Saturday, February 11, 2017

Weekly Winners

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

Into the Fury by Kat Martin

**Monthly Newsletter Giveaway Winners**

Mystery Box of Books

All winners have been notified via email and are posted on the Rafflecopter form from that giveaway post. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and entered. =)

ARC Review: Nine Kinds of Naughty by Jeanette Grey

Nine Kinds of Naughty is the third book in the Art of Passion series by Jeanette Grey, but it is easily read as a standalone story. I haven't read the previous books in the series, but I didn't have any problems understanding this one. There was a lot I enjoyed about this book, and I think that if you are looking for something sexy and steamy that also has some substance this is one definitely worth checking out. 

Lexie Bellamy is used to ruling the boardroom, but has less than stellar luck when it comes to relationships. But when a business trip puts her in a position of spending one on one time with her sexy coworker, she finds herself in trouble. Especially since Dane Huntley is determined to show Lexie that while she might be his boss, he is more than capable of taking charge in the bedroom. Can Dane convince Lexie that their relationship works once they return home though, or will Lexie fight him every step of the way? 

I found the dynamic between these two to be really interesting. Lexie is used to being in charge, so she doesn't let go of control easily. She had trouble trusting, and it was hard for her to let Dane command her at times. But I really enjoyed seeing their roles reverse between work and the bedroom. Dane was easy to like, and I loved that there was more to him than you first see and he wasn't your stereotypical hero. It was refreshing to see a romance where the hero and the heroine each had positions of power, rather than just the hero being super alpha and ruling every aspect of their lives. These two were sexy and had a ton of chemistry to go along with their growing connection.

Overall, this was a really good story and Jeanette Grey is definitely an author to watch. I enjoyed the characters and Jeanette's writing style, and I am looking forward to reading more from her in the future. This might have been the first book that I have read from her, but it won't be my last. I will warn readers that they do delve a bit into the BDSM scene here, but it was done in a tasteful way that I think most readers will be okay with. Even if that isn't your favorite, I think that this one is worth the read and taking a chance on.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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

Sealed With a Kiss Event with Cheryl Holt

CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” bestselling author who has published forty-five novels.

She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer.  She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.  

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards.  She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre.  For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance”, and she’s also revered as “The International Queen of Villains.”  She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans. 

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ARC Review: The Scottish Duke by Karen Ranney

Karen Ranney is an author I have heard about numerous times and have been wanting to read for a long time. The plot of “The Scottish Duke” intrigued me instantly. I really love romances where the underdog is the one that gets the happily ever after. Although Ranney is a very accomplished author, this was my first time reading one of her works. 

Lorna Gordon is the daughter of a gentleman. But because of certain circumstances, she ends up a maid at the home of a Duke. Alex Russell, the Duke of Kinross, is a widower. His wife died in childbirth but theirs was not a happy union since she often cheated on him. Alex, aside from his wife’s betrayals also lost his father and siblings in a tragic accident. Emotionally closed off, he is resigned to finding a wife in order to produce an heir. 

Lorna has been a maid in Alex’s house and like many of the other maids, has been in love with Alex. Lorna often traveled with her father who had a love for herbs and remedies. Very talented at coming up with her own herbal remedies, people often seek her out for ointments. One night Lorna decides to be bold and attends a mascaraed ball. Alex is so taken with her that even though he can’t see her face he takes her to the garden where they share a very passionate moment. That very passionate moment leads to Lorna getting pregnant and having to leave the household, thanks to her good friend, the Duke is told about Lorna’s pregnancy and instantly goes to find her and bring her back. Lorna and Alex are complete strangers, but have a child together, much of their hard work is just starting as they have to learn to get to know one another. Added to that is a very jealous sister-in-law from his previous marriage, who is not happy that Alex, whom she has been madly in love with, has married a maid. 

First, I have to say that I tried really hard to like this book but it fell flat for me. One, was the instant lust that Alex and Lorna felt. Alex, a man of high moral ground threw caution to the wind and got Lorna pregnant, completely out of character for him. Aside from that, I didn’t think that there was a real connection or chemistry between Lorna and Alex. Just when I was starting to warm up the characters, Alex leaves for six weeks when his wife gives birth because he is afraid of getting his heartbroken. He felt very wishy-washy and I couldn’t get into their unnecessary drama. Ranney is a very popular author and I’m sure many of her fans will enjoy this book. Personally, it wasn’t what I had hoped for.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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

Friday, February 10, 2017

ARC Review: Holding on Tighter by Shayla Black

I'm actually surprised that I did not love this book more. I've read other books in this series and other books by Shayla Black and I usually love her stuff. I thought this one was ok but it definitely was not on my love list.

Heath is kind of the typical Shayla Black type Hero that you may have already come to know and love. He's a complete alpha, hot as all hell, bossy and he knows how to use a gun. Heath first comes into contact with Jolie when he is hired as security for her fashion company. Let's discuss Jolie shall we. Jolie and her sister who is also a part of the story have a lot of TSTL moments. From the sister, it's sort of understandable. She was depicted as a head in the clouds ditz who was prone to...well ditzyness.  Jolie, however, is a business executive and the head of a team of employees. I sort of expected more from her but I certainly didn't get more. 

As the story goes on, and really right from the beginning, Jolie is facing some unknown threat to her safety and her business. But here's an example of where Jolie just wore out my patience. Heath is in the process of trying to catch an intruder and instead of just waiting (since Heath is security) Jolie insist on rushing into the situation which ends up almost getting everyone killed. One thing that I absolutely hate is a brave but stupid heroine. I'm all for bravery but at least pretend that you value your life. It helps us all to deal with you.

I liked Heath much better than Jolie but Shayla Black did something with him that I just don't like. At the beginning of the book he goes off and bangs another woman. It's not cheating because he and Jolie are not together at all when it happens. I guess what I didn't like is that right after he does that, he's getting all hot with Jolie. Like, dude, wash your hands first or something. That just grosses me out. The other thing I didn't love about Heath is that he is literally every other character we have ever read. He's a man whore and a commitment phobe, yeah yeah yeah, what else is new?

The mystery in the book is actually pretty good. It adds a lot of spice and a couple unexpected twist to the story line. I owe the fact that I kind of like this book to the good writing and the entertaining plot line. All in all, I think this book is great for Shayla Black fans. If you're not already fan, I wouldn't necessarily recommend you start with this book. Some of her other ones are better.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

Sealed With a Kiss with Joanna Shupe

Award-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. In 2013, she won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. Joanna’s first published novel, The Courtesan Duchess, has received a nomination as Best First Historical by RT Book Reviews, while the Washington Post named The Lady Hellion as one of the top five romance novels of 2015.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Review: Solo by Jill Mansell

I don’t have much to say about this book other than that the title is appropriate. My rating for this book is SO-LOW it’s not even funny. Get it? Solo? Ok, whatever. I’m just trying to bring some cheer into the dank dismal basement of a DNF book. This book was so bad I think I only made it to the 10% mark before I threw my Kindle across the room like it had chicken pox. I don’t know what this book is about. I think it was supposed to be about some playboy rich guy who falls in love with a hippy type chick. I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that the POV’s were switching so fast and without warning that I was getting nauseated. What I also know is that when the characters got it on for the first time, I couldn’t tell if they were having sex or a conversation, honestly, I couldn’t tell. And then, here comes the part where I threw my Kindle. When what I now know was supposed to be sex ended, the male character says….wait for it….wait for it….."WELL, THAT WAS PLEASANT." 

Look, it’s 2017. I’m trying to lose 20 pounds and stop using the F word. This book though, made me want to shove a donut in my mouth and scream what the eff was that? I know I can be a picky, judgmental B. Those are also on my list of things to reduce in 2017. So, I read some other reviews to make sure I wasn’t just being myself. If I was, then a lot of other people were trying to imitate me because there were 1 star ratings everywhere. I even read some reviews of people who really like this author and still thought of this book as trash. I haven’t read anything else by this author so I’m not sure if you should try other things by her. All I can tell you is that this book will make you want to cuss.

**Review Copy Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N

ARC Review: Fake Fiancee by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Seeing as how I love the NA genre, I am a fan of Ilsa Madden-Mills. The books I have read by her are always entertaining and I couldn't wait to dive into this one. That being said, this was not my favorite books of hers and sadly I have to say that this might actually be my least favorite of hers to date. I had quite a few issues here and that kept me from being able to fully enjoy Fake Fiancee. 

Max is a star quarterback and Sunny is his neighbor. When he discovers they have a class together, he offers her a ride. But when they walk in together, everyone starts to question who she is and why they are together. Max views it as the perfect opportunity to keep the football groupies and his ex at bay, but both Sunny and Max quickly realize that what started as fake has now become real. 

I have to admit that I had a hard time relating to these characters. I didn't click with Max at first because it seemed like he really didn't care about anything but football, but he never seemed to really get beyond that for me. Sunny was likable, yet unremarkable. There wasn't anything to really stand out about her, and I found myself just not invested in either of these characters or their relationship. There was no big revelation about them meeting back up after three years after they first met, and I just kept waiting for it only to be disappointed. Their relationship and this book felt like so many other NA stories that I have read before, with nothing special to set it apart.

I also felt like there was so much telling here rather than showing, and it never felt like we saw much happen. I wanted to feel their connection and the emotions as well as chemistry between them, and I don't think that ever really happened. Overall, this just wasn't what I had been hoping for or expecting. I kept reading because I have loved books by Ilsa before. But this one just fell flat for me and didn't seem to have been executed the way I know Ilsa Madden-Mills normally does. I wanted to love it, but sadly this one was just okay and easily forgotten once finished.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | 

Sealed With a Kiss Event with Stacy Reid

I am an avid reader of novels with a deep passion for writing. I especially love romance and adore writing about people falling in love. I live a lot in the worlds I create and I actively speak to my characters (out loud). I have a warrior way "never give up on my dream." When I am not writing, I spend a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese Anime and playing video games with my love. I also have a horrible weakness for Ice cream. :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Audiobook Review: Overruled by Emma Chase, Narrated by Jason Carpenter and Charlotte Penfield

I usually start with the review of the book/story first but Jason Carpenter and Charlotte Penfield were so fantastic that their narrations were really fun and made the story that much more enjoyable. 

Carpenter really understood Stanton Shaw’s character. From the beginning of the story where he is finding himself as a new father/law-school student/ boyfriend away from the mother of his baby. Carpenter’s southern drawl was perfect and his quips added to the funny dialogue. 

Charlotte also really understood Sofia Santos. Penfield brought out Sofia’s funny, smart and sexy side. 

Usually a story like this would get on my nerves because Stanton really takes a very long time to figure out that although he always assumed Jenny the mother of his daughter-Presley would be his end game. When she received an invitation for her wedding his world starts to spin. Desperate to convince Jenny that they belong together, he asks his friend with benefits/ co-worker, Sofia for help. 

Sofia is very like Stanton. They are both tough and talented attorneys. They are completely compatible. They have a very mutual understanding. They enjoy their physical relationship and both are content with it. Sofia has found that her feelings for Stanton have changed but she remains committed to showing Stanton the she is his friend, even if it means helping Stanton win back Jenny. Stanton’s obsession with winning back Jenny got very old but the other aspects of the story helped keep me engaged in the story. 

My complaints: Stanton and Sofia, to me, seemed to lack chemistry even though they are very intimate all the time. I wanted Sofia to ruffle more feathers. The great benefits of this story: The secondary characters were fantastic. They really enriched the story and added to the development of the main characters. The southernisms were endearing and sweet. Another aspect of this story that I really enjoyed is that Chase didn’t include any unnecessary drama with Jenny and her fiancĂ©e nor Sofia and Jenny. They were very mature and authentic characters. This was such an enjoyable listen and the narrators were fantastic!

**Audiobook Provided by Publisher**

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

Sealed With a Kiss Event with Lorraine Heath

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. After reading a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s RITA® and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times best-seller lists.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

ARC Review: Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Breath of Fire is a sequel to A Promise of Fire and it picks off right where it's predecessor left off. It had been so long since I read Promise, that I was a little lost at first trying to remember who side character were and such. Once I reacquainted with the story and characters though, it flowed pretty well. Because of this initial confusion however, I would say it would be best to read A Promise of Fire before trying this one out. The author didn't seem to do a very good job of catching a new reader up to date.

Honestly, the first few chapters were random in my opinion. They do not progress the plot in any fashion. It was mostly just an argument and then serious make up sex. I don't mind too much sex in my stories, but this out did my level of comfort so I skimmed quite a bit of it. I know though, that there are a lot of readers out there who would have loved it, so I just pressed on afterwards. 

After the first four chapters, the story actually begins in my opinion. The royals determine their next move to unite the three kingdoms, and go about getting started. I did start to enjoy the book at this point. I got a little drawn back the same as the last book with the characters' language. It just sounded to modern for an ancient Greek setting. 

Sadly, though, I came across a near rape scene. It was not done badly in any way, I want to make sure that's put out there. But for me, I can't take it. I've stopped many books because of this. I'm sure they might have all been great books, too, but I just can't get past it. I tried to read another chapter, but I just kept remembering my fear for Cat, and I would get nauseous all over again. 

This book might be great for the right reader. I stopped at chapter 10, about 25%. I wish I was better at handling that type of scene. Again, I felt the author handled that situation tastefully, and it wasn't too much. I just personally couldn't stomach. it.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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

ARC Review: Keeping Her Wet by M. Robinson

I absolutely love M. Robinson's books, and I am always really excited to see when she has a new one coming out. Keeping Her Wet is unlike any of her previous books though, in that it is a novella featuring several of her previous characters. Each couple gets one sexy chapter with their very own scene, and let me tell you M. Robinson definitely brings the heat here. Each couple's chapter is a standalone scene and you do not need to have read all of M.'s books to enjoy this. 

I won't go into all the details here about what each chapter is about, but we do get scenes featuring Sebastian and Ysabelle and Mika and The Madam from The VIP Trilogy, Devon and Brooke from Tempting Bad, James and Gianna from Two Sides Gianna, Lucas and Alex, Jacob and Lily, Dylan and Aubrey, Austin and Briggs from The Good Ol’ Boys Series, Martinez and Lexi from El Diablo (Good Ol' Boys Spin-off) and Creed and Mia Mia's newest couple from Road to Nowhere and the upcoming Ends Here. I absolutely loved getting to check in with some of my favorite characters as well as getting to know a few that I didn't already know. After finishing this sexy novella, I will definitely be picking up the ones I haven't already read. 

I was a bit worried about how this one would go, seeing as how they are just chapters/scenes from different couples and I thought it might be a bit disjointed and feel thrown together. That definitely wasn't the case here though, and I thought it flowed well. I loved it from start to finish and was so glad that I read this one. If you are a fan of M.'s and are looking for something quick and super sexy, you are definitely going to want to pick this one up! I will admit that I am a bit greedy though and would love to get even more. Hopefully down the road M. Robinson might do something like this again to give us more of our favorite characters as I love being able to check in into their HEAs. 

**ARC Provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes