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After We Fall by Melanie Harlow

shirtless dark-haired, stubble-beared hot guy with full abs on display, wearing low slung dark jeans against a golden backgroundWhy I read it:  I picked this one up recently for the bargain price of 99c. Go me.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Jack Valentini isn’t my type.

Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.

Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so.

But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.

His huge, hard muscles.

Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.

And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness.

But he’s wrong.

I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Margot Thurber Lewiston is a rich white city girl from old money. She is the very definition of privilege. She knows it. She’s also awesome, compassionate, funny and smart, good at her job and quick to laugh at herself. I pretty much loved her from the first chapter when she was throwing scones at her shitty ex-boyfriend at a fancy social function. Her uptight WASPy mother basically banishes her from “polite society” until the “scandal” dies down. So she heads to the country to help a farm with a marketing issue and there, she meets grumpy farmer, Jack Valentini.

Another Dream by Mary Balogh (from Once Upon A Dream anthology)

Once upon a dreamWhy I read it:  I adore Mary Balogh books so I bought it. (I haven’t yet read the Grace Burrowes story. I may not ever do so as I really only bought it for the Balogh novella.)

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Miss Eleanor Thompson has found satisfaction as the director of a respected school for girls. The life of a dedicated educator offers many rewards and much meaning–but also more loneliness than Eleanor anticipated. She accepts an invitation from her sister, Christine, Duchess of Bewcastle, to attend a Bedwyn houseparty, never dreaming the summer curriculum might include stolen kisses and true love. 

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I was feeling in the mood for a comfort type read but I also wanted a story I hadn’t read before – so I turned to Mary Balogh. She is ever the comfort read to me. I just sink into her books like I would a comfy couch.

Eleanor Thompson is Christine’s sister (as in Wulfric’s wife). She is now the owner/operator of the Bath school for girls formerly run by Claudia Martin, now the Marchioness of Attingsborough. On her way to Lindsey Hall for a summer holiday with her family, she is stranded at an inn waiting out a storm. There, she meets a charming man, a widower with two young children, Michael Benning, the Earl of Staunton. Robert is five years old and very shy, Georgette is # and precocious, voluble and whip smart. The children take a shine to Eleanor and Eleanor and Michael take a shine to each other.

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