Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Unwrapping a Review of BEAUTY AND THE EARL, a Pleasure Wars novel by Jess Michaels

I’m a huge fan of Jess Michael’s erotic historical romances and so when she asked if I’d like to read and review her brand new release, BEAUTY AND THE EARL, I jumped at it. Originally, I thought this was the finale of the Pleasure Wars series but today, she told me that there’s one more coming and I am so glad because I really don’t want to see this series end yet.

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

Blurb for BEAUTY AND THE EARL:

Desire as essential as breath…deception as fragile as sanity.

The Pleasure Wars, Book 3


Liam, the Earl of Windbury, had everything when he held his secret lover in his arms. Until a feud between their families left her dead, his body broken, and his sister married to his bitterest enemy.

Wracked with guilt, simmering with rage, he’s spent a year in seclusion, seeing no one except a few servants as he does his best to forget the past and patently refuses to think about any kind of future.

When courtesan Violet Milford enters Liam’s lair, she’s on a secret mission to gather information for Liam’s desperate sister, who fears for his sanity, even his life. What she finds is a man scarred inside and out, whose dark, controlling sensuality hides the kind, wounded man within.

Violet awakens a sexual desire more powerful than Liam has ever known, and her stories weave a spell that begins to work its way past his defenses. But when the truth inevitably comes out, it could well destroy the love that is saving them both.

Warning: This book features a sexually experienced woman who will use every trick in her book to save a man from himself.

*                      *                      *                      *                      *

If you’ve read the Pleasure War series then you are acquainted with Liam, the Earl of Windbury, who lost his beloved, Matilda, sister of the Duke of Rathcastle who kidnapped Liam’s sister, Ava, as an act of revenge for the death of his sister as told in TAKEN BY THE DUKE. Liam is a tortured hero of the highest magnitude. The loss of his true love, Matilda, and the scars he carries from that dark night when he and Christian Rothcastle suffered devastating injuries fighting over the woman they both loved has left him with the darkest of moods and an unwillingness to forgive. He split from his own sister, Ava, after she fell in love and married his most bitter enemy. Nothing will make him return to London or accept his sister’s marriage, or so he thought.

Violet Milford is on a mission to learn everything she can about Liam for his sister who worries still that the tragic loss of Matilda has left her brother’s heart cold, dark, and filled with hate even for her. As a courtesan, Violet has learned to get men to talk about themselves and so she sets out to use her talents, both in and out of bed, to gain Liam’s trust and access to what keeps him so dark and withdrawn, all the while reporting back to Ava. Her goal is to earn the funds she needs to embark on a new life but once she starts opening up to Liam to gain his trust, she finds herself giving away more than just a few secrets. Soon, she realizes too late that she's lost her heart to him as well.

BEAUTY AND THE EARL by Jess Michaels is a story about how opening the heart to someone who cares, who listens, and who calls upon emotions that were thought long buried can bring a person back to life and to believe in love once more. Steamy as only Jess can write it, Violet and Liam take desire to new levels but you can feel the affection beginning to grow between them, and so it becomes an exquisite love story. In addition, we are treated to secondary characters that keep the story lively and real. Malcom and Olivia are adorable together and I can’t wait to read their story next.

I highly recommend BEAUTY AND THE EARL, book three in the Pleasure Wars series by Jess Michaels to anyone who loves a truly well written love story about looking past the dark to see the brightness that love and the future can hold. I wish it happened in real life.

Happy Reading Everyone!


BEAUTY AND THE EARL, a Pleasure Wars novel by Jess Michaels, Samhain Publishing, available now in ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links or cover below for purchasing information

   

Monday, April 14, 2014

Unwrapping a Review of GOOD GIRLS DON'T DATE ROCK STARS by Codi Gary

Codi Gary wow’d me with her first Rock Canyon Romance, THINGS GOOD GIRLS DON’T DO, but when the galley came up for GOOD GIRLS DON’T DATE ROCK STARS, I heard there was not quite the same reception for book two so I made a point to read the galley and see for myself. I’m so glad I did!

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

Blurb for GOOD GIRLS DON’T DATE ROCK STARS:

Gemma Carlson didn't plan on waking up married.

She also didn't count on running into her old flame—and her son's father-turned-country rock star—Travis Bowers, followed by a night of drunken dares. Apparently one of those involved a ring on her finger and a vow … neither of which she intends to keep. Now with a hangover from hell, this good-girl-gone-bad knows there's just one thing to do: run.

Travis has been all over the world, but Gemma has never been far from his thoughts. So when they had the chance to catch up over a few drinks, he didn't hesitate. Of course, he didn't expect it would lead to marriage, or a runaway bride! Travis finally has a second chance and doesn't plan on losing Gemma again—or the son he didn't know he had. He proposes, albeit belatedly, a date. Or rather, a few. If they can make this marriage work by starting over, he stays. If not …

Gemma's not interested; she's got a son to protect and a heart to heal. But having Travis around could make both a little easier. Still, good girls don't date rock stars . . . right?

*                  *                    *                     *                    *

Sometimes things don’t go as we plan or even as we’d like them to go but we make the most of what’s been handed us, and pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and move forward. This is exactly what Gemma Carlson did after learning at the age of seventeen that she was pregnant and then found the love of her life in a compromising situation that left her with no other choice but, to have her baby on her own. Now ten years later, she’s come face to face with the man who still claims her heart and is the father of the son who is her world. Even as she gives in to her desires, she hopes what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Travis Bowers is more than delighted when he comes across the woman who got away. The woman he’d given his heart to and who had, after believing he’d strayed, dumped him without trusting him, and left him to always wonder what if. After convincing her to go on a date with him in Vegas, a night of good times, too much drink and a dare, leave them married by morning. Travis awakens to find Gemma has once more left him with only a note of regret and a wedding ring. But this time, Travis doesn’t just accept the consequences, he decides to claim what’s his – his wife, and upon discovering the truth, his son.

GOOD GIRLS DON’T DATE ROCK STARS by Codi Gary is one of the best, realistic, gripping, angst-filled, down to earth, and emotional second chance romances to come along in a long time. Faced with mistakes of the past, protecting her son, and their privacy, Gemma realizes the pain she’s caused Travis by not telling him about her feelings, and his son. Now she journeys a path that makes her question every aspect of Travis’ reasoning for following her to Rock Canyon and wanting to be with her and making a go of the marriage that shouldn’t have happened. Does he truly want her or just the connection to his son? Will his lifestyle as a well-known country music star destroy the simple life she leads and her son’s chances of growing up normal?

Some may see Gemma as an angry, unlikable character who snarks at Travis every chance she gets, but I saw her as a woman with whom I could connect and understand her fear, her trepidation, and suspicions because she’d been forced to stand alone against the world to protect her son. Travis wants it all, he wants the family he never had, the unconditional love that only a child can give, and the woman who has always claimed his heart and his dreams. Gemma just has a hard time believing that what she’d always wanted for her life was truly happening, and with the only man she’s every loved.

Codi Gary has created a story about a teenage mother who has carried a secret for ten years always wishing and always wondering what might have been had she’d been brave enough to reveal it when the time was right. Now when the time is at its worst, she’s forced to reveal it and bear the consequences of the pain she causes for both, Travis and her son, as well as friends and herself. I loved this story. I connected with everyone in it, I loved the friendships that exist between Gemma, Gracie, and Mike of which Travis was once part and he now hopes to rekindle. I loved the way the town rallied around the star-crossed lovers and only saw the good in what Gemma thought was the worst. I loved that Travis never gave up hope even when he thought all was lost.

I highly recommend GOOD GIRLS DON’T DATE ROCK STARS by Codi Gary because it’s a story that could’ve happened to anyone - well, except maybe the country-rock star aspect - but for only by the grace of God, go you. If you want to fall in love with an emotional, snagged from the headlines, could’ve really happened, second chance romance, read GOOD GIRLS DON’T DATE ROCK STARS by Codi Gary.

Happy Reading Everyone!

GOOD GIRLS DON’T DATE ROCK STARS, a Rock Canyon Romance novel by Codi Gary, Avon Impulse, releasing April 22, 2014 and will be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links or cover below for purchasing information

   

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cover Reveal for MAKE IT COUNT, a debut New Adult novel by Megan Erickson

MAKE IT COUNT
by Megan Erickson

a debut New Adult novel
Coming June 3, 2014 from William Morrow Impulse

MAKE IT COUNT by Megan Erickson kicks off the lighthearted, funny, and sexy Bowler University series! Readers will love the fresh new series filled with laughter and lots of fun in this debut novel!

Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend's gorgeous best friend, Alec...who just so happens to be her brand new college math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?

Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends--both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It's safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm's reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.

Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She's adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He'd never stab his best friend in the back...

But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To MAKE IT COUNT, Alec must learn messy human emotions can't be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.

Chapter One Excerpt:

Kat gathered her books and stuffed them into her plaid Burberry messenger bag, then headed toward the front doors, smoothie from the library snack shop in hand. Head bent, fiddling with the clasp of her bag, she stumbled into a wall of human on the pavement outside.

“Oh, I’m sorry—” Her voice dropped out when she realized the solid flesh belonged to Alec, Max’s best friend.

She’d only met him once or twice before he’d moved in with Max this semester and every time, he cocked his eyebrow with a half frown like he knew something she didn’t. Which he actually did, since he had brainy superpowers. Smarter than a speeding Einstein. Able to leap over C-minus students like her in a single bound.
She didn’t trust people that smart. And she didn’t trust a guy who didn’t ogle her ass or leer at her boobs like every other member of the straight male species on the planet.

Right now, that raised-eyebrow frown pinned her where she stood. His pale green eyes behind thick black frames roamed over her shoulder to the library and then back to her. With his pin-stripe button-down, dark jeans with Converse shoes and hair styled in a short, messy pompadour, he looked like a nerdy Elvis.

His frown morphed into a smile when he spotted the smoothie in her hand, and she definitely didn’t notice his full lips. “You know, you don’t have to venture into the forbidden zone just to get a smoothie.”

Oooh. The jerk. She glanced around surreptitiously, then leaned in and spoke in a low voice. “Just play it cool. Don’t let it slip someone like me snuck in the library.” She gripped his forearm and whispered. “Password today is rosebud.”

His face blanked and he looked at her like he’d never seen her before. Kat debated whether or not that was an improvement over his other look.
But then those intelligent eyes narrowed and a smirk curled his lips. “I know. We nerds get an e-mail every morning.”

See? He always needed the last word. She propped a hand on her hip and leaned in. “Well, sounds like you have a mole. Might want to look into that.”

He opened his mouth but she cut him off. “Just looking out for you guys. Anyway, see ya around!”

Before he could shoot back a snarky comeback, Kat skirted around him and bounded down the stairs. She chalked that up as Kat 1, Alec 0.

About the Author:

MEGAN ERICKSON grew up in a family that averages 5’3” on a good day and started writing to create characters who could reach the top kitchen shelf.

She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.

To learn more about Megan, connect with her, or follow her, please check out the links below:

Avon Romance: 
Goodreads: 
Author website: 
Facebook: 
Twitter: 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cover Reveal for BLURRED, a Connections Novella by Kim Karr

BLURRED
A Connections Novella
by Kim Karr

coming August 5, 2014 from Penguin Group

The story before the love story….

When he lost the only woman he’d ever loved, it seemed there was nothing left to live for.

Even as a boy, all Ben Covington ever wanted was to spend forever with Dahlia London, the beautiful girl next door...then one life-altering decision tore them apart and he was forced to leave her.

Now, despite having returned to win her back, he’s still alone. She’s with someone else—someone she’s never going to leave.

Resigned to a future without his former girlfriend, Ben numbs his broken heart in a haze of liquor and women. But then the only woman who ever even turned his head while he was with his girl reappears unexpectedly. And he’s never forgotten their one incredible night together. But will Ben’s destructive behavior destroy his future with her before it even begins?

Excerpt: Click HERE to read an exclusive excerpt of BLURRED by Kim Karr

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kim lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She’s always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, she wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. She went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise her family. She currently works part-time with her husband and full-time embracing one of her biggest passions—writing.

She wears a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of the family. However, she always finds time to read. One of her favorite family outings use to be taking her kids to the bookstore or the library. Today, her oldest child is in college and her twins are juniors so they no longer go with her on these outings. And although she doesn't need to go to the actual store anymore because she has the greatest device ever invented—a Kindle, she still does. There's nothing like a paperback. So now her four year old and she make dates out of going to the bookstore--it's time she loves and cherishes.

She likes to believe in soulmates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. She loves to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.

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


BLURRED, a Connections novella by Kim Karr, Penguin Group, releasing August 5, 2014, available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Unwrapping a Review of SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL'S BEST FRIEND, a Jewels of the Ton novel by Shana Galen

I fell in love with the Jewels of the Ton Trilogy by Shana Galen after reading WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND. I knew from that moment, I would not rest until I’d read all three and learned the identity of the person selling the names of the Diamonds in the Rough. SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND by Shana Galen is a splendid finish to an extraordinary trilogy.

***I purchased this one for my own reading because I missed out on the galley and just had to read it! Of course, I have to share my honest and unscripted review with you.

Blurb for SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND:

She Wants Him...
She Wants Him Not...

Lily Dawson, dubbed the Countess of Charm by the Prince Regent himself, plays the role of the courtesan flawlessly while her real purpose is spying in the service of the Crown. Her mission now is to seduce a duke to test his true loyalties. She'll do it, even though the man she really wants is Andrew Booth-Payne, Earl of Darlington—the duke's son.

Andrew is furious when he finds himself rivaling his father for Lily's attention. When he uncovers Lily's mission, Andrew is faced with impossible choices. It seems he is destined to betray either his family, his country, or the longings of his own heart...

*                   *                    *                   *                   *

Asked by Warrick Fitzhugh to investigate the loyalty of the Duke of Ravenscroft and if he was whom Fitzhugh believed, the notorious Artemis the Assassin, find the proof. Lily Dawson, the last remaining unattached member of the Three Diamonds was embarking on a mission that might cost her more than her lost reputation and her precarious place in society if she falls prey to Artemis or Lucifer – it might cost her life.

Andrew, the Earl of Darlington, or as he’s known in London – the Darling of the Ton – is determined to make sure the courtesan – the Countess of Charm – Lily Dawson does not manage a proposal from his father, the Duke of Ravenscroft. Fearing such carelessness on his father’s part may destroy his family’s reputation and mar the sacred memory of his dead mother he confronts Lily, and orders her to stay away from his father. When she flatly refuses and starts to make a scene, he kisses her mouth shut, which starts a need and desire for her on his part that confuses and angers him. Vying for the affections of a well-known fallen woman while competing against his own father is most certainly, not what Andrew wishes for himself, or his family, but he’s beginning to see Lily in a new light and soon discovers she's not all she appears to be.

SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND, book three of the Jewels of the Ton series by Shana Galen is the perfect ending to a fabulous series. Even though it wasn’t my favorite of the three books, that's reserved for Fallon's story, Andrew and Lily were worth the wait. Shana kept me seeking a contented happily-ever-after for them even as they argued, questioned each other’s motives and activities, wandered in the woods and rain, getting muddy, wet, and nearly killed even as they slowly began to trust each other.

Shana Galen is brilliant at making us fall in love with her characters, their stories, their pains, heartaches, and triumphs. Each of the Three Diamonds had a story of sacrifice, romance, and intrigue built around the beautiful woman’s secret and the man who would come to know the truth about the notorious courtesan. Lily’s story is no different in that respect except that her story may have the darkest most heart-aching secret of the three women. Not as action-driven from the beginning as IF YOU GIVE A RAKE A RUBY. Or as banter and teaser driven as WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND. But honestly, SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND is perfection in that it satisfactorily resolves the mystery of Lucifer and Artemis, while allowing Lily the chance to win Darlington’s love that has gone unrequited for far too long.

I highly recommend reading SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND, book three of the Jewels of the Ton series by Shana Galen especially if you’ve read the first two but even if you haven’t. I believe that this fabulous trilogy should be read in its proper order, but if you truly don’t have the opportunity to do so, go ahead and start here or anywhere, but do read them all eventually. You won’t be sorry - you’ll just fall in love.

Happy Reading Everyone!

SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND, a Jewels of the Ton novel by Shana Galen, Sourcebook Casablanca, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links or cover below for purchasing information

   

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Special 99¢ Promotion of LIVE, a Burnside novel by Mary Ann Rivers + Giveaway

LIVE
The Burnside Series
by Mary Ann Rivers

Bookbub Promotion 99¢ through April 8th!

Mary Ann Rivers kicks off a new contemporary romance series—sure to please readers of Ruthie Knox, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis—where love can be found unexpectedly.

If there’s an upside to unemployment, Destiny Burnside may have found it. Job searching at her local library in Lakefield, Ohio, gives her plenty of time to ogle the hottest man she has ever laid eyes on: the sexy wood-carver who’s restoring the building. But as the rejection letters pile up, Destiny finds an unexpected shoulder to cry on. With his rich Welsh accent, Hefin Thomas stirs Destiny so completely that, even though he’s leaving soon, she lets herself believe the memory of his scorching kisses will be enough.

Hefin can’t help but notice the slender, confident woman with ginger hair who returns each day, so hopeful and determined. So when the tears start to fall, his silence—penance for a failed marriage—finally cracks. Once he’s touched her, what Hefin wants is to take her back to Wales and hold her forever. But Destiny’s roots run too deep. What they both need is each other—to learn how to live and love again.

About the Author:

Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.

Connect with Mary Ann Rivers: Facebook | Twitter | Website

There’s also a featured giveaway, feel free to enter through rafflecopter.
As always, Good Luck and Happy Reading Everyone!

GIVEAWAY:
Rafflecopter Giveaway (Digital Copy of LIVE, THE STORY GUY, HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS, and ARC of LAUGH)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cover Reveal for BURN FOR ME, book one in the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews

BURN FOR ME
by Ilona Andrews

Hidden Legacy, book one 

Coming from Avon Romance
October 28, 2014


#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career-a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan-a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.


EXTRAS:

It is such a gorgeous, distinctive cover, melding together unique paranormal aspect of the world and the sizzle of the relationship between Mad Rogan and Nevada. It's rare when the cover captures a scene from the book exactly the way the author had imagined it. You learn to resign yourself to it. Covers aren't meant to be a literal representation of the narrative, but BURN FOR ME is.  It actually shows a pivotal scene, especially when combined with the aerial view splashback. If you read the book, you'll know exactly what I mean. When I got the cover file, I sent it to a friend.  She emailed back in minutes. The email said, "Who did you sacrifice to Cover Gods to get this?"
—Ilona Andrews on her reaction to the cover for BURN FOR ME

BURN FOR ME is a slight departure from Ilona Andrews’ other bestselling urban fantasy series. There’s still the trademark snappy dialogue/narrative and action-packed scenes, but there’s a stronger romance thread here that we wanted to get across right away with this cover.  Our hero Rogan is not just hot and sexy, but he’s powerful.  Like kill-you-with-a-stare powerful.  And Nevada is just as strong, only she doesn’t realize her full potential yet.  So I wanted to show off our couple, have that intimacy between them and not lose any kickass-ness (I know, not a real word, sorry).  The background with the exploding buildings around them…the idea was Ilona’s and the execution is just exquisite. 
—Erika Tsang, Ilona’s Editor extraordinaire 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

“Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

They have co-authored two New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, the urban fantasy of KATE DANIELS, and the romantic urban fantasy of THE EDGE and are working on the next volumes for both. They live in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

On Sale October 28, 2014 
but available for Pre-Order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble now.