About afgypsysoul

I have always loved to read. My first memory of reading is winning a stuffed animal turtle for reading the most books in my 2nd grade class. I am a retired Air Force Officer who has traveled around the world with my kindle! I love anything with a romance. I'm a big fan of paranormal romance, urban fantasy (as long as there's a little bit or romance), romantic suspense, contemporary romance and M/M. I have over 1000 books on my kindle that I haven't read yet and somehow I keep adding more. I never leave home without my kindle and I love reading challenges. I currently live in Phoenix with my husband and two kids. I also have two wonderful dogs a lovable pitbull and a cute dachshund. I'm still hoping my kids will pick up my love for reading!

Amid the Winter Snow Anthology Review

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In the Darkest Midnight – Grace Draven 4 charms

I loved Grace Draven’s Radiance and Eidolon but I haven’t read her other books yet. I believe this book takes place in the same world as both her series and there was a cameo appearance from a character that was in Eidolon. I didn’t have any trouble following the storyline and so I don’t think it’s necessary to have read any of her previous books. I enjoyed this story and although I’m not a fan of really long separations it worked in this story and I enjoyed both Jahna and Radimar. I really enjoyed that Jahna wasn’t a traditional beautiful woman nor was Radimar a gorgeous male. They were realistic and I really loved the slow burn between the two. I’m definitely interesting in reading more by Grace Draven.

The Chosen – Thea Harrison 5 charms
I’m a big fan of The Elder Races books but I think this can be read as a stand alone without much difficulty. Wulf was a wonderful character that I fell for and I loved that Lily brought out a softer side to him. Lily was strong but not necessarily in the traditional warrior way and she fit perfectly with Wulf. There was just enough action, humor and romance to make this a fantastic story. My only complaint is that I was hooked on these characters and wanted more!

The Storm – Elizabeth Hunter 3 charms
I’ve only read one book from the series that this novella takes place in so while I understood most of the story there were some questions that I didn’t feel were answered and left me wondering why certain things happened. I’m not a fan of leaving someone for their own good and so that took some of my enjoyment away from this story. I believe these two characters were probably introduced in the series and I think if I had read about them my enjoyment of this novella would have been a lot stronger.

The Snows of Windoven – Jeffe Kennedy 2.5 charms
This is a novella from a series I haven’t read and while I didn’t feel lost I do feel like a lot happened between these characters that I was unaware of. I think fans of the series who know these characters will really enjoy this novella. I do wish there hadn’t been quiet so much miscommunication and the poor me, I’m not good enough for her hero drove me a little bit crazy.

 

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So Over You Review

34951225So Over You is the second book in the Chicago Rebels series but can easily be read as a stand alone book. I love a good sports romance if it’s done right and this one hits all the marks! Plenty of sports – check, hot/sexy Alpha sports hero – check, strong heroine – check, steamy sex – check, humor – double check!

First of all I love the concept of the three estranged sisters who are thrown together after the death of their father to try to hold on to the hockey team he left them with some very difficult stipulations. They are fighting to enter a man’s domain and still stay true to themselves and on top of that navigate a relationship with each other. I really loved the relationship/banter between the three sisters.

The second book features Isobel Chase. Isobel was the closest to their father since she was an amazing hockey player who won a silver medal and who was very briefly a professional hockey player until a horrible injury took away her chance to play professionally. Isobel was pushed hard to be a great hockey player and her whole life revolved around that. She had a brief fling with a Russian hockey player who took her virginity (and it was an experience easily forgotten) but hockey was always first for her.

Now she’s part owner of her family’s hockey team, the Russian has been traded to the team and she will be coaching him since he is coming off of an injury as well. Isobel has a lot on her plate and she still hasn’t adjusted to her loss. She isn’t sure where she belongs and how she fits in and those struggles play out in this book.

Vadim fell hard for Isobel as a young man but their brief time together cost him alot as well. Isobel’s dad forced his return to Russia to keep him away from Isobel so she could concentrate on hockey and Vadim lost three years that he would have been playing for the NHL. At first, Vadim is angry with Isobel and the two start off as enemies but it isn’t long before the sexual chemistry is heating things up!

I loved Vadim (and honestly he could be a bit of a overpowering, grumpy jerk) but somehow he was also endearing, funny and sweet. I couldn’t get enough of him and I loved the banter between him and Isobel. There was also plenty of humor and when Vadim was told by another player who overheard Isobel telling her sister that her one time with Vadim was not good and that she didn’t have an orgasm his reaction was priceless.

Vadim desperately wants to make up for his first time with Isobel and prove that he can be an amazing lover. The sexual tension between Isobel and Vadim was hot and I couldn’t wait for the two of them to give in to their attraction. Both Isobel and Vadim made a few pour decisions along the way but their motivations where realistic and it just made these not perfect characters realistic. Although I didn’t like Isobel’s decisions at times I completely understood where she was coming from and her anger was justified. I also understood where Vadim was coming from and his frustration with Isobel’s stubbornness.

This was a very sexy, funny second chance romance with a good mix of sports, humor and romance. I couldn’t put it down once I started it! If you’re looking for an entertaining, fun, fast paced and hot sports romance look no further! Can’t wait for the next book.

EXCERPT FROM BOOK

“This little job is the difference between you playing and not. Dancing with the Stars, Vaddy baby. It’s where all the washed-up pros end up.”

Annoyed at his reaction to her, he skated away, throwing out over his shoulder, “I will be playing, Isobel. You will have no say in that. I spoke with Moretti—it is clear why you have this job.”

Her brow crimped. Naturally, it was adorable. “Please. Enlighten me.”

“He is new and no doubt under pressure to bow to the owners. You can write your own ticket.”

“If that’s the case, I’d just appoint myself as head coach and be done with it.”

“You are also conscious of what the fans and media think, so you are starting small. Really, you could have called or texted, Isobel. Buying my contract seems like a lot of work to bring me back into your world.”

“You weren’t my first choice. But luckily your poor play this season meant Quebec was happy to offload you.”

He ignored the brief stab. The last six months had been difficult. Isobel understood this, yet they could not resist these little cuts.

“I think you wanted to be closer to me. Just like before, right, Bella?”

A blush crept up her cheeks on hearing his endearment for her.

He would test her. Make her angry and emotional. Make her cry. Because angry, emotional criers were not the stuff of coaches. If she was serious about a career in the NHL, she would hear worse.

She would get him game fit. He would get her battle ready.

He continued to needle. “Yes, I think that must be it. It seems that the female owners of the Rebels would like to abuse their position and use the players for their personal pleasure. Your sister and Remy DuPre—that is interesting.”

“Is it?”

“Harper may have duped a Rebel player into her bed, but please don’t imagine you and I will be renewing our acquaintance in a similar manner.”

That got her attention, at last. Her creamy skin blazed, her crimson mouth twitched, and even from a distance he could see those melted-shamrock eyes darken. She looked like she wanted scream at him. Burst into tears. Slap his face.

Yes, Bella. Let us see if you can handle the barbs of every player, coach, and fan who will dismiss you. Let us see if you can handle me.

Fury powering her stride, she skated over, skidding to a halt mere inches from his face. As before, she was magnificent.

“You’ve found me out, Petrov.”

“I have?”

“It’s all an elaborate ruse. We bought your contract even though you really haven’t been performing well this season. Let’s face it, you’ve sucked donkey balls, Vadikins. But I convinced my sisters that I alone could bring you back to top condition. Make you a valuable asset to the team. I also made sure I’d be the only one working with you . . .” She leaned up on the tips of her blades, a balancing act that required great skill and remarkable ankle strength. Close enough that he could have slipped his tongue between his lips and tasted hers.

Her breath was a hot puff of temptation. “So we would have all this alone time.”

With that fiery gaze, she held his own.

Unerring.

Unflinching.

Until her mouth creased, and she broke into a laugh. He remembered that laugh. Just as before, it hit him right in the balls.

She used the edge of the iPad to poke him in the chest. “You thought I’d go to all this trouble to try to get into your hockey shorts, Petrov? I’m a team owner—I can have any of these Rebel boys with the click of my fingers!” She chuckled, clearly enjoying herself. “Despite what that supersized ego of yours thinks, the only performance I want from you is on the ice. Maybe if you spent less time carousing—”

“Carousing?”

“Yes, it’s nicer than calling you a club-hopping, vodka-sodden manwhore. Less of that and more effort on your day job, please. And don’t worry yourself that I’m interested in ‘renewing our acquaintance.’ I’ve had better lays with the Ukrainian delegation at the last Games.”

He had to say he enjoyed this sharp-tongued, quick-witted version of Isobel. But not enough to admit it to her.

“There is nothing you can teach me.”

“So sure, Russian.”

“I am positive.”

“We’ll see.” She skated back to the edge of the rink. “Again.”

SO OVER YOU
Chicago Rebels series, Book 2
Kate Meader
Pocket Star EBooks
December 4, 2017
$5.99
ISBN 9781501168567

“Meader serves up a delicious mix of sports, sexy romance, and complicated, captivating characters with her second Chicago Rebels hockey contemporary (after Irresistible You)…Meader’s erotic scenes could melt ice, and her complex protagonists will keep readers eagerly turning pages.”
—Publishers Weekly (So Over You)

“Things heat up on the ice in Meaer’s latest installment of the Chicago Revels series (Irresistible You, 2017)…Isobel and Vadim’s chemistry is off the charts, and Meader’s engaging details of hockey and Chicago pull you further into their world. Even nonhockey fans will be rooting for the Rebels by the last page.”
—Booklist (So Over You)

“Hockey is a sport that moves a mile a minute, and it’s even more thrilling when the action off the ice has even more speed. In the second Chicago Rebels book, external conflicts make the path to a happy ending difficult for the couple, but that makes it even more satisfying in the end. Meader’s thought-provoking tale has well-rounded characters who touch each other’s lives — sometimes not too gently.”
—RT Book Reviews (So Over You)

“Meader’s strength is creating characters who live, breathe, and jump off the page; Remy and Harper shine, and the supporting cast of characters, including Harper’s half-sisters, is very strong. The mix of sexual tension and emotional decisions will lead Meader’s series launch to many a keeper shelf.”
—Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW (Irresistible You, Book 1)

“Meader takes her readers on a breathtaking, non-stop, glorious ride. The sex scenes are lyrically written with fresh, descriptive prose. Enough is included about hockey to add its fast rhythm to the book. Remy’s family is multi-faceted and fills the pages with joy. Readers will love the relationship between Remy and Harper, and will be excited for the next story — Isobel’s.”
—RT Book Reviews Four and a Half Star TOP PICK (Irresistible You, Book 1)

About the book:
Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s SO OVER YOU, Book 2 in the new sizzling Chicago Rebels series. Middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels…

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won silver at the Games, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then…let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice…

About the author:
Kate Meader was raised on romance. An Irish girl, she started with Catherine Cookson and Jilly Cooper novels, and spiced it up with some Mills & Boon. Now based in Chicago, she writes romances of her own, where sexy contemporary alpha heroes and strong heroines match each other quip for quip. When not immersed in tales of brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, Kate lives on the web at Kate Meader.

Giveaway:
Kate Meader will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card during release week. To enter, please go here!

 

 

Kiss Kiss Bang Review

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Kiss Kiss Bang is the 3rd book in the series but can easily be read as a stand alone book. I read the first really loved it and somehow missed the second (but I will definitely be getting that book so I can fix that because so far I’ve really enjoyed this series). It has a great mix of strong, likable characters, suspense and romance.

The prologue of Kiss Kiss Bang caught my attention right away and I was really interested to see how Olivia’s past was going to effect her present. I really liked the way that Olivia and Joey met and I felt their chemistry and found that their introduction made the possibility of a relationship between them more believable. It isn’t long before Joey realizes Olivia has a stalker and that her current bodyguard isn’t up to the task of keeping her safe. I liked the political plot that was meshed into the suspense and the romance and thought the author did a great job blending it all together.

Joey is a wonderful hero – he is an alpha but he’s the brainy one (a hacker). He’s also sweet, charming, sexy, stubborn and willing to go after what he wants and what he wants is Olivia and her daughter. Olivia’s daughter was just the right mix of adorable and realistic. She wasn’t perfect but she was cute and the scenes between her and Joey were so sweet. Olivia takes a little longer to warm up to but I ended up really liking her and respecting her. She was willing to fight for her beliefs and she was a wonderful mom. The romance was quick but even though it happened fairly instantly I never felt put off by that and I loved watching them begin a relationship while taking into consideration that Olivia had a little girl.

Although the suspense wasn’t too terribly hard to figure out it was enough to keep interested and to keep me turning the pages. I read this book very quickly in one setting and was surprised by how fast it seemed to go. It grabbed my attention from the very beginning and kept me entertained until the HEA at the end.

M/M Monday – Junkyard Heart Review

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Although Junkyard Heart is the 7th book int he Porthkennack series it can be read as a stand alone easily (I did).

The books I’ve read by Garrett Leigh tend to be very angsty but this one although it did have angst was the perfect level for me. Not too much but plenty to keep you hooked and hoping for the best. Both Jas and Kim are very realistic characters with real problems and baggage. Jas is coming out of a relationship where he found out his boyfriend had been married with children and Kim is facing his demons of addiction.

The two men are instantly attracted to each other and start a sexual relationship right away but the rest of their relationship grows over time. They build a solid friendship as they get to know each other and begin to fall for one another. I thought the author did a fantastic job dealing with a character with an addiction and the difficulties of facing both past decisions and the one day at a time struggle. Jas and Kim worked together and the way they came together and grew together felt realistic. Although there were some struggles along the way, a bit of miscommunication and some drama there was also an overall thread of hope throughout the book.

The secondary characters were interesting although the relationship between Kim and Lena was a bit confusing to me at first (and this probably stems from not reading the previous book). I really loved Brix and Calum and will definitely go back and read their book.

I loved the way the author concluded the book and I believed the HFN. Overall, a very good book that I can recommend.

The Remaking of Corbin Wales Review

36359430Here’s another holiday romance as we enter the season!  This one actually centers around Chanukah.  It’s different but not in a bad way.  It has a bit of a magical/mystical feel to it at times at yet it’s possible that all of that is just in the mind of the main character Corbin Wale.  It does have that feel good, hopeful and sweet theme that makes for a wonderful holiday read.

Wow I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. Did I enjoy it? Yes Did I completely understand the characters? No Was it charming? Absolutely

Corbin is a fascinating character but I’ll be honest I’m not sure if he was supposed to be magical (his communication with animals/ability to sense what others felt) or if he had a mental illness like autism or if it was a combination of both. The author never makes it clear and leaves it to the reader to draw their own conclusions. You couldn’t help but like Corbin and to feel deeply for his troubled childhood. As a child he was different and shunned by the other children and really not given much attention from the aunts who raised him except to convince him he could never have love. That part really made me sad and I wanted a happy ending for Corbin.

Alex was a really great guy and incredibly patient and giving. He wanted to be needed and Corbin needed him. He was also willing to let the relationship be whatever Corbin needed whether that meant a close friendship or a romantic relationship. He understood Corbin like no one else in his life ever had and accepted him for exactly who he was. (I guess that’s where I felt some of the realism was lost). I loved that Alex accepted Corbin but I think I would have liked him to have a few doubts/concerns and then figured out that loving Corbin was worth it versus just full out never worrying about the fact that Corbin could check out of reality or that he had this entire imaginary world he’d created for himself.

This was a very slow burn romance that worked for these characters and they don’t even touch until almost 75% through the story but given the context of Corbin’s background and belief that he was cursed it was realistic. The love scenes were interesting and very different – I can’t say that I found them hot but they were emotional. The author paints a picture with her words that is completely different from anything else I’ve ever read.

I also very much enjoyed the holding setting and that the book revolved around Chanukah. It fit the sweet and magical/mystical aspects of the book. I also really liked that we got both Alex and Corbin’s POVs although I never really felt like I got to know enough about Alex except for how he felt about food and Corbin. I loved Gareth, Alex’s best friend and I really hope that we get his story. He was a great secondary character that added a lot to the book.

I’m not sure this book will be for everyone – it’s as different as the character it portrays. It was for me an intriguing book that was just right to read around the holidays and while curled up next to the fire. I’m still not 100% sure how to rate this book so I think I’ll go with 3.5 charms and round up.

 

 

 

Catalyst Review

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Catalyst is the second book in the Flashpoint series but can easily be read as a stand alone. It’s part thriller, part suspense and part romance with a complex and interesting setting. Grant has a way of writing a book that hits some very real world horrible situations such as sex-trafficking, Native American issues and of course the social and political issues surrounding Africa. She sets up an fascinating yet very politically charged situation and throws her characters in to very complex situations with a lot of gray areas. I loved the story and the details which while thorough did not bog the story down at all.

Both the main MCs where well developed and very complex and although I liked them I never connected to them as much as I wanted (and this is why this is a 4 star vs 5 star book). Brie was just a bit too needy and self pity and the continuous reminders about her past decisions and the I need to do penance thoughts made it a bit too hard to really connect with her. As for Bastian he was just a bit too uncaring when it came to other people’s feelings and while I admired that he accepted that about himself that acceptance made it a bit harder to empathize with his character. I didn’t necessarily enjoy the games they both played with each other in the second half of the book and so for me the romance wasn’t as strong as the suspense aspect of the book.

I loved the first half of the book and while I liked the second half it did require me to suspend my disbelief some. I was however, up until the wee hours of the morning turning pages to see how it all played out.

Overall, a very enjoyable read. If you love an action filled, politically charged suspense book with a secondary romance then look no further. I’m looking forward to continuing this series and I hope that we see more of Savannah and Cal whose few scenes had me riveted!

 

 

Cherish Hard Review

36390029Cherish Hard was the first book in the Hard Play series and was a wonderful, sweet, and enjoyable book with an amazing hero and a likable heroine.

I’ll be honest, Sailor made this book for me. He was the perfect hero without being 100% perfect. He had his flaws but he the way he treated Isa was amazing! He is definitely going to be one of my favorite book boyfriends! I also liked Isa and how she stood up for herself, was their for her siblings but also was able to get past her fears and give Sailor not only a chance but the benefit of the doubt. Once they committed they believed in each other and the relationship. I’m actually not sure about the timeline and how long they knew each other but it didn’t feel like instant love and I found them believable together. I also loved that the conflict was so real! I also admired the way it was handled and the resolution at the end.

I also adored both Sailor’s family and Isa’s siblings. They made wonderful secondary characters who added to the book. Of course Rock Hard about Sailor’s older brother is one of my all time favorite contemporary romances so I loved seeing a bit of him before that book takes place.

This was a wonderfully sweet book that hit just the right spot. So if you’re looking for a sweet, heart warming yet somewhat light hearted book with a fabulous hero and characters you are rooting for then give this one a chance you won’t be disappointed!

 

A Cold Dark Promise Review

36098958A Cold Dark Promise is the perfect early Christmas present for fans of the series. I don’t recommend reading it as a stand alone but if you haven’t started this series I do highly recommend you start! This book centers around Alex and Mallory who started everything in A Cold Dark Place.
Mallory is pregnant and the two are just days away from getting married. Alex is asked by someone he knows to help rescue her daughter who was stolen by her father, a rich Saudi man over 4 years ago. Alex doesn’t want to get involved and especially not this close to his wedding but Mallory convinces him he should help. Unfortunately things are never that simple and when Alex spots a known weapons dealer he knows there is more going on. Several of the characters from previous books arrive to help and it’s wonderful to see so many of the previous characters back in action and working together. The pace is fast and the suspense kept me turning the pages as fast as I could to see how it wold all play out and if Alex would live long enough to make it back in time for his wedding. I loved this book and although it was short it was the perfect bonus as I wait impatiently for the next book in the series!

M/M Monday – Citywide Review

35495782 Okay so only one of the stories in this book is M/M and it’s actually M/M/M but since it is by far my favorite of the stories I’m going to use it for my M/M Monday review.  Well this book has a little bit of everything – M/M/M story, F/F story and and a M/F Story. I also believe that reading the series will make this book A LOT more enjoyable since the characters are all introduced within the series.

4.5 Charms to Rerouted. I really loved the story between Aiden, Jace and Chris. It was smoking hot and yet I genuinely liked the characters. Triads are hit and miss with me. I can sometimes have a hard time finding them believable. I actually didn’t have that problem with this one although I do think the relationship was a bit Chris centered. Maybe that was because it was in his POV but I would have loved a couple of scenes between just Aiden and Jace even if it was discussions about how Chris fit in with them and what they wanted as a couple since they were the married couple. However, even with that I really thought the author did a great job of showing how Chris fit both Aiden and Jace. With Aiden and Jace being a lot a like and having grown up together Chris was able to be the peacemaker and help when one or the other was frustrated. I liked that in between some really intense and hot sex scenes there were some emotional conversations taking place. Overall, I really loved this one and would like to read more of them.

4 Charms to Gridlocked. I gave this story 4 charms even though for me it was probably more of a 3 charm but that’s just because I’m not a fan of F/F stories and I skimmed the sex scenes. However, if I went by just the writing alone it was a well done story with fully dimensional characters. I liked both Mere and Tonya and thought there story was well done.

2 charms to Derailed.

I almost gave up a couple of times throughout this story because I really didn’t like Stephanie and although I know the author tried to explain her issue with commitment I never found it believable. Angel was a wonderful and sweet guy who was also a great friend but Steph treated him like crap and I wanted to him to let go of her and move on and find someone who would treat him better. I’m all for women who can stand on their own and don’t need a man but that doesn’t give her the excuse to play with Angel’s feelings and that’s what I felt like she was doing. She wouldn’t be with him but didn’t want anyone else to have him so she’d give him just enough to give him hope but never more until the very end of this story. I felt it was far too late by then and I had lost all respect for Steph.

 

Wanted: Mom For Christmas Review

35341385I admit it – I love the holidays.  I love the decorations, the music, the hallmark movies and yes the holiday stories that are published around that time of year.  So I’m starting a little early to help weed through all the holiday romances out there and find out which ones are good, which ones I wish I skipped and which ones leave a huge smile on my face when I’ve finished!  Wanted Mom For Christmas is a charming, sweet and fun holiday romance with characters I fell in love with. Although this is book 5.5 in the series it can be read as a stand alone (I did) and it’s still very enjoyable. I can only imagine how much more I would have loved it if I had read the previous books.

This book centers around Hawk and his two children who’s mom died several years ago a week before Christmas. Hawk and his kids really haven’t been big on celebrating Christmas since then and Hawk is starting to worry a bit about how he’ll manage his teen daughter as she is starting a time period where having a mother would be so helpful. His youngest son, H.L. wants a mom and is constantly asking his dad for one but Hawk isn’t sure he’s ready for a relationship and even if he is he needs to find a woman who will love his kids.

Enter Nora, Hawk’s high school girlfriend and first love. She’s going through a rough patch with her career as an Olympic tennis player and other personal issues. She finds a job as a rent-a-mom for Hawk’s family.

I loved the dynamics between Nora and Hawk’s kids and between Nora and Hawk. The Savage family was adorable and I especially loved the relationship that grew between Nora and H.L. There were some very amusing and sweet scenes and I loved that the competitive spirit in Nora came alive in her interactions with the family and in her wanting to be the best rent-a-mom possible. I found myself smiling through this whole book and finished it in one setting.

If you are looking for a sweet and fun Christmas story that will leave you with a smile on your face then I highly recommend Wanted: Mom For Christmas. I enjoyed it so much I’m going to go back and read the earlier books in the series!