Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Promo Stop on a Virtual Tour for THE PERKS OF LOVING A SCOUNDREL by Jennifer McQuiston with #excerpt & #giveaway


THE PERKS OF LOVING A SCOUNDREL
Seduction Diaries #3
by Jennifer McQuiston

available now from Avon Romance

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McQuiston continues her enchanting Seduction Diaries series as a bookish spinster and an unrepentant rogue unite to unmask a traitor.

Every girl dreams of a hero…

No one loves books more than Miss Mary Channing. Perhaps that’s why she’s reached the ripe old age of six-and-twenty without ever being kissed. Her future may be as bland as milk toast, but Mary is content to simply dream about the heroes and adventures she reads about in her books. That way she won’t end up with a villain instead.

But sometimes only a scoundrel will do.

When she unexpectedly finds herself in the arms of Geoffrey Westmore, London’s most notorious scoundrel, it feels a bit like a plot from one of her favorite novels. Suddenly, Mary understands why even the smartest heroines can fall prey to a handsome face. And Westmore’s is more handsome than most. But far worse than the damage to her reputation, the moment’s indiscretion uncovers an assassination plot that reaches to the highest levels of society and threatens the course of the entire country.

When a tight-laced miss and a scoundrel of epic proportions put their minds together, nothing can stand in their way. But unless they put their hearts together as well, a happy ending is anything but assured.

~*~              ~*~              ~*~              ~*~

EXCERPT from THE PERKS OF LOVING A SCOUNDREL:

From the Diary of Miss Mary Channing
May 24, 1858
Eleanor wrote today. I should have been glad to hear from her, given that she is my twin sister and I love her dearly, but it would be untruthful to say the contents of her letter pleased me. Her new husband, Lord Ashington, has been called away on business and she’s asked me to come to London to keep her company during the last two months of her confinement.
Can you imagine? Me, in London?
My family says I must get my nose out of my books and begin to live in the world around me. It is true I’ve never been further afield than a day trip from home, and that I have never slept a night outside my own bed. But why would I ever want to leave, when I have my books to keep me company? And a trip to London is not without its perils. I could very well end up like one of the characters in my beloved stories, snubbed by the popular crowd. Whispered about behind lace fans. Or worse...led astray by a handsome villain and then abandoned to my fate.
Yet, how could I not go? Eleanor is my sister, and she needs me. So I shall put on a brave face. Pack a trunk. Smile, if I must. But I can’t help but wonder...which worries me more?
The many things that could happen in London?
Or the thought of seeing Eleanor, with her handsome new husband, and her shining, lovely life, and everything I am afraid of wanting?

Chapter One

London, May 29, 1858

The smell should have been worse.
She’d expected something foul, air made surly by the summer heat. Just last week she’d read about the Thames, that great, roiling river that carried with it the filth of the entire city and choked its inhabitants to tears. Her rampant imagination, spurred on by countless books and newspaper articles, had conjured a city of fetid smells, each more terrible than the last. But as Miss Mary Channing opened her bedroom window and breathed in her first London morning, her nose filled with nothing more offensive than the fragrance of...
Flowers.
Disconcerted, she peeked out over the sill. Dawn was just breaking over the back of Grosvenor Square. The gaslights were still burning and the windows of the other houses were dark. By eight o’clock, she imagined industrious housemaids would be down on their knees, whiting their masters’ stoops. The central garden would fill with nurses and their charges, heading west toward Hyde Park.
But for now the city—and its smells—belonged solely to her.
She breathed in again. Was she dreaming? Imagining things, as she was often wont to do? She was well over two hundred miles from home, but it smelled very much like her family’s ornamental garden in Yorkshire. She didn’t remember seeing a garden last night, but then, she had arrived quite late, the gaslight shadows obscuring all but the front steps. She’d been too weary to think, so sickened by the ceaseless motion of the train that she’d not even been able to read a book, much less ponder the underpinnings of the air she breathed.
She supposed she might have missed a garden. Good heavens, she probably would have missed a funeral parade, complete with an eight-horse coach and a brass band.
After the long, tiresome journey, she’d only wanted to find a bed.
And yet now...at five o’clock in the morning...she couldn’t sleep.
Not on a mattress that felt so strange, and not in a bedroom that wasn’t her own.
Pulling her head back inside, she eyed the four-poster bed, with its rumpled covers and profusion of pretty pillows. It was a perfectly nice bed. Her sister, Eleanor, had clearly put some thought into the choice of fabrics and furniture. Most women would love such a room. And most women would love such an opportunity—two whole months in London, with shops and shows and distractions of every flavor at their fingertips.
But Mary wasn’t most women. She preferred her distractions in the form of a good book, not shopping on Regent Street. And these two looming months felt like prison, not paradise.
The scent of roses lingered in the air, and as she breathed in, her mind settled on a new hope. If there was a flower garden she might escape to—a place where she might read her books and write in her journal—perhaps it would not be so terrible?
Picking up the novel she had not been able to read on the train, Mary slipped out of the strange bedroom, her bare feet silent on the stairs. She had always been an early riser, waking before even the most industrious servants back home in Yorkshire. At home, the cook knew to leave her out a bit of breakfast—bread and cheese wrapped in a napkin—but no one here would know to do that for her yet.
Ever since she’d been a young girl, morning had been her own time, quiet hours spent curled up on a garden bench with a book in her lap, nibbling on her pocket repast, the day lightening around her. The notion that she might still keep to such a routine in a place like London gave her hope for the coming two months.
She drifted down the hallway until she found a doorway that looked promising, solid oak, with a key still in the lock. With a deep breath, she turned the key and pulled it open. She braced herself for knife-wielding brigands. Herds of ragged street urchins, hands rifling through her pockets. The sort of London dangers she’d always read about.
Instead, the scent of flowers washed over her like a lovely, welcome tide.
Oh, thank goodness.
She hadn’t been imagining things after all.
Something hopeful nudged her over the threshold of the door, then bade her to take one step, then another. In the thin light of dawn, she saw flowers in every color and fashion: bloodred rose blooms, a cascade of yellow flowers dripping down the wrought iron fence. Her fingers loosened over the cover of her book. Oh, but it would be lovely to read here. She could even hear the light patter of a fountain, beckoning her deeper.
But then she heard something else above those pleasant, tinkling notes.
An almost inhuman groan of pleasure.
With a startled gasp, she spun around. Her eyes swam through the early morning light to settle on a gentleman on the street, some ten feet or so away on the other side of the wrought iron fence. But the fact of their separation did little to relieve her anxiety, because the street light illuminated him in unfortunate, horrific clarity.
He was urinating.
Through the fence.
Onto one of her sister’s rosebushes.
The book fell from Mary’s hand. In all her imaginings of what dreadful things she might encounter on the streets of London, she’d never envisioned anything like this. She ought to bolt. She ought to scream. She ought to...well...she ought to at least look away.
But as if he was made of words on a page, her eyes insisted on staying for a proper read. His eyes were closed, his mouth open in a grimace of relief. Objectively, he was a handsome mess, lean and long-limbed, a shock of disheveled blond hair peeking out from his top hat. But handsome was always matter of opinion, and this one had “villain” stamped on his skin.
As if he could hear her flailing thoughts, one eye cracked open, then the other. “Oh, ho, would you look at that, Grant? I’ve an audience, it seems.”
Somewhere down the street, another voice rang out. “Piss off!” A snigger followed. “Oh, wait, you already are.”
“Cork it, you sodding fool!” the blond villain shouted back. “Can’t you see we’re in the presence of a lady?” He grinned. “Apologies for such language, luv. Though...given the way you are staring, perhaps you don’t mind?” He rocked back on his heels, striking a jaunty pose even as the urine rained down. “If you come a little closer, I’d be happy to give you a better peek.”
Mary’s heart scrambled against her ribs. She might be a naive thing, fresh from the country, and she might now be regretting her presumption that it was permissible to read a book in a London garden in her bare feet, but she wasn’t so unworldly that she didn’t know this one pertinent fact: she was not—under any circumstances—coming a little closer.
Or getting a better peek.
Mortified, she wrapped her arms about her middle. “I. . .that is. . .couldn’t you manage to hold it?” she somehow choked out. There. She’d managed a phrase, and it was a properly scathing one, too. As good as any of her books’ heroines might have done.
A grin spread across his face. Much like the puddle at the base of the rosebush. “Well, luv, the thing is, I’m thinking I’d rather let you hold it.” The stream trickled to a stop, though he added a few more drips for good measure. He shook himself off and began to button his trousers. “But alas, it seems you’ve waited too long for the pleasure.” He tipped a finger to the brim of his top hat in a sort of salute. “My friend awaits. Perhaps another time?”
Mary gasped. Or rather, she squeaked.
She could manage little else.
He chuckled. “It seems I’ve got a shy little mouse on my hands. Well, squeak squeak, run along then.” He set off down the street, swaying a bit. “But I’ll leave you with a word of advice, Miss Mouse,” he tossed back over one shoulder. “You’re a right tempting sight, standing there in your unutterables. But you might want to wear shoes the next time you ogle a gentleman’s prick. Never know when you’ll need to run.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A veterinarian and infectious disease researcher by training, Jennifer McQuiston has always preferred reading romance to scientific textbooks. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, their two girls, and an odd assortment of pets, including the pony she promised her children if mommy ever got a book deal.



Praise for Jennifer McQuiston and THE PERKS OF LOVING A SCOUNDREL:

“McQuiston’s third Seduction Diaries novel is to be commended for its complex and unusual plot and for featuring characters the reader comes to care for. A surprising, readable story about healing, forgiveness, and trust.” — Kirkus

“The story is equal parts mystery and romance, and just when readers begin to feel cheated, the twists and turns navigate to a stunning ending.”— Publishers Weekly

“Pure Escapism. Ms. Mcquiston created a romance as epic as the characters who lived it. [...] With easily identifiable main characters and a thrilling story, it was a no brainer for me to gift this book with 5 stars and a Top Pick.” — Night Owl Reviews

“McQuiston’s Seduction Diaries series captivates readers with clever plots and engaging characters. Incorporating plenty of sexual tension, bantering dialogue and a mystery into this installment delivers everything fans expect from McQuiston. This is truly a delightful addition to a reader’s library.”— RT Book Reviews

“THE PERKS OF LOVING A SCOUNDREL is full of interesting characters and their interactions, especially those between West and Mary. There is also plenty of suspense concerning the assassination. The era is also a change from the Regency that so Dominates British historical romances.”— Romance Reviews Today

“Regency romance fans will adore this addition to McQuiston’s Seduction Diaries series”— Booklist

TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY

Monday, September 26, 2016

Unwrapping a Review of THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE, a Heartbreaker Bay Novel by Jill Shalvis

Already a fan of Jill Shalvis, I’ve often considered her one of the best voices in contemporary romance but I think she’s really coming into her own with the Heartbreaker Bay series. Having thoroughly loved SWEET LITTLE LIES, I hadn’t really expected to enjoy THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE as much, and certainly not more.

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

Blurb for THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE:

If she has her way ...

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her ...

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him ...

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice ...

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work ...

~*~               ~*~               ~*~               ~*~

Willa Davis is up to her elbows running her pet shop, taking care of animals, and helping other young girls who haven’t had the best childhood to stay off the streets. She’s also doing her best to avoid men because she’s totally off them, after her last boyfriend turned into a stalker. When the guy from high school, who she asked to the Sadie Hawkins Day dance and who then stood her up, walks into her shop begging for help with his aunt’s demon cat, she is humiliated further when he doesn’t remember her.

Keane Winters keeps most people at arm’s length because that’s what he’s accustomed to from family, but there’s something about the pretty Willa that makes him want to get close to her…he calls it animal magnetism but perhaps it’s more. Can Willa show him that there are more reasons to connect than stay disconnected? And what will she learn in the process?

Jill Shalvis writes wonderful characters, snappy banter, and the crew of the Heartbreaker Bay series is one of the best cast of characters and enrich each story. This is especially true in THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE by Jill Shalvis, even though the story centers around Willa and Keane, the secondary characters are as important to the story as the main characters. Keane is sexy but vulnerable, funny, charming, and even though he denies caring, he can’t help himself. Willa is adorable, quirky, and I love that she takes care of everyone even though she hasn't really had anyone to take care of her. Her love of Christmas, her love of animals, and the fact that she puts everyone before herself makes her easy for me to relate to...I already know her well.

Why should you read THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE by Jill Shalvis? Because it will make you smile, laugh, fall in love, and wish you had friends like the wonderful folks of the Heartbreaker Bay series. I highly recommend reading this one and the first, SWEET LITTLE LIES, and I definitely can’t wait to read the next one.

Happy Reading Everyone!

THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE, a Heartbreaker Bay novel by Jill Shalvis, Avon Romance, releasing September 27, 2016 in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

 

One Week Only! The Entire Dragon Heat Series by Ella J Phoenix FREE at Kindle!

 

 Once in a lifetime offer!
This week only.

All 5 novels in the amazing Dragon Heat Series

are completely free on Kindle.

Get your copies now!

Offer ends on Thursday Sept 29th.


DRAGON HEAT – book one

Zoricah, the draconian demigoddess, has limited time to uncover a series of killings before one of her own meets the same fate. Determined not to let that happen, Zoricah has no other choice but to ask for the help of her race’s archenemy.

Tardieh, the Vampire King, has long learnt not to trust the Dragons but when the flames of passion ignite between him and Zoricah, he finds himself torn between overwhelming sexual heat and his centuries-old distrust.

Together they have to overcome their own prejudices before it is too late for their races and their love.


VAMPIRE THIRST – book two
Sometimes life takes you down a completely different path from the one you had originally planned.

After successfully rescuing the daughter of a draconian senator and other innocent women from a vampire psychopath, Sam and fellow warriors, Zoricah and Yara, have to trade sunny New York for gloomy London. Time is running out on their unfinished mission. More innocent people will die if they don’t catch the person behind the attacks in New York. But something is making Sam lose control of her powers. Something or someone. Ever since her first - and quite heated - encounter with Hikuro, her energies had gone haywire. The vampire king’s second in command affected her in a way no one had ever before. Her torment, however, is bound to get worse, with Hikuro’s unexpected arrival in London.

Ever since she set foot on vampire territory, Sam had turned Hikuro’s carefully controlled life upside down. He doesn’t trust her, but some strange force pulled him toward her; an inexplicable attraction that defies centuries of training. But if Hikuro is to keep his king safe, he must keep a close eye on Sam, even if he loses his sanity and his heart in the process.


WOLF HUNGER – book three

When the last box of deadly bullets is stolen, the hunt is on and the Vampire King’s band of fighters is set for the challenge of recovering it. But Yara, the shifter-witch, has other problems to face. She must help her leader to overcome the strange illness that has befallen her before it’s too late. For that, she must go back to the only place she swore never to return – her home land.

Rafe is a typical lone wolf who spends his nights earning his bucks in the fighting ring. When he was offered a pardon for his debts in exchange for the Vampire King’s head, he didn’t even blink, thinking it would be a hard mission but not impossible. He just wasn’t expecting the saucy shifter-witch to cross his path and ruin his plans. Now, he can’t get her out of his mind and the clock is ticking for him to make good on his word.

This is the third novel of the Dragon Heat series – a paranormal lover’s delight with vampires, shifters, dragons, witches and much more.

***Warning: this novel contains hot, steamy, descriptive sexual scenes. Enjoy. ***


VAMPIRE LEGACY – book four

When Tardieh discovers a letter from his late father, he opens a door to old memories. The letter from Petran is a tale of intrigue, attempted murder, and betrayal, but leaves more questions than answers in its wake.

Petran, the King of Vampires, an ancient monarch known for his cunning ploys and many lovers, knows the animosity between draconians and vampires is brewing in Romania. Upon discovering his draconian neighbor has fallen ill with a strange Curse, Petran is determined to discover the cause, and a cure. In doing so, he finds an unexpected ally in his neighbor’s daughter, a striking Draconian Duchess.

All Lady Natalia, the Duchess of Moldavia, wants is to save her people from a Dragon Lord’s tyranny but she’s only a woman, who has no place meddling in politics. With his health failing, her father has big plans for her, so when the King of Vampires agrees to help her find a cure for the Curse plaguing her people and her father, Talia begins to see him as more than an old family friend. He awakens desires in her she knows she should not have but cannot resist, or deny him. 


BLOOD CURSE – book five

Descendant of a Cherokee shaman, Dyam is one of the vampire king’s personal guards and closest advisers. He has seen the worst of mankind and has vouched to stay away from personal entanglements and focus on serving his king. His resolve is shaken when Naiah, the water witch, finds her way into the busy vampire castle’s life and straight into his heart. But before he can nurture his feelings for her, she is killed in battle, causing Dyam to return to his self-imposed seclusion for good.

Little does he know that Naiah has been brought back to life by his kind’s most infamous enemies. She is their ultimate weapon in a final battle that will rupture not only the balance of the supernatural world, but Dyam’s loyalty to his race.

***Warning: this novel contains hot, steamy, descriptive sexual scenes. Enjoy. ***


So what are you waiting for? Get them all and 
Happy Reading Everyone! xox

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Spotlight on MIXING TEMPTATION, a Second Shot novel by Sara Jane Stone

MIXING TEMPTATION
A Second Shot Novel
by Sara Jane Stone

Available now from Avon Impulse at

After a year spent living in hiding—with no end in sight—Caroline Andrews wants to reclaim her life. But the lingering trauma from her days serving with the Marines leaves her afraid to trust the tempting logger who delivers friendship and the promise of something more.

Following an accident that nearly robbed him of his hopes for the future, Josh Summers believes life has given him a second chance. He wants to settle down with the woman who stole his attention and his heart. And he’s willing to wait until she’s ready to be more than “just friends.” When fear of discovery leaves Caroline pretending to be his date, Josh tempts her to try the real thing—a relationship built on trust, not lies.

But then the past threatens and Caroline must risk everything—including her freedom—to bury her demons before she can take a chance on happy-ever-after.

~*~                ~*~               ~*~

Big Buck’s Bar, the fictional setting for the Second Shot series, caters to Oregon loggers and college students. It’s known for its beer thanks to Josie, the heroine from SERVING TROUBLE (Second Shot #1). Then again, perhaps you’re not a beer drinker…after all the college and grad students who frequent the bar love a good Bloody Mary on Sundays, and Dominic, the hero of STIRRING ATTRACTION (Second Shot #2), enjoys a good martini. So if you’re thinking of ‘mixing it up’ while reading, here is Sara’s favorite cocktail recipe in honor of MIXING TEMPTATION. Enjoy!


Happy Reading Everyone!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing romance novels.
Sara Jane currently resides in New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat.
Join Sara Jane’s newsletter, if you’d like to receive new release information, contest news, giveaways, and much more!

To subscribe, visit Sara’s website and look for her newsletter entry form down along the right side panel.



Monday, September 19, 2016

Unwrapping a Review of IMMORTAL NIGHTS, book 24 of the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands

Argeneau fans, you’re in for a treat with the continuing plot concerning the adorable and oh, so sexy Notte twins. This time, the story belongs to Tomasso Notte, and as with Dante, we meet up with him naked as the day he was born in IMMORTAL NIGHTS, book 24 in the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands.

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

Blurb for IMMORTAL NIGHTS:

In a sizzling new Argeneau novel from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands, an impulsive rescue pairs a sexy immortal with the woman made to be his for eternity.

Abigail Forsythe’s life hasn’t been easy lately. Still, if there’s one thing guaranteed to take her mind off an empty bank account and abandoned dreams, it’s a naked man locked in a plane’s cargo hold. A very big, incredibly gorgeous naked man. And when instinct prompts her to free him, Abigail must rely on this stranger for survival…a stranger who leaves her thrumming with need every time they touch.

Tomasso Notte knows he’s found his life mate in Abigail. Now he just has to hold on to her. They’re miles from civilization, hunted by his kidnappers. Abigail has no idea of Tomasso’s abilities, or of how intensely pleasurable their unique connection can be. But he’s about to show her, beginning with one wild, hot, immortal night…

~*~            ~*~              ~*~             ~*~

Abigail Forsythe is trying to get her life back on track after her mother’s death and having given up medical school to care for her, so a visit with her dearest and oldest friend, Jet seems like the best thing to do. He’s always had a stabilizing effect on her. When his job as a pilot gives her a chance to fly off to an exotic location, she agrees to accompany him only what happens next is not anything she ever could imagine. Hiding from his employers in the cargo hold of the plane, she discovers their cargo is a gorgeous naked man in a cage. When the man wakes up, everything happens fast, furious, even orgasmically, and the next thing she knows, she’s with him on a tropical island. Somewhere along the way, she could’ve sworn that he bit her but then again, she did hit her head as they dove out the back of the plane…

Tomasso Notte, having been kidnapped along with his brother, Dante knows he must escape his captors before they take him to wherever they take the other immortals that have disappeared. Having volunteered to investigate the disappearances, the twins were drugged and taken captive. Dante had escaped leaving Tomasso still trapped in a cage and the strong drug keeping him under control until a pretty mortal freed him. Not sure if she’s with the bad guys or an innocent, he takes her with him. Now they are stranded on an island, him without clothes or blood, and she totally unaware of what he is or that she is his life mate. You know things are going to get interesting.

I love the Notte brothers, they are funny, sweet, sexy, and a little bit crazy too. I can just imagine them with their European manners, sexy accents, gorgeous swarthy good looks, and those bodies… I knew their stories would be filled with laughs, and Lynsay did not disappoint.

The plot of some devious and dangerous madman wanting to discover the secrets of the immortals thickens as we journey with Tomasso and Abigail trying to survive on the island, resist each other, avoid recapture by the bad guys, and trying to find help. It isn’t easy for either of them…the resisting part being the most difficult part. Eventually, they reach civilization, reconnect with Lucien, Bricker, Dante and his new life mate, Mary. Abigail then embarks on a new journey learning the life of an immortal after she nearly dies and Tomasso saves her the only way he knows how—by turning her. But even in numbers, the danger is still acute and it nearly costs Mary, Abigail and her friend, Jet their lives.

I love that Lynsay has infused her stories with bad guys and action again…it was always the best part of the series along with the humor and fun banter that she is so good at conjuring between her characters. I also enjoy having Lucien play a large part in the stories again since he, although the most levelheaded and stable immortal, always instills a sense of a parent with children environment with Bricker back to being in his glory as the young one. You almost have to feel sorry for Lucien having to deal with the Notte twins and Bricker at the same time, but then what fun would that be.

If you’re already a fan of the Argeneau series then I don’t have to tell you why you should read IMMORTAL NIGHTS by Lynsay Sands. If however, you haven’t, even though I’ve begged you over the years, dipped your toes into this fun, action-filled, humorous, sexy, and totally escapist paranormal yet not really paranormal series—what are you waiting for?

I highly recommend IMMORTAL NIGHTS, book 24 in the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands, not because it’s extraordinary but because it’s just pure fun. Dante is still my favorite of the twins but I wouldn’t kick Tomasso out of bed for eating crackers either. Read it! And then go back, and indulge in any of the others too. The best part of this series is that you can pretty much pick up any of the books and start reading…Lynsay is always so good at filling in the holes.

Happy Reading Everyone!

IMMORTAL NIGHTS, an Argeneau novel by Lynsay Sands, Avon Romance, releasing September 20, 2016 in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Unwrapping a Review of NO MISTRESS OF MINE, An American Heiress in London novel by Laura Lee Guhrke

I’ve been a fan of Laura Lee Guhrke for a while now but had not had the opportunity to read any of her An American Heiress in London series…until now. NO MISTRESS OF MINE by Laura Lee Guhrke doesn’t disappoint and if the rest of the series is as good, I’m going to have to backtrack to the first three. 

***print copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unscripted review

Blurb for NO MISTRESS OF MINE:

USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke is back with the latest in her dazzling An American Heiress in London series, in which a reformed rogue finds all his honorable resolutions tested by the only woman who ever broke his heart...

After spending his youth as one of the wildest rakes in the ton, Lord Denys Somerton has devoted the past six years to putting his past behind him. He is determined to fulfill his duties, find a suitable wife, and start a family, but that plan changes when Lola Valentine—the red-haired temptress from his past—returns to London, sparking the same irresistible desires that almost ruined his life once before.

Lola is a woman with no romantic illusions. She knew love would never be enough for a British lord and an American girl from the wrong side of the tracks. For Denys’s sake, she walked away from him and the glittering life he offered. But when an unexpected inheritance brings her back to London, Lola discovers the passion between them is as hot as ever. Can they vanquish it, or will it burn out of control again and destroy them both?

~*~              ~*~              ~*~              ~*~ 

Lord Denys Somerton fell in love with a woman who wasn’t exactly someone his family approved of, but he didn’t care. Lola Valentine was everything to him, so much so that he mortgaged his estate to finance the play, A Doll’s House, in which she starred to horrible critical disaster. To make matters worse, she ran off to Paris and when he followed to propose to her, she rebuffed him with the announcement that she was going home to America with someone who had made her a better offer. Devastated, Denys tried his best to put her and their time together behind him and move on.

Now six years later, Lola is back in London, newly partnered with Denys in the running of the Imperial Theatre where she hopes to try one more time to prove herself a success in acting. Denys’s reception is not one of pleasure and he does his best to keep her at a distance. Upon obtaining a role in a production of Othello, Lola is on her way to establishing her career and proving she does have talent but can’t bring herself to let Denys go, much less give up completely on him because she still loves him and never stopped. But now, he is on the verge of an engagement to a wealthy, and family approved, young woman that might possibly give Lola a real challenge in winning back the love of the only man for her.

Although, it is never actually stated what era this story is set, I can only surmise it is near the end of Victorian London. How? Well, the play Denys produced for Lola was A Doll’s House, presumably by Henrik Ibsen. This play wasn’t performed in its original form in Great Britain until around 1889, making the setting sometime after that with the addition of six years so I’m thinking middle to end of the last decade of the 19th century. That delights the Dickens out of me!

As much as I love regency romance, I love visiting other eras of historical romance just as much so to visit a time when women truly were starting to come into their own, and meeting such a character as Lola who truly is her own woman, made this a worthy read right away. The next reason, it being a second chance romance…a second shot at love for both Denys and Lola…a second chance to renew their undying love for each other, both of whom are too hesitant to admit, and fight their feelings for most of the story. The third reason, the characters we meet are so full of life that they fill out the story extraordinarily well, and extend themselves to helping knock some sense into these two stubborn and independent people who are still very much in love with each other.

I mentioned that it was predictable…yes, it is, but I don’t care. NO MISTRESS OF MINE by Laura Lee Guhrke is not full of surprises but it is full of great banter, devious thinking, and two people unable to take their eyes off each other even when they want to kick themselves around the space when they can’t. That’s true love and you can’t ask for more from a romance than that. Add in the wonderful setting of Victorian London, the excitement of the theatre, beautiful countryside, and some great undoing on the part of family scheming to have their own way, and you have a read worthy of diving into and just enjoying. NO MISTRESS OF MINE, book 4 in the An American Heiress in London series by Laura Lee Guhrke has my full recommendation, so enjoy!

Happy Reading Everyone!

NO MISTRESS OF MINE, An American Heiress in London novel by Laura Lee Guhrke, Avon Romance, available in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks

Monday, August 29, 2016

Unwrapping a Review of DON'T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown

I love a good mystery, so when a William Morrow publicist asked if I’d like to read a copy of an upcoming new suspense release by a debut author—not romance by the way—with the following blurb, I quickly agreed. I didn’t expect it to get lost in the mail and take two years to find me, but it was rather worth the wait. DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown was released July 2014 but like I always say, it’s never too late to read any book.

***print copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unscripted review

Blurb for DON’T TRY TO FIND ME:

When a 14-year-old runs away, her parents turn to social media to find her-launching a public campaign that will expose their darkest secrets and change their family forever, in this suspenseful and gripping debut for fans of Reconstructing Amelia and Gone Girl.

Don't try to find me. Though the message on the kitchen white board is written in Marley's hand, her mother Rachel knows there has to be some other explanation. Marley would never run away.

As the days pass and it sinks in that the impossible has occurred, Rachel and her husband Paul are informed that the police have "limited resources." If they want their 14-year-old daughter back, they will have to find her themselves. Desperation becomes determination when Paul turns to Facebook and Twitter, and launches FindMarley.com.

But Marley isn't the only one with secrets.

With public exposure comes scrutiny, and when Rachel blows a television interview, the dirty speculation begins. Now, the blogosphere is convinced Rachel is hiding something. It's not what they think; Rachel would never hurt Marley. Not intentionally, anyway. But when it's discovered that she's lied, even to the police, the devoted mother becomes a suspect in Marley's disappearance.

Is Marley out there somewhere, watching it all happen, or is the truth something far worse?

~*~            ~*~            ~*~             ~*~

Fourteen-year-old Marley Willits has disappeared. She was dropped off at school like usual but when her mother arrives home later, she finds a note on the fridge – Don’t try to find me. I’ll be okay. I’ll be better. I love you.

A parent’s worst nightmare as Rachel, Marley’s mother tries to figure out why her daughter has gone missing and if she is somehow responsible for pushing her to run away. Whereas Rachel is nearly hysterical, her husband Paul is much more sensible. When the police tell them they can only do so much, he springs into action using social media and starting up a website to do everything he can think of to find his daughter and convince her to come home. Meanwhile, young Marley is very aware of what she is doing, and is doing her best to cover her tracks so she will never be found.

Let me start by saying that I truly enjoyed this book, even when Rachel's self-absorption began to grate on my last nerve. DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown is a roller coaster of emotion. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare in this age of the Internet, social media, and technology which allow a child to reach out further into the world than ever before, but which also might open up everyone’s lives to danger, and scrutiny, more extensively than ever as well. While Rachel and Paul are searching for Marley, their lives, marriage, and secrets slowly begin to unravel. Their marriage, not very stable to begin with, slowly begins to crumble as the cracks in their marital foundation fall victim to the weight of scrutiny by bloggers and social media trolls. When the reasons for Marley’s attempt to vanish with a college student she meets online finally surface, those cracks threaten to become irreparable.

DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown is a gripping, emotional, eye opening look to the world of dangers, which our young adults are facing in today's world. It is a far more dangerous world for them to maneuver than it was for us in the pre-world wide web society in which we grew up. Stranger danger has always existed but predators have so many new tricks up their sleeves than just would you like a piece of candy, little girl? Yes, all turns out well for this family and the reasons fall to a young girl’s anxieties, feelings of isolation, and wanting some control over her life but what young girl hasn't felt all of those things as she begins to grow into an adult? The only thing about this book that I would change is not being inside Rachel’s head. Her narrative, whereas it assisted us in learning how she felt about her parents, her mother in particular, and the young man she thought she knew from her exchanges online, was too young for me, too disjointed at times. It was the YA—young adult—aspect of what could have truly been an incredible emotional and suspenseful read that kept me from loving this book.

However, I do highly recommend reading DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown…especially if you’re raising kids in this modern world or thinking about doing so. It’s an amazing lesson is parenting in the 21st century.

Happy Reading Everyone!

DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown, William Morrow Publishing, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

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