Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Bring in the New Year with This Victorian Cozy Mystery!

Victorian class lines are crossed when cook Kat Holloway is drawn into a murder that reaches all the way to the throne.

Highly sought-after young cook Kat Holloway takes a position in a Mayfair mansion and soon finds herself immersed in the odd household of Lord Rankin. Kat is unbothered by the family’s eccentricities as long as they stay away from her kitchen, but trouble finds its way below stairs when her young Irish assistant is murdered.




Intent on discovering who killed the helpless kitchen maid, Kat turns to the ever-capable Daniel McAdam, who is certainly much more than the charming delivery man he pretends to be. Along with the assistance of Lord Rankin’s unconventional sister-in-law and a mathematical genius, Kat and Daniel discover that the household murder was the barest tip of a plot rife with danger and treason—one that’s a threat to Queen Victoria herself.
Death Below Stairs
Kat Holloway Mysteries #1
Jennifer Ashley
Pub Date: 1/2/18
Berkley Books
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 5/5
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

The first in a new series from Jennifer Ashley, Death Below Stairs puts readers in the life of a 29-year-old Victorian cook. Kat Holloway is a fierce and passionate woman who makes her living cooking for wealthy homeowners. Her most recent post is suitably situated and she thinks she couldn't do better. Until she starts her second day of work by finding a dead body in her larder, that is.

I don't read a lot of historical mysteries, but Death Below Stairs is one that makes me think I've been missing out. I felt like I was reading the diary of a real Victorian cook and transported to that time and place. I loved every minute of it! Kat is such a lively character and when Daniel McAdam comes around she practically jumps off the pages. Their chemistry is obvious, but Kat would rather insist he tell all his secrets rather than allow herself to be charmed. Surprise of all surprises, this fast-moving mystery has a bit of action to complement the drama. When Kat stumbles upon a Fenian conspiracy that could cause harm to the Queen she unites with various, and quite eccentric, characters to save the day.

Kat's voice is unique in the way she tells the story as if she's speaking to you personally. She has a friendly, inviting tone that I was helpless to resist. Death Below Stairs is a fun cozy mystery that might leave you craving a giant slice of seedcake, but at least your craving for mystery will be satisfied!
*ARC received via First to Read*

The Series so Far:
                                            Available Now  JANUARY 2018   JULY 2018
 
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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Between the Blade and the Heart (Blog Tour)


When the fate of the world is at stake
Loyalties will be tested




As one of Odin's Valkyries, Malin's greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.
Between the Blade and the Heart
Valkyrie Duology #1
Amanda Hocking
Pub Date: 1/2/18
Wednesday Books
Rating: 3/5
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Powell's | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Between the Blade and the Heart is the first in a new duology from one of my favorite YA authors, Amanda Hocking! This story is classic Hocking with a more complex plot and a fantasy world as big as the one found in the Trylle Trilogy.

Malin, Valkyrie-in-training, gets the biggest upset of her life. Her mother and mentor, Marlow, didn't kill the immortal she was assigned. Her actions have caused the slow unwinding of the world as they know it and it's up to Malin and her friends to fix her mother's mistake. As they wade through vicious supernaturals to find their target, signs of someone powerful pulling the strings become apparent.

Between the Blade and the Heart is an intense read that will suck you in with its fierce monsters and even fiercer heroes. Fighting for justice never seemed like so much fun until Malin teams up with her roommate, Oona, a friend from the past, Quinn, and the guy who might be her future, Asher.

This story is suited for an audience a bit older than usual, but it's not too graphic. Just be prepared to find that this duology is darker and steamier than anything that's come before.
*ARC provided in consideration for review*

Pre-order your copy today!


GIVEAWAY:

Enter to win a paperback of Between the Blade and the Heart.

Rules: 1 winner. US Residents only. No purchase necessary to enter. Giveaway closes on January 9th,  2018 11:59pm. Winner will be selected January 10th and contacted. Winner's info will be forwarded to the publisher in order to receive the prize.

About Amanda Hocking:

Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Friday, December 22, 2017

This Cowboy Novel Stole My Heart

It takes true grit to build a billion-dollar dynasty like the Ford family ranch. But when it comes to finding love, all it takes is one handsome cowboy to steal a woman’s heart in Cowboy Stole My Heart by Soraya Lane.

SHE’S RIDING SOLO
As one of the heirs to the River Ranch fortune, Mia Ford is practically Texas royalty. But that doesn’t mean she’s some pampered princess. She can saddle up and ride a horse as well as any man, even a hard-working cowboy like Sam Mendes. For years, she’s harbored a crush on the strong, silent horseman. But how can she make a move when she’s his boss?

HE’S TAKING THE REINS
Sam Mendes is through with love—or so he thought. Still recovering from a breakup, he’s doing everything in his power to resist Mia Ford. It’s bad enough she’s the kind of beauty who drives men wild with desire.
It’s even worse she’s got him so worked up, aching to kiss her lips, when he’s supposed to be working her ranch. Is this lovestruck cowboy willing to risk losing his job—and breaking his heart—to win the girl of his dreams?

Cowboy Stole My Heart
River Ranch #1
Soraya Lane
Pub Date: 1/2/18
St. Martin's Press
Genre: Western Romance
Rating: 5/5
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Soraya Lane's Cowboy Stole My Heart is for the reader who wanted to grow up to be a cowgirl, fall in love with a cowboy and spend everyday riding horses. If your dream didn't come true at least you can live vicariously through Mia Ford!

Mia's dad enlists the help of horse whisperer, Sam Mendes, to help tame an out of control stallion. While Mia is in charge of the horses on her home ranch, she doesn't like Sam strolling in and taking charge of Tex. The two clash over unfavorable first impressions, but soon find a way to work together. This is yet another cowboy romance where our hero and heroine aren't madly in love with each other from the get-go and I am absolutely enjoying it. I start reading and wait in suspense for that moment when it all changes. In some books, it's pretty quick but in others, it takes a while for them to see the light and decide it's better to stop fighting and start kissing.

The connection that Mia and Sam have with horses is genuine and makes me want to find the nearest horse farm. I love stories with characters who have deep bonds with animals because that kindness extends to other characters. They seem more real and down to earth and Sam and Mia exceed those expectations. If you loved Kate Pearce's The Bad Boy Cowboy you'll enjoy Cowboy Stole My Heart!
*ARC provided in consideration for review*

The Series:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Another Amazing Lori Foster Novel!

Ready or not…love will find a way

Single dad Hogan Guthrie is getting his life back on track, and working as the "barbecue master" at a local diner is just a temporary detour. He and restaurant owner Violet Shaw constantly butt heads…until one night they end up mingling other parts instead. Hogan thought he had the recipe for happiness all figured out. But loyal, carefree Violet is daring him to trust his impulses…and see just how sweet small-town living—and loving—can be.




Nathan Hawley traded his SWAT team credentials for a sheriff's badge, but a gorgeous new neighbor is shaking up his orderly life. Nathan has a hunch there's more to Brooklin Sweet than meets the eye—but given her caution about getting involved, he has his work cut out for him. Still, there's something about the elusive beauty Nathan can't walk away from—and helping her come to terms with her past might pave the way to the future they both secretly long for.
Worth The Wait
Guthrie Brothers #2
Lori Foster
Pub Date: 7/25/17
Harlequin Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5/5
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Lori Foster is an author to be reckoned with. Her stories always pull me in and Worth the Wait was no exception! With two romances packed into one delicious read, you'll be pretty taken with this author as well.

Single dad Hogan Guthrie and restaurant owner Violet Shaw have been circling each other since Hogan became her part-time barbecue master. Violet is one of those fierce, strong and independent women I love to read about, but she just can't resist teasing and tempting Hogan. Nathan Hawley went from a high-action career in SWAT to small town sheriff. When Brookline Sweet moves in next door with all the signs of someone trying to remain unnoticed, he goes into alpha protective mode.

At first I didn't think I would enjoy having to separate romantic story lines. I didn't see how it could work because I'm so used to emotionally investing in one relationship. I didn't have to worry, though, because these two romances are loaded and Lori Foster doesn't miss a beat. Their stories flawlessly intertwine into one amazing plot with a little suspense on the side.

If you're already a fan of Lori Foster, then you know what to expect: awesomeness. If you have yet to try anything by her, this is a great start along with her Body Armor Series.
*Review copy provided in consideration for review*

The Guthrie Brothers Series:

Monday, December 18, 2017

Another Addition to the Morgan Ranch

The Morgan men thought they left their troubled pasts in the dust. But one by one, they find themselves returning to the northern California ranch where the bad times began. Together, they have a chance to forge a new future based on brotherhood, hope, and love . . .

Professional rodeo cowboy “HW” Morgan has finally achieved his dream of competing in the national rodeo finals—but his career has come at a price. His twin brother wants nothing to do with him and a string of hookups haven’t warmed his bed. He’s got to get his head on straight—and the only place to do that is at home, if his family will have him.




Samantha Kelly isn’t sure what she’s doing at a new dude ranch. The army veteran is barely back on her feet again, still struggling to rehab an injury. But she’s willing to give equine therapy a try, even though her riding instructor is bold, brash, and distractingly easy on the eyes. As she and HW warily try to work each other out, slowly and surely an unbreakable trust is built—one on which dreams can be built . . .
The Bad Boy Cowboy
Morgan Ranch #4
Kate Pearce
Pub Date: 12/26/17
Zebra (Kensington Books)
Genre: Western Romance
Rating 5/5
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Kate Pearce returns with another addition to the Morgan Ranch series. HW Morgan decides that it's time for to retire from the rodeo and find his way back home. There's a lot he feels needs to be resolved and this is the perfect opportunity to mend bridges with his father and brothers.

Following his twin brother's footsteps, he hopes to be welcomed back home to help at the family's new dude ranch. Things don't quite go as planned when his oldest brother Chase assigns him to teach a newbie, Samantha Kelly, how to ride a horse. Especially not when his new pupil decides she's happier trying to poke through his smiling facade. Sam, an army veteran and all around kick-butt heroine, is on the dude ranch for vacation as a favor to her friend.

I loved the romance in this story because it's not the ordinary boy meets girl and falls in love kind of story. HW and Sam don't really like each other in the beginning, and they have opposite temperaments, but somehow it works. It's not easy for them to come together and I love that they both had challenges to overcome to meet somewhere in the middle. Sam is scared to let go of her independence and when HW sees her physical and emotional scars he wants to sweep in and protect her.

The drama of the past has left a cloud over the Morgan family. The only way for it to dissipate is for HW to learn some hard truths about the past and to reconcile with their newly found sister. The Bad Boy Cowboy is a western romance with layers that peel away the deeper into the story you get. It is absolutely one to add to your read list as soon as possible!
*ARC provided in consideration for an honest review*

Read the whole series:

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Start of The Profiler Series is Killer!

Terror stalks a small Virginia town.

FBI rising star, criminal profiler Evelyn Baine, knows how to think like a serial killer. But she's never chased anyone like the Bakersville Burier, who hunts young women and displays them, half-buried, deep in the woods. As the body count climbs, Evelyn's relentless pursuit of the killer puts her career - and her life - at risk. And the evil lurking in the Burier's mind may be more than even she can unravel.

Terror is closer than she thinks.


The Bakersville Burier knows he's got an FBI profiler on his trail. He knows who she is and where to find her. And he's biding his time, because he's planned a special punishment for Evelyn. She may have tracked other killers, but he vows to make this her last chase. This time it's her turn to be hunted!
Hunted
The Profiler #1
Elizabeth Heiter
Pub Date: 12/2013
Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Myster, Thriller
Rating: 5/5
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

The first novel of The Profiler series is equal parts intriguing and thrilling. Elizabeth Heiter takes readers into the life of a young profiler who works obsessively to bury the pain of her past.

Evelyn Baine, hard-working and socially awkward, is assigned an important case. She is to help catch a killer who tortures and rapes women, then buries them up to their heads so that they're on display, by providing a profile to the local police force. The profile is tricky and even Evelyn can't quite put all the components together. As the case quickly escalates she realizes that this may be the case that could end her career. Either she'll overwork herself to the point of no return or the killer will turn his sights on her.

Hunted is an amazing story. I knew I was going to like it, but I loved it by the time I finished reading. Evelyn is the kind of character with layers that aren't immediately noticeable. The first things I noticed, though, are that she's strong and values her independence, and is prone to hiding her vulnerabilities. I'm sure as I continue reading the series that there will be more that is revealed about her. Her past plays a large role in the person she is. It's what makes her so focused on becoming a top profiler. She plans to look into the cold case of her childhood friend's disappearance. Especially as new information comes to light that she may have been a target at that time as well.

I love that Hunted takes other perspectives into consideration. I like being privy to the thoughts of the killer and characters surrounding Evelyn. It changes the pacing of the novel so readers won't feel as though they're racing towards the end. It also gives insight into things that Evelyn herself wouldn't be able to convey, like how someone feels about her or the killer's motive.

Even though I got a bit paranoid when reading this story at night, with almost all the lights off, I am excited to read Evelyn's next mystery! I recommend this read for fans of Sandra Brannan's Liv Bergen Mysteries.

Read the series with me!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Dirty Bits from Carina Press For Busy Readers

Carina Press recently introduced 'The Dirty Bits' for readers with a hunger for reading and busy schedules. These micro-romances are designed to be read in an hour or two. I checked out one of their recent releases and they definitely deliver on their promise!


Wrong cabin, right bed. When an unlikely pair find themselves snowed in, the only thing to do is heat up the sheets.

My foot’s barely in the door of the isolated cabin I rented when a naked, gorgeous, dripping wet guy walks out of the bedroom. I may be half-frozen from the storm outside but one look at this mountain man has my blood heating. Too bad the gruff stranger isn’t as pleased with the cabin mix-up as I am.

With the power out and the storm raging, there’s only one way to survive the night: body heat. An innocent cuddle by the fire is the furthest thing from my mind. Once Reid McKenna’s body is pressed against mine—skin on skin, muscle against curves—raw need takes over.



He’s got me hot and bothered, and wanting more.

Tonight, the wind won’t be the only thing howling.

For those times when size does matter. The Dirty Bits from Carina Press: Quick and dirty, just the way we like it.
Sharing Body Heat
Lexie Davis
Pub Date: 11/13/17
Carina Press
Genre: Romance
Rating: 4/5
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

From the new Carina Press Dirty Bits, Sharing Body Heat is an example of a romance packed with so much heat you'll be glad it's compressed into a bite-sized story. Lexie Davis strands two strangers in a cabin in the woods and lets the sparks fly.

Lauren is taking a much needed break from her everyday routine. A cabin in the woods, isolated, is exactly what she wants. Unfortunately, she walks into the wrong cabin and finds herself caught in a snowstorm and stuck with a man who refuses to put on clothes. A few suggestive nudges and Reid gets Lauren to stop denying her attraction to him. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sharing Body Heat is definitely an over the top, sexy romance. Over the top in a good way because it's such a short story you'll want to get as much out of it as possible. It still amazes me how quick the read is without short-changing readers of the full experience. The characters are easy to connect with and by the end of the story you might wonder, obsessively, what becomes of them in the future.

Definitely pick up a copy of Sharing Body Heat the next time you want a quick and sexy read!
*ARC provided in consideration for a review*

More of The Dirty Bits from Carina Press: