Book Review: The Millionaire Daddy Project

review-cover-the millionaire daddy projectTitle: The Millionaire Daddy Project

Author: Roxanne Snopek

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

In the space of about a second, successful restaurateur Dane Bergman has gone from millionaire playboy to daddy. Now he’s the sole guardian of a very adorable and willful four-year-old child, and he’s counting on his executive assistant, Pamela Atwater, to save his ass. Even if it means bringing her along on a month-long ocean-side retreat…

Pamela Atwater prides herself on being the perfect assistant. Whatever Dane wants or needs, she’s there—pretending to ignore Dane’s golden charm and drop-dead gorgeousness. On vacation, however, Pamela sees a side of Dane she never imagined. And it’s a side that tempts her to cross the line between professional and personal. But is one month enough time to prove to Dane that his perfect assistant might just be his perfect match?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

The Millionaire Daddy Project is yet another fantastic contemporary romance by the ever-talented Roxanne Snopek. The story centers around the complicated, sometimes over-dependent relationship between Dane Bergman, the CEO of a multi-million dollar line of restaurants, and Pamela Atwater, his assistant and lifeline in the corporate world.

The book was fast-paced, easy to read, and nearly flawless in execution (I found one typo—but I’m not going to hold that against it… it was an ARC copy after all). The chemistry between Pam and Dane was sizzling and understated in the best possible way, and I had no trouble being caught up in their relationship. It didn’t feel rushed or forced. In fact, I originally sat down with the intent to read a few chapters late last night, and before I knew it, it was 2 AM and I was 86% of the way in. I was utterly sucked into the story.

Though Pam and Dane were not my usual favorites as a couple—both were a little more tight-laced than what I expected—I fell in love with them regardless. I wanted them to succeed both as a couple, and as a team as they worked to win over Dane’s daughter, Dani. Though the main theme of the book centered around the romance between Pam and Dane, there were some definite undercurrents of redemption, humanity, and forgiveness—and I ate it up with a metaphorical spoon.

Overall, I loved the book. I’m a huge fan of formulaic romance, and though this certainly fit into that category, it didn’t feel like a formulaic romance. The characters held a lot of depth. There wasn’t an over-abundance of the misunderstandings or melodramatic drama that usually plagues these types of novels, and though, yes, there was an epilogue to tie up the story (as there usually is in formulaic romance), it felt genuine. Rather than an after shot of the happy couple either getting married or giggling over an unexpected pregnancy, Pam and Dane stood side-by-side in solidarity, on equal terms in their partnership till the very end. It didn’t feel cheesy or overdone, just… complete.

If you like romance and you’re looking for a heart-warming tale filled with family and a bit of an off-limits romance, you’re going to like this book. I urge you to give it a read—it’s certainly going on my keeper shelf.

Book Review: The Cowboy Next Door

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Title: The Cowboy Next Door

Author: Roxanne Snopek

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: January 27, 2015

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Description/Synopsis:

When single mother Leda Plett – who’s doing just fine on her own, thank you very much – goes next door to retrieve her wandering pooch, she doesn’t expect to find the neighbor’s handsome brother lounging about like he owns the place. She certainly doesn’t expect him to go after the deadbeat who abandoned her. She’s not looking for a know-it-all white knight with long, lean muscles and a sexy smile. He’s hot, but she’s already been burned.

Rodeo-star turned agent Eric Anders is used to managing people, especially irresponsible males, and he can’t stand it that some jerk has left Leda high and dry. Clearly, the boots-and-sundress wearing mouthy mama needs someone on her side. He could change her life, if only she would let him! And it has nothing to do with the fact that her sparkly exterior hides a spirit that is as sweet as it is strong – and irresistible.

In fact, Leda is more mature than her years. She feels the weight of her mistakes, and wants only to make sure her daughter doesn’t suffer for them. Eric’s hot gaze makes her weak in the knees but Leda’s track record with men is as bad as it is short. Can she trust the cowboy next door?

When Eric’s well-intentioned actions inadvertently reveal a shameful secret from Leda’s past, he realizes she never needed him at all. As he watches her rise above the humiliation, he knows he must find a way to make it up to her, or risk losing the one girl he now can’t live without.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

If you’re looking for a funny, light-hearted, contemporary romance, look no further. The Cowboy Next Door by Roxanne Snopek is the hilarious tongue-in-cheek tale of true love found in all the wrong places. Leda, the book’s main female lead is a bubbly, potty-mouthed girl with a whole lot of spunk, and a lack of good judgment when it comes to men. Eric, is the older, ex-rodeo star cowboy living next door… and together they make one of the sweetest, puppy-love romances I’ve ever read.

To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with the couple at first. Eric saw Leda as little more than a sexy cheerleader, barefoot and babe at her breast. He came across as a little ridiculous and dreamy considering his age and experience. It was easy to tell that in a previous life, he had probably been a little bit of a love ‘em and leave ‘em type and maybe a bit of a poetic romantic—though that was never outright stated. Despite the fact that he thought Leda was little more than a teen the first time he met her, he was ogling her assets—and it sent me on edge from the start.

Leda, on the other hand, is probably one of my favorite caricatures—and yes, I mean, caricature… not character. She had an over-the-top small-town southern charm (despite not being from the south) and let loose an array of colorful swear words that would make anyone giggle. She was bold, brassy, and full of spunk in the best ways—and she was a certifiable mamma-bear when it came down to it. A lot of bark came with the petite package that was Leda, and I loved every minute of her presence in the book. Together, Eric and Leda had a flirty banter-filled romance that was endearing and fun.

As for the technical side of things, the book was well written. As with all of Ms. Snopek’s work, the book wasn’t plagued with a ton of errors. The narrative was clean, easy-to-follow, and well placed. The romance was sizzling without being vulgar or overly flowery, and although the plot was restricted solely to the romance (which is fine.. sometimes you want a quick romance-filled read that isn’t tangled in political drama and thrilling sub-plots), the book was engaging.

The only point of contention for me was that the romance did move a little quickly near the end of the book. This isn’t a long book—I read through it in one short afternoon, so it’s hard to hold the quick pace of the narrative against it, but generally I do like my romances to simmer a little before it gets down to the stable romance part. Eric and Leda went one ONE date before they were declaring their ever-lasting love. It was still believable, after all, Leda and Eric were the type of couple that fell into ridiculously sappy love very quickly—this wasn’t out of character for them—but I would have liked things to progress a little more slowly personally.

Overall? I loved the book. It isn’t the end-all-be-all of the romance genre, but it’s a good book. If you’re looking for a heart-rending tension-filled romance, this isn’t going to be it… but if you’re looking for a quick, sunshine-filled heartwarming romance, this would be a great one for you to sink a few hours into. I’d be happy to recommend it.

Book Review: A Sweet Montana Christmas

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Title: A Sweet Montana Christmas [This Old House 2]

Author: Roxanne Snopek

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Novella

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Melinda Sweet loved her husband before she learned of his wealth and she loves him still, despite the fact that it’s gone. Unfortunately, while she knows the collapse of his Chicago financial services business had nothing to do with him, he believes otherwise. His upbeat adjustment to their new – and temporary – life on his grandfather’s rundown honey farm is a foil to cover the burden of failure. She wasn’t expecting to throw – in five weeks – the traditional Sweet Christmas Open House, but it’s a good earning opportunity and how hard could it be?

Austin Sweet is determined to make his wife proud of him again. But he also wants to erase the sting of shame he feels from his parents, to whom he owes a debt of gratitude for arranging for this caretaking job. Getting paid to fix up this disaster is better than living in their basement, sure. But what does he know about bees? Or fixing broken plumbing? Or cleaning a chimney?

But when Austin’s grandfather gives him the farm as a Christmas gift, there’s only one response. Accepting the gift will secure a future that will make his wife even more unhappy than he already is. Refusing the gift will finalize the rift between him and his family, but he’d rather lose them than Melinda. Then he discovers she’s spared him the choice. Austin’s not-so-Sweet side rears up as he determines that he’s done trying to make everyone happy. He’ll get his wife back, no matter what. And they’ll decide their future together.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Ah, another wonderfully written book by Ms. Snopek. A Sweet Montana Christmas is the heart-warming, tension-filled story of Melinda and Austin Sweet—a recently separated couple who’ve had their share of hardships and are willing to give it one last go before they give up entirely on one another. It is a story of love, friendship, and family, and I ate up nearly every minute of it.

As with all of the author’s books, the writing was impeccable. The story moved along at a good pace, it was easy to read and follow along with, and the colorful narrative and dialogue seemed to melt effortlessly into the background. I was absolutely absorbed in the storytelling.

The only problem I had with the book, and trust me, it was very much –my problem-, is that I’m not a big fan of romance stories that start after-the-fact of the couple’s relationship. Melinda and Austin were already married, already in love at once point, and I didn’t know them as a couple. I wish I’d gotten to know them when they were first in love… I think it would have helped cement their relationship for me. That’s not the author’s fault though. That’s every bit my own problem, and I recognize it—and so I’m not marking points off the overall score.

That aside, the story was beautifully written and full of both heartwarming and steamy moments between Melinda and Austin. The cast of characters, though brief, seemed authentic. I wanted it to work out for the couple, and though there were a few niggling details that bothered me (like the fact that Austin had magically become more muscle-bound in the time between he and his wife had last seen each other) overall, the story was a short, but engaging delve into the small-town Montana life, and I enjoyed it. I’d be happy to recommend this short little story to anyone looking for a sweet holiday-themed read, and I encourage you to take a look at the rest of the author’s work. I have had the privilege of reading quite a few of her works over the last two years, and everyone of them has been remarkably well written. If you like cozy romance stories, you’ll enjoy this.

Book Review: Finding Home

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Title: Finding Home [Montana Born Homecoming 2]

Author: Roxanne Snopek

Genre: Romance, Novella, Contemporary

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Fourteen years after her abrupt departure, Samara Davis is back in Marietta, Montana. Now a widow, all she wants is to give her anxious four-year old daughter, Jade, a happy, stable home. Unfortunately, the heritage house she purchased is nowhere near ready for occupancy. And the man responsible for the delay is none other than high-school golden boy and love of her life Logan Stafford, available, interested and just as swoon-worthy as ever.

But this single mother has one priority. She’s all Jade has, and she’ll do anything, make any sacrifice, for her child’s future. And getting distracted by a long-lost boyfriend is not on the agenda.

Logan Stafford never forgot the lonely girl from the wrong side of the tracks who broke his heart. Not only is she as irresistible as ever, but her delightfully odd little girl has him wrapped around her finger in no time. Believing they’ve been given a second chance, Logan’s determined to pull out all the stops on the house to prove to them both that he’s a guy they can count on. But, despite how easy it is to love Logan, a second chance is still a gamble Samara can’t afford to take.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I have to say, Finding Home by Roxanne Snopek was a pleasant surprise. The narrative was paced well, grammatically correct, and effortless in its execution. I was drawn in right away by the hilarity of Samara’s first few moments back in her hometown of Marietta, Montana, and it wasn’t long before I was completely sucked into the story.

Let me preface this review by admitting… I don’t like novellas. In my experience as a reviewer I’ve found that 9 times out of 10, novellas are rushed. There isn’t time for deep characterization or slow romance progression, and that often leads to huge time jumps and tourniquet’d narrative. That wasn’t the case with this novella. Even though it was shorter than your average romance story, I didn’t feel like I was reading a short story. The characterization of the characters was so well done that I felt like I lived within the small town of Marietta right along side them. Each character had a unique voice and personality, and I genuinely wanted to know more about them—especially Eliza and Mable, who I believe have a lot more to tell about their stories.

The dialogue was natural and well-written, and the narrative was equally so. The story moved along at a decent pace without feeling rushed or disjointed, and by the end of the book, I felt as if I’d read a full length novel, despite it’s small page count. The main couple, Samara and Logan had an obvious and unapologetic chemistry that was easy to believe, and more than once, completely giggle-worthy. I was routing for them every step of the way, and I fell in love with Samara’s quirky daughter, Jade.  The tension and stress on Samara’s shoulders felt real, and when it all got too much for her, I too felt my heart clench in response.

For a short romance, this book was fantastic. It was heartwarming, endearing, and I’m so glad I got a chance to read it. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quick contemporary romance read.

Book Review: Resisting The Rancher

 

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Title: Resisting The Rancher [Three River Ranch 4]

Author: Roxanne Snopek

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Country veterinarian Celia Gamble is in trouble. A misunderstanding from her past is rearing its ugly head and the only person she can turn to is Jonah Clarke—her family’s lawyer and, as it turns out, her brother’s best friend and her childhood crush. She always wanted Jonah to see her as a bona fide woman, but as a woman who’s being blackmailed for seducing a married man? Not on her life.

Jonah is happy to help Little CeeCee Gamble, if only she’d come clean about why she’s being blackmailed. But with his best friend Zach’s wedding on the horizon, and Zach’s fashionista fiancée Desiree giving CeeCee a makeover, the little duckling Jonah remembers is turning into a definite swan. And the unwritten law on sisters is clear—hands off. Jonah must resist or lose the only true family he’s ever known.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAYE ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I loved this book. I was excited to find myself on the other end of an invitation to read another one of Ms. Snopek’s books. I’d read her previous title His Reluctant Rancher last year, and I’d enjoyed every moment of it.  The author has a flawless, clean, engaging, and fast-paced narrative voice that I find draws me right into the story. I fell into this story effortlessly and for a few short hours, lived in the world of the characters, not to emerge until the very last word.

Celia and Jonah were an adorable couple, and I thought Celia’s spit-fire stubbornness was the perfect compliment to Jonah’s cowboy-next-door. Their relationship was filled with ups, downs, misunderstandings, and steamy moments that had me outright giggling with glee. I’ll admit it: I laughed out loud a handful of times.

The plot itself was a mash-up of formulaic romance (hey, I enjoy a good formula romance… it’s comforting like hot cocoa on a cold winter’s afternoon) and thriller. There seemed to be just enough danger and mystery to complicate things and spice up the sometimes sweet, sometimes steamy romance between the main couple.

The characters were vibrant, full of personality, and close knit. Despite the amount of characters and how little time some of them got “on screen”, none of them felt needless or truly secondary. Rather than being 1-dimensional cast-offs that appear for a scene, react, and then disappear, the characters spattered across the canvas of the story like vivid droplets of paint, bringing it to life. By the end, I wanted to live in this town with these people.

Overall, I really liked this story. Yes, it is a formulaic romance, but I don’t count that against it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was quick, fun, engaging read, and I think if you like contemporary romance, you’ll probably enjoy it. Would I read it again? Definitely. Would I recommend it? Without question. If you’ve never read any of the author’s work, I highly recommend that you take a look. Ms. Snopek is a romance writer worth reading.