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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Blog Tour: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Author; Sally Thorne
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: August 2016

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
                       2) A person’s undoing
                       3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.
Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Have you ever picked up a book and knew you weren't going to want to put it down until it was over?  That happened to me with The Hating Game.  I started the book and was quickly drawn into the rivalry between Josh and Lucy.  They have been rivals ever since the merger of their two companies.  The only question is do they love to hate each other or hate to love each other?

I really enjoyed this sweet and cute romance.  The banter between Lucy and Josh was so fun to read.  I found myself rooting for them. Their attraction was such a slow burn that I was compelled to keep reading to see if they would finally get together.  I'm not going to give away any of the plot because I want you to experience it for yourself.  The secondary characters rounded out the story nicely.  I especially loved Lucy's parents.  I loved the way her dad called Josh a different "J" name every time he mentioned him.  That had me cracking up.  

I highly recommend this debut. I think Ms. Thorne has a hit on her hands and I look forward to more from this talented author!



About Sally Thorne


Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book—and it isn’t always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.

Follow Sally on Facebook and Twitter.

Tour Stops

Tuesday, August 9th: BookNAround
Tuesday, August 9th: Staircase Wit
Wednesday, August 10th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, August 12th: Luxury Reading
Monday, August 15th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Tuesday, August 16th: Books and Bindings
Wednesday, August 17th: The Book Chick
Thursday, August 18th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, August 23rd: A Bookworm’s World
Wednesday, August 24th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Wednesday, August 24th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, August 25th: StephTheBookworm
Friday, August 26th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, August 29th: Ms.Bookish.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway - Roadside Assistance by Marie Harte

Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: August 2016

Underneath the axle grease and tats
He’s a gentleman

Foley Sanders figured he’ll always be content with a life of cars and casual hookups. Until a run-in with Cyn, a statuesque firecracker with a hate-on for men, leaves him bewitched and intrigued—much to her annoyance.

Maybe Cynthia Nichols was a little hard on Foley, that muscular, tattooed, super-hot mechanic next door. But she’s tired of feeling defensive about her size and has sworn off men. She’s got a new job, new life, perfect plan. Foley has trouble written all over him—no way is she going to fall for his charms.

Foley might look like a bad idea, but underneath, he’s all gentleman. Too bad Cyn’s not buying it. What’s a bad boy to do when the goddess of his dreams won’t give him the time of day?

Buy Links: 

Enjoy this excerpt!

 Short black hair framed a handsome face. Rough yet manly. He had a five o’clock shadow, and that rumpled hair look that on her would have appeared messy but on him shouted “sexy”. Bright gray eyes watched her with caution, showing he had a measure of intelligence under all that muscle and ink.
She steeled herself not to get taken in by so much manliness. Neighborhood cat lady, remember? Besides, his cars are littering the parking lot! Men suck. He’s probably only into skinny chicks anyway.
That made her feel better, imagining his intolerance for real women.
But real women can be any size. Plump or stick thin, fat or slender, tall or… Shut up, Cyn! This isn’t time for a life lesson. Deal with Conan and love your gender later.
“Yes?” she said with an icy politeness that had Nina trying to bite back a grin.
“I’m sorry. I think we got off on the wrong foot.” He smiled, but she wasn’t buying the charm. “I’m Foley Sanders.” He held out a hand.
Nina stepped on her foot, and she jerked toward Foley before realizing it. She glared at Nina before reminding herself to be a professional. She’d dealt with overwhelming men before and would no doubt again. So she held out her hand and pasted a smile on her face. “Cyn Nichols.”
He blinked. “You’re related to Matt?”
“Yes, is there a problem with that?” She didn’t even have to pretend to be tired of that question. Matt was so handsome and in shape and popular. What tree had they shaken her out of?
“Not at all.” His grin broadened. “I just hadn’t realized Matt had such a hot sister.”
She blinked. “What?”
“Before I somehow piss you off again, I’m here to get the cars,” he said in a hurry. “Dale, our new guy, must have parked them in the wrong spot. Apparently our agreement was with the sewing place next door, not your parking lot. And I’m sorry I never answered your calls. I misplaced my phone again.” He gave her a disarming smile that—damn it—worked.
She felt herself blushing. “Oh. Sorry if I came on a little strong.” A little? Even she knew she’d been over-the-top bitchy. “It’s just that we had some complaints with customers and I couldn’t understand why no one had gotten back to me.” She still didn’t understand that. What professional these days ever parted with his or her cell phone? But he’d made amends, so she could forgive him the lapse. “So you’ll move the cars?”
He held up a ring of tagged keys. “Right away, Ms. Nichols.”
“How do you know I’m not a Mrs.?” she asked, annoyed with the assumption. Was she so unattractive and ungainly she couldn’t land a man?
He had the gall to wink and nodded to her hand. “No ring. Trust me. First thing I checked…after that dress. That’s a really, really nice dress you’re wearing.” He let out a small sigh and left before she could think of something to say.
Like I’m sorry for being so damn defensive about my size. It’s not you, it’s me. But then, it’s guys like you who made me this way. Well, you and my mother.
Thoughts of her mother scared her straight. She’d told herself time and time again to stop letting Ella Nichols dictate her feelings about herself. She just needed to follow her own advice.
“Ahem.”
Knowing she had to face the inevitable, she looked at the smug woman standing next to her and groaned at Nina’s wide smile.
“You and Foley Sanders. Oh my God, will you guys have the best looking, tallest babies or what?”



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About the author:

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, MARIE HARTE is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. 

Visit marieharte.com and fall in love.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Blog Tour: Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

Author: Kerry Lonsdale
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of publication: August 2016

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.


A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.

In Everything We Keep, Aimee was set to marry her fiance James one day in July. Instead, she buried him.  She has been left to pick up the pieces and move on.  At the funeral, a mysterious woman tells Aimee that James is still alive.  

For the most part, I liked this debut.  It was compelling enough for me to read through to the end.  I wanted to know what happened to James.  The mystery was suspenseful with a twist. I also enjoyed the relationship between Ian and Aimee.  I was happy that they developed a friendship that built over time. It allowed Aimee time to realistically grieve over her loss. 

That all being said, I was left with some questions. Why did it take Aimee over a year to look for James.  I'm not sure I would have taken so long to get answers.  If Lacey had information about James, why didn't she give it all to Aimee at once?  Why spread it out and give it to her a little at a time?  The ending was a little far-fetched and was kind of too neat for me.  There was an epilogue that leaves it open for the possibility of another book.  So maybe some questions will be answered then.  

This was a quick read and I would recommend giving it a shot.  I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Purchase Links

About Kerry Lonsdale


Kerry Lonsdale believes life is more exciting with twists and turns, which may be why she enjoys dropping her characters into unexpected scenarios and foreign settings. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, an online community of authors located across the globe. She resides in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an aging golden retriever who’s convinced she’s still a puppy. Everything We Keep is Kerry’s first novel.

Connect with Kerry

Kerry Lonsdale’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Thursday, July 14th: Why Girls Are Weird
Tuesday, August 2nd: Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Wednesday, August 3rd: Worth Getting in Bed For
Thursday, August 4th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Friday, August 5th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Monday, August 8th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, August 10th: Just Commonly
Thursday, August 11th: Books and Bindings
Friday, August 12th: Caryn, The Book Whisperer
Tuesday, August 16th: West Metro Mommy 
Wednesday, August 17th: FictionZeal
Thursday, August 18th: Chick Lit Central – author Q&A
Thursday, August 18th: The Reading Date
Friday, August 19th: Not in Jersey
Monday, August 22nd: Kahakai Kitchen
Monday, August 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, August 23rd: BookNAround
Wednesday, August 24th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, August 26th: I’d Rather Be at the Beach
Monday, August 29th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Tuesday, August 30th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 31st: Write Read Life

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Last Kind Words by Tom Piccirilli

by:  Tom Piccirilli
published by:  Bantam
publish date:  June 12, 2012

Raised in a clan of small-time thieves and grifters, Terrier Rand decided to cut free from them and go straight after his older brother, Collie, went on a killing spree that left an entire family and several others dead. Five years later, only days before his scheduled execution, Collie contacts Terry and asks him to return home. He claims he wasn’t responsible for one of the murders—and insists that the real killer is still on the loose.

This was one of those books that I got from the library.  When it came time to read it, I was like "why did I pick this??"  So, I kinda put it off, but I eventually got around to it.  I don't know what the problem was, because I ended up really liking this book and hopefully I can get to the second book in the series some time soon.

Terrier is fed up with his family.  They're all thieves and grifters.  When his brother Collie goes on a killing spree, he leaves his family behind and starts and new life.  Collie calls him to death row to make a confession that he didn't kill one of the victims he was accused of killing.  Terrier doesn't believe him but begins his own investigation.  Terry gets drawn back into the dealings of his family.  His sister is involved with a lowlife, his uncles are in trouble with the mob. He has to clear his brother's name, find a killer and get his family straight.

One of the things I liked about this book was the names.  Everyone in Terry's family was named after a breed of dog.  I thought it was a clever little aspect of book.  This was a really good mystery and I would for sure recommend this one.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Brave the Heat by Sara Humphreys

Author: Sara Humphreys
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication:  September 2015
Jordan McKenna is back in town, and Fire Chief Gavin Maguire’s feelings when he sees her after all these years are as raw as the day she left. Then he was just a kid wearing his heart on his sleeve. Now he spends every day trying to atone for the tragedy he couldn’t prevent.
Jordan’s life has not exactly worked out the way she expected. A divorced mother of two with a failed acting career, Jordan’s biggest concern about coming back to Old Brookfield was seeing her first love. But when a series of suspicious fires breaks out, Jordan and Gavin realize that dealing with the sparks between them may be the least dangerous of their problems.

Brave the Heat is the first in a series about five brothers.  I think they are set up as a stand-alones because this book focuses on only Gavin.  The other brothers show up in the end so the reader doesn't really get a chance to know them.  Gavin and Jordan have a history.  She ran away 15 years before and Gavin still has a thing for her.  Now she is back in town, divorced and with two little girls in tow.

I really liked this second chance romance.  I enjoyed watching Gavin and Jordan find their way back to each other.  Their history made their love story more believable and sweeter.  Jordan's two daughters were adorable.  I loved how Gavin's parents still acted like teenagers in love.  They were hilarious and I look forward to seeing them in future books. We also get treated to a little mystery and that kept things exciting.  

I have the latest book, Trouble Walks In, in my TBR.  I can't wait for Maddy and Ronan's story!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Blog Tour:The American Girl by Kate Horsley

Author: Kate Horsley
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: August 2016

On a quiet summer morning, seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch. Barefoot, bloodied, and unable to say what has happened to her, Quinn’s appearance creates quite a stir, especially since the Blavettes—the French family with whom she’s been staying—have mysteriously disappeared. Now the media, and everyone in the idyllic village, are wondering if the American girl had anything to do with her host family’s disappearance.

Though she is cynical about the media circus that suddenly forms around the girl, Boston journalist Molly Swift cannot deny she is also drawn to the mystery and travels to St. Roch. She is prepared to do anything to learn the truth, including lying so she can get close to Quinn. But when a shocking discovery turns the town against Quinn and she is arrested for the murders of the Blavette family, she finds an unlikely ally in Molly.

As a trial by media ensues, Molly must unravel the disturbing secrets of the town’s past in an effort to clear Quinn’s name, but even she is forced to admit that the American Girl makes a very compelling murder suspect. Is Quinn truly innocent and as much a victim as the Blavettes—or is she a cunning, diabolical killer intent on getting away with murder…?

Told from the alternating perspectives of Molly, as she’s drawn inexorably closer to the truth, and Quinn’s blog entries tracing the events that led to her accident, The American Girl is a deliciously creepy, contemporary, twisting mystery leading to a shocking conclusion.

The American Girl is about, well, an American girl who is in France as an exchange student.  One day, she stumbles out of the woods and, after getting hit by a car, loses her memory.  The host family she was staying with is missing and she gets blamed for their disappearance.

I have kind of mixed feelings about this book.  Ultimately, it ended up being an just OK.  For the most part, I liked the mystery and the conclusion.  The story was all tied up into a nice, neatly packaged ending.  It just, for me, took a bit too long to get there. None of the characters were particularly likable.  I had a hard time buying some of the things that happened in the book.  Such as, what detectives wouldn't take the patient's iPhone and hack into it?  Especially if they needed answers.  Also, how did no one check that Molly was really Quinn's aunt? I can't imagine France is that lax in their security at hospitals.  Those are just a couple of examples that took away from my enjoyment of the book.  I guess this will have to be a book that you need to judge for yourself.  



About Kate Horsley


Kate Horsley’s first novel, The Monster’s Wife, was shortlisted for the Scottish First Book of the Year Award. Her poems and short fiction have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Best British Crime Stories. She credits Crimeculture, a site dedicated to crime fiction and film offering articles, reviews, and interviews with writers.

Find out more about Kate at her website, and follow her on TwitterFacebookYouTube,Instagram, and Google+.

Tour Stops
Tuesday, August 2nd: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, August 3rd: A Bookworm’s World
Thursday, August 4th: Literary Feline
Monday, August 8th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, August 9th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, August 10th: Luxury Reading
Thursday, August 11th: Bibliotica
Thursday, August 11th: FictionZeal
Monday, August 15th: Buried Under Books
Wednesday, August 17th: Comfy Reading
Thursday, August 18th: StephTheBookworm
Friday, August 19th: From the TBR Pile

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Deadly Fear by Cynthia Eden


Author: Cynthia Eden
First published in 2010 by Grand Central Publishing

TWO BRILLIANT AGENTS
FBI Special Agent Monica Davenport has made a career out of profiling serial killers. But getting inside the twisted minds of the cruel and the sadistic has taken its toll: She's walled herself off from the world. Yet Monica can't ignore fellow agent Luke Dante, the only man who ever broke through her defenses.

ONE DREAM TEAM
Luke has the unique ability to put victims at ease...professionally, he and Monica made a perfect team. Now they're reunited to catch a murderer who uses his victims' deepest, darkest fears for sport - but their investigative skills aren't enough. Luke and Monica will have to face the secrets from their past, the ones that terrify them the most, if they are to have a future together.


Deadly Fear was a fast paced hunt for a serial killer involving two FBI agents who have a past history and are both battling inner demons.  For the most part, I liked this one.  I thought the mystery was really good and creepy. I liked the premise that the killer played on the victim's biggest fears. The identity of the serial killer was hard to pin down making it more exciting. 

 The main characters were just OK for me.  I liked Luke, but Monica kept annoying me.  I didn't understand how she got to be in the FBI while hiding her true identity or her past.  Seemed a bit unlikely to me.  I kept waiting for her to share as it probably would have sped up the investigation.  The romance part of the book was a bit underwhelming for me.  So I'd recommend reading this one for the suspense part, not the romance.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

2 in 1: Haunted Destiny and Deadly Fate by Heather Graham


Haunted Destiny
Mira (Harlequin)
May 2016

I've read all of the books in the series so far.  For me, Haunted Destiny was just OK and definitely not my favorite of the series. The romance was a very rushed and forced. I'm not sure I bought into the fall into forever in a matter of days and the ending was kind of dumb and a bit hokey. The story was a bit slow at times and I missed having more of the Krewe working the case. It did keep me guessing until close to the end, so that was a bonus.

Deadly Fate
Mira (Harlequin)
July 2016

Deadly Fate is the 19th of the Krewe series and the second of the "trilogy".  I liked this one slightly more than Haunted Destiny.  The mystery was more exciting and kept me guessing.  But, again, the romance was forced and really rushed.  I'm almost wishing that there would be either more romance or none at all.  It's seems that in these latest Krewe books, the romance  has become an afterthought and just slipped into the story because it needs to be there.  I'm not feeling the connection with the love interests even though I'm told I'm supposed to.   Maybe it's time for a break from the Krewe.  I'd love to see some stories with some of the old gang and their love interests.  It might bring back some spice to the series. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Minatour Books
Date of publication:May 2016

Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a domestic violence support town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want; she's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding - in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.


City of the Lost is the first book by this author that I have read.  I have seen some reviews that say her fantasy series are better.  Since I obviously have nothing to compare it to, I will just say that I did enjoy his book.  I liked the premise of a town where people can go to hide and start over.  Don't we all want to disappear at times?  Anyone who is fortunate enough to get into the town of Rockton lives off the grid.  Only a select few know the place exists.  Casey and her friend Diana both apply to live in the town because they are both getting away from something.  Rockton needs a detective and Casey is perfect for the job.

As I said, I liked this book.  I really liked Casey.  She is the kind of character that makes me want to read more books in a series to see how she grows and changes.  I didn't even mind the quickie romance with Eric.  I loved his character too.  I won't comment on the mysteries here.  It would spoil the overall story. There are a few twists that made it really interesting. The ending left me with some questions, so it will be interesting to see how everything plays out in future books. I definitely recommend this one and look forward to reading the next one coming out in 2017.  In the meantime, I'm going have to seek out some of Ms. Armstrong's other works!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Joint Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Author:Kara Thomas
Publisher: Delacourte
Date of publication: April 2016

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.
 


I will admit that I almost made this one a DNF.  But I'm really glad I stuck it out.  It starts off a bit slow, but the wait is really worth it.    Tessa has returned to her old home town after tens years.  She hasn't been back since her mother abandoned her and she went to live with her grandmother.  She and her best friend Callie helped put away the man who police say killed Callie's cousin ten years earlier.  But Tessa has always wondered if they really saw what they testified having seen that night. When a local girl is murdered, it raises even more questions for Tessa.

The Darkest Corners has two mysteries really...Who killed local girl Ariel and was Callie's cousin Lori really killed by a serial killer?  Tessa and Callie end up setting aside their differences to figure out the truth.  I'm not going to say much more about the book. Just know that the plot was well planned out with reveals coming just at the right time.  It really kept me guessing. There are a lot of twists and the ending has a BIG surprise.   I definitely recommend checking this one out. 


Like Kari, I didn't know if I was going to like this book when I first started.  However, I got sucked in to story and it was a good one.  If you've read it and want more, check out the TV show Slasher on Netflix.  They have weird similarities.  I say give both a try!  Especially, if you like a good creepy/scary story.