Book Review · New Release

Holding on to Hope (Shattered Hearts of Carolina Book 4) by Jody Kaye

Sometimes you can’t give the people you love everything they want no matter how hard you try. Other times, people need more of you than you’re capable of giving. I’m at a crossroads between my wants and their needs.

 Kimber and I haven’t been able to grow our family and the clock is winding down. My friendship with Jake is becoming a nightmare. Convinced everyone has it better than he does, my partner can’t see the damage he’s inflicting on himself and those around us.

 Forced to choose, I’m holding onto hope that it’s never too late.

                       —Trig

My Review

Another gut-wrenching book starring some of my favorite friends!  I was so excited to read another book about Trig and Kimber.  I had no idea what I was getting into when I started turning the pages!  
It is always a bit like coming home to old friends when I pick up a new book in a series and Holding onto Hope was no exception!  The Mill Girls were present and accounted for from the start, as were Aidy and Morgan.  All of them mostly unaware of the battle raging for Trig and Kimber. 
Struggling to conceive and wanting another child so badly, but trying to figure out when to say enough is enough nearly kills Kimber.  I shed more than a few tears as I read.
My only complaint:  it was too dang short, Jody!   I want more!
This is a must-read!  You need to start turning the pages of this book now, and you will understand!

                   

Find Jody Here:

WEBSITE:

https://www.jodykaye.com

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINKS

https://www.jodykaye.com/holdingontohope

https://books2read.com/holdingontohope


REVIEW LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58243119-holding-onto-hope

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/holding-onto-hope-shattered-hearts-of-carolina-book-4-by-jody-kaye

Book Review · New Release

Home Wrecker (Shattered Hearts of Carolina Book 5) by Jody Kaye

I’m an unlovable bastard. At least, that’s what I was led to believe.

To help me get my head screwed on straight, I took on a mentor role with the big brother program. Shallow as it sounds, my reasoning revolved around fixing me. So what any nine-year-old got from having me as a role model wasn’t a priority. Then Bhodi reminds me of everything I lost out on during my childhood.

Unlike the adults in my life, I’d planned on doing right by the kid. And not because of the way his mom, Holly’s, tattoo tempts me peeking out over the top of those signature cut-off shorts and disappears where her shirt covers what her bare midriff doesn’t. Or the way the woman—old enough to be my… older sister—looks at me from under those thick lashes.

After an unforeseen chance to spend time alone together, Holly steals my heart. Now, I’m set on winning hers over. I’ll do anything to keep them, including chasing off Bhodi’s old man, who’s looking for a second chance. And it leaves everyone around us wondering who is the real home wrecker?

                    —Cary

My Review

I know that I say this every time that I read one of Jody’s books, but truly, I think she kicks it up a notch EVERY SINGLE TIME she releases a book!  Home Wrecker is no exception.  In general, I have a love hate relationship with series, as I am always afraid of being disappointed, yet I love coming back to the characters I love.  The Shattered Hearts of Carolina series has been a huge win for me, and I have read every single one of them.  They just keep getting better!
In the earlier books in the series, Holly played a fairly minor role, yet I was always intrigued by her personality – very vibrant,  independent, courageous, and not afraid to be herself.  After reading Home Wrecker, she just might be my favorite character in the series! 
As a single mom who was abandoned by her dead-beat baby daddy, she is doing a bang up job of raising an amazing kid.  She also recognizes that Bhodi needs a positive male influence in his life, so she signs him up for a Big Brother.   In swoops Cary, who is more than she bargained for!  I can’t say enough good things about him.  Their story is beautiful, gritty, and so, so heartfelt.  The chemistry between them is everything good I look for in a book. 
I don’t want to say more than this: expect a roller coaster of emotions during this read!  (Who knew Jake was such a softy!  I cried! OMG!  Jody, I think Jake needs his story to be told!!!!)
Really, just read it!  Seriously!  And then go back and read the rest of the series.  You won’t regret it!  I promise.

Find Jody here:

WEBSITE:

https://www.jodykaye.com

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINKS
https://www.jodykaye.com/homewrecker

https://books2read.com/Home-Wrecker


REVIEW LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58243141-home-wrecker

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/home-wrecker-shattered-hearts-of-carolina-book-5-by-jody-kaye

Book Review · New Release

New Release – Splinter of Hope (Shattered Hearts of Carolina Book 3) – by Jody Kaye

Title: Sliver of Truth
Series: Shattered Hearts of Carolina, Book #3
Author: Jody Kaye
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2020

“What did they break this time?” Morgan points at the bucket I carry around with me.

“It was nothing. No installs?” I turn the question of why he’s at the factory today back on him.

If Morgan finds out his sister is the one breaking me I’d be a dead man. It was over a year ago my buddy trusted me to walk Cece home from her shift at Sweet Caroline’s. He’d had to duck out early and I jumped at the chance to bring her back to the mill safe.

Cece was the only dancer who hadn’t interacted with me like I was a lost puppy or a two-year-old. She’s compassionate, and that alone is an attractive trait. I didn’t feel as if she treated me any different. I never saw pity in her face. She never once talked down to me as if unclogging toilets is all I’m capable of.

My current job isn’t rocket science. My last one was, and it had the same pressure as the flames shooting out of a space shuttle on lift-off. I’d gone back to working for my former employer after the accident. It hadn’t lasted long. My cognitive abilities are all there. My speech? I’m more eloquent in my head. No stuttering. No pregnant pauses getting the correct word off of the tip of my tongue. The ability to articulate oneself leaves a lasting impression on people. Unfortunately, the inability to do so once will as well. Back then I’d slip up, get embarrassed. Exhaust myself trying to prove I was still as competent a man as I’d been.

The thing is, the way I look doesn’t help matters. Most people never understood my desire to get into a top-notch university when my physique screamed “World Wrestling’s Monday Night Raw Headliner”. I’d spent years trying to change people’s perception. After almost losing my life, I haven’t the inclination anymore.

Let people believe what they want to.

Hell, saying I hadn’t agreed to take Cece home because of her hot little body is a lie. But I’d hoped she was more than a pretty face before leaning in to kiss her sweet lips. And I was right.

I am not really sure where to start with my review!  I have loved every single book Jody has written.  Sliver of Truth was no exception!  It was an outstanding read that I could not put down.
It is always nice to be several books in to a series because there is familiarity with the characters.  It is a bit like coming home to old friends, and getting to know newer friends better.  That is how Celine and Dusty’s story was for me!  As always, the characters are exceptionally well developed, which is a MUST for me.  They both have struggled to overcome huge challenges in their lives and to become more than what is expected of them. 
Dusty has loved and lost, in what has to be one of the worst ways possible, yet he doesn’t let that prevent him from putting himself out there.  Celine is afraid to allow herself to love, fearful of her upbringing tainting her relationships.
This book deals with many sensitive subjects – addiction and disabilities to name a few, but the most profound is bias.  Typically, when I think of bias, I think of racial bias.  I really had never thought much of disability bias; however, Jody did an amazing job of bringing this issue to light.   It made me examine my own biases and preconceived notions.  I had to ask myself how I would react and how I have reacted.   I loved Celine’s raw honesty, as she recognizes her own bias, and the way she takes ownership of her missteps along the way. 
If we would all challenge ourselves to approach our differences and our biases with the same willingness that Jody has through Celine and Dusty, the world would be a much better place!

AUTHOR BIO
 
Jody’s husband asked what she’d been doing all day. After five years she finally confessed, “When no one is around, I write.”
 
Okay, it was more like it was more like a bunch of stammering and trying to get out of saying a thing. Jody’s a writer. You want it pretty. Let’s compromise.
 
“Just finish one,” he said, challenging her to complete a story and share it. Little did he know that those words of encouragement meant they’d return from a family vacation with a wild and defiant set of quintuplets stumbling their way through life. Wasn’t raising their three sons enough?
 
A native of nowhere, Jody settled in New England for 17 years before agreeing to uproot her brood of boys and move to North Carolina. She spends most of her time reading, writing, and hoping that her ravenous children haven’t eaten all the ingredients before she cooks dinner.
 
 
AUTHOR LINKS
Website: http://www.jodykaye.com
Newsletter: https://www.jodykaye.com/newsletter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JodyKayeWrites
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JodyKayesQuintessential
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jodykayewrites
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jody_kaye
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodyKayeWrites
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14987381.Jody_Kaye
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jody-kaye
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jody-Kaye/e/B01CPJND8E

Book Review · New Release

New Release – Shred of Decency (Shattered Hearts of Carolina Series #2) by Jody Kaye

Hindsight is 20/20

A lot of people ensured Aidy’s future was filled with endless possibility.

She never saw the guy like me—who belonged behind bars—coming.

So, I’m going to make sure he pays…

And in the meantime, do whatever it takes for Aidy to smile again.

There’s no doubt she makes my meaningless existence worthwhile.

If I had a shred of decency, I’d have left it alone.

Because if Aidy’s determined to stand alongside me, it will destroy her perfectly planned out life.

—Morgan

**This book contains sensitive scenarios that may trigger readers. Please consider reading reviews or contacting the author if you have questions.

Somehow, Jody has a way of reaching right down into your heart and soul, grabbing on, squeezing and doesn’t let go!   Each time I read one of her books, I say she can’t ever do better, and then she does! 
I truly never expected the characters and storylines from the Shattered Hearts of Carolina Series to grab me the way the Quints did, but I can say that they have in the most unexpected way!
While Aidy and Morgan’s story deals with some really brutal issues – addiction, adoption, sexual assault, and many others, they are written with grace, and where I expected to find triggers, I found hope, and eventually beauty. 
As with most, if not all, of Jody’s female leads, Aidy is strong, courageous and compassionate – the trifecta, if you ask me!  I don’t care to read about simpering, weak woman, and you certainly won’t find them in Jody’s books!
I wasn’t sure what to make of Morgan at first, however, he was once again a perfect mix of bad boy, along with charm, a generous and loving spirit, and compassion.
I really did not want to put this book down… I didn’t want it to end (thank you for not wrecking me with another short, Jody!!! 藍藍).  The storyline was so engaging – heartbreaking at times – and it was a thing of beauty to watch Aidy pull herself (aided by Morgan) from the depths of despair and become the woman she was intended to be! 
This is an absolute must read!

About Jody

Jody’s husband asked what she’d been doing all day. After five years she finally confessed, “When no one is around, I write.”
 
Okay, it was more like it was more like a bunch of stammering and trying to get out of saying a thing. Jody’s a writer. You want it pretty. Let’s compromise.
 
“Just finish one,” he said, challenging her to complete a story and share it. Little did he know that those words of encouragement meant they’d return from a family vacation with a wild and defiant set of quintuplets stumbling their way through life. Wasn’t raising their three sons enough?
 
A native of nowhere, Jody settled in New England for 17 years before agreeing to uproot her brood of boys and move to North Carolina. She spends most of her time reading, writing, and hoping that her ravenous children haven’t eaten all the ingredients before she cooks dinner.
 
 
AUTHOR LINKS
Website: http://www.jodykaye.com
Newsletter: https://www.jodykaye.com/newsletter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JodyKayeWrites
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JodyKayesQuintessential
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jodykayewrites
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jody_kaye
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodyKayeWrites
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14987381.Jody_Kaye
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jody-kaye
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jody-Kaye/e/B01CPJND8E

Book Review · New Release

New Release – Splinter of Hope (Shattered Hearts of Carolina #1) by Jody Kaye

Description:

Looking to be swept off your feet by brawny & brainy alpha males and love second chance romance? Then this short story is for you!

I want that.
It was the first thought that entered my mind when I laid eyes on her.
Kimber is all creamy skin and vibrant red hair. The fiery kind that makes a man understand there is strength in her convictions. She’ll stand by the ones she loves, no matter the cost.
And it fuels the desire to make her mine.
The biggest choice she made left her arms empty.
I’m searching for a flicker of hope she’ll let me fill them again.
I want that.
For her.
For us.
Today is the day.
Four years is a long time for any man to wait.
But if Kimber’s heart hasn’t mended yet, mine will splinter. Because it means I haven’t given the woman I love everything she needs.
—Trig

This is a short story in the Shattered Hearts of Carolina series. The first full-length novel releases on September 17th 2020

If you have never read Jody’s works, do it!  You will not be sorry.  I was not sure what to expect from Splinter of Hope, but I wasn’t disappointed.
It took me a quick minute to get into it, but that is only because I had to wrap my head around the fact that I wasn’t reading about the Quints. 
I quickly found myself engaged with the characters – Trig is that perfect book boyfriend!  Kind, generous, loving, and sexy to boot.   I love strong female leads in my books, and Kimber fits the bill.  She is courageous, walking through her life’s challenges and growing into a strong woman.  They were both just so easy to like.
My ONLY complaint about this book is that it was over WAY too quickly!  I was so immersed in the storyline that I didn’t realize it was coming to an end and I was so disappointed to be finished. 
I am really looking forward to the next book in the series!

Connect with the author:

Website www.jodykaye.com

Newsletter: https://www.jodykaye.com/newsletter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JodyKayeWrites

Quintessential Reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1591913344436262

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jodykayewrites

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jody_kaye

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14987381.Jody_Kaye

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jody-kaye

Book Review

Book Review – Gray Sin (Kingsbrier Legacy) by Jody Kaye

SYNOPSIS:

—JOE—
I was doing my job when I rescued Gracyn. But I should have known better than to bring her back to my cabin. She has a reputation for getting whatever she wants. I’d never considered she’d be interested in someone as old as her father. I wasn’t attracted to anyone so young until that night. Now I’m in bed with the devil, trying to keep my buddies from finding out that she’s everything I ever wanted.

—GRACYN—
Joe was another one of my parents’ friends not worth paying attention to until he saves me from myself. It was only supposed to be one sinful night. Now, I tempt fate each time I go back for more. I’ve fallen for a much older man and we’re treading in gray waters. To keep him I’ll have to come clean to my family. But does friendship eclipse love?

I know that I say this every time I read one of Jody’s books, but it is true! I think she can’t possibly do better, and then she blows my mind!
Gray Sin is the story of Joe (Brier’s former partner and Drew’s best friend)and Gracyn (daughter of Adam and Colton), part of the Kingsbrier legacy, but not part of the Kingsbrier Quintuplets series. It could be easily read as a stand-alone; however, having read the books in the series, this story was more like a reunion of old friends.
It is very difficult to write a review without spoilers in it for this story, so I will just say that you MUST read it. Be prepared for one of the most emotionally charged stories of your life. I sobbed my heart out. If I could give Jody 10 stars, I would!!!

Book Review

Book Review – Going Down (part of the Risking Everything Anthology) by Jody Kaye


So, if you know me, you know how much I adored the Kingsbrier Quintuplets series! Seriously, one of my faves of all times! I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of Dash and Kat’s story (Thank you, Jody!!!! 💖)… I truly didn’t expect it to hold a candle to the Quints, but how could you go wrong with Drew and Brier’s son?!
Let’s just say that I was literally hooked from the first page! Set on a ski slope in Colorado, both Kat and Dash work ski patrol. I instantly loved Dash’s quirky personality and Kat’s strength and loyalty!
My ONLY complaint is that it is a short story and was over waaaaay too soon! You MUST read this! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Book Review · New Release

Book Review – Colton (Kingsbrier Quintuplets) by Jody Kaye

Amazon Description:
I spent years in the military molding myself into someone better. After the accident, entire parts of my life missing. Memories, my career, my leg… My one and only best friend who has run off and gotten married. Didn’t she know I was in love with her?
With nothing left, I give up and block everyone out. That’s when my family brings Keely here to get me back on my feet. She’s regimented and won’t put up with my lousy attitude. Sure wish Keely used the same tactics on her daughter. That girl is out of control.
I won’t put up with the kid’s bad attitude and put my foot down. That’s when the three of us turn into something more. The family of my own I never thought I’d get. The life I was so sure I’d lost out on.
A struggling single mom is the last woman I’d expect to heal a loner’s soul and rebuild their confidence. Except as Keely unlocks my heart, the secret she’s kept to keep her child safe may destroy me.


Simply said, I have loved every single one of the Kingsbrier Quints. Colton took the cake for me. Jody has outdone herself!
Colton Cavanaugh is a man who has survived being shot fighting for our country and continues to serve with pride, until a tragic accident with the tractor leaves him crippled, and angry at anyone and everyone, with little will left to survive.
The family hires Ginny’s sister Keely to take over his physical therapy, recognizing it may save his life. Keely and her almost teenage daughter Gracyn move in to Colton’s house and the fireworks begin!
There hasn’t been a character in this series that I haven’t loved…. well except for Alan Adair, Keely’s father. Keely and Gracyn are no exception. I love Keely’s courage and quiet determination. Gracyn is full of sass and she made me laugh… over and over again!
I felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride, which is par for the course with Jody’s books. Laughter, crying… it’s all part of the gig!
While I am terribly sad to have this journey end, I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion! I know this is a series I will read time and again!

Coming Soon

Coming Soon! Beckoned, Part 6: Adrift in New Zealand by Aviva Vaughn

You guys! I am so ridiculously excited! It’s almost here! If you haven’t read the series, you MUST! The entire series is available on Kindle Unlimited.

I am going to go dive in to my ARC right now!

In a different time. In a different place.
Soren Lund has found passion and purpose in Costa Rica, spending his days surfing and his nights in the bed of ex-pro-surfer Elena Sol. But when Elena decides to reenter the pro circuit, their new relationship will be put to the test.

And when Soren’s resort business beckons him to New Zealand, he decides to take Fate up on its offer and ends up encountering two women from his past who will make him question everything. The final chapter of BECKONED: slow burn, second-chance romance inspired by food, travel, and Jane Austen.

-Preorder now:

SmartURL.it/BeckonedNewZealand

-Add to Goodreads TBRSmartURL.it/BE6

Book Review

Book Review – Evanthia’s Gift (The Gift Saga Book 1) by Effie Kammenou

Description:
Sophia Giannakos will settle for nothing less than the rare love her parents share. At a tender and impressionable age, she has found her soul mate in Dean, the boy she has known her whole life — until secrets and deceptions pull them apart. No stranger to heartache, Anastacia, Sophia’s mother, attempts to comfort her, without revealing ugly family truths that could haunt her daughter’s future.
In the year 1956, Anastacia, a former NYU student, finds herself in the challenging role of a single parent. Left with emotional wounds from a bad marriage, she is reluctant to trust and resists her growing feelings for Alexandros, an old acquaintance. But his persistence and unconditional love for Ana and her child is eventually rewarded and his love is returned. In a misguided, but well-intentioned effort to protect the ones they love, both Ana and Alex keep secrets — ones that could threaten the delicate balance of their family.
The story continues in the 1970’s, as their daughter attempts to negotiate between two cultures. Greek-American teenagers, Sophia and Dean, have shared a special connection since childhood. Although their desire for one another is undeniable, Dean resists her, rebelling against the pressure his father places on him to uphold his Greek heritage. When he can no longer fight his feelings, Dean asks Sophia to conceal their love. She hesitantly complies, until it becomes too much for her. Like her mother, Sophia loves with every fiber of her soul, leaving her shattered when Dean pulls away from his family, culture and ultimately his love for her, leaving her no choice but to find a life different than the one she’d hoped for.
Evanthia’s Gift is a multigenerational love story spanning fifty years and across two continents, chronicling the lives that unify two families.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails … always perseveres. —Corinthians 13:4–8

I have no words for how this book has touched my life! Simply put, I believe it is perhaps the most beautiful story I have ever read!
The writing itself is, for lack of a better word, graceful. Effie wove a spell around me, and held me captive as I read.
The story, you ask? Incredible! I was transported to Greece, and felt as if I were there. The characters were so real. I couldn’t choose a favorite, if I wanted to, but if forced, I would say, Ana, full of grace, wisdom, and an all-encompassing love for her family, she reached out and wound herself into the threads of my heart.
Having just lost my own step-mother to a long illness, I knew that this was going to be a difficult read, and I was right. In many ways, I was left raw from the grief; however, it brought me back around to the lesson that was most important – “Live your life and love with everything within you” (Ana to Sophia). There were many “ugly cries” as I read this book, but there was also incredible joy.
There is so much more that I could write about this book, but I would prefer to keep it simple. Read it! You will be thankful you did!

Effie, thank you for blessing me and giving me the gift of this story. Words are not enough to express my gratitude. I needed an outlet for my grief, and I was able to find hope in your story! Your mother must have been an incredible woman. I am thankful that you shared her with us in Ana’s story.
Much love, Kim