Saturday, March 22, 2014

Weekly Winners

Below is a list of all of the winners from the past couple of weeks. Sorry for the delay.

Lingerie For Felons by Ros Baxter

Saving Sam by Megan Slayer

Barbara S.
All You Need is Love by Marie Force

Silence of the Wolf by Terry Spear

Wanda F.
Prize Pack from Lara Adrian

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

ARC Review: Mine To Crave by Cynthia Eden

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Cynthia Eden and her brand of dark romantic suspense and ├╝ber-alpha heroes. MINE TO CRAVE is the fourth instalment in her popular Mine series, and while it’s another trademark well-written, well-plotted, and well-paced read with a fantastic feisty heroine, the tormented possessive hero who believes himself incapable of real feelings is starting to get a bit repetitive. It’s a testament to Ms. Eden’s great talent and superb romantic suspense voice, however, that even what is fundamentally the fourth iteration of the same basic premise reads better than a lot of romantic suspense out there.

MINE TO CRAVE continues the events of the previous three entries in the series, so it is definitely best read in order. Having watched former spec ops brothers turned security specialist Trace Weston and billionaire hotelier Noah York find their HEAs, it’s now playboy casino owner Drake Archer’s turn to meet his match. And what a match it is—whereas the previous two heroines had an edge of fragility, Jasmine Bennett is 100% hold-her-own kickass, and it’s great to watch her challenge and battle Drake’s protective instincts and try to protect him herself. Jasmine has had a tough life but has the street smarts to come out on top. Her entire life is built on secrets and lies and nothing is as it seems with her—which makes her a very interesting and engaging character and Drake’s perfect foil. Drake has been lied to, betrayed, and nearly killed by the woman he thought he loved (twice, mind you) and whose blood is now on his hands, so he’s sworn to freely shag but never trust or feel for a woman again. Secrets and lies are a big no-no with him, which is kind of ironic considering his entire past and time in the military is shrouded in secrecy. So when Jasmine walks into his casino under false pretenses and the sexual chemistry explodes between them with one glance, it makes for a deliciously complicated and sexy relationship: each desperately wants but doesn’t trust the other and knows nothing good will come of them being together. Despite his resolve to never feel for a woman again, Drake falls fast and deep (perhaps a bit too much so) and feels that obsessive possessiveness that characterizes the series whilst at the same time trying to push Jasmine away and keep her safe. While that hallmark of the hero’s personality worked well for me in previous instalments, it felt a bit like more of the same with Drake and Jasmine’s story. So I really liked Jasmine as a character and thought she complemented Drake perfectly but was underwhelmed by Drake, and I wavered between really enjoying and being somewhat annoyed by the incessant push/pull of their relationship.

In typical Cynthia Eden fashion, the steam factor is off the charts without veering into straight-up erotica territory. She can definitely write a love scene (or many) that will fog up your e-reader and have you reaching for a fan! [Wow, that lift scene…] But in a departure from her usual mind-bendingly twisty suspense where you have no idea what’s coming next, the villain and his motivations are revealed fairly early on and the intrigue is more about figuring out how everyone is connected and how the hero and heroine will thwart the villain’s plans. Despite having no major plot twists, MINE TO CRAVE is still an incredibly fast-paced story that will keep you turning the pages to reach the end, which is another testament to Ms. Eden’s skill as an author.

While not my favourite entry in the series, MINE TO CRAVE is another great example of why Cynthia Eden is one of the top talents in romantic suspense—even what’s (in my opinion) not her best work still makes for a thrilling page-turner you won’t want to put down. A fifth instalment has just been announced, so I look forward to seeing whose story she will tell now that the three main players have their HEAs, and whether she will be able to put a fresh spin on the obsession-driven possessiveness that has characterized the Mine series so far.

**ARC provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Feature and Giveaway: Mine to Crave by Cynthia Eden

New York Times best-selling author Cynthia Eden continues her dark and sexy “Mine” romantic suspense series with…MINE TO CRAVE.

From the moment that billionaire casino owner Drake Archer sees Jasmine Bennett, he’s obsessed. Consumed by desire for the mysterious redhead, Drake will do anything necessary to claim her. Yet as desire rages between them, danger is stalking ever closer. Drake’s past isn’t dead, and the ex-Special Forces agent will soon have to face the ghosts he left behind.

Jasmine isn’t who she pretends to be. She’s a woman on a mission—and she’s supposed to be stealing secrets from the mysterious Drake. Falling for him isn’t on her agenda, but when lust and love tangle together, all the rules get broken.

When Drake learns of Jasmine’s betrayal…all hell breaks loose. He knows that he should turn his back on her, but it’s too late for him. He can’t let her go, but he can teach her a lesson. No one betrays him…not without paying a heavy price. Drake will destroy all of the enemies on his trail, he’ll bury his past, and he’ll teach Jasmine to want only him…just as much as he craves her.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Carina Press New Adult Blog Tour and Giveaway with Stephanie Tyler, Kristine Wyllys, Stina Lindenblatt and Danube Adele

Matthias Robichaud is looking for an alliance. The Defiance motorcycle club is a stronghold in the dangerous world that’s become the new norm and he’s driven to prove he’s tough enough to be sworn in as a full member. But when he sees a beautiful, spirited girl abducted by a rival MC, rescuing her jeopardizes all he’s worked for.

Politician’s daughter Jessa Everson knows what’s expected of her—obedience, loyalty and silence—but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t fight when she’s kidnapped by the Lords of Vengeance. Having Matthias save her is like gaining an avenging angel in leather and tattoos. But Defiance is known for brutal justice, and she may have just traded one bad situation for another.

Matthias’s urge to protect is too strong to ignore, no matter how much trouble Jessa brings to Defiance’s gates. There’s no room in the post-Chaos world for weakness so if Matthias and Jessa have any chance of surviving, they’ll need to put their full strength behind the MC…and hope that the MC will do the same for them.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

ARC Review: Indecent Exposure by Jane O'Reilly

I am always a bit skeptical when I go into a story that I know is going to be really short, as I usually don't ever end up believing in the relationship between the hero and heroine. But I think that when it comes to Erotica, the odds are better that I will like the story despite the short length. So when I was presented with the opportunity to read the Indecent Trilogy by Jane O'Reilly, I figured these had a good chance of being ones that I would enjoy. I was surprised just how much I ended up liking Indecent Exposure! This book really started off the trilogy with a bang, and I have to tell you I can't wait to read more from O'Reilly!

Ellie is a photographer who does portraits and weddings, but she also does erotic photography and bedroom shoots. She doesn't advertise the fact that she takes these photos and would do just about anything to keep people from finding out. So when her best friend Amber shows up with Ellie's accountant Tom and says she needs to have Ellie take some of the two of them, Ellie begins to worry. Ellie feels like she owes Amber which is the only reason that she agrees. Not only does Ellie not want her accountant to know about her side job, but she also has had a huge crush on him for the last three years that they have known each other. When Tom and Ellie find themselves acknowledging the attraction between them, lines quickly become blurred and soon they are mixing business and pleasure. Can they turn their attraction and lust into something more?

I really liked Tom. I loved that he was so put together in appearance and had such a straight-laced job and facade. But then he was as Ellie would call him a bit of a pervert when it came to his desires. I liked how much he pushed Ellie's boundaries and got her to open up to him. I also really loved that he had liked her before and even though he knew her secret, he didn't embarrass her or say anything. It was really sweet that he let her come to him and decide how and when she was ready to open up to him. I thought that it was really sweet of him to give her his trust by allowing her to take photos of him that could be hurtful if they got out. It showed just how much he thought of Ellie. I liked Ellie. I thought that she was a bit shy and a little bit too worried at times about others finding out who she was and what she did. But I liked that she didn't hesitate too much with Tom, and that she allowed him to help her open up. He really drew her out of her shell, and I think that they were great for each other. These two were also really hot together, and I loved how open they were. They really brought the steam, and I loved every bit of it.

Overall, I really liked this short story. I thought that it was really well written and I was drawn in from the very start. This one packed a ton of heat into a short amount of pages, and I felt like all of it was extremely natural. I really believed in how real Ellie and Tom's feelings were, and I never once questioned it because their connection and chemistry was so strong. One of the reasons that this one didn't receive five stars from me was the fact that Ellie's best friend Amber irritated me. She seemed to be extremely selfish and she honestly didn't seem to be that good of a friend. She didn't notice how Ellie felt about Tom at all, and she was pretty much focused only on her own drama. It was hard to believe that this was the friend that Ellie felt like she owed so much to. I think that this book was a great start to the trilogy though, and I was so glad that I took a chance on this one! This might be a super quick read, but its also really hot! I highly recommend this one to anyone looking to spend a few hours with a couple of really likable characters that are smoking hot together. I can't wait to read more from Jane O'Reilly in the future.

**ARC provided NetGalley**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Friday, March 21, 2014

ARC Review: Always by Kindle Alexander

Wow. There aren't words for all of the emotions that I am feeling right now after just having finished this book. Always by Kindle Alexander is one of the most moving and heartfelt books I have ever read. It was beautiful and deep, and I could not put this one down. Each book I read by Kindle just makes me realize why I would literally buy anything with her name on it. Kindle's books are always written well, filled with interesting and likable characters, and always draw the reader in from the very first word. Always is no exception and to say it is one of the best books I have ever read would be an understatement. Avery and Kane's story is one that will stick with me Always, just as the title suggests. At this point I am still fairly new to the Male/Male genre, but I have read quite a bit over the past year and Kindle is without a doubt my favorite author in the genre. If you haven't read any of Kindle's books, you are seriously missing out.

Kane has turned his restaurant into a successful and well known business in Minnesota after being kicked out of the house with nowhere to go when he was only eighteen. His Baptist Minister father and their family wanted nothing to do with him after he came out. On his own with nothing but the clothes on his back he met Paulie, who took him in and showed him what a father is supposed to be like. Now he runs his restaurant with Paulie, and is dedicated to making it the best that it can be. When Avery Adams the grandson of a US president who is rumored to be considering a run for political office makes a reservation at the restaurant, Kane personally welcomes him to La Bella Luna. Avery doesn't say a word to Kane though, and Kane fears that he has upset him. But Avery is anything but upset and goes out of his way to prove to Kane that he is interested in more than just dining in his restaurant. Before long, Avery and Kane are seeing each other and their feelings are stronger than either have ever felt before. Can they have a future together though with Avery's political aspirations and Kane's dedication to his business?

I loved Avery and Kane. They are both so different, and yet they were absolutely perfect together. They were the balance that each other needed and it was clear from the start that they were meant to be. Avery was so strong and committed to those that he cared about. I loved that he was always looking out for others and refused to settle. He was determined to have the life with Kane that they deserved and wouldn't take no for an answer. I loved how he never let them settle for anything less. Kane was a little more reserved, but he had such a silent strength to him. He was dedicated to living his life based on the beliefs he was raised on, and he never wavered despite the hatred he was shown. I liked that he was able to open up and really start to fully live with Avery's help. He never thought that he would have a lot of the things that straight couples do, and yet Avery helped him to see that not only could he have it but that they deserved that and more. Avery and Kane had an undeniable connection from the very beginning, and it was absolutely beautiful to watch as they fell in love and started their future together. They had off the charts chemistry also, and their attraction was that much more intense because of the emotions and bond between them.

Overall, this is hands down one of the best books I have ever read. Avery and Kane drew me in from the start and I was so emotionally invested in their story. Always was an emotional roller coaster that had me feeling so much that I was literally sobbing on my couch. It is so hard to even begin to describe everything that I was feeling while reading this book, but I can honestly say that I felt more while reading this book than pretty much any book I remember reading in the past. Avery and Kane were so real and believable to me, and I felt extremely connected to them. I really enjoy how Kindle makes these wonderful characters that you identify with and connect to, but it isn't just the main characters. I really loved Paulie and Kennedy as well as Robert and Autumn. I have to admit that I really liked Robert even though he was pretty quiet. I really hope that maybe someday Kindle will tell his story as well! (If you are reading Kindle, Hint Hint!) But in all seriousness, Kindle always leaves the reader completely satisfied with the ending and yet hungry for more. I will admit that I am a bit greedy when it comes to my favorites, and I always want more. That is always the case with Kindle, and I cannot wait to read more in the future. I highly recommend this story to anyone who is a fan of the male/male genre, but also to those that are looking for a true and moving romance. This book is by far one of the most beautiful love story's I have ever read. I will anxiously be awaiting the next book from Kindle, and I know that I will be reading Always over and over in the future. Avery and Kane's story is an absolute must read and will stick with you forever. Just make sure that you have a box of tissues handy when rea

**ARC provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Feature and Giveaway: Always by Kindle Alexander

Always Cover

Born to a prestigious political family, Avery Adams plays as hard as he works. The gorgeous, charismatic attorney is used to getting what he wants, even the frequent one-night stands that earn him his well-deserved playboy reputation. When some of the most prominent men in politics suggest he run for senate, Avery decides the time has come to follow in his grandfather's footsteps. With a strategy in place and the campaign wheels rolling, Avery is ready to jump on the legislative fast track, full steam ahead. But no amount of planning prepares him for the handsome, uptight restaurateur who might derail his political future.

Easy isn't even in the top thousand words to describe Kane Dalton's life after his father, a devout southern Baptist minister, kicks him out of the family home for questioning his sexual orientation. Despite all the rotten tomatoes life throws his way, Kane makes something of himself. Between owning a thriving upscale Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Minneapolis and managing his long-term boyfriend, his plate is full. He struggles to get past the teachings of his childhood to fully accept his sexuality and rid himself of the doubts brought on by his religious upbringing. The last thing he needs is the yummy, sophisticated, blond-haired distraction sitting at table thirty-four.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Feature and Giveaway: Her Summer with the Marine by Susan Meier

Their competition has never been so irresistible.

The last person Ellie McDermott wanted to run into after returning to her hometown is Finn Donovan, her high school nemesis and the guy she crossed the line from enemies to lovers with one night years ago. Now ex-military, tattooed, and still sexy as hell, Finn is a complication Ellie doesn’t need—she needs to concentrate on saving her family business.

Finn’s entire life, Ellie was there, going head-to-head with him in every class, bee, and test. So it’s no surprise she’d show up just as he was about to take over her father’s struggling business. It is a surprise, though, that his attraction to her is even more explosive than it had been. Acting on their attraction is one thing, but Finn has to turn a profit to save his own family, and nothing—not even love—will get in his way.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

ARC Review: Love’s Revenge by Joan Avery

“Love’s Revenge” by Joan Avery was very different from most of the historical romance stories I have read. First, it takes place in the U.S. and not England. Also, the hero and heroine are not a part of rich and elite society. I found this story to be very unique in many different aspects. The author really included many different historical elements such as the conflict with the Indians as expansion in the U.S occurred. There were also the details about the wild frontier that, I thought, fit perfectly with the story.

Kate Barker is an heiress. She is very dedicated to her nephew. After her sister’s death she became his guardian. One night at a ball she meets a very mysterious English Viscount-Stephen Worth. They are instantly drawn to each other but there is an uneasy feeling that surrounds their meeting. I have to say that the beginning was the only part that I didn’t think flowed. After their meeting Stephen is immediately angry with Kate. Ok, this is where I was very lost.

First, I loved Stephen. He was very ahead of English society and played by his own rules. He suffered many trials and near death experiences. He was handed many unfair situations. BUT. And this is a big BUT. Kate really did nothing wrong to him, personally. In fact, before she discovers that he is her nephews father (in other words, her dead sister’s husband) she confides in him how much she loves her nephew and how devoted she is to him. I would think that maybe he would be grateful to her for this instead of angry. As can be imagined, Kate begins to “hate” Stephen once she discovered that he is her sister’s thought-to-be-dead husband. They begin to fight over her nephew until they come to an agreement. This was my second issue. She is in love with her dead sister’s husband.

Putting these issues aside, Stephen and Kate travel across the frontier U.S. They soon learn that this is very dangerous and they stumble across many life threatening situations. As they begin to get to know each other, they realize how they let misconceptions and misdirected revenge get the better of them. As they begin to accept each other and their present predicaments they are hunted by the past. The issue remains that they have to discuss just how her sister died? Where was Stephen all this time? The answers are not pleasant and they have to find out if they can or want to look into their pasts and try to build a future. This is definitely a story worth reading!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Guest Post with Author Rachel Schurig and Giveaway

Meet Rachel Schurig, author of Escape in You.

Rachel Schurig lives in the metro Detroit area with her dog, Lucy. She loves to watch reality TV and she reads as many books as she can get her hands on. In her spare time, Rachel decorates cakes. Her THREE GIRLS series is available now from Amazon!

Find Rachel at:
Site | Facebook | Twitter |

Review: Escape In You by Rachel Schurig

I really enjoyed this book. Escape in You is the first book that I have read by Rachel Schurig, but I will definitely be looking for more from her in the future. I thought this book was emotional and heartbreaking at times, but I really loved how Zoe and Jet were able to lean on each other. I felt bad for both of their characters, and they had been through so much. I liked seeing how they were able to grow and heal over the course of the book, and I really didn't want to put this one down.

Zoe is used to using parties and alcohol to forget and escape her life. She is all about having fun for awhile and keeping things casual. When she meets Jet Taylor at a party, she thinks that he is the perfect way to spend her summer. They end up spending the party talking rather than making out, and when she leaves Jet tells her that he will see her again. Jet and Zoe end up running into each other, and before long they are seeing each other. Both are determined to keep things light, but before long they are starting to develop real feelings for each other. But with so many things in their past and in their present standing in their way, can they possibly have anything serious?

I really liked Taylor (Jet). He was so thoughtful and sweet to Zoe, and he was always looking out for her. Even though he said that he just was looking for fun as well, I loved that he didn't really fight his feelings for her. He knew that things were becoming serious, and instead of running he really let himself open up to the possibility of a relationship and was honest with himself. I felt so bad that he blamed himself for things that weren't his fault. It didn't help that he had a really bad home situation that just made him feel so much worse. He really started to grow and heal with Zoe's help though, and was able to overcome so much. Zoe was also a bit broken due to things that weren't in her control. She had taken on so much responsibility for things that she never should have had to worry about. Because of her tough life, she turned to alcohol and flings with guys. I didn't agree with her choices, but I understood that she was using these things to try and escape the pain as well as cope with her bad situation. I liked how she was with Taylor though. She was always encouraging him and trying to get him to see how good he was. They were both really perfect for each other in that aspect, seeing the good in each other and supporting them while they helped each other realize that they weren't defined by their pasts. I thought that not only were they a great match emotionally, but that they also had a ton of chemistry. I loved that there was no drama when it came to their feelings for each other and that the issues they faced were outside the relationship. It was nice to see a New Adult book with no love triangle.

Overall, this was a really good book. I did think that it would have been nice to see a bit more communication between Zoe and Taylor. I felt like a lot of this story was about Zoe constantly running and avoiding talking with Taylor and also with her friends. I had hoped that she would stop the push and pull a bit quicker, but that is really my only complaint. I loved that this book was a standalone with no cliffhanger, and I felt that the ending was exactly the way it should have been. This whole story played out in a way that was satisfying to the reader, and I loved watching the evolution of the characters from beginning to end. This story was interesting and captured as well as held my attention from the very start. I really look forward to reading more from Rachel Schurig in the future. I think that a lot of readers will really enjoy this book, and going on the journey with Taylor and Zoe as they grow and heal from some awful things that have been dealt their way. This story is a great example of how anyone can move forward with their life even when things seem to be hopeless or stuck.

**Copy provided by Xpresso Book Tours**

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | The Book Depository |

Guest Post with Author Callie Hutton and Giveaway

Callie has been making up stories since elementary school, and writing gave her a way to turn off the voices in her head. After having a number of articles and interviews published in newspapers and magazines, she took on what she’d always dreamed of. Writing that book. She currently has a number of both historical and contemporary romance books published.

She currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband and adult children who move in and out with alarming regularity. Add three rescue dogs and the household is complete—and full. She enjoys hearing from her readers, and would love to have you visit her.

Places to find Callie:

ARC Review: The Duke's Quandary by Callie Hutton

The Duke’s Quandary by Callie Hutton was a great read! I thoroughly enjoyed this great romance. The characters were interesting and the writing was engaging. I’ve never read anything by Callie Hurtton and was not sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. First, our heroine -Miss Penelope Clayton. Poor Penelope is a devoted botanist. She absolutely loves science and is filled with fulfillment when she is digging in dirt on her hands and knees. Luckily for Penelope she lives on outside of London in the country. She is able to do whatever she wants and spend all day on her scientific findings. She writes to The Linnean Society of London under a man’s name since women are not able to submit their findings. Penelope’s luck runs out when her aunt decides that she must find a husband and have a season in London. For Penelope this is horrendous news. She is very socially awkward and prefers the country.

Drake, Duke of Manchester has recently become a duke upon his father’s death. He didn’t expect to have to fill his shoes so quickly or so soon. He doesn’t feel adequate and is consumed with worry about his three single sisters. The two oldest sisters are on their third and fourth season, he is worried about them not finding husbands. He informs them that they must find husbands this season. At first sight, Drake is very arrogant and full of himself. He bosses everyone, including his mother, around. He informs his sisters that they must marry even if it is not for love. Drake tries to handle his new duties as a duke and marry off his sisters when his mother informs him that Penelope will be joining them for the season. She asks that he introduce her into society and help her find a husbands. Obviously, we can figure out how excited Drake is about his new charge. Aside from all this task Drake decides that he has to find “the perfect duchess” to marry. He already has someone in mind and believes that she will fill the role of duchess perfectly and to his standards.

When Drake and Penelope meet it is filled with catastrophe. Penelope is socially awkward but also nervous, she also needs her glasses to see and on her aunt’s advice to look more fashionable, she takes them off in public. Needless to say it is a big embarrassing scene for Penelope and Drake has very little patience with her. At first it is difficult to see how the author can bring together such very different people, but she does and in a very endearing manner. Although Drake has decided to help Penelope (many times very unsuccessfully) he is really the one that changes. Luckily for him, his sisters are always quick to put him in his place, even when he is being a terrible jerk. His mother is also full of wisdom and offers him guidance along the way. Not to mention our heroine Penelope. This was my favorite part of the story. Typically authors would transform Penelope into a goddess and Drake would fall in love, but that is not what happens in this story and I really applaud the author for her creativity and authenticity. I really enjoyed the story and Hutton’s writing. I could not put the book down. I hope she has some ideas in mind for his sisters who were very fun characters. I loved the surprised ending, and was not expecting it! Definitely worth a read! Just try not to have any sharp objects, there are times when Drake is overly infuriating!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ARC Review: Hot and Bothered by Kate Meader

Jules Kilroy is in labor. The man coaching her through it and holding her hand, Tad DeLuca, is not the father. Both wish he was, but for now, he’s her best friend. And her brother Jack’s friend, who’s British, a celebrity chef, and overprotective of Jules. Tad is opening a restaurant with Jack’s financial backing. Tad’s family has a long history in the restaurant business. Although his deceased parents hoped he’d be an engineer, different circumstances brought him to the wine bar. He blames himself for their deaths and sees himself as a failure. Jules is dyslexic. She has trouble reading, but loves to cook. She memorizes recipes and creates her own. Tad gives her a job and a book with pictures to help her remember the wines and menu. Her son, Evan, is now eighteen months old and she has decided to date. Her girlfriends help her upload a profile on some dating sites. She was a party girl because she lacked self-confidence in her youth. She’s recovered and wants a father for Evan. Plus a healthy sex life would be a nice bonus. Tad can’t stand the idea of her dating other men. He makes her a deal, he’ll provide the sex in a safe no strings attached relationship. They’ll work and play together. Since the dating sites offer no one of interest and she craves Tad, she agrees. When Evan’s father makes an unwelcome return, Jules turns to Tad for advice. She doesn’t like what she hears, but knows he’s right. Can they both accept all the other’s past baggage and become a family?

Tad is a Beatles fan and decides Jules is George, the late bloomer. A wonderful way to have her hit the reset button and move on in life. Tad and Jules make a good couple and parents for Evan. Jules keeps her son in the forefront of every decision. Tad treats him with the same love, respect, even enjoys babysitting. They have both been wounded from the outside and inside. They can heal each other.

Italian proverbs or sayings are used to start every chapter and provide a glimpse of what’s to come. The cast of characters add to the tension and joy in the story. Her brother, Jack, is domineering and clueless at the same time. Tad’s family is warm and accepting. The foods served add to the flavor too. Recipes handed down through generations connect and restore broken hearts and relationships.

This is the third in the Hot in the Kitchen series and I’m hungry to read the first two.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

ARC Review: Bad Girlfriend by Kirsten DeMuzio

Bad Girlfriend is the fourth book in the First and Last series by Kirsten DeMuzio, but can be read as a standalone. I really liked this story and thought that it was really easy to get into. It was well written and flowed really well. I thought that the pacing was great, and it was a quick read for me that I didn't want to put down. I am really excited to read more in this series and I can't wait to see what else Kirsten DeMuzio comes up with next.

Brooke was raised by her grandma since her mother was incapable of taking care of her at the age of sixteen and her father wasn't in the picture. She went to cosmetology school and now does hair while living with her grandma and helping her take care of her house. Brooke has had one bad relationship after another and tends to fall for all the wrong guys. With abandonment issues because of her childhood, Brooke tends to let guys use her. When her new neighbor Adam and her end up in bed following a night that neither of them remember, she is determined to change her ways. With the help of her friends they come up with a list of rules to be followed when dating. Adam has wanted her since the first time he saw her and had no problem playing by the rules. He is determined to show Brooke that she deserves to be treated right and he is just the guy for the job. But hen outside drama threatens their relationship, will they be able to make it through together?

I really liked Adam. He was sweet and kind, and he treated Brooke really well. I liked that he was already looking out for her and taking care of her before he really even knew her. He was always thinking about her, and it was sweet to see how fiercely protective of her he was. He wouldn't let anyone say anything bad about her, including herself. He was just an all around good guy, and he was absolutely the perfect match for Brooke. Brooke was a little damaged and insecure because of her childhood. It was great to see her start to really value herself with Adam's help. I also liked that she wasn't afraid to open up to Adam and lay everything on the table. She was honest and not afraid to be herself. I liked that they were able to be so forthcoming with each other, even when it came to the hard things. Adam and Brooke were really great together, and I liked that they took things slow and followed the rules for dating despite the chemistry between them. It made their relationship that much more real, and you could tell that they were developing a really strong connection. The sexual tension between Adam and Brooke was clear from the start, and I enjoyed their scenes together.

Overall, this book was really enjoyable. It was a really great way to spend a few hours, and I was able to lose myself in their story. There was drama and some issues in this book, but for the most part it was all on the outside of their relationship and I was really happy about that. It was refreshing to see the main couple committed to each other and dealing with things as a team while not letting it tear them apart or really get in their way. I also really liked all the characters in this book besides just Adam and Brooke. I really liked Adam's friend despite his man-whore ways, and I can't wait to see where Kirsten DeMuzio takes his character! This book was really good, and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet romance with a lot of sexual tension and some steamy scenes.

**ARC provided by Literati Author Services**

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Feature and Giveaway: Bad Girlfriend by Kristen DeMuzio

Brooke Mills has only ever wanted to be loved. The product of a teenage pregnancy and raised by her grandmother, Brooke went looking for love in all the wrong places. She has been the other woman or someone’s dirty little secret more times than she cares to admit. When Brooke’s questionable judgment lands her in the bed of her new neighbor, it’s the wakeup call she needs to change her ways. With the help of her friends, Brooke is determined to find a nice guy.

Adam Branigan is new in town, and despite the way he and Brooke met, Adam knows there’s more to the beautiful redhead than meets the eye. He wants to be the guy to show Brooke that she deserves more than late night booty calls. But will outside pressures and past relationships conspire to keep them apart?

**This book is intended for a mature audience, age 18 and older, due to language and explicit content.

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Feature and Giveaway: Theirs to Cherish by Shayla Black

The perfect place for a woman on the run to disappear…

Accused of a horrific murder she didn’t commit, former heiress Callie Ward has been a fugitive since she was sixteen—until she found the perfect hideout, Club Dominion. The only problem is she’s fallen for the club’s master, Mitchell Thorpe, who keeps her at arm’s length. Little does she know that his reasons for not getting involved have everything to do with his wounded heart…and his consuming desire for her.

To live out her wildest fantasies…

Enter Sean Kirkpatrick, a Dom who’s recently come to Dominion and taken a pointed interest in Callie. Hoping to make Thorpe jealous, she submits to Sean one shuddering sigh at a time. It isn’t long before she realizes she’s falling for him too. But the tender lover who’s seducing her body and slowly earning her trust isn’t who he claims...

And to fall in love.

When emotions collide and truths are exposed, Sean is willing to risk all to keep Callie from slipping through his fingers. But he’s not the only man looking to stake a claim. Now Callie is torn between Sean and Thorpe, and though she’s unsure whom she can trust, she’ll have to surrender her body and soul to both—if she wants to elude a killer…

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Feature and Giveaway: Stealing the Groom by Sonya Weiss

Friends don’t let friends marry the wrong woman…

Chad Walker may be a take-no-chances man with a plan, but there’s no way Amelia Snyder is going to let her best bud marry Mean Girl #1—even if the wedding is solely so he can secure the controlling shares in his family’s company. But free-spirited Amelia’s at-the-altar groomnapping scheme takes a surprising turn when she ends up as the blushing bride instead.

Suddenly, with Amelia living in her handsome husband’s home—in his bedroom, no less—she starts to reconsider their strictly platonic arrangement. But Chad’s always been anti-risk and definitely anti-love, and betting a lifetime of best friendship on the chance at forever might be the biggest gamble of all..

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ARC Review: The Furnace by Timothy S. Johnston

I’ve spent so long reading romance that I’d forgotten how much I enjoy good straight-up crime fiction. Considering I cut my reading teeth on Agatha Christie’s entire collection of Hercule Poirot mysteries, it should come as no surprise that a classic whodunit is my favourite genre after romantic suspense. So when debut author Timothy S. Johnston’s futuristic science fiction/murder mystery/technothriller hybrid THE FURNACE showed up on my radar, I jumped at the chance to revisit my reading roots. Channeling the dame of the locked-room mystery, Agatha Christie, and the father of the modern technothriller, Michael Crichton—and throwing in a bit of The Bodysnatchers and some Isaac Asimov—Mr. Johnston delivers a tautly-paced high-stakes whodunit with a great (but small) cast of characters… and even manages to throw in some romance!

THE FURNACE is first and foremost a locked-room story: a gruesome murder has taken place on the isolated solar harvesting station SOLEX One and homicide investigator Lieutenant Kyle Tanner of the Confederate Combined Forces is dispatched by the powers that be in the Terran Confederacy (the militarized authoritarian government of 2401 AD scattered all over the solar system) to investigate. One dead body, fourteen suspects, and a nine-module space station five million kilometres from the sun. The locked-room mystery takes true talent to do well, since the author must create tension and a sense of danger in a confined space whilst still keeping the reader guessing about the identity of the perpetrator(s). Mr. Johnston establishes that tension from the moment Tanner boards the ship in Mercury that will take him to SOLEX: an orbit so close to the sun that it requires special heat and radiation shields, infrequent communications with the command post in Mercury, slim possibilities of a rescue launched from Mercury, and scarce means of escape. It is clear that SOLEX is a dangerous place and one misstep can prove fatal. To make matters worse, the environment deteriorates severely over the course of the story, ramping up the tension even more and increasing the sense of urgency in unraveling the mystery. And, of course, the potential murder Tanner is sent to investigate is not the only one: the tension ratchets up as the body count increases and everyone is a suspect—including Tanner. Mr. Johnston fosters that intense, isolated feeling so well that I found myself needing to put the book down briefly to take a breather before diving back into the story. [And looking at everyone sideways, lest they suddenly attack me and chop off my head and hands].

The identity and motivation of the perpetrator(s) are revealed halfway through the novel, so the narrative shifts from Christie-esque whodunit to full-on action-packed thriller where the question is not who the villain is but how to stop him/her and save the universe in the eighteen hours before all power in the station fails and SOLEX disintegrates. Though there is a strong focus on science and technology throughout the novel, the material is explained in great detail and is approachable to readers of all backgrounds. Even as skeptical as those of us well versed in science are wont to be about science fiction, the science aspects are solid and interesting and raise many questions about technological advancement and morality that make THE FURNACE an intellectually-stimulating read in addition to being a well-crafted thriller. And despite being primarily a plot-driven story, the character of Kyle Tanner holds everything together: a real, human character wracked by guilt for the death of his only friend (which he believes to be his fault for failing to crack a case more quickly) who works tirelessly to apprehend criminals. The first-person narrative is written from Tanner’s perspective, so we get great insight into this compelling character as he grapples with the frustration of a case that seems to be going nowhere and the betrayal of his military comrades, and finds love with one of the SOLEX inhabitants.

Overall, THE FURNACE was a gripping page-turner that captured my interest from page one and didn’t let up until the end. Readers beware: there is a moderate amount of violence and slight gore given the high body count and nature of the murders, but fans of Crichton or Patterson or science-inspired technothrillers looking for a well-written, fast-paced read should definitely pick this one up. Mr. Johnston does a great job creating the futuristic human world ruled by the Terran Confederacy and making Kyle Tanner an engaging character we want more of. I’m already looking forward to the next two books in The Tanner Sequence series, THE FREEZER and THE VOID.

**ARC provided by Author**

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