Monday, 29 February 2016

Review: Atone by Beth Yarnall

Beth Yarnall’s sexy and emotional Recovered Innocence series continues as two broken souls discover that keeping their hands off each other is even harder than facing their demons.

Beau: Six years. That’s how long I spent behind bars for a crime I didn’t commit—the murder of the woman I loved. Now I’m free, but life on the outside is a different kind of prison. I don’t know who I am or who I want to be. At least I have my sister, Cora. She never stopped believing in me. She even got me a job at the private investigation agency that cleared my name. And then Vera Swain walks into Nash Security and Investigations and kicks my world on its ass.

Vera: There’s only one thing that would make me come out of hiding after two years on the run: finding my sister. I made the mistake of telling a monster about her, the same monster who beat me and broke me. Now I’m forced to confide in Beau Hollis of Nash Security and Investigations. He looks at me like he knows me—the real me. He sees too much, makes me feel too much. The pleasure he offers is exciting and addictive. But I can’t fall for him . . . because my love could get us both killed.



Kindle Edition, 245 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by Loveswept
Series: Recovered Innocence #2
Genre: Romance/Romantic Suspense

Kristine's Thoughts:

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

Atone is the second book in the Recovered Innocence series but can be read as a stand alone. I did have the opportunity to read Vindicate first yet I still feel that a reader could pick this book up with no issues at all. Having followed this series from the beginning I can say that I think I liked this book better than the first one. It seemed like Yarnall was able to get some of the kinks out and it showed.

Vera came to Nash Security looking for help in finding her younger sister. Beau immediately recognised her as a person who had been through a lot and was lost but hiding it just like him. Although the initial screening proved that she was lying about some things, he hid them so that his sister and the rest of Nash Security would help her.

This story was deeper, darker and sexier than Vindicate and I was flying through the pages. I wanted to know all of Vera's secrets and the terrible stuff that happened to her. Was she at risk? Was she putting Beau at risk? Would they find her sister? Was somebody going to get hurt? I was really drawn to the suspense aspect of the story.

I really liked Beau so it was a little difficult for me to like Vera because I was so afraid that she was going to hurt him or get him hurt. They had an almost insta-love which I tend to struggle with but it was definitely sexy and the pages heated up quickly. Even though I liked Beau better than Vera I was still in their corner. I wanted a happily ever after for them and was hoping they would get it.

Overall I really liked this fast paced romantic suspense and I am enjoying the series thus far. I can't wait to see what Nash Security takes on next!

Check out my thoughts on Vindicate here.



About the Author
Best selling author, Beth Yarnall writes romantic suspense, mysteries and the occasional hilarious tweet. For a number of years, Beth made her living as a hairstylist and makeup artist and co-owned a salon. Somehow hairstylists and salons always seem to find their way into her stories. Beth lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their dog where she is hard at work on her next novel.

Connect with Beth
 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Review: The Storm Sister (The Seven Sisters #2) by Lucinda Riley


Ally D'Aplièse is about to compete in one of the world's most perilous yacht races, when she hears the news of her adoptive father's sudden, mysterious death. Rushing back to meet her five sisters at their family home, she discovers that her father - an elusive billionaire affectionately known to his daughters as Pa Salt - has left each of them a tantalising clue to their true heritage.

Ally has also recently embarked on a deeply passionate love affair that will change her destiny forever. But with her life now turned upside down, Ally decides to leave the open seas and follow the trail that her father left her, which leads her to the icy beauty of Norway . . .

There, Ally begins to discover her roots - and how her story is inextricably bound to that of a young unknown singer, Anna Landvik, who lived there over 100 years before, and sang in the first performance of Grieg's iconic music set to Ibsen's play 'Peer Gynt'. As Ally learns more about Anna, she also begins to question who her father, Pa Salt, really was. And why is the seventh sister missing?


Hardcover, 512 pages
Expected publication: March 22nd 2016 by Atria Books

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Atria Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is March 22, 2016.

I am in no way, shape, or form able to do this story justice so I am not going to try.  I am simply going to try to jot down whatever random thoughts pop in to my head.

First thing, I have waited forever for this story to come out.  I read the first book in the series The Seven Sisters almost a year ago and have been anxiously waiting for the second story ever since.  It will be with great agony that I will be waiting for the next story as this is part of a seven story series that Lucinda Riley is working on.  Why, oh why, did I have to discover this series at the beginning.  I have to wait for the next instalments to be written.

That brings me to my second point.  I have read all of Lucinda Riley's works.  For her fans, you will not be let down.  For fans of historical fiction who have not yet discovered her work, pick it up now!  She is a master of weaving the past and the present in to compelling stories that you can't put down.

This instalment is Ally's quest to discover her heritage.  Through her journey you are taken through not one but two stories in the past.  First Anna and Jens, and then later Karine and Pip.  Both equally interesting and tragic (as one would expect).  I will divulge not details as I will let the story sell itself.

I enjoyed the fact that Ally's present day story was very different form her sister Maia's (from the first story) and also a little bit different than the standard formula you tend to find with some historical fiction.  I may have enjoyed her story the most in this book which is rare, I almost always prefer the story in the past.

It is said that this can be read as a stand alone, and that all in the series can be, however I don't see why.  There is a little bit of a mystery that has surrounded these first two stories which I believe will surround all of the stories of the sisters.  I believe I mentioned it in my review of the first book (have not gone back to check) but I believe the mystery of Pa Salt will become a story of its own in the end.  There are bits and pieces, I would almost say teasers, woven in to both stories.  Then there is also the fact that the series is called The Seven Sisters yet there are only six.  Hmmmmmmm, I sense a master plan here.  In fact looking at the Q&A at the end of the story, Riley herself admits that she already knows the plot for the last book which supports my theory.

Don't hesitate to read this book.  In fact, stop reading the reviews and just pick it up.  Start with the first and then pick this one up.  While you wait for the next one, go back and read her other stories.  I am sure you will not be disappointed. This is my first 5 star rating this year.

My only complaint (as it was with the first one) is that I discovered it too soon.  I now wait and wait until the next one comes out.  Sigh...



About the Author


Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland and wrote her first book aged 24. Her novel 'Hothouse Flower' (also called 'The Orchid House') was selected for the UK's Richard and Judy Bookclub in 2011 and went on to sell 2 million copies worldwide. She is a multiple New York Times bestselling author and has topped the bestseller charts in four European countries.

In response to demand from her readers, she has recently re-written two books from her early writing career when published under her maiden name Lucinda Edmonds - the books are now being published as 'The Italian Girl' and 'The Angel Tree'.

'The Seven Sisters' is the first of a unique seven book series based allegorically on the mythology of the famous star constellation.

Lucinda's books are translated into 28 languages and published in 38 countries. She lives with her husband and four children on the North Norfolk coast in England and in the South of France.



Friday, 26 February 2016

Book Blast & Giveaway: Saved by a Seal Box Set by Lindsay McKenna, Chris Keniston & Susan Stoker


Enter to Win a $10.00 Amazon eGift Card
and Grab a Copy of SAVED BY A SEAL for ONLY $0.99 
100% of Proceeds going to America's Vet Dogs


SAVED BY A SEAL
3 First-In-Series Novels
NOWHERE TO HIDE by Lindsay McKenna
ALOHA TEXAS by Chris Keniston
PROTECTING CAROLINE by Susan Stoker
Released February 6th, 2016


Three New York Times / USA TODAY Bestselling authors have joined forces to give back to the military veterans who have given so much to their country. Lindsay McKenna, Chris Keniston and Susan Stoker bring you SAVED BY A SEAL, a first in series box set. Join these authors and their SEAL heroes from the very beginning of their bestselling romance series.

NOWHERE TO HIDE 
by Lindsay McKenna 
Book 1, Delos Series

Lia Cassidy left the Army scarred physically and emotionally after a vicious attack by two fellow soldiers. She turns to helping others, working at a Delos Home School Charity in Costa Rica that aids abused women and children. But when the deadly drug lord, La Arana, attacks the school, Lia finds herself on the run for her life. The only person she can trust is the ex-SEAL sent to protect her.

Cav Jordan is strong, honorable and gorgeous…and intrigued by Lia. He knows she has suffered pain in her past, and he is determined to break through her barriers and earn her trust. But as Cav slowly chips away at the walls Lia has built, ghosts from her past threaten to destroy their fragile relationship.

ALOHA TEXAS 
by Chris Keniston 
Book 1, Aloha Series

Former navy diver Nicholas Harper likes his new world as captain of a dive boat in Hawaii.

Powerhouse attorney Kara Lynn O'Conner's world revolves around her small Texas town where life is easy and safe.

Six year old Bradley Cooper is about to change everything.

PROTECTING CAROLINE 
by Susan Stoker 
Book 1, SEAL of Protection Series

Matthew “Wolf” Steel hated flying commercial. Luckily his job as a Navy SEAL meant he didn’t have to do it very often. He’d been unlucky enough to be assigned a middle seat on the cramped jet, but fortunately for him, the woman next to him was willing to switch seats with him. Hoping for a relaxing flight, Wolf was pleasantly surprised at the good conversation and sense of humor the woman had as they flew 36,000 feet over the countryside.

When Caroline boarded the plane to Virginia to move across the country for her new job she never expected to be seated next to the hottest guy she’d ever seen. She also never expected he’d be so easy to talk to. She knew he’d never be interested in talking to her if he hadn’t been trapped in the seat next to her, but it was a nice way to spend a long plane ride.

Neither Wolf nor Caroline were prepared for a terrorist hijacking of their plane, but if Caroline thought that would be the last time she’d see, or need, Wolf, she’d be sorely mistaken.

From PROTECTING CAROLINE by Susan Stoker
Caroline leaned close to him and cautioned in a soft urgent voice, “Something’s wrong with the ice. I can smell it. It smells off, like something’s in it.”
Wolf picked up his drink again and raised it to his face. He could see Caroline wanted to stop him, but she didn’t. Pretending to take a sip he smelled it as she had… nothing. He couldn’t detect anything but the orange juice that was in the cup. He looked at her and said softly, “I don’t smell anything.”
Caroline was frustrated. She could tell Matthew wanted to believe her, but when he hadn’t noticed anything off about his drink, he was having a hard time. She looked away. Great, now he thought she was nuts. But she wasn’t. She was a chemist dammit, and this is what she did for a living. There was some other chemical in with the drink, she knew it. But how would she convince him without sounding crazy?
She turned back to Matthew, only to see him still looking at her.
“What is it?” he demanded softly. “Explain, so I can understand.”
Caroline’s respect for Matthew rose. He wasn’t sure he should believe what she was saying, but he was smart enough to give her time to convince him, and she knew she’d have to explain it in a way he could understand.
She sniffed it and immediately nodded.
“Shit,” Wolf said under his breath. He believed her. He wasn’t a person to trust easily, but this woman didn’t have any guile in her at all. She’d have no reason to lie to him.

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America's VetDog's Mission: To help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence.

America’s VetDogs® is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that serves the needs of disabled veterans from all eras who have honorably served our country. VetDogs provides guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; hearing dogs for those who have lost their hearing later in life; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals, and PTSD service dogs to help mitigate the effects of PTSD in an effort to provide the emotional and physical support needed.

In 2013, America's VetDogs (an affiliate of and managed by the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind) became the second assistance dog school (the Guide Dog Foundation is the other) in the United States to be certified by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.

For more information about this organization or how to donate go to  www.vetdogs.org


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Lindsay McKenna lives her life as a risk taker, and it shines through the books she loves to write: romance, adventure and suspense. She started writing at age thirteen and continues to hone her writing skills to this day. She sold her first romance novel in 1981. The rest is history.

Because she went into the military, this experience became the backbone of her writing—she is credited with writing the first military romance novel (Captive of Fate, 1983, Silhouette Special Edition) and has created a thriving sub-genre within the romance field! As a New York Times Best Selling author, she has sold 23 million books and in 32 foreign languages in her career thus far. Her many experiences in the U.S. Navy are backdrop for her understanding of the military in general, and also her very successful Morgan’s Mercenaries, which is an ongoing series in Silhouette to this day! Forty-five books strong!

Lindsay has gone Indie in 2015 and has created a new family saga on par with Morgan’s Mercenaries It is known as the DELOS SERIES. There will be paperback and eBooks created under Blue Turtle Publishing, her company for her fans. Readers who love Morgan and his family are bound to fall in love with the Culver family. Delos is romantic suspense, which Lindsay is well known for. It took her five years to create and bring DELOS to her readers. It was worth the wait, but we’ll let you decide that.

Lindsay loves to hear from her readers and loves to know what they’d like to see her write next. Stay up with the latest on the Delos Series here. Please visit her Web site at www.lindsaymckenna.com. And be sure to sign up for her free quarterly newsletter. It contains exclusive content found nowhere else on the Net. Plus, giveaways and other surprises, to her loyal and faithful subscribers!



A native New Yorker, Chris Keniston was on her way to Australia when she fell in love with North Texas. Little did she know the balmy seventy-degree October days would turn into fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk heat in August!

Twenty years later, she started scribbling short stories about her favorite TV shows, giving them lives more to her liking - and the elusive happy ending. Not long after, a dear friend dragged her to a local writers’ meeting. After winning multiple writing contests and making the finals in the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest, she now spends her days, and nights, writing contemporary romantic fiction with lots of emotion, plenty of surprises, and, of course, the happily ever after.

Chris lives in suburban Dallas with her husband, two human children, and two canine children. Though she loves her puppies equally, she admits being especially attached to her German Shepherd rescue named Gunny. After all, even dogs deserve a happily ever after.



New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She's married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.
She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.




Fun Fact about SAVED BY A SEAL Boxed Set

Fabio, darling model of the romance covers during the 1980’s and 1990’s, before he retired, showed up on a total of 460 romance covers in our romance industry! An amazing amount!

In 2016 a very popular cover model is Jason Baca from Saratoga California , just broke Fabio’s long-standing record.  On 2.10.16, the San Francisco Chronicle did an article on how Jason is now THE top romance cover model in our Romance Industry! 


Jason has done 461 romance covers breaking Fabio's record. Why should I care you ask? Guess whose cover is number 461? That's right. SAVED BY A SEAL is the cover that broke Fabio's record! 

The authors of SAVED BY A SEAL, Lindsay McKenna, Chris Keniston and Susan Stoker, sure hope this sells more books for the Disabled Vets ! - It's rather cool that a charity anthology broke Fabio's record!


Thursday, 25 February 2016

Review: Where I Lost Her by T. Greenwood

Eight years ago, Tess and Jake were considered a power couple of the New York publishing world--happy, in love, planning a family. Failed fertility treatments and a heartbreaking attempt at adoption have fractured their marriage and left Tess edgy and adrift. A visit to friends in rural Vermont throws Tess's world into further chaos when she sees a young, half-dressed child in the middle of the road, who then runs into the woods like a frightened deer.

The entire town begins searching for the little girl. But there are no sightings, no other witnesses, no reports of missing children. As local police and Jake point out, Tess's imagination has played her false before. And yet Tess is compelled to keep looking, not only to save the little girl she can't forget but to salvage her broken heart as well. 


Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by Kensington 
Genre: Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

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

Where I Lost Her was two stories woven beautifully into one. There was the mystery behind the little girl on one side and Tess's relationship and well being on the other. I worried that the two wouldn't blend well but my worries were unwarranted. The story grabbed me and didn't let go until I finished the last page.

While visiting friends at their lake side camp, Tess volunteered to go to town to grab a bottle of wine. Her eyes went off the road for a second when the bottle fell and broke and when she returned her gaze there was a little girl standing in the middle of it. When distracted the little girl ran off into the forest. When Tess was unable to find her she contacted the police and a massive search began for her. With no reports of a missing child and no evidence to indicate that there was ever a child in the forest, questions soon began and it started looking like the entire story was made up. Tess also had some stuff in her past that made her appear to be a somewhat unreliable source.

Let me start off by discussing the missing girl part of this story. I was dying to know if it was real and what had happened. If she did exist how was she surviving, where did she come from and why was she bleeding? I wanted the answers. If she wasn't real then what happened to make Tess believe she was seeing her and would she get the help she needed?

Tess's past and mental health were beautifully captured in this story. Her desire for a child and the lengths she went through in the effort were captured and felt in every word on the pages. The strain on her marriage was, what I feel, a very honest portrayal of what can happen in that kind of situation. Her reliance on alcohol was yet another crutch that she was dealing with.

I think I can safely say that I really liked this book. It was exactly what I was looking for when I decided to read it. I loved the writing and really enjoyed the setting. It started out kind of slow but picked up quickly and didn't slow down. Was the little girl real? I'll never tell...you'll have to read it to find out.

 





About the Author
T. Greenwood is the author of ten novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. TWO RIVERS was named 2009 Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards, and GRACE received the same award for 2012. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks; THIS GLITTERING WORLD was a January 2011 selection, and GRACE was a selection in April 2012. Her eighth novel, BODIES OF WATER, was finalist for a Lambda Foundation award. Her tenth novel, WHERE I LOST HER, will be published in March 2016.

She teaches creative writing for San Diego Writer's Ink, Grossmont College, and online for The Writer's Center. She and her husband, Patrick, live in San Diego, CA with their two daughters. She is also an aspiring photographer.

Connect with T. Greenwood
 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Misbehaved by Jessica Jayne


Tasty Book Tours is Thrilled to Share the Cover for 
THE MISBEHAVED...
Make this Smoking Hot "Sexy Snax" a 2016 Must Read!


THE MISBEHAVED
Jessica Jayne
Releasing May 10th, 2016
Totally Bound


Natalea Jones has had a rough life. An absentee father. A gambling addicted mother, who seems to show up only when she needs something—preferably money. Natalea survives her childhood and teenage years because of her best friend, Drake Harte, and his family. Even though she’s been in love with Drake for years, she refuses to let her lust come in the way of their friendship. Life without Drake is not possible and sex would certainly complicate things.

Drake Harte is not only known as the most eligible bachelor and firefighter in Gamble Park, Florida, but he’s also known for sexing the ladies and leaving them. Only he knows the reason he can’t make a commitment to the women throwing themselves at him—he’s in love with his best friend. It’s time he either goes for it or moves on.

After Natalea and Drake share a night of passion, an unexpected event occurs that proves to both of them that life—and love—are too precious.

Or what? Was his firecracker of a best friend challenging him? He may have gotten off his twenty-four-hour shift at the firehouse mere minutes ago, but he was always ready to rumble with Natalea. Her honey-colored eyes gleamed with the familiar twinkle she had every single time they provoked each other. She loved it as much as he did.
 

Damn!
 

He loved everything about her. She was a whole lot wrapped up in a five-foot-three package. She was beautiful—beautiful in a way that wasn’t cover model, but real. Sweet. Caring. Honest. Strong. Stronger than anyone he knew. Her life hadn’t been easy.
 

He exhaled a laugh before dropping the towel and placing his hands on the bar top. Having spent as much time as he had in The Misbehaved, he knew exactly how much space he had to clear before he’d be on the ground on the other side. He pushed off with his feet on the stool rungs and slammed it to the ground with a bang as he propelled himself over. He landed with a thud on the black rubber floor mat. Heads swiveled in their direction.
 

Natalea yelped and dropped the towel. She spun on her heels and dashed to get away from him. He swung his arm around her waist and jerked her flush against him. The feel of her softness against the rigid planes of his body made a groan bubble up in his chest. He bit it off.
 

He hoisted her over his shoulder and wandered out onto the floor. Her lush breasts pressed against him and made his cock twitch to life in his jeans. Her legs flailed in the air, her black work boots thudding against his abdomen. She may have been small, but she was mighty. He’d give her that. As the thought entered his mind, her teeth sank into his lower back muscles through his T-shirt.
 

“Ow,” he cried, surprised by her bite. “Watch it, baby girl. You know better than to walk this tough-girl path with me. It never ends well for you.”
 

She grunted and groaned at his words. Several of the male patrons hooted and hollered.
 

“Nice legs,” one of the guys standing by the pool table shouted. A few whistles followed and Drake realized what the fuss was about. Her already scant jean shorts had ridden up her legs, exposing all of her thighs, maybe more. Despite the crowd being predominantly female, the few males made themselves quite vocal.
 

A wave of possessiveness flowed over him. He didn’t like that the guys were gawking at her ass poised in the air, and at her tan, muscular legs draped over his shoulder. Legs he’d fantasized about encircling his hips as he buried himself inside her. That fantasy had recurred on numerous occasions over the last decade.
 

Yes, he pined after his best friend. Had for years. Whenever she was around, he popped a perpetual boner. He also needed to protect her, which pretty much ruined any chance she had for a relationship with anyone else. No one—and he meant no one—was good enough for her.
 


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Jessica Jayne is a born and raised small-town Ohio girl who moved to the Sunshine State after graduating from college. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English. What college major could possibly be better than one that makes you read novels and write about them! Now she is thrilled to be able to share all the hot stories floating around in her head.

Jessica loves to travel and travel often! She shares her love of travel with her husband and children. She’s a huge sports fan, especially football. She loves the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Ohio State Buckeyes! She’s a wine-making (and wine-tasting) aficionado. She loves all music. And nothing is better than sunset at the beach!

In the journey of life, she also married a wonderful man and had three beautiful (and sometimes crazy) children. Life is always an adventure!


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Release Blast & Giveaway: The Rogue by Katharine Ashe



Enter to Win a Katharine Ashe Print Bundle, including:  WHEN A SCOT LOVES A LADY, HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY, HOW A LADY WEDS A ROGUE, I LOVED A ROGUE (US Only)


THE ROGUE
Devil's Duke #1
Katharine Ashe
Releasing February 23rd, 2016
Avon Books


In the first book in Katharine Ashe’s stunning new historical series, to capture a duke, a lady must first seduce a rogue. 

Lady Constance Read is independent, beautiful, and in need of a husband-now. The last man on earth she wants is the rogue who broke her heart six years ago, never mind that his kisses are scorching hot…

Evan Saint-André Sterling is rich, scarred, and finished with women-forever. He’s not about to lose his head over the bewitching beauty who once turned his life upside down.

But Constance needs a warrior, and Saint is the perfect man for the job. Only as a married woman can she penetrate Scotland’s most notorious secret society and bring a diabolical duke to justice. When Constance and Saint become allies-and passionate lovers-he’ll risk everything to protect the only woman he has ever loved.

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Katharine Ashe is the award-winning author of historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent,” including How to Be a Proper Lady, an Amazon Editors’ Choice for the 10 Best Books of the Year in Romance, and My Lady, My Lord and How to Marry a Highlander, 2015 and 2014 finalists for the prestigious RITA® Award of the Romance Writers of America. Her books are recommended by Publishers Weekly, Women’s World Magazine, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & Noble, and many others, and translated into languages across the world.

Katharine lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her beloved husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European History, she writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve grand adventures and breathtaking sensuality too. For more about Katharine’s books, please visit www.KatharineAshe.com or write to her at PO Box 51702, Durham, NC 27717.


Release Blast & Giveaway: Atone by Beth Yarnall


Enter to Win a 
$25.00 Amazon eGift Card


ATONE
Recovered Innocence #2
Beth Yarnall
Releasing February 23rd, 2016
Loveswept


Beth Yarnall’s sexy and emotional Recovered Innocence series continues as two broken souls discover that keeping their hands off each other is even harder than facing their demons.

Beau: Six years. That’s how long I spent behind bars for a crime I didn’t commit—the murder of the woman I loved. Now I’m free, but life on the outside is a different kind of prison. I don’t know who I am or who I want to be. At least I have my sister, Cora. She never stopped believing in me. She even got me a job at the private investigation agency that cleared my name. And then Vera Swain walks into Nash Security and Investigations and kicks my world on its ass.

Vera: There’s only one thing that would make me come out of hiding after two years on the run: finding my sister. I made the mistake of telling a monster about her, the same monster who beat me and broke me. Now I’m forced to confide in Beau Hollis of Nash Security and Investigations. He looks at me like he knows me—the real me. He sees too much, makes me feel too much. The pleasure he offers is exciting and addictive. But I can’t fall for him . . . because my love could get us both killed.

 I don’t have much of value. I’ve left so many things behind that objects no longer have any meaning for me. I could walk out of this pay-by-the-week motel with nothing but the clothes on my back and I’d find a way to survive. It’s a skill that served me well as I got tossed from group home to foster home and back again, and then when I was finally spit out into the world with literally nothing. I left everything when I escaped . . . including my name. You don’t know what your limits are until they’re pushed past breaking. My boundaries have been stitched and restitched back together too many times. I no longer have a sense of what it’s like to be able to set my own parameters.
I’m working on that, but it’s slow going and meticulous. Mostly I stay isolated. Interactions with other people are kept to the bare minimum, unavoidable social necessities. I avoid eye contact and speak only when forced to. I don’t like what I see. You can tell a lot about a person by what lurks in the depths of their eyes. Every ugly thing they think and feel hides there. They smile, but it doesn’t pretty up the person they are inside. What’s that saying? Like putting lipstick on a pig. That’s what smiles are for me. People will smile at you while they hurt you. I no longer trust them.

Everybody has an agenda. I learned this from my mother, whose only plan was letting anyone who would pay her shove their dick in her so she could put a needle in her arm. I learned it from the foster families who accumulated children like part-time jobs, cashing in the checks they got for taking us in, then barely feeding us. And I learned it from the police who failed to protect, and the only serving they did was to their own self-interests.
I don’t know how long I can stay in San Diego. The need to keep moving rides me hard. I’m too close to where everything started and where it ended. Marie is the reason I’m here and the only reason I’ll stay for any length of time. I have to find her. Javier knows about her. I was too stupid not to mention her when I first met him. He’ll remember and he’ll use her to get to me, to get back at me. I can only fight him so far. I will never win against him. But I can try to outsmart him by staying ahead of him and finding Marie first.

Someone bangs on the door and I jump. No one knows I’m here. At least they shouldn’t know. I’ve been careful. But obviously not careful enough. I pull out my gun. It’s always on hand. I don’t have to check it to know it’s ready if I need it. At the door, I stand off-center and look through the peephole to see who’s there. My heart explodes in my chest and I sag in the corner between the door and the wall, breaking out into a sweat.
What the hell is he doing here?
He strikes the door again. “Vera!”
What does he want?
“I can see your shadow under the door,” he says. “Open up.”
I can’t make myself unhook the latch or answer back.
“I’ll keep your secret, but I at least need to know why I’m keeping it.”
I try to work up some spit so I can speak. How did he find me?
“The cameras in front of the agency picked up your Colorado license plate,” he says, answering my unasked question. “It wasn’t easy finding you.” His voice gets quiet, as if his face is pressed to the door. “I want to help you. Let me help you.”
I swipe the sweat off my upper lip. The gun is heavy and reassuring in my shaky hand.
“I didn’t tell Cora. I didn’t tell anyone. I promise. Please, open up.”

My feet barely support me as I come off the wall. I don’t know why I’m doing it, but I slide the lock back and open the door, staying behind it for whatever imaginary protection it can give me. Beau sidesteps through the door and into the room. He’s larger than I remember, crowding his big body into the small room. With the flat of his giant hand he closes the door. I hesitate for a moment before choosing the greater of two fears and slide the lock back into place.
His gaze goes to my gun. He shoves his hands into the front pockets of his jeans and acknowledges it with a jerk of his head. Other than that, he doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t say anything. We stare at each other, sizing each other up. I hope I haven’t made a mistake letting him in. A thousand questions sit on my tongue, but I don’t ask them. He said he was here to help. I need help. I don’t want to need it. But there it is. I don’t want to trust him, yet somehow I do. I think I should be afraid, but there’s nothing about him that drives me to run.
“Why are you here?” I finally ask.
“Is she really your sister?”
“Yes.”
“You’re afraid for her.”
“Yes.”
“You’re not going to tell me why.”
“No.”
“Okay.”
He doesn’t ask the question I would ask: Who are you? Because there’s no doubt he knows I’m not who I say I am. He could’ve called the burner number I put down on the agency’s form. Instead, he tracked me down. Was it only to show that he could do it, or is there another reason? Maybe he’s trying to prove to me that I can trust him with this gesture. He could’ve handled it so many different ways, but he chose to maintain my need for anonymity.
“Do you mind if I sit down?” he asks.

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Beth Yarnall writes romantic suspense, mysteries, and the occasional hilarious Tweet. She discovered romance novels in middle school and hasn’t stopped writing since. For a number of years, she made her living as a hairstylist and makeup artist and co-owned a salon. Somehow hairstylists and salons always seem to find a way into her stories. Yarnall lives with her husband, two sons, and their rescue dog in Orange County, California, where she’s hard at work on her next novel.


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Sunday, 21 February 2016

Review: Sweet Haven by Shirlee McCoy


In Benevolence, Washington, the Lamont family's irresistible handmade chocolates are a cherished tradition--and always a reason to celebrate. And now they're giving the three Lamont sisters, one by one, delicious chances to start again, make a change, and have their sweetest dreams come true...

Neighbors who care, a peaceful routine--accountant Adeline Lamont is glad some things about her beloved hometown never change. But when her grandfather is injured, she has to run the family store, Chocolate Haven, and make its legendary fudge. Trouble is, she can't get the recipe right to save her life--or Chocolate Haven. And she doesn't need her ornery new tenant, Sinclair Jefferson, stirring up the pot with his help--and daring Addie to taste her wild side…

Once Sinclair gets his hapless brother back on track, he's leaving Benevolence for good this time. He's made his life far away from his irresponsible family and their scandals. Trouble is, he can't quite stay away from Addie's optimism, enticing plus-size curves, and kindness to those who need it most. But they don't seem to have a thing in common--except that Addie's passion for chocolate, and for Benevolence, is just as contagious as Sinclair's passion for her. Maybe small-town life has its charms after all…

Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: February 23rd 2016 by Zebra

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 February 23rd, 2016**

I found that I was able to identify with the characters in this story.  Just like Sinclair, I could not wait to escape the small town that I grew up in and took the first opportunity I could to get out.  I wanted the anonymity of the big city and people not knowing your business or what you had for breakfast.

Now that I am older, I identify with Addie and see the appeal of the small town.  So much so that I am moving back to the country for a more peaceful way of life.

I liked the chemistry between the two in this story and how their priorities, or perceived priorities, were at odd's with each other.  This made for an interesting storyline and I was engaged to find out where it would take me.

One key item I really liked.  Addie was real.  She was not a stick figure like you find in many stories.  She was real sized (I hesitate to say plus sized because even that is normal sized in many cases).

While this story did not offer up any real surprises for me, it was thoroughly enjoyable for me.  If you are looking for a romance with some interesting and real characters, this is the story for you



About the Author



Saturday, 20 February 2016

Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton

A loving husband or a heartless killer...she'd know, wouldn't she?
There's a lot Jean hasn't said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with accusing glares and anonymous harassment. Now her husband is dead, and there's no reason to stay quiet. People want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.
     The truth--that's all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything. For the reporter who has secured the exclusive interview, this is the scoop of a lifetime. For the detective who has lived a half-life since he failed to get justice for the victim, it is a chance to get at the truth that has eluded him for so long. For Jean, it's a chance to defend herself, what she knew--and when.
     This is the tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the main suspect, the detective leading the hunt, and the journalist covering the case. It's a brilliantly ominous, psychologically acute portrait of a marriage in crisis--perfect for fans of The Silent Wife and The Girl on the Train.


Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by Penguin Canada 
Genre: Thriller/Mystery/Psychological Thriller

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!**

I really, really liked this book. It was one of the better debut psychological thrillers that I have read in a while. With short, easy to read chapters that alternated between the Widow, the Detective, the Reporter, the Mother and the Husband I found myself flying through the pages.

This story was about secrets and loyalty and the lengths people will go to get what they want. It started when Jean's husband Glen died in an unfortunate accident and people started knocking at the door wanting to know the real story about the crime that Glen was accused of committing from his Widow. Through the different narratives I got the story leading up to present day as I not so patiently waited to find out what Jean knew and what really happened.

I have to admit that there were no real shockers or "aha" moments for me and I was able to guess the outcome. However, it did not impact my enjoyment of the story. I read a few early reviews where people were disappointed because they expected it to be like some other books as stated in a few different places and it wasn't. Knowing this, I jumped in with no expectations as to what stories it resembled and kept an open mind. It was beneficial and I think I enjoyed the story more because of it.

In my opinion it was a strong debut and I look forward to seeing what Fiona Barton does next.








Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Review: Nobody's Princess by Sarah Hegger


Tiffany Desjardins has a plan. Well, she had a plan, until her past and all its complications came back to haunt her. Her not-quite-ex-husband, Luke, is missing, and suddenly everyone needs to find him—including Tiffany, if she wants to marry the true man of her dreams. Then there’s Thomas Hunter, Luke’s brawny friend, who won’t take “no road trip” for an answer—and who won’t stop showing up in her daydreams…

Thomas couldn’t care less about Luke’s personal life, but he needs to find him if he’s going to make his fledgling minerals and metals company a reality. And if that means following Tiffany, who’s taken off in Luke’s rare Lamborghini Miura, he’s more than willing—especially if there might be a chance to negotiate some of Tiffany’s lovely curves. As Tiffany and Thomas speed along without a map, the only destination that seems certain is being together…

Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: February 23rd 2016 by Zebra

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 February 23rd 2016**

This was a fun read for me appealing to many of the girly things I hold dear.

My shallow side.  There was enough Jimmy Choo, Manolo, Kate Spade and other names featured in this story to appeal to my inner shopper.  Yes Tiffany, I would be devastated if anything happened to my purses! For the Fifth Avenue shopper this is sure to appeal.

My Romantic side.  The chemistry between Tiffany and Thomas was undeniable.  The way they brought out each others true personalities and geek factors was entertaining to read.  The way that Thomas could see that Tiffany was not just a pretty face and see her for what she really was had me swooning.  It made me wish that I could recite numbers like she could just so that he would walk through my door.

My not so shallow side.  This was really a story about a girl who was groomed to be a certain way and breaking out of that stereotype to become who she really wants to be.  It was about learning to think and act independently of others regardless of the judgement that may follow.  While this may sound deep in context to the story it truly is what it is all about.

Did I mention there was also a hot sports car, a brooding trouble making teenager and perhaps some tequila also?  Yup, this story has it.

At the end of the day this story entertained me and delivered exactly what I expected from it.



About the Author


Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.

She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.