Saturday, 21 October 2017

Review: Laws of Attraction (Librarians in Love #3) by Sarah Title


It's taken law librarian Becky Schrader a long time to stop comparing herself to her family of overachievers and hone in on what she really wants--a normal life, white picket fence and all, Mr. Dream Guy included. But before she gets ahead of herself, her girlfriends convince her she needs to let down her hair for once, meet a hot guy and let the moment take over . . .

After graduating from an Ivy League law school and practicing in New York for a few years, the plan for Foster Deacon was to return home to Denver and join the family firm, marry the right woman, shoulder his responsibilities. Except Foster's always been a bit of a rebel, and he's decided to suit up with his family's rival firm. What better way to celebrate than to spend a night with a gorgeous blonde who leaves before he could say, "Good morning . . ."

Becky feels she did the right thing, leaving her lover's bed and not her number. After all, she needs to focus on her job at Glassmeyer & Polak--until the new hire walks through the door . . . with a bad case of happily ever after.

Paperback
Expected publication: October 31st 2017 by Zebra Shout

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

I am no stranger to Sarah Title and her work and I have to admit I look forward to her stories.  They are usually fast paced, fun, and of course a little bit sexy.  This story did not disappoint, it was all of the above.

I won't go in to details of the plot as one can guess how this story will play out based on the synopsis.  Both characters are likeable and it makes you want to root for them.  Even when Becky prefers Foster as the lumberjack....and everyone knows I am so over the lumberjack trend, never got on board, don't see the appeal.  I digress.

If you are looking for a story that does not take itself too seriously, has some interesting supporting characters, and it well written, I suggest this story.  Title has a way of writing that is easy, flows well and makes you sail through the story.  I can't wait to see what she comes out with next.


About the Author


Sarah Title has worked as a barista, a secretary, a furniture painter, and once managed a team of giant walking beans. She currently leads a much more normal life as a librarian in West Virginia. Kentucky Home is her first novel.
   

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Book Blitz: The Gentlemen's Club by Emmanuelle de Maupassant

The Gentlemen’s Club
by Emmanuelle de Maupassant

Hungry for a dark romance, filled with mystery, intrigue and the forbidden? The Noire series awaits…

Blurb:
Victorian London, 1898
Lord McCaulay falls under the enchantment of Mademoiselle Noire. Humiliated by her before his peers, he's intent on revenge, but is drawn only further into her web, entering a spiral of erotic obsession. Meanwhile, his path intersects that of young aristocrat Maud, as she struggles to assert her identity against the domination of men.

Download your FREE copy on Amazon now!
(Free from 10/15 to 10/19)

Take a peek at the (rather saucy) book trailer here:

GIVEAWAY
I have three paperback copies to send out, so why not drop your name in the hat for a chance to win. I'll add a personalised message to each copy, before popping them in the mail.


The next in the series, ‘Italian Sonata’, is a sumptuous Gothic Romance. ‘What dark secrets lie within the castle walls? Madness, abduction, imprisonment... murder? The past does not lie quietly’.

Also available on Amazon!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Review: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.


Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Simon & Schuster 
Series: Practical Magic 0
Genre: Fiction/Magical Realism

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

Alice Hoffman is not a new author to me however I didn't have the opportunity read her much loved Practical Magic before reading The Rules of Magic. As it is the prequel to Practical Magic it did not affect my understanding or enjoyment one bit.

There is something about Hoffman's writing that sucks you in and keeps you turning the pages. I think that it is her ability to create unique and interesting characters who's stories you want to know. In this case it is three very different teenage siblings who also come from a long line of witches. Don't worry though, this book is not full of sorcery and majorly unrealistic scenarios but rather it is full of magical realism and a hint of the unknown. In fact, it is magical realism at its best. I am extremely picky when it comes to plots that can't happen in real life but I am a fan of this genre if it is done right. Alice Hoffman knows how to do it right.

This book at the heart was about family and the struggles of the three Owens siblings as they grew up in less than usual circumstances. All three had certain abilities because of their heritage but they also had rules that they needed to follow in order to fit in and to have a successful life. One of the big rules was not to fall in love. Bad things were said to happen to the person they fell in love with and it was a curse that dated back to 1620 and their ancestor Maria Owens. Of course it was easier said than done and this story followed the three siblings as they naturally fell or tried not to fall into relationships. As the reader, I was routing for all of them. I wanted them to find love and break the curse and live their happily ever afters but of course nothing is never that simple.

Told from the alternating perspectives of Franny, Jet and Vincent you get the story of each sibling starting in their teenage years and spanning into their late adult life. Each character had unique struggles and a story that was all their own and each one was equally interesting. I found myself caring about the outcome of each one of them. I must admit that it wasn't all rainbows and unicorns and although over all I was satisfied in the end, I wasn't necessarily completely happy with how each of their lives turned out. However, it was their struggles that made them who they were and that I can appreciate.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and now I must read Practical Magic so that I can continue my book relationship with the Owens family. Alice Hoffman has yet to disappoint!



About the Author
Hoffman’s work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay “Independence Day,” a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Weist. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and other magazines. Her teen novel AQUAMARINE was recently made into a film starring Emma Roberts.

Connect with Alice
 
 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Review: Crazy in Love (A Love & Harmony Romance #1) by Crystal B. Bright


R&B singer Chantel Evans had it all, until the Princess of Love Ballads lost everything. First, a very public betrayal by her lover and the death of her mother lead to a career-ending mental breakdown. Then, at the same time, her attorney makes off with all her hard-earned fortune. The only chance she has of resurrecting her career is in the recording studio her mother left in her name . . .

When struggling country star Truman Woodley has his recording duet with a sultry young singer fall flat at Chantel’s studio, Chantel is faced with a rare second chance—until Truman’s vindictive ex-girlfriend turns the pair’s sparkling debut into grounds for a custody battle over their son. But Chantel has discovered more than sweet vocal harmony with Truman. She’s found something worth fighting for. And when Truman surprises her with a kiss after a live television performance, the whole world will find out just what it takes to be crazy in love . .

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: October 17th 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!

I have to admit that I have some mixed feelings on this story.  On the one hand it was a wonderful story about self discovery and finding ones way after everything has fallen apart.  On the other hand, I just didn't feel all of the characters.

I will start with Truman.  While he redeemed himself in the end, I found I couldn't really get on board with him.  The way he was so quick to lay judgement on Chantel at the beginning of the story got under my skin and made it hard for me to root for him.  While his love for his son was evident, I really feel like he didn't have his priorities straight.

On the flip side, I was behind Chantel from the very beginning.  It was clear that there was a journey that she was required to take in order to gain confidence and discover who she truly was.  This was fun to read as it showed a character who was willing (eventually) to fight for herself.  She was why I kept reading the story.

At the end of the day this story was about opposites attract, and learning about oneself.  While the story was ok for me, it lacked the wow factor I was expecting.



About the Author





Monday, 16 October 2017

Book Blitz: Kiss Me In Wescott Springs by Holly Cortelyou

Kiss Me In Wescott Springs
by Holly Cortelyou

BLURB:
Escape with two enticing tales of love. Sometimes opposites do attract and just need a second chance love... courtesy of a raspberry puff pastry and an unexpected discovery. And then again, maybe all it takes is a little wine, truffles and a remodel to turn enemies into lovers!
Welcome back to Wescott Springs where it’s always a sweet and sexy romp to love!


KISS ME AT LAST
One tempting kiss will rock his world…
What's better than wine, chocolate and a little renovation magic? A sweet and sexy matchup between a handsome, hammer-swinging contractor, Sean McMallory, and a flirty and stubborn champagne bar owner, Melinda York, who's in a remodel pickle! Sometimes trusting your enemy is the sweetest victory of all.


KISS ME, TROUBLE
Why gamble on a second chance at love?
Six years ago, Cole McCaffrey shattered Alix Porter’s heart into a million scattered shards. But one lucky encounter with flying artwork lands Alix right back into Cole’s lap. With seven short vacation days, can Cole spark their sizzling chemistry and convince Alix of his love, despite the lie that tore them apart?


Available on Amazon!
(99 pennies from 10/16 trough 10/23)


TEASER #1 from Kiss Me at Last

With a smile lurking at the corners of his mouth, Sean had been waiting for an eruption for the last ten minutes.
It was day three of construction, and Melinda had looked far from chipper as she'd schlepped into the wine bar at eight in a slouchy gray sweater, faded jeans, and nondescript running shoes. Her eyes were bleary, and she cradled her coffee concoction like it was the crown jewel in the queen's tiara. She'd winced every time his hammer drove home a nail.
Sean grinned. Hangover, he supposed, and he pounded a few extra nails for good measure as she scuttled into her office. That ought to fix her little red wagon, Miss High and Mighty and her sexy British accent. Not that he'd noticed.
He glanced toward her office door, and there was Melinda, staring at him with a stony gaze through half-slitted eyes.
"Good morning, Ms. York," Sean said in his perkiest voice. "Sun's shining, and it's beautiful out." He fiddled with the chuck on the drill and idly revved it a few times for some bonus noise.
"Is there anything quiet you can do for a while?" Melinda said, her tone was pained.
"Not feeling well?"
"I'm fine. I have some phone calls to make to wine distributors and a little peace and quiet would be divine."
"Go back to your coffee shop for those calls. Unless you want me to take a break already? That will slow me down."
Melinda glared. "I'm trying to get some work done, too."
"Well, ma'am. This is a construction zone, so there's going to be noise. We're not slapping on some paint and hanging a few light fixtures. We're adding beams, ripping out floors. What exactly were you expecting? Should I bring a bowl of potpourri or something?"
"That might help." Her tone was drenched in syrup. "Or do you have a silencer for that drill?"


TEASER #2 from Kiss Me, Trouble

As they walked side by side out of the restaurant, a noisy group of women jostled by them. Alix scooted to one side to avoid a passerby whose nose was buried in her phone. She staggered into a towering potted palm.
The palm fronds swayed ominously, and Alix’s arms flailed.
“Easy there. Don’t take out that tree.” Cole twined an arm around her waist and pulled her close. A herd of butterflies stampeded through her belly. His touch was familiar, but it dazzled her senses as if it was the first time they’d touched.
“I’m not usually so wobbly on my feet.” Alix smiled up at Cole and didn’t move.
Cole blinked and broke into a lopsided grin. “You were pushed.”
“Like Humpty Dumpty? Did she fall or was she pushed?” Alix wrinkled her nose.
“It was a conspiracy.” Cole squeezed her waist and winked.
“Did you pay them to bump me into your arms?” She inched one hip closer to his body.
“That would have been well played.” Cole’s voice lowered, but she could have heard him whisper, for the rest of the world had grown distant. There were no glasses clinking nor bar patrons buzzing with laughter.
“And risky.” Alix let her hands creep up his chest until she could feel the solid thud of his heart. It was strong. It was beating as fast as hers. Staccato.
“I work the angles and the gray areas.”
“But, I’m the straight arrow.”
“Opposites still attract?” Cole’s mouth inched closer, and his scent filled her senses. He was exotic like sandalwood but grounded like cedar. He was heaven.



AUTHOR BIO:
Holly Cortelyou pens sweet and spicy small town, contemporary romances that just may have a kiss of magic or a twist mystery.
On any given day, she’s likely sipping coffee and procrastinating on Facebook or organizing a closet. Holly’s living her own Happily Ever After with an uber-handy, broad-shouldered and delicious husband, a sweet silver lab and a fluffball kitty in sun-kissed Southern Oregon.
She has hazel eyes, a goofy sense of humor and all the rest is subject to change without notice.


SOCIAL MEDIA:

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Review: The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.


Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Simon Pulse 
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I'll get right to the point with this book. It tackled some very deep and extremely relevant topics that I feel are very important. Teenage girls should really read this book. It tackled rape culture and sex and the way (some) high school boys and grown ups treat females when it comes to sex and dating. It also dealt with the female view and attitudes towards sex and relationships. I won't sugar coat it. There was more than one rape in this book done by multiple boys. It wasn't the easiest to read and it could be a trigger for some people.

It started off with Grace, Rosina and Erin wanting to get justice for Lucy who was brutally raped by a bunch of boys from her school and who wasn't believed when she spoke up and basically run out of town. You see... the boys were all part of the star football team and highly regarded by the school and community. Sound familiar? Unfortunately there have been numerous real life stories in the news over the years that were similar.

What started out as a small anonymous group called the Nowhere Girls grew and took on a life of its own. The members openly discussed sex, relationships, boys, insecurities and what if anything they could do to get justice for Lucy and how to let everyone know that the misogynist mentality was not OK. What was interesting to me about this was the backlash that the girls received for their efforts. I felt that it was (unfortunately) very realistic.

Grace, Rosina and Erin were very different characters from very different backgrounds and I thoroughly enjoyed each one of them. The chapters alternated between each of their perspectives as well as chapters titled "US" which had the views of many different characters. Towards the end of the book there were also a few chapters told from other key players as well.

The story was very well written and flowed nicely. I did have to put it down a few times but I think that it was because of the content more so than the actual story. Although I am a few years outside of high school I could relate to a lot of what was discussed. I remember how difficult it was to navigate relationships and hormones and I certainly remember the locker room talk and rumours that easily ruined peoples reputations.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and believe that it is timely and relevant topic that many girls will relate to. Amy Reed has a bright career ahead of her that I will certainly be happy to follow.



About the Author
Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing to do with filmmaking, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, and Fiction. Amy currently lives in Oakland with her husband and two cats, and has accepted that Northern California has replaced the Pacific Northwest as her home. She is no longer restless.  

Connect with Amy

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Review: Once a Charmer (Charmed in Texas #3) by Charla Lovelace


Charmed, Texas, is a close-knit small town where people’s dreams of love can come true. That’s not to say that some people aren’t still waiting, and dreaming . . .
 
By day, Allie Greene stays busy with her family diner, and keeping tabs on her teenage daughter. What’s really exhausting Allie, however, are the nights. Not that she minds Bash Anderson unbuttoning her naughty desires—if only in her dreams. But what was he doing there at all? He’s her best friend, and a father figure to her girl. Talk about awkward. Talk about OMG-heat-and-fireworks that are flipping fifteen years of normal upside down. And now, when Allie needs him as a friend more than ever, logic doesn’t stand a chance against his lips and irresistible deep-blue eyes . . .

Sure, Bash has fantasized about Allie, but there’s no way he’d act on it. She and her daughter are the closest thing to family he’s ever known. With the exception of one drunken moment fifteen years ago, he and Allie have stayed on this side of the line—until that impulsive kiss of hers knocked him on his butt. That’s just one hurdle. Not only does Allie need Bash’s help to save her diner, but his apiary is in trouble, too. To stir the pot further, they’ve been roped into vying for the town’s Honey King and Queen contest—a sweet event that’s making them closer than ever. Something’s bound to come undone. Bash just hopes it’s not the friendship he’s worked so hard to hold on to.

Kindle Edition, 271 pages
Expected publication: October 17th 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!

For those that follow my reviews it is no secret that I am "charmed" by this series.  A series set in a small quirky town called Charmed with numerous characters who are less than charming.  This story is the third in the series and perhaps my favorite thus far.  Although it can likely be read on its own I would recommend reading the whole series as it is quite good.

This story is a little less humorous than the others and a lot more emotional.  I loved the premise of two best friends who have seen each other through some serious life challenges realize exactly what they mean to each other.  This gave the story depth and made me emotionally invested.

The character of Allie was identifiable in the fact that she was an everyday hard working girl trying to do the best for her daughter whom she had as a teenager.  Then you have Bash who loves said daughter unconditionally (even though he gives some tough love) and is the knight in shining armour for the two.

It was easy to see why Allie and Bash were hesitant to act on their emotions as they had a lifetime of friendship that they did not want to throw away.  It made me cheer out loud for them and hope for a positive outcome.

Returning to the town of Charmed, while there are still some unlikeable characters in this story, the reader gets to see the good side of the townsfolk as they stick together to protect their own.  I liked this and coming from a small town I know how people can band together for the greater good.  Also, not to be forgotten, there is still some characters with some unexplainable gifts or talents for lack of a better word that adds to the dimension of the story.

I hope that this series continues although I do not know who the next story could center around.  Perhaps Kia?  She is a mysterious character who could most likely hold her own in a story.  Thank you Lovelace for providing me with a series I have truly enjoyed!


About the Author


Sharla Lovelace is the Bestselling and Award Winning Author of five standalone novels, the exciting Heart of the Storm series, and the fun and sexy new Charmed in Texas series, all featuring sexy small town love stories with heat and humor. Being a Texas girl through and through, she's proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, a souped up golf cart, and two crazy mutts.