Blurb: Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife.
Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan.
Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Brown changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build
My Thoughts: I'm struggling a bit to organize my thoughts because I was up to 2am finishing this book. So just from that alone I think it's safe to say that I enjoyed this book. It was definitely a quick read with a giant quirky on overload family. While Lanie initially seemed very controlled and prickly Shalvis quickly gives us a peak behind the curtain and I really sympathized with her and just really liked her. Mark was a little more of a generic amazing hero and could at times be a bit of a jerk though I did love how devoted he was to his girls. I liked that there was a both an internal conflict between Mark and Lanie and an external conflict as River's past becomes known. I loved how supportive they were to each other even though they kept vowing they weren't serious. I didn't love this one quite as much as I loved the previous book but I did enjoy it. I'm looking forward to my next visit to Wildstone. This is a series of standalones so you can jump in here with no issues! Rating: Very Good
The Risk of Rogues (The Sinful Suitors #5.5) by Sabrina Jeffries
Blurb: Lady Anne is shocked when Captain Lord Hartley Corry—her former fiancé who left for India after her father forbade their marriage—returns to England and acts as if everything is all water under the bridge. He never fought for her hand or eloped with her as he promised and he thinks she’d still be willing to marry him? Not a chance.
Hartley is equally shocked to literally run into his past love upon arriving at his brother’s house. Though he yearns to take advantage of this second chance to woo his beloved, he can hardly admit that he is secretly a spy—at least not until he can be sure he trusts her. But convincing Lady Anne to let him prove his sincerity by courting her respectably all over again might be his undoing. Because all he wants is to show her how much of a rogue he can be when the right woman is in his arms…
My Thoughts: I really enjoy novellas where the couple has a history because it really makes the short time span not be a big deal. That's very definitely the case with Hart and Anne. They most definitely have a history but things are not unicorns and rainbows - especially not from Anne's perspective. I enjoyed their week to get to know each other again and work through the misunderstandings and misconceptions that surrounded the last time they saw each other. They don't shy away from the real issues and at times I did wish there was a bit more fun but the intensity did make sense. I loved the end and I loved how it really did feel like they had worked through issues and nothing was swept under the rug. This is a couple that I feel was perfect for a novella. I enjoyed getting to know them but don't feel I was short changed by having a smaller page count with them. This was a sweet and serious novella and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Rating: Good