Category Archives: Book Review

The Governess Was Wicked by Julia Kelly!

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Hello lovely readers! I hope September is treating everyone well. It’s certainly been fantastic for Julia Kelly. Monday her new series from Pocket Star debuted on retailers everywhere! You all know Julia from First Draught and because she’s one of my favorite people. Get to know more about Julia in this short interview I did with her the other day. I ask her about her book, whether she’d prefer Thor or Loki, and her Facebook group: Really Old Frocks. If you love corsets, bustles, and fashion, you have to check it out on Facebook or Instagram! Then scroll down to enter the Rafflecopter (I have promised Julia whatever she wants from me, so be sure to enter!)

Buy links:

Amazon • iBooks Kobo • Nook 

The Governess Was Wicked

Elizabeth Porter is quite happy with her position as the governess for two sneaky-yet- sweet girls when she notices that they have a penchant for falling ill and needing the doctor. As the visits from the dashing and handsome Doctor Edward Fellows become more frequent, Elizabeth quickly sees through the lovesick girls’ ruse. Yet even Elizabeth can’t help but notice Edward’s bewitching bedside manner even as she tries to convince herself that someone of her station would not make a suitable wife for a doctor. But one little kiss won’t hurt…


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Julia Kelly is the award-winning author of sexy historical and contemporary romances about smart women and the men who love them. She picked up her first romance novel and the bad habit of reading well past her bedtime when she was thirteen. Years later, she decided to try writing books of her own and never looked back.

By day, Julia is an Emmy-nominated journalist in New York City where she chases breaking news and bosses reporters around. She never met a pair of stilettos she didn’t love and still stays up too late reading.

 


Raffelcopter Giveaway!

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Enter To Win!


Want more Julia interview goodness? Check out this month’s episode of First Draught!

 

My Shelf Monday: Personal Geography by Tamsen Parker!

IMG_3602Hey gang! Guess what? My Shelf Monday (#MyShelfMonday) is back for the next few weeks! I’ve missed this segment of my blog and I’m so happy to have a bunch of great books to share with all of you! First up is Personal Geography by Tamsen Parker!

The first book in a three book series, Personal Geography is romantic, suspenseful, and pretty much everything I look for in a romance. I relate to the heroine, I want the hero to be real, and I desperately want their happily ever after.

Tamsen did a great job of leaving me wondering where things were going, all while weaving a very interesting tale. These characters are dynamic and different from your normal heroine/hero combos. Things I enjoyed about this book and series:

  • Beta dominant hero! Yes, you read that correctly! Our hero, Cris, is a dominant, but he’s also a beta (which in the land of Alexis Anne is equivalent to finding gold.) For more on the breakdown of Alpha/Beta/Gamma characters check out Dear Author, Olivia Kelly, or my personal favorite by Suzanne Brockman.
  • Dueling personalities = finding your person = finding yourself along the way. I have serious soft spots for people with dueling personalities. In this case we have Cris, the dominant beta, but we also have India, the strong independent woman who lets it all go in the playroom to be a submissive. She has to have both as she navigates her life or nothing makes sense. It’s in the course of navigating these personalities that Cris comes into her life, helping her see herself in a new way, and putting together puzzle pieces of her life that she has been unable to piece together before now. He doesn’t do it for her, but he is integral in helping her over the wall she’s put up in her life. This is my crack.
  • Interesting characters. Nuff said.
  • Sexy times that are well researched and demonstrate a careful and respectful attitude toward sex, power dynamics, and BDSM. Really, I can’t say enough about how well researched this book is. Yes, there as stuff that made me hide the book under the bed. Yes, these are flawed characters who make bad decisions from time to time, but Tamsen carefully walks us through the steps of psychology and action.
  • Enough fantasy to let go and enjoy, mixed with enough reality to make me feel connected to the characters ands story.
  • Cris’s house in Hawaii. WANT!

Now for the fun! I have this paperback copy Personal Geography up for grabs! To enter to win, simply comment with your favorite season (Fall, Winter, Summer or Spring) on this blog post, the Facebook post, Twitter, or Instagram. One random winner will be selected from the entrants on Tuesday, September 8th, 2015.

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Releases, and Covers, and Teasers, OH MY!

It’s a crazy week! An awesomely crazy week! And lucky for you guys, it’s all before the holiday (which means I’m about to drop some reading suggestions on you, so get your one-click fingers ready!)

First up: The Lady Taken by Vivienne Thorne

Lady Viv is one of my best friends and this is her first venture into the world of erotic serial writing, so I’m doubly stoked to share this one with you! Her tag line is: Dirty, Sexy, Victorian. That pretty much sums things up! If you’re looking for a quick, fun, dirty read over your holiday, do not hesitate to grab The Lady Taken for $0.99 at your retailer of choice!

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Next up: Of Demons and Stones by Anne L. Parks

We got a cover reveal and preorder link for Anne’s new book! How hot is it?? Super hot. I got a very early read on this book many months ago and I can tell you that I was totally sucked into Kylie’s world. If you like Anne’s books then I know you’ll love Of Demons and Stones. It has the same gripping characters and crazy twists and turns we all love and expect from our former-lawyer-turned-author extraordinaire. Preorder today!

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Anne is also part of a Fourth of July themed box set with several authors I know and love! A bunch of fabulous books for one low price! Grab When Sparks Fly and enjoy!

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Thirdly: Drive Me Wild by Shari Slade

The third installment in the Devil’s Host MC serial by Shari Slade is here! I didn’t get an early peek at this one, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first two installments and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this one! If you haven’t yet, you can start for free! Ride Me Hard is free to help celebrate the release of Drive Me Wild.

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Fourthly: Personal Geography by Tamsen Parker

I will be doing a full My Shelf Monday on the series, but I wanted to share what I was reading while I was doling out book recommendations. I just finished Personal Geography and started the sequel, Intimate Geography (The Sexy Editor is a few pages behind). I’m totally sucked into this series and I highly recommend it for the BDSM readers out there. (Or the non-BDSM readers who just really love a super hot, really intense romance that just happens to involve some BDSM handled in a well researched and realistic way).

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And lastly: Tempt: Volume 1 by Alexis Anne

Since my last post I’ve made a three chapter sample available and posted up an exclusive preorder at iBooks! Here are the links. July 14th is coming fast!

Read a three chapter sample: http://www.instafreebie.com/campaign/nUK34Y0NzL8mXzEeaYsKJhzQAJJNci

iBooks Preorder: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tempt-volume-1/id1009522282?mt=11

Add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25733048-tempt

Join my Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1546784552238593/

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Happy reading and Happy Fourth of July!!

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Read These Things

I couldn’t come up with a great headline for this baby, so I went with a command. I hope I wasn’t too harsh. But here’s the thing: there are lots and lots of new goodies out there for you guys to read and I feel compelled to tell you all the things. So without any ado (because why waste time when, books) here are the things you need right now:

We’ll tackle the tamer stuff first. In no particular order:

How to Fall by Mary Chris Escobar–a novella following my favorite lady (and the man she will fall in love with) from How to be Alive! It’s a lovely story, perfect for anyone looking to escape the cold in the middle of winter!

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Christmas Clash by Dana Volney- I love Dana’s books because they make me happy. Do you want to be happy and read about Christmas? Then you should check out this book!

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RSVP by AL Parks- the final installment in the Return to Me series involves a wedding gone wrong/terribly right. If you haven’t started the series yet, start now. The first book is free. You’re welcome.

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12 Days of Christmakwanzaha Blog Hop– the best thing about this one? ALL FREE! That’s right, every single stop on this blog hop was a FREE short story. Some are special companion stories to existing novels (Like my follow up with Jake and Eve from The Storm Inside), while others were all new flash fiction in a total mishmash of genres. It’s awesome! Go forth and read.

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Now, for those us with dirtier minds:

Callie, Unwrapped by Amy Jo Cousins- well written erotica. Yep, you heard me right! Erotica (something for everyone here!) that is brilliantly written with a compelling storyline. I almost want to call this Women’s Fiction Erotica, but that makes no sense, so ignore me. But, bottom line, if you like reading beautiful prose filled with sex, then get this first book in the series by Amy Jo. Again, you’re welcome.

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In Bed with the Transforming Alien Robot– more erotica, this time involving a transformer sent to Earth to learn about us..and subsequently falling in love with a human grappling with some feminist stuff. It’s very different and there are sexy times with a robot, what more could you want? (Also, I love having dirty friends, just saying! My inbox is an awesome place to be! …. wait, that sounded dirtier than I meant it to.)

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Personal Geography— I haven’t read this one yet, but people I know and admire have said it is a must-read. Plus Tamsen is sweet and smart and I totally can’t wait to read it myself! I get the impression it is BDSM for the thinking woman. It sounds perfect!

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The Hive–sex without a whole lot of story, The Hive is erotica about a secret exclusive sex club ruled by women. For those of us with sexy needs and not a lot of time, The Hive is good, dirty fun!

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Payne: A Kelly Family Novella by Lashell Collins- super sexy cops and romance. ‘Nuff said. The first book in this series is also free. Go forth and read!

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One final note: Stripped 2 is out now, too! So if you’re in the mood for sexy times with romance and music, then check out the latest installment in my serial!

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My Shelf Monday: Lauren’s Return by AL Parks

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This is the third book in the Return to Me series by AL Parks and I thoroughly enjoyed it as much as I’ve enjoyed the rest! The suspense gets taken up a notch in this go-round as Jake and Eve settle in to their new lives (together) in Colorado. There is also a freaking awesome mountain home involved, a daughter whose custody is on the line, and a killer bent on keeping our couple apart.

I told you the suspense was heavier in this book!

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Here we are all dressed up at RWA!

I enjoyed reading every word and couldn’t put the book down. AL continues to develop each of these characters both individually and as a couple, which is a big part of why I enjoy this series so much. The story changes, but the characters grow with each book. We also get a closer look into the personalities and lives of each of their daughters. If you are looking for a good book, check out Lauren’s Return and the entire Return to Me series by AL Parks! (And DUDE, it’s only $2.99!)

Get it here: Lauren’s Return (Return To Me Book 3)

This is when she showed us the cover for Lauren's Return at RWA!

This is when she showed us the cover for Lauren’s Return at RWA!

Here are my previous posts on the other books in this series: The Return and Return to Newport

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She signed my copy of Return to Newport!

My Shelf Monday: Rodeo Queen by T.J. Kline

My reading partner!

My reading partner!

Hey gang! How are you? I hope you’re well. I’m finally out from under a giant pile of work and you know what? The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the birds are singing…yeah, I’m in that happy place after the storm subsides and everything seems reborn. It’s a great place to be and I think I may be happier and more content with my life than I have ever been before. I hope you are, too! (Psssst! There is a giveaway at the end of this post!)

But enough about me. Today is Monday and that means it’s time to talk about BOOKS! During my weekend off I read Rodeo Queen by T.J. Kline. And you know what? I automatically started reading the second book in the series, The Cowboy and the Angel. So that should give you a clue as to how much I enjoyed this western romance!

T.J. and Alexis at RWA!

T.J. and Alexis at RWA!

It helps that T.J. is an all around fantastic lady! I love her to pieces! She is sassy, smart, and takes no prisoners! And like the characters in her books, she is a true horse lover. Aside from the great story and characters, I loved knowing that everything I was reading about horses and rodeos was authentic. That is a big plus for me! And it really adds to the experience of getting lost in the pages of a book.

I fell in love with her hero, Scott, in the beginning of Chapter 6. The whole book could have been one long Chapter 6 as far as I’m concerned! But, that wouldn’t give us much tension or drama. Luckily there are more moments like the one at the beginning of Chapter 6 spread throughout the book!

I loved Sydney (our heroine) from the first page. She is young, but strong and determined. I thoroughly enjoyed spending my weekend with Rodeo Queen. It was exactly the dose of romance and escapism I needed to end my summer and I hope you will all take a second to check it out, too!

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 Get it here:

Amazon: Rodeo Queen (Avon Romance) ◊ iBooks: Rodeo Queen – T. J. Kline

Avon: Rodeo Queen ◊ Nook: Rodeo Queen


Signed card and a free copy of Rodeo Queen!

Signed card and a free copy of Rodeo Queen!

Giveaway time! I have this lovely signed postcard of the cover of Rodeo Queen! It comes with a free download of the book and a bookmark! On Friday (August 22nd, 2014) I will randomly draw one winner from the comments below. To enter, comment with your favorite thing to do to relax!


 

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My Shelf Monday: Love, in English (a follow up!)

I just spent the last week in San Antonio at the Romance Writers of America national conference. I’m exhausted. I came home with a bounty of books, many of which will become giveaways for you!

And on the plane to and from Texas I read Love, in English by Karina Halle. I loved it! Here a few thoughts:

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it is not your traditional love story. The heroine is young, tattooed, and a little wild. While the hero is married, older, and famous.

  • but it is told with care and there is a “happily ever after” that I found satisfying.
  • the book makes you want to move to Spain. Yesterday.
  • I loved the secondary characters (despite wanting them to get out of the way in the beginning).
  • I found the beginning of the book to be slow, but important (keep in mind I’m known for my lack of patience when it comes to romance…)
  • I loved Mateo a lot.
  • and I sympathized with Vera a lot.
  • They were both very compelling characters and if you’ve ever fallen in love (and tried to fight it) or had an enclosed experience with a group of oddly matched people who changed your life and became your very best friends, then this book will speak to you.
  • if you read the paperback version there are some odd typos and missing words, but it didn’t detract from my reading experience (it just make me scratch my head).

If you are looking for a summer read that will take you to another country and make you fall in love with a handsome and famous Spanish hottie, pick up Love, in English. I hear there is a sequel coming next year. Called Love, in Spanish. I can’t wait!

It’s only $3.99. Grab it here! Love, in English

My Shelf Monday: How to be Alive by Mary Chris Escobar

Today on my shelf: How to be Alive by Mary Chris Escobar.

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By far one of  my favorite reads of the year! HTBA is a fun, easy read that is simply perfect for the summer (or any time of the year).

One of my favorite things about all Mary Chris’ books is her easy-to-read style of writing. It is fresh, unencumbered, and light. The prose doesn’t get in the way of the story. The words fall into the background as you get lost in the story of Jen, a woman whose fiancee has just died.

My second favorite thing about all Mary Chris’ books is her amazing ability to tackle heavy subjects (like your fiancee dying) without it being depressing or heavy. Somehow (beyond my comprehension) she writes stories that are positive, proactive, light, and empowering, despite the heavy subject matter. I never felt overwhelmed when reading HTBA  and I never felt depressed, only curious how Jen was going to tackle the next obstacle put in her path. By sidestepping the potentially dark emotions one experiences while grieving, Mary Chris allows the reader to delve into other questions and to reflect on their own potential to grieve and keep going. She also tackles the idea of regret and how that affects the grieving process. I really enjoyed how Jen reflected on her life and grappled with the idea of starting over, found her dreams, and learned to live. I found myself constantly contemplating whether I would take the same steps as Jen, or if I would take a different course, which allowed me to explore parts of my own personality that I rarely take the time to analyze. It was a surprisingly reflective read for me.

Mary Chris does all of this while weaving a fascinating story, incorporating wonderful secondary characters (I want a spin-off novel of Jennifer’s best friends Zack and Sarah!), delicious food, career challenges, and family battles. If you are looking for something truly enjoyable to read this summer, you simply cannot go wrong with How to be Alive. 

5stars


 

How to be Alive, the latest novel from Mary Chris Escobar, is available now!
The novel follows Jen’s journey back to herself. When she graduated from Parktown College at age 18 she was engaged, with big plans laid out for the future. Eight years later, very little has changed. Still unmarried and in the same small college town, her dreams have faded. Forced to figure out exactly what she wants in life and how to move forward, Jen finally learns the one thing they didn’t teach her at Parktown…
How to be Alive is available at all major online booksellers (details here).  Click here for an excerpt and a longer synopsis.
Excerpt and synopsis: http://wp.me/p3kWXF-qb

Here’s a little look at my book club enjoying a care package from Mary Chris with goodies mention in HTBA!

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HTBA club

My Shelf Monday: Castle Hill and Calling His Bluff

This week on My Shelf Monday (#MyShelfMonday) I discuss Castle Hill by Samantha Young and Calling His Bluff by Amy Jo Cousins. (Hint: I loved them both!) I apologize for my kids yelling in the background. I’m so accustomed to the noise I didn’t even realize it until I watched the playback. Oops! On the next edition of My Shelf Monday I’ll be talking about How To Be Alive by Mary Chris Escobar. What else should I be reading and talking about on Mondays? Hit me in the comments! I read it all!

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My Shelf Monday: recapping Breaking Walls and Paradise Point!

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(Yes, I know it is Tuesday. Sue me… the series is called My Shelf Monday!) I’m a day late (and probably a dollar short) but here is my recap/review/”why you need to read these books” video for Breaking Walls by Tracie Puckett and Paradise Point by Dana Volney!

Read my other reviews of Tracie and Dana’s books here:

Breaking Rules

Holiday Hoopla

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