Ask Me To Stay by Elsie K. Ackers

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ethen wonders in and out of town usually showing up for major events.  He’s back this time due to a family tragedy.  His brother Dean isn’t sure he’s up to handling Ethen taking off again.  Ethen and Dean’s childhood best friends Sam and Cal have somethings of their own going on.  Brought together again Sam and Ethen have to decide if they can make a future or step off of memory lane forever.

This was a nice and sweet story.  Really tame, not what I’d call my usual gritty story but very likable.   If you’re looking for a nice love story this one fits the bill.

From Amazon.com

When family tragedy brings bad boy Ethan Foster home, he doesn’t expect a warm welcome. In the small town of Hinterdown reputation is everything – and Ethan’s was ruined long ago. Nobody wants him around, particularly not Sam O’Hara, the girl he left behind. There’s still a powerful spark between them, but Sam is afraid to risk her heart again. And Ethan is hiding a secret that will have repercussions for his whole family. Will the townspeople ever forgive him? More importantly, will those he loves the most find it in their hearts to take him back?

This tender tale of love and redemption is the first in a brilliant new series by Elise K. Ackers, author of Small Town Storm and the bestselling The Man Plan.

Secrets of the Apple by Paula Hiatt

Secrets of the Apple

Written By: Paula Hiatt
Published By: Mayday Publishing
Publication Date: March 23, 2012
How I Got It: Complimentary of the publisher via NetGalley
Started:  1/29/13
Finished: 2/2/13

From Amazon.com

Ryoki is comfortable is his custom-built hell, making money with both hands and slashing his path through the world of men. But there’s something about Kate, something important dangling just at the edge of his consciousness. She can’t read a map, she falls off her heels, and yet she saves his life with a button and a bit of thread. Terrified she’s privately plotting to marry him, he studies her with hooded eyes, attempting to discover her secrets for himself. But understanding Kate will challenge everything he thought he knew.


Ryoki is a Japanese-American businessman who was badly burned in a disastrous  first marriage and most definitely not looking for a love connection.  Kate was on “vacation” waiting for her job as an English professor to start.  When they started working together, there was no instant chemistry, no stolen looks, no passionate kisses.  The process is slow and sweet.  As you read the book you start to get an idea of the family connections between Ryoki and Kate’s families.  You also get a better understanding of the cultural differences between the characters that were raised on two different continents.

This book had a good plot.  The two main characters Ryoki and Kate had an interesting connection and the gentle way they fell in love was very well written.  I enjoyed most of the book, however, there were times when the writer went off to describe this or that and I felt myself glossing over the filler to get to the good stuff.  This was not a funny book but there were a few times I did laugh out loud.

“You’re certainly not a racecar driver,” he said as the closing credits of his life rolled past his eyes. Paula Hiatt – The Secrets of the Apple

The book was written from Ryoki’s POV which I find to be happening more and more in the literary world and it’s not a bad thing.  I like to read from the guy’s perspective.  Sometimes though I found him to be a whiny, spoiled-brat.  I have quite the collection of “book boyfriends” but Ryoki didn’t do it for me and I didn’t fall in love with him.

This book was not a must.get.to.the.end.now type book – which is what I normally read.  But it was a gentle love story that is worth reading.  A good debut novel from Paula Hiatt.