Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Historical Christmas Eve Event Winners

There are many winners to announce but before we do so, we just wanted to take the time and say a SUPER BIG THANK YOU to each and every author that participated in the Historical Christmas Eve event. We loved each and every scene you all created and this event would be nothing without you. Thank you so very much. =)

Now, on to the winners!

ARC Review: The Score by Elle Kennedy

The Score is the third book in the Off-Campus series from Elle Kennedy. Each book contains interconnected characters but can be read as a standalone. I have to admit that this book was so unexpected. I mean I knew that it would be great and that I would love it, but Dean's story had so much to it that I never would have seen coming! I absolutely loved it and I can't wait to get the next in this series. If you are a fan of the series so far, this is an absolute must read. If you are new to the series, you are seriously missing out and should go out and get them all!

When Allie Hayes and her boyfriend of almost four years call things off again, she decides this is going to be the last time. Needing to avoid Sean so as not to be tempted to take him back, her best friend Hannah and her boyfriend Garrett offer to let her stay at his place while they go out of town for the weekend. The only problem is that brings her face to face with player Dean Di-Laurentis, who has been trying to get into her pants since they met. Allie doesn't do casual though, and is strictly a relationship type of girl. But when things heat up between her and Dean, she begins to wonder if maybe a fling is exactly what she needs. The more time they spend together though, the more Dean begins to wonder if maybe Allie is worth giving up other women for and if she is the one to finally make him settle down. 

I absolutely loved Dean and Allie. Before the details for this book were released, I thought that Dean would end up with Sabrina. They had a vibe going in The Mistake that I thought would turn into something very different, but I have to say that Elle Kennedy knew better and what she did here was absolutely brilliant! Dean and Allie could not have been more perfect for one another, and it was clear while reading this story that these two were it for each other. I really enjoyed getting to know both Dean and Allie better, and there was so much more to both of them than I had ever imagined. These two were seriously hot together though, and I couldn't believe that my Kindle didn't burst into flames with the steam from these two. While I enjoyed their sexy times though, I really loved how emotional this book ended up being. The connection these two shared was fascinating to me, and I couldn't put this book down because I loved watching them get to know one another beyond just physically. 

Overall, this book was fantastic and I really hope this series never ends. Elle Kennedy never disappoints, and I have no idea how she continues to constantly just get better with each book she writes, but she does it every time. Dean and Allie's story is filled with all the sexy and sweet times as well as the humor that we have seen from her previously, but this book was so much more emotional than I ever expected. There were some twists here that I absolutely didn't see coming, and kudos to Elle for being able to completely shock me when that is something that doesn't happen often for someone who reads as much as I do. Needless to say, I need the next book now to see where things go next in this series and for these characters. While I saw part of it coming, there was something so shocking here that I need the next book and answers, and I need them asap! If you are new to Elle's books, you should definitely check them out. If you are already a fan, The Score is just as fantastic as her previous books and it is one that is not to be missed.

**ARC Provided by Bocci PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | 

A Naughty New Year...Brazen Style with Nina Croft and Giveaway

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina writes all sorts of romance often mixing in elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Review: Before the Wreckage by Melissa Collins

Before the Wreckage is a short prequel that introduces the characters in the new book From The Wreckage from Melissa Collins. This was originally part of the One collection of short stories. This short story is merely meant to give readers a first taste of the characters, and as such ends with the story continuing in From the Wreckage. I absolutely can't wait to get more of these characters and Melissa Collins set the next book up perfectly! 

David Andrews and Grace McCann haven't seen each other in eighteen years. Though they both often think of each other and the night he saved her, their lives have both taken different paths. Now eighteen years later, they both wind up at the same bar on the same night. What will happen next for these two, and what have the years apart been like? 

I really enjoyed this prequel and it left me hungry for more! I already know I am going to like these two, and it was clear right away that they were never able to forget one another. Despite not having seen each other in so long, they were never far from each other's mind and that told me so much about them. I can already tell that this is going to be a great story, and Melissa Collins is a great writer. I have never been disappointed yet, and I would highly recommend checking this one out to get a taste of what is to come with From the Wreckage. David is a sexy firefighter, and I know I can't wait to get to know him better!

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

A Naughty New Year...Brazen Style with Christina Phillips and Giveaway

Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing paranormal, historical and contemporary romance where the stories sizzle and the heroine brings her hero to his knees.

She is addicted to good coffee, expensive chocolate and bad boy heroes. She's also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

Thursday, December 31, 2015

ARC Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

One of my all-time favorite historical romances was written by Loretta Chase, Lord of Scoundrels. I’ve read it countless times and never tire of it. Jessica and the Marquess of Dain are incomparable in my eyes. I absolutely loved them both and still after many years and readings, still love and am highly entertained by them. I’ve read other books by Chase and some have been a hit and others a miss.

When I saw “Dukes Prefer Blondes” I was intrigued because of the plot and the characters. Also, because it was written by Chase. This is the fourth in the “Dressmakers” series although I have not read the previous books. There were some elements of the story that I liked and some that either felt awkward or very drawn out for me. But overall this was an interesting read, even if not a fantastic one. Lady Clara Fairfax was a great heroine. I really enjoyed her. Even though she is beautiful and very highly sought after she wants more from her life than just to be someone’s wife. Clara wants to have a purpose and she is very highly committed to orphan and street children. Once she sets her mind to do something very little can dissuade her. But Clara has always been a free spirit and very independent, even as a young child. When is merely a girl she meets Oliver Radford. Radford is everything Clara is not. He is serious and a very determined and successful barrister. He was instantly impressed with Clara as a child and not much changes when he is reunited with her as an adult.

Clara seeks Oliver out to help her with a street child. She has given her word that she will help out a young boy and she searches for Oliver to help her. Oliver can’t be bothered because he doesn’t want to get involved and really doesn’t take Clara too seriously. Clara is determined to get the help she needs to fulfill her promise. Against his better judgement Oliver decides to help Clara but this leads to her becoming very sick with Typhus. He literally saves her life by nursing her back to health. Clara is very in love with Oliver but he considers himself beneath her and tries to not give into his feelings for her.

First, I loved Oliver and Clara together. I loved Clara as a heroine but I had a hard time with Oliver. I didn’t get him. He was awkward and hard to understand. I also felt that some of the scenes were awkward and the transition between scenes felt choppy and out of sync. Also, after Clara and Oliver are married I felt that the story dragged. I did however, love how their relationship continued to grow after they married. The adventure does not end when they marry and they go on many more investigations that Clara insists on being a part of. Characters from the previous books are mentioned and they give some insight into the series. Even though I did not love this book I still found it enjoyable and plan to read more books not only by this author but also in this series.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

A Naughty New Year...Brazen Style with Tessa Bailey and Giveaway

Tessa lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn't writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.

December Book Subscription Box Unpacking

For December I received only one box, the Book Candy Box. I skipped my December Bookworm Box for the second month in a row. As much as I love getting it and helping out a great cause each month, it is a little pricey and I needed to use the money elsewhere for the last few months. I was really happy with the books that I got in my Book Candy Box though and I have to say that this is my favorite box from them yet! While I was really excited about the books I got, I was a bit disappointed in the swag included this month again. There wasn't a lot, and what there was wasn't a very good selection as it was mostly bookmarks and cards. I wish that there was a bit more of a selection when it comes to the swag, though I do still love getting everything that they send.
The Book Candy Box is a subscription box service that offers a few different options as far as which box you would like to purchase. These boxes are secured on a month by month basis, so you need to purchase one each month as it does not auto-renew. Prices vary per box selected. The Book Candy Box store is open from the 1st day of the month until the 15th day of the month for boxes shipping the next month. (IE: To purchase a February Box, you need to order between January 1st-15th.) The contents of your box will vary, depending on which box you select. The options are as follows: Option 1: One Signed Book. This box is $12.00 plus shipping. Option 2: 1 Signed Book, Swag, and a Signed Model Photo for that month's featured model. This box is $20.00 plus shipping. Option 3: 2 Signed Books and Swag for $22.00 plus shipping. Option 4: 2 Signed Books, Swag, and Signed Model Photo for $30.00 plus shipping. Option 5: Flavor of the Month Box Includes 1 Signed Book, Swag, and 1-4 oz Specialty Jar of Cheesecake from Lick Your Lips. This box is $22.00 plus shipping. (each month the flavor will differ, with customers being told which flavor is to be featured in the newsletter from The Book Candy Box.) Though you know what items you will be getting, the titles and authors are a surprise each month. The only thing that is not a secret, is who the model featured each month is as they announce that on their facebook page. The one thing that you should be aware of though is that while each book is signed, sometimes it is a sticker or label (bookplate) rather than a signature on the page itself. The great thing about The Book Candy Box is that because they are open for a limited amount of days and order books based on signups, they do not run out of boxes and they are available to customers throughout the entire sales period. There is no waiting for spots to open up or for others to cancel. As long as you order between the 1st and 15th, you are guaranteed a box.

December Book Candy Box

The Book Candy Box that I received in December included a signed Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills and a signed Walking Among the Cherry Trees by H. D'Agostino. Swag in this months box was a signed postcard from Andie M. Long, postcard from Ilsa Madden-Mills, RAK card from Annalie Walker, bookmark from Carian Cole, bookmark from Kaylee Ryan, and a Pen from Sloan Johnson.

Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills 

A scarred fighter. 
A girl with rules. 
One night of unbridled passion. 

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Bennett: she’s smart as a whip, always in control, and lives by a set of carefully crafted rules. She’s learned the hard way that people you love the most always hurt you in the end. 

But then she meets Declan Blay, the new neighbor at her apartment complex. 

A tattooed British street fighter, he’s the campus bad boy she’s supposed to avoid, but when he saves her from a frat party gone bad, all her rules about sex and love fly out the window. 

She gives him one night of unbridled passion, but he longs for more.  

With only a cardboard-thin wall separating their bedrooms, he dreams of possessing the vulnerable girl next door forever. 

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.

*a modern love story inspired by Pride and Prejudice* 

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle |

I was really hoping that I would get this box after I saw that it would be included in some in a preview that Book Candy Box did on facebook. I had previously read and reviewed the book, and really enjoyed the story. Not only did I enjoy the book, but I really loved the cover and wanted this one for my shelf! This is definitely a book worth checking out, and I could not have been more excited to see it in my box this month! 

Walking Among the Cherry Trees by H. D'Agostino 

Taylor Cook was the last thing Morgan McGregor expected to find when she stepped off the train at Cherryville station to spend the summer with her grandmother, Virginia. She didn’t know that the boy who befriended her would one day fill her heart with both joy and pain.  
First love can be magical. It can reach inside you and grip your heart with a force that you never see coming, and can’t deny. It’s powerful and sometimes debilitating, but most of all… it can break you in ways you never thought possible.  

How do you recover when the one the person you thought would always be there, pushes you away at the time they’re needed the most? How do you move on with your life and forget the boy who stole your heart all those years ago? How do you go back to that place knowing that seeing him will cause your careful fa├žade to crack into a million pieces? It’s simple you can’t, but sometimes you have to. 

When Morgan gets the news that her grandmother’s passed away and she’s the heir to her estate, she hardens heart in preparation of going back to face him. What happens when she steps off that train again? Will the feelings she’s worked so hard to forget come rushing back and threaten to drown her? Will he even still be there?  

Walking Among the Cherry Trees is the first book in The Cook Brothers Series.  

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

H. D'Agostino is a new to me author, but I absolutely love this gorgeous cover! I had never heard of this book before, though I had heard of the author. So I was really excited to get this in my box. After reading the blurb, I can't wait to read this story. This is exactly the type of book I would choose for myself, but might not have heard about without receiving it in this box. Walking Among the Cherry Trees has been added to the top of my TBR pile, and I am really hoping that I get a chance to read this one soon!

Tell us what you think about the monthly book box craze. Any of these books on your TBR pile? Are you currently subscribed to any boxes? Are there any that you are 'dying' to subscribe to? Leave us a note about what you think or if there are any boxes that you think we should check out. =)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

ARC Review: Mastered by Maya Banks

Drake Donovan exerts power in every facet of his hard lifestyle, especially when it comes to his interactions with other people. He is ruthless, strong, smart, and a hardcore master of manipulation. One thing he isn’t, however, is a liar. He is pure of heart, and he never lets those he may care for, or those he has sworn to protect be hurt in any way. Evangeline is a tigress when it comes to being there for those who mean most, but she is fearful and suspicious of anyone who might treat her with dignity, or love. She has no confidence, and she is very independent-refusing to allow herself to rely on anyone. When these two meet, everything changes.

Evangeline starts out as a quiet, simple girl with no expectations in life. She plans on working until her parents are well-off and comfortable, then maybe one day she’ll start living for herself. A southern girl with charm, and a ton of pride, she is bereft after she took a shot with a total loser who broke her heart, and demolished her self-worth after capturing her virginity. One night of trying to prove she isn’t broken turns her into a firecracker once Drake Donovan comes to the rescue!

The entire story is fast-paced. They go from strangers, to lovers, to obsessed-with-one-another. On one hand, I loved it. On the other hand, I thought it was strange that her friends were so involved in the beginning. Then, they just disappeared altogether from the storyline. I guess though, if this were the real world, these two never would have come up for air long enough to engage with anyone else who may or may not disapprove. So, maybe other readers wouldn’t even think twice about this.

Drake Donovan takes everything and gives everything. He is a complete love, despite his formidable and aggressive nature. I loved him and Evangeline together! I rooted for them! I wasn’t expecting his harsh, brutal behavior, let alone the turning point in the story whatsoever. Maya did a great job at shocking me. I was heartbroken for the both of them when danger came in close contact with Evangeline, with neither Drake, nor her expecting it. Honestly, Maya created a breakout storyline. There is so much mystery left, that I can’t begin to formulate what may happen with Drake’s business, or what else we may learn in the coming books.

Furthermore, I love love love the secondary characters! Truthfully, I actually liked some of Drake’s men better than him. I wanted to read more about them! Silas and Maddox had me laughing and sighing constantly whenever they appeared. I just loved them to pieces. I loved how all of the men throughout the book made it clear that they believe in treating women with respect and graciousness. Not to mention, they are all a bunch of tough, alpha-men with hearts of gold. Definitely worth waiting for their stories!

Therefore, this is most certainly another hit by Maya Banks! I am not going to lie…I went down one star, simply because there is one particular piece of the storyline that really bothered me. It was during one of Drake and Evangeline’s sexy, turn-up-the-heat moments. However, I suspect it is only because of how the situation would have affected me personally if it were my experience. I was completely turned off; I’m a full-on monogamist. With that said, to avoid ruining it for anyone, I won’t go any further into this particular scene. It is imperative, however, to assure all of you that it didn’t detract from the story’s appeal as a whole. After all, anyone who has read Maya Banks knows that she is fabulous at bringing a plotline to life, and giving us characters that thrill us on more than one level. So, I definitely will be tuning into the next installment without hesitation!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

ARC Review: Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame

Did I Mention I Love You? is the first book in the DIMILY Trilogy from Estelle Maskame. Each book in this series is an installment in Eden and Tyler's story, so keep in mind that there are cliffhangers with these books. While I was prepared for some of that, I wasn't prepared for just how many things seem to have been brought up and left unresolved. I am curious to see how the rest of the series will go though, and I am hoping that everything will be dealt with before it is over. I am unconvinced that there need to be three books however, and I am hoping that it doesn't become too drawn out and that there is actually enough story to warrant three complete books. 

After finally giving in to her father's request, Eden heads to California to stay for the summer with the father that she hasn't seen for three years along with his new wife and her three new stepbrothers. Eden gets the unfortunate room next door to her oldest stepbrother Tyler, the only one she immediately can't stand. But as she makes friends with the girl across the street, she finds herself drawn into his group of friends and they are constantly in the same place as one another. Soon Eden is wondering what makes Tyler act the way he does and do the things he does, and she finds herself falling for the one person she not only doesn't want to, but also shouldn't. 

I will admit that I had issues with both Tyler and Eden here. Tyler did a lot of things I didn't like at all, and he also was a complete jerk at times. He was obviously dealing with a lot, but at the same time he lashed out at everyone and at times it was hard to really see why any of them made the effort they did when it came to him. Eden had times where I liked her, and times where I thought that she was really weak. I didn't like the fact that she allowed Tyler and his group of friends to push her around so much and she often times did things she didn't want to just because she allowed them to coerce her into it. While I didn't like things about each of them, I did like them together. I found myself rooting for them despite everything, and there were moments where these two really fit together perfectly. When it was just the two of them without all the drama and outside influences thrown in, Eden and Tyler were surprisingly good together and seemed to be forming a great connection. 

The one thing that I will say is that while these characters are high school aged and would appear to be in the young adult genre, I wouldn't recommend this to young readers. There were too many touchy subjects here, including constant drug use (abuse) and sexual situations, for this to be one I would consider appropriate for the young adult audience. While these characters had a lot of moments of immaturity and things that frustrated me, I have to say that some of that is to be expected with younger characters. I am trying to keep an open mind when it comes to them, because I really do like Eden and Tyler together. I am hoping that some of the things that were left unresolved here will start to be dealt with in the next book, as I think there were a ton of things brought up and just dropped here. So far this is an interesting group of characters and as much as I had issues here, I am curious to know more and get the rest of the story.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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

A Naughty New Year...Brazen Style with Kate Meader and Giveaway

Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Mills & Boon thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

ARC The Earl's Complete Surrender by Sophie Barnes

I really enjoyed this book. I found that at the end I didn't want it to end I wanted more of Chloe and Woodford to know more about what happens to them after this grand adventure. I loved the H/h individually and together. They were both burned in the past afraid to love again and insecure with their emotions, but the harder they protest the harder they fall. Its funny to read how much they don't want a relationship yet can't stop finding themselves always in each other's company, you just chuckle to yourself and think it's only a matter of time. At points in the story when something would happen to hurt one character or the other it was easy to emphasize with them, to want to crawl into a hole and cry for them. I loved the spy aspect of the book it was very exciting and entertaining, I loved how dark it got points. I loved reading the little bits about Kip and Sarah, from the previous book, it's not necessary that you read the first book but, like in a good amount of series everything is more cohesive if you've read all the books.

When the book starts we find ourselves in the King’s chambers. The recently crowned King is worried that an old secret society, The Electors, that has had its fingers in every pie around might try to overthrow the monarchy by killing him. He charges the one man he trusts to find an old book, The Political Journal that contains all the names of the members. The Earl of Woodford, James, finds himself at Thorncliff Manor with the man who raised him the Marquess of Hainsworth. James had worked as a spy for most of his life, he was practically born into the job, he took after his father, who was murdered by The Electors when he was trying to track them down. James’ mother was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was murdered as well. James had a personal stake in finding out who is behind it all.

Lady Newbury, Chloe, is the widowed sister of the last story's hero, Kip. She is staying with her family since her late husband's heir had moved onto the entitled home. Chloe had been at Thorncliff Manor for two weeks and her search for The Political Journal has had no luck. She has recently discovered the The Electors were behind the death of her grandfather. She never expected to find help in the form of the intense Lord Woodford.

All the while James and Chloe fight their attraction and deny that their feelings run much deeper than either of them realizes; they find the book, survive several attacks, and discover some people are not who they appear to be. This book had everything I love in it; sexual tension thick enough you could use a knife to cut it, suspense, action, mystery, and a romantic couple who once they realize where they stand will never let go.

Sophie Barnes is a fantastic storyteller, this one had me all tangled up and enthralled. Thorncliff Manor is a great series so far with its eccentric host, The Countess of Duncaster, and its extraordinary past. I can't wait for more.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

A Naughty New Year...Brazen Style with Samanthe Beck and Giveaway

Wine lover, sleep fanatic, and USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy contemporary romance novels, Samanthe Beck lives in Malibu, California, with her long-suffering but extremely adorable husband and their turbo-son, Hud. Throw in a furry ninja named Kitty and Bebe the trash talking Chihuahua and you get the whole, chaotic picture.

When not clinging to sanity by her fingernails or dreaming up fun, fan-your-cheeks sexy ways to get her characters to happily-ever-afters, she searches for the perfect cabernet to pair with Ambien.