New Release Review! TAKE ON ME by Gwen Hayes (Silver Pines #4)

Take On Me
by Gwen Hayes

Synopsis:

Online dating columnist Dane Martin (www.virile.com) has no plans to give up his reign as bachelor extraordinaire. He has a reputation to uphold, especially with the upcoming release of his book Coming on Strong.

Holly Winters, everyone’s favorite girl next door thanks to her blog of the same name, gives dating advice to women struggling to find commitment among the Virile sycophants. Dane is exactly the kind of guy she cautions her readers away from.

When a publicity stunt goes awry and the opposites must pretend to be dating, all bets are off. Has the Girl Next Door tamed the most Virile man alive, or is she just another notch on the bedpost?

Previously published as Mr. Virile and the Girl Next Door. Now with bonus epilogue!

 

Review:

This novella was so, so much fun! Well-written banter, a side romance to root for, an awkward rescue mutt, and an enemies-to-lovers romance with a he said/she said rivalry going on–very reminiscent of every rom-com movie I’ve ever watched and loved 🙂

(And I’ve watched more than my fair share, so I would know.)

Holly and Dane’s progression from friends to lovers to something more was nicely done, and realistic. Even though it’s a novella, the time frame was not at all rushed. The excerpts from their individual blog posts were a nice touch, and revealed much about their characters and mindsets.

The new epilogue (not originally included with Mr. Virile and the Girl Next Door) cranks up the adorableness about a thousandfold, and has me totally ready for my next visit to Silver Pines!

I only have one complaint here:

“Tell me a little bit about the man of your dreams.”

She sent him a startled look. “Well, he’s…nice.”

A huff of incredulity escaped Dane’s lungs. “Nice? The man of your dreams is nice? Try again, this time give me some of that honesty you were talking about the other night.”

“Oh, all right. But he is nice. It’s not a crime, you know. I happen to like nice men.”

Something pulled in his gut. “I’m a nice man.”

Holly laughed. “No you’re not. You’re…”

“A scoundrel?” he offered.

“I was always more of a Luke Skywalker fan than Han Solo anyway.”

You see my problem here, right? As if any sane person would pick Luke over Han… 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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New Release Review and Giveaway! TOO WILDE TO TAME by Tonya Burrows (Wilde Security #5)


Too Wilde to Tame
by Tonya Burrows
Wilde Security #5
Publication Date: February 27, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Ignite, Contemporary, Romance

 

SYNOPSIS:

For three years, ballet teacher Natalie Taggart has lived across the hall from grumpy, reclusive, sexy Greer Wilde. Save for a handful of hellos and the occasional heated glance, they never spoke to each other.

Until the morning Greer lands on her doorstep, bleeding, beaten, and bullet-riddled.

Greer doesn’t need or want her help. He has only one goal: revenge. And nobody—not his brothers, and certainly not his too-hot-for-his-sanity next-door neighbor—is going to get in his way.

Review:

Such an awesome end to the series! (But not quite to the characters, hopefully…at least two HORNET people are strongly hinted at here as future heroes, so…yay!) It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for Greer’s story; fortunately, it was competent worth the wait!

All of the Wilde brothers are back for this story–eventually; Greer is steins to go it solo for a big chunk of the book, which is frustrating for everyone involved, but Natalie manages to set him straight on that score before it’s too late. The mystery of the Wilde parents’ death finally gets resolved, the brothers and their significant others are all left in an awesome place, and everything is good in the world, especially with Natalie and Greer…who are all kinds of awesome together, from first page to last 🙂

If you haven’t read the others in the series, Ms. Burrows does give you enough here to get caught up, plus there are elements to the final series resolution that are introduced here for the first time, so newbies shouldn’t be totally lost. I feel I should warn you, though, these Wilde brothers are truly something else–you won’t be able to stop with just one. So do yourself a favor, and start with book one ( Wilde Nights in Paradise ) 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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ABOUT TONYA BURROWS:

Tonya Burrows wrote her first romance in 8th grade and hasn’t put down her pen since. Originally from a small town in Western New York, she suffers from a bad case of wanderlust and usually ends up moving someplace new every few years. Luckily, her two dogs and ginormous cat are excellent travel buddies.

When she’s not writing about hunky military heroes, Tonya can usually be found at a bookstore or the dog park. She also enjoys painting, watching movies, and her daily barre workouts. A geek at heart, she pledges her TV fandom to Supernatural and Dr. Who.

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New Release Review and Giveaways! HER SECRET LIFE by Tara Taylor Quinn (Where Secrets are Safe #10)


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Her Secret Life
(Where Secrets are Safe #10)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
March 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

It takes courage to choose love… 

Internet security expert Michael Valentine knows his place in Kacey Hamilton’s life. The soap opera star lives in two worlds: glamorous Hollywood and small town Santa Raquel, where she volunteers with him at The Lemonade Stand women’s shelter. The key to their friendship is maintaining boundaries. And after an accident years ago left him badly scarred, he won’t expect anything more. But when threats against Kacey escalate, Michael will stop at nothing to protect her. Even if his investigation means confronting more than just her attacker as Kacey’s interest in him starts to go deeper than friendship…

Review:

Sigh…Kacey and Michael–so, so good together! Even if it does take them forever to finally get there 🙂

I was thrilled to find out that Kacey Hamilton, Lacey’s (from His First Choice ) identical twin, was finally getting her own story–and not just because we’d get to see Lacey, Jem, and Levi again 😉 Kacey has been making a lot of changes in her life–putting others first (after a lifetime of even their own parents always saying her name before her sister’s), slowing down on her alcohol use, and teaching classes at the Lemonade Stand women’s shelter. It’s been great for her–she’s closer than ever to her sister, has new purpose in life, and has a fantastic secret mentor and just as secret male best friend in Michael Valentine. The only problem? She’s living two separate lives, one where she’s a successful daytime soap star and another when she’s a “regular person” in Santa Raquel.

And sooner or later, you just know that’s going to run into a major snag.

In the meantime, though, we get to watch Kacey and Michael be absolutely adorable together. Even though by midway through the book I was all but shouting, but you love each other, you dolts! Just give in already! I completely understood why they weren’t. Kacey was so firmly entrenched in her two-different-worlds lifestyle, and Michael had his own issues that made being a part of her other life basically his worst nightmare. But still. They were so clearly meant to be together, it was painful to read. Yet delicious at the same time. Clearly, Kacey isn’t the only one who’s split in two, here…

Interwoven with their relationship storytline are not one but two mysteries, and some added drama with Michael’s family–so many reasons to keep those pages turning! Everything was skillfully handled in the end, with the whodunits resolved believably and a warm fuzzy and hopeful feeling where their families are concerned. It would have been nice to have seen Kacey and Michael spending more time as a couple, but they were honestly so darn cute even before that it’s hard to mind too much. Plus, that gives us more to look forward to in later series books…

Her Secret Life is the tenth(!) book in the Where Secrets are Safe series, but it would truly work fine as a standalone. Some other series characters do make an appearance here, most notably her twin Lacey, but if you haven’t had a chance to read their stories yet you’ll still do just fine. Though there’s definitely enough teasers to make you add Lacey and Jem’s story to your TBR pretty darn quickly…you have been warned.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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Other Books in the Series
(Books released as of February 2017. Each can be read as a standalone.)

  
  
  

About the Author:

The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. A 2015 RITA finalist Tara appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists, and multiple showings on the Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller list. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.

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Domestic Violence Shelter Drive

As Tara supports speaking out against domestic violence and supporting those who have been abused, both through her books and in her community, she would love for you to join her in donating items to a shelter in your area. Find out more here.

Tour Giveaways

1ST RAFFLECOPTER:
1 winner will receive ebooks of Where Secrets are Safe series books 1 – 13 (open internationally)
1 winner (per the four tour segments) will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)

2ND RAFFLECOPTER:
1 winner will receive 25,000 Harelquin My Rewards Points, equivalent to 5 books (US and CAN only)
1 winner will receive 5,000 Harelquin My Rewards Points, equivalent to 1 book (US and CAN only)

Both Rafflecopter giveaways end November 30th, 2017

New Release Review and Giveaway! MASTERING HER SENSES by Laura Kaye (Blasphemy #2)

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Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

 12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

About MASTERING HER SENSES (Blasphemy #2, 2/21/17):

He wants to dominate her senses—and her heart…

Quinton Ross has always been a thrill-seeker—so it’s no surprise that he’s drawn to extremes in the bedroom and at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, where he creates sense-depriving scenarios that blow submissives’ minds. Now if he could just find one who needs the rush as much as him…
When an accident leaves Cassia Locke with a paralyzing fear of the dark, she’ll try anything to get help. Ready to fight, she knows just who to ask for help—the hard-bodied, funny-as-hell Dom she’d always crushed on—and once stood up.

Quinton is shocked and a little leery to see Cassia, but he can’t pass up the chance to dominate the alluring little sub this time. Introducing her to sensory deprivation becomes his new favorite obsession, and watching her fight fear is its own thrill. But when doubt threatens to send her running again, Quinton must find a way to master her senses—and her heart.

Review:

This one seems to be getting mixed reviews, but I liked it quite a bit. Cassia had some fairly heavy duty phobias that had pretty much caused her to put her life on hold for two years, and watching Quinton throw himself into figuring out how to help her overcome them (in an erotic/D/s kind of way) was sweet. And…not sweet at the same time 😉

It did feel a bit rushed at times–Cass and Quinton did have a history, but we didn’t really get to see it, and they moved a bit quickly to declarations at the end (though the intensity of their…ahem, other scenes might contribute to that somewhat)–but it wasn’t outside the realm of believability. And whoa, was Quinton ever creative… 😀

Though several of Blasphemy’s other owners made appearances (along with a few characters from other series), this one worked just fine as a standalone. Ten more Doms to go!

Rating: 4 stars /B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

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Books in Series:
Hard to Serve #.5
Bound to Submit #1
Mastering Her Senses #2 – 2/21/17
Eyes on You #3 – 7/11/17

 

Laura Kaye - headshotAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

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Release Day Review and Giveaway! HEATING IT UP by Elizabeth Harmon (A Red Hot Russians novella)

In HEATING IT UP, a heart-warming novel of mistaken identity and forced proximity, widow Nora Bradford and Russian adventurer Alexei Zaikov must work together to save their small Antarctic town from being shut down—but will the truth about Nora’s role in Amity Bay’s demise, doom their romance?

Keep reading to get a sneak peek at HEATING IT UP!

Title: Heating it Up
Author: Elizabeth Harmon
Author Location: Chicago, IL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 27, 2017
Publisher: Indie
Series: Red Hot Russians
Word Count: Novella, 30k
Format: Digitial
Digital ISBN: 9781370182220

 

Synopsis: 

Red Hot Russian Alexei is king of the Ice…Antarctic style

Alexei Zaikov loves his life in remote Amity Bay, Antarctica, until a new luxury guesthouse threatens the small town’s future. As head of Amity Bay, he’s driven to save it, but first must discover who is hiding out in the supposedly deserted lodge…and why.

Nora Bradford has lost everything; a promising career and the man she loved. Glacier Ridge Lodge, the architectural masterpiece she designed but was denied credit for, seems like the perfect place to grieve her loss, until a ruggedly handsome Russian arrives on her doorstep, determined to bring her in from the cold.

Desire sparks, leaving them hungry for more. But will the truth about Nora’s role in Amity Bay’s demise, doom their romance?

Available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords | Goodreads

Excerpt:

The first thing she noticed was that yesterday’s sad vulnerability was gone. Now his ice-blue eyes were flinty and determined as he strode inside. She remained by the door, hand on the knob, ready to show him the way out. Yet she sensed that sending him away wasn’t going to be so easy this time.

“You’re too late,” he said.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Fifteen years ago some New Zealander became first woman to winter-over solo. Maybe you already know that. Or maybe you don’t care, because we both know that’s not the real reason you’re holed up in here.”

She winced. He knew she wasn’t being honest, but not to what extent. Burdened by guilt and too deflated for battle, she sighed and leaned against the door. “You’re right it isn’t.”

“Nora..,” the gentleness in his voice felt like a caress. “Staying here alone doesn’t hurt Herbert Quinn, it only hurts you. And it hurts me too.”

“How’s that?”

“Because to keep you secret, I have to lie, not just to IFAR, but to the people who work for me.  People whose trust I don’t take lightly.  Staying up here not only puts you in danger, but also them. This what your brilliant boss forgot. Down here, people survive because they depend on each other. If one of the systems failed in bad weather, or you had an accident, computers and Vancouver would be useless. Someone would have to put themselves at risk, and come to help.”

Most likely, that someone would be him. Even with blizz lines strung, making such a trip could be life-threatening. Fear tightened her throat as she considered how it would feel to mourn another man she cared about.

“I know you’ve lost much,” he said. “And while I know losing a fiancé is different, I understand the hurt of missing a person I loved dearly.”

“That woman who lied to you?” she demanded, shocked and angry.

“No,” he said. “Not Natalia. I’m talking about my mother.  For a long time, I felt like she was the only person who understood me. But when I came here to Antarctica, I found others like me and a place to belong. In time, the pain was not so bad. Up here all alone, you don’t have that.”

“No,” she whispered.

“Ask yourself if this is what he’d want for you. I don’t think it is. I know that if I was gone… and the woman I loved was left behind, this isn’t what I’d want for her.”

Her fingers twitched on the doorknob, and she thought of ordering him out, but didn’t. In her heart, she knew he was right. Even if she weren’t drifting through darkened rooms in a ruined wedding gown, she was teetering dangerously close to Miss Havisham territory. In the process, she was putting others in danger.  The weather was turning, and soon the months of darkness would come.  It was time to decide where she would spend them.

Review:

 A short and sweet novella about starting over complicated by a mistaken identity, Heating It Up was an entertaining read. Alexei and Nora are sympathetic characters, and though I think this story could definitely have been expanded into a longer book that would have allowed us to get to know them even better, it was still easy to root for them to both get together and resolve their work problems. I did miss the ice skating theme (Alexei is the brother of another series character, though) but found the setting of Antarctica to be a fascinating one. Reading this novella has almost made me want to visit the continent. 

Almost. Ask me again if we have another record-setting summer like the last one… 😉

Rating: 4 stars / B+ 

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. 

About the Author:


Elizabeth Harmon loves to read and write romances with a dash of different.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to have a career that allows her to spend her days imagining “what if?” and a loving family that keeps her grounded in the real world.  Her debut novel, Pairing Off is a 2016 RITA Award Finalist.

An adventurous cook, vintage home enthusiast, occasional actress, and entry-level figure skater, Elizabeth makes her home in the Midwest, where life is good, but the sports teams aren’t. She loves to hang out on her front porch, or at her favorite local establishments, enjoy good food and wine, and talk writing with anyone who will listen.

 

Follow Elizabeth: Website |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  | Goodreads | BookBub |  BookLikes  | Google+

 

Other Books in the Red Hot Russians Series:

PAIRING OFF (2016 RITA nominated Best First Book!)

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Google Books | Kobo

TURNING IT ON (Red Hot Russians #2)

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | iBooks 

GETTING IT BACK (Red Hot Russians #3)

 Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

 

Spread the news about HEATING IT UP with a GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: Three (3) Digital Book Bundles! Three winners will receive Pairing Off, Turning It On, and Getting It Back!

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Release Day Review! DON’T SPEAK by Katy Regnery (Modern Fairytale #5)

 Title: Don’t Speak
Series: Modern Fairytale #5 (Standalone)
Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 27, 2017
Blurb:
From New York Times bestseller Katy Regnery comes a new twist on a beloved fairytale.

In this modern retelling of The Little Mermaid, a fisherman’s daughter from an Outer Banks island untouched by time, meets the son of the North Carolina governor at a fancy party she helps to cater.Laire, who wants more from life than her little island can offer, is swept away by wealthy, sophisticated Erik, who is, in turn, entranced by her naiveté and charm. The two spend a whirlwind summer together that ends on the knife-point of heartbreak and forces them to go their separate ways.

Years later, when fate finds them together once again, they will discover the terrifying depth of the secrets they kept from each other, and learn that shattered hearts can only be healed by a love that willfully refuses to die.

All novels Katy Regnery’s ~a modern fairytale~ collection are written as fundraisers. 10% of the e-book sales for in March and April 2017 will be donated.

 

Review:
This was the first book I’ve read so far in the Modern Fairytale series (and yes, it really is a standalone story), but it definitely won’t be my last!

I’m a sucker for retellings of classic stories–I love seeing all the ways authors take all of the common elements and make them new and different for modern readers. There were a lot of clever aspects to this story and I loved seeing all the ways she made the story of the Little Mermaid as recognizable as the original but modern and fresh at the same time (though OMG, did Ms. Regnery make us wait forever to finally see who Flounder was going to be! ;)). Plus, you know, a happy ending–which I know Disney gave us but I believe the real original did not…

I loved Laire (an anagram of Ariel!) and Erik’s characters–they were both sympathetic and flawed, and OMG did they have some amazing chemistry going on. The setting of the Outer Banks in North Carolina was perfect–having Ariel’s family live on an isolated island off the coast was brilliant–and now I really want to go back to that area for another visit. They even went to the Fort Raleigh National Historic site, because really, who wouldn’t want to? I’d love to see more of my favorite book characters visit historical sites, quite frankly, though that could be just me 😉

I will absolutely be getting my hands on the other books in this series ASAP!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 
Purchase Links:
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
 Also Available:
A MODERN FAIRYTALE COLLECTION
Don’t Speak is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection, which includes six standalone, completely unrelated novels inspired by beloved fairy tales:
The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast) – available now (FREE!)
Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel) – available now
Ginger’s Heart (Little Red Riding Hood) – available now
Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot) – available now (99c!)
Don’t Speak (The Little Mermaid) – new release
Swan Song (The Ugly Duckling) – available late-2017
 Series Links:
AMAZON US / UK
Free in Kindle Unlimited

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.

Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas.

Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller.

In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

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Re-Release Review! THE DO-GOODER by Jessie L. Star

The Do-Gooder
by Jessie L. Star

Synopsis:

A college girl tries to make up for her bad karma by doing one good deed for anyone willing to ask—a witty, sweet romance perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Abbi Glines.

Lara Montgomery is no good. Having been scorned by her classmates since high school, she’s used to it. From where she’s sitting, the one with more notches on the bedpost has more fun anyway. At least, that’s what she tells herself.

Really, a small part of her hopes that her massive amounts of bad karma can be neutralized by wearing her Do-Gooder hat—that thing she does where she’ll complete one good deed for anyone who asks. And she does an amazing job at it, if she does say so herself. Still, there’s one thing she knows she can’t make better, no matter how many problems she solves for other people: on the night her brother died, she was off hooking up with his not-so-single best friend, Fletch.

It’s been three years since that night, and Fletch just wants her to let it go. To him, her persistence with the good deeds only serves to remind everyone in their small university town about what they did. As it is, they can’t help but get into a heated argument every time they run into each other on campus. And yet, neither of them can seem to stop that pesky electricity that runs between them whenever they get too close….

 

Review:

 

Originally I thought the premise of this story sounded pretty good–could be cute, definitely showed promise. I started the book, and initially wasn’t terribly crazy about Lara’s character. She’s just so darn prickly and jaded, it felt like an effort to get to know her. Fletch showed some promise, though, so I kept reading.

I’m not even sure what point I was at–30%? 40%?–when I suddenly realized that I really did care an awful lot about both Fletch and Lara. The more she revealed herself to the reader, the more sympathetic Lara became, and soon it started to feel like my life was going to be negatively affected if those two crazy kids couldn’t manage to end up together in the end. Seriously, there were multiple parts in that last 20% that nearly had me in tears.

I’m not sure how much of that all was in the original version, but I can absolutely say that I recommend the rewrite! I’m putting Ms. Star on my list of authors to watch 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


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New Release Review and Giveaway! ANY BOY BUT YOU by Julie Hammerle (North Pole, MN #1)

Any Boy but You
North Pole, Minnesota #1
by Julie Hammerle
Publication Date: February 13, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled: Crush

 

Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.

The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.

When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.

Review:

A super-cute modern YA version of You’ve Got Mail (or technically, of the original–The Shop Around the Corner) with a bit of Romeo and Juliet feuding families-style drama added in, I really liked Any Boy But You. Both Oliver and Elena had their less-than-sympathetic moments–he was pretty judgmental at first on nothing more than his dad’s say-so, and she was over-the-top nasty at times, but that just made everything all the more sweet when they realized the errors of their ways, got a clue, and went above and beyond to make things better.

The ending was a bit rushed–we don’t get a whole lot of satisfactory Oliver and Elena time before the final page–but it’s pegged as the first in a new series, so fingers crossed that we’ll see plenty of them together and being cute in the books that are to come.

(Is it wrong to say I was about ready to cheer for the Chinese restaurant that insisted on calling itself “The Chinese Restaurant” instead of “Away in a Lo Mein-ger”, though? Because those Christmas-themed business names got to be a bit much at times…)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

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About the Author:

Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which was published by Entangled Teen in 2016. Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.

She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! WILD HORSE SPRINGS by Jodi Thomas (Ransom Canyon #5)

Synopsis:

In the heart of Ransom Canyon, sometimes the right match for a lonely soul is the one you least expect

Dan Brigman may not lead the most exciting life, but he’s proud of what he’s achieved: he’s a respected lawman, and he’s raised a bright, talented daughter on his own. But finding a lone, sparkly blue boot in the middle of a deserted highway gets him thinking maybe the cowgirl who lost it is exactly the shake-up he needs.

After losing her baby girl, Brandi Malone felt like her soul died along with her daughter. Now singing in small-town bars to make ends meet, she’s fine being a drifter until a handsome sheriff makes her believe that parking her boots under his bed is a better option.

College grad Lauren Brigman has just struck out on her own in downtown Dallas when a troubling phone call leads her back home to Crossroads. Her hometown represents her family, friends and deepest hopes, but also her first love, Lucas Reyes. Will Lauren’s homecoming be another heartbreak, or a second chance for her and Lucas?

 

Review:

So much going on in this book! Ms. Thomas weaves a number of characters’ stories into this one–Dan and Brandi, Lauren and Lucas, Cole and Tess, Thatcher and Hailey (that last one is not a romance–Thatcher’s 18 and Hailey’s 5!) –along with a strong thread of suspense running throughout. It could have easily all been too much, or too confusing, but I’m happy to say it wasn’t. One couple doesn’t get to an HEA (yet–fingers crossed that they will at eventually!) but everyone else reaches a highly satisfying point by the end of the book.

loved that the main couple, Dan and Brandi, are older than the usual romance hero and heroine (actually, come to think of it, Cole and Tess are slightly older too). The romance universe absolutely needs more main characters finding romance when they’re past their 20s. The way that Dan and Brandi started out too was adorable–finding her blue sparkly cowboy boot on the side of the road made their meet cute one with a Cinderella flair.

This book, though it’s billed as fifth in the series, worked just fine as a standalone. It’s my first book from Ms. Thomas, actually–and it definitely won’t be my last!

Rating: 4 stars  / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the author:

I’m a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author, wife, mother, in-law, grandmother, sister, friend, and owner of one fat cat.

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New Release Review! TOUGH JUSTICE COUNTDOWN 1 by Carla Cassidy (Book 1 of 8)

TOUGH JUSTICE COUNTDOWN 1
by Carla Cassidy

Tick. Tock. BOOM.

FBI Special Agent Lara Grant had thought that she’d put her past behind her—finally—with her last case. But now a serial bomber is targeting Manhattan’s elite power players, offering them a choice between saving hundreds of lives or seeing their darkest secrets exposed. Lara is working with the Crisis Management Unit to stop the bomber, but how will she react when she’s the one who has to choose between truth…or death?

Part 1 of 8: an explosive new installment in the thrilling FBI serial from New York Times bestselling author Carla Cassidy and Tyler Anne Snell, Emmy Curtis and Janie Crouch.

 

Review:

I really like the idea of this series–eight novellas, and four authors–you can read a part in a sitting or two, getting the whole story eventually in small bites and get a taste of new authors at the same time. I’ve only had time to read book one so far, but you’d better believe I’m going to be coming back for more–I need to know what’s going to happen! I like the characters and am intrigued by the suspense storyline. With so many fairly short “episodes”, it should be fairly easy to squeeze them in between work and school in the next few weeks. Stay tuned! 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

TOUGH JUSTICE COUNTDOWN is a multi-author serial featuring FBI Special Agent Lara Grant and later the Crisis Management Unit.

Series website: http://bookpages.harlequin.com/tough-…

Note: Each “Season” is divided into 8 episodes, written by different authors. Books are numbers by Season, then Episode. Example: 1.1 is Season 1, Episode 1. Book #2.4 is Season 2, Episode 4. The 8 episodes are also available in a combined novel length omnibus as well, listed as “Box Set.”

 


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