Saturday, January 6, 2018

ARC Review: Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley

Kat Holloway Mysteries is a new series from Jennifer Ashley. It’s not a quite cozy mystery and it’s not your typical Victorian Murder Mystery either, it’s a little bit more. I really liked the fact that Kat is a cook, Jennifer Ashley was really good about showing all the inside workings and intendance of the kitchen and below stairs without taking way from the main plot. Every other book out there for this kind of genre always it the upper-class and it was nice to find one from a different perspective. 

Kat Holloway is a very successful cook, she left her last post when they left London and she has her own reasons for staying in London. Her new post in with Lord Rankin, she doesn’t much mind the eccentricities of the family just as long as they stay out of her kitchen. But when she finds her assistant, Sinead who reminded her so much of herself at that age, dead in the larder she becomes involved in the case to solve her young assistant’s murder. Enter Daniel McAdams, a man of mystery, Kat knows he is not what he appears to be so she goes to him for help. When he concurs that Sinead’s death was not the result of a simple robbery gone wrong Kat finds herself immersed in a mystery which proves to be just the tip of the iceberg, and so much more complicated than a simple murder. Daniel and Kat together with a genius mathematician, Elgin Thanos, and the cross dressing sister-in-law of Rankin, Lady Cynthia Shires, they try to piece together the clues they have for the plot against the Queen. 

Along with the mystery we get into Kat’s personal life and the problems she has to face while dealing with the mystery and conspiracy. Daniel obviously has feeling for Kat but she tries to keep him at a professional distance, but he knows her too well. Unfortunately Kat doesn’t know much about Daniel and he plans to keep it that way no matter his feelings but that’s not going to stop him from keeping an eye out on her.

Overall, I enjoyed this one. Jennifer Ashley’s wonderful writing and her unique take on the Victorian Murder Mystery makes this a definite winner with me, I can’t wait for the next book.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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A Naughty New Year with Tina Donahue

Tina Donahue is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist who writes passionate romance for every taste – “heat with heart” – for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. She’s won Readers’ Choice Awards, was named a finalist in the EPIC competition, received a Book of the Year award, The Golden Nib Award, awards of merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competitions, and second place in the NEC RWA contests. She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction. Outside of being an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, she’s flown a single-engine plane, rewired an old house using an electricity for dummies book, and has been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally whenever she’s eating anything Mexican or Italian.

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Friday, January 5, 2018

ARC Review: Follow by Tessa Bailey

This is Tessa Bailey's first self published book and if it is indicative of what is to come, her career in self publishing is going to be fantastic. I didn't even read a synopsis of this book. I just knew it was a Tessa Bailey book and figured it was worth trying. I so love when I'm right like I was here. 

Teresa is 23 and living in LA. Both of her parents are deceased. Teresa's family consist of her and her 20 year old brother Nicky. Nicky has gone to NY and gotten himself tangled up with the very crime lord that her parents escaped a decade ago. It's never really clear how Nicky got tangled up with the Devil but he calls Teresa for help. Teresa drops everything, including her dream of going to film school and goes to NY to help her brother. Teresa meets with the crime boss, Silas, and a weird thing happens. Silas is willing to let Teresa's brother out of his criminal employment if Teresa will help him. What he needs help with is getting his son Will back to NY. Will is on a cross country trip to give his dying dog one last treasure trove of memories. 

Will is a hedge fund manager who has been very successful but who let work become his whole life. Will also feels like he built his life on what his Father wanted. When he realized he never really knew who his Father was, it changes his view of who he is and who he should be. So when Will finds out that his beloved dog is dying, he puts Southpaw in the car and heads out of town. When Will meets a beautiful topless stranger in his hotel room in Texas he is suspicious but he is also attracted and intrigued. 

From the first time Teresa meets Will she loses track of where her hustle begins and where she is just genuinely into Will. The attraction between these characters is seriously off the pages hot. The sex scenes are like, OMG! I really liked how the author handled role playing. Teresa has a fantasy that Will is willing to play out with her but he is so respectful about it instead of it just being sexual it becomes another opportunity to see how Will feels about Teresa. It is clear that Will loves Teresa almost immediately and vice versa. But both Will and Teresa know that Teresa is lying about something. Will keeps trying to get Teresa to tell him what it is and Teresa keeps chickening out. Teresa is terrified of endangering her brother and she hesitates too long and everything goes to crap. They get it all figured out but it was dicey for a minute there. 

If you like super dirty talking alpha men, dog lovers, travel books and a bit of action, this book is for you. It's a totally entertaining experience and very hot. Add this to the Tessa Bailey hit list.

**ARC Provided by Author**

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A Naughty New Year with Allison Gatta

Allison Gatta is an avid writer of steamy contemporary romance, an obsessive viewer of bad television, and an occasional player of overly-complex board games. In her free time, she thinks up fun, new characters and argues with her family over sci-fi trivia. She is a firm believer that Voldemort would vanquish Darth Vader in a duel.

Allison lives in the bustling city of New Haven, CT with her husband and their scrappy pup, Sophie. She is fueled by coffee and feedback, so feel free to get to know Allison through Twitter (@Allison_Gatta), Facebook (Allison Gatta), or her website

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

A Naughty New Year with Alice Gaines

USA Today bestselling author, Alice Gaines, lives in Oakland, California with two feral cats she cares for (neutered, of course), her adorable corn snake, Casper, and dozens of neglected orchids.  Her hobbies are cooking and vegetable gardening as well as knitting and crocheting.  If you join her newsletter, you may win one of her handmade projects.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Naughty New Year with Christina Phillips

Christina Phillips is addicted to good coffee, expensive chocolate and bad boy heroes. She writes on the sizzling side of naughty, and loves bringing her tough biker heroes to their knees (her heroines enjoy this, too ☺)

She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

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ARC Review: The Thing About Love by Kim Karr

I am a huge Kim Karr fan, so at this point I just automatically add her books to my TBR without even reading the blurbs. But when I saw the cover for The Thing About Love, I couldn't wait to read the story. This book was cute and fun, and I enjoyed the light-hearted read.

Jake and Juliette got off on the wrong foot, but with a wedding to plan they are stuck with one another. The more time they spend together though, the more they really get to know one another and things between them start to change. But while things are growing between them, Juliette knows that it is a mistake to fall for Jake since he is unavailable. 

I liked these two. Jake and Juliette were fun and I felt the attraction between them right away. While things didn't go well at first, it was clear that there was something between them. I enjoyed seeing them get to know one another and felt like they would be good for one another. I will say that at times it felt like something was missing a bit though, and I think part of that is because there wasn't much angst or conflict here. While there was a small amount, it just felt like things were on the easy side and that kept me from really loving their story. 

I still liked these two and would recommend the book, especially if you are looking for something light and sweet. While this wasn't my favorite Kim Karr book, I have enjoyed everything I have read from her and The Thing About Love was no exception.

**ARC Provided by L. Woods PR**

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

ARC Review: Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

Promise Not to Tell is book two in Jayne Ann Krentz’s Cutler, Sutter & Salinas series. This can be read as a stand-alone, the events of the first book do not reflect on these. In the first book we found out a little about the guys childhood and how they think the cult leader that ruined their childhood and murdered their mothers is still alive. This book delves into their conspiracy theory and their past so much more, namely because their newest client was also among the children saved that night. 

Virginia Troy was the youngest child that was saved that night, she was taken in by her grandparents who thought it would be best to just put everything behind her but her constant nightmares and fear of fire keep her past firmly in the present. A couple years ago she was approached by one of the survivors of the cult, Hannah was one of her mother’s best friends she became an artist the only way to exercise her demons was to paint them. Virginia is an art gallery owner and although initially Hannah went to her to sell her painting she changed her mind and just had Virginia keep them for her. But the last painting she didn’t send to Virginia she instead took a picture and mailed the camera to her and then her body was washed up on shore. It was deemed a suicide but Virginia didn’t accept that answer because the last painting was clearly a warning for Virginia that Zane was back. 

Virginia went to Cutler, Sutter & Salinas because of their connection with her past, she knew out of anyone they would believe her. Cabot Sutter decided to take it on personally he knew better than to keep Virginia out of the loop she was too invested in the problem to just be left behind and he liked her and wanted her close to him. Together they looked at the suicide and the last painting Hannah painted and all the clues but then the bodies start appearing and it seems to be so much more than just Zane’s reappearance. 

Like many of JAK romantic suspense the romance plays second fiddle to the mystery but that doesn’t take away from the romance, it was well written and both characters play off each other well and they both have lots of depth, along with the Zane conspiracy Cabot gets pulled into family issues that he never wanted anything to do with and how he deals with that really shows his true character. Their past ties them together but so much more keeps them together. 

Overall, wonderful action, suspense, and a nice mystery. I loved the romance aspect it was nice and subtle Cabot and Virginia were fantastic characters, I can’t wait for the next one.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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A Naughty New Year with Nina Croft

Growing up in the cold, wet, north of England, Nina Croft spent a lot of time dreaming of faraway sunnier places and ponies. When she discovered both, along with a whole load of other things, could be found between the covers of a book, her life changed forever.

Later, she headed south, picked up the perfect husband along the way, and together they volunteered to work in Africa. There they discovered a love of exotic places and a dislike of 9-5 work. Afterward they spent a number of years travelling (whenever possible) intermingled with working (whenever necessary.) Eventually they stumbled upon a remote area in the mountains of southern Spain and the small almond farm they now call home.

Nina spends her days reading, writing and riding her mare, Gencianna, under the blue Spanish skies—sunshine and ponies. She reckons this is proof that dreams really can come true if you want them enough.

Monday, January 1, 2018

ARC Review: Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

Wilde in Love the first in a new series by the very talented Eloisa James. The Wilde’s of Linlow Castle is a large family so hopefully it’s going to be a semi long series. It takes place during the Georgian era so we get the magnificent details of the wigs and the powder and the fancy dress topped off with EJ’s trademark wit and charm, her romance always contains that kind of wit for me that really just complements the active setting. 

Willa Ffynche is a little hard to like at first because she is kind of prejudice against Alaric at first and it seems unjustified she’s never met him and never read any of his books she’s only going on assumptions to what his character is really like and it’s not flattering. Alaric Wilde left his home in pursuit of adventure he wrote books about his adventures and now years later he is finally returning home only to find himself the object of desire for many of the young ladies in London. Not only did his books make him famous but a silly play written about him made him a celebrity, even if the whole thing was poppycock. What infuriates Alaric the most is that they actually think the portrayal of him in the play is correct, it couldn’t be further from the truth. His whole family thinks it’s amusing and keep poking fun at him with it. 

Willa and Alaric start off kind of rocky, she was all prepared to dislike him but instead she not only found him more attractive than the engravings sold of him. Alaric is amused by Willa for her obvious dislike of him and the fact she’s never read his book when it seems like the rest of the female population has, and she’s the prettiest woman he’s ever met. He’s determined to win her over as soon as she stops trying to talk herself out of falling in love with him. But when the delusional writer of the play shows up Willa agrees to pretend to be engaged to Alaric until they can figure out what they can do with the girl.

Overall, this was a great read. The puns and the bad jokes not the mention the absolutely adorable baby skunk and the ill-tempered cat. And I loved the tease for the next book at the end.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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A Naughty New Year with Marie Harte

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, MARIE HARTE is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit and fall in love.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

ARC Review: Defenseless by Elizabeth Dyer

Defenseless is the first book of Elizabeth Dyers Somerton Security series. The one thing that called me to this book aside from it being romantic suspense was the role reversal, how the main characters Georgia is the retired marine and now in private security and Parker is the uber-smart tech specialist in need of security. What I like when I started reading was the technical aspect of it, I love smart books and the effort the author goes through to research it. I enjoyed the bits of pop culture geeky stuff that was there. The beginning of the book and the introduction to the characters was definitely the best part of the book, the interaction between Georgia and Parker was hysterical. Once the action started the story became more serious and at about the halfway point or so it kind of dragged on a little bit. It really goes in detail about their pasts and motivations and Parker explaining his program and that’s all broken up by some action scenes and sex, really hot sex. 

What was only supposed to be a short job until Georgia and Parker get swept up in an Eagle Eye, you know that one movie, type adventure. The program Parker wrote for the government which he is supposed to be the only one in charge of it starts to target Parker and the rest of his black ops teammates. It all started when Parker noticed certain files which he was not privy to, files that he is should have full access to, and he hacked into them to discover someone has been using his program for profit. When he alerts his team leader, Ethan who is also his best friend and owner of a private security firm, about it sets off security protocols and triggers an alarm setting into motion a chase for their lives until Parker can figure out how to fix it.

Overall, I really did enjoy this it was well written aside from previous stated issue, and I kind of wish the humor carried throughout the whole book more than it did. Parker is a delightful complex guy who is both cocky and slightly insecure and Georgia tries so hard to be the toughest and the strongest she doesn’t see how much stronger she can be if she lets in Parker. She is also a complex character with her past and everything with her brother it’s a wonder she didn’t lose it. Parker and Georgia are so different but their similarities out weight the differences and it going to be an interesting life for those two. There is so much more to this story and it has seeds planted for the next book, I’ll definitely keep a look out for it.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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