Dreamweaver Trail by Emily March
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: Gabi Romano takes a temporary job on a tropical island to give herself time to pick up the pieces after a job switch and a terrible break up. Little does she know that her neighbor, Flynn Brogan is hiding out with a new name and trying very much to forget his past. As the two who are trying so hard to forget their past get to know each other their present suddenly starts looking a whole lot brighter and maybe just maybe the future as well. That is until a shocking act of violence ends everything.
Why I Picked This Book: I liked the cover and I'd been having pretty good luck with the women's fiction type romance so I thought I'd try a new author.
Pros: I really loved the characters in this one. I was a little afraid when the book opens during the wedding reception of the couple from the previous book that it was going to basically be a continuous march of characters from past books but it really didn't end up that way. While a lot of characters from previous books were there we see them mostly with how they relate to Gabi. I also loved Gabi and Flynn together. They were both truly nice people who had it rough - though Flynn far more than Gabi - and were still trying to find a connection. Bismark is a fantastic character throughout the book and any fears I had of something happening to him ended up being groundless. The only problem is I now want a Newfoundland and I don't exactly live in the climate for that. These are two people you really root for and they really deserve their happily ever after. I also found Gabi's interest in glass blowing interesting. It's not a subject I really know anything about and March gave us a little information without overdoing it.
Cons: While I think this book could have gotten monotonous if there hadn't been some kind of conflict I think I could have lived with less conflict. Having Flynn's rather awful past along with the new source of violence just seemed too much. The almost spiritual discussions of the magic of Eternity Springs was also a bit much at times. While I like the idea of one town having the power to heal Gabi went on some mystical rambles that I didn't love. They seemed a bit unnecessary.
Overall: Despite the flaws I really enjoyed my first experience with Emily March. She created likable characters and 2 interesting and beautiful settings. I do wish Flynn had to endure a little less as that did get almost painful to read. I also liked that this is a series that does not need to be read in order. I picked this up at #8 and immediately connected with Gabi and Flynn.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes though I will make sure to read the blurb before I read as I know at times she tackles some pretty awful topics.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes. I think if you like the small town contemporary romance genre you'd like this one.
Rival's Challenge (The Chatsfield) by Abby Green
Rating: 3 Stars
Description: Antonio Chatsfield has one job - negotiate the takeover of the Kennedy Group hotels to help show the world and the new CEO that the Chatsfield family is still capable of doing business on their own. Orla Kennedy has to negotiate the takeover for her father but she knows there are other ways to save her family's hotel brand. The problem is when Antonio and Orla set down for their meeting they each find themselves face to face with their one night stand from the night before. What makes things more complicated is that they both want more.
Why I Picked This Book: To say that I didn't like the prequel to this series would be an understatement. However, I was intrigued by the idea of a series set within the walls of a luxury hotel so I decided to give this another try.
Pros: Orla is a great character. She's nice, she's very intelligent and an incredibly hard worker. She's also spent her entire life trying to prove to her father that she's capable of running the hotel. As the relationship develops there are really sweet aspects that begin to develop. These two really understand each other because they've spent their lives in similar situations. It was nice to watch them both unwind as they got to know each other.
Cons: As frequently happens with these series books this one really suffered for it's lack of length. It would have been really lovely to see this relationship unfold a little more naturally instead of the rushed feel this book has. Also, in their first interaction after their identities are revealed his reaction borders on slut shaming and I was very close to putting the book down. I'm glad I didn't but it definitely affected my overall opinion.
Overall: While there were a lot of aspects that I enjoyed there were also a number that I didn't. I think the biggest problem was the length so I'd definitely be willing to try this author in a full length novel.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes, if it was a full length book.
Would I Recommend this Book? Unless you're absolutely in love with the premise than probably not.