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.

 Author Links:

New Release Review! FOOLING AROUND WITH CINDERELLA by Stacy Juba (Storybook Valley #1)

Make sure you check out the release day post here!

Fooling Around With Cinderella
by Stacy Juba

Synopsis:

What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella’s toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom. First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun.

Review:

Such a sweet story!

I really enjoy reading modern versions of fairy tales, so I was excited to get my hands on this one. Ms. Juba does a clever job of twisting the traditional elements of the Cinderella story to make this contemporary retelling. More than once I didn’t even realize the connection to the original at first, but once I did it made me smile. I can’t wait to see what directions she’ll go with the rest of the series–so many fun options!

Like any self-respecting fairy tale, this story is told from the main character–in this case Jaine/Cinderella’s–point of view. I loved that she didn’t sit back and wait for things to happen to or for her, instead she went out and made her own chances and opportunities. She sent out a cold resume to a theme park that she’d loved going to as a child, and managed to talk the general manager–Dylan, aka the “real” Prince Charming (because of course there’s a guy who plays the prince in the park)–into creating a brand new position just for her.

There’s just one teensy, tiny catch. It won’t be full time until the fall…and in the meantime, she has to supplement her part time hours spent in the office in costume, playing the part of–you got it–Cinderella.

Jaine’s never seen herself as the princess type, and isn’t a fan of the elaborate costume she has to wear or the long list of details she has to remember in order to stay in character. She’s also determined to show that her other position–the one she hopes will be her “real” job–is one that’s going to prove invaluable to her new employers, so she’s pulling out all the stops on planning a new promotion to bring families into the park. On top of all that, her sisters expect their single, unattached sibling who “only has a cat to care for” to help them out with–well, just about everything they don’t feel like doing themselves. (Hmmm. I wonder who the ugly stepsisters are in this scenario? ;))

And then there’s the probably inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. She should probably suppress those. Except she doesn’t really want to, and Dylan doesn’t either…

This version of Cinderella has everything the story needs–an overworked, under-appreciated heroine, a fairy godmother, a magical transformation, a handsome prince, the left-behind forgotten footwear…even the stepmother and “evil” sisters are here, though the true villain turns out to be someone outside the usual suspects. To top it all off, it’s a sweet romance that you’d feel comfortable letting your younger teen read.

Did I mention I’m looking forward to the rest of the series? 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

New Release Review! THE EARL’S NEW BRIDE by Frances Fowlkes (The Daughters of Amhurst #1)

Title: The Earl’s New Bride
Author: Frances Fowlkes
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Kindle
England, 1819
 
The Earl of Amhurst has returned to his estate in search of a wife and, more importantly, an heir. Simon Devere isn’t interested in some comely, simpering creature. A beautiful woman only brings heartbreak and ruin, and Simon’s disfigured visage is proof enough of that. No, he wants a wife who is unattractive and undesirable—and the homelier, the better.
But nothing about Lady Henrietta Beauchamp is homely. She is lovely and sweet…and struggles to mix with polite society when she would so much rather have plants for company. And yet Simon is her only hope for keeping Plumburn Castle in her family’s possession. Even if it means marrying a man she doesn’t love.
It’s an impossible and unlikely match…unless this awkward beauty can bring hope back into a solitary beast’s life.
Review:
First off–such a pretty cover. Love it!

Secondly–a beauty and the beast story where Beauty is slightly more clumsy rather than just constantly distracted and her love is herbs and herbal remedies instead of books? Sounds like a good one, sign me up! 🙂

When I first read the blurb and saw the cover for The Earl’s New Bride, I knew I had to read it. I’m a total sucker for fairytale retellings, after all, and B&tB is one of the favorites at our house. (And the new live action version cannot come soon enough, BTW. I’m dying to see Dan Stevens in something that won’t make me cringe–unlike everything else he’s done since Downton. Sigh…)

I’m happy to report it did not disappoint.

The Earl’s New Bride is a sweet romance with a touch of mystery, and a Beauty and the Beast story set in Regency England. It’s the first in a new series, and I will definitely be coming back to read about Henrietta’s twin sisters, Sarah and Albina…especially since Sarah has an incident to make up for and Albina’s choice of a possible love interest in this story turns out to be a bit less-than…tension, ready and waiting!

I loved both Oliver and Henrietta. The new(ish) Earl of Amhurst has been burned by love–almost literally (maybe literally? We don’t find out the nitty gritty details of his injuries), and now that he’s got the title all he wants to do is find a modest, unassuming bride who’s desperate enough to take the Black Earl on and give him heirs–he needs to ensure above all that he never trusts his heart to another beautiful woman and that his younger brother doesn’t inherit the title. (There’s a definite story there, but we don’t get much of it beyond vague references. Which is fine; I’d much rather we focus on Oliver and Henrietta.) Henrietta intrigues him, which is bad. Very bad. He resists as long as he can, the poor man…

The Black Earl indeed. More like the tormented-confused-and-frustratingly-desirous-of-Lady-Henrietta-Earl.

But we all know resistance is futile…

Henrietta has gone to the house party planning on sacrificing herself in the interests of keeping the estate where her dear father spend so much time and where her herb gardens are a part of her life on a permanent basis. The very idea of the Black Earl fills her with trepidation, but she’s determined to do this much for her family. Her nerves over the whole situation lead to a laugh out loud first meeting (clumsy doesn’t even begin to cover it, the poor girl!) in which she absolutely gets Oliver’s attention. But will it be enough?

(Insert happy sigh) Of course it will, but not until we have plenty of angst and yearning first. 😉 The Earl’s New Bride is a sweet and entertaining read, kicking off a new series I’m very much looking forward to reading more from.

(And seeing more of Henrietta and Oliver in–because, adorable!)

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

add-to-goodreads-button3

TENB_500

amazonBNkobogoogle play

 

 

 

After viewing her all-time favorite love story, “Anne of Green Gables”, at the impressionable age of ten, Frances Fowlkes has been obsessed with affable boy-next door heroes, red-heads, and romance stories with lots of “highfaluting mumbo jumbo” written within their pages. It only seems natural then that she married the boy who used to pull on her curls in her high school English class, had not one, but THREE red-headed boys, and penned multiple love stories with bits of flowery prose.

When not writing, Frances loves spending time with her family, fangirling, and planning her next vacation.

Frances Fowlkes, originally a northern mid-westerner, now lives in the southeast with her ardent hero of a husband, three playful and rambunctious boys, and one spoiled standard poodle.

A self-professed Anglophile and summa cum laude graduate of LeTourneau University, Frances Fowlkes combines her passion for happily-ever-afters with her interests in both American and English histories.

For More Information

Visit Frances’ website.
Social-Network-FacebookSocial-Network-TwitterSocial-Network-Pinterest

 

 September 7
Book featured at 3 Partners in Shopping
Book reviewed at What is That Book About
September 8
Book reviewed at Griperang’s Bookmark
September 9
Book reviewed at Books and Warpaint
September 10
Interviewed at Review From Here
September 11
Book featured at Harmonious Publicity
September 14
Book review and Interviewed at Bambi Unbridled
September 15
Guest blogging at Lisa Loves Books
September 16
Book reviewed at Archaeolibrarian
September 17
Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish
September 18
September 21
September 22
Book reviewed at Book Nerd
September 23
Book featured at Write and Take Flight
September 24
Guest blogging at Around the World in Books
September 25
Book featured at Chosen By You Book Club
September 28
Book reviewed at Addicted to Romance
September 29
Book reviewed at Becky on Books and Quilts
September 30
Book featured at Voodoo Princess
October 1
Book featured at Read-Love-Blog
Book featured at Reviews by Crystal
October 2
Book reviewed at Books Need TLC
Book reviewed at Tien’s Blurb

New Release Review and Giveaway! BEAUTY AND THE WEREWOLF by Kristin Miller (San Francisco Wolf Pack #2)

 

Beauty and the Beast–with a twist!

Beauty and the Werewolf Tour Banner

Beauty and the Werewolf
by Kristin Miller
San Francisco Wolf Pack #2
Publication Date: August 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Romance

Synopsis:

Unmated werewolves don’t normally live past three hundred years old…and billionaire Jack MacGrath is cutting it close. Sure, he has almost everything—the respect of his peers, a mansion in San Francisco, a private jet, and fast cars. But without a mate, Jack’s in trouble. Then he sees her. Gorgeous, proud…and his enemy.

Isabelle Connelly is good at hiding things from her father. Like her success as a painter, or the incredibly intense attraction she has to Jack MacGrath. After all, she’s royalty and falling for anyone lesser—to say nothing of a rival pack—would be, er, unseemly. Now she must choose between her duty to her family and her pack…or her perfect fated mate.

Beauty Werewolf Teaser 2

Excerpt:

“Tell Mr. MacGrath that Isabelle Connelly is here to see him.” She spoke loudly into the intercom. “I’d like to make an offer on his newest piece of acquired art: Werewolf in Venice.”

Silence followed after a deafeningly loud crackling sound.

Five minutes dragged by. She tapped her fingers on the steering wheel and refused to move. Stared at the intricate ironwork on the gate.

“I’m not leaving,” she mumbled to herself. “Not until I get my painting.”

Nothing else mattered.

Billionaire or not, everything had a price.

She’d simply have to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Hell if she knew what that was, though.

Without warning, the gates let out a groan, startling her. She jumped in her seat and watched them open slowly, revealing a winding stone-paved driveway. She put the Camry in gear and drove toward a towering fountain erected in the middle of the driveway.

But the closer she got to the fountain, the slower she drove.

She gawked, mouth hanging open in disbelief.

Good God, the fountain was hideously phallic. Like a giant penis standing ramrod-straight in the middle of a gravel bed. Water bubbled up from the tip, making her throw up a little in her mouth.

Craning her neck around, Isabelle shook her head and scoffed.

It was a disgustingly perfect fountain for a guy like Jack MacGrath.

As she turned, veering away from the fountain—out of pure instinct—she realized she was now parked facing the stairs to his mansion. And took up the width of the driveway, hood to rear end.

Damn it.

She should’ve just parked next to the damn thing.

Glancing in the rearview mirror, she reversed carefully. As she inched closer to the penis monolith, the unmistakable whop-whop-whop of a helicopter sounded in the distance. The racket increased.

Was a helicopter landing on the damn house?

She bent, craning to look beneath the doorframe. She searched the sky. One way, and then the other.

There it was.

A freaking helicopter swooped over his house, making a low dive over her car.

She squealed, ducking low in her seat.

The thunderous flac-flac-flac of the blades drowned out everything—the rumble of the Camry’s engine and the drumming of her own heart—as it dropped out of the sky and hovered above the large lawn on the opposite end of the estate. The chopper was massive. Menacing. A door on the side slid open. A rope was flung out, hitting the grass.

What the hell?

With a jolt, the tires of her car ran over something crackly. Her car bumbled. Shook. And then backed into something solid.

“Oh, shit!” Isabelle gripped the wheel tight and slammed on the brakes. Whipping around, she glared out the back window…and caught the breath in her throat. She must’ve been inching back without realizing it. She’d rear-ended the giant penis. It wobbled, shook. The tip seemed loose, teetering on the thick base. “No, no, no, don’t—”

And then it fell. Dropped right to the ground with a thud.

Cue mortification.

Beauty Werewolf Teaser 3

Review:

Beauty and the Beast meets Romeo and Juliet–all with a modern twist!

I really enjoyed this retelling of the classic tale, and not only because it featured werewolves, my favorite paranormal creatures. Ms. Miller did a fantastic job of ramping up the urgency of Belle and Jack being together in the end, making his eventual sacrifice that much more significant–two elements so important in the original story but often lacking in modern versions.

On top of that, it was just a whole lot of fun to read (the phallic fountain scene! Too funny)–even if there wasn’t a library to be seen. The art gallery/collection was a nice substitute, but, you know, it’s not a library. 😉

I loved Jack as a hero–he really was everything you could want and more. Gorgeous, sexy, a werewolf and a guy who uses his power and wealth to benefit others, and…dying. He’s already gone two decades past where he should have without finding his mate, and is pretty much surviving now on adrenaline rushes, which have to get progressively more daring the longer he lives without finding his Luminary. Even though he’s desperate to find his mate and bring fulfillment to his life, he still puts Belle’s happiness and well being before his own.

Sigh.

Worthy.

Isabelle, though I liked her, wasn’t quite up to his caliber of protagonist. She’s supposed to be taking over for her father as Alpha eventually, but she doesn’t really act like future alpha material. She’s a little too dependent on approval from dad (yes, I know, he’s the Alpha. But she should still show a certain degree of leadership and backbone) and listens a bit too much to her pack BFF, Neil. She doesn’t shift at all in the book–yes, it was a short read, but still? And I really didn’t get how she justified taking back the painting she’d given Jack when she returned to Ireland to see her dying father–after telling him he could keep it until she got back, and especially after he let her take ten other paintings…

Essentially, she’s the reason for the loss of a star here. She makes up for it in the end, but before that point she had me shaking my head quite a bit in a WTF? kind of way.

Still, Jack’s awesomeness–and the re-imagining of a classic tale–were strong enough to keep me eagerly turning the pages. As Jack stays fairly aloof from the San Francisco pack, Beauty and the Werewolf works fine as a standalone read even though it’s #2 in the series.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Beauty and the Werewolf Cover

AmazonAmazon CAAmazon UKB&NKoboiBooks

 

Add to Goodreads

Also in the San Francisco Wolf Pack series…

The Werewolf Wears Prada Cover

The Werewolf Wears Prada
by Kristin Miller
San Francisco Wolf Pack #1
Publication Date: April 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Romance

AmazonAmazon CAAmazon UKB&NKoboiBooks

Synopsis:

Melina Rosenthal worships at the altar of all things fashion. Her dream is to work for the crème de la crème fashion magazine, Eclipse, and she’ll do much anything to get there. Even fixing up the image of a gorgeous, sexy public figure who’s all playboy, all the time. Even if he’s the guy who broke her heart a year ago…

Even if Hayden Dean is a werewolf.

Since his father’s death, Hayden’s the heir apparent to the San Francisco Wolf Pack—well, once he settles down. Hayden isn’t interested in giving up his partying ways, except he’s pretty sure he’s found his fated mate, and the fact that she’s a non-shifter is bad news. Now he must find a compromise between the traditions of his wolf world and his certainty that Melina is his…before fate (or another werewolf) bites them both in the butt.

Add to Goodreads

About Kristin Miller:Kristin Miller

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance of all varieties. Kristin has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. She lives in Northern California with her alpha male husband and their two children. She loves chocolate way more than she should and the gym less. You can usually find her in the corner of a coffee shop, laptop in front of her and mocha in hand, using the guests around her as fuel for her next book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
button1

New Release Review: THE UGLY STEPSISTER by Aya Ling

The Ugly Stepsister
by Aya Ling

Blurb:

When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she’s magically transported into the world of Cinderella–as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she’s a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she’ll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world?

Review:

Such a fun read!

Okay, so if we’re going to be technical, I found the very beginning and last few pages to be kind of on the clunky side–getting Kat into the Story World happened waaaay to fast and what happens after was head-scratchingly anticlimactic–but everything in the middle was a delight. I’m a total sucker for fairy-tale retellings, so I was glad that this one was well done overall.

(Except for the cover. What is up with that dress???)

I really enjoyed Kat’s character, even if she was a bit slow on the uptake at times. She stood up for the people she cared about and went above and beyond in her attempts to fix the wrongs she saw in the world she was thrown into–both the ones that should (hopefully) get her back to her own place and time and the ones that were completely unrelated to her plight.

And the prince? Totally sigh-worthy. Absolutely loved him and all of his attempts to make his kingdom a better place. And the fact that he believed in Kat 110% made him that much more of a hero, IMO. 🙂

This was my first book from this author, but it definitely won’t be my last.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews