Saturday, November 5, 2016

ARC Review: Paid For by Alexa Riley

I have read several of these short Alexa Riley books. The one thing I can tell you is that you get what the author promises. The books are quick, dirty and full of bossy alpha men. The books, including this one, also tend to follow popular romance tropes. This book is from the timeless Cinderella tradition.

Kennedy plays the role of the heroine who has run into desperate financial times. She has a sick relative who she is trying to take care of and she is just about out of cash. Mason is a difficult rich CEO who can't find a good administrative assistant. Mason's business partner decides to help Mason find an assistant but also to help him get laid. I'm all for inappropriate office romance but I was sort of confused by what happens next. Kennedy applies to be an administrative assistant but Mason thinks she is paid to do...other stuff too. Mason makes it clear that's what he thinks and Kennedy goes with it.  Kennedy immediately moves into Mason's house and becomes his full-time toy, for lack of a better term.

I understood why Mason was confused about Kennedy's role but I did not understand Kennedy just agreeing to be a prostitute when she signed up to be a secretary. Also, and some other people may not have even noticed this, Mason still needed an assistant. While he was playing around with Kennedy who was keeping his schedule and typing stuff? This may seem like a minor issue but the cast the entire storyline in a really ridiculous light. I think I could have gotten over all of the things about this book that don't don't really make sense, which by the way, is everything. These books are good for me because sometimes I'm not in the mood for all the extra story stuff. I just want the quick dirty bossy alpha man and hot sex. But what I couldn't get past in this book was the sort of creepy undertone. Kennedy and Mason have some weird daddy daughter vibe going on. At a certain point, I felt like I was reading one of those taboo stories on the literotica website. I found the epilogue to be particularly disturbing given the fact that Kennedy is like 20 years old in this book and only five years elapsed between the beginning and the epilogue. If you read what happens in that 5 years it's just really flipping weird.

By the time I finished this book, I was more skeeved out than anything. I think maybe the promised over-the-top nature of the writing did too much to live up to its description. This just wasn't the short story for me.

**ARC provided by Ardent PRose**

Purchase: | Amazon |

ARC Review: Tru Blue by Melissa Foster

I absolutely love Melissa Foster and her beautiful books! That being said, I knew before starting Tru Blue that it would be different than what she normally writes. It was amazing! I couldn't put it down, and while it had everything that I have come to love and expect from Foster, it was so much more as well.

Truman Gritt would do anything to protect his family, even if that meant spending years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. But after he is finally released, his life changes once again when his drug addicted mother overdoses, leaving his two young siblings behind. Now Truman must step in to help raise them, though he has no idea how to be a parent and he is also trying to help save his brother. When Gemma Wright offers help, Truman doesn't want it and lets her know it. But before long Gemma finds a way under his skin and soon things begin to heat up between them. When Truman's past catches up with him though, he will be forced to face it in order to have a chance at the future he deserves. 

I loved Truman and Gemma so much! Truman had so many layers to him, and they were each so interesting! But at the heart of him was his loyalty and love for his family, and he would do absolutely anything for them. He was fierce in his protection of them, and I couldn't get enough of him. Gemma was strong and perfect for Truman, helping him find his way back when he needed it. She was his anchor, and these two together were magic. The chemistry between them was off the charts, and their emotional connection was something truly special.

Overall, this book was so great and I really can't recommend it enough. Melissa Foster's books always have a sweet and heartfelt feel to them, showing the importance of love and family. Tru Blue had a bit of an edge to it though, and it was a bit more raw and gritty than what she normally writes. She 100% pulled it off though, and I really think that this might be my favorite book of hers yet. Yes this is a romance, but it is so much more than that and I think that readers of all genres will enjoy this beautiful story. Melissa Foster is one of my go to authors, and she never disappoints. Her books just seem to keep getting better, and as long as she is writing, I will be reading her books!

**ARC Provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions**

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

Guest Post with Author Lynette Austin and Giveaway

Lynnette Austin gave up the classroom to write full time. An author of eight novels, she has been a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Blairsville, GA.

Friday, November 4, 2016

ARC Review: Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

Someone to Love is the first book in Mary Balogh's new Westcott series, and I fell in love with it! There was a reluctant start, but as with the story line I grew more and more intrigued! This was one of those books you can't put down for silly things like food and sleep.

Anna Snow was raised in an orphanage in Bath since she was four years old. She was financially looked after by an anonymous person as long as she stayed with the orphanage. So Anna found herself becoming a teacher there. She is content with her life as a teacher, but as with all orphans, she wishes and wonders about her origins. Anna is then surprised by a unexpected letter telling her to come to London! She can only hope to discover a part of her past.

When she arrives at the arranged meeting place (a Duke's mansion of a home), she is almost turned away to the servant's entrance. The solicitor who summoned her, though, makes sure she is admitted. I won't get into much of the details, but it turns out her father has passed away and all of his fortune is left to her. This is quite a dream come true except her new found family (a half brother and two half sisters) become upset and leave.

Avery, the Duke of Netherby, is entranced by this dignified young woman who holds herself so well in this extremely foreign of places. This is most peculiar since he is a man of distinguished taste and finds most everything tedious and boring. When Anna's father's sisters then decide to take her under their wings and educate her on the world of the ton, the Duke finds himself helping her in numerous ways. 

What Mary Balogh does with this seemingly boring plot is encompass you. I loved Anna from the start, and therefore all I wanted was for her to find happiness. Quite honestly, Avery frustrated me at the beginning until Balogh started to reveal bits and pieces of his past. Then I started to understand the protective shell he put around himself. They are perhaps not two personalities perfectly made for each other, but the romance was breathtaking none-the-less. 

The absolute only misgiving I had about the book was the very beginning when the whole family tree was being explained. I was a tad overwhelmed and confused because so many characters were being introduced. How they were all related seemed very messy. But I truly suggest trying to get through that odd part. As the story continues, people and where they are placed begins to sort itself out, and the story is well worth getting through that bit.

I loved Mary Balogh's Survivor Club series, and I was so excited to so quickly dive into this series. She really develops each character and it makes the emotions so much richer. I found myself really liking a minor character where he was only in a few scenes. I'm excited to discover he will be featured in the sequel. I am a huge fan now of Mary Balogh's work, and I'm excited to continue this journey.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

ARC Review: House Rules by Rebecca Brooke

I was so excited when I found out that Rebecca Brooke was writing a book about Miller Hawes! Miller is Ashton's brother for those that have read her book Traded. While you do not need to have read Traded to understand this book as it is a standalone story, I highly recommend it as it is connected to this book and one that I absolutely loved! This world and family is one that I have come to love, and Rebecca Brooke delivered another fantastic story in House Rules! 

Miller Hawes didn't believe in love, and preferred to keep his encounters casual and quick, never letting the women he slept with actually sleep in his bed. They used him as much as he used them, and that suited him fine. But when he won a night with Theresa in a poker game, he never expected that his life would change. She was beautiful like all the woman he usually spent time with, but unlike the others she didn't fall at his feet or jump for the chance to be in his bed. Miller is determined to focus on taking over his family's business now that his father has stepped down, but after his night with Tess he finds that he can't get her off of his mind. 

I loved Miller and Tess! They were great together and I loved that she made him work for it. Miller was brutally honest with the girls that he normally hooked up with and often times that made him seem like a real jerk. Yet he was so different with Tess, and I loved how protective and alpha he was with her. She was his right from the start, and he definitely made that known. Tess was strong and independent, and I was so glad that she challenged Miller. She was exactly what he needed and it was so fun to watch the tension and chemistry between these two as the story progressed. These two were beyond hot together and I couldn't get enough of them! 

Overall, this was a great story and I loved Miller and Tess. It was so good to see Ashton and Elena again as well, but Tess and Miller were just as amazing as they were and I truly enjoyed this book from start to finish. Rebecca Brooke captured my attention right away with House Rules, and I didn't put this book down until I had devoured every last word. I am so excited that she is continuing to tell stories in this world, and I can't wait to get Brock's story next!

**ARC Provided by Author**

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

Feature and Giveaway: Mistletoe Between Friends/The Snowflake Inn by Samantha Chase

Two gorgeous stories about the most romantic time of the year…

The holidays don’t have to be fraught with tension, as lifelong friends Lily Cavanaugh and Cameron Greene discover in Mistletoe Between Friends when they cook up a scheme to fool their family and friends.

The Snowflake Inn shows rivals Grace Brodie and Riley Walsh that Christmas is a time when dreams come true—even if you’ve given up on those dreams long ago.

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return, in November 2011. Teaching creative writing to students from elementary through high school motivated Samantha to take that step as well. Since then, she has become a NYT and USA today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of 24 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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

Thursday, November 3, 2016

ARC Review: The Earl by Katharine Ashe

“The Earl” by Katharine Ashe is the second book in her Devil Duke series.  In this book, Ashe brings to a close the storyline of Lady Justice.  I have just recently started Ashe’s books so I am not sure when the character of Lady Justice appears but she is a strong character through different books and her story interweaves with other characters in different stories. If anyone has read Ashe before they know to expect adventure and twisting storylines that keep readers guessing until the end of the story.

In “The Earl” Ashe focuses her long awaited story for Lady Justice/ Zenobia/ Emily. Emily has taken up a cause to fight for the underclass and underrepresented as a pamphleteer in London. She has many dedicated followers and her voice of equality and justice have caused many political advancements but also some trouble, especially for Collin Gray. 

Collin Gray aka Pelegrine was the leader of The Falcon Club, a club dedicated to finding lost people through England.  His group has to disband when Lady Justice not only writes some scathing criticisms about Collin and his group but also gives away the identity of his members.  Collin continues to take on a special assignment and one that he can’t turn down when Lady Justice herself reaches out to him for help. 

Collin and Emily or Zenobia as she prefers to be called, share a long history. They were childhood friends and their families made an arrangement for them to marry when they were very young. Collin was very late in his ability to speak, much to his father’s frustration, and Emily was always by his side. When Collin grew-up him and Emily grew apart and they were no longer friends.  Collin has no idea that Zenobia and Lady Justice are one in the same. When fortune steps in and they are thrown together on an adventure, they situation is only made worse when they are mistaken for two highwaymen.  One going by Collins name. 

So, my thoughts. I loved Collin. I thought he was such a great guy and he was very easy to like and admire. Although a part of the upper-class he was very humble and dedicated himself to helping reunite people. I have to confess I had a harder time liking or accepting Emily. I loved that she was a tough character but much of her anger, resentment and discontent seemed exaggerated and worse unwarranted.  Granted, Lady Justice is definitely fighting a difficult fight. She is working very hard to get an act passed in the House of Lords that will grant women the same rights as men! Something completely unheard of at that time. To Ashe’s credit, she is very eloquent in introducing the dire situation that married women faced.  Yes, they were married but they were properties of their husbands.  Her notes were fascinating to read. She explains that if a man is caught helping a married man escape from her husband that person is severely punished.  As the reader, we finally know why Emily is so angry with Collin and it just didn’t seem to fit her indignant emotions. In my humble opinion, Emily has it pretty good. She lives as she wishes and no one is giving her a hard time. Her father pampers her lifestyle and to her credit she uses her time to help others.  Aside from my dislike of the heroine the story is filled with adventure and one breath taking chase after another.  Now I am anticipating the next story in the series with Emily’s sister and her determination to uncover the sinister scot who lives in his castle. Ashe’s stories never disappoint. 

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

ARC Review: Halo by R.C. Stephens

Halo is my first book by R.C. Stephens, and I am so glad that I took a chance on this new to me author! This book was so good, and I was drawn in right away. As this story unfolded the outside world fell away, and I was fully invested in what was happening for these characters. This might have been the first book I have read from Stephens, but it definitely won't be my last. 

Halo fell in love with Thomas when she was sixteen. Though Thomas was a bit broken, their love was the kind that lasts forever. He told Halo he was going to become a Navy SEAL and at nineteen he enlisted. Halo and Thomas got married at twenty and then five years later, Thomas left a pregnant Halo behind. She was lost and alone until she met Ryder. Ryder was also lost and they fell in love. But Ryder has a secret that could destroy them all. 

I really liked these characters. They were all deep and had so many layers to them. Each of them had been through so much and struggled with things that changed who they were. I can't imagine going through the things that they each did, yet despite how they were each a bit broken, they were also able to move on with their lives and find a way to deal with things. I don't want to get too much into the details, because this book truly needs to be experienced without knowing what happens. But trust me when I say that it wasn't what I thought at all, and I couldn't put this one down until I had devoured every last bit! 

The connection and chemistry between these characters was so strong, and unlike any that I have read before. They just fit perfectly together, and in the end it was so clear that there was no one else for either of them. This book was emotional and sexy, and a truly beautiful story about the fact that love always prevails no matter what. I loved that and thought that R.C. Stephens had a great writing style that captivated me from the start. I highly recommend this one, especially if you like military heroes and emotional romance novels. I look forward to reading more from Stephens in the future.

**ARC Provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions**

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

Feature and Giveaway: Pull Me Close by Sidney Halston

Welcome to Panic, a sultry Miami nightclub where bodies and hearts move to a beat that doesn’t stop at sunrise—the setting for an emotionally charged series from the bestselling author of the Worth the Fight novels.

When Katherine Wilson passes out in the arms of the hottest man she’s ever seen, it’s not because of the lights, the pulsating music, or the crowded dance floor. It’s because she can’t enjoy a night out like a normal person, not with her debilitating anxieties. These panic attacks are going to destroy her life unless she takes control—or gets a helping hand. So after the club’s bad-boy owner personally escorts her home, Katherine feels something urgent and primal awaken inside of her.

Nick Moreno doesn’t need a headache like Katherine. A drug bust has put his father behind bars and forced Nick to take over the daily business of his family’s South Beach nightclub. His head tells him to walk away—but his body has other ideas. Katherine’s vulnerability, her grace and courage, compel him to reach out. And when they kiss, Nick is overcome by desire: to pull her close, and promise that his embrace will always be the safest place on earth.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Review: The Return by Erin Knightley

Ashley Montoya has recently returned to Sunnyville to care for her mother. After her mother passes, Ashley starts wondering what to do with her life, since everything used to revolve around taking care of her mom. She revisits her dream from childhood, barrel racing, but she has no contacts or any idea where to start with the logistics.

Mack McLeroy is a professional bull rider, but has a horrible accident leaving him lucky to be alive. However, all he wants to do is get back on the bull so he's trying to get through therapy. Poor guy also loses his sponsorship, but he has a plan to contact his old high school girlfriend, Ashley, hoping she can help him out.

Initially Mack has a door shut in his face by Ashley since he was a jerk and broke her heart back in high school. However, Ashley ultimately realizes that Mack can help her achieve her dreams. They strike the deal. Then as the two get to know each other again, they learn that things in life have changed them both.

I was overwhelmed with all of the country analogies in this book. Most were cute and creative, but I felt that they were happening too often. I also felt that Mack didn't show enough change for me to forgive what he did to Ashley. Mack also felt underdeveloped when comparing his character to Ashley's

What I did like mostly was Ashley. She went through so much with her mom's illness, and I thought she was so courageous to go after her dream from childhood. She really drove the story for me as I really wanted her to find happiness.

This is a part of James Patterson's Book Shots, which are books you can devour in a couple hours time. It doesn't take much commitment, and you get a little booster for your book craving. I think these types of books would be great for very busy people who don't feel they have enough time to read. It was a sweet country romance that will tear at your heartstrings!

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: American Queen by Sierra Simone

Wow! This book was so good and even though I have read books by Sierra Simone before, it was something on an entirely different level. I was surprised to find out that this ended with a cliffhanger, but trust me when I say that American Queen is worth the read and I am so glad that I didn't wait. 

Greer Galloway met Ash when she was sixteen and the two of them shared a powerful but short bond. Years later, the Vice President requests Greer's presence on the behalf of the President, Ash. Ash and Embry are best friends, and Greer quickly finds herself entwined with both of them in a relationship filled with secrets, yet pleasure beyond anything they have experienced before. 

I absolutely loved these characters! Each of them were so unique and special. They had so many layers and were ones that on their own were interesting. Yet when you put them all together, it was absolutely fascinating. Greer is a natural submissive, yet she wasn't weak at all. I loved her character and felt she truly fit with Ash and Embry. Ash was sexy and so much more than you might think at first. You could just tell that he was powerful and that there was so much more beneath his surface. He is one of those characters that you just can't wait to peel back the layers of. Embry was maybe the most interesting of all, which was a surprise to me. He was smart and sexy, and he really added so much to this story. He instantly captured my attention and might be the brightest spot of the three of them. The chemistry and connection between them all though was beyond anything I have read before!

Sierra Simone masterfully crafted this world that captivates from the very first page and doesn't let you go, even long after you have finished. I honestly can't wait for more, and I need to know what happens next! This book was lava hot and I just couldn't get enough of them! I have been trying to come up with the right words to describe this book without giving anything away, and honestly I am still trying to figure them out. The one thing I can say though is that if you are a fan of erotica with some BDSM and menage action, this is one that you need to check out! Sierra Simone is an amazing writer, and she continues to impress me with each book of hers I read. I will anxiously be awaiting more!

**ARC Provided by Social Butterfly PR**

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

Guest Post with Author Terry Spear and Giveaway

USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over fifty paranormal and medieval Highland historical romances. In 2008 Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Crawford, Texas.

Site | Facebook | Twitter |

Event Coming Soon: Blissfully Sweet Event

Get ready for the The Blissfully Sweet Event! RFTC has once again teamed up with Entangled's Bliss Line to bring you a week of author visits and giveaways! Beginning November 6th, we'll have a different Bliss author stopping by each day to chat and host a special giveaway. Plus we'll be hosting a special GRAND PRIZE giveaway filled with all sorts of goodies. So make sure to stop by daily to check it out.

The Blissfully Sweet event takes place November 7-13, 2016.

With appearances by:
Barbara White Daille 
Pamela Gibson
Jody Holford
Kyra Jacobs
Ashlee Mallory
Tracy March
Jennifer Shirk

So make sure to mark your calendars and stop by starting November 7th, you definitely don't want to miss out on any of the fun!