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How many children? Book Reviews

In Her Candy Jar Book Cover In Her Candy Jar
Svenssons
Alina Jacobs
Romantic Comedy, Womens' Fiction
Kindle

I am always fully in control of my company, my family, and my life. Even my diet is perfectly regulated—that includes no candy.

Except when my new assistant sprays chocolate sauce all over me and passes out drunk in my car, it marks the point where my control over everything starts to unravel.

Josie is a walking disaster and some sort of sugar addict.

And she's determined to turn me into a fiend for her candy.

Josie

Routines are the enemy of life. I live to be spontaneous.

My new billionaire boss looks like he needs something sweet in his life. I graciously offered to let him stick his hand in my candy jar.

It has salt water taffy and gummy worms! I can't believe he thought it was inappropriate!

I feel sorry for the guy. His little brothers are miserable, his PowerPoints are uninspired, and his life is seriously lacking in joy. And candy.

Though if I'm being honest, I could use a little more discipline. My YOLO, fly-by-the-seat-of-my pants philosophy already sent my life into a tailspin.

It cost me the entirety of my life savings.

I'm living in a dilapidated tiny house that’s trying to kill me.

I regularly eat chocolate chips and boxed wine for dinner.

In an effort to redeem myself, I set out to show Mace that I wasn't a clumsy, car destroying, electronic-killing, accident-prone, walking disaster. That lasted all of five minute before I set his seaweed and quinoa lunch on fire. Yeah, I didn't know that was a thing either. 

I can tell I'm a bad influence. I see him lick his lips when we're alone. I just have to convince him to take one little bite…

Because once he has a taste, he's going to want to stick his whole face in my candy jar!

Alina Jacobs’ books
So Alina has written quite a number of books in a very short time.  She writes at night as she is an architect by day – but when does she bake? Or look at Instagram for baking ideas? I say this because baking of cakes, muffins, biscuits and the like, appear in nearly all the books as being main characters. And the contents are inspiring for the amateur baker – inspiring them never to try anything quite so complex!
[PS, I asked her directly, and she admitted she didn't bake, but got inspiration from others on the Net.]
She has a number of series running - all about (at the moment) hot brothers who have turned themselves, after a bad childhood for different reasons , into billionaires. Oh, and they all seem to look alike. 
The Svenssons all look like blond Vikings and the Frosts all have whitish hair and like the cold weather, and the Holbrooks have brown hair. They are all 6 foot 5 or more. 
The Frosts have a sister who is mentioned, Belle, The Holbrooks have a sister, Dana, who is mentioned, and the Svenssons don’t quite know how many sisters they have – their father is on his, at least, 11th sister-wife, as he runs a polygamist cult in the desert. He keeps the girls well secreted away as they are valuable resources in such cults; the boys are sent off to Harrogate and the eldest boys – Remy, and Hunter, and any others who happen to be in residence. They estimate that there are around 100ish boys that their father has had through his wives. So plenty for Alina to write about, although some are quite young when this series starts. And we don’t have the names of all of them yet, nor which wife is their mother, although nearly all wives have multiple children.
The boys that marry in this series seem to fall for curvy girls/women – which makes sense that they would like similarly built women, as the Svensson genes are very predominant and the father marries blond girls to enhance the ‘look’.
And the wives in these stories usually manage to cook something for the majorly hungry boys – imagine having over 30 people for EVERY meal! Help always needed to feed hungry young stomachs.
 In the series about the Frost brothers, they relate what happens at a reality TV show about Baking at Xmas and the bakers that the brothers fall for.
The Svenssons tend to have a variety of girlfriends and wives, all of whom can cook to some extent, but may have other jobs too.
The Holbrooks get involved and involved with, the artisans of the Weddings in the City co-operative.
 I found myself confused with the Svenssons particularly. And with there being so many of these guys at all ages from the triplets at 28 months to Remy at well over 40 it was tricky, so I was delighted when I found the book in which Alina identifies all the Svenssons and which wife they come from. It is worth noting that not all of them visit Harrogate, as at some point there was a major rift and some live in Boston or Seattle. [books on these will follow]
But full brothers tend to stick together. 
The young boys are put on a train by their father and sent from his desert home to Harrogate, a journey of around 72 hours. Alone. Henry being the youngest to whom this ever happened at age 4 or 5, they weren't sure. But Hunter normally knows when they are coming because he has paid his father for them! The brothers have founded several companies together. Some consultancy, some real estate, others computing. They prefer to do this than work for other people. They then employ the younger guys as Interns and Juniors to learn the business. The Holbrooks operate in much the same way, although there are far fewer of them.
So here goes – Svenssons.
1.       Merla Vee
                               i.            Remy : Rural Trust - a veteran who came out with some small mental issues that make him very shy and very fond of animals.
                               ii.            Hunter : Lawyer : very controlling as he keeps order with all the boys that come to him. When they arrive, the young boys tend to be semi-feral, with no social graces, unable to speak properly, and very underfed.
                             iii.            Gunnar : Romance Creative: TV Guru.
                             iv.            Mace :CEO Svensson Pharmatech
                               v.            Archer : CEO Greyson Hotel Group - appears very laid back but has a surprisingly  successful business.
                             vi.            Garrett: CFO Pharmatech: lots of medicines and other such items.
                            vii.            Weston : CEO ThinkX: consultancy of various types especially projects.
                          viii.            Blade: COO Thinkx
                              ix.            Parker: CTO Pharmatech
2.       Athlyn
                              i.            Greg : CEO Svensson Investments: tends to be the funder for all the investments and improvements for the family.
                              ii.            Walker: COO Quantum Cyber: the very technical end of the businesses. including Security and Govt contracts.
                             iii.            Mike : COO Greyson
                             iv.            Beck: CFO Greyson
                              v.            Liam: COO Platinum Provisions: amazing cooking implements with great precision.
                             vi.            Carl: Managing Partner Investments
3.       Amyra
                                 i.            Salinger
                               ii.            Unknown how many more
4.       Mary Beth
                               i.            Crawford
                               ii.            Josh : Svensson and Svensson Law
                             iii.            Eric: Svensson and Svensson law
                             iv.            Unknown how many more
5.       Sueanne
                               i.            Unknown how many
6.       Brenna: younger boys
                              i.            Tristan: college
                             ii.            Eli: college
                             iii.            Isaac: high school
                             iv.            Calvin:
                             v.            Ronan
                             vi.            Theo
                            vii.            Payton
                          viii.            Andy
 
7.       … not yet named with children
8.       …not yet named with children
9.       Idonna
                               i.            Bruno
                              ii.            Oris
                             iii.            Ellis
                             iv.            Orlando
                              v.            Scout
                             vi.            Oscar
                            vii.            Arlo
 
10.   Payslee
                              i.            Adrian
                              ii.            Nate
                             iii.            Billy
                             iv.            Henry
 
11.   Kimberly
                                 i.            Davy
 
There are also triplet toddler boys, as yet with no name or mother identified.
List of books in series:
Holiday Romance:
Eating her christmas Cookies
Eating her Baked Goods
Tasting her christmas Cookies
Tasting her Chocolate Cake
Frosting her Christmas Cookies.
 Svenssons:
 After his peonies
In her candy jar
His candy crush
On his paintbrush
Paint him
In her pumpkin patch
                  This is one of the stories about the Svenssons and how Garret is trying to rescue all the boys his father had had with his 9, and counting, wives.
See also Japanese Pancakes – which again are a new item of baking to me, but sound delicious.
 In her pumpkin pies
Between her biscuits
Peaches and cream
Peony for your thoughts
After her fake fiancé
After her wedding cake
In her jam jar
In her pumpkin butter
Tulips together
 
Weddings in the City
Bridezillas
Short engagement
Wedding bells
Wedding mayhem
 Now I have read all the books and the freebie Epilogues provided by the author, but I won’t review them - but I recommend them all for a lighthearted, humorous look at a type of life most of us will never encounter. The boys all tend to be adventurous, inventive, entrepreneurial right from a young age, and end up with money - lots of it. Their romances don't go well but they end up happy. The main pull of these books for me is the humour and the amazing set up of the family. An author who starts with a potential 100+ characters to follow as they grow up has ambition! Several families and good female friends get involved at various points and then there is a lot of cake involved!
 

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Secrets not always best kept: Book Review

The Earl With The Secret Past Book Cover The Earl With The Secret Past
Janice Preston
Fiction, Historical, Regency
HarperCollins UK, Mills and Boon, Harlequin
June 25, 2020
368

An unexpected inheritance An explosive reunion. Hardworking architect Adam Monroe’s world is shaken when he inherits an Earldom! Thrust into the ton, he bumps into widow, Kitty Fenton – his lost love. Years before, he’d refused to elope with Kitty to save her from ruin, and was heartbroken she’d married so soon after he left. Perhaps fate has given him a chance to discover the truth – after all beneath the hurt the sparks of attraction are as strong as ever…

This is another version of the historical trope with an unexpected inheritance of a title. The Earl as he becomes, was not expecting to inherit but instead to work for a living, but a death up the line – his father in fact, thrust him into the role. It turns out his mother had been lying to him all his life about who is was…
And the horror of this lack of knowledge had meant that he had paid the price in his youth for not marrying the girl he loved, as he thought himself too lowly in society for her. And of course, she then went on to marry someone else.
But now she was a widow and he had the chance to gain her back. So the trope begins. But Kitty was not the girl he remembered. In her marriage she had grown up to be a woman of strength and ideas, and marrying again was not one of these ideas. So a courtship begins. And ends as we all expect with a marriage.
Nicely written with the nice initial plot twist layering onto the trope.  

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Who has time to Date? Book Review

Nicole Book Cover Nicole
(Sewing in SoCal book 3)
Sarah Monzon
Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humour
BooksGoSocial, Radiant Publications (29 Nov. 2020)
January 7, 2021

Who has time to date when she’s trying to raise a miniature human by herself AND save the planet from its irresponsible inhabitants? Not to mention my winning personality (snort) and my curves-have-curves figure (eyeroll) don’t exactly attract the opposite sex. Unfortunately, none of these reasons have stopped my best friends and SoCal sewing sisters from taking on the archaic role of matchmakers, and they’re not beneath a little bribery if that’s what it takes to get my cooperation. Let’s just say everyone has their weak spot, and donations to my favourite charities is mine. If I were to consider a romantic relationship, my dream guy certainly wouldn’t be immature, everything-is-a-game Dr. Drew Bauer. The man raises my body temperature faster than global warming does the Earth’s! But life seems determined to keep throwing us together, especially now that one of my SoCal sewing sisters is engaged to his best friend, in which case there can only be one of two outcomes: 1. I kill him in a fit of annoyance. 2. My common sense escapes me, and I fall in love with him. Honestly, I'm not sure which would be worse.

The story starts with the Blind Date.
You know the one.
Set up by your friends who are worried about you and you agree to go under protest – and here because they promise to make a donation to your favourite charity.
And you are curvy and your date doesn’t believe you don’t eat a lot – especially fatty fried food – and orders for you. Food you don’t want.
And he flirts with the waitress, makes derogatory remarks and implications about your shape and size and then leaves.
The story is told by both characters, Nicole and Drew, so we learn early on that he really likes her in an sort of she irritates him and he keeps thinking about her sort of way – and so the trope begins.
I liked the storyline. I liked Nicole and her values and her daughter and her mother too.
I approve of environmental concerns and definitely saving the whale and reducing plastic use. Nicely written and fun to read.

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Do you love Food? Book Review

Lindsey Love Loves Book Cover Lindsey Love Loves
LLL Book 1
Sophie Sinclair
Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humour
Sophie Sinclair
October 8, 2020
332

Lindsey Love's career as a food critic is suddenly taking off when she's approached by Food and Travel to take her show to Europe. What could be more fun than to travel with her best friend Patrick, eat amazing food, and see the sights? What she doesn't bargain for is the surly, egotistical producer with the icy glare, dimples, and a penchant for questioning her every move. Nick Elliot, ex-Navy SEAL turned producer, finds himself suddenly thrown into a project he doesn't want to take on. Producing a snotty food critic's show over in Europe is not at the top of his agenda. She's stubborn, sassy, and he finds himself inextricably drawn to her. When things go awry abroad, Nick has to make the decision to save his own future or give up everything to protect Lindsey.Lindsey Love Love is a stand alone Romantic Comedy with a little bit of suspense.

Lindsey starts this story 8 weeks before the main events when she is living in a small apartment above a battle-axe.

Lindsey is a Food Blogger and plays on her name Lindsey Love for the name of her blog. And she is getting known in the media and TV shows are…

And the show that they want her to do next involves a Producer who doesn’t want to produce for his ‘friend’ as the last show he did for him was – well let’s just say he got naked a lot in that one!

So we have anguish, dislike, anger and lots of steam in various forms.

And a nicely written book about food. Little cafes, interesting places to go to visit in Europe, and a love story in the end.

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Dust up: A Book Review

Witch Dust: A Paranormal Comedy Book Cover Witch Dust: A Paranormal Comedy
Thriller Witch Series Book 1
Marilyn Messik
Mystery & Thrillers, Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 12 Jan 2020

For Sandra, daughter of illusionists, Adam and Ophelia, life’s never been run of the mill! But when Adam’s wandering eye lights on yet another conquest, Sandra’s caught in the reverberations of her parents acrimonious parting. Coerced into restoring her depressed Mother to the bosom of a family Sandra never knew existed, she’s sucked into a situation that even for her is unnerving.

From being without a single relative, she suddenly acquires several she’d rather do without. Ophelia, it appears, has not been entirely honest about any number of things. There’s no doubt in Sandra’s mind, the sooner she puts as much distance as possible between herself, the newly discovered nearest and dearest with their peculiar tendencies and failing hotel business, the happier she’s going to b. 

There are just a few things to sort first including a possessed chef; a hanged housemaid; a fly-on-the-wall documentary and a doppelgänger. Things slide swiftly from bad to farce and then get a hell of a lot darker. One minute she’s saving the family business the next, battling to save their lives. Turns out, some darknesses, once buried, are best left undisturbed.

Complicated fun and bizarre plot elements give a nicely humorous storyline for this witch-based story. Starting with initial paragraph where her mother transports into her living room with her luggage, a cat, and a brown envelope, and announces that she has just killed her husband – our narrator’s father!

Of course, this turns out not be as literal as it could have been.

Ma and Pa were 2 halves of a Magic Act – which of course was more magical than they let on. They had been together for many years touring and bringing baby along too – both were beautiful, glamourise and natural show business actors. They had a manager named Murray who did most of the actual child rearing for Serenissima (AKA Sandra) our narrator. Who much preferred to be living outside of the chaotic life of her parents.

And then Pa has a mid-life crisis and decides that Ma is getting too old for the act and he would prefer a younger partner. Which is of course the start of the shenanigans that occur, especially around the knives! And the ghosts and….

Fun and light with a show business element.

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