Sunday, October 10, 2021

Recent Read


Broken Miles (Miles Family, #1)Broken Miles by Claire Kingsley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my second series by this author and I'm very impressed.  In fact Claire Kingsley is in the lead for author find of the year.

Roland Miles is a workaholic and sadly it cost him his marriage. The marriage is over and he and Zoe are divorced before this book starts so this is a second chance romance. Roland and Zoe were madly and passionately in love but in order to make a richer life for the two of them Roland lost sight of the real prize and that was Zoe. She left him and moved back to their home town and is now working for his families winery. He’s living in San Francisco and rarely gets home to see his parents , three brothers and one sister. His relationship with his wife is distant though cordial enough. But when he gets a call from one of his brothers telling him he has to come home, they are about to lose the winery, he doesn’t really have a choice but to come home and face the demons there.

Of course there is Zoe his ex, but he also has a toxic relationship with his father. When he begins to look into the mess, he can tell that his father, who has been running the winery has really messed things up and keeps getting in Roland’s way as Roland tries to fix things. This means the couple of days Roland thought it would take, actually will take much longer than that so he settles in for a much longer visit than he anticipated. That means spending more time around his ex wife as she plays a vital role in the family business. They hold a lot of weddings and events at the winery and she is the event coordinator.

And as they spend time together, old attractions start to come back. The attraction between them was never the issue. They both begin to do some soul searching as to what went wrong in their marriage, Roland in particular and they begin to wonder if there is anything left worth saving. And even more, Roland begins to reconnect with his family. He had always held himself somewhat apart from the rest of them, but now he begins to bond with them in ways he never allowed himself to before.

I can keep saying the same thing about this authors books. I love them. I love the closeness of family, the goofiness of some of the siblings and the romance between the hero and heroine. Claire Kingsley has been such a wonderful find. This isn’t my favourite book but it has earned a solid 4 stars and a need to keep reading more of the Miles Family series.

Forbidden Miles (Miles Family, #2)Forbidden Miles by Claire Kingsley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And continuing on with the second book in the Miles Family series by an author I’m loving to pieces, we come to the story of Chase and Brynn. Chase is the roommate and best friend of Cooper and together the two of them are a hoot. I’m chuckling and smiling every time they are on the page. Chase owns his own business fixing machines but a lot of the work comes from working at the winery Coopers family owns.

Brynn is Coopers little sister and to say Cooper is overprotective is lighter than even putting it mildly. There’s a hilarious scene at the beginning of the book when Chase is talking to Cooper on his cell and inadvertently tells Cooper that he’s at a restaurant and sees Brynn making out with some guy in the back booth. Cooper doesn’t even stop to put on pants before he heads over to put a stop to this, oh yes he does.

Brynn has always had a crush on her brothers best friend but it totally aware that Chase only sees her as Coopers little sister.

Until one day he doesn’t.

Nope, Chase has had his eyes opened and he’s sees her as a grown and beautiful woman. A woman he slowly gets to know and falls in love with. But with Cooper being Cooper, he knows things aren’t going to go well. And when Cooper does find out, Chase was right. It does not go well at all.

I am so, so glad I found Claire Kingsley. I’m thinking I say this in every review I’ve done but it’s true. Her books just make me smile and every one has given me the warm and fuzzies and ever so glad I read romance. They are the sunny sunny sky on a gloomy day and anyone reading this simply has to give her books a try.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

And....... I'm done


Well, it’s done.  I’m officially retired and although it’s only been a week, I’m lovinguse it.  I made a bold and , brave step today.  Alas, I had to return all the computer stuff I had and while I had a laptop and desk top computer, they were both out of date.  So I got myself a new laptop computer.  I was dithering between a laptop and a Microsoft Surface but went with the laptop as I already have an Ipad, Samsung Tablet, Kindle Fire (because I wanted the book covers in colour) and an Iphone so I didn’t really need another tablet type device.


My wonderful, smart, intelligent sister Lisa just finished setting it up and the first thing I thought of – new computer, new blog post.


That’s about all I have to say at the moment.  This is kind of a practice run.  I’m at Lisa’s now along with baby sister Nance who has come all the way from Massachusetts to visit 

(and I’m so happy) so I’m keeping this short.  But I’ll be back, probably more than before since I don’t have to worry about using my company computer.

' til later

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Final Countdown

 Real quick here.

One down and only 2 more shift to go.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

My Big News

 Better grab a tea or coffee for this one.  I'm in full rambling mode,  And no pictures.

OK, I had to add one, just had too.  But this one is it.

So I mentioned in a previous blog post that there were upcoming changes in the life of this (mostly) romance blogger.  The biggest one is *Happy, happy, happy dance* I am retiring.  Yep, I join the ranks of those who have done their time as of Sept 30.  It was not a simple thing for me to come to that conclusion, I struggled mightily.  I’ve mentioned a number of times how much I love my job and how well I get along with my coworkers.  I’ve never really said though what it is exactly but now, with me leaving, I figure I can.  I work in home health care.  I work as an administrative assistant for 2 care coordinators.  They oversee caseloads for people who have been discharged from the hospital, or their doctor has decided they need to see a nurse for a while.  Of if they have had knee or hip replacements, we will put in Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapy.  If someone is going into a nursing home, it comes through us.  While we aren’t the ones who provide the actual service, we are the ones who put it in and oversee things.


I’ve been here almost 16 years now and I’ve seen things change so much over the years.  With an aging population, people living longer etc we are needed more than ever and unfortunately the need hasn’t kept up with the demand.  When I first started, it was all administrative work and while I had some contact with patients and providers (nurses, therapists etc.) it wasn’t much and I was rarely on the phone which was just fine and dandy with me.  I really liked it that way.  

But things have changed a lot.  Now I have a lot of contact with people on the phone, in fact over 90% of my day is spent on the phone.  This has posed a problem as unfortunately, I don’t deal well with phones – either making calls or answering phones.  I’ve adapted as best I can but as one who suffers from depression, phones can be a real trigger for me.  And unfortunately health care – at least in Ontario is broken.  And we have front row seats to it’s broken state. 

I didn’t think it would ever happen but there aren’t enough nurses anymore.  Years ago they could see an avalanche coming and focused on having patients go to clinics for dressing changes or whatever it is that they still needed, rather than having a nurse come to the homes.  They are increasingly insisting on this as the shortage of nurses is reaching a crisis stage.  And now we have reached that stage within the past couple of months.  Nursing is no longer available for a number of people now.  They are being “waitlisted” until a spot opens up.  In the meantime they are being told to go to ED.  Well, the Emergency department can’t handle the amount of people they see and in some cases tell them just to go home.  It’s a vicious circle and it is horrendous.  Now the nature of many of our calls are heartbreaking.  Also a number of them are from people refusing to go to clinics even though they are able to get to one fairly easily.  Their doctors are telling them a nurse will come to their home to see them – even though we have told doctors not to say that as it’s simply not going to happen.


These calls are triggering me more and more daily.  Although I don’t work face to face with patients and I honestly don’t know how nurses manage it, my depression is back and manifesting itself in ways I didn’t even realize was depression until my fridge was full to overflowing and when I started to clean it out, I had container after container of spoiled and even unopened cartons of milk, yogurt, rice pudding – 4 cartons of unopened rice pudding I had to throw out.  And meat.  My goodness.  I would buy a pound of hamburg, planning on making something. But by dinner time I just didn’t have the energy to cook and days and days later, it was too late to make anything and I’d have to throw it away.


There are often 2 or 3 days a week now I can’t fall asleep at all.  And my shoulders and back ache constantly.

Two days before my 67th birthday, I called my manager to discuss how I’m feeling but she was busy that day.  We arranged a zoom meeting for two days from then which happened to be my birthday and I spent those 2 days pondering on what I wanted to get out of the meeting and on Wednesday morning while waiting for it to start, a soft gentle voice in my mind said “it’s time.  You’ve done the best you can and now it’s time”  I knew the voice meant time to retire so though unintended, I told my manager during our meeting I was retiring.  I hadn’t really planned to do that but hey, when a gentle voice tells you something good, you go with it.


So now that I’m headed for retirement, the question is, do I have any plans? 

Thank you for asking because yes I do as a matter of fact.  One of my new found interests is watching YouTube videos on makeup tutorials.  I don’t know why.  I wear makeup when I got out, but not that much and it takes me about 5 minutes, 7 ½ minutes at most to apply it.  But these videos almost make it an art form.  I’ve also been watching videos on how to do different hair styles – again a seemingly out of nowhere interest.  Brad Mondo is The Best.  What a hoot he is.  So?  

What does this have to do with anything you are thinking.  

I’m getting there  😉.  But even more, I’ve been watching BookTubers, romance BookTubers to be specific, and I’ve really been enjoying them.  It’s like I’ve found the next generation of romance readers and it wonderful.  And it dawned on me that I would like to try that.  But in the past there is no way, no how that I would put myself on camera for all to see.  So not going to happen.  But now that I know how to make my nose look thinner and I’m working on hiding the double chin – that one is coming a bit slower, and because I know the name of the haircut I’ve been trying to describe to my hairdresser for ages, is the shag and that’s what I told her I wanted and she gave me one and it’s looking good, I think I’m ready to start my own YouTube channel.  It’s like it’s a more updated way of connecting other than blogging.  Having been a reader for over 30 years now, I think I have a lot to offer.  For example many of them are just getting into Lisa Kleypas.  Heck, I’ve been reading her books since 1994 at least when I first fell in love with Derek Craven.  Some of them even mention the running debate between Derek from Dreaming of You and Sebastian of Devil in Winter.  I was stunned when I saw that.  It was Sybil and I that got that debate going!!!  Some of the ones I follow are going to be doing a group chat over YouTube sometime soon about Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels!!!!!  Those are my Books !!! It’s so exciting to see them almost rediscover some of the modern day classics of romance.


At the moment this is way above me but then blogging was when I first started.  It took me a number of tries to get this blog actually up and running.  I’m coming up with all kinds of things I could make a video about.  And now that I’ll have the time, there’s no reason I can’t do it.  I even have a name for my soon to be channel.  Are you ready?  Wait for it…..


Ramblings on Romance, etc.


Clever eh?


So fingers crossed, very soon I will be doing both blogging and vlogging.  And I’m so excited.  I will keep anyone who still visits here and is interested.  And that’s only part of my post retirement plans.  I have more!

'til later


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Recent Reads and both 5 stars


Travis (Pelion Lake, #1)Travis by Mia Sheridan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in a series, the first being Archer’s Voice. Archer’s Voice is one of those special books that IS the reason we love romance. I reread it at least twice a year, sometimes more than that. The antagonist in Archer’s Voice is Travis, Archer’s cousin and rival for the fair Bree, our heroine. Of course Archer wins her hand, he is such an amazing, sweet, vulnerable, wounded, heck of a hero and so very well deserving of the HEA. Travis on the other hand, we aren’t crazy about him after what he does to our beloved Archer. So I’m sure those of us who adore Archer’s Voice are wondering how is she going to do it. How is Mia, the author of such a treasure as Archer, going to get us on board with Travis.

Quick answer – she does and she does so wonderfully. First off, Travis loves his nephews and nieces so that’s already points to him. Bree has forgiven him and so has Archer, so if they have, how can we, the reader, still hold on to our grudge. Then he walks in on his girlfriend in flagrante delicto with another fellow. Of course our sympathies are engaged with that uh, oh moment. Travis is very remorseful for what he has done to Archer in the past and we readers believe him. Plus there is a point made that I don’t think any of thought of before. I don’t want to say what it is, letting you ponder it yourself and go hmmmm, that’s true. So now most of us are probably ready to give Travis another chance now.
He meets Haven, our heroine, though she has eyes focused in a different direction. She and her younger brother work at the local prestigious golf club and while Travis lost everything – you have to read Archer’s Voice to find out why – he still frequents the club. He and Haven get along well and become friends. And the more she gets to know Travis, the more her feelings begin to change and grow deeper. And even though he’s well on his way, the better a person Travis becomes.

I’ve read enough books by Mia Sheridan to know she would be able to pull this book off and she does it so wonderfully well. Now, for absolute sure, the next time I read Archer’s Voice, I will be following it up with Travis.

All Rhodes Lead HereAll Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve kind of had mixed results with Mariana Zapata. I wasn’t all that keen on The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. I gave it 3 stars. From Lukov with Love was a DNF though I’m going to give it another try. It was a number of years ago I tried so maybe my tastes have changed. I read Lingus and gave it 4 stars. I liked it but found we just didn’t get enough insight into why Tristan chose the career he did. It wasn’t like he decided to become a fireman or construction worker. No, his chose profession was much different. But Ms. Zapata is so well loved by so many, I didn’t want to give up.

Very, very smart move. Because next try was All Rhodes Roads Lead Here and for me, it’s a solid, well earned, and well deserved 5 star book. I love it. Aurora is our heroine. She lived a rather vagabond kind of life. They never stayed in one place for too long. When she was young it was just her and her adventurous mother. One day her mother had spent the day on one of her adventures and she never came home. She was never found and this devastated Aurora. But at the beginning of the book, she has come back to the small town where her mother disappeared and her goal is to recreate some of the same adventures.

She has rented an apartment over a garage during her stay, but it turns out the rentee was not who she thought it was. Instead it is Amos, the son of Tobias Rhodes who rents the garage apartment which is next door to Tobias and Amos. And Tobias or Rhodes as he is more commonly called is L.I.V.I.D and only agrees to let Aurora stay until she can find somewhere else to lay her head. This is a combination grumpy/sunshine and slow burn book and I adored it. Auora is a wonderful heroine and I love her to pieces. She had been involved in a long term relationship with a famous country artist and helped write some of his music. But she is literally thrown away by the jerk and his mama when they figure they don’t need her anymore, thus her quest to recreate a lot of her mother’s adventures. Considering everything she has gone through, she’s delightfully optimistic and warm and a wonderful and caring person. She bonds very well with teenage Amos and they both share a love of music.

Rhodes is a grump par excellence. He’s spent most of his life in the military but gave that up when he had the opportunity to be a full time father to Amos. And I’m not going to give anything away, but that’s a very unusual situation I’ve never seen before and it adds such a great layer to the book. He’s stern and tries his very best to ignore the funny and joyful Aurora but she manages to wear him down with her charm.

I adore everything about this book and I found it very difficult to put it down and go on with everyday life while I was reading it. All I wanted to do was find out what was going to happen next. This book is everything I love in a romance and I’m beyond grateful I kept going with Mariana Zapata. I got in on KU but I think I’m going to buy my own copy as this is a true comfort read and I know I’m going to want to read it again.

'til later

Saturday, August 21, 2021

A Quick Update

 You may have noticed it's been a while since last I posted.  Much of the reason for that is work related.  While I've never said exactly where I work, it's in health care.

While I don't have direct contact with patients, I work from home, that doesn't mean I and my coworkers aren't affected.  There is a severe nurse shortage right now, and now is when we need them the most.  Some patients just aren't understanding this and with many there is a sense of entitlement that can be difficult to deal with at times.

I'm exhausted mentally and emotionally at the end of every shift and while for the most part I do love what I do, it's not the same as it was.  It's affecting my sleep and I'm often in quite a bit of stress induced pain.  My creative juices have dried up considerably, thus the lack of posting.  I've been reading up a storm though as that's one of the things that relaxes me and I hope to post some reviews if nothing else.  They are slow coming too though - again Creative Juice Creek is running shallow.

But I've been doing a lot of pondering on my life lately and coming up with MAJOR changes.  So once I get a few things lined up, I'll be back to let everyone know.  I'm very excited about the changes coming my way and so excited to share them.  Very mysterious aren't I?

'til later.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Recent Reread.....And so it continues, the battle of the ages


This is a reread.  I can’t believed  I didn’t do  review when I first read it.  Sybil of The Good, The Bad and the Unread have been jousting about this book for years now.  We’ve shown up in all corners of Romancelandia arguing who is better, Sebastian, Lord St Vincent of Devil in Winter (Sybil’s pick) or Derek Craven of Dreaming of You (my pick).  Wars have been waged.  Battles have been fought! Sides have been chosen and to be honest (though I’m not sure Sybil will) I think it’s pretty much a tie (though she will claim Sebastian won – she’s like that)  I recently did a reread of Dreaming of You so I thought a reread of Devil in Winter was in order.

This is the 3rd book in the Wallflower series and Sebastian has been a bit of a devil in the previous books.  OK, he’s been a big devil to the point he kidnapped the lady love of one of his few best friends.  He’s needed the money.  But things turn upside down in this book.  Evie Jenner is one of the Wallflowers.  She’s awkward, and speaks with a stutter.  And she wants to be in charge of her own life.  He family has kept her from her father whom she loves dearly and who is dying.  Now it just so happens that her father, Ivo Jenner and owner of a gaming hall, was a rival of Derek Craven, another gambling hall owner before his burned down in Dreaming of You.  So there is a connection between these two books.


Evie goes to see Sebastian one evening and knowing he needs money and she needs freedom, strikes a bargain with him.  She suggests they flee to Gretna Green and elope.  Sebastian is rather discombobulated at first.  He did not expect something like this from the little mouse that is Evie.  But he goes along with it and it’s delightful to see this extremely haughty, thinks he’s all that, aristocrat, dealing with this slip of a girl. Completely without realizing it’s happening, he melts for her and she of course realizes that he’s not at all the villain that he’s portrayed as.


I think I enjoyed this book even more this time around and I’m upping my grade.  Sebastian is a great hero.  Though of course, despite what Sybil might say, he’s not quite up to Dereks standards.  But close,  very close, but not quite there.


Lisa Kleypas, in my opinion, always has been and always will be the top reigning author of the historical romance.  I own and have read her entire backlist, from her very first book and an so looking forward to her newest book coming out (squeal of delight) in the next few days.  I must clear my desk to settle in and read it.


And one final note.  It’s very odd but Evie and I share the same last name.