Saturday, February 18, 2017

ARC Review: Make Me by Beth Kery

This book was originally 8 installments in a series. When I started reading the series, I was reading each installment in it separately. My impression after reading the whole thing together is different than what it was when the parts of this book were actually separate books.By putting all these installments together as one book, you wind up with a long book that feels like it is repetitive in some spots and, dragging in others and just going in completely random directions in other spots. Each part of the book has it's own subplot, rising action and climax but the central issue in the book is not resolved until the very end. I have to be honest, even though some of the installments in the series would have been a high 4 star rating for me, after reading the whole book, I was exhausted. I actually skimmed over sex scenes because each one was similar to the one before, they took up a lot of pages and I just wanted to get to the flipping point.

The premise of this book about Harper and Jacob is intriguing. So if you read the blurb of this book you know that Harper moves to Tahoe to start over after she basically loses her whole family. Jacob is the mysterious tech billionaire whose enigmatic sex appeal is legendary on the lake shores. From the very first time Harper meets Jacob she is drawn to him with such intensity it's as if her body somehow remembers him. And that may be more true than Harper knows. Harper and Jacob embark on a "no strings" relationship but that sure doesn't seem to be no ties because oh how Jacob loved him some tied up lovin.

Harper quickly discovers that she has a strong desire for sexual submission. This suits Jacob perfectly because he wants to dominate. At the same time it becomes more and more clear to Harper and us that what Jacob really wants is to take care of Harper. I love a tortured alpha male. I was totally here for Jacob to be tormented by the strength of his attraction towards Harper. Jacob is used to being in control. Losing that control was not something he either enjoyed or reacted well to. Harper struggles to understand where Jacob is coming from when one minute he is smoking hot and the next ice cold.

As the book progresses we learn more and more about the history between Jacob and Harper. It's a history that not even Harper is aware of and it explains why Jacob has such intense feelings about Harper. The background between this couple is shrouded in mystery and unanswered questions. And all of this is fun for like 60% of the book. After that point, we are going around and around the same territory again. Not to mention the book is jumping back and forth between 20 years ago and the present. The POV between Harper and Jacob also switches more often than I like. By the end of the book, I was just like, oh for crying out loud tell us why Harper doesn't remember Jacob. And then the author does and I wanted to punch somebody in the face. If I had gotten the way overly simplistic explanation like 100 pages into this book I might have been ok. It was not worth waiting 8 installments worth of book for. I think you will enjoy parts of this book more than the whole thing. If this book is ever edited down and some of the redundancy removed, it could be really good.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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Guest Post with Author Adriana Anders and Giveaway

Meet Adriana Anders author of Under Her Skin.

Adriana Anders has acted and sung, slung cocktails and corrected copy. She’s worked for start-ups, multinationals and small nonprofits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love—writing romance—that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, two small children and fat French cat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes the dark, gritty, steamy love stories of her heart.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Audiobook Review: Marked by Midnight by Lara Adrian, Narrated by Hillary Huber

“Marked by Midnight” is the 11.5 of the Midnight Breed series. For me, this is my first experience with Lara Adrian. She is one of those authors that I always mean to read so when the opportunity to review her novella came up I was excited. Although I enjoy paranormal it’s not a genre I hear or read frequently. I’m happy to say that this was a great introduction to both Adrian and to her Midnight Breed series. 

First, yes this is a novella but Adrian quickly established tension between the two lead characters: Mathias and Nova. Two, she presents the eerie scene of a murder out on the hunt for Nova. Three she was able to establish a connection between me and the secondary character even if only briefly. 

Mathias Roman is a vampire warrior Nova is a breed mate and she is able to see the end of people’s lives. Nova leads a quiet life as a tattoo artist. When the dead body of a man with scarab tattoo. Nova is quickly involved and her life quickly becomes threatened. Because Nova and Mathias are still strangers, there is room for misunderstanding and a lack of trust. Personally, I liked Nova and Mathias. Nova is a type of rebel but she is all heart and incredibly loyal to those she loves. Nova has had a tough life but she has started a little circle of people she loves. When one of them suffers protecting her she runs and takes her adoptive-type brother with her. Mathias feels hurt because she fled before coming to him. Mathias is a tough vampire but he realizes that Nova is one of a kind and he is not ready to lose her. Neither to the murder nor to their own distrust.

The novella was, yes short-it is a novella, but it is very good. I was instantly interested in the characters and the love story between Mathias and Nova. Also, I was curious to see how the story would unfold. I definitely plan to read or hear more by Adrian and I am very interested in the series. Hillary Huber was a great narrator. She really added to the tension and the emotions behind the story. “Marked by Midnight” is a compact novella of chemistry, suspense, back stabbing and conflict.

**Audiobook Provided by Publisher**

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

ARC Review: Park Avenue Prince by Louise Bay

Park Avenue Prince was another great read from Louise Bay! I am a huge fan of hers, and she always writes such sweet and sexy stories. This one was no exception and I enjoyed it from start to finish. 

Sam has worked hard to make his billions and build his empire, and it has left little time for much else. While he knows what it takes to win over a woman, everything is limited to one night with him. But then he meets Grace and everything is suddenly different. Grace is tired of the rich men that she has always known and thinks that Sam is no different. But Sam is determined to show her that he knows how to rule in the bedroom and that they belong together.

I really liked Sam and Grace. Grace is feisty and sweet, and I loved that she was determined to be successful on her own. She was smart and a heroine that I felt I could relate to. Same was very similar in that he was a hard worker and was very determined when it came to what he wanted in life. His reasons were completely different than Grace's, but I loved that they had a lot in common when it came to their drive and determination. These two were sexy and I felt their connection right away. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and the characters. Louise Bay is a fantastic writer and she has never let me down yet. I always know that I will enjoy her books and they are each different while still having everything that I look for in a great romance. I cannot recommend her books enough, and I think that readers are going to love Park Avenue Prince.

**ARC Provided by Social Butterfly PR**

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

Guest Post with Author Jamie Hollins and Giveaway

Jamie Hollins was born and raised in rural Northeast Ohio. After graduate school, she embarked on a perilous career in Human Resources where she met plenty of real life characters. When she’s not writing or chasing after her toddler, she enjoys reading and golfing. Jamie lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and their dog, Winston.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

ARC Review: Wildfire by Anne Stuart

Wildfire is book three in Anne Stuart’s Fire series. It was a good read even if the plot was a little thin. There was a lot of internal conflict for both main characters which undoubtedly leads to more internal dialogue. The antagonist, Archer, is a narcissistic megalomaniac and truly evil, but he was kind of annoying. One thing I love about Anne Stuart’s suspense is that it is not sugar coated, it’s gritty and dark. Her Heroes aren’t always very nice, in fact I think out of the last three books this one, Malcolm, is the least asshole-ish of all of them. I really like Sophie she was a very strong and determined character, she is all alone basically held prisoner by Archer.

Originally sent to kill Archer rookie member of the Committee, Sophie, falls in love with him. When Archer finds out why she was there he tries to have her killed but only leaves her paralyzed from the waist down. Archer then spends the next three years tormenting and keeping Sophie prisoner on his island. Sophie is determined to kill Archer and get off the island she has an ace up her sleeve, she never let anyone know she gained feeling back in her legs and has been strength training for the last two years; now she’s ready to follow through on the original plan of killing Archer. Malcolm is deep undercover for the Committee his next assignment is to kill Archer and stop the production of a new bioweapon from being distributed. The Committee told Malcolm that what happens to Sophie is his choice, before getting on the island he is pretty much sure he’s going to kill her or leave her to die but after seeing the once Committee member confined to a wheelchair, as much as he tries to debate with himself he knows he going to save her.

Sophie and Malcolm are at odds for the first half of the book, especially after she finds out who he works for she is sure he’s going to kill her too. But after Archer pretty much demands that Archer sleep with Sophie, the dynamic changes between Malcolm and Sophie. They still don’t know whether they can trust each other yet but the angry sex let of a bunch of steam. The bullying them into sex plan pretty much blew up in Archer’s face and all the carefully laid plans go downhill from there. Archer is such a self-centered idiot most of the interaction between him and everyone else is aggravating. Malcolm knows what he wants he just won’t let himself have it. Sophie is so tired of being helpless, she just wants it over by any means necessary.

Overall, a good read. I wish there had been a little bit more between Sophie and Malcolm.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | KindleB&N |

Guest Post with Author Mary Wine and Giveaway

Meet Mary Wine author of Highland Vixen.

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Summer Bride by Anne Gracie, Narrated by Alison Larkin

“The Summer Bride” by Anne Gracie had such great reviews everywhere I looked that I instantly jumped at the chance to read it. This was a while back before it came out, when I started reading it I couldn’t really get into it. So I thought it must be the cockney accent that was turning me off. So when the chance to review it on audio came up I tried to listen to it, thinking that it would help improve my experience with the story. 

I wish it had, but it didn’t. 

Usually I love outcasts. They are my favorite hero’s and/or heroines. Daisy and Flynn are definite outcast. Daisy is a seamstress. She makes her living designing fashion for the tons most sophisticated and revered. This is the last book in the series, so Daisy’s character appears in the previous stories. Daisy is very outspoken and very much her own person. Flynn is not a gentleman but also makes a living and is very successful. Unlike Daisy, Flynn does want to be accepted into society and is determined to find a wife that will meet all the goals of the ton. Because him and Daisy have always been friends, apparently Daisy’s only male friend, they are very comfortable with each other.

While visiting one of his ships-not boats- as he repeatedly tells Daisy, he begins to see her in a new light and decides that he will start courting Daisy. Flynn is handsome and overall, a nice guy but Daisy is determined to be herself and not conform to any assigned roles, whether it be by society and most certainly not her husband. When Flynn proposes, Daisy refuses and they both try to grapple with finding their own happiness. 

Usually I would love a story like this, but this story felt so long and drawn out and just, plain, old -boring. I didn’t love Daisy. She seeming very irritating and drama-driven. I get that the author was really breaking with convention by creating a very free thinking heroine but I did not take to her. Flynn also fell very flat for me. I wanted to shake some sense into him and yell at him to get a backbone. Like I mentioned, Gracie’s books all have fantastic reviews and I’m sure her fans will love this story but for me, I was happy when it was over. 

Alison Larkin is a great narrator. She really seems to understand her characters and knows how to make each one stand out as their own person.

**Audiobook Provided by Publisher**

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

ARC Review: Mogul by Joanna Shupe

It’s bittersweet for me to review “Mogul” because I love this series so much and for reasons that I cannot comprehend the publisher didn’t encourage more books in this amazing series. I first discovered Shupe when I was listening to the audio of her book “ The Harlot Countess” her distinctive writing voice immediately grabbed me. When I first read “Magnate” the first book in the series I was obsessed with the Gilded age and the magnetic Knickerbocker Club. I wish I could tell you that I have a favorite story in the series but I don’t. Each book presents such fantastic chemistry and individual characters that I felt transported in the Gilded Period in NYC. Liz and Emmett, Ava and William and now Calvin and Lily are some of my all-time favorite couples!

“Mogul” lives up to the previous books in the series. Just like the previous books, I loved the heroine, loved the hero, the chemistry sizzled between them and I was completed enthralled. “Mogul” brings us the story of Calvin Cabot. Calvin much like Emmett, from the first series, has humble beginnings. He is an everyday reporter who meets the very lovely Lillian Davies. Unlike Calvin, Lily is very wealthy and from a very prestigious NYC family. Calvin does not know who Lily is, all he knows is that he can’t stay away from her and that the more time he spends with her the more he likes her. Lily always very level headed and strong falls deep in love with Calvin and they elope and get married. That is just the beginning!

When Lily’s father learns of the elopement he immediately puts both Lily and Calvin to the test-a test they both fail. 

When the story picks up again, Calvin owns the most powerful newspapers in New York. He is a driven newspaper man and Lily, despite her best efforts, needs his help finding her brother. Calvin wants nothing to do with his ex-wife but as their history starts to bring many skeletons out of the closet for both of them he finds that he has no choice. 

Lily and Calvin are a dynamic couple. They both know how to get the best or worst out of each other. They both carry a lot of pain form their past and have a lot to learn. I love Shupe’s  "Knickerbocker”series for many reasons: the main characters never fail to make me fall in love with them and their story. I’m emotionally invested in their journey and can’t wait to see where the author takes her characters. The time period is phenomenal. There is so much to learn and hear about I could read about it and not get bored! What a fantastic time in our history. Shupe also has the single talent for making secondary characters an additional part of the story. I want to know more about Ted, Cora and Brandon! What will happen to them?? For me, this series is right along with Lisa Kleypass’s Wallflower and Elizabeth Hoyt’s “Maiden Lane” series. “Mogul” lived up to all my expectations and surpassed them. Bravo Shupe!

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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

Sealed With a Kiss Event with Julie Johnstone

Julie Johnstone is a USA Today best-selling author of Regency Romance, Victorian Romance, and Scottish Medieval Romance. She is also the author of a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance book. She's been a voracious reader of books since she was a young girl. Her mother would tell you that as a child Julie had a rich fantasy life made up of many different make believe friends. As an adult, Julie is one of the lucky few who can say she is living the dream by working with her passion of creating worlds from her imagination. When Julie is not writing she is chasing her two precocious children around, cooking, reading or exercising. Julie loves to hear from her readers. 

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ARC Review: Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is one of my favorite authors, so whenever I hear that she has a new book coming out it automatically gets added to my TBR. That being said, Mack Daddy sounded so amazing that I was even more excited to read it that I normally am with her books. Not only is the cover sexy, but I just loved the blurb and couldn't wait to get to know these characters. I really enjoyed this story and I am already anxious to get more from Penelope Ward. 

Francesca has moved on with her life after having her heart broken, she has a great job and a man who loves her. But when the sexy single dad everyone is going nuts for at her school turns out to be none other than Mack Morrison, the man who broke her heart, Frankie knows that they have unfinished business between them. Mack will stop at nothing to be with Frankie and convince her that she is meant to be with him. But can Frankie risk her heart again after having it broken once before by Mack, especially when she has a safe life with another man?

I loved these two. They were so different, yet they fit together so well. I couldn't get enough of them, and I really loved that Penelope Ward gave us a detailed look at their past as well as their present. We got to see how these two met and things evolved for them, and their relationship felt so real and genuine because of that. I was so glad that we got alternating POVs here as it really helped to understand each of these characters. Mack and Frankie were so perfect for one another, and their chemistry was so strong. It was an attraction and connection that was undeniable and built over time. It was refreshing to see these two develop such a strong friendship and to let things happen naturally. Things didn't always go their way, and I was glad that they were able to respect their situations, even if they didn't like them.

The one thing I will say though is that I felt like the pacing was off a bit here though. There were times that it felt like things between them were dragging a bit, with things progressing very slowly. While I liked that it wasn't rushed when it came to them taking the friendship to more, it did seem a bit slow at times. But then towards the end of the book things felt rushed and as though some things were glossed over and resolved easily. Despite that though, I really did love this book and these characters. I love that Penelope Ward's characters are always so unique and different, she definitely doesn't do cookie cutter stories. She keeps things fresh and interesting, and I always know that I am in for something truly original when it comes to her books. I absolutely love Penelope's books and highly recommend Mack Daddy as well as everything else she has written. I have yet to be disappointed by her, and I know that I will be reading whatever she writes.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | iTunes |

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

ARC Review: Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders

I really think that this book might be the right book for some of you readers out there but I have to say it was not the right book for me. For all of you readers who like really agonizing romance with a lot of emotion, a lot of character introspection and sort of broken characters, this is the book for you. For readers like me who need more action and more erotic content, this book can go a little slow.

Uma arrives in the small town where Ivan lives and it's clear that something bad happened in her past. We are not hold what happened to Uma the quickly find out that the tragedy is connected to her abusive ex and something that he did to Mark her body. Uma is so traumatized by whatever happened in her past that she suffers from serious anxiety and an inability to sleep. She is also extremely socially awkward and finds it difficult to stand up for herself. Despite her issues, one thing that I did like about this character is that she does grow as the book goes on. She works for a crazy old lady who won't leave her house and is borderline abusive at the beginning of the book. By the end, Uma has learned to take authority over the situation with her employer and her life. I have a great appreciation for a character who grows in that way.

As for Ivan, I'm not completely sure why but he also had some serious issues. Ivan is a loner who is living a fairly isolated life when he meets Uma. Ivan been immediately recognizes that Uma is deeply damaged and is frankly surprised by his own urge to protect her. Ivan and Uma are repeatedly thrown together by virtue of the closness of their homes and the smallness of the town. Uma immediately finds Ivan to be a comforting presence and is really shocked that she feels like he would accept even her physical imperfections.

There were a lot of pages of conversation and bonding. Uma finds herself, Ivan remembers that it is possible for him to find love and the two develop a sweet emerging romance. It was really a great story of emotional triumph and that might be great for you. I just like a bit more action, grit and steam than I got. But this book is well written and conceived and might be perfect for you.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

Sealed With a Kiss Event with Lenora Bell

Award-winning author Lenora Bell grew up in a small Alaskan town by the ocean that still has no traffic lights or fast food. Those long Alaskan winters made her a lifelong book lover. In 2014 she won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. That manuscript became her first published Regency romance novel, How The Duke Was Won, which just received a nomination for Best First Historical by RT Book Reviews.

She currently lives in the Midwest with her carpenter husband and two naughty tiger-striped rescue kitties.