Friday, December 19, 2014

Relevant by Larissa Ione Blog Tour





REVENANT excerpt

Since the moment Revenant bumped into Blaspheme at the hospital a few weeks ago, he’d been obsessed, and now, as her long legs ate up the asphalt as she walked toward him, he imagined them wrapped around his waist as he pounded into her. The closer she came, the harder his body got.
“Blaspheme.” He stepped out from between two black ambulances, blocking her path.
She jumped, a startled gasp escaping full crimson lips made to propel a male to ecstasy. “Revenant.” Her gaze darted to the hospital doors, and he got the impression she was plotting her escape route. How cute that she thought she could get away from him. “What are you doing lurking in the parking lot?”
Lurking? Well, some might call it that, he supposed. “I was on my way to see you.”
She smiled sweetly. “Well, you’ve seen me. Buh-bye.” Pivoting, her blond ponytail bouncing, she headed in the opposite direction.
 “Come home with me.”
“Wow.” She turned and crossed her arms over her chest, which only drew his attention to her rack. Niiice. “You get right to the point.”
He shrugged. “Saves time.”
“Were you planning to wine and dine me at least?  You know, before the sex.”
“No. Just sex.” Lots and lots of sex.
He could already imagine her husky voice deepening in the throes of passion.
“Oh,” she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “You’re charming, aren’t you?”
Not once in his five thousand years had anyone ever called him charming. But even uttered with sarcasm, it was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to him.
“Don’t do that,” he growled.
“Do what?” She stared at him like he was a loon.
“Never mind.” Dying to touch her, he held out his hand. “You’ll love my play room.”
She wheeled away like he was offering her the plague instead of his hand. “Go to hell, asshole. I don’t date fallen angels.”
“Good news, then, because it’s not a date.” And he wasn’t a fallen angel.
“Right. Well, I don’t fuck fallen angels either.” She made a shooing motion with her hand. “Go away.”
She was rejecting him? No one rejected him. No one.
She started to take off again, and he blinked, confused. This wasn’t right. He had his sights set on her, and she was supposed to surrender. This was something new. Something…titillating.
He moved in slowly, matching her step for step as she backed up.
“What are you doing?” She swallowed as she bumped up against a massive support beam.
“I’m going to show you why you need to come home with me.” He planted both palms on the beam on either side of her head and leaned in until his lips brushed the tender skin of her ear. “You won’t regret it.”
“I already told you. I don’t fuck fallen angels.”
“So you said,” he murmured. “Do you kiss them?”
“Ah…no, I—“
He didn’t give her the chance to finish her sentence. Strawberry gloss coated his lips as he kissed her, and he swore he’d never liked fruit as much as he did right now.
Her hands came up to grip his biceps, tugging him closer as she deepened the kiss. “You’re good,” she whispered against his mouth.
“I know,” he whispered back.

REVENANT by Larissa Ione (December 16, 2014; Grand Central Publishing Mass Market; $8.00)
HELL HATH NO FURY . . .
For five thousand years, Revenant believed he was alone in the world, a fallen angel beyond any redemption. Now he finds he has a twin brother who had all the light and love Revenant was denied. Caught in a tug of war between Heaven and Hell, he must weigh his thirst for revenge against his desire for a mysterious female named Blaspheme-a female whose very origins could deliver him into salvation . . . or destruction.

LIKE AN ANGEL SCORNED
Blaspheme has a deadly secret: she's the forbidden offspring of an angel and a fallen angel. Hunted by both heavenly and satanic forces, she has survived only by laying low and trusting no one. When Revenant claims he can save them both, how can she possibly believe him? But the powerful angel is persistence incarnate and for Blaspheme, there's no place she can hide in Heaven or Hell where he won't find her . . .

Buy Links:

About the author:

A former meteorologist and EMT, Air Force veteran Larissa Ione now gets her daily dose of excitement from vampires, werewolves, demons, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. She lives in wintery Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat, and her hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

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http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/26635ce2140/? a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Trends and Fashions: The New Adult Category and Genre - Is It Here to Stay or Will It Fade Away?

Totally off topic – but I love when I can make my title rhyme.  Now onto the business at hand!

The New Adult category has been a surprisingly controversial addition to the romance world.  Publishers have jumped on the category and it seems to be quite popular with indie writers as well.  Some people love it, some people hate it.  Some people don’t quite understand what it is.  The big question everyone seems to be asking: Is it here to say or will it fade away?

Goodreads defines New Adult as a story that “bridges the gap between Young Adult and Adult
genres.  It typically features protagonists between the ages of 18 and 26.”  Other definitions stretch this age group up to 30, but I think that is really pushing the upper limits.  This specifies the age ranges of the characters and the target audience of the category in a way similar to Young Adult or Middle Grade.  But there is more to New Adult than just an age category.

New Adult is also a type of story, a genre that tends to address a group of very specific topics.  These topics revolve around a young adult moving into to the adult world – learning to take responsibility and live and love on their own.  This age group is a natural selection for stories involving college romances or summer romances after high school graduation.  These stories have always existed; they just didn't have as wide spread an audience and their own name as they do now.

In fact, New Adult has been around a lot longer than I originally thought.   I found a contest by St. Martin’s Press looking for submissions “similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult – a sort of ‘older YA’ or ‘new adult’.”  This contest for submissions began Nov 9, 2009, and was the first mentions of New Adult that I could find.  If you know of an older one, please let me know.  I find this type of research fascinating.  St. Martin’s press states that their reason for looking in this direction was to attract all the adult readers that were currently reading tons of Young Adult.  They received 333 responses.

Angela Brown, a Young Adult and New Adult author, describes this genre beautifully:
“Students transitioning from the guided days of high school to the independent self-management (or mismanagement) in college/a trade school/special training beyond high school academia isn't a trend. A son or daughter going straight into the workforce or a foster kid who has aged out of the system and must fend for themselves...those are not trends. And because these types of situations are par for the course, New Adult is not a trend. In truth, it's simply providing a name to a "between"category that has long needed its own identifier.”
From this point on, New Adult seems to pop up everywhere, a little at a time.  It snuck up on me and I was reading it before I even realized it.  Then it hit the adult romance world and I heard a lot of interesting things.  Many people don’t seem to take this genre seriously.  I hear it mocked and labeled as a fad that will be fading away anytime now.  Granted, these people don’t enjoy diving into a good YA novel like I do, but I think these people are wrong about the value that New Adult has brought to the book world and especially the romance genre.
  
There is a strong market for New Adult.  And yes, it will probably lose a bit of its hype and popularity over time.  This happens with any shiny new thing.  Paranormal romance blew up, and then it calmed down – but it is still very successful.  BDSM is currently in the blow up phase as well, but eventually the next thing will come along and it will find its happy place and carry on as well.  New Adult will follow these trends and find its place in the overall romance genre, settle in, and make a permanent home.  It’s not going anywhere.  

One of the largest (and best) reasons it’s here to stay are the authors who are writing some truly amazing stories.  New Adult writers are passionate about their work, as any author should be.  The genre has opened the doors for new writers to share their stories and really target their audience of readers.

New Adult author, Carrie Butler, summarizes it quite nicely:
“New Adult (NA), as a category, has one thing in common with its characters—the coming of age struggle. It took three years, an under-served market, a few independent bestsellers, and the support of a vocal few for it to find its place in the literary world. Talk about an uphill battle! Now we’re seeing NA contemporary romances take off left and right. Why? Because readers are finally getting something they’ve been denied for years: love (and sometimes lust) amidst those awkward exploratory years.

After this particular genre rides out its tropes and loses trend status, other niches within New Adult will undoubtedly rise to the occasion, i.e. paranormal romance, romantic suspense, etc. Sure, the settings and themes will be different, but the heart of the category will always remain the same. Characters will walk tightropes without nets and face consequences they never knew existed. Their priorities will shift, their concepts of the world will be challenged, and they’ll fight for what’s important to them. They’ll grow, and they’ll find themselves. That’s what NA is all about.

If you ask me, New Adult is anything but a flash in the pan.”              

I hope I've given you something to think about, maybe even something new you’ll want to go try.  Before you judge, pick a New Adult book up and give the pages a few turns.  You might come away with a different opinion and a new love.

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Quotes from:

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: Under the Moonlight by Ashley Nemer

Title: Under the Moonlight
Author: Ashley Nemer
Source: Author Request
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: October 20, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

Zara's fate had been decided thousands of years before her birth. She is now fighting
against time and family to reclaim the decisions that will ultimately shape her destiny.

Sentenced to live an existence in the Underworld, mated to a man she despises, Zara must find a way to overcome the Gods and their curses, with love as her only guide.

Can James, a sailor, help Zara break the bonds of magical spells or will she end up mated to Xander, the Son of Satan?

Take a dive Under the Moonlight to see where love can take you.



This book was a lot of fun.  I loved the storyline.  There was a lot of unique twists and on mermaid culture and the Greek/Roman gods as well.  It all made a certain sort of sense and Zara's family and history was well thought out.  Zara herself was a lot of fun.  A dreamy sort that wanted to have it all and was willing to fight to have it.  That's my sort of girl.

I can really split the story into two halves.  The first half (until she finds out about the curse) was not nearly as good as the second.  The writing at the beginning had a very staccato feel to it.  But by the second half, the writing had improved drastically and I really enjoyed the style from that point on.  I also didn't quite understand why she hated Xander so much?  But that was somewhat easy to overlook once he opened his mouth.

Overall, this is a really good story with a lot of unique elements.  Mermaid lore and mythology were combined in a very fun way that wasn't like anything I had read before.

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

Goodreads - Amazon - Barnes & Noble 

About the Author:
Ashley, also known as Niki Becker, is married and lives in Houston with her husband Tony. They have two dogs, Toto and Doogie. They have been together for over 10  years and he brings her more joy than she could ever imagine as a child. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance & mystery genres ever since her lifelong best friend gave her "Ashes to Ashes' by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger.

Ashley finds her strength through her family, especially her parents. They always support her in life; they push her to strive for greatness. There once was a motto that Ashley heard in her youth through her Taekwondo life 'Reach for the Stars' and that is what Ashley has always done. It was through her upbringing that the values Ashley has and displays come from. With her parents always cheering her on in life she was able to grow up having faith in herself and her ability to conquer the world.
Ashley enjoys writing many different genre’s of fiction. Her areas range from science fiction/ paranormal, mystery, romance, poetry and erotica (using pen name Niki Becker.)

Author Links

Cover Reveal: Whipped by Karpov Kinrade

"If you can't sell a
dildo in Vegas, you're doing it wrong." Vi, 

WHIPPED (Hitched, book 2) by Karpov Kinrade, coming February 2, 2015. 

Yup--that's Vi, a feisty redhead with mischievous green eyes and an attitude to match.

Whipped-KarpovKinrade-500px

I love sex. I used to be a professional Dominatrix by day and a recreational Dom by night. Now I co-own a sex shop by day. I still do the Dom thing by night, when I can.

So, yeah, I love sex. But I'm not a sub. That's never been me. I like to maintain control in the bedroom. That gets me off.

But when the guy I've been chatting up online as a potential roommate shows up at my condo dripping sex and temptation… let's just say I might be open to trying new things… for him.

If his playboy ways don’t drive me insane. And if I can do the one thing I've never done for anyone. Surrender.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But when you live here full time… that's not much comfort, is it?

Whipped (Vi's story) is a sexy, full-length, standalone romance in the Hitched series. These books can be read in any order, but you might also enjoy Hitched, the first book in this series.

Content Warning: This book contains sex, swearing... and did we mention sex? Lots of sex. And abs. And Australian accents.


Preorder your copy now, and get the sexiness the second it's live:
Sign up for Karpov Kinrade's superfan newsletter and get excerpts, teasers, and access to fabulously sexy giveaways!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ARC Review: Dragon Her Back (Las Vegas Dragons #3) by Susannah Scott

Title: Dragon Her Back (Las Vegas Dragons #3)
Author: Susannah Scott
Source: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: December 15, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

How To Claim Your Dragon...

As the head of security of Vegas's Crown Jewel casino―and its hidden dragonshifter sanctuary―ice dragon Darius Dachien commands respect. Unfortunately, that respect isn't always reciprocated. In fact, when it comes to the stunning Mei Chen, hostility might be a better word. Which makes things even harder for Darius, since Mei is his dragon mate. Without her, his dragon form is fading fast... and once lost, will be gone forever.

Mei can't deny the fierce chemistry that simmers between them. If Darius were ever to discover who―or rather, what―she really is, she wouldn't just lose him, but her place with the dragonshifters. The moment Mei's past comes crashing into her present, she realizes her time for secrets has ended. Now she must reveal her true self... and risk both her life and her heart with the one man who could destroy her.
So this was a case of judging a book by its cover (isn't it gorgeous?) and being right.  How exciting is that!  Scott writes her dragons wonderfully and their environment is just about perfect for them.  Living in Vegas, no one really thinks twice when something crazy happens - and they have plenty of room to build up and house the dragon sanctuary.  The dragons have jewels - that they are beyond just attached to.  It was a very interesting relationship there.

Mei is a bit different than the rest of the dragons though.  She is hiding something from everyone and the secret is keeping her from acknowledging her true mate, Darius.  Now this is a very bad thing to do because without her Darius will fade away.  But he may prefer that once he learns what she has been hiding.

The story had a lot of adventure - some fist to fist as well as claw to claw fighting, and in the end the true hero that saves the day was a bit of a surprise.  There is a hefty dose of dragon politics, but nothing that makes this book hard to read on its own.  I loved almost all of it - with the exception of a few of the side interactions at Darius's club - they just didn't make a whole lot of sense.  More like they were written in to give someone a place to go.  But that is a small complaint compared to the goodness on the rest of the pages.

This is something dragon-shifter lovers should check out - I think it's one that will really stand out from the rest.

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

ARC Review: Sheikh's Desert Duty (The Chatsfield #9) by Maisey Yates

Title: Sheikh's Desert Duty (The Chatsfield #9)
Author: Maisey Yates
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: December 16, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 3
Sexual - 3

A Chatsfield Scandal!

Journalist Sophie Parsons needs a scoop to stop the sale of her friend's hotel chain. And she's found it! But being abducted by a sheikh goes waybeyond the call of duty.

Sheikh Zayn Al-Ahmar has a wedding to arrange, a sister to protect and a country to rule. He's not going to let one woman bring it all down with a headline! Kidnapping Sophie seemed like a good idea, but soon her delectable company puts everything he values at risk.

Only one mistress can rule Zayn's heart; will it be Sophie, or his duty?

Welcome to The Chatsfield, New York!
I got to the show a little late with this series, so I thought I'd try to pick it up now.  It is possible to read the romance as a stand-alone, but there are some references that I didn't quite understand to other people involved with the hotel.

The beginning of the story is almost right out of a fairy tale.  The handsome prince (or sheikh in this case) kidnaps the beautiful princess and whisks her away to his palace.  Only this time the princess is a journalist, and she objects to being taken anywhere against her will.  Not the best start to a new romance.  But Sophie is trying to prove she's worth something - anything - so she will go along with the plan and try to get the biggest story of her life out of it.

Sheikh Zayn will do anything to protect the honor of his family - it is his duty.  There is a lot at stake for him right now and I loved how strong his protective instinct was towards his sister.  What I didn't like was how he thought it was his business to try and take care of everything all the time.  It would really get on my nerves.  He's also engaged already.

While you don't get the vibe of "he's technically cheating" too much from the story, it was still something I picked up on and wasn't fond of.  My favorite parts of the story was the time Zayn and Sophie spent in the desert - they seemed so natural and in tune with each other there.  Outside of this part of the story, they both seemed so very emotionally hard and cold.  I wish they had opened up - even to themselves and the reader - just a bit more.

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

Review: Christmas, Actually by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, and Melinda Curtis

Title: Christmas, Actually
Author: Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, and Melinda Curtis
Source: Contest Win
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christmas
Length: Three Novellas
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 1

Discover the magic of Christmas Town, Maine!


Jack Banning promised to support the mother of his unborn child… But she doesn't need money, she only needs him.


Callie Banning's student has declared war on Christmas, so it's up to her to help the little girl—and her widowed father—believe again.


Gina Vernay is about to meet her online mystery date…and she's in for the surprise of a lifetime!



This was a really great series about a small town named Christmas Town!  The Christmas spirit is alive and kicking here, but there are a few residents that might need a little romance to keep their season jolly. The Banning family is about to find their true loves in some fairly unlikely places.

Callie's story (the second one) was my favorite of the bunch.  It was full of emotion and I'm always a sucker for a cute little kid.  This one was also a true Christmas miracle as the said cute little kid had given up on Christmas and family.  The ending had me full of misty eyes and smiles and laughs.

Jack's story had some interesting twists and turns to it.  There was a history to Jack that was very unexpected and heart wrenching.  I'm so glad that no one gave up on him and he was dragged (practically kicking and screaming) to where he needed to be to move and put his past to rest.

Gina's story was just a lot of fun.  She was my favorite character overall, and had an amazing personality - and some serious insecurities to go along with it.  When all was said and done, the entire family had a beautiful surprise and quite the merry Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Day in the Life of ... Teagan by A.L. Kessler


A Day in the Life is a feature we started here at Bitten by Romance that takes a closer look into a day (or night) of a character and maybe gives us readers a glimpse into a side of the character we might not have seen otherwise.  If you're an auther that would like to participate in future A Day in the Life posts, check out the post HERE.

Today's post is special because it's a Christmas story!  It features Tegan from A.L. Kessler's Dark War Chronicles (DWC) series.  DWC is a very exciting and dark paranormal romance with all sorts of supernaturals.

Tegan walked through the streets covered in Christmas lights. The snow fell around her and she pulled her coat tighter. This year was different than all the others. Renee had insisted that the whole group celebrate Christmas. It wasn’t a holiday that Lucius’ people normally kept, but Renee brought a human element to everything. Part of celebrating was a gift exchange, but did one get for a vampire who’d lived for so long?

Tegan had managed to get something for everyone on the list, except for Lucius. If she could, she’ buy him a year without trouble in the territory, but that was impossible. Despite being unhappy with him in the current situation, he still held a special part in her heart. He’d saved her, rescued her from her past, and there was nothing that she could find that would suite him. If she had asked him, he’d insist that he didn’t need a gift for such a silly human holiday.

But what Tegan was learning was it wasn’t a silly holiday. Sure it hadn’t always existed in her or Lucius’ lifetime, they both came from a time that celebrated Winter Solstice. A time of gods and goddesses and though there was a religious undertone to Christmas, Tegan was learning it went beyond that.

It brought people together, family and friends, to celebrate life. Be it that new life that Solstice celebrated or the coming of Christ brought. She closed her eyes and savored the falling snow for a moment. Taking a deep breath, the crisp mountain air cleansed her of the nerves the change in the territory gave her. No matter what this time of year was magical for different reasons.

She opened her eyes and walked into one of the small blown-glass shops that this part of town held. She doubted that she’d find something for Lucius there, but she was always on the look out for a butterfly to add to her collection. She walked through the rows of glass figures and her eyes scanned over them. Pausing at one that had been tinted with black.

The details were perfect, down to the little figure in the window. It was almost a foot in size, but each shingle on the roof could be seen, each window was carefully formed and even the wooden door at the front of the castle had every detail. What did someone get the vampire who lived so long? The answer was clear…a glass replica of Dracula’s Castle. She knew Lucius would see the humor in it and even if it stayed tucked in his room, he’d cherish it, after all he had every edition of the damn book. She carefully picked it up and took it to the counter. Once she purchased it, she made her way back to the car, driving herself to the mansion. She’d have to sneak it in and wrap it without him knowing.

She parked her car and got out. Someone had hung Christmas lights on the mansion and she had to smile. It showed the personality of everyone who’d be inside. A figure of the Grinch stood in the front yard and someone had painted fangs on him. Tegan shook her head, she could only assume that Lucius had yet to lighten up about the whole Christmas thing. He was going to have to get use to it, because everyone would indulge the human. Even the Grinch.


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 of 4 years, 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.


More About Dark War Chronicles and A.L. Kessler

Review: A Scarlet Fury (World in Shadows #2) by Bridget Blackwood

Title: A Scarlet Fury (World in Shadows #2)
Author: Bridget Blackwood
Source: Self Purchase
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: August 16, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

It has been almost a year since mankind became aware of the world in shadows. It's
been an adjustment, but life goes on and most have learned to adapt. There are some on both side that are not ready to let go of their plans. Madalaina Bonvillian believed nothing could harm her; she's the daughter of the former alpha and the sister of the current alpha, who would dare? After surviving a brutal attack, Madalaina must try to move forward, but where do you go when you feel like you've lost yourself?

Cleary Neil has kept his feeling for Madalaina to himself. He's been her friend, and now that's what she needs more than anything. The only problem is he can't shut off the part of himself that wants to protect his mate from the pain and confusion he sees in her.

Together they will go on an emotional journey to find out if love can heal all wounds. Time is of the essence, because enemies are gathering.
*Warning - this book begins with a non-graphic depiction of rape and torture that may be a trigger for some people*

Scarlet Fury is more than just a romance - it is Madalaina (Mads) story of coming out of a very bad mental place and finding herself in the darkness.  There are subtle and not so subtle lessons about life on every page and I really enjoyed watching her overcome.  I thought Blackwood did a brilliant job of showing the struggle and how hard it is to get your life back after an experience like this.

But this is a romance.  Cleary is perfect for Mads, but she's not sure she will ever be whole enough again to be worth his time.  He has to prove to her that it he wants her no matter what.  It was really quite beautiful.

We also get to see more into the political world of these paranormals and more about the over-all series story arc as well.  It was a great second story and this world is fascinating to read about.


More for Bridget Blackwood

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sponsors and Giveaways for our 2015 reading challenge “Take a Bite out of your Aged TBR Pile”



Grand prizes will be a Amazon gift card amount for each will be coming soon.
The person that reads the most books off of their “Aged TBR pile”

The person that reads the most books off of one author’s back-list. This can be a complete series or stand-alone books. The only rule here is they have to be by the same author. 

Other prizes
*Signed paper back of Lady x by Claudy Conn 
*Ebook copy of Journey by Claudy Conn (international giveaway)
10.00 gift card 
*Three gift packs that include a signed paperback, an e-copy of Blood Rose Series, books 1 and 2, a journal, note cards, notepad, RTC cards and sticky notes. By Caris Roane
*Signed copy of A Tale of Two Djinns by Mina Khan


Authors sponsoring giveaways 
Claudy Conn
Caris Roane 
Mina Khan
Evanne Lorraine 




All prizes are limited to the U.S. unless otherwise stated. 

New Releases in Romance - Week of December 14, 2014

Oh goody!  Look at all those beautiful books out just in time to indulge over the holidays.  The Christmas books are still coming out, and there are several amazing authors with new releases in every category this week!!!  There has to be something for everyone down there someplace.

Christmas


Paranormal


Historical


Contemporary


Suspense


Erotic


New Adult

Saturday, December 13, 2014

“Take a Bite Out of Your Aged TBR Romance Pile” 2015 Reading Challenge






“Take a Bite Out of Your Aged TBR Romance Pile”

2015 Reading Challenge

Are you bad about marking books “to be read” or “want to read” and forgetting about them?

When was the last time you reviewed your entire TBR pile only to find some were placed on the list 3, 4 or 5 years ago?

Well, we know exactly how you feel. We have bookshelves filled with hundreds of books that have just been sitting and collecting dust year after year... Others we talked to said they also have a lot of books they haven’t read yet.

A few months, we decided to dust some of them off and start reading.  We told friends what we were doing, and they agreed they needed to start reading their older books as well. So we figured we all could use some help with getting our butts in gear and reading our TBR titles marked over a year ago.

So, we challenge you to…

Take a bite out of as many books you’ve marked “to read” during the past few years as possible from Jan 1, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015.

·        Since this is a romance blog, at least 80 percent of what you read for the challenge must be romance (including all the romance sub-genres) novels or novellas. The remaining 20 percent may be non-romance titles (for example urban fantasy, fantasy, science fiction, mainstream fiction, mystery, horror, etc.).

·        The books you read must have been marked “to be read” or bought “to be read” prior to 2014. So, if you marked a book “to read” or bought a book during 2014, those books do not count. The book(s) must have been marked, or bought, “to be read” during 2013 or earlier.

·        Audio, novellas, novels, and library rentals are allowed.

·        You can join at any time during 2015. All of your aged TBR pile books read in 2015 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up during the year.
·        This challenge can crossover with other challenges.

·        You don’t have to have a blog to join, but if not, you must use Goodreads, Amazon, LibraryThing, etc, and add the URL to where you track your books. All you have to do is create a shelf for the challenge and then add that URL with your name in the linky below. 

·        Goodreads shelf example: The link below is for one of the books on one of our Goodreads bookshelves we’re reading for this challenge. The book was added “to read” back in Feb 2010.

You can join our Facebook challenge event to keep track of who is reading what for the month. 

We know we are not the only ones with this problem, so join us during 2015 and take a bite out of your TBR pile.

 Giveaways and sponsor page
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Friday, December 12, 2014

Guest Post: Author Ally Broadfield

My Lasting Love for Historical Romance
by: Ally Broadfield

I was introduced to the magnificent world of historical romance at the age of twelve. I had already read all of the children’s books in our local library, but luckily a friend who babysat frequently had stumbled upon a stash of historical romances and shared them with me. I had always loved history, but it wasn’t until I read my first historical romance that I truly experienced it.

The book was The Storm and the Splendor by Jennifer Blake, and what made me stay up all night to finish it was the way the story transported me to another time and place. I was in the seventh grade, so of course I had already studied history, but I had never been able to envision what it was like to be in a particular place at a particular time. That’s what I love most about historical romance—I become the heroine, share her hopes, her feelings, her experiences. I struggled for air while her stays were tightened; I choked down nausea as she hid in her cabin on the ship; and most of all, I fell desperately in love with her hero.

Of course the sex scenes in the stories I read were quite scandalous for a twelve-year-old, but it was the escape to another time and place that I cherished. Though the stories transported me to different worlds, they weren’t completely alien. The characters’ thoughts, hopes, insecurities, struggles, and triumphs were just like mine.

Though I enjoy reading all genres of historical romance, as an author, I love to write Regencies. The genre is characterized by witty dialogue, wealthy noblemen, and strict social guidelines, all of which coalesce to create a framework that challenges an author to find a way to get the hero and heroine together. Of course, that’s not entirely a bad thing since it leads to lots of sexual tension. Stolen glances across the ballroom, accidental touches, a moment alone in the corridor, and the knowledge that being caught alone together could lead to a forced marriage or ruination for the heroine certainly keeps things interesting.

The other thing I love about writing Regencies are the heroes. They are the original alpha males that we find in contemporary romance today, but instead of athletes, actors, or billionaire businessmen, we have dukes, earls, and soldiers. They are dashing and powerful, and will not yield to anyone – except the heroine, of course. And since we’re talking about heroes, I’ll just come out and say it. Mr. Darcy and Captain Wentworth are, hands down, the best romance heroes ever written.

Do you agree? If not, who are your favorite romance heroes?

About Ally Broadfield


Ally has worked as a horse trainer, director of marketing and development, freelance proofreader, and a children’s librarian, among other things. None of them were as awesome as writing romance novels (though the librarian gig came closest). She lives in Dallas, Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, five dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and assorted reptiles. Oh, and her husband.

Ally likes to curse in Russian because very few people know what she’s saying, and spends most of what would be her spare time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She has many stories in her head looking for an opportunity to escape onto paper. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia.

You can find Ally on her websiteFacebook, and Twitter, though she makes no claims of using any of them properly.

More Posts About Ally Broadfield

Review: Tranchack (Magic Born #1) by Sonya Clark

Title: Trancehack (Magic Born #1)
Author: Sonya Clark
Source: Self-Purchased
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: October 28, 2013
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 3 (so close to a 4, but not quite)
Sexual - 2

It’s 2065. Those born with magic abilities live in government-run zones, without rights or freedoms. Fear of magic created this segregated world and fear keeps it intact.

A high-profile murder brings Detective Nathan Perez to Magic Born Zone 13. He’s had little experience with the Magic Born and isn’t sure what to expect during his first encounter with a witch, but he never thought he’d be so drawn to her.

Trancehacker Calla Vesper uses magic to break into computers and aid the Magic Born underground. She has no interest in helping a cop, even if he is smoking-hot, but money’s tight and Nate offers a tidy amount for help navigating the Zone. Calla’s determined to keep it all business, but sparks start flying before the investigation even gets started.

When Calla’s trancehacking and Nathan’s investigation uncover a conspiracy, Calla becomes a target. Nate can protect her by keeping her role a secret—but then who will protect Nate?
 The world building and lore in this book really blew me away.  It was like entering an alternate universe where so much was different, yet so much was still sort of the same.  Magic users exist, and most of the Normals are afraid of them.  So they have been rounded up into what is basically several ghettos.  They are only allowed to leave for so long and their ability to live like the rest of the world is extremely limited.

Calla grew up in Zone 13.  She's fairly happy there and was content to live her life making jewelry and occasionally hacking into the web to find out what was going on.  But then Detective Asshole had to show up and she was drawn into something larger than either of them expected.  Calla is hiding a lot of secrets, so this was bad bad news for her and some of her friends.  But Nathan was fascinated by the girl and felt he just had to get to know her better.

There was a lot of excitement in this one.  It was almost like a dash of suspense and sci-fi technology was thrown in small enough doses that it didn't take too much away from the paranormal aspect.  The mystery they are investigating was very engaging and there were a couple characters from Zone 13 that you get to know fairly well and I really liked them.  There was quite a twist at the end and I was surprised at the resolution, but it did feel a bit like the author wasn't sure how to wrap it up and had forced herself into a corner with no other options.  But then that was how one of the characters felt as well so maybe it was intentional.

I'm interested to see where the series goes next.  The world has so much potential to get very exciting.

Review: The Christmas Bouquet (Chesapeake Shores #11) by Sherryl Woods

Title: The Christmas Bouquet (Chesapeake Shores #11)
Author: Sherryl Woods
Source: Amazon Vine
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christmas
Length: Novel
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 1

For the very driven medical student Caitlyn Winters, catching the bridal bouquet at a
Christmas wedding has set off a chain reaction that she's sure is more curse than blessing. Not only has she fallen in love with family medicine resident Noah McIlroy, but an unexpected pregnancy threatens her well-laid plans for the future. It doesn't help that Noah—with a whole lot of help from her O'Brien relatives—is completely on board with the prospect of marriage and happily-ever-after.

It takes a whole lot of patience, love and family persuasion to help Caitlyn realize that she can still have everything she ever wanted, including a home in her beloved Chesapeake Shores and a man who understands all of her dreams.
Now this was a Christmas romance.  It had family, holidays, love, and surprises in it.  Just about everything a person needs for the holidays.  I was a little worried about Cait and Noah for a long time in this story.  Sherry Woods did an excellent job of drawing things out without making it tiresome.  Both of our stars have reasons for wanting things done their way, and neither one is willing to completely back down.

Caitlyn was a little too focused on her goal of returning to countries in poverty and providing medical care (a very selfless goal).  When life throws a baby in her path she can't seem to find a path where she has the family and her previous goal working together.  She's convinced she won't be able to do what she planned with her life.  Noah is set on showing her that she can have it all - just on a slightly different timeline.  It takes a whole village (literally) to help bring them together, but it was well worth it.

I have not read other books in the Chesapeake Shores series and this worked nicely as a stand alone.  There are several loving couples in Cait's family, and I'm going to have to add this series to my list of books to keep an eye out for, because I bet the rest of the stories are just as good.

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

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