Thrifty Thursday: Romance Edition @Melissa_Foster @CatherineCowles @bellaandre @shannonstacey #ThriftyThursday #Challenge #Giveaway

Posted February 15, 2024 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review, Thrifty Thursday / 11 Comments

The purpose of Thrifty Thursday is to read a book which was free (at some point).

This is a collection of freebies I have read which are in the romance genre .  With Valentine’s Day this month, I thought I would collect them here.

Kindle freebie on October 27, 2013  (currently free at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as of writing this post)

Overall rating 3.78 with 8,074 ratings and  646 reviews


Thrifty Thursday:  Romance Edition @Melissa_Foster  @CatherineCowles @bellaandre @shannonstacey #ThriftyThursday #Challenge #GiveawaySisters in Love by Melissa Foster
Series: Snow Sisters #1
on September 3, 2013
Genres: Romance
Pages: 258
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarHalf a Star

Danica Snow has always been the smart, practical, and appropriate sister. As a therapist, she prides herself on making reasonable, conservative choices, even if a bit boring, and as part of the Big Sister Program, she has little time for anything more in her life.

Blake Carter is a player. He never gets bored of conquering women, and with his sexy good looks and successful lifestyle, he has no trouble finding willing participants. When his friend and business partner dies in a tragic accident, he suddenly, desperately, wants to change his ways. The problem is, he doesn't know how to stop doing what he does best.

When Blake walks into Danica's office, the attraction between them is white hot, but Danica isn't the type to give in to the heat and risk her career. Danica's desire sets her on a path of self-discovery, where she begins to question every decision she's ever made. Just this once, Danica wants to indulge in the pleasures of life she's been so willingly ignoring, but with her Little Sister in turmoil and her biological sister's promiscuousness weighing heavily on her heart, she isn't sure it's the right time to set her desires free.

Sisters in Love is my first read by Melissa Foster.  It is also the start of a long series or a bunch of connected series,  Love in Bloom series or Snow Sisters series.  I have to say I am being a moody reader right now and romance is not working for me very well.

I didn’t connect to the main characters or their friends very well.  Blake is a player, only willing to do one night stands or sex with no strings, and he wants sex daily or more often.  Danica has done what her family expected. She has a good job but not much in the way of a personal life.  Her sister is a female Blake.

The good thing is the characters do have a lot of personal development.  I just wish I found it more believable.  I think this is probably one of her earlier books and I have more books from the series to try.

Author Bookfunnel freebie on January 18, 2024  (currently only available through the author as of writing this post)

Overall rating 3.77 with 1,128 ratings and 231 reviews


Thrifty Thursday:  Romance Edition @Melissa_Foster  @CatherineCowles @bellaandre @shannonstacey #ThriftyThursday #Challenge #GiveawayVisions of You by Catherine Cowles
Narrator: Erin Mallon, Jason Clarke
Series: Lost & Found #0.5
on November 23, 2023
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Length: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Gift
One StarOne StarOne Star

I’ve only ever had one secret: I’ve been in love with my best friend’s brother for as long as I can remember.

West Castille is everything my little-girl heart dreamed of and everything I still yearn for, even now. There is just one problem. He’s never felt the same. West moved on to the military and then into private security, using his finely honed protective streak to keep everyone but me safe, while I lost myself in my music and a coffee-shop job in our small town.

But when creepy messages on my social media turn to threatening notes left at my door, West is the one who shows up on my porch.

I tell myself it’s brotherly concern or a favor for his sister, but that all feels like a lie when his skin brushes mine. One stolen kiss could send us hurtling into disaster. Because when my stalker sees the way we touch, he’ll do anything to end us both…

Visions of You is a short prequel novella to the Lost & Found series. This is my first experience with this author.   Considering it is very short, I thought the characters were developed enough.  The plot was standard for romantic suspense as she is a musician with a stalker; he is ex-military and part of a security company now.  He is also her best friend’s older brother so a little bit it is friends to lovers.

I enjoyed this quite well, even though it was predictable.  The heroine and her best friend are roommates.  The brother lives in another town.   They’d known each other their whole lives so it felt believable.  I liked both their attitudes and ethics. I’m interested in reading on to the series to see how the books tie together.

The narration was excellent with two well-known narrators.   I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.

Kindle freebie on January 19, 2014  (currently FREE at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as of writing this post)

Overall rating 4.07 with 12,660 ratings and 693 reviews


Thrifty Thursday:  Romance Edition @Melissa_Foster  @CatherineCowles @bellaandre @shannonstacey #ThriftyThursday #Challenge #GiveawayThe Way You Look Tonight by Bella Andre
Series: Seattle Sullivans #1, The Sullivans #10
on January 8, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 269
Format: eARC
Source: Purchased
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

As a very successful private investigator who has caught many a cheater, Rafe Sullivan believes true, lasting love only happens once in a blue moon. But when he returns to the family lake house, the sweet girl next door is all grown up… and she may be just the one to change his mind.

While Brooke Jansen is happy with her quiet, small-town life, she secretly longs to experience something wild. So when her favorite "Wild Sullivan" moves back after more than a decade away, she can't stop wondering if being bad is really as good as it always seemed… and just how long it will be before she can find out.

I read all the Sullivan books ( the original California ones)  way back when and remembered enjoying them.  I had this freebie of the first of the Seattle Sullivans and decided to give it a try.  The stories are enjoyable,  rather spicy and yet sweet.

Rafe has been a cop and now a private investigator with his own firm.  The dark side of his work has sucked the life out of him.  His sister, Mia comes up with a plan, and when the family’s old cabin comes up for sale, she pounces.  Rafe a bit reluctantly agrees to take a break.

Brooke has known the Sullivans nearly all her life.  Her forever crush has been Rafe and here he is.  She is happy having moved to her grandparent’s cabin after they died and living in her favorite place doing what she loves, making truffles.

It turns out the old Sullivan cabin has been trashed an the appliances are gone.  Brooke takes in Rafe and helps him start the cleaning process.  Of course, they are attracted and spend a lot of time together.  They both are in the mood to be wild and carefree.  They have years of knowing each other and caring about the other so the supportive and sweet coats the hot sex.  Of course, they make some mistakes and get past them.  Happily ever after is certain here.

Kindle freebie on January 16, 2013  (currently $7.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as of writing this post)

Overall rating 3.82 with 1,880 ratings and 275 reviews


Thrifty Thursday:  Romance Edition @Melissa_Foster  @CatherineCowles @bellaandre @shannonstacey #ThriftyThursday #Challenge #GiveawayExclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey
Series: Kowalski Family #1
Published by Carina Press on May 16, 2010
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 322
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

When Keri Daniels’ editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.

Joe’s never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he’s intrigued to hear Keri’s back in town and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he’ll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.

He proposes an outrageous plan - for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she’s worked too hard to walk away from her career.

But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe’s sister is out to avenge his broken heart and Keri hasn't ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever.

I read Exclusively Yours twelve years ago in 2012, most likely as a library book.  A year later, I purchased the freebie.  Now I re-read as I remember this series fondly. I went on to read many other titles in the Kowalski Family series.

There are some very realistic feelings and situations.  I personally relate to Keri’s sense of losing herself if Keri Daniels becomes Mrs. Joe Kowalski.  There’s no Keri or Daniels left; she becomes Joe’s wife rather than a person in her own right, part of a great family but her own name is obliterated.  I noticed this with utility bills or Christmas cards.  But it also happens professionally sometimes.

So Joe and Keri were high school sweethearts; their parents are friends.  After high school, Keri left New Hampshire and went out to California to have a career in her own name as a journalist.  But now her editor learns of her history with Joe and forces her to go to him and write a story.  But the editor only wants a story with scandal.  Only, Keri has integrity and Joe and his family don’t have much in the way of scandal.

Joe did not deal well with Keri’s leaving after high school.  So he agrees to the interview, if Keri joins the family camping trip.  It’s a great opportunity for Joe and Keri to reconnect. Keri was always close to his family.  The new generation accepts her quickly.  It’s a dilemma for Keri whether to be herself who loves Joe or try to save her journalism career which is finally more established.

I loved the characters and all the family personalities.  The various squabbles and insecurities and supportive caring in the family were very believable.


Definition of Freebies for the challenge:

  • Kindle or other platform freebies where you purchase it for $0
  • Freebies through author newsletters that anyone can sign up and get for free
  • Giveaways won or gifts received

These do NOT include Audible Plus, Kindle Unlimited, Prime Free Reading,  Prime First Reads, or library books.

FYI – My Thrifty Thursday post with my reviews and the linkups and giveaway will normally post on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Sometimes though, due to blog tours, mood reading, and other personal problems, it will be moved around. There WILL be one each month on some Thursday.  You can post your reviews any Thursday though on your own site.  The linkup will be open until the next month’s post is published. You can easily find all the Thrifty Thursday posts under the Features tab on my top menu.

(Reminder – If I get more than 10 linkups in a month, I will randomly pick one to select a prize from a list I send them which may include gift cards or giveaway books I have. (Open International))

Add your review link here: 

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The prize will be an $30 Amazon Gift card or $30 gift certificate at of Better World Books or $30 (2 months at Audible).  Open International.  Runs January 1, 2024 to January 6, 2025.

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You can sign up for the 2024 Thrifty Thursday Challenge HERE


About Erin Mallon

Erin Mallon is an actor, writer and voice artist in NYC. Her naturally warm personality and youthful sound have proven excellent tools for the many young adult and romance titles she narrates. She has originated roles in the theater with Ensemble Studio Theater’s Youngblood Company, The Drilling Company, Mabou Mines, Incubator Arts Project and many more. Erin is a devoted volunteer at The 52nd Street Project, the voice of many TV and radio commercials, and was one of BACKSTAGE’s “Career Dispatch” columnists for 2012.

About Shannon Stacey

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.

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Posted February 15, 2024 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review, Thrifty Thursday / 11 Comments

11 responses to “Thrifty Thursday: Romance Edition

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