Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sealed With a Kiss Event Winners

We've got quite a few winners to announce, but we first wanted to take the time to thank all of the authors that participated and donated items for the giveaways. We couldn't do this event without you and it means so much to us all that you take the time out of your busy schedules to write these amazing love letters. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

ARC Review: The Billionaire and the Virgin by Jessica Clare

The Billionaire and the Virgin is the first book in the Billionaires and Bridesmaids series by Jessica Clare, and it is also my first book from her. Jessica Clare also writes under the names Jill Myles and Jessica Sims. This new series is a spin-off of her Billionaire Boys Club series, but these books can be read as standalones. While I enjoyed this book and liked parts of it, I also had a few things that didn't work for me. But this book was short and sweet, and a good way to get lost for a few hours. 

After her parents died. Marjorie was raised by her grandparents. She has always preferred to hang out with the elderly and spend her spare time doing crosswords or playing bingo than going out with her peers and partying. When one of her friends gets engaged to a billionaire, they pay for all the bridesmaids to go on vacation to the island where they met for the wedding and a week of fun in the sun. When Marjorie rescues a handsome stranger from drowning, they hit it off and he asks her out to dinner to thank her. Marjorie feels drawn to Rob, and they start spending more time together. Though things get off to a rough start, they both find themselves wanting more. But Marjorie doesn't know everything about Rob, and he is afraid that once the truth comes out she will want nothing to do with him. 

Marjorie and Rob were both characters that I liked, but didn't really feel like I could connect with. Marjorie was extremely naive and I just wasn't really able to buy exactly how sheltered she was. I understand some of it because of how she was raised, but I didn't see how anyone living and working in the real world would have been able to remain so disconnected from media and pop culture. She seemed to be completely clueless about most things, and I just didn't quite understand it. Rob came off as a douche for a lot of this book, and I would really dislike things he would think or do. But then he would have moments that made up for those, and it was hard to reconcile the two different personalities. It seemed almost bi-polar at times and just didn't mesh as far as his character went. I saw that he was used to dating and sleeping with a certain type of girl and that he wanted more, but then he would turn around and basically want to act like he would treat Marjorie the same way while also wanting to treat her better because she was different. It was just a lot of contradictions, and was kind of confusing. I wanted these characters to make up their minds and stick with it. I did like them together though, and I thought that they had some really sweet and sexy moments. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable book and I did like it. But while I liked it, I didn't love it. It was predictable and didn't really break any new ground, but if you are looking for a sweet contemporary read you might like this one. I really wanted to see more depth and evolution for the characters though, and this one fell flat for me. We didn't really get to see anything beyond the surface, and it just felt like something was missing. If you like billionaire romance stories though you might give this one a chance.

**ARC Provided by Penguin Group Berkley**

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Guest Post with Author Shana Galen and Giveaway

Shana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers' Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, "The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun," and RT Bookreviews calls her books “lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching." 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. Shana loves to hear from readers, so send her an email or see what she's up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

ARC Review: Love Hurts by Mandi Beck

Love Hurts is the first book in the Caged Love series by Mandi Beck, but it is also her debut novel. I have to say that I was really impressed with her writing, and you couldn't tell that this was the first book that she has written. I am really looking forward to more in this series from her, especially after the ending of this book. I will tell you that there is a cliffhanger, but the book was so good that I am glad that I went ahead and read this one now rather than wait for the next book. I definitely can't wait for more of Deacon and Frankie though! 

Deacon "The Hitman" Love has been in love with his best friend for as long as he can remember. They grew up together and have been close their whole lives. When he finally decides to tell her how he feels though, Frankie isn't sure that she is willing to risk their friendship for a chance at more. Deacon might have been in love with Frankie for years, but that hasn't stopped him from being with other women and plenty of them. Frankie loves Deacon as well, but she refuses to end up just another one of his girls and destroy their friendship in the process. But Deacon isn't willing to give up on her, and he is willing to fight in and out of the cage for what he wants. 

I really liked Deacon and Frankie, but I will also say that they both had moments where they made me mad. Deacon had wanted Frankie for years and everyone knew it but Frankie. I don't really understand his reasons for never doing anything about it or saying how he felt. It just never really made sense to me. I also didn't like that he was so weak when it came to other women. Even after he told Frankie about his feelings and was trying to get her, he was still with other women. There wasn't any cheating and he was faithful when they were together, but I didn't like seeing him with other girls when he was after Frankie. I really could tell how much he loved her though, and he would have done absolutely anything for her. Frankie had been through a lot, and I could understand her reluctance to just jump into something with Deacon. She was confused and Deacon's feelings caught her off guard at first, even though I don't know how she had no clue of how he felt. But she was strong and smart, and she was a fighter just as much as Deacon was. She was able to go through something horrible and still come out strong. But I didn't like that she was so resistant to Deacon throughout this book. She was saying that she loved him and clearly had feelings for him, and yet she kept him at arms length when she found out something she didn't like. These two were smoking hot though, and I really enjoyed the passion and chemistry between them. 

I also thought that Frankie's keeping Cristiano around was bit overdone. She wasn't interested in more with him, and yet she really never set him straight. It seemed as though she almost kept him around just to get to Deacon and I didn't care for that. Especially since she was so jealous of Deacon's past girls. I felt like if she really wanted Deacon to give up the girls that she should have been willing to do the same and let Cristiano know that they had no chance. It just felt a bit too much considering that she didn't ever discourage how physical she let him be with her, constantly touching her even when they weren't working together. I really like Deacon and Frankie together though, and I honestly believe that they are meant to be together. They have such a strong connection, and a great base for a relationship. The ending just about killed me, and I really need to know what happens next. I will definitely be picking up the next book as soon as it is out, and I look forward to reading more from Mandi Beck in the future.

**ARC Provided by IndieSage PR**

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

ARC Review: Ember by Rachel Van Dyken

Wow. I honestly don't know how Rachel Van Dyken manages to top herself every single time, but with each new book in the Eagle Elite series I find myself falling in love with these characters over and over again. Just when I think there is no way that she will be able to make me love a book as much as the previous ones, she goes and proves me wrong. I will admit there was a lot of trepidation going into this story with Phoenix as the hero, but Phoenix proved that he was worthy of a second chance and love. Rachel Van Dyken has solidified herself as one of my favorite authors, and I honestly cannot recommend this series enough. If you haven't started this one, you definitely should give it a chance just make sure you start at the beginning. 

Phoenix De Lange is used to a life of death and destruction. He has a past filled with pain and yet he has managed to survive. Having betrayed and hurt the only family that ever accepted him, he is now on a path to redemption for the wrongs he committed. But when he is tasked with playing bodyguard to the Cappo's sister, everything suddenly changes. Phoenix does his best to push Bee away, and yet she refuses to give up on him. He is the only friend she has ever known and even though she knows everything he has done, she is able to see beyond it. Bee is determined to show Phoenix that he is worthy of more, but will he be able to survive long enough to have a future with her? 

Phoenix is one of those characters that you love to hate, but you always hope that they will come around. He had done some truly awful things before, and yet I never thought that he was beyond redemption. I always believed that there was more to him, and the more that was revealed about his childhood and family the more I saw to him. There were so many things that he had done, and yet I really believe that it wasn't truly his fault for all of it. I was glad that he was able to get some peace and happiness finally, and it was good to see him have someone that stuck by his side. He needed a strong woman that wouldn't ever give up, and he found that and more with Bee. She was able to show him that he deserved it, and that she wouldn't allow him to continue with the way he had been living. Bee was strong and smart, and I was glad that she was so relentless. She did what she wanted and was able to challenge and support Phoenix like no one else could. These two were great together, and it was fun to see them circle around one another before finally giving in to their feelings. I loved the tension and chemistry between them, but I also loved the connection that they had formed. 

Overall, this was another fantastic addition to this series. I have to say that this is definitely one of my all time favorites ever, and I have never been disappointed with a book in this series. It is one that I love each and every book and I love the characters as well. They are unique and complicated, and I love the depth that each of them has! Every single time I think I know the direction this series is going in, Rachel twists things around and surprises me. This series has held my interest from the very first word, and I am always left satisfied yet wanting more. I cannot wait for more from Rachel Van Dyken and this series. I highly recommend this series and if you haven't read anything from Rachel Van Dyken you are seriously missing out.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Guest Post with Author Amanda Usen and Giveaway

Meet Amanda Usen, author of Impulse Control.

Amanda Usen knows two things for certain: chocolate cheesecake is good for breakfast, and a hot chef can steal your heart. Her husband stole hers the first day of class at the Culinary Institute of America. They live in Western New York with their three children, one gerbil, four fish, a Russian tortoise, and a beagle. Amanda spends her days teaching pastry arts classes and her nights writing romance. If she isn’t baking or writing, she can usually be found reading a book and trying to get out of cooking dinner.
| Site | Facebook | Twitter

Feature and Giveaway: Ember by Rachel Van Dyken

I am a Killer. A Rapist. A Monster.

I know only pain and survival.

That is until the Cappo's sister walked into my life.

And changed everything.

She's a light who makes my darkness darker, her smile makes my heart turn to ice, and I can't escape the fear her seductive looks instill--knowing it's only a matter of time before I fail--again, and take her for myself.

This is the story of my redemption.

But it's not pretty...I died, and now I'm alive, but not living, breathing but not surviving. I am Phoenix De Lange, son to a murdered mob boss, estranged brother, horrible friend, monster in the making, newest leader to one of the most powerful families in the Cosa Nostra.

And I will have my vengeance.

Or die trying.

I am Phoenix De Lange.

Death is all I know.

Until she offers me a piece of life--I can't resist taking.

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: Thief by Tarryn Fisher

Best New Adult Romance Series I’ve Ever Read.

You should take this review seriously. I am not a diet-sex romance enthusiast. I prefer my books with a healthy amount of explicit content because I’m just nasty like that. Judge me. Whatever. I provide that preamble so you know that my giving this book the highest possible rating is truly significant because it had almost no sex. I had to survive purely on the story and what a story it was.

Thief is the third book in the “Love Me With Lies” series and it cannot be read alone. You have to read The Opportunist first, and Dirty Red second. If you haven’t read those two books first, this review might spoil them because the third book (and therefore this review) assumes you have read the other two books in the series.

It is difficult to review this book without spoiling it because there are revelations on nearly every page. Thief is Caleb’s POV on the entire Caleb - Olivia saga and also provides the conclusion to their story. This trilogy wasn’t just a book, it was a psychological dissection of all the extremely effed up stuff we inherit from our parents and drag into our relationships. This is one of the best written first person POV series I’ve ever read. The language of this book is mature and rich and exceeds anything else I’ve ever read in the NA category. I mean that, this is one of the most well conceived and well written stories I’ve ever read and it dominates the NA romance category unequivocally.

By the end of the book you understand Caleb and all of the decisions he has made. All of the loose ends are wrapped up but none of it is tidy and that makes me respect Tarryn Fisher more. You can’t have a total nightmare train wreck of a relationship like Olivia and Caleb and everything wind up with a neat bow on it. That would have detracted from the credibility of the book. TF doesn’t do that to us though; she does enough to satisfy readers who were longing for an HEA without making the resolutions too far fetched in context. You leave this series and you need a cigarette or a valium. The books make you look at the decisions you’ve made in your own relationships and ask yourself, have I been that crazy too? Maybe if you get a love like Olivia’s and Caleb’s it’s worth the crazy at the end of the day. Maybe not.

In summary, if you love New Adult Romance or any other kind of romance or just books, you need to read this series. The story and the characters are unforgettable. Hashtag Must Read!

Final Note: I was scared to read this series because I thought it was going to be a love triangle and I hate those. If you’ve gotten this far you know that the main characters do have romantic relationships with other characters but there is nothing that hit my freak out cheating trigger. Everything makes sense as depicted and I’m glad that after a year of seeing these books on my recommended for you list, I finally broke down and read this series.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Filthy Rich by Dawn Ryder

I will admit that I was first drawn to Filthy Rich because of the cover. I had never read anything by Dawn Ryder before, and I love a good Erotic Romance. That being said, I did have a few issues with this book that kept it from being one that I really loved. I went into this book believing that it was a standalone title, but soon found out that some of the characters were actually introduced in Out of Bounds. It wasn't said anywhere that you need to read that book first, but I honestly felt a bit lost at the beginning of Filthy Rich and finding out that there was a previous book explained why I was so confused. I probably wouldn't have read Filthy Rich as a standalone if I had known about Out of Bounds. I would definitely suggest starting there if you are interested in Filthy Rich.

After finally getting out from beneath her abusive ex's control, the last thing Celeste needs is to wind up with another controlling man. But while in Alaska for her best friend's wedding, she draws the attention of Nartan. Nartan is a filthy rich businessman and doesn't like to take no for an answer. So when he sets his sights on Celeste, he will do what it takes to make her his. But can Celeste let go of her past and give this dominant man a chance? And will Nartan want more from Celeste when he is used to keeping things casual with his women?

I found it hard to connect with these characters right away. Nartan came off really horribly at first if I am honest. He was arrogant and controlling, and he made a remark to Celeste that really pissed me off. He was such a cocky jerk to assume that because she didn't immediately fall at his feet that she was a lesbian, and then proceeded to say that he could turn her at least bi. That was enough to almost make me give up on this book, but I went ahead and kept reading because I was really hoping that there was more to Nartan than this first impression of him. Celeste wasn't a character that I felt invested in right away, and at first I wasn't even that sure that I liked her. But as the book continued, she finally started to grow on me a little. I still found her to be pretty hard to fully relate to, but I did start to understand her better. The problem I had with her for the most part was how she just never could seem to make up her mind or be honest with herself. While these two had chemistry and were hot together, I just wanted to see more of a connection between them rather than so much push and pull.

Another thing that was hard for me to get over was how slow this book started. For the first almost 25-30% not much happened. Celeste was wishy washy and went back and forth, and I just kept waiting for things to pick up. I know there has to be some set-up and that things can't always just start in with all the action, but I honestly felt like there wasn't much that was drawing my attention or holding my interest. I think that a lot of that is because of my issues with Celeste, and I wanted her to stop fighting things between her and Nartan. I will say that this being an erotic romance, I did enjoy the sex scenes. They were sexy and well written, and I thought that Dawn Ryder did a good job of showing the heat between Nartan and Celeste. It was really the rest of the story that I had my issues with though. While things did get better and finally picked up some, I still found myself struggling a bit with this story. I think part of it was the writing style of the author. Sometimes things were a bit too wordy or detailed, and I found myself getting sort of lost throughout. While I think that this book had some issues for me personally, I think that there are a lot of readers that this story will appeal to. If you are looking for an erotic romance with some suspense to it, you might give this one a shot. I still think I would recommend starting with Out of Bounds first, but isn't necessary.

**ARC Provided by Sourcebooks Casablanca**

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

Guest Post with Author Lindsay McKenna and Giveaway

Meet Lindsay McKenna, author of Taking Fire.

Lindsay McKenna is proud to have served her country in the U.S. Navy as an aerographer’s mate third class—also known as a weather forecaster. She is one of the original founders of the military romance subgenre and loves to combine heart-pounding action with soulful and poignant romance. Her latest book is the romantic suspense Taking Fire.

Feature and Giveaway: Filthy Rich by Dawn Ryder


Celeste Connor swore that she’d never be a victim again. After the hell of her abusive ex, the last thing she needs is to be under another man’s thumb. But when she catches the eye of fiercely dominant Nartan Lupan at her best friend’s wedding, Celeste finds herself drawn into a glittering world of wealth and power that has her body aching and her mind reeling.


Nartan is a filthy rich businessman who works hard, plays harder, and doesn’t take no for an answer—and he wants Celeste with a hunger he’s never before felt. He’ll do whatever it takes to have her. But Nartan didn’t expect that he’d want still more…

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

ARC Review: Unexpected Fate by Harper Sloan

Unexpected Fate is the first book in Harper Sloan's new Hope Town Series. This series is a next generation spin-off of her Corps Security series, but it can be read as a standalone. Fans of the Corps Security series will enjoy seeing familiar faces and getting to learn about the kids of those characters, but if you haven't read any of that series you won't be lost and this is a good place to start. I will tell you that if you haven't read that series yet, you will definitely want to after you read Unexpected Fate. This story was fantastic, and it made me want to go back to the beginning and read them all again!

Danielle Reid has loved Cohen Cage since they were children. Their families have been close and the two of them have always been a huge part of each other's lives. But Dani has always wanted more. She has loved him through every girl he has dated and through his deployments. But when she finally tells him how she feels, he begins to distance himself from her as much as he can. She knows that he feels something for her even if he refuses to acknowledge it. Dani and Cohen both know that with their family and friends so intertwined that if anything happens, things will be messy. But Dani is determined to finally get Cohen to give them a chance, or move on for good.

I loved Dani and Cohen so much. These two were the perfect example of soul mates. They were meant to be together from the very start, and it was clear that their connection went beyond just love. These two are seriously one of my all time favorite book couples ever, and I loved everything about them. Cohen fought his feelings for Dani for so long because of the age difference and to keep her safe from being alone while he was gone. But when things changed between them he didn't hold anything back, and I absolutely loved that. He wasn't afraid to go all in, and Dani was his girl. Dani was strong and feisty, and I loved how much she got that from her father. Their relationship was fantastic, and I loved seeing her give him a bit of a rough time. But what I loved the most about her was her unwavering love and devotion for Cohen. She would have done anything for him, and it was clear that Cohen was her whole world just as she had become his. The history and connection these two shared was amazing, but their chemistry was off the charts. It was beyond explosive, and I don't know how these two managed to avoid it for so long.

Overall, this was a fantastic story and start to this spin-off series. I loved Cohen and Dani, and I can honestly say that their book is my favorite Harper Sloan book I have ever read. These two just had something special, and I loved their journey. I also really loved getting to see familiar faces, and I think it was so hilarious to watch Axel cope with the changes in his daughter's life. Between him and Dani's brother Nate, I was constantly laughing out loud. These two went a bit overboard more than once as you can imagine, but it was clear that they would have done anything for her and I loved how fierce they were when it came to her. I cannot wait for more of these characters! I want to know all these kids better and see them each get their HEA's. I am really excited to see where Harper Sloan takes them from here, and I cannot recommend this series enough. If you aren't already a fan of Harper Sloan's, I definitely think that her books are worth the read and something that most readers will really enjoy.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

ARC Review: Floored by Melanie Harlow

Floored is the third and final book in the Frenched Series by Melanie Harlow. I absolutely love this series and while I am not ready to leave these characters behind, I couldn't wait to read this book! If you haven't read the previous books in this series, you can still read Floored. But I would highly recommend starting at the beginning. Melanie Harlow has never disappointed me, and this book had everything that I have come to know and love with her writing.

When Erin Upton's townhouse gets robbed, she is too embarrassed to tell the cops exactly what she was doing when it happened. Especially since the hot cop that shows up is none other that Charlie Dwyer, the boy that once terrorized her when she was younger. Charlie is just as cocky as he always was, but when they continue to run into each other she can't help the attraction between them. When he offers to help her one night with some work on her dance studio, things quickly change between them and they finally give in to the passion between them. They both agree it is a one time thing, as Charlie doesn't date and Erin has no time to deal with Charlie and his arrogance. But soon they find themselves unable to stay away from each other, and their one time turns into several. Can they turn whatever it is they are doing into more?

Charlie and Erin were super hot together, and I loved watching these two circle each other. They were so drawn to each other, and it was clear right from the start. The banter between them and witty conversations they had were fantastic. They were so well matched and I found it hilarious how they interacted with one another. They were almost complete opposites, and yet they fit together so perfectly in every way that mattered. They challenged one another and it was nice to see each of them out of their comfort zones when it came to the other. Charlie was super hot, and I loved that he was so alpha and commanding in the bedroom. But I really enjoyed seeing the softer side to him when he let it out. He had so much beneath the surface, and I liked seeing Erin bring it out in him. Erin was smart and independent, and I liked that she didn't let Charlie walk all over her. She might have been a bit shy at first, but she really came into her own and wasn't afraid to explore her desires with Charlie's help.

Overall, this was a great story and a wonderful end to this series. I really loved Charlie and Erin. Floored was laugh out loud funny while also being sweet and sexy. Melanie Harlow does a great job of writing fun and unique characters that you can't help but fall in love with, and Charlie and Erin were no exception. It was great to get more of the others from the series as well, and I felt like Melanie did a great job of wrapping things up and letting us know how things turned out for everyone. While I will miss this series and the characters, I know that I will go back and read these books over and over again. I am excited to see what else Melanie Harlow writes in the future, and I look forward to whatever she does next. If you haven't checked out this series yet, you are seriously missing out!

**ARC Provided by Truly Schmexy PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Guest Post with Author Sarah Castille and Giveaway

Meet Sarah Castille, author of Rough Justice.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, writes contemporary erotic romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha males and the women who tame them. A recovering lawyer and caffeine addict, she worked and travelled abroad before trading in her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home in shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

Feature and Giveaway: The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Return - Cover
The Fates are cackling their bony asses off...

It's been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they've given him have been violent and bloody--which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He's got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy's deal might be, but it's a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ARC Review: Bear Attraction by Jennifer Ashley

Shifter Unbound book 6.5 OMG I missed one! I missed Wild Wolf! But it’s ok; even if you missed the last one too it’s ok everything you need to know is explained in a nutshell. I have been waiting for Rebecca’s book since I started the series I love her strong Kodiak bear self and who better for her than the shifter understanding strong human Walker. A novella yes but by no means is it lacking in story content. It is jam pack full of emotion, action and suspense I loved it.

Rebecca is trying to outrun a bunch of dumb hunters and is caught on private property and instead of getting locked up Walker has set it up to where she instead helps him find Joanne’s missing sister, Nancy. Walker working as the liaison between the Shifters in Austin Shiftertown and the humans he is charged with finding Nancy because it is suspected she was taken by shifter. With Rebecca’s help Walker has more of a chance infiltrating in with shifter groupies and finding out information. Broderick and Joanne help and give clues to where Nancy was last seen. Dresses as a groupie Walker goes with Rebecca to a roadhouse to get information. The attraction between Walker and Rebecca is outstanding the closer they are the more they can’t stop touching each other and the fact that Walker is a potential mate for Rebecca throws her for a loop. Finding out what happened to Nancy exposes a new pack of shifters and introduces some new ones (wink, wink).

I really love this series and this one is a great addition to the series I wait on baited breath for more especially the next one, Mate Bond, a new shiftertown and new shifters to fall in love with.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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