Thursday, July 2, 2015

SEAL Wolf Hunting by Terry Spear

Title:  SEAL Wolf Hunting
Series:  Heart of the Wolf #16
Author:  Terry Spear
Publication Date:  July 7/15 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Length:  384pgs
Genre:  paranormal romantic suspense
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Paul Cunningham is one of the only bachelors left on the SEAL wolf team, and he's less than thrilled to hear he's been volunteered for a local charity bachelor auction.

Lori Greypaw suspected that her grandmother would use the auction as an opportunity to fix her up. So she's not surprised when she "buys" Paul to help Lori renovate her mountain cabin for a week. Lori's had a crush on the sexy SEAL wolf for years, but he proves to be handy with more than a hammer when two fugitives come knocking and he'll do anything to protect the woman he's falling for...

My Review:

This novel was comically outrageous at times and emotional and thought provoking at others. Spear takes her readers on a high speed, intensely enjoyable ride that I won’t soon forget. The action scenes are just as vivid as the erotic ones, and romance hand friendship shine through at all times. All the while, Spear builds her world right before the audience’s eyes, without ever hampering their imagination.

Spears’ hot headed yet family oriented characters had me hooked. You can really see their animal and human sides shining through. It was a complex and rewarding mix. I loved how neither outshone the other. And the characters’ personalities themselves drew me in. I couldn’t have imagined a better couple to carry this story off. I fell completely in love with both of the main characters. Their pack drew me in as well. The thought of a ‘safe haven’ was perfect. The growing pack was great as a whole. The way that Spear had certain individuals stand out in the crowd was so realistic & lifelike. I can’t wait to get to know more about them. The spirit guide animal was an extra twist that really allows these shifters to stand out among the sea of shifter novels.

Fantastic addition to the series but can also easily be read as a standalone. I had a smile on my face throughout, even when the suspense had me on edge.

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The Manning Brides by Debbie Macomber

Title:  The Manning Brides
Series:  Those Manning Men #1-2
Author:  Debbie Macomber
Published:  Auguest 1/08 by Mira
Length:  475pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  borrowed
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Rich Manning and Jamie Warren have always been friends—and nothing but friends. However, that changes when she asks him to father the child she so desperately wants. Rich agrees—if she'll marry him. Because he thinks their Marriage of Inconvenience could become a real marriage instead.

Paul Manning, a grieving widower with three small children, turns to Leah Baker for help and comfort. When that comfort begins to grow into something else, Paul discovers that he wants more than a Stand-In Wife.

My Review:

The cynical views of relationships that Macomber starts these stories with are akin to those faced by many of us on a daily basis. At the same time, she overcomes them in a realistic and promising manner that gives hope to those of us reading the stories. They’re the kind of stories that make you cry happy tears, living alongside the characters as they come to grips with their new realities. The well written, intricately crafted tales are fantastic alone, but unforgettable together.

Rich is a fantastic, down to earth guy. He’s a friend in every sense of the world. Jamie is the type of woman who warms your heart and makes you feel welcome in her life. I loved how strong she was, going after what she wanted, regardless of public opinion. Paul’s tale, on the other hand, was so emotionally infused that it tugged at my heart a little more with every word. Getting to know him and Leah as they come to grips with their loss was both heartbreaking and heart-warming.

These two stories were poignant counterpoints to one another, Rich’s making me laugh, and Paul’s bringing me to tears. Through them, Macomber has once again created a work that will leave a smile on your face.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Azurite by Megan Dent Nagle

Title:  Azurite
Series:  Daughter of the Mountain #1
Author:  Megan Dent Nagle
Publication Date:  February 26/15
Length:  448pgs
Genre:  YA Fantasy
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Zora Winnser is the last princess of Samaria, but even though she is the only heir to the Winnser bloodline, she will never rule the Samarian throne. Zora is a baseborn, a child born out of wedlock to Queen Evangeline whose disdain for her illegitimate daughter festers with every passing day. 

Zora’s unfortunate birth status is not the only thing that makes her different. She is also a Chimera, a human whose blood is mixed with a sorcerer's-only the Samarian princess doesn’t know it. 

When Zora is sixteen, Queen Evangeline decides to marry her off to the Prince of a foreign land infested by dark swamplands. Unbeknownst to Zora, Samaria faces threats from both inside and outside its borders. There is something in Samaria that the race of sorcerers want: azurite crystal mined from underneath Samaria’s mountains. Queen Evangeline is more than willing to give it to them, but at what cost? As Samaria enters into a war they cannot win, loyalties will be tested and all faith in Queen Evangeline will be lost. The only hope in combating Samaria’s bleak future rests in the hands of a traitorous group of Evangeline’s advisors. With the help of other allies in the Realm, those loyal to Zora set out retrieve her from exile so she can take her rightful place as Queen and save the future of Samaria.

My Review:

Nagle hooked me with the blurb for this one, and held my attention throughout. She builds her world well, creating a whole that is believable yet completely fantasy worthy. Her descriptions will spark your imagination rather than simply telling you what is. The history and mythology of the land are presented as tidbits here & there giving context and deeper meaning to the story. Nagle develops a creative YA plot without ever seeming childish. It is fast paced and enjoyable. The magic throughout the land is well developed and one of a kind.

The main character in this novel was a real treat. She made me laugh throughout and was a joy to get to know. I was never bored following her story. In fact, the entire cast of this novel was well developed and did their roles justice. They were a fun bunch to get to know and I loved their individual stories as much as the overarching plot.

As a whole, this was a well written, well thought out novel that brings fantasy to life. Nagle has definitely started this series out on the right foot.

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Kiss Me by Susan Mallery

Title:  Kiss Me
Series:  Fool's Gold #17
Author:  Susan Mallery
Publication Date:  June 30/15 by HQN Books
Length:  384pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery creates the small-town destination for romance in charming Fool's Gold, California—where a loner cowboy finds the one woman who can capture his heart...

After Phoebe Kitzke's kind heart gets her suspended from her job in LA, she swears off doing favors—until her best friend begs for help on the family ranch in Fool's Gold. Unfortunately, sexy cowboy Zane Nicholson isn't exactly thrilled by the city girl's arrival.

Thanks to his brother's latest scheme, Zane has been roped into taking tourists on a cattle drive. What Phoebe knows about ranching wouldn't fill his hat, but her laughter is so captivating that even his animals fall for her. One slip of his legendary control leads to a passionate kiss, but she's exactly the kind of woman a single-minded loner needs to avoid.

In his arms, Phoebe discovers she's a country girl at heart. Yet no matter how much the small town feels like home, she can't stay unless Zane loves her, too…but is this cowboy interested in forever?

My Review:

What a story! Mallery engages readers on multiple fronts, allowing them to experience real life for these residents of Fool’s Gold. Self-discovery & familial responsibility vie with budding relationships and some real adventure. Everything was so vivid. I could just as easily picture being on the cattle drive as I could sitting on the ranch house. Those of us following the series have been IN Fool’s Gold many times before, but coming into the town, seeing the approach from fresh eyes with Phoebe was breathtaking. It gives a new and much larger perspective to the town, while also putting it all in context. Not to mention the absolutely fantastic storyline. The intensity of this story was brewing throughout, only to reach a crescendo at the end. I was held wrapt.

*SQUEE* Fool’s Gold’s resident brooding cowboy revealed! He’s that hero that grabs your heart from every direction. The rough and tumble cowboy with more responsibilities than he can count, with a soft, hidden side. Sure I felt for Phoebe & Chase, but Zane absolutely broke my heart. Pheobe’s wide open heart was a fantastic counterpoint. Readers fall in love with her for a completely different reason. Her bubbly, accepting nature & her need to talk to everyone & everything had me giggling more than once. Oh, and Zane and Phoebe’s 1st kiss was perfectly priceless. As usual, Eddie and Gladys had me rolling on the floor laughing. I love these septuagenarians. They’re comic relief at its finest, and some genuinely loveable people underneath it all. The foster child aspect was eye opening. I love how Mallery worked it in and how it all turned out. And I can’t finish here without mentioning Manny, the unsung hero of the story. I can’t say too much without ruining it for readers, but just watch out for him & ask him advice should you have any personal problems at hand.

Mallery has a way with words, that’s for sure. She’s one of those rare authors who rarely misses the mark, creating a world for readers to escape into for a while, telling a story about real people, living real lives, in a way that makes you want to be there alongside them.

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Bride on the Run by Catherine Mann & Joanne Rock

Title:  Bride on the Run
Series:  Runaway Brides #4
Author:  Catherine Mann & Joanne Rock
Publication Date:  June 16/15 by Tule Publishing
Length:  139pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Valerie Dimitri is on the run from her former fiancĂ© who’d only wanted to marry her for her family’s questionable criminal ties. She also has the perfect cover with an assumed name and a thriving call-in advice show, “Sex Talk with Serena”, until one messy call blows up in her face. When she counselled “Anna J” to break up her with her boyfriend, she had no idea that she was telling a local celebrity to dump the hometown hero ballplayer, Boone Sullivan.

Boone has discovered Valerie’s real identity and he’s determined to expose her secrets… and maybe more. What he didn’t expect was to be blindsided by a crazy attraction to the buttoned-up lady with the sultry voice and a hidden past. He had carefully plotted his revenge, but soon all he can think about is how much he’d like to take Valerie as very own his stand-in bride…

My Review:

Like so many contemporary romances, the beginning and the end of this novella are predictable: boy meets girl, and eventually they get together. However, it’s what happens in the middle here that is absolutely fantastic. This unique twist on a well-known fairy tale had me in stitches while at the same time my heart was on my sleeve.

The characters in this story were charmingly delightful. Their personalities were the type that really drew me in. The realistic yet simultaneously out of this world situations that they found themselves in really brought the characters to life. I fell in love with them as they fell in love with each other.

This fast paced novella kept me on my toes throughout. Mann & Rock have created a fantastic romance that brings Prince Charming to life in the real world.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A New Hope by Robyn Carr

Title:  A New Hope
Series:  Thunder Point #8
Author:  Robyn Carr
Publication Date:  June 30/15 by MIRA
Length:  400pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Starting over is never easy, but in Thunder Point, where newcomers are welcome and friends become family, it's possible to find yourself again. In this brand-new story, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr takes us on a moving and rewarding journey as a young woman finds new hope.

After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, and with the help of her cousin Ray Anne, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she's excited to start her first big assignment, assisting with the Lacoumette wedding.

In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger finds herself swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride's brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own recent divorce, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself and Ginger when he tries to make a pass at her, forcing Ginger to flee the scene in embarrassment.

But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Discovering they have a lot in common, they form a solid friendship, though everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.

My Review:

Carr takes us back to Thunder Point with a heart-warming & inspirational story. Emotions run high as readers get up close and personal with a number of individuals from the community. I was inspired by the number of different topics that Carr draws into this very lifelike story. I’ll admit the beginning of this novel was a bit slow as Carr recaps the previous novel. Because of the overlap with the previous story

The intimate talks between the characters about intricate topics were very revealing. Life and death, love and loss all shine through. It also served to bring every aspect of the Lacoumette farm to life. Matt’s passion and intelligence really shone through. The growth and change in Ginger’s character since we first met her was also a joy to see. Her recovery and desire to return to the land of the living was so realistic, yet completely heart-warming.

This novel was yet another welcome addition to Carr’s Thunder Point series. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Do Not Forsake Me by Rosanne Bittner

Title:  Do Not Forsake Me
Series:  Outlaw Hearts #2
Author:  Rosanne Bittner
Publication Date:  July 7/15 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Length:  512pgs
Genre:  historical romance
Shelf:  Review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Experience the epic, sweeping story of Jake and Miranda Harkner from Bittner's beloved Outlaw Hearts, called by New York Times bestseller Heather Graham "a wonderful, absorbing read, with characters to capture the heart and the imagination".

Fate brought them together. His past may tear them apart.
Miranda Hayes' life was changed the day she faced down infamous gunslinger Jake Harkner...and walked away with his heart. Their fates have been intertwined ever since. Hunted by the law, fleeing across a savage land, their desperate love flourished despite countless sorrows. Now, twenty-six years later, their family has finally found some measure of peace...balanced on the knife's edge of danger.

Jake has spent his years as a U.S. Marshal atoning for sins, bringing law to the land he once terrorized. But no matter how hard he fights the demons of his brutal past, the old darkness still threatens to consume him. Only Miranda keeps the shadows at bay. But when outlaws looking for revenge strike a fatal blow, Jake risks losing the one woman who saw past his hard exterior and to the man inside.

He always knew there'd be the devil to pay. He just never realized he might not be the one to bear the ultimate price.

My Review:

Once again Bittner has created an emotional novel that takes you back in time and shows you what real cowboys are all about. It was a fantastic sequel to Outlaw Hearts that highlighted the hard hitting lives these characters lived. Lasting love and romance shines through while the harshness of the land is apparent to all.

Bittner’s vivid and lifelike characters invite you deep into their lives. They’re the type of individuals that you instinctively want to get to know better. I appreciated how Bittner takes the individuals we came to know in the first novel of the series and allows them to grow and change based on the circumstances they now find themselves in. Their personal and interpersonal relationships, along with the land they live on, shaped their lives.

Although his novel could potentially be read as a standalone, I would suggest reading the series in order. I loved how Bittner showed us what happens in the ‘ever after’ for the characters that we met in the first novel.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Roark by Jacqueline Rhoades

Title:  Roark
Series:  Women of Earth #1
Author:  Jacqueline Rhoades
Publication Date:  June 28/15 by Jacqueline Rhoades
Length:  385pgs
Genre:  SciFi romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

The people of planet Earth have suffered the tides of war for six long years, but it’s not their war. Earth is the battleground for the thousand year conflict between the invading Hahnshin and the Godan warriors of the Galactic Confederation.

Mira Donazetto’s only concern is for her family’s survival, so when she’s offered work as a translator for the Godan, she jumps at the chance and right into the arms of the new First Commander, Roark. Her heart says she should trust this alien warrior, but how can she when he has the power to take away everything she holds dear.

Roark’s new command post is a disaster with a long list of problems that he must address, including dissension among his officers. The last thing he needs is to have his heart touched by a woman who may be a traitor.

It’s a whole new world and a whole new love story in a whole new series called Women of Earth.

My Review:

Political intrigue, interplanetary wars, and romance rule the day in this unforgettable start to Rhoades’ new series. The world came to life, allowing readers to picture all of it while at the same time allowing your imagination to run wild. The intricate plot wove its way in and among a variety of different aspects of the story, keeping you on your toes.

Rhoades develops her characters both physically and emotionally, giving reader the full picture of all races and individuals involved. They were absolutely unforgettable. Their sharp personality and witty banter was fantastic. The chemistry between the main characters was so real and palpable.

The cultural and historical development of the peoples of this novel was fantastic. Rhoades introduces reader to many of their cultural practices, while highlighting the differences and similarities of the species that we meet. The Godan history that we encounter throughout was completely fascinating. The twist on Viking history & mythology was great. I found it an intriguing addition to the story that helped me understand the Godan better. I also enjoyed the multiple races that we encountered throughout the novel & the fact that it wasn’t simply humans vs aliens, but rather a complex mixing and mingling.

This novel is a brilliant start to Rhoades’ new series. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, nor can I wait to see what comes next.

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Holding Back by Helen Pollard

Title:  Holding Back
Author:  Helen Pollard
Publication Date:  April 27/15 by Clean Reads
Length:  219pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

The last thing they're looking for is love …

Laura Matheson is a natural at avoiding romance, so when she is drawn to mystery guest Daniel Stone while helping out at her friends' hotel in Portugal, she assumes all she needs is a little extra willpower.

Daniel is at the hotel on business. The demands of work and a manipulative ex-girlfriend mean he doesn't have the time or energy for romance, but Laura is a distraction he finds hard to ignore.

As they negotiate a minefield of misunderstandings and mutual attraction, will they both continue to hold back? Or will they finally allow love into their lives?

My Review:

Pollard takes readers across the world with this enjoyable read. The setting is well developed, allowing readers to picture the characters and the hotel. The plot itself was low key & enjoyable, providing a believable romance.

The characters in this novel were quite well developed. I enjoyed getting to know Daniel. He was an unlikely hero in this story, but his character was so true to form that I couldn’t help but like him. Laura was one of those characters who rubbed me the wrong way. Her abrasiveness, although warranted, made her difficult to identify with.

Once again Pollard has created a sweet, enjoyable novel that will leave you smiling.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

Title:  Second Chance Summer
Series:  Cedar Ridge #1
Author:  Jill Shalvis
Expected Publication:  June 30/15 by Grand Central Publishing
Length:  368pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:


Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it's the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there's an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .

The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .

My Review:

What a rush! I was laughing hysterically and crying like a baby in turns. Shalvis mixes some very suspense packed and danger filled moments that had my heart in my throat with some of the most introspective, emotional scenes I’ve ever read. Everything was all so vividly real. This novel is a fantastic example of what a second chance romance should be. Emotions run high as readers encounter some of life’s most difficult tragedies, all the while being wrapped in the safe cocoon of budding romance. Shalvis brings Colorado to life even for those of us who haven’t been there. The beauty of the area shines through in her writing.

When you pair a hometown alpha hero with the girl next door returned home you’re sure to have some sparks, but the genuinely romantic & heartfelt relationship that these two fight against was epic. I love how there are convergences and divergences in their histories that are filled in for the reader throughout. Both of the main characters have a misguided belief that they caused catastrophe for their respective families and won’t forgive themselves for it. It’s an enriching similarity between the two, even if they don’t see it themselves. Shalvis’ well-rounded character development doesn’t stop with her main characters either. Getting to know Aiden’s family was a laugh and a half. These are some individuals that I truly can’

It’s always so much fun to delve into a new series by an author you enjoy. This one is no exception! Shalvis has done a fantastic job of setting the backdrop for the rest of the series while at the same time telling a story you won’t soon forget.

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Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne

Title:  Redemption Bay
Series:  Haven Point #2
Author:  RaeAnne Thayne
Publication Date:  July 1/15 by HQN Books
Length:  384pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne brings you back to Haven Point—a place made for second chances…

McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her hometown of Haven Point. It may be small, but it's never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed his family's factory, leaving the town's economy in shambles. Now his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point's sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice.

What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it's least expected.

My Review:

Thayne brings this small town to life in a big way with her latest Haven Point novel. The novel is simultaneously emotional and romantic, leaving you with a feeling of redemption. Thayne takes the concept of second chances and spins it, proving that second chances really do happen in all walks of life. She also shows that life can be funny at the most inopportune moments. My heart may have been on my sleeve throughout, but that didn’t stop me from laughing at the characters’ antics. The story itself is intricately and realistically crafted, providing an endlessly enjoyable tale for readers.

I loved how emotionally and intellectually involved these characters were in this story, both with one another and with the town itself. The main characters were counterpoints to one another, creating a contrast that not only highlighted their personalities but truly allowed readers to see deep into the relationship. Thayne showcases all sides of the story, allowing readers to get to know all of the characters, not simply the two at the forefront.

Thayne has once again created a fantastic novel that takes readers deep into the lives of her characters. It was a heart-warming and enjoyable novel that I truly treasured.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ever After by Rachel Cross

Title:  Ever After
Author:  Rachel Cross
Publication Date:  May 25/15 by R.G. Cross
Length:  80pgs
Genre:  contemporary erotic romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

The Beauty Queen…
Once upon a time, a teen beauty queen from Texas gave up her golden crown and her controlling family and married her one true love. Her family disowned her, her husband died and she was left to raise their twin girls alone.

Years later Rebecca married for security and companionship but chose poorly and ended up with a fraud, a cheat and a liar. He died leaving her with nothing but a beautiful stepdaughter, boatloads of debt, a tarnished reputation and a vow never to remarry.

The Prince…
Once upon a time, across the Atlantic, there lived a young prince. His life was anything but charmed. His mother died tragically and his older brothers could do no wrong – in school, in life or in love.

David was not just a member of worlds most well known royal family – he became its most infamous and popular son. But serving his country in wartime changed the prince. Soon he longed for more than endless parties with models on yachts in the Mediterranean. In his last days as a soldier and pilot he was sent on a junket to California.

It was there he met the woman who could change everything …

My Review:

Talk about a fairy tale with a twist! This is definitely a novella with style, pizazz & flair. Cross had me fully engaged throughout. The story was fast paced and in-depth, while at the same time the novella was a light, enjoyable read that left me with a warm fuzzy feeling.

The characters in this tale were extremely well developed, especially for a novella. The main characters fit so well together and definitely did the story justice. This is definitely a case of chemistry that will make you drool, plus that added bonus that makes a real relationship. The supporting characters were also quite well done. I enjoyed getting to know each of them and what they added to the story.

This was a quick, hot read that I couldn’t put down. Cross has definitely created something well worth reading. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to one and all.

Ever After will be available for $0.99 from June 27th-July4th 

Enter now to win in this fantastic new giveaway with author Rachel Cross!
The grand prize winner will receive an Amazon Gifted copy of Rachel Cross' Rock Rhapsody bundle, her High Octane Bundle, & Ever After
One winner will receive an Amazon gifted ecopy of Rachel Cross' Rock Rhapsody bundle.
One winner will receive an Amazon gifted ecopy of Rachel Cross' High Octane Bundle.
One winner will receive an Amazon gifted ecopy of Ever After.

Contest is open internationally, where applicable by law.
Prizes will be gifted from the author via Amazon.
Entries close at 11:59pm July 10/15.
Winners will be drawn July 11/15.
Winners will be notified via email to the email provided to the giveaway and will have 72h to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.

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Hard Ride by Opal Carew

Title:  Hard Ride
Series:  Ready to Ride #4
Author: Opal Carew 
Publication Date:  June 30/15 by St. Martin's Griffin
Length:  256pgs
Genre:  erotic romance
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★★+

Back Cover Blurb:

Maggie never expected to find herself trapped in an alley facing a band of rough bikers. And she certainly didn't expected to see him again…
Shock is a biker with a mysterious past. The son of a wealthy billionaire, he inherited it all at a young age. But for Shock, wealth was a shackle, and all he wants is to break free on the open road. With no worries, no responsibilities, just him, his gang, and his bike. What more could a man want?

That is until he encounters an old flame in a dark alley. Seeing Maggie again sends him spiraling. Still as beautiful as ever, he's enraged that sweet, funny Maggie is alone and penniless with on one to protect her. But more than that, he's concerned about the risks she seems to take. In order to keep her safe and finally have her for himself, he makes a sensual deal: his help for her body. But will Maggie be able to let her inhibitions go and fall for the hard rider?

My Review:

Carew has created a story that you simply just can’t forget. She takes erotic romance to a whole new level, combining a raw, real look at life with some rather wild moments. The intricate plot that is the backdrop for this very hot story was fantastic. It really made me stop and think. All the while, Carew took me on the ride of a lifetime.

Unforgettable characters with explosive chemistry. That’s the best way to describe the cast of this novel. We’ve come to know most of them in previous instalments of the series, but the characters really come into their own here. Carew’s character development left me feeling as if I truly knew these individuals personally. This group is the type of individuals you instinctively want to know better, while at the same time giving off the full alpha biker aura. The chemistry among the group as a whole, and especially between the two main characters of this novel, is palpable. I loved the real caring and emotion that underlies it is well.

Carew combines emotional turmoil with hotter than Hades sex in this one of a kind erotic romance. It was an unforgettable novel in and of itself, while also taking this series from great to fantastic with one fell swoop.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Always My Hero by Jennifer DeCuir

Title:  Always My Hero
Series:  Scallop Shores #5
Author:  Jennifer DeCuir
Publication Date:  June 29/15 by Crimson Romance
Length:  220pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Bashful town librarian Bree Adams has put her friends’ and family’s needs before her own for as long as she can remember, in part to hide a hurtful secret. But on New Year’s Eve, she resolves to stop punishing herself for old mistakes. Everyone deserves a happy ending, and she’s going to get hers. But then she comes face to face with her painful past.

Ryan Pettridge left Scallop Shores a hometown hero with a full scholarship to UCLA and an NFL destiny. Then a freak accident stole his hopes and dreams and turned the all-star athlete into a desk jockey accountant. Now his father’s stroke brings him home to take over the family hardware store.

Fate conspired once to keep Bree and Ryan apart. Despite the years that have passed, they still can’t resist each other and sparks rekindle between them. But will their difficult past be too much to overcome, or can Bree prove to Ryan once and for all that he has always been a hero in her eyes?

My Review:

DeCuir brings all the sweetness of romance to life, with just a dash of the snark that comes with a second chance. And she wraps this all up in a pricelessly comical package! DeCuir develops her story in such a manner that I could easily picture myself in Scallop Shores. Old hurts and friendships collide with present day intrigue in such a manner that I simply couldn’t put this one down.

I love the characters that DeCuir populates her story with. They’re realistic, real life individuals with a touch of flair that makes them absolutely unforgettable. Bree’s ‘new self’, combined with who she really is in an endearing manner that really allowed me to connect with her. Ryan especially captured my attention. He was dealing with issues on so many fronts, yet still staying true to those he loved. The characters in this novel weaseled their way into my heart until I couldn’t imagine never having met them.

Although not the first novel in the series, DeCuir makes it very easy for readers to start reading with this unforgettable story. But be warned, you will be left wanting to read what came before and dying to see what comes next from this captivating author.

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Class-M Exile by Raven Oak

Title:  Class-M Exile
Author:  Raven Oak
Publication Date:  June 22/15 by Grey Sun Press
Length:  102pgs
Genre:  SciFi
Shelf:  Review
Rating: ★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Class-M planet in the middle of no-where. Dust, dust, and more dust. Unless ya circled ‘round to the more habitable region, you’d be stuck without a ship to anywhere. ‘Round the corner though, you could find everything from ship parts and dried food packs, to roast dog and the rare bi-cycle. Hell, you could even buy yerself a gen-u-ine religion if you were so inclined.
The ultimate tourist trap. And here I’d taken the bait.

When Eerl stepped off The Marzipan, he was one of a billion tourists on Bay-zar. He expected to shop for rare artifacts from war-ravaged Earth and maybe study at the grand library, but not even his background in Human Studies from the University of Tersia could prepare him for what came next:
A military beefcake with a grudge, a wartime conspiracy, a stolen ship, a galaxy full of prejudice, and at the center of it all, a young human named Mel in search of the truth. 

Her search for her past and his quest for knowledge take them across the stars as they uncover the darkness and fear in us all.

My Review:

This well written novella has definitely captured my attention. Oak has created a picture of the universe that carries her story forward. There’s also a sense of foreboding throughout that kept me coming back for more. I enjoyed how she painted the scenery for her audience, allowing them to focus on the plot at hand.

Oak uses a great deal of slang and twang to differentiate between the different races and species that we encounter. It also serves to allow readers an inside look at who the main character is and how he thinks. I found that it took me a while to get used to, but once I did, it was quite intriguing. It was also very consistent throughout.

I quite enjoyed getting to know the characters in this story. They were so different from anything that I’ve met before. There is a definite humanoid aspect to all major players in the story but they’re also quite one of a kind. Everyone was well developed to suit their role, yet it didn’t stop there. I felt as if I actually knew them.

As a whole, this was an enjoyable novella once I got used to the narrator’s twang. It’s an intriguing start to Oak’s new series and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where it goes next.

Book Links

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

High Country Spring & Interview with author Genevieve Turner

Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I never intended to become a writer. I always loved reading, but I fell into writing almost by accident. I became a stay at home mom with my first kid and I needed to find something to do during naptime. I could do the housework (blech) or I could try to write a book. You can guess which one I picked.

Q ~ What’s one habit that you have that you’d like to break?
Slouching. I have terrible posture from spending my life hunched over a desk or a book.

Q ~ If you could be any animal, which would you be and why?
Hmm. When I was little, I would have said a horse, since I was crazy for horses. I guess now I’d have to say dolphin, so I could find out if they’re really as intelligent as we believe they are.

Q ~ How do you think people perceive authors?
I think people think authors’ lives are more glamorous than they really are. But I am definitely the worst dressed mom in the car line—putting on yoga pants is getting dressed up for me.

Q ~ Do you have a favourite author? Do they influence your writing?
Cecilia Grant is hands down my favourite author. She writes very lush, complex characters—and her use of POV is amazing to see. I wish I wrote even half as well as she does.

Q ~ How did you begin writing? Was there a single catalyst or a series of events?
Well, I wanted something to do during the day that wasn’t housework or childcare. Something just for myself. And at the time, authors were beginning to share their experiences on the internet, so I learned that you didn’t need an MFA to be a writer—romance authors came from all walks of life. And once I started writing, I found I couldn’t stop.

Q ~ What’s the best thing that’s happened since you began writing? The worst?
The best thing is all the wonderful people I’ve met through my writing—both authors and readers. I don’t want to say the worst because I don’t want to tempt fate into sending me something worse.

Q ~ Do you have any writing rituals that you follow? What is your go-to snack while writing?
My ritual is to put the baby down for his nap and work as fast as I can for the next three hours.

Q ~ Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release High Country Spring?
High Country Spring is the story of the youngest Moreno sister, Franny, who’s a bit of a wild child and a tomboy. She and Felipe have been clashing for the entire series now and finally they’re going to figure out that it’s not just frustration that’s been simmering between them.

Q ~ Have you written an outline for the Las Morenas series or do you make it up as you go?
I have a mental outline and have had it since the first book. It’s hard for me to write unless I know where I’m going. I also spend quite a bit of time just thinking about the books when I’m not writing, which helps me to work out exactly what will happen next.

Q ~ What is your process for choosing character names?
Sometimes names just come to me—with Isabel, Franny, and Felipe, I just knew those were their names. With others, it can take a lot of research to find just the right name. I searched for Sebastian’s name for over a week before I found one that fit him.

Q ~ If you were stranded on a desert island with one of your characters (from any novel you’ve written) who would you choose and why?
That’s a tough one. I have written a character who’s pretty much exactly like me, but I think that having to put up with myself all the time would get old.

I’d choose Franny, because she’d be really good at surviving, always have a good attitude, and she’s funny.

Q ~ Do you have anything in the works at the moment? Care to give us a hint about it?
I have a couple things in the works. I’m slowly working on Juan’s story (the lone Moreno brother) which will be the start of a new historical series.

But before that comes out, I’ll be releasing a contemporary Western series, A Cowboy of Her Own, which will feature a new generation of Morenos and Merrills in modern Cabrillo. Look for the first book, Her Billionaire Rancher Boss, in August!

Q ~ If you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice, what would it be?
Writing is like any other skill—it takes lots of time and lots of practice to hone your talent. Your first attempts at writing will be pretty bad. But if you keep at it and always try to learn something new about the craft, you will get better. So practice patience, keep writing, and do lots of reading!

About the author:

Genevieve Turner writes romance fresh from the Golden State. In a previous life, she was a scientist, but now she’s a stay at home mom studying the intersection of nature and nurture in her own kids. (So far, nature is winning!) She lives in beautiful Southern California, where she manages her family and homestead when she’s not lost in reading and writing romance.

Genevieve Turner~Romance Fresh From the Golden State

Title:  High Country Spring
Series:  Las Morenas #3
Author:  Genevieve Turner
Publication Date:  June 25/15 by Penny Bright Publishing, LLC
Length:  450pgs
Genre:  historical romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Francisca Moreno was born to rope and ride on the rancho she loves. But she can’t escape her mother’s attempts to lace her into the corset of propriety. So she makes one last grab for a grand adventure—and lands square in the path of the one man who’s never thought of her as anything but a pest.

Felipe Ortega is friendly and open to everyone he meets—and attached to no one. Loss has taught him that love can shatter a man. He’s spent half his life ensuring his best friend’s little sister never breaks her neck doing a man’s job. But when Franny stows away on a dangerous hunt for a cougar menacing the ranch, they are trapped together in the mountains of California… alone.

One long night by the campfire, the two crash into a passionate encounter and discover that familiarity can breed more than contempt. Much, much more. As their repressed desires dare Felipe to step from the shadows of the past, the two will discover how much they must risk for the one person they were never meant to love.

My Review:

Once again Turner has created a western romance that will capture your heart and spark your imagination while taking you back in time. The well-crafted plot combined romance with the everyday hardships of the time, all the while painting California before the eyes of the audience. The realistic outlook of the novel served to bring it even closer to my heart. I love the technical yet eloquently fluid way that she writes about working horses. It really brings the scene to life, both for those who know horses, and those who simply dream of them.

Turner creates fantastic characters who won’t be forgotten. I loved getting to know the main characters in previous novels of the series, but seeing them and getting to know them better in their own novel took them to a whole new level. Franny’s need to be herself is in direct conflict with Felipe’s need to see her safe. Their mutual misunderstanding and assumptions lead to some intriguing and comical interactions, all the while allowing readers to get to know them better. These two may have been among my favourite supporting characters in past novels, but they definitely rank high among my favourite romance couples of all times. They were so genuine and loveable that I couldn’t help but fall for (and cheer for) them throughout. Being surrounded by the well-developed supporting characters not only served to highlight Franny & Filipe’s characters but also to bring the story into the wider context.

This novel pulled me in from the first page and I was sad to let it go at the last. Turner is one of those rare authors who holds you captive through every word while creating an unforgettable story that will stay with you for the long haul.

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Riding Steele by Opal Carew

Title:  Riding Steele
Series:  Ready to Ride #3
Author:  Opal Carew
Publication Date:  March 17/15 by St. Martin's Griffin
Length:  288pgs
Genre:  erotic romance
Shelf:  own
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Being kidnapped by bikers is a harrowing experience, but for some reason, Laurie doesn’t feel as terrified as she should. The leader’s steely eyes soften when he looks at her, and the others in his gang clearly know she’s hands off. But does that include Steele's hands? Her brain resists him, but her body insists she wants those big hands all over her.

Steele doesn’t know how he wound up in this mess—with a kidnapped woman on his hands and the police hot on their trail. Now he and Laurie are in hiding at an isolated cabin, and Steele has to figure out how to extricate himself...and steer clear of his accidental captive whose tight, slinky clubbing attire is making him think all kinds of dangerous thoughts…

My Review:

What a rush! Carew’s hot & steamy writing combines with this intensely suspenseful story to create something unforgettable. She takes the world of Ready to Ride to a whole new level with this novel, developing the plot far beyond what we’d seen in the previous novellas, and giving readers the fast paced ride of a lifetime. Sensuality and sexuality rule the day, adding to the intensity of the story.

I loved getting to know Steele better. The events in his past come to light in a way that really highlights who he is today. His caring nature wars with his need to be dominant, creating the ultimate, alpha biker. Laurie’s personal growth and self-discovery throughout was quite enlightening. It made her seem so real. Her vulnerability contrasts with and highlights Steele’s strength like nothing else could. Carew also delves deeper into the rest of the bikers in this first full length novel of her Ready to Ride series. I appreciated how much fuller the story became once the others were more well-rounded individuals.

Carew had me hooked from beginning to end with this one. It was a complex and fascinating tale that was also hot as sin.

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