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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Weekly Winners

Below is a list of all of the winners from the past week.

The Juliette Society by Sasha Grey

Charm Bracelet from Tracy March

Taste the Heat + Magnet from Rachel Harris

Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen

Covet by JR Ward

Set of Earrings from Emma Jane Holloway

RFTC Monthly Giveaway

All winners have been notified via email. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and entered. =)

ARC Review: Catching Liam by Gennifer Albin

First let me tell you that I loved this book! I loved all of it! The characters were great, the story was deep and emotional while also being funny and light-hearted. This book is one of those books that I know I will want to go back and re-read because it will be on my mind for quite awhile! This book had a little bit of everything that I look for in a great romance read and I cannot wait to read more from Sophia Bleu, especially the rest of the books in this series.

Jillian is a college student who doesn't do relationships. Her motto is catch and release. Her friends even have a designated night that they go out to their favorite local bar to "catch" a guy. But after her friends both start dating, Jillian is left as the single girl of the group. Her friends think its about time for her to find someone, but Jillian is not having any of it. One morning she wakes up to her latest catch Liam making her waffles. Though she tries her hardest, he will not be rushed out her door. She finally gets him to leave, only to discover him in one of her classes. Not only do they have to see each other in class, but they will be semester long partners. Liam isn't content with just one night in Jillian's bed and begins trying to break down the wall she has tried to put up. It isn't long before Liam and Jillian are spending time together outside of class and feelings start to develop beyond the attraction that they have always felt to each other. But Jillian has a secret that she is keeping and Liam is on a temporary school visa and will be returning to Scotland after the school year. As their feelings grow and things become more serious, they begin to wonder how things will work out with all the obstacles standing in their way.

I absolutely loved Liam. He was amazing. Sweet and caring, and willing to fight for Jillian. He really enjoyed taking care of Jillian anyway that he could from cooking her waffles to taking care of her when she was sick. He is absolutely one of those genuinely nice guys that you always root for to get the girl! Jillian was funny and complex. She starts off as someone who refuses to almost deal with her condition and that makes her seem a little cold and detached. But as her and Liam start seeing each other he helps her to really start to accept her life and move forward without thinking that she is broken. Liam was absolutely perfect for Jillian and he was so patient with her even without knowing why she was acting and doing the things that she was. Not only did Liam and Jillian have great sexual chemistry and generate a ton of steam, but they also had a great connection. Their relationship definitely wasn't the easiest and there were many times that either one of them could have given up. But their connection was so strong that they were really about to become a better couple and have a deeper relationship than most could ever hope for.

Overall this book was one of my favorite reads in quite awhile. It was very emotional and unique in that it was unlike anything else I have read. We go through most of the book not knowing exactly what is going on with Jillian. There are clues to what she is dealing with, but until the last half of the book it isn't spelled out. I think that because of what she was dealing with and seeing how much she feared it and tried to protect herself, the reader really was able to connect with her more. Liam and Jillian were so realistic to me. At times they would have my heart breaking for them and at other points they would put the biggest smile on my face. It was impossible not to fall in love with them. I could have read so much more about them after this book ended because I just wasn't ready for their story to be finished. I am really hoping that we get to see more of them in the future! I really want to see how they move forward in their relationship after the next semester is over. But I am also very excited to read Teaching Roman which is the story of Jess (Jillian's friend) and Roman who is Liam and Jillian's professor in Catching Liam. I think that fans of romance who are looking for a story that has depth and emotions as well as steamy scenes and likable characters will love this story. For me, this is absolutely a must read.

**ARC provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle |

Feature and Giveaway: Divine Temptation by Nicki Elson

Maggie Brock has everything under control. Even her divorce, though painful at the time, only registers as a minor blip in her carefully constructed universe. Life in Prairie Oaks has once again returned to a smooth, predictable pace…until an angel shows up in her bedroom.

The angel is just as bewildered as Maggie about why he’s been sent to her, but their unsuccessful efforts to gain understanding of the mystery fade to the background as their relationship grows. Soon, Maggie’s biggest problem becomes the angel himself, as her feelings for him develop into something less than saintly.

While Maggie struggles to keep her desires pure, a nefarious being lurks in the shadows of Prairie Oaks, watching and waiting for the opportunity to fulfill his ambiguous purpose. Preying on her conflicted emotions, the demon manipulates her at every opportunity, but the one to deliver Maggie directly into his hands is the last person she’d expect.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble |

Guest Review: Masters of the Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair

First of all Master of Shadowlands is now two books into one. When Cherise Sinclair first releases them they were separated which was called: Club Shadowland and Dark Citadel. Now Masters of Shadowlands is the first book of the series. There are so far six books in the series, which is called Masters of the Shadowlands.

The first book called Club Shadowland is a slow love story that starts out and keeps going through out the series, while reading about other masters and their subs. The first person that comes up into the story is Jessica, she has no clue what she is getting herself into when she knocks on the door. It turns out to being a private BDSM club, which Master Z is the owner and lives on the top floor. Jessica is accountant and Master Z is child psychologist. Master Z is known to read people minds. Jessica is shock what is going on in there but also interested. It is like when a kid first time goes into the candy store surprise to see everything. Jessica meets another Master, which is Cullen; he runs the bar for Master Z. While Jessica is there she does get into trouble and Master Z has to punish her. The story between Master Z and Jessica is short in this first book but Cherise keeps on talking about them in the other books. Their love for each other keeps on growing and her interested in BDSM keeps on growing through each and every book. Need to keep in mind while reading this series that she talk about whips, chains, floggers, handcuffs, and other stuff that goes along with BDSM, so it could be a hard read if someone is not use to it. Club Shadowlands is a slow start into the BDSM world, which not too many people talk about and if they do they keep it private to themselves. Cherise gives the readers a small taste of BDSM, and then it is up to you the reader to keep going on in the series if want to read more.

Dark Citadel is about Master Dan and Kari. Kari is a school teacher and Master Dan is a cop. Kari comes in with another guy named Brian or Buck to the club during Beginner's Night. Beginner night is for three nights, which each night one of the Masters teaches and shows them more about BDSM. Kari does not feel comfortable with Buck so she wants to leave but Master Z stops her and talks to her. That is when Master Z asks Master Dan to be with her on the first night. Master Dan is not looking for love because of the lost of his wife and he has a clip on his shoulder. As the first night goes on Master Dan starts to fall for Kari but he is scary because of what happen to his wife and he does not know if Kari is the right one. Master Dan tells Kari he is only with someone for one night only, which makes Kari, upset when she is leaving. When Kari returns for the second and three nights she does ends up with Master Dan again. It is another love story with different kind of kinks and twist dealing with BDSM. The chain of events that happens to get Master Dan to finally realize how much he cares and loves Kari is interesting. No Master in Shadowlands is the same, they show and deal with there feelings different which the reader will see in this story line compare to Master Z and Jessica. The story is like a roller coaster with emotions that keeps you reading and makes you want to see what happens. Dark Citadel is a longer story compare to the first one club Shadowlands. During this story Cherise put more emotions and feelings into this one compare to the first one. There was more of a story line and more details, which keep it going better. With this story the author seem more comfortable talking and giving more details about BDSM.

Both of these stories keeps the person want to keep reading on in the series to learn more about the other Masters, the subs and other people that are in the club. These are stories that get you away from the normal romance books. It opens up your mind to something totally different then you as a person would not think about doing. Readers need to remember that these stories are not real. So trying anything that is done in these books need to be read about in more details so no on get hurt. Go on and read the series because it is a good read that will leave you thinking and wanting more.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Friday, October 4, 2013

ARC Review: Forever Innocent by Deanna Roy

I really liked this book. This story is not a light read, and it deals with loss, heart-break, and guilt. But despite all of that, this book is a beautiful story about true love always finding a way and how two people who are meant to be together finding each other even when it seems impossible. Deanna Roy is a new to me author, and I didn't really know what to expect from her. But after reading Forever Innocent, I will definitely be keeping an eye on her in the future.

Corabelle and Gavin have known each other since they were kids. They have been everything to each other since they were old enough to move beyond just friendship. Despite being on the birth control shot, Corabelle gets pregnant. Even though things are moving faster than they planned, Gavin and Corabelle always knew they would get married and have a family. But after only seven days of being alive, their baby Finn dies. Gavin runs away in the middle of the funeral, leaving Corabelle reeling and trying to figure out why he would just up and go without her. After realizing that he is not coming back, Corabelle begins to move forward with her life. Four years later she is switching schools to attend the school that her and Gavin had always dreamed of attending, not realizing that he is also attending the same school. They run into each other in one of their classes and despite the four years apart, they are still very much attracted to each other and the connection is still there. They try to avoid each other, but it seems as though fate has other plans. The more they are thrown together, the more everything resurfaces and they begin to wonder if maybe this is what is supposed to be happening. But both of them have secrets that they have kept from the other, and even though they seem to be picking the pieces of their relationship back up, everything can change once the truth comes out.

I really liked both Gavin and Corabelle. I thought that they both handled things poorly when things got tough, and they both seemed to make some bad decisions. But when you consider their age and the things that they had suffered through, I really think that is how a lot of people would react. Corabelle was brave and strong despite having moments of weakness. She seemed to be able to do what she had to even though she was alone and dealing with her grief. Gavin was sweet and caring, despite handling things wrong when everything fell apart. He was determined to win Corabelle back doing anything that it took, and he did something so unique and special for her that it absolutely pulled every single last one of my heart strings! Corabelle and Gavin are so perfect for each other and they are truly meant to be together. Things haven't been easy on them, but the fact that they keep being drawn together shows just how much they are supposed to work things out. I really enjoyed watching them get reacquainted and begin to start healing together. Not only were they really sweet together, but they were also extremely hot! These two had so much chemistry and the sex was exciting and steamy.

I didn't know that this story was going to be part of a series when I started, so the ending took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting that there was going to be another story, and I was disappointed not to get the rest of the story right then! If I have any complaints about this book, that would pretty much be it. I am excited to read the next book in this series, Forever Loved, and I can't wait to see these two continue to heal and make their future together. Overall, this story is well written and deep. The flashbacks and different POVs really allow the reader to connect with these characters and understand as much as is possible what they were going through. This book is emotional and beautiful, and should definitely be read with a box of tissues close by. I would recommend this story to anyone who is looking for a true love story that isn't just a fairy-tale with an easy happily ever after. This story is real and believable with the hero and heroine experiencing many ups and downs that life sometimes throws in the way, and is about how they have to sort of battle their way back. I am hoping that Forever Loved comes out soon, because I fell in love with these characters and I really need to know what happens to Corabelle and Gavin.

**ARC provided by Xpresso Book Tours**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble |

Feature and Giveaway: Forever Innocent by Deanna Roy

“Our baby died on prom night, and nothing was ever the same again.”

Corabelle doesn’t feel like any of the other college girls. On what should have been one of the happiest nights of her life, she and her boyfriend Gavin watched a nurse disconnect the ventilator from their seven-day-old baby. During the funeral two days later, Gavin walked out and never returned.

Since then, her life has been a spiral of disasters. The only thing that has helped is her ability to black out whenever the pain gets too hard to bear, a habit that has become an addiction.

When Gavin shows up in her astronomy class four years later, he is hell-bent on getting her back, insisting she forgive him. Corabelle knows she can’t resist the touch that fills the empty ache that has haunted her since he left. But if he learns what she has done, if he follows the trail back through her past, her secrets will destroy their love completely. And once again, she’ll lose the only person who always believed she was innocent.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble |

Guest Post with Author Christine Wenrick and Giveaway

Meet Christine Wenrick, author of Someone Else’s Skye.

Christine is a graduate of Washington State University where she received a BA in Interior Design. And true to form of using mostly her ‘right brain’, she splits her time between her commercial design career and her imaginary world of writing. She lives in the scenic Pacific Northwest where she enjoys hiking, camping and photographing many of the wonderful places that served as inspiration for her Charmed Trilogy. Her biggest reward in life is any given day when one of her books connects with a reader because she herself is such a lover of reading. Some of her favorite authors include Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Kimberly Derting.

Places to find Christine:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

ARC Review: The Reluctant Bride by Beverley Eikli

It was a struggle for me to decide how to rate The Reluctant Bride. I felt that there were both strong pluses and strong minuses. Weighing both sides, I arrived at 3 stars. I loved the beginning of the book. The hero and heroine were placed in a difficult situation and I was totally intrigued to see how things would work out. But in the second half of the book the story became very complicated and the flow of the book became bogged down. Author Beverly Eikli paints very descriptive pictures with words, but she allows the hero and heroine to do a lot of ruminating. Too much thinking and too little action. When the action did occur it seemed weighted down by an overabundance of words. In spite of these difficulties, I truly enjoyed the book.

Angus McCartney is a military man with a sad past. Emily Micklen is beautiful, happy bride-to-be. When Emily’s fiancé, Jack, is killed Angus brings the news to Emily. Several months later he decides to check on her (because he is very attracted to her and feels somewhat responsible for Jack’s death). He discovers that she is pregnant and offers to marry her. Emily agrees because she feels that she doesn’t have any other choice, but she is resentful of the situation. Will she be able to put aside her love for Jack and accept her new husband? The later parts of the book involve Angus’s espionage work against Napoleon and a connection to Emily that no one knew existed.

You have to love a hero like Angus McCartney. He was a deep-down good guy, loyal, giving, and reliable. Emily was extremely ungracious and pouty throughout the first half of the book. At times it was hard to imagine why Angus loved her. Oh, I do understand why he was attracted to her, but love needs some positive back-and-forth to survive. He would have been justified in giving up on her during their early weeks together. Emily had a long road to learn to love her husband and then to convince him that her feelings were real. She gradually became more likeable, but it was a slow trip. The espionage story was fairly complex and slowed down the flow of the book, in my opinion. There were some steamy scenes, but they didn’t fill me with a rush of emotion or excitement. I was never deeply engaged with the characters. Some of Emily’s actions at the end did not seem well thought out and there were some gigantic coincidences that were hard to believe. Still, I enjoyed the book and do not regret reading it.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Guest Post with Author Ellie Macdonald and Giveaway

Meet Ellie Macdonald, author of The Governess Club series.

Ellie Macdonald has held several jobs beginning with the letter t: taxi-driver, telemarketer and most recently, teacher. She is thankful her interests have shifted to writing instead of taxidermy or tornado chasing. Having travelled to five different continents, she has swum with elephants, scuba dived coral mazes, visited a leper colony and climbed waterfalls and windmills, but her favorite place remains Regency England. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada. The Governess Club series is her first published work.

Places to find Ellie:
| Site | Facebook | Twitter

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ARC Review: Deep Rising by N.R. Rhodes

I have a weakness for disaster movies. The more outlandish and improbable, the better, which may seem incongruous since I have an advanced science degree. But the surest way to get me into a movie theater is to say the word “cataclysmic”! So when a story about terrorists using a volcanologist’s research to trigger mega-tsunamis and wreak havoc crossed my desk, I couldn’t say no. Former-science-teacher-and-literary-agent-turned-debut-author N.R. Rhodes, you had me at “mega-tsunami”. Several days after finishing DEEP RISING, which kicks off Ms. Rhodes’s Outside the Lines series of romantic suspense novels featuring a team of elite CIA & military operatives, I’m still figuring out how to best articulate my opinion of it. There were parts that worked for me and parts that didn't, but overall I found it an action-packed, solid debut effort with an unusual premise that had science at the forefront without being distractingly technical—but a couple of issues kept it from being something I simply could not put down.

The book starts off with a bang—after a prologue illustrating the devastation of a tsunami on Capri, we are introduced to heroine Svetlana (Lana) Orskya, volcanologist extraordinaire, dangling from a frayed rope in a crater in Guatemala. A scientist through and through, nearly falling into a pit of lava is no excuse not to get the sulfur dioxide reading she was going for—which made her totally kickass and woman after my own heart! [Being a female scientist myself, I have a soft spot for highly intelligent, but not stereotypically nerdy, romance heroines]. Her doctoral dissertation was a study of regions of seismic instability where activity could trigger mega-tsunamis that would obliterate any number of major cities… a series of doomsday scenarios that terrorists seem to be making a reality, making her the government’s #1 suspect/enabler. Enter jaded CIA operative Jared Caldwell, a government-sanctioned hit man with counterintelligence & explosives expertise who just wants out so he can help his mother raise his late sister’s kids. Read that again: a man who wants to trade the shadowy spy life and ending lives to keep his country safe for raising his nieces and nephews and helping his mum out on the family ranch. Inevitable romance hero physical hotness aside, that’s solid book boyfriend material right there.

Jared is tasked with determining whether Lana is in league with the terrorists or an innocent victim, something made much more complicated by the immediate and scorching attraction he feels for her. Talk about emotional conflict: trying to do your job and preserve national security (which may entail neutralizing your target) whilst being consumed by increasingly carnal thoughts about someone who could be a terrorist! I thought Ms. Rhodes did a great job portraying that conflict and keeping the emotional tension taut, but thought she made Jared blow a bit too hot and cold for my tastes. The way he was all tender and solicitous one second and all hardass-operative-who-could-kill-you-with-a-paperclip the next was a bit jarring, and some of the tests he put Lana through in the name of the job made him a bit of a wanker. But he’s really a good man and a true hero who does what’s necessary to keep the world safe—even if it eats at him sometimes—and has a protective streak a mile wide, so I can forgive his asshattery.

Lana I had more mixed feelings about. At the beginning, I found her to be strong and capable and kickass (and in possession of some fabulous snark). But when Jared takes her along on his quest to neutralize the terrorists, it’s like she misplaces her spine until the final showdown(s). Yeah, she can still be kickass, but it’s tempered by many moments of clinginess—which isn’t surprising given that she’s thrown into a completely foreign world of espionage and mayhem and makes her more realistic, but it still made me want to occasionally tell her to grow a pair. Overall, however, both Jared and Lana were great characters, and I enjoyed their fabulous banter and developing relationship.

There were a couple of things that didn’t quite work for me. The first is that the plot was a bit too dense, with too much going on at times. Non-stop action that keeps a reader turning the pages is a great thing for romantic suspense, but DEEP RISING went just a hair overboard. A deranged terrorist hell-bent on revenge, weapons trafficking, a high-level government leak, assassins, emotional conflict, hot sexytimes, and more all seem to happen at the same time, which made me feel like I had to put the book down every so often to process what was happening. I suspect that this will be less of an issue as Ms. Rhodes’s voice develops, but it did detract from my enjoyment this time around. The second is that the story felt somewhat fractured, as if it had two parts. Initially, the focus is very much on the who and where of triggering the manmade mega-tsunami. As I read and saw this resolving (and the relationship cementing) without having reached the halfway point (page-wise) of the book, I wondered what was in store for the next ~200 pages. The answer is a bit of a lull for Lana and Jared to explore their relationship before diving into more intrigue and drama. While the second half of the book eventually proved equally action-packed, I wasn’t a big fan of those long moments of wondering how the book could go on for another 200 pages. The final thing is that, while I enjoyed Ms. Rhodes’s writing style and voice and appreciated the lack of errors in the ARC, I found that there was a bit more telling than showing. This is a common pitfall of romantic suspense and romantic thrillers where the action and romance get near-equal billing, but I think that this too will be less of an issue as Ms. Rhodes matures as an author.

Overall, DEEP RISING was an enjoyable read with an intriguing premise and a memorable cast of characters. I think the series has a lot of potential, and being the series ‘ho that I am, I look forward to reading more Outside the Lines books (especially if they continue with the cataclysmic world-ending plotlines!) and watching Ms. Rhodes grow and develop as an author.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Feature and Giveaway: Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage by Valerie Bowman

Is happily ever after…a rumor?


A duchess awaiting trial for her vile husband’s murder is the most delicious gossip the ton has heard in years. But for Kate Townsende, the woman in question, it could be a matter of life and death. And when a shrewd and handsome nobleman offers to publish her side of the story while arranging for a barrister to take her case, she’s tempted by much more than the chance to defend herself…


James Bancroft, Viscount Medford, tells himself he’s only interested in a best-selling pamphlet, but Kate’s stubborn determination is captivating. Could the accused widow be telling the truth? At first, James isn’t sure of anything but his growing desire for her—but before long he’s willing to risk much more than his reputation to make the infamous beauty his wife…

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Guest Post with Author Laurelin Paige and Giveaway

Meet Laurelin Paige, author of Found In You.

Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Mad Men and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine. She is represented by Bob Diforio of D4EO Literary Agency.

Places to find Laurelin:
| Site | Facebook | Twitter

Feature and Giveaway: Dragon Rising by Jaime Rush

Welcome to the DRAGON RISING blog blitz! I’m so excited for the release of the second novella in my brand new paranormal romance series, out from Forever Romance.

The Hidden is a series about humans with the essence of sorcerer gods, dragon gods, or fallen angels who walk the knife's edge between Miami and a hidden world of magic, passion, and danger.

I thought it would be fun to kick off the series with two intertwining novellas that feature twins. Each novella tackles one aspect of the story’s mystery while bringing in and wrapping up a romance. It was a great introduction for me, because I learned about my world while writing these stories. My twins are Dragonshifters, and I threw both of them together with a lover of a different type just to make things interesting.

DRAGON MINE kicked off the series with Kirin’s story as he joins forces with the one woman he’s loved—and the one who hates him. And while he sorts through one aspect of the mystery, his sister Lira chases a completely different lead … to a cool, aloof descendent of fallen angels who wants nothing to do with a fiery, passionate Dragon. But Archer also has something at stake in solving the mystery of her missing father, and he must reluctantly join forces with the woman who threatens to shatter his composure, expose his secrets—and capture his heart.

If you haven’t been introduced to the Hidden yet, I hope you’ll sign up to win digital copies of DRAGON MINE and DRAGON RISING. And if you aren’t one of the lucky winners, don’t worry! Both e-novellas are available for the low price of $1.99 each and are perfect for devouring together. Then look for back-to-back releases of the full-length novels that further delve into the Hidden—the danger, the passion, and the magic! [Available in both mass market and digital]

Jaime Rush

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Feature and Giveaway: Facade by Nyrae Dawn

No one knows who twenty-one year-old Adrian Westfall is behind his façade. After what he's done, he deserves to live alone with his pain, even if he'd do anything to forget. Anything for a moment of quiet without his past haunting him.

Eighteen year-old Delaney Cross wants nothing more than to absolve her family from her father's sins. To keep her suicidal mom off that ledge, and help her brother Maddox get the light back in his eyes. She thinks their road to freedom is through Adrian.

Adrian and Delaney are bound together by tragedy... Only Adrian doesn't know it. As their lives intertwine, they find a solace in each other they never knew existed. Laney knows she needs to tell him-to come out from behind her smoke screen, but to say the words could mean losing him.

Two people. Two disguises. True love. Will it be enough to save them when all secrets are bared?

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Monthly Giveaway - October

Want to win some books and swag?

Each month here at Ramblings From This Chick a new prize pack will be up for grabs for one lucky winner. Here's a peek at this months prize.

Since September's giveaway was so popular I thought I would feature it again. =)

1 lucky person will win a box of books and swag!

Monday, September 30, 2013

ARC Review: Dangerous Desire by Annie Seaton

I’m a romantic suspense ‘ho and I’m foreign, so romantic suspense + exotic foreign setting (in this case, Australia’s Coral Sea) = winning setup. DANGEROUS DESIRE was my first read by Aussie author Annie Seaton, and it won’t be my last: it’s a thoroughly enjoyable, fast-paced read that mixes the right amount of danger & deceit and smouldering romance to keep you guessing and reaching for a fan.

Schoolteacher-from-the-Outback Gracie James finds herself in the yachting capital of the Great Barrier Reef looking for her missing sister, who was last seen working aboard the Midas, the luxury yacht-slash-hedonistic-playground of a dodgy Brazilian businessman. Forcibly medically-retired former Queensland Police officer Jake Alexander is keeping an eye on the Midas for a (purported) insurance surveillance assignment, getting a nightly eyeful of the sexual exploits on board that only fuel his frustrated libido. When Gracie stumbles onto Jake’s boat dressed to kill in an attempt to get onboard the Midas and find her sister (and nearly blows the cover on his surreptitious surveillance), the two of them form for an uneasy alliance to figure out what’s going on—whilst trying to outmanoeuvre the bad guys and keep their hands off each other. The plot is not incredibly original (there are only so many permutations of criminals, hot blokes with guns, and women getting themselves into potentially deadly situations, after all!), but Ms. Seaton does a great job keeping the tension taut and the sense of danger palpable without going overboard into ridiculously unrealistic territory. And when you think you’ve sorted out the half-truths everyone is telling and have figured out what’s going on, she throws a nice twist at the end to keep you on your toes [albeit, admittedly, I foresaw it… but I read a LOT of romantic suspense]. The story is fairly short, which is usually a drawback for me, but Ms. Seaton does a great job with the length and delivers a complete story that never drags (there’s no time for it with so much going on!) but that doesn’t feel rushed. And I thoroughly enjoyed the lush, tropical setting—I could practically feel the oppressive humidity and the volatility of the weather.

I have to say that my favourite part of the novel was Jake. I absolutely loved him as a hero—he’s a little wounded, a lot frustrated with the injury that destroyed not only his police career but also his sense of self, and plenty sexy. The best part is that, while he’s undeniably strong and alpha and has a protective streak a mile wide, he’s not overbearing. He wants to keep Gracie from harm, but once he realises she’s Hell-bent on doing things her way and getting on board the Midas to see about her sister with her own eyes, he works hard at keeping her safe rather than stopping her. Because there really is no derailing Gracie from her set course. Though she initially comes across as vulnerable and naïve, she can be quite willful and reckless in her single-minded determination to find her sister, and she’s quite distrustful of Jake. There were times I wanted to smack her upside the head for putting herself (and by extension, Jake) in unnecessary danger, and for continuously wondering if Jake was in on the criminal activity despite giving her absolutely no reason to think so. Other than the gorgeous house no former cop should be able to afford. Seriously, hot, rich (with a house in the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef!), AND alpha but not autocratic? Jake can be my book boyfriend any day. There’s also great sexual tension between Gracie and poor Jake, who has nowhere to put all the pent-up sexual frustration accrued from watching the sexcapades on the Midas whilst by his lonesome. All that tension and scorching attraction makes for some fun dialogue and hot love scenes when it’s finally decanted, and Ms. Seaton does a great job balancing the action/suspense and the romance/sexytimes. And the epilogue is the cutest thing ever.

So far, I’m really enjoying Entangled’s Ignite imprint of category-length romantic suspense. If you like your romantic suspense fast-paced and weighted toward the romance and want a great read set in an exotic-but-not-remote location, definitely give DANGEROUS DESIRE a try. I really look forward to seeing what else Annie Seaton puts out in this genre, and how she can fine-tune her already-excellent romantic suspense voice.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |

Feature and Giveaway: Revealing Us by Lisa Renee Jones

The third and final installment in the sexy Inside Out erotic romance trilogy—in the seductive tradition of Fifty Shades of Grey.

You’ve discovered Rebecca’s secrets. You’ve discovered Sara’s secrets. Now Sara will discover “his” deepest, darkest secrets…but will those secrets bind them together—or tear them apart?

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble |

Guest Post with Author Laura Simcox and Giveaway

Meet Laura Simcox, author of Ivy Entwined.

After spending twenty years in professional theater as a costume designer, with a few of those years also spent as a college instructor, Laura abandoned the nomadic lifestyle to sit in a comfy pleather office chair at a beat up ginormous second hand oak desk and write. The result? Romance novels! Her favorite thing ever since she was, oh, about twelve. She writes contemporary, light novels and enjoys creating quirky characters and funny dialogue. Still, the love story is the focus and Laura has a huge soft spot for a sappy, happy ending. She lives in North Carolina with her husband (true love is real!) and her adorable, high energy four year old son who is currently obsessed with pirates. When not playing mamma pirate, she loves hearing from readers.

Places to find Laura:
| Site | Facebook | Twitter

Guest Post with Author Laura Simcox and Giveaway

Meet Laura Simcox, author of Ivy Entwined.

After spending twenty years in professional theater as a costume designer, with a few of those years also spent as a college instructor, Laura abandoned the nomadic lifestyle to sit in a comfy pleather office chair at a beat up ginormous second hand oak desk and write. The result? Romance novels! Her favorite thing ever since she was, oh, about twelve. She writes contemporary, light novels and enjoys creating quirky characters and funny dialogue. Still, the love story is the focus and Laura has a huge soft spot for a sappy, happy ending. She lives in North Carolina with her husband (true love is real!) and her adorable, high energy four year old son who is currently obsessed with pirates. When not playing mamma pirate, she loves hearing from readers.

Places to find Laura:
| Site | Facebook | Twitter

Feature and Giveaway: By Proxy by Kate Regnery

When city and country come together for a Christmastime wedding in Montana, the unexpected gift is true love.


Stubbornly small-town Jenny Lindstrom has misgivings when she promises to stand proxy in her best friend’s wedding—misgivings that are fulfilled when tall, handsome Sam Kelley walks into the courthouse an hour late. In order to keep her promise, an afternoon favor turns into a weekend of startling but undeniable attraction, threatening the well-ordered world that keeps her heart at arm’s length from any more pain.

Sam’s plan is to fly to Livingston, Montana, take vows for his favorite cousin, and return to Chicago as quickly as possible. But his plan is turned upside-down when he must spend a weekend with Jenny in Gardiner to keep his word. He doesn’t want to fall for the prim, proper schoolteacher whose small-town life seems to him like selling out, but the more time he spends with her, the harder it is to say good-bye.

When city and country come together for Christmas, the unexpected gift is true love.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Smashwords |

Sunday, September 29, 2013

ARC Review: Tempting Bella by Diana Quincy

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Tempting Bella. Having not read Diana Quincy’s previous book in the Accidental Peers series (Seducing Charlotte), I was not sure what to expect. Quincy uses two romance tropes – the arranged marriage and big misunderstandings – but the whole story is so well done that we don’t mind if we’ve seen these themes before. I read through the book very quickly -- a sure sign that I was engaged in the story. Regency readers will not want to miss this one. There is enough steam to bring the story along and the hero is a 100% true blue good guy. Yum.

When Sebastian Stanhope is nineteen years old he is compelled to marry the plain thirteen-year-old daughter of a duke, Mirabella. Bella is in a unique position of being able to inherit her father’s wealth, but the wealth will be under the management of her husband. Both young people are encouraged to see the benefits of the situation. They separate after the wedding and live apart for six years. During that time Sebastian works hard at building the duke’s finances. He decides to let Bella have her freedom before they settle into the marriage. Bella spends the time traveling with her eccentric friends, feeling that her husband has abandoned her. Sebastian sees a beautiful woman at the opera and questions his vow to remain faithful to his wife. Bella is also attracted to the handsome man at the opera. He is thrilled to discover that the woman is actually his wife and begins to pursue her. When Bella finds out that Sebastian is her husband and he knew it, she feels betrayed. She also cannot dismiss the idea that he is just after her money. Sebastian and Bella are put through their paces as they work to overcome their pasts.

The characters really make Tempting Bella work. Sebastian is a genuine beta hero (I don’t think there are enough of them). He is almost too good to be true. But since this is fiction we are happy to believe in him. Bella is prickly to say the least, but we are given a lot of background that explains this. I am surprised that Sebastian didn’t get totally exasperated with her, but, remember, he is a GOOD guy. The secondary characters were interesting. Yes, some of them are not who they appear to be. There is a couple of bits of mystery and there is another relationship in the mix. Quincy’s writing is strong, especially in characterization. Overall, Tempting Bella was a very good read and a solid 4 star book.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Guest Post with Anne Barton and Giveaway

Meet Anne Barton, author of To All The Rakes I've Loved Before.

Anne lives in Maryland with her husband and three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen. Her weaknesses are reality TV, cute-but-impractical shoes, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

Places to find Anne:

Feature and Giveaway: Maggie's Man by Lisa Gardner

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Catch Me and The Perfect Husband...

Three siblings searching for the truth about their family are about to find more than they bargained for.

When shy and reserved Maggie Ferringer was called for jury duty, she never expected to be kidnapped by an escaped convict. But when Cain Cannon, disguised as a prison guard, pulls a gun, she has no choice but to be taken hostage. Cain claims that he’s innocent of killing his girlfriend six years ago and now he wants revenge on the people who put him behind bars.

Soon, Maggie becomes more than just a hostage to Cain. As they slowly begin to share the secrets of their respective pasts, Maggie discovers that she wants to fight for Cain’s freedom—because he just might be the kind of man she could love.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |