ARC Review: More Than Once

26918316More Than Once (Chasing the Dream #4)

Author: Elizabeth Briggs

Publication Date: November 30, 2015

Goodreads Synopsis:

She’s trying to be good. He loves it when she’s bad.

Andrew West is done being the nice guy. After a marriage proposal gone wrong, he’s started over in a new city and he’s never risking his heart again.

Becca Collins is done being the bad girl. After quitting the band she played bass for, she’s going to prove to her family that she’s really changed.

When Becca’s dumped by her boyfriend and fired from her job on Christmas Eve, all seems lost, until she runs into a former one night stand—Andrew. To impress her parents, Becca convinces him to pretend to be her perfect boyfriend for their holiday dinner.

After Andrew shows Becca he’s all bad boy in the bedroom, neither wants to pretend anymore. But when Becca’s invited to rejoin her band for a show and Andrew’s forced to face his ex, they both wonder if they’re ready to take a leap again—or if they’re doomed to fail in life and love a second time.

 


My rating: 4 / 5 Stars


More Than Once is a  fun and steamy second chance romance. It’s filled with a ton of hot sex and sweet interactions. I loved the way Becca was a bad girl trying to be good and Andrew was a good guy trying to be bad. It was cute watching them discover they could be both with each other.

More Than Once is a great NA romance to put you in a good holiday mood.

**I received an electronic copy of More Than Once from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

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ARC Review: My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis

25317360My Kind of Wonderful (Cedar Ridge #2)

Author: Jill Shalvis

Publication Date: December 22, 2015

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Bailey Moore has a clean bill of health and new lease on life. She’s going to do things she never imagined she would be able to do. One of those things involves painting a mural. Luckily, she’s been contracted to do just that in Cedar Ridge, Colorado.

As soon as Bailey steps foot in Cedar Ridge, she meets Hudson Kincaid. Hudson’s the town cop/head of the ski patrol and a member of the family that contracted her to paint the mural. He’s also sexier than sin. Bailey quickly adds Hudson to the top of her to-do list.

Hudson Kincaid doesn’t have time for any distractions — especially the female kind. He’s way too busy with the ski patrol, being a cop and helping his family run their ski resort. But Hudson can’t resist brave and determined Bailey. She looks like a delicate flower, but the fire in her calls to him. Plus, he knows it’s only for now. Bailey’s got too much to do herself.

When their feelings for each other start to become more than just for today, Bailey and Hudson will have to decide whether to take a chance at forever.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I get excited every time I see Jill Shalvis is coming out with a new book. I know I can always count on her to write a contemporary romance that is going to make me smile. My Kind of Wonderful did exactly that.

My Kind of Wonderful is the kind of story I want to read when I reach for a contemporary romance. The storyline was cute and humorous. I loved Bailey and Hudson wanting each other but not wanting to fall in love with each other. It was steamy and sweet all at the same time. Jill Shalvis created lovable characters who I couldn’t help but root for.

Hudson and Bailey weren’t the only fun characters, though. Every character in My Kind of Wonderful added so much amusement to the story. The entire Kincaid family was entertaining. The way they interacted with each other was comical. Things got even funnier when you added in all of the people they came in contact with on the mountain.

If you’re looking for a lighthearted contemporary romance to put you in a great mood, I would highly suggest My Kind of Wonderful. It’s the second in the Cedar Ridge series and can be read after Second Chance Summer or as a standalone novel. You can find my review for Second Chance Summer here.

**I received an electronic ARC of My Kind of Wonderful from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

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Review: Rage by Elizabeth Reyes

25795634Rage (Fate #5) by Elizabeth Reyes

Publication Date: November 20, 2015

Synopsis:

Baseball player A.J. “Rage” Moreno  is known for his temper on and off the baseball diamond. When he was a teenager, he let himself become unhinged easily. As an adult he’s managed to tame his rage and channel it into his position as catcher with the San Diego Padres.

Addison Lara has one rule when it comes to dating: No baseball players. She learned that lesson the hard way. But thanks to her biggest mistake, she has a beautiful little girl. A little girl she’ll do anything to protect — including keeping the father’s identity a secret from everyone for as long as she lives.

When his catching coach introduces A.J. to his daughter Addison and granddaughter Claire, A.J. can’t help but fall in love with both of them fast. There’s something special about the mother and daughter duo.

As A.J. begins to get closer to them both, he begins lose his ability to channel his rage. He can’t help but feel possessive of the Lara girls. It doesn’t help that Addison’s relationship with Clair’s father is a secret she can’t or won’t share with him. A.J. has zero tolerance for secrets or lying and the situation will put his temper to the test.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


One of my favorite things about all of Elizabeth Reyes’ books is the way she creates strong male and female characters. The men are always alpha males with jealousy issues and the women are independent and stand up for themselves. The combination of those two types of characters leads to dynamic love stories because when they get together the chemistry is off the charts! Rage is the perfect example of that with A.J. and Addison.

A.J. was your typical hotheaded sports star — except he wasn’t a jerk. He had a huge heart and cared a lot about the people he loved. He won’t let anyone talk poorly about the people he loves. He sees red any time anyone mistreats them. He also has a jealous side that comes out when he thinks of Addison with anyone but him.

The way A.J. was with Addison’s daughter Clair was my favorite thing about him. He didn’t just placate her, he was actually interested in what the little girl had to say. I loved the way he was with Addison, too. He was willing to support her through (almost) anything.

Addison was a little harder to love all of the time but that’s what made the story so entertaining. The way she snuck around behind A.J.’s back to deal with Clair’s father was totally wrong but I could understand why she did it. I just couldn’t believe how long she did it knowing how irate it would make A.J.

Clair was my favorite character in the book. The little smartypants was just too dang cute! I couldn’t help but smile every time she talked to A.J. I loved that she was such a huge part of A.J. falling for Addison.

Rage was so much fun to read. The story was entertaining and fast-paced. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the characters. I would highly suggest Rage or any other of Elizabeth Reyes’ books to contemporary romance readers.

Other books in this series:

Fate (Fate, #1) Breaking Brandon (Fate, #2) Suspicious Minds (Fate, #3) 

 

ARC Review: Steal Me by Lauren Layne

25058352Steal Me (New York’s Finest #2) by Lauren Layne

Publication Date: November 24, 2015

Publisher: Forever

Synopsis:

Captain Anthony Moretti has chosen his path in life. He wants to be the police commissioner one day. Anth knows that becoming commissioner means giving up some of his other dreams: a wife and kids. He’s fine with that until Maggie Walker shows up in his family’s favorite diner.

Maggie didn’t always dream of being a waitress in a diner, but it pays the bills while she writes her first novel. Another added benefit to waitressing at the diner is getting to spend Sundays with the Moretti family — specifically Anthony Moretti. Too bad he hates her.

When Maggie unexpectedly becomes an informant in the toughest case of Anth’s career, he can’t help but throw professionalism out the door.


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Steal Me was a light and fun contemporary romance. The chemistry between the characters was great and I liked each character’s backstory. Their separate histories added a lot to the story — especially Maggie’s. I also enjoyed the hunt for the criminal, which turned out to be her ex-husband. (Don’t worry, that’s not a spoiler. It’s in the book blurb.)

It was fun to meet another Moretti cop. Anthony was a little uptight, but it was easy to understand why with his previous relationship history. The frustration he felt when making choices was interesting and understandable.

My favorite thing about Steal Me was Maggie, though. I thought her attraction to the grumpy Captain was cute. I loved the way she reacted to everything he did. I also liked her family history and the way she ended up dealing with them.

Steal Me is the second book in the New York’s Finest series. It can be read as a standalone novel or after reading Frisk Me. You can find my review for Frisk Me by clicking here.

**I received an electronic copy of Steal Me from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

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Release Day Blitz & Review: Red Hot Holidays Anthology

Forget shopping. Forget wrapping. Spend the holidays with these 17 gorgeous alpha males.

They have something they’d like to put in your stockings, because they’re definitely on Santa’s naughty list in these 17 all-new stories.

red hot holidays COVER

AVAILABLE NOW

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About the Book:

NYT, USA Today, and top-selling authors have banded together to bring you 17 all-new, sweet to sexy books about love, romance, and the holidays.

Take a break and rip open this boxed set to cuddle up with these romantic comedy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance books. These authors have pulled out all the stops, bringing back some of your favorite characters from their bestselling series for one more bite at the fruitcake or penning stories about new characters and new love!

For a limited time, you can pick up all 17 of these naughty men for a really great price! Over 1000 pages of love, laughter, and romance! From billionaires and filthy rich rock stars to undercover police and bear shifters, we’ve gathered all 17 passionate stories in one big box with a bow on top. This heart-pounding collection is filled with confident, sexy, and romantic men you’ll want to spend the holidays with.

AVAILABLE NOW

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My Review: 5 out of 5 stars!

The Red Hot Holidays Anthology is a hot and steamy set of books to get you into the holiday spirit. There is a little something for everyone: contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, second chance romance and more.

One of my favorite stories in the Red Hot Holidays Anthology was Noel by J.C. Valentine. Noel was a nurse trying to avoid falling for her patient, hot cop Hunter. His hot body has her in a tizzy, but she’s going to stick with her oath of not dating patients…or she thinks she is until Hunter convinces her otherwise. Noel was a really fun, steamy read.

My other favorite was Winter Tryst by Mira Bailee. It was a short and sweet second chance romance where a man realizes the mistakes he’s made over the past year with his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Those two were my favorites in the anthology, but all of the others were really good as well! A Cub for Christmas by Ella Dominguez was a fun story about an older woman falling for a younger man. Give and Take by Daisy Prescott was a cute story taking place on Whidbey Island that gives a look at the exciting Christmas happenings of several friends. Black Christmas by JC Andrijeski was an interesting Christmas tale about a couple that is apart but that can read each others minds to communicate and be intimate.

Those are just some of the incredibly fun Christmas-time stories that make up this anthology. I would highly suggest reading the Red Hot Holidays Anthology to put you in the holiday spirit! It’s only $0.99!

Stories Included Are:

Perfectly Kissed ~ Lacey Silks Mistletoes, sneaky best friend and an old lady, coerce best friends and former lovers, Millie and Dave, to reunite for Christmas Holidays.

Montreux ~ Blair Babylon Wulf von Hannover and Rae Stone are about to marry in Montreux, but Wulf’s aristocratic father makes one last attempt to derail the wedding.

Home Bound ~ Olivia Rigal and Shannon Macallan Trapped by a storm, a voluptuous architect and a sexy TV news reporter melt the ice by a roaring fire.

A Band of Heather ~ Sarah M. Cradit Colleen and Noah belong to two very different worlds, but a band of heather changes their lives forever.

Christmas on the Run ~ Daizie Draper Wannabe rock star Tristan runs from a dangerous bookie and falls for the girl he’s only using as his perfect escape.

Noel: A Blue Collar Christmas ~ J.C. Valentine Nurse Noel Walker doesn’t date patients, but Officer Hunter Davis won’t give up until he slaps the cuffs on.

Black Christmas ~ JC Andrijeski Quintin Black vanishes, leaving Miri alone after a harrowing ordeal in Thailand. Will she forgive him in time for Christmas?

Winter Tryst ~ Mira Bailee One destroyed marriage. Two broken hearts. When Sean visits Lyla to say goodbye, winter’s magic forces the lovers to face the painful truth.

Give and Take ~ Daisy Prescott You never know who will show up at the Sip ’n Stroll in Langley. Someone’s pregnant. Someone’s engaged. And someone’s getting a puppy.

Slow and Steady ~ V. J. Chambers When danger interrupts Christmas shopping, Leigh and her husband Griffin sizzle.

Take Me Home ~ Alison Foster All my Christmas wishes were snatched away by an evil brute. What can you do when the man you hate most makes your mouth water?

Bearfield Snowed In ~ Jacqueline Sweet A hunter tracking her prey finds herself snowed in with a sexy shifter. Is he her mortal enemy or her fated mate?

My Cowboy Soldier ~ Gillian Cherry Holidays draw lovers and families together, except when war tears them apart.

A Cub for Christmas ~ Ella Dominguez This May-December romance burns up the pages when Aricelli realizes that unwrapping her Christmas package is only half the fun.

Rosy Cheeks ~ Amity Wilde Good things sometimes come in unlikely packages. When an online flirt stumbles into Karen’s very real life, he might be just what she needs.

A Beary Merry Christmas ~ Jazzmyn Wolfe After a season of frustration and pain, will curvy Kassandra and Brendan finally have a beary merry Christmas?

Alec’s First Christmas ~ Felicia Tatum Daphne and Zander welcomed their baby Alec, and his first Christmas has magical surprises.

Order Now and Start Your Celebration Early

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Review: Dare to Seduce by Carly Phillips

26055768Dare to Seduce (Dare to Love #8) by Carly Phillips

Publication Date: November 17, 2015

Synopsis:

Max Savage has wanted Lucy Dare for as long as he can remember. Age and Lucy’s older brothers have kept Max from making a move until now. Max has a chance to make Lucy his and he’s not going to let anything stop him from making her his. He has the perfect plan to seduce her.


 

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Dare to Seduce jumped right into the seduction immediately. Max wanted (to do brazen things to) Lucy. He didn’t hesitate making his move and desires known. Lucy didn’t seem to have a problem with that since they both had harbored secret feelings for each other for years and through other relationships.

Lucy may not have had a problem with the immediate seduction, but I kind of did. I get they had pent up sexual frustration from years of longing but it felt too quick to me. It’s not because I’m against jumping into the sack immediately in books. It happens all the time. But Lucy and Max were supposed to have this amazing connection based on past history. I was told they had this connection, but I didn’t feel the connection. I’m pretty sure it was because I didn’t get to read about their previous interactions except for from their thoughts. I would have liked a flashback or two to make me feel and believe it.

I started to like the story better once I got to know Max and Lucy better and they transitioned into a relationship. It was fun watching Max’s jealous side come out. And the sex scenes…Dang! They were hot.

I wish I would have connected as well with the characters in the first half of the book as I did in the second half of the book. The book was well written, but that initial missing connection made a book that could have been great good.

Dare to Seduce is part of the Dare to Love series but can be read as a standalone novel.

Other books in this series:

           

 

ARC Review: Reckless in Love by Bella Andre & Jennifer Skully

Reckless in Love (The Maverick Billionaires #2) by Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully

Publication Date: November 11, 2015

Publisher: Maverick Oak Press, LLC 

Synopsis:

Media mogul and billionaire Sebastian wants Charlie, a local junk artist, to create a statue for the lobby of his new office building. Her work enchants him and he knows she will create something as amazing as his building.

When Sebastian stops by Charlie’s garage to commission a statue for his lobby, he can’t help but be attracted to the woman who creates such masterpieces. She’s a masterpiece herself. He desperately wants to get to know her. He’ll do everything in his power to make her see he’s not just interested in her for her art.

Junk artist Charlie is happy with her life. Sure, it would be nice to make it big with her art but she’s perfectly happy teaching art at the community college and creating in her free time. She knows her art isn’t anything special. That’s why she can’t believe it when Sebastian shows up in her garage with a huge check.

As Sebastian and Charlie get to know each other, their differences in lifestyle start to overpower their connection. Can Sebastian and Charlie let go of their differences and get a chance at true love?


My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully are back with The Maverick Billionaires series! If you have followed my blog from the beginning, the first book in this series was one of my first reviews! You can read my review for Breathless in Love here. The second book, Reckless in Love, picks up where Breathless in Love left off but with a new Maverick brother. It can be read after the first book or as a standalone novel.

To be completely honest, Reckless in Love started off a little rocky for me. While I loved Charlie and Sebastian’s first meeting, there was something that bugged me a little bit. It was Sebastian’s thoughts.  His insta-love for Charlie kind of weirded me out for a minute. Actually, insta-love isn’t the best way to describe it. He knew he wasn’t in love with her yet. It was more like an insta-I-think-this-is-the-woman-I-could-fall-in-love-with-just-from-seeing-her-once thing. I just wanted to shout, “You don’t even know her! She could be crazy!” at him. But I know it’s a romance novel and things usually move quickly for characters, so it didn’t bother me enough to ruin the story.

From there on, I truly enjoyed reading Reckless in Love. It was a sweet love story filled with real life relationship issues. Both Sebastian and Charlie doubted themselves a lot.

Despite being a billionaire, Sebastian had a lot of past hurt he was dealing with. It affected all of his decisions — especially ones he made about or for Charlie. Poor Charlie knew she was falling for Sebastian but she wasn’t sure if she was enough or if she could be the person he wanted.

I found these parts of the storyline very refreshing and real. I think most people have moments in relationships where they doubt themselves or wonder if they’re enough for the person they love. It was fulfilling to watch them really get to know each other and grow from what they learned about themselves and each other.

Reckless in Love was also filled with gorgeous descriptions. The authors described Charlie and Sebastian’s artwork so thoroughly that I could imagine exactly what it looked like.

If you’re looking for a sweet billionaire love story, this Reckless in Love is for you.

**I received an electronic copy of Restless in Love from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

ARC Review: The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams & Lauren Willig

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig

Publication Date: January 19, 2016

Publisher: NAL

Synopsis:

In 1945, it’s rare for women to be doctors. Dr. Kate Schuyler must dedicate her life to medicine to be taken seriously. She works in Manhattan at an old mansion that has been turned into a hospital.

When injured Captain Cooper Ravenel arrives at the hospital, Kate can’t help but be drawn to him. She feels like she’s known him forever. The feeling is intensified by a portrait in the captain’s possession. A portrait that looks very much like Kate. Not only does the woman look like Kate, she is wearing a ruby necklace exactly like the one Kate’s mother gave her.

As Kate and Cooper start to search for the truth behind the mysterious painting, they begin to uncover stories of the past. The stories involve Kate’s grandmother Olive, her mother Lucy and the wealthy Pratt family.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Karen White is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is beautiful. I love how she mixes past and present, mystery, romance and history all into one amazing story. I was very excited to read her collaboration with Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. I haven’t read these authors before, so I was excited to read their work in combination with an author I love.The combination of the three authors was seamless. Honestly, I couldn’t even tell the story was written by three people.

The Forgotten Room was so interesting to read. I loved the way the three different characters and time frames were woven together. It kept my attention and kept me wondering what had happened in Olive’s Gilded Age and Lucy’s Jazz Age. I wanted to know how all three women were tied together. The authors did an amazing job doling out pieces of information a little at a time to keep the story fresh and entertaining.

My favorite thing about this book was that not all of the secrets were easy to guess. Just when I would think I had something figured out, I would learn something that changed how I saw the characters.

If you’re looking for a wonderful historical romance / mystery to read, I would highly suggest The Forgotten Room.

**I received an electronic copy of The Forgotten Room from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak

A Winter Wedding (Whiskey Creek #9) by Brenda Novak

Publication Date: October 27, 2015

Publisher: Mira

Synopsis:

Kyle Houseman has given up on love. He’s already married and divorced the wrong woman once. He also knows he’ll never find anyone that compares to his ex-girlfriend, Olivia. Kyle knows it’s his fault they didn’t end up together, but the fact that she married his step-brother is still raw. It makes family dinner tons of fun.

Country music sensation Lourdes Bennett came to Whiskey Creek to escape the spotlight and work on her new album. She was supposed to be spending the Christmas holiday squirreled away in Whiskey Creek with her fiance Derrick. Instead, she’s here alone dealing with the possibility that Derrick might not be as loyal to her as she thought.

When Lourdes can’t get her rental’s furnace to work, she calls her landlord, Kyle. As Lourdes and Kyle begin to get to know each other and become friends, they both notice a spark. But will Lourdes be willing to give up Nashville for a quieter kind of life in Whiskey Creek?


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Whiskey Creek is one of my favorite contemporary romance series. I love the group of friends Brenda Novak has created the series around. I’m always curious to find out which friend is the next to fall in love and who it will be with.

I was excited when I learned we were finally getting Kyle’s story in A Winter Wedding. I’ve been waiting to see inside his head ever since I read Olivia and Brandon’s story in When We Touch. Since Kyle’s been (not so secretly) in love with Olivia the entire series, I wondered what kind of woman would be able to capture his attention.

Brenda Novak couldn’t have created a better character than Lourdes to win Kyle’s heart. She was strong and independent — everything Kyle needed in a woman after dealing with his ex Noelle. I loved the connection they had and how protective of Lourdes Kyle was.

Since I mentioned Noelle, I have to say I absolutely loved her part in this story. It was fun to get a glimpse into her head and see what she’s been thinking the entire time she’s been pining after the ex-husband who is in love with her sister.

Kyle’s story was everything I was hoping it would be. A Winter Wedding was the perfect Christmas-time contemporary romance  read. It was fun, fast-paced and included all of the Whiskey Creek characters I’ve grown to love. If you love contemporary romance series, I would highly recommend the Whiskey Creek series and A Winter Wedding.

Other books in this series:

        

If You Only Knew

If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: HQN Books

Synopsis:

Wedding dress designer Jenny Tate had what she thought was going to be her happily ever after. She had the perfect job, the perfect husband and (hopefully) soon the perfect children. But Jenny’s happily ever after imploded when her husband Owen surprised her by asking for a divorce. Now, a couple of years later, Jenny’s stuck with the perfect ex-husband and a new best friend (Owen’s new wife). Her goal of having a family like her sister Rachel’s is down the drain.

Jenny still wants a happily ever after. Putting some distance between her past life in New York, Jenny moves back to her hometown. She’s starting a new boutique and hoping to find love.

Rachel has the perfect life Jenny’s always dreamed of. Her husband, Adam, is a handsome and successful lawyer. She’s the perfect housewife and stay-at-home mother to three beautiful little girls.

Her life is exactly as she wants it…until one text ruins it all. Rachel no longer knows what to believe. Is her husband having an affair or is it a wrong number? Rachel’s always said she would never stay with a cheater, but will she change her mind if her husband isn’t as perfect as she thought he was? Is she willing to walk away from the perfect life they have created together?

During this time of transition, Jenny and Rachel find themselves leaning on each other more than they ever thought they would. Their strengths will help each other make the tough decisions they never thought they would have to make.


My rating: 5 stars


I was kind of scared to read If You Only Knew. That probably sounds lame, but I had a feeling Kristan Higgins’ journey into Women’s Fiction (That’s actually a genre? Is there a Men’s Fiction, too?) was going to tug at my emotions. I wasn’t ready to (maybe) feel sad.

Now that I’ve read it, I’m glad I let If You Only Knew sit on my Kindle a month before reading it. Not because it wasn’t a good book. It was great. It had the sad stuff I was worried about, but it also had the humorous dialogue I’ve appreciated in Ms. Higgins’ past novels. It’s more a case of perfect timing.

The reason I’m glad I waited to read it is more personal. I’ve hit the time in my life when I have several friends going through marriage problems. There has been adultery, emotional affairs, conflict and loss. It’s been hard to watch friends deal with the emotional ups and downs, as well as the fall out. I ache for my friends.

I also ached for Rachel in this book. Her thoughts captivated me. For her, there was no decision that wasn’t going to hurt. Nothing would ever be perfect again. Not that things would never get better. They would never be the same. And that’s okay. The message of If You Only Knew hit home with me and my feelings this week. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Rachel is not the only POV in this book, though. There’s also Jenny. I found her POV, while sometimes sad, to be the humor I needed to round out this novel and keep it from being totally depressing. I could totally see her as a character in one of Higgins’ hilarious Blue Heron novels.

So, who would I recommend If You Only Knew to? This book is geared toward adult women. The characters are in their mid-thirties to forties. I think women in that age range or higher will probably be able to relate to If You Only Knew best. Or anyone who has gone through or is going through a crisis in their marriage.