Thursday, August 15, 2013

When You're Ready & It all Started with a Lima Bean Reviews

Hey FALLowers!
The two reviews below were supposed to post over the last two weeks, but I have been terribly ill and have had trouble keeping up with my posts. Thankfully, I have two wonderful and talented reviewers, Jodie Rae and Lo, who have taken over the majority of the blogging to give me time to get well. I also apologize to those of you who were looking for us at the Denton Author Event last weekend. The farthest I could travel was Oklahoma City before I was too sick to go any further. I am so sad that we missed out on such a great opportunity to meet indie authors and more FALLowers. We will hold on to the goodies we planned to pass out and the giveaway for the Austin Author Event in October. 
Hopefully, I will get over this illness soon, and I can spend more time with the blog and my book boyfriends.
<3 Ashton

 ~*Review One*~

When You're Ready
Author: J.L. Berg
Hosted by: Tasty Book Tours
When Clare Murray suffers the tragic loss of her husband Ethan, leaving her alone to raise their infant daughter, she feels the grief overwhelming her, seeping into her very soul. Weeks later, she stumbles upon an envelope with the words “When You’re Ready” written in Ethan’s familiar messy handwriting, but can’t bring herself to breach the seal. Ready for what? He was her entire world, and Clare has accepted a life without him, without love. Until, years later, fate brings her to an emergency room, and face to face with stormy eyed doctor intent on changing her mind.

Logan Matthews is the son of a billionaire who has spent his entire life trying to make his absent father proud. Years of living up to man who more ghost than father, and a public failed marriage has left Logan cold and emotionless until he walks into an exam room to discover a woman who stops his heart, makes his body burn with desire and leaves his entire world altered.

But how far are Clare and Logan willing to go for love? When their love is tested, is Clare ready to put her whole heart on the line again? Can Logan learn the true meaning of love, even if it means sacrificing his own happiness? When a second chance at love is given, Clare and Logan learn you never know you are truly ready until you’re ready to risk it all.


A knock on the door marked the entrance of yet another person. As I turned my head, I found myself face to face with the real-life version of Dr.McSteamy entering the exam room. Is this our doctor? Holy hell, I think I just whimpered a little.

Tall and built like a swimmer, he was sexiest thing I’d ever seen in a pair of scrubs. Like the sky right before a summer storm, his eyes bordered between gray and blue, and I couldn’t help but stare into their thunderous intensity. His hair was dark brown that edged near black and had that “just fucked” look to it. The kind of hair that made you want to run your hands through it. How did guys do that? Did they spend time creating that look in a mirror, or was it really a product of being fucked? I suddenly wanted to know. Oh shit, was I drooling? Did he say something?

He was looking right at me, waiting

“Are you the mother?” he asked. His eyebrow arched in question. A really hot question.

Seriously, Clare…get your mind out of the gutter.

“Uh, yes. I’m Clare Murray. This is my daughter Madilyn, uh, Maddie,” I said, trying to cover up the fact that I had probably been standing there for an ungodly amount of time, lamely staring at him and forming my own mini puddle of drool, while he tried to get my attention back on my sick daughter.

Yup, best mother ever.

“Nice to meet you Ms. Murray, I’m Dr. Matthews.” Turning to Maddie, he said “And this must be the princess.”

Calling Maddie a princess earned him major brownie points, and I think I even heard a faint giggle. She immediately looked up, her big brown eyes connecting with his as he began the examination.

Dr. Matthews bent down, leaning over her tiny frame and ran his hand over Maddie’s head. I knew he was checking for any bumps or abnormalities, but his gesture seemed protective and my heart did a little flip flop seeing my daughter in the arms of another man.

Done with his physical exam, he settled himself at the end of the hospital bed and motioned for me to take a seat in the chair positioned next to Maddie. It was a small room, making us all very cozy. I could feel the heat radiating off his body. His really, really hot body. His eyes lingered on mine briefly, and I felt the blush start to creep up my cheeks. A quick smirk flashed across his face before he began speaking.

“Well, your nurse already gave me some of the details on what lead to Maddie’s injury this afternoon. Sounds like you had an eventful day,” he said, giving Maddie a gentle smile. She looked up at him like he’s the king of the world, which surprised me. Maddie’s generally not a fan of men, having not been around many in her life.

“But it looks like a classic concussion. Her skull feels normal, and I don’t see any signs of swelling or bleeding. I’m going to go ahead and order a CT just to rule out anything major and make sure we’ve covered all of our bases. But more than likely she’ll be back to her old self in a few days,” he said, offering reassurance.

I nodded absently, those stark white walls starting to tighten around me. It’s not the fact that he wanted a test that sent me into an instant panic attack. I understood the precaution. I was glad Dr. Matthews was taking the time to do so, and I appreciated his thoroughness. It was the way in which he said it. The exact phrasing. One sentence, and the memory came back to haunt me, flooding my mind and taking over my senses.

Ethan sat down next to me on the bed. He looked at me with those dark brown eyes and concerned, loving look. He knew I always worried about everything.

“Baby, I don’t need any more tests. The doctor says they’re only migraines,” he said. “The CT came back normal which rules out anything major. I don’t want to fight with the insurance company to get an MRI. You know they aren’t going to pay for it, so why bother?” He pulled me down onto our bed so that we were laying side by side.

“It’s going to be fine. So please, stop worrying.” He pleaded, leaning in to kiss me slowly, desperately trying to change the subject. He pulled away, looking at me with a devious grin plastered on his face. “Besides, we have more important things to think about right now,” he whispered, looking down my body slowly and appreciatively.

“Oh, yeah? I can’t think of anything,” I said, faking a yawn and stretching my arms out wide. “I think I’m going to go to sleep. Night!”

I tried to keep my face steady, but I couldn’t help the grin that escaped, and before I could cover my mouth to hide it, he attacked and I squealed with laughter. He straddled my body, pinning me to the bed with his knees, and trapping my wrists above my head in his tight grasp.

“Shhh! This is the first night in weeks the baby has been asleep for more than an hour, and you’re going to ruin it with your squealing horse laugh!” He leaned down to kiss me, chuckling.

“I do not laugh like a horse!” I pouted.

The annoyance in my voice melted as his trailing kisses reached my neck and meandered down to my shoulder, taking the strap of my nightgown with him. He pulled my body firmly against his and slowly made his way back to my mouth, kissing me so fiercely that every other thought melted away. Tests and headaches were left in the past.

If only I had been more persistent, more demanding…taken him to more specialists…

“Are you sure the CT will be enough? Nothing will be overlooked? I asked, escaping from the memory that had held me captive. Fear was evident in my voice. I knew everything was fine, and what happened with Ethan had been rare, but the irrational panic was there nonetheless.

Maddie is not Ethan. Maddie is not going to die. I silently chant, feeling the calm beginning to return.

I looked up at Dr. Matthews, and he was watching me with concern and confusion painted all over his gorgeous face.
Awesome. Good job, Clare. Now the hot doctor thinks you are crazy.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved When You're Ready by J.L. Berg. First off, I will say the author is an absolute sweetheart and an extremely talented writer. Now that the indie romance community has skyrocketed, everyone thinks they can write a novel, but not many can actually write well. Yes, there are many decent indie romances to divulge into these days, but you know within  the first page if a book is going to be a great read or a phenomenal read.
I haven't been this excited about a book since I finished Larkin's Letters by Jax Jillian. I must have a soft spot for novels about loves lost and the letters they leave behind. I don't want to give too much away but simply put, the storyline is flawless, the characters are realistic and engaging, and the pace of the love story is timely and smooth.
If you are looking to add a novel to your list of favorites, read When You're Ready. Not only will you lose sleep, because you cannot put it down, but you will never forget this heartfelt story.


I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact.  I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocado to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity, but I love watching the seasons change.  My husband and I have been here for ten years, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows.

I’m married to my high school sweetheart.  We were married young, barely out of high school, when everyone told us we were crazy and stupid.  We’ll be celebrating 12 years of marriage this year, and I love him more every single day.  We’re living proof that true love knows no age limit.

We’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters who continue to amaze and inspire me, and are probably making me go a bit insane.  I’m obsessed with yoga and pilates and am a complete chocoholic.  I apologize in advance for the amount of sweets in my book.

I’m absolutely obsessed with romance novels (duh) and probably could have built a vacation home with the amount of money I’ve invested in them over the years.  Romance novels take you to another place, making your heart race, emotions swell, passion run free.  After so many years of meeting hundreds of fictional characters and discovering their worlds, I found myself creating my own.

My debut novel, When You’re Ready, a novel about about finding love after loss, will be released August 1st!

~*Review Two*~
It all Started with a Lima Bean
Author: Kimi Flores
Release date: August 8
Hosted by: Swoon Worthy Books 
A past that haunts can be laid to rest through the act of forgiveness, even if the person you forgive is yourself. It must be gifted freely.

Abby Sullivan cherishes the life she is creating for herself in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. She adores her best friend and supportive family. Her job as a kindergarten teacher offers her life hope and purpose. She is very talented at many things, especially hiding the pain of her past. That is until her world collides with Caleb Hunter’s, giving them both a lesson in forgiveness and love.

A life changing love is cruelly snatched by sickness and death. A person must be willing to give love, the greatest gift of all, to receive love.

A successful writer, Caleb is living life day-to-day. Giving refuge to his sad and lonely heart since his wife's sudden death from cervical cancer, his primary focus becomes honoring her memory by rearing their five-year-old daughter, Madison. Yet, when Madison Hunter walks into Miss Abby’s kindergarten class, everything changes for all three of them.

With a little nudge from a loving mother-in-law who has everyone’s best interest at heart, anything is possible, especially when forgiveness and love gift even more blessings than ever imaginable.

 I rate It all Started with a Lima Bean FOUR LEAVES! As I said in the review above, I have a soft spot for stories about loves lost. It all Started with a Lima Bean doesn't have a letter left behind, but it does have a charming, daughter character just like When You're Ready by J.L. Berg. The heartwarming characters and the sweet, HEA storyline easily awards this novel with a FOUR LEAVES rating.

My reasoning for not giving a FIVE LEAVES rating for this novel is purely based on personal reasons. I have a difficult time giving the highest rating to predictable and fluffy love stories. Now don't get me wrong. Sometimes I just need a light read with lovable characters and a storyline that doesn't cause anxiety. For example, if you just wrapped up the Love Me With Lies Series by Tarryn Fisher, you might need a stress-free, lovey-dovey tale to help release the tension from such a complicated (and much loved) storyline and leading male character who also happens to be named, Caleb.

(Skip to the last paragraph to avoid spoilers.)

The only thing unpredictable about this novel was the lack of at least one steamy scene between Abby and Caleb. The chemistry, sexual tension, and buildup between the two main characters was present, but the big finale was missing. I understand the morals behind the two waiting to be married, but once they are, let's get this hotness going! Caleb is an ex-man whore, so it was almost expected that we would get to see his way around the bedroom. Plus, there were some really flirty dirty exchanges that teased me to believe I would get my own HEA steamy scene. I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this book, because I wanted to read about these two finally getting it on. When the story ended abruptly, I was left disappointed and unfulfilled. For the record, I do not have to have erotic scenes in order to enjoy a good indie romance novel; but, I do favor a closed-door sex scene over the tease-but-no-release choice the author made for this particular novel.

It all Started with a Lima Bean is the first novel in the Intertwined Hearts Series. The second installment, An Unexpected Twist, will follow Abby's best friend, Leah Valdez, and Caleb's cousin, Stefan Hunter. I was very excited to learn the supporting characters were going to get their own HEAs. I hope we get to read more about Abby, Caleb, and Madison in the next book too!
~*Character Casting*~
Kimi lives in So Ca with her high school sweetheart, prom date, and now husband of over 20 years as well as with her two boys that bring so much joy and laughter to her life. There is never a dull moment in Kimi’s day with these three guys by her side. Her family and she are happily involved in volunteer work with several local non-profit organizations. They believe that everyone needs to do their part and a portion of her sales will always go to charity.
At an early age, Kimi discovered the magical world of imagination. Many stories were written as well as illustrated by her as a child. Not realizing at the time that she had dyslexia, schoolwork became extremely difficult, and her confidence as a reader and writer dwindled. Thanks to a high teacher who took the time to invest in her, Kimi found a love for literary legends such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving and Jane Austen. This teacher helped Kimi create one of the happiest school memories she holds. Discovering in college that she had the learning disability was terribly discouraging since help was not readily available and her reading and writing confidence fell once again.
Needing to find a distraction when her husband unexpectedly ended up in the hospital for a week, Kimi explored the indie reading world. Jumping in with everything she had, Kimi pushed herself to read over 150 books last year. During that process, many characters reappeared in her imagination and insisted that their stories be told. Putting all self-doubt and barriers aside, she started writing the outlines and drafts for the four books in her Intertwined Hearts Series as well as bits and pieces of the three books in her next series, Down by the Bay.
Her message to you is similar to that of pop icon,’s:
~You can focus on your problems or you can focus on your dreams ~


  1. Thank you for posting today!! Glad you are feeling better!

  2. Amazing giveaway.. so many books.. wow.. Hope you had a great turnout!