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Saturday, February 11, 2012

ARC Review: Firelight by Kristen Callihan

I really don't know what I'm feeling now that I finished Firelight. I feel a bit upset and a pretty disappointed. I had such high expectations for this book, especially since I had since all I have heard good things about it. This book could have been great, but it just annoyed me and seemed to drag on.

In the beginning I found myself really interested in both Archer and Miranda. I loved the little snippets we are shown of them in the past and I was curious to see how things progressed between the two. Archer has been in love with Miranda for years and essentially paid Miranda's father handsomely for her hand in marriage. Miranda doesn't want to marry Archer. She doesn't know him and he's essentially a social pariah. He has a disfigurement on his face and has taken to wearing a carnival mask when out and about the ton. Ladies swoon in fear in his presence and she doesn't understand when Archer a noble, would want to marry her a third daughter of a business man. Miranda doesn't realize at first that she has actually met Archer, years prior and he happens to be the man she can never stop thinking about. When people who were once close to Archer start to turn up dead, Miranda quickly places her faith in Archer and believes in his innocence. She sets out on a mission to find out who may is trying to set him up.

This is where things start to go south for me. The mystery of the book. It goes on for forever. So long in fact that when the mystery is revealed I couldn't have cared less. It seems like the romance aspect of this book take a backseat and I hate when that happens. Also, when Archer finally does reveal himself to Miranda, I found that I didn't really care. I was so bored with their relationship and everything that was taking place. Both Miranda and Archer after awhile just became so annoying by the end. Neither is completely honest with the other and both are constantly running around and doing things in secret. I really don't understand how they both seemed to fall so in love with one another when they are both keep so many secrets.

With Miranda especially, I just never understood how she came to love Archer. She just wakes up one morning and all of a sudden she's in love. Neither had really spent anytime with the other at that point so it just didn't make sense to me. And if she loves him and trusts him why does it take so long for her to share her secret with Archer? As for Archer, I liked him a bit more than Miranda he just frustrated me a bit. I just wanted him to open up with her more. I understood why he loved he so much but I just wanted him to be honest with her. It frustrated me so much that these two just wouldn't open up with the other. Every time there's a problem Archer runs off. Why couldn't these two just ever talk?

All in all, this book was just okay for me. With completing Firelight, I'm not a hundred percent sure if I would read the next book in this series. I loved the world Kristen created with the mix of historical and paranormal, I just don't know if it's enough for me. I pick up a book because I want to be blown away by the romance and with Firelight there just wasn't enough romance to keep me interested.

**ARC copy provided by NetGalley**

RATING:

Sealed With a Kiss: Maya Rodale and Giveaway

Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence and it wasn’t long before she was writing her own. Maya is now the author of multiple Regency historical romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

Places to find Maya:
| Site | Facebook | Twitter

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sealed With a Kiss: Theresa Romain and Giveaway

Theresa Romain holds degrees in psychology, English literature, and history, an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She has worked, interned, and translated for libraries and universities, all of which fed her love of books and her fascination with the past. She lives with her family in the Midwest.

Places to find Theresa:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

ARC Review: Ember by Kristen Callihan

This was a super quick read by Kristen Callihan and it introduces us the reader, to Miranda and Archer the hero and heroine of her upcoming novel Firelight. I haven't read Firelight yet, but I assume that this takes place directly before the events of Firelight begin. I thought that this was a nice introduction to both Archer and Miranda. I am now super curious to see how and where things end up with the two of them.

Already I am finding myself completely intrigued by Archer and I want to know more about him then what we were shown in Ember. In Ember we meet a man that is scarred and is attempting to find his way. He is plagued by his longing for Miranda. He wants to find a cure for himself and then return home to claim Miranda as his own.

I felt that in Ember I got a lot more insight into the character of Miranda. We meet a woman who has been dealt a rotten hand of cards in life and she is just trying to make amends for past mistakes. I felt for her and her plight and if I were her I would have already crumpled to the floor in tears and not gotten up.

I can't wait to pick up Firelight to see how things progress between Archer and Miranda and hopefully I'll get some answers as to what is plaguing Archer.

**ARC copy provided by NetGalley**

RATING:

Sealed With a Kiss: Jenna Petersen and Giveaway

Jenna Petersen knew she wanted to be a writer at a very young age and had a very specific image of what that meant. In her mind, she would live in Los Angeles (why not New York… who knows?), attend book signings, drive a very expensive car and date endlessly (and apparently, unsuccessfully). There was little actual writing involved in the fantasy.

Instead, she got a degree in Psychology from the University of Washington, married her high school sweetheart and moved to Central Illinois. There was much actual writing involved in the reality and she learned a lot in the years she waited to hear she sold a book. 

Jenna enjoys travel, history, live baseball, Bears and Eagles football, and of course, all things related to reading and writing. She runs a website for aspiring authors called The Passionate Pen, which has become a popular resource in the romance writing community. She also writes erotic romance under the pseudonym Jess Michaels and zombie comedy under the pseudonym Jesse Petersen
Places to find Jenna:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sealed With a Kiss: Heather Snow and Giveaway

Heather Snow is a historical romance writer with a degree in Chemistry who found she much preferred creating chemistry on the page, rather than in the lab! She is forever trying to wrangle her left and right brain to work together (some days with more success than others!), but if her two sides had to duke it out, left would win every time--which can be a creative challenge. Luckily, she loves challenges...she just goes about solving them analytically.

She lives with her husband and two sons in the Midwest and truly hopes you find her stories have just the right chemistry...
Places to find Heather:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

ARC Review: Sweet Enemy by Heather Snow

I admit, it took me a bit to get into the groove of this book. The beginning was a bit slow for me but once Geoffrey and Liliana started to interact with one another I was hooked. I just couldn't stop reading this book. What was frustrating is my life kept getting in the way, making me put the book down. But oh my goodness, how I loved this book. Seriously, as everyone else was watching the Superbowl, I was devouring the remainder of Sweet Enemy. It was just so good!

I loved the chemistry between both Liliana and Geoffrey. I liked that it was a slow build to a relationship. They didn't just hop into bed with each other within moments of meeting one another. In fact, they both try to stay away from the one another and in doing so they start to realize that there may be more to the other. Geoffrey and Liliana are both able to be themselves while around each other and it was refreshing to watch them slowly grow closer and then eventually to love one another.

Geoffrey was such a great leading man. He isn't a pushover and he truly cares about doing good with his title. He doesn't just want to sit back and reap the benefits of being and Earl. He actually wants to use his title to help his fellow soldiers. He knows he should eventually marry someone that could help him with is aspirations, someone that would make him look good in the eyes of his political adversaries, but once he meets Liliana he's just not willing to enter into a marriage only for political gain.

Liliana might not be everyone's ideal candidate for a potential countess and that is more than fine with her. She is happy being able to live on her own while working in her laboratory. Chemistry is her life's passion and she knows if she were to marry any husband of hers would make her give it all up. I love that Liliana is willing to stand up for herself and doesn't care about what others think of her. She speaks her mind and definitely doesn't back down from a challenge. I found she was a perfect match for Geoffrey.

The passion between both Geoffrey and Liliana just jumps off of the page. It grabs you and pulls you in. I found myself quickly turning the pages just so I could see more of their interactions. I liked that despite the fact that neither want to fall in love and get married that they both were able to find a confidant in the other. Someone they could truly be themselves with and have a real connection. I honestly LOVED these two.

Heather Snow's debut of Sweet Enemy is definitely well worth the time and money. This is a book that will definitely be going on my keeper shelf and I will be re-reading it in the future. I can't wait to see what's next from her.

**ARC copy provided by author**

RATING:

Sealed With a Kiss: Maggie Robinson and Giveaway

Maggie Robinson is a former teacher, library clerk and mother of four who woke up in the middle of the night, absolutely compelled to create the perfect man and use as many adverbs as possible doing so. A transplanted New Yorker, she lives with her not-quite perfect husband in Maine, where the cold winters are ideal for staying inside and writing hot historical romances.

Maggie Robinson also writes under the name Margaret Rowe. Margaret is an RT Reviewers Choice nominee in the best erotic fiction category for Any Wicked Thing and will be going to the RT convention in Chicago in April.

Maggie's Master of Sin comes out March 27, 2012 and hope's to be signing both books. Margaret has a short story in Agony/Ecstasy that releases this month.

Places to find Maggie/Margaret

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sealed With a Kiss: Vicky Dreiling and Giveaway

Vicky Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the UK allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places. She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her “Trouble.” When she’s not writing, Vicky enjoys reading, films, concerts, and most of all, long lunches with friends. A native Texan, she holds degrees in English literature and marketing.

Places to find Vicky:

Man Candy Monday-Hawt Cuisine

Hey All! Another week has gone by and once again it's Manday! This weeks Man Candy Monday theme is Hawt Cuisine. I tried to find pictures of either hot chefs, people eating or pictures that have some kind of food item in them. This was not easy to find. I hope you guys like the pictures I found. Let me know. 

Blog Tour Giveaway: Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore


Please note that this giveaway is open to US residents only.

Check out my review for Secrets of an Accidental Duchess here

With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess...

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn't resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he'd fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.

Places to Purchase:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

ARC Review: Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore

I just finished Secrets of an Accidental Duchess and I'm just all over the place. I'm feeling so many different emotions now that I've finished this book. I really enjoyed this book but there were a few times I had to put this book down because it became a little rough to get through. It wasn't bad at all but this book was definitely not a light read. In fact, the villain of this story is so heinous and brutal and some of his actions made me shudder. Besides my hatred of the villain, I really enjoyed the story and all of the characters that are in it.

Let me just start off by saying that I love Max. I love Max so freaking much! Watching him and Olivia both fall in love with each other was great to watch. Their interactions with each other and just the way they both opened up to one another was great. There really weren't any games between them and I liked that. I liked that they both fell and fell hard.

I'll admit that the first couple of chapters kind of dragged for me a bit, but once Olivia and Max started interacting with each other the story just picked up and I found myself unable to stop reading. I loved getting to know who both Olivia and Max were. The type of people they were inside and out. Both are caring and so full of love. I was worried that I might not like Olivia based off of reading the back of the book. I'm not the biggest fan of heroines that always need saving and are helpless. That wasn't the case at all with Olivia. Everyone may try to baby her and shelter her but she definitely doesn't need it. She is strong and if given the chance, independent. She is also selfless. She willingly put others first to save them even if it costs her so much more. She doesn't back down when times get hard and I loved that about her.

With Max, in the beginning he's portrayed as a womanizing rake that doesn't have a care in the world and could care less about another feelings. That was not the case at all. Max is so caring and considerate. He fights for what he believes in and the ones he loves and cares about. He is truly good even though it takes him a while to realize it.

As I said before, I really enjoyed this story. I loved meeting the rest of the Donovans and I am eagerly awaiting the next book from Jennifer Haymore. I can't wait to see how things end up for the rest of the Donovans. I also will be checking out the first book in this series, Confessions of an Improper Bride. I loved seeing the little tidbits of Serena/Meg and her husband and I am very curious about their book.

**ARC copy provided by NetGalley/Forever Romance Publishing**

RATING:

Sealed With a Kiss: Elise Rome and Giveaway

Elise Rome has never forgiven Margaret Mitchell for making her fall in love with Scarlett and Rhett in Gone with the Wind and then not giving them a happy ending. She likes to think that she makes up for the injustice done to them with each romance novel she writes. When she isn't telling stories about sexy, headstrong heroes and intelligent, independent heroines, Elise stays busy chasing after her two young daughters, semi-attempting to do housework, and hiking in the beautiful foothills of Colorado.

Places to find Elise: