Thursday, 31 December 2015

Review: Coach Maddie and the Marine by Blaire Edens

After the combat death of her Marine husband, grief counselor Maddie Westerfield has thrown herself into helping other families—leaving no time for dating. Which is just fine with Maddie since falling in love again, especially with another man in uniform, is out of the question. No matter how gorgeous he is. Plus, she’s busy looking after her eight-year-old nephew for her deployed sister.

For the last eight years, Lieutenant David Sterling has lived with the guilt of losing one of his soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan. So when the opportunity presents itself, he jumps at the chance to help the beautiful widow coach her nephew’s football team. But keeping things strictly professional between them is harder than he expected. And even though he knows a relationship with Maddie will only lead to heartbreak, he can't help falling for her.


ebook
Expected publication: January 11th 2016 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Bliss) 

Kristine's Thoughts:

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

If you are looking for a quick and easy contemporary romance, this book will fit the bill. It is a sweet read that can be finished in less than a couple of hours. This is not the book to pick up if you are feeling a complex and thought provoking storyline with a ton of depth.

I sometimes really enjoy it when I can get through a book quickly but I craved a little bit more with this one. There was some character and plot development that I think needed a little tweaking in order to bring this story to its full potential. The romance happened far too quickly and there were many gaps or omissions in the time line that left me questioning. I was really hoping that it would dig into the connection between David, Maddie and her deceased husband but it was just skimmed over. There was so much there that I craved a deeper story.

The characters were all likeable and Maddie as the football coach was a cute angle. I enjoyed Maddie and David together but I was hoping for more chemistry and build up to their relationship. Things progressed from a simple attraction to thoughts of marriage way too fast for me and I felt like I was trying to catch up. Yes I liked them together but my mind couldn't process as fast as the relationship did. Fans of sexy between the sheets action will not find it in this book. It fades to black when that time comes.

I thought the story was cute but I really feel it had potential to be so much more if it was longer and more in depth. It could have been a highly emotional and moving story. It was just too rushed and there were too many holes to capture it effectively.





Connect with Blaire
 
 

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Review: Just You (Just You #1) by Rebecca Phillips


Through witnessing her parents' bitter divorce, sixteen-year-old Taylor Brogan has learned what she believes to be a certainty—men lie, men betray, men can’t be trusted. When her first boyfriend cheats on her, Taylor can’t even pretend to act surprised. After all, her own father left her mother for another woman after fourteen years of marriage, so it was only a matter of time before it happened to her too.

Betrayed one time too many, Taylor vows to give up boys for good. But when she meets sweet, gorgeous Michael Hurst at a party, her resolve to stay single begins to crack. Maybe, in spite of her past, she can trust him not to break her heart. Taylor and Michael begin an exciting-but-cautious romance, hitting several challenges along the way—parental disapproval, family secrets, and the most daunting obstacle of all, Elena Brewster, a calculating beauty who is determined to make Michael hers.

Not just another teen romance, JUST YOU is about learning to embrace the risks involved in trusting someone with your heart.

Paperback, 210 pages
Published January 3rd 2014 by Rebecca Phillips

Terri's Thoughts

I purchased this book shortly after finishing Phillip's newest novel Any Other Girl as I liked how she tackled issues relevant to the YA genre.  After reading two of her other books I felt it was time to find out what else she had to offer.

This story was an outright romance that explored the topics of first love and forbidden romance.  It also explored deeper issues such as divorce and how the fallout impacts the outlook on others and the ability to trust.

I thought this story was really cute.  It reminded me of my high school days when the look from a guy would give me butterflies and you felt you were bulletproof. 

If I were to offer some constructive criticism is that there did not seem to be too much conflict between Taylor and Michael.  It all centered around them but not between them.  As this story is spread out over three books, I think that may be intentional and we will see more drama unfold as we progress through the series.  I have purchased the next story and I am anxious to get started!



About the Author


Rebecca Phillips has been a fan of contemporary young adult fiction ever since she first discovered Judy Blume at the age of twelve. She's the author of the JUST YOU series, OUT OF NOWHERE, FAKING PERFECT (Kensington), and ANY OTHER GIRL (January 26, Kensington).

Rebecca lives just outside the beautiful city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband, two children, and one spoiled rotten cat. She absolutely loves living so close to the ocean.



Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Review: Life's a Beach by Jamie K. Schmidt

Sex on the beach has never been so much fun! USA Today bestselling author Jamie K. Schmidt kicks off a series set in paradise with an irresistible tale of second chances, secret identities—and a connection that’s too sweet to miss.

When Amelia Parker arrives in Maui, newly single and unemployed, she’s shocked to discover the resort she booked is actually a ramshackle little beachside hotel. At least the scenery is easy on the eyes—as is the toned, laid-back snorkel instructor, “Dude.” After two weeks of sun, serenity, and mind-blowing sex, she even accepts a job as the hotel’s concierge. But what Amelia really wants is to relaunch the place completely. And that means convincing the absentee Wall Street billionaire owner, Samuel Kincaide, to take a chance on her.

Samuel has a plan, too: selling off every last reminder of his former life and chilling all day, every day as his slacker altar ego . . . Dude. He loves his romps in the ocean, and under the sheets, with the feisty Amelia. If she discovers his true identity, her boundless enthusiasm and innovative business plan will seriously diminish his hammock time. But when Amelia runs into real trouble on the island, he’ll put everything on the line to keep her safe. He just hopes that the woman who’s falling for Dude will feel the same about Samuel.



Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 5th 2016 by Loveswept 
Series: Hawaii Heat #1
Genre: Romance/Contemporary Romance

Kristine's Thoughts:

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

Amelia planned to surprise her boyfriend with a trip to Hawaii but circumstances found her unemployed and homeless without a boyfriend or a good cup of coffee. The only thing she had was her prepaid trip to Hawaii. With nothing more to lose she decided to take her eccentric aunt and follow through with her vacation plans. Even though her accommodations proved to be less appealing than the brochure, Dude the laid back hotel employee, was just the distraction that she needed. It didn't take long for fireworks to occur but with both of them keeping secrets it wasn't all the good fireworks.

What did I think?

I really enjoyed the setting and the descriptions of the different places in Hawaii that Amelia saw. The descriptions made me feel like I was there. I could feel the water and sand and it really made me wish I was there.

The plot was a little weak as far as I was concerned. The whole thing was a little bit of a stretch and because of that I had a difficult time believing in it. It was definitely a little far fetched but entertaining perhaps because if it. I think that many parts of the book were meant to be humorous but they sometimes fell short of the mark.

The relationship between Amelia and Dude was grossly underdeveloped for my liking. There was no build up or anticipation to draw me in and therefore I could not feel the chemistry between them. I wanted to feel the attraction and route for it but it just happened instead. There was more heat than the Hawaii sun to be found within the pages of this book but because I wasn't feeling the chemistry between the characters it was nothing more than sex, sex and more sex or what I like to call the wash, rinse, repeat cycle. I like the steamy parts of a contemporary romance just as much as then next person but I found that it was just there in this book if that makes sense. It didn't necessarily go with the flow of the story but was plopped in over and over again to satisfy readers of the more steamy variety. It wasn't well balanced at all.

If you are looking for a steamy romance for entertainment value only this would be a good book to pick up. As long as you don't analyse it or think too deeply it would do the trick. Although I wasn't a huge fan of this book I do think that I will continue with the series. With different main characters that are more likeable I could see this being a fun series to follow.






About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author, Jamie K. Schmidt is a hybrid author who has over thirty short stories published in small press and ezines, and a variety of novellas and books online. Her Club Inferno series from Random House has been in Amazon's top 100 ebooks sold and Barnes and Noble's top 10. She has a dragon paranormal romance series at Entangled Publishing. Book one of the Emerging Queens series is The Queen's Wings.

Jamie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz in Secondary Education English, which is a fancy way of saying she went to college to teach high school English. When that didn't pan out, she worked as a call center manager, a Tupperware consultant, a paralegal, and finally a technical writer for a major conglomerate company. She is an active member in the Romance Writers of America (RWA). When not writing, Jamie relaxes with a mug of hot tea and knits or makes beaded jewelry.

Connect with Jamie
 

Release Blast: Till Death Us Do Part by Cristina Slough


Enter to Win a
$10.00 Amazon eGift Card


TILL DEATH US DO PART
Cristina Slough
Releasing Dec 29th, 2015
Limitless Publishing


The fateful day Mimi Marcus has dreaded begins with a phone call...

The wife of a U.S. Marine, Mimi spent countless nights worried that her husband Joel would fall in the line of duty. He had fought valiantly and served his country with honor. That’s exactly what they tell her when they deliver the news—Joel was taken by the enemy in Afghanistan. Her husband is dead.

In desperate need of closure, Mimi travels to the one place Joel still has ties—The Marcus Ranch in Texas, inherited by his handsome younger brother Austin.

New beginnings are only an illusion...

The closer Mimi grows to the Marcus family, the more she considers it home. But when suspicions of Joel’s past surface, Austin refuses to disclose family secrets—even to his brother’s widow. It’s only by accident she uncovers evidence of Joel’s tainted past. Devastated by his lies and betrayal, she slowly opens up to Austin, and together they unfold layers of pain and grief.

Mimi is sure she’ll never love again, but is Austin the man to prove her wrong? Then the unthinkable happens…

Just as Mimi finds new hope in a future with Austin, Joel returns home from war. Enraged, traumatized, and teetering on the edge of insanity, Joel confesses to a history of deception, revealing yet another secret—this one too terrible to forgive.

In an awful twist of fate, Joel proves marriage vows are made to be honored.

No matter what.


Excerpt

She took the palm of her hand and wiped her face. “You don’t mean that.” She paused and looked at him. “Do you?”
 
“Yes, this is so fucked up Mimi. You don’t belong to me. You belong to him.”
 
“But…God, Austin, I don’t know what the hell I’m thinking or feeling.”
 
“I don’t care. The truth is, I got caught up in everything with you. I felt sorry for you; I pitied you.”
 
“Austin stop,” she cried “You don’t mean that.”
 
“Mimi, I do. The truth is. You were my final up-yours to my dear brother.”
 
“You’re lying.”
 
He took his hands out of his jean pockets and placed them on her sunken shoulders and looked firmly into her eyes. “Yes I do. Everything I told you about loving you was a lie. And this, what we had was nothing but revenge. Joel played it well, the son of a bitch. He even cheated death. Now get your goddam bags packed and get the hell out of my life.”
 
She jolted back, falling out of his grip.
 
Austin stood in silence after the hard slap connected across his left check; it caught his lip, making it bleed. She turned on her heel and ran away, her long hair flowing in the breeze behind her.
He stood there for a second, but it seemed like an hour. He walked a little, and then for the first time in his adult life, he cried.  

The digital clock read 2 am. He gazed out of the window. The sky was tar-black, the large clouds gathered fast and furiously. Soon, the gentle specs of rain flicked against the window. As it grew heavier, the tarmac on the car-park soon turned into a black river. He saw a man quicken his pace and slip into a beaten old truck. He opened the door, letting the rain fall on him, drenching through his clothes. He moved out into the stormy weather, needing to wash away the hurt that lay inside him.
 
He remembered having this feeling once before, after the death of his father. It was then that the divide between him and his brother had become even greater. It had torn them apart, ripping them at the seams. Austin had stolen Joel’s father, and now he was taking his wife. He had no control over the first time, but he swore that he wouldn’t let Austin win this time.
 
Blood pounded in his ears; he was still at war, but this time with himself. 

BUY NOW



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Novelist, movie addict, and animal lover, Cristina Slough is the author of Till Death Us Do Part, her debut novel.

Cristina has always been a bookworm, rarely seen without a pen and paper in her hand, she loves delving into a literacy fictional world of her own.

At the age of 11, her junior school teacher told her mother that she would be wasting her life if she didn’t become an author. Throughout her teenage years and beyond, her parents spurred her on to keep writing. She later began a career in commercial real estate, working in London’s West End, a corporate bubble where she was unable to fuel her passion to write.

It was on her Californian honeymoon in 2012 that the bug to write was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. After visiting Yosemite National Park she was inspired by the natural beauty of the land that surrounded her. Holding a special place in her heart, Yosemite would later be written into her debut novel.

She finally gave up the ‘big smoke’ when her son, Lucas, was born in October 2013.

When Lucas was a newborn, Cristina was told to sleep when the baby sleeps. She never could. There was a calling inside her to write. After getting to grips with her new role as a mother, she began working a psychological thriller, but she couldn’t fully connect to the characters she created. She ditched the manuscript and started Till Death Us Do Part (Limitless Publishing, 2015).

Cristina is married to Adam, who runs a successful business; together they share their Bedfordshire home with their son, crazy white German Shepherd and three spoiled cats. They can be found trekking through woodlands, or around the many shops Cristina loves to explore. As a family, they love to travel frequently, the United States being a firm favorite.


Monday, 28 December 2015

Review: Any Other Girl by Rebecca Phillips


After a disastrous, reputation-destroying party at the end of junior year, Kat Henley has a new plan. When it comes to boys—especially other people’s boys:
 
Don’t touch.
Don’t smile.
Don’t charm.

In the past, drawing attention to herself helped distract people from what really makes Kat different—having two gay parents. But it’s also cost her friendships. Kat can’t afford to lose any more of those, especially not her cousin, Harper. They’re spending one last summer together at the lake, where they run into an intriguing newcomer named Emmett Reese. After years of trying to prove she’s just like everybody else, Kat has found someone who wants her because she’s not. A boy who could be everything she wants too—if Harper hadn’t liked him first…

ebook, 272 pages
Expected publication: January 26th 2016 by Kensington

Terri's Thoughts

** I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Kensington via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is January 26th 2016**

I am not a stranger to Phillips work.  I had previously read Faking Perfect (read review here ) and enjoyed it.  I did not realise this when I picked this book up however now that I am aware I now have a new author to look out for when I am in the mood for the YA genre.

This story offers a little bit of everything for the YA audience.  This is a romance as advertised however there is so much more within the pages.  It depicts Kat's journey of trying to figure out who she is as an individual and try to change her ways.  It shows her struggle between the image that she set out to display to the outside world and the reality of who she really was.

There is the age old love (or not so much) triangle between Harper, Kat and Emmett.  Along with this is Kat's struggle to deny her attraction to Emmett because her cousin was interested in him.  As a female, I think we can all identify being in this situation at one point or another in our youth.  The romance was sweet and endearing as well as heartbreaking and drama filled.

What I really liked about the story is the various issues it also tackled within the story.  There was the fact that Kat's parents were a same sex couple and the story dealt with the issue of ignorant people and tolerance.  There was also the issue of spousal abuse and the impacts it had on the whole family.  Then there are the more common issues of divorce, young love and the struggle to identify the true you.

Combining all of these aspects together created a story I really enjoyed.  Phillips writes stories that can really hit home with the YA audience.  In fact, upon completing this story I went to purchased one of her earlier works to see what else she has to offer!



About the Author


Rebecca Phillips has been a fan of contemporary young adult fiction ever since she first discovered Judy Blume at the age of twelve. She's the author of the JUST YOU series, OUT OF NOWHERE, FAKING PERFECT (Kensington), and ANY OTHER GIRL (January 26, Kensington).

Rebecca lives just outside the beautiful city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband, two children, and one spoiled rotten cat. She absolutely loves living so close to the ocean.





Sunday, 27 December 2015

Review: The Heat Is On by Katie Rose

Perfect for readers of Joanna Blake and Sawyer Bennett, hailed as “charming, sexy, and smart” by Lauren Layne, the Boys of Summer series from award-winning author Katie Rose heats up as a homegrown baseball star returns to snag the one that got away.

When veteran catcher Connor Jackson gets traded to the New Jersey Sonics, he welcomes the opportunity to possibly cap his career with a World Series ring in his home state. But there’s another reason Connor is glad things have come full circle. In pursuit of hardball glory, he left behind his college sweetheart, the one girl he could never forget. Seeing her again stirs up long-lost desires . . . and this time, he’s determined not to strike out.

A divorced mother of four, Tracy Coleman no longer aspires to gossip-mag glam—but she’ll make an exception for a date with Connor. Their chemistry is hotter than ever, and being alone with him is more seductive than she anticipated. Who could blame her for leaving out a little detail like the kids? Now all she has to do is come clean and convince the man of her dreams that they—Connor, Tracy, and her children—have a future together.


Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 5th 2016 by Loveswept 
Series: The Boys of Summer #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kristine's Thoughts:

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

The Heat is On is the fourth book in The Boys of Summer series but can be read as a standalone. Including this one, I have read three out of the four books and was super excited to revisit the fun loving and always pranking Sonic ball players.

In this book we meet Connor, a veteran player, who is traded to the Sonics to finish out his last year of ball before retirement. This brings him back to his home state and his first and only true love, Tracy. He knows that she is divorced and he is determined to get her back. What he doesn't know is that she also has four children under the age of six. Even with all the complications there is no denying the ever present chemistry between the two that hasn't died but gotten stronger since their college years.

This book is a second chance romance at it's best and maybe most complicated at the same time. There is something about college sweethearts that tear at my heart strings so I was obviously routing for Connor and Tracy from the very beginning. I thoroughly enjoyed the addition of a large and young family. It provided many complications and obstacles for the two of them that were real and believable. As a parent I could totally relate and empathise with Tracy in her daily life.

As with the rest of the books, I was easily able to finish this one in a single day. The series is an extremely enjoyable one that only seems to get better with each one. Usually by the fourth book I am ready to move on but that is not the case with the Sonic boys. I enjoy them so much that I can't wait for more. They fill my contemporary romance fix each and every time!


 

About the Author
Award-winning historical author Katie Rose makes her contemporary debut with the Boys of Summer novels, Bring on the Heat and Too Hot to Handle, which combine Katie’s true loves: baseball and romance! When not watching baseball, Katie is at her lake house in New Jersey, hard at work on her next book.

**She is the bestselling author of twelve historical romance novels published under the names Colleen Quinn and Katie Rose .**

Connect with Katie
 

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Review: Fixer-Upper by Ines Saint


This charmer just needs a little attention…

Spinning Hills, Ohio sure is sweet, which might be why the Amador brothers are not only renovating the town’s lovely houses, but settling down in them. Because there’s nothing more blissful than coming home to a houseful of love…


Masquerade parties were not exactly Johnny Amador’s thing—until he found himself captivated by a witty, dark-eyed young woman in a peasant costume. Even her mask couldn’t obscure her beauty. Only after a disastrous case of mistaken identity did he discover that his mystery woman was none other than Marissa Medina, his best friend’s youngest sister—which brings a whole new set of challenges.

Marissa never forgot the night she and Johnny kissed—the feelings that flared to life. Not that she’s going to give the too handsome, too sexy charmer a chance. She knows how dangerous Johnny is and she can’t surrender to him at any cost. But that’s a tall order now that he’s showing how dedicated he is to turning his own fixer-upper—and his life—into the stuff of her dreams.

ebook, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 19th 2016 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.  The expected publication date is January 19th 2016**

I did not realize that this was the third story in a series however no fear.  I was able to read this as a stand alone without issue.  I was curious throughout the story about some of the other characters which was most likely explained in earlier books however it did not impact my ability to enjoy this story.

There were a few things I liked about this book that I found refreshing.

The first was how clean it was.  Don't get me wrong, I have no issues with varying degree's of steam in my stories but sometimes it can be a little overkill to the point of annoyance.  The author chooses to leave the steam off the page, although alludes to it.  In a way I found that it made the story a little more honest.  Instead of trying to shock the reader with the bedroom scenes, the emotional connection becomes so much more important.

The second was the kids at the school.  While anyone who knows me would say that I am not a big fan of children, particularly several of them, I found the children at the school endearing.  The way that both Johnny and Marissa embraced them and learned from them pulled at my heartstrings.

Lastly, the story was simply funny in spots.  I was cracking up laughing with the bar fight scene.  It was so ridiculous, yet so much like I have seen a time or two, that I had to appreciate it.  The small town, everyone looks out for their own mentality that I know so well. As well as the fact that trouble followed Johnny wherever he went, even if it wasn't his fault reminded me of a few people I know as well.

The charm in this story is how believable it is.  The characters were flawed and realistic and just starting out on their career paths.  Nobody was larger than life and I enjoyed that simplicity.  If the first two stories are similar I will need to circle back to read them.

Overall a good read!







About the Author



Thursday, 24 December 2015

Review: Travelers Rest by Keith Lee Morris

A chilling fable about a family marooned in a snowbound town whose grievous history intrudes on the dreamlike present.

The Addisons-Julia and Tonio, ten-year-old Dewey, and ne'er-do-well Uncle Robbie-are driving home, cross-country, after collecting Robbie from detox. When a blizzard strikes outside the eerie town of Good Night, Idaho, they seek refuge at the Travelers Rest, a once-opulent but now crumbling hotel where, they soon discover, the laws of the universe are bent.

Once inside the hotel, the family is separated. Something mysterious, tied to a tragic event more than a century past, prevents them, day after day, from reuniting, until Julia is faced with an impossible choice. Can she save her family from the fate of becoming Souvenirs-those citizens trapped forever in magnetic Good Night-or disappearing entirely? What her choice entails is revealed in prose as dizzyingly beautiful as the mystical world Morris creates.


Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 5th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company 

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.**

I did not find this book creepy or mysterious or clever and mystical. The word that best describes my feelings on this book is bored. Unfortunately is was so dull that I had a really hard time getting through it.

When the Addisons find themselves at Travelers Rest, an old hotel in the town of Good Night, strange things begin happening. They find themselves separated with no way to get back to each other. In theory this sounds exciting or at the very least interesting right? Well, it wasn't. The story went back and forth between each character where nothing happened and they kept talking and going in circles. After a while of the same thing happening or not happening it became a little painful.

The characters were also quite lifeless and dull which made it hard for me care about the outcome of the story. I wasn't drawn to any of them and therefore I wasn't routing for an outcome of any kind. They were just kind of blah with no personalities to speak of.

This book obviously wasn't for me so I will keep my thoughts brief. The premise of the story was good and there was nothing wrong with the writing, it was the actual story that had me yawning and struggling to finish. Reviews are all over the map so I encourage you to form your own opinion.






About the Author
Keith Lee Morris is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Clemson University. His previous book, THE DART LEAGUE KING, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection. His writing has appeared in many publications including Tin House, the Southern Review and the New England Review..
 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Release Blast & Giveaway: Harvest Moon By Sharon Struth


Enter to Win a
$10.00 Amazon eGift Card


HARVEST MOON
A Blue Moon Lake Romance #2
Sharon Struth
Releasing Dec 22nd, 2015
Lyrical Shine


Getting past the librarian’s guard…

Trent Jamieson isn’t one for virtual romance, but there’s something about the intriguing woman he meets on the Internet he can’t resist. Then the small town bachelor discovers the mystery woman who shares her secrets with him online is the laced-up librarian in his self-defense class! Veronica Sussingham may just be his toughest student yet. Because how can he show the vulnerable beauty that some men areworth letting your guard down for?

Veronica returned to her hometown seeking shelter for her shattered spirit. The last thing she needs is a blue-eyed charmer who wants to show her how to live—and love—again. Then she discovers Trent is not just another admirer, but a man who knows her deepest secrets. Now Veronica must choose between running from her past—or finding future happiness with the kind of man she swore she’d never fall for….

Excerpt

This kiss. Oh, this heavenly kiss. Veronica patted herself on the back for pushing aside her first instinct to remove Jim’s hands from her waist in a public place. The way he’d whispered “sexy” drove a warm blast straight to the core of her belly.
 
This time when they kissed, his mouth molded perfectly to hers, not his usual awkward preamble. He was strong and demanding, yet not too pushy. His relaxed lips lulled her into a quick surrender, a surrender she strangely didn’t mind at all.
 
His hand slipped to the back of her head, and she sighed into his mouth, wishing this kiss would never end. Slowly and surely, however, he pulled away, but she kept her eyes closed, clinging to the sensation a few seconds longer as his breath landed near her ear.
 
“God, baby,” he said, low and husky. “I can’t wait to get out of here with you later.”
 
Not. Jim’s. Voice.
 
Her eyes flashed open. She slapped her palms to the stranger’s chest, pushed him away. “What the hell!”
 
He stumbled back a few steps, his mouth agape and brows furrowed. “You’re not Angie.”
 
“Well, you’re not Jim! How dare you touch—”
 
“Calm down. I thought you were my date.” He blinked a few times. “Hey, I know you. From—”
 
“The elevator.” Her head spun as she stared into his crystal blue eyes. His gaze swept her from head to toe, making his dark lashes flutter. “Thank God you kept your lips to yourself then.”

 “Don’t be ridiculous.” His smiled dropped. “I’d never do that to a stranger.” With a slight cock of his head, a grin creased his cheeks and he lowered his voice. “Although I’m pretty sure we both enjoyed what just happened.”
 
Her face burned, as if set on fire. “How dare you suggest that I—”
 
“Hey! You guys are early.” Sophie entered the bar area, Duncan in tow.
 
Veronica tried to speak but found herself more flabbergasted when Sophie walked right up to Hotlips and they hugged. “Hi, Trent.”

Veronica pinched herself in a bid to wake from this surreal dream. Before she could gather her bearings, Duncan surrounded her in one of his big bear hugs. “Ronnie, you look beautiful. New dress?”
She blinked, nodded.
 
Sophie came over and hugged Veronica. “You okay?” she whispered in Veronica’s ear.
 
“I’m fine. Happy birthday.” From over Sophie’s shoulder, Trent watched them. Veronica narrowed her gaze, but he only grinned, like the devil might if he learned your biggest secret.
 
Duncan slung an arm around Trent’s shoulders. “I see you’ve met my brother.”
 
“Yes. I have.” The heat of her cheeks still simmered.
 
Trent winked in her direction, and a sizzling blast assaulted every inch of her skin.
 
“Pearls made me feel right at home.”
 
“Pearl? That’s not my name.”
 
“Pearls,” he corrected, an extra emphasis on the s. “Like your necklace.”
 
She reached up and touched the smooth, hard jewels near her collarbone. A few other guests arrived and snagged Sophie and Duncan’s attention. While she clutched the hard beads and tried to digest what just went down, she glanced at Trent. He watched her closely, but a playful twinkle in his eyes suggested the case-of-mistaken-identity kiss hadn’t upset him a bit.
 

BUY NOW



a Rafflecopter giveaway


"Heart-tugging small town romance with real emotion. Struth is an author to watch!" —Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winning The Sweet Spot
Sharon Struth is an award-winning author who believes it’s never too late for a second chance in love or life. When she’s not writing, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail. Sharon writes from the small town of Bethel, Connecticut, the friendliest place she’s ever lived. For more information, including where to find her other novels and published essays, please visit her website.


Monday, 21 December 2015

Review: To Win Her Trust (Players #2) by Mackenzie Crowne


Ever since experiencing a childhood trauma, reclusive artist CC Calhoun has suffered from panic attacks. But when a fateful kiss from handsome wide receiver, Kevin “Tuck” Tucker, is enough to stop one of those episodes cold, she wonders if guarding her heart has been the right choice. Will going on a test date with Tuck open her to trusting someone for the first time in years? Or will she wind up being just another notch in the football player’s bedpost?

Tuck has a reputation for charming women into bed, but after his kiss with CC, he’s left aching for more. When he proposes a second date, his attraction to the sexy blonde looks like the makings of true love—something he’s never quite believed in—until now. But when Tuck discovers CC’s childhood secrets, will the pro athlete be tough enough to stay by her side—or will he betray her hard-earned trust?


Paperback, 228 pages
Expected publication: January 5th 2016 by Lyrical Shine
Terri's Thoughts

**I received a advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is January 5th, 2016.  **

Although this is the second book in a series, it can easily be read as a stand alone.  I had not read the first story when I picked this one up and it in no way impacted the enjoyment of this.

This review will be short.  If you like your female characters somewhat damaged while still being strong in their own right then this story will work for you.  If you like your male characters with great looks and charm to spare than this story will meet your needs.  If the concept of a knight in white armour coming to rescue you lead, look no further.

This story delivers with enough drama, romance and sexy time to appeal to fans of this genre.  I say just pick it up, you will not be disappointed


About the Author

** Mackenzie Crowne's words taken from her Goodreads page**

Hi there. My name is Mackenzie Crowne.

I'm a a wife, mother and really young grandmother. Together with my high school sweet heart husband, a neurotic Pomeranian and a blind cat, I call Phoenix home because the southwest feeds my soul. My love of the romance genre has been a lifelong affair, both as a reader and a writer. A bout with breast cancer sharpened my resolve to see my stories shared with others. Today I'm a seven-year survivor living the dream.

Raised on the concept that a stranger is just one conversation away from being a friend, I love meeting new people. My friends call me Mac. I hope you will too.


Website
Twitter





Sunday, 20 December 2015

Review: Last Wish by Erin Butler

Nothing feels right. Not since my best friend died and I fucked up the one promise he asked me to make. The past follows me everywhere, tangling me up like weeds, reminding me that my life is empty. So fucking empty.

Then she walks into the bar, all bright beauty and sweet lips made for kissing.

Em Stewart is a complication...one I need to avoid. She’s got heavy secrets of her own, ones she hides from her friends—and lies about to herself.

No matter how hard I try, I can't resist her, and our unexpected road trip sure as hell isn’t helping my cause. But I’ll be damned if I screw up my first chance at something real...


ebook
Expected publication: December 28th 2015 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Embrace) 
Genre: New Adult
Series: Remembering Kyle #2

Kristine's Thoughts:

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

This book is the second book in the Remembering Kyle series but can be read as a standalone. I did not have the opportunity to read How We Lived before reading Last Wish and I was able to follow along. The problem I had though, was that I was constantly curious about what happened before and I wanted to know more of the back story. It really intrigued me.

Unlike a lot of books in this genre, there was no denying the attraction for pages and pages. Ronan and Em gave in to their attraction relatively easily. They didn't pretend it was something different but at the same time they were both dealing with a lot of baggage while pursuing the relationship. Ronan was still realing from the death of his best friend and the promise that he made to him and Em was dealing with an abusive ex boyfriend.

Last Wish was a very quick and very easy book to read. The relationship between Ronan and Em built quickly, the story moved even quicker and then it ended just as quickly. It ended maybe a little bit too fast for my liking. It felt like I missed something or that an entire piece of the puzzle was missing. Without giving any spoilers it felt like an entire part of the conflict resolution was skipped in order to get to the ending.

I enjoyed this story for what it was, a quick an entertaining new adult romance. Even though it was a standalone I do think that I would have benefited and that other readers will benefit from reading How We Lived first. I just had too many questions about what happened before Ronan and Em to fully appreciate them. Also, I found that the story kept going to Chase so I wanted to know his full story.






About the Author
Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she loves to read. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially fangirls over a sigh-worthy romance.

She lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. Preferring to spend her time indoors reading or writing, she'll only willingly go outside for chocolate and sunshine--in that order.

Erin is the author of BOUND IN BLOOD, a YA paranormal novel, HOW WE LIVED, a contemporary NA novel, and the YA contemporary romance titles, FINDING MR. DARCY: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION and FALLING FOR SHAKESPEARE.  

Connect with Erin

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Review: The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, & Lauren Willig


New York Times bestselling authors Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig present a masterful collaboration—a rich, multigenerational novel of love and loss that spans half a century....

1945: When the critically wounded Captain Cooper Ravenal is brought to a private hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, young Dr. Kate Schuyler is drawn into a complex mystery that connects three generations of women in her family to a single extraordinary room in a Gilded Age mansion.

Who is the woman in Captain Ravenel's portrait miniature who looks so much like Kate?  And why is she wearing the ruby pendant handed down to Kate by her mother?  In their pursuit of answers, they find themselves drawn into the turbulent stories of Gilded Age Olive Van Alen, driven from riches to rags, who hired out as a servant in the very house her father designed, and Jazz Age Lucy Young, who came from Brooklyn to Manhattan in pursuit of the father she had never known.  But are Kate and Cooper ready for the secrets that will be revealed in the Forgotten Room?

The Forgotten Room, set in alternating time periods, is a sumptuous feast of a novel brought to vivid life by three brilliant storytellers.


Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 19th 2016 by NAL
 
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 is January 19th, 2016**

I have to admit that I was quite excited to get my hands on this story.  I am not a stranger to Karen White's work and have enjoyed everything of hers that I have read thus far.  William's and Willig are new to me however I loved the concept of three authors collaborating on one story.

I can only assume that each author was telling the story of one of the female characters in the story.  Olive in 1892, Lucy in 1920 or Kate in 1945.  I do not know who wrote each story however you do see a difference with each.  For example, the story of Kate was written in the first person while Olive and Lucy were not.  It took a little getting used to however the story drew me in enough to overshadow it.

I will not go in to the plot details as this would ruin a good story.  Fan's of historical fiction will enjoy this.  Fans of tragic multi-generational love stories will love it.  If heartbreaking love stories are you thing, you guessed it...you will love this.

The best part of this story is how the three storylines blend together to reveal the stories and secrets over time.  How the plot blends families and circumstance and how history repeats itself. How all of the secrets are not discovered at once.  I was swept away with each of the characters and I wanted them each to get their happy ending.  As is common with these stories there is a mix of romance and tragedy, to which I am a complete sucker.

If these authors choose to collaborate again I will be the first in line to read the next story.  If they don't, I have discovered some new authors, and old favorites to add to my reading list.  I am so thankful I was given the opportunity to preview this story.

 
 
About the Authors
 

Karen White

Website
Twitter


No information found on Beatriz Williams or Lauren Willig


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Review: What's Broken Between Us by Alexis Bass

Alexis Bass’s heartbreakingly beautiful second novel is a tale of love, loss, and learning to forgive.

Look to the left, look to the right. We’re all going to die. But someone has to do it first. So who’s it going to be?

Tragedy struck Amanda Tart’s town a year and a half ago when a sophomore girl was killed in a car accident on graduation night.
Amanda’s brother, Jonathan, was behind the wheel and too drunk to drive. He’s spent the past year in prison and has cut off all ties. But now Jonathan is coming home. Just as Amanda’s trying to figure out what that means for her family and herself, she’s paired up for a school project with Henry Crane—a former crush, and brother of Jonathan’s ex-girlfriend, who survived the crash with horrible injuries.

Everyone is still incredibly damaged by the events of that night. Can Amanda and Henry finally begin to heal what’s broken and find some peace?


Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: December 29th 2015 by HarperTeen 
Genre: Young Adult

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I don't even know where to start when it comes to discussing this book. First off, the synopsis caught me right away and I thought it had great potential. A story about a girl who's older brother went to prison after he was in an accident while drunk that caused a peers death. Sounds intriguing right? Often the people left behind struggle the most from the sins of those closest to them. What a great angle...the sister who has to walk in the footsteps that her convicted felon of a brother left behind. I was all in.

I did and didn't have a problem with some of the characters if that makes any sense. I hated everything about Jonathan. His actions and attitude when he was released from prison were horrendous. He seemed cold and remorseless yet entitled and untouchable. As much as I hated these things about him I was almost relieved at the same time. This allowed me to continue to hate him for the things that he did. It would have been more difficult for me if he miraculously turned into an upstanding citizen after the things he did and the extremely lenient sentence he received. In other words, I hated him but I was glad that the story went in the direction that made me hate him. It made Amanda's story much more complicated and interesting to the reader.

I liked Amanda but I want to make it clear that she wasn't perfect. She did things that weren't morally right and hurtful to others. I liked her for her situation and the struggles she was having. She was torn in so many directions. She was happy that her brother was getting out of prison but she couldn't voice that to anyone. She had to be a completely different person in front of her peers. After all, he killed one of them. She also had her secret crush that she couldn't act on because he was the younger brother of her brother's ex girlfriend who was also in the crash and seriously injured. She was dealing with a lot for a teenage girl.

Briefly I feel the need to mention the parents. As a parent of teenagers myself, I could not understand their parenting at all. What were they thinking? It wasn't Mumsy and Standard Dad but more like absentee Mom and Dad. I could not stop shaking my head. That's all I'm going to say about that. You'll have to read it to understand what I'm talking about.

This book was an easy book to read but it was a roller coaster of emotions. It was dark and lacked much happiness but it depicted a serious and relevant topic. I really think that young people will like it. I also think that it would make a great book club book as I can visualise many topics to discuss around it.





About the Author
Alexis Bass grew up in Washington, went to college in Arizona, and spent her early twenties in Seattle. She currently lives in Northern California with Dylan McKay, her gorgeous and rambunctious golden retriever. She loves good fashion and good TV as much as a good book, and is a huge advocate of the three C’s: coffee, chocolate, and cheese. LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES is her first novel.   


Connect with Alexis

 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Review: Caught by You by Jennifer Bernard


Months of alternately flirting and bickering with Kilby Catfish catcher Mike Solo just turned into the hottest kiss of Donna MacIntyre's life—and that's a major league complication. Any hint of scandal could keep her from getting her son back from her well-connected ex. Then Mike comes up with a game-changing idea: a marriage proposal that could help win her case—even as it jeopardizes her heart.

Mike hasn't been able to get the gorgeous, gutsy redhead out of his fantasies. The least he can do is fix the mess he helped create. Yet their engagement is quickly becoming about a lot more than doing the right thing. Because after swearing he'd never risk love again, Mike has found a passion that puts all his emotions in play, and a woman he'll go to bat for again and again.


ebook, 384 pages
Expected publication: December 29th 2015 by HarperCollins Publishers
 
Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is December 29th, 2015.

Bernard is not a new author to me.  I read one of her stories in another series quite some time ago and enjoyed it.  I thought it was time to read another one of her stories to see if I still felt the same.  This one focused around baseball players instead of firefighters.

This story is the second in the series however can be read as a stand alone.  I will warn that there are quite a few references to the first story so you may want to read in order.  That being said, it did not make this one hard to understand, more so made me curious about what happened in the first story.

What the Jeter?

This story was full of funny moments.  Not the least of which was the use of what the Jeter.  This sounded like something my friends and I would do and had me in stiches.  I also liked that Donna was spunky and a jokester.  The way she tried to curb her need to joke and have fun but simply couldn't stem that side of her personality.

Mike himself wasn't so bad.  All hot and dreamy and of course as is the case most of the time, the kind of guy every girl dreams off physically and emotionally.

As is also standard in these stories is the hot and heavy scenes between the two.  I almost started counting the number of closets the two got in to as it seemed to be a habit of theirs! 

Althogether this was a good read.  It delivered on the romance and steam all in one.  I would recommend to anyone who enjoys this genre.

Random thought:  I noticed in this story that the characters had nicknames for each other.  He called her Red and she called him Solo.  I kept waiting for Cup to be introduced.  Anyone have the song in their head now?  You are welcome!


 
 
About the Author
 

Jennifer Bernard is the USA Today bestselling author of the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series and the upcoming Love Between the Bases series. She's a graduate of Harvard and a former news promo producer. The child of academics, she confounded her family by preferring romance novels to any other books. She left big city life for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She’s no stranger to book success, as she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name not to be mentioned at family gatherings.

Besides reading, writing and living romance, another passion is Ashtanga yoga. She practices daily, and has traveled to Thailand, India and Hawaii to learn from the best teachers on the planet. Other than that, she loves hiking, meditating, hazelnut chocolate, and the children she is graced to have in her life.


Website
Twitter