Book Review: California Dreamin’ Collection

23609071Title: California Dreamin’ Collection

Authors: Heather B. Moore, Kaylee Baldwin, Annette Lyon, Jennifer Moore, Shannon Guymon, Sarah M. Eden

Series: A Timeless Romance Anthology

Publisher: Mirror Press

Release Date: April 2, 2015


Book Summary:

Six brand new contemporary romance novellas with bestselling and award winning authors.

In the sweet novella TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE by Heather B. Moore, Gwen uses her wedding photography business to keep her life simple and focus on something other than her own broken heart. When Jack, a guy too handsome for his own good, helps her clean up after a photoshoot, then asks her out, she doesn’t know if she can handle dating again. But Jack’s charm wins her over, and she agrees to meet him for dinner. The more she gets to know Jack, the more she likes him, but everything about him seems too good to be true.

GONE FISHING, a charming novella by Kaylee Baldwin, follows Claire as she tries to convince her dad to leave his start-up company as a boat guide and come back home to Colorado. He’s the only one who can defend Claire against her domineering mother. But when she arrives at the San Diego harbor, she’s met with more than one surprise. First, that her dad is truly living his dream and has never been happier, and second, she’s unexpectedly attracted to his business partner, Miguel.

In THE PIER CHANGES EVERYTHING, an enchanting novella by Annette Lyon, Alexandria has one last task to perform for her late husband, who died much too young: scatter his ashes in the Pacific Ocean. She goes to the Santa Monica Pier to do just that, but her plans get sidetracked after meeting Michael and feeling an immediate connection to him. They grab lunch, and the more time they spend together, the more they discover that they have in common—including past romantic hardships. As the day wears on, Alexandria begins learn that her heart just might be able to find love again.

In Jennifer Moore’s captivating novella A HERO’S SONG, AnneMarie’s career as a romance novelist is skyrocketing and her agent books her on a late night talk show. The host gets her to admit that she was in love once, with a guitar player. Moments after her segment, Lance Holden appears on the same stage, to perform his newest song. Is it a terrible coincidence? AnneMarie hasn’t seen Lance ever since he broke her heart ten years ago, and she has refused to think about him again. Their lives are worlds apart, but as Lance tries to reconcile with AnneMarie, she finds herself taking a second chance.

In STAY WITH ME, an endearing novella by Shannon Guymon, Jolie moves to L.A. to take on a nanny position for the summer, since apparently having a degree in art doesn’t translate to getting a job as a graphic designer. When Fitz, the family’s chauffeur, picks her up at the airport, she wonders if every man in LA is model-gorgeous. When Jolie meets her two charges, she finds them adorable and needy. But it’s harder to hold onto her job than she thought with a hostile Mrs. James and her spoiled brother. Fitz becomes both the silver lining of her job and the man who just might convince her to stay in L.A.

In the delightful novella, A PLACE TO CALL HOME, by Sarah M. Eden, Ada is the best realtor around. The best. She prides herself in matching each client with the house that will fit all of their needs. She hasn’t failed yet. So when Craig hires her to find him the perfect condo for him and his son, Ada is up for the challenge. What she may not be prepared for is her unforeseen attraction to Craig, her immediate attachment to his nine-year-old son, and her heart telling her that it’s okay to take another chance.

I enjoyed all these stories. They made me really want to go to the beach, though.

Too Good to be True:

This was a cute short story. Given Gwen’s past, I was quickly invested in her getting a happily ever after. I liked seeing the relationship between Gwen and Jack grow, but it still felt fast based on the information we learn about them. I liked how the author hyphenated the possible names of a person when Gwen couldn’t remember their name.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Content: passionate kissing

Gone Fishing:

This story had great characters and a great storyline. I liked seeing how Claire dealt with her circumstances. Miguel intrigued me since he wasn’t like the usual hero’s I read about, but I liked him. This story made me want to visit the ocean. I was grateful for the epilogue because it rounded out the story and made it feel complete.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Content: clean

The Pier Changes Everything:

This was a cute story. I liked how the reader is given information about Alexandria bit by bit. I didn’t expect everything that got revealed. And I liked watching the unfolding of her and Michael’s relationship. I would have liked this story to have an epilogue.

Rating: 4 stars

Content: 1 swear word

A Hero’s Song:

I liked this story of second chances. I quickly grew to root for the characters as their weaknesses as well as hopes and dreams were revealed. I especially liked Lance’s manager. She was a great down-to-earth character.

Rating: 4 stars

Content: 2 swear words

Stay With Me:

I liked the dynamics between the characters in this book, but I feel the story would have been more powerful if it had been longer, allowing the reader to get to know the characters much better. The scenes that were described really endeared the main characters to me, but I think it would not have felt so rushed at the end if some of the experiences that were mentioned had been shown. But, I still really liked this story.

Rating: 4 stars

Content: Clean

A Place to Call Home:

This story was my favorite of this collection. It made me laugh. My husband kept asking what I was laughing at, and I kept explaining it was the story I was reading. I liked that the main characters made mistakes and weren’t perfect. And I liked the main characters valued things of more than just superficial worth.

Rating: 5 stars

Content: Clean

Rating: 4.5 stars – Highly Recommend

Content: Clean

Source: Review Copy

This book can be purchased from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

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