Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ready for a Romantic Adventure? Meet the Wilde Thing! (Review)

The Wilde brothers are addicted to the rush of adventure. But one of them is about to learn no matter how often you look for danger, you don't want danger finding you.

For extreme skier Tripp Wilde, pushing the limits is what he lives for. Unfortunately, the inherent risk takes a toll on his body. After an injury sidelines him, he ends up in the care of his little sister's best friend, physical therapist Hannah Ryder—who has grown up in all the right ways since they last met.

Hannah doesn't mix business with pleasure, even though she harbored a maddening crush on the irresistible Tripp years before. So, while Tripp tries every slick maneuver he knows to bed her, Hannah uses her own moves to keep the hotshot skier cooled off while trying to control her own growing desire for him.

After the pair witness what they think may be a murder on the slopes, along with the men responsible, no one believes their story. But when a series of unlikely accidents suggests they are being targeted, the two will have to trust in each other like never before if they are going to survive.
Wilde Thing
Born to Be Wilde #3
Jannine Gallant
Pub Date: 2/28/17
Lyrical Press (Kensington Books)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Amazon | B&N

Romance is a vast genre and I'm grateful for authors, like Jannine Gallant, who offer fresh new reads.

Wilde Thing, for instance, is a romantic suspense set in the world of extreme winter sports. Tripp Wilde is a top skier who lives on the edge. When he's injured during a competition Hannah Ryder offers to take charge of his physical therapy. Against her better judgement, Hannah is willing to ignore the stirrings of her old attraction to help Tripp get back on top. In the course of their time together they manage to work into an easy routine. An afternoon out on the slopes where they believe they witnessed a murder is the first crack in their new bond.

There's a killer on the loose and Hannah and Tripp may know who it is. Little accidents turn into pointed attempts at their lives. They often discussed whether someone was after them, or whether they imagined it, which made the story feel stilted. When characters take action over doubt the plot feels more directed. Gallant ramps up the suspense and doesn't forget about the romance. The danger surrounding them forces Tripp and Hannah to rely and trust in each other. Which means they must reevaluate their perspectives. The romance of the novel was definitely on parr with usual romance reads.

Wilde Thing is the third book in the Born to be Wilde series and I fell into it with no trouble. No need to fear if you haven't read the previous two books. This story is all about Tripp Wilde's journey to love and features familiar characters from the series.
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*

Monday, January 30, 2017

Kissed by the Rain (Review)

This wildly romantic novel from the author of Apricot Kisses proves that the recipe for love sometimes needs just a dash of the unexpected—and the magic of the Scottish Highlands.

Josefine Sonnenthal has it all under control. A successful lawyer with a sensible fiancé and big plans for marriage and children, she is sure that everything in her life is going according to plan.

But without a very important family ring—one that may possess mystical powers to doom or bless Josefine’s impending marriage—there will be no wedding. And that’s why she finds herself on a plane heading to Scotland with her two eccentric great aunts, desperately searching for a wayward cousin who holds the coveted heirloom.

When Josefine finds herself in one near-disaster after another along the Highlands countryside, she repeatedly crosses paths with the handsome but notoriously moody confectioner, Aidan Murray. Enchanted by her lush new surroundings, she tries to resist his rugged charm, but soon she begins to question everthing. Does having a plan really mean having it all together? Or could this unexpected love be the best plan yet?

Kissed by the Rain
Claudia Winter; Maria Poglitsch Bauer (Translator)
Pub Date: 2/7/17
Genre: Romance
Amazon | B&N

Claudia Winter's Kissed by the Rain is a fun romance translated by Maria Poglitsch Bauer. If you loved the movie Leap Year (Amy Adams, Matthew Goode), this will definitely strike your fancy. Bauer chooses the right words to convey this story and make it enjoyable and unforgettable.

Josefine Sonnenthal is all set to marry her colleague, who is Jo's definition of perfect. However, the precious family ring that every bride in her family should wear is missing and without it she can't get married. If she gets married without the ring her marriage is destined for doom. When she finds that her troublesome cousin took the ring and ran off with her boyfriend to Scotland, the adventure begins in earnest. Scotland seems to be a reflection of Josefine's inner turmoil. Everything that could go wrong, goes wrong. It's constantly rainy and the ridiculously handsome man, who tried to crash her plane with a cell phone, seems to be following her around. Add to that her twin great-Aunts tag along for the ride with their constant bickering.

Kissed by the Rain is an emotional rollercoaster with a comedic edge. Jo is as stubborn as they come and she forges ahead with her plans no matter what. Walking around in an ugly oversized sweater doesn't slow her down, and neither does Aidan Murray. It seems fate has its own ideas about Jo and Aidan and steps in every now and then to bring them together.

Josefine wasn't always the most upstanding character throughout the novel, but her journey to Scotland opened her eyes to a better way of living. It brought her a better understanding of herself and her family. Kissed by the Rain is not a superficial romance, but one that will fill your reading experience with laughter and joy.
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*


Friday, January 27, 2017

The Pool of Souls Duology Ends with Secret of the Souls (Review)

Thrust out of their homes by a human High Priest on a vengeful mission, the Natives of Derlund no longer have a place to call their own. One escaped capture, however, and now she, Hyla, is the only one who can save her people.

For, Hyla, though, saving her nation isn’t her ultimate goal—returning to the Pool of Souls is. Becoming its Guardian and preserving their faith is her heart’s desire. The perils of her current journey, though, could leave her unable to fulfill that dream.

To find her way back to the Pool, Hyla must live among dangerous, powerful humans willing to defend the Natives, and must submit herself—her Talents—to them. While her protection is paramount, plots to end Hyla’s life will push her to her physical and emotional limits.
On the edge of sanity, her courage tested, and convictions nearly broken, Hyla’s final test of loyalty to her faith comes with the death of one she could have loved.
Secret of the Souls
Pool of Souls #2
Terri Rochenski
Pub Date: 1/23/17
Roane Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Amazon | Smashwords | Bookstrand

The second novel in the Pool of Souls duology by Terri Rochenski was not the exciting end I was expecting, but I was definitely wrong about not anticipating any surprises along the way.

In Secret of the Souls, Hyla has agreed to return to Grosmont with Jadon. She wants to save him from being hanged for abandoning his post and the only way is for her to help the king in the coming war. Loyalties are tested and the Natives striving to find freedom from their oppressors are becoming strained. Conlin is working himself to the bone to spy on the High Priest Belwig and keep ahead of his plans.

Where the first book, Eye of the Soul, seemed longer and more of a world-building story Secret of the Souls is fast-paced and almost rushed. This story didn't have to have an immediate resolution if the climax was going to be forced and quickly moved around. I never usually socialize fantasy with happily ever afters, unless it's also a romance novel, but this seemed to almost fall into that category. Lives are lost on both sides of the conflict, but the heroes of the novel come out on top.

I stand by my initial judgement of the duology. Pool of Souls is a welcome for readers who haven't yet fallen in love with the fantasy genre, or want to explore other facets of the genre. It's lively, easy to read and features a determined heroine!
*Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Kristan Higgins Dazzles and Delights Readers With Latest Treasure: On Second Thought (Blog Tour Review)

Following in the footsteps of her critically acclaimed novel If You Only Knew, multi-bestselling author Kristan Higgins returns with a pitch-perfect look at the affection—and the acrimony—that binds sisters together. 

Ainsley O'Leary is so ready to get married—she's even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn't anticipate is for Eric to blindside her with a tactless breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her half sister, Kate, who's already struggling after the sudden loss of her new husband.

Kate has always been so poised, so self-assured, but Nathan's death shatters everything she thought she knew—including her husband—and sometimes the people who step up aren't the ones you expect. With seven years and a murky blended-family dynamic between them, Ainsley and Kate have never been overly close, but their shared sorrow dovetails their faltering worlds into one.

Despite the lifetime of history between them, the sisters must learn to put their differences aside and open their hearts to the inevitable imperfection of family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.
On Second Thought
Kristan Higgins
Pub Date: 1/31/17
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Women's Fiction, Romance
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

On Second Thought is the first novel by Kristan Higgins I have ever read and I am impressed! Not only does she tell a good story, but she invokes lasting emotions from her readers. This heartwarming story reaches down to the depths of your mind and finds a place to rest. You will not be able to get it out of your head once you've finished reading.

Kate's husband suddenly dies at a party celebrating her half-sister's boyfriend's cancer free status. It seems like she waited for a long time for someone like Nathan and they had hardly even began their time together before it ended. In the aftermath, Kate struggles to deal with the grief and Eric breaks up with Ainsley. The two half-sisters find their way to each other and end up helping each other through the pain with surprising results.

Though it took tragedy and heartbreak for the sisters to overcome the chasm that kept them from truly knowing each other, their blossoming bond set the tone for the novel. There's a sense of hope that permeates the plot and keeps you looking for the bright side of the characters' situations. Kristan Higgins is clever in a way that brings a story to life and makes it feel like you're reading someone's personal account.

The characters are down to earth and so eager to jump off the pages of the book. They're all so vibrant even when life doesn't look good for them at the moment. There is absolutely no reason to miss out on reading On Second Thought. It will make you rethink your idea of romance for the year to come, and I guarantee most other books will pale in comparison.
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*

About the Author:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA® Award, Kristan lives with her family in a small Connecticut town that boasts a wonderful library, a great agricultural fair, a really good ice-cream stand and not much else. She is the mother of two lovely kids and the wife of a brave firefighter who is also (perhaps more important) a fantastic cook.

Previously a copywriter, Kristan began writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous afternoon naps. Writing, she found, was infinitely more satisfying than folding laundry, and so began her first novel. Kristan holds a BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross, which means she can identify dangling participles, quote many great novels and play a mean game of Scrabble. 

Kristan is an award-winning baker, devoted fan of the New York Yankees and an avid reader. She and her crew spend as much time as possible at the family home on Cape Cod, where they shiver in the Atlantic, ride bikes, swat horseflies and don’t catch any fish.  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Turbulent Waters (Review)

A daring pilot finds himself in danger of losing his heart.

Coast Guard pilot Nick Armstrong savors the taste of danger. But after his helicopter crashes into the ocean during a mission, shattering his knee, he encounters a whole different type of thrill when he meets his new physical therapist. Maybe being grounded isn’t so bad after all.

Smart, sexy, and deeply guarded, Chloe Reynolds is the type of woman who drives Nick crazy for all the right reasons. But as she tries to help him heal, Chloe struggles to keep her heart—and secrets—safe.

For years, she has been told that Nick is responsible for her brother’s death, a “fact” that she slowly learns may not contain the entire truth.

But can Chloe’s growing feelings for Nick, and their undeniable chemistry, really overcome a years-long family feud? Or will the past ultimately destroy the future they both desperately want?
Turbulent Waters
Billionaire Aviators #3
Melody Anne
Pub Date: 2/7/17
Montlake Romance
Genre: Romance
Amazon | B&N

The third book of Melody Anne's Billionaire Aviators series is nothing if not a steamy, turbulent love story. Turbulent Waters packs a strong emotional punch as Nick Armstrong finally falls for one woman and that woman is out to destroy him.

While out on a rescue mission, Nick's helicopter goes down. He's the only survivor when his team is lost in the storm. Chloe Reynolds is called in to help him rehabilitate his damaged body. Little does he know that her father also wants her to spy on him. There's a history that has caused her father to deeply hate the Armstrong family and after the accident kills his son, Chloe's brother, he wants revenge.

Nick and Chloe take the prize for most dramatic relationship. From the moment they meet, it's a battle of wills between the two of them. The majority of the plot is centered around their tremulous relationship. While helping Nick recuperate, Chloe is also deciding whether or not he was truly the cause of her brother's death. The more she learns about him, the less she wants to help her father destroy Nick. The plot is driven by the characters, but I still wished there was a little more to it than Nick and Chloe circling each other. Maybe if the pending lawsuit against Nick or the feud between Chloe's dad and the Armstrongs was put more at the forefront, I think the story would have been a little more interesting and balanced.

I wasn't crazy about the opening of the story where the brothers are focused on their youngest sibling.  Turbulent Waters is solely about Nick in the aftermath of his accident. Ace isn't featured in this story and no one makes a move to go find him, so it's misleading while also setting the plot for the next book in the series. I hadn't been following this series before, but I am actually interested to read Ace's story, which sounds much more promising.
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*

Previous Review: Adrift by Micki Browning

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Beginning of an Intense Mystery Series: Adrift (Review)

In this breathtaking mystery debut, marine biologist–turned-divemaster Meredith Cavallo stands accused of a chilling crime after a dive gone wrong. But do the murky circumstances point to an accident, a murder, or a supernatural encounter?

Mer thought adjusting to a laid-back life in the Florida Keys would be a breeze. But when she rescues a floundering diver who claims to have seen a ghost, she's caught in a storm of intrigue. News of the encounter explodes on social media, attracting a team of ghost hunters who want to capture proof that a greenish ghoul haunts Key Largo's famed USS Spiegel Grove shipwreck.

Meredith knows the wreck inside and out, and agrees to act as their safety diver. When Ishmael, the charismatic leader of the group, vanishes during a midnight dive, everyone except Mer is convinced the ghost has claimed another victim. Topside, the tenacious detective in charge of the investigation finds Mer's involvement in both incidents suspicious, and her enigmatic neighbor resurrects ghosts from her past.

Determined to find a rational explanation, Mer approaches Ishmael's disappearance as any scientist would—by asking questions, gathering data, and deducing the truth. But the victim's life is as shrouded in mystery as his disappearance. Still, something happened under the water and before long, she's in over her head. When someone tries to kill her, she knows the truth is about to surface. Maybe dead men do tell tales after all.
A Mer Cavallo Mystery #1
Micki Browning
Pub Date: 1/10/17
Alibi (RandomHouse Publishing Group)
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Amazon | B&N

Adrift is the first in what is sure to be an intense mystery series. Micki Browning introduces marine biologist Mer Cavallo who is caught between science and the supernatural in this thrilling read.

When she rescues a drowning diver who claims to have seen a ghost among the ruins of the Spiegel Grove shipwreck, Mer is confronted with a shaken foundation. Could everything she believes about science and the facts of the world be upturned based on one mans claim? She wholeheartedly disbelieves his story until she goes out with a team of ghost hunters as their safety diver. Mer is determined to find out whether she truly saw something out of the ordinary the night of the dive or if there is a logical explanation.

Though Mer is a marine biologist, the story isn't necessarily about her knowledge of cephalopods. She throws out some facts about octopuses here and there, but the plot isn't directly linked to marine biology. It saves readers the boredom of having to read through pages of some kind of information dump. Adrift strikes the perfect balance of creepy and intriguing. Then there's a little romance thrown in the mix that adds an element of drama to the plot. Mer is intelligent and it shows in the way she approaches the impossible mystery laid before her. However, she has a hard time maneuvering through social normalcies which makes her more relatable. She may not know how to read emotions in other people, but she sure knows how to solve a mystery.

I'm eagerly anticipating the next book in the series, because the way Adrift ends is totally unfair! However, I must admit that the abrupt ending has enhanced my desire for more.
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*

Monday, January 23, 2017

Blog Tour: The Devil's Daughter (Review)

FBI agent, Eden Collins is going home... to catch a killer. Fans of Audey Harte’s It Takes One and Kendra Elliott's Bone Secrets series, will devour The Devil’s Daughter, the fast-paced and suspenseful first book, in the Hidden Sins series by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Katee Robert.

Growing up in a small town isn’t easy, especially when you’re the daughter of a local cult leader. Ten years ago, Eden Collins left Clear Springs, Montana, and never once looked back. But when the bodies of murdered young women surface, their corpses violated and marked with tattoos worn by her mother’s followers, Eden, now an FBI agent, can’t turn a blind eye. To catch the killer, she’s going to have to return to the fold.

Sheriff Zach Owens isn’t comfortable putting Eden in danger, even if she is an elite agent. And he certainly wasn’t expecting to be so attracted to her. As calm and cool as she appears, he knows this can’t be a happy homecoming. Zach wants to protect her—from her mother, the cult, and the evil that lurks behind its locked gates. But Eden is his only key to the tight-lipped group, and she may just be closer to the killer than either one of them suspects…
The Devil's Daughter
Hidden Sins #1
Katee Robert
Pub Date: 1/24/17
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Amazon | B&N

I've been eager to read something from Katee Robert for a while now and The Devil's Daughter was definitely the right choice! Mystery and romantic suspense blends into a read that will keep readers up all night. The first novel in the Hidden Sins series is a showstopper.

Eden Collins returns home to help, unofficially, in a case that is sure to lead back to her mother's cult. As an FBI agent she's willing to put her experience and skills to use. Sheriff Zach Owens is at first suspicious of Eden, thinking maybe coming back to Clear Springs, Colorado is part of an elaborate ruse to deflect his attention away from Elysia. Eden escaped the cult as soon as she turned 18 and is less than enthusiastic to relive the horrors of her childhood. But, young girls are showing up dead and it may be the killer's way of drawing Eden back to Elysia.

The Devil's Daughter is one thriller that you do not want to miss. Between Zach and Eden I don't know who made the story the most appealing. They both had dominant personalities that made the other think differently and both had pasts that forged the strength readers will see. Not only is the mystery complicated enough to keep you guessing, but the depth of darkness will drag chills down your spine. Just when I thought I knew who the killer was, the story takes me by surprise. That's always a plus in any book!

I'm so happy that this is only the beginning of a series. I can't imagine what comes next, but I look forward to reading more from Katee Robert!

*ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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About Katee Robert:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Instagram

Organized by Barclay Publicity


Thursday, January 19, 2017

My Not So Perfect Life (Review)

Part love story, part workplace drama, this sharply observed novel is a witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world. New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella has written her most timely novel yet.

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she's desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the truth.

My Not So Perfect Life
Sophie Kinsella
Pub Date: 2/7/17
The Dial Press (Random House)
Genre: Women's Fiction
Amazon | B&N

My Not So Perfect Life is the type of witty chick lit one would expect from bestselling author Sophie Kinsella. The deliverance is wholly human and sure to tickle readers all over!

I will admit that this is my first Sophie Kinsella novel, ever, and I almost didn't keep reading it. It took a minute to get in sync with Katie's voice and understand what kind of person Katie is and boy was she annoying! However, as I continued reading I realized that Katie is as human as we all are and prone to pretending that life is perfect through the rose colored filters of social media. Katie is struggling to make it in London. Her commute is abominable and her living arrangement is less than stellar. According to her dream, though, it's all worthwhile. Her boss Demeter has a seemingly picture perfect life, from the top job to the family, and Katie wants to be like her. Her hero worship is part of what makes her so annoying at the beginning of the story, because of course no one is that great in real life! When Demeter insensitively fires her it's the last straw and Katie finally gets a clue.

That's where the story took a turn for the better. I could really see that the story is written in a way that allows the reader to see Katie's flaws and see her attempt to learn from her naivety. She spends time at her childhood home, helping to turn it into a glamping destination, while trying desperately to find a new job. At this point in the novel I actually felt more eager to finish it. Demeter arrives at Anster Farms with her family and throws Katie off balance. The story becomes more comedic and moves a bit faster at this point.

Sophie Kinsella knows how to tell a story that manages to engage laughter and tears. This is the book to read whenever you need a good laugh and a hard hitting reality check!
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*

Previous Review: Sugar by Kimberly Stuart

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Big Dose of Sugar to Brighten Your Day (Review)

After realizing her coworkers at L’Ombre, a high-profile restaurant in NYC, will never appreciate or respect her, Charlie Garrett allows her ex-boyfriend, Avery Michaels, to convince her to work for him as executive pastry chef at his new Seattle hotspot, Thrill. She’ll have her own kitchen, her own staff—everything she ever wanted professionally.

When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realizes that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realizes that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.

The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.

Sugar is a contemporary romance, set in the high-pressure commercial kitchens of New York and Seattle. A funny and clever story of how a female chef learns to thrive in the ruthless world of premier restaurants.
Kimberly Stuart
Pub Date: 2/7/17
Skyhorse Publishing
Genre: Romance
Amazon | B&N

Sugar is the ingenious new novel from author Kimberly Stuart. Charlie Garrett is a young pastry chef striving to become the head of her own pastry kitchen. After 5 long years grueling at L'Ombre, under whacky French chef Felix, Charlie is convinced by an ex to move to Seattle and work at Thrill. What he doesn't tell her though, is that her job comes with a spot on a reality show.

The producer of the show tells Charlie that it'll boost her career and send her to the top. The move to Seattle hands her the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance at romance. Can she learn to balance her work life with her personal life? Or is the pressure too much to handle? Kimberly Stuart surely hits the right balance of drama and sweet, sweet romance! Kai and Charlie are a match made in chef's heaven. They both analyze their food down to the spice and have a passion for creating in the kitchen. I loved how they had a natural instant connection.

Charlie is a very determined and persistent character that you can't help but admire. She gets so caught up in her world of perfecting her desserts that she doesn't put her friends first. She's an extreme workaholic who doesn't see disaster looming right around the corner. Readers will see her struggle with newfound fame and the headache that comes along and wish to step in and save her from herself. A little humor takes root in the plot as Charlie navigates the drama of the workplace and brings life to the story. It's genuine humor that makes you laugh out loud while being simultaneously engrossed in the outcome of the plot.

Sugar is a story I can see myself reading again on a gloomy day that needs a little something to brighten it. It just had that kind of effect on me. I recommend this to readers who like their romance with a little humor and a lot of sweet!

*eARC provided via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*


Monday, January 16, 2017

Lord Sebastian's Secret (Review)

A Passionate and Whimsical Regency Tale from Bestselling Author Jane Ashford 

Will the secrets that brought them together tear them apart? 

Proud. Cunning. Battle-hardened. Lord Sebastian Gresham is the epitome of military might and excellence. He’s wealthy. The son of a Duke. There’s just one problem: he can’t read. It’s a secret he’ll never tell, certainly not to his new bride-to-be. 

Brilliant. Witty. Gorgeous. Lady Georgina Stane has always known she’d make the perfect bride, that is, if her eccentric family didn’t scare off every potential suitor from London to Bath. After carefully orchestrating a London season with her parents out of the picture, she secured an engagement to an impeccable gentleman. And when Lord Sebastian arrives at her family’s estate to meet her parents, she’s not about to let their antics ruin her perfect marriage.

But what happens when these two learn that some secrets aren’t so easy to keep?
Lord Sebastian's Secret
The Duke's Sons #3
Jane Ashford
Pub Date: 1/3/17
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Romance (Regency/Historical)
Amazon | B&N

Jane Ashford's regency romance series, The Duke's Sons, continues in Lord Sebastian's Secret. Sebastian Gresham is prepared to marry Georgina Stane, the young heiress he met during the past London season. At Stane Castle though, Sebastian and Georgina face secrets and a quirky family that threatens their relationship.

The story itself was not as exciting as I thought it would be, but it had some moments of levity that set it apart from other regency novels I've read. While some are stuffy and focus more on setting the scene through lengthy descriptions and fancy dialogue, Lord of Secrets is quite the opposite. The story is very character based, so all the attention is on Georgina and Sebastian, and Georgina's quirky family. The Stane family is quite unconventional and a threat to the marriage. Georgina is worried that Sebastian will be turned off by them, but Sebastian is hiding a secret that he believes will cause Georgina to regret their pending nuptials.

Georgina and Sebastian were so obviously into each other from the very outset of the novel, so their doubts and insecurities about the marriage started to feel repetitive. If I as the reader felt doubts about their relationship I think it would have added some suspense to the story, but it was really plain how the story would play out. The road to get there, littered with obstacles from various members of the household, is another matter entirely. From pugnacious pugs to an obstinate father obsessed with reincarnation, something comes between Georgina and Sebastian over and over again.

After a certain point in the novel I felt like I was reading just to get to the end. I didn't expect any surprises, but sometimes when you start a novel it's easier to just finish it. Maybe the fourth book in the series, Nothing Like a Duke, will be a little more wild and unpredictable.

*eARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Friday, January 13, 2017

Release Blitz: Eye of the Soul (Review + Giveaway)


That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason. Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.

Or so she believes.

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on. Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.

Eye of the Soul
Pool of Souls #1
Terri Rochenski
Pub Date: 1/9/17
Roane Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Amazon | B&N | Createspace | Smashwords | Bookstrand

The first in a republished duology, Pool of Souls, is light fantasy for readers new to the genre or looking for a quick jaunt in a mystical world. Eye of the Soul follows a young girl on a journey that turns her whole world upside down.

In Terri Rochenski's Eye of the Soul, young Hyla is quested with saving her people. The 'Natives', green eyed with pointy ears, are taken captive by high priest Belwig who has declared their god Fadir is false. In the aftermath, they're all taking captive except for Hyla. She's tasked with going to the Pool of Souls, a place that her people are unaware of because many of them have stopped truly believing in their ancestral beliefs. War is on the brink and Hyla may be the key to saving many lives. It was ironic that the Natives are persecuted for their differences yet many have lost faith. They are scared to even acknowledge the few who are aware that they possess special gifts, like Hyla's ability to perceive the deeper emotions of one's soul and Conlin who can travel his soul to great distances.

As I read I felt myself transported to Hyla's world. Though most of her time was spent on the road I still got the impression of a medieval like setting. The style of dress and language added to the world building. True to form, the story takes on various points of views. From the evil mastermind Belwig to innocent Hyla readers get a rich story. It has themes similar to one of my favorite fantasy novels, Valor of the Healer by Angela Highland. I've always found value in stories that begin with an innocent girl starting off on a journey and hopefully coming out on the the other side of it stronger and more confident in her convictions.

I'm very curious to see where this series goes. The setup of the plot and the style of writing doesn't seem to leave room for surprises, but I've been wrong before. Secret of the Souls is bound to a climatic end to Hyla's adventure!

*Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review*



Cursing her arthritic fingers, Miri squeezed out a rag and draped it over the human man’s hot forehead.

“I’ve seen a lot more harvests than you, old goat,” she muttered, lifting his eyelids. “I’m thinking you’ll never catch up either. Doubt you last another half-moon’s phase.”

Miri pushed to her feet and stretched her hunched back. A heavy sigh slipped past her wrinkled lips as she glanced around the sick house. Keeping the night watch wasn’t too bad—she’d volunteered often since her old bones wouldn’t allow much sleep.“

Joints wasted, hearing all but gone …” Miri yanked on the long white braid lying over her shoulder. “I’m the old goat.”

She shuffled down the aisle, woolen kirtle swishing in the silence. A cool, autumn breeze rustled the crimson leaves of the magnolia and palm fronds overhead, drawing her gaze upward. Violet streaks lit the pre-dawn sky.A dog barked, yipped, and fell silent.

Miri peered across the village green to the thatched buildings beyond. A shadow passed between two cottages. Another three hurried toward the neighboring dwelling.

“Sight fading or my mind, too?” Miri rubbed her watery eyes, blinked, and leaned forward. Light flickered through the palm trees behind the outlying homes.


The flames drew closer, weaving between the trunks.

Humans from the mainland? Miri’s hand clutched at her throat. Soldiers. Fadir have mercy.

The men crept through the village, taking up positions at every doorway. Two brutes, more horse-like in size than human, approached the sick house.

Sputtering torch held high, the first strode forward, dark eyes intent upon Miri. A green surcoat covered broad shoulders and fell to his thighs. The golden wheat sheaf of the city of Varosh adorned his chest.

Cold sweat beaded upon Miri’s brow. Breath burst from her lungs, and she moved back, clutching the door jam.

The second soldier stepped closer, chains and shackles clanking in his hand. He stopped two paces away from Miri, and a smile stretched his stubbled cheeks, revealing rotted teeth. “Good morning pointy-ears.”

Miri stared, heartbeat thundering in her ears. She’d been called worse in her eighty-three birth passings but never with such malice.

A single cry rang out across the village, and doors crashed inward. Screams rent the air.

“Don’t fight Native woman,” rotten-teeth sneered, shackles outstretched.

“W-why?” Miri whispered, taking a step backward.

A scowl narrowed his gaze, and his fist shot forward.Bursts of light and pain exploded through Miri as she crumpled to the floor.


Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon


A $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a RoanePublishing.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner will be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Blog Tour: FREEKS by Amanda Hocking (Review + Giveaway)

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodies are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.
Amanda Hocking
Pub Date: 1/3/17
St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: YA Fantasy
Amazon | B&N | BAM | Macmillan

Freeks is another fabulous addition to Amanda Hocking's greatest hits! It's captivating and intriguing and all that you would expect from her: characters that are unique and colorful personalities and a story bursting with action and emotion.

The year is 1987 and Gideon Davorin's Traveling Sideshow has just arrived in Caudry, Louisiana. There's a chill in the air as something dark stalks the performers. Mara, who has longed to settle down in one place and live a normal life, explores the town on the first night and meets Gabe, the epitome of teenage normalcy. Or so Mara thinks. He becomes integral to the story in a surprising manner as Mara and the other sideshow residents fight to protect each other from a mysterious dark force. The pacing of this novel is very steady, so the mystery isn't drawn out so long that you'll want to pull your hair out, but it reaches it's peak at the right moment. There's just the right balance of getting to know the characters and their backgrounds and seeing them interact throughout the course of solving whatever mystery looms before them.

I wasn't expecting the novel to be set in the late 80's but it was an easy adjustment. Amanda writes with such clarity and detail that makes any setting believable and real to your mind. She has always been excellent at world building, a fact that can be attested to by her successful Trylle Trilogy, and she continues the trend in Freeks. By the end of the novel I was searching for any indication that there would be a series to follow, but I can understand if Freeks is left as a standalone. The final outcome remains and, as usual, readers will be left craving more Hocking!

*ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

About Amanda:

AMANDA HOCKING is the author of the New York Times bestselling Trylle trilogy, the Kanin Chronicles, the Watersong series, and six additional self-published novels. She made international headlines by selling more than a million copies of her self-published books, primarily in e-book format. She lives in Minnesota, where she's at work on her next book.
*author photo courtesy of Mariah Paaverud*
 Connect with Amanda: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

**GIVEAWAY: Now Closed**
St. Martin's Griffin is allowing me to host a giveaway for (1) shiny hardcover of FREEKS. Just comment below telling me your favorite Amanda Hocking novel! (Bonus points if you follow Lovey Dovey Books via GFC!!)...and GO!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Law and Disorder (Review)

Trust the enemy?

Desperate to escape her kidnappers, Kody Cameron can turn to only one man…and he's holding a gun. Outnumbered and trapped in the deadly Everglades, she has little recourse, but something in this captor's eyes makes her believe she can trust him. Does she dare to take the risk?

Undercover agent Nick Connolly has met Kody before and knows she might very well blow his cover. Though determined to maintain his facade, he can't let Kody die. He won't. And his decision to change his own rules of law and order are about to make all hell break loose.
Law and Disorder
The Finnegan Connection #1
Heather Graham
Pub Date: 1/17/17
Harlequin: Intrigue
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Amazon | B&N

From the very first line Heather Graham hooks readers into a novel of steamy suspense. Dakota Cameron, actress and part-time bartender, is working at her family's Crystal Manor museum in Florida before heading back to New York for work. She doesn't expect to be taken hostage, along with other members of staff, by a gang wearing masks of notorious gangsters. The leader of the gang, Dillinger, is on the hunt for Anthony Green's hidden treasure and it's up to Kody to find it before anyone is hurt.

Lost treasure possibly hidden in the swamps and bogs of the Everglades makes Law and Disorder all the more intriguing. A great majority of the novel is taken place in the Everglades. Just imagine all the trouble Kody and undercover Agent Nick Connolly get into while trying to survive an expanse of nature and an obsessed criminal. As much as I like the idea of the story, I wasn't a big fan of the dialogue. Dillinger managed to sound like a cheesy villain and the other characters didn't really stand out from one another. In other words, it was hard to imagine their speech coming from actual people. The romance is an interesting blend of instant connection and mutual attraction as Kody realizes one of the kidnappers is a man she bumped into in New York, and Nick does everything in his power to remain undercover while keeping her safe. The romance scenes feel like they actually belong in a regency romance because of how tamed and modest they are, but it goes in hand with the fast pace of the novel.

I've always been a big fan of stories featuring FBI agents and romantic thrillers. While Law and Disorder hasn't made my list of favorites, I still enjoyed the first novel of Heather Graham's latest series The Finnegan Connection.

*ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Friday, January 6, 2017

Blog Tour: Absolute Trust (Review + Giveaway)


After multiple tours of duty, Brandon Forte returns to his hometown on a personal mission: to open a facility for military service dogs like Haydn, a German shepherd who's seen his share of combat and loss. It also brings him back to Sophie Kim, a beacon of light in his life . . . and the one woman he can't have. But Forte's success means he's made enemies in high places. Enemies who are now after Sophie . . .

When Forte enlisted and left without saying goodbye, Sophie did her best to move on. But with her first love back in town, looking sexier than ever, she's constantly reminded of what they could have had. Then after he risks himself for her, Sophie realizes she'll have to put her life in the hands of the man who broke her heart, knowing the danger -and the sparks between them- could consume them both.
Absolute Trust
True Heroes #3
Piper J. Drake
Pub Date: 12/20/16
Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Absolute Trust is absolutely an incredible read! The characters are well developed and engaging all the way down to the heroic working dogs. Piper J. Drake is excellent at creating a strong cast of characters and giving the dogs like Hadyn a strong presence in the story.

One thing about a series like the True Heroes series is that even if you haven't read the previous novels, the current release is like a catch me up. Quick reminders are spaced throughout the novel while still entertaining a whole new adventure. This particular adventure focuses on Brandon Forte, who owns a facility for the rehabilitation of service dogs, and Sophie Kim the girl who's always there for him. While Sophie seems inclined to wait for a man she doesn't do so sitting around. She's an accountant with a passion for baking and a soft spot for animals. So it comes as a surprise when her car explodes from an IED. Brandon makes it a personal mission to keep Sophie safe and find out why she was targeted.

This is a romantic thriller through and through. Readers never know what danger is waiting around the corner for the main characters as they swim through the depths of their connection. Sophie and Brandon are the high school sweethearts that never were, but they have an opportunity to work out what they truly mean to each other.

Absolute Trust is a versatile read that will appeal to many types of readers. Romantics and dog lovers alike, don't miss out on this special read from Piper J. Drake!

*ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Follow the tour and enter to win a True Heroes prize pack - the complete True Heroes series and swag pack or one of four print copies of Absolute Trust – US and Canada only!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Catch up on the series!

About Piper J. Drake:

Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) began her writing career as “PJ Schnyder” writing award-winning sci-fi & paranormal romance and steampunk. She has received the FF&P PRISM award for her work as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award. Now, Piper writes romantic suspense, incorporating her interests in mixed martial arts and the military into her writing.  Connect with Piper at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google + | GoodReads | Youtube

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