Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Unwrapping a Review of ONCE UPON A TRUE LOVE'S KISS, an Anthology

An Anthology
by Julie Johnstone, Katherine Bone,
Collette Cameron, Jillian Chantal,
Samantha Grace, Alanna Lucas,
Lauren Smith, and Victoria Vane

Releasing January 4, 2016

A delightful limited edition anthology containing eight tantalizing kiss-and-tell stories…
Meet dashing, wildly charming rogues, spies, pirates, rakes and their extraordinary, intrepid heroines as they whisk you along on sweet to sizzling romantic romps in these wickedly entertaining historical romances.

AFTER FOREVER by Julie Johnstone

Widowed Lady Julianna Barrows never wants to fall in love again. But when the notorious former boxer Nash Overton hires her to transform him into a gentleman, Julianna quickly becomes the student, learning more about passion than she’s ever known, and more importantly, learning how to love again.

***This is a delightful story that definitely sets the tone for the anthology. Julianna grieves so greatly for her late husband that she becomes adamant about never falling in love again or entertaining the idea of remarriage but things change when she meets Nash who exudes a great capacity for love. His love for his daughter demonstrates his big heart. Julianna soon learns that love is possible even when the pain of a loss is as great as what she feels for her husband. Nash takes it slow, and eventually wins her heart.
Good characters, a well-developed story line, especially for a novella, and it felt complete. I really liked this one. I’ve found myself a new author I enjoy reading, and look forward to more of Julie Johnstone’s work.

THE PIRATE’S DUCHESS by Katherine Bone

Duty forces him to take on the pirate code, but honor brings him back.

Prudence, Duchess of Blackmoor, has one desire—to be happy again. After struggling to overcome the horrifying death of her husband, she accepts an earl’s offer of marriage, confident she’s taking a step in the right direction. But demons, refuse to die, and Prudence finds herself caught in an intricate web of deceit that threatens the very foundations of all she holds dear.

Tobias, the Duke of Blackmoor, crosses the line when an assassination attempt on him fails. To restore the reputations of friends under attack by the same villain, and ensure his wife’s safety, he stages his own death, becoming The Black Regent, a notorious pirate bent on brandishing justice, never thinking he’d survive. But to his amazement, he has, and now the darkest-kept secrets are not worth losing the duchess his wife has become.

***Katherine Bone is great at giving you the best in pirate stories. With her usual flair, Katherine gives us excitement, intrigue, and romance. Prudence is about to marry when Tobias, her late husband, suddenly returns interrupting the wedding. Having pretended to be dead for 2 years to keep his wife safe from the man who wanted him dead, he’s been sailing the high seas as a pirate. Whereas the premise of this novella was good, I think it would have played out better had it been given more time and length to make it reconcile better. It just seemed to be missing too much to make it work well.

HER SCANDALOUS WISH by Collette Cameron

A marriage offer obligated by duty . . . an acceptance compelled by desperation.

Philomena Pomfrett is resigned to spinsterhood, but to ease her dying brother’s fretting, she reluctantly agrees to attend a London Season with one purpose—to acquire a husband. Stumbling upon her hiding in a secluded garden arbor during a ball, Bradford, Viscount Kingsley doesn’t recognize his first love, yet something about the mysterious woman enthralls him, and he steals a passionate, moonlit kiss.

Caught in the act by Philomena’s brother, Bradford is issued an ultimatum—a duel or marry Philomena. He offers marriage, but even impoverished and with no other decent prospects, she rejects his half-hearted proposal until her brother collapses. Now, Philomena’s faced with marrying a man who deserted her once already.

***A second chance at love romance…believing his first love, Philomena died in a fire, Bradford prefers to stay away from England but must soon return after inheriting the Viscount title. Meanwhile, Philomena who didn’t die in the fire, which claimed her parents, believes Bradford left her because of her burn injuries. Not comfortable in social gatherings, she hides in the garden rather than partake in the ball she's attending. Not recognizing her, Bradford encounters her and the rest is the HEA when her brother discovers them kissing, although it doesn't go too smoothly.
I like the idea of this story but felt it was rushed. This is a case where a truly sweet romance novella needs to be extended into a full-length novel.

MILADY AND HER SPY by Jillian Chantel

A lady, a spy, a traitor… a battle of wills.

Raised in the country after her mother’s death with only the company of three unruly brothers, Lady Augusta Covington is more proficient at fencing, riding and playing cards than being prim and proper. Myles Cuthbert, a spy in His Majesty’s service on a mission to find and expose a traitor, crosses paths with Lady Augusta when she rides to the aid of her brother, believing him to be injured. With the assignment at risk, Cuthbert agrees to accept the assistance of the troublesome lady eager for intrigue.

As they move forward, his sense of obligation to her and the danger involved stir his soul.

***This is a good regency spy story. Augusta is rather a tomboy having grown up with three brothers. When she hears her brother may be in trouble, she rushes to the rescue and stumbles into a mission to catch a spy. Myles, her brother’s commander, isn’t too happy about Augusta’s involvement but has no choice but to allow her assistance. Yet another story with such great potential, which I would love to see fulfilling its complexities and allowing growth in the characters in a full-length novel.


His Mother Insists He Needs a Wife.

Fergus McTaggart, Aldmist Fell’s land steward, has no time for wife hunting. Any day his employer's sisters will be arriving at the Scottish castle for a long overdue reunion. Fergus is determined to make their stay memorable, but all anyone is likely to recall are the loud rows between him and his employer’s cheeky paid companion.

She Insists He Needs a Good Knock to the Head.

Edith Gallagher has been charged with watching over her employer’s youngest sister while the family winters in Scotland, but the stubborn land steward interferes at every turn. Eventually, she and the Scot call a truce for the sisters’ sakes only to discover their passionate battles are masking hidden desires.

***Fergus and Edith battle at every turn. As land steward, Fergus has no time for romance but when he meets Edith, sparks fly. Oh at first, it’s a battle of wills, arguments at every turn, and unruly confrontations but when they call a truce for the sake of the sisters, they come to think of each other in a way that neither expects. This one might be my favorite in the anthology. I enjoyed watching Fergus and Edith get to know each other, and fall in love. I’d very much love to read more from this series.


Desperate times call for drastic measures as Miss Aveline Redgrave enters her third season. Fearful of fortune hunters, she attempts to stay clear of Lord Leybourne, a rogue who is not to be trusted. But his seductive smile and enticing kisses awaken a passion that threatens her common sense. No stranger to scandal, Leybourne is determined to save his family from ruin whatever the cost, even marrying an heiress he doesn’t love. But an unexpected desire and need to protect threatens his plans. Will past heartaches and a devastating wager destroy their future or will true love’s kiss triumph?

***Still unmarried as she faces her third season, Aveline fears the attentions of fortune hunters but knows she must marry or face her uncle choosing for her. She does her best to stay away from those least desirable as husbands, especially Lord Leybourne who needs desperately to marry an heiress if he is to save his family from ruin. When both make lists of suitable candidates, they soon discover they are probably best suited for each other. They set about trying to make things work despite interfering friends and gossiping ton. I liked this story, the characters were strong and the plot very plausible. I’d like to read more from Alanna. She’s a new author for me and I’m looking forward to reading more from her.

TEMPTED BY A ROGUE by Lauren Smith

Gemma never planned on falling in love with her childhood sweetheart’s best friend, Jasper, when he returns home, but she can’t resist the naval officer’s brooding charm.

Gemma plans to marry James, her childhood sweetheart. With every letter written between them while he's been off at sea, their love has grown. Now they will be reunited with his return to England. But the man whose words she'd fallen in love with isn’t James...

Jasper, a gentleman rogue of the first order, is trapped. Talked into a scheme by his friend, he pretended to be James for eleven years while writing to Gemma. He’s promised James he’d break it off. But when he returns home, his secret will come out – and he’ll lose the one woman he can’t live without.

***Sometimes, when I start reading a story I can sense right away that the plot is trying to be far more complicated than it needs to be. This is one of those. When it becomes obvious too fast that a simple conversation could sort out the trouble, it’s difficult for me to keep reading but I do, always in the hope that things will get more exciting.
James has been away at sea for eleven years, during which time he, and Gemma write to each other diligently every month, only…it isn’t James writing to Gemma but instead, Jasper, James’s best friend. Gemma plans to marry James as soon as he returns for she’s fallen even further in love with him through his letters. Jasper has come to love Gemma but now feels trapped because he can’t tell Gemma the truth. I can’t help but think when I read a story like this…the truth is the simplest solution and it will set you free. It was okay but it could’ve been much better with its Cyrano de Bergerac start.


She gave him a chance to bury his past… but the price would be his heart…

Burdened by the past…Orphaned at a young age and left to run wild, at eighteen Julian Price joins the fight against Napoleon in the hope of attaining honor. Devastated when his best friend, Thomas, is killed in battle, Julian returns home burdened with guilt, only to find his wastrel uncle has squandered his inheritance.

Desperate to live her own life… Facing a future of drudgery caring for her aging mother and raising her brother’s children, Henrietta Houghton believes her chance at a real life died with Thomas, the only man who ever wanted her. But Henrietta is still full of dreams. When her wealthy aunt, offers her a gift of ten thousand pounds, Henrietta finally has the chance to choose her own destiny.

Everything has a price...With a fortune at her command, Henrietta offers Julian a marriage of convenience, unaware that she really offers Julian a means of salvation—not just his fortune, but his very soul.

***A longtime fan of Victoria Vane’s historical romances, this one was a good friends to lovers story but not necessarily her best. I’m so used to her rich characters that I felt Julian and Henrietta fell kind of flat. Perhaps if the story had been longer, their development could have been greater. It had its moments though, and Henrietta’s naughty aunt made it all worth reading.
Julian returns from war to discover his uncle has lost his fortune and he is destitute. He plans to sell everything in hopes of clearing his debt, and then return to Portugal to work as a mercenary since his only skill seems to be in killing. Henrietta feels lost. She’s unmarried whereas all her siblings are, but she has no desire to spend her life as an unpaid nanny to her nieces and nephews. When her scandalously naughty great aunt endows her with a large dowry, she decides she has the means to help her childhood friend, Julian and give herself the gift of relative freedom. She proposes to him and they plan a marriage of convenience…of course, we all know how that will go. This story truly had great potential and although I would love to have seen it expanded further, I enjoyed reading it.

This one is well worth the spending 99¢ on...I highly recommend it. 
Happy Reading Everyone!

ONCE UPON A TRUE LOVE’S KISS, an anthology, releasing January 4, 2016, available in ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links above or cover below for purchasing information, please remember even pennies per sale using my links help keep this blog alive. Thank You.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!

May your holidays be bright, your homes filled joy 
and laughter, and your hearts filled with love.
Thank you for being such good friends to Unwrapping Romance all year long. 
Happy Reading Everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Unwrapping a Review of DIRTY TALK, a Mechanics of Love novel by Megan Erickson

After reading Cal and Jenna’s story in DIRTY THOUGHTS, I didn’t think Megan Erickson could touch my heart any harder than she had but I was so wrong. DIRTY TALK, book two in the Mechanics of Love series by Megan Erickson is even better and trust me, I never thought I’d say that about Brent.

***purchased a copy for my own personal reading but sharing my honest and unscripted review.

Blurb for DIRTY TALK:

When the one you shouldn't want is the one you can't resist...

Brent Payton works hard, plays hard, and has earned his ladies’ man reputation. But he’s more than just a good time, even though no one seems to see it. Until a gorgeous brunette with knockout curves and big, thoughtful eyes walks into his family’s garage and makes Brent want more.

Ivy Dawn and her sister are done with men, all of them. They’ve uprooted their lives too many times on account of the opposite sex, but that’s over now. The plan seems easy until a sexy, dirty-taking mechanic bursts in Ivy’s life and shakes everything up.

Brent can’t resist the one person who sees past his devil-may-care fa├žade, and Ivy finds it harder and harder to deny how happy he makes her. But she has secrets of her own and when the truth comes out, she must decide if she’ll run again or if she’ll take a chance on forever.

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

Ivy and her sister, Alex have had a rough time when it comes to men. The father of Ivy’s daughter, Violet wanted her to have his child but then denied she was his, and Alex’s boyfriend left them all a little shell shocked including sweet Violet. When they arrived in Tory, they made a pact that there would be no men in their lives. Ivy thought this was an easy promise to keep since she has no interest in men and her daughter is terrified of them…until they meet Brent Payton. He charms them all, including Violet. Before long, it isn’t just little Violet who sees Brent as a hero and Ivy knows she wants more but how, when her sister is so adamant against men. She is so sure they have no need for men in their lives only Ivy decides she does. She needs Brent.

Brent has always played the jokester, the laid back Payton brother…don’t let anything get to you, don’t be too serious, and then you won’t disappoint anyone or yourself. He was content with this life until a dark-haired beauty walks into the garage. Ivy Dawn is different from any girl he’d known and he no longer wants to be the jokester, the non-serious Payton brother. He wants to be serious for her, about her, and his life. She makes him rethink everything and fall in love with her, and her daughter. Ivy brings out the best in Brent giving him the strength to tell his father and brother what he truly wants for his life.

When I read DIRTY THOUGHTS, I liked Brent but thought him lacking in depth. He was kind of obnoxious, somewhat loutish, and a pain in the butt. I was looking forward to his story simply because I love the characters of Tory, Maryland so much and thought his story would be fun-filled and sexy. It was all that, but oh my…it was also so much more!

Brent does have depth, his obnoxiousness is a cover for a heart that feels far more than he puts on, and he’s not so loutish after all, again it’s a shield…he might still be a pain in the butt, but he is an adorable and definitely sexy one.
Megan introduces us to a real man, a real hero who doesn’t hesitate to make a little girl feel relaxed and special, who reacts first and thinks later when the time calls for it, and knows how to show a girl a really good time on a date without expectations. Shoot, he even tucked her in when she got drunk and refused her advancements. I laughed, I cried like a baby (twice), and swooned over this guy who had always played a role because it was easier than revealing his true self to those who he thought smarter, tougher, and braver than himself.

The Tory cast is still wonderful, the guys are guys and the gals are best girlfriends. We meet someone new who I adore, and would love to see again, and we see a side of Jack Payton that made me cry (the second time). Can you imagine…Jack Payton made me cry and not because he was being mean either. I loved every minute of this book…except one that made me pause…some may see it and others may not. I won’t spoil things by saying what it is because it does have an impact on the story and once I realized it, I understood the reason for it. So in the end, DIRTY TALK by Megan Erickson knocked it out of the park with a grand slam, but now I have to wonder…I’m not sure she can top this, but we’ll see. Alex gets her HEA in DIRTY DEEDS. If you don’t read any other of this series…you should though…read DIRTY TALK…have a box of tissues handy though unless you don’t cry at heart-wrenching and heartwarming moments in which case, you’ll be fine.

Happy Reading Everyone!

DIRTY TALK, a Mechanics of Love novel by Megan Erickson, Avon Impulse, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links above or cover below for purchasing information. My links to Amazon may not earn me but pennies but they help keep this blog alive. Thank You.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Unwrapping a Review of THE BOOK OF IVY by Amy Engel

Sometimes we all need a change. I was in need of one, and since I normally don’t read Young Adult, I thought THE BOOK OF IVY by Amy Engel from Entangled Teen not only gave me something different in that it is a dystopian fantasy but it also inspired me to take a chance on a YA romance. I’m glad I did. It was different and it hooked me right in.

***purchased for my own personal reading but I’m sharing my honest and unscripted review

Blurb for THE BOOK OF IVY:

What would you kill for?

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president's son—my soon-to-be husband—and return the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he's not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.
Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

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

Life hasn’t been easy for anyone in Westfall…least of all, Ivy Westfall. Having lost her mother as a baby, she’s grown up hearing hateful things about the Lattimers and why they should not be governing in Westfall. Having trained all of her life for a mission in which she has complete faith, Ivy must marry the President of Westfall’s son, Bishop Lattimer. When her sister, Callie was passed over it was left to Ivy to take her place and set in motion the means for a revolution to return the power to her father, the man she believes will put everything right, as it should be. Her mission…to find where any weapons are stashed, discover any secrets the Lattimers may have, and kill her husband.

That last part becomes more difficult to think about doing once she gets to know Bishop Lattimer who allows her freedom she’d never experienced before with her father and sister. She begins to question her role, the justification for killing Bishop, and the reasons. She begins to fall in love with this young man who treats her with kindness, respect, and encourages her to think her own thoughts. Now she has a decision to make and no matter what she does, she knows it will end badly.

Amy Engel does a wonderful job of creating a post-apocalyptic world with a dystopian society that is easily related to and realistically conceivable in THE BOOK OF IVY.
Society has to be contained, rules followed, and the population rebuilt with the young being the most capable of providing children. It all makes sense, even arranged marriages in some respects but as in any dystopian society, there always seems to be a huge difference between those who have and those who have not. In this world, there is only once punishment for any kind of crime committed…banishment to the outside. Even a simple theft of a loaf of bread because you’re starving could mean you’re put out to the other side of the fence built to protect the citizens of Westfall from the dangers outside the fence but which might also be there, to keep those inside from thinking too far outside the box.

I was intrigued by premise of the story…intrigued enough to give in to my previous aversion to reading Young Adult. I suspect I might have to revisit that choice. Having become a fan of the film DIVERSION was possibly one of the reasons I was drawn to THE BOOK OF IVY by Amy Engel but I have to say that it was her writing too. I enjoyed it coming from the point of view of a young girl who having been manipulated and over-sheltered so much that when allowed to think freely, she began to see things about herself, her world, and her family that both intrigued and disappointed her. I do wish it had been longer perhaps pulling books one and two, the second being THE REVOLUTION OF IVY, together might have meant a much more satisfying read. But still, I do highly recommend THE BOOK OF IVY by Amy Engel to anyone who has a passion for coming of age stories in worlds beyond our understanding, but not beyond our imaginations.

Happy Reading Everyone!

THE BOOK OF IVY by Amy Engel, Entangled Teen, available in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

***click on links above and cover below for purchasing information, remember even pennies per sales using my links help keep this blog alive. Thank You.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Unwrapping FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, the movie...

When FIFTY SHADES OF GREY by E.L. James was first released, I paid my ten dollars for the privilege of reading one of the most poorly written romance novels ever. After finishing book one of what I then discovered was to be a trilogy, I swore I would never read another word written by this author.  I can say I have kept that promise.

Now the movie was announced. I immediately thought…holy crap, really? Someone was going to sink a boatload of money into making a terrible book into a movie. Well, I thought…I suppose it can’t be any worse than the book. In fact, it was even possible that it might be better than the book. Wouldn’t that be a first? We all know a book is most certainly always better than any movie created based on that book.

When the movie was setting to release, I watched the trailers. I listened to the hype and some of my friends’ excitement over the coming attractions but couldn’t get excited over the movie having read the book. I decided that after sinking ten dollars into an ebook that I will never ever read again I would never ever pay good money to see the movie, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. I can say that I never did, and never will.

Okay, anyone who has HBO knows that the movie, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY is playing on that movie network right now. One evening last month, I happened to notice it was on so I clicked on it and, out of pure curiosity, started watching it. I turned it off literally two minutes into the movie. I don’t think I got through the credits.

About two weeks ago, my curiosity got the better of me and I once more started up the movie. I freely admit that I watched the movie, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. All I can say is…that’s two hours and nine minutes of my life, I will never get back. To say that the book was horrible is an understatement in reference to the movie. The movie was worse!

It was incredibly horrible! It was boring, mundane, and so ridiculous in that it was missing every part of the book that made Christian Grey the creepy, insecure, arrogant, and misogynistic character that he was in the book. The actor playing Grey was unattractive, boring, and weak. The actor portraying Ana Steele couldn’t act her way out of a cardboard box but then again, it really didn’t take much to portray such a weak, inane character as Anastasia Steele anyway.

I cannot understand how anyone can rave over this movie…unless they never read the book, which would lead them to believe that this was a dom/sub relationship at its best. Oh well, at least I didn’t have to hear about Ana’s inner goddess…I also got a lot of work done because it was so boring that I had to do something to keep me awake.

If you saw the movie, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

Happy Reading (Good Books) Everyone!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Unwrapping a Review of LORD DASHWOOD MISSED OUT, a Spindle Cove novella by Tessa Dare

Being a fan of the Spinster Cove series by Tessa Dare, when I discovered we weren’t quite finished, I had to read this novella, and I’m so very glad I did. I laughed, I sat on the edge of my seat, and I sighed with the inevitable Happily Ever After that Tessa always does so well. This is must read if you love this series, and I’ll let you in on some wonderful news…Charlotte is finally going to get her HEA too.

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


A snowstorm hath no fury like a spinster scorned!

Miss Elinora Browning grew up yearning for the handsome, intelligent lord-next-door…but he left England without a word of farewell. One night, inspired by a bit too much sherry, Nora poured out her heartbreak on paper. Lord Dashwood Missed Out was a love letter to every young lady who’d been overlooked by gentlemen—and an instant bestseller. Now she’s on her way to speak in Spindle Cove when snowy weather delays her coach. She’s forced to wait out the storm with the worst possible companion: Lord Dashwood himself.

And he finally seems to have noticed her.

George Travers, Lord Dashwood, has traveled the globe as a cartographer. He returned to England with the goal of marrying and creating an heir--only to find his reputation shredded by an audacious, vexingly attractive bluestocking and her poison pen. Lord Dashwood Missed Out, his arse. Since Nora Browning seems to believe he overlooked the passion of a lifetime, Dash challenges her to prove it.

She has one night.

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

Having written a scandalous pamphlet regarding her scorn for the man who left her without a backwards glance, Miss Nora Browning has become renowned throughout England as a champion for young ladies overlooked by gentlemen, and an inspiration to make do without men. When she ventures out to visit Spindle Cove, at the invitation of the Two Sisters Subscription Library run by the delightful, Daniela and Her Grace, Pauline, the last thing she expects is to have the coach leave without her. So when she accepts alternative passage in a coach with only one passenger, she is somewhat horrified to discover her traveling companion is the real man behind Lord Ashwood Missed Out: A Gentleman’s Rejection, Rejected by Miss Elinora Browning. The man who broke her heart and shattered her dreams of being his wife someday.

George Travers, Lord Dashwood, aka Lord Ashwood in literary circles, is very interested in learning exactly what it was that he missed out on and is determined to get his old friend, Nora to reveal the truth behind her otherwise, libelous pamphlet. It soon becomes apparent to him that he most certainly missed out but now only hoped it wasn’t too late to remedy the situation. With a snowstorm as an accomplice, Dash makes sure Nora cannot escape to Spindle Cove and must answer his inquiries or face the prospect of a potential lawsuit. But in reality, what he’d really prefer to do is make her his own.

And so a plan is set in motion.

I enjoyed every moment of this novella, from the moment Nora encounters Dash in the dimly lit interior of the empty coach to the moment she discovers the lies having been perpetrated against her over twenty-four hours. The delightful antics of the men of Spindle Cove whom we’ve come to adore throughout the series, the way they adore and annoy their wives, and then there’s Mrs. Highwood’s determination to find a good man for her daughter, Charlotte, even if he is only a baron and a cast off from another woman. Life in Spindle Cove as always continues to be filled with smiles and romantic adventure.

I don’t want to say too much because there is a lot of stimulating banter, male antics, tense dangerous moments, and steamy romance packed into this novella, and must be experienced singularly by the reader. So without a doubt, I highly recommend reading LORD DASHWOOD MISSED OUT by Tessa Dare because to not is to most certainly MISS OUT!

Happy Reading Everyone!

LORD DASHWOOD MISSED OUT, a Spindle Cove novella by Tessa Dare, Avon Impulse, releasing December 8, 2015 in ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks with the print version releasing January 19, 2016.
***click on links above or cover below for purchasing information, remember even pennies per sale using my links help keep this blog alive. Thank You.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Unwrapping a Promo for DIRTY DEEDS, a Mechanics of Love novel by Megan Erickson

a Mechanics of Love novel
by Megan Erickson

Releasing from Avon Books on December 8, 2015

Alex Dawn is saying no to men. No to bad relationships, disappointments, and smooth-talkers. Focusing on her family and her job at Payton and Sons Automotive keeps her mind occupied and her heart content. She doesn’t really miss a man’s touch, until one night, one shows up with the body of a god and a voice from her dirtiest dreams.

L.M. Spencer is only in Tory, Maryland, to scope out the town as a possible site for one of his company's hotels. The British businessman didn’t expect his car to break down or to find the hottest little American he’s ever seen holding a tire iron, piercing him with bright blue eyes.

They agree to one hot night, one dirty deed to burn out the chemistry between them. But from their first kiss, Alex can’t stop saying yes to this man. And when Spencer’s company threatens everything she cares about, they must make the choice to stand together or apart.


Megan Erickson grew up in a family that averages 5’5” 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.


“A super sweet, extra sexy second chance romance that will have you laughing out loud and needing a minute to cool off. Dirty Thoughts is right!”
   — Jay Crownover, New York Times bestselling author

“Megan Erickson ratchets up the romance and sizzle in her sexy new series. The Mechanics of Love will rev readers’ hearts.”
   — Jennifer Ryan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“Megan Erickson writes hot, hot, HOT stories packed with emotion and humor. You’re going to want to read everything she’s ever written!”
   — Sophie Jordan, USA Today bestselling author


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Blog Tour Promo for TAKE ME ALL THE WAY, a Coral Cove novel by Toni Blake with #excerpt

A Coral Cove Novel
by Toni Blake

available now from Avon Romance

You can’t go too far when you’re fighting for love…

USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author Toni Blake continues her new, heartwarming series set in the beachside town of Coral Cove. This time the town troublemaker, Jeremy Sheridan, gets his chance at love!

Tamra Day swore off men a long time ago. Her art, her friends, and her garden have always been enough…until now. Suddenly Tamra is aching for a connection. Unfortunately, Coral Cove’s most eligible bachelor is the troublemaker who’s building the mini-golf course she’s designing. Brusque and sarcastic, he’s made it a habit of annoying Tamra. But more infuriating is the fact that Tamra can’t help noticing how sexy he is.

They call him a war hero, but Jeremy Sheridan knows better. Still haunted by painful memories from Afghanistan, he’s just hoping for a fresh start. So far, the only problem is his new boss, Tamra, a control freak who’s easy on the eyes—and way too fun to tease.

Despite their differences, Tamra and Jeremy aren’t as alone as they think they are. And together, with a little Coral Cove magic, they’ll discover how good it feels to embrace a bright new future.


He was only vaguely aware of nearing a tall privacy fence, painted a weathered sort of white, before passing through the open gate. He caught sight of Tamra’s legs and tennis shoes, too, and said, “Am I about to walk into anything?”
“No, you’re good,” she said.
“Where am I going with this thing? I want to put it down once.”
“Well, I haven’t had a chance to plan for this, so it might have to be twice—unless you want to stand there holding it while I think.”
“Nope,” he said, and let it drop right in front of him on the stone.
And then he took in everything around him. It was as if he’d entered a whole new world. One of lush greenery and bright blooms. Her entire backyard was a beautiful garden. “Shit, you weren’t lying,” he said without thinking.
“About what?” she asked.
“You could be a landscaper if you wanted.” 
“Thanks.” She sounded shockingly bashful. It threw him, drew his gaze to her face.
She was actually blushing a little. He wondered why, but didn’t spend much time trying to figure it out as his attention was drawn back to the garden.
From the trees hung delicate windchimes and other pieces, all made of colored glass. He caught sight of a blue glass bird that seemed to be flying past, and numerous butterflies in yellow, purple, pink. From the ground sprung the occasional birdbath, and more pieces of glass mounted on wrought iron sticks—a green glass dragonfly, a row of glass daisies. In between it all ran the stone path—it seemed to make a circle around the yard, and near the house, where they stood, it widened to encircle a large fire pit. Wooden chairs rimmed the pit, and farther back in the garden he caught sight of a hammock that looked like the perfect resting spot.
“This is . . . freaking amazing,” he told her.
“Yeah?” she asked. Again, she sounded so much more delicate than usual.
“Yeah.” He nodded, still taking it in.
The truth was, he kind of never wanted to leave. It was. . .the perfect place to be alone, the perfect place to hide.
And then. . .he understood. The same way he liked to hide—so did she.
When his gaze returned to her, he saw her differently. He understood her better now—not completely, not by a long shot, but better. He’d sensed a certain beauty in her before—he’d witnessed hints of it wanting to creep out from around her more rigid persona—but now he really saw it. Looking down at her, here, she was…prettier. Her eyes more innocent. Her lips fuller, softer. Maybe he was crazy, or maybe the late day shadows were playing tricks on him, but she was truly beautiful here in a way he’d never seen her look before.

About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Toni Blake’s love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Soon after, she penned her first novel - nineteen notebook pages long. Since then, Toni has become a RITA-nominated author of more than twenty contemporary romance novels including her recent 2014 RITA nomination for Half Moon Hill the last installment in her popular Destiny series. Her books have received the National Readers Choice Award and the Bookseller’s Best Award, and her work has been excerpted in Cosmo. Toni lives in the Midwest and enjoys traveling, crafts, and spending time outdoors. Learn more about Toni and her books at

Taking a journey to Coral Cove is always exciting and satisfying, and [TAKE ME ALL THE WAY] is a fan­tastic addition to the series. The romance between the characters is poignant and real, giving readers a story to get com­pletely caught up in. Blake has written another winner! — RT Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Promo Stop on the Tasty Virtual Book Tour for Chanukah anthology, BURNING BRIGHT with Q & A +#giveaway

Four Chanukah Love Stories
by Megan Hart, KK Hendin,
Stacey Agdern and Jennifer Gracen

Releasing December 1, 2015 from Avon Impulse

This December, take a break from dreidel spinning, gelt winning, and latke eating to experience the joy of Chanukah. When you fall in love during the Festival of Lights, the world burns a whole lot brighter.

It’s definitely not love at first sight for Amanda and her cute but mysterious new neighbor, Ben. Can a Chanukah miracle show them that getting off on the wrong foot doesn’t mean they can’t walk the same road?

Lawyers in love, Shari Cohen and Evan Sonntag are happy together. But in a moment of doubt, he pushes her away-then soon realizes he made a huge mistake. To win her back, it might take something like a Chanukah miracle.

When impulsive interior designer Molly Baker-Stein barges into Jon Adelman’s apartment and his life intent on planning the best Chanukah party their building has ever seen, neither expects that together, they just might discover a Home for Hannukah.

All Tamar Jacobs expected from her Israel vacation was time to hang out with one of her besties and to act like a tourist, cheesy t-shirt and all, in her two favorite cities. She definitely was not expecting to fall for Avi Levinson, a handsome soldier who’s more than she ever dreamed. 

About the Authors:

Megan Hart is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than thirty novels, novellas and short stories. Her work has been published in almost every genre, including contemporary women’s fiction, historical romance, paranormal and erotica. Learn more at

Jennifer Gracen hails from Long Island, New York, where she lives with her two young sons. After spending her youth writing in private and singing in public, she now only sings in her car and has fully embraced her lifelong passion for writing. She loves to write contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction for readers who yearn for better days, authentic characters, and satisfying endings. When she isn’t taking care of her kids, doing freelance copy editing/proofreading, reading, or talking to friends on Twitter and Facebook, Jennifer writes. She’s shocked her family hasn’t yet staged an intervention for her addiction to social media. But the concerts she gives in her car and the dance parties she has in her kitchen are rumored to be fabulous.

Stacey Agdern is an award winning former bookseller who has reviewed romance novels in multiple formats and given talks about various aspects of the romance genre. She also a romance writer. You can find her on twitter at @nystacey. She’s a proud member of both LIRW and RWA NYC. She lives in New York, not far from her favorite hockey team’s practice facility.

KK Hendin writes books where people flirt awkwardly, make out, dish out a whole lot of sass and ridiculousness, and live happily ever after. She’s the author of many books, including the TWELVE BEATS IN A BAR series and the upcoming UNDERCOVER series. She also writes books as K. Hendin, where people aren’t as nice and Happily Ever After isn’t a guarantee. KK is currently writing way too many books, and is still waiting for the subway to run on a regular schedule. When she’s not playing book Tetris in an attempt to fit everything onto the bookshelves in her tiny NYC apartment, she’s probably wandering her neighborhood with her camera or drinking yet another cup of coffee.

Chanukah Fun with KK Hendin—

Favorite Chanukah Memory or tradition:
My favorite memory is from the first year I lived in Israel. I was in school there, and we had the afternoons off that week. A bunch of us wanted to do something fun before lighting the menorah in the evening, but we were all too poor to do anything that really cost money. So we split up into two groups and wrote a ridiculous list of things to do. The goal was to see which group could do more things on the list, with picture evidence to make sure nobody lied. By the end of the afternoon, we had done things like decorate a public bathroom, confuse the heck out of a bunch of soldiers, ask random strangers both silly questions and very serious questions, and hired ourselves to work at people's restaurants. And all for the price of a bus ticket. 

My favorite tradition...hmm…lighting the Chanukah candles every night is really nice, because we do it as a family. Everyone gets together in the living room, and we all light our menorahs together, and sing. And laugh when my dad reminds us not to go near the candles, because when it comes to menorahs, he seems to forget we're all perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves near fire.

Favorite Chanukah Dish/Dessert:
It's traditional to eat both dairy products and fried food on Chanukah, which is the greatest possible combination of foods to eat. One Chanukah night every year, we ignore the concept of a balanced meal for dinner and have latkes, homemade french fries, and a bunch of different kinds of cheese. It is a ridiculous overindulgence, and the next day everyone just eats salad as a recovery food. (I eat my latkes with cottage cheese, not applesauce. I don't understand the appeal of latkes and applesauce. I'm sorry.)

(When I called my mother to make sure I got the latke recipe correct, I mentioned eating latkes and cottage cheese. Her response was something along the lines of, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?? WHO EATS LATKES AND COTTAGE CHEESE??". When I reminded her that I have ALWAYS eaten latkes and cottage cheese together, she told me she probably blocked the memory.)

The recipe we use for potato latkes is our potato kugel recipe tweaked.

Potato Latkes (Or Potato Kugel)
5 pounds potatoes
1 large white onion
(You can substitute a zucchini for a few of the potatoes if you want for the potato kugel.)
6 eggs
(1/2 cup oil-for kugel)
1 tablespoon Salt

LATKES: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, salt and pepper. Use a food processor to shred the potatoes and onions, then add to the mixing bowl. Form into patties, and fry them in oil. Serve with applesauce, sour cream, or–to quote my family—if you're irrevocably broken somehow like KK, cottage cheese. Makes a lot of latkes. 

POTATO KUGEL: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, salt and pepper. Cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan in oil and place it an oven set at 450. Use a food processor to shred the potatoes and onions, then add to the mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients together, and the take the mixing bowl directly to the oven, and pour the mixture into the pan without taking the pan out of the oven. Cook for an hour and a half, or until the potato kugel is at the consistency and texture you'd like. Serve hot with anything at all, because potato kugel, and if you have extras somehow, potato kugel is delicious cold with a bit of mustard on top or dipped in humus. Makes one delicious pan of potato-y goodness. 

(Alternative, if you're feeling fancy: instead of baking the kugel in a 9 x 13, you can bake it in cupcake tins for fanciness and extra crispy bits. Adjust temperature and cooking time accordingly.)

Do you have any real life experience with finding love during Chanukah?
I think I really and truly fell in love with Israel on Chanukah- I finally was settled in, I knew how to get places without taking the bus, and there were an abundance of cheerful soldiers. It was finally sweater weather, and every person, regardless of religious observance, was excited about Chanukah, and about sufganiyot. 
Also, as a New Yorker, getting to go to the beach in December without freezing your face off is pretty cool. 

What was your favorite scene to write for ALL I GOT?
Besides the ending? Probably the rain. I've done my share of dance parties in the rain in Israel, and it was so much fun to write one for Avi. 

One line that describes your holiday romance.
Sometimes you can meet the love of your life at a bus stop.