Friday, June 28, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of CONCEAL, book three in the Barker Triplets series by Juliana Stone

I hope you followed my recommendations to read Juliana Stone’s Barker Triplet series because the last of the triplets’ story is now out there. In OFFSIDE, we met Billie Jo Barker and watched her win her hero, Logan Forest. In COLLIDE, Bobbie Jo Barker won over the heart and forgiveness of Shane Gallagher. *sigh* Well, get ready to discover what really makes Betty Jo Barker tick and discover how the man who can’t live without her, Beau Simon, melts her heart and saves her from herself in CONCEAL by Juliana Stone. 

***I bought this one for my own personal reading but am happy to share my thoughts with you. 

Blurb for CONCEAL:
No one said going home would be easy...

Black sheep and all around troublemaker, Betty Jo Barker is back home and hoping for a do-over. Things are finally looking up until Beau Simon comes to town. The man pushes every button she owns and manages to awaken long dead emotions she'd rather leave buried. Beneath the surface she knows she's a wreck--her scars run deep--and she can't help but wonder, is Beau Simon the one who can fix her?

Beau Simon, the brightest star in Hollywood has come to New Waterford for one reason only. He's determined to have Betty Jo Barker star in his next film. He knows she's perfect for the part, but a past encounter might prove more than a little difficult to overcome. As Beau turns on the charm, hoping to win over this complicated woman, he realizes it won't be easy.

Only time will tell if what lies beneath can ever be overcome. Or if love can heal all...

                                *                   *                    *                     *                   *

Betty Jo Barker returned to New Waterford, Michigan with her tail between her legs, but was unwilling to discuss it with anyone except maybe her only friend, Matt Hawkins. She’s traveled the world, made videos, and was once a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Model, but the degradation she felt at the hands of one man has sent her home to hide and hope for a chance to start over. She’s given up the pills and the booze but the anger, the self-deprecation, and a long buried problem with her sister, Billie, keeps her from feeling any true happiness. Now, as if her life couldn’t get any worse, Beau Simon, the man who did his best to destroy her Hollywood career, has come to town and won’t leave her be until he tells her why. 

Beau Simon, tall, gorgeous, and movie star handsome with his long blond hair and beautiful blue eyes turns the heads of every woman in New Waterford, including a few whose hormones should’ve worn out some time ago. He turns all heads except the one he wants - Betty’s. He knows what he did when he seduced her to prove to everyone in show business that she was a no talent seductress who would spread her legs for anyone who could possibly further her career. He knows he was wrong about Betty Jo Barker. He knows she is talented and to prove it, he wants her and only her to play the role he wrote with her in mind. He wants her to star in his movie and won’t quit until he convinces her to do so.  

When Beau accidentally overhears a private conversation between Betty and her sisters, he sees a whole new side to this tough, stubborn woman who does her best to never let her guard down. He discovers the vulnerable Betty Barker and wants to know her better. He wants to be there for the incredible woman who begins to claim his heart. 

When reading romance, we are used to meeting tortured heroes with pasts, memories, and deeds that haunt them and turn their hearts cold until the right woman comes along to save them. Well, in CONCEAL by Juliana Stone, it’s not a tortured hero that brings our emotions to a crest, and tugs at our heartstrings, making us wish we could do something to ease the pain. No, in this final book of the Barker Triplets trilogy, it’s a tortured, haunted, and severely damaged young woman by the name of Betty Jo Barker. She carries the memory of a night that keeps her from opening her heart, and her soul, to real happiness, real love, and even the love of her family. 

Even before reading CONCEAL, I suspected that Betty carried some deep buried burden but it didn’t lessen the pain I felt for this young woman when I learned what it was. No spoilers here. You’ll have to read CONCEAL for yourself to learn what happens and how Beau wins her over.  

CONCEAL by Juliana Stone is an emotional and somewhat darker addition to the Barker Triplet series, but I wouldn’t want it any other way since this is Betty’s story. Juliana lightens the darkness by introducing us to some new characters that will surely pique your interest as they have mine. I was very happy to learn that the Simon brothers will be revisited in Juliana’s next series, The Family Simon series with Tucker Simon’s story coming this Fall. WooHoo! You are going to love Tucker Simon. I already do.

Whereas, I can’t say that CONCEAL by Juliana Stone is my favorite of the Barker Triplet series - COLLIDE featuring the sexy and unforgettable Shane Gallagher is still my most favorite - but I can say that I have no regrets regarding this one. I knew that Betty was harsh, angry, and unhappy but her story is no less poignant than her sisters’ stories. All three girls had something from their past they each kept hidden, that continued to haunt them, and that eventually is revealed. Betty’s secret is the most damaging, the most hurtful, and the most painful, yet she has the strength to finally reveal it to the two people she knew it would hurt the most. Together these resilient and loving sisters come together and help each other heal. That’s what makes the Barker Triplets series so special and why CONCEAL by Juliana Stone might just be her most incredible and most heartrending of the trilogy. 

I highly recommend CONCEAL by Juliana Stone to anyone who has ever known heartache, a friend in need, and understands the real healing power of love and compassion. If you’ve read the first three, reading the third is an absolute must to truly understand the Barker Triplets and their men. If you haven’t read this incredible series yet, I can only ask you this – why not?  

Happy Reading Everyone! 

CONCEAL, a Barker Triplets novel by Juliana Stone, self-publish, available now in ebook formats everywhere.  ***Click on cover below for Amazon purchasing information.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of A KISS OF BLOOD, a Vamp City novel by Pamela Palmer

A little over a year ago, May 2012, I brought you my review of A BLOOD SEDUCTION, book one in the Vamp City series by the extraordinary Pamela Palmer. That story left me shaking in the dark, yet yearning for more from Quinn Lennox and Arturo Mazza and the intensity of life in Washington, V. C. - Vamp City. Well, tomorrow comes the release of book two, A KISS OF BLOOD, and it was well worth the wait. 

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

Blurb for A KISS OF BLOOD: 

Only one woman can save vamp city . . . 

One of the few humans who managed to escape the deadly twilight world of Vamp City, Quinn Lennox vows never to return. But the vampires want her back, for only she has the power to renew the magic of their crumbling world and free the vampires trapped within. 

When the dangerous and all-too-seductive Arturo Mazza comes for her, Quinn knows she can never trust him after the betrayal she suffered at his hands. But with her beloved brother's fate hanging in the balance, and her own power beginning to emerge, she chooses to risk all on yet another perilous journey back to Vamp City. And though she tries to deny it, her heart begins to hold hope that even a ruthless vampire can learn the meaning of true love . . .
                                   *                 *                  *                 *                  *

As we learned in the first book, Quinn Lennox – a human from the outside world, Washington, D.C. – is most certainly the only person who can restore the magic that allows Vamp City to exist. If she is incapable of restoring the magic, Vamp City will crumble, fall, and cease to exist, killing all inhabitants within its magic bubble. Quinn doesn’t care one way or the other whether the magic fails having experienced the evil contained within, but now her brother, Zack, is ill and restoring the magic may be the only way to save him. 

When Traders track her to her apartment, she discovers that Arturo, having told her he’d set her free, had in fact lied to her once again. Her friendly neighbor is not a quiet writer but instead a vampire sent to spy on her and according to Arturo, protect her. Quinn doesn’t need or want Arturo’s or Micah’s protection. But if they are the only ones who can help cure Zack, then once more she has to venture into the hell that is Vamp City and once more put her trust in Arturo Mazza – the vampire who lied, betrayed, and relinquished her to the monster who is Cristoff.

Arturo missed Quinn. He checked in on her as often as possible to make sure she was safe, but he missed her all the same. He understands her feelings of betrayal and worries he’ll never gain her trust back. She’s deep in his thoughts, and her humanity has cracked the cold, hard shell that had developed around his heart. He promises that he will never allow Cristoff or anyone to harm her again, but will she trust him?

Quinn travels back into Vamp City in A KISS OF BLOOD.  The reasons for her return are selfish on her part. She is desperate to save her brother, find Lily and return her to the human world, and learn the secret to her power - her ever-growing power. Her return sparks more than the discovery of new powers she hadn’t any idea of possessing, it sparks feelings she never thought she’d have towards anyone in Vamp City – not even Arturo. 

A KISS OF BLOOD by Pamela Palmer is intense and fraught with dark images, danger lurking at every turn of the page, and moments when we’re pushed to the edge of our imaginations. But then again, we’re also given a look at a side of the Vamp City inhabitants that lends us to believe that there is good in anyone if it is just allowed to be unleashed. This sequel to the intensely dark, A BLOOD SEDUCTION, shows us a somewhat kinder, more caring side of Vamp City and one that shows redemption is possible. Pamela conjures forth characters of all means paranormal that we come to care about and hope to see more of in the rest of the series. I think I’m quite in love with Micah and if I weren’t already eager for Arturo and Quinn to admit their love for each other, I’d be wanting Quinn to be with Micah. We’re left with a cliffhanger and more questions that need answering, but eager for the next in this astonishing and creative series. 

I highly recommend, A KISS OF BLOOD, book two in the Vamp City series by Pamela Palmer to anyone who read the first book, A BLOOD SEDUCTION – that is a must. I also recommend both books in this amazing paranormal series to anyone who has yet to experience the dark and terrifying world of Vamp City. This incredible series drives our imaginations to the dark places of our minds that we never knew existed, and hope desperately, that they actually don’t. 

Happy Reading Everyone! 

A KISS OF BLOOD, a Vamp City novel by Pamela Palmer, Avon Romance, release date – June 25, 2013 in print and ebook formats.
***For Amazon purchasing information, click on cover below. 


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wacky Wednesday: Stop on ANYTHING BUT SWEET by Candis Terry Tasty Book Blog Tour - Interview with Candis & Huge #Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the ANYTHING BUT SWEET by Candis Terry Tasty Book Blog Tour. There was no way I wasn’t going to read this first book in a new series by the author of the amazing Sugar Shack series, Candis Terry, so when asked if I wanted to join the blog tour, I leaped at the chance. Even better, I was given the opportunity to talk one on one with the lovely lady herself. Feel free to check out my review that I published for y’all on Monday, just click on the title above.

Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after.
I hope you will all help me make Candis comfortable while I grill her wonderfully, sweet brain. Please join me in welcoming Candis Terry, author of ANYTHING BUT SWEET, to Unwrapping Romance … 
Amy: Welcome Candis, it's an absolute delight to have you with us today, and I'd like to thank you for taking time out of your busy day to join us.
Candis: Thank you! I’m so excited to be here today!
Amy: Perhaps you'd like to tell us a little bit about yourself for those who don't know you yet.
Candis: Well, for those who don’t know me my road to publication was a long and bumpy road that took 22 years. Why? I’m either a slow learner or stubborn. Most likely both. My first book for Avon Romance—Second Chance at the Sugar Shack—was literally meant to be my last attempt at being published. In 2011, I happily grabbed the attention of an amazing editor and finally received the call. Since then I’ve completed another two books in the Sugar Shack novels and Home Sweet Home, a short story that appeared in For Love and Honor with Cathy Maxwell and Lynne Hinton, and also in Crazy, Sweet, Fine with Rachel Gibson and Jennifer Bernard. My June release, Anything But Sweet, is the first book in the Sweet, Texas series. Lucky for me it’s been a busy couple of years!
Amy: I’ve read them all and can tell you that you were well worth the wait. Candis, you began your writing career with Avon Impulse but you're now being published in print as well as ebook. It's been an amazing journey for you. Perhaps you could share with us how it felt when you first learned that your Sugar Shack series was going into print and that your newest series would be as well.
Candis:  I have to be honest and tell you that I still can’t believe it. It’s my dream come true. And yeah, I cried a whole lot of happy tears. Seeing my books for sale in a bookstore or online? Crazy! My heart still pounds. I’ve now had the privilege to be at several occasions with other Avon authors and all I can think is ‘What am I doing here?’ When I first signed with Avon Impulse, the sun was still rising on the whole ebook thing. Other than marrying my husband and having my daughter, I’ve never made a happier decision.
Amy: You’ve achieved the dream that some of us are still hoping for – I guess that’s why I wanted to know what it felt like. Yes, I’m jealous but so glad you’re writing because I love your stories. The title of your newest release, ANYTHING BUT SWEET, obviously gives tribute to the town in which the story is set. So what inspired your creation of Sweet, Texas and the characters we meet there?
Candis: In coming up with the new series idea, the first character who popped into my head was Charlotte (Charli) Brooks, the heroine in Anything But Sweet. Since I am an avid HGTV watcher and a person who really would like to have a makeover designer come to my house, I knew Charli just had to be a cable TV host/designer for a makeover show. Instead of her just popping in and redoing a single room for someone, I gave her the task of going into a town sorely in need of a facelift and having to renovate several buildings in a short six weeks. All this is much to the dismay of the hero, Reno Wilder, who does not want his little town to change.
Then my task became creating Sweet. Since I live in a small rural town, it isn’t difficult for me to conjure one up. However, when I decided to make the town in Texas I knew I had to take a road trip. I’d only been to Dallas before, and since in my personal life I have to see hills or mountains to be happy, I knew the new town had to be in Texas Hill Country. So I grabbed the Hubster and away we went. We fell in love with the towns and the people. Along the way I kept seeing these big ranches and in my head I pictured these hard-working, honorable men and the Wilder brothers were born. Most of the other characters you’ll meet in the series are either a happy and sometimes quirky composite of people I’ve met throughout my life, or people I’d love to meet.
Amy: The characters in ANYTHING BUT SWEET were most definitely a great part of its charm. I’m sure they’ll play a large part in the rest of the series. Is contemporary romance where you see yourself staying with your writing, or do you see the possibility of dipping your pen into other romantic genre directions? 
Candis: I love contemporary romance and it really fits my particular voice very well. But there are also stories in my head that are much darker or more suspenseful. So while I have no intention of moving away from the sexy, fun type of stories that I write anytime soon, I’m also the type to never-say-never. I think the point is to always be able to stay fresh for the readers and my imagination.
Amy: As a fan of dark and suspenseful stories, I may just have to bug you about writing one. LOL!  I know you're as prolific a reader as well as writer. I know my readers would like to know what authors have influenced your writing, but in addition, perhaps there's something about your talent that you hope inspired readers (such as myself) come away with from reading your works? Is there?
Candis:  Oh, I am a crazy reader! Just ask my husband. I’m the one with the headlamp on under the covers in the middle of the night (because I still have my original Kindle). As a child, reading kept me sane. Seriously. I still have most of the books I purchased through Scholastic Books and yes, that includes Mr. Pudgins. I cannot bear to part with them. As far as authors who have influenced me? Wow. There are so many. Judith McNaught. Suzanne Brockmann. Nora Roberts. Johanna Lindsey. Judy Blume. Jane Austen. OK, I should probably stop now.
Amy:  Once a reader, always a reader, eh? I’ve still got books from my youth, too. I hate parting with books and so some look very ragtag.  : )
Candis: As to the second part of your question, I don’t know that I have as much talent as I do drive. Once I get a story in my head I have to see the characters find their happily ever after. I want my readers to feel that love. The heart of the story. To take that journey the characters take. Some of my story situations—in part—come from real life. Mine or others. While making it a fun adventure I try really hard to make the characters relatable or at least seem like someone they might know. The most important thing I would like readers to come away with, after reading one of my books, is a little hope that even when life doesn’t seem to be going your way, or things are just a little freaky, there is a little cheerleader at the end of the tunnel waving a flashlight saying - “Come on, you can do it! I got your happily ever after right here!”
Amy: Wow! I think you do just that, Candis. I love the way I feel when I finish reading one of your stories – like I just experienced something wonderful and now I’m happy. I like that I’m always left with a smile even if I shed tears while reading, which I did while reading ANYTHING BUT SWEET.
So now for my last question for you, and it’s my personal favorite. If you could be ANY character in ANY book, who would it be and why?
Candis: Holy snickerdoodles! Any character? Well, not Harry Potter because even though he has some really cool magical stuff going on, he’s got too many freaks after him and he’s got to wear those really bad glasses. And not Scarlett O’Hara because even though Rhett is pretty hot, he leaves her, and her house burns down, and she’s got to wear drapes.
Amy:  *laughing*
Candis:  Hmm. Maybe Princess Buttercup because she gets to go on a fun adventure through the fire swamp and ends up with Farm Boy Wesley aka the Dread Pirate Roberts. But probably right now I’d choose Charli from Anything But Sweet. I’m a glass half-empty girl and Charli is someone I aspire to be. She’s had a tough life but she’s always an optimist. She’s energetic, funny, smart, and she has an enormous heart that she’s just so willing to share with anyone. Yep. I’d want to be Charli—and not just because she ends up with sexy Reno Wilder. OK, maybe because of that.
Amy:  Great answer! I totally agree with you about being Charli. She is an awesome heroine. Who knows, maybe someday a real Charli will come and do a full house makeover for you.
Candis, thank you so very much for joining us today and for sharing ANYTHING BUT SWEET with us. Congratulations on your new series, and I'm sure my readers are as excited as I am to read more. 
Candis: Thank you for having me! I’m really excited about Anything But Sweet and hope you enjoy. And keep a lookout as there are three more Wilder brothers to come.
Amy: Indeed. Folks, Reno and Charli’s story is just the beginning and what a beginning! I hope you’ll all read this fabulous contemporary romance when it releases June 25th from Avon Romance.

A man who doesn’t like change . . .
The Wilder family is something of a Sweet, TX institution: between their yearly BBQ blow-outs and their Hardware and Feed store, they’re an institution—an institution that ex-marine Reno Wilder has tried to preserve, in honor of his lost loved ones. But it seems like he’s the only one who’s got any respect left for traditions when a new TV makeover show rolls in to renovate Sweet to bring in more tourists. Everyone is pleased except Reno—and this cowboy is determined to keep everything just the way he likes it.
A woman who wants to change everything . . .
Inquisitive. Stubborn. Smart. Drop dead gorgeous. That would be makeover show host and designer, Charlotte Brooks—the woman Reno has declared war against. And yet, he can’t seem to keep away from her, or to get her off his mind. Charlotte isn’t afraid to back down from a challenge—of any kind—and she’s promised to prove to Reno that change can be sexy, hot, and very, very sweet, if Reno and Charli learn to let go of their pasts and grab hold of a future full of promise.

                                       *                 *                *                *                 *
If you’d like to learn more about Candis Terry and her wonderful books, please visit her website and feel free to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. She’d love it!
Now, normally, I run some kind of giveaway with my Wacky Wednesday interviews but since this is part of a blog tour, Candis has something truly fabulous for you – I mean HUGE! Knock your socks off amazing! You’re going to want in on this Giveaway! Please use Rafflecopter to enter here and all along the tour – click HERE for a complete list of blogs.
*Prize will be given away after the end of the tour and will include: 
Black and White Striped Summer Tote Bag, "Cooking with Love" Heart-Shaped Baking Set, Red Heart-Shaped Alabaster Paperweight, Signed copies of ANYTHING BUT SWEET, SECOND CHANCE AT THE SUGAR SHACK, ANY GIVEN CHRISTMAS, SOMEBODY LIKE YOU, FOR LOVE AND HONOR, and CRAZY SWEET FINE.  *Giveaway is also open to international readers.
Is that not amazing?! I know I want in. Have fun, good luck, and ...
Happy Reading Everyone!

ANYTHING BUT SWEET by Candis Terry, Avon Romance, release date – June 25, 2013 in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Indiebound, Powell’s Books, and Books-a-Million.
***click on links or cover below for purchasing/pre-order information.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of ANYTHING BUT SWEET by Candis Terry

As a huge fan of Candis Terry’s Sugar Shack Series, it was a no brainer for me to sign up for the Tasty Book Tour promoting Candis’s upcoming new release, ANYTHING BUT SWEET. On Wednesday, the lovely lady will be joining me for an interview so be sure to come back then to meet her.  

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


A man who doesn’t like change . . .
The Wilder family is something of a Sweet, TX institution: between their yearly BBQ blow-outs and their Hardware and Feed store, they’re an institution—an institution that ex-marine Reno Wilder has tried to preserve, in honor of his lost loved ones. But it seems like he’s the only one who’s got any respect left for traditions when a new TV makeover show rolls in to renovate Sweet to bring in more tourists. Everyone is pleased except Reno—and this cowboy is determined to keep everything just the way he likes it.

A woman who wants to change everything . . .
Inquisitive. Stubborn. Smart. Drop dead gorgeous. That would be makeover show host and designer, Charlotte Brooks—the woman Reno has declared war against. And yet, he can’t seem to keep away from her, or to get her off his mind. Charlotte isn’t afraid to back down from a challenge—of any kind—and she’s promised to prove to Reno that change can be sexy, hot, and very, very sweet, if Reno and Charli learn to let go of their pasts and grab hold of a future full of promise.
                                                    *                     *                     *                      *                      * 

Charli Brooks is the host designer of a reality makeover show and the folks of Sweet, Texas rallied for a chance to have her and her crew come to their charming, yet somewhat bedraggled, town in hopes that she can bring it back to life. Charli loves a challenge and when that challenge presents itself in the form of a tall handsome cowboy who wants nothing more to get her to stop her attempt to change his beloved town; she pulls out all the stops to prove him she can only make things better. 

Reno Wilder is a truly tortured hero. He’s suffered through more losses than any person should ever be confronted and so he doesn’t like change. Change represents loss, loss of memories, loss of love, and forcing him to move forward, something he’s dead set against doing. So, when a bubbly, energetic powerhouse of gorgeous female arrives in a Hummer to turn his life upside down, he pushes back as hard as she gives.  

Charli falls in love with Sweet, Texas and Sweet, Texas falls in love with her. She’s made to feel like one of the community and for the first time in her life, she feels like she’s found a place she can call home. More so, she hopes she can convince a tall, grumpy cowboy that he wants her to call it home with him. How long can Reno hold out against the charm and conviction of the Fancy Pants female that has wiggled into his heart? Charli hopes not too long. 

ANYTHING BUT SWEET by Candis Terry is everything I hoped it would be from this author who had me falling hard for a new generation of contemporary romance with her delightful and emotion-filled Sugar Shack Series. Candis conjures characters that pull you in with their hopes, their dreams, their torments, and their pasts, some of which will break your heart. 

I love how she brings forth a subject that touched me deeply as someone who knows the heartbreak of it – child neglect and abandonment. When I read the lines, - “Just because a woman could give birth to a child didn’t make her a mother. Just because a man could get a woman pregnant didn’t make him a father. – I had to set my reader down for a while. It touched me so hard. It’s the truth. I’ve always said, “a womb does not a mother make.” It’s love and hard work that makes a parent. ANYTHING BUT SWEET is a story about a family who took in a little boy left on his own by a mother who didn’t care. He found himself enveloped in the love of a family who didn’t care that he wasn’t their son or brother by birth, it only mattered that he was there. It’s this sense of family love that draws Charli to the Wilders. They’ve suffered their losses, their relationships don’t always work out the way they want, but their love for each other stays strong. Charli understands the loss of a parent who loved her and left her with only a father who holds back his affection, so when she encounters this sense of belonging in the Wilders, she wants more. She wants Reno, his family, and his town filled with the most amazing characters to grace the pages of a book, for her own. 

The torments of the past aside, ANYTHING BUT SWEET is filled with laughter, joy, wild nights, and a few tear inducing moments that will keep you well satisfied and turning the pages. From the first moment when Charli Brooks climbs down from her yellow Hummer, on through drunken good times, references to country rockin’ songs and sweet temptations of the flesh that pull the dimples from Reno Wilder’s cheeks, clear to the happily-ever-after ending that I almost didn’t think Candis would pull off. Then again, as in those reality shows, it all comes down to the end reveal, right? 

I highly recommend ANYTHING BUT SWEET by Candis Terry to any and all lovers of a good romance. This is a must read if you love tortured heroes and sassy heroines, sweet family interactions, and sexy men. I can’t wait for more from the Wilder brothers and Sweet, Texas. 

Happy Reading Everyone!

Y’all come back on Wednesday for an interview with Candis Terry and a blog tour giveaway that will have you hollerin’, Yee Haw! 

ANYTHING BUT SWEET by Candis Terry, Avon Romance, release date – June 25, 2013 in print and ebook formats. **click on cover for purchasing info.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of SECRET MANEUVERS, an ExOps novel by Jessie Lane

Most of you already know how much I enjoy sharing series and authors that are new to me, well, have I got a good one for you this time. SECRET MANEUVERS, book one in ExOps, by Jessie Lane is not only a first in a series, but written in a such a way that you might get spoiled by the format. Not only that but Jessie Lane is actually two sisters-in-law, the writing team of Melissa Pahl and Crystal Leo.

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


Some mistakes from the past haunt us forever... unless fate steps in with a second chance.

One 'dear John' letter haunts Bobby Baker's every living moment. It’s the letter he stupidly wrote to his high school sweetheart, Belle, right after he left to join the Army. The letter that he told her that he wasn't so sure if they were ready for forever yet. But before he can let her know that the letter, and his second thoughts, are nothing but a mistake, she up and disappears from the small Georgia town they were both raised in.

Fifteen years later, Belle unknowingly walks back into Bobby's life when her job as an ATF Agent forces her to work with a group of men secretly headed by the CIA to help her track down whoever is involved in funneling black market weapons to a drug cartel in Mexico.

Bobby will use this mission to try and soothe Belle's hurt feelings while proving to her that their love is still meant for forever. He'll use every dirty trick he's learned since he joined the Army to maneuver her back into his life for the long haul. But Belle's not making it easy as she keeps him at arm's length in the hopes that mistakes of her own never come to light.

                            *                     *                   *                     *                     * 

Bobby Baker has spent the last fifteen years of his life regretting one terrible mistake. He thought he’d never be given a chance to atone for it when the girl of his dreams, the one who got away, the one who haunts his heart, the one who still holds his heart, walks into a ops briefing. Wearing a gun and a badge, Belle looks hotter than ever and is a sight for sorrowful sore eyes but when she’s introduced to his Special Ops group, her name is Annabelle Roberts. Having lived the last fifteen years of his life confused, hurt, and worried that she'd moved on without him after she disappeared from their hometown, his hope has been to find her so that he might rescind the sentiment sent in that regretful letter. So when she strolls back into his life acting as if she doesn't know him, Bobby is determined to get the chance to tell her his true feelings and discover where she’s been and what direction her life has taken and how far away it is from his own.
Belle has a secret that she’s carried with her since she left home after having her life, and the love she believed would protect her always, pulled out from under her after receiving a letter from Bobby Baker that told her she wasn't worth loving or protecting. Now he’s back in her life and she's determined to stay as far away from him as possible even though the boy she once knew has grown into the most incredibly handsome man that she suspected he always would be.
SECRET MANEUVERS by Jessie Lane surprised and impressed me with its first person point of view from the angle of two different characters. We not only experience the events of this story that puts two people with a past back together from Belle’s point of view, but also from Bobby’s point of view. It is a refreshing take on a first person-writing format but it’s also a wonderful and unique way to experience the emotion and passion of two people who never stopped loving each other even though so many things have driven them apart. I expected a story with action, alpha males aplenty, and danger lurking in the background and got all of that, but the passion that plays out between Belle and Bobby is incredible, touching, heart wrenching, and at times very poignant. We experience a woman’s insecurities that she still carries with her since her youth yet sees her demonstrate strength and compassion that helps her survive a dangerous and life-threatening situation. After surviving that, she faces the pain and heartache of forever losing the man she loves because of the secret that she kept from him for fifteen years. Belle is her own woman yet still struggles with the effects of a brutal father and the world she came from even as she proves herself as strong and tough as any man.
I highly recommend SECRET MANEUVERS, an ExOps novel by Jessie Lane to anyone who can appreciate the duty that drives men and women who put themselves in the line of fire to halt illegal activity and save the innocent. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a second chance romance that will have you hoping that a happily ever after can still be had even after the pain of betrayal seems beyond recovery.
Oh, one more thing – if you’re wondering about the strange green tint to the cover, don’t worry, it will all make sense after you read the book. : )
Happy Reading Everyone!

Also, dear readers, Jessie Lane is hosting a huge tour wide giveaway that will run through July 15, 2013 so feel free to enter today! /a
SECRET MANUEVER, an ExOps novel by Jessie Lane, self-published, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and All Romance Ebooks.
***click on cover below for purchasing information.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Special Post: ONE WICKED NIGHT by Emily Quinn Cover Reveal

I’m so pleased to be able to share with you the brand new cover of Emily Quinn’s upcoming contemporary romance, ONE WICKED NIGHT, book one in her new Wicked series coming on July 15, 3013 from Entranced Publishing. Isn’t it gorgeous?


Angel Jones is a career-driven woman at the top of her game with a big problem: a wickedly handsome boss. It is impossible to get him out of her mind, so her friends talk her into using someone else’s invitation to an exclusive dating service. It’s a dare she can’t resist. 

Fernando Durante knows lusting after someone at work is not an option. He has managed to avoid direct contact with her for years, but thanks to a recent promotion, the witty goddess reports directly to him. When a friend emails him an invitation to an exclusive dating service, Fernando accepts against his better judgment.

Will Angel and Fernando let their hearts guide them?

About the Author: 

Emily Quinn writes sexy contemporary romances with irresistible bad boys, feisty heroines, a bit of conflict, humor and a dash of spice. 

She loves books and falls in love with every hero she reads. She lives in sunny Southern California with her husband, two kids, and her dog. 

Emily loves hearing from her readers so feel free to visit her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest. 

You can add ONE WICKED NIGHT by Emily Quinn to your to-read list on Goodreads.
 Informaton about the book:
Title: One Wicked Night
Series: Wicked #1
Author: Emily Quinn
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Release Date: July 15, 2013

My Blog Stop on the ISLE OF SENSUALITY by Aimée Duffy Tasty Book Blog Tour - Review & #Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Tasty Book Blog Tour for ISLE OF SENSUALITY by Aimée Duffy. I’m thrilled to be helping to promote this wonderful contemporary romance that I read and reviewed for you back in January. For those of you who followed my recommendation to read this delightful story, you’re free to skip the review and head straight for the giveaway. I do hope though that you’ll share my review and your own recommendation to other romance readers who might not have discovered this talented author yet. 

***original reading was provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review. 


Who knew being with Mr. Wrong could be so right?

Caitlyn Hart is shooting her first movie, and she doesn't want to screw it up. Still, she's on a deadline and when her co-star, Mr. Hot Shot Campbell, holds filming up, he's immediately on her shit list. But she can't ignore his charms for long or the overpowering want she feels for him. Even though she knows he's her Mr. Wrong, she doesn't mind him being her Mr. Right Now. If only her silly heart would stay immune.

Having been burned once, Jake Campbell doesn't have the capacity to love, but that doesn't mean relationships of a purely sexual nature are off limits. After all, a man has needs. His sexy co-star with fire red hair and a passion to match ignites his own desire and he sets out to convince her a fling is the only way to scratch the proverbial itch. Little did he figure that she'd be the one to penetrate the thick scars on his heart and make him feel.

                           *                    *                     *                     *                   *                   

Caitlyn Hart is starring in her first movie role beyond the soap that she's been working on. She's determined to do her best job and finish in time to get to L.A. for her sister's fashion show. Worried that they aren't going to finish on time because her co-star, Jake Campbell, is late arriving on the island off the coast of Rio, Caitlyn storms over to his cottage to give him a piece of her mind. His reaction to her, and hers to his very sexy, very manly, very appealing personality, throws them both into a state where, unless something is done about their mutual attraction, very little work will get done.

Jake Campbell expected his co-star, Caitlyn Hart, to be like every other actress he's ever dealt with on set - spoiled, demanding, and basically, a pain in the butt. What he discovers instead is a woman who puts everyone else's needs first, including his, and only wants to do a good job. His attraction to her is intense, so intense that he finally presents a solution to their mutual attraction - a fling. Little does he know, until the subject of sex arises in the form of her concern over a love scene in the script, this beautiful sexy woman is a virgin. Jake is presented with a quandary - does he back away because she is a virgin or does he go forth and solve their mutual problem? Neither wants a relationship, neither wants complications, but both are so attracted to each other that being in the same room sends off sparks. What ever will they do? *wink*
ISLE OF SENSUALITY by Aimée Duffy is most definitely a once you start reading, you can't put it down story! The characters are exceptional, their reasons for privacy, reluctance toward romantic entanglements, and their loyalty toward family and friends, endearing. Aimée tells us that this was her first manuscript and was written long before MONSTER OF FAME but needed refining which she was able to do through the guidance of friends.  Well, it worked and it shows! ISLE OF SENSUALITY does have the feel of her Scottish roots with slang and colloquialisms that definitely identify it as an early work but aside from that, she excels in her writing as if she is a seasoned author - which she is now.

I think what I enjoyed most about Jake and Caitlyn was their respect for each other's needs outside the work place including their responsibilities to family. Caitlyn helps Jake see that his responsibilities to his brothers isn't really an all or nothing chore, whereas, Jake gives Caitlyn a sense of security, that he has her back, when she's never been able to open herself up to that feeling because she's only ever counted on herself. Their relationship is more open than you'd expect and as a result, draws the reader in more intensely.

I highly recommend ISLE OF SENSUALITY by Aimée Duffy to anyone who loves a good read with wonderful characters, the delight of watching two people fall in love, sexually charged romance as a background that is rivaled only by the setting - the tropics and Rio de Janiero - and loves contemporary romance with depth and attitude.

Author Info: 

About me, Aimée Duffy, (snooze—can you tell I hate the me stuff? Lol) 

For as long as I can remember, I've had a good book in my hands. In primary school I loved Roald Dahl. In high school my English teacher introduced me to Charles Dickens, Stephen King, Jane Austin, Emily Bronte, and Shakespeare. It was then that I discovered my love for romance and I've wanted to pen my own imaginary heroes and heroines for others to enjoy ever since. Only in the last few years was I lucky enough to meet some fabulous and encouraging people to help me gain the skills to make that dream possible. 

I live in sunny Scotland in a small town near the Ochils and work nine to five in a solicitors office. In my free time, you'll find me on Facebook, stalking *cough* following friends on Twitter, and may even catch me shoe shopping. 

Feel free to visit Aimée, on her blog at her website, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. She’d love it. 


Aimée is graciously hosting a TOUR WIDE Commenter Giveaway for a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card. If you’d like to enter, please leave a comment here along with a VALID EMAIL ADDRESS to be entered. Contest ends with the blog tour, last day June 21, 2013. Feel free to check out the other blogs on the tour by clicking HERE for the list.  

Happy Reading Everyone! 

ISLE OF SENSUALITY by Aimée Duffy, Beachwalk Press, available now in ebook formats at Beachwalk Press, Amazon, AmazonUK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance Ebooks, Bookstrand.