Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Debut Novel Review ~ To Steal a Heart by K.C. Bateman


Set in the Napoleonic era in France this debut novel was exquisitely unique!


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It starts off with Marianne getting caught by Nick trying to plant evidence. Did I mention that she's tightrope walking?!

Marianne is a 21? year old former aristo turned civilian. She's a circus performer and thief that's under the reign of a corrupt government official. Marianne is one hell of a girl! She survives a shit load of rotten things in her life and it never overcomes her.

Nic appears to be another corrupt official and seems a bit oily at first. there are so many more facets to discover in him. Nic is bent on revenge against Napoleon for his brother's death. He's stubborn, uncompromising and so sexily mysterious.

Nic succeeds in basically purchasing Marianne's' virginity and that of her sister Sophie, of course, he really needs her for a mission against Napoleon. While trying for and completing the mission they fall quickly into love, but they both resist the feelings. This happens over a week but such intense circumstances always lead to such passionate encounters.

I found the book a unique experience. Full of passion and intrigue! After the first few pages, I couldn't put it down. What a wonderful debut book by K.C. Bateman! I'll be looking for more from her!


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Synopsis


In a dazzling historical romance that’s perfect for fans of Sabrina Jeffries, Lisa Kleypas, and Courtney Milan, debut author K. C. Bateman brings Napoleonic France to life as a master spy and a beautiful thief find love and intrigue in each other’s arms.

Forced to do the bidding of a corrupt government minister, Marianne de Bonnard agrees to plant incriminating evidence in the offices of France’s most notorious spymaster. Under cover of night, the tightrope-walking thief puts her skills to good use—until her aerial stunt is foiled when her target appears in the window and, with consummate poise, helps Marianne off the wire and into his lair. The tremors that run through her body are not just from fear; there’s an unwanted frisson of desire there, too. But is it because of her elegant, wickedly handsome host . . . or his proposition?

Nicolas Valette has had plans for his graceful trespasser since he witnessed her unique skills at the Cirque Olympique. Sinuous as a cat, Marianne is perfect for his next mission, but she refuses his generous offer for fear of disobeying her family’s tormenter. When their mutual enemy auctions off her virginity to the highest bidder, Nicolas leaps at the chance to purchase her cooperation. Keeping her will be like trying to tame a wild animal, but what’s life without a little risk? Besides, Nicolas and Marianne both want the same thing: revenge—and, perhaps, something else that’s equally delicious.

 

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Add to Goodreadsgoodreads


Buy the Book!


It's only $2.99!



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What debut novels have you loved so far this year?!


 

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Review ~ A Girl's Guide to Moving On Debbie Macomber


A heart-warming tale of women of two different generations helping each other to learn to love themselves!


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Leanne has been living with a philandering husband for years. When she learns that her son, Jake, has followed in her husband, Sean's path.  She finds the courage to tell Nichole, because she doesn't want to her grandson Owen to learn from them that it's normal to disrespect his wife by stepping out on her. [br]  [br]


Leanne takes courage from Nichole and they both leave their husbands to start a new life. They come up with some essential rules to help them move on.

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A Guide to Moving On



1. Don't allow yourself to wallow in your pain. Reach out. Volunteer. Do something you love or something to help others


2. Cultivate new friendships


3. Let go in order to receive


4. Love yourself


5. Be open to new experiences. Don't let the past taint the future.




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I found this story to be inspiring. I believe Debbie Macomber does an excellent job of telling their path to love themselves. While I found Rocco and Nikolai to be romantic and good for both women, they were such opposites of their exes that it was a little hard to believe. They were both stereotyped a bit too much. Rocco, as a hard working man with a criminal past and Nikolai, a Ukraine immigrant that was helped over to the U.S. by a mysterious man under mysterious circumstances. [br]  [br]


Notice I said telling earlier? There wasn't as much showing as there was telling and that made the book seem a little bit like a self-help book. While it was coached to be like that, it was and interesting novel. I'd recommend this to anyone currently fighting to leave this kind of situation, recent divorcees or basically anyone dealing with grief.


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Synopsis


In this powerful and uplifting novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber, a mother and her daughter-in-law bravely leave their troubled marriages and face the challenge of starting over. Leaning on each other, Nichole and Leanne discover that their inner strength and capacity for love are greater than they ever imagined.

When Nichole discovers that her husband, Jake, has been unfaithful, the illusion of her perfect life is indelibly shattered. While juggling her young son, a new job, and volunteer work, Nichole meets Rocco, who is the opposite of Jake in nearly every way. Though blunt-spoken and rough around the edges, Rocco proves to be a dedicated father and thoughtful friend. But just as their relationship begins to blossom, Jake wagers everything on winning Nichole back—including their son Owen’s happiness. Somehow, Nichole must find the courage to defy her fears and follow her heart, with far-reaching consequences for them all.

Leanne has quietly ignored her husband’s cheating for decades, but is jolted into action by the echo of Nichole’s all-too-familiar crisis. While volunteering as a teacher of English as a second language, Leanne meets Nikolai, a charming, talented baker from Ukraine. Resolved to avoid the heartache and complications of romantic entanglements, Leanne nonetheless finds it difficult to resist Nikolai’s effusive overtures—until an unexpected tragedy tests the very fabric of her commitments.

An inspiring novel of friendship, reinvention, and hope, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On affirms the ability of every woman to forge a new path, believe in love, and fearlessly find happiness.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Release Day Review ~ Along Came a Rogue ~ Anna Harrington


Anna Harrington has taken the historical genre by storm!


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I've been looking forward to this one for a while!
The opening line is fantastic!!
In the shadows of the private opera box, Nathaniel Grey lowered the glass of whiskey from his lips and smiled down at the beautifully coiffed head bobbing at his crotch.

It gives it a little dirty connotation to the book but basically proves what a rogue Nathaniel is and how different he is with Emily! And he very much is!

Emily brother is tragically injured and as he lays dying, he begs for his sister. Nathaniel is determined to fulfill his best friends' last wish.

He's just not expecting to be shot at when he goes to retrieve his friends recently widowed sister!

Emily and Nathaniel have a bit of a background and tons of chemistry. Emily is hiding a huge secret and doesn't want to endanger her family and fights tooth and nail to NOT return to London.

Nathaniel succeeds in getting her in the carriage and the have some steamy scenes along the way.

Nathaniel is so sexy, sweet and protective of Emily. He is hiding a secret of his own and I love that when they each learn the others secrets they both take them in stride!

Amelia Harrington has taken the historical genre by storm! Witty, original characters and a steamy plot wins out!


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Buy the Series


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*Series linked to Amazon ~ affiliate[br][divider]



Synopsis


THE WICKEDEST SECRET...
Major Nathaniel Grey is free to bed whomever he wants, whenever he chooses, and that's exactly how he likes it. His only loyalties are to country and the two friends he served with—brothers he'd do anything for. So when one of them is gravely injured and asking for his little sister, Grey will move heaven and earth to bring her home. He's greeted not by the gangly girl he remembers, but a stunningly beautiful woman holding a loaded musket. And he's utterly captivated by her...

IS A SECRET SEDUCTION
Once upon a time, Emily would have loved nothing more than a stolen hour with her brother's best friend, the dashing officer who captured her heart and soul. But things are different now—and so is she. Gone is the eager young woman who believed in love. In her place is a widow weighed down with secrets who desperately needs to disappear before they're revealed. But Grey's sinfully sexy smile offers protection unlike anything she's ever known, tempting her to risk everything . . . even her heart.

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Quote - Tastic Review ~ Glow in the Dark Condoms ~ Runaway Vampire ~ Lynsay Sands


Lynsay Sands brings back the humor with Dante's story, the 23rd book in the Argeneau series!


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I was afraid to try this one because I didn’t care for the last one. Maybe it was just Bricker

Mary Winslow is an older lady and a recent widow. She's driving back to Canada from her annual road trip to San Antonio. ( I just moved here so I liked that!) It's the middle of the night and she hits something that comes out of nowhere. When she gets out to look she sees nothing but is uncomfortable. She later finds Dante naked and broken in her bedroom.

Dante is one of the Notte Twins. I love the twins! They have been so funny in the past! The other twin Tomasso is missing… Dante is running from his abductors. They have some new-fangled weapon that will bring down the Immortals.

Just to give you a bit of a taste of how funny this story was…
"I did not know they had so many varieties of condom. Do you know they come dotted, ribbed, studded and flavored? Truly, flavored, " he assured her when Mary raised her eyebrows slightly.

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"Which one shall I wear for you first?"

Mary had never imagined a man would be so enthralled with condoms. Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, she bent down and grabbed the first box her hand touched and then held it out to him.

"Ohhhh, glow in the dark. Good choice," Dante said with excitement and suddenly rushed away.

See how cute Dante is!! I loved him! Mary was very witty herself! I just thought they were a perfect match! I love when they match an older human with an immortal! Mary was all worried because she was so much older than him… which she really wasn't, just only looked older.

I can't wait for Tomasoo's story! They left it with a bit of a cliffhanger and I need to know more!


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Synopsis


The latest entry in the sizzling paranormal vampire series featuring the Argeneau family - no one does wickedly funny and irresistibly steamy like Lynsay Sands!

Dante Notte has heard it said that love hurts. He just wasn't expecting it to run him over in an RV. Still, a punctured lung and broken ribs are nothing compared to the full-body shock he feels whenever he's near the vehicle's driver, Mary Winslow. He needs to keep her safe from their pursuers while he rescues his brother. Most challenging of all, he needs to claim this smart, stubborn woman as his life mate. The naked, injured, insanely gorgeous younger man who clambered into her RV insists they belong together. If Mary wasn't feeling their incredible connection in every inch of her being, she wouldn't believe it. But now that the men who took Dante's twin are after her too, trusting her gut means risking her life for an immortal who's the very definition of a perfect stranger.

 

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

@Tastybooktours Interview with Lizbeth Selvig


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Enter to Win a Digital Download copy of THE BRIDE WORE DENIM and THE BRIDE WORE RED BOOTS, books 1 & 2 in the Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys Series.)

 

Interview with Lizbeth Selvig



 


Thank you very much for inviting me to be part of your blog today! I’m so happy to be here and I really enjoyed the questions you asked. Hi to all your readers—I hope you enjoy hearing about “The Bride Wore Starlight.” [br]  [br]

Let's get to know you a little bit! If you could have dinner with any three book characters, who would you choose and why?


Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird” – I’d ask him exactly what he thought of the new/old version of his story that’s come out.


Sherlock Holmes—because I’d love to find out whether he’s closest in personality to Basil Rathbone, Benedict Cumberbatch,  Robert Downey Jr., or Jonny Lee Miller.


Thor—even though he’s really more a comic book and movie character, because I’m making the assumption he looks exactly like Chris Hemsworth, and I’d just like to stare at him while he eats.


If your house were on a fire and you only have time to save 3 objects, what would you save?


My computer—it’s basically my brain; my file of old picture negatives so I could reprint all the special memories and not have them lost; my old, childhood bible—can’t go wrong with that! (And this is all assuming that my husband is not “an object” and he’s with me already and has chosen his own three things to save J. Otherwise he’d be the only thing I cared about.)


Time for a Mini-Blitz
a. Favorite Color? Sky blue.


Song? Beautiful Noise – by Neil Diamond


Movie? The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night and Love Actually-(I could watch Colin Firth’s proposal in Portuguese scene over and over!)
b. Summer or winter? Definitely summer – the hotter the better!
c. Morning or night? Night—I’m a total night owl.
d. Rain or shine? – It depends so much on my mood. Sunshine is happiest and I love summer outdoor sports, but I love a big thunderstorm, too, especially in bed at night!


I know this is your 3rd book in this series. I loved the first two! The wounded veteran aspect of this really hits home as both myself and now my recently retired husband are both veterans.
What made you write about wounded vets?


Thanks so much—I’m really honored you enjoyed the first two books. I wanted to bring a really current and relevant issue into the books, and the issue of wounded veterans is so important today. But I didn’t want to write something cliché or characters that were overdone/cookie cutter figures, because not everyone who is hurt by wartime experiences is rendered incapacitated. So I chose to feature characters with more deep-seated kind of quirky responses to their injuries. They still need help, but they aren’t pathetic or depressed—just lost since coming home. And, by the way, thank you and your husband so much for your service—it’s a difficult career and much appreciated.


Can you tell us a bit more about Joely and Alec?


Of all the couples I’ve written over the years, Joely and Alec are two of my favorite people. I think because they really are perfect for each other and have exactly what the other needs in such a particular way.


Joely is such a sweet person—good and kind-hearted, but she truly is self-centered when the book starts. She has always traded on her looks for her successes, and they’ve been many throughout her life. She’s been rodeo princesses and homecoming queen and even Miss Wyoming. Her own father would say things to her like, “Don’t you worry your pretty head over that…”  So, when she is left scarred and imperfect, Joely truly doesn’t know how to move forward. She thinks she has no worth left because nobody has ever proved he loved her just for herself—until Alec.


Alec also had his share of fame and glory as an extremely successful rodeo saddle bronc rider. But he had to give that up when he lost his leg in Iraq—not as a soldier but as a contractor who went back to find his captured cousin. Alec’s issue is that he’s handled his injury like the brave soldier he was, but he also has buried the past so deeply that he can function in the present but not deal with love or connections that might cause him pain in the future. He’s so good at hiding his wounds that Joely never realizes he wears a prosthetic leg until he tells her days after they meet. This gives him lots of insight into how to help her. But he stops short of giving his love unconditionally—and that’s where Joely has all the skill in the world.


I just love how they finally come together—first physically when they face real fears by baring their bodies and souls to each other, and then emotionally when they each have to let go of who they’ve always believed they are. When they fall in love, it’s because they find their true selves in each other—and you honestly know they’ll be together forever!


Any fun behind the scene facts about your book you'd like to share?


It was very interesting doing research on amputated limbs. I wanted to see pictures of a residual stump and Googled it.  It was amazing what graphic photos I was led to. Oddly enough they didn’t disgust me or gross me out—but after reading and looking at pictures of an amputation procedure I really felt I could understand the absolute trauma such an outcome to an injury might cause. It made me want to make my characters much braver and stronger—because in real life they would have to be!


Your favorite quote or scene in the book? Did something make you laugh or smirk?


There’s a scene when former rodeo star Alec finally gives up his stubborn insistence that he won’t ride a saddle bronc again and goes to his friend Vince for help. Their banter made me laugh when I wrote it and still does: Here’s a little sample:




“I need to ride that horse. According to my aunt Buzz is (in heaven) raising some kind of holy hell because I’m disrespecting his memory.”


“If Buzz is up there getting himself kicked the wrong way through the pearly gates, I’d best get you riding, son.”


Alec stared at him and then patted his cheek firmly with the flat of his hand. “Wipe that smirk off your face or I’m outta here, even if my cousin’s eternal fate might suffer.”


“Fine. The smirks are free but not required. When do you want to start?”


“You’ve got a mechanical bucker. Take me out there.”


Vince truly looked as if he’d just matched his lottery ticket to the winning numbers. “Let’s go. First you’re going to show me every little inch of that peg leg of yours and we’re gonna figure out what it can do. Then, by God, we’re gonna turn you back into ‘Morr-i-SEE!’”


Alec hadn’t thought about that in a very long time. The chant the crowd had always bestowed on him before and after a ride.


“I’m not him anymore,” he said as he followed Vince back toward the door. “I’m not looking for or expecting crowd approval. Just get me three seconds on GP and I’ll name my first born after you.”


“Heck, what’ll you give me if I get you eight?” Vince led him out into the yard.


“I’ll kiss you in public.”


Vince sputtered. “Three it is. By the way, where’s your girl?”


“That’s the other thing.” Alec stopped and grasped him by the arm. “She doesn’t know a thing about this. And you’re not going to say a word. Not to her and not to anybody. Nobody knows until the announcer tells the crowd in two weeks. That’s non-negotiable.”


“You sure?”


“More than. What’s not sure is that I’ll actually go through with this insanity. Hell, I might not survive today.”


“Tell you what. You die, I’ll kiss you in public before they close the casket.”


“Freak.”


“C’mon, cowboy. Let’s go buck you off a fake horsie.”



Who is next in the series?


The next book will be Grace’s, one of the Crockett triplets. I’m excited about this story, too, because it will show the “sweetest” sister getting tested in all sorts of ways—in love, in patience, in faith. Plus it will go much more deeply into the setting of all the Bride books:  Paradise Ranch. How did it come to be in the Crockett family? What was the secret of the original settlers on the property? It should be really fun.


What was your favorite book last and why? Any upcoming novels you're eagerly anticipating? What are you reading now?


I’m sort of embarrassed to say that I kind of quit reading Nora Roberts after she switched from writing category romances (Harlequin and Silhouette) many many years ago, and I’ve only recently started catching up! The most recent of hers I finished was “High Noon”—several years old but fascinating.


The book I’m currently reading is not a romance but a book from the late 90’s titled “The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell. It’s an amazing contemporary (sort of) science fiction (sort of) story about what happens when two alien cultures meet—even with the best of intentions. It’s feeding my love of issues very well!


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Thanks So much for visiting the blog today, Lizbeth! I'm looking forward to learning more about Paradise Ranch in Grace's story!


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Synopsis [br] 


The Bride Wore Starlight
Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys #3


TheBrideWoreStarlightOnce comfortable on stage in front of thousands, Joely Crockett is now mortified at the thought of walking—or rolling—down the aisle at her sisters’ wedding. Scarred and wheelchair-bound, the former beauty queen has lost more than the ability to walk—she’s lost her fire. But when one handsome, arrogant guest accuses her of milking her injuries and ignites her ire, Joely finally starts to feel truly alive again, and soon it’s impossible for her to resist her heart’s desire.

Alec Morrissey knows a little something about loss. A famous rodeo cowboy before he was injured in Iraq, he’s managed to create something of a normal life, even if it’s not the one he always imagined. Encountering stunning but damaged Joely, he sees a kindred spirit who can learn from his mistakes.

As these two healing souls begin to fall in love under the Wyoming stars, they must discover if they are willing to give in to the tragedies of life or fight for a future together

 

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Rafflecopter Giveaway


 (a Digital Download copy of THE BRIDE WORE DENIM and THE BRIDE WORE RED BOOTS, books 1 & 2 in the Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys Series.)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Gabe Rossi ~ Sexy, ex-spy gets his girl in Undercover With a Bad Boy


Gabe Rossi ~ Sexy, Italian, ex-spy, originally making his appearance in The Guardian Angelino's series finally gets his girl in Undercover With a Bad Boy! 


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We've been waiting for Gabe's story for a while now. I was extremely excited to read this one. I wanted to know how Gabe could fall for a girl and somehow let her slip through his fingers. [br] [br]


Gabe is an ex-CIA agent whom we met in the Guardian Angelino's series. His foul-mouthed, sexy, irreverent cockiness ignited fans everywhere! What kind of girl could match him? She would have to be able to penetrate his hard exterior to get into his loving, protective heart. [br] [br]




In the beginning of the Undercover series, we find out he's retired from the spy life and he's searching for someone in Cuba. In the second book, his sister Chessie is searching for the son that he didn't know he had. She finds his grave. [br]  [br]

Poor Gabe has had a hard life. He trusts no one. And life for him is about to become even more complicated. He receives a letter from his former lover Isadora Winters. The gist of the letter is that she and her son might not be as dead as everyone thinks. Gabe's mind is blown! She also says he won't recognize her when he sees her. What the everliving fuck?? ( His thoughts lol.. I did say he was foul-mouthed!) [br]  [br]

Lila Wickham drops into his life, right when he gets the letter. She says she's Isa but is she really? This woman is nothing like Isadora. Everything about her is different, including her personality. [br]  [br]

This one was a complicated plot and shows just how much a spies life can suck! My heart broke for Gabe so many times. His son Rafe is a little terror! Uncle Nino is the only one who can tame him, much like when Gabe was little. Lila has a tough time getting through to Gabe and it's no wonder why! [br]  [br]

This one is a must read for anyone who loves those complicated yet satisfying stories! It's an excellent end to the Undercover series. Ms. St. Claire, thank you for finding a way for Gabe to get his girl, even though you put him through hell to achieve it! :) [br]  [br]


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Buy the Series


Barefoot Undercover

  • *Barefoot With a Bad Boy will not be available for pre-order. It releases on February 16 2016

  • **Series linked to Amazon ~ affiliate[br]

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Synopsis


 

A man who trusts no one is forced to believe the unbelievable...

For years, former spy Gabriel Rossi has been secretly searching for CIA linguist Isadora Winter, a woman he loved and lost long ago. But recently, he learned of her untimely death in an accident...and death of her son named Gabe. Angry, hurt, and uncertain of his next move, Gabe is stunned when a woman he's never met approaches him on the beach and claims to be Isadora. She doesn't look, act, or talk like his beloved Isa, but she knows things about their past that only a lover could know, and she assures him that his son is alive as well. As much as he wants to believe her and knows that in the spy world, anything is possible, doubts and distrust plague him. Still, he sees glimmers of the woman he once knew shine through and she begins to melt his hardened heart.

A woman who is tortured by emotions must endure the pain of love...

Lila Wickham has been working deep undercover for so long that sometimes she's forgotten who she really is. Now that her assignment is over and the surgeries she endured left her utterly changed, she is determined to fix the broken life she left behind and assure that her little boy is safe. With lingering threats from an unknown source and blinding headaches that torment her whenever she feels deep emotion, she seeks Gabe Rossi for help and protection. But instead of setting her up with a new undercover identity, he insists on luring her nemesis to Barefoot Bay so he can end the threat to Lila and her son once and for all.

Can they survive the worst betrayal of all?

Even if they succeed in drawing out the killer who has Lila in his sights, a much more serious threat hovers over them...a treacherous, deadly truth that could not only destory their love but end their lives as well.

 

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It's Hop Time! #Sharethelove

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It’s time for our annual Share the Love giveaway hop! This hop is a little different and all about sharing our favorite bloggers and authors with you! There’s a giveaway at every blog so visit them all and find out who all we just adore...

 

 

We are limited to 5 blogs/authors so I'm going to feature fantastic bloggers today!

The first up is Anna from Herding Cats & Burning Soup! Yes, she's our wonderful host! I happen to stalk Anna all the time! Her facebook posts are so witty! I've taken some of her reviews and found some wonderful new books!
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Next up is Kimberly from Caffeinated Book Reviews! I get her stuff in my email box and whether I post or not I always read her reviews! She's introduced me to some genres I wouldn't normally read!

 
Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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Sarah over at One Curvy Blogger is a good one as well! We share some of the same interests and it's always good to read her take on a book I've read!
One Curvy Blogger

 

Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!  and Because Reading is better than real life.....( Aren't those great blog names!!) are a couple of new ones I've been stalking.  I

Books Movies, Reviews. Oh, my! has almost got me to read a cozy this month... almost :) They share some different genres and I love reading their reviews!

I love getting recommendations for Middle-Grade books from Because Reading because that's what level of reading  my daughter is at right now. Well.. she should be at but she's reading The Chronicles of Nick as well, so I guess she's in between middle grade and young adult...?? Anyway, those are both a couple of great blogs to follow!

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

@Tastybooktours Guest Post & Giveaway ~ Romance Convention Romance ~ Betting on the Wrong Brother

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Enter to Win a Bag of Swag, including;

a Cathryn Fox Bag, Oh For Fox’s Sake Mug, notepads, bookmarks, FOXY pens, Jan Meredith autograph Playing Doctor postcard, Jan Meredith book charm. [br]  [br] 

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Fun at Romance Conventions


Cathryn Fox


I love going to writer conventions, which take place all over the world. Not just to network with editors and agents, but because I get to meet up with old friends, or online friends I’ve yet to meet. Some of my best memories are of the karaoke, the book signings, the male model competitions, and the shenanigans that go on after hours (probably shouldn’t mention any here. LOL) [br] [br]


During my last trip to New Orleans, I was lucky enough to visit the warehouse where all the Mardi Gras floats were stored. What an amazing time. That trip also included a night on Bourbon street (I’d tell you more about that experience, but too many hurricane drinks have clouded my memory. LOL) I also went on a plantation tour, and Alligator boat tour in the Bayou. That was huge fun. I’m a big foodie, so trying new foods in different places is also fun. I’m adventurous with food, but still couldn’t bring myself to have any alligator, although my good friend and conference roommate, Lilly Cain, author The Confederacy Treaty series tried it. (I think she said it tasted like chicken, lol) [br] [br]


My next convention is in Ottawa Canada, in May 2016. I’m from Canada and can you believe this is the first time I’m attending a Canadian convention. Here is the information if you’re interested in attending! http://orc.evelanglais.com [br]  [br] 


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Quiet as a church mouse, her hands slowly moved to her buttons. Maybe she could get dressed before he turned. [br]
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Frig. [br] 
His eyes latched on hers. Then grew wider. The ocean blue turbulence she’d once lost herself in dropped to her cleavage, then lower, over her midriff to her panties. Was that a smirk? Bastard. Okay, so apparently bad things came in fives. [br]
“Uh, sorry.” His gaze shot back up and he cleared his throat. He set his duffle bag on the floor and shook his phone like it was some pithy excuse. “I didn’t realize you were there.” [br]
Andi’s molars snapped together. Of course he didn’t. Why would he? After all, when it came right down to it, she was insignificant, wasn’t she? Determined to keep the upper hand on this less than thrilling encounter, she unclamped her teeth and held her finger up, drawing a circle in the air. “You think you could turn around?” [br]
“Oh. Yeah, sure.” [br]
She stood tall—well as tall as she could at five foot five—and planted her hands on her hips like getting changed in an elevator was something she did every day. “Today?” [br]
He smiled, flashing perfect white teeth. “Right,” he said, his friendly smile shifting to apologetic. Instead of turning, his glance flicked over her a second time. A gentleman, he was not. His lips twitched, the look on his face morphing into an appreciative smile. Score one for the granny panties. Still, it didn’t make her hate him any less. [br]
He leaned to his left just as the elevator jumped again. It came to an abrupt halt and she lurched forward. Her body hit Nolan’s and the two toppled like bowling pins. A breathless, undignified oomph rushed from her lips as she landed on top of the main reason she’d left their hometown of Cedar Point eight years ago. The motor kicked in again, and the box continued to bob up and down. Her body moved right along with it, bouncing on top of Nolan like a goddamn Mexican jumping bean. Her tote bag flipped over, and her agenda and papers spilled onto the floor. [br]
His arm slipped around her back, holding her to him as their groins banged. Bangity, bang, bang. She pinched her eyes shut. Please doors do not open again. Not because she was enjoying the ride. She wasn’t…she didn’t think. But because if they opened now, anyone standing on the other side would definitely get the wrong idea. Honestly, how could they not? They would be the prime photo op, posted and shared on social media sites. She’d never be able to face her friends, fans, industry professionals, if they thought she was dry humping some former crush on the elevator floor. [br]
She braced her hands on the floor and held on, eyes closed. If the hydraulics let go this second and the elevator crashed to the basement, that’d be A-okay in her books. Breathe, Andi, just breathe. She tried not to think about the well built, athletic man beneath her, or how he’d just splayed his hand over the small of her back, or how good his fingers felt pressing into her flesh. His fingers stretched downward, and another rough jolt caused them to slip under the band of her panties. Was that…? Had he just lifted his hips? Twice?

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Revenge sex at a Romance Convention. It was a quick hot read! Betrayal, mistaken identity, and some "Moves like Jagger" dancing! [br]  [br] 



Synopsis


He may be at a romance readers’ convention, but a naked woman in the elevator is not what horror writer Ryan Wheeler expects. Now he can’t take his eyes off of her—and not just because he saw her naked, though her luscious curves certainly aren’t helping the matter. She’s beautiful, funny, snarky…and a complication he doesn’t need.

Running into her teen heartthrob while naked wasn’t exactly part of romance novelist Andi Palmer’s weekend plans. Worse, he doesn’t recognize her and gives her a fake name­. Years ago, he shot her down in the worst possible way, and now this? It’s time for a little down-and-dirty revenge.

Ryan’s more than a little turned on by this good girl who wants to be bad. But things aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re keeping from one another might just end this sexy little rendezvous before it ever begins….

 

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 (Bag of Swag, including: a Cathryn Fox Bag, Oh For Fox’s Sake Mug, notepads, bookmarks, FOXY pens, Jan Meredith autograph Playing Doctor postcard, Jan Meredith book charm.)


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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Jilting the Duke by Rachael Miles ~ @Tastybooktours Review & Giveaway


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Enter to Win  Three Paperback Copies of JILTING THE DUKE (U.S. Only)


Excerpt


My dearest Sophia,


      On the anniversary of my death, I write from beyond the grave to remind you of my love—and your promises.


      If you have not already set aside your mourning, it is time. It does not honor my memory to bury yourself away. Cast off your sadness and live, if not for yourself, then for our son.


      You have promised to return to society. When you do, men will vie for your hand, whether to gain your beauty or your wealth. Naturally you will consider Ian’s interests when you choose a husband, but I enjoin you: only marry a man who respects you, your education, and your intelligence.


      You have promised to provide Ian with a male guardian, a surrogate father to aid him as he grows to manhood. You know my choice. No one will take his obligations more seriously than Aidan. His very name as guardian will offer Ian the protection I cannot; it will provide Ian with alliances and connections he will need in manhood. At the same time, I know this guardianship raises specters you are unready to face. So, I have lifted the burden of your promise and invoked the guardianship myself. Unless Aidan refuses—and he will not refuse—he will share our son’s care until Ian reaches his majority. You may not forgive me for this decision, but I hope with time you will see its wisdom.


      Your other promises I leave to your heart and conscience to fulfill.


      I would like to believe that I could protect you and Ian from beyond the grave as I have done in life. But that is likely the wishful thinking of a man who has valued you, and your friendship, more than almost any other relationship in his life.


      All will be well. Remember this, and that I have loved you and our son.


 


Tom


            Sophia turned her head toward the garden, toward the bed of pansies, marigolds, and forget-me-nots, and wept.


            Some time later, Dodsley brought her a note on a silver tray. Breaking the dark wax seal, she found one sentence in the middle of a large expanse of white paper. An expensive use of paper, she thought, before the words registered.


“I shall call upon her Ladyship tomorrow at two. Forster.”


 


            Perfectly appropriate, with an ease of command suitable to his rank. The note a superior would send to a subordinate. There was no suggestion of their past intimacy and no hint of future amicability. No suggestion he’d seen her only hours before. With one signature, Forster—as Sophia steeled herself to think of him—established the limits of their relationship.


            But he also prompted her to action.


            Within fifteen minutes, she had called for her carriage, sent a message to Ian’s tutor that she would return by dinner, and changed into appropriate dress for the forty-five-minute carriage ride to the home of her sister-in-law.


            Ophelia Mason lived in the rural village of Kensington, some six miles away. Sophia wished she had someone to confide in other than Tom’s unrufflable sister. Sophia needed a friend who hadn’t loved Tom deeply and who wouldn’t care that she had sometimes resented her husband for ignoring her wishes. But she couldn’t think of any woman outside of Tom’s sisters whom she knew well enough to burden with her troubles.


            As she climbed into the carriage, musty from lack of use, she wished that she could take a horse instead, but full mourning disallowed it. On a horse, she could feel the wind in her face. Her first horse, a Spanish gray mare named Cob, had been a present from her uncle. Though too old for the hunt, Cob had loved to run, and Sophia, riding astride like her cousins, would let the horse run long and fast. Suddenly, she remembered Aidan racing beside her. She had held Cob back enough to let Aidan think he’d won, then she’d spurred the horse forward to victory. At their goal, she hadn’t known to play coy, to wait until he helped her down. On dismounting she found him already beside her, laughing, calling her his “self-sufficient Sophia” and claiming the victor’s kiss, even though he’d lost.


            She opened the curtains of the coach to watch the town slip into countryside, her thoughts turning back to Tom’s guardianship plan and how she’d only agreed because she had no choice.


            Three weeks before his death, Tom had handed her tickets to take her and Ian back to England. She’d refused. “We can’t leave you, Tom, not when . . .”


            “Not when I’m dying.” Tom never had any trouble speaking the truth. Placing his hands on her upper arms, he’d made her look into his eyes. “The Carbonari talk revolution and nationalism all around us. As long as I am alive, my friendships with the Bourbon ministers protect us. But support for the Italian nationalists grows each day, as does sentiment against Ferdinand’s British and Austrian allies. You and Ian must go home.”


            “No.” She’d held her hands up in refusal. “Revolution is years away. Our friends will warn us when it’s time to leave. And Ian will not understand. Both you and I know the pain of losing a father so young, how we would have traded anything for another year, or another day. . . .” She’d let the words drift off. Watching Tom slip away had taken all her strength.


            “Death is never easy.” Tom had spoken softly. “Ian must learn his own country, not this mongrel society we have created for him.”


            Sophia bristled. “Our life here is a hybrid, like our roses. From our Italian friends, he has learned to live joyfully; from our English friends, he has learned to be circumspect.”


            “Then we will go together.” He’d pulled out a third packet of travel papers. “In six-week’s time, we will have the best weather and the quickest winds; we should be in England within ten days.”


            “If the trip doesn’t kill you, the climate in England will. Either way you cut short our time. Propose some other plan.” Her hands tightened behind her back.


            He’d watched her silently, then explained his four requirements. Each one, a promise she had to make.


Be established in London within a month of my death.


Live in London for at least part of each “season.”


Take up your place in the bon ton.


 


            At the third requirement, she’d objected. “I was an orphaned parson’s daughter; I don’t have a place in society to take.”


            “Yet Ian will need you to know and be known. In London, you were admired for your poise and your bearing. Here, invitations to your dinners were much prized. Set your mind to this, and you will create a community—perhaps form another salon. Besides, you will not be alone: my sisters and your cousins will ease the way. Finally, within a year, you must call upon Aidan and ask him to serve as Ian’s surrogate father.” His hand lay on the tickets, his blackmail. He’d sat so still that she should have realized that he would not survive another year.


            “No.” She’d turned away, hiding her face. “We’ve heard the rumors even here: he’s grown hard, unforgiving, more like Aaron than Benjamin. If you want Ian to be guided by someone from your boyhood, Colin is well respected for his amiability, and Seth already manages your estate. Of my relations, Malcolm is devoted to his new wife’s boys. Any would be more suitable.”


            Tom had shaken his head in firm refusal. “Of my Somerville cousins, none were closer than Aidan and I. He must have felt our marriage a betrayal. We must, if that is true, try to undo the damage.”


            “Sometimes the damage of the past cannot be undone. And you will not be there. Only I will.” She had met Tom’s eyes. “You don’t know what you are asking, or what it will cost.”


            “I do know, but it will be worth the cost, for Ian as well as for you.”


            The soft Italian breeze had carried the scent of rain through the open doorways facing the loggia. Sophia had suddenly realized that Italian rain smelled nothing like rain in England. The rain in Naples always had a hint of spice, of the dust that sometimes rained from nearby Vesuvius and fertilized the cultivated land. Rain in England smelled fertile, like field upon field of pasture, of crops not yet come in for the harvest, of waiting in the summerhouse with Aidan for a storm to end. She preferred the Italian rain: it held no memories and offered no secrets.


            She’d looked at the set of botanical illustrations she’d just finished. “What about your book? If you die before it is finished, should I promise to see it through the press?”


            “That needs no promise, for you will do it whether I ask or not.” Tom had smiled. “The others are burdens. But, Sophia, knowing I have your promises will allow me to die easy.”


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Aiden Somerville, Duke of Forster ~ A man bent on revenge, he assumes his former betrothed, Lady Wilmot to have killed her late husband, his best friend, and cousin, Tom Gardiner, Lord Wilmot. Aiden is a stubborn, self-righteous. Things are revealed that shocked me about him so much I wanted to slap the stupidity out of him! I know, at the time he was young but grrr... so willful!! Men and their pride!  [br]

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Sophia Gardiner, Lady Wilmot ~ She has been a wife to Aiden's best friend for years. She was Aiden's sweetheart and no one knows why she jilted him to marry Tom! (she must be a very bad girl, right? Never mind that Tom participated in the marriage as well!!) It's a journey to find out what actually happened and it's quite something! I admire this lady so much! She's tough, protective, and oh so loyal! (Not the image of someone who jilts right?)


I truly enjoyed the many aspects of this book. I want to know more about Sophia's cousin, Malcolm, and his adventure to find his wife, Audrey, that one sounds fun! There is a deeper mystery there and is only alluded to. I need more!


I love how the romance is not the focus but is definitely there but they sure do have some issues to work out between them. I rooted for both Sophia and Aiden at different times in the story. Yes, Aiden has some great qualities but his past comes up to kick him in the pants and hurts Sophia... grrr... lol


The Somerville's are an interesting family. There are so many secondary characters I want to know more about! I can't help but wonder what will happen next. They are deeply involved in the government, the secret side, that is. Those Home Office devils!!


I've seen the next two books in the Muse's Salon but only one Somerville in there. For a debut novel, this was filled with so many plot lines that I think I'll be watching Rachael Miles for a long time, especially hoping for Malcolm's story and the mysterious hidden man... (no I'm not telling anything about him! *grin*).

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Synopsis


 

BROKEN PROMISE, BROKEN HEART

Aidan Somerville, Duke of Forster, is a rake, a spy, and a soldier, richer than sin and twice as handsome. Now he is also guardian to his deceased best friend’s young son. The choice makes perfect sense—except that the child’s mother is the lovely Sophia Gardiner, to whom Aidan was engaged before he went off to war. When the news reached him that she had married another, his ship had not yet even left the dock.

Sophia does not expect Aidan to understand or forgive her. But she cannot allow him to stay her enemy. She’s prepared for coldness, even vengeance—but not for the return of the heedless lust she and Aidan tumbled into ten years ago. She knows the risks of succumbing to this dangerous desire. Still, with Aidan so near, it’s impossible not to dream about a second chance…

 

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