Tag Archives: singlemum


Second chance small town romance – can be read as a standalone


No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on. 

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life. 

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

BOUNTIFUL is available to purchase below


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte


‘It was wild and ugly and beautifully and exactly what I needed. We consumed each other, and I forgot to be afraid.’

We adore small town romances as much as we do second chance romances….add a hockey player, a gorgeous little baby, a series we’ve loved from the very first book, add in the captivating words of Sarina Bowen, we expected Bountiful would be a winner…and it was!

‘One summer night I’d lain beneath him just like this, while we made a baby. My foolish, romantic heart liked the sound of that.’

We’ve read all the True North books and have fallen in love with every one! Each journey has been different and each has delivered the beautiful sweeping Vermont landscape, the heart-warming characters, the family unit and Sarina Bowen’s words which has been lush and inviting throughout.

Zara, the prickly bartender has been there from day one. Zara was the spurned friends with benefits partner of Griffin Shipley, and had always came across as a gregarious girl who had her barriers firmly in place, who teetered around on high heels tending bar whilst pregnant and never letting slip who the father of her baby was. She always felt so defensive in previous books. So it was welcoming to hear Zara’s side of the story which softened her immensely from the girl we had come to know.

‘He kissed my forehead so tenderly I wanted to die. Because moment like this didn’t last.’

Just who was the father of Zara’s baby, Nicole? It had been the topic of much town gossip, most pointing the finger at Griff Shipley who was now more than happy with the love of his life and now Zara’s bff, Audrey.  Nope, it turns out Nicole’s dad was the result of a short and lusty few weeks Zara spent with a man named Dave who was on vacation in Vermont. Their tryst was a strictly ‘no names, no personal information’ affair and Dave returned to his part of the world unknowingly leaving something behind….a pregnant Zara. Despite her best efforts, Zara couldn’t find Dave to share her news.

‘Watching her was like rediscovering espresso after a month of weak airplane coffee.’

Two years later, David Beringer, a professional hockey player, still retains memories of his time with the fierce, sexy woman he met previously, and heads back to Vermont seeking her out, hoping to pick up where they left off. Instead he’s met with quite the surprise when he finds out he’s a father. And…there’s no mistaking Nicole is his, thanks to the shock of matching copper hair!

‘I’d gone and one exactly what I shouldn’t have done – I’d gotten hung up on Dave, the ginger hottie.’

We adored this book. Seeing Dave move from a ‘strictly no relationships’, single guy with only Hockey on his mind, to a caring and loving Dad was a sight to behold. We could picture this big burly man so lovingly holding his cherished daughter in his capable hands.

The relationship between Dave and Zara moved at a realistic steady pace, as we would expect with the obstacles they needed to overcome. Trust, lifestyle and distance were all issues for Zara and Dave to work through and it’s not easy, with Sarina Bowen telling their story engagingly and heart-warmingly with dashes of heat, humour and a good helping of swoon!

‘I was starting to realize that getting older was just a lengthy exercise in getting schooled on all the ways you weren’t in charge of your own destiny.’

We so looking forward to our next trip back to the rich Vermont landscape to catch up with some old friends when Sarina Bowen pens the next book and we’re crossing everything that it’s Bess and Ben!


Bittersweet Book One

Keepsake Book Two 

Steadfast Book Three




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Filed under 4 Stars, Pick an Author, Sarina Bowen


A beautiful and swoony sports romance with younger man & single mum 


I’m Alabama’s star wide receiver. I’ve got mad skills on and off the field, and it’s no secret I’m heading into the draft after the upcoming season. But I’m home for the summer to make some cash before my senior year. Being back under my parents’ roof isn’t the ideal situation, but the moment I see Marin, the star of my adolescent fantasies, I know it’s about to get interesting. She may not have noticed me back then, but I’ve got a feeling it’s just a matter of time before she lets me turn those fantasies into reality.

The last time I saw Trace Forester he was just a kid tearing up the neighborhood on his skateboard. That was when I was foolish enough to think I had the perfect husband and the perfect life. But now my life is in shambles and Trace is back, all grown up, hot as hell, and exuding major confidence. It would be so easy to fall for his good looks and undeniable charm. So easy to let him into my life. Too bad I learned the hard way that nothing worth having ever comes easy.

FOR FORESTER is available to purchase below


Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte

“I like when you look at me,” he said, his voice vulnerable
“Oh, yeah?”
He nodded. “It makes me feel like you see me.”

We absolutely LOVED this book! It was exactly what we needed and everything we love! Talk about swooooon! This book hit all the right spots and not one, but two sweet guys stole our hearts. One a sexy, sweet, confident wide receiver footy player, the other an adorably cute little 5 year old. Oh dear, the relationship between the big burly footballer and the funny, loving little CJ was the cherry on top of an already heart stealing, romantic read!

This was our second read by J Nathan and again, she completely won us over with her wonderful engaging characters and beautifully sweet, funny, emotional and sexy story! For Forester, was a story about love, self-discovery, and most importantly about listening to your heart!

‘I was nineteen. I was in my prime. I could have any girl I wanted. But the one I wanted was three houses away with a kid and a soon-to-be-ex-husband. Strange how things happened. ‘

This book had so many elements we love in a story : single Mum, older woman/younger man, a heart melting child, a book boyfriend to die for, a genuine believable romance, a sports element where you really feel the sporting atmosphere, fun banter, searing chemistry and just enough drama to kick start your heart! Yep, For Forester was a winner on all counts; we can’t wipe this happy smile off our faces!

We briefly met Trace Forester in For Finlay (For You #1 – a standalone) as he was Caden’s roommate and immediately after finishing that book we wanted Trace’s story! The cocky number #82 ‘Bama boy receiver really left his mark on us, so we’ve been counting the months to read this book!

“I need you, Marin.”
“I don’t want to need you.”

Twenty nine year old Marin’s marriage has just fallen apart after finding out her dick of a husband has been cheating on her. Marin now has to face the prospect of starting again, being a single Mum to sweet little CJ, having given up her career to be the stay at home wife her husband wanted.

Marin bumps into her neighbour Trace, who is home from college for the summer and who is no longer the teen she remembers causing havoc on his skateboard. Oh no, 19 year old Trace is very much a man…all rippling abs and biceps, but not only that, Trace has a sweet nature, together with a maturity that surpasses his age and the two fall into an easy friendship.

“I’ve always seen you, Marin. All those years. And it’s just crazy to finally have you looking back and seeing me.”

Wanting CJ to have a male influence in his life, and with Trace being a soon to be pro footballer, Marin asks Trace to spend time with CJ and impart his knowledge and be a male support for CJ. A job he’s more than happy to oblige with, because no one can resist that little 5 year old cherub, CJ.

“I want to be the one who laughs when he tells a silly story about what happened at school. I want to be on the receiving end of his hugs because he gives the best hugs.”

Well, as you can imagine, things progress between Marin and Trace. The banter between them was funny and sexy, the chemistry crackled!  Little did Marin know that she had starred in many of Trace’s  Trace’s teenage fantasies which were about to come true!

“I spent so many nights alone in my room thinking of you,” he murmured against my skin. “What you’d feel like. What you’d taste like. What you’d sound like when I made you come.”

J Nathan did a splendid job in making us believe, to feel the emotional, physical and mental compatibility between Trace and Marin with every beat of our hearts, and if you’re wanting a book to knock you off your feet with heat, sweetness, emotion, a book boyfriend to add to the shelf, and if you’re looking for some serious swooninglook no further, because this book is it! We can’t get enough of this standalone sports series! A definite TBB recommendation!

Click on pic below for details and links


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Filed under 4.5 Stars, J Nathan, Pick an Author



Although the series is a sports romance series, this particular book does not have a sports them.
Familiar friends may appear in more than one book in the Chicago Stars Series, however each one stands alone and can be read in any order or as a complete standalone.



A Desperate Young Mother

Rachel Stone’s bad luck has taken a turn for the worse. With an empty wallet, a car’s that’s spilling smoke, and a five-year-old son to support, she’s come home to a town that hates her. But this determined young widow with a scandalous past has learned how to be a fighter. And she’ll do anything to keep her child safe—even take on. . .

A man With No Heart

Gabe Bonner wants to be left alone, especially by the beautiful outcast who’s invaded his property. She has a ton of attitude, a talent for trouble, and a child who brings back bad memories. Yet Rachel’s feisty spirit might just be heaven-sent to save a tough, stubborn man.

Dare To Dream

Welcome to Salvation, North Carolina—where a man who’s forgotten what tenderness means meets a woman with nothing to lose. here two endearing lovers will set off on a funny, touching journey of the heart. . .to a place where dreams just might come true.

Available to purchase below:

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Dream a Little Dream

Reviewed by Jenny

‘He wanted to protect her and fuck her and comfort her and destroy her all at once. The chaos of his emotions coiled around his pain, deepening the agony.’

Oh wow! *sniff, sniff* My heart…..I just fell deeply in love with this book and can’t recommend this incredibly beautiful story enough! It reminded me exactly why I adore and have missed this author so much! As equally heartbreaking as it was heart-warming, as funny as it was emotional…..arrgghhh reacquainting myself with this authors words was like coming home. SEP’s books just make me….happy!

“Chip, I know you don’t understand this, but I’d take it as a personal favor if you’d stop trying to marry your mother off to my brothers.”

I have no idea how it happened, but when I initially binged on the Chicago Stars Series by Susan Elizabeth Philips over 4 years I ago, I somehow missed reading this amazing book, so of course I had to remedy that and have to admit, a little part of me was excited because I was able to experience this story for the first time and wow! What had I missed? This book was everything I love in a romance story!

“If the way you’ve been treating me is a mark of fondness, maybe you’d better take a fresh look at your interpersonal communication skills.”

It’s easy to read this one as a standalone. It’s been a long time between books in this series and I had no problem reading it this way. We did get to catch up on Cal and Jane from Nobody’s Baby But Mine (Book #4) but that was more a bonus than a necessity however I would highly recommend this entire series if you get the chance, especially if you love sports romances (though this installment isn’t a sports romance), books with children or stories full of warmth, tenderness, emotion, humour, passion together with beautiful mesmerising storytelling. Susan Elizabeth Philips has a gorgeous writing style and it’s one I’ve missed!

‘He wasn’t gentle now. Gentleness had been burned out of him.’

In Dream a Little Dream experience not one but two love stories as there is also an unrequited love between two secondary characters simmering in the background… so you can imagine…..I was in romance book heaven! This had it all:  friends to lovers, second chance romance, intrigue and so many heartbreakingly stunning moments I hardly know where to start!

‘…..how could she hate a man whose greatest fault lay in his ability to love so absolutely?’

We meet single Mum, Rachel Stone when she is returning to Salvation North Carolina as the town pariah. She encounters immense animosity from the town folk  due to her ex-husband stealing the towns money and their faith.  There’s a lot of resentment and it’s all aimed at twenty seven year old Rachel who has returned on a mission of sorts to provide a better life for her and her adorable five year old son, Edward. Be prepared to have this little guy not only steal your hearts but pull at every single heartstring! Oh gosh…..Edward (Chip) had me in tears a few times!

Rachel shows such tenacity and resilience and meets her haters head on and how she tries to shield Edward from the hostility made my heart swell! Rachel lands upon Gabe Bonner, the towns favourite son who has lived through an inexplicable loss, a man haunted by his past merely existing and trying to get through one day at a time.  Gabe appears gruff and has retreated into himself, barely keeping it together in his grief and it’s only the fierce love and loyalty of his brothers Cal and Ethan who keep him somewhat grounded.

‘Gabriel Bonner, the man with no feelings, cried in his sleep that night.’

Gabe is fascinated by the smart mouthed, sassy Rachel; he admires the spark and fight she displays in the light of much adversity she has endured. He sees beneath her tough exterior, feeling an attraction to her. Not only is Rachel determined but she’s an amazing mother, there is nothing she wouldn’t sacrifice for her beautiful little man, Edward.

Oh this story was exactly what I needed! The romance of this story drew me in and kept me riveted, but I have to say, the relationship between little Edward and Gabe damn near broke me. It was so touching, so beautiful and yet so bloody sad at times delivering some of the most pivotal and tender and moving moments in this heart warming and engaging story. The exchanges between Gabe and Edward….Oh my heart…..This beautiful little soul who preferred nature over video games, who could reduce me to a melting wreck in seconds.  He had a heart bigger than himself.

“Couldn’t you even pretend to like me? It wouldn’t have to be real.”
“I do like you.”
Edward shook his head. “But you could pretend. And I could pretend about you, too. If we pretended real good, my mommy would never know.”

This book is an absolute recommend, can’t you just feel how giddy I was reading it and how much I fell in love with it? I’d really  recommend every book in this single as I’ve loved every single book so far! Each book centres on different characters and each love story offers something different and wonderful…these are stories guaranteed to satisfy the romantic in us all!

 * * * *

Sports Romance
Familiar friends may appear in more than one book in the Chicago Stars Series, however each one stands alone and can be read in any order.

What if a woman who knows nothing about sports inherits a professional football team? The Windy City definitely isn’t ready for Phoebe Somerville, the outrageous York knockout who’s taking over their home town team. And Phoebe is definitely not prepared for the Stars’ head coach Dan Calebow, a sexist jock taskmaster with a one-track mind. This is the book that began it all. The Chicago Stars are about to take the field… and they’re not the only ones playing for keeps.

Available to purchase below:

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it had to be you 1

Come heck or high water, Gracie Snow is determined to drag the legendary ex-jock Bobby Tom Denton back home to Heaven, Texas, to begin shooting his first motion picture. Despite his dazzling good looks and killer charm, Bobby Tom has reservations about being a movie star — and no plans to cooperate with a prim and bossy Ohio wallflower whom he can’t get off his mind or out of his life. Instead, the hell-raising playboy decides to make her over from plain Jane to Texas wildcat.

Available to purchase below:

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heaven texas 2

Genius physics professor Dr. Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby. But finding a father won’t be easy. Jane’s super-intelligence made her feel like a freak when she was growing up, and she’s determined to spare her own child that suffering. Which means she must find someone very special to father her child. Someone who’s more comfortable working out his muscles than exercising his brain.
Cal Bonner, the Chicago Stars’ legendary quarterback, seems like the perfect choice. But his champion good looks and down-home ways are deceiving. Dr. Jane is about to learn a little too late that this good ol’ boy is a lot smarter than he lets on—and he’s not about to be used and abandoned by a brainy, baby-mad schemer.

Available to purchase below:

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nobody's baby but mine

A Desperate Young Mother: Rachel Stone’s bad luck has taken a turn for the worse. With an empty wallet, a car’s that’s spilling smoke, and a five-year-old son to support, she’s come home to a town that hates her. But this determined young widow with a scandalous past has learned how to be a fighter. And she’ll do anything to keep her child safe—even take on. . .A man With No Heart. Welcome to Salvation, North Carolina—where a man who’s forgotten what tenderness means meets a woman with nothing to lose. here two endearing lovers will set off on a funny, touching journey of the heart. . .to a place where dreams just might come true.

Available to purchase below:

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Molly Somerville knows she has a reputation for trouble. She did give away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance, but, hey, nobody’s perfect. Still, if anyone has an almost perfect life, it’s Molly. While her Daphne the Bunny children’s books could be selling better, she loves her cramped loft, her French poodle, and her career creating the fictional animals who live in Nightingale Woods. She even loves her sister, Phoebe.
One night Molly’s penchant for running into trouble runs right into Kevin himself, turning her world upside down. Heartbreak follows, and just when she’s certain things can’t get worse, Kevin forces his way back into her life. If only the overpaid, Ferrari-driving, poodle-hating jock was as shallow as she wants him to be, she could get on with her almost perfect life.

Available to purchase below:

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this heart of mine 5

Heath is searching for the ultimate symbol of success — the perfect wife. And to make an extraordinary match, he needs an extraordinary matchmaker, right?When the determined matchmaker promised she’d do anything to keep her star client happy . . . did she meananything? If Annabelle isn’t careful, she just might find herself going heart-to-heart with the toughest negotiator in town.

Available to purchase below:

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match me if you can

In this follow-up to Match Me If You Can, quarterback Dean Robillard takes to the road during the off season and finds Blue walking along in a beaver costume. Blue is cautious when it comes to love, but her defenses are no match for a determined competitor like Dean.

Available to purchase below:

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natural born charmer

A star quarterback and a feisty detective play for keeps in this sporty, sexy, sassy novel—a long-awaited new entry in the beloved, award-winning, New York Times bestselling author’s fan-favorite Chicago Stars football series.
From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can’t stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.

Available to purchase below:

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first star I see tonight 23rd Aug


Filed under 5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Jenny, Susan Elizabeth Phillips