Thursday, August 27, 2015

Commanded by Stacey Kennedy - Review



Title: Commanded (Club Sin #6)

Author: Stacey Kennedy
Genre: Contemporary Romance, BDSM
Length: 3195 pages
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4
Heat Rating: 4
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

A dedicated cop, Sawyer Quinn blows off steam by immersing himself in his role as a Master at the hottest club in Las Vegas. But when Sawyer goes after the perp who brutally beat his sister, he teams up with Chloe Nash, a sexy private investigator who awakens a sweet new need: to keep her to himself, away from the dungeon of Club Sin. Chloe is beautiful, smart, and too innocent for the BDSM lifestyle. Sawyer’s never wanted a woman like this before. Is her love worth swearing off the one thing that keeps him sane?

There’s something different about Sawyer: a commanding strength that pulls Chloe into a vortex of heady desire. But when she learns about his double life as a Dom, she’s shocked—and afraid she could never complete him. Then he saves her life, and just like that, Chloe knows she will be able to give him anything he desires. She is his—wherever and however he wants to take her.
Commanded really took a different look at the BDSM lifestyle and how it works with different relationships. Chloe is about as vanilla as they come, so Sawyer is a bit surprised when he finds himself attracted to her. He feels the need to claim her as his woman and teach her the ways of his world. But instead, he finds himself changing in subtle ways that surprise everyone around him

Chloe is blown away by the total hotness that is Sawyer Quinn. But when she finds out he's in the BDSM lifestyle, she has some very serious reservations about pursuing a relationship with him. Things are a bit dicey between them for awhile as she becomes more and more convinced that she could never be what he really needed.

This was something far different than what I had expected, but that ended up being a wonderful thing! A completely different look at the Masters of Club Sin that gives you such a good look at what it truly means to be with someone.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Paradise City by C.J. Duggan - Review



Title: Paradise City (Paradise #1)

Author: C.J. Duggan
Genre: New Adult Romantic Series
Length: 358 pages
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 3
Heat Rating: 3
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they'd send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home schooling on a rural Australian property, she's sure that Paradise will be amazing. But when she's thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie's not so sure.

Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie's never experienced, but all that's about to change. It's new, terrifying . . . and exciting. But when she meets Luke Ballantine, the sexy bad-boy leader of the group, Lexie can't help but wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?
So, this book is marketed as a New Adult Romance, but there is no HEA. I am going to assume this means that this is a romantic series that will eventually get there. But for those of you that want  a traditional romance, this one isn't for you.

If you are looking for a small town (I'm talking like 15 people live there small) girl that finds herself swept up in a total culture shock as she enters high school in a very big city, Paradise. Lexie is feeling quite overwhelmed as she is thrown face first into the whirlpool that is high school social structure. Adrift on her own, she begins to develop a new indentity and branch out a little. I really loved watching her transform from a niave and awkward girl to a person that was happy (most of the time) with who she was.

The romantic interest was a little too dramatic for me. They are on agan and off again, and then sort of inbetween for awhile - and as you can see from the beginning of my review here - we don't end with as HEA or a HFN. I certainly hope things get worked out in the next book. While I enjoyed the writing very much, since it was presented as a romance I was really hoping for a good, happy ending.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Releases in Romance - Week of August 23, 2015

Quite a few good ones this week (and last). All you paranormal/sci-fi lovers out there will have a tough time choosing. Maybe you should just get them all?

Paranormal/Sci-Fi

Historical

Erotic

New Adult

Other

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Past Demons by A.L. Kessler - Review




Title: Past Demons (Dark War Chronicles #3)

Author: A.L. Kessler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 197 pages
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: February 16, 2015
Source: Author
Rating: 5
Heat Rating: 3

With her freedom stolen from her by the Father, Tegan had never lived a life of her own. Whisked away to be a bound human to Lucius, she never knew what it was like to have a mate to love and cherish her. Now after losing three hundred years of memories, Tegan needs to rediscover everything she’s worked for and learn every lesson again, but this time something is different. Kaden claims that he is her fated mate.

The reason for Kaden’s exile from the Demon world is no secret: he beheaded his own king. The one thing that makes his exile bearable is being close to Tegan. When Tegan returns he knows he finally has his chance to make her his, but two people stand in his way: Lucius and Tegan’s brother, Zaaren.

The war rages on. With the rumor that someone has raised the Father and the Originals showing signs of waking, the bloodshed will only get worse.
Well now! Things are really getting exciting in this one. Tegan has returned, but her memories have been royally messed with by the evil vamps. So she's starting with a sort of fresh slate. Imagine how foreign everything is to her - it would scare the crap out of me!!

Once again Kessler has managed to merge an urban fantasy style story with romance perfectly. We have our story arc that carries over book to book, bringing the world closer and closer to an apocalypse style war with every page. But we also get some incredibly sweet moments watching two people fall in love no matter how awful everything may be around them.

Kaden has known he was meant for Tegan for years...well centuries actually. He has faithfully watched over her from the shadows doing what he could to protect her. The care he took with her was so touching and sweet. It made me want to give them both really big hugs - but they both would have slapped me for it I bet. Love, betrayal, loyalty, redemption, and a scary monster dude who is the Father of vampires - there's a little bit of it all in this story and it will leave you wanting more.

We also get to meet Zaaren, Tegan's brother, who is a complete *word I won't use here - use your imagination - be creative with the insults*. I hear there is a reason for his "attitude" and I need to read the short stories to find out why. So I guess I know what I'll be buying next!

*This book was received free in exchange for an honest review - and because I begged the author nicely*

Monday, August 17, 2015

Dark War Chronicles Boxed Set by A.K. Kessler - Interview and Giveaway


Title: Dark War Chronicles Box set
Author: A.L. Kessler
Release Date: August 16, 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Synopsis: Beyond the world of humans, a supernatural war rages on. Surrounded by secrets, power, and bloodshed the people of Lucius' territory struggle to stay in control. With the Looming threat of the Vampire Circle raising the Father of all Vampires, it's every creature for himself — Choose your side.

Today we get to visit with author A.L. Kessler and find out a little more about her books and her writing.

You have a very interesting mix of paranormal creatures. How do you keep all the lore and characters straight?
I have a OneNote notebook that I keep notes in each book. It helps me keep track of everything from character appearance to the time that passes in a certain book. It also tells me who is on who’s side and who is neutral. I try to stay as organized as I can. Sadly, through a recent computer glitch, I lost some of those notes.  
One of the things I love about Dark War Chronicles is the overall story arc that continues through all the books. Do you have all the books in the series planned out, or is it still a work in progress?
I have most of the plot for Lucius territory planned out. I know for the most part how it ends. Though some of it I go with the floor. Occasionally characters like to throw curve balls at me and I have to make it work. An example of that would be at the end of Past Demons with the traitor. 
Can you tell us how you started writing? What made you decide to hit publish on your first story?
I started seriously writing in high school. Writing was always an escape for me, I found fiction to be much more inviting than real life.
It was my husband who tipped my hand on hitting publish. I had gotten short story accepted in an anthology (no longer in print) and several people asked for more. He sat me down and made me make a choice: go the indie route, or go the traditional route and make people wait longer. I chose the indie route.
What is your special writing spot or muse?
Currently my special writing spot is the corner of the couch. I have an office with a standing desk, but I find I can’t think as well when I’m standing. My spot on the couch is almost a sign that says ‘Hey! The house is quiet and it’s time to write!’ Or you know…the corner chair at Starbucks that faces the window, sadly I can’t sit there every day. 
What type of books to enjoy most when reading?
Mostly Urban Fantasy, but it’s been a while since I’ve read one that doesn’t turn into PNR. I’m currently on a non-fiction kick, marketing books and productivity methods.

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I am a big fan of the Dark War Chronicles, and while I don't have a lot of room to copy all my reviews, I did want to share some links so you can check them out for yourself. Just click on the title!!


A little bit about A.L. Kessler:
A.L. Kessler is the author of Dark War Chronicles. She dabbles in paranormal romance, steampunk and urban fantasy. Since she was a teenager she's loved weaving stories and spinning tales. When she's not at the beck-and-call of the Lord and Lady of the House, two black cats by the names of Jynx and Sophie, training a playful puppy named Zelda, playing with her daughter, or killing creepers and mining all the things with her husband, she's either reading, participating in NaNoWriMo, or writing in her Blog Writing Rambles. For those who like things on the more spicy side, she leads a double life as Alexandra Webb.


Excerpt from On Torn Wings:
"I cannot believe I let you talk me into this," Orion grumbled as Danielle adjusted his shirt. He could sense her nerves and wondered if she was regretting this. Standing outside the cream colored house, he tried to imagine what her family was like. Probably normal humans, but of course he wasn’t exactly sure what that entailed.

"You owe me for finding the summoning place of the demon." She reminded him and smoothed her hand down the front of his shirt. "I promise this isn't going to be awful."

Orion's eyes flickered to the window behind her. "Pretty sure your mother is peeking through the curtains, should I kiss you and make her wonder?"

She leaned in and shook her head. "We should go in." She turned to knock on the door, but her father swung the door open before she got a chance.

"Hey pumpkin, we were wondering when you two were going to come in. Hope you're hungry, your mom made meatloaf." He smiled, giving his eyes little crinkles at the sides. "You must be Orion."

Orion stuck his hand out and smiled. "The one and only, you must be Mr. Johnson. A pleasure to meet you."

Danielle relaxed when the two of them shook hands and they continued into the house. "Mom, you can stop peeping through the curtains now. We're inside, it's safe."

Her mother gave a small smile. "I'm just making sure. You never know." The round woman wandered into the kitchen, her hands on her hips, and muttering.

Orion stepped up and examined some photos on the wall. They ranged all through her childhood, from infant to high school. There was a sudden gap in age and then some of her in a hospital and then at a welcome home party. It gave him pause, but he resisted asking what had happened. "You have a lovely home."

"Thank you, we've been here all our lives. Even after Dani's...attack, we decided it was best for us to stay."

Orion turned to her and mouthed, 'vampire?'

She gave him a subtle nod. "It was home, moving wasn't an option." He felt that that was the only answer that he would get for the night.

"The doctors said it would be best while you recovered," Her father mused. "Gosh, you haven't really changed much since."

She wrapped an arm around his shoulder and led him into the kitchen. "Let's not bore Orion with stories of the past."

"How did you two meet anyways?" Her mother asked when they all entered. "I know you said he was a partner, but your job doesn't normally require one."

"Work—" They both said at the same time, Orion looked to her to explain. Dani smiled and sat down at the table and motioned for him to follow.

"I met him at the club he works for, as a stripper." A wicked smile crossed her face. "I'd been there for a party, it wasn't until after that I learned he worked for the same branch I do, just in a different department. They sent him over to help me out."

Her mother clicked her tongue and Orion now knew where Danielle got the habit. Luckily she chose to ignore the stripper comment. "I don't like the idea that you need help, they aren't sending you into the field again, are they?"

"No," she answered and Orion looked at her. She lied to her mother, but he was certain she had good reasons for it. "I still do office work, don't worry so much."

Her dad made a strange noise. "It seems that your branch knows what they are doing. So Orion, what is it that you do for the military?"

He took a drink of his water to give him a moment to think. At times like this he wished he could read minds. Mrs. Johnson started serving plates and he watched her for a moment, trying to imagine how Danielle lived a normal human life while being a Hunter. "I'm the guy who goes out in the field so your daughter doesn't have to. She provides me with information and I...take care of the problem."

Danielle gave him a thankful look and took her father's hand. "They take care of us there. So people like you and mom don't have to worry about those strange attacks."

"I wish I knew more about your branch.” Mr. Johnson grumbled. Orion knew why she hid everything from them, they wouldn’t be able to handle it.

"Oh hush, Gary, they took such good care of her." Mrs. Johnson set a plate down in front of Orion and then Gary. "Besides, this is not pleasant dinner conversation, I'm sure Orion and Dani don't want to talk about work all night. Especially since they just got off. Isn't that right dears?"

Both of them nodded, Orion was relieved, but he had questions for Danielle. He was just going to have to wait for his answers.


After dinner the two got back into Orion’s truck and he started it up. Danielle held her breath as she knew what was coming. Orion took a deep breath. “What happened with the vampire?”

She couldn’t admit all of it yet, she just wasn’t ready. “I was attacked in our home and was…” She dug her nails into the palm of her hands. Telling Lucius should have made it easier to tell Orion, but she couldn’t help but just sit there like a victim again.

“It’s okay,” Orion whispered. “You don’t have to explain, I’m sorry I brought it up.”

“No,” she needed to tell him. If this whole partner thing was going to work, if she was going to get him to trust her, she needed to tell him. “I was taken that night, I was with him for a few years.” She about threw up at the words. There was no way that she was going to tell him about being bound. Not right now.

Dani took a shaky breath and squeezed his hand. “When I was with him, I knew I was being held captive by pure evil. There was no redeeming quality to this vampire. It’s not like Lucius, where I can see anything cruel he does somehow is done out of good intentions. No. This one had no good intentions.” She shook her head. “I’d kill him before I let him hurt anyone else.”

“Is this the information you traded Lucius?” Orion asked, his voice worried, but his eyes were on the road so she couldn’t read his face.

Though she knew why it made him nervous, Lucius now had leverage over her that Orion didn’t want. “Yes, but he traded me good information for it. It was worth it.” So she hoped.

Orion went silent and his grip tightened on her hand.

“What’s wrong?”

“I don’t think he will, but don’t piss him off or he might be inclined to use this information against you.”

“I don’t think Lucius will free him, he seemed to have known the vampire and wasn’t fond of him.”

“Good, I think.” Orion laughed. “I just don’t want Lucius to have that much control over you. He can be a bastard when he wants.”

He seemed to be well-behaved when she had met with him, but then again she wasn’t officially one of his people. “What do you mean?”

“Let’s use Kassity as an example, she’s spent a lot of time in her panther form in a cage. He’s put a silver collar on her. Tegan is also another example, she’s kept blindfolded when she displeases him. Lucius punishes Coran by forcing his wolf out.”

She took a deep breath because she couldn’t tell if he was serious or not. “So he punishes his people when they step out of line.”

“When he believes they have stepped out of line, yes. That being said, he has saved all of our asses more than once.” He sighed. “He’s also shown mercy before too. Many times.”

She rubbed her eyes. “He sounds like a giant contradiction.”

“Pretty much.” He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it. “Tonight wasn’t supposed to be about your past.”

“No, tonight was supposed to be fun, but since we got on the subject…” She pursed her lips together trying to think about how to phrase her question. “All I know is that the queen took your throne, why didn’t you ever go back?”

He shook his head. “Oh now, we’re not discussing that either tonight. Not the time nor the place.”

She leaned back and wondered where they were going. They sat in silence the rest of the time, until they pulled up to the town home. Orion helped her out of the truck and then led her inside. They both slipped their shoes off and walked into the living room. Her phone rang and she sighed. “It’s my mom, I just have to let her know I’m safe. It might take a few minutes, she likes to talk.” She gave him a smile and he nodded.

“I’ll give you some privacy, I’ll be upstairs when you’re done.”

She nodded and answered her phone.


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Friday, August 14, 2015

When an Alpha Purrs by Eve Langlais - Review



Title: When an Alpha Purrs (A Lion’s Pride #1)

Author: Eve Langlais
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 188 pages
Publisher: Indie
Release Date: June 4, 2015
Source: Self-Purchased
Rating: 4
Heat Rating: 3

A lion’s pride isn’t defined only by those he commands but also resides with his hair, so when a human dares to butcher Arik’s mane, he gets his revenge—and claims her as his mate.

A billionaire CEO and leader of the largest East Coast pride, Arik is a ladies man and a lion. Used to commanding others, and obedience, he can’t believe it when a hairdresser with tempting curves chops off a hunk of his precious mane.

But her biggest mistake is in running from him.

Run as fast as you can, little mouse, because this cat loves to chase—and pounce.

Oh, and he also likes to nibble on tender bits. What he doesn’t expect is to fall for a human woman, a woman who can make the impossible happen because everyone knows lions can’t purr…until now.
Another fun shifter romance from Eve Langlais. I really enjoyed Arik. He's everything I picture a lion to be - proud, arrogant, sure of himself, and used to being in charge. Watch him chase after Kira was amusing and his lion was all in a fuss about finally finding his mate. The pride's reaction to this whole ordeal was amazing! I loved the "catty" aspect of the other lions and Arik's mother was a riot.

Kira, I just couldn't quite warm up to. She had a great personality and I loved her independence, but she took that independence a little too far. She crossed briefly into the too stupid category when it came to her ex and that's something that can really be a downer in a story for me.

The romance was sweet, there were such a great example of getting everything you never wished for and loving it. There was just enough action to really push things along, but not so much that it was overwhelming. I think Eve Langlais is going to have another winner in this series.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On Torn Wings by A.L. Kessler - Review




Title: On Torn Wings (Dark War Chronicles #3)
Author: A.L. Kessler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 178 pages
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: July 7, 2014
Source: Self-Purchased
Rating: 4
Heat Rating: 3

A Hunter

Danielle is on a mission to take down a killer, when all signs point to vampire she recruits Orion to help. Bribing him with information on the Fae Queen who stole his crown takes her further into the supernatural world than she wanted. Working side by side, they start to realize there is more there than a forced work relationship, but Orion is still pining over the disappearance of Tegan.

A missing human

Tegan’s kidnapping is taking a toll on the whole territory, Lucius is losing his sanity and the war has taken a turn for the worst. Fed up with the chaos Orion seeks to escape the territory, but other than death there’s only one other option —taking back his crown. After centuries of working under the vampire Danielle offers him the chance and ability to take his rightful place.
 Tegan is missing!!! This is not good news for the people in Lucius' territory. Orion, the fae with broken wings as distraught. Tegan was his charge and he is desparately searching for her. Lucius is slowly going crazy, and Danielle (the Hunter) finds herself stuck in the middle of it all. When her investiagion into dead humans leads her to Orion for help, she realizes that she may have just stepped into more than she can handle.

Danielle is a very strong person - and we learn more about her history and what made her this way as we go through the story. I really like how her past is tied into the future and how things will play out as the book continues. Danielle and Orion have a very strong attraction to each other - and this attractions leads to some really great things, but it also puts Danielle in the sights of Lucius.

There is a lot going on in this book. Orion's past is coming back to haunt him, Danielle's past is discovered and that could have some major repurcussions, and Tegan - well a missing Tegan means total chaos everywhere. This book really satisfied the urban fantasy fan in me, without leaving the romance hanging at all. Such a great combination of what I like best about both genres.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Mistake by Lily Maxton - Review


Title: The Mistake (Sisters of Scandal #4)
Author: Lily Maxton
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Length: 182 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: April 14, 2015 Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3
Heat Rating: 3

Childhood love never disappears...

Infamous courtesan Julia Forsythe is the former mistress of a ruthless marquess. She’s also expecting his child. But while she longs to flee from his cold clutches, the welfare of her unborn babe prevents it. Now she must find a way to remain a “mistress” in name, if not in deed. And her plans are only complicated by a growing affection for the estate’s head gardener...

Fifteen years ago, Adam Radcliff once shared a close friendship with Julia. Now they stand worlds apart in both lives and statuses, sharing only the memory of that old friendship. But even as Julia slips out of the marquess’s lascivious clutches, she finds herself seeking the pleasure of Adam’s company. Now Adam is falling more deeply for Julia, even knowing that wanting another man’s mistress will only bring ruin upon them both...
This was one of the more interesting historical story lines I've read. Julia is a mistress - a fairly famous one. But she's found herself in a rough place with a man that is not very nice. He ships her off, pregnant and a little worried, to his country estate. She hopes to find some quiet and time to think - but instead she runs into her childhood sweetheart. Uh oh! Here's where she should have been open and honest, but she neglects to tell the whole truth instead - shame on her.

Adam is a gardener - a really good one! It was fun to see our hero not part of the aristocracy, but instead, a regular guy with a job, bills, and all that jazz. He's shocked to see Julia, and things are quite tense between the two of them.

While, Julia never really grew on me, the story was developed very nicely. No great sudden bursts through the plot or into love and a relationship. It was a gradual re-development of feelings and attractions. It was a romance brought on by some sweet reminiscing and with the help of Adam's nieces. They were just adorable.

Long and short - the plot was great - Adam was great - wish I'd liked Julia a more.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Monday, August 10, 2015

Rescued by the Rancher by Victoria James - Review



Title: Rescued by the Rancher (Tall Pines Ranch #2)

Author: Victoria James
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 141 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: April 14, 2015 Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3
Heat Rating: 3

Starting over and starting a whole lotta trouble…

Meredith Anderson left her difficult past behind to create a new life for herself in Tall Pines—where she can be the independent, confident woman she always dreamed of being. Now she's a partner in her sister's wedding planning business, helping brides realize their happily-ever-afters…even as she promises herself to never fall in love.

Meredith's sweetness and vulnerability brings out the protective side of rancher Gage McAllister—even though their worlds are miles apart. All it takes is one night for desire to take hold of them both, a sizzling encounter that can only lead to the promise of more. But Meredith isn't looking for more, and even if she was, Gage is set to leave Tall Pines behind him….
Meredith is a tough character for me to explain. I really enjoyed her - most of the time. But there were several times she drifted dangerously close to TSTL. I mean seriously, why are you not telling people your crazy ex is phone stalking you and sending you threatening messages. It'll just go away right? Ummmm.....NO - please don't be dumb.

Despite her not so smart moments, or maybe because of it, she makes a great damsel in distress figure for Gage. Gage is a swoon worthy cowboy. He's dark and a bit broody. His mysterious past has led him to swear off women (don't worry it's not because of a past love interest). His past was somewhat of a surprise and while it sucked - it really explained a lot. I also liked that it kept coming back (the past tends to do that) and actually ends up playing an important part of the story.

The story line really saved this from a worse review. It was so well put together with every element playing an important part - you just might not realize it at first. I love when all the little pieces come together so perfectly.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

New Releases in Romance - Week of August 9, 2015

We're taking it easy on you book budget this week. Just a few to look at down there, but they'e good ones!

Historical

Contemporary

Other

Friday, August 7, 2015

Ten Days in Tuscany by Annie Seaton - Review



Title: Ten Days in Tuscany (Men of the Zodiac #4)
Author: Annie Seaton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 219 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: April 14, 2015 Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4
Heat Rating: 3

One lie will ruin everything… Gia Carelli waits tables in her small Tuscan village, dreaming of a life in which her overbearing family allows her to move to Florence to pursue art. Everyone expects her to marry a nice local boy and raise a horde of bambini, but when a gorgeous, wealthy stranger visits, Gia wonders if maybe her stars are about to change.

Nic Baldini has returned to his Tuscan Villa for a much-needed break from the responsibilities of his powerful family. Struck by local artist Gia Carelli's raw talent and passion, he finds himself wanting to help her...and lies about his identity in order to gain her trust. But as their patron-protegée relationship is quickly eclipsed by desire, Nic realizes that one tiny lie could cost him the woman he's falling for.
I have a problem with lies - especially from my main characters. But I get this one!!! It did not bother me at all. His lie was not an attempt to trick the girl into thinking something else, but a way to stay under the radar while he was on vacation. But of course, one thing lead to another and now how do you tell her who you really are??? Nic was a pretty good guy. A little too caught up in work - but it seems like that's what makes a man rich. I loved his passion for art. It was something a little different than what I see in a lot of characters.

Gia was a little less likable for me. She had some self-esteem issues that just didn't fit in with the rest of her out going personality. She just didn't believe in herself as an artist. Nic sees her talent immediately though (and that leads to another lie that I wasn't as forgiving of) and tries to help her with an art show.

There's a lot of on again off again in this story. Some of it was believable and some of it wasn't. What really drew me into the story was Gia's traditional family and their expectations of her. The setting was also amazingly beautiful. I really want to go to Tuscany now - take in the sites, eat some food, and meet a millionaire.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Great Estate by Sherri Browning - Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: The Great Estate
Author: Sherri Browning
Series: Thornbrook Park, #3
Pubdate: August 4th, 2015
ISBN: 9781402286858

Pulled apart by past mistakes. Driven by a passion neither could deny.

Sophia Thorne was young and inexperienced when she married the dashing Earl of Averford…and through dark and troubled times, their relationship nearly came to an end. Now she’s determined to transform herself into the fiery, ardent lover she always wanted to be, giving them a second chance at love… before they’re lost to each other forever.

It took nearly losing Sophia for Gabriel to realize he had allowed his love for his great estate to distract him from his beautiful wife. But that time is over. Despite all the obstacles standing in their way, Gabriel vows to teach Sophia what it is to truly love…and to be loved by a husband devoted heart and soul to her every desire.


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About the Author:
Sherri Browning writes historical and contemporary romance fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist. She is the author of critically acclaimed classic mash-ups Jane Slayre and Grave Expectations. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Sherri has lived in western Massachusetts and Greater Detroit Michigan, but is now settled with her family in Simsbury, Connecticut. Find her online at www.sherribrowningerwin.com.

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Excerpt from The Great Estate:
The Earl of Averford’s boots slammed the cobblestones with force, a somewhat jarring sensation considering the worn state of his soles. New boots, fine Italian leather. He should have known not to relent to such frippery, but for once he’d listened to his mother.

“A fine man needs fine clothes,” she’d said. “Delicately spun silks. The softest kidskin. Textures sensual to the touch. You want to impress Sophia with how much you’ve changed.”

A man could only change so much. He was a man of sport, not style. Good English boots could stand up to months of traipsing through wilderness. The foppish Italian riders had given out after a mere fortnight of pacing London’s streets.

In truth, he had done an extraordinary amount of pacing since leaving Thornbrook Park. He’d worn a crevice into the stone floors of his mother’s Italian palazzo. In London, he preferred to channel his pent-up frustrations into walking the streets instead of treading his Aubusson carpets threadbare. He had determined that he wouldn’t return to Sophia until he’d become a better man, a romantic man, someone who knew about paintings, music, literature, and the art of love. He aimed to show her that he cared about the very things that impressed her most, the finer things, and that she needn’t look any further for a skilled lover than their own boudoir. It had taken him years to understand that he had gone about being a husband all wrong. Only catching her in the arms of another man seemed to have the power to wake him to the reality that he’d failed her. Miserably.

Once he’d gotten over his anger, of course. His first reaction had been one of murderous rage, but one glance at his former estate manager, who had stumbled on the scene at the same moment, calmed him. Winthrop, a man shadowed by an act of rage for half his life, had learned to face any challenge with level-headed shrewdness. In that instant, Gabriel became determined to follow Winthrop’s stoic example. If Gabriel’s wife wanted to kiss another man, who was he to stop her? Killing her lover wouldn’t win her affection back to him.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tour of the Universe 2015 Schedule


Welcome aboard readers and hold on tight. Bitten by Romance and some amazing science-fiction romance writers have teamed up to give you a peek into all the amazing universes that exist. You'll get to visit far away solar systems, meet alien races, and take a stroll around some incredible space ships.

Make sure to bookmark this page.

The schedule is below and we'll be updating it with links as each author stops by to share their amazing universe with us. I've heard a few will be having some souvenirs to give away as well.

Sci-Fi September 2015
Tour of the Universe
Your Guide to Out of This World Romance

Sept 1   Eve Langlais
Sept 2   Carol Van Natta
Sept 3   C.E. Kilgore
Sept 4   Evelyn Lederman
Sept 5   Rinelle Grey
Sept 7   Michelle Howard
Sept 9   K.M. Fawcett
Sept 10 M.K. Eidem
Sept 11 Sabine Priestley
Sept 12 Jody Wallace
Sept 14 Pauline Baird Jones
Sept 15 Corrina Lawson
Sept 16 S.E. Smith
Sept 17 Jenna Bennett
Sept 18 A.R. DeClerk
Sept 19 Shona Husk
Sept 21 Veronica Scott
Sept 22 Greta van der Rol
Sept 23 Shelley Munro
Sept 24 Aurora Springer
Sept 25 M.C. Hana
Sept 28 Evanne Lorraine
Sept 29 Edward Hoornaert

His Billions Dollar Dilemma by Alexia Adams - Review



Title: His Billion Dollar Dilemma (Guide to Love #2)
Author: Alexia Adams
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 221 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4
Heat Rating: 3

Never judge a geek by her cover...

Simon Lamont is an ice-cold corporate pirate. He buys companies, strips them of their assets, and moves on. With money. Lots and lots of money. But when he arrives in San Francisco to acquire a floundering company and is accosted by a cute engineer with fire in her eyes, it takes all Simon has to maintain his legendary cool.

Helen Winston has mastered hiding behind geeky clothes and an obsessive dedication to her job. So what’s with her desire for the arrogant—and sexy as sin—Simon Lamont? He may have only been wearing a towel when they met, but he’s planning to destroy her company, and Helen will do whatever it takes to change his mind. If that means becoming the sexy woman Simon didn't know he wanted, so be it. If only she wasn’t about to walk into her own trap...
I fell in love with Helen the first paragraph I met her. She had spunk, wouldn't back down from what she wanted, and was willing to totally embarrass herself to get it. This company is her baby and there's no way she's going to let some corporate pirate steal it from her - or so she thinks. What she doesn't expect is a near-naked first encounter with a guy she could dream about for ages.

But Simon doesn't care about her company - although her tactics make her quite interesting and he agrees to a second meeting. Well, each time they meet more sparks seem to fly. But they Helen has some serious issues she's trying to deal with. I have to say that Simon's reaction and "therapy" for these issues was brilliant and I loved him all the more for it.

I loved that Simon stays true to his ruthless business self throughout the whole story. There's no huge change of personality or lifestyle, just subtle alterations that make him a bit more reasonable. These were two of the most believable characters I've seen in awhile. Well, at least as believable as any billionaire romance can be.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lady Emily's Exotic Journey by Lillian Marek - Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveawy


Title: Lady Emily’s Exotic Journey
Author: Lillian Marek
Series: Victorian Adventures, #2
Pubdate: August 4th, 2015
ISBN: 9781492602293

From sensible, sheltered girl
Safe in the embrace of her loving family, Lady Emily Tremaine longs to feel more intensely alive. Surely the magic and mystery of Assyria and the fabled ruins of Nineveh will bring about the transformation she seeks.

To the woman his heart desires
Scarred by his past and estranged from his noble grandfather, French adventurer Lucien Chambertin desires neither a home nor the chains of emotional attachment. He seeks only to explore the far reaches of the world. But he did not know the world contained the likes of Lady Emily—whose curiosity and sense of wonder match his own.

Goodreads - Amazon - iBooks - BAM - B&N - Chapters - Indiebound

Lillian Marek was born and raised in New York City. At one time or another she has had most of the interesting but underpaid jobs available to English majors. After a few too many years in journalism, she decided she prefers fiction, where the good guys win and the bad guys get what they deserve.

********************

This August marks the release of the second in Lillian Marek’s Victorian Adventures series, Lady Emily’s Exotic Journey!  To celebrate her new release, Lillian’s here to share a fact about the Victorian era she discovered during her research:

Scheele’s Green, an arsenic-based dye that produced a vivid green very popular for wall coverings and fabrics, was sufficiently toxic to kill.

An Excerpt:

Emily had left the tent, and Lucien began to turn to her to share his thoughts on the scene when he saw a puff of smoke and a glint of metal by one of the boulders on the cliff. At that moment a bullet ploughed into the deck beside him, and he heard the shot.

He flew across the feet separating them to knock Emily to the ground, covering her with his body. “Keep down,” he ordered when she tried to raise her head. More bullets fell about them, most splashing into the river. He had his pistol in his hand, but he could not see a target on the cliff. The Turkish troopers on the next raft were firing away but not to any useful purpose that he could see.
Meanwhile, the oarsmen on their raft, who had first dropped their oars in a panic, were now working madly to keep them from being dashed against the rocks as the current swept them around a curve. The skipper joined them, shouting encouragement, until a bend in the river had them out of sight of their attackers. As the wild rocking of their craft ceased and they resumed their placid drift, Lucien became aware of his more immediate surroundings.

To be precise, he became aware of Emily lying beneath him. A warm, soft Emily lying beneath him, a situation his own body found most agreeable. Her breasts were pressed against his chest, and he was positioned between her thighs. She was so soft, such a perfect match for him. She did not appear to be distressed by their position, for she was making no effort to extricate herself. Did she understand what their position was? Could she tell just how agreeable his body found this position? Because his body was reacting most strongly to this juxtaposition.


She was looking up at him with an expression of dazed surprise. He wondered if he was looking at her with the same expression. Her hands were sitting on his shoulders, not pushing him away but not drawing him down. Just touching him. Her lips were parted ever so slightly. In surprise? In invitation? He was close enough to feel the damp warmth of her breath. He was overcome with longing and began to lower his mouth to hers.


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Monday, August 3, 2015

Tremaine's True Love by Grace Burrowes - Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway


What makes a man a gentleman? by Grace Burrowes

For a romance writer, this question has to be answered in every book, because implicit in the term “hero” is something of the gentleman. Heroes need not be charming, handsome or wealthy, and they might not even be obviously heroic, at least at the start of the book, but they have to be worthy of our loyalty for the duration of an entire book. 

In the True Gentlemen series, I took three men who’d wandered across my pages in previous stories—Tremaine St. Michael, Daniel Banks, and Willow Dorning—and found them each a happily ever after. Tremaine is a flinty business man, Daniel is poor and pious, Willow finds polite society an enormous trial and would far rather be with his dogs. These fellows were not obvious choices as romance heroes, but they each had something that tempted me to write stories for them.

When we met Tremaine in an earlier book (Gabriel: Lord of Regrets), Tremaine was convinced that he’d found a good candidate for the position of wife. He offered marriage, listing all the practical advantages to both parties, and he congratulated himself on how much sense his proposed union would make.

The lady turned him down flat, and as a gentleman is bound to do, he graciously ceded the field. He didn’t like it, he didn’t entirely understand how or what he’d lost, but he wished the happy couple well.

Daniel’s role in David: Lord of Honor was to charge to London with sermons at the ready in an attempt to restore his sister’s honor. The very man Daniel accused of wronging that sister had already set her back on the path to respectability.

Oops. But again, being a gentleman, Daniel wishes the couple every happiness, even if doing so costs him the future he’d envisioned for himself and his loved ones. Like Tremaine, he’s a gracious and even dignified loser.

Willow’s appearance in Worth: Lord of Reckoning is brief, but he too is determined to see a sister rescued from a possibly compromising position, and again, rescue is simply not on the heroine’s agenda.

In all three cases, the true gentleman acts in the best interests of those he loves and is responsible for, regardless of the inconvenience or cost to himself. Because Tremaine, Daniel, and Willow were honorable, I liked them. I trusted them, I wanted them to have the happiness they clearly already deserved.

In the Nicholas Haddonfield’s sisters—Nita, Kirsten, and Susannah—I found ladies willing to oblige my ambitions for these men. In each case, our hero has lessons yet to learn, and in each case, his inherent honor wins the day. He might not be handsome, wealthy, or charming in the eyes of the world, but because he’s a true gentleman in the eyes of his lady, he wins her true love.

I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I enjoyed writing them!



Title: Tremaine’s True Love (True Gentlemen #1)

Author: Grace Burrowes
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: August 4, 2015

Tremaine St. Michael is firmly in trade and seeks only to negotiate the sale of some fancy sheep with the Earl of Haddonfield. The earl’s sister,Lady Nita, is pragmatic, hard-working, and selfless, though Tremaine senses she’s also tired of her charitable obligations and envious of her siblings’ marital bliss. Tremaine, having been raised among shepherds, can spot another lonely soul, no matter how easily she fools her own family. Neither Tremaine nor Nita is looking for love, but love comes looking for them.

Excerpt from Tremaine's True Love:
Wealthy businessman Tremaine St. Michael has concluded that marriage to Lady Nita Haddonfield would be a prudent merger of complimentary interests for the mutual benefit and enjoyment of both parties… or some such blather.

Tremaine rapped on Lady Nita’s door, quietly, despite a light shining from beneath it. Somebody murmured something which he took for permission to enter.

“Mr. St. Michael?”

Tremaine stepped into her ladyship’s room, closed the door behind him and locked it, which brought the total of his impossibly forward behaviors to several thousand.

“Your ladyship expected a sister, or a maid with a pail of coal?”

“I wasn’t expecting you.” Lady Nita sat near the hearth in a blue velvet dressing gown. The wool stockings on her feet were thick enough to make a drover covetous. “Are you unwell, Mr. St. Michael?”

“You are not pleased to see me.” Did she think illness the only reason somebody would seek her out?

She set aside some pamphlet, a medical treatise, no doubt. No vapid novels for Lady Nita.

“I was not expecting you, sir.”

“You were not expecting me to discuss marriage with you earlier. I wasn’t expecting the topic to come up in a casual fashion either. May I sit?”

She waved an elegant hand at the other chair flanking the hearth. Tremaine settled in, trying to gather his thoughts while the firelight turned Lady Nita’s braid into a rope of burnished gold.

“You are pretty.” Brilliant place to start. The words had come out, heavily burred, something of an ongoing revelation.

“I am tall and blond,” she retorted, twitching the folds her of her robe. “I have the usual assortment of parts. What did you come here to discuss?”

Lady Nita was right, in a sense. Her beauty was not of the ballroom variety, but rather, an illumination of her features by characteristics unseen. She fretted over new babies, cut up potatoes like any crofter’s wife, and worried for her sisters. These attributes interested Tremaine. Her madonna-with-a-secret smile, keen intellect, and longing for laughter attracted him.

Even her medical pre-occupation, in its place, had some utility as well.

“Will you marry me, my lady?”

More brilliance. Where had his wits gone? George Haddonfield had graciously pointed out that Nita needed repose and laughter, and Tremaine was offering her the hand of the most restless and un-silly man in the realm.

The lady somehow contained her incredulity, staring at her hands. “You want to discuss marriage?”

“I believe I did just open that topic. Allow me to elaborate on my thesis: Lady Bernita Haddonfield, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife? I think we would suit, and I can promise you would know no want in my care.”

A proper swain would have been on his damn bended knee, the lady’s hand in his. Lady Nita would probably laugh herself to tears if Tremaine attempted that nonsense. Lady Nita picked up her pamphlet, which Tremaine could now see was written in German.

“Why, Mr. St. Michael?”

“I beg your pardon?” Tremaine was about to pitch the damned pamphlet in the fire, until he recalled that Nita Haddonfield excelled at obscuring her stronger emotions.

“Why should you marry me, Tremaine St. Michael? Why should I marry you? I’ve had other offers, you’ve made other offers. You haven’t known me long enough to form an opinion of my character beyond the superficial.”

This ability to take a situation apart, into causes, effects, symptoms, and prognosis was part of the reason she was successful as a healer. Tremaine applied the same tendencies to commercial situations, so he didn’t dismiss her questions as coyness or manipulation.

She wasn’t rejecting him either. She most assuredly was not rejecting him. 

About Grace Burrowes:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes' bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Lady Eve's Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.



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