Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday
Flashback Friday

All By Myself, Alone

All By Myself, Alone
All By Myself, Alone

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Empire of Shadows by - The House of Crimson & Clover Volume 5- A Book Review

 
 
Two dynasties clash for power. Only one empire can emerge.

In a time now legend, a sacred vow united the Farværdig and the Tuatha Dé Danann. One race born of fire, the other risen from nature. Together, they enjoyed centuries of peace and prosperity, under the protective blanket of this hallowed oath.

But when war came to the doorstep of the Tuatha, the Farværdig turned their backs. Expelled from their lands, those Tuatha who were not extinguished went into hiding, later re-emerging in secret as the Quinlans. The broken vow took its toll on the Farværdig, dividing the race into two factions: those willing to fall to heel of new restrictive laws, and rebels determined to restore the peaceful values of their kind.

In the midst of years of strife that follows, a Prophecy emerged, promising hope. Unite the races once more, and right the ancient wrong.



As the shadows of age and myth are exposed, the Deschanels find themselves deeply enmeshed in this war. Their bloodline and futures closely intertwined with both races, each member of the family must uncover their own vital role in fulfilling the Prophecy or risk decimation.


MY REVIEW:



Empire of Shadows: The House of Crimson & Clover Volume 5Empire of Shadows: The House of Crimson & Clover Volume 5 by Sarah M. Cradit
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Empire of Shadows by Sarah M. Cradit is a 2015 publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Finally! The long anticipated full length novel which picks up the story of Finn, Ana, and Aidrik while merging their story in with the Deschanel clan back in New Orleans. I have been impatiently awaiting this novel, practically chomping at the bit to get back to Ana to find out was going on in her world.

As the story begins, Ana is giving birth to her son. The child is in grave danger as a impending war threatens on the horizon, forcing his parents to make a very difficult decision in order to keep him safe. But, is it actually deal made with the devil?

Back in New Orleans, Ana puts Nicolas in charge of her son... yes, Nicolas, a guardian! Dear God. But, he and Mercy have also opened their home to other children, also Empryian, to keep them safe.

There is also a very interesting development with Amelia and Jacob, which was a pretty intense part of the story, which was as absorbing as the other elements in the book.

This series never fails to impress or surprise me. It should be noted that to enjoy this book to it's fullest, one needs to have read the previous books in the series.

For those who are up to date on all the happenings, this book is going to leave you breathless!

Despite weighing in at over seven hundred pages, like a pure high fantasy novel should, the story moves along at such a fast pace you will be finished well before you are ready to be. A lot of ground is covered, with some heart stopping and heartbreaking developments.


This story delves into some sensual areas the author has not ventured into before, the type usually defined as erotica, a genre I usually avoid, but for some reason this development felt like an inevitable one, maybe even a natural one. I found it neither shocking, nor offensive in this particular case.


The characters we have come to know, and feel a connection to, have all developed into either more mature versions of themselves, like Nicolas who continues to struggle with his new leadership role and the war within himself to remain moral and true to Mercy. He's still the foul mouthed Nicolas of old, but there is a self awareness now that proves that underneath all that sarcasm and “I don't give a crap” attitude, the man does indeed have a conscience. He's a little out of his element here at times and is often unsure how to approach matters , giving him a vulnerability he hasn't shown much of before. You might even want to hug him and comfort him. !!!

Other characters will discover a side to themselves they didn't know was there, and some will fall backwards instead of forward which left me feeling a little unsettled.

I should also warn you that there will be lamentations and gnashing of teeth, monumental sorrow, extreme anger and frustration, all of which left me panting for more!!
This is the best book to date in the series, and yes I know, I say that every time, but really, this is a masterpiece. I hope you are at home Sarah M. Cradit, furiously writing the next book in the series. I can hardly wait!!



Sarah is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Paranormal Southern Gothic series, The House of Crimson & Clover, born of her combined passion for New Orleans, and the mysterious complexity of human nature. Her work has been described as rich, emotive, and highly dimensional.

An unabashed geek, Sarah enjoys studying obscure subjects like the Plantagenet and Ptolemaic dynasties, and settling debates on provocative Tolkien topics such as why the Great Eagles are not Gandalf's personal taxi service. Passionate about travel, Sarah has visited over twenty countries collecting sparks of inspiration (though New Orleans is where her heart rests). She's a self-professed expert at crafting original songs to sing to her very patient pets, and a seasoned professional at finding ways to humiliate herself (bonus points if it happens in public). When at home in Oregon, her husband and best friend, James, is very kind about indulging her love of fast German cars and expensive lattes.

Connect with Sarah:

Official Website: http://www.sarahmcradit.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/houseofcrimso...
Google +: google.com/+SarahMCradit
Twitter: @thewritersarah
  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Getting Lucky by Jennifer Seasons- Virtual Book Tour + Giveaway!


Enter to Win an Ebook Diamonds and Dugouts Series Bundle 
including, STEALING HOME, PLAYING THE FIELD 
and THROWING HEAT


GETTING LUCKY
Fortune, Colorado #1
Jennifer Seasons
Releasing April 21st, 2015
Avon Impulse


Welcome to Fortune, Colorado—where the air is clean, the men are rugged, and the all the good ones… are bachelors.

Born into the infamous Charlemagne equestrian empire, Shannon has been raised to do whatever it takes for the family business. Even if it means going undercover and digging up dirt on a competitor. It's easy enough when she believes he's a bad guy whose success seems too good to be true. In fact, Shannon's excited to put the aggravatingly sexy Irishman in his place and get back in her father's good graces. All she needs is to stay focused on the goal … and out of Sean Muldoon's arms.

From stealing a thoroughbred racehorse from the Irish mob to striking gold in the mountains of Colorado, there's little Sean hasn't experienced. But when it comes to resisting his hot new stable manager, he's out of luck. With the mob hot on his heels, keeping Shannon off their radar is all but impossible, and he's not about to put her in danger too. Sean wants Shannon, but how can he offer her a future … when he can't even guarantee tomorrow?

Buy Now



Jennifer Seasons has been a lifelong writer and reader. She lives with her husband and four children in the mountains of rural New England. An enormous yet lovable dog and the world's coolest cat keep them company. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family outdoors exploring her beautiful new home state, learning the joys of organic gardening, and—if she's lucky—relaxing in her hammock under the trees with a really good book.



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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chasing the Other Tisdale by Jessica Jefferson- Review Tour + Giveaway






Chasing the Other Tisdale

by Jessica Jefferson



~~~~~~~~~~~~~



BLURB:



She’s the other sister…



Overshadowed by the beauty of her older sister, Lillian is better known as the other Tisdale; unremarkable and unsure how she will ever deliver on the promise of her family's name.



He’s a rake in need of reforming…



Will Colton leads a frivolous existence, embracing notoriety instead of managing his family’s fortune. Determined to forget his financial burden and his father’s growing resentment, he maintains a lifestyle dedicated to pleasure and self-indulgence. When Will is invited to the Tisdale estate for an extended holiday, he never expects to become friends with the forgettable Lillian. But when a family secret comes to light, he must choose between leaving London and protecting the honor of one woman or staying and risking the reputation of another.



Upon his return, Will finds the girl he left behind has come out of the shadows and into her own. Lillian’s finally the center of attention, and not all of it good. With his own reputation in tatters, can a reformed rake lure her out of the hands of London's bachelors and back into his own arms? Can he escape his past and reclaim her heart, or has he lost her forever?
 
 
 
EXCERPT:

 

When Lillian Tisdale dreamt of that magical moment when she would fall in love, she never imagined that it would be so sudden, so complete, or so…

Literal.


Lilly, as she was more commonly known, sat cradled in between a large branch and the massive trunk of the hundred year old willow tree near the pond at Brightly, her family’s ancestral estate. She set her sketch book and charcoal pencil down on the branch and took a moment to appreciate the scenery before her. Brightly was noted for its lush gardens and rolling green hills, and she found it impossible to imagine any other property in England being as lovely.

This was her favorite tree, had been for years, and one of the only places she could disappear to when she felt the need for a respite from her three sisters and older brother. She relished the quiet of her hiding place, the silence disturbed only by the soft wind skimming the pond, the rustling of the leaves in the oak groves, and the occasional coo of a nesting bird.

You naughty minx!”

Lilly startled, the unexpected sound of a man’s voice coming from out of nowhere. She steadied herself against the branch in front of her, knocking her sketchbook onto the ground in the process. She sighed, doubting the book would survive the fall intact. She’d spent the last of her pin money on that sketchbook and wouldn’t be able to afford a new one for at least a month. Her parents, for all their wealth, were sticklers when it came to their children’s allowances.

You’re a wicked, wicked man, Mr. Colton!”

This time, the voice was distinctly female and the name she mentioned sounded familiar...
MY REVIEW:
 
 

Chasing the Other Tisdale (Regency Blooms #3)Chasing the Other Tisdale by Jessica Jefferson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chasing the Other Tisdale by Jessica Jefferson is a 2015 Soul Mate Publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this ugly duckling type story set during the regency period. Lillian has stood in the shadow of her three other sisters who are all considered beauties. Lillian, however is the “funny one”. She isn't tall, had a outbreak of acne, and perhaps she is a little plump. But, she longs for something more than just being “the other sister ”. She wants to be desired and experience true love and passion.

When Lillian meets Will Colton, a good friend to her brother, Thomas, in the most awkward, painful, and embarrassing way possible, the two strike up an unlikely friendship. But, Lillian believes Will only sees her as a friend, and her feelings go much deeper. Still, the two continue to write one another on a regular basis. These letters mean the world to Lillian, but they also mean a lot to Will, who still doesn't understand what category his feelings for Lillian falls into.

However, when he has a chance to step up and defend her, he fails utterly and he pays an incredibly high price for his cowardice. Losing Lillian is only the beginning of his troubles though, as his relationship with his father grows more strained and they all suffer through an incredible period of loss. But, through it all, Will grows as a person and becomes more and more like Thomas, the man who has made the biggest impression on him in his life and given him an example to follow. Can Will prove to Lillian he really does love her and will be there for her forever this time?

I absolutely loved Will and Lillian. Both of them were so funny and charming. The author does a great job of adding humor in just the right places, and I needed that especially when the book takes a sudden unexpected turn that left me gasping for air. The character growth for both these characters is huge, but they seem to grow in opposite directions for a time. Lillian has experienced too much pain and heartbreak and begins to turn a little cynical. Will on the other hand grows up emotionally and makes big personal sacrifices in order to do the honorable thing, which is a far cry from the type of man Will was when the story began.
For a book that is only a little over two hundred pages in length, the story packs a lot of depth and emotion into a small space. The romance between Lillian and Will has an epic quality to it, since it is spread out over a period of time. The author also impressed me by staying true to the period in language and customs. This is not a fluff regency period romance by any means. I admired Will for loving Lillian before she transformed into a beautiful woman, how he saw the qualities she possessed as more important than mere outer beauty. It also explored the issues faces by Lillian's sister who was most sought after, but only for outer beauty and not for the person she was underneath. We do get a little glimpse of her depth toward the end of the book and I hope we get to read about all of Lillian's sisters in the future.
This is a well balanced historical romance and loved it from start to finish. Very well done!

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:







Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago. She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy. She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings.



Links and social media:

http://www.JessicaJefferson.com and http://www.embracingromance.com

Like me at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-Jefferson/545243542195152

Follow me at https://twitter.com/authorJessicaJ/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7376474.Jessica_Jefferson

Amazon Author Page- http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Jefferson/e/B00GI20W2K



Chasing the Other Tisdale, Compromising Miss Tisdale and Taming Miss Tisdale from Soul Mate Publishing, available now on Amazon!







Monday, April 27, 2015

Hit and Run by Maxine O'Callaghan- A Book Review

 
When Delilah West, Orange County private investigator, is grazed by a car that also hits an old man, Joseph Collins, and leaves him for dead, she counts it just another incident in the run of bad luck that has plagued her personally and professionally ever since her husband, her partnet-in-crime-solving, was killed. Delilah, moonlighting as a waitress, badly needs a case, but when the hit-and-run driver's mother asks Delilah to prove her son innocent, Delilah is aghast. Until, that is, she begins to remember details about the "accident" that add up not to recklessness but to murder.


MY REVIEW:

Hit & Run by Maxine O'Callaghan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hit & Run by Maxine O' Callaghan is a 2015 Brash Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the author and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hit & Run is an old fashioned “whodunit” featuring the very real and relatable, Delilah West. Originally published in the late 1980's, this book has been reissued “as is” by Brash Books.

Delilah is having a very bad year. If losing her husband a little while back wasn't enough, her private detective agency has fallen on very hard times and Delilah has been through a few physical scrapes along the way too. Now she is working as a waitress to make ends meet, sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor of her office, and to put the cherry on the cake, she nearly gets run over while out jogging. Although, she bangs up her knee, the other victim of the hit and run, Joseph Collins, wasn't quite so lucky.

It's not long before the cops find and arrest the driver, but the young man's mother pleads with Delilah to take a closer look at the situation. Did Delilah actually see the car strike Joseph? Could he have been dead before the “accident”. Placed in the this awkward position, Delilah agrees to ask around, even if it does border on the unethical side of things. However, Delilah's questions appear to strike a nerve with the victim's family and Delilah is wondering if one them had a motive from wanting the old man dead.

Reading this book now, in 2015, I simply could not stop myself from thinking how similar this book was to the Sue Grafton alphabet mysteries featuring Kinsey Millhone. The book is pretty short, written in first person, and takes place in the eighties. But, that is really where the comparisons need to stop.

Delilah is a very strong person, with wry wit, an occasional sarcastic remark, and is tough enough to take a lickin' and keep on tickin', but is also a little “accident” prone, making more trips to the hospital than is normal, and she has a softer side to her as well, especially when she makes an occasional reference to her late husband.


The plot has a few twist and turns, moves along at quick pace, and kept me guessing all the way through, with lots of action and suspense, which kept me interested and engaged. I thought the characters were well written, some of whom I liked and some of course I didn't care for.

The references to some automobiles and TV shows from the eighties added a touch of nostalgia, although of course that wasn't the intent when the book was written, but I was glad the book wasn't touched up or modernized in any way, since this gave the story an added charm. This is a solid mystery and I enjoyed getting to know Delilah West a little better. Although this book is a part of a series, this being the third one, (if I have my facts straight), this book can be read as a stand alone. 4 stars

 
 
 
 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blush by Cherry Adair- A Book Review



In the same pulse-pounding style as Maya Banks and Kresley Cole, New York Times bestselling author Cherry Adair delivers a sizzling erotic romance about a sexy billionaire who’s on the run—and the hit-man-turned-handyman who’s supposed to kill her.

Sex with a stranger. Learn to drive. Learn to cook. Learn to pole dance. Sex under the stars. Buy a truck. These are just a few of the things on Amelia Wentworth’s bucket list, but as the CEO and face of a multi-billion-dollar cosmetic empire, she’s never quite found the time to do them.

Until, after a series of accidents, Amelia discovers that someone wants her dead. But who? And why? She has no time for questions as she changes her name to Mia, buys a secluded fixer-upper near the Louisiana bayou where no one will recognize her, and starts checking things off her bucket list like there’s no tomorrow—which there might not be.

Meanwhile, Cruz Barcelona is a hit man who’s promised himself this will be his last job. Then he’ll take the money and move to a warm, sunny place where he doesn’t have to hide anymore. But when Cruz goes undercover to Mia’s ramshackle house, he starts to realize there’s far more to this poor-little-rich-girl than he thought—and he starts to fall for her. Which is going to make his job a whole lot harder…















BlushBlush
by Cherry Adair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blush by Cherry Adair is a 2015 Gallery books publication. I was provided a copy of this book as an X0Xpert - the official Street Team of XOXO After Dark, in exchange for an honest review.

One thing about Cherry Adair, she really has a fantastic imagination. This book was full of surprises and is a little bit outside the box. I really like stories that have dark humor and wit, so this one grabbed my attention right away. This book is filled with twist and turns that had me shaking my head and laughing at the same time.

Amelia Wentworth, aka Mia Hayward, is the CEO of Blush Cosmetics. She has moved away from San Francisco to Podunk, Louisiana, to hide out after it became abundantly clear someone desperately wants her dead. This turn of events has Mia working through a rather amusing bucket list which includes learning how to drive, pole dancing, and maybe the most dangerous of all, SWAS – Sex with a stranger.





So, when Cruz Barcelona shows up at her rundown plantation home she invites him in for some hot sex on the kitchen counter. What she doesn't know is Cruz is actually a trained assassin hired to kill her. But, something feels off to Cruz, so he doesn't kill her right away even though she is responsible for the deaths of innocent children, her money sponsoring an illegal sex ring, and cruel work conditions in Chinese sweatshops. In his mind someone like Mia deserves to die, and Cruz considers himself an avenging angel of sorts.








But before he can figure out what is really going on with Mia, Cruz is in neck deep with Mia and the situation with her hired help. The longer he waits the harder it is to do the job he was hired to do. Of course, if isn't getting the job done, someone else will be happy to step up. So now instead of trying to kill Mia, Cruz is trying to save her life.

Cruz has a pretty big heart for a hardened killer and Mia's character is delightful. She lives life large, really cares about other people, is smart, business savvy, but is also a lot of fun. She and Cruz make a pretty good team, even if they are little bit of an oddball couple.

I wasn't sure about someone falling in love with a hired hit man, and centering a story around their romance, but while this story is dark in a way, it's presented with a lighter tone, making it ,more comical than anything. Sometimes it was even close to being a screwball comedy because the bad guys just can't seem to hit their intended target.

For those of you who have read this author's work previously, you know she writes steamy romantic suspense and paranormal romance. This one is maybe just a little hotter than what you are used to, bordering of erotic. I thought the added heat worked in this situation because Mia was trying to break out of her 'plain vanilla' routine and try new things, plus she kept Cruz so preoccupied he couldn't go his job.



I have to say I really enjoyed this book. It was thrilling, action packed, super sexy, witty, and romantic, but also quirky and unpredictable which is something I always welcome. 4.5 rounded to 5


Always an adventurer in life as well as writing, New York Times best-selling author Cherry Adair moved halfway across the globe from Cape Town, South Africa to the United States in her early years to become a interior designer. Now a resident of the Pacific Northwest she shares the award- winning adventures of her fictional T-FLAC counter terrorism operatives with her readers.

Cherry settled in beautiful San Francisco, where she started what eventually became a thriving interior design business. "I loved being a designer because it was varied and creative, and I enjoyed working with the public." A voracious reader when she was able to carve out the time, Cherry found her brain crowded with characters and stories of her own. "Eventually," she says, "the stories demanded to be told."

When asked why she chooses to write romantic action adventure, she says, "Who says you can’t have adventure and a great love life? Of course if you’re talking about an adventurous love life, that’s another thing altogether. I write romantic suspense coupled heart-pounding adventure because I like to entertain, and nothing keeps readers happier than a rollercoaster read, followed by a happy ending."

Popular on the workshop circuit, Cherry gives lively classes on writing and the writing life. Pulling no punches when asked how to become a published writer, Cherry insists, "Sit your butt in the chair and write. There's no magic to it. Writing is hard work. It isn't for sissies or whiners."

Cherry loves to spend time at home. A corner desk keeps her focused on writing, but the windows behind her, with a panoramic view of the front gardens, are always calling her to come outside and play. Her office has nine-foot ceilings, a fireplace, a television and built-in bookcases that will house approximately 3,500 paperback books.

"What can I say? My keeper shelf has been breeding in the middle of the night, rather like drycleaners' wire clothes hangers.”

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Duke's Disaster by Grace Burrowes - Book Review + Giveaway

Book Information
 
Title: The Duke’s Disaster
Author: Grace Burrowes
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Romance
 
Summary
Noah Winters, Duke of Anselm, exercises the pragmatism for which he's infamous when his preferred choice of bride cries off, and her companion, Lady Thea Collins, becomes his next choice for his duchess. Lady Thea's mature, sensible and even rather attractive-what could possibly go wrong?
As a lady fallen on hard times, Thea doesn't expect tender sentiments from His Grace, but she does wish Noah had courted her trust, lest her past turn their hastily arranged marriage into a life of shared regrets. Is His Grace courting a convenient wife, or a beautiful disaster?
 
 
 

Excerpt
 
The Duke and Duchess are having a rocky start to their marriage, also to their day…
 
“Your tea, Duchess.”
 
Noah had woken up beside his wife—again, despite all plans to the contrary—creating another first for him. Thea had risen several times during the night to tend to herself. He hadn’t realized that monthly courses caused a woman’s rest to be interrupted.
 
Crashingly bad planning, for a lady’s sleep to be disturbed when she most needed rest.
 
“You’re not about to steal my tea?” Thea held out the cup, her gaze shy as she sat propped against the headboard.
 
“Where’s the fun in stealing what’s freely offered?” Noah settled in beside her and filched a bite of her cinnamon toast. “Would you rather have chocolate this morning?”
 
“Because?”
 
“You’re”— Noah waved a hand in the direction of her middle—“indisposed.”
 
“I am not indisposed.” Thea set her teacup down with a little clink. “The discomfort has passed, as it always does. You needn’t be concerned.”
 
“I am not concerned, Thea.” Not greatly concerned, now that she’d stopped ordering him to go away and was ready for a proper spat. “I am attempting in my bumbling way to dote. You will allow it.”
 
Drat. He’d given another order.
 
“You couldn’t bumble if one gave you written instructions, Anselm,” Thea said, looking a little less peaked for having run up her flags. “That was my toast you appropriated.”
 
“Appropriation is what happens when one’s wife can’t appreciate a little doting. You’re being stingy with the tea, just as you were stingy with the covers. How long does this indisposition last?” 
 
Her chin came up. “I am the Duchess of Anselm. I am not stingy with anything, but you are a very presuming husband.”
 
“Doting.” Noah took Thea’s free hand to kiss her knuckles— lest she mistake his point. “Also in need of my duchess’s guidance on this one marital matter.”
 
“This is so personal.” Thea’s gaze was on their joined hands— for Noah would not have her haring off in a fit of mortification. “I didn’t think you’d be a personal sort of husband. You were supposed to appear in my dressing-room doorway a few nights a month, silently take a few marital liberties, and then leave me in peace. We’d trade sections of the Times over breakfast the next morning.”
 
“Prosaic.” Boring and exactly what Noah himself had envisioned. “Hard to see any doting going on, though.”
 
“Husband?” Thea’s tone was hesitant. “Thank you, for keeping me company last night. I would not have known how to ask.”
 
“I suppose that’s the definition of doting.” Noah lingered at the cart to assemble a plate. “It’s the little things you can’t bring yourself to ask for, that an attentive spouse will enjoy providing to you. Bacon or ham?”
 
“A little of both, please.”
 
“Feeling carnivorous?”
 
“I’m a trifle indisposed. I need the sustenance.”
 
Noah piled both ham and bacon on Thea’s plate, and stole better than half of it, because he needed the sustenance too.
 
 
Buy Links
 
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1xmRtvf
 
MY REVIEW:
 
The Duke's Disaster (True Gentlemen, #0.5)The Duke's Disaster by Grace Burrowes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Duke's Disaster by Grace Burrowes is a 2015 Sourcebooks Casablanca publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


How nice, as always, to pick up a novel by Grace Burrowes. This is a such a wonderful story, with snappy dialogue, wit, mystery, and a clever reminder about double standards and drawing conclusions without all the facts, and learning to trust. but of course it was the slow, sensual, sweet, sexy love story between Thea and Noah that will absolutely melt your heart.


Thea is the daughter of an aristocrat, but after her parent's death, her lazy, drunken brother horribly neglects his sisters, forcing Thea to take a position as a lady's companion.

Noah Winters has decided to marry in order to preserve the family line. After finally choosing a prospective bride, the lady up and accepts another man's proposal instead. But, the lady's companion, Thea, just might be the perfect wife. So, Noah makes Thea an offer she can't refuse.

Noah is not a charming man, by any means. In fact, by his own admission, he isn't very nice. But, his actions belie his words, especially when he discovers his new bride has been less than honest with him and it immediately puts the tenuous marriage in trouble.

Not only that, it would appear Noah has been harboring a couple of secrets of his own, causing the chasm between them to widen.

But, through it all, Noah is the nicest person he can be, when he could have been perfectly horrible to Thea. Instead he is determined to see the marriage work, even though they got off to a pretty rocky start. But, the issue of trust sits heavily on Noah and he can't seem to let go of his insecurities and move forward in the marriage until he learns all the sordid details of Thea's past. By the same token, Thea can't seem to trust Noah with her story which would surely put things in an entirely different light.

While double standards still rule the day in many situations today, back in this era of time it was much, much worse. What is good for goose and all that. It's infuriating, but that was the way of things. It is also true we might find ourselves judging someone by the reputation of their family members, believing them to be of the same ilk, when in fact they are not.

So, Noah and Thea make mistakes by not being honest with one another from the beginning. But, their journey was an absolute delight as they soldier through some pretty rough times and come out on the other side of it totally in love with one another and with a rock solid marriage.

If two people were ever meant to be married it was these two. Right from the start the two had spectacular marital tug of wars, especially while eating breakfast. Noah is so tender and sweet, such a gentleman, and an honorable man, bearing the weight of his family's rather tarnished reputation. Thea is a strong woman who has endured so much and paid such a high price for something that was not her fault. As a woman she bore an internal shame she should never have had to feel, but didn't let it keep her from trying to make the best of things. The secondary characters were also delightful and I rather enjoyed James' marital advice to Noah on the few occasions Noah sought his advice.

The author keeps the pace steady, but had me itching to read ahead in hopes of discovering the secrets of Thea's past. While, I had some inkling of what may have transpired, I could never have guessed the way it would all be explained. The truth was stunning and left me feeling shocked and outraged. But, like Thea, there was also a sense of relief as the pent up pressure is finally released and the door was opened to start over with a fresh start. I giggled a few times , felt sad and angry, sat on the edge of my seat a time or two, but by the end of the story I was so proud of these characters and the progress they made and the lessons they learned. After turning the final page I felt warmed from head to toe and had a big smile on my face. This is a charming, delightful, and heartwarming tale I highly recommend. 4.5 rounded to 5

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Author Biography
 
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes' bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Lady Eve's Indiscretion. The Heir was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldier was a PW Best Spring Romance of 2011, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish won Best Historical Romance of the Year in 2011 from RT Reviewers' Choice Awards, Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight was a Library Journal Best Book of 2012, and The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was a PW Best Book of 2012. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.
 
Social Networking Links
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Her Unexpected Hero by Melody Anne- A Book Review

Would you recognize true love if it sat down next to you? In this unforgettable new spinoff of the Billionaire books from New York Times bestselling indie author Melody Anne, two strangers must look past their painful memories to make way for everlasting love.

Alyssa's modeling career came to an abrupt end when her manager boyfriend emptied her bank account and ruined her professional reputation. Now she's heading to a new town in Montana to rebuild her life—if she can even get there (stupid delayed planes!). But things are looking up when she's upgraded to first class and a mysterious stranger sits down next to her…

Jackson Whitman doesn't believe in love, or commitment, or forever—not since he lost his wife and daughter. But the beautiful woman sitting next to him at the gate has him rethinking that position. Can he convince her to be his for the night? Or will she convince him to be hers for a lifetime?




MY REVIEW:


Her Unexpected Hero (Unexpected Heroes, #1)Her Unexpected Hero by Melody Anne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Her Unexpected Hero by Melody Anne is a 2015 Pocket Star publication. I received this book as a XOXpert, XOXO After Dark's Official Street Team, in exchange for an honest review.


I recently discovered this author mainly through some book promotion sites and realized I really liked her stories.

In this one, ex- model Alyssa Gerard discovers her ex-boyfriend/manager absconded with her fortune and most of it is just gone. So, tucking her tail between her legs she leaves her lucrative career behind in Paris and boards a plane for New York City.

When she is informed her ticket was upgraded to first class she is seated by Jackson Whitman, a wealthy and very over confident man. But, the two strike up a conversation which leads to a one night stand in New York on New Year's Eve.

For Alyssa it's a one and done. She will not be ready for a relationship in a good long while, so she continues on her way to Montana where her parents live and begins to piece her life back together again. There is only one little hitch....she soon discovers she is pregnant.

Jackson is no stranger to pain and loss. He has not been able to put a terrible, heart wrenching tragedy behind him and has lived life on the run, dating many women, and staying focused on his work. But, Alyssa has him all turned around and Jackson feels out of his element. The more he pursues her the more she pushes him away. What he doesn't know is why Alyssa has never explained her unborn child's paternity, never suspecting he might be about to become a father.

This is a fast paced contemporary romance that explores the difficulties one faces after being betrayed or in Jackson's case going through a terrible loss, and trying to find one's footing in life again. Add to that the possibility that your happy ever after is right there in front of you, but you are too afraid to reach out and grab it.

The controversy of course is whether or not Alyssa had the right to keep her child's paternity a secret. If she really did have a one nighter and never saw the man again, I suppose I could live with that, but she did deceive Jackson and even though she knows she needs to let him know the truth, she continued to keep it a secret. I wondered if she was even going to let her child know someday. But, what was really holding her back wasn't necessarily a deliberate omission, but her absolute fear of gambling on Jackson and losing the game in the end. She was afraid and I could understand why she would feel that way.
Jackson is a great guy, even if he came off as being arrogant at first, and is sometimes is a little pushy. Alyssa really makes him work to win her over, and although the inevitable blow up is coming, Jackson comes through in the end, big time.

Once again, Melody Anne has written a very enjoyable contemporary romance. The story reminds us that life throws us curve balls, sometimes it's a personal loss, sometimes it's a major setback career wise, and it can really knock you out for the count. But, life offers no pat answers and sometimes in order win we have to take a chance no matter how terrified we are of failure.

Overall, a light, easy, and enjoyable read. 4 stars




NYT and USA Today Best Selling Author Melody Anne has written the popular series, Billionaire Bachelors, Surrender, and Baby for the Billionaire. She also has a Young Adult Series; Midnight Fire, Midnight Moon and Midnight Storm - Rise of the Dark Angel.
As an aspiring author, she wrote for years, then published in 2011. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in business, she loves to write about strong, powerful, businessmen and the corporate world.
When Melody isn’t writing, she cultivates strong bonds with her family and relatives and enjoys time spent with them as well as her friends, and beloved pets. A country girl at heart, she loves the small town and strong community she lives in and is involved in many community projects.
See Melody's Website at: www.melodyanne.com. She makes it a point to respond to all her fans. You can also join her on facebook at: www.facebook.com/melodyanneauthor, or at twitter: @authmelodyanne.
She looks forward to hearing from you and thanks you for your continued interest in her stories.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Staged To Death by Karen Rose Smith- A Book Review

 
 

Cozy mystery, Book 1 in the Caprice DeLuca home-stager mystery series

Caprice DeLuca stages houses for high-end clients. When she discovers a body in the castle-mansion she staged to sell and starts asking questions, she finds herself in danger. On the way to solving the murder, Caprice's large Italian family helps and hinders. She also finds romance with Dr. Seth Randolph. But does her brother's partner, attorney Grant Weatherford, care about her, too? Or is he just worried she'll get herself killed and her family will blame him?




 
 
 
MY REVIEW:
 
 
 
Staged to Death (Caprice De Luca Mystery #1)Staged to Death by Karen Rose Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Staged to Death by Karen Rose Smith is a 2015 Kensington publication.

I enjoy a good cozy mystery from time to time but it's been a while since I found a series I really, really liked. This one just might fit the bill. This is the first book in the series and it's off to a wonderful start!

When Roz and her husband, Ted, decided too sell their spacious castle style home, Caprice is hired to do a 'staging' to help the property sell. However, Roz and Caprice can not convince Ted to remove his collection of swords and daggers in time for the open house. But, when the ladies discover Ted murdered with his own dagger, suspicions fall on Roz. Caprice is convinced her friend did not kill her husband despite the fact he was having an affair. So, before Roz can be arrested for a crime she did not commit, Roz decides to do a little detective work on her own. Naturally, this is very dangerous and Caprice could find herself being the next murder victim.

Caprice and Roz discover Ted had been keeping quite a few secrets from Roz, not just his relationship with another woman, but also a great many issues at his job. But, the fact remains that Roz will need an attorney which puts Caprice back in touch with Grant, a guy she once had feelings for. But, Grant is a widower so he may not be quite ready for a relationship, so perhaps being just friends works best for them? Grant is not the only guy showing interest in Caprice though. Could there be a little romance in the air?

I really enjoyed reading about Caprice and her Italian family and all their dramas, quirks, and flaws. The staging job, while close to interior design, is a very important role for those who are wishing to sell a home.

You couldn't find a better friend in Caprice and her instincts for detective work are above average, but she does put herself in dangerous positions, so I could understand her family having concerns.

Plus, anyone who loves pets and is willing to take in strays and help them find a home gets my approval.

The story is written by the cozy mystery rule book with little violence, sexual content, and language. Some cozies as of late have begun to steer away from some this and that's a shame since many people love cozies for that very reason.

I also thought the characters felt real and Caprice is not silly or foolish like some amateur sleuths can be. In fact, I admired her loyalty, her intuitions, and the hard work she put into helping to find a murderer, but also the work she puts into being a good daughter, sister and friend, and pet owner. I wasn't sure about her love interest, but we will have to see how that plays out in the future. Either way I'm cheering her on! The story was light and easy to read with a compelling mystery, appealing characters, and some awesome recipes added at the end. This was a very enjoyable read. 5 stars


Get your copy here:
http://www.amazon.com/Staged-Death-Caprice-Luca-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00DG7M2R8/ref

Don't miss the latest in the Caprice Luca Mystery series- On sale now!



 
 
http://www.amazon.com/Gilt-Association-Caprice-Deluca-Mystery/dp/0758284888/ref





Award-winning author Karen Rose Smith was born in Pennsylvania. Although she was an only child, she remembers the bonds of an extended family. Family is a strong theme in her books and she suspects her childhood memories are the reason.

In college, Karen began writing poetry and also met her husband to be. They both began married life as teachers, but when their son was born, Karen decided to try her hand at a home-decorating business.

She returned to teaching for a while but changes in her life led her to writing relationship novels. Now she writes romances as well as mysteries full time. Her first book was published in 1992; her 80th novel will be published in 2013. A winner of New Jersey's Golden Leaf Award in Short Contemporary Romance, Colorado Romance Writers Award Of Excellence for short contemporary, as well as the Phoenix Desert Rose Chapter's Golden Quill for Traditional Romance, she has also been honored with Cataromance.com's award for Best Special Edition and Washington Romance Writers Career Achievement Award. Her romances have made both the USA TODAY list and the Amazon Romance and Contemporary Romance Bestseller lists.

She has written for Meteor/Kismet, Kensington, Silhouette and Harlequin. Readers can contact Karen through her website, on Facebook (Karen Rose Smith Author) and on Twitter @ Karenrosesmith. They can also follow her monthly e-zine IN TOUCH with KAREN ROSE SMITH which has the latest news about her books, recipes and contests.




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Kill List- Book and The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff Book Blast + Giveaway



Enter to Win a $25.00 eGift Card and 
Ebook Copies of THE KILL LIST & THE KILL SHOT



The Kill List: Jamie Sinclair # 1
Released: December 2, 2014

In this taut debut thriller, Nichole Christoff introduces a savvy private investigator with nerves of steel—and a shattered heart.

As a top private eye turned security specialist, Jamie Sinclair has worked hard to put her broken marriage behind her. But when her lying, cheating ex-husband, army colonel Tim Thorp, calls with the news that his three-year-old daughter has been kidnapped, he begs Jamie to come find her. For the sake of the child, Jamie knows she can’t refuse. Now, despite the past, she’ll do everything in her power to bring little Brooke Thorp home alive.

Soon Jamie is back at Fort Leeds—the army base in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens where she grew up, the only child of a two-star general—chasing down leads and forging an uneasy alliance with the stern military police commander and the exacting FBI agent working Brooke’s case. But because Jamie’s father is now a U.S. senator, her recent run-in with a disturbed stalker is all over the news, and when she starts receiving gruesome threats echoing the stalker’s last words, she can’t shake the feeling that her investigation may be about more than a missing girl—and that someone very powerful is hiding something very significant . . . and very sinister.


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The Kill Shot: Jamie Sinclair # 2
Released: March 17th, 2015

In an explosive thriller for readers of Lee Child, Alex Berenson, and Brad Taylor, P.I. and security specialist Jamie Sinclair finds herself caught in a dangerous game of international cat-and-mouse.

Jamie Sinclair’s father has never asked her for a favor in her life. The former two-star general turned senator is more in the habit of giving his only child orders. So when he requests Jamie’s expertise as a security specialist, she can’t refuse—even though it means slamming the brakes on her burgeoning relationship with military police officer Adam Barrett. Just like that, Jamie hops aboard a flight to London with a U.S. State Department courier carrying a diplomatic pouch in an iron grip.

Jamie doesn’t have to wait long to put her unique skills to good use. When she and the courier are jumped by goons outside the Heathrow terminal, Jamie fights them off—but the incident puts her on high alert. Someone’s willing to kill for the contents of the bag. Then a would-be assassin opens fire in crowded Covent Garden, and Jamie is stunned to spot a familiar face: Adam Barrett, who saves her life with a single shot and calmly slips away. Jamie’s head—and her heart—tell her that something is very wrong. But she’s come way too far to turn back now.




My Review:
The Kill Shot  (Jamie Sinclair,  #2)The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kill Shot by by Nichole Christoff is a 2015 Alibi publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have not read the first book in the series, although I would like to someday, but this one reads as a stand alone just fine.

Jamie Sinclair is a security specialist who still wishes to garner her father's approval. So, when the powerful Senator asked Jamie for a favor you could have knocked her over with a feather. Naturally, despite her father's anemic displays of love or affection , she jumps at the chance to make him proud of her. So, she abandoned the one night she has with her boyfriend, Adam Barrett, a military police officer, in Washington for only a short time before he must leave on assignment, and heads off to catch a plane to London. Before it's all said and done Jamie will most likely regret ever accepting this assignment.

A nuclear physicist and her father are in grave danger and nearly everyone wants them and their secrets as they become pawns in a deadly cat and mouse game and politics begins to take control over their safety as one double cross follows another. Jamie finds herself torn between her old friend Phillip and Adam, who has miraculously appeared in London as well. Not only that, it looks as if her father has thrown her under the bus and left her to either sink or swim.

I understood what the author was going for here and it works pretty well much of the time, however, Jamie is in security and although she is working internationally, which could throw someone off their game, I still thought she was just too gullible. I could see it happening once, but on more than one occasion, Jamie took things at face value or trusted someone while I was screaming at her not to buy into it.

Having said that, I found myself unable to stop reading the book, and kept picking it back up because was worried about Adam or Jamie or wondered what was going to happen next. The pacing was just about right and the characters were deliberately vague or murky because they all had their own hidden agendas. At times though the plot was just a little bit too transparent and I think some people who read a lot of suspense or thriller novels might groan or roll their eyes in some places. But, I do like to give thrillers a little benefit of the doubt when it comes to plausibility. As long as I was invested in the characters and I am being entertained, I'm not all that hard to please.

I was not sure how to take the senator or Phillip though out the story. I was uneasy from the beginning and even less impressed by the end of the story. It does make for some interesting psychology between parent/ child and what we know deep down in our souls about someone, but are incapable of allowing that to penetrate our brains or hearts, or dwell on it for too long, because it is simply too painful. So, we continue to do whatever we think will get us that love and recognition we so desperately crave, no matter how old we are. I found this area of the book incredibly sad and Jamie's character is somewhat puzzling at times because she continues to allow some people in her life to have way too much control over her. I do hope Jamie will filter out the crap and stop allowing people to manipulate her like a puppet.

It does occur to me now that I don't recall a lot of unnecessary bad language or sexual content, it mostly stays on the innuendo side of things for those of you who take those things into consideration. I am glad I found this series and I liked this one well enough to try out any subsequent followups.


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Nichole Christoff is a writer, broadcaster, and military spouse who has worked on air and behind the scenes producing and promoting content for radio, television news, and the public relations industry across the United States and Canada. Christoff is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America. She also belongs to Private Eye Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and three of RWA’s local chapters where she’s served as an officer and a member of the board. 

In Christoff’s first year as a member of RWA, her first manuscript won the Golden Heart for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements. Her second manuscript won a Helen McCloy Scholarship from Mystery Writers of America. Her last manuscript was a finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Her latest novel, The Kill Shot, is a 2014 Killer Nashville Claymore Dagger finalist.


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