Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weekly Winners

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

Barrie Mac
Undeniable by Shannon Richard

Seven Day Fiance' Poster from Rachel Harris

Casa Holiday Book Prize Pack from Sourcebooks

Run to You by Rachel Gibson

Charm Bracelet from Tracy March

Bold Tricks by Karina Halle

**Replacement Winner**

Maggie's Man by Lisa Gardner

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

ARC Review: On Every Street by Karina Halle

On Every Street is the prequel to Karina Halle's The Artists Trilogy. I had heard a little about this series before starting this, but didn't know much about them other than that people seemed to really love them. I cannot believe that it took me this long to read this! I was blown away with this prequel and I know that I will be getting little sleep until I devour the rest of this series. I absolutely have to know what happens next. After reading On Every Street, I feel completely emotionally wrung out. But in a totally good way. This story really drew me into it, and I feel very invested in these characters! This book had me on an emotional roller coaster and really made me feel very strongly about what I was reading.

Ellie is a con artist with only one thing on her mind. Revenge. She was ruined years ago by a drug lord and has vowed to make him pay. After honing her skills with the help of an old friend of her con artist parents, she sets out to work a long con. She never expects that her mark, one of the drug lord's henchman will be someone that she could possibly fall in love with though. Having changed her name to Eden, Ellie sets out to seduce Javier. Javier is not just an average criminal though, and soon she begins to think about really being with Javier and giving up her quest for revenge. As Ellie (now Eden) and Javier begin a passionate relationship, secrets and lies threaten to tear them apart as lines are blurred. Can Ellie and Javier make their relationship work, or were they doomed from the start?

I really liked Javier. Yes, he works for a cartel and has done some terrible things. But he was also sexy and protective, willing to do whatever it took to look after Eden. He was dangerous and dark, but underneath all that he seemed to wish that he was better for Eden and it was clear that he struggled with it all. Ellie had a hard life. She was damaged from her past and being pretty much alone. It was clear that she was vulnerable and was looking for a way to heal herself. I really liked her and Javier together. I felt like they really balanced each other out and were good for each other. They were extremely hot together and had amazing chemistry. These two were so attracted to each other that it felt as though they would combust at any time just from being near each other. They had highs and lows, and at times they absolutely broke my heart! I felt so strongly about them and became very emotionally invested in them.

Overall, this story was fabulous and I really loved it. I felt the connection between Eden/Ellie and Javier was very real, and although it wasn't perfect it seemed right. Not only did I feel their connection to each other, but I also felt very connected to them. These characters are deep and interesting and I loved them flaws and all. The ending of this story left me absolutely shattered and I found myself wanting to scream at Javier. How could he do that? He did something and it just left me completely gutted. I cannot wait to read more and finish this series. I know that the road to the end isn't going to be an easy one, and i'm sure that these books will continue to be gut-wrenching and emotional. But I am along for the ride, and I can only hope that at the end everything will work out the way its supposed to. I absolutely recommend this series to anyone who likes their reads a little dark and dangerous as well as sexy and hot. This story was so unique from anything else I have read and is an absolute must read!

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Guest Post with Maya Rodale

Meet Maya Rodale. Maya is celebrating the upcoming release of her newest book, The Wicked Wallflower. Please give her a warm welcome.

Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother's insistence. She is now the author of numerous smart and sassy historical romance novels. A champion of the romance genre and it's readers, she is also the author of the non-fiction book Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation Of Romance Novels, Explained and a co-founder of Lady Jane's Salon, a national reading series devoted to romantic fiction.Maya lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

Places to find Maya:
Site | Facebook | Twitter |

Friday, October 25, 2013

ARC Review: Never Desire a Duke by Lily Dalton

Christmas stories are inevitably sentimental. They almost always have themes of redemption and renewal, as we would expect. Never Desire a Duke is no exception. There are many themes here that have been done and done again. Yet they were done very well in this sweet story of forgiveness and renewed love. Lily Dalton feels like a natural storyteller to me. Her writing flowed smoothly and the dialogue was fresh and genuine.

The Duke and Duchess of Claxton’s marriage is completely derailed. It got off to a wonderful start. Then Lady Sophia, pregnant with their first child, discovers a note from one of Vane’s paramours. Rushing to leave him, she falls and loses the baby. Vane (who has actually given up his womanizing ways) is crushed by the loss of the baby and by Sophia’s grief. He feels inadequate to deal with the emotional upheaval and leaves England for about a year. Now he is back to try to mend the fences. Sophia is ready for a legal separation, but first she wants to have a baby. They become snowbound at one of his small estates just before Christmas and are forced to confront their issues.

In some ways Never Desire a Duke is like dozens of other Christmas romances. It had a carload of plot devices that have been used again and again: the big misunderstanding, the good-marriage-gone-bad plot, snowbound at Christmas, the former lover, the misguided younger brother, the I-want-a-baby-but-not-you trope. So this should add up to a really trite book, right? Wrong. Dalton makes these tired devices fresh by offering new twists. Yes, there is plenty of misunderstanding, but they do talk about it. Even though they are snowbound they are far from completely alone; there is a great deal of humorous interaction with the townspeople, friends and relatives. The former lover seems evil, but we gradually see another side of her. Add it all together and you have a sweet little delight of a Christmas story with the requisite sentimental sobber ending. It was a pleasure to read and I recommend it.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

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

Feature and Giveaway: Never Desire a Duke by Lily Dalton

Lady Sophia has long been estranged from her husband, Vane Barwick, the Duke of Claxton, whose rumored list of amorous conquests includes almost every beautiful woman of the ton. Yet a single touch is all it takes to reawaken her furious passion for him. But how can she trust the man who crushed her dreams and took away the one thing she wanted most?

Claxton has never forgiven himself for the youthful mistake that ruined his marriage to Sophia. Now, after nearly a year abroad, the reformed rogue vows to win back the only woman he's ever truly loved. He'll do whatever it takes to prove he can be the honorable husband she deserves-and the passionate lover she desires.

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

Feature and Giveaway: First Bite by Dani Harper

Geneva “Neva” Ross doesn’t want to die. But now that she’s been turned into a werewolf against her will, she’ll do anything to protect her family and friends…even if that means taking her own life.

After witnessing Neva’s leap from a high ledge, Travis Williamson—a Changeling with a dark past—uses his powers to save her life. He feels a connection to the strong-willed woman whose eyes flash that familiar Changeling green. While Neva is hospitalized, Travis risks everything to kidnap her, knowing the approaching full moon will put everyone in jeopardy.

Bickering constantly to hide their growing attraction, Travis and Neva run from the authorities…and from Neva’s sinister sire, Meredith de la Ronde. Meredith delights in creating new shape-shifters and compelling them to do her dark bidding; now Neva must join Meredith’s murderous wolf pack…or die.

Intensely suspenseful with deliciously sexy twists, this paranormal romance—the first in (the title of series)—intertwines sensual passion with an epic, thrilling battle between good and evil.

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

Thursday, October 24, 2013

ARC Review: Mine to Keep by Cynthia Eden

I’m an avid fan of Cynthia Eden’s romantic suspense titles. She’s one of my top three authors in this genre, and she has a fantastic voice for dark romantic suspense: her stories are fraught with pitch-perfect suspense, compelling, emotionally intense, and HOT. What started as a standalone novella to tide her readers over until her next full-length romantic suspense novel whilst she focussed on paranormals and Harlequin Intrigue titles has turned into a new series that is sure to be hugely successful. MINE TO KEEP is book #2 in the series and follows up on and completes the story arc that was introduced in MINE TO TAKE. While MINE TO KEEP can be read and enjoyed as a standalone, it’s definitely a more satisfying experience after the ‘prequel’ novella.

My biggest issue with the (already excellent) first instalment in possessive-billionaire-with-a-dark-side Trace Weston and seemingly-sweet-young-thing-who’s-survived-hell Skye Sullivan’s story arc was the limited character development stemming from the novella length. In this full-length follow-up, Ms. Eden greatly expounds on that and does what she does best: create a darkly intense hero who’s alpha to the max and consumed by his love for his woman. Trace is a perfect example of the type of hero that’s all the rage in romance right now: impossibly attractive, ridiculously rich at a young age, and with a fierce protectiveness that frequently crosses over into possessiveness and a need for control. There is nothing novel about Trace, but Ms. Eden’s knack for putting her characters through hell and wringing every drop of emotion from characters and readers alike turns the tired ‘billionaire sex god with a dark past and deep secrets’ trope into a thrilling read. The first time around, I found Trace to be a touch too domineering; now, with a better understanding of his character and his secrets, I think he’s mellowed a bit and his protectiveness of Skye is almost endearing. Yes, he’s still über alpha and will do anything in his power to keep Skye from harm, but he doesn’t come across as dictatorial and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him learn to let her spread her wings lest his need to protect her smothers her. Skye’s character walks a fine line between strength and codependency, a survivor of a tough upbringing and a brutal trauma at the hands of a stalker who relies on Trace to steady her. I found her to be much less of a scared pushover this time around and liked seeing her assert herself more in her relationship with Trace: pushing back when his protectiveness makes her feel trapped, demanding to know his past so there are no secrets between them, and encouraging him to let go and give in to his animalistic passion instead of always being so controlled with her in the bedroom.

Speaking of the bedroom… be sure to keep a fan handy, because the love scenes are frequent and HOT! The sexual chemistry between Skye and Trace is palpable and scorching, and they often communicate best with their bodies. Ms. Eden is a master at writing love scenes that are both emotionally intense and worthy of erotic fiction, but these scenes never feel superfluous (my major gripe with a lot of erotica). Trace is convinced that his passion is too much for Skye to handle and always holds himself back, so watching him finally give in to it and realise that it won’t break Skye will have you reaching for a figurative postcoital cigarette. And a fan and/or fire extinguisher. Masterfully layered in with all the sexytimes is a surprisingly unpredictable and intense suspense plot that initially felt like a retread of the original plot in MINE TO TAKE but that turned into a rollercoaster of a thrill ride where everyone is a suspect and you don’t know whom to trust when ghosts from Trace’s mysterious past come calling and killing. Ms. Eden also introduces a great cadre of secondary characters that, whilst inevitably the protagonists of future books, add depth to the story and the characterisations and function as much more than future-book fodder. I absolutely loved Noah York, was thoroughly intrigued by Drake Archer, and cannot wait to see more of Detective Alex Griffin in subsequent books.

MINE TO KEEP is a fantastic addition to the Mine series and definitely recommended for fans of Ms. Eden’s work and/or dark romantic suspense. As always, Ms. Eden’s writing is spot on and delivers a perfectly paced story that will keep you guessing and frantically turning pages until the end. Trace and Skye are superbly written love-them-or-hate-them characters that will leave no one indifferent, and the host of secondary characters introduced in this novel add a second tier of terrific stories to look forward to. I cannot wait for the next instalment, MINE TO HOLD, at the end of October to learn Noah York’s story!

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

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

Guest Post with Maggie Robinson and Giveaway

Please welcome back the super awesome Maggie Robinson. Maggie is celebrating the release of her newest book, In the Heart of the Highlander and has stopped by to chat.

Maggie Robinson is a former teacher, library clerk and mother of four who woke up in the middle of the night, absolutely compelled to create the perfect man and use as many adverbs as possible doing so. A transplanted New Yorker, she lives with her not-quite perfect husband in Maine, where the cold winters are ideal for staying inside and writing hot historical romances.

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

Feature and Giveaway: The Inheritance by Olivia Mayfield

Maggie Willings knew that returning home for her estranged grandfather’s funeral would not be easy, but she never expected the reading of his will to be the most difficult part. The four people named in the will—Maggie, her brother Robert, her ex-boyfriend Andrew, and her grandfather’s far-too-young girlfriend Bethany—are given a challenge: find out the truth about what happened to Maggie’s younger sister Cassandra, who vanished over eight years ago, and win the entirety of the estate.

Maggie is thrown by the strange request, reluctant to drag up painful memories of her sister’s disappearance, and bothered by her lingering attraction to Andrew, who wants to team up to solve the mystery. But there are ten million dollars on the line and Maggie has no idea where to start—or who she’ll be able to trust.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes |

Feature and Giveaway: Sweet Surrendering by Chelsea M. Cameron

She’s his boss. He doesn’t care. This office isn’t big enough for the two of them…

When Rory Clarke ends up hiring the guy she spent one steamy night with to be her administrative assistant, she's determined to keep things professional.

Lucas Blaine has other plans for her. He wants Rory, and it’s hard to resist his stunning blue eyes, chin dimple and the way he fills out a suit. Everywhere she looks, there he is, giving her a panty-melting smile and pulling her away for the most amazing (and satisfying) sex she’s ever had in her life.

What starts off as one sexual encounter turns into multiple trysts in and out of the office and the lines she’d tried to draw so carefully are blurring. But the closer they get, the more Rory realizes that there are things about Lucas she doesn’t know, things he’s hiding from her. She’ll have to decide if she can surrender to her feelings or get out while she still can.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes |

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ARC Review: Far Too Tempting by Lauren Blakely

Far Too Tempting is Lauren Blakely's newest contemporary romance release, and I really enjoyed reading it. This story is one that kept me entertained and I really loved the characters. Each book I read from Lauren Blakely just convinces me more and more of what a fabulous writer she is. Her books are always filled with interesting and deep characters, sweet and steamy storylines and witty banter to keep you laughing. The more I read from her, the more I am a fan. Far Too Tempting definitely delivered on everything I have come to expect from Lauren Blakely. I really loved the twist on the rock star story in that the rock star is actually the heroine instead of the hero. It was refreshing to see something different than the same old thing.

Jane Black has finally found success as a rockstar. After her painful breakup, she wrote an album that just won a Grammy. But now everyone is wondering what is next for her and they are all eager for her to get a new album out as soon as possible. But she has a case of writers block and can't seem to come up with anything that is good enough. Matthew Harrigan is one of the most successful music journalists in the business. When he asks Jane to do a feature article on the process of creating an album and the writing of songs she is hesitant at first but soon agrees. But Jane and Matthew are extremely attracted to each other and the more they talk and spend time together, the more they want to be more than just professional with each other. Soon Jane is wondering if maybe it is only possible to write great music with a broken heart. Everything is going wonderful between Jane and Matthew, but Jane begins to wonder if maybe she needs to end things in order to have material to inspire her. But Matthew isn't willing to let Jane go so easily and is determined to show her that they can have a relationship and she can have her music too.

I loved Matthew. I thought that he was a great guy! Gorgeous and sexy, he is from England and has an accent. Who wouldn't love a sexy Brit? He is nice and charming, witty and sweet. He is definitely one of my favorite heroes I have read recently, and he was just one of those genuinely good guys. I loved how he was with Jane and even though he tried to keep things professional it was so great to see how much he wanted Jane. I also loved that he didn't want her because she was a rock star, but because of who she was as a person. I really liked Jane. She is strong and determined. I thought that she was a great person and loved that she was able to go from the Grammy's to being just a regular mom who helped her son with homework. She was a great friend and sister. Her relationship with her brother was something that I also really enjoyed. It was nice to see such a strong brother sister bond and it was just a really special relationship. Jane and Matthew were so great together. They had all the attraction and chemistry that makes a great couple, but they were also really sweet together and had an ease to their relationship that seemed very natural. I loved reading their emails back and forth, and the witty banter was so much fun. These two just seemed perfect for each other, and I loved that there wasn't a ton of angst and drama as they got to know each other better.

Overall I really liked this book. Jane and Matthew were great and I loved watching them fall in love. I also really enjoyed the other characters and thought that they were interesting as well. My one criticism about this book, and the reason for my rating is that although I enjoyed this story, I was hoping for more of the romance between Jane and Matthew. Much of this story focused on Jane's inability to write music and how her past relationship and heartbreak left her feeling less than confident. While the story was inspiring and uplifting it was more a story to me of overcoming painful events and the journey of healing and discovering yourself than the romance and connection between Jane and Matthew. I think that there are many people who will love and enjoy this book, and that won't be a problem for them. It was just that I personally was hoping for more of the love and relationship than what this book had. This book is a great read though and I really did enjoy the story and the characters. Lauren Blakely definitely has written another winner with Far Too Tempting, and I will continue to read anything by her that I come across. She is a wonderful writer and her books are always guaranteed to entertain. If you love contemporary romances, this story is absolutely one that you should check it. It is worth the read for Matthew alone!

**ARC provided by Sizzling PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Guest Post with Author Hayson Manning and Giveaway

Please welcome back to RFTC author Hayson Manning. Hayson is celebrating the recent release of her book, Winning the Boss's Heart and has stopped by to chat. Please give Hayson a warm welcome.

Hayson Manning's debut release, Wife in Name Only with Entangled Publishing, is available now. She lives in Southern California with her lovely sloth children, infuriating but much loved shoe-dropping husband, a tubby opinionated cat (as if a cat never doesn't have an opinion). There will often be a foster dog parked on the couch waiting for their forever home. She loves to read, cry watching Antiques Roadshow and is an expert at finding new and inventive ways to avoid exercise.

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

Feature and Giveaway: Far Too Tempting by Lauren Blakely

Jane Black has written the breakup album of the century, earning her a Grammy, a huge legion of new fans, and the pressure to repeat her success. Sure, the heartbreak from her husband’s unconventional abandonment might have been her inspiration, but it hasn’t done her any favors in the dating department. So when Matthew Harrigan, the toughest music journalist out there, asks for an interview, Jane agrees—as long as her personal life is completely off-limits.

British, gorgeous, and way too tempting, Matthew’s the first guy Jane’s been attracted to since her husband. As she spends more time with him and their relationship heats up, though, so does her writer’s block. How can the queen of the break up pen the perfect follow-up when she’s seriously in love?

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ARC Review: Lady in Red by Maire Claremont

Let me start by saying that Lady in Red (Mad Passions series #2) is a dark book. Very dark. Very Gothic. This is not to say that it isn’t a good book because it is quite good. But do not look for a sweet, heart-warming story. Every character in Lady in Red is tortured in some way, including the secondary characters. Each has a troubled past that is complicating the present. The book is so dark that we don’t see much light at all until nearly the very end, yet it is a romance with a happy ending. I found myself intrigued by the story and was very wrapped up in the characters. I also read the book very quickly which is a sure sign that I enjoyed it.

Set in Victorian England in 1865 the book picks up where the first book (The Dark Lady) left off, with Mary Darrel on the run after escaping from an insane asylum. Mary seeks help from the only person she can think of, her mother’s friend, a whorehouse madam named Yvonne. It is there that she meets another damaged soul, Edward Barrons, Duke of Fairleigh. He is immediately drawn to her plight and envisions saving her as offering redemption to him. He takes her to his home and helps her begin to recover from her physical and emotional traumas. But soon her father, the Duke of Duncliffe, who had imprisoned her and told everyone she was dead, finds where she is and comes after her. Edward engages the help of his friend, Viscount Powers, to empower Mary to fight her father. Will revenge satisfy Mary’s need for resolution? Can Edward release himself from his tormented past and more forward? Can two marginal people somehow rebuild each other?

Lady in Red was a strangely compelling book. Even though I like really tortured characters this was almost too dark for my taste. There was a considerable degree of violence, torture, insanity, and serious opium and alcohol addiction surrounding the events. One high point of the book for me was the character of Viscount Powers. I loved his sarcastic wit and was touched by his damaged spirit. It is exciting to know that he is the hero of book #3 (The Dark Affair, coming March 2014). This was one of the best set-ups for the character in the next book that I have seen. As I progressed through the book I was somewhat overcome by all of the troubles, but I rooted for the characters nevertheless. The ending was satisfying, but a little abrupt and it shifted gears perhaps too quickly. The sudden leap into lightness was appropriate, but felt just a bit strange. I think that Claremont did such a good job with the darkness that it was hard to see the characters any other way. All in all, I really liked the book and am looking forward to the next one.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

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

Upcoming Event: Romance is Bliss

Get ready for another exciting blog event! Starting November 1st, the authors from Entangled Publishing's Bliss line are taking over RFTC. Stop by to chat with your favorite Bliss authors, read reviews and enter to win some fabulous prizes!

The event will run from November 1st - November 16th.

With appearances by:

Don’t miss out on the fun! Mark your calendars and see you there!

Feature and Giveaway: Up to the Challenge by Terri Osburn

Opposites attract in a sexy tale of unexpected love

When the Dempsey patriarch suffers a heart attack, Lucas Dempsey steps up to keep the doors of the family restaurant open. The proverbial prodigal son returns home to Anchor Island—putting family first and his quest to make partner at his high-powered law firm on hold. Sporting a bruised ego after losing his fiancée to his older brother, Lucas would rather walk on glass than spend six weeks within spitting distance of the happy couple. But family duty calls. And that duty includes working side-by-side with a tantalizing spitfire intent on driving him mad.

Tough-as-nails boat mechanic Sid Navarro is happy to trade her tools for an apron to help the Dempseys in their time of need. That is, until she realizes she’ll be working alongside Lucas, the man she’s loved from afar since she first laid eyes on him in high school. Lucas could charm the paint off a schooner, but Sid knows she doesn’t fit his girl-next-door type. To show her true feelings would mean certain heartbreak, but the temptation of Lucas in her bed might be more than she can resist.

After a rocky start punctuated by verbal barbs and exasperating arguments, things heat up between them—big-time—but their steamy affair turns more than casual in a matter of weeks. Sid’s life has become the dream she’s always wanted, and Lucas has fallen hard for the last woman he ever expected to love.

But this affair has an end-date, as Lucas must return to his life and career in the big city, a place where Sid would never fit in. When the end comes earlier than expected, walking away turns out to be a challenge neither of them wants to win.
Up to the Challenge is a sexy, fast-paced, romantic story of family, island life, and finding love in unexpected places.

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

ARC Review: Connectivity by Aven Ellis

I must confess that when the first word I read in Aven Ellis’s CONNECTIVITY was ‘My’, I nearly turned tail and ran. First-person narratives still conjure up my only DNF read in recent memory involving a certain sparkly vampire and make me remember the brain cells I lost reading that train wreck trilogy starring a certain broody, supposedly-into-kinky-sex billionaire. Even after reading and having thoroughly enjoyed the The Hunger Games trilogy and the Crossfire series, both of which are told from a first-person POV. But I’m glad I soldiered on past my initial gut-level rejection, because CONNECTIVITY is a delightful lighthearted romantic comedy with a truly swoon-worthy British hero and a hilarious heroine.

As an avid reader of romantic suspense and thrillers, my major gripe with contemporaries is that NOTHING HAPPENS; the focus is solely on the hero and heroine, and they—and their relationship—makes or breaks the story. CONNECTIVITY is very much a contemporary in this respect: every page is devoted to the protagonists, British mogul William Cumberland and klutzy Midwesterner Mary-Kate (MK—indeed named after the Olsen twin) Grant, and the slow build of their relationship. And it is slow, but that makes it feel real given their personalities, their ages (particularly MK’s), and their reservations about serious relationships. As readers, we witness every step of their relationship, from MK as a single career-focussed woman to the meet-cute to the development of deeper feelings from an instantaneous attraction to the unsurprising HEA denouement. There are no dark, twisted pasts or significant angst and only just a touch of drama at the end, which makes for a sweet and fluffy read that—thankfully—will have you feeling warm and fuzzy inside but without the need to check for cavities. Sex is dealt with more directly than in other sweet contemporaries I’ve read but still happens off-page, but this fits organically with the story since the physical aspect of the relationship is only one of the many layers that are solidly built as the book progresses.

While the storyline in CONNECTIVITY isn’t particularly original in the face of all the sexy billionaire heroes that populate romance nowadays and the boss-and-assistant plot, it really works because of its delightful characters. I rather liked MK: she’s spunky, strong, sassy, and hell-bent on being a career woman and never depending on a man (unlike the women in her family). She’s klutzy, a bit of a hothead, and endearing and real, and the way she thinks she knows exactly what she wants out of life and is willing to work for it makes her incredibly relatable. Her head is a hilarious place to be, and her sharp wit and keen observations (tempered with just the right amount of new-adult immaturity) make her the perfect narrator to carry the story. Though I found some of the changes she underwent after meeting William to be a bit abrupt and was tempted to slap her upside the head a couple of times (particularly at the end), I really enjoyed watching her question everything she thought she wanted and come to the realisation that love and a career are not mutually exclusive.

And, oh, William… where to start with him? Predictable physical perfection and hot accent aside, he is truly a keeper. Given his upbringing and his status as a mega-wealthy media mogul surrounded by sycophants, he is reserved and hesitant to let people in. In the beginning, he is focussed on expanding his media empire and rising to the very top, with no time to devote to a personal life or relationships that will surely not last. One look at spunky MK stuck in the binding machine at his new Chicago office and he is sunk—despite his status as her boss and his lack of belief in lasting relationships. I really liked how William respected MK, doing his best to minimise office gossip due to their relationship (but going all sexy badass millionaire mogul when someone deliberately messed with her) and letting her set the pace for its physical progression. I also loved how he saw her as more than a pretty face, recognised that her sharp mind was wasted as an assistant (even his own), and pushed her to forward her career and take it in a direction more suited to her but that she’d never considered—writing—by opening the door and letting her choose to walk through it. In a sea of sexy, über-alpha, controlling billionaire heroes, William stands out because he’s more beta than alpha until push comes to shove… and I have a huge soft spot for slightly-beta heroes! Watching those walls he’s built around himself start to crumble as he falls for MK and the way he shows rather than talks about his feelings—especially after his major (and inevitable) man moment near the end—is incredibly heartwarming and satisfying. I seriously wanted to take him home and keep him for my own, even when Ms. Ellis tries too hard to make him come across as quintessentially English and it feels a bit forced. He and MK make a delightful, ridiculously cute couple, and the banter between them is hilarious.

CONNECTIVITY is a great read for fans of romantic comedies and anyone looking for a lighthearted, humorous read with the right amount of sweetness and two thoroughly enjoyable characters. It reminds me of an updated, slightly new-adult Bridget Jones’s Diary, and Ms. Ellis brings a refreshing new voice to contemporary romance and to the somewhat tired sex-God-domineering-billionaire trope. Though MK and William’s story is complete, I look forward to seeing what Ms. Ellis has in store for her readers.

**ARC provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon |

Interview with Author Natalie Anderson and Giveaway

Please welcome back Natalie Anderson, author of Gamble in Gold.

USA TODAY bestseller Natalie Anderson writes fun, frisky, feels-good contemporary romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon and Entangled Publishing. With over twenty books published, she's also been a Romantic Times Award nominee & a finalist for the R*BY (Romantic Book of the Year).

She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her husband, four children and what feels like a million ducks.

Places to find Natalie:

Guest Post with Author Aven Ellis and Giveaway

Meet Aven Ellis, author of Connectivity.

Aven Ellis has been writing fiction since she was sixteen. She studied communications at a large Midwestern university, and after graduation, Aven worked as a reporter for a community newspaper, followed by a stint at a public relations agency.

But writing about city council meetings and restaurant franchises was not as much fun as writing for young women trying to figure out their careers and potential boyfriends. So Aven got herself a job in television that allowed her to write at night. Connectivity is Aven’s debut novel; Waiting For Prince Harry and Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista (New Adult romantic comedy) will be published next year.

Aven lives in Dallas with her family. When she is not writing, Aven enjoys shopping, cooking, connecting with friends on social media, and watching any show that features Gordon Ramsay.

Places to find Aven:
| Site | Facebook | Twitter

Sunday, October 20, 2013

ARC Review: Wild Child by M. Leighton

Wild Child is a short novella in M. Leighton's Wild Ones Series. It takes place after The Wild Ones and is Jenna and Rusty's story. Wild Child can be read without having read The Wild Ones, but I would still recommend that you read it. I loved Cami and Trick from The Wild Ones and was excited to get more of them. I was also anxious to get to know Jenna and Rusty better since I really liked them as well.

Jenna has just graduated college and is looking for a job to start her career. She returns home to attend the wedding of her best friend Cami and her fiance Trick. Jenna has always wanted to leave her small town but after a summer fling with Rusty, her feelings for him have her wanting him more than anything she has ever wanted before. Rusty has some abandonment issues from his father leaving him and his mother. He knows that Jenna wants out of town and he thinks its only a matter of time before she leaves him. So he does the only thing he possibly can to protect himself and he leaves her first. But after tragedy strikes, Jenna and Rusty are forced to face how short life can be. Will they let their relationship go in order to protect themselves and go after what they thought they wanted? Or will they figure out a way to go after their dreams and a relationship together work?

I liked both Jenna and Rusty. I liked that Jenna was true to herself and went after what she wanted. I liked that she was a great friend and a great girlfriend. She was thoughtful and sweet, and you could really tell how much she cared about those that she loved. I liked that Rusty was a fun guy who wasn't afraid to grow up and be an adult when the time came. I wished that he would have talked to Jenna about everything instead of just assuming he knew what would happen though. I didn't feel as connected to Jenna and Rusty as I did to Cami and Trick though, and I think part of that was that this novella was so short. I just felt like we didn't really get to know them as well as I would have liked. I did think that Rusty and Jenna had a lot of chemistry though and I loved the steam they had between them. It would have been nice to see more of their emotions and connection though.

I thought that this was an enjoyable story and a nice addition to the series. I wish that it would have been longer because I think that there was a lot we missed out on with Jenna and Rusty because of the length. I felt like their story was pretty rushed, and if I wouldn't have read The Wild Ones first I think it would have felt even more rushed. I also felt like because I had read the first book, that there were a few things from that story about Jenna and Rusty that had been dropped and never picked up again. In The Wild Ones, Jenna starts out with a boyfriend and then meets Rusty. They decide to start having an open relationship and seeing others as well, and that is when things begin with Rusty. But I don't remember her boyfriend ever being mentioned again and I think I was missing a bit of that closure, so in the back of my mind I kept waiting to read something about him. Even though I loved Cami and Trick and enjoyed seeing more of their HEA, I felt like they sort of took over Wild Child. Between them and the tragedy that happens, Jenna and Rusty almost felt like a minor part of this story for me rather than the focus. I hope that in the next story we get more of Jenna and Rusty and maybe a few of the blanks will be filled in. Overall though I did enjoy this story and it was a nice quick read. I think that M. Leighton is a great writer, and she has a way of coming up with wonderful and interesting characters. The characters in this series are no exception. I am excited to see where she continues to take these characters as well as get the story of Jenna's brother Jake in the next book Some Like It Wild which is due to release in March.

**ARC provided by Inkslinger PR**

Feature and Giveaway: Wild Child by M. Leighton

Jenna Theopolis has always known what she wanted. Getting out of her small hometown of Greenfield was number one on her list of priorities. Until she met Rusty Catron.

Rusty’s fun-loving personality was the perfect match for Jenna’s inner wild child. But what started off as a summer fling quickly turns into something more. At least it does for Jenna.

Rusty has lived with the ghost of his father’s abandonment since he was a child, but now he’s beginning to feel the crippling effects of his scars. He wants to trust in Jenna, but deep down he doesn’t believe someone so wild and free can ever be tamed.

But tragedy strikes, pushing Jenna out of Greenfield and leaving Rusty with a choice to make—face his inner demons or lose the love of his life. Forever.

Guest Post with Author Jessica E. Subject and Giveaway

Please welcome back author Jessica E. Subject.

Jessica E. Subject is the author of contemporary and science fiction romance, ranging from sweet to erotica. In her stories, you could meet clones, or a sexy alien or two. You may even be transported to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.
When Jessica isn't reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk. Fast. But she just may slow down if there is a waterfall nearby.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers.
Jessica is a member of RWA and the Toronto Romance Writers chapter, EPIC, and Savvy Authors. She blogs weekly at Backward Momentum, and monthly at Paranormal Romantics.

Places to find Jessica:
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