New Release Review and Giveaway! TEN DAYS WITH THE HIGHLANDER by Hayson Manning (Love Abroad #1)

About the Book: 

Go-getter Georgia Paxton has ten days to acquire a quaint hotel in the Scottish Highlands for her travel accommodation company before she’s off on her next grand adventure. Too bad the sexy, broody Scot who owns the place is dead against the idea…and that she’s in very real danger of losing their little bet to see who can convince whom first.

There’s no way Callum MacGregor is going to let the gorgeous American turn his tiny hometown over to bored tourists looking to satisfy their Outlander fantasies. He only has ten days to convince her to slow down and see the magic of the town and its people. If he succeeds, he won’t have to run her out of the county. But if he fails, Georgia might run off with his heart.
 
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Excerpt:

Callum twisted the arm until it was free, then clicked it into place. He then put her hand on a knob on the side of the machine. “Twist lightly,” he said. “That knob is temperamental. Your stroke has to be just right.”

With his hand covering Georgia’s, he turned the knob until a stream of coffee poured into the ceramic cup.

“A temperamental knob. Duly noted.”

He swallowed. Yep, husky bed voice.

He pressed in another half inch and grabbed her right hand, guiding it to a lever. “To get the pressure right, you’ve got to push this lever down until the steam starts to appear.” Her hand was soft and warm under his.

“Okay.” More husky voice, and heat pouring out of her and soaking him.

“When you get steam, turn it off like this.” He gently pushed her hand, so the lever set to neutral. “You want to get all the water out before you dip your wand.”

She moved back a fraction, brushing against his chest. “Everyone should know how to dip their wand just the way they like it.”

“Manufacturer recommendation.” He edged back, so the evidence of this conversation didn’t announce itself. He could blame morning biology, but he wasn’t a liar by nature.

The atmosphere in the room thickened to clotted cream.

“I always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation. I wouldn’t want the wand to get damaged.”

He shook his head. “Terrible thing, a damaged wand.”

With the wand dipped into the silver jug, he swirled the milk until the right consistency of froth appeared. Balancing the cup and the jug, he drew a heart into the coffee.

“Last thing.”

“Okay,” she whispered.

“You must always clean the wand, thoroughly. No one wants a dirty wand.”

“Wands should be kept clean at all times. Never know when you’re going to need it.” The husk in her voice vibrated through his body.

He stepped back, hands in his pockets, her heat hitching his heart rate.

Review:

A cute and quirky contemporary romance!

I loved Georgia and Callum’s meet cute (having just taught Mini Moe #2 to parallel park, I shudder to think about trying to do the same on the other side of the road…) and that there’s not one, but two adorable pets here; Hello Kitty (a cat, natch) and Delilah (a goat! I never thought I’d be such a goat fan, but OMG she was awesome). Their nicknames for each other were on the strange side (I get the reasoning, but “Corporate” and “Sofa”?) but their banter was cute and their chemistry solid, even though their relationship was a bit insta-y (“Ten Days” after all. It’s built right in there). Ms Manning did a good job of making us see both of their sides in the main argument, though I had a tendency to side more on Callum’s side their eventual resolution was a good one and led to a sweet ending.

Georgia’s reason for not staying in Scotland/with Callum was a bit aggravating–sure he’s perfect, this place is perfect, I’m feeling the “L” word, but in a year I’ll probably be bored and want to leave because that’s what I do–it went on for longer than it felt like it should and did have me rolling my eyes a bit. Fortunately, both Callum and I managed to stick it out anyway and a cute HEA for everyone was our reward.

Looking forward to the next book in the series–I wonder where Ms Manning will take us next? 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Meet the Author:

I love The Princess Bride, The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives – the drama is deliciously addictive. Big Bang Theory but will take Wolowitz over Cooper. Star Trek not Star Wars. Undercover Boss, Secret Millionaire – any story that shows the little guy making it. I follow the Buffalo Bills like a religion. I am spellbound by showjumping and equestrian eventing. I love curling up and reading all books – no genre is off-topic. I like ironing, I hate peas, love donkeys, I play a killer game of Scrabble. I will often be heading towards the fridge for another Diet Coke. I eat nothing with legs and believe wine goes with everything, oh and I’m an expert at finding new and inventive ways to avoid exercise.I live in the sparkly beachside suburb of Redondo Beach in California with my infuriating shoe-dropping husband and my two boys who speak in mystifying grunts.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card

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New(ish) Release Review! SWEETLY, DEEPLY, ABSOLUTELY by Kira Archer (Sweet Love #3)


Sweetly, Deeply, Absolutely

by Kira Archer

 

Synopsis:

Hello, Mr. Right…for Now.

With a month off from culinary school, Jenny Boyd has some serious party plans. Especially when the hottest guy in the club literally lands in her lap.  He’s 6’2” of cocky, sexy, man-candy, and just as commitment-phobic as she is.

She’s definitely off limits…

Graphic designer Jared Crew is shocked when his best friend’s sister-in-law doesn’t remember him right away. Luckily, she is more than willing to let him jog her memory, no complications required.

It’s all fun and games…until the condom breaks…

 

Review:

A sweet story!

I was really looking forward to Jenny’s story after reading her big brother’s (Totally, Sweetly Irrevocably) and seeing all of the mayhem she managed to cause there. And the Jenny of the first few chapters didn’t disappoint. Their meet (meet again, technically) cute was especially entertaining:

He was even hotter closer up. Who was she to turn away a gorgeous man who introduced himself with his face in her lap? That would be rude.

Both Jenny and Jared are young and free and fun, and reading about them feels just as fancy free…until things happen.

Don’t get me wrong, though–it’s still a great read, but our hero and heroine have to pause and take stock of things, which quickly get complicated. They have to take a good look at their lives and decide what they really want, what they’re willing to change, and what will be worth the effort of reaching for–regardless of the ultimate outcome of their “oops” moment. In some ways, the carefree, most-likely-to-be-arrested-in-a-food-truck Jenny is no more, but since time has gone by and she’s discovered and been moving toward her calling (culinary school in Paris, nonetheless!) that makes sense. It needed to happen. She’s growing up and finding her way, a way which may or may not include a certain fun-loving, live and love for the moment friend of her older brother who also needs to think about moving forward and taking his own risks.

And…maybe anther somebody too? I’m not telling you; you’re going to have to find out for yourself 😉

A sweet conclusion to a delectable series–readers will get to see prior heroes and heroines living out their HEAs, ooh and aah over baby owls (!), and maybe even drool a little–or a lot–over the idea of a wedding cake made of baklava. (Google it. You won’t be sorry. Though you’ll probably be hungry…)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


View all my reviews

 

New Release Review! CHECK MY HEART by Christi Barth


Check My Heart

by Christi Barth

Synopsis:

The death of his little brother turned Kurt Lundquist’s world upside down. He channeled his grief into skating his heart out–and ultimately leading his hockey team to win the championship. Now, all he wants to do is throw a party with the Cup in his brother’s honor. He’s got no clue where to start…until he runs into the gorgeous hospice nurse who took such great care of Jasper. She’s waaay off limits, but he’s desperate, and hires her to help him.

Lisette Broussard’s heart broke a little more every time a patient died. Losing the brave brother of a hockey star was the last straw. Learning a new specialty was supposed to change her life for the better, but it used up her savings. Then the slam dunk job with the New Orleans championship hockey team mysteriously disappears. So she jumps at Kurt’s offer of a job, no matter how temporary. No matter how…dangerous, given how much she’s always crushed on him. No matter how risky it is to fall for Kurt, since he’ll always associate her with the grief of losing his brother.

But the more time they spend together, the deeper they both fall. Kurt’s heart begins to thaw…and then heat. Lisette can’t resist him, and throws caution to the wind. She’ll take whatever time he gives her. Can they move beyond the pain of the past and focus on a future together?

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Buy Links:
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Excerpt:

God. Why would Lisette want to keep touching such a wallowing, messed-up son of a bitch? The words, the truth that kept him immobilized on this decision ripped from his throat like gravel spraying from his Harley tires. “Tell me how I can turn my back on my team and my friends and still be able to look myself in the mirror.”

She pressed up against his back, arms circling his waist like a life preserver. “How do you do it now? How do you look past your grief to see what’s truly in your reflection?”

“I don’t.”

Her fingers curved into his stomach. “You don’t look in mirrors?”

“Not for a while now.” Trying to make light of it, Kurt rasped a hand across his two-day-old stubble. “I’ve got an electric razor. Makes it so easy I can do it with my eyes shut. I was tired of seeing nothing but a scowl.”

“Oh, I get it, believe me. But feeling good, being happy? It takes practice every bit as much as skating.” Going up on her tiptoes, Lisette murmured into his ear, “I declare that smile practice is now in session.”

Then her fingers splayed, arrowing down to just below the waist of his shorts. Just enough to make him wish they’d damn well keep going. She scraped her teeth along the cords of his neck, then licked a path down to where Kurt knew she could feel his pulse jackrabbiting through the skin. Lisette sucked. Sucked and swirled her tongue. That was all it took to bring his dick into a full-out lunge, trying to meet her fingertips.

Kurt reached back and around to pull her closer. He got two handfuls of the sweetest ass he’d ever touched and squeezed. Kneaded. His hands almost completely covered those taut globes. He couldn’t wait to see how they’d look doing exactly that on her naked skin.

He didn’t care if she gave him a hickey. Didn’t care that the guys would give him a mountain of shit if he walked into the locker room with a love bite like a teenager. The only thing Kurt cared about was the way her tongue lapped at him, sending shivers of sensation straight down to his dick.

They weren’t really kissing. They were fully clothed, in a fucking warehouse. They weren’t even face-to-face. But her assault on his neck was so damn hot, Kurt was ready to shove up her skirt and take her on the floor, with the goddamned goldfish watching.

Whispering, breath feathering against his ear, Lisette ordered, “Look at your reflection in the bowl, Kurt. What do you see?”

He turned his head to catch a smug, satisfied grin curling up the edges of his mouth. Huh. Kurt twisted to see her wet lips and flushed cheeks. Guess she’d enjoyed giving as well as getting. Which turned him on even more. “You think I’m good in a practice session? You should catch me in the real deal.”

 

Review:

Start with an absolutely heartwrenching beginning (have tissues handy!) and an intriguing premise (older brother of cancer patient falls for hospice nurse)–throw in a hockey hero (aforementioned older brother) and you should have a hat trick, right? That was my hope when I started reading Check My Heart, a hope which was only partially fulfilled.

I liked both Kurt and Lisette, the hero and heroine (AKA brother and nurse). Buying into their relationship push-pull was a bit trickier, though–maybe if we’d seen them in the beginning, instead of finding out about it later on? (Especially since their individual accounts of that time don’t quite seem to jive–both claim to be drawn to the other, but neither seems to think that the other is even remotely interested (I get it; the younger brother is dying, etc., but still…)) They also seem to go pretty quickly from Jasper will always come between us to getting over that obstacle (I don’t actually think there was a moment of them getting over it–though maybe I just missed it, somehow? Or promptly forgot all about it?) My biggest issue, though, was with

Spoiler Inside SelectShow
 Even when it was admitted to and moved on from, it still rubbed me wrong.

Altogether this wasn’t a bad way to spend a few hours, though. I mean, there is a hot hockey hero who has the bonus of being a great older brother and a very sympathetic nurse who knows how to plan kick-butt parties, plus the resolution is sweet and fairly believable. It’s not my favorite from Ms Barth, but I’m not sorry I read it, either.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

 

About the author:

USA Today bestselling author Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

For information on books, new releases and more, visit her Website

 

Author Links:   Website | Twitter | Facebook   | Goodreads

Book Tour Grand Finale and Giveaway! THE ALASKAN CATCH by Beth Carpenter (Northern Lights #1)


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Alaskan Catch
By Beth Carpenter

We hope you enjoyed the tour and getting a taste of Alaska! If you missed any
of the stops you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch – Author Interview

What inspired you to write THE ALASKAN CATCH?

One thing I hear over and over in Alaska is, “I came for the summer and never left.” I wanted my heroine, Dana, to feel that connection, to recognize that Alaska is a place where she can become the person she wants to be.

What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read it?

As Sam tells Dana, “You can paddle your own boat or you can throw up your hands and let the current carry you wherever it will.” Find your river and keep on paddling.

Brooke Blogs – Excerpt

“I don’t feel sorry for you.” Dana gave a wry smile. Maybe she did feel bad for that boy whose mother deserted him, but not for the man he’d grown into. “In fact, if I’m honest, this weekend when I saw you and Ursula hug, I was a little jealous. I’d love to have someone in my life who was that glad to see me show up.”

Nicole’s Book Musings – Ten Reasons to Fall in Love with Alaska

1. The Views Need I say more?

2. Summer Daylight In Anchorage on June 20th, the sun rises at 4:19am and sets at 11:40pm. In between it never gets completely dark.

Becky on Books – Review

The Alaskan Catch is a sweet story about family, finding your own path (“paddling your own boat” as it’s put one more than once here–both figuratively and literally), and learning to put your trust in unexpected love even when it seems contrary to the plans you thought you had. Besides finding each other, Dana and Sam also find out some hard truths about their families’ histories during the course of the story, which each has to deal with in their own way. Neither is exactly on the path they thought they’d be by the end of the book, but since they’re on that new path together, it makes all the difference.”

It’s All About the Romance – Excerpt

“Hold it right there.”

Sam blinked. He knew he was tired, but was he hallucinating? A woman wearing flowery shorts and a pink tank top stood in his living room, near the hallway. She couldn’t have been more than five-two or three, but the red gun in her hands more than made up for her petite size. Especially since the hands seemed to be shaking.

Heidi Reads… – Review

“What an adventure! I loved all the details of Dana’s adventure in Alaska. There was a mystery of old family secrets, a friendship-to-romance relationship, exciting excursions, and descriptions of amazing landscapes and wildlife.”

Hearts & Scribbles – Character Interview

Today, we’re talking with Dana Raynott, the heroine from THE ALASKAN CATCH.

Dana, what brought you to Alaska?

I came looking for my brother. When I was sixteen, he and my father argued and Chris left home. My father would never tell me what they fought about. Recently my father died, and left Chris some money in his will. I thought it was the perfect time to track him down, get a few answers, and hopefully reunite our family.

Getting Your Read On – Review

“I really enjoyed this new Harlequin Heartwarming book by Beth Carpenter! It had a bit of everything in it- adventure, mystery and romance. I loved the Alaskan setting with so much of the story taking place outdoors with the beauties of nature on full display.”

underneath the covers – Even Shopping is Different

My first ever Harlequin, THE ALASKAN CATCH, takes place in my hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. Anchorage is a typical American city in a lot of ways, but with its own personal style. For example, we have an international airport, a small plane airport, and a float plane airport. A wayward moose can throw a real wrench into rush-hour traffic. Many of the pedestrian overpasses are specifically designed to accommodate sled dog teams.

And then there’s shopping…

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

“This book has a great story-line of friendship, mystery, forgiveness and love. I would recommend this to anyone. The kissing scenes are very modestly done. You cannot help but to fall in love with Alaska and the characters.”

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm – Review

“I’ve been a Harlequin fan since high school and I think this is a great addition to my collection. By the time you finish, you will understand why Harlequin has added to their Heartwarming series. . . . Toward the very end, Dana says something to Sam that sums things up nicely – this book was a great adventure. It also left me looking forward to reading more of this series. ”

Books to Read Next – Excerpt

He frowned. Dana wasn’t helpless. In fact, two days ago, she’d threatened to shoot him. It was highly unlikely she’d come to any harm on a nice day downtown, surrounded by people. And yet here he was, worrying about her. Maybe Chris was right—Sam hadn’t been out with a woman for too long. He needed to get a grip.

Reading Is My SuperPower – Review

“The Alaskan Catch kept me grinning throughout each chapter. Sam and Dana are so sweet together, and you’ll find yourself rooting for them all along the way. Their backstories are poignant and compelling, and the more they (and we) discover the more compelling it becomes. An awesome dog, vivid supporting characters, and breathtaking kisses scenery (ok… that first kiss is pretty breathtaking too) round out the mix and may have you booking your next vacation in Alaska!”

The Bookworm Chronicles – Alaska Man

So, you want to date an Alaskan. Who wouldn’t? You’ve seen the pictures of hunky wilderness firefighters and fishermen. In Alaska, there are around a hundred and seven men for every hundred women. But women in Alaska have a saying. The odds are good, but the goods are odd.

Janice’s Book Reviews – Review

“The book has some suspense and mystery to it and also adventure. Once you start the book it is hard to put down. . . . I really loved all the characters but I think Sam and Dana were my favorite. I definitely recommend this book. I have found another great author.”

Thoughts of a Blonde – Review

“Beth Carpenter has earned herself a solid spot in the heart of the Harlequin Heartwarming author line-up with her debut novel in the line! It brings us secrets and despair, gorgeous countryside and the hearts of good, solid people to overcome the turmoil brought forth when lives are turned upside down with shocking revelations. The characters are down to earth, real and well developed and the plot takes us along for the ride of a sweet love story that stands the test of time and tribulation. Looking forward to seeing more from her!”

Harlie’s Books – Excerpt & Review

Sam had purposely chosen not to reveal Dana’s last name yet. He wanted Ursula’s unbiased evaluation of her character first. And while he hadn’t talked to Ursula alone, it was obvious the two women clicked. It may have been when Dana offered to make the cornbread, or possibly when she complimented one of Tommy’s whirligigs, but at some point today, Dana had won Ursula over. He wondered if it would stay that way once Ursula knew her last name.

“I loved how Chris, Dana and Sam’s past were intertwined. I’m not going to say anything else because it’s the crust of the book. Hats off to Ms. Carpenter for her originality. Brilliant, actually. And also, that not everything was done in Alaska. Dana still had some things to take care off back home with her new found strength. Oh yes, Dana had some growing to do in the book. It was subtle but in the end, it was well worth it.”

Paulette’s Papers – Six Ways to Test Your Courage in Alaska

Dana Raynott, the heroine in THE ALASKA CATCH, plays it safe. She’s always done exactly what her father asked her to do, even if it wasn’t what she wanted. But after her father’s death, she travels to Alaska to find her long-lost brother and spends time with his best friend, Sam. In this new place, with Sam by her side, she discovers reserves of courage she never knew she had.

Want a challenge? Here are six ways to test your courage in Alaska…

Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader – Review

“A heartwarming novel about creating your own future and not living in the crux your family has left for you. This novel has a lot to learn about appearances not always being what they seem and just possibly our parents have learnt from something in their own past to guide them in the directions they try and push us into following. Everything in life is not as you expect it to be.”

Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford – Review

“This is my first story by Beth Carpenter, but it won’t be my last. I loved the way the author wove an enticing story of romance and suspense, set in the beautiful backdrop of breathtaking Alaska. The characters were realistic and engaging. They had me cheering for them all the way to the end.

I would highly recommend, The Alaskan Catch to anyone looking for a great romance.”

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven’t already…

The Alaskan Catch
(Northern Lights #1)
by Beth Carpenter
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
August 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Where life’s currents take you…

Dana Raynott just traveled 3,600 miles to reunite with the brother who changed his name and fled to Alaska nineteen years ago. It’s impossible not to be moved by this wild, breathtaking state, even if Dana’s no closer to finding the answers she came here for.

Her brother’s best friend, Anchorage engineer Sam MacKettrick, might be able to help her. He’s strong and kind—a six-foot, irresistible blend of diverse cultures. He’s also haunted by a tragic family history with a startling connection to Dana’s past…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequinKoboGoogle PlayiTunes

About the Author

Once upon a time …

when Beth Carpenter was a little girl, she read everything she could get her hands on, and entertained herself on the school bus by making up stories in her head. Not a lot has changed. She’s still consuming books like M&Ms, and spends her days creating happily-ever-afters for her imaginary friends.

She lives in Alaska and Arizona with her husband and an aggressively affectionate fifty-pound lap dog. She loves to hear from readers.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterestThe Alaskan Catch Pinterest Board

Tour Giveaway

Taste of Alaska Prize Pack (US only), which includes:

  • Alaska cross-body bag
  • Wild Smoked Alaska Salmon for Dip
  • Alaska Wild Berry Company Bering Sea Salt Caramels
  • Gold Nugget Chocolate Chunks
  • Raspberry Herbal Tea
  • Salmon Jerky – Teriyaki and Original
  • Three Bears Postcard
  • Alaska Sourdough Starter
  • Moose Notecards by Alaskan Artist Vonnie Gaither

$25 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)

Ends August 22nd

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.

 

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Goodreads

 

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

 

August 7th

2 Cooks Crafting Books – Review

Dana’s YA Bookpile – Spotlight Post

August 8th

Sleeps on Tables – Spotlight Post

Margie’s Must Reads – Spotlight Post

August 9th

Crossroad Reviews – Spotlight Post

Roxy’s Reviews – Spotlight Post

Here’s to Happy Endings – Author Interview

August 10th

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

Literary Meanderings – Spotlight Post

August 11th

Diana’s Book Reviews – Review

RoloPoloBookBlog – Spotlight Post

August 12th

Tara’s Book Addiction – Spotlight Post

PBC – Spotlight Post

August 13th

Eru Books and Recs – Review

Wonder Struck – Review

August 14th

Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest – Review

Readingwithwrin – Review

August 15th

Twirling Book Princess – Spotlight Post

Smada’s Book Smack – Review

Bibliobibuli YA – Guest Post

August 16th

The Book Beacon – Review

A Dream Within A Dream – Guest Post

August 17th

YaReads – Author Interview

Folded Corners and Smudged Screens – Review

August 18th

Becky on Books – Review

Just One More Chapter – Spotlight Post

Cindy’s Love of Books – Review

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 and Giveaway! BEFORE THE DAWN by Cynthia Eden (Killer Instict #2)

The Killer Instinct series from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden continues as an FBI profiler tracks a case that resurrects ghosts from his past…

Ex-SEAL Tucker Frost knows that the world is full of evil. He saw it in the face of his own brother, Jason Frost, a cold, methodical, sadistic killer. A killer Tucker put down with his own hands in order to save Jason’s final victim–Dawn Alexander, the only girl who got away from the infamous “Iceman.”

It’s Tucker’s up close and personal experience with evil that’s made him perfect for Samantha Dark’s experimental profiling division in the FBI. And when women start turning up murdered with the same MO used by the Iceman, Tucker is sent back to Louisiana to investigate.

Seven years have passed since the night that Tucker faced down his brother…and since he last saw Dawn, his one-time lover. But as Tucker and Dawn grapple with a desire that never died, they must also face the shared shadow from their pasts. Both have the same question–has Jason Frost come back from the dead to hunt again? And this time, will he succeed in killing the victim who got away?

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Review:

OMG, this book. The very first page grabbed me and just wouldn’t let go–I can’t tell you how many times I gasped out loud and/or winced while reading! The last 20% it was virtually nonstop…good thing Mini Moe #1 has become used to my gasps that come seemingly out of nowhere while he’s driving…

Before the Dawn is a romantic thriller/second chance romance story with the twist that the hero was the brother of the guy who tortured and nearly killed the heroine several years earlier. Tucker had to choose between his brother (dubbed “The Iceman”) and the woman he loved back then, and has been haunted by the words of his brother, “Blood comes first,” ever since. Their father had been a horrible person, his brother was even worse–would Tucker truly be able to avoid their legacy? Could Dawn ever look at him and not see the man who literally made her life a living hell? Add in the fact that it looks like there’s an Iceman copycat killer running around in the city which Dawn has moved to and Tucker’s FBI team is on the case, and yeah. Pretty freaking intense.

Before the Dawn is the second book in the series, but worked pretty well as a standalone. Based on this one, though, I’m definitely going to back up and read the prequel and book one ( The Gathering Dusk and After the Dark ) to get ready for book three ( Into the Night ) when it comes out, because I. Must. Read.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the author:

Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia is also a three-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® award. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over eighty novels and novellas.

Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate. Her favorite hobbies including hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.

Author’s website:  http://www.cynthiaeden.com/

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New Release Review! THE INNKEEPER’S SISTER by Linda Goodnight (Honey Ridge #3)

Synopsis:

Welcome to Honey Ridge, Tennessee, where Southern hospitality and sweet peach tea beckon, and where long-buried secrets lead to some startling realizations

Grayson Blake always has a purpose and never a moment to lose. He’s come home to Honey Ridge to convert a historic gristmill into a restaurant, but his plans crumble like Tennessee clay when the excavation of a skeleton unearths a Civil War mystery and leads him back to a beautiful and familiar stranger.

Once a ballet dancer, now co-owner of the Peach Orchard Inn, Valery Carter harbors pain as deep as the secrets buried beneath the mill. A bright facade can’t erase her regrets any more than a glass of bourbon can restore what she’s lost. But spending time with Grayson offers Valery a chance to let go of her past and imagine a happier future. And with the discovery of hidden messages in aged sheet music, both their hearts begin to open. Bound by attraction, and compelled to resolve an old crime that links the inn and the mill, Grayson and Valery encounter a song of hurt, truth, and hope.

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Review:

The Innkeeper’s Sister is a unique blend of history and the present, secrets and mystery, all with a touch of the supernatural. Valery and Grayson kind of have a history–they knew of each other as teenagers, and Grayson crushed on Valery a bit, though they never really had a relationship back then. He’d definitely had an interest, though, and she was at least aware of him, despite the fact that she had some pretty major things going on in her life around the same time–things that will factor into the secrets she’s hiding (and will need to own up to and deal with) later on. Ms. Goodnight does a great job of blending all the various threads of the story together into a sweet, satisfying tale in the end.

The Innkeeper’s Sister was my first book from this author, but definitely not my last!

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the Author:

NY Times and USA Bestseller, Linda Goodnight writes novels to touch the heart as well as to entertain. Her emotional stories of hope have won the RITA , the Carol, the Reviewer’s Choice, and numerous other industry awards. A small town girl, Linda remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine. Many of her books are about family and children and rightly so, as she draws her deeply emotional stories from her surroundings, her great love of family, and from personal experiences as a nurse and teacher.

Readers may connect with Linda through her website at www.lindagoodnight.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

Connect with Linda:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Linda Goodnight’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, July 10th: Books and Spoons – excerpt
Tuesday, July 11th: Mama Vicky Says – excerpt
Wednesday, July 12th: The Sassy Bookster – excerpt
Thursday, July 13th: Books a la Mode – excerpt
Friday, July 14th: Reading is My SuperPower – excerpt
Monday, July 17th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – excerpt
Tuesday, July 18th: Black ‘n Gold Girls Book Spot – excerpt
Wednesday, July 19th: Book Mama Blog – excerpt
Thursday, July 20th: Dwell in Possibility – excerpt
Friday, July 21st: A Chick Who Reads – excerpt
Monday, July 24th: Reading is My SuperPower
Tuesday, July 25th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, July 26th: Written Love Reviews
Friday, July 28th: Broken Teepee
Monday, July 31st: Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Tuesday, August 1st: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, August 1st: Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, August 2nd: Buried Under Books
Thursday, August 3rd: Just Commonly
Friday, August 4th: Books & Bindings
Monday, August 7th: The Romance Dish
Tuesday, August 8th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Wednesday, August 9th: A. Holland Reads
Friday, August 11th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, August 14th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Tuesday, August 15th: Becky on Books
Wednesday, August 16th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, August 17th: Steph the Bookworm

Release Day Review and Giveaway! IRRESISTIBLE YOU by Kate Meader (The Chicago Rebels #1)

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise 

and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, 

and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

 

IRRESISTIBLE YOU

Chicago Rebels #1

Kate Meader

Releasing Aug 14, 2017

PocketStar

Hot in Chicago series author Kate Meader returns with her all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series, featuring her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (Romantic Times).

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to
lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

**Special release week price of just $1.99 **

He looked uncomfortable standing there, balancing on his skates, ready to spring for the door. But she knew he wouldn’t sit while she stood because his mother had raised him to respect women. Something fluttered in her chest at that notion. DuPre might be a lot of things—ladies’ man, good ol’ boy, thorn in her side—but she suspected he would never hurt someone weaker than himself.

“You’ve got three minutes, Harper.”

“Do you remember what I told you in Boston, DuPre?”

“Somethin’ about needin’ me to instill leadership and help these boys get to the playoffs.” Warm honey flowed through her veins at the timbre of his voice. She could have sworn her panties slipped an inch.

“I did say that. I meant it. And I thought you understood.”

He rubbed his chin, the scrape against stubble delicious to her ears. All he was missing was a Stetson, a blade of grass, and some flighty piece in a cropped tank and Daisy Dukes. “I understood the words because you’d put them together in a highly entertainin’ way, and to certain ears, they might make sense. Then I told you what needed to happen to ensure my cooperation.”

This nonsense stopped here. “Is that why you’re playing like you can barely walk, much less skate? What’s wrong, old man? Feeling a touch of arthritis in your joints?”

For a brief moment, she thought she might have found his weakness: vanity. But no. He merely threaded his arms over his chest—over the Rebels logo of a big C with a hockey stick and a cutlass crossed behind it—and cocked his head.

“You’re gonna have to use a little more finesse, Harper.”

More surprising than the fact Remy had used the word finesse correctly in a sentence was that he didn’t seem annoyed with her. He seemed . . . amused. As if she were a toy he could happily bat around like a kitten would a semiconscious mouse.

Applause sounded, signifying the beginning of the final period. Neither of them moved, hands metaphorically hovering at their hips like Old West gunfighters.

“The trade deadline,” she said, feeling livid and helpless. “Give me that.”

“The all-star game.”

Three months. The all-star game, held in late January, was traditionally viewed as the halfway point of the season. On the cusp of the busy trade period, it led into a month of bartering and haggling as everyone lined up their teams for the big push to the playoffs.

At her hesitation, he leaned in, those cobalt blues flashing. It wasn’t enough to unholster her gun; she should have already taken her shot, and that delay was her undoing.

“Would you rather three months of my full effort or a whole season of my skatin’ like I’m playin’ squirt hockey?”

“You can’t seriously be reducing this to a game of ‘would you rather’?”

His voice dropped to an intimate tone, her panties another inch with it. “If you shake on it now, I’ll begin that full effort tonight.”

The siren blared in the distance, followed by the home crowd’s roar. Five zip. Harper didn’t enjoy being blackmailed, but she enjoyed losing even less.

She thrust her hand forward impatiently. He took it in his firm grasp. That electricity setting her skin aflame was her body telling her she’d made the right decision. Nothing else.

“You have a game to finish.”

He held on, and now he inclined his head so close she could count each and every one of those pretty-boy eyelashes. Her pulse rate spiked, and she was certain he could sense it. Sense her heart thumping rabbit kicks, her vein pulsing in her throat.

“We’ve shaken on it now, minou, so don’t you dare think about welshing. I might sound like I spend my spare time spitballin’ from the rockin’ chair on my porch, but don’t let my accent fool you none. I’m not the kind of man you want for an enemy. We clear?”

She might have rolled her eyes if she wasn’t just a wee bit impressed by his chutzpah. Still, he needed to be informed that while he might have won this battle, the war was far from over.

“Try not to trip on your way to the rink, DuPre.”

He laughed, deep and robust, clearly delighted with himself. Idiot. His thumb pressed against her inner wrist, and a crackle of energy leeched from him into her body.

“You feel that, Harper?”

She snatched back her hand. “If you mean my goodwill evaporating with every second you’re standing here, then, yeah, I feel it.”

“I think we’re havin’ a thing.”

They were. Oh, God, they were. “Why are you still here again?”

His mouth curved. “Lady, I got the distinct feelin’ these next few months are gonna be fun.”

He picked up his stick and, with more grace than a six-foot-two brute wearing skates on dry land should possess, he left the locker room.

OMG, this book!

I loved Kate Meader’s Hot in Chicago series and really liked her prequel novella for this one ( In Skates Trouble ) and was looking forward to seeing what Remy and Harper’s story would bring, but the story itself? Blew my expectations right out of the water!

I absolutely loved both Harper and Remy. Ms. Meader did a great job of showing their POVs and giving very realistic reasons why they shouldn’t be together, all while proving that staying apart shouldn’t even be an option. When it looks like they really won’t be able to have a life together, when Harper takes Remy’s words and says they’re not enough? I swear I stopped breathing, it was so hard to read. Even knowing there HAD to be an HEA in the end didn’t make it any less devastating to get through…how would she ever manage to make things okay again?

Of course she did, and did so brilliantly, I’m happy to report. And now we have middle sister Isobel’s book to look forward to next…can’t wait!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. 

Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

 

New Release and Giveaway! THE ALASKAN CATCH by Beth Carpenter (Northern Lights #1)


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Alaskan Catch
(Northern Lights #1)
by Beth Carpenter
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
August 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Where life’s currents take you…

Dana Raynott just traveled 3,600 miles to reunite with the brother who changed his name and fled to Alaska nineteen years ago. It’s impossible not to be moved by this wild, breathtaking state, even if Dana’s no closer to finding the answers she came here for.

Her brother’s best friend, Anchorage engineer Sam MacKettrick, might be able to help her. He’s strong and kind—a six-foot, irresistible blend of diverse cultures. He’s also haunted by a tragic family history with a startling connection to Dana’s past…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequinKoboGoogle PlayiTunes

 

Review:

It’s official: I need to visit Alaska! (True story–I actually considered it–briefly–for college, but figured I’d never be able to get rid of my dad…which kind of defeated the purpose of going away for school! 😉 )

The Alaskan Catch is a sweet story about family, finding your own path (“paddling your own boat” as it’s put one more than once here–both figuratively and literally), and learning to put your trust in unexpected love even when it seems contrary to the plans you thought you had. Besides finding each other, Dana and Sam also find out some hard truths about their families’ histories during the course of the story, which each has to deal with in their own way. Neither is exactly on the path they thought they’d be by the end of the book, but since they’re on that new path together, it makes all the difference.

The Alaskan Catch was my first book by Beth Carpenter, but it won’t be my last. I can’t wait to see what the next book in the Northern Lights series will bring!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the Author:

Once upon a time …

when Beth Carpenter was a little girl, she read everything she could get her hands on, and entertained herself on the school bus by making up stories in her head. Not a lot has changed. She’s still consuming books like M&Ms, and spends her days creating happily-ever-afters for her imaginary friends.

She lives in Alaska and Arizona with her husband and an aggressively affectionate fifty-pound lap dog. She loves to hear from readers.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterestThe Alaskan Catch Pinterest Board

Tour Schedule

August 12th: Launch
August 13th:
Brooke Blogs
Nicole’s Book Musings
Cafinated Reads
Becky on Books
August 14th:
It’s All About the Romance
Heidi Reads…
Hearts & Scribbles
Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford
August 15th:
Getting Your Read On
underneath the covers
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm
August 16th:
What to Read Next
Reading Is My SuperPower
The Bookworm Chronicles
Janice’s book review
August 17th:
Thoughts of a Blonde
Harlie’s Books
Paulette’s Papers
Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader
August 18th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

Taste of Alaska Prize Pack (US only), which includes:

  • Alaska cross-body bag
  • Wild Smoked Alaska Salmon for Dip
  • Alaska Wild Berry Company Bering Sea Salt Caramels
  • Gold Nugget Chocolate Chunks
  • Raspberry Herbal Tea
  • Salmon Jerky – Teriyaki and Original
  • Three Bears Postcard
  • Alaska Sourdough Starter
  • Moose Notecards by Alaskan Artist Vonnie Gaither

$25 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)

Ends August 22nd