Monday, 27 March 2017

Review: Intoxicating (Oregon Wine Country #2) by Heather Heyford


The Girl Most Likely
. . . to be a waitress at her hometown café. That’s what Clarkston’s high school yearbook said about Poppy Springer ten years ago and that’s where the beauty queen is today. But that’s about to change now that Poppy has been offered a position as a lady sommelier at a cutting-edge new restaurant. Only Poppy has an embarrassing secret that could keep her from landing her dream job. A secret her high school crush seems determined to help her with . . .

The Man Most Wanted
In high school, Heath Sinclair may have been voted most likely to blow something up, but these days the sexy science prodigy is a self-made success story with his popular microbrewery and chiseled good looks. So why is Clarkston’s most-eligible man so hell-bent on helping Poppy prove that she is more than her reputation? Could it be the enigmatic bachelor has a hankering for the girl who got away?

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: March 28th 2017 by Lyrical Press

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is March 28th, 2017.

This is the second story in the Oregon Wine Country series.  It is not necessary to read the first one to enjoy this instalment however I would recommend it just so you can become familiar with the cast of characters.

I was a big fan of Poppy.  Her determination and drive to succeed at any cost was something that I could identify with in my career.  Her eternal optimism is something that I do not share yet envy.  Heath on the other hand was a little bit of an odd character for me.  His social awkwardness almost read as juvenile at times to me.  His devotion to Poppy on the other hand did not.

This was a sweet story that told the lesson on how priceless friends, family and home are.  Fans of contemporary romance will enjoy this story!


About the Author


Heather Heyford learned to walk and talk in Texas, and then moved to England. (“Ya’ll want some scones?”) While in Europe, Heather was forced by her cruel parents to spend Saturdays in the leopard vinyl back seat of their Peugeot, motoring from one medieval pile to the next for the lame purpose of ‘learning something.’ What she soon learned was how to allay the boredom by stashing a Cosmo under the seat. Now a recovering teacher, Heather writes contemporary romance novels set in the
wine country.


Release Blast & Giveaway: Hot for the Fireman by Gina L. Maxwell


It’s time to see how much heat this fireman can take...


HOT FOR THE FIREMAN
Boston Heat #1
Gina L. Maxwell
Releasing March 27th, 2017
Entangled Select


Ex-Army Ranger Erik Grady lives for the job. So when his chief at the Boston Fire Department offers him two choices—mandated therapy for supposed PTSD or a permanent desk job at the station, he reluctantly agrees to see a shrink. Only this doctor is unlike anything he expected. Female and curved in all the right places? Check. Hotter than a four-alarm fire? Check. The kind of woman that can heat his blood in and out of bed? Check, check. And oh, yeah, he just happens to have firsthand experience...

Of all the men to walk into psychologist Olivia Jones' office, why did it have to be him? Her one-night stand isn't playing by the rules of just. One. Night. She’s had her heart broken in the past, and no way is she going there again. And now he's blackmailing her into three dates? Well, if that's what it takes to make him see a different therapist, fine. She can handle it. So what if the chemistry between them is combustible? She's a professional, damn it. She'll date Mr. I'm Too Sexy For My Bunker Pants. But it won’t end in the fun he expects.

It’s time to see how much heat this fireman can take...

Shit, how much time had passed? A cursory glance at his watch told him it was now fifteen minutes past. Gritting his teeth, Erik gave the area a wide sweep of his gaze, searching for a stunning blonde with the face of an angel and a body made for sin…and came up empty.
Goddamn it, he swore that if she wasn’t here in the next—
“Looks like you’ve been waiting a while. Did she stand you up?”
The feminine voice came from behind and a little to the left and held a distinct amused lilt. Relief flooded his system faster than a dose of adrenaline shot straight into the bloodstream. Erik cracked a smile then did his best to school his features with the help of dragging a hand over his afternoon stubble. Without turning around or looking back at her he said, “Yeah, it’s starting to look that way. Probably just as well, though.”
“Oh?” He felt her take a step toward him, stopping behind his left shoulder. “Why do you say that?”
“I think she was only using me for my body.” She gasped dramatically, and he barely contained his laughter. “I know,” he continued, “it shocked me, too. I thought she liked me for the important things.”
He’d never seen her playful side—didn’t even know she had one—and that she showed it to him now felt like a huge fucking win. Unable to resist any longer, he turned to face her and take her in.
“And what are the important things?”
Erik stepped into her until she had to lift her face to maintain eye contact with him. Then he used a sex-roughened voice to say, “You know, like my collection of pre-Civil War coins and freakishly extensive knowledge of Sumatran orangutans.”
Amusement danced in her eyes, and in order to prevent breaking character, she bit the center of her full lower lip. An act he very much wanted to do for her. “What a coincidence,” she said, her tone a mix of seduction and innocence that had him harder than a Halligan. “Those are two of my favorite subjects. It’s been such a long time since anyone’s showered me with”—she peered up at him through thick lashes — “Sumatran orangutan facts.”
Christ, even her playful side liked to kill him. “Sweetheart, I’ll shower you with whatever facts you want,” he said with a wink, “as long as I get to use my hands while doing it.” Erik watched as her pupils dilated in response, filling him with satisfaction. “You’re late.”
 






Gina L. Maxwell is a full-time writer, wife, and mother living in the upper Midwest, despite her scathing hatred of snow and cold weather. An avid romance novel addict, she began writing as an alternate way of enjoying the romance stories she loves to read. Her debut novel, Seducing Cinderella, hit both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists in less than four weeks, and she’s been living her newfound dream ever since.

When she’s not reading or writing steamy romance novels, she spends her time losing at Scrabble (and every other game) to her high school sweetheart, doing her best to hang out with their teenagers before they fly the coop, and dreaming about her move to sunny Florida once they do.

Book Blitz: The Cambria Code Trilogy by S.M. Schmitz

The Cambria Code Trilogy by S.M. Schmitz
Includes Peyton's Myth, Peyton's Promise, and Peyton's Light
Blurb:
Discovering we're not alone in the universe can be a blessing and a curse.
When a mysterious spaceship appears above Cambria, Zoe remains skeptical that it’s anything but an elaborate hoax. By the time the first spaceship is joined by two others, Zoe finally admits that Earth has been invaded, even though it’s a pretty lame invasion: The aliens look remarkably human and keep to themselves. From what reporters are able to learn about them, they seem incredibly arrogant and boring anyway.
When Zoe meets Peyton, the Security Chief for Earth's newest residents, her opinion of them finally begins to shift, although she is reluctant to become involved with someone who isn’t even human. But she soon discovers that these aliens are far more dangerous than they’ve led everyone to believe, and the secrets they are hiding may signal the destruction of her entire planet.
Buy Links:

Excerpts from Peyton’s Myth, book one of The Cambria Code trilogy, that show Zoe’s progression from meeting Peyton to traveling across the universe with him to falling in love.

On meeting Peyton for the first time:
Zoe dug her phone out of her pocket to check her email while she waited. Apparently, the typing that had preoccupied Mia had been an email taunting her and telling her she’d been wrong about the plane being a spacecraft, she’d been wrong about these people being human, and she was wrong about them being an Invading Alien Asshole Army. Zoe hardly looked up from her phone when she heard her name called. She plucked the hot coffee cup up from the counter, mumbled a quick thanks, and kept typing one-handed as she left the Starbucks to go back to work.
She was so busy typing her well-thought out argument with her coworker, that she wasn’t paying attention and didn’t even see the man she walked right into. Her phone slipped from her hand and she reflexively squeezed the coffee cup so she wouldn’t drop it, which caused the hot coffee to erupt like a volcano all over her hand and arm.
Zoe yelped and dropped the cup anyway.
“Are you all right?” the man asked.
He grabbed her hand to examine it, but Zoe pulled it away from him.
“No, I’m not all right!” she cried. She was about to yell at him for grabbing her, but the unusual accent caught her attention and as she looked up from her pink, burning hand, she recognized this man, this beautiful face. She’d seen him once before.
“You’re one of them,” she whispered. Zoe held her hand to her chest and the man kept his eyes on her injury.
“You should see a doctor.”
Zoe shook her head slowly. “It’s not serious.”
He lifted his eyes to meet hers and she noticed they were almost blue, but not quite. There was something unusual about their color, too. Much like the way they spoke, there was something slightly off about them but she couldn’t tell what.
On agreeing to return to his home planet with him:
“Then you’re out of options. You have to go home, Peyton.”
Peyton closed his eyes and ran his fingers through his thick auburn hair. “Ok. But only on one condition.”
Zoe pulled the blankets higher around her waist and asked, “What’s that?”
“You come with me.”
“Peyton,” Zoe gasped.
He opened his eyes, so full of a sadness and pain and permanent loss. “I can’t go back there alone.”
“And I can’t be her. I can’t be your sister.”
“I don’t want you to be. I don’t expect you to be. I’m not trying to be coercive, but I can’t even propose this to Jeffrey if I know I’m stepping foot on that planet again without everything I’d loved most.”
Zoe’s heart beat so fast and so hard, she felt deafened by the sound of it. And that irrational part of her brain spoke too quickly, too irrationally and irresponsibly and recklessly.
“Ok, Peyton. I’ll go.”

On her depression after leaving Earth and falling in love with a man who often acts like he can’t accept her love:
Peyton’s strong arms reached over to her and wrapped around her, lifting her from her seat and pulling her to his lap where he kept his arms around her firmly and protectively. When he kissed her, Zoe felt the cold and fear and pain chased away by a warmth that rushed throughout her body. His hand slipped beneath her shirt and grazed the skin on her back and she pulled at the hemline of the shirt on his uniform, gently tracing her fingers along the hard muscles on his abdomen.
When he broke their kiss, gasping and trying to catch his breath, Zoe knew he would pull away from her again, that he would tell her, once more, how he couldn’t walk this path with her. She could already feel the black edges of that dark pool creeping back toward her. But Peyton didn’t tell her he needed to leave now or that he loved her but could never offer her more than his friendship. He placed his hands on the sides of her face and looked into her eyes and told her, “I love you so much.”
“Then stay with me,” Zoe whispered. “Tonight. Every night. Stay with me.”
Peyton kissed her again and lifted her onto the table and she pulled his shirt off, running her hands softly down his chest to the edge of his pants and he moaned quietly as his lips left gentle kisses down her neck and across her shoulder blade. Part of her wanted to beg him to rip her clothes off while part of her wanted him to just keep touching her and kissing her, sending out those ripples of light that banished the darkness. She thought maybe if he kissed her and touched her enough, he could banish that darkness forever.

Author Bio:
S.M. Schmitz is a USA Today Bestselling Author and has an M.A. in modern European history. She is a former world history instructor who now writes novels filled with mythology and fantasy and, sometimes, aliens.
Her novels are infused with the same humorous sarcasm that she employed frequently in the classroom, and as a native of Louisiana, she sets many of her scenes here. Like Dietrich in Resurrected, she is convinced Louisiana has been cursed with mosquitoes much like Biblical Egypt with its locusts.

Social Media links:
Newsletter: Sign up for The Immortal Hunters, S.M. Schmitz’s newsletter, and receive a free novella! https://www.instafreebie.com/free/pLwvT

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Review: His to Seduce by Stacey Lynn

An honorable man who’s lost his way . . . A career woman who hides behind her button-up suits . . . Unexpected romance is the specialty at the Fireside Grill as Stacey Lynn’s captivating series comes full circle.
 
Becoming an ER doctor had been David McGregor’s mission ever since he could remember. But after tragedy strikes at his hospital in Chicago, David runs away from the guilt—all the way back to Latham Hills, Michigan, where he takes a job tending bar at his childhood friend’s restaurant. That’s how he meets Camden Reed, and the way Camden refuses to give him the time of day should be a turnoff. Instead, he’s drawn to her tough, tightly wound exterior, and soon David realizes that he has a new mission: to see her tightly wound beneath him.

Camden’s fighting tooth and nail to resist the desire she feels for David. Growing up dirt-poor, raised by a single mother, she worked twice as hard to get where she is today, and she doesn’t have any patience for the kind of guy who’d give up a decent paycheck to sling drinks. But when the sexual tension finally combusts between the sheets, Camden discovers that people aren’t always what they seem. As David pushes her past her limits, Camden begins to loosen up—and to trust that, when she falls, there will be someone waiting to catch her.



Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 238 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Loveswept 
Series: Fireside #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Loveawept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**


His to Seduce is the fourth book in the Fireside series but it can be read as a stand alone. Each book is about a different set of characters and the characters from each previous books are only secondary characters in the books that follow. I have had the opportunity to read the entire series from the beginning.

I liked this book but not as much as I liked the second and third instalment of this series. This and the first instalment were average but I adored the two in the middle. Sounds strange right? Seriously though, this series did not seem to follow the same unspoken rule where the first is best and it's downhill from there. I guess it was more like an Oreo cookie where the goodness is found in the middle.

I liked Camden and I liked David but what stopped me from loving their story as much as some of their Fireside friends was that the book started with sex. It literally began with them having sex and then some more and then some more. I'm no prude and I like a good detailed sex scene or two in my reading but give me a story first. Build me a connection and drizzle it with chemistry and then throw in the between the sheets action. That, to me, is so much hotter than just two random people having sex. There was a tiny bit of flirting between the two of them in the previous book but they were only secondary characters and if you didn't read that instalment you wouldn't know.

Eventually the story did take over and that was when I started to enjoy the book more. Learning about both of their pasts and the struggles they had was when I couldn't stop turning the pages. As is typical with any good contemporary romance, there were many obstacles that they had to overcome to be together on an emotional level. The physical cam easy, it was the rest that they struggled with.

I'm not sure if there will be any more books in this series. All of the characters seem to have gotten a story. However, if by some chance there comes a new Fireside resident, I will certainly be anxious to read it.


 
About the Author
Stacey Lynn is a simple girl raised in the Midwest. Over the long, frigid winters, she would read every book she could get her hands on, from John Grisham and Danielle Steel to Ann M. Martin and C. S. Lewis. She began writing poems and short stories long before she reached high school, and now, as a wife and mother to four children, she finds solace from the craziness of her life by creating steamy, sexy stories. After publishing her first book, what began as a hobby has now turned into an unending passion.

Connect
 

Book Bltz: Hook, Line & Sinker by Ev Bishop

Hook, Line & Sinker by Ev Bishop
Is “true love” a fairy tale?

Blurb:
Brian Archer, lawyer and infamous playboy, returns to Greenridge after a long holiday to find his life in ashes. Literally. His condo has burned to the ground, and with it, his delusion that he’s a footloose, fancy-free guy who doesn’t secretly crave a home and a place to belong.  
Staying with his lovebird brother and sister-in-law at River’s Sigh B & B proves unbearable, only rubbing in his deep loneliness. As does getting to know one of the other guests, a damsel determined to get herself out of distress, without any help from him. What is it about sweet, troubled Katelyn that makes Brian want to go all knight-in-shining-armor? And why is he suddenly longing for things he doesn’t even believe in, like true love, marriage . . . ?

Single mom and wannabe entrepreneur Katelyn Kellerman needs to escape from Greenridge. Her safety, and that of her children, relies on it. Plus, she knows the hazards of trusting someone all too well. So why, after meeting Brian Archer, does she wish she could just stay put and build a home? With him.

No matter how they fight their feelings, Brian and Katelyn fall for each other hook, line and sinker—but life isn’t a fairy tale. Brian can’t live in limbo forever, Katelyn’s ex is increasingly threatening, and she needs to secure a future for her and her kids. Can they beat the odds, salvage the ashes of their pasts, and risk everything for love, or are they just fishing for trouble?
BUY LINKS:
Excerpt #1: 

Brian looked over at the luggage carousel. A small crowd had formed, but no bags spilled from the chute’s yawning mouth. He darted a look back at the young girl, who was uncomplainingly trudging forward to help her mom. He groaned inwardly. Damn it.
“You look like you have your hands full,” he said, “and my suitcase isn’t out yet. Can I help move your stuff for you?”
The rickety cart stopped. Katelyn raised her face to look at him directly, and they made eye contact for the first time since the whole debacle started. Large gray eyes with thick sooty lashes met his—and Brian finally put two and two together. Before he could stop himself, and before Katelyn nodded to accept his offer of help, he exclaimed, “Katelyn, as in Katie, as in Janet Smith’s friend and shadow all through school? Holy cow, I never would have—” He broke off, flourishing a hand at her. “I mean . . . ”
Katelyn, a.k.a. Katie, flushed. “Yeah, Janet’s shadow as you so nicely put it. No one calls me Katie anymore though—and don’t worry, I didn’t think you’d remember me.” Her shoulders jerked in a small self-deprecating shrug. “I wasn’t exactly the kind of girl you noticed.” 
Brian took a step back, still mildly shocked. Katelyn. Of course. Crazy big charcoal gray eyes, large freckles on creamy skin, and a full heart-shaped mouth—that, if he remembered correctly, was quick to laugh and make sarcastic comments. She was apparently still obsessed with retro fashion, which her small frame and petite figure suited immensely. She’d been cute enough, but a year below him in school, which felt like a lot back then. Plus, Janet was a knock out. It would’ve been hard for anyone to shine next to her. Before he thought better of it, he grinned and winked. “What are you talking about? I notice every girl.”
One of Katelyn’s eyebrows arched and she shook her head derisively.  
“So what do you say?” He pointed at the cart again.
The pink in Katelyn’s cheeks intensified, making the puffy, mottled effects of her recent weeping even more noticeable—but at least there were no more fresh tears. 
“I say, well . . . okay. And thank you.”
Brian nodded and noticed a tiny crescent moon scar by her left eye, silvery-white against her heightened color. He figured under normal circumstances it was probably almost indiscernible. Embarrassed to find himself staring, he grabbed the handle of the cart. “Where to?”
Katelyn hesitated . . .
Excerpt #2:

Back in the cabin, Katelyn headed to the bathroom to grab towels. She was only gone a minute or two, but when she descended back into the living room, towel drying her hair, Brian was grinning and holding something up. 
The book she’d been reading last night. Shoot! 
“I never in a million years would’ve taken you for a bodice ripper fan,” he said. 
“Where did you get that?” She threw the towel she’d gotten for him at his head. 
He caught it one-handed, draped it around his neck like a scarf, and wasn’t distracted from the book one bit. She noticed his thumb holding a spot near her bookmark and lunged. 
He leaped onto a chair, laughing and holding the book out of reach. Then he read from his marked spot in a low growl, “His narrow hips pressed against her and through the thin muslin of her gown, every part of her female softness felt his hardness. She wanted him, but she didn’t. Or she shouldn’t. He was so bad for her, but so good—” Brian looked down and made eye contact. 
Katelyn’s stupid body, completely unrelated to the chill from her damp dress, chose that dumb moment to shiver again, and Brian’s expression changed. His eyes darkened and he hopped down from the chair. When he spoke next, the teasing had left his voice, replaced by something like surprise. “Wait a minute, you really do like this stuff.”
Excerpt #3: 

Brian put his arm over her shoulder and she leaned in, took his hand, and laced her fingers through his. They were quiet for a long time, then Brian said, “Why does this feel more like some kind of sad good-bye than a hooray, we’ve found each other?”
Katelyn studied his face, then touched his bottom lip with her pointer finger. Her expression was anything but happy and it made his heart clench. 
Before she could say anything, he spoke quickly, “You know earlier, when you asked if there was a kind of woman I hadn’t dated, and I said, at least one, but I didn’t elaborate?”
“Yeah?” Her whisper was as soft as lace brushing cotton.
“I’ve never dated anyone who convinced me two people could really be meant to tackle life together, or who made me wonder if some people are stronger together than apart. But when I’m with you—” 
Katelyn winced and she pulled her hand from his. “You don’t know how simultaneously happy and destroyed that makes me feel. There’s a part of me, such a huge part of me, that wishes we could see where this goes, but . . .”
“But it’s too complicated, right?”
Katelyn’s eyes filled, and she nodded. “I’m sorry though, I really am. And I want to thank you so much.”
Brian shook his head. 
“Yes, for being such a good guy, such a fun guy—and for reminding me that I’m not dead yet. Because of you, I can almost believe that someday I might have someone to really share my life with, someone I can be myself with, talk for hours to—and want to tear the clothes off of.” 
Brian wanted to argue his case, to say it couldn’t be a fluke that they’d fallen for each other so strongly when they’d both been the furthest thing from interested in pursuing a serious relationship when they first met. They had to be meant for each other, or at least meant to spend some time together finding out if they were. But his gaze touched on an eight by ten frame directly across from the bravery quote. Katelyn, Lacey and Sawyer grinned out at him, dressed in outlandish clown costumes, arms wrapped around each other. And this time, he was the one who winced. He had to make life easier for Katelyn, not harder. She had enough on her plate, and he did really, really like her. Cared for her. Unfairly and paradoxically, he realized that meant he could only do one thing: back off.

Bio:
Ev Bishop lives and writes in wildly beautiful British Columbia, Canada. She is a long-time columnist with the Terrace Standard, and her articles and essays have been published in a variety of magazines and journals across North America. Storytelling is her true love, however, and she writes fiction in variety of lengths and genres. To see her growing list of published short stories and poems, please visit her website.
She has six novels published through Winding Path Books:
Bigger Things, Wedding Bands (River’s Sigh B  & B, Book 1),
Hooked  (River’s Sigh B & B, Book 2)
Spoons (River’s Sigh B  & B, Book 3)
Hook, Line & Sinker (River’s Sigh B & B, Book 4)
and One to Keep (A River’s Sigh B & B novella)
She also writes under the pen name Toni Sheridan (The Present and Drummer Boy, White Rose Publishing).  
Check out her social media.  She’d love to connect with you!
Social Media Links:

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Review: Cooking With Kandy by Peggy Jaeger


Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .
 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: April 4th 2017 by Lyrical Shine

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!  The expected publication date is April 4th, 2017.

I almost passed this book up.  The reason is the title did not appeal to me and felt a little cheesy to me.  Once I read the synopsis, I changed my mind and I am glad I did.  I found myself really enjoying this story.

I like the fact that it had a strong female character however to be honest what drew me in was Josh.  He was the perfect male lead.  If I was to imagine the perfect male specimen, it would be him.  Someone who is dedicated to their job, honorable, kind, sweet and lets face it hot as all get out, I couldn't get enough of him.  The way he took care of Kandy had me swooning throughout the whole story.  The attraction and tension had the perfect balance of "get it over with already" and "I'm glad this story wasn't a free for all bedroom plot"

I have to admit I also didn't figure out who was behind all the actions that required Kandy to have protection.  I normally know right away however it was not made obvious.  Kudos to Jaeger for keeping me guessing.

I really enjoyed this story and I am glad to see the next book will feature Kandy's sister Gemma.  I think I will stick with this series!



About the Author


Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can't live without them.
Peggy holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.