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Review and Giveaway: Hamden Series: Wendy Ferraro

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Mae Turney is searching for the type of life and happiness she has never known but has only dreamed about. She's fortunate enough to find a great opportunity to live in an exterior apartment of a beautiful lake house in a small town in Vermont. When she realizes the apartment and scenery are not the only gorgeous appeal but the home owner, Seth Finn, is as well, she puts it all on the line for the chance at love. When she becomes comfortable and confident in her own skin and sexuality, Mae realizes that this place and this man is exactly what she came looking for. Knowing Seth and his three children are as special as they come, Mae bets the house, and prays she and her gamble are enough.

Three of Hearts and the town of Hamden show a ton of potential for Ms. Ferraro's debut novel! I won't go into the whole description of the book since plenty of reviewers have done that before me, but I will say that I adored the premises of the book. I loved the "full figured" woman and the single father raising his babies after the heartbreaking way he lost the love of his life. I am a sucker for second chance love. I found myself totally immersed with her fun lovable, but oh so flawed, characters. Each role and personality had something that allowed me to easily connect and relate with, so much so that at the end of his or her journey, I was utterly invested in them. I smiled, laughed, cussed them out, and even became a bit teary eyed on a few occasions.

Hamden and I had a true love hate relationship. We bickered throughout the story, (yes, I argued with a town in my head...never said I was fully there. :D ) Anyway, back on topic, there were many gasp out loud moments filled with awe how fricken sweet is that and ...then there was those O.M.F.G did that person (ahem, Seth) really just say or do that?!! I fluctuated in my opinions as my thoughts cycled through many intricate details and situations that allowed the characters to develop and grow. The town of Hamden, was very much, like a family dance. Each time one character showed or acted out in a certain manner the other characters reacted to that behavior causing a ripple effect of good and bad judgments. I loved that even though Seth and Mae were the main characters it didn't feel like that. The secondary characters commanded the story and your attention every bit as much; the roles they played an essential part from start to finish.

Mae was a handful and by that, I mean a full figured woman. LOVED this because us not so perfect girls are rarely featured in the happily ever after. It was nice to read about a female lead that wasn't perfect in her looks. Mae was real and every bit a strong female lead.

Just an FYI...Seth is a flawed hotheaded Irish man who can't seem to get the hell out of his own way and towards the end experiences some uncharacteristic behavior. I found I was really disappointed in how he handled the last 25% of the book. There were assy (stole this word from Kim because I love it so much) moments, sweet moments, and then some really assy moments with a bunch of groveling. I often found myself shaking my head at his antics and thinking damn...typical male, only thinking about what he wants. Be prepared to swoon and then be totally and utterly pissed off.

Wanna know what made me fall so in love with Hamden and its crew? Well a MAJOR reason is Seth's children. They cemented the story for me. Connor, Aiden and Megan were the backbone of Seth and Mae's romance. These three brought emotion and dimension to the table.  Especially Megan, she grabbed on to my heart with her greedy little hands and guided me to the end. I couldn't help but smile when I spent any amount of time with her. She was the sweetest and most adorable little "spitfire." With that said, here is another section of the book I had a love hate relationship with. The pacing of Mae and Seth's relationship I felt at times moved way too fast. Unbelievably fast for a father who had three children of varying ages to consider. I am not one for instant love and in this instance, Seth had not dated since his wife had passed away so I was a little thrown by the sudden love they felt for each other. I personally wanted them to take things at a slower pace. However, this is where my love came in because those babies didn't allow for things to go slow. They fell for Mae and they considered her theirs. Didn't matter that she had only been around for a few weeks, everything about her captivated them. So in all honesty, when the end came, I could almost justify the fast-paced romance.

I did have a few struggles with the book. Don't let that deter you from giving Three of Hearts a chance though. If you are able to look past these to the story underneath, I think you will find an enjoyable debut read filled with rich characters. Editing is an issue, one the author is currently working on fixing. The transitions, point of view changes and sentence structures on occasion left me feeling confused (according to other reviewers this has improved in Three of Spades, Dylan's book). Another thing that threw me a little was the over usage of the words he and she. Sometimes it became overwhelming in the sense the story felt more narrative than descriptive. I felt as though the author was reading the story to me instead of Mae and Seth pulling me in through their eyes.

Overall, I really enjoyed Mae and Seth. They along with their friends have captivated my attention and I will most definitely be reading the next installment. I want to personally find out what it is that has everyone in love with bad boy Dylan, because for me it's Wes, sweet quiet Wes, who made my insides tingle with his small role. I really would love it if Wendy can just finish his book like now.

Thank you, Wendy Ferraro, for the opportunity to read and review Three of Hearts in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Dylan Cross is the type of man that enjoys everything female, and enjoy it he does, but always on his terms. However, his terms are pushed to their limit when Natalie Parker proposes an offer; teach her and her delectable little body, all about sex and desire. There is one catch. He has to play the part of Natalie's madly in love boyfriend for her dying mother. Dylan signs on, and finds that separating the two is harder than he thought. Natalie's days of shyness and lack of confidence come to a quick close as she learns what her body craves and demands in the bedroom. Soon, Dylan becomes the student as Natalie teaches him things he didn't even know he wanted. Will Hamden's notorious playboy, bachelor be able to keep calling the shots, or will he find that, he, himself, is just another player at the card game of life, as we all are?



I’m finally back on Hamden ground! Yay! Once again, I found myself immersed in a world filled with fun lovable and perfectly flawed characters. It was a lot like coming home and meeting up with some old friends you hadn’t seen in a while, and this time around, I was lucky enough to snuggled in with Dylan (let me just inform you ladies, he is smoking hot and owns a Challenger (while this may not do it for some, it definitely does it for me!)).  

Natalie and Dylan’s initial introduction was interesting to say the least.  Natalie's personality presented as a shy woman who struggled with confidence and esteem issues. She hates drawing any kind of attention to herself, so when she propositioned our hero (or should I say offered a “business arrangement” our bad boy couldn’t refuse), I was chomping at the bit. I LOVED that Wendy went down this route, it isn’t often you see the female lead make such a naughty suggestion, especially one who views herself as plain and undeserving. Not to mention, an untouched virgin at that. Natalie was pure in spirit, body, and mind; she never even had the privilege of experiencing her first kiss. Needless to say, when she approached Dylan with her arrangement, our girl was so far out of her league (and I don’t mean this in a derogatory remark against her looks) it wasn’t funny (I mean it in a huge player vs. inexperienced virgin kind of way).

Now here is where it gets a bit tricky…I struggled with Three of Spades a bit, there were pieces to it I loved and then some not so much.  Book 2 resembled book 1 in that aspect. I know that I am in the minority here, as this seemed to be everyone's favorite couple, however, please don't bean me; I actually enjoyed Three of Hearts more. Three of Spades held the potential to be a four star review and it would have definitely gotten it if I were able to connect with the heroine a bit more; Natalie kind of did me in. As with Seth in the first book, I also had a love/hate relationship with a specific character in this one. I found I had a hard time connecting with Natalie for about half the book. I’m not saying I didn’t like her, because I liked her well enough it’s just she and I didn't mesh well together. I think the reason for this is I struggle with characters that come off as too negative over a long period of the book. Therefore, instead of empathizing or sympathizing with them as the author intends for us to do, I find myself not able to connect or invest in their character. However on the other hand when things were headed towards her personality taking on a more positive feel, my thoughts regarding the heroine changed, in those moments I ended up loving Natalie and what she brought to the table. Her character growth and development was a lot of fun at times, and I felt she fit in perfectly with the other girls of Hamden. I loved that her focus was on her sick mama and taking care of her. Natalie really did have a heart of gold, and it often showed. This is where Dylan was perfect for her.He handled her heart and feelings with soft care  showing her that she was indeed important. Dylan's loving actions helped her see that she was anything but plain and unassuming.

Please don’t allow my struggles with Natalie to discourage you from reading Three of Spades; it honestly is more of a personal preference issue than an author’s development or writing issue. I am very hard on my heroine’s and certain aspects that irk me may not bother another reader at all. Three of Spades is most definitely worth giving a shot and in retrospect Natalie really is a well-built character who ends up coming into her own as the book goes on. Just an FYI, once you met Natalie's family it becomes easy to see why she views herself as she does. 

I must note that one of my absolute favorite scenes in the book involves Natalie, lingerie and the hood of a 1971 Cuda.  Holy hell, let me just say when Natalie comes out of her shell she pulls out all the damn stops! Our heroine took me by surprise (in a wicked good way) when she put aside her self-doubt and owned not only her sexual confidence but also Dylan and his car! That scene was wicked hot and sexy; I am not ashamed to admit I was yelling at Natalie to rock his fucking world for the both of us! 

Dylan, holy hell did that man play with my insides. EVERYTHING about him was simply delicious, right down to the cars he owned. Kim told me I would like him much better than Seth, as she followed up with a "he's mine!" And, she would be correct; I definitely adored Dylan. Although, I'm holding off on agreeing or disagreeing with my blog partner's, "he's mine!" until after I meet Wes (who has stolen my attention and senses) on a more personal basis. If there is one thing I can say about Wendy, it's that she definitely knows how to write a hot-blooded alpha male. He was wicked sweet, but don't let that fool you because Dylan also knew exactly when to take charge and how! I most definitely would not kick that man out of my bed for eating crackers!! Hmm, Dylan do you think Natalie would let you off the leash for a bit so you can come teach me a few lessons??

There’s just something about this town and the characters within it; they seem to draw me straight in, hooking me from start to finish. I can’t help but enjoy the hell out of them. Three of Spades was no exception.  With two books down, I find that I am quickly becoming addicted to the quirky characters of Hamden. This chicka is anxious and excited to get down and dirty with Wes and Lola's story (thankfully I don't have to wait for them). I have a feeling they will be a bit darker, which is one of my favorite types of reads. On that note, I will just state that Wendy has definitely made a fan out of me. 

P.S. In Three of Hearts I experienced some concerns. I am excited to say that the issues concerning editing, point of view changes, and transitioning have all undergone a vast improvement. Yay to a much smoother read! 

Thank you, Wendy Ferraro, for the opportunity to read and review Three of Spades in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Lola Nash’s life edges on safe and controlled, containing few people; her brother, Boyd, a handful of friends and the facility for special needs children where she volunteers, called Aaron’s Place. However, a chance meeting shatters her control when she learns someone else’s closely held secret. The kind of secret causing her explicit and sexy dreams, all centering around Wes Thompson; known as Adonis in the ultra-exclusive world of the sex club, Olympus. Wes is intrigued by the voluptuous beauty who won’t give him the time of day. Like the God he emulates, he has never been the type to give in when he wants something or someone; Lola is exactly what he wants. Is Lola the one that can bring a God to his knees or will Wes conquer her, and then walk away as planned? Is the chance at love worth the cost of giving up everything you hold important? When the cards are down, will Wes and Lola call or fold?


**If there is some erotic type scenes mixed in with a sex club, I am all over it. This is my favorite genre. I just want to state however for those who may be apprehensive about taking a chance and reading Three of Diamonds due to the subject matter, this is a very light and I mean light D/s read. As a reader you will not see any dark erotic acts, the worse you will be exposed to is light bondage, anal play, and spanking. If you can handle those three things than your senses will not be offended. Wes is about pleasure and control, never about pain or humiliation.**

As you may have realized from my above reviews, I have a slight (just slight, nothing major...yeah ok I am lying) obsession with one Wes Thompson. I want to shout it from the rooftops that I am in love, totally and utterly in love. In addition, I am demanding that Wendy takes Wes off the market now, as I don't share or play well with others. (By the way Kim, you may keep Dylan). I have had a wicked crush on this dark bad boy since the moment I met him in Seth's story and then again in Dylan's. I just knew deep down that he was going to make me sigh and scream his name multiple times (and yes along with Lola, I most certainly did). Let me just say, Wes Thompson down right rocked my world in a variety of places; in a hallway at the bar, on the back of a horse, in his bedroom (and those are just a few of the naughty places we visited). As further proof of  Wes's staying ability, I must say that I fought sleep and as my reward, that man kept me up until 3:30 this morning.  I was absolutely exhausted and in the end completely satisfied.

With the first two books, I struggled with specific characters. I am excited to say that I adored every last one of them this round, even the new characters introduced. Especially Jax, I have been told he will receive his own book soon. Can I get a hell yeah!! For those of you who have read Diamonds, you'll get what I am sayin', and for those of you who haven't, well what are you waiting for...get. to. it. Any who, back to the characters. I just adored Lola to pieces. Loved her sass, and above all I loved the fact that she had no filter between her brain and her mouth. Rather reminds me of a certain person I know. I think it added an extra spark to the story, because seriously you never knew what was bound to fly out of her mouth next. She was a strong leading female, who earned every ounce of respect I had for her. She was real and truly amazing. It felt like a natural transition to connect and engage with her character. Her world was filled with a sensitive reality, a reality that consists of raising someone with a disability and living daily with the trials and stigma that comes with it. This though is what really solidified her character for me, the loving and over protective relationship she had with her brother who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. That right there gave me a completely new outlook on her character. Lola was independent; sometimes she showed too much independence, but who am I too judge, when you grow up raising yourself AND your special needs brother you do what you have to do. There was no doubt in my mind that she would move heaven and earth for Boyd, and she did this too on a daily basis with absolutely no regrets. Lola did everything in her power to make sure Boyd had whatever he needed, even working at a job she didn't really feel comfortable with. She wasn't always able to give him th efiner things in life, but she provided him with enough love and devotion that he wasn't lacking for anything. If you asked me who my favorite book heroine's were, Lola would be on the top of that list. I think that she is an amazing inspiration.


Just a little side note for the author: Wendy, can we please have a story between Aimee and Matt? Pretty please with sugar on top! I was fascinated by the chemistry they exuded upon initially meeting each other and was really looking forward to seeing more of it throughout the story. I'll admit I was a little sad to see that you briefly touched on their attraction in the beginning and never mentioned it again.

Hmm, I know you're all just dying to find out what's so special about Wes Thompson. Seriously, I could sit here all day and talk your ear off about him, but since I don't have that much time (and I'm sure neither do you), I'm just going to give the highlights; hopefully this will encourage you to make your own decision. And this works out better for me also since as I said above I don't really like to share what I consider mine. 

Wes' character is portrayed as a naughty bad boy who thrives on darkness and control. Holy hell and brim fire this man is born and bred to stimulate the senses. Just the memory of him makes my insides tingle. Everything about Wes is designed to arouse and tease, prepare your selves because even the most resistant woman will fall hard. I swear the minute he opened his mouth and the words started falling out, my heart skipped a beat. Wes definitely had a way with words that just seemed to rivet me (especially the dirty ones); however, he was more than that. Underneath the dominance and discipline laid a man who had so many layers to unravel, each one endearing him more and more to me. I couldn't keep my heart from melting as his relationship with Lola and most importantly her brother Boyd built. Wes was a mix of dark, possessive, sweet, loving, and protective. Everything that made him who he was just flowed, he didn't make excused for it. He knew exactly what he wanted and had no qualms about stating it and then taking it. In my humble opinion, this is Wendy's slam-dunk. She nailed Wes; there is no question about that in my mind. His personality and tastes ran darker than both Seth and Dylan's did. I wondered if she would be able to pull it off, and she did just that. I think by adding his kink it gave him an added edge over the other two heroes in this series. Wes never thought he would find love, nor did he ever imagine the sacrifices he would have to make to keep it. 

Every day I am asked to read and review books on my blog. I love and hate this because I am not always able to give a glowing review, as much as I would like to. However, one thing I have realized is that my star system is not based off one set standard of meaning. I never know how I will rate a book until I sit down and begin writing. I tend to be hard on books, I know what I like...plain and simple. I have certain things that irk me that may not bother others just as something’s that bother others won't make a difference in the world to me, if I connect with the characters and their journey. The thing is I love when I find a gem because sometimes it isn't always about the perfectly written grammatical structure of a story. It's about the heart and soul an author puts into their characters and the plot behind them. Wendy offers this in spades. This brings me to my point, I have just finished the third book in this series, and I have without a doubt found myself a gem. What makes this series a gem for me? Simply put, the journey of these characters is absolutely addicting to me. One thing I have noticed, with each read and review I have done, is the strong dedication the author shows not only to her characters but to her fans as well; she works hard to improve her writing and storytelling with each book she publishes. Because of this, I can say with all honesty that I am addicted to Wendy's fictional creativity and her not so perfect characters. I know with certainty that each time I open up one of her books that it will hold even more potential than the last.

Thank you, Wendy Ferraro, for the opportunity to read and review Three of Diamonds in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Author:


WebsiteFacebook/Twitter/Goodreads/Amazon


I live in New England with my young family. I'm a stay at home mom to two very active children. For all of you who are familiar with the stress of this job, I decided to complete an item on my bucket list and write a book. When I'm not writing, you will find me cooking, reading, shopping or being silly with the kids.

I wish you all happy reading and hope you fall in love with the men of Hamden.





Giveaway:

(1) ecopy of your choice (Three of Hearts, Three of Spades, and Three of Diamonds). Digital books will be delivered within a week of the (3) winners chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 comments:

  1. i love the series because of the stories she writes and she is one of my favorite authors denise smith denise226@verizon.net

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  2. Thank you for the reviews of these books. I am new to this series and I am very excited to check it out!

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  3. I have heard wonderful things about this series & I have had them on my TBR list for a while!! Thank you!!

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  4. I'm hearing great things about this series! These books are on my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  5. I have heard great things about this series, but haven't had the opportunity to read it yet. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to start it!

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  6. haven't had the opportunity to read these yet, but cannot wait to read them

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  7. I am definitely looking forward to reading the third book in this series! :)

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  8. I'm definitely looking forward to read it!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!!

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  9. I have yet to read this series but they look awesome! THanks for the chance :)

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  10. I just got the first 2 in the series, Looking forward to reading them!!

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  11. I haven't read them but from what I read here I look forward to reading them!

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  12. I love the series because it shows another type of beautiful person in regards to age and life experience. The stories are beautifully written.

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  13. Haven't read any yet so looking forward to the begining.

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  14. Thanks for the giveaway. I haven't read any of these books.

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  15. Havent read any but I will definitely add it to my TBR

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  16. Havent read this series yet...on my TBR list : )

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