New Release Review! HER OUTBACK SURPRISE by Annie Seaton (Prickle Creek #2)

Synopsis:

Angie Edmonds is content with life in her small town. Being alone doesn’t bother her. Really. Until Liam Smythe, the man who broke her heart, shows up at her vet clinic with an injured puppy. Unfortunately, he’s just as irresistible as she remembers. In an attempt to prove to him that she’s moved on, somehow a little white lie begins…

When Liam returns to help run the family farm, his enjoyment of the slow life in Spring Downs surprises him. After all, he’s used to the thrill of chasing the next big story. Running into the girl he’s never been able to forget is unexpected, and he’s shocked to learn she’s getting married–to someone who’s not him. She’s off-limits, but Liam can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous vet and what could have been. But convincing her he’s changed will be harder than finding a needle in a haystack.

 

Review:

Her Outback Surprise is a sweet, second-chance romance set in–you guessed, it–the Australian Outback. It’s second in its series, but if you haven’t read the first book yet ( Her Outback Cowboy ) no worries; the bits you absolutely need to know about it are explained here too (why Liam and his cousins come back to the family farm, and what their plans for the future are, more or less) though the fact that this is the second book does make for a somewhat awkward start to this one with a bit of jumping around time-wise.

Overall I liked Angie and Liam, and it wasn’t hard to root for them to (finally!) be together in the end. The flashback bits felt a bit superfluous, though (especially since their important bits were usually recapped through a character’s thoughts and/or conversation a minute or two after) and this was definitely an example of a story whose main conflict could have been resolved with one decent conversation between the MCs, which was definitely frustrating. Liam especially was guilty of being exceptionally dense for about 90% of the book, and Angie tended toward the wishy-washy side of the spectrum more often than I would have liked–still, this was a pleasant way to spend a cozy fall afternoon reading.

Plus, there was a cute puppy and a newborn baby in the mix, so–win-win! 🙂

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

New Release Review and Giveaway! SECOND CHANCE GIRL by Susan Mallery (Happily, Inc. #2)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool’s Gold romances Susan Mallery, comes the second standalone title in the Happily, Inc. Series—SECOND CHANCE GIRL! You’re invited to visit Happily, Inc., a wedding destination founded on a fairy tale. Where people live… wait for it… happily ever after.
Order your copy today!

 

SECOND CHANCE GIRL Synopsis:

From the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Susan Mallery, read the second irresistible installment in the Happily Inc series!

Mathias Mitchell’s easy smile hides a world of hurt. After the worst kind of family betrayal, he moves to Happily Inc., California—the wedding destination town supplies a steady stream of bridesmaids, perfect for his “no promises, no pain” lifestyle. Yet he can’t stop watching for his beautiful, elusive neighbor on the animal preserve behind their homes.

Gamekeeper Carol Lund knows she’s not special enough to attract an alpha male like Mathias, so his offer to help her adopt a herd for her lonely giraffe is surprising—and his determined seduction, even more so. But just as she finally welcomes him into her bed, his careless actions crush her heart. Will she give him a second chance to prove she’ll always come first in his heart?

Don’t miss You Say It First, the first book in the Happily Inc series.

Get your copy of SECOND CHANCE GIRL here!
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Excerpt:

Getting kicked in the stomach by a gazelle was never pleasant, but at one-thirty in the morning, it was especially hard to take. Carol Lund glared at Bronwen and the gazelle glared right back.

“You don’t get to have attitude, young lady,” Carol told her. “I’m not the one who insisted on going out by the rocks. I’m not the one who got scraped up, yet here I am, in the middle of the night, checking on your leg to make sure you don’t have an infection.”

Bronwen was notably unimpressed by Carol’s presence and dedication. She stomped her front hooves and turned away.

“You say that now,” Carol grumbled. “But just wait until feeding time. Suddenly I’m your best friend. You’re incredibly fickle.”

Carol packed up her supplies. Bronwen’s leg seemed to be healing nicely. With luck she wouldn’t require a second night’s visit tomorrow and Carol could catch up on the sleep she was missing.

She left the gazelle barn and started for her Jeep. The night was clear and cool and there were a million stars in the sky. While Carol would have preferred that Bronwen hadn’t been injured and that they’d both been able to sleep through the night, she had to admit that staring at the perfect sky was a very cool compensation. If she didn’t look at the horizon, or try to pick out individual constellations, she could be anywhere in the world—literally. Because the night sky was a constant.

Oh, sure, there were differences between the hemispheres and at certain times of the year, but still…stars!

She climbed in her Jeep and drove toward her small bungalow, then pulled onto the shoulder before she got there and cut the engine and lights. She got out of the Jeep, sank down onto the ground and gave herself over to the nighttime view.

It was October in the desert which meant warm days and pleasant nights. Rain was an unlikely possibility—that was more a spring-summer thing. The closest town was Happily Inc and it wasn’t all that huge, so it wasn’t hard to get away from the streetlights and into true darkness. Here, on the road, she was flanked by the mountains and the golf course, with the rolling hills of the Happily Inc Animal Preserve just behind her. And the stars.

She draped her jacket on the ground so she could lie down and get the best view of the wonder overhead. She had no idea how long she’d been lying there when a pair of headlights cut through the darkness and briefly illuminated her.

Carol sat up as a swoopy midnight-blue Mercedes sedan pulled in behind her Jeep.

Of all the gin joints in all the world, she thought. She watched a tall, dark-haired man step out of his car and walk toward her. It had to be after two in the morning, yet Mathias Mitchell looked more alert than sleepy. No doubt the lingering effects of the hunt, takedown and getting laid.

 

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Review:

Second Chance Girl, second in the Happily, Inc. series, actually has two love stories in it (see the theme they have going on there?) Carol and Mathias are the main one, but Carol’s sister Violet (the fashion/button girl, if you’ve read book one) has her own as well–a fact which I both loved and was bummed about, loved because OMG an enemies-to-lovers with a British duke and was bummed because darn it, why didn’t they get their own book? Oh well…

For fans of the Fool’s Gold series, this book has even more of a crossover going on than book one did, which is sure to thrill. (There’s a wedding! Plus, some famous personages from that place may make appearances.) We learn more of the drama that is the Mitchell family here (none of which is designed to make you like its patriarch at all…though his wife has a dog who likes to keep things interesting) and get a close up view of life with Carol’s wildlife preserve and the infamous (giraffe) Millie. Carol and Mathias are a cute couple, though her internal monologue of “I’m not special” was a bit annoying after a while. Luckily her sister’s romance was all that is adorable and more than enough to keep me turning the pages happily.

(Oops…pun not exactly intended there…but I’m not going to delete it either ;))

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Did you read book one in the series, YOU SAY IT FIRST?

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About Susan Mallery:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. She’s best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.

Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her online at SusanMallery.com.

 

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Susan Mallery’s SECOND CHANCE GIRL – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

September 18th

A Southern Girls Bookshelf – Excerpt

Fire and Ice Book Reviews – Review

Little Bookworm Reviews – Review

The Butterfly Reads – Review & Excerpt

September 19th

Collector of book boyfriends – Excerpt

I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt

Mama She’s Crazy About Books – Review

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

September 20th

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

It’s all About the Romance – Review & Excerpt

Rachel Loren’s Love of Reading – Review & Excerpt

Stephanie’s Book Reports – Review & Excerpt

September 21st

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Books and Things Blog – Review & Excerpt

Reading Reality – Review

Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance – Excerpt

September 22nd

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Jen’s Reading Obsession – Review & Excerpt

KDRBCK – Review

Romancing the Readers – Review

September 23rd

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

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What Is That Book About – Excerpt

September 24th

E-Romance News – Excerpt

K.T. Castle – Excerpt

Melena’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

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September 25th

For the love of romance – Review & Excerpt

Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader – Review & Excerpt

Smokin Hot Reads Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

September 26th

Always a happy ever after – Review & Excerpt

Bookishly Yours – Excerpt

Cesya MaRae Cuono, Author – Excerpt

Lattes & Paperbacks – Review & Excerpt

September 27th

Loves Great Reads Blog – Excerpt

Pervy Ladies Books – Review & Excerpt

Reads & Reviews – Review

Thoughts of a Blonde – Excerpt

September 28th

I’m A Book Shark – Review & Excerpt

Romantic Reads and Such – Excerpt

Tales From A Bookworm – Review & Excerpt

September 29th

Gataleitora – Review

Nose Stuck in a Book – Excerpt

Remarkablylisa – Review & Excerpt

TBR Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

September 30th

A geordielass honest blog on reviews – Review

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review

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October 1st

Miss Riki – Review & Excerpt

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October 2nd

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

From the TBR PIle – Review & Excerpt

Living In Our Own Story – Review & Excerpt

Booknerd1107 – Review & Excerpt

October 3rd

Katy and Zetti’s Book Ramblings – Excerpt

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October 4th

Booked All Night – Review & Excerpt

JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC – Review & Excerpt

My Nook, Books & More – Review

Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Review & Excerpt

October 5th

Book Reviews By Lexi – Review

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The bookworm chronicles – Excerpt

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October 6th

Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Lover of Big Books Cannot Lie – Review & Excerpt

Shelf_Life – Review & Excerpt

 

New Release Review! DELIRIOUS by M.S. Force (Quantum #6)

DELIRIOUS, part of the Quantum series, by M.S. Force is now LIVE!

 

Synopsis:

As one of Hollywood’s hottest producers, Kristian Bowen is on top of the world. With the Quantum team is fresh off a clean sweep of awards season and looking ahead to the premiere of their new film, Insidious, Kristian’s life is exactly how he likes it, complete with a stable of willing subs to tend to his every desire. Until he attends the wedding of his friend and business partner Flynn Godfrey and meets AileenGifford, the close friend of Flynn’s new wife, Natalie. Since meeting Aileen five months ago, Kristian’s carefully cultivated life has changed in ways he never could’ve expected. Now Aileen and her children are moving to Los Angeles, and he’s not sure whether to be excited or terrified about his powerful feelings for the single mom…

Aileen is coming off the worst year of her life, spent battling breast cancer while taking care of two young children. When Natalie, Flynn and their other friends encourage Aileen to move to LA and work for Quantum, she jumps at the chance to give her family a fresh start. And with her off-the-charts attraction to Flynn’s business partner in the mix, the idea of living in LA becomes that much sweeter. Until everyone shows up to welcome her and the kids to their new home in LA—except Kristian.

He can’t avoid her forever, and when these two finally see each other again, sparks fly between the single mom and the producer with a past he’s kept hidden from everyone who matters to him. When that past rears its ugly head, will he run away from the woman he loves or turn to her for comfort in the storm? And will she prevail in convincing him that he can be himself, in every possible way, with her?

Kristian and Aileen’s long-awaited story is full of heat, heart and humor, as well as appearances from all the Quantum characters readers love!

Delirious1400

Purchase Delirious now!

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Order a signed copy from Marie’s store, Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

Review:

Delirious is a sweet, romantic, erotic, and super-steamy read (I know, that sounds somewhat contradictory, but I swear it is all of those things!) between two characters who clearly deserve their HEAs and then some. The story did feel a bit rushed at times–there’s a degree of insta-love going on, and Kristian had some pretty major-league issues and hangups that don’t seem as if they really could have been fixed quite as easily as they seem to have been here–but at the same time, you really want Aileen and Kristian to find happiness, so it’s hard to get *too* worked up about it.

If you enjoy fairy-tale style stories with a single mom/cancer survivor/Cinderella and a healthy helping of erotic scenes enough that a departure from 100% total realism isn’t going to be a problem, then this is the book for you 🙂

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About the author:Marie Force

M.S. Force is the erotic alter-ego of New York Times bestselling author Marie Force. All three books in her initial Quantum Trilogy were New York Times bestsellers in 2015, and the Quantum Trilogy became the Quantum Series with Rapturous and Ravenous, with more to come!

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold nearly 3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold 1.5 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Twitter @marieforce and on Facebook. Join one of Marie’s many reader groups. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com. Subscribe to her new blog to hear the latest and greatest news, including giveaways and other great prizes. Go to the blog and enter your email address on the upper right-hand side.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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New Release Review and Giveaway! ROMANCING THE WALLFLOWER by Michelle Major (Crimson, Colorado #8)

In a Colorado mountain town, a good girl kindergarten teacher propositions a sexy bad boy uncle of one of her students…It’s all part of ROMANCING THE WALLFLOWER by Michelle Major

About ROMANCING THE WALLFLOWER:  

Dedicated kindergarten teacher Erin MacDonald isn’t the type to make the first move on a man—especially gorgeous David McCay, her secret crush. But when a crisis involving one of her pupils offers a chance to help the pro baseballer turned local brewery owner, Erin goes way out of her comfort zone. So way out she makes a shocking suggestion!

David moved to the Colorado mountain town to look after his sister and her son. Now he’s a stand-in parent to his nephew, trying to fight his attraction to Erin…who just propositioned him. David is nobody’s hero. So why can’t he convince the sweet, kindhearted beauty that she deserves better than him? Is it because they’re the perfect imperfect match?

On Sale in Print: August 22, 2017

On Sale in Digital: September 1, 2017

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 Add ROMANCING THE WALLFLOWER to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

Excerpt:

“Stop staring at the hottie brewmaster’s butt.”

Erin MacDonald choked on the gulp of strawberry daiquiri she’d just swallowed. “I’m not staring at anyone’s butt,” she said as she grabbed a wad of napkins and dabbed at her chin and shirtfront. “And don’t talk so loud.”

Melody Cross, one of the second-grade teachers at Crimson Elementary, snorted. “It’s a crowded bar on a busy Thursday night. No one can hear me.”

But Melody had the kind of booming voice that could quiet a room full of squirming eight-year-olds the afternoon before summer break. The tall table they stood at was a good five feet from the bar, but Erin swore she saw the man’s broad shoulders stiffen.

“Want me to take a picture of him?” Suzie Vitale, her fellow kindergarten teacher, offered with a tipsy smile. “It lasts longer.”

Before Erin could stop her, the curvy blonde aimed her phone at the backside of the gorgeous guy who not only worked the bar but also owned Elevation Brewery. The brewpub had opened a little over a year ago and had become a popular hangout for both locals and tourists in the quaint mountain town of Crimson, Colorado.

Erin had noticed David McCay, the brewery’s owner, the first time she’d stepped into the nouveau rustic—and very on-trend for Colorado—space. He was tall and lean, with dark blond hair that curled around the collars of the flannel shirts he favored. David McCay was as handsome as a movie star and built like he spent endless hours tossing huge sacks of barley—or whatever it was beer brewers did.

Erin, who was built like she spent her days sitting cross-legged on a reading rug, had surreptitiously watched him each time she came into the bar with friends or coworkers for a random happy hour or birthday celebration. He was often tending bar or sometimes she’d spot him coming out from the back, wearing the heavy rubber boots and backward ball cap that she’d quickly learned were his uniform when actually brewing beer.

Colorado was known for its craft brews, and the fact that Elevation had made a name for itself so quickly was a testament to his hard work and talent at running a business.

At least that’s what Erin wanted to believe. Her mother liked to remind Erin that she too often assumed the best about people, which allowed them to regularly take advantage of her.

But David McCay hadn’t taken advantage of her, even though it was the stuff of her fantasies. Even though his nephew, Rhett, was now in her kindergarten class and David had been with the boy and his mother for back-to-school night. Erin had barely been able to put a sentence together with David towering over the other adults in the back of her classroom, but he hadn’t bothered to acknowledge her. Heck, it was doubtful he even knew she existed.

Except when she blinked and looked up, he was staring straight at her. Sparks of awareness flamed through her body, setting every inch of her skin on fire. He lifted one thick brow as if he could read her thoughts. Which might be impossible since it felt like all of her brain cells had spontaneously combusted under the weight of his stare.

She heard Melody giggle behind her, and Suzie gave her a little shove forward. David now stood at the edge of the bar, only a short distance from her, with movement all around him. Customers in groups laughed and talked. A waitress set her tray on the rich wood bar top. A group of women at near the edge of the bar vied for his attention. But his focus remained on Erin.

Then something—someone—suddenly blocked her vision. Cole Bennett, Crimson’s recently elected sheriff, was talking to David. Cole was also tall and broad, and to use one of her mom’s favorite expressions, made a better door than a window.

Erin shifted to the right as she overheard Cole mention Rhett, David’s nephew. David’s gaze hardened and his jaw clenched. Unable to stop herself, she moved forward, sidestepping a couple heading toward the back of the bar and a group of twentysomething guys who looked like they’d just come off a hiking trail, until she stood directly behind the sheriff.

She was five feet four inches tall in the clogs she favored for work, so both men towered over her and were completely unaware she was listening to their conversation. Invisibility was Erin’s unintentional superpower. She knew much more than she should about her coworkers and neighbors, simply because people didn’t notice she was there.

“Rhett is safe,” Cole told David. “But they can’t get him to come out.”

“What the hell was Jenna thinking?” David asked, then scrubbed a hand over his jaw. “No, don’t answer that.”

“She’s in trouble, David. The crowd she’s running with—”

“I’ll handle it.” He pulled a set of keys out of one of the pockets in his tan cargo pants. “I just need to tell Tracie I’m leaving for the night. I’ll be over for Rhett.”

“I have to call Social Services,” Cole said softly, and Erin felt the tension ratchet up a notch.

“Give me some time with him first, okay?”

“Can you—”

“I’ll handle it,” David repeated. He moved behind the bar and spoke to the woman filling two pint glasses from the tap.

The sheriff walked out of the bar, patrons instinctively clearing a path for him although he wasn’t in uniform tonight.

When she looked up, David McCay stood toe-to-toe with her. She realized she’d moved forward to block his path from behind the bar.

In her daydreams, she’d compared his eyes to the brilliant summer sky above the ragged peak of Crimson Mountain or the iridescent cobalt of a tropical lagoon. But now his frosty stare was more like the ice blue of a glacier, so cold a shiver passed through her.

“I don’t have time for this, sweetheart. You and your friends are going to have to play your liquid courage bar games with someone else.”

“It’s not a game,” Erin said.

“Darlin’, you ordered a froofy drink in my bar. It’s either a game or a joke.”

This close to David, the heat and frustration radiating off him made her feel different from the woman she knew herself to be. She was aware of her body in a way that was new and exhilarating. She wanted more. She wanted…something she couldn’t name. Still, the promise of it made her weak with longing.

Also braver than she’d ever been. Or maybe crazy was a better word, because when he moved to step around her, she placed a hand on his arm.

“I can help with your nephew.”

 

Review:

Romancing the Wallflower is a sweet romance with some very amusing moments (love what Erin has David listed as in her phone, LOL) alongside some very touching ones. The kids in this book…OMG, they just about ripped my heart out. So cute!

Both Erin and David had super-negative views of themselves–Erin as an undesirable, “invisible” person and David as a guy who’s been letting those he loves down his whole life–which was understandable to a point (I get the invisibility, I do–I set my bangs on fire in a classroom of kids with not one, but two teachers in it, and NO ONE NOTICED except by lab partner…I know invisible), though it did feel like it all went on too long. Still, they managed to come around in the end and pull out all the stops for a super cute ending.

Plus, did I mention the kids? 😉

Romancing is the eighth book in the Crimson, Coloradoseries, but it worked just fine as a standalone.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Author Bio:

Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. Soon after graduating with a degree in Journalism, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Her life and house are filled with one great husband, two beautiful kids, a few furry pets and several well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion writing stories with happy endings. Michelle loves to hear from her readers at www.michellemajor.com.

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! SO IN LOVE by Darcy Burke (Ribbon Ridge: Love on the Vine #3)

 

About the Book:

After a hot hook-up on New Year’s Eve, Crystal Donovan plans to avoid Jamie Westcott, which could be difficult, given the size of Ribbon Ridge. But she’s only there a few days doing research on the town’s history then it’s back to her glam life in LA. When his family holds the key to unraveling a century-old mystery she has to seek him out—and the sparks are still flying.

Jamie Westcott works his ass off to repay his college loans, which doesn’t leave much time for other commitments. Crystal’s a perfect fling: she’s fun and sexy and, best of all, they have little in common and she lives somewhere else. Only, the more time they spend together the closer they get, despite their intent to keep things casual.

When everyone learns Crystal sold a screenplay exposing the dark secrets of Ribbon Ridge—and Jamie’s family—she becomes the town pariah. Jamie won’t leave and Crystal can’t stay—can love show them another way?

Purchase:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Add to Goodreads
Review:
So in Love had a really strong start–I loved the cutthroat pool game with the cursed cue (or is it???), the flirtiness, and their New Year’s Eve hookup. Jamie and Crystal were cute together, her fears about their age difference (she’s 5 years older) aside. From there, though, the story felt like it floundered a bit–much of the drama (relationship and otherwise) felt a bit contrived and overblown–would a mature, adult woman really literally run from a social event just because a few people there become confrontational? And then immediately grab a flight out of state, days earlier than she had planned on leaving? I’m not entirely convinced. Still, everything came together nicely at the end, and the epilogue was very sweet.

If you’ve read the others in the trilogy, you’ll undoubtedly want to read this one as well; if you’re new to the series there are some mild spoilers here to the historical mystery the heroines are trying to solve together. It’s a secondary plot, but if continuity is important to you, you’ll probably want to read the books in order ( So Good first, then So Right , and then this one). Final verdict: a cute story, but not on the same level as Ms. Burke’s The Untouchables (historical romance) series.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Check out the other books in the Love on the Vine series:

 

Meet the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

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Giveaway:

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New Release Review! DIARY OF A TEENAGE JEWEL THIEF by Rosie Somers

Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief
by Rosie Somers

Most sixteen-year-olds shouldn’t know where museums keep their rarest jewels (the basement) and they really shouldn’t know that vans make the worst getaway cars. But for Marisol Flores, a life of jewel thievery is a birthright handed down from generation to generation, even if she didn’t ask for it. So when a rival thief targets Mari and her mother, Mari’s more than happy to flee to the anonymity of bustling New York City.

Blending in is a dream come true for Mari, but keeping her former thieving ways a secret gets way more complicated when handsome Will Campbell sets his sights on her. She can’t help but like his terrible puns and charming grin…but when her past catches up with her, it’s not only her life—and her anonymity—that’s at stake.

Will could be the next target.

 

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Review:

When we first see Marisol in Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief, she’s mid-heist, taking the lead on a job for the first time ever. Things don’t go exactly as planned, though, and when next we see her she’s attempting to live the life of an ordinary NYC teen for the first time ever. Her fish-out-of-water issues are endearing, but I was a little bummed that her jewel thief skills didn’t end up getting more of a workout in the rest of the novel (though her solution to forgetting her locker combination was fantastic!)

Will is a likable character as well, but it didn’t feel like we (or Mari, for that matter) really got to know him well enough. Both their relationship and the main suspense part of the plot felt as if they could have been more fleshed out, given us more. The resolution of both felt a bit too pat and easy. The ending did make it seem like this is the potential first book in a series, though, so possibly future books will give us more–more chances for Mari to show her stuff, more character and relationship development, and more involved suspense plots. Fingers crossed!

Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief is a cute YA story with an engaging main character, and though it’s a little lighter on the suspense and romance than I’d like, it was still a fun way to pass a few hours.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About the Author:

Rosie Somers is a beach-going book addict who’s been crafting stories since before she learned her ABCs. When she’s not busy trying to bring the characters in her head to life on paper, she can be found volunteering with local animal rescues, crocheting funky hats for her friends, or eating herself into the poorhouse at Chipotle. Her fondest dream is to one day own a goat.

Author Blog: rosiesomers.blogspot.com

Author Twitter: @prosyrosie

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProsyRosie/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8281027.Rosie_Somers

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! DISCIPLINED BY THE DUKE by Alyson Chase (Lords of Discipline #1)

Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? 
 
DISCIPLINED BY THE DUKE
Lords of Discipline #1
Alyson Chase
Releasing Aug 15, 2017
Swerve
The day her sister murdered their abusive father, Elizabeth Wilcox stopped being a gentleman’s daughter. Willing to do anything to save her sister from the hangman’s noose, now she is a spy… A servant. A liar. A thief. A submissive.
Masquerading as a parlor maid and entrenched in the Duke of Montague’s estate, Liz is willing to risk all to uncover the secrets that would save her sister. But submitting to the duke’s peculiar brand of discipline surprises her with a heady mixture of pleasure and pain. Eager to relinquish control of her messy life, Liz soon craves the rough hands of Montague and his powerful, passionate attentions. Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? And what punishment will she face when he realizes her betrayal?

“Look at me.” His voice was quiet. Kind. But no less commanding than when he gave orders to his steward. Or his dogs.

Her gaze rose over hard thighs, the fall of his trousers, the flat expanse of his stomach, and the wider expanse of his chest. She looked up until his eyes captured hers and held on. Her breath caught in her throat. His eyes weren’t the gray of unyielding stone anymore, but rather the shifting silvers and subdued greens of an ocean tossing in a storm.

“I don’t make a habit out of breaking anyone’s, anything’s, spirit.” Dropping to a squat, Montague ran his fingers under Reggie’s jaw.

The heat from his body, his sudden nearness, curled around Liz. She took a deep breath to calm her racing heart. But she was swamped with his scent, and her pulse ratcheted up even higher.

“Sometimes animals need to be molded so they can become their best selves. Guidance, a firm hand, training.” His breath bloomed across her cheek with every word. “My horse, Darkwing, has as much spirit as he did as a foal. I merely redirected it to productive channels. Now, he and I have a partnership. We each trust the other.” His lips quirked. “More so than I do most men.”

Digging his fingers into the soft fur at the back of Reggie’s neck, Montague gently lifted the pup. “Now if this fellow doesn’t wish to be molded that is his prerogative. He might not make the grade for a work dog at my estate, but he will make someone a lovely pet.”

Reggie yipped, and the duke lowered him to the ground. The puppy coiled around himself like a snake, obviously exhausted from his day. Montague kept his hand on the dog, his palm almost large enough to span Reggie’s entire back. He ran his long, tapered fingers slowly through the puppy’s coat, and Reggie gave one more sleepy yip before tucking his nose under his tail.

“You seem to have an affinity for the scamp.” Montague gently rubbed the tip of Reggie’s ear between his thumb and forefinger. Liz’s own earlobe tingled. “Perhaps you’d want him as a pet.”

Her heart twisted. She’d love to spoil a dog. But it wasn’t to be. And the duke should have known that.

“Where would I keep him?” She hated to do it. It would ruin the moment, these amazing few minutes when the duke spoke to her like she was a real person, an equal, not the hired help. She’d forgotten what it felt like to be able to sit without fear of violence or discovery. To not have every moment revolve around a job for Westmore, scraping together enough money for food for her and Amanda, finding enough coal to keep her warm at night.

This was like an afternoon of days past, when gentlemen treated her with respect and she wanted for nothing. She felt like her old self, if only for a moment. The decadence of it almost made her dizzy.

But being the old Miss Elizabeth Wilcox was a luxury she could no longer afford.

So she twisted the blade, just a little. Just enough to sting. “Mr. Todd doesn’t allow servants to have pets. And if Reggie followed me around on my duties I think he’d probably make more of a jumble than I could clean in a day.” Taking a deep breath, she clenched her stomach. “It doesn’t make sense for a chambermaid to have a puppy.”

And there it was. That small flicker. The stormy sea hardening back into granite. Montague had forgotten himself. Or, more accurately, forgotten her. Forgotten how low she was in relation to him.

Her lungs burned with the effort to keep her breathing steady. The reminder stung more than she’d expected. The duke would probably forget his momentary lapse in the time it took him to return to his house.

It would take her longer.

And she couldn’t keep forgetting who she was, why she was here. It hurt too much when reality crashed back in. So she dug the knife a little deeper into her side.

Picking up the sleeping puppy from her lap, she laid him next to Reggie. Standing, she brushed at her skirts, plucking an errant strand of fur from her apron. “Now if you will excuse me, Your Grace, I have some chamber pots I need to empty.”

Without looking to see whether she had shocked him, Liz turned on her heel and made her way back to the side door of Hartsworth. The servants’ entrance.

It wasn’t until she’d refilled Molly’s bucket and lugged it halfway up the stairs that she realized she’d forgotten to curtsy before leaving the duke. She could only hope her disgraceful chamber pot reference had distracted the man too much for him to notice.

Confession time–I didn’t examine the blurb for this one all too well before signing up to read it (the title and series name got me, I admit it), so the part of the plot that dealt with Liz determined to do pretty much anything to save her sister from prison and Marcus’s side business of espionage came as a bit of a surprise. A pleasant surprise, though, because let’s face it, when you’re reading BDSM with your teenage kids just feet away from you, it sometimes feels a bit awkward. The other plot elements, therefore, were a nice distraction, and made both Liz and Marcus more sympathetic and relatable than they might have seemed otherwise.

Disciplined by the Duke is a decent debut that combines historical romance, intrigue (spies have been my weakness since pretty much forever…), and light BDSM–though there were a few things here that gave me pause, Ms. Chase definitely has my attention for the next book in the series, which will feature Liz’s sister and another of Marcus’s friends and fellow spies.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Alyson 
Chase writes historical romances that are just a bit…naughty. She is a former attorney, and thought that her flair for dramatic and sexy writing was seriously undervalued in her legal career. She also writes under the name Allyson Charles. 
 
She lives in Northern California where the incredible weather and natural beauty so far outweigh the overcrowding and congested freeways. Also, the food in the Bay Area rocks. 
If you want to know when the next book is coming out, visit her at website and sign up for her newsletter.

 

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New Release Review! PERILOUS TRUST by Barbara Freethy (Off the Grid #1)

 

In PERILOUS TRUST, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy brings you the first book in a new romantic suspense series! OFF THE GRID: An FBI Series offers five breath-stealing books filled with action-packed plot, heart-stopping romance, and page-turning suspense.

It was one dark night that brought Damon Wolfe and Sophie Parker together. They were two tortured souls, looking for escape, and they weren’t supposed to see each other ever again…

Four years later, Sophie’s FBI father, who is also Damon’s mentor, is killed in a suspicious car crash after leaving Sophie a cryptic message to trust no one from the agency. When Damon shows up looking for her, she isn’t sure if he’s friend or enemy, but she knows he could easily rip apart what is left of her heart.

The last thing Damon wants is to get involved with Sophie again. It was hard enough to walk away the first time. But she’s in trouble, her father’s reputation is under attack, and the lives of his fellow agents are at stake if there’s a traitor in their midst.

When someone starts shooting at them, they have no choice but to go on the run and off the grid. Everyone in their world becomes a suspect. They want to uncover the truth, but will it turn out to be the last thing they expect? Proving her father’s innocence might just cost them their hearts…and their lives…

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Excerpt:

“Why did you run away from your apartment, your friends, your father’s coworkers? Why did you just disappear, Sophie?” Damon asked.

“Because someone killed my dad.”

“It’s possible it was an accident.”

“You don’t believe that any more than I do.”

“Maybe not, but I think something specific spooked you.”

“You mean like the two men I saw going into my apartment building?”

“You saw the men who broke into your apartment?” he asked in surprise.

“I don’t know if they were the ones, but they could have been.”

“What did they look like?”

“Law enforcement, maybe—I don’t know.”

Damon stared back at her, and she could see him running through her words in his head. “Why would you be afraid of law enforcement when your father is FBI?”

“Gut instinct,” she lied, knowing she wouldn’t have been afraid at all if her father hadn’t told her to be. “And it looks like I was right to run. If I’d gone to my apartment, who knows what would have happened?”

His lips drew into a hard line. “Look, Sophie, I want to help you.”

“Why? Why on earth would you want to help me?”

His gaze darkened, and the air sizzled between them as they found themselves back in a place probably neither of them wanted to revisit, but they were there all the same.

“We’re not friends,” she said quickly, needing to break the tension. “We’re not anything. We haven’t seen each other in four years. Why do you care where I am, what I’m doing? Is it because of loyalty to my dad? That has to be it, right? Nothing else could have made you drive all the way up here.”

“I should have called you after that night,” he said.

“I’m not looking for an apology.”

“Aren’t you?”

“No. Maybe. No,” she said, hating to sound so uncertain. “None of that is important now. I have bigger problems.”

“Then let’s talk about now,” he said, relief in his eyes as he changed the subject. “I respected your father. He was a mentor to me. I owe him for that, and I know that he would want me to help you. He trusted me, and I hope you can trust me, too.”

“I don’t know if my father trusted you,” she said, shaking her head.

Surprise and anger flared in his eyes. “Why would you say that?”

“Because he told me not to trust anyone from the bureau, and since you’re an agent, that includes you. Please, just go. Just leave me alone,” she pleaded, desperate to get him out of the cabin before she did something even more stupid—like start to trust him. “I’ll disappear. I’ll go somewhere no one else knows about. You don’t have to worry about me. You’ve done your duty. You came after me. You did that for my dad. Now do something for me—leave me alone. You’ve managed it for four years. You can keep going.”

His mouth tightened. “I’m not leaving you alone. You won’t be safe. You can’t get help from a friend, because you’ll put them in danger, and even if you are very careful, you’ll make a mistake. You don’t know how to stay off the radar, but I do. You’re going to have to trust someone at some point. You’re going to have to put your anger aside and let it be me.”

Before she could answer, she was suddenly hit with a shower of glass from the nearby window.

What the hell had just happened?

Another pane blew out, and something whizzed by her ear.

Damon grabbed her arm and pulled down as a third window exploded.

Someone was shooting at her!

 

 

Review:

This book has a great premise and a solid start–it had me hooked from the very first page, and I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next for Damon and Sophie and to a lesser degree, Bree and Wyatt. Damon and Sophie had a (brief) history as well, which also piqued my interest, and kept me turning pages, wanting to see what they would do with it. The suspense part of the story was solid, I honestly didn’t know who did what and exactly why until the end, when all was revealed. (Quick question–do real-life antagonists really tell all in the end to the heroes, even if they think they’ve already won? It really seems more like convenient fictional exposition than realism…still, at least we get to know the truth.)

Somewhere in the second half of the story, though, the suspense became more real than the romance. It felt like Sophie and Damon went from “let’s try and forget about that awkwardly-ending night four years ago” to love a little too fast, skipping some crucial steps in between along the way. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to believe in their relationship, but it didn’t feel like there was enough foundation laid down for what it was supposed to be becoming. Still, I did like them together and their epilogue was darn cute.

The next two books will be Bree and Wyatt’s, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for them. Even though this story wasn’t perfect, Ms. Freethy definitely grabbed my interest with her characters and I’m looking forward to more gotta-find-out-the-truth suspense.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About the author:

Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 60 novels ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Traditionally published for many years, Barbara opened Fog City Publishing in 2011 and has since sold over 7 million books! Twenty-three of her titles have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists, including one title, SUMMER SECRETS, which hit #1 on the NYT. In 2014 Barbara was named the Amazon KDP Bestselling Author of all time! She was also the first Indie writer to sell over a million books on Barnes and Noble.

Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, romance and suspense, Barbara is a six-time finalist and two-time winner in the Romance Writers of America acclaimed RITA contest for her novels DANIEL’S GIFT and THE WAY BACK HOME.

For more information, visit her website at www.barbarafreethy.com

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New Release Review ! COMEBACK COWBOY by Sara Richardson (Rocky Mountain Riders #2)

Blurb: 
 
A WOMAN NEVER FORGETS HER FIRST COWBOY . . . 

As a single mother, Naomi Sullivan is used to doing things on her own. She’s finally saved enough from working at the Cortez Ranch to buy a lovely home for her and her little girl. Life is going as planned. But when her high school sweetheart comes riding back to town, this self-sufficient woman feels something she hasn’t felt in years: red-hot, unbridled need for the handsome cowboy who left her behind.

Lucas Cortez doesn’t plan on being in town long. Yet when he sees Naomi again-the gorgeous girl he never stopped loving-he’s tempted to hang up his hat and stay awhile. He’s already charmed his way into her daughter’s heart, but he’ll need more than sweet talk and roses to convince Naomi to give them a second chance-especially when she’s hiding a secret that could change their lives forever . . .

Comeback Cowboy is a sweet second chance romance story. I liked that the author didn’t always choose the obvious direction with things–we find out pretty quickly who’s the father of her ten-year-old daughter instead of dragging out the drama and suspense, for example, and even though it did sometimes look like one of the main characters was going to make a run for it in the other’s “best interest” they had adult conversations about what was going on instead and made decisions together. What a novel idea! 😉

Though some of the outcomes here almost seemed to come too easily, this is a sweet story with likable characters who really do deserve their HEA, even if the worst trials happened before the book even began…it’s not worth getting worked up about it; just go with the easy-reading flow and you’ll be glad you did.

Although it’s the second in the series, this book worked just fine as a standalone. The hero and heroine from book one appear quite a bit–Lance is Lucas’s brother, and Jessa is Naomi’s good friend–so I’ve already added book one (Hometown Cowboy ) to my TBR. It looks like the youngest brother, Levi, will have the next book ( Renegade Cowboy ) so I might as well add that one too, while I’m at it 🙂

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

AUTHOR INFORMATION: 

Sara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado’s rugged mountains. She’s climbed to the top of a 14,000-foot peak at midnight, swam through Class IV rapids, completed her wilderness first-aid certification, and spent seven days at a time tromping through the wilderness with a thirty-pound backpack strapped to her shoulders.

Eventually, Sara did the responsible thing and got an education in writing and journalism. After five years in the corporate writing world, she stopped ignoring the voices in her head and started writing fiction. Now, she uses her experience as a mountain adventure guide to write stories that incorporate adventure with romance. Still indulging her adventurous spirit, Sara lives and plays in Colorado with her saint of a husband and two young sons. Her first contemporary romance, No Better Man, was released by Grand Central forever 2015.

 

AUTHOR LINKS: 
Website: www.sararichardson.com

New Release Review and Giveaway! DATING THE WRONG MR. RIGHT by Amanda Ashby (The Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm #3)


Dating the Wrong Mr. Right
by Amanda Ashby
Publication Date: June 19, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Contemporary, Romance

SYNOPSIS:
Pepper Watson has lost everything–her job, her fiancé, and the future she’d so carefully planned. Now she’s back at Wishing Bridge trying to figure out her next step. Her new plan does not include the ever-so-sexy Ben Cooper. Nope. She’s getting her life back on track, and getting out of this little town as fast as possible.

Ben Cooper is doing his best to build his business and help his parents. The last thing he needs is the distraction that is Pepper Watson. She might be prickly every time he’s in her presence, but he sees another side of her. The side that has set aside her dreams to help her sisters. And then there’s the fact that kissing her is pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

He’s putting down roots. She’s running away. It’s going to take more than a wish for these two to find their happily ever after.

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Excerpt:

Next to her Coop shifted and lifted a finger up to her cheek. His touch was like a heat-ray and it wasn’t until he dropped his finger and mouthed the word ‘dust’ she remembered the candelabra.

She clamped down on her tongue to steady the uttering sensation in her stomach as she turned her attention back to the real problem. Paul.

Her ex-fiancé might be stubborn and controlling to a fault, but he never liked to contradict himself.

All I have to do is piss him off and he’ll walk away.

Exhilaration at finally getting her life back pumped through her veins and before she could stop herself, she did the one thing she swore she’d never allow herself to do.

She stood on her toes and searched for Coop’s mouth, her cheek still burning from his touch. The plan was to give him a small peck on the lips. Just enough to prove to Paul just how serious she was.

The reality was the moment her mouth brushed his, her stomach swirled and her entire body tingled. Big mistake.

She tried to pull away but forgot Coop’s arm was still around her shoulder and, as his lips formed a smile, he used his other arm to drag her closer, trapping her against his chest.

Somewhere in the distance Paul’s footsteps echoed against the wooden porch. But, it wasn’t until the sound of his engine roared into life she stepped away. Coop was grinning, as if kissing her was the biggest joke in the world.

“Well,” he said in a husky voice as he leaned against the staircase. “That was interesting. And now how about telling me what the hell’s going on?”

Which part? Where I finally got Paul to take me seriously, or that you kiss better than any man has a right to?

Either way, as far as Pepper could tell, she’d solved one problem by creating another one and now she was in trouble. Big, big trouble.

Review:
At long last–Pepper’s story 🙂

If you’ve read the other series books, you knew that Pepper was keeping secrets, and we’ve been almost as anxious as her sisters to figure out what they were. (If you haven’t read the others yet, no worries–this one should work fine as a standalone too…though her sisters play a pretty big part and you’ll probably end up wanting to know their stories as well. Just sayin’) Add in the fact that Pepper’s story is an enemies-to-lovers one, and boy, was I anxious to get to this book.

In many ways, it did not disappoint. We find out Pepper’s secrets–they are pretty heavy ones, and you absolutely want to see her back on her feet. There’s lots of cute moments between Pepper and her two sisters, and we get to see some major life moments for all the residents of Wishing Bridge Farm throughout the course of the book. There are more than a few funny, quirky moments with the townspeople throughout to keep the mood light–from what pie will be chosen for whom and why in the diner to who is going to ask Pepper for legal advice next and what their just left of left field question will be. Pepper and Coop have a history, which always has a lot to add to a story.

There were things, though, that frustrated me here. I love enemies-to-lovers stories, but Pepper’s animosity toward Coop felt like way too much. For all of her stomach swirling desire for him, she kept up the mean prickliness far too long–I’m not sure what kept him going in that direction, honestly. And I’m still scratching my head over their relationship black moment, because I felt even more blindsided by it than the characters did. Then they suffered–though we don’t really see much of it, because it’s off the pages–until they suddenly weren’t anymore. The resolution was cute, but awfully quick, and left me feeling not quite satisfied with how it came about.

Still, the story had an overall feel-good vibe, and I loved seeing Pepper finally open up to her sisters and watch them all progress through their HEAs. The ending really was pretty adorable, and the story even brought us a surprise wedding just to keep things interesting. A nice finish to a sweet series!

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


ABOUT AMANDA ASHBY:

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also works in a library, owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture.

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed by the New York Public Library?s Stuff for the Teen Age. Because she’s mysterious she also writes middle grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.

She also runs writing workshops and loves to speak to people about Buffy (er, she means writing). See her Website for more information.

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