New Box Set Review! TAMING THE PACK (Books 1-3) by Wendy Sparrow

Don’t miss my conversation with author Wendy Sparrow (and a tour giveaway!) here!


Taming the Pack Boxed Set

by Wendy Sparrow

About the box set:

Sometimes a wolf is all you need.

What do you get when you mix Alphas and sheriffs and park rangers? Three sexy tales of wolf shifter romance from the talented Wendy Sparrow sure to keep you up past your bedtime! With one click, immerse yourself in a rich world of danger, intrigue, a little humor, and more than a little heat.

Past My Defenses

After a feline danderbomb takes Vanessa down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who has no idea what he’d trapped. Dane Hansen had hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him?

This Weakness for You

Jordan Hill is his pack’s Alpha wolf, and after his last breakup, he’s opting to be the lone wolf, too. But when his rival’s little sister—a human—comes to his door, what should be a tasty snack turns out to be something more than Jordan could ever imagine. Christa Hansen is simply looking for a place to stay. Yet the dark shifter smells irresistibly like forever. But getting involved with the wolf who tried to kill her brother—twice—is lunacy. Falling for her family’s enemy won’t just be her downfall…it will be his, too.

Crazy Over You

Waking up with a naked woman holding a knife at his throat is just about the last thing Sheriff Travis Flynn expected. And the brother she’s looking for? A murderer. And dead. Probably. But the real shock comes when she insists she’s not a Lycan. Once LeAnn Wilcox finds her brother, she’ll get out of the pack’s territory and go back to her regular, nonfurry life. But LeAnn’s life is at stake if she won’t claim her place in the pack, especially once Travis’s control over the pack is challenged and her brother’s fate is questioned.

Review:

Past My Defenses

Wendy Sparrow has definitely written a werewolf (they go by lycan in this universe) story with a twist here. Our heroine does have super speed and fantastic hearing, but she also suffers from near-dibilitating alergies and has a relationship with her four(!) air purifiers that borders on unnatural.

Seriously. She’s taken down by a housecat in the first scene. (I was going to say “common housecat”, but I’m not entirely convinced he is.) She’s allergic to marshmallows. (According to the author’s note, so is Ms. Sparrow. My condolences…) Though I do love the fact that Dane puts her list of allergens on the fridge. And memorizes it. And they put the list to good use…more than once.

“What are you doing?” he asked, smiling against her skin.

“Listing out my allergies so I can keep my hormones from taking over.”

He shouldn’t keep going. They were meant to be paying attention to their environment. Plus, now “ragweed” had joined the list of words that couldn’t be said in mixed company. They should stop. He pulled back enough to drag his shirt off.

“You stopped on sesame seeds,” he said.

“Carrots, celery, cumin.” Cumin was said on a long moan. She made spices she couldn’t have sound even more forbidden.

“You forgot coriander.” He groaned as she bit his collarbone.

“I didn’t forget coriander. I just hadn’t gotten there yet.” It earned him another bite.

Oh, hell, they should really stop. “You were listing the Cs in alphabetical order.”

“I was just listing them.” She pressed herself closer to him. “Fennel, kiwi.” She tipped her head back and those nails scraped down his back again. “Coriander.”

Coriander was on the list of inappropriate words now.

Ms. Sparrow’s sense of humor really shines in this novel. Even though I will readily admit that a simple conversation or two could have resolved most if not all of Vanessa and Dane’s relationship woes in–oh, the second chapter maybe–I so thoroughly enjoyed reading the rest of the novel I didn’t even care. Plus, the “whodunnit” at the end isn’t completely obvious, which made it fun (though that individual was on my short list of suspects, I wasn’t at all sure until the big reveal).

Rating: 4 ½ stars / A-


This Weakness for You

Jordan’s story! I loved him in Vanessa and Dane’s book (Past My Defenses), and the nonstop sparring (mixed with a healthy dose of mutual respect) between Jordan and Dane continues here, since Jordan scent matches with Dane’s younger sister Christa. Absolutely perfect! 😉

Ms. Sparrow’s writing made me laugh out loud over and over again. Her sense of humor is fantastic, and really shines through both her writing and characters. Poor Christa–it took her most of the book to get used to the fact that she was surrounded by Lycans with amazing hearing, and her lapses made for some really funny scenes. (Awkward for her, but super funny for the rest of us)

Lucifer the cat is back too, and seeing him instantly obey Jordan even over the phone is hysterical. (Clearly, I need to get involved with an alpha Lycan–can I connect with one on eHarmony, do you think? My cats have a little too much power here.)

I was already half in love with Jordan’s big bad alpha wolf self after book one, so it was pretty much a given I was going to enjoy his book. Christa ends up being his perfect counterpart–she sees herself as weak for much of the book, in part because she has MS (yay to Ms. Sparrow for writing a heroine with MS!), but in reality she’s so much stronger than her condition. She’s a kickbutt marksman (markswoman?)–the scene where Jordan decides to teach her some basic gun safety is hilarious–and she has zero filter as far as her brain-to-mouth connection goes. (Remember the Lycan sense of hearing? So. Many. Laughs.)

Even her dad is awesome. If ever a family were created that should be involved with supernaturals, the Hansens are it. His retelling of his phone conversation with his daughter re: their new in-laws? I think I snorted some Pepsi Max out of my nose at that part.

Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about this book. If you like paranormals, appreciate humor in your reading, and enjoy sweet sexiness (there’s not really much actual steaminess, though, but I for one didn’t miss it at all), then do yourself a favor and give this series a try.

Quite a bit in this book hinges on what was going on in book one, but much of it is explained along the way (some of it for Christa’s benefit, since she was new to the situation), so it’s not necessary to have read the first book to “get” this one–but this series and these characters are so much fun you’re going to want to read them both—and since they’re now in a box set together, it’s easier than ever!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A


Crazy Over You

It’s a good thing that digital highlighters don’t ever dry up, because I gave my Kindle’s highlighter function a real workout with this one. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments, and so many truly clever lines. I enjoyed the heck out of reading this one.

Right from the very first page, Travis and LeAnn are on opposite sides–he’s a small-town sheriff, she’s a (rather successful) petty criminal; she’s looking for her brother, he might just have had a hand in the man’s very recent death; he wakes from a dead sleep to find her naked on top of him, with one of his own knives to his throat–and just in case that’s not enough, Travis realizes almost immediately that they’ve scent matched, which means they’re destined to be mates.

Oh, the conflict! The pages are oozing with it, in the best possible way.

“If you let me up, we can keep talking about this.” And by “talking” he meant he’d have her on her back, moaning out his name rather rapidly. His very long stretch of abstinence was about to end.

She licked her lips and wrinkled up her nose. “First, tell me where my brother is.”

Well, that would ruin any “talking”.

Even though at first they seem like oil and water, the reader can clearly see that fate got it right this time–LeAnn and Travis are each exactly what the other needs. Travis, the organizing, control-freak alpha, definitely needed a less-than-gentle shove out of the rut his life had gotten into. LeAnn had spent a lifetime looking for a place to belong and a family that wouldn’t leave or make her want to leave, and she finds it with Jordan and the pack. Plus, she gets to use her “special skills” for the greater good for a change.

She could hot-wire cars. That was good to know. Also very sexy. In a non-law-abiding way that he couldn’t ever outwardly support.

The suspense was nicely done–though I was pretty sure I knew some of what was going on, I didn’t have it all figured out until the characters did, which was excellent. Book three continues the series’ overarching plot where the packs are concerned, finally resolving their main problem–which is good, because resolution! but sad, because the series comes to an end… 🙁

The romance, of course, is fantastic–Travis and LeAnn have great chemistry and even better banter. Even in the middle of a shootout, they were making me laugh.

Both he and LeAnn bounced up at the same time, firing. More swearing from Troy.

“Yes!” LeAnn said as they dropped back down to the floor.

“I got him,” they said at the same time before scowling at each other.

“Oh, that was me,” LeAnn said.

“No, I’m sorry, but that was me.” He wasn’t going to give up his hits because she was a woman he wanted in a filthy way–one he wanted even more now that he’d seen her fire a gun. “Troy, was that last hit from a rifle or handgun?” he yelled.

His answer was more swearing.

“It was from a rifle,” he translated for her.

“Oh, sweetie, if you really need this to boost your self-confidence, I’ll give you this one,” she said, giving him a long look.

“Honey, that wasn’t a gun in my pocket a few minutes back. Trust me, I have a lot to be confident about.” He gestured toward the other side of the table with his head. “Including that last shot.”

She pulled her shirt off. “And they’re real, babydoll.”

He stared.

“And that last shot was all me too.”

See what I mean? There’s a lot more where that comes from, believe me. 😉

This book was a thank-goodness-I-don’t-have-to-work-today-because-I’m-not-sure-I-could-stop-reading-it kind of story. Make sure you’ve cleared out a few hours before you sit down to start it; you’ll be glad you did.

I have loved this series from start to finish, and can’t wait to see what Ms. Sparrow has in store for us next. In the meantime, at least we have her backlist… 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

Tour Grand Finale and Giveaway! THE WEDDING MARCH by Tara Randel (The Business of Weddings #4)


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Wedding March
By Tara Randel

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out…

Launch – Note from the Author

I hope you enjoy Cassie and Luke’s journey in The Wedding March. And if you’ve read my previous books set in Cypress Pointe, you’ll catch up with familiar characters who pop up in this book. Thanks for stopping by!

— Tara

Falling Leaves – Excerpt

“I’d love to talk to you about your song-writing days. You’ve been—”

He held his hand up “Let me stop you right here.”

She blinked. His sudden displeasure indicated she’d gone too far.

“I’m not going to talk about music careers, song writing or whatever you have your mind set on.”

“I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“You didn’t. I just need you to know I’m not available for whatever it is you want.”

Reading Is My SuperPower – Review

“The Wedding March needs to be on your TBR list. Clean romance, fun characters, and a sweet story. It’s a look at how to deal with the tough-to-love people in our lives, as well as encouragement to hold out hope to the people struggling to find their place. This book will put a smile on your face and in your heart!”

Book Lover in Florida – Excerpt

What had she been thinking? How had she expected to pull off a full-blown concert in two weeks’ time? Therein lies the problem. She hadn’t been. Her only thoughts were to impress Luke.

How’s that going?

Cassie paced the stage, clasping her sweaty palms together as the tech team buzzed with activity around her. A late afternoon coastal breeze picked up, swirling the ankle-length sheer skirt around her high-heeled boots, carrying with it the scent of salt water sweetened by the newly blooming orange blossoms. Her entire outfit, a black mesh with gold embellishments around the waist and hem, fit over a black tank minidress. She’d even dyed the pink streak in her hair black to match.

Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt

“Are you always so antsy before a performance?”

She shyly glanced at him. “It’s not every day I play with Luke Hastings.”

“It’s no big deal.”

“To me it is.”

He didn’t want to be flattered, but he couldn’t deny the pleasure her words brought. After his ex had pretty much flattened his ego, Cassie was a breath of fresh air. She didn’t try to railroad him. Didn’t go on and on about her place in the music business. She liked his friends. Had come up with this idea to raise money for the Klub using her own resources.

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Review

“I really loved the fact that there is a kids at risk program in this book. There need to be more “real world” centers like this. I really loved the teens in this book. They make great secondary characters and their stories are so real. Cassie and Luke are great too, and I love how they get together through songwriting.

Clean romance lovers will really enjoy The Wedding March.”

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Excerpt

Luke grinned as he viewed the scene before him. Denny and Kyle high-fived, laughing, while a group of kids clapped over their success. Erin stood on the periphery, biting a fingernail. Cassie stood beside him, dripping wet, but smiling. Despite the fact that Luke had just learned someone had stolen money from the Klub, his heart expanded. He’d figure out what was going on and fix this mess, just as Cassie suggested. Maybe even with her at his side.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“This is a cute and sweet story. The characters have both had a lot of heartache and suffer trust issues. The story is one of forgiveness and learning get to love again.”

Rainy Day Reviews – Review

“I loved the sweetness of the story and even though I am not a fan of mushy lovey stuff, it wasn’t heavy in this story. I really appreciated that this romance was clean as well as sweet and fun. All in all, this was a great read and I look forward to not only reading the first three in this series but the rest that will follow. This was definitely a fell good story with all the feels.”

Heidi Reads… – Excerpt

“We aren’t talking about me.”

“Maybe we should.”

Her steady gaze held his. His heart pounded. This close, he could see the distinctive shade of green mocking his words. She knew, maybe even better than he did.

“Talent like yours doesn’t go away,” she echoed.

“Maybe it should.”

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review

“I love a romance with some meat to it and this isn’t a fluffy insta-love story. The struggles are real and the love is gradual. I love how the romance is mixed with music and the relationships with this group of troubled teens, which combined, puts some cracks in the emotional walls. There is a minuscule thread of mystery, which adds to the tension and makes for an overall well-balanced diet of words.”

Mel’s Shelves – Review

“I loved this story from the beginning and had a hard time putting it down! Cassie and Luke were both easy characters to like and the romance was natural. There were other great characters and side stories to keep things interesting. It’s a fantastic, clean contemporary romance!”

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

“This is a wonderful tale presented by two different people’s concepts. It is a story of a few individuals raised in a dysfunctional and/or abusive life style. It offers a great concept for “at risk” children. Adventure, mystery and romance atre also a part of this book, written for Adults, but YA will love it, too!” – Lu Ann

“This a fun story. I like the theme of the story. It was quick to capture my attention and then interesting enough to hold it throughout the story. . . . I would highly recommend this book to other readers. It was a great read.” – Vickie

Wishful Endings – Review

“THE WEDDING MARCH is a steady-paced story that involves family drama, a teen outreach program, musical fame, and sweet romance. It embodied this Harlequin line of books with a story that is sure to touch readers’ hearts. If you enjoy sweet romance with plenty of depth from complex relationships and situations, then definitely give this one a try!”

Getting Your Read On – Review

“I enjoyed the natural progression of Cassie and Luke’s relationship. They were both so wary in the beginning but slowly became friends and confidants. It didn’t feel rushed or over the top. It was just a gentle and sweet story. I really enjoyed it!'”

underneath the covers – Excerpt

“Maybe it’s time.”

“To start again?”

He nodded.

“How about with me?” she asked, her voice small.

He froze. He’d thought about working with her. But the memory of their kisses stopped him. He’d been romantically involved with his last partner. He wasn’t sure he wanted to travel that same path with Cassie. He wanted something different with her.

Hardcover Feedback – Review

“Seeing the story progress, watching Cassie and Luke interact with one another as well Cassie’s involvement with the kids, was very enjoyable.

I feel this story can easily be read as a stand-alone, but I do want to read the first story now because of the scenes with Nealy and Dane. I think anyone who enjoys Harlequin’s Heartwarming line will have a good time reading The Wedding March. I definitely recommend it.”

Harlie’s Books – Review

“By the end of the book, I was sad. I didn’t want it to end but alas, it had too. I will miss the colored streak in Cassie’s hair, Luke’s kisses (Oh my), Denny and Erin and the goings on in Cypress Pointe. Great character growth and depth from Cassie and Luke. And yes, Ms. Randal gets it too. She writes a beautiful love story that everyone can read and have a happy heart in the end.”

Becky on Books – Review

“A gentle and sweet romance–like book 3 ( The Bridal Bouquet) there’s a bit of a mystery involved, and a whole lot of (mostly family and ex-related) drama. This time, though, throw in the complications that the music industry and fame bring with them, plus a healthy dose of writer’s block and…yikes. Yeah, Cassie and Luke have obstacles galore on their way to an HEA.”

Don’t forget to enter the awesome giveaway below, if you haven’t already…

The Wedding March
(The Business of Weddings #4)
Tara Randel
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
March 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The help only he can offer…

Cypress Pointe, Florida, is a long way from LA, where pop singer Cassie Branford needs a hit to prove she’s not a twoalbum wonder. But her case of writer’s block could be over when the struggling songwriter meets Luke Hastings at a family wedding.

The legendary musician walked away from success at the height of his career. Yet Luke is already inspiring Cassie with his dedication to building a permanent community outreach center for troubled teens. Volunteering to help bring music into these kids’ lives is also bringing her and Luke closer. Maybe they’re not as different as he thinks…

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Other Books in the Series

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn’t come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Tour Giveaway!

– US PRIZE PACK: Signed copies of the first three books in The Business of Weddings series by Tara Randel, a $25 gift card for Dunkin’ Donuts, a coffee mug with an inspirational message: “Something beautiful is on the horizon,” and a Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag. (US only)
– $25 Amazon eCard (open internationally)
Ends March 28th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
March 13th: Falling Leaves
March 14th: Reading Is My SuperPower & Book Lover in Florida
March 15th: Hearts & Scribbles
March 16th: Christy’s Cozy Corners & Rainy Day Reviews
March 17th: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium & Bookworm Lisa
March 19th: Heidi Reads…
March 20th: Katie’s Clean Book Collection, Mel’s Shelves & Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 21st: Wishful Endings & Getting Your Read On
March 22nd: underneath the covers & Hardcover Feedback
March 23rd: Harlie’s Books & Becky on Books
March 24th: Grand Finale

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New Release Review and Giveaway! THE WEDDING MARCH by Tara Randel (The Business of Weddings #4)

The Wedding March
(The Business of Weddings #4)
Tara Randel
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
March 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The help only he can offer…

Cypress Pointe, Florida, is a long way from LA, where pop singer Cassie Branford needs a hit to prove she’s not a twoalbum wonder. But her case of writer’s block could be over when the struggling songwriter meets Luke Hastings at a family wedding.

The legendary musician walked away from success at the height of his career. Yet Luke is already inspiring Cassie with his dedication to building a permanent community outreach center for troubled teens. Volunteering to help bring music into these kids’ lives is also bringing her and Luke closer. Maybe they’re not as different as he thinks…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Review:

A gentle and sweet romance–like book 3 ( The Bridal Bouquet) there’s a bit of a mystery involved, and a whole lot of (mostly family and ex-related) drama. This time, though, throw in the complications that the music industry and fame bring with them, plus a healthy dose of writer’s block and…yikes. Yeah, Cassie and Luke have obstacles galore on their way to an HEA.

Spoiler alert: they’ll get there. Eventually 🙂

Couples from other series books make appearances (the main couple do not get to their own “wedding march” during the course of the book, but both of them are present at plenty of weddings throughout the story), and though you’ll probably be curious about their stories, if you haven’t read them you should do just fine here.

My only real complaint? What English teacher doesn’t ever have to spend time grading, planning, or reading over student work…? 😉

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Other Books in the Series:

  

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn’t come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Tour Giveaway!

– US PRIZE PACK: Signed copies of the first three books in The Business of Weddings series by Tara Randel, a $25 gift card for Dunkin’ Donuts, a coffee mug with an inspirational message: “Something beautiful is on the horizon,” and a Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag. (US only)
– $25 Amazon eCard (open internationally)
 Ends March 28th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

March 12th: Launch
March 13th: Falling Leaves
March 14th: Reading Is My SuperPower & Book Lover in Florida
March 15th: Hearts & Scribbles
March 16th: Christy’s Cozy Corners & Rainy Day Reviews
March 17th: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium & Bookworm Lisa
March 19th: Heidi Reads…
March 20th: Katie’s Clean Book CollectionMel’s Shelves & Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 21st: Wishful Endings & Getting Your Read On
March 22nd: underneath the covers & Hardcover Feedback
March 23rd: Harlie’s Books & Becky on Books
March 24th: Grand Finale

Grab Our Button!

New Release Review and Giveaway! EVEN COWBOYS GET THE BLUES by Amie Stuart (Bluebonnet, Texas #5)

Today is the blog tour for Even Cowboys Get the Blues by Amie Stuart. Check out today’s post and grab your copy today!

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About Even Cowboys Get the Blues:

Tim Caldwell doesn’t do relationships…

Not after his wife walked out on him and their daughter ten years before. He’s got a well earned reputation as a Casanova Cowboy who’s never met a woman he couldn’t talk into bed…until Toni duBois. Disinterest isn’t something he’s is used to. Neither is playing by someone else’s rules.

Toni duBois doesn’t do forever…

After fifteen years away, Toni’s headed home to Louisiana in search of the answer she needs and the redemption she craves. She doesn’t plan on hanging around in Bluebonnet, Texas, any longer that she has to and she isn’t interested in a steamy, sexy entanglement. Regardless of how good looking said entanglement might be.

Rene Caldwell doesn’t do step-moms…

Unfortunately for both them, Tim’s teenage daughter, Rene has opinions. Lots of them. And she’s feeling a certain kind of way about Toni—mostly pissed. So when she pulls out all the stops to keep Toni from getting her hooks into Tim and Toni’s dark past is revealed, no one is safe from the fallout.

ECGTB
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Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

Review:

Wow. I finished this one with (mostly happy-ish) tears and a burning desire to see more of these people–a lot more–and soon. Please tell me future series books will let us know more about what the future has for Toni, Tim, and Rene? Please? Because those three–they just grabbed me and aren’t letting go. I am pushing so hard for them to get their HEA-forever together, and I feel a burning desire to know exactly what that’s going to look like. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the ending–but gosh darn it, I want to know more.

At first the different POVs–Toni and Rene’s sections are done in first person, Tim’s in third–felt a bit strange, but eventually it stopped being such a glaring difference for me. I’m still not sure why that choice was made, but it worked for the most part, so I guess that’s okay. Either way, Ms Stuart definitely managed to draw me right into the lives of her three characters, and whoa, did I ever really truly care what was going to happen to them. There were so many times that I teared up over the three of them, and then that ending…

Happy (teary) sighs.

So far I’ve only read one other Bluebonnet Texas book, The Big Girl’s Guide to Buying Lingerie , Rowdy’s book, the one just before this one. (I actually didn’t realize they were the same series when I started this one, and still am not 100% about the timing of these two books–Rowdy, the hero of Lingerie, is pretty present here, being Tim’s ex-brother-in-law and one of Rene’s favorite uncles, and there’s no mention of his heroine, Jade…I’ll have to go back and double-check in book 4, but maybe this one happened first? Or book 4 began during the events of this one? I can’t remember how long Jade and Rowdy “knew” each other virtually before getting together IRL, so…) I had a few of the same concerns in this book as I did in book 4–so many characters and couples, and keeping straight which family member was which was still a challenge–but here it gave me less trouble this time than with book four. Maybe seeing things from Tim’s daughter Rene’s POV too helped? Not sure…all I can say is yes, I needed to remind myself occasionally who was who, but it was somehow easier to getup to speed and keep everyone straight in my head this time around.

So…can this be read as a standalone? Yes, with more success than book 4, though I did manage there too. But honestly, you’re probably going to want to know the stories of all of those other characters that you’re going to encounter here, so you might as well give in and just keep clicking those “want to read” buttons sooner rather than later.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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About Amie Stuart:

Amie Stuart is the last of a dying breed: a Native Texan. She writes sexy, emotional contemporary romances set in small towns. In the past, she’s worked as a receptionist, a daycare office manager, delivered pizzas, and was even a hairdresser for five years–all fodder for the writing gig. That and all those Barbara Cartland romances she cut her teeth on.

None of those careers can compare to her favorite job: writer. She’s a storyteller through and through, even when she’s keeping tabs on her almost-grown sons and many pets, or organizing promo and planning trips for her day job as a personal assistant. She smokes, she drinks, she writes–sometimes at the same time.

Connect with Amie:
Tweet | Facebook | Pinterest | Website | Goodreads

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Enter Amie’s Giveaway:
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Blogs Taking Part in the Blog Tour:

March 20th

Sweet Red Reads Review

Books need TLC Review

A Sky Filled with Sparkling Stars Excerpt

Angels With Attitude Book Reviews Excerpt

March 21st

Becky on Books Review

SBB Reviews Review

March 22nd

Briar’s Reviews Excerpt

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews Review

Bobo’s Book Bank Review

March 23rd

Friends Till The End Book Blog Excerpt

What Is That Book About Excerpt

All Things Dark & Dirty Excerpt

March 24th

Adventures in Writing Excerpt

The Ordinary Housewife Book Blog Review

March 25th

It’s All About the Romance Excerpt

Ashley Book Blog Review

Tania’s Book Blog Review

March 26th

Nicole’s Book Musings Excerpt

Those Crazy Book Chicks Excerpt

March 27th

Jen’s Reading Obsession Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café Excerpt

 

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New Release Review and Excerpt! SHADE’S LADY by Joanna Wylde (A Reapers MC novella, 1001 Dark Nights novellla)

From New York Times Bestselling author Joanna Wylde, comes SHADE’S LADY, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure you grab your copy today!

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About SHADE’S LADY:

New York Times bestselling author Joanna Wylde returns to the world of the Reapers Motorcycle Club…

Looking back, none of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t dropped my phone in the toilet. I mean, I could’ve walked away from him if I’d had it with me.

Or maybe not.

Maybe it was all over the first time he saw me, and he would’ve found another way.

Probably—if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Shade always gets what he wants, and apparently he wanted me.

Right from the first.

couple kissing on motorcycle

Excerpt:

“You get to travel,” I told him, frustrated. “In a few weeks or a month or whatever you’ll leave this place. You’ll go see things and do things, and for some reason you seem to have enough money to live on without taking a shitty job waiting tables.”

Shade snorted. “Mandy, you don’t wanna know how I get my money.”

“Let me guess—it’s bad?” I asked, rolling my eyes. “I’m starting to think I’m genetically incapable of being attracted to a good guy. No offense.”

“None taken,” he replied, offering a slow smile. “I’m not a good man. But I’m not a man who’ll drag you down into the dirt, either. Or let you get caught up in club business. The Reapers have been around for a long time and we’re real good at taking care of our people. I’m not sayin’ I’ll never need a getaway car, but if I do, I sure as shit won’t trick my woman into driving it.”

God, how was he so sexy when he was saying such terrible things? And that knowing, naughty look in his eyes…it wasn’t fair.

“This is crazy,” I said, trying hard not to smile back at him. “I need to get to work and you need to go do whatever it is that you do that may or may not involve getaway cars”

Review:

A new-to-me-author and series, and I really enjoyed this one!

MC-themed romances are often hit-or-miss for me; I mean, those guys really are bad boys, and that fact often has me torn. Then again, when they’re written to be not really all that bad, that can be problematic too, so…yeah. I’m picky. But I really enjoyed Ms. Wylde’s style of writing (Mandy’s internal conversations with Wonder Woman? Totally cracked me up. Every. Time. Not to mention her constant need to slap down her girly parts–in case WW was sleeping on the job–made me giggle) and the climate and culture of the Reapers MC seemed realistic without being too over the top. It helped that Mandy’s not terribly crazy about the women-as-property aspect of things, because I’m right there with her on that one.

Most of the novella was from Mandy’s POV, which worked well–we only see things from Shade’s viewpoint a few times when either she’s not around or it’s necessary to see inside his head instead. It served to keep him more of a mystery to us, much as he is to Mandy for most of the book, but it was nice to get his take on things the few times we did. For the most part, Mandy’s the easier character to identify with, which worked out fine for me–as I mentioned already, her internal voice was just too funny.

Shade’s Lady worked just fine as a standalone, but you’d better believe I’ll be checking out other books in this series! I’ll especially keep my eyes out for future ones, because we’re left more with an HFN here instead of an HEA, and I really have high hopes for the two of them 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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Joanna Wylde - author imageAbout Joanna Wylde:

Joanna Wylde started her writing career in journalism, working in two daily newspapers as both a reporter and editor. Her career has included many different jobs, from managing a homeless shelter to running her own freelance writing business, where she took on projects ranging from fundraising to ghostwriting for academics. During 2012 she got her first Kindle reader as a gift and discovered the indie writing revolution taking place online. Not long afterward she started cutting back her client list to work on Reaper’s Property, her breakout book. It was published in January 2013, marking the beginning of a new career writing fiction.

Joanna lives in the mountains of northern Idaho with her family.

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Joanna Wylde’s SHADE’S LADY – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule

March 15th

ALL THINGS DARK & DIRTY – Excerpt

A geordielass’ honest blog on reviews – Review

BeawareOf The Reader – Review & Excerpt

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

FMR Book Grind – Review

Happily Ever After – Review

Love Between The Sheets – Review

Reading Is My Bliss – Review

Reviews by Tammy and Kim – Review & Excerpt

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March 16th

A Reader Who Reads – Excerpt

A Stone’s Throw – Review & Excerpt

BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt

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East Coast Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt

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Kindlecousins – Excerpt

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March 17th

Abigail Books Addiction – Review

Angels With Attitude Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

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Confessions of a YA and NA Book Addict – Review & Excerpt

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March 18th

Abibliophobia anonymous book reviews – Excerpt

Always YA at Heart – Review & Excerpt

Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt

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March 19th

Angie and Jessica’s Dreamy Reads – Review & Excerpt

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Ever After Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

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March 20th

Agents of Romance – Excerpt

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Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents – Review & Excerpt

I’m A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore – Review

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March 21st

a crazy vermonters book reviews – Review

An Asian Chick & Her Cat Walk into a Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

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March 22nd

A Hopeless Romantic’s Booklandia – Review & Excerpt

Blushing babes are up all night – Review

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March 23rd

Ashley Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

a small girl, her man and her books – Review & Excerpt

Bobo’s Book Bank – Review & Excerpt

Books & Beauty Are My Bag – Review

Kris & Vik Book Therapy Cafe – Review & Excerpt

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Reviews from the heart – Review & Excerpt

Sexy Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

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March 24th

After the Pages – Review

Alphas Do It Better Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Jennifers Taking A Break – Review & Excerpt

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

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Trea’s Thoughts, Musings, and Journeys for a Good Read – Review & Excerpt

Twinsie Talk – Review

Wicked Reads – Review & Excerpt

Wrapped Up In Reading – Review

 

 

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New Release Review! OPERATION PROM DATE by Cindi Madsen (Tactics in Flirting #1)

Operation Prom Date
Tactics in Flirting #1
by Cindi Madsen

Synopsis:

Kate ships tons of fictional couples, but IRL her OTP is her and Mick, the hot quarterback she’s crushed on since, like, forever. With only one semester left of senior year, it’s now or never if she wants to land him in time for prom. Since she’s flirtationally challenged, she enlists Cooper Callihan, the guy who turned popular seemingly overnight but who used to be a good friend.

Cooper lives and breathes rowing, but his partner just broke his wrist. When he remembers Kate’s good with a set of oars, he strikes a deal: help him train, and he’ll make sure her crush notices her. Only he didn’t know how addicting spending time with her would be. Or how the more successful the Operation is, the more jealousy he experiences.

The mission has been set. The troops have their marching orders. But what if the target is the wrong guy all along?

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains stargazing, accidental swimming, and poker swindling. This kissing practice will melt your ereader…and give you a new couple to ship.

 

Review:

So much swoony, feel-good adorableness here!

Operation Prom Date is everything that is good about YA romances–a slightly geeky, fairly awkward heroine; a seriously nice (and ripped! bonus…) hero; a friends-to-something more pairing–throw in the perfect prom dress and a bearded dragon, and I’m not sure what else you could possibly want 🙂

Often the romantic-tension-could-be-fixed-with-a-conversation-type plots drive me crazy, but here it actually worked. Kate and Cooper were both trying to stick to the plan (he helps her land her dream prom date, she helps him train for the rowing contest while his regular partner is unable to, both are super-adorable as they use military terms to refer to their mission a la what Kate used to do with her dad) and every time one of them started to get other ideas, Ms. Madsen gave them a perfectly reasonable reason for them to deny it. Even when I was thinking Gah! You’re each other’s OTP! Wake up already! and trying to come up with ship names that didn’t just sound like their actual names (fortunately, Cooper did a much better job with that than I did) I still loved every minute that I spent with these two.

And then the ending? Made every second of semi-frustration totally worth it.

Anxiously awaiting book #2!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

New Release Review! SO GOOD by Darcy Burke (Love on the Vine #1)

So Good
by Darcy Burke

Synopsis:

Cameron Westcott has spent eight years recovering from heartbreak by keeping romantic entanglements casual and simple. He’s never minded being called a manwhore, but after two years immersing himself in his new winery, he might be ready for the next chapter. Especially when he meets a sexy wine distributor—only she says she isn’t interested.

Following a bitter divorce, Brooke Ellis relocated to Ribbon Ridge to rebuild her life. Things will never be the same for her, and she’s coming to terms with that reality when she meets charming, persistent Cam. She can’t imagine a happy ever after given his reputation, but he makes her feel so good.

As the sparks between them intensify, they’re both hesitant to commit for very different reasons. Or are they really just sabotaging their own futures? If they can trust each other—and themselves—they may realize that what they share is too good to let slip away.

 

Review:

A highly satisfying contemporary romance!

Newly divorced, Brooke isn’t interested in a relationship, and especially not one with Cameron, who has a reputation for being a player. Cameron, however, has been trying to rebuild his life lately–and make his business venture with his brothers and best friend a success–and has no interest in his old, manwhorish ways. He does, however, have an intense interest in Brooke…now he just needs to convince her of it!

Fun characters, a nice romance, and the tidbits about wine and wineries made this an entertaining read. It’s the first in a new series, but connected to her Ribbon Ridge books (which I’ve only read a few of, but will remedy soon)–it’s a good place to start with this author’s contemporary series if you haven’t read any yet.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

 

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! SECRETS OF A RELUCTANT PRINCESS by Casey Griffin

Secrets of a Reluctant Princess
by Casey Griffin
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen

 

At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…

Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.

Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.

Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.

The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.

 

Review:

 A cute story, though it does stretch the boundaries of credibility a few times:)

Andy, Kevin, Keelie, and Harper are all fun characters, and easy to root for even when you’re questioning the choices they (okay, mostly Andy) are making. The live action role playing aspects were fun, and almost made me want to try it myself. I really liked how the author used both larp and Andy’s other talents to help her create a path to her own HEA; it was a nice touch. 

My first book from Ms.Griffin; I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from her in the future! 

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. 

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

About the author:

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.

 

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New Release Review! AGORAPHOBIC: INSIDE OUT A Short Story by Sara Secora

Agoraphobic: Inside Out by Sara Secora
A short story – 11 pages
Release Date: January 30th 2017

Summary:

28-year-old Kade hasn’t been able to make it past his sidewalk in eight years. In this chilling short story, you will be given a glimpse into the inner workings of his mind as he goes through the process of trying to face his irrational, but very real fears.

Experience firsthand what goes on in an Agoraphobic’s mind and begin to understand the silent disorder that millions of people across the world struggle with.

Review:

Agoraphobic: Inside Out is a very short short story that gives a fairly intense look into the mind of a man who hasn’t gone more than 15 steps from his front door in years. I really connected with the main character Kade–Ms. Secora did a great job of making us see and feel things as he saw and felt them. Actually, at one point I was a tad bit concerned about just how much I started to identify with him…I had to take a quick walk outside, just to prove I could!

This is a very short story, but based on its impact I would definitely pick up a longer work from the author!

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

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About the Author:

Sara Secora has a passion for all things gamer and nerdy, as evidenced on her YouTube channel, AviGaming. She is also a well-branded voice over artist.

Secora has always been in love with writing, and nearly a decade ago, she finally turned her talents to the arduous endeavor of authoring an exciting fantasy trilogy. Her whimsical stories are full of enchantment, mystique, and insight—destined to intrigue readers of any age.

Secora lives in Detroit, Michigan, where she continues to explore old and new avenues for her talent and hard work.

 

Author Links:

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New Release and Giveaway! SINFUL SCOTTISH LAIRD by Julia London (The Highland Grooms #2)

Synopsis:

A young widow puts her sexy suitors to the test in New York Times bestselling author Julia London’s scintillating return to the idyllic Scottish Highlands.

Widowed and forced to remarry in three years’ time or forfeit her son’s inheritance, Daisy Bristol, Lady Chatwick, has plenty of suitors vying for her hand and her fortune. But a letter from a long-lost love sends Daisy and her young son to her Scottish Highland estate to buy time for his return. Along the way she encounters the powerful Cailean Mackenzie, laird of Arrandale and a notorious smuggler, and she is utterly and unwillingly bewitched.

Cailean has no use for any Sassenach in his glen. But Daisy’s brazen, flirtatious nature and alluring beauty intrigue him. When her first love appears unexpectedly at her estate, Cailean knows that a passionate woman like Daisy cannot marry this man. And to prevent the union, Cailean must put his own life at risk to win her heart.

 

Review:

Absolutely loved!

Cailean and Daisy’s story started out with more than a little bit of lust at first sight, compounded with a healthy dollop of distrust and dislike, to make this one heck of a enemies-to-friends-to-lovers story in the end. With Scottish brogue and plaids–really, there’s not a single downside to be had here! 😉

I just adored both the hero and heroine here, and found myself wanting nothing more than for the two of them to get together while I was reading this book–which of course is exactly what you’re looking for in a romance! Their reasons for not being together made sense, even as I railed against them–truly, they gave this story the best kind of angst–and OMG, Daisy’s young son Ellis? I. Love. That. Kid. Seeing him open up and become the little boy that had been hiding inside him all along made me want to stand up and cheer. (And gah! Seeing Cailean with him? Gave me all kinds of feels. Just when I thought the guy couldn’t become any more awesome…) My only complaint is that we don’t get to see nearly enough of Daisy and Cailean’s HEA here, but I fully expect that to be remedied in future books in the series 🙂

Though this is the second book in the series, it worked just fine as a standalone. Book one ( Wild Wicked Scot ) is Cailean’s parents’ story–their story is hinted at here, but if you haven’t read it yet you’re not at a disadvantage at all. I’m not saying that you won’t want to read their story ASAP, though–chances are you will–but at least that will keep you busy until younger brother Rabbie’s story ( Hard-Hearted Highlander ) comes out later this year 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About the author:

Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than two dozen romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular historical romance series, the Cabot Sisters, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch, and The Perfect Homecoming.

Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction.

Connect with Julia:

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