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Sunday, December 17, 2017

A Historical Christmas Event with Wendy LaCapra


Wendy LaCapra has been reading romance since she sneaked into the adult section at the library and discovered Victoria Holt & Jane Aiken Hodge. From that point on, she dreamed of creating fictional worlds with as much richness, intrigue and passion as she found within those books. Her stories have placed in several contests, including the 2012 Golden Heart®. She lives in NYC with her husband and loves to hear from readers.

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Historical Christmas Event with Sara Ramsey


Sara Ramsey is a historical romance author with great taste in Champagne, bad taste in movies, and a serious love for journals and washi tape. Her award-winning historical romances feature plenty of devious dukes, daring ladies, and happily ever afters. Sara has called both Iowa and San Francisco home, but she's currently wandering the globe while writing novels and searching for the perfect cup of tea. Find out more about her work at www.sararamsey.com.

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Friday, December 15, 2017

A Historical Christmas Event with Erica Ridley


Erica Ridley is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical romance novels. Her two most popular series, the Dukes of War and Rogues to Riches, feature roguish peers and dashing war heroes who find love amongst the splendor and madness of Regency England. When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.
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Thursday, December 14, 2017

ARC Review: Beast: The Beginning by Mary Catherine Gebhard


Let me just start by saying that this book is neither as dark nor as erotic as it seems to sell itself as being and I found that disappointing. When I started this book I was super excited because I love me a dark/sold myself to a sexy dark man story. It seemed like that's where we were headed in this story. Frankie trades her life to Beast and the mafia in exchange for the life of her Father. Beast carries her back to his castle (well, it was more like a condo in NY but whatevs) and proceeds to possess her...sort of. 

Right away there is some non-consensual sex which may really disturb you given that Frankie is a virgin. This is followed by some other pseudo humiliation you might expect in a dark romance. But it all goes wrong really fast. First of all, beyond the opening scenes which don't give us much, there is almost no sex in the book. WHAT? What happened to all the steam? The thing that irritates me is that Beast, in his inner monologue is continuously discussing how much he wants Frankie and how she turns him on. Then in real life, he refuses to have sex with her and the reason was super annoying. Beast decides very early on that he wants Frankie to admit that wants him. Frankie is stubborn as heck. So even though her body is constantly "betraying" her, she won't admit that she wants Beast. 

Speaking of Frankie, I just honestly don't know what to think about her. Frankie is a strong character who does some really dumb stuff. Every time I thought I really liked her, she would do something that made me want to smack her. I think this may be a function of Frankie being really young. I think she is like 19 or 20. She hadn't really been anywhere in life or done anything and the author may have been too good at depicting her. 

It is obvious that Frankie wants Beast but they spend like 60% of the book locked in this battle of wills and honestly, it's kind of tedious and exhausting. Beast seems to actually fall for Frankie very early on. This is not a good thing in a dark romance. It cast the dark actions of Beast in a particularly unfavorable light. If you're going to be the dark character, be that. You can't be the beast and the good guy at the same dang time because it makes you look mentally unstable. 

Also, I appreciate the author's effort to weave some deep intrigue into Frankie's identity and the whole mafia subplot. However, I really couldn't follow the subplot. There were too many characters and family lines to keep track of. I couldn't remember who was who or who Frankie might have been. I thought the subplot could have been cleaner and clearer so that it wasn't so distracting. 

This is what I can tell you, this definitely is not a great dark romance but it's not a bad book. And even with all of the issues that I've described, I'm still going to read the conclusion to the story in Beauty because I'm intrigued enough to want to see how it all ends.

**ARC Provided by Ardent PRose**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | 




A Historical Christmas Event with Caroline Linden


Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer code before discovering that writing fiction was far more fun. Eleven years, fifteen books, three Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC-RWA Reader's Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA's RITA Award.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ARC Review: Behind the Bars by Brittainy C. Cherry


I have read and loved books by Brittainy C. Cherry before, but Behind the Bars absolutely blew me away. This book is a standalone story and the first in her new Music Street series and honestly it completely broke me and then put me back together piece by piece. It was hard at times and a very emotional read, but it was filled with love and hope and healing and was such a beautiful story. 

Jasmine was the popular new girl, with Elliot the shy and awkward loner when they first met. But their love of music had them forming an instant connection. Though their lives were lonely, they had each other and their music until suddenly Jasmine was gone. Years went by and both of them experienced dark times that changed who they were. Without contact, they were left to face things alone. But when Jasmine returns home she knew that she had to find Elliot again, even knowing that he wouldn't be the same boy she once knew. But after everything that has happened, can they possibly find a way to move forward together or will there be too much that has happened for them to heal together? 

I absolutely loved Jasmine and Elliott. My heart went out to both of them right from the start. Each of them had things they were battling, and nothing came easy for them. I couldn't believe just how much was thrown at them and how they managed to survive was a testament to how strong they both were, even when they struggled. These two needed one another, and time and distance didn't change that at all. They were at their best when they were together and their connection was one of a kind. It was so much more than just music and loneliness between them, though that is what originally brought them together. These two were meant for one another and honestly I couldn't imagine a world in which they didn't find some happiness and love together after everything that they had been through. 

Overall, this book was everything. It was sweet and hopeful, emotional and heartbreaking. I won't lie and say this is an easy book to read. A lot happens that upset me and I found myself in tears more than once. But the journey of these characters was one that I think is worth the read and it will stay with me forever. This is my favorite book of Brittainy C. Cherry's to date, and her writing just gets better with each book of hers I read. This is one of the best books I have read all year, and I highly recommend it!

**ARC Provided by Social Butterfly PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | 




ARC Review: The V Card by Lauren Blakely and Lili Valente


I was so excited when I saw that Lauren Blakely and Lili Valente were teaming up to write a book together as I have enjoyed books from both of them. The V Card was better than I could have hoped for though, and I really loved it! These two are a great writing team, and I hope that this is just the first of many from them together!

As a successful business woman in her mid-twenties, CJ has almost everything that she can ask for. But the one thing that she wishes were different is that she could lose her V card and gain some experience in how to please a man. Knowing she can trust him, she turns to one of her closest friends, the man that knows his way around a woman's body better than anyone she knows...he just so happens to be her Graham her brother's business partner and best friend. But while they begin working their way through lessons to help her gain experience, neither of them ever expects to start feeling things as strong as they are for one another. 

I absolutely loved these two. The connection between them was already established here and I felt it right away. You could just feel how much they meant to one another and that just continued to build over the course of this book. They were so perfect for one another, and I loved their connection. CJ and Graham were great friends and I loved their interactions, but the chemistry between them was smoking hot as well. They had it all and I couldn't get enough of them. I loved how sweet they were, and how great Graham was with CJ. She really came into her own with him, and I loved that they got to experience everything they did together, especially with CJ being as inexperienced as she was. 

Overall, I loved this book and can't recommend it enough. Lili and Lauren's writing styles meshed together perfectly, creating a seamless and captivating story that I didn't want to put down. I loved the characters and their story, and I just didn't want this one to end. The V Card was a story I loved from start to finish, and I think readers are going to love this one like I did!

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

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




A Historical Christmas Event with Elizabeth Essex


Elizabeth Essex is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed historical romance, including Reckless Brides, and her new Highland Brides series. Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classics and Art History, and then earned her MA in Nautical Archaeology from Texas A&M University.  While she loved the life of an underwater archaeologist, she has found her true calling writing lush, lyrical historical romance full of passion, daring and adventure.

Her books have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and Seal of Excellence Award, and RWA’s prestigious RITA Award. The Reckless Brides Series has also made Top-Ten lists from Romantic Times, The Romance Reviews and Affaire de Coeur Magazine, and Desert Isle Keeper status at All About Romance. Her fifth book, A BREATH OF SCANDAL, was awarded Best Historical in the Reader’s Crown 2013.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

ARC Review: Cover Up by L.A. Witt


Cover Up is the third book in the Skin Deep Inc. Series by L.A. Witt. Each of these books are standalone stories, though the characters are interconnected. You do not need to worry about reading them out of order though some small details might be spoiled for the previous books if you do read them out of order. I am really enjoying this series though, and recommend reading them all. 

Nate thought that he had found his forever when he married Caleb. But after 10 years together he found Caleb in their bed with another man, devastating him and forcing him to figure out a new future for himself. Starting with getting his tattoo that matched Caleb's covered up, his friend referred him to Lucas, the man that was said to be the best. After messing up someone's tattoo though, Lucas finds his confidence shaken. So when Nate walks in and the attraction between them is instant he begins to worry about how he can possibly cover up his tattoo. The attraction between them though is something they can't fight and as they start a friends with benefits relationship, they find something in each other they never expected. 

I loved these two. Both of them had issues and yet they were doing their best to cope and move on with their lives. Nate was forced to face the reality of a broken marriage and the life he had planned while Lucas had to come to grips with a mistake and how to move past it. They were so good for one another though, and I really felt like they needed each other. It was clear the chemistry and attraction between them was there from the start. They were SO hot together! But the connection they were building here was more than either of them intended and honestly it felt so real and genuine. I thought that L.A. Witt did a great job with these two, and I really believed that everything that they had been through was so that these two could end up where they did. 

Overall, I just really enjoyed this story. Nate and Lucas were impossible not to love, and I couldn't get enough of them. This story was sexy and fun, but it was also emotional and was just a solid story. If you are a fan of contemporary M/M romance, I highly recommend this series. I love the characters and the stories and I definitely can't wait to read more from L.A. Witt.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes




A Historical Christmas Event with Anna Campbell


Australian Anna Campbell has written 10 multi award-winning historical romances for Grand Central Publishing and Avon HarperCollins and 17 bestselling independently published novellas. Look out for her next release, a full-length entry in the popular Dashing Widows series called Lord Garson’s Bride, which is out in early 2018. Her website is www.annacampbell.com

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Monday, December 11, 2017

ARC Review: No Reservations by Kristen Proby


No Reservations is a standalone novella in Kristen Proby's Fusion series. For those that haven't read this series, you can read this story on it's own but fans of the series will enjoy getting Kat's brother in law Chase's story here. I absolutely love this series and highly recommend reading it if you haven't. No Reservations was a great addition to the series and a great intermediate story to tide me over as we wait for Mia's book. 

Maura and Chase both prefer to keep things casual, not looking for anything more or the standard dream of marriage and children. But Maura refuses to be just another notch on anyone's bedpost, which she knows she would be for playboy Chase. Except has is charming and hard to resist, and the more she is around him, the more she is unable to fight the growing attraction between them.

I liked Chase and Maura. I thought that they were steamy together and I felt the attraction and chemistry right away. My problem with novellas is that you don't always get to see a strong or believable connection form between the characters, and I thought that was slightly true here. While I did believe the heat between them, their relationship started off with them being cold to one another and while things were hot between the sheets, it seemed as though the feelings were a bit rushed when they switched. I still enjoyed them together, I just think that they suffered a bit due to lack of pages here. 

Still a great story though, and I absolutely love this world that Kristen Proby has created. This series is hands down one of my favorites, and one I highly recommend to all contemporary romance fans. I have enjoyed each story so far, and I can't wait for more. Kristen Proby is a talented writer, and I think readers will really enjoy No Reservations as well as the rest of the Fusion series.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | 




A Historical Christmas Event with Sherry Thomas


USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided years ago that her goal in life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

Her latest book, A Conspiracy in Belgravia, is the second entry in the gender-bending Lady Sherlock historical mystery series. A Study in Scarlet Women, book 1 of the series, is an NPR and Kirkus Reviews best book of 2016.

And by the way, English is her second language.  

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