Saturday, March 18, 2017

Weekly Winners

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

Kate Sparks
Flash of Fury by Lea Griffith

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: Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh

Someone to Hold is the second in Mary Balogh's Westcott series.

Camille Westcott has recently discovered she is illegitimate. It was brought to light in the first book that her father had already been married when he married her mother, making the union void. When this information is announced, Camille's life flips upside down. She finds herself living in Bath, where her older half sister, Anna, grew up in an orphanage. For some reason Camille cannot even identify herself, she is drawn to the orphanage and stepping into Anna's old life.

Joel Cunningham is an orphan who grew up with Anna at the orphanage in Bath. He is a painter and he has gained some popularity among the Ton for his portraits. He also volunteers at the orphanage a couple times a week teaching art classes. Joel has learned of Camille through Anna's letters and initially has a negative opinion of her because of her treatment of Anna and her appearance.

The two learn to work together and learn more about each other. The romance didn't feel as fluid to me as most. It's almost like it happened completely by accident, and they both deny it even to themselves for quite some time. There were some very sweet parts though that gave me the warm fuzzies!

The main reason I like this book as much as I do, is because of Camille. She grows so much as a character. Mary Balogh really dug deep into her emotions and soul to help the reader understand and know Camille. I absolutely loved her "blossoming". Joel was just kind of there for me. Not bad but not exceptional. This came as a shock, because when reading Someone to Love, I was very interested in him as a side character.

This book was what I call typical Mary Balogh, and I enjoyed it. I am excited to continue the series.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

Guest Post with Author Tamara Morgan and Giveaway

Tamara Morgan is a contemporary romance author of humorous, heartfelt stories with flawed heroes and heroines designed to get your hackles up and make your heart melt. Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them. 

ARC Review: Riot by Tillie Cole

I really think this book would have been a better experience for me (or even better) if I had read some or all of the books in the series that came before this one. I did not read the other books in the series and there is a really complex underworld involved in this book. There is a lot of information about the complex underworld as well as characters who I believe were featured in other books. In fact, I think 152 was introduced in another book about her brother.  Because I didn't have the background on the context of the setting of the book and didn't know a whole lot about all the other characters, I found parts of this book to be disorienting. That's on me for not reading the other installments. And this is not a criticism of the book or me telling you not to read it. It's more me suggesting that because this book was good, you read the other ones first and don't be like me and try to start the series here.

So here's what I gathered from jumping in midstream: 901 is a...fighter in what is called the Blood Pit. The Blood Pit is located in this complex underworld that is run with an iron fist by "Master." In addition to the brutal fighters who make up the blood pit there are women called Mona who are basically sex slaves to the fighters and the guards who keep the fighters housed. There is one "high Mona" who is the personal sex slave to Master. 152 is selected to be the High Mona. At the same time, Master is trying to figure out 901's weakness. Even though 901 fights in the Master's pit he can't be controlled because he doesn't fear death. He also can't be controlled because he has no attachments and no weaknesses. Master figures out that 152 has caught 901's eye. In a way that I can't really describe for you (it was a little sci-fyish, Master forces 901 and 152 together.

The book sets up a really weird environment for a romance but it worked. 901 wants nothing to do with 152 at first because he knows that attachments to women have done other soldiers in. 901 finally gives in 152 in a way...You just have to read it. From there, 901 discovers how much he has in common with 152. Their chemistry is ridiculous and instead of weakening him, 901 discovers the power to really be free through love. It was all kind of amazing to watch happen. I will warn you (if you have not read other Tillie Cole books), there is non-consensual sex, abuse and lots of violence. This book is not for the faint of heart. But for all you tough love romance readers, this will hit the spot.  Just read the other books first.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

Guest Post with Author Paige Tyler and Giveaway

Meet Paige Tyler author of Her True Match.

Paige Tyler is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines they fall in love with. She lives with her very own military hero (a.k.a. her husband) and their adorable dog on the beautiful Florida coast.

Site | Facebook | Twitter |

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Seduction Squad by Amanda Stewart

I should've known a book with a name like "Seduction Squad" might give me some very weird vibes. I'm not even quite sure what to say about this book.  It was kinda hot but might also kinda freak you out.

Sooo, this book begins with the capture of a "operative" on the seduction squad. And if you're thinking, is a seduction squad a group of women who use their sexuality to complete top secret quasi-government missions- yes. Yes, it is. So, ok, there's that and honestly I wasn't much a fun of that particular concept. Then there is Inge, the aforementioned captured operative. Inge is trained in lethal seduction (ok, I almost can't even type that without rolling my eyes) and is captured by Jake. Jake is ice cold and is evenly matched with Inge in terms of his ability to manipulate captives to get what he wants. So from the beginning of the book we have a battle of wills. Inge is looking for any way to get to Jake so she can both protect her own secrets and elicit his. 

In the end Inge figures out a way "in" to Jake that winds up exposing both Inge's and Jake's dark side. I was kind of confused about how Inge guessed at exactly what turned Jake on. I mean I know it was her job and all but there was just no hint of the weakness that ultimately did Jake in. Anyway, Inge and Jake both want the same super freaky thing. When Inge uses her knowledge against Jake, she also somewhat inadvertently gives him access to what makes her tic. As you may have guessed, Jake and Inge bond over their shared freaky tendencies. They discover that they actually enjoy each other despite the whole inconvenient 'I may have to kill you' thing. 

There is some simulated (kind of) forced sex and even breath play. Simulated forced sex doesn't really bother me but it might not be your thing. I'm not really into breath play but again it wasn't a trigger for me like it might be for others. More than some of the more taboo features of this book, what I didn't totally love was just the lack of a story. I like all the steamy stuff and I wasn't mad at the author for giving it to us, I just needed a little more story to fluff it up.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: The Turn by Kim Harrison

When I found out that Kim Harrison was going to give us fans new insight into the world of the Hollows pre-Turn, excitement ran through my veins at lightning speed. Harrison has been a favorite author of mine for quite some time and I just love everything she writes, but the Hollows holds a special place in my heart. I could re-read each book on repeat, and have on occasion whilst in one of those readers’ slumps we all sometimes find ourselves in. Of course, they ALWAYS work. Now, The Turn doesn’t have Rachel, Jenks, or Ivy BUT it does take place in the same world AND we get glimpses of characters from the Hollows that we had soft spots for or despised (laughs) prior to this storyline. Even better, we get new characters to love and in the joy of reading through the story we find ourselves learning more about a particular couple that brought Trent Kalamack (one of my favorite male leads to this day) to life.

Trisk Cambri is a top-notch Geneticist who is determined to prove her worth, especially in the eyes of the Enclave against her rival Trenton Kalamack (Kal). Unfortunately, Kal not only has the spotlight thanks to his familial notoriety but financial backing as well. When the two clash, our story begins with Trisk believing her chances to find success may have all but dried up. However, the plot thickens as a member of the Enclave places her at a human-run lab. Not only can she work on her own theories, but now she can utilize her skills in security. By doing so she is ensuring that the humans aren’t able to move too far ahead in their scientific discoveries lest they potentially harm the Inderlander species, particularly the Elves.

As she wades through the less sophisticated human-run labs, she is able to successfully create her genetically modified tomato. This species is drought-resistant to the point that it flourishes to great extremes. In fact, her tomato is on the verge of famous thanks to the third-world countries it is now helping to relieve of starvation. She has even become published. More importantly perhaps, she has been able to tweak her co-worker Dr. Daniel Plank’s virus thereby providing reasoning indicative of her concepts regarding viruses being useful in fixing her own species genetic failures.

The virus in question is still thoroughly capable of being used for tactical purposes in military warfare, but no longer lethal to humans and practically harmless toward the Inderland community. Thanks to her genius, success and fame may finally be in her grasp, but with the backing of a certain individuals, Kal seeks to meddle where he can. He is simply incapable of ignoring the satisfaction and glory he could find while saving his career and taking down his arch nemesis simultaneously.

Kal attempts to get close to Trisk and fool her, but she is no ordinary opposition; time has made her stronger as a young woman, and she refuses to lose. As the two embark on a game of cat and mouse from both sides, one will underestimate the other. With greed and hunger for power, Kal unknowingly dooms the world. As a race to outwit one another begins, Trisk realizes that she holds the fate of humankind in her hands. As disease spreads, thanks to tampering on Kal’s behalf, one is unsure just how far he will go to be number one.

Can her and several unlikely allies save them before it is too late? What of her species? Has she fallen from grace in her quest to learn who she is, and find succes to the point where she will continue to be viewed as nothing but a mere female dark elf? Or, will she overcome all obstacles and break the chains that her own society seems all too comfortable with binding to her? Will she gain her freedom, and her chance to thrive?

To find out, you must read! You will find as you progress from chapter to chapter that some characters will disturb you (Kal). I loved to loathe Kal and admittedly, still cannot fathom how on earth his son has even a remotely positive image of him in his memories. I am still angry at him, still impressed by his zeal, and still further distraught that he could be so damned evil. Yet, I cannot help but hope that he somehow becomes a better man. I have never wanted to love a male lead so much before that a part of me hated (laughs).

As for Trisk? Well, she is simply one of the best female heroines I’ve had the pleasure of knowing in a long time. I love how strong and capable she is. Not matter how many times she gets knocked down, she finds a way to persevere. She is everything that one could possibly root for and a new favorite. Trisk has faults and is not perfect, but she strives to be better in a world where her environment ensures that doing what is right becomes the harder path to walk. I just loved her.

I NEED TO KNOW how this story continues. I NEED TO KNOW how Trisk can possibly live with him by her side. I NEED TO KNOW how these two somehow appear to later fall in love if Trent’s memories are indicative of such a thing (he seemed to think they loved each other). I NEED TO KNOW the bits and pieces that happen from heartache and desperation, to longing and happiness from the beginning to end of their time together. Trisk and Kal? I NEED MORE of them.

As for the extras in this book….well, it is hard to even describe how much I LOVED the secondary characters and how deeply satisfied I am by the appearances of others from the Hollows. So many surprises from the plotline, but also so many delightful surprises regarding how the characters develop and change; how they switch sides due to their moral compasses and become formidable allies. Doctor Daniel Plank and his constant support along with his unwavering nobility is a strong and lovable character. Orchid, the saucy and vibrant pixy…..I can’t even tell you how enthralled I was with her attitude and unique outlook. I loved how the Weres and Humans came together to help Trisk along the way, constantly surprising me.

Then there is Quen and his unshakeable loyalty….goodness, I’ve always loved him, and was so happy to see him in his younger days. Al and his tricks, his evil ways despite not being quite as evil as he’d like to be. I was beyond thrilled to smile over his witty and dry banter. Add in Takata and a few others I’ll leave you to discover, and damn! I cannot say enough about how great this book was. With that said, I need more. Please?

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

Interview with Author Donna Michaels

Donna Michaels is an award winning, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of Romaginative fiction. Her hot, humorous, and heartwarming stories include cowboys, men in uniform, and some sexy, primal alphas. With a husband in the military fulltime, and a household of nine, she never runs out of material to write, and has rightfully earned the nickname Lucy…and sometimes Ethel. From short to epic, her books entertain readers across a variety of sub-genres, and one has even being hand drawn into a Japanese translation. Now, if only she could read it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

ARC Review: Running Mate by Katie Ashley

Running Mate is my first non-MC romance by Katie Ashley. This is one of my most reliable authors for a strong romance and storyline and she definitely did not disappoint in this political romance.

I personally am a sucker for an "arranged" romance type of story. I love two characters who are thrown together because of some like age old blood debt or in a Cinderella fashion for money. So when I saw that Addison was going to agree to be Barrett's fiance for political reasons, I was all in. I'm still not sure why but Barrett was a triflin manwhore. He was obsessed with banging chicks in creative locations. To be honest, when the book starts out, his obsession with sex and constant references to it made him seem a bit immature. On the other hand, Addison is a serious character who has her ish together and is a true believer in Barrett's Dad who is running for president. Addison is working as a staffer on the campaign and even though the million bucks she's offered to pose as Barrett's fiance is tempting, she also kinda does it for the greater good because she wants to see Barrett's Dad win.

The thing that I really like about this book is that Barrett and Addison instantly clash. Even though they are both hot and they both notice the hotness right away, they don't immediately hook up. In fact they can barely get along. Barrett does not know how to deal with a woman who does not fall down at his feet. Addison does not know how to deal with a man who has developed very limited skills for dealing with women outside of the bedroom. Even when Barrett is trying to be nice, he comes across as sexist and kinda clueless because he hasn't done more with women than get them naked.

Barrett and Addison are stuck together on the campaign trail. As time goes on both realize that they don't want their fake relationship to end. For Barrett, a period of forced celibacy is just what he needed to see that there really is more to life than sex and maybe a relationship is the "more" that he needs. For Addison, I don't know about Addison. She just needs to figure out that all men are not her ex. And that brings me to one of my two 'not quite 5 star issues.' Addison's little drama at the end of the book did not make me happy. I know every good romance needs a conflict to resolve but Addison's self inflicted drama at the conclusion of this book just made no sense to me. The only other issue I had with this book was the lack of sex. OMG, I need the hot stuff to get me through the day and it was like 75% in before we get anything other than the Hero banging someone other than Addison (no cheating, it was pre-relationship). Beyond those two issues, this is a great contemporary romance that you should give a try.

**ARC provided by TRSoR Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon |

ARC Review: Off the Ice by Julie Cross

After a friend told me about Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross and I read and loved it, I couldn't wait to read more from her. That book was so much fun to read, it was refreshing and sweet and everything I love in a good YA/NA sports romance. So I jumped when offered the chance to read Off the Ice, especially since I am a huge hockey fan. So it was a bit disappointing that I struggled so much with this book. 

Claire O'Connor returns home from college to help her dad and the family business, with the promise to herself that her time there will be short. As soon as things return to normal, she will be gone again. But once there, she finds that Tate Tanley isn't just a part of her past, and he is no longer the same guy she remembers. The attraction between them is stronger than ever, and besides the fact that she is leaving again, Tate is about to become the hockey team's new star player. While she swore off Juniper Falls hockey players, Claire soon realizes that there just might be more there between her and Tate than she can ignore.

I had a tough time relating to these characters and because of that I never felt fully invested in them. I couldn't connect with them and it felt like there was so much going on around them that they were hardly the focus of the story. I wanted more hockey and more romance, and instead we got more of Claire's struggles with her dad and the business and Tate's being scouted. It just felt like the romance and relationship were a bit lost here and I wanted to see more of that than I felt like we did. 

Overall, there were some good parts to this story but it just wasn't what I was expecting. Because I had loved everything about Whatever Life Throws at You, I expected this one to be similar and to really see Tate and Claire really shine here. Unfortunately they felt like such a small part of this story and it just ended up being okay for me when I think that I could have really loved this one.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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

Feature and Giveaway: Off the Ice by Julie Cross

The NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Whatever Life Throws at You kicks off a brand-new series perfect for fans of Miranda Kennealy and Abbi Glines.

All is fair in love and hockey…

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

ARC Review: Wait for Dark by Kay Hooper

Wait for Dark is book 17 of Kay Hooper’s Bishop/SCU series (fifth book for this publisher) and even though I rated this one a four star it was exponentially better than the one before it, Fear the Dark was quite good but it seemed redundant to drawn out. This one is the one I have been waiting for. Hollis and Reese have been dancing around each other for the last five books. Finally Reese has said enough is enough and puts everything out on the table and basically tells Hollis this is how I feel about you I know you feel the same there is no backing away from me anymore. Yay! I love those two but tbh I hope I don’t see them again in another book for a while because they have been the main characters in the last six books Fear the Dark the exception. My theory is that Hollis and Reese are leading up to take over for Bishop and Miranda in the future. This isn’t a stand-alone but you don’t have to read every book before this one, probably just the ones with Hollis in them (like nine books) only because the background they cover in this book mentions the pertinent history there is so much more information so much more of the story behind Hollis in the books.

This book was dark, creepy and really good. It balanced the action and suspense with the talking it out much better than the previous two books. Hollis and Reese along with new comers Kirby and Cullen are called down to the tiny North Carolina town of Clarity to uncover the truth behind a string of “accidents”. The sheriff, Mal Gordon, who called them in had a gut feeling that the accidents weren’t what they seemed, he followed his instinct and looked up the victims phone records and discovered they all received a text messages all the same time of day of their deaths; the message read “wait for dark”. Upon the arrival of Hollis and her team it escalates to a brutal murder. Nothing is quite what it seems from the staged deaths to the people in town. Top it all off, Hollis is dealing with another emerging talent, her abilities come out as an as needed basis.

The creepy vile villain behind this gets his own third person POV which you get to see how disturbed his mind is and hints at the true meaning and goal behind his madness. The book starts with a bang and continues with a line of increasingly grotesque incidents. I really like how dark this series has gotten, Hooper has shifted the focus of the books and focus’ more on the suspense then the romance and that’s just fine by me. I hope to see more of Kirby and Cullen, I enjoyed those two. Overall, this was another great book for the series. I love this series it has to be one of my favorites I’ve been reading them almost from the beginning, I own them all. One of the things I love about it is the fact that every book focus on a different couple so I really hope (even though I know I’ll probably be wrong) the next book does not center on Hollis and Reese.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

Feature and Giveaway: A Limited Engagement by Bethany Michaels

Derek Sawyer, sexiest bad boy on the racing circuit, is about to land a huge sponsor. The only problem is the oil baron’s daughter wants to make Derek part of the deal. Worried he’ll offend the old billionaire if he rejects his daughter, Derek comes up with the perfect plan—pretend he’s already engaged to his friend Lilly.

Lilly Harmon used to daydream about her childhood crush Derek proposing to her…but not like this. Of course, she just lost her boyfriend and her job, so her five-year plan is already smashed to hell. Pretending to be with Derek might help her get her PR career back on track.

But the oil baron’s daughter won’t give up that easily, and Derek’s parents believe the engagement proves he’s become the son they always wanted.

Money. Family. Love. The truth could destroy everything. And to think this engagement was supposed to be the easy way out.

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

Monday, March 13, 2017

Feature and Giveaway: Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin

At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…

Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.

Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.

Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.

The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |