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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Weekly Winners

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

Linda
Enchanted Warrior by Sharon Ashwood

Georgine
Her Forever Hero by Melody Anne

Kristina
What You Crave & What You Need by Landra Graf

Erin
Sheryl
Mary
June A.
Kristina
Denise
Bonny
Jo's Daughter
Sue
Kim
Lessons in Gravity by Jessica Peterson


All winners have been notified via email and are posted on the Rafflecopter form from that giveaway post. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and entered. =)

ARC Review: Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy


Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy is the continuing story of Wes and Jamie. While each book can be read as a standalone, I would highly recommend reading in order since they are about the same characters. I didn't think it was possible for me to love these guys more than I already did, but Sarina and Elle proved me wrong, and I couldn't put this book down! 

Us picks up where we left off with Him, Ryan Wesley has been drafted to the NHL and Jamie Canning took a job as a coach. They are living together and happy, but they are hiding their relationship. Though Wes is scared to come out and have it affect his rookie season, Jamie grows tired of keeping their relationship a secret. The one place that they have though is the apartment they share, and within it's walls there is nothing but the two of them. That is until Ryan's teammate moves in upstairs, and soon their safe haven is anything but. Can Wes and Jamie figure out a way to make it all work, or will their relationship be torn apart by everything that stands in their way? 

I absolutely adore both Jamie and Wes! These were the same characters we have come to know and love, and yet this book had such a different feel to it. Him was lighthearted and fun, while Us is definitely more of an emotional read. Jamie was dealing with his job not being exactly what he had hoped for and the stress of not being able to have their relationship be out. Wes was dealing with the stress of making sure that his sexual orientation wasn't found out so that it didn't affect his career and season. While the love and feelings were never in question here, there was a lot more going on than in the first book. Don't get me wrong with these two guys and Sarina and Elle writing, there were definitely funny times here too. But this story was so much more, and I loved getting to see these guys as they grew and healed both together and as individuals. 

This book was not always easy, and the journey for these two had me feeling so many emotions. But I knew that these guys were meant for one another, and the connection they had was so rare and special that they had to find a way to make things work. I absolutely love these characters, and I really hope that we get a story for Blake after reading this book! He was one of my favorites from this book and I would love to have him get his own book! Sarina and Elle are fantastic writers and I can't get enough of their books! Him and Us are some of my all-time favorites, and I really hope that they never stop writing both as individuals and together! If you haven't read Him or Us, I highly recommend reading these books! If you are already a fan of Him, Us is a must read!

**ARC Provided by Bocci PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | 





Interview with Author Kendra Leigh Castle and Giveaway


Kendra Leigh Castle is a RITA award-nominated, multi-published author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Raised in the far and frozen reaches of Northern New York, where her love of curling up with a blanket and a good book came early, she penned her debut novel as a Navy wife living in the Nevada desert. Since then, she has managed to continue working in her pajamas while moving around the country. Kendra currently makes her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband, three children, and a menagerie of pets. She drinks too much coffee, stays up too late, and loves to hear from her readers, who make this crazy job worthwhile.

Feature and Giveaway: I Kissed a Rogue by Shana Galen


Once she spurned the man…

When the Duke of Lennox hires Sir Brook Derring, England’s best investigator, to find his daughter, Brook intends only to rescue the lady and return to his solitary life. He deals with London’s roughest criminals every day of the week; surely he should be able to endure seeing his first love again—the perfect girl who broke his heart...

Now her life depends on him

Lady Lillian-Anne Lennox has always done her best to live up to her father’s standards of perfection—at the cost of following her heart. When she’s kidnapped and her perfect life is shattered, Lila has another chance. Together, Lila and Brook navigate not only the dark and deadly side of London, but the chasm of pride and prejudice that divides them.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Alone in the Dark by Karen Rose


This book had so much potential....ok, that is not an accurate statement. One of the 5 or so books within this book had a lot of potential but it got lost among all of the other subplots or not so "sub" subplots.

When I started reading this book I was really into it. It begins with the murder of a young girl. There is clearly something suspicious surrounding who she was and there are hints that she was trying to protect another person. We don't immediately find out who the other person was but we are given enough information to keep things interesting. In addition to that, there are multiple POV's related to the reader so we even get a glimpse into the thoughts of the killers. The multiple POV writing continues as the book goes on. During the first few chapters I was really interested in the attraction between Scarlett and Marcus. Marcus was mysterious, intense and a crusader for justice. Check, check, check, sounded like things were going somewhere. Scarlett is strong, beautiful and driven. Again, I thought the combination was going to be dynamic. And when Scarlett and Marcus are actually in a scene together, the chemistry was tantalizing and really good.

The problem with this book became quickly apparent. The murder of Tala rapidly shifts from the central focus of the story and the author starts focusing on all these other things. There is a subplot with Marcus' newspaper and their covert work to take down bad guys. There is a lot of airtime given to the Marcus' family issues and complications at work. From reading some other reviews I think that what happened is that you have to read the first book in this series. If you start with this book, you are jumping into the middle of all these storylines when you might be expecting the book to start from a point that you can follow. This book is supposed to be a standalone in the series but it really isn't. If you don't read the first book first, you'll be lost. I can't really give a totally fair assessment of this book because I started here in the series and I just couldn't catch up.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |


Friday, March 11, 2016

ARC Review: Stripped Raw by Prescott Lane


I have enjoyed every book I have read from Prescott Lane, and the blurb for Stripped Raw grabbed me right away! This book was such an emotional journey for the characters and the reader, and I am really glad I read it. I think that a lot of readers will really connect with these characters and story. 

After having her heart broken, Kenzie returns home from Europe when her stepsister gets diagnosed with cancer to help her raise her daughter. Kenzie loves her sister and her niece more than anything and is determined to help them while also getting her new lingerie business off the ground. But when she has an interview to help her launch her business, she gets off on the wrong foot with the guy who is interviewing her and she fears the disaster of an interview will ruin everything. Kane is tired of cleaning up his stepbrother's messes, but when he sets out to meet the woman that put his brother in his place, he never expects to feel the way he does. He wasn't looking for love, and yet he can't fight what is growing between them. But Kenzie and Kane will have to somehow find a way to deal with not only what is in their present, but also their pasts if they want to possibly have a future together.

I liked both Kenzie and Kane a lot. They were great together and I felt their connection right away. Each of them had so much in both the past and present that they were dealing with, but the support and love between them really went so far in helping each other. I loved how they were able to work their issues out together and that they were understanding with one another. Kane was great with not only Kenzie, but also her sister and Niece. Kenzie was just as good with Kane and everything he was sorting out as well. There were a few times that I was frustrated with how they acted and things they did, but I liked that they were able to see reason pretty quickly and turn things around. 

I will say that I felt like Kane was a little too attached to his ex at times, and that was what frustrated me the most. I understood that he was a great guy and was trying to be supportive and a good friend to her when she needed him, but Kenzie did also even if she put up a tough face for the world. I never really felt like that was fully dealt with on his end, but rather that it just worked itself out because his ex finally decided to get herself help and stop relying on him so much. I wasn't fully convinced that he would have actually changed if she wouldn't have done it for him. Overall though, this was a really great story and I loved the relationships in this book. This story was not only about love between Kenzie and Kane, but also the importance of love for your family and I really enjoyed seeing the strong bond that Kenzie had with her sister and niece. Besides the few criticisms I had, this book was so good from start to finish and I look forward to reading more from Prescott Lane in the future.

**ARC Provided by Ardent PRose**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | 





Guest Post with Author Cheryl Holt and Giveaway

Meet Cheryl Holt author of Heart's Debt.

CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon "Top 100" bestselling author who has published over forty novels.

She's also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She'd hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn't sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world's greatest love stories.

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre. For many years, she was hailed as "The Queen of Erotic Romance", and she's also revered as "The International Queen of Villains." She is particularly proud to have been named "Best Storyteller of the Year" by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans. Visit her website at www.cherylholt.com.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

ARC Review: All Chained Up by Sophie Jordan


I am a fan of Sophie Jordan's, and I'll admit that while I was excited about this book I was a little nervous as well. It is different from anything she has done before, and it is set in prison. I shouldn't have worried at all though, as I absolutely loved it! I couldn't put this book down, and I am so glad that I stepped a bit outside my comfort zone with this story. 

When Briar Davis volunteers to help as a nurse at a prison, she never intends for it to be a long term situation and she definitely doesn't plan to feel anything for any of the prisoners there. But when she meets Knox Callaghan, she knows there is something different about him right away. Though they both know that she should be off-limits to him, they can't help but feel the attraction and connection between them. Knox feels protective of Briar and yet he knows that he needs to stay away from her since she is sweet and innocent. But when Knox is paroled, he finds it harder to stay away from her than he expected. 

I really liked both Knox and Briar. These two were super hot together and I couldn't get enough! Knox was very protective of her, and I did think at times it got to be a bit much. But honestly it wasn't that hard to believe with who he was and everything that he had been through. Briar was sweet and I loved that she knew who Knox was and still felt the way she did. She didn't judge him or treat him any differently and I really liked that about her. She was able to see the man he was underneath, rather than just his facade and what the rest of the world saw. 

Overall, this was a great story and I really enjoyed not only Briar and Knox, but also the rest of the characters as well. I am really loving where Sophie Jordan was leading us here, and I can't wait for the next book to see more of Reid. This was a great start to the series, and I think a lot of readers will really enjoy this book. It was raw and gritty, and it was really refreshing to read something that was different than everything else out there. If you are familiar with Sophie Jordan's work, you know that she is a great writer. That was definitely the case here as well, and I am really loving each new book I read from her. If you are looking for something a bit different, I highly recommend giving this one a shot! Sophie Jordan has never let me down, and I loved All Chained Up from start to finish.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | 





Audiobook Review: Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley, Narrated by Kate Russell


Kristen Ashley’s books have such great reviews online that I jumped at the chance to review “Walk Through Fire” the fourth book in the Chaos MC series. The author and the fact that it was an MC book really captured my interest. Before I continue I know that Ashley has a strong fan base and some of my favorite authors actually recommend her stories. I’m sorry to say that this story irritated me to no end and the only reason I gave it a two star was because I wanted to know why the heroine- Millie Cross and the hero- Logan “High” Judd- broke up. I disliked this story so much this just might be the last Ashley book I ever review/read/hear. 

First, the heroine-Millie. Now, I like all types of heroines and there are very few that I don’t like, but I did not like Millie. I just could not find myself to empathize with her. Twenty years ago- she was about 21- she broke off her relationship with Logan. Twenty years later, yes! Twenty years! She has never dated or down anything other than start a business. She never had another partner, lover-nada. While this might seem enduring, I found it to be pathetic. I just could not believe this heroine. Aside from the before mentioned, she has spent twenty years moping about her relationship with Logan-a relationship that she ended. I felt bad for her and I continued to be intrigued, why did she break things off with Logan if they were obviously so happy when they were dating in their early 20s? I was hoping that when I found out the reason she would be more endearing to me. She wasn’t. Not only does she spend the last twenty years of her life wallowing over Logan, every single time she is “ready” to move on he walks back in and she is right back where she started. I cannot express the level of aggravation I felt with Millie. She was not romantic nor endearing but she was very sorry.

Another aspect that I could not get past was Logan. What in the world did she see in him? He was awful. Now, I love Alpha men but Logan was no alpha. He was more like a lost and sorry puppy. I hate to even use the word puppy, because they are endearing. Logan was not. He treats Millie like crap when she goes to the club and they rekindle their physical relationship, stalks her and then bosses her around. Honestly-what a loser.

Besides these two very weak characters was the awful dialogue. I can honestly say, it was the worst dialogue I have ever heard. I cannot imagine anyone or any two people having the conversations these two had. Next, if the author mentioned the title of the book one more time, I was going to throw the cd at the wall. “Walk Through Fire” was said at least, 50 times. The storyline was awful. When I finished the first cd I wanted to cry when I realized there were two more to follow. Lastly, deep sigh…. Even though this book is about a Motorcycle club, there is very little MC life that Ashley enlightens me on… I found it to be very amateurish. The narrator, I wish did better at projecting the voices of the characters, but really she only brought to live very irritating and nonsensical characters. I don’t even want to get started on the meddlesome club old ladies…. Needless to say, I was not a fan. Again, as I said previously, this book has received very high ratings but for me it fell very short of my expectations and even tolerance.

**Audiobook Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Audiobook | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | 





Guest Post with Author Veronica Forand

Meet Veronica Forand, author of True Peril.

Veronica Forand is an attorney and an award-winning writer of romantic suspense. She's lived in Boston, London, Paris, Geneva, and Washington, DC and currently resides near Philadelphia. An avid traveler, she loves to roam across continents with her husband and kids in pursuit of skiing, scuba diving, and finding the perfect piece of chocolate.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

ARC Review: How Willa Got Her Groove Back by Emily McKay


Alright so this is a little confusing, (and I had no idea about this before I started reading!) so please bear with me here. How Willa Got Her Groove Back by Emily McKay is the second book in the Creative HeArts series and you do not need to have read the first book in that series, Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru. However, How Willa Got Her Groove Back (HWGHGB from here on out) is the first book in Finn and Willa's story and is not a standalone as their story continues in another book and is not over here. I thought that this book was a complete standalone before starting, so I just want to make sure that readers are aware of that since I didn't think it was clearly stated as it seems from other reviews I was not the only one under that impression. 

Willa is preparing for her senior year when her father returns home from a business trip and changes everything about her life. Suddenly he is marrying one of Hollywood's most famous actresses that she had no idea he was even seeing. Now not only is he with someone he has only known a few months, but Willa is being forced to move into a new house to live with Mia and her son Finn. Though Willa is attracted to Finn, she wants nothing to do with him and does her best to avoid him. That is until they are suddenly assigned to the same project at school, and she is forced to work with him. As Willa and Finn begin to feel something between them though, the guy she has been crushing on suddenly begins to notice her as well. But is his interest because of who is about to become her stepmom, or is he actually interested in her? And why does she still find herself thinking of Finn when Damien is finally showing interest in her? 

I will be honest here and say that I didn't feel that connected to any of the characters in this story. It wasn't that I really disliked them, I just didn't feel invested in them. Willa, Finn, and Damien each had their moments, and yet I felt as though we weren't really digging deep with any of them. There were times that things would seem to be changing and we would get some more, but it was over as quickly as it started. I wasn't sure what Damien's intentions were, I was frustrated with Finn's hot and cold act, and there were times that Willa confused me as well. I was never really sure what her feelings were either. I also really didn't like Willa's father here. I understood Mia trying to buy her affection and do whatever it took to win Willa over. But what I never understood was why her dad didn't bother to tell her he was seeing anyone before springing the engagement on her. For as close as they were (even though they didn't spend a lot of time together), I would have expected a lot more from him and honestly I felt like that was never really dealt with here. They had one conversation where he admitted he handled things wrong, but I didn't ever really get a sense of true regret for him and he basically just told her to suck it up and deal. 

Overall, I was pretty disappointed to approach the end of the book and realize that this one wasn't going to get an ending like I thought. It wasn't clear that this wasn't just the second book in the series, but that it was one with a cliffhanger and I felt like I had been duped. With how the characters and story were, I really wasn't happy to realize that I will have to read another book to see how things turn out. I am interested to see what will happen because it says that Willa and Finn will get another book, and their connection was just starting to develop here. So I will most likely read the next book to see what happens, but I probably won't have started this one had I known how things were here. The next book for Willa and Finn is tentatively scheduled for a November 2016 release, so hopefully that will give these characters the conclusion they deserve as I really don't want to have to keep waiting so long for more of their story with so much time in between releases. If you think that HWGHGB sounds like one you might like and don't mind waiting for more, you might give this one a shot.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |





ARC Review: Exposed by Jasinda Wilder


Jasinda Wilder is on another level as a writer. The intricacy of her storytelling is brilliant. Her characters are complex and the way she relates them evokes strong emotions from the readers. This is just some really good writing! That being said, this is Part 2 in the Madame X series, if you have not read part I, exit the train now. Part 2 will spoil Part 1 and this review will too. If you’re just starting here, go back and get Part 1 and come back and read this review when you’re ready for Part 2. 

This book picks up right where the last one left off. X is still essentially trapped with Caleb. She has the freedom to move around, she doesn’t seem to be seeing her clients anymore and she stays in Caleb’s condo. Besides those things, her life hasn’t really changed. So a weird thing happened at the end of the last book that might have happened to you too. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Caleb. I couldn’t figure out if he loved X or if he was just a controlling jerk. I also couldn’t figure out what Caleb’s motivations were so I got all angsty about the Caleb situation. I think I finally joined Team Logan 100% when we found out that Caleb was bang-training a harem of women who he was then selling as wives. Yeah, no. That’s not going to work for my romantic ideals. 

Logan, in this book represents light and hope. The really fascinating thing is how terrified X is to reach for those two things. There are points in the book where you have to wonder if X is going to be able to break away from Caleb. For X, Caleb represents the known. It may not be much considering she has amnesia but when you don’t know anything about your life, it’s hard to let go of what you do know. 

As things develop between Logan and X, the romance side of the story gets really good. It’s all a little twisted because Caleb is in the background. The other thing happening is that we are all trying to untangle the mystery of who X is and how she came to be associated with Caleb in the first place. Jasinda starts dropping more and more hints but I have to warn you, it’s not resolved by the end of the book. I do think I’ve figured out how X and Caleb got together but I can’t wait to find out if I’m right. Don’t even ask me, I am not going to spoil it for you, we all just have to keep guessing. 

The mystery suspense aspect of the book is really good. This book is intriguing from the first page down to the very last sentence. If you want to read this, either do it on the weekend when you can get through all of it, or take a personal day off work. You don’t want to be that guy trying to read under your desk and this is that kind of book. You just will not want to put it down. Bravo to Jasinda for continuing this series just as well as it begun. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | 





Guest Post with Author Emily Greenwood and Giveaway


Emily Greenwood worked for a number of years as a writer, crafting newsletters and fundraising brochures, but she far prefers writing playful love stories set in Regency England, and she thinks romance novels are the chocolate of literature. A Golden Heart finalist, she lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Review: Between the Devil and Desire by Lorraine Heath


Lorraine Heath is such a great writer and when I realized that I had not read this book yet, I jumped at the chance to read it. In classic Heath style I was captivated with the story and, although lengthy, finished it in two days. This is the second book in the “Scoundrels of St. James” series, I read the first one, In Bed with the Devil (Scoundrels of St. James, #1) and really enjoyed it. For anyone not familiar with the series, Jack, Lucian, Graves, Frannie, and Swindler were all street kids. It was Lucian’s grandfather that took them in the hopes of providing a better life for them. But they all have very different destinies and even though they share a past, they don’t share the same origins.

This is Jack Dodger’s story. I love Jack Dodger! He really carried this story for me and so did the mystery surrounding his beginnings. Jack has a gambling establishment that he created with the help of a mysterious benefactor. Jack was part of the street kids lead by Finnegan, he was the one that taught Jack how to survive and how to make sure that he never got caught while stealing. Jack is very rough around the edges and not part of the aristocracy. When he is named the guardian of the Duke of Lovingdon’s son. Jack is shocked because he never had a relationship with the duke and can’t understand why he would name him guardian. Even more shocked is Lovingdon’s widow- Olivia.

Olivia is angry and shocked when her husband’s will is read and even more when Jack Dodger is named the guardian. He has a terrible reputation and after a few conversations with him she is determined to take her son to the country and get away from Jack. Jack isn’t having it though; he is determined to figure out why the Duke names him of all people a guardian. Despite her constant objections and down-right arguments with Olivia, Jack is determined to be a good guardian to Jack. Not only did his mother sell him off when he was very young but he never knew his father. Jack informs Olivia that if she wants to get rid of him, all she has to do is remarry. Olivia is shocked at the suggestion, not only is she in mourning but she is also the epitome of social grace and respectability, she refuses to have her reputation stained.

Olivia and Jack were complete opposites. Their backgrounds could not have been more different. Although I liked Olivia I absolutely loved Jack. He was very emotionally disconnected but he was incredibly loyal to all those that he loved. His connection with Finnegan and his relationship with Henry-Olivia’s son were incredibly sweet. He was such a great hero! Definitely one of my favorites that I have read so far! Also, Heath has a talent for sneaking in very dark issues and making them a part of the story. Jack has some very dark secrets in his life and many of them still haunt him. I absolutely loved this story and plan to re-read it in the future.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |