Nothing Less than Fabulous by Allie Pleiter

Nothing Less than Fabulous

by Allie Pleiter

Available everywhere March 14

 

About the Book

If Gretchen wants to keep her great job at Seattle’s largest coffeehouse chain, she’s got to come up with the best marketing idea of her life. When she discovers charming, charismatic barista Nate—otherwise known as “Señor Fabulous”—she knows God’s led her to exactly what she needs. Can Gretchen woo Nate away from his current spot at Higher Grounds Cafe? What if landing the barista her company needs might cost her the man who’s already stolen her heart?

 

 

 

My review

If you’ve read any of Allie Pleiter’s Love Inspired books but not any of her “Sweet City Hearts” series, you’re in for a treat. Nothing Less than Fabulous is a good way to introduce yourself to the series that’s a little different than the Love Inspired formula. The biggest difference? First person POV (point of view). The entire story is told from Gretchen’s perspective

While characters from the previous book in the series make an appearance, this novella stands alone. Even if you start from the back of the series, you’re not going to be lost. In fact, you might enjoy the story so much, you want to read the previous books after this fun novella.

Gretchen finds herself in quite the predicament—save her job or save her relationship. As she gets to know Senor Fabulous (aka Nate), she discovers things about herself as well. A sweet story with lots of coffee, a mountain of whipped cream, humor, and heart.

 

 

Disclosure statement:

I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 

Removing the Masks: Playing the Part by Jen Turano

Jen Turano has become a must-read author for me. Her ability to set up humorous situations and fun side characters draw me into her stories, but the poignant messages her characters comprehend on their journey are what bring me back every time.

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Readers of the first two books in the A Class of Their Own series have met Lucetta Plum, the popular actress in theaters around New York City. When one of her fans insists on winning her anyway he can, she’s forced to leave the theater (and her starring role which the playwright insisted she take) and New York. Abigail Hart, the woman who has taken Lucetta under her wing, insists they hide at her grandson’s home (er, castle).

Bram Haverstein is an enigma. Rumors spread amongst the townspeople add to the mystery of what exactly goes on at Ravenswood. Add in a second rumor hinting the man would like to be married within months, and there are now unwanted visitors to his home from the outside in addition to the strange happenings inside the walls.

After a memorable (and hilarious) meet-cute, Lucetta and Bram form an odd friendship. The actress isn’t the genteel, wilting flower Bram imagined her to be, and Lucetta’s intrigued by Bram but unwilling to depend on a man for anything.

As the two spend time together and the mysterious incidents keep building up within Ravenswood, will Bram learn that the Lucetta’s true character is much better than the one he’s imagined? And will Lucetta realize that giving her heart to another does not mean she loses her independence?

Not only are the interactions between Lucetta and Bram delightfully enchanting but Bram’s staff with all of their past baggage and different backgrounds a breath of fresh air. Their actions and attitudes kept me guessing as to which employees were loyal and which may have something to hide. Add in Abigail and her matchmaking schemes and Bram’s mother (Abigail’s estranged daughter) and sister along with Lucetta’s bodyguard, and memorable characters abound.

Several scenes in Playing the Part are lighthearted and fun while the conversations between Lucetta and Bram are revealing and meaningful. The chemistry between these two is almost immediate and readers will cheer these two (and maybe some other couples in the book) on to their happily ever after.

While we wait to see what Turano has up her sleeve for readers next, Playing the Part is available online and in stores now.

***Bethany House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Another Series Ending on a Harmonious Note

I’ve enjoy spending time in Robin Lee Hatcher’s fictional Idaho small town. The characters have become familiar and loved. And Hatcher ends her King’s Meadow series with a tale of letting go, of living, of forgiving, that packs a punch.

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When Penny Cartwright’s younger brother is killed in a car accident, her world comes crashing down around her. She hadn’t been supportive of his brother’s decision to move to Nashville and pursue his dream as a drummer in a band. And now, she’ll never get the chance to tell him she loves him again. Penny’s goal is to take care of her dad and survive her day-to-day routines. When her hands are occupied and her mind is busy, she doesn’t focus on the pain of her loss. Not until Trevor Reynolds moves to town.

Trevor’s determined to keep his promise to his young drummer and spend some time in Idaho. Unsure of exactly what he’s supposed to do while there, the one thing he’s sure of is that he needs to talk to Brad Cartwright’s dad and sister. And while Rodney accepts him immediately, Penny can barely stand to remain in the same room with him, let alone look at him. What will it take to prove he’s not a bad person? That he’d made a mistake he blames himself for when he allowed Brad to drive in the middle of the night instead of stopping for a hotel? And what was it about her that drew him?

Hatcher delves into the difficult subject of grief and morning as well as forgiveness and letting go of blame—whether for oneself or another. When bitterness is released, true healing can begin.

Keeper of the Stars is available online and in stores now.

***Booklook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson publishing provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

A Satisfying Ending to the Christiansen Family Series

While I’m not one of those readers who refuses to read a series until every book has been released, saying good-bye to a good one is like saying good-bye to friends. And after following the Christiansen clan through six books, letting go is a little bit sad.

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Prodigal son Owen Christiansen has traveled across the country trying to escape his poor choices and the disappointment he knows he’s been to his family. Now in Alaska working on a crabbing boat, he’s drawn to First Mate—who happens to be his captain’s daughter—Scotty McFlynn.

Scotty has grown up with only her gruff father and his rough and rugged fishing crews. Determined to prove herself among them, she has no room in her life for dresses, makeup, or anything girlie. And especially not a romance with one of the guys on the crew. Owen Christiansen will lead to nothing but trouble. At least she keeps trying to convince herself of that fact.

After a rough—and life-threatening—experience at sea, Owen’s brother, Casper, arrives to drag him home, confirming Scotty should not get involved. But when she goes to start her new job as an Anchorage police officer, she ends up with the assignment to escort Owen and Casper—who is wanted for questioning in a crime in his hometown—back to Minnesota. There she finds a family she never had (but always longed for).

The journeys both Scotty and Owen take to faith is well-documented through this beautiful and poignant story. Owen is trying to let go of his past failures and become a man God can use—one of faith and not fear—but the past continues to crowd the present. Scotty is determined to be self-sufficient, to not rely on anyone but herself, especially not Owen’s God. Add in Casper Christiansen—the perfect jealous brother to Owen’s prodigal—an you’ve got yourself a story with not only a little bit of intrigue but with several memorable spiritual lessons.

You’re the One that I Want will be available in stores and online February 1, 2016. Don’t miss how author Susan May Warren effortlessly brings the Christiansen story full-circle. And if you’re one of those people I mentioned in the first sentence, now is the time to introduce yourselves to Derek, Eden, Casper, Grace, Amelia, Owen, and the rest of the Christiansen family.

***Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Dust and Obey by Christy Barritt

A little over two years ago, I stumbled upon a book called Hazardous Dutyabout a crime scene cleaner who stumbled into a murder investigation. Now I await every new adventure in Gabby St. Clair’s life (in addition to Christy Barritt’s other romantic suspense titles). Dust and Obey marks the tenth book in the series and I still cannot get enough of what’s happening in Gabby and her friends’ lives. Fans of this series will be thrilled to know that Riley Thomas lays a very prominent role in this book.

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While driving home from a training session for her new job, Gabby receives a phone call from her ex-fiancé in which he asks her to help investigate the murder of a co-worker’s wife. The problem? The investigation will take place on an island. And Riley will be there. And the purpose of these weekend retreats is marriage counseling. Determined to protect her heart from getting smashed to pieces again, Gabby agrees to act the part of Riley’s wife. But narrowing down the suspect pool proves challenging as does avoiding her emotions.

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Christy Barritt is a master of infusing humor into stories that would otherwise be tense and emotionally fraught. Gabby’s quirky character remains evident throughout the book—complete with randomly bursting into song, creating her own titles for her songs, and her concern and compassion for her friends. Her first session at the retreat is sure to make you smile, if not laugh out loud. But at the same time you will sense Gabby’s confusion, heartache, and turmoil.

Also, if you have not read the novella, While You Were Sweeping, written from Riley’s perspective during his separation from Gabby, you might want to check that out before delving into this book as it definitely gave me some great perspective on what Riley was hoping for from these three weekends away with Gabby.

Available for order here