Saturday, June 28, 2014

It's all about the Romance!

Recently as I was reading Connectivity by Aven Ellis I was reminded of why I like Contemporary Romance so much.  I like the process of two people falling in love.  I like a happily ever after.  I want to read about awkward moments, funny experiences, a little angst and all the other things that happen when two people meet and fall in love. It's all about the romance people!! Am I right??  Isn't that why we love to read romance??

Beware, I am about to climb on my small, but stable, soap box.  I want to address an issue that has been bothering me for some time.  I want to talk about romance, or lack there of, in some contemporary romance. I'm not talking about sex.  I'm talking about romance.  All the good stuff that leads to the steamy stuff.  I feel Connectivity is a great example of what I'm wanting to discuss.  Connectivity is a funny romantic comedy that focuses on the romance.  All the steamy scenes are behind closed doors.  What I like about this story is that the characters wait to get it on.  What?!? They wait?! Yes, they WAIT until they are ready.  No pressure, just good ol' making out and getting to know one another.  I loved this!!!  To me, this is a little more normal, at least in my world, and I felt the connection between the characters.  I FELT THE CONNECTION! Sorry for the yelling, but I feel this is missing from so many books.  Don't get me wrong, I like a little steam, but I want the build up.  I want the butterflies.  I want to know that when these characters finally get all lovey, that I will be cheering them on!  I want to feel the excitement.  I want to feel that reassurance that when things began to go wrong in the story, that this couple truly cares for one another and it will be okay.  That they truly care for one another, not because the story tells me they do, but because as their story unfolds, I can FEEL it.  Whew! I feel better getting all of that off my mind. I'm sorry if my ranting makes some mad or doesn't make any sense, but I think I'm not the only reader that is beginning to feel this way.  Am I right???

Back to Connectivity and the story of William and MK.  William is British, has a sexy accent, and reminds me of Prince William.  MK is a strong independent woman who doesn't care what others think about her. Together, they have a sweet, very romantic courtship that will give you butterflies.  I recommend Connectivity to those of you who enjoy a sweet romance.

I have read all of Aven Ellis' books and I have enjoyed each one.  She writes cute, funny, down to earth characters.  Her stories aren't far fetched, contain just a little angst, and leave you with a happy feeling. Check out Connectivity and her other book, Waiting for Prince Harry.  You won't be disappointed.

Overachiever Mary-Kate Grant (who is indeed named after an Olsen Twin) has followed every rule to the letter to pursue her dream of working in TV programming. Ripping a page from the “hard work pays off” playbook, she takes an assistant level job at a Chicago sports network to break into the industry.
MK has no time or desire for a relationship right now—she is totally focused on her career and being independent, unlike the other women in her family.

But MK’s plans are run through the shredder when she finds herself working for William Cumberland, a British media mogul who made his fortune with Connectivity, a social media site. William blows into Chicago just like the winds off Lake Michigan and purchases the group of networks MK works for—and makes her his personal assistant in the process.

Suddenly MK finds her career plans in jeopardy. William makes her question everything she has ever thought and has the uncanny ability to see right through her. And for the first time in her life, MK finds herself not only questioning what she wants for her career but for her personal life as well…

To purchase on Amazon:  Connectivity   Waiting for Prince Harry

Connect with Aven Ellis:
Twitter:  @AvenEllis

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: An Inconvenient Love by Alexia Adams

I am a total sucker for a "business arrangement" type love story.  You know, the ones where the hero and heroine decide to marry for business/money/child reason and not for love, but then it always turns in to love. I LOVE those! I don't know why exactly.  I guess I like the whole "we're married, and now I love you and can't tell you because we didn't marry for love" thing.

The blurb:
Neither wanted love in their marriage. But you don’t always get what you want.

Sophia Stevens is tired of struggling to pay the rent and help her brother through college. After seven years on her own, she is no farther ahead than the day she walked out on her old life and started again. So when super-sexy Italian property developer Luca Castellioni proposes a marriage of convenience, she’s intrigued. Financial security and life in a beautiful Italian villa in exchange for attending a few business functions and typing some letters seems very convenient. Until she breaks the most definite term of their arrangement: she falls in love with her husband.

Luca Castellioni lives for his job restoring beautiful buildings to their former glory. When his business expansion plans are hampered by the need for an English-speaking secretary and a wife, he does what any efficient businessman would do and combines his requirements. But when his fascination with his wife distracts him from business, he wishes there was more marriage and not so much convenience in their agreement. Too bad his wife has reconstructed her own life, without him.

When their respective lives pull them in opposite directions, they must decide: will they continue to put their businesses first, or allow love to overcome the obstacles between them?

An Inconvenient Love is a fantastic marriage of convenience romance.  To me, this story had the perfect amount of steam, a good back story and not a lot of angst.  The characters are well developed and the story was well paced.  I felt like this book told a story, and it wasn't over shadowed with cramming in the alloted steamy scenes that so many authors feel they need to add to sell the book.  Sophia is very likeable and a strong independent woman.  I liked that while she did marry for money, she never played the damsel in distress role.  Luca was Italian (HELLO), romantic, and not an overly dominant alpha male.  His character was a nice balance to Sophia's and they complimented each other so well.  The romance was slow, and to me, very believable.  Sophia's back story, or more specifically the trauma she experienced, bothered me a little, but it wasn't really a factor in my like or dislike of the story.  Of course, being a contemporary romance, expect those moments when you want to yell, "Talk to each other!!!", but rest assured those issues are quickly resolved.  Great overall story!

To purchase on Amazon:

Find Alexia Adams on Twitter: @AlexiaAdamsAuth

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cover Reveal: 20Something by Amy Patrick

Channel 20Something by Amy Patrick
(20Something, #1)
Publication date: August 12th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

22-year-old Heidi Haynes is almost one year into her “real life”. She has her first reporting job and her first apartment, but she’s yet to experience first love. Yes, she’s in a comfortable relationship with her college sweetheart, and according to her friends and family, he’s perfect for her. But for some reason she’s not as eager to talk about walking down the aisle as he is.

And while Heidi’s doing what she wants to do, she’s not where she wants to be. She longs for big cities, big-market breaking news, and real independence from her way-too-close-by helicopter parents. Problem is, the last time she left the security of home for new places and new people, things didn’t go so well. Disastrously, in fact, and she came running back to a local college and a “safe” boyfriend.

Well-traveled Californian Aric Serrano plans to stay in small-market-Southern-Hell just long enough to grab a cup of coffee and put together a kick-ass “escape tape”. He’ll serve his one-year contract, then he’s taking off for a higher rung on the TV sports ladder—alone—the way he likes it. But when he walks into the newsroom and meets Heidi, he may have finally found something and someone worth committing to.

Heidi would be so much more comfortable if she could avoid her new co-worker—he’s just her type—the type she’s so careful to avoid. But that becomes impossible when she and Aric are forced to work together on the weekend news. Now there’s no denying the attraction between them, and she’ll have to decide between settling for the “good enough” life she already has or taking the risk of going for what she dreams of, an exciting career and a real love.

Amy is a two-time Golden Heart finalist (2013 and 2014). She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two sons and actually craves the heat and humidity of Mississippi, where she grew up. She's been a professional singer and news anchor and currently narrates audio books as well as working as a station host for a Boston TV station.

Author Links:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Light the Lamp by Catherine Gayle

I love Catherine Gayle.  I do.  I stalk her and I'm not afraid to say it.  I anxiously wait for the next book in this series.  I LOVE THIS SERIES!  I came upon her first book, Breakaway, as I was doing a search on Amazon.  I read it and was blown away.  Seriously, blown away.  Catherine writes books about hockey. These books actually have hockey in them, it's not just the players.  But what Catherine's books have that other don't is sensitive subject matter that isn't covered in romance books.  She handles these subjects with such sensitivity and love.  If you take nothing else from this blog post take this, read one of her books.  Just one.  I promise you'll want to read the next in the series.  Light the Lamp is the third book in her Portland Storm series.  Let's check out the blurb.

Life’s been rough lately for Noelle Payne, but she’s not one to let negativity rule. So, she lost her job? She’ll find another one. The bank foreclosed on the house? Well, she can live out of her car for a while. There’s always an upside to be found…but now Noelle needs to find something to give her life meaning. She owes it to the universe to figure it out, too, because a stranger just saved her life.

When Liam Kallen’s wife died, his goal-scoring ability died with her. After a trade from the only pro hockey team he’s ever played for, he’s now playing for the NHL’s Portland Storm. Everyone said he needed a change of scenery, but nothing changes until he rescues Noelle. All of a sudden, the world once again looks bright and he’s lighting the lamp like he used to.

Noelle’s cheerful disposition is just the bit of sunlight Liam needs in his life. He wants to give her everything she needs because she’s everything he wants. The problem? She doesn’t believe she needs anything…at least nothing material. The one thing they both know she truly needs—a real purpose—also happens to be the one thing he doesn’t know how to give her. If he can’t help her find that, she might walk away and take all her sunshine with her.

My Review
I don't know how she does it, but Catherine writes the best guys.  They are these strong hockey players, but they have such tender hearts.  She doesn't cloud up your perceptions of them with women and one night stands.  I don't need to be reminded constantly, like in other books, how these are manly men because they sleep with many women and sleep with them often.  This needs to stop! Not all men are like that, and if they are, do we really need to be reminded how promiscuous they have been? Honestly it doesn't make them more studly to me.  I read the story for the romance.  I want to see two people connect.  Catherine does this in her books.  Liam is this broken man who is doing his best to cope after losing his wife.  Noelle sees the positive in everything, and is making the best of her tough situation.  They meet, and they are exactly what the other needs.  Of course they must face some tough decisions, overcome a little pride, and learn to give as well as receive.  My only complaint is that as I got further into the story I had a harder time connecting with Noelle. I understood some of her motivation behind her decisions, but at times she felt selfish and self centered.  The story was resolved nicely, but I felt her final acceptance of Liam was abrupt.  Steamy-ness is moderate, but tastefully done.

Overall, another awesome book by Catherine Gayle.  Her stories always provide a unique story line, that is deep and thought provoking, and not overly used.

Check out Catherine's giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To purchase:
Amazon: Light the Lamp
Barnes & Noble:  Light the Lamp
iBooks: Light the Lamp

About this Author

Catherine Gayle is a bestselling author of Regency-set historical romance and contemporary hockey romance with a New Adult feel. She’s a transplanted Texan living in North Carolina with two extremely spoiled felines. In her spare time, she watches way too much hockey and reality TV, plans fun things to do for the Nephew Monster’s next visit, and performs experiments in the kitchen which are rarely toxic.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Demanding Ransom by Megan Squires

Have you ever read a book that just stays with you?  That is so well written that once you finish it, you immediately start reading it again?  That is how I feel about Megan Squire's books.  I started with Draw Me In and didn't stop until I had read all of her books.  But the one that stands out, the one that is my absolute favorite, is Demanding Ransom.

Sometimes life takes things away from you.

In nineteen-year-old Maggie Carson’s case, it’s taken more than its fair share.

Determined to move forward, Maggie embarks on her first year of college, hoping to finally put her past behind her, exactly where it belongs.

But that’s hard to do when the present is just as difficult. And even harder when someone like Ran, the gorgeous paramedic that keeps crossing Maggie’s path, challenges her to face things head on, rather than bury them like she always does.

Ran hasn’t had a perfect life either. But there’s something different about him, and something different about the way he makes Maggie feel. Maybe meeting Ran is life’s little gift for Maggie—a sort of consolation prize for enduring everything she's had to go through.

But things don’t come easy for Maggie. Why should love be the exception? And just when everything starts to settle, it’s all turned on its head once again.

If there is one thing Ran has taught Maggie, it’s that you can’t sit on the sidelines of your own existence. When life takes something that’s yours, you have every right to demand it back.

Only for Maggie, that is easier said than done.

When reading Demanding Ransom I experienced so many emotions.  Worry in the beginning as Maggie is rushing to the hospital.  Giddiness when Ran is pursuing Maggie.  Anger at Maggie's mom and her selfishness.  Happiness when Ran and Maggie are on the same page and in love.  Complete udder heartbreak when....well you'll have to read to find out.  When I say heartbreak, I mean crying, and not just a few tears, I bawled like a baby and my heart hurt.  That's when you know an author can write.  When their words draw you in so much that your heart beats for those characters.  My heart broke for these characters so much that I wanted to throw my kindle and immediately email Megan and demand to know why.  But, that would have been awkward because she doesn't know me, and well, I wouldn't dare throw my precious kindle.  I settled for hiding from my kids as I silently wept to myself as I finished the book.  Why hide? How do you explain to your kids why you're in the fetal position crying over a book.  Just joking, I wasn't hiding... Anyway, don't let my emotional breakdown discourage you from reading this book.  I finished it with a smile on my face and a happy heart.

I encourage you to buy this book and experience these great characters for yourself!  Ransom is this dreamy guy who knows who he wants and is persistent enough to give Maggie time to work out her feelings on love. Maggie has a huge heart, but is afraid of getting it broke, so she keeps it to herself.  Ransom and Maggie together are perfection.  This is a story of self discovery, having faith in love, and knowing perfection can sometimes happen twice.  There is a sequel that I am impatiently waiting for, so if you read this Mrs. Squires, I need more Ransom and Maggie ASAP please!

One last rant, I mean thought.  Thank you Megan Squires for writing a CLEAN book full of emotion and ROMANCE!!  So many books skip over the romance and head straight to the steamy.  There is sexiness in romance, and writers are forgetting this and so many books are carbon copies of one another.  Thank you Megan for not following the trend and creating inspirational stories lines that are different from the rest.  Ok, I think I have fan-girled enough, please don't file a restraining order...

To purchase Demanding Ransom:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Book Crush: Book Boyfriends Are Here!

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What would you say to over 80 titles with many undeniably-hot BOOK BOYFRIENDS that leave you wanting more? Yep, we've got you covered. The second annual SUMMER BOOK CRUSH event runs this year from June 19th through June 22nd. Don't miss it, or you will have to wait a full year for the next one!
 So many ways to fall in love with just a right BOOK BOYFRIEND! And the best part? You can purchase your dream Book Boyfriend for only 99¢ each, but for a limited time only.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Author Interview with Theresa Paolo

Hey guys! Today is the release of Theresa Paolo's (Once) Again! In honor of the release, I was lucky enough to do an interview with Theresa.  I absolutely love Theresa and hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!

Angie:  Thanks so much for letting me do this interview and be a part of the (Once) Again blog tour!  So excited for this release!
Theresa:  First off thank you so much for having me!

Angie:  You have written several books, what is your writing process?
Theresa:  I don’t really have a process. I’m a pantser, so I rarely plot the whole story out. I usually have an idea and let my characters run with it. Every time I try to plot my characters are like oh no that is not happening and go in a completely different direction anyway. So I just gave up and let them take the reins.

Angie:  Have you ever experience writer’s block?
Theresa:  When have I not. I feel like it’s a constant battle. Especially lately. My day job pretty much sucks me dry of my creativity so trying to write during the week has been hard, but I force myself to do it because if I don’t I’d never finish a book. Usually when I get writers block really bad I’ll take a day or two off and just read. It’s amazing what a good book will do.

Angie:  Any interesting writing “quirks”?
Theresa:  I probably do, probably have too many, but I’m coming up blank! If one comes to me I’ll leave it in the comments! lol

Angie:  Favorite scene from Never Again? Once Again?
Theresa:  My favorite scene from (Never) Again is the Jeep scene when Liz finally lets her guard down and kisses Zach. Even though it only lasts a minute I feel like it’s a real turning point in the story and in their relationship.

My favorite scene from (Once) Again. Hmm… I actually haven’t thought about that yet.  Got it! It’s a flashback when Josh sees Kat crying from the top of the waterslide and flings down to go to her. From that part until the end of that chapter, I absolutely love that scene.

Angie:  Do you identify with any particular character from any of your books?
Theresa:  I think all of them have a little piece of me in them. I don’t do it intentionally, but it always seems to happen.  Liz from (Never) Again how she bakes when she’s really upset is actually something I do.  Lexie from the Beds series her strength and how deeply she loves her friends. Josh from (Once) Again his stubbornness. Actually all my characters are pretty darn stubborn. 

Angie:  5 Things we might not know about you.
Theresa:  Uh…
1.       I mountain bike.
2.       I like wine and cosmos and craft beer J
3.       I’m a total 90’s girl. Give me a season of Dawson’s Creek or Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I won’t leave the couch for a day.  Put Mariah Carey’s Fantasy, TLC’s Waterfalls, Hootie and the Blowfish’s Hold My Hand, or any boy band and I will be dancing and singing at the top of my lungs. And if Dazed and Confused, Can’t Hardly Wait, Empire Records or Ten Things I Hate About You is on DO NOT change the channel!
4.       When I was younger people always told me I looked like Julia Roberts. I never saw it.
5.       You know that movie 27 dresses? I’m going for 28. I’ve been a bridesmaid 6 times and still have all the dresses.

Angie:  Theresa, we could totally be besties.  I say we grab a bottle of wine and have a Dawson's Cree marathon soon!!  Ha!  Anything you want to share with us about your next book?
Theresa:  My next book is actually a YA book under my pen name Tessa Marie written with the amazing Cassie Mae under her pen name Becca Ann. It is a prequel to our Beds series. It is called True Love and Magic Tricks and it’s Nate and Kaylee’s story. And let me just say they are a blast to write! We are super excited about this one! It will be out July 17th.

Kaylee Sperling is a social butterfly with a million acquaintances, but no real close friends. The closest thing she has is her pet gerbil, Mr. Pippi, and 150 notes from a random classmate who won’t reveal who he is. But she’s crossing her fingers it’s the self-proclaimed magician and total hottie, Nate Hatfield.

Nate needs an assistant for the upcoming talent show. When he spots Kaylee folding herself in half during gym class stretches, he nervously asks for help with his magic act. But after a disappearing mishap, resulting in an accident with one of Kaylee’s only friends, Mr. Pippi, Nate must figure out how not only to keep his assistant, but someone who’s come to mean much more to him than his illusions.

Angie:  You and Cassie Mae are such a great team! Can't wait to read True Love and Magic Tricks! Thanks so much for taking the time for the interview!
Theresa:  This was so much fun! Thanks again for having me!

Everyone go check out Theresa's newest release! While you're there you might want to pick up her other books, (Never) Again, King Sizes Beds and Happy Trails, and Beach Side Beds and Sandy Paths!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Theresa Paolo lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her long time boyfriend and their fish. Her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, released in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin). (ONCE) AGAIN will release this summer. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS and BEACH SIDE BEDS AND SANDY PATHS, a YA contemporary series, under her pen name Tessa Marie. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Battling of the Bookworms Review: Kelly Hill by Laura Gibson

So there once was this girl and her name was Laura.  Laura loved selfies.  Laura tweeted me a selfie and I knew we had to be friends.  And we are. Friends.  Do you think I should tell her? Ha! Just joking. Maybe. Anyway, I have had the privilege to read Laura's upcoming release, Kelly Hill.  

Check out the blurb:
Rachel is standing on the brink of a world about to change. 
Battling a dysfunctional family life and still trying to cover up her involvement in a scandal two years prior, Rachel can't seem to think straight anymore. She's just living day to day, trying not to succumb to the stress she covers up with a polite smile. 
When Kelly Hill saunters back in her life, Rachel feels her carefully crafted lies begin to crack apart around her. 
Rachel had made a deal with the devil and now Kelly’s presence is causing her to go back on her word, bringing secrets boiling to the surface where they don’t belong.

But when a body is discovered on the grounds of Phillips Academy, Rachel knows she can't keep running from the truth forever.

British Bookworm's Review:
This is the second book which has been read and reviewed by me and Angie over at Confessions of an Unsuspected Bookworm.  (If you haven't already visited her site, please go check it out, she has some great book recommendations, I'll just wait patiently until you come back)

What to say about this book....?  Well, what I can say is that it is a really great read.   The author has done an amazing job with the characters in the story, from buttoned down, neurotic, facade that is Rachel, to the carefully worded, artfully laid back Kelly, each of them are clearly defined, and importantly, believable.

Throughout the story, I felt as though there was an undercurrent of tension which permeated the story; as integral to it as the bass line is to a piece of music.  This clever writing style has you metaphorically sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the other shoe to drop.

But, don't expect all your questions to be answered.  Oh no.  As the reader, you are not privy to the secrets shared between Rachel and Kelly, not for some time at least, and even then not all of them!  Being  drip fed the story through flashback style chapters in my view,  leads you nicely through the tangled history between the characters, without ever spoiling the mood with too much disclosure at any one time..

And the ending?  Well, like Oliver Twist, I immediately asked for more!  Fortunately, I am told that this is the first book in a series of 4.

And so to the score..... a tricky one, if I'm honest, because I'm stuck between two  - B+/A- (Amazon 4*/5*).  I cannot be any clearer.  Why not you read it and make up your own mind?

My Review:
I knew Laura wasn't into writing those sweet "Happily Ever Afters" that I typically read, so I went into this story with an open mind, anticipating drama, a little romance, and possibly a fatality.  What I got was incredible characters, a deep plot, and an overall great story!  And yes, there may have been a dead person or two.  Let me warn you, this book switches back and forth between the past and present as it unveils the story.  I liked that dynamic, but I know some don't, so just an FYI.
     The story pulled me in from the very beginning.  I liked the character Kelly Hill from the very beginning, and the character, Jefferson Williams, not so much.  Kelly is this cool mysterious guy who doesn't let on that he is so perceptive and he protects those he loves.  Rachel is complicated.  I found myself identifying with her as she tried to please those around her and not let others know when she was troubled.  She tried to portray such a mature attitude and put together self, while inside she was screaming for help she didn't know how to ask for.  The relationship between Kelly and Rachel is deep.  I still don't know if I understand their feelings toward one another.  Tourtued is the word that kept coming to my mind as I read their story.  My only complaint would be that as the story progressed, I wanted more clues to what was happening.  I felt mystery of the story was a little drawn out towards the end.  I found myself wanting to skip ahead because I needed to know what was next.
     Good news!  There will be another book in the series and I would consider the ending cliffhangerish (totally not a word, but appropriate).  You walk away satisfied with where the story ends, but craving more. Overall, this is a story I will definitely recommend to others.  Laura Gibson has such a unique way of telling a story that even if you don't like the story, you will walk away knowing that above all else, you read something beautiful.

Find Laura on Facebook:
Twitter: @LGibbers 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Liam's Journey by Heidi McLaughlin

Have you read Heidi McLaughlin's Beaumont Series? If you haven't, you need to! Three hot guys in a band? Yes please! What better way to get started on the series than to purchase Liam's Journey!

Let's met the guys!

FOREVER MY GIRL (The Beaumont Series #1)

MY UNEXPECTED FOREVER (The Beaumont Series, #2) 

FINDING MY FOREVER  (The Beaumont Series, #3) 
LIAM’S JOURNEY by Heidi McLaughlin

JUNE 2014
New Adult Contemporary Romance
The Beaumont Series, #1 and #4 in one book


The journey for Liam begins at eighteen. Having, what many would consider the brightest future, he gives it all up for the unknown.

The bright lights beckon, but hearts break. Liam’s successful, smart and lonely. When a loss hits too close, he puts everything behind him to return home.

To go back means to remember.

To remember means to hurt again.

Lives changed when Liam Westbury left Beaumont and they’ll change again once he returns as Liam Page.

Books 1 & 4 of The Beaumont Series - Together for a limited time only!

Goodreads link:

Author Information

Heidi is the author of USA Today, Digital Book World, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestselling novel, Forever My Girl.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell and two Parakeets.

During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she's writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting court-side during either daughter's basketball games.

Author Links:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Review: A Montana Legacy by Roxanne Rustand

Occasionally I have the opportunity to review a book for a "new to me" author.  I never know exactly what to expect, but I keep an open mind.  When I received Montana Legacy by Roxanne Rustand I assumed that this was just a typical modern day western romance.  While I was right, I also discovered a book I thoroughly enjoyed and an author that I can't wait to read more of!!

A Minneapolis gang avenged police officer Kate Rawlins' testimony against a member with an ambush that killed an innocent teen friend and wounded Kate. Wracked with guilt,she promises a scholarship will be started in honor of the dead teen. Kate just inherited half of her estranged grandfather's ranch. She hopes this will pay the bill for the scholarship, but she must live there for six months to claim her half. Seth Hayward inherits half the ranch, too. He loathes Kate for ignoring her grandfather, who had wanted to see her before he died. Kate only remembers being tossed off the ranch as a child along with her mother, and that her grandfather ignored them ever since.

Is it possible for this city cop and the rugged rancher to ever see eye to eye...and to share the ranch house for the net six months?

This newly revised and updated edition is now a sweet romance, without the original sexual scenes and occasional graphic language. Those who enjoy inspirational fiction and sweeter romances will prefer this version to the original.

My Review:
A Montana Legacy is a perfect, good old fashioned romance.  This is a "Sweet Read", so other than a few kisses, the steam is low.  The story is so well written that I didn't feel the need for it to be any steamier than it was.  The love between Seth and Kate has a slow build up.  You see them as individuals, as friends, as business partners and then embracing the love they can't deny.  I loved Seth from the moment he stopped to see if Kate needed any help when he found her parked on the side of the road.  Kate is independent, a little closed off, but very likable.  Roxanne has such an incredible way of describing her scenes that you can picture it clearly in your mind.  The descriptions in the story are not drawn out with too many details.  They are precise and give just enough information to form the scene in your mind.  Her writing is fluid and I never experienced that lull in the story, or found myself wanting the story to rush along.  The pacing is perfect and the story moves along quickly.  I really thought the story was going to be predictable, and while parts were a little familiar to other stories, Roxanne included enough mystery that kept me guessing until the end.  This is the first story I have read by Roxanne Rustand but it will definitely not be my last.

To purchase Montana Legacy on Amazon:

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cover Reveal: A Safe Place by E.M. Tippetts

 We are thrilled to share this gorgeous cover and excerpt for A Safe Space by E.M. Tippetts!  Let us know what you think and don't forget to add it to your TBR!

Title: A Safe Space
Author: E.M. Tippetts
Age Group: NA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Okay Creations, Sarah Hansen
Release date: July 2014

Everyone needs a safe space.

For Lizzie Warner, that space has always been in front of the camera on her hit show, or on stage to a sold out concert arena. Since before she can remember, she’s been a star, but that may be about to change.

She’s nineteen. Her show has been cancelled and now she’s going to play the lead in a new prime time drama series, but is the world ready to take her seriously, or will she be typecast as the cute tween queen forever?
Her network has decided to be aggressive and has invested millions of dollars in an ad campaign for her show, money she’s not sure she can earn back. Her co-star can’t stand her, and the writing for the show turns out to be poor at best. The only reason Lizzie didn’t walk away from the job offer to begin with is because she’s broke, the victim of a decade of bad money management.

Then there’s Devon, the personal trainer at her gym. Arrogant and abrasive, he’s the last guy she should ever find attractive, but she has a hopeless crush on him anyway, and he doesn’t seem entirely disinterested either. In fact, sometimes he’s downright sweet to her. If only he weren’t an untamable bad boy who uses and dumps women like they’re nothing. Though Lizzie’s friends warn her to stay away, he’s the only person who can create what she needs: a safe space. But is there any way she can break him of his years' long habit of being a user?


As Devon swaggers through the gym, there’s a sweep of female heads turning, like the wake behind a boat in water. He ignores them, though, and comes straight to me.

My mind races, desperate to have a witty response ready for whatever obnoxious, arrogant crack he’s about to make. I avert my eyes from his toned body, flawless complexion, and those piercing hazel eyes. (I never thought of hazel as a piercing color before I met this guy.)

I stand in my designer blouse, jeans, and boots by the exit with my roommate, Kyra, who digs in her purse for her keys, oblivious to his approach. When she looks up, her mouth turns down in a scowl. “Don’t, Devon,” she says.

“Don’t what?” His eyes are wide with innocence and his mouth is curled into its usual smirk.

I draw myself up to my full height, unsure whether I should look right at him defiantly or look away, as if he’s beneath my notice. If this were scene, I think, and he were the male romantic lead… wait, do I want to think of him as the romantic lead? Does that give too much of my hand away? Suffice it to say I’m not navigating this situation with the kind of cool, collected air I aspire to.

“Have a good day, Veronica,” he says to me.

“That,” says Kyra. “Stop calling her that. Lizzie is what we call an actress. The stuff you see her do on television isn’t real. Let me know if I’m throwing too many concepts at you too fast.”

He directs his attention to her.

Now, I think, here’s my chance. I should mock him for watching children’s television (that’s where I played the “Veronica” he’s referring to), or double down on Kyra’s insult about not understanding that I’m an actress. Anything to puncture his ego.

I’ve acted on a show watched by millions of people around the world, sang whole concerts to sold out arena venues, and in front of this one guy, I choke. I cannot string together a coherent insult. My only saving grace is that he isn’t looking at me and doesn’t see my blank and no doubt embarrassed expression.

“Hey, so you said you wanted to know a good app for a pedometer,” he says to Kyra, whipping out his phone and showing her the screen.

The moment for trading insults has passed and I just stand, feeling like a third wheel while my roommate talks to her personal trainer, her silky black ponytail bobbing as he shows her some options.

“All right, bandwrecker?” he jibes.

There, another opportunity. He just insulted Kyra. I should say… something.

“That should be fine, man-whore,” she replies. “Let’s go Lizzie. Hey, you gonna wish Lizzie good luck for her first day on the set of her new show?”

“I’m still not over All About Veronica being cancelled. This is a painful moment for me,” he replies.

“Why do you watch Nickelodeon?” I blurt out.

“It’s quality programming,” he says without missing a beat. “And as your roommate here will tell you, it’s at my intellectual level.” He holds his hand horizontal to the floor, at about waist height. Then with a wink he turns away. “Ladies,” he says to a couple of women ogling him on the gym floor. “May I help you with anything?”

They both giggle and it’s clear they have him pegged for the superficial, commitment adverse player that he is. It’s also clear that he doesn’t mind. His confidence doesn’t diminish, not even a little bit, that’s how sure he is that he can have his way with any girl he wants. From what I’ve seen, he’s right.

Kyra shoots him a withering look behind his back. But that fades as soon as she turns to me. “You ready?”

I shake my head.

“You’ll kill it,” she says, leaning on the door that opens to the parking garage. “You can do this.”

I follow her out and do my best to act confident. A glance over my shoulder reveals that Devon’s paused to watch us leave. I look away fast. He’s a jerk, I tell myself. He’s a user. It doesn’t matter that he’s gorgeous; I work in Hollywood. Gorgeous is normal.

It’s as if there’s always a spotlight on Devon, though. No matter where he is in the room, I can sense him out of the corner of my eye.

Kyra holds out her hand, and we fist bump before we part ways, her to her red Jeep Liberty that she calls “Libby,” and me to the car that waits at the curb. I greet the driver as I climb in the back.

He turns to hand me the half-caff soy latte I requested he pick up on the way, and then we’re off.
I shut my eyes and pinch the bridge of my nose. I can do this. I can do this. The set is a safe space. A safe space. This is the mantra that has worked for me for over a decade. Don’t get me wrong, acting classes and coaching help a lot too, but this was the secret my mother unlocked for me at the very beginning of it all. People respect the set and the stage. There are social rules that prevent them from mocking or laughing. The more relaxed and expressive you can be, the more people respect what you do, provided you’re inside that safe space.

Author bio:

Emily Mah Tippetts writes science fiction as Emily Mah and sweet romance as E.M. Tippetts. A lifelong New Mexican, she lives with her family in Santa Fe, though she's been known to spend years at a time in the UK, her second home. Aside from being a writer, she's been a lawyer and jeweler, and is currently a stay at home mother, polymer clay artist, book designer/formatter, and owner of E.M. Tippetts Book Designs.

Mailing list:
Twitter: (@EMTippetts)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Review: All I Want is You by Toni Blake

Toni Blake’s new heartfelt Coral Cove series brings Blake’s incredible talent of creating a story that’s filled with hope and love. ALL I WANT IS YOU starts off the series with the story of Christy Knight, a character who appeared in her Destiny series. Readers will remember Christy from her encounter with Anna Romo, the heroine of Hall Moon Hill (a 2014 RITA Award Finalist), the last installment in the Destiny series. Christy’s life changed when a horrible fire claimed the lives of her mother and father; she’s left to deal with the aftermath of financial troubles on her own. Christy grew up in the small, cozy town Destiny, Ohio, but she feels her future lies elsewhere. In hopes of figuring out what’s next, she’s decided to move to the city.
Christy and her roommate Bethany are struggling to make ends meet. The beautiful jewelry she creates doesn’t pay the bills. To top it off, Christy’s just found out about her Grandpa Charlie’s own financial troubles and that he may be asked to leave his assisted living home. As his only living relative left, Christy feels it’s up to her to help but she can barely help herself. Bethany thinks it’s time for Christy to grow up and find a guy who’s smart, sexy, and solvent. Though Christy’s hesitant about the plan—she’s a romantic at heart after all—faced with few options she’s willing to give it a shot.
The search spells disaster from day one. Her first date fails before it even starts! She did, however, meet her sexy neighbor Jack DuVall. He’s not quite the man she needs at the moment—if only his blue eyes weren’t so mesmerizing. It seems the rugged handyman fits the first two categories (smart and sexy), but he’s all wrong for her. As Jack helps Christy with small patch-up jobs around the apartment, they develop a friendship. Jack hasn’t been entirely forthcoming, he’s not really just a handyman and he’s nowhere near broke. Wary of trusting others because of a painful past he doesn’t want to revisit, he thinks it’s best to wait before sharing too much information about himself.
Meanwhile, Grandpa Charlie thinks it’s time for Christy to take a break from her day-to-day stresses and get some much needed R&R by visiting him in sunny Coral Cove.  Knowing she’s short on funds, Jack wants to help Christy make the trip happen, but how can he without exposing that he’s actually loaded? He joins her under the pretext of needing a vacation as well, splitting the expenses.  As the long hot days turn into sizzling nights together, Jack can’t deny his reasons for going along are far from noble.
The Coral Cove charm captivates Christy and Jack, and a passionate, loving relationship blossoms. Jack finds he had it all wrong—Christy’s not only gorgeous, but feisty and completely irresistible; after so much heartbreak and let downs Christy feels she finally has someone she can trust. But, when Jack shares secrets he’s been holding back, the relationship is compromised. As they both struggle to find their way back to each other, the quirky seaside town of Coral Cove could prove the perfect place to find a red-hot destiny of their own.

My Review:
Loved this story!  The romance is slow building, the characters are well developed, and the story moves along at a great pace.  Not only did I love Jack and Christy, but I also fell in love with the town and the people. All the supporting characters were so well described, that by the end of the story I felt like I knew them and they had become close friends.   I like how this wasn't your typical insta-love story.  Jack and Christy fought their attraction, and in doing so, they not only fell in love but formed a strong friendship. The side story, of the grandfather's lost true love, was a constant reminder of what can happen when we don't have faith in a love that is found.  If I had to summarize the theme of the story it would be that our faith in love can make us take risks, hope for a better tomorrow, or simply waiting on someone to return to us. A great romance that I will recommend to my readers.  Steamy-ness is moderate and tasteful.

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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

Sunday, June 8, 2014

New Release! INFINITY + ONE by Amy Harmon

INFINITY + ONE by Amy Harmon

When two unlikely allies become two unwitting outlaws, will two unforgettable lovers defy unbeatable odds?
Bonnie Rae Shelby is a superstar. She’s rich. She’s beautiful. She’s impossibly famous. And Bonnie Rae Shelby wants to die.
Finn Clyde is a nobody. He’s broken. He’s brilliant. He’s impossibly cynical. And all he wants is a chance at life.
One girl. One boy. An act of compassion. A bizarre set of circumstances. And a choice – turn your head and walk away, or reach out your hand and risk it all?
With that choice, the clock starts ticking on a man with a past and a girl who can’t face the future, counting down the seconds in an adventure riddled with heartbreak and humor, misunderstanding and revelation. With the world against them, two very different people take a journey that will not only change their lives, but may cost them their lives as well.

Infinity + One is a tale of shooting stars and fame and fortune, of gilded cages and iron bars, of finding a friend behind a stranger’s face, and discovering love in the oddest of places.

He bit back a curse and strode to his truck. Unlocking the door, he tossed his bags in the backseat, climbed in, and slammed the door. He turned the key and backed out resolutely, trying to ignore the fact that she had risen, her hands on her bags, and that her hood had slipped from her head. She didn’t move forward, didn’t call out to him to wait. She just stood there, watching him go. He shifted into drive and made it 100 feet before he let his eyes find her figure in the rear view mirror.
“Unbelievable,” Finn ground out, and slammed the wheel with the palm of his hand. He slowed to a stop. “UNBELIEVABLE!” he reprimanded himself even as he engaged the brake, pushed the door open and lurched out of the idling vehicle. Bonnie still stood with her two duffle bags in her hands, her grandma’s stolen purse on her shoulder, but now her lips were slightly parted, clearly stunned that he’d stopped.
And she wasn’t the only one. Finn felt like he was split right down the middle. The rational part of his brain, the side that ensured his survival and his sanity, was outraged, demanding that he keep driving, while the side of his brain that was connected to his heart and other parts of his body was breathing a sigh of relief that he hadn’t let her get away.
She didn’t move, as if she was sure that the moment she did he would change his mind, climb back in the Blazer, and drive away. So he walked back to her, battling with himself every step of the way. He walked until they were practically toe to toe, her dark eyes wide and lifted to his, his hands shoved into his pockets so he wouldn’t strangle her. But his pockets felt like manacles around his wrists and he yanked them free, fisting them in the front of Bonnie’s puffy pink coat and raising her up on her toes and into him until they weren’t toe to toe any longer but nose to nose. His emotions were a big tangled ball of anger, longing, and injustice all wrapped up in impatient outrage, and Finn couldn’t separate one feeling from another. So he did the only thing he could do. He kissed her.
It wasn’t a soft kiss or a sweet kiss. It was a ‘you-scared-me-and-messed-with-me-and-I’m-mad-and-relieved-and-unbelievably-frustrated’ kind of kiss. It was teeth and lips and nipping and bruising, and Finn couldn’t make himself stop, even when Bonnie’s teeth tugged at his lower lip and her hands pulled at his hair. Especially then. And when she wrapped her arms around his neck and stepped up onto his toes so that she could press herself flush against him, he decided revenge really was sweet, and enjoyed the feel of her face against his, the wet heat of her mouth making him forget he was standing in the middle of a Motel 6 parking lot with his ride rumbling behind him, the driver side door still hanging wide open. The rational part of his brain was stunned into peaceful silence…for all of ten seconds.

Purchase Link:  Amazon:

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About The Author
Amy Harmon knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story.
Amy Harmon has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called “What I Know” – also available on Amazon and wherever digital music is sold. She has written five novels, Running Barefoot, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue, Making Faces and most recently, Infinity + One.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Dare by Rachel Van Dyken

Boring Beth Lynn has always lived up to her nickname… until she wakes up in a hotel bed next to a sexy as sin state senator she re-connected with at a wedding the previous night.

The biggest problem? She can't seem to remember anything about the night before except for crying into a box of cookies, and she’s pretty sure Grandma Nadine slipped something in her drink. And what should have been a one night stand turns into a six day adventure when Grandma whisks them off to Hawaii to save them from the ensuing media firestorm.

Jace isn't looking for commitment — he believes he made that clear when he left the wedding with Beth. Then again, he can't remember much of anything other than the way her skin felt beneath his hands. Now he's stuck with her at some lame couple’s retreat and trying his hardest to fight the attraction only a woman like Beth could invoke.

He doesn’t think it can get any worse.

But one spider attack… A donkey ride from hell… And an unfortunate episode with Viagra tea — and there’s one thing Jace knows for sure: He should never have agreed to Grandma Nadine’s suggestion in the first place.
Because if this isn’t paradise, and it isn’t a vacation — that only leaves one option.


But to make it through alive… they might lose their hearts in the process.





Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!

You can follow her writing journey at


The #1 New York Times bestseller...

"I have a proposition for you." Kacey should have run the minute those words left Seattle millionaire Jake Titus's mouth. It's been years since Kacey's seen her childhood friend Jake, but the minute Jake mentions his ill grandmother, Kacey is ready to do anything for the sweet old woman. And if that means pretending they're engaged for her sake-so be it.

But Kacey wasn't counting on Jake's older brother Travis still being there. She calls him "Satan" for a reason: she's never forgotten the way he teased and taunted her. Yet when they meet again, Travis's gorgeous smile is a direct hit to her heart . . . and Kacey's more confused than ever. As the days pass, only one thing starts to become alarmingly clear-she never should have accepted Jake's deal ...

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, THE BET


Lose a bet, lose your heart...

What is it about a junior-high crush that can send an otherwise intelligent woman into a tailspin? TV reporter Char Lynn wishes she knew. Jake Titus is too rich, too handsome, too arrogant: a trifecta that once lured Char into the best night-and worst morning-after-of her life. Now they've been thrown together in a wedding party. It's awkward, but survivable . . . until Jake stops acting like a jerk, and starts acting like the man she'd always hoped he could be.

If watching your brother marry your best friend is weird, being attracted to your best friend's other best friend is downright bizarre. Unfortunately for Jake, Char hasn't forgotten how he once tossed her aside. Worse still, Jake's already-nutty grandma is even crazier about Char. Cue meet-cute shenanigans and all manner of meddling, and somehow, Jake's falling. For Char. Now all he has to do is make her believe it . . .