Uncaged Reviews: Heart of it All series, Books 1 and 2 by Beth Donaldson

To read an interview with the author and an excerpt from Just a Taste, please see the May issue of Uncaged Book Reviews.

Something to Talk About
Beth Donaldson
Contemporary Romance

Welcome to Mill Falls, a quintessential Ohio town
complete with historic buildings, tree-lined streets…and gossip galore.

Glad Donahue’s ready for a fresh start. She’s got a new job, a ‘new’ old house that needs work and good friends to keep her days busy and her mind out of the past, which suits her just fine. She’s perfectly happy on her own, and she most certainly does not want a new man in her life. But then a big, burly, dark-eyed hunk of distraction shows up and throws a monkey wrench into her plans.

Mike Kovalski’s in big trouble: one date too many and the town gossips have crowned him the biggest sleaze in Mill Falls. His straitlaced boss gives him an ultimatum: date a nice girl and clean up his reputation or find another job. After the mess he made of his life, the last thing he wants is a relationship. But the clock is ticking and, desperate, Mike sets his attention to winning over the new girl in town. Because after all, what could be nicer than a librarian?

Glad is as determined to resist Mike as he is to win her, and the gossips are even more determined to blow things out of proportion. Between truth and lies, speculation and surprises, Glad and Mike end up giving the local gossip mill something real to talk about: love.

Uncaged Review:  A nice contemporary romance, that has a bit of heartbreak and a bit of danger, some humor and strong characters that are realistic enough to be your friends in any small town. But what I really enjoyed about this story, is it’s a complete story. Glad moves to a small town to be Assistant Director of the Public Library and when it comes to the new landscaping, she’s going to have to work with the firm hired for the job. In walks Mike, the gigolo of the town, whom Glad is almost instantly attracted too, but has heard the gossip and tries to keep him at a distance. But Mike was given an ultimatum by his boss, to clean up his act with women and date a nice girl, or lose his job.

Some of this is a bit unrealistic, but when Mike sets out to woo Glad, he never figured he’d fall in love with her. So when Glad finds out why Mike started to see her, will she be able to get past it?

The author keeps the interest high, and this book is never boring. Even when you think the book is going to wrap up, the author tosses in some danger to up the ante. The romance comes full circle, and romance lovers will enjoy this one. Reviewed by Cyrene

 


Just a Taste
Beth Donaldson
Contemporary Romance

Welcome back to Mill Falls, where the days are getting cooler…and the gossip’s getting hotter.

After nearly twenty years, Matt Slade has returned to Lord County with two goals: one, to go into business for himself and two, to flush out the man who fathered him and left him to an abusive childhood. But then he’s propositioned on a Wednesday night by the nicest girl in town and his business suddenly gets…complicated.

So much for acting on impulse. After being rejected-and ejected-from his bar, April has avoided Slade’s and its surly owner. But Fate-and her book club-brings them back together and an inexplicable friendship is born. Matt encourages April to take just a taste of the wild life she’s been wanting and April brings her sweetness and sunshine to Matt’s grumpy little world.

Stepping away from expectations is never easy. Gossip, family ties and a big misunderstanding puts April and Matt’s relationship on the rocks time and again but they keep coming back together, both needing the connection they only find with each other. They could be headed for the love of a lifetime…if Matt’s secret doesn’t tear them apart.

Uncaged Review: I don’t think you can go wrong with a well written, fun romance than with Beth Donaldson. As with the first book, the characters are easy to like with witty banter and interesting lives. A few characters from the last book make an appearance, and again, there is a slight bit of danger/suspense that adds that extra element of surprise to the book.

April Fonzi is the only girl in her family, with four brothers. She’s a talented artist, but it just hasn’t made her famous. She’s barely getting by, but she’s happy. Although this is a thorn in her father’s side. Matt is a local bar owner, who has some secrets of his own, and April is not his type. Well….

I did predict how this would end, but anyone who reads romances will, but the author made it a whole lot of fun getting there. I personally live in a small town, and I love how everyone gossips about everyone else, so much fun, and so true. Reviewed by Cyrene