Review: Moonlight Over Manhattan

Hello There Friends! I recently finished my second ever series, The From Manhattan With Love series by Sarah Morgan. I am proud of myself for making it through another series, but I am so sad to see this one end.

Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Book 6 in the From Manhattan With Love series

Published May 2017 by HQN Books

5/5 Stars

Narrated on audiobook by Jennifer Woodward

 

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Plot Summary:

She’ll risk everything for her own Christmas miracle…

Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list–dealing with Madi’s temporary dog sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry.

Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi–how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple–he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide twenty-four-hour care. But there’s nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel.

Ethan’s kisses make Harriet shine brighter than the stars over moonlit Manhattan. But when his dog-sitting duties are over and Harriet returns to her own home, will she dare to take the biggest challenge of all–letting Ethan know he has her heart for life, not just for Christmas?

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My Thoughts:

I love the way Sarah Morgan crafts a story. You can tell she has been writing, and perfecting her craft for a while now. This series has six books in it, and next to Miracle on 5th Avenue, I’d have to say Moonlight Over Manhattan has to be my second favorite.

Harriet, the main character in Moonlight Over Manhattan, felt like such a real 20 something young woman living in Manhattan. She is easily one of those characters you wish you could be friends with. In the story, Harriet is challenging herself to do something that scares her everyday which I found added fun twists to the story.

I really liked reading Harriet’s relationship with her sister and brother. Their bond is so strong which was refreshing to read, but Fliss and Daniel are always trying to protect Harriet, which is part of the reason she has her personal challenge going on.

I loved how compassionate and friendly Harriet was as a person. No matter the age or circumstance, she is able to make friends with anyone. A good reminder for real life, you never know who could become your next best friend.

I really enjoyed the romance between Harriet and Ethan. It is funny how they meet and then end up in each other’s lives again. As you’re reading this book, you know you are reading the story of two people who are perfect for each other, but they haven’t figured that out yet.

I think my absolute favorite thing about this story is that Harriet believes in love, despite what she has been through, but there is a moment towards the end where she stands up for herself. She knows the kind of person she is and how she will react and handle certain situations. She is smart enough to recognize that and basically pass, to not put herself through that and even though I loved the story so much up to that point, that particular scene made me love it even more.

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October in Review

Hello Friends! I hope your November is off to a wonderful start. I love this month. It is my daughter and I’s birthday month and also the month that I get really excited with Thanksgiving on it’s way followed by Christmas. Love this time of year.

October more than any other month of the year feels like my to be read stack is supposed to look a certain way, give off a certain feel. I had so many plans, so many books that I started off the month wanting to read, but per usual, my mood had different plans for me.

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The first book I completed in October was A Potion To Die For by Heather Blake which is book one in the A Magic Potion Mystery series. This was good. I didn’t love it like I did some of the other cozy mysteries I have been reading but I felt it was a good book one. It interested me enough in the main character, with her lineage of witch craft, a possible rekindling romance and making things right possibly with a cousin of hers, to want to continue on with the series. One thing I really liked about this cozy is that it takes place in the south. A lot of cozies I have read take place either in the Pacific Northwest or somewhere in new England, which is great, but the change of location was a nice surprise.

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Next, I finished my first ever Devney Perry, The Coppersmith Farmhouse. This is book one in Perry’s Jamison Valley series. I loved this. It gave me all the small town vibes I love in a small town romance, then got super hot and sexy which I wasn’t expecting. Then, just when I thought things couldn’t get shaken up any more than they already were, things got super intense! I loved it.

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I went ahead and read book two in the Jamison Valley series by Devney PerryThe Clover Chapel was another really good read although I didn’t love it as much as I loved The Copper Smith Farmhouse. I like a good second chance romance and this one especially because it has it’s own twist; the character’s are already married. I am a little weary about finishing this series, although I know I will being that I hauled all the books to it. I just am assuming that I can expect each story to take some drastic turn towards the end, which is fine, but when reading The Clover Chapel, by the time all of the craziness started to take place, I just didn’t care anymore. By the time the twists and turns come along, I was kind of over it. The way Perry wrote the first two books, the romance happens fast! So when reading it for the romance, you’re getting that pretty early on. So you’re basically reading the rest of the book to see what is going to happen that may possibly break the romance up. Fingers are crossed I enjoy book three more.

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I (finally) finished my arc that I am super grateful Netgalley approved me for, and that was Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This book was fantastic. It releases March of 2019 and I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy. Hands down a five star read for me. I loved the format in which the story was told. I loved the time period it takes place in. Taylor Jenkins Reid is such a wonderful story teller.

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Another five star read in October was Heron’s Landing by Joann Ross. This is book one in her Honeymoon Harbor series, and one that I literally bought on a whim when I saw it in the checkout aisle at the grocery store. When Littlebird Publicity sent book two in the series my way, it gave me the push I needed to finally read it and oh, I am so glad I did. I love a well written character in a romance grappling with grief and the love interest in this one is grieving the loss of his wife. I loved this book so much. In this one, there is the romance between the two main characters and also an old love on the brink of being over. Such a beautifully written story.

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I reread one of the first romances I picked up after deciding that I wanted to give reading romance a try, Debbie Macomber’s Merry and Bright, and I loved it just as much this go around as I did the first time. I really think that reading this book as one of my first romances played a big part in holiday romances being my favorite. Debbie Macomber has such a way of creating these main characters who feel like people you want to be friends with. I love how believable, the importance of family feels while reading this one.  It is wonderful, and I think it may be a new tradition to reread it around this time every year in anticipation of the holidays.

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I finally read my first ever Nora Roberts novel. Yes, finally! I read Dark Witch, which is the only somewhat October vibe’ish book I read. This is book one in her The Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy. It was okay. I enjoyed the family aspects and the Irish folklore and history. I loved the magic. The main character is what bothered me. She was so annoying at times. Like, the kid getting to hang out with her older cousins and ruins it by being overly excited. I wanted to yell shut up, so many times. I am looking forward though, in seeing where the rest of the trilogy goes.

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I also finished two books in the From Manhattan With Love series by Sarah Morgan.  First,  I finished New York, Actually which wasn’t bad, but not a favorite. A lot like with Dark Witch, I just wasn’t a fan of the main character. Molly, the main character in this one, isn’t annoying or anything, but there was just something about her I didn’t like and didn’t connect with. I actually preferred the scenes from Daniel, the love interest’s perspective. I then jumped immediately into Holiday in the Hamptons. Reading this one reminded me of reading the character Frankie’s romance which was book two. This is Fliss’s romance, and Fliss has always been the tough girl and is avoiding love. She has her issues she needs to process and work through before she can realize the good thing she has in front of her and oh man was he good! Seth is so patient, and might just be my favorite love interest in the series.

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I really hope you had a wonderful October and that your November is starting off well. Let me know what you’re reading this month.

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New York Actually and Holiday in the Hamptons

Hey there Friends! I hope all is well with you and that you are in full fall mode at this point. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of finishing my second ever book series! What is even LIFE!? I never would’ve thought I’d ever say that, but here I am, closing in on yet another series coming to a close, and that series is the From Manhattan With Love series by Sarah Morgan.

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New York, Actually is book four in the series and follows Molly, New York City’s most famous advice columnist. Molly is an expert at relationships as long as they are other people’s. Molly has this belief that she is bad at relationships. She really believes that she doesn’t have feelings in a way. Molly meets Daniel, a divorce lawyer who is hardwired to think relationships are a bad idea, in Central Park.

Both Molly and Daniel believe they have everything about love and relationships figured out. The two try and fail to resist their chemistry and soon discover they both may have a lot left to learn.

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I thought New York, Actually was really cute and a fun story but it wasn’t a favorite of mine from this series. It is hard to pinpoint what it was exactly, but there was something about Molly I just didn’t like.

I actually found myself preferring the scenes from Daniel’s perspective. I thought him borrowing a dog to have an excuse to chat with her in the beginning was really cute.

I loved how on the exterior, Molly and Daniel are very much different but when you get down to it, are so much alike. I felt Sarah Morgan wrote them very well. Both were very flushed out and super complex. Molly is this relationship advice columnist everyone turns to, yet she stays away from the exact thing that she helps people with everyday. While Daniel is this divorce lawyer whose job is to help relationships come to an end. I liked Daniel. He saw how hard his Dad made it for his Mom to get out of their relationship, so although a divorce lawyer, I felt he had really good intentions.

I am finding that I do enjoy the plot line of two people trying to deny and resist their feelings for each other. I enjoyed the push and pull, back and forth we experience between Molly and Daniel and I loved when they finally got their crap together and just went for it. My only downfall with this story was Molly. There was something about her I wasn’t a big fan of.

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I immediately jumped into Holiday in the Hamptons which follows one of Daniel’s from New York, Actually sisters, Felicity.

Felicity is a professional dog walker who loves New York City. That is, until her ex-husband starts working at her local vet clinic. Felicity and Seth haven’t seen each other in ten years, but one glimpse at him and her heart hurts as though their whirlwind marriage only recently ended. So when her grandmother in the Hamptons needs help for the summer, Felicity feels this is the perfect excuse to escape her past.

Seth knows Felicity. He knows that when she flees New York City it’s because she still feels their connection and that it frightens her. Seth let her go once before, but he’s determined to not let it happen again. He wants her to see that he never stopped loving her.

Reading Holiday in the Hamptons, reminded me a lot of Sunset in Central Park, mostly because Felicity reminded me so much of Frankie from that book. She is tough, stubborn, content with the way she has built her life and guards her heart and doesn’t want to let that guard down.

I felt like Sarah Morgan really stepped it up a bit in the way she crafted the back story to Felicity and Seth. They fell in love fast, got married and it was all over in the blink of an eye. All the while, Felicity, because of the way she was raised, never felt she was good enough for Seth.

I adored the relationship between these two. I loved that Seth really knew Felicity yet at the same time, there was so much he didn’t. Especially Felicity, she had so much baggage from the past that she needed to get over. There was quite a bit she was holding onto that prevented her from truly moving on with her life. I found it absolutely romantic that Seth never stopped loving her and even though she could be an absolute mess, he was this constant, solid person in her life that would let her be her mess, and loved her anyway. I really liked this one.

So, Friends, those are my thoughts on these two reads. I am currently making my way through the last book in the series and am loving it, while also being sad that it is indeed the last one.

Chat with you soon. xoxo

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Book Review: Miracle on 5th Avenue

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Published October 2016 by HQN Books

5/5 Stars

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Plot Summary:

It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York!

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn’t appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

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My Thoughts:

I have been waiting for Miracle on 5th Avenue since reading book one. In book one, Sleepless in Manhattan, you meet the trio, Paige, Frankie and Eva. Each girl has their thing.  They each have something about them that made me like them as individuals and as a team. I loved Eva’s character. Through the first two novels, I grew to love her more and more and was so excited when I realized book three was her romance.

Eva is a hopeless romantic to the core. She doesn’t shy away from who she is. She believes in the good and people. She believes in true love and happy ever afters. She cooks and enjoys watching romantic comedies on Netflix. She hosts her own Youtube channel and blog where she shares different recipes she’s created or tried. She is also very alone. Eva was raised by her Grandparents and has been taking the death of her grandmother really hard. She has dated but it hasn’t been anything serious.

One of her customers, an older lady named Mitzy, pays Eva to decorate her grandson Lucas’s apartment while he is secluded in Vermont writing his new novel. Shortly after arriving at his apartment, Lucas returns home. He had no intentions of going to Vermont, he just wanted his family to believe he was there.

Lucas’s wife passed away a few years ago and there was more to the story, but losing her and the other things going on when he lost her, has him completely not wanting a relationship. Due to the crazy New York City winter weather, Eva insisting upon doing her job, and Lucas’s writer’s block going away while having Eva around, the two end up spending a lot of time holed up in Lucas’s apartment.

Lucas is a crime fiction author and Eva loves romance. Their opinions on things clash quite a bit, but they like and appreciate each other’s opinions. Lucas hates Christmas, Eva loves it. Eva hasn’t visited the home her Grandmother was in prior to her passing since she lost her, and it is Lucas who talks her into going back for a visit. This is the perfect example of opposites attract.

It was fun, and oh so sexy.

“She felt dizzy and breathless..”

 

Lucas definitely tries to deny his feelings for Eva and even Eva for a slight moment questions what it is, but Eva, being true to herself throws her heart out there but won’t chase Lucas and I loved that about her. The pacing was perfect. This story held my attention from the first page all the way through the ending. I love how true to herself Eva is. In a world where being a dreamer and romantic can be frowned upon, she sticks by the things she loves.

Both Eva and Lucas had to work on and move on from their issues; Lucas and his wife and Eva believing she’s alone after losing her Grandmother–before they could reach that happily ever after. They assisted each other though with the process of letting go and moving on, which I appreciated.

I wouldn’t say you need to read the first two books in the series, but oh my goodness, read this one! It does take place during the holidays, so definitely add it to your holiday romance to be read pile.

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Book Review: Sunset in Central Park

Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan

Book 2 in the From Manhattan With Love series

Published by HQN Books, July 2016

4/5 Stars

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Plot Summary:

In the chaos of New York, true love can be hard to find, even when it’s been right under your nose all along…

Love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. After witnessing the fallout of her parents’ divorce, she’s seen the devastation an overload of emotion can cause. The only man she feels comfortable with is her friend Matt—but that’s strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…

Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, sensing how fragile she is beneath her feisty exterior, has always played it cool. But then he uncovers new depths to the girl he’s known forever and doesn’t want to wait a moment longer. He knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can Matt persuade her to trust him with her heart and kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?

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My Thoughts:

Sunset in Central Park is Frankie’s story.  Out of the trio, (Paige, Frankie and Eva) Frankie is the tough one. Her Father left her Mother for a younger woman, so her Mother began sleeping with younger men and really not giving two shits about what people thought about her, or how it impacted Frankie.

Because of what happened with her parents, Frankie is completely against love. She despises anything to do with romance but even in book one, you get the sense that Matt, who is Paige’s older brother, has feelings for her.  This is their romance.

The only con for this book, which really isn’t a con but an ode to Sarah Morgan’s amazing writing, is how frustrating it can be reading from Frankie’s perspective. You know and understand why she is the way she is. It is a very logical reason. Her parents made their choices, did what made them happy, not really thinking about how it would possibly long term affect Frankie. On one hand, Frankie is content being by herself and has no issues with working, going home and reading her books. That is her life and she is comfortable with it. There is Matt though, and he is crazy about her.

There were a few instances where I got so frustrated because all I could think about is, how Frankie has this wonderful, patient guy who is crazy about her but she’s so stuck in her ways she can’t see it, refuses to see it.  I have to give major props to Sarah Morgan because she wrote Frankie so well. She also wrote Matt so well. He knew and understood the why, but he kept trying anyway.

It was fun seeing these two and their blossoming romance. They have known each other their entire lives, so seeing them take their friendship to the next step was a fun ride to go on. Matt is able to inadvertently help Frankie see that a lot of the ways she assumed people saw her after her parents break up, was honestly just in her head. I enjoyed seeing her character growth and development.

This overall  was a fun read. It takes you on a bit of a roller coaster ride emotion wise. Frankie really has to get over the past to move on and be happy with the man who has been patiently standing solid for her all these years. I loved it.

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