Book Review – A New Hope

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cover64401-mediumA New Hope

Thunder Point series

by Robyn Carr

Starting over is never easy, but in Thunder Point, where newcomers are welcome and friends become family, it’s possible to find yourself again. #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr takes us on a moving and rewarding journey as a young woman finds new hope.

After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she’s excited to be assisting with the Lacoumette wedding.

In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger is swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride’s brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself when he tries to make a pass at Ginger, forcing her to flee the scene in embarrassment.

But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.

Two things that I think are important to note here – 1) if you haven’t read any of the Thunder Point books it is probably a good idea to at least start with One Wish, which is the book before this one, because it has some of the characters from A New Hope but 2) it shouldn’t be an issue because these books are just so darn good that you should be reading them all anyway :)

I always feel like a broken record with this series – emotional plots involving realistic characters with real troubles. But when you have something as perfect as this why mess it up, right? And Carr is so talented at bringing a variety of people and their issues to the page, I never feel like I’m getting just a repeat.

We got to know Ginger some in One Wish and I’m thrilled that we get to see her continue to heal, make friends and build a new life for herself. She’s understandably a little unsteady on her feet but she’s making great strides. She shows an amazing sense of self and maturity coming out of the amazing hardships she’s had to face and that is exactly what Matt needs. He’s having to address a few things of his own and meeting Ginger definitely shakes things up for him – living a life he’s not proud of since his divorce, seeing what Ginger has overcome has him re-examining things.

I recommended reading One Wish not just because of Ginger, but we also get a continuation of Grace & Troy’s story, which I loved. It added even more sweetness to an already touching story. Plus they help us get a little sneak peek at the next story. I’ve said this before too, the sense of continuation and community, of old friends and new acquaintances, is one of my favorite parts of this series.

With A New Hope, Carr once again brings us characters that we grow to care about. And I love that even though they help each other, they face their demons themselves. It helps lead to a healthy HEA that left me all giddy and happy and oh-so-ready for the next story.

Spotlight – The Scheme

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And now the second of our fantastic new books for today!

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*****

TheScheme_FrontCover (1)The Scheme

by: Mia Kayla

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 27,  2015

Blurb:

Brian Benson is the nice guy every girl dreams of marrying.  Too bad he’s off the market—for good.  He’s sworn off women since the last girl he dated broke his heart.  Determined to start over in New York, his sole focus is to climb the corporate ladder—no distractions.  Until one minor collision propels him into the path of small-town-girl but bombshell babe, Kendy Miller.

Kendy walks with a sass she was born with.  Single and ready to mingle, she’s on the prowl.  Moving from her tiny town of Bowlesville to work as a nurse at New York Cornell Hospital, she is introduced to Dr. Hot Pants.  She feels it in her bones—he only belongs to her.

When Kendy formulates a grand scheme to land Dr. Hot Pants and uses Brian to do it, Brian is all in because he could use a little fun.

Things were going to plan, until one night lines were crossed, kisses were exchanged and clothes flew off.

Fate collides, fortunes are tested and plans backfire, but Kendy is still determined to land her doctor.

Problem is… Brian was only there to assist in the plot. Falling in love with the girl wasn’t part of THE SCHEME.

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*****

Mia Kayla PicAuthor Info:

Mia Kayla is a New Adult/Contemporary Romance writer who lives in Illinois. On the weekdays, she can be caught wearing a suit, commuting to her corporate job in downtown Chicago and raising three beautiful munchkins in the suburbs, four if you count the husband.

In her free time she loves reading romance novels, jamming to boy bands, catching up on celebrity gossip and designing flowers for weddings.

Most of the time, she can be caught on the train with her nose in a book sporting a cheeky grin because the main characters finally get their happily-ever-after at the end.

She loves reading about happy endings but has more fun writing them.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

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Spotlight – Heart’s Chord

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Gonna be a busy Saturday :)  We’ve got two great new books to look at so here we go!

First up we have Heart’s Chord … if the blurb doesn’t draw you in, I’m sure those sexy tattoos will.

*****

Heart's Chord - Book CoverHeart’s Chord

SERIES – Ugly Eternity, 5

AUTHOR – Charity Parkerson

GENRE – M/M GBLT Romance

PUBLICATION DATE – July 6, 2015

LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 122/23829

PUBLISHER – Punk & Sissy Publications

COVER ARTIST – Charity Parkerson for Punk & Sissy Publications art department

Blurb:

Even though he already has more to do than there are hours in the day, Finn has no problem adding Austen to his life. The sexy former marine is the only good thing that’s happened to Finn in a long time.

For Austen, Finn is the perfect man. If he sees anything lacking in Austen, he never shows it. But falling in love with Finn changes everything for Austen. All the insecurities he’s faced since he has come home from deployment confined to a wheelchair come rushing back to the surface. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t let Finn in.

When Finn decides he’s had enough of not being enough, and his dreams come crashing down around him, he’s ready to walk away from everything for good. But he never counted on Austen’s reaction to losing him, or how far his Ugly Eternity family will go to make his dreams a reality.

**Author note**

This is an Ugly Eternity bonus story. It can be read as a standalone.

BUY & TBR LINKS

AMAZON KINDLE US – http://bit.ly/HeartsChord

AMAZON KINDLE CA – http://bit.ly/HeartsChordCA

AMAZON KINDLE UK – http://bit.ly/HeartsChordUK

AMAZON PAPERBACK – http://bit.ly/HeartsChordPBA

GOODREADS – http://bit.ly/HeartsChordGR

*****

Empty concert stage in disco lights and smoke

Excerpt:

“You need some posters or a mural or something on the ceiling in here,” Finn mused aloud after a few minutes.

“Why’s that?”

Finn squinted at the offending blank ceiling, attempting to picture the perfect art as he answered. “Judging by your incredibly sexy body, you spend a lot of time in here. You need something to focus on. There’re some studies that suggest visual stimuli is directly linked to physical health.”

“What do you think of these studies?”

At the curiosity in Austen’s voice, Finn rolled onto his side and up onto his elbow. His gaze swept down Austen’s body, taking in every hardened line and scar. His cock lengthened as hunger rose inside him. This man was under his skin. There wasn’t one particular attribute he could point to in order to explain his insane desire to touch Austen, but it was there. When he met Austen’s stare, there was no way Finn could hide his desire. “I think a little visual stimulation has never hurt anyone.”

Austen’s mouth quirked in one corner at Finn’s claim. “The view in here is looking pretty damn good right now.”

Finn wanted to kiss him. His lips tingled with longing, but sometimes, Austen didn’t invite Finn’s touch. He didn’t know how to explain it. There were moments when Austen’s expression remained closed, shutting Finn out—times such as now. Tearing himself away from temptation, Finn settled down beside Austen once more, going back to staring into space. “I can’t hang around all day, but maybe I can figure out something else. Maybe there’s a book somewhere about images for every environment.”

He felt Austen tense beside him a split second before Austen’s mouth came down upon his—hard and hot. Surprise gave way to lust in an instant as Finn opened for him. Finn flattened his palms against the floor beside him to keep from reaching for Austen. His skin itched to be closer, but he didn’t want to ruin the moment, and it seemed like he always did somehow.

*****

Narcissistic handsome young man leaning forwards admiring his reflection in the mirror in a show of self-absorption

Author Info:

Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Indie Publishing House LLC, and Punk & Sissy Publications. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

*2015 Passionate Plume Finalist for Paranormal Erotica

*Winner of 2, 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards

*2015 Golden Flogger BDSM Award Finalist

*2013 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner

*2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner

*2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance

*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

Amazon Author Page – amazon.com/author/charityparkerson

Website/Blog – http://www.charityparkerson.com

Fan email: admin@charityparkerson.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/authorCharityParkerson

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/charityparkerso

Google+ – google.com/+CharityParkersonAuthor

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/authorparkerson/

Tumblr – http://thesinnerauthor.tumblr.com/

Networked Blogs – http://www.networkedblogs.com/blog/the-sinners-series

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4506281.Charity_Parkerson

Shelfari – http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a2942626/Charity-Parkerson/

Others – http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/OurAuthors/CharityParkerson.html

https://www.ellorascave.com/author/charity-parkerson

http://passionateink.org/forum/index.php?showuser=2945

*****

Giveaway:

$10 Amazon Gift Card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9944253c167/

*****

Heart's Chord - Banner

Book Review – Montana Cherries

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Here’s another one that I really enjoyed reading and that is showing some great reviews.  Check out Amazon & Goodreads if you don’t believe me :)

*****

Law-Montana-Cherries-CoverMontana Cherries

by Kim Law

Montlake Romance, Contemporary

July 28, 2015

Paperback & Kindle

Blurb:

After her mother’s tragic death, Dani Wilde had no choice but to abandon her dreams. She left Columbia University and returned to her family’s Montana cherry farm, intent on being a maternal figure to her brothers. Now the kids are grown, and it’s finally her time to fly. Her sights are on New York City, and nothing will stop her—not even an old flame with gorgeous green eyes.

Celebrity photographer Ben Denton hasn’t seen Montana in years—and hasn’t spoken to Dani since “that night” so long ago. When he discovers he’s a dad to a four-year-old—and the child’s mother refuses to care for her—Montana and the Wilde farm spring to mind. The orchard is the only place that’s ever felt like home, but will the warmth of the Wilde family be enough to help Ben figure out how to be a father?

As the Wilde family gathers for the yearly cherry harvest and Dani struggles to figure out what she really wants in life, she discovers the shocking truth about her own mother—and learns that following her heart may lead her to her dreams after all.

*****

Review:

Montana Cherries reminded me a little of a Robyn Carr book (and if you have been around for a while you know how much I LOVE those).  There is so much more going on here than just the romance between Dani and Ben, which would be great on its own.  There are also family issues (on both sides), plus a few hard-hitting secrets.  Both Dani and Ben have to learn where they belong, how they fit into their families and some interesting truths about themselves & those around them.

(I’m going to have to give a little bit of a spoiler because Dani’s whole storyline is impacted by it.  So if you don’t want to know skip past this paragraph :) )  Dani and her brothers were seriously jacked up by her mom, although Dani has blocked it out for years.  You go thru the first half of the book thinking that her mom was wonderful and then you get quite a shocker.  This leads to a lot of soul-searching and therapy for her to understand how her mom has controlled her life and her decisions ever since … and how it has impacted her family.  It is devastating but I was thrilled that Law had her get professional help.  In her Acknowledgments she talks about how this process had to be shortened for the book and I really appreciate her comments about the issues & why she had to handle it the say she did.  It shows a nice understanding about how devastating something like this truly can be.

I will say I was a little surprised by Ben about 2/3 of the way thru.  Up to that point he’d shown an amazing understanding of Dani’s needs and had been wonderfully supportive.  But then his ego and heart get a little damaged and he seemed to forget all of that.  Once he gets over himself though it does help get us to an ending that is just too darn sweet for words.

Dani has some brothers that will likely have stories of their own which will be just as full of emotional issues as this one and I can’t wait to see where Law takes them.  If she continues to display the same thoughtfulness with them as she did with Dani, they are going to have quite the rollercoaster ride.

*****

Grooms_2012_01C-Brighter-SmallerAuthor Info:

As a child, award-winning author Kim Law cultivated a love for chocolate, anything purple, and creative writing. She penned her debut work, “The Gigantic Talking Raisin,” in the sixth grade and got hooked on the delights of creating stories. Before settling into the writing life, however, she earned a college degree in mathematics and then worked as a computer programmer. Now she’s living out her lifelong dream of writing romance novels. She’s won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award, has been a finalist for the prestigious RWA RITA Award, and has served in varied positions for her local RWA chapter. A native of Kentucky, Kim lives with her husband and an assortment of animals in Middle Tennessee.

CONTACT LINKS:

www.kimlaw.com

kim@kimlaw.com

twitter.com/kim_law

facebook.com/kimlawauthor

pinterest.com/kimlawauthor/

*****

Giveaway:

Enter to win either 1 swag filled Kim Law tote bag, 1 $25 amazon gift card, or 1 $10 amazon gift card.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9f15fc0b9/

*****

Law-MC-Tour-Graphic

Book Review – Blind Love

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Y’all I loved this one and I’m not the only one – there are a TON of great reviews for it.  Make sure you check it out!

*****

Blind LoveBlind Love

by Kishan Paul

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Samhain

Date of Publication: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 9781619226845

ASIN: B00WYTF3IO

Number of pages: 260 pgs

Word Count: 77,713

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Blurb:

She doesn’t need a hero. But a sexy Marine…that’ll work.

Though Lauren Baxter’s world is a blurry mess of colors, she has no tolerance for pity. With the help of her guide dog, Jack Sparrow, she’s built a good life for herself. She has everything she wants: her PhD, a thriving counseling practice and her independence.

When she meets her new neighbor, the man’s warm Texas accent and clean male scent weaken her knees. Her attraction to the former Marine is mutual and, unfortunately, a complication she doesn’t need.

Gabriel Briggs carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He has his reasons for indulging only in short-term flings, but the feisty, green-eyed Lauren makes him want to forget every one.

In a rare moment of fragility, Lauren winds up in Gabe’s arms. One night together can’t break their self-imposed rules, right? But when a woman from Gabe’s past is murdered, the reasons he should have stayed away become painfully clear, threatening innocent lives he may not be able to save—especially Lauren’s.

Product Warnings:

Contains a blind therapist who doesn’t consider herself impaired; a meddling, erotic-novel-writing best friend; a hot ex-Marine with a shady past; and a loyal guide dog that howls “I love you” and is probably the sanest one of the bunch.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/XPlVj2TzZVA

Samhain    Amazon    ARe   Kobo    BN

blind love gabe 1

Kishan Paul Voted as Best New Author for Smexy and Fabulous Beach Summer Reads

Blind Love came in second place for Contemporary Romance in the Smexy and Fabulous Beach Summer Reads

Blind Love Chosen as the Best Book of June, 2015 o Goodreads

Blind Love Included in the Top Ten Books of June by Platywire Reviews

*****

Excerpt:

Gabe locked the front door and headed to his pickup. The decision was made. He needed to move his pitiful ass into the cabin immediately. A woman he barely knew had him confessing things he’d never told anyone else, and the scariest part: he caught himself reconsidering nonnegotiable promises. Those were fantasies he couldn’t afford. Not when other lives counted on him. He glanced over at her place and stopped dead in his tracks.

Speak of the devil.

Hands on her hips, Lauren stood talking to the cabbie parked in her driveway. Her hair was twisted in a knot. The dark blue, strapless summer dress she wore had his gaze lingering over her long neck and tanned shoulders. His mouth watered at the memory of how sweet her covered parts tasted last night.

There was something about her that hooked him. Yes, she was beautiful, but there was more. It was how her eyes crinkled when she laughed. All the smart-ass things she’d say. The soothing way her voice melted his guard. And when she touched him, it was as if she was sticking her hands inside him, picking up every one of his painful pieces, and for just a little while gluing them back together.

What the fuck am I saying?

He looked away and continued to his truck. She’d find the right person one day, and whoever the man was would be one lucky bastard.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. I can’t help you,” the cabbie said.

Gabe put the last of the supplies into the large metal toolbox and padlocked the lid.

“He’s a guide dog. Isn’t it against the law for you to refuse services because of him?” Lauren asked.

He bit back his urge to help.

For him, the girl spelled trouble.

T.

R.

O.

U.

“The sign right there says no animals.” The driver pointed to the backseat window.

B.

L.

E.

She grinned. “And if I wasn’t blind, I’m sure I would have seen it.”

Gabe chuckled. He loved her fake smile. Leaning against the truck, he watched the performance.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t—I mean, you don’t look blind.”

Still grinning, she cleared her throat and pulled on the dog’s harness. “I am. Which is why I need my guide dog. He goes everywhere with me.”

The beast raised its ears and looked at Gabe. He averted his eyes, pulled off his baseball cap and tucked it into his jean pocket. Her monster of a pet was making him feel guilty as hell.

“I’m sorry, but I’m allergic to animals. He can’t come in my taxi.”

“I can pay you extra for your troubles. The place is a few blocks after the highway. It would only be ten minutes of your time.”

“Look, ma’am. It’s not going to happen. If you want, I’ll call another car to pick you up.”

After a long pause, she shook her head and bit her lip. “No, it’s fine. I understand. Thank you.”

A few seconds later, the cab pulled away. Lauren stood cross-armed, staring out.

Gabe gripped the truck to make sure his legs didn’t get any crazy ideas.

This is not my problem. Maybe if he said it enough times, he’d believe it.

“Come on, Jack. It’s time for Plan B,” she said and grabbed the dog’s holster.

Plan what?

Stunned, he watched the two stroll down the road. She said the place was a few blocks after the highway. Which meant they’d be walking alongside one of the busiest boulevards in Denver for a few yards before she’d ever reach the interstate. He looked at his watch. Four fifty, on a Friday afternoon. The two would be smack dab in front of the I25 overpass during rush hour traffic—a dangerous situation for anyone, much less a blind woman.

She wouldn’t, would she?

When Lauren got to the end of the street and turned left, he cursed under his breath.

Yeah, she would.

*****

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Review:

I don’t know why the suspense element surprised me as much as it did – I mean, it is spelled out in the blurb that there was a murder – I guess I wasn’t expecting it to be so involved.  But I really enjoyed it.  It played well into Lauren and Gabe’s issues, helping to resolve a lot of things and not seem forced.

And the characters are as interesting as the storyline.  I love that Lauren is independent and has a good head on her shoulders, is able to apply her brain to Gabe’s issues (not just her heart), but I also really loved that she’s human and screws up.  She’s had a tough life but she hasn’t let it slow her down – sometimes to the detriment of her relationships.  Gabe’s got a lot of issues too, mostly stemming from a not so great childhood.  Like everyone, he’s made some choices that have long reaching impact … although his consequences are pretty severe.

There were a lot of giggles and a truckload of tears, a few moments on the edge of my seat and a couple of times where my heart went pitter, which to me makes Blind Love a winner and Paul one of my new authors to watch.

*****

authorAuthor Info:

From daring escapes by tough women to chivalrous men swooping in to save the day, the creativity switch to Kishan Paul’s brain is always in the ‘on’ position. If daydreaming stories were a college course, Kish would graduate with honors.

Mother of two beautiful children, she has been married to her best friend for over 16 years. With the help of supportive family and friends, she balances her family, a thriving counseling practice, and writing without sinking into insanity.

To keep in touch with Kish:

Website: http://kishanpaul.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KishanPaulAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@kishan_paul

TSU: https://www.tsu.co/kishanpaul

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kishanpaul

Coffee Talk: http://www.coffeetalkwriters.com/coffee-talk-authors/kishan-paul/

Sign up for her newsletter at: http://mad.ly/signups/119110/join

*****

Tour Info:

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July 27 Spotlight
I Love Books
July 27 Spotlight
Mythical Books
July 27 Spotlight and review
A Bookaholic’s Fix: Feeding the Addiction
July 28 Review
Romantic Fanatic
July 28 Spotlight
Around the World in Books
 
July 29 Spotlight
Books Books and More Books
July 30 Interview and review
Books, Booze, and BDSM
 
July 30 Review
Books and Authors
July 30 Review
Romantic Reads and Such
 
July 31 Interview
Shut Up and Read
August 3 Interview
ARe Café
 
August 3 Spotlight
Zenny’s Awesome Book Reviews
August 3 Spotlight (review later)
Happy Ever After Book Reviews

Spotlight – Our Second Chance

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9781620155028-Perfect_CS.inddOur Second Chance by Author C.D. Taylor is a tale of forgiveness, redemption, and love. It demonstrates how the power of healing can strengthen the bond between family, friends, and lovers.

Emily Mills lives a life of opulence and luxury in Los Angeles but can’t shake the feeling that there is something more out there for her. It isn’t the picture perfect life her social circles expect and she knows something is missing. Unwilling to let happiness be a distant wish, she boards a plane to chase her dreams of becoming a lawyer in New York City. It doesn’t take long for her past to reappear with her former best friend from college, Jake Bradford. Knowing the feelings she’s held for Jake all these years, she still tries to convince herself that she isn’t worthy of any sort of love from him. Conceding to a fraction of her desire, Emily strikes a deal with Jake to become steamy friends with benefits. Soon her passionate bond with him turns out to be way more intense than she expects and she finds herself wishing her emotional scars didn’t rear their ugly head and destroy everything she’s worked for.

Can Emily forgive herself and those who have hurt her in the past to become the person she knows she can be? Or will the roadblocks in front of her cause her to make the decision to run like she’s been doing most of her life? Book 1 of this thrilling new 3-book series will leave you panting for more and cheering for second chances.

*Find the Book*

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17403237-our-second-chance?from_search=true

Amazon:   http://www.amazon.com/Our-Second-Chance-Chances-Book-ebook/dp/B00M9CRY9W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409891688&sr=8-1&keywords=our+second+chance

Barnes & Noble:   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/our-second-chance-cd-taylor/1120027014?ean=2940149665174

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/our-second-chance/id904532227?mt=11

*About C.D. Taylor*

C.D. Taylor began writing as an item to check off her bucket list. After putting words on paper, she decided that being an author was where she needed to be. She resides on a farm in southern Illinois with her husband, son and a plethora of animals. C.D. is a huge kid at heart. She loves playing practical jokes, challenging her son to a game of Super Mario and rarely rolls out of bed before noon. She enjoys dancing, is perpetually clumsy and has a horrible green thumb. C.D. believes that if you work hard, you must play even harder. To learn more, visit her at: http://authorcdtaylor.com/

https://twitter.com/CDTaylor_Author

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorC.D.Taylor

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4908299.C_D_Taylor

Book Review – My Dark Duke

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cover65542-mediumMy Dark Duke

by Elyse Huntington

Since his notorious wife died in mysterious circumstances, rumours about James, the handsome Duke of Trent, have scandalized society. Now, he must marry again – but finding an eligible woman willing to overlook his past won’t be easy.

Defiantly single, Lady Alethea Sinclair has already turned down six offers of marriage. She prefers living on her own terms and refuses to answer to any man. Yet when Alethea meets the seductive and enigmatic Duke she finds herself strangely drawn to him.

Intrigued by Alethea’s defiance of society’s expectations, James is instantly taken with the willful beauty and soon they are enjoying a playful flirtation. And when circumstances force them into a comprising situation, he does the honourable thing and marries her.

But adjusting to the constraints of marriage doesn’t come easily to the rebellious Alethea and, despite their growing feelings for each other, the Duke’s troubled past keeps getting in the way. Can they learn to trust each other and give love a chance before it’s too late?

A steamy Georgian romance about desire, the importance of staying true to yourself and the power of the past to cast a shadow on the present.

I’ve got to say I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I mean, I was expecting (and got) an enjoyable historical romance but I also expected some kind of gothic flair with the dead wife. You know the kind – with the unrequited love, a jealous rival, a crazy aunt … someone somewhere who does an evil deed and the hero ends up taking the blame. Not this time, although there are many other things at play here – love, attraction, trust, independence, expectations, and past hurts.

Alethea has lead a certain life up to this point – she’s been allowed a lot of liberty and independence by her father. However, she’s never met a man who intrigues her quite the same way that James does. But when she’s forced to give up her previous life to live one as the Dark Duke’s duchess though, the transition is going to be hard for her to take. James, too, comes to the relationship needing to make some adjustments. He’s still carrying around scars from his first marriage and as much as he may care for Alethea he has fears that are going to take a lot to get past.

There a good number of misunderstandings between these two. They don’t do that good a job of communicating all the time, but when they do – when they finally start using their brains and hearts, instead of the hurts and insecurities – things definitely get better. It’s a rollercoaster ride, full of humor and hurt, but I gladly held on with both hands, anxiously waiting for them to get to their HEA moment. Oh, and make sure you check out the epilogue on the author’s website – perfect end cap to their love story!

Book Review – 50 Acts of Kindness

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We saw this book a little earlier this summer but I finally got to read it … and it was a lot of fun!

*****

2562768150 Acts of Kindness

by Ellyn Oaksmith

Being overly kind isn’t in Kylie Harrow’s nature. This has never been more evident than when Kylie vents her frustrations to an innocent employee—and the whole scene is posted online, tanking her career and earning her the dubious distinction of “World’s Worst Boss.” But when she flees home to the South, Kylie finds her childhood home has changed. The high school quarterback is now the hot and handsome sheriff. Her mother has turned her home into a nudist colony. And worst of all, having heard about her daughter’s exploits, her mother won’t let her in the door until Kylie completes fifty kind acts in fifty days. The task seems easy enough at first—and may even help repair her media image—but it quickly turns into a hilarious quest that leads Kylie down a bumpy road filled with new challenges. What started as a gimmick to save her career evolves into a mission to save a spunky old woman and her little dog from homelessness. As Kylie learns about the nature of kindness, she finds the path to happiness and, for the first time ever, maybe even love.

I am actually a little surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I expected something light hearted, but not a lot of depth … and I was only half right. While it’s a humorous read, Oaksmith manages to deliver a good amount of growth for Kylie as she learns what it truly means to be kind and help someone by giving them what they really need.

The characters are what makes this book so great – from her mom who opened a B&B for nudists (without telling her), to the sexy sheriff who keeps finding her in the least flattering situations, to her best friend the gay hairdresser who embraces the cliché. Not to mention Margaret and her ugly mutt, who are the catalyst for Kylie becoming a better person. You’ll find at least one of them speaks to you and has you coming back for more. Well, and Kylie herself who just can’t keep out of trouble …

I am also a bit surprised at how Kylie somehow manages to get herself into so many messes but it is a romantic comedy – just sit back, giggle and go with the flow :)

Spotlight – Acquiring Hearts

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Title: Acquiring Hearts
Series: A Heart Series Novel
Author: S. Donahue
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 20, 2015

Have you ever met someone and just knew that they were the one that you were supposed to spend the rest of your life with? In S. Donahue’s Contemporary Romance novel, Acquiring Hearts, Bradley Roberts accidentally meets Giavonna Coppi, his secretary’s sister. He immediately has an attraction to her, but she is not like any of the women that he has dated before.
Gia is an independent, hardworking lawyer who’s been hurt in the past. She invested all of her time into establishing her career. When she meets Bradley, she senses the connection but is afraid to give him her all.
As Bradley finds himself wanting to spend more time with Gia, many dilemmas begin to surface. When their romance is tested, can they see past the obstacles that are standing in their way? Are they meant to be together or is it just easier for them to be apart? There’s only one way to find out…check out this heartfelt fairytale full of emotion, devotion and passion.

S. Donahue is a romance author who resides in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, with her husband and their four-year-old son. She has two book series titled The Heart Series and The Boston Kirkpatricks, and a holiday romance titled One For The Holiday. She is currently working on several novels to be released, including the highly anticipated Provoked.
When she is not writing, Donahue loves shopping, reading, and spending time with family. She loves to connect with her readers, so feel free to find her on Facebook or visit her blog at https://shannshops.wordpress.com/

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Book Review – The Closer You Come

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cover69049-mediumThe Closer You Come

The original heartbreakers series

by Gena Showalter

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter shines in this Original Heartbreakers tale, featuring a man haunted by memories and the vulnerable girl he will do anything to protect.

Tortured by a violent past, ex-con Jase Hollister is looking to start over in a small town. The rugged bachelor suffering from PTSD longs for peace and quiet, always keeping his women at a distance—and his heart encased in stone.

Brook Lynn Dillon is a down on her luck waitress determined to avoid the man every woman in town wants—including her sister. The last thing she needs is his kind of trouble. But his every glance makes her burn…and her resistance is melting fast.

The two agree to a one-time fling, not expecting to be forever branded. Now, no matter how hard they try, they can’t keep their hands off each other. But when a secret from Jase’s past comes to light, they’ll have to face a cold, hard truth: it’s more than Jase’s freedom on the line, it’s their hearts.

My heart absolutely breaks for these people – none of them have had it easy. Luckily they have found each other and with a lot of love & understanding, they may finally be able to find the family and HEA that they need.

Brook Lynn has spent a lot of years mothering her sister and trying to keep it all together. Unfortunately, she’s not had a lot of help. Meeting Jase (with her sister naked in his bed … yeah, that’s going to be uncomfortable) has them butting heads and creating sparks. But Brook Lynn isn’t looking for a fixer-upper in a man and there is no doubt that Jase needs some help.

Jase is dealing with A LOT of issues. He’s spent almost a decade in prison and that leaves many scars, both inside and out. Fresh to Strawberry Valley, he’s looking to keep his head down and find some peace. Falling into bed with Jessie Kay early on brings a lot of complications he doesn’t need … especially an attraction to her sassy sister. But more time spent with Brook Lynn tempts him with things that he didn’t think he could have. He just has to decide if he’s willing to try for them.

With The Closer You Come, Showalter delivers complex characters and an emotional storyline guaranteed to bring you laughter and tears. And with two more guys needing to come to peace with their past, the next books are guaranteed to be doozies as well.

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