Wednesday, July 30, 2014

QUIZ FUN with Grace Burrowes, Shana Galen, & Katie MacAlister! Which Type of Historical Romance Heroine Are You? #Giveaway

To celebrate their upcoming releases, August 5, 2014, authors Grace Burrowes, Katie MacAlister, and Shana Galen would love to invite you to take their historical romance quiz. The quiz written by the authors, will let you discover if you are ROYALTY, an OPERATIVE, or a MEMBER OF A RETINUE.  

There’s also a fabulous Giveaway to enter for a chance at dozens of great books following the quiz, so be sure to check it out. The Giveaway ends August 10, 2014 so feel free to tell your friends. Have Fun!  

Quiz: Which Type of Historical Romance Heroine Are You?

#1 What word best describes you?

a) effervescent
b) nonconfrontational (mostly) 
c) stealthy

#2 My favorite hobby is ...

a) comparative study of the male form
b) looking after my darling baron   
c) target practice 

#3 What is the perfect late night snack?

a) bread, cheese, meats, lemon tarts … whatever can be liberated from the kitchen
b) the baron's kisses
c) ratafia, shaken not stirred

#4 My ideal man must have ...

a) a sublime derriere
b) an aptitude for growing hardy, contrary flowers 
c) brains

#5 What accessory do you never leave home without?

a) my corset (large bosoms are such a trial)
b) my composure 
c) my pistol

***

If you chose mostly As ... then you are as sparkling and resourceful as Her Serene Royal Highness Dagmar from The Truth About Leo by Katie MacAlister. Dagmar may have been raised in a strictly formal manner, but she’s never let that stop her from pursuing anything that catches her interest. She’s a bit quirky, marches to her own drummer, and has a fine, fine appreciation of the manly form.

If you chose mostly Bs … then you are clearly the stuff a baroness is made of, much like Millicent, from The Traitor. Milly is sweet, fierce, determined, and brave but slow to trust. Sebastian, Baron St. Clair, is ALSO sweet, fierce, determined and brave, and relentless when it comes to protecting those he cares for. Alas for both Sebastian and Milly, an enemy stalks them who is not sweet. By the time Milly is done with Sebastian's enemies, they are not very brave either. So if you chose mostly B's, the bad guys better steer mighty clear of you!

If you chose mostly Cs … then you are equipped to be a master spy like Jane Bonde from Love and Let Spy by Shana Galen. Jane is smart, cunning, and loyal, but she has her weaknesses too. Her latest weakness goes by the name Dominic Griffyn. Planning a wedding and defeating a villain intent upon the destruction of England is tricky, but if you're the sort who multitasks easily, then you too have Jane's unique skills and panache.

So which are you? 




 THE TRAITOR by Grace Burrowes, Sourcebooks Casablanca, releasing August 5, 2014 in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

LOVE AND LET SPY by Shana Galen, Sourcebooks Casablanca, releasing August 5, 2014 in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

THE TRUTH ABOUT LEO by Katie MacAlister, Sourcebooks Casablanca, releasing August 5, 2014 in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links above or covers below for purchasing information, remember even pennies per sale help keep this blog alive so please use my links. Thank you.

 

Unwrapping My Thoughts on FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, the Movie & BDSM in Romance Novels

With all of the excitement building over the upcoming release of the movie version of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY by E.L. James, I got to thinking about the way BDSM (Bondage-Dominance-Submission-Masochism) is portrayed in romance novels today. I am not a fan of the FSofG series and do not expect to see the movie unless I hear some very good things about it – namely that it’s better than the book, but since a movie version of a book is so rarely better than the original, I doubt it will happen.

Have you seen the trailer? Some think it's really sexy, racy, or whatever. I think it's about as exciting as the book. Not.



There are many romance authors today who portray BDSM from mild to extreme so much more erotically, and genuinely that it got me thinking back to some older romance novels which were never labeled as BDSM but actually can be added to the list. One in particular is WARRIOR’S WOMAN by Johanna Lindsay.

Now, before fans of Johanna Lindsay jump on me and proclaim, NO WAY!, if you’ve read this particular book and its series, think about some of the sex portrayed. I loved this trilogy of sci-fi romance created by Johanna and wish she’d revisit this type of romance again.

In the year 2139, fearless Tedra De Arr sets out to rescue her beleaguered planet Kystran from the savage rule of the evil Crad Ce Moerr.

Experienced in combat but not in love, the beautiful, untouched Amazon flies with Martha, her wise-cracking, free-thinking computer, to a world where warriors reigns supreme - and into the arms of the one man she can never hope to vanquish: the bronzed barbarian Challen Ly-San-Ter.

A magnificent creature of raw yet disciplined desires, the muscle-bound primitive succeeds where no puny Kystran male had before - igniting a raging fire within Tedra that must be extinguished before she can even think of saving her enslaved world...

Many erotic romance novels today have a dominant male paired with a confident yet submissive female where mild to extreme BDSM is introduced between the couple but WARRIOR’S WOMAN was first released in 1990 by Avon Romance and for the time, it pushed the envelope further than most romance novels had ever gone before. There was a cultural traditionalism behind the behavior on the part of the hero, Challen, and the heroine, Tedra, was a self-sufficient, tough, warrior who challenged her hero every step of the way. Her refusal to submit to his dominant behavior resulted in a few punishment scenes, one of which even included an explicitly non-painful spanking scene, which left her hero with a very bad taste in his mouth. His punishment amounted to bringing her as close to orgasm as possible without allowing her the satisfaction desired by her. When she told him if he wanted to truly punish her, he should do it properly with a spanking. His means of punishment was never about pain but simply a means to make her understand he was in control of her, and her pleasure. 

Well, as women, we may not agree with that because we all know we are responsible for our own pleasure and it’s our willingness to share it with our men, which enhances it and makes our men feel triumphant. But along the lines of BDSM, Challen believed himself in charge, dominant if you will, but in truth, we know it was Tedra who led his heart and so led his desire to please her and keep her from pain.

So with this in mind, I’m drawn back to FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and its manner of pushing the envelope toward humiliation, Christian’s need to crush Ana, her heart, and make her feel as low as he feels. These are things which turned me off about this series. I’m all for reading erotic romance with BDSM themes, even when they don’t particularly make me comfortable. Voyeurism themes tend to make me uncomfortable but not necessarily because of the theme but it’s the idea of a man who loves his woman and yet still feels it’s okay for other men to watch her pleasure that turns me away. I believe there’s play and then there’s respect. Love needs respect to survive, just as it needs respect to exist in the first place.

True, in any games of BDSM, there is a level of mutual acceptance and the dynamic is supposed to be one of consensual play but again, I don’t feel that in FSofG the way I feel it in other erotic romance with BDSM elements. So my question to you is the same one I would ask a partner in real life, how far is too far when introducing elements of bondage, dominance, submission, and masochism into a romantic relationship?

Also, will you be seeing the movie? 

Feel free to comment, rant, blast me, or agree - I want to know your thoughts. Happy Reading Everyone! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Unwrapping a Review for NIGHT OF THE FALLEN, book two in the Dark Tides series by Diana Bocco

Having read CITY OF THE FALLEN, book one in the Dark Tides series by Diana Bocco, I was enthralled with the post-vampire world she’d created, and because of the cliffhanger ending, in desperate need to know what happens next. So when I heard NIGHT OF THE FALLEN, book two in the Dark Tides series was releasing, I got so excited to read it, I even squeezed it in while reading another. I wasn’t disappointed – well, I was a little bit, but not in the story. I will explain.

** Spoiler alert: if you haven’t read CITY OF THE FALLEN, book one in the Dark Tides series by Diana Bocco, please don’t read any further because there are spoilers in this review. I highly advise you read this book first and then follow with NIGHT OF THE FALLEN. You’ll be as hooked as me in no time.

***eARC provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review

Blurb for NIGHT OF THE FALLEN:

Isabelle’s mission seemed so clear: kill the king of the vampires to give humanity a fighting chance. Except she didn’t count on falling in love with him. And she didn't realize he held secrets that could actually end up saving the human race.

As the kingdom falls and Isabelle’s heart is torn between two worlds, everything changes. There’s something more dangerous out there, a plague that might destroy both humans and vampires alike. The only way to survive it might be to find a truce between species.

Peace will require the ultimate sacrifice.

And change the future of the world forever.

*              *                *                *                *

If you read CITY OF THE FALLEN, book one in the fabulous series called the Dark Tides by Diana Bocco then you know we left Marcus and his troops fighting rabids and that Isabelle escaped in a car. They’d each realized they were in love with the other and Belle knows she needs to help Marcus and his scientists solve the problems of the vampires in order to save the human race. In NIGHT OF THE FALLEN, we catch up to Marcus, Miles and his men returning to the compound to find all of the humans under their protection have perished at the hands of the rabids, and Belle is missing. Marcus is beside himself worrying that Patrick may have taken Belle as a means of controlling him and exacting revenge. Relief is his when he’s told a car is missing and now Marcus has a suspicion of where she may have headed.

Belle hadn’t wanted to leave the compound, but she knew there was very little she could do to save the other humans, and Marcus would want her to protect herself even as she feared for his safety. Using the terrifying knowledge she'd gained of the rabids to traverse the distance between the king’s compound and the house where she’d left her family and friends, Belle makes her way home. Her welcome home carries mixed feelings and even more pessimism when she tells them about the rabids, and tries to convince them the vampires are not the monsters they thought and are actually allies rather than enemies.

When her brother learns the truth about her relationship with Marcus, Belle has to trust him to help her convince the others they must listen to Marcus and allow the vampires to give them protection.

It seems Diana had a lot of problems working her way through this block of the series and postponed the release a couple of times before finally giving us this much. I will warn you that this is only part of the story. The rest will come in a second release in August. Will I be in line to read it? Hell yes! NIGHT OF THE FALLEN by Diana Bocco may not be complete right now but I have no doubt Diana is going to treat us to even more action, romance, and excitement as the vampires and humans team together to fight Patrick and the rabids.

I love this story, I love this series, and if you’re into vampires, post-apocalyptic worlds, and undying love then you need to experience the Dark Tides series starting with CITY OF THE FALLEN and continuing with NIGHT OF THE FALLEN. Yes, the released edition right now isn’t complete but Diana promises if you purchase it now, you will get Part Two in the updated version through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple when it releases in August for FREE. I don’t know how Kobo is handling it but it is available. Any way you do it, it’s worth reading and catching up for when book three comes along. I can't wait.

I highly recommend if you read CITY OF THE FALLEN, you must read NIGHT OF THE FALLEN by Diana Bocco and if you haven’t experienced this amazing story yet – DO! My little bit of disappointment came when the story ended and there was so much more I wanted to have happen. I can’t wait to see what happens next, and book three – I’m already excited for your arrival. I’ll be back to update this review after I’ve read NIGHT OF THE FALLEN, part deux!

Happy Reading Everyone!

NIGHT OF THE FALLEN, a Dark Tides novel by Diana Bocco, self-publish, available now in ebook format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links above or cover below for purchasing information,
remember even pennies per sale help keep this blog alive.
Thank you.

   

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cover Reveal for TEMPTING THE PLAYER, book three in the London Legends series by Kat Latham + #Giveaway

TEMPTING THE PLAYER
Book three of the London Legends
by Kat Latham

coming November 10, 2014 from Carina Press

Best friends make the best lovers.

Libby Hart and Matt Ogden are perfect for each other—as friends. They’ve known each other for ages. They act as each other’s plus-ones. They even share custody of a dog. And if there’s always been a little spark between them, so what? It’s never been worth jeopardizing their friendship.

Professional rugby player Matt is fighting for a starter position with the London Legends—and that’s not the only thing he’s fighting. A crippling fear of flying means he’s struggling to get his career off the ground. He has no time for a relationship, even if Libby does make him ache. As an airline pilot, Libby’s looking for a stay-at-home husband so she can have a family without sacrificing her high-flying career. Matt’s certainly not that man.

But just because they don’t have a future together doesn’t mean they can’t have a right now. When Matt asks Libby for help overcoming his fear, they agree to take a vacation from their platonic relationship—whenever they fly together, they can have sex. It’s the perfect way to resolve all that built-up tension. As long as they can avoid getting a little too comfortable…


FUN PUZZLE!


About the Author:

Kat Latham is a California girl who moved to Europe the day after graduating from UCLA, ditching her tank tops for raincoats. She taught English in Prague and worked as an editor in London before she and her British husband moved to the Netherlands. Kat’s other career involves writing and editing for charities, and she’s traveled to Kenya, Ethiopia and India to meet heroic people helping their communities survive disasters.


If you’d like to learn more about Kat and her books, please feel free to visit her website, sign up for her Newsletter, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

GIVEAWAY


TEMPTING THE PLAYER, a London Legends novel by Kat Latham, Carina Press, releasing November 10, 2014 in ebook formats at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Kobobooks, and Google Play.
***click the links above for purchasing information,
remember even pennies a sale help keep this blog alive.
Thank you.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cover Reveal for LETTING GO, book one in the Thatch series by Molly McAdams

LETTING GO
book one in the Thatch series
by Molly McAdams

coming from William Morrow, November 4, 2014

When Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen, they believed they’d be together forever. They never dreamed that three days before their wedding, twenty-year-old Ben would suddenly die from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. Grey would have spent the next two years simply going through the motions if it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger. He’s the only one who understands her pain ... the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered.

While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, Jagger is the only one who sees her strength, and vows to always be there for her-even if it’s only as her best friend. As much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. But when Grey finds out that Jagger has loved her since before he even knew what love was, it might prove to be too much for her to handle.

Grey soon realizes their chemistry is undeniable, and they learn that admitting their feelings for each other means they’ve got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry four-legged daughters. When she's not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach…which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies, fried pickles and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm...or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren't really happening.

If you'd like to learn more about Molly, and her books, please feel free to visit her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Cover Reveal Promo for IN YOUR DREAMS, book four in the Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins

IN YOUR DREAMS
book four in the Blue Heron Series
by Kristan Higgins

coming from Harlequin HQN, September 30, 2014

New York Times BESTSELLING AUTHOR KRISTAN HIGGINS
knows it’s better to leave exes behind for ooohs…

Everyone in town loves Jack Holland, but police officer Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancĂ© is getting married in Malibu and, obviously, she can’t go to the wedding alone. In Manningsport, New York, tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Holland is practically a cottage industry when it comes to rescuing desperate women. He knows the drill, Em figures, so he won’t get the wrong idea.

The timing is perfect because Jack needs an excuse to leave town. Ever since rescuing four teenagers from a car wreck, he’s been hailed as a hero and the attention is making him itchy—especially since his too-pretty ex-wife is back and angling for a reunion…a year after sleeping with another guy. He’s always liked Emmaline, an ice-mate in their town hockey league. She needs a weekend date, he needs to get away? No problem—two birds with one stone.

As often happens when having too good a time at weddings, the two friends wind up in bed. This brings its own set of problems. Em chalks the incident up to red wine and chocolate cake—just one impulsive night not to be repeated. But Jack’s pushing for more. The worry here is, if Em lets down her guard, either she’ll get her heart crushed again or discover that Jack’s worth more than just dreaming about.

About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA® Award, Kristan lives with her family in a small Connecticut town that boasts a wonderful library, a great agricultural fair, a really good ice-cream stand and not much else. She is the mother of two lovely kids and the wife of a brave firefighter who is also (perhaps more important) a fantastic cook.

Previously a copywriter, Kristan began writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous afternoon naps. Writing, she found, was infinitely more satisfying than folding laundry, and so began her first novel. Kristan holds a B.A. in English from the College of the Holy Cross, which means she can identify dangling participles, quote many great novels and play a mean game of Scrabble.

Kristan is an award-winning baker, devoted fan of the New York Yankees and an avid reader. She and her crew spend as much time as possible at the family home on Cape Cod, where they shiver in the Atlantic, ride bikes, swat horseflies and don’t catch any fish.

If you'd like to learn more about Kristan, and her books, please feel free to visit her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Praise for Kristan Higgins:

“Kristan Higgins is another master at describing a courtship so absurd that the reader winces and turns the pages faster and faster. THE PERFECT MATCH is the perfect antidote to a dreary day.”
New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James

“Romance star Higgins continues the Blue Heron series with her signature combination of wit, humor and soul-jarring emotional depth.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on WAITING ON YOU

IN YOUR DREAMS, a Blue Heron novel by Kristin Higgins, Harlequin HQN, releasing September 30, 2014 in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links above or cover below for purchasing information,
remember even pennies per sale help keep this blog alive.
Thank you.

   

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tasty Virtual Book Tour & Review for TO MARRY A SCOTTISH LAIRD by Lynsay Sands + #Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Tasty Virtual Book Tour for TO MARRY A SCOTTISH LAIRD by Lynsay Sands. Always eager to experience anything Lynsay conjures for us, this historical romance was no different. She never disappoints. Be sure to hang out after my review for a tour wide giveaway!

***Purchased a copy for private reading but was offered an eARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.

Blurb for TO MARRY A SCOTTISH LAIRD:

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands returns to the Highlands of Scotland in her hottest new historical romance yet!

Highlander Campbell Sinclair is no stranger to battle, so when he sees a lad attacked by bandits, he jumps into the fray. He didn't count on being stabbed. Grateful to the boy for nursing him back to health, Cam offers to accompany Jo safely to his destination. But when he accidentally comes across the lad bathing in the river, Cam discovers that Jo is actually Joan . . . with the most sinful of curves.

Joan promised her mother that she would deliver a scroll to the clan MacKay. But traveling alone is dangerous, even disguised as a boy. When a Scottish warrior lends his aid, she is more than relieved . . . until he surprises her with lingering kisses and caresses that prove her disguise hasn't fooled him. As their passion ignites, will the secrets of the scroll force a wedding . . . and lead to a love she's never known?

*                   *                    *                    *                    *

Traveling alone, Joan dressed herself as a lad to protect herself but hadn’t counted on being attacked by thieves hoping for an easy score. When a big handsome Scotsman comes to her rescue and nearly dies for the effort, she stays with him, heals him, and without intending to, begins to fall in love with him.

Life gets turned upside down for Cam Sinclair when he comes to the rescue of a young lad who nurses him back from a stab in the back, but then he’s thrown a curve or two after discovering young Jo is actually Joan. Soon he’s unable to resist the beautiful young woman pretending to be a boy. After spending two weeks on the road with her, he wants to keep her with him but instead, is rejected by her. When luck shines on him, he does what is expected of him only to wonder if he’s forced something upon her she still no longer wants. Things heat up in the bedroom as well as elsewhere, after strange accidents begin to happen around the castle. Someone is up to no good, but who is it and why?

TO MARRY A SCOTTISH LAIRD by Lynsay Sands kept me glued to the pages from the beginning and once mysterious things start happening, I became intrigued with trying to figure out who the bad guy (or girl) was. In the beginning, I was a bit concerned with how quickly Joan gave up her virginity to Cam but then I got to thinking about it. If this was a contemporary romance and a young woman finding herself attracted to a gorgeous Scotsman did what Joan did, we would think it normal so why shouldn’t she act on her desires in a historical just as well. By assuming that Joan would never act on her desires even though she has no wish to marry or have children, leads us to believe that only a modern woman has sexual desires. Is there really any difference between a woman of today and a woman of days gone by? I don’t believe there is, and so I applaud Lynsay for giving Joan the desire for a man and the willingness to give in to it, while keeping her self-respect by refusing Cam when he wants to make her his mistress.

Supported by a lively cast of secondary characters, both good and nasty, TO MARRY A SCOTTISH LAIRD by Lynsay Sands is a delight to read, Cam is a hero worth falling in love with, and Joan is a good model for all women – to thine own self be true.

I highly recommend TO MARRY A SCOTTISH LAIRD by Lynsay Sands because it will make you think while allowing you to escape to a time gone by and the Highlands of Scotland. Do you need more reason than that?

Happy Reading Everyone!

About the Author:
Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there are occasional, uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus.

If you’d like to learn more about Lynsay, and her awesome books, please feel free to visit her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Tour Wide Giveaway


TO MARRY A SCOTTISH LAIRD by Lynsay Sands, Avon Romance, available in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links above or cover below for purchasing information,
remember even pennies per sale help keep this blog alive.
Thank you.