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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Weekly Winners

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

The Wild Ones by M. Leighton

Leslie M
Sins of a Ruthless Rogue by Anna Randol

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

My Favorite Book Boyfriend with Jillian Stone and Giveaway

Jillian's first book in The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series, An Affair with Mr. Kennedy, won the 2010 Golden Heart for Romantic Suspense. The latest novel, fourth in the series for Pocket Books is A Private Duel with Agent Gunn. Next release in series: Kiss Me Senseless, Detective Rhys, Fall 2013.

Places to find Jillian:

Friday, April 12, 2013

ARC Review: All The Way by Jennifer Probst

Confession time: despite the fact that I’ve had all three of her Marriage to a Billionaire series books in my epic TBR Queue of Doom for ages and that I’ve had everyone recommend her books to me, this is my first Jennifer Probst book. If the other three are anything like this one, they’re jumping to the top of my queue—I haven’t enjoyed a contemporary romance quite this much in a while, especially one so short!

ALL THE WAY is reunion romance (a trope I was initially ambivalent about but that has quickly become one of my favourites for contemporaries) done exactly right, with the perfect mix of heat, humour, angst, and heartwarming romance tied together with excellent writing and a great voice. The setup is nothing new—hero and heroine had a scorching love affair three years prior, hero runs off to pursue his dreams of incomparable globe-trotting career success, heroine vows to never experience such heartbreak again, family crisis brings the repentant hero back for a second chance at love—but it’s executed flawlessly. Gavin initially comes across as the over-confident, career-driven, selfish wanker he was three years ago, but we quickly get to see how much he regrets having walked away from the best thing in his life, how empty his career success feels, and how determined he is to atone for past mistakes and win the heroine’s heart (and trust) again. Loyalty to his family brings him back from Europe when his family’s Italian restaurant—something he always thought he wanted no part in—is on the brink of going under and he takes it upon himself to turn things around. The way he goes from ruthless suave executive to glorified waiter and seamlessly deals with the drama of his Italian family, his younger brother’s resentment for having left, the crazy antics of his high-strung chef (that scene about Gordon Ramsay is priceless!), and endless restaurant crises will have you wanting a Gavin of your own. And his attempts to re-woo the reluctant Miranda… those letters?That opera date?The scorching sex? Be still, my heart! [Seriously, can I have him for my own? Pretty please?]. Seeing him realize just how much of a wanker he was in the past, how much he’s grown since, and how much he’s willing to fight for what he wants once he realizes it’s outside of his comfort zone is incredibly satisfying.

Successful food critic Miranda brings the bulk of the baggage and angst to the relationship: childhood abandonment issues combined a major case of not-good-enough syndrome and the fact that Gavin broke her heart when he walked away and dumped her (via email, no less… ouch!) three years ago have made her rigidly controlled and unwilling to take that leap into love again. A purely physical relationship with Gavin she can do (or so she thinks), but she’s sworn to never involve her emotions again—especially not with someone as temporary as Gavin who will always put his career first. In less skilled hands, Miranda’s character could easily cross the line into overly dramatic and embittered, but Jennifer Probst plays it just right to create a complex, layered character that is incredibly realistic. You may not always agree with Miranda and may want to tell her to grow a pair, but you can understand and relate to her motivations. And, well, who doesn’t love a woman who puts a seemingly arrogant wanker in his place with a scathing review of his restaurant before falling head over heels in love with him again? Ultimately, the way Gavin peels back those prickly layers and gets her to open up again so believably will have you rooting for the two of them to successfully navigate their relationship issues. The great cast of secondary characters—from irascible chef Tony to Gavin’s spot-on teenage brother to Gavin’s Frank Sinatra-quoting dad and his posse—adds a touch of humour and rounds out the hero and heroine with well-developed familial relations and friendships, helping create three-dimensional characters that feel incredibly real and relatable.

ALL THE WAY is short enough that it can be read in one sitting, but it provides an astonishingly complete story that didn’t feel unrealistic (given that we’re talking romance here!). It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s sweet, it’s incredibly well written, and it will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside—what more can one ask for from a contemporary romance? Highly recommended, especially for anyone who enjoys foodie romances.

**ARC provided by Entangled Publishing**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |

My Favorite Book Boyfriend with Juliana Stone and Giveaway

Juliana Stone's love of the written word and 80's rock, have inspired her in more ways than one. She writes dark paranormal romance as well as Contemporary Romance and spends her days navigating a busy life that includes, a husband, kids, a dog and a cat.

Places to find Juliana:
Site Blog Facebook Twitter |

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Favorite Book Boyfriend with Virna DePaul and Giveaway

Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor and national bestselling author of paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, HQN, and Random House, and is also a bestselling indie author.

Places to find Virna:
Site | Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads | 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ARC Review: Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian

AMAZING! I could not put this book down. It was everything I was hoping for and more. Lara Adrian definitely doesn't disappoint. I love the direction the series is going in and I can't wait to read more. Love, love, LOVED it.

I admit I was a bit skeptical about this book. Twenty years is a big time jump and I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about little Mira all of sudden being a adult and trying to obtain her HEA. I shouldn't have worried because this book was amazing.

The pain and heartache that Mira experiences with losing Kellan makes my heart hurt. You feel her pain and even though it's been eight years since his death, she still isn't over the loss. She lays the blame for the death of Kellan at the door of rebel fighters. She is convinced it's their fault that Kellan was killed in a warehouse fire eight years ago. It's because of her hatred of the rebels that gets her in trouble and subsequently gets her pulled from active duty. When a chance encounter brings her face to face with the only man she's ever loved and whom she thought was dead, she proceeds to question everything she's ever known or believe about.

Kellan has always loved Mira wholeheartedly and wanted nothing but to love her and keep her safe by his side. But when he looks into her eyes and sees a glimpse of their future together, one that doesn't end with a happy ending, he knows in his heart he will do anything he can to protect her. So he leaves and fakes his death in order to keep her safe. Yet, he's never been able to keep himself far away from her. She owns his heart and soul and he'll never be complete without Mira by his side.

Oh how my heart ached while reading this book. There is just so much raw emotion between Mira and Kellan. Your heart breaks for them and you want nothing more than for them to get their long awaited HEA. The love these two feel for one another is raw, intense and in your face. As a reader, you never doubt the love they have for one another for a second.

What I love about this book and actually the series as a whole is that it's not predictable and the characters aren't cookie cutter. With this book there are so many twist and turns that I didn't even see coming. Lara Adrian keeps me on my toes and I love that. In my opinion Edge of Dawn is the best in the series and I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to see what next for this series.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

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

My Favorite Book Boyfriend with Shana Galen and Giveaway

Shana Galen is the bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books are published all over the world and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.

Places to find Shana:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Favorite Book Boyfriend with Cynthia Eden and Giveaway

USA Today Best-selling author Cynthia Eden has written over twenty-five novels and novellas. She was named as a 2013 RITA® finalist for her paranormal romance, ANGEL IN CHAINS, and, in 2011, Cynthia Eden was a RITA finalist for her romantic suspense, DEADLY FEAR.

Places to find Cynthia: 
| Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Monday, April 8, 2013

ARC Review: A Most Scandalous Proposal by Ashlyn Macnamara

What do you call a book with two heroines, two heroes and four points of view? Perhaps a confusing mess, but certainly not an example of crisp, clear writing. A Most Scandalous Proposal is the debut Regency novel by author Ashlyn Macnamara. It is a pleasant story and Macnamara shows some flair with story creation and witty dialogue, however, the book had some notable difficulties.

Sophia St. Claire and her younger sister Julia are resistant to marriage for different reasons – Sophia because she is waiting to be noticed by her heartthrob, Ludlowe, and Julia because she wants to avoid emotional entanglements. Their parents want them married for different reasons – their mother because she wants to climb socially by making advantageous matches and their father because he needs the money. Soon Sophia is caught in a compromising situation and finds herself, through no fault of her own, engaged to the Earl of Highgate, an older, scarred widower. Meanwhile Ludlowe, who becomes the Earl of Clivesden, contrives to marry Julia who is then rescued by her childhood friend, Benedict Revelstoke. There are a number of misadventures that lead up to the final resolution.

Now about those difficulties. It is quite tricky to write a book with two heroines and two heroes. The usual method is to focus on one pair of characters and tell the story from their point of view. Macnamara began by telling Julia's story, but suddenly switched to Sophia's with no warning. By the beginning of Chapter 4 the direction of the book was completely unclear. It's a real problem if the reader doesn't embrace the critical premise of a character. I never completely sympathized with Julia's reluctance about feeling love. The story did not flow well. There were times I was uncertain who was speaking or thinking (probably caused by too many points of view). The ending was dragged out and could have stopped a couple of times before it actually did.

Another reader stated that the book was Sense and Sensibility with sex. Unfortunately, the film version of Sense and Sensibility was on television during the time I was reading the book and it was not a good comparison. Julia was definitely not Elinor Dashwood. Elinor was tough on the outside, but deeply emotional underneath. Julia was kind, but seemed to repress her emotions, except when sexually attracted to Benedict. Her relationship with Benedict was actually more like that of Emma and Mr. Knightly. Sophia did resemble Marianne Dashwood because she was a bit of an airhead. Neither Sophia or Julia was all that likeable.

I certainly didn't hate the book and Macnamara has potential as an author. Her male characters, Highgate and Revelstoke, were interesting and well developed. There was strong evidence of historical research in her use of Regency period language. It is surprising that some of the previously mentioned issues were not resolved in the editing process. Macnamara has another book in the works. Let us hope she puts more effort into developing a clearer writing voice.

**ARC copy provided by NetGalley**

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

My Favorite Book Boyfriend with Valerie Bowman and Giveaway

Valerie Bowman is an award-winning author who writes Regency-set historical romance novels aka Racy Regency Romps! Secrets of a Runaway Bride has been named a 4.5 star TOP PICK! by RT Book Reviews. It's been called "Too Delightful Too Miss!" by New York Times bestselling author, Lisa Kleypas, and New York Times bestselling historical romance author Sarah MacLean says it's, "Everything a romance should be—sexy, quirky, fun...once you start reading, you won't be able to stop!" Valerie's debut, SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT, the first in the Secret Brides series from St. Martin's Press, was nominated by RT Book Reviews for Best Debut Historical for 2012!

Valerie has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a minor in history from Smith College. By day, she is a technical editor at a computer software company. By night, she combines her love of writing, history, and romance to craft stories about people falling in love.

Originally from Rantoul, Illinois, Valerie lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her rascally rescue dog, Roo. When she's not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or watching Downton Abbey and Hoarders.

Places to find Valerie:
Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My Favorite Book Boyfriend with Roni Loren and Giveaway

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She is the National Bestselling author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat.

Places to find Roni:
Site Blog | Facebook Twitter Tumblr |