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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weekly Winners

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

Maggie
Just in Time for a Highlander by Gwyn Cready

Sue
Lisa Renee Jones Prize Pack


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: Protege by Lydia Michaels


It took me a long time to decide on my rating for this book. I was going between a 4 and a 5 but finally went with a 4 because of some of the reasons discussed in this review.

Collette need a new start in life. She signs up to interview at an agency that matches couples, Fernweh. Collette was living a fairly mundane life and she just wanted more. I respected her for being willing to take a chance even if her methods were somewhat unconventional. Jude is a part owner of Fernweh. The company has developed a mathematical formula that has an almost 100% couple match rate. From what I gather, the couples who are a part of Fernweh have unique sexual desires and enlist with the company to ensure that their pool of candidates includes people who can satisfy those desires.

Collette does not seem to realize exactly what she is getting herself into in terms of the sexual elements of Fernweh but Jude educates her pretty quickly. Collette decides she has nothing to lose and that she is game for whatever kink is available. Jude understands that Collette is a novice and decides to sponsor her in the club and take her in as his personal protege.

You can probably guess, that the line between mentor and mentee quickly blurs. This is due in large part to the utter mind blowing sex Collette and Jude begin having. Jude discovers that Collette is submissive which is a match for him and more and more he wants to keep Collette beyond their agreed training period. Collette admits pretty quickly that she wants more from Jude than training. The problem is that Jude had some terrible experience with his ex-wife who eventually left him. There were things his ex wife wanted that were too far for Jude and he would not give her. He is worried about the same thing happening with Collette since she has indicated she is up for any and every experience.

What I like about this book is the chemistry between the main couple. I'm also a fan of sex club BDSM(ish) books. The erotic content of this book is absolute A-1. Under all the freaky going ons, I thought a really sweet romance developed between Collette and Jude. What ticked me off is that it took Jude way too damn long to see past his past. And while Jude is being blind, he hurts Collette and makes a decision that hurts both of them. This is all because he won't just admit that he wants Collette for more than training. Basically, the only reason this book lost a star for me is that it took Jude too long to pull his head from his posterior and by the end of the book he had pissed me off. Other than that, great book.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |


Feature: Weeds or Wishes by Morgan Reeves



Sometimes the truth hurts more than the lie.

Samantha Townsend knows a thing or two about love. She’d had it not once, but twice, and watched it slip through her fingers both times. But she got through it. She was always the silver lining kind of girl. Life never gives you more than you can handle.

Right?

When Sammi moves back to her old town, she’s faced with the one who got away. The first love. The big love. Connor Moore was everything she’d ever wanted in a boy. And now that they’re all grown up, she’s finding that she loves the man even more.

But some secrets are so big they break lives. And some truths are so hard that they can’t be overcome. When the weight of their decisions makes itself known, Sammi and Connor will need to decide how far they’re willing to go to find their happily ever after.

If it even exists.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne


Debut author Sally Thorne has recreated the classic Doris Day/ Rock Hudson, Spencer Tracy/Kathrine Hepburn romantic comedy in a modern setting. It is written in first person from Lucy Hutton’s POV and she has some of the funniest internal dialogue. I can picture her in my head this adorable petite woman walking around the office like she’s walking on sunshine. This book reminded me of one of my all-time favorite movies starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson, Lover Come Back, the competition and attitude between Josh and Lucy reminded me of it, not to mention Josh’s last name is Templeman and Doris Day’s in the movie is Templeton. I am in love with Josh. Through the book, as Lucy discovers along the way, you find that Josh is way more than he seems, which bring to mind the idiom still waters run deep. A person's calm exterior often conceals great depths of character, he may seem like a hard ass and everybody at the office is scared of him but it’s all just skin deep. Lucy, oh my gosh, she is an open book she wears her heart on her sleeves and is so adorable. She has a warm personality and she is so nice you can’t help but like her and she has a hard time saying no to her co-workers; they know this and some take advantage of it.

Lucy knew she wanted to go into publishing from childhood, and even though her parents would have loved for her to take over the family business of running Sky Diamond Strawberries they encouraged her to follow her dream. She started as the administrative assistant with the opportunity that she could and would be promoted to an editorial job, but the company started to go under and the only way to save it was with a merger. Now her boss has become so dependent on Lucy she hasn’t been promoted. Which is even worse because she shares an office space with the other co-CEO administrative assistant who is pretty much the definition of hard ass. Lucy outright admits that they end up getting pretty juvenile, the games they start playing with each other from the staring game to the how are you game. Things get serious when the co-owners announce that a new positon will be opening up. Both Josh and Lucy are going up for the job, but what happens afterward takes Lucy by such surprise she doesn’t know what to think. Lucy starts to see things differently and she starts to feel differently about Josh, and it completely confuses her.

The writing was outstanding, Sally Thorne gave Lucy a great voice. Her narrative is amusing and at the heart wrenching times you feel it; you feel her anxiety and her freak-outs were mildly amusing. I love Hate/Love tropes, they are currently my favorite, and with this one you really see the progression of Lucy’s thought process and her feelings for Josh. It did seem that the pace slowed down a little ways into the book, but picked up again aside from that the book was stellar.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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


Friday, August 19, 2016

ARC Review: The Virgin and the Viscount by Charis Michaels


“The Virgin and the Viscount” by Charis Michaels was my first read by this author. I found her to be very refreshing and entertaining. The first book in the series “ The Earl Next Door (The Bachelor Lords of London, #1) has been on my to-read list and has received good reviews. The plot of the story caught my eye and so did the title.

First, I have to say that Michaels created a very clever and unique plot. Lady Elisabeth Hamilton-Baythes was orphaned suddenly when her parents died in a carriage ride. When this occurred she was momentarily sold as a sex-slave. Bryson Courtland, Viscount Rainsleigh’s father was not the most honorable man and one day he decided to take his son to a brother. Bryson’s father had a popular taste for young virgins but with a last minute switch, Elizabeth ends up in the same room as Bryson. Bryson, being nothing like his father, helps her escape. Fast forward over ten years later, Elizabeth is living with her aunt in London when she hosts a party for a young Viscount known to be on the hunt for a wife. Elizabeth and her aunt have a unique relationship. At times they are more like sisters than aunt and niece. Elizabeth has become a sort of recluse. She has started a charitable organization that helps young woman escape horrible situations or who are all alone and have no one.

The day of the dinner party Bryson immediately recognizes Elizabeth and she him. Neither mention the incident many years ago, but Bryson has decided that Elizabeth will make the perfect Viscountess. Elizabeth has carried the burden of what happened years ago and is solely devoted to her charity. When Bryson makes his intentions clear, she rebukes them and maintains that she is devoted to her charity and that she is applying for the prize money he is offering to the charity he deems worthy. Bryson is not easily deterred and sets out to win Elizabeth.

I thought that this book had a little of everything. I really like both the hero and the heroine. I thought that Elizabeth carried her secret a little too far and much would have been avoided if she had confronted Bryson earlier. I also don’t understand why they waited so long to finally come clean with one another. I really enjoyed the funny scenes and witty characters. I loved that the secondary characters were fun and entertaining as well as the main characters. I loved the chemistry between them and was eager to see how the author would bring them together.

This was a fun and touching story. I plan to not only read the previous story but the next one that follows. Michaels was a great author to read.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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


ARC Review: Broken Prince by Erin Watt


Broken Prince is the second book in The Royals series by the duo of Jen Frederick and Elle Kennedy writing as Erin Watt. This book is not a standalone and should only be read after Paper Princess as it continues the story that was started in the first book. After that cliffhanger I couldn't wait to see what would happen next for these characters and I enjoyed the book a lot. 

Broken Prince picks up right where we were left at the end of Paper Princess. Ella is missing, and Reed will do whatever it takes to find her. As their world begins to fall apart, the Royals realize just how important Ella is to them. But Ella feels betrayed and has no intention of returning. Can Reed win back Ella, or will they end up destroying each other? 

As much as I liked this book, I felt a bit of a disconnect here that I didn't feel in the first book. Normally I absolutely love a dual POV story, but in this case I found that I would have preferred the book told only from Ella's POV rather than that of both Ella and Reed. It felt a bit as if something was missing and I just couldn't connect the way I had in Paper Princess. Don't get me wrong, once I started I didn't want to put this one down. Reed and Ella were still great, and I loved the secondary characters here more than ever. I just felt like this one didn't have quite the same feel and I was a bit disappointed that it fell a bit into that sophomore slump. I did like that Reed and Ella's characters developed a bit more here, and it was great to get a bit more beneath the surface with each of them. 

Overall, this book was really good, I just think maybe my expectations were a bit high here. I would have preferred the story told from Ella's POV and that affected how I experienced this story. I will warn readers that this story is still far from over, and yes this one does end with a cliffhanger again. I am excited for the next one though, and for my criticisms, I still really enjoyed this book and like this series. I am anxious for more from the duo of Erin Watt and look forward to Twisted Palace as well as hopefully many more from them to come.

**ARC Provided by Bocci PR**

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





Feature and Giveaway: Summer Girl by A.S. Green



A songwriter is nothing without his muse. Sucks that mine turns out to be Katherine D’Arcy––hot as hell, but the very definition of country-club living and everything I came to this quiet little island to escape. The last thing I need is some live life by her day-planner summer girl screwing with my head, but I can’t stop thinking about her…those curves, silky brown hair, and those eyes… I left that privileged world behind when I came up to Little Bear Island hoping for some inspiration to write my songs. But here I am still, two years later, unable to write crap. That is until Katherine showed up to tend the lighthouse for the summer and drive me crazy. With her here, the writing has never been better. If only there weren’t that one inconvenient truth I’ve been keeping from her… Because when she learns what I’ve been hiding, I know I will lose her forever.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

ARC Review: In The Barren Ground by Loreth Ann White


It's difficult for me to even review books by Loreth Ann White. The writing of her books is far superior to most of what we read. And I mean that across genres. I've read a lot of different kind of books, the writing of Loreth Ann White is not pop fiction, it's the kind of flexing of literary prowess that makes other authors reconsider if they really want to send their last work to the publisher. Just by way of warning, this book is not a traditional romance. A romance develops but the rhythm and emergence of it is much different than the usual arc of a romance. And while there is well described chemistry between the main characters, Crash and Tana, there is no actual sex. Now you know if I love a book without sex it's a good book.

This is a thriller-mystery-suspense and I don't want to ruin any of the plot twists so I'm going to be really careful about what I tell you. The first thing you need to know is that the set up to all White novels can be a little slow. White builds the story and introduces the characters in the first 30 pages or so. If you are impatient, you can get bored and miss important details. I guarantee you, by the 20% mark, you will be hopelessly captivated by this story and if you don't pay attention in the beginning you will be going back trying to find any details that you missed.

Tana is a constable in North North Canada, up where nobody really wants to be stationed. She has been sent to some remote outpost to police and entire indigenous population by herself. Tana is layers upon layers of complicated. She is some parts self loathing and other parts determined to self actualize. Tana has been dependent but in this book is fighting to prove her independence while learning healthy relationships are a requirement for a healthy life. Tana begins investigating what appears to be brutal animal maulings but quickly discovers that there is much more going on than what appears on the surface.

Crash...I'm not sure what I can tell you about him. Crash is not at all what he seems. Weather that is good or bad, I leave you to discover on your own. One thing that is clear right away is that something about Tana speaks to Crash and awakens his need to protect. Crash has so many ulterior motives and issues, it's not even funny. He does not want to care about Tana and does everything he can to stay out of her life. You'll have to read to find out how that works out for him.

Both Crash and Tana are some of the most well developed characters I've ever read. I love White's descriptions of their thoughts and feelings. I even like that they didn't have sex despite the obvious chemistry. That made them more real in my eyes. The mystery in this book is a thriller. Is there some strange other worldly spirit attacking and killing people? Is it an act of the wild with no human involvement or is it something else? At one point in this book, I believed all of those, at other points, I believed none of those. I was fascinated by the correlating story line of the diamond mining business and the way that was impacting the local population. I thought the way the locals reacted to Tana as a police officer was believable and made the whole story seem more credible. Most of all, I loved Tana's growth and the way she accepts her present circumstances and makes choices she would not have made a few months ago.

This is just a completely brilliant book. I have yet to read a Loreth Anne White novel that did not fit that description. It is not for the faint of heart, the murders are grizzly and described in depth. The POV rotates from the victims, to the suspects, to the main characters. The entire novel has a cold dark feel right up until the end. So this aint no sunny hopeful romance. Just remember that if you decide to take this journey.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |


ARC Review: Neighbor Dearest by Penelope Ward


Neighbor Dearest is the newest standalone novel from Penelope Ward. While this book is related to Stepbrother Dearest, it is a complete standalone story. That being said, I would recommend that if you plan to read both of these books that you start with Stepbrother Dearest if you haven't already read it, though that isn't necessary. Not only will there be some things spoiled for that book here, but I think you get a better understanding of Chelsea if you have already read SD. 

After getting her heart broken, the last thing Chelsea needs is to move next door to someone who reminds her so much of her ex. Damien was hot, but he had a bad attitude and his noisy dogs were a source of constant irritation for Chelsea. But after Chelsea finds out that Damien has been listening in on her conversations, they begin talking and strike up an unlikely friendship. Though Damien made it clear that all they could be was friends, they both find themselves falling for one another. 

I will admit that I was a bit worried about how I would feel before starting this book. As a huge fan of Elec and Greta, Chelsea was the obstacle that I desperately wanted out of the way. But getting to know her better here, I liked her more than I expected. There were times that I felt a bit torn with how Chelsea and Damien viewed Elec, and I understand that he had hurt Chelsea badly. But I also just couldn't bring myself to be mad at Elec, even with everything that had happened. I thought that Damien and Chelsea were great together though, and it was so obvious that these two were made for each other. I was so glad that Chelsea met Damien, as their chemistry and connection was so strong. I enjoyed seeing them get to know one another after how things started off for them here.

Overall, this was a great story. Everything I have read from Penelope Ward has been fantastic, and Neighbor Dearest was no exception. I couldn't put it down, and I had to keep reading to see what would happen for these two. If you are a fan of Stepbrother Dearest, I highly recommend this one. This one is easily read as a standalone story though, so don't let that stop you if you haven't read Elec and Greta's story yet. Penelope Ward is a great writer though, so I definitely recommend checking both of these books out as well as anything else with her name on it. I can't wait to see what she writes next, and I know that whatever she is writing, I will be reading.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

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





Guest Post with Author Boone Brux and Giveaway



Boone's stories range from high fantasy to contemporary romance.

Having lived all over the world, and finally settling in the icy region of Alaska, she's always looking for the next adventure. It's not unusual to find Boone traversing the remotest parts of the Alaskan bush, gathering information for her stories. No person or escapade is off limits when it comes to weaving real life experiences into her books or blogs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

ARC Review: Hero of Mine by Codi Gary


Hero of Mine is the third book in the Men in Uniform series from Codi Gary. I have enjoyed this series so far, and I really like Codi Gary's writing style. If you are a contemporary romance fan and haven't read Codi Gary yet, she is definitely one worth looking into. If you are already a fan, I think that this book is a cute story that most readers will enjoy. 

Dani Hill was a bit of a wild child, until she found herself pregnant and facing parenthood alone. With the help of her parents, Dani made Noah her top priority and devoted her life to being the best mom she could be. So when she meets Tyler Best, she immediately sees him for the player he has been and assumes that is all he is interested in. But when Dani and Tyler keep running into each other, they both begin to wonder if there is a reason they keep meeting. Noah has never wanted a girlfriend and doesn't do anything serious, so he knows that he needs to steer clear of single mom Dani and her son Noah. But when the attraction becomes too much for him to fight, he soon realizes that Dani and Noah are different and with them might just be where he belongs.

I liked Dani and Noah. I thought that they were good together and they had some really sweet moments together. For all of Noah's protests about not being good with kids and not wanting that in his life, he was fantastic with Noah. They were super cute together and I loved the fact that he was so caring. He had a big heart, and after everything that he had been through he deserved some happiness. I also loved that he was so good with the boys and dogs in the program, he was just a genuinely good guy despite what he might have said about himself. Dani was a good mom, and I loved that she put her son first always. I do think that she was too much of a pushover when it came to her mom, and I wish that she would have stood up to her more than she did here. But besides that, she was likable. Dani and Noah had good chemistry and I think that they made a great couple. 

Overall, this one was good and had some cute moments. It was on the predictable side though, and it didn't really break any new ground. I could pretty much see how everything was going to go, and while I liked it, it isn't anything that will really stand out or be super memorable in the long run. There were times that the characters did frustrate me a bit with their actions, but this was a good story. I think fans of contemporary romance will enjoy this one, especially for those that have read previous books in this series. This is a standalone story, so there is no problem with understanding anything for those that haven't read previous books in the series. I have liked those that I have read in this series, and will continue to look for books from Codi Gary in the future.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle B&N | iTunes





Feature and Giveaway: Hero of Mine by Codi Gary



The men of Alpha Dog, a second chance program for at-risk teens, work hard and play hard. And when it comes to protecting the women they love . . . nothing stands in their way.

Danielle Hill used to live on the wild side, until a surprise pregnancy forced her to get her act together. Now her whole life revolves around her young son, and she will do anything to keep Noah’s heart protected, even if it means avoiding the Marine who makes her want to be oh so bad . . .

Tyler Best loves his family, his friends, and his life, and he plans on living it to the fullest after nearly losing it. But Tyler didn’t bank on running into a beautiful blond with blazing green eyes and temper to match his. Tyler always thought he wasn’t ready to settle down, but Dani and Noah make him rethink his playboy ways . . .

Only just as these two start to build something, a shadow from Dani’s past comes back to haunt them. But Tyler will do anything to keep her and Noah safe . . . anything.

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

ARC Review: Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett


I wasn't sure if Sawyer Bennett could do it again in this book. I admit, I was nervous. Sometimes when a Part 1 is a blockbuster hit, Part 2 just can't live up to the hype. And then I found out there was going to be a Part 3 and I was like WHAT? How is this going to work. Well, trust me, it all works. OMG, does it all work. This book had me on the edge of my seat and then I fell off the edge on to the floor, popped back up and thought 'I can't be unconscious, I have to read Part 3.'

In case you don't realize this, Part 2 picks up exactly where Part 1 in the series ended. You cannot read these books out of order and do not read any further in this review if you have not read Part 1. Go get Part 1 and read it, you will thank me.

So you know the last book ended with Beck slamming the door on Sela because he found out she had been lying to him and was not willing to hear her out when she came clean about the reason for the lies- the reason being that JT raped her.  Sela is tortured by the loss of Beck when this book first begins. I actually felt her agony because it was so well depicted and so deeeep.  Beck suffers from trust issues because of things that happened in his past so it takes him a few minutes to realize he has made a serious error. When Beck calms down and starts to consider the facts, he understands how he misinterpreted what Sela was telling him. It’s amazing how the meaning of words is so flexible depending on how we filter them. When JT sees that he actually misunderstood Sela’s confession, he immediately goes to get his girl.

I so appreciated Bennett for not dragging out the emotional angst between Sela and Beck. Beck made a mistake, he confesses the mistake and the reason for it. The reason makes sense. Sela understands, she forgives Beck and lets it go. I loved that because too often I feel like authors are dragging out pages by creating unhelpful drama. From this point forward, Beck and Sela join forces to put an end to JT but this time in a legal and professional manner as opposed to Sela who just wanted to put a bullet in his brain.

The love story between Sela and Beck is so sweet. Their connection feels real and they build this really enduring love right before our eyes. Beck would do about anything for Sela but the same is true of her. At every turn, both show a willingness to give up things that they really thought mattered for the sake of each other. Sela is willing to give up her revenge mission and Beck is willing to give up his business but together they find a way forward. The new plan is all sorts of twisty turny and fraught with risk. There are several surprises in this book that I will not even allude to because I will not risk spoiling anything. What I can tell you is that if you are like me, you are not ready for the revelations. Hang on to your hats, kindles, whatever. By the time you get to the end of this book, you will be clutching your pearls and gasping. Everything goes according to plan and then nothing goes according to plan.  The book ends on a cliffhanger with some complete shockers that will have you grabbing for the next installment. This is just a really good sequel. This whole series so far is on my MUST READ list. I’m a sugar addict!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |