast of rescue pets. She lives her own happily ever after with her soul mate and best friend in the northern part of Alabama and hopes you enjoy reading her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.

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Jenn’s Review:

Sexy cowboy Cassanova meets sweet pediatrician in Leslie Scott’s newest cowboy romance, Two Hearts One Stone.

Stone Dempsey is sexy, smooth, a fantastic horse trainer… And a shameless playboy who has more notches in his bedpost than any man has a right to. When his boss’s granddaughter, Emmersyn, moves back to town to start her pediatric practice, Stone is immediately attracted. Except she has a front-row seat to a spectacular exit from his latest conquest, and his reputation precedes him.

Emmersyn doesn’t have time for a relationship. At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself. Stone makes it easy to resist, at first. But when he shows up at her grandfather’s house with a sick baby, she’s caught in a tornado of emotion. When she learns the baby isn’t his daughter, and a bit more of Stone’s story comes to light, she has an increasingly difficult time convincing herself to stay away.

Ms. Scott weaves steamy sexual chemistry with deep characters against a southern rural backdrop filled with tempting debutantes and high-value horses.

This is the kind of romance I love to read, and it kept me turning the pages to find out what happens next.

For fans of adult contemporary romance and sexy cowboy stories. Mature language and scenes, with a sweet story and subplot.

Jenn reviews Two Hearts, One Stone, a new Adult Contemporary Romance from Author Leslie Scott and The Wild Rose Press on the Thrice Read Books Blog

Where to Buy:

The Wild Rose Press


Also by Leslie Scott

The Finish Line (Book 1, Arkadia Fast)

Hot Lap (Book 2, Arkadia Fast)