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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway of Say No to the Duke by Eloisa James




by Eloisa James
SeriesThe Wildes of Lindow Castle
GenreAdult
Historical Romance

PublisherAvon Books
Publication DateJune 25, 2019

 Could she possibly refuse a duke’s hand—in favor of a sardonic, sinful rake?

Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed—but before marriage, she longs for one last adventure.

No gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches.

If he wins…she is his, for one wild night.

But what happens when Jeremy realizes that one night will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say no to the duke.


Enjoy this short excerpt!

They  moved toward  each other as  if they were following the steps of a very slow, very grand  country dance. One that was danced by kings and queens and countryfolk alike.

When   they were   beside each   other, she squared  her shoulders and met  his eyes. “I decided to come to you. I hope that is all right.” 

“I do believe that you are the bravest woman I’ve ever met,” he replied.

He  couldn’t  have said  anything better;  Betsy felt herself  begin to glow. “I haven’t  been brave to this point, but  I have made up my mind to change. I outlawed being nervous, but now I need to  outlaw being afraid.” She hesitated. “I have chosen courage, and now I choose happiness.”

“I  love  you as  you are,”  he whispered,  and then his mouth came down on hers.

Her breath caught in her throat because their tongues met as if they kissed every day, every  night. He tasted right, which sent a shiver through her whole body, and pushed   her against him gently, the way a pebble might roll up a beach when the tide comes in.

One doesn’t fight the tide.


Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of SAY NO TO THE DUKE by Eloisa James, we're giving away a paperback copy of Wilde in Love by Eloisa James to one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Wilde in Love by Eloisa James. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books.  Giveaway ends 6/28/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Books will send the prize to the winner directly.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!


About Eloisa James

ELOISA JAMES is a New York Times best-selling author and professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at www.eloisajames.com.
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon








Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Release Day Event: Justified by Jay Crownover



We are so excited to celebrate the release of JUSTIFIED by Jay Crownover with you today! JUSTIFIED is part of the new Loveless, Texas series and it is available now! COme back on July 1 for a review of the book!

Join Jay's Reader Group for Exclusive News!


The New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series delivers a romance about a rugged Texas sheriff who must protect the woman who was once his sworn enemy... Case Lawton comes from a family of criminals. So as the sheriff of Loveless, Texas, he's determined to do everything by the book--until he's called to Aspen Barlow's office after a so-called break-in. The last thing he wants to do is help the woman who cost him custody of his son. But Aspen isn't the heartless lawyer Case remembers, and he starts to question his long-held grudge... Aspen is scared for her life, and Case is her last hope for protection. But to get him on her side, she'll have to reveal the painful truth from all those years ago. Now, as they work together to track down a dangerous criminal, Case and Aspen learn to trust each other. And as the threats escalate, it becomes clear there's a thin line between love and hate... because there's nothing Case wouldn't do to keep her safe.  

Purchase your copy of JUSTIFIED today!

Amazon | Nook | Apple Books | Kobo

 
---------------------

About JAY CROWNOVER:

Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point Series, Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

  Connect with her: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Reader Group

 

Monday, June 24, 2019

June Mini Musings


Gitchie Girl: This was a quick true crime story about the murder of four teens and the abduction and rape of a 13 year old girl.  While it was interesting at times, I found it to be a bit dry.  I found it didn't really offer much more than a wikipedia page would offer.  Still it's worth a read.

The Ash Moon: This was a random pick for me.  It ended up being OK.  I found myself rolling my eyes a lot while reading.  I found the insta-bonding, "you are mine no matter how much you don't like it"  to be cringey.  Orion was over the top.  I probably won't finish reading the series.

The Brat: I found this one to be a so-so historical romance. The couple was fairly bland with little chemistry. There was a little mystery, but even that wasn't too exciting.  I have read better from this author.

Take Me Down: This second book in the Knight Brothers series.  This one is Parker and Emily's story.  While I did think the "I love yous" came a bit quick, I did like the chemistry between the couple.  I also enjoyed their banter.  A great addition to the series.


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Blog Tour: Review of Till There was You by Marie Force

Author: Marie Force
Publisher: HTJB, Inc
Date of publication: June 2019


Being an adult has its advantages... 

Lucas Abbott and his identical twin grew up sharing everything—including a reputation for funny, idiotic behavior. But now that Lucas is ready to shed that lovable-idiot image, grow up and have a real, adult relationship, the joke’s on him. He and his twin have fallen for the same woman.

Crushed and hoping a few days on the slopes will work out his frustrations, he heads for Stowe, Vermont. All thought of fun and relaxation flies away as a car spins out in a snowstorm, and his firefighter/paramedic training kicks into high gear.

Danielle Rowson is hoping to pick up the pieces and build a new life for herself and her daughter in Vermont. Winding up in a ditch in the middle of a blizzard isn’t part of the plan—and neither is the kind, sexy rescuer whose strong hands pull them to safety.

Lucas has been a little kid, a big kid and now an adult—and he discovers that adulting has more than one advantage. Especially when it comes to sharing with Dani and Savannah the one thing that’s his and his alone: his love. 


Till There was You is the fourth book in the Butler, Vermont series.  It's the first one that I have read and it held up well as a stand alone book.  I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not having read any of the other books in the series.  This one is Lucas and Danielle's story. 

I thought this was a very sweet and slow burn romance.  I loved that Lucas and Danielle took time to get to know each other as friend before taking it further. It was sweet watching Lucas fall for Dani and little Savannah.   I  respected Dani wanting to stand on her own before the took the plunge again.  I also loved that there was not a lot of angst.

Lucas is one of 10 children.  That means there is huge cast of characters coming in and out of the narrative.  They were wonderful and added a lot of humor and color to the story.  The downside of coming into  a big series late in the game is that when I like a cast of characters, I end up wanting to go back and read the rest of the books. This adds to my ever growing TBR pile.  The upside is I have a lot of other family member romances to read about and get to stay in the world for a little bit longer.  I definitely recommend this one.

Read your copy now: 




AUTHOR BIO:



Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold 1.5 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie's mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram. Join one of Marie's many reader groups. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com.

AUTHOR LINKS:





Saturday, June 22, 2019

Review: A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux

Author: Jude Deveraux
Publisher: Mira
Publication date: Sept 2018

.Sara Medlar is a household name in romance, with millions of books sold. But lately, retirement has been boring her and she's found herself back in her hometown of Lachlan, Florida, remodeling the grand old mansion she'd admired as a child. It's much too big for her alone, but she'd die before letting anyone in town know that.Then Sara's niece Kate is offered a job in Lachlan--a start in what could be a very successful career in real estate. She accepts immediately, but with so little saved up, she'll have to approach her estranged yet incredibly famous aunt for a place to stay while she gets herself settled. But when she arrives at Sara's home, she finds she's not the only long-term houseguest. Jackson Wyatt already has his own room, and though it's impossible to deny his good looks and charm--he's clearly got her aunt wrapped around his finger--she's also never met anyone who irritates her quite like Jack does.However, when two skeletons are accidentally uncovered in the quiet town, this unlikely trio is suddenly thrust together by a common goal: to solve a mystery everyone else seems eager to keep under wraps. United by a sense of justice and the desire to right old wrongs, Sara, Kate and Jack will have to dig into Lachlan's murky past to unravel the small town's dark secrets and work to bring the awful truth to ligh


A Willing Murder is the first book in the Medlar mystery series.  It involves three unlikely detective roommates who end up solving a decades old murder mystery.  I did end up enjoying this one.  I was expecting more of a thriller but the book felt more like a cozy mystery.   There were a few ways that I thought the mystery would go and I ended up being wrong. I completely surprised by the ending.


The best part of the book was the relationship between Sara, Kate and Jack.  The trio had great personal chemistry and played well off of each other.  I loved their banter and the way they made me laugh.  Kate and Jack in particular.  I'm not sure if romance isin the cards for the two but I definitely "ship" them.  I guess I'll have to wait for the next book to see if it develops any further.    If you are looking for a good cozy mystery with some great humor, I do recommend this one.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Author: Jenn Bennett
Publihser: Simon Pulse
Date of publicaiton: April 2018

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?
 


Starry Eyes is a YA contemporary that involves a sweet friends to lovers to enemies to lovers again trope.  Zorie and Lennon (I loved his name) used to be best friends.  But something happened on Homecoming night that broke up their friendship and budding romance.  When they find themselves on the same camping trip and they are abandoned by their friends, Zorie and Lennon must work together to find their way out of the forest.

I'll admit at first, I didn't love this one in the beginning.  I though it was a little over the top.  I mean Zorie's parent own a spa that is next to a sex toy shop owned by Lennon's two mothers. THat part isn't what bothered me. I was just worried it was going to end up being cheesy.  Instead, I was pleasantly surprised.  I ended up enjoying the story.  Both Zorie and Lennon were dealing with some issues and end up being able to work through them with the help of the other. The big falling out at Homecoming was all a misunderstanding and lack of communication.  But, their time in the woods was well spent as they talked out everything and cleared the air.  Can I just say that I would have loved a boy like Lennon in my life when I was a teen.  It's worth a read.  I would recommend it to the older YA crown though.  There is some content (while done tastefully and responsibly) that I don't think younger YA readers are ready for.


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Spotlight: Excerpt of Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg

Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg Banner

Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg

Book Details:

Genre: Detective/Noir/Mystery
Published by: Down & Out Books
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Number of Pages: 300
ISBN: 978-1-64396011-1
Series:Henry Swann
Purchase Links: Amazon | BN.com | Goodreads

Synopsis:


When Henry Swann is asked by his quirky partner, Goldblatt, to find a missing psychic who's swindled his ex-wife out of a small fortune, he just can't say no. Although he doesn't actually expect to get paid, he figures it might give him a chance to finally learn more about his partner's mysterious past. His search takes him into the controversial, arcane world of psychics, fortune tellers, and charlatans, while raising questions in his own mind about whether or not there is an after-life.

While working his partner's case, he's approached by a former employer, attorney Paul Rudder, to track down a missing witness who might be able to provide an alibi for his client, Nicky Diamond, a notorious mob hitman who's scheduled to go on trial for murder he claims he didn't commit in a week. Swann's search for the missing witness, who happens to be the defendant's girlfriend, takes him from Brooklyn to a small beach town across the Bay from Mobile, Ala. But what does she really know and will she even come back with him to testify for her boyfriend?

Read an excerpt:

1
The Age of Aquarius

"We're partners, right?"
Nothing good can come from that question when it comes from the mouth of Goldblatt.
"I mean, all for one and one for all, am I right?" he quickly added in an attempt, I was sure, to seal the deal.
"I think you're confusing us with the three musketeers. May I point out there are only two of us, and I'm afraid that's not the only fallacy in your declaration. But you might as well finish what you've started."
We were having our weekly Friday lunchtime sit-down to discuss what Goldblatt likes to refer to as "business." I have another name for it: waste of time.
Our venue changes from week to week but the concept is always pretty much the same: a cheap diner-slash-coffee shop somewhere on the island of Manhattan. Today's eatery of choice (Goldblatt's choice, my destiny) is the Utopia Diner, on Amsterdam, near 72nd Street. And as for the business we'd just finished discussing, well, to be honest, there never is very much actual business to discuss and today was no exception.
At this particular moment in time, we were going through a bit of a dry spell, which always makes me a little nervous because no matter how much I banish it from my mind, the rent is due the first of every month and at least three times a day I seem to develop a hunger that must be quenched. Still, a good fifteen, twenty years away from Social Security, and with precious little dough in the bank--okay, let's be honest, no dough in the bank--and no 401-K to fall back on, I need to keep working. And, as much as I don't like to admit it, lately it's been my "partner," as he likes to refer to himself, as opposed to my preferred albatross, who's brought in the bulk of our clients.
We'd already finished eating--though technically, Goldblatt never actually finishes eating which means a meal can easily turn into an all-day affair, if I don't apply the brakes--and we were just waiting for the check to arrive. This is a crucial point of any meal with Goldblatt because it is the opening gambit in what has become our weekly routine of watching the check sit there in no-man's land somewhere between us until I inevitably give in, pick it up, and pay. Otherwise, I risk one of two things: either we'd be there all afternoon or, worst case scenario, Goldblatt will decide he's still hungry and threaten to order something else. Neither one of these options is the least bit appealing.
"I'll get right to the point," he said.
Just then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted the waiter, like a white knight, approaching with our check in hand. If I acted quick enough I might be able to get out of there before I can be sucked into something I don't want to have anything to do with.
"That would be nice," I said, reaching for my wallet. "What is your point?"
"I need to hire you."
I was stopped in my tracks before I got my wallet halfway out of my back pocket.
"Really? To do what?"
"I want you to find someone for me. Well, to be more precise it's not really for me. It's for my ex-wife."
Wait a minute! Goldblatt married? Goldblatt with a wife? Goldblatt a husband? This was a new one on me, something I'd never even considered.
"You…you've been married?" I stammered.
Truth is, I never pictured Goldblatt being in any relationship other than with, yes, as irritating as it might be, me. I mean the guy isn't exactly anyone's idea of Don Juan, although I suppose in theory there are women who might find him if not attractive in the conventional way at least interesting in a specimen-under-glass way. Or maybe as a project. Women love a project. They love a challenge. They love the idea that they have the opportunity to remake a man in their image. Maybe that was it. But whatever it was, my world was shaken to the core. And what would shake it even more would be to find that he was actually a father, too. But one shock per meal is more than enough, so there was no chance I was going to pursue that line of questioning.
"Unfortunately, the answer is yes. More than once, in fact."
"Holy Cow," I blurted out, channeling the Scooter. "You're kidding me?"
At this point the same bald, squat waiter who seems to serve us in every diner we patronize, reached our table and dropped the check right in front of me.
"This is not something a man usually kids about."
"How many times?"
He held up three fingers.
"Three times! You've been married three times?"
"Yeah."
I gulped.
"Are you married now?"
He shook his head. "Nah. I'm kinda between wives. Giving it a rest, if you know what I mean.
But chances are I'll be back in the saddle again soon enough."
"Okay, so let me get this straight. You've been married three times and now you're single but you would consider getting married again?"
"Man is not meant to be alone, Swannie. You might consider the possibility that your life would be enriched if you found your soulmate."
You're fortunate if you find one soul mate in life and I'd already had mine. She was yanked from my life as a result of a freak accident, a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn't know if Goldblatt knew the circumstances of her bizarre accidental death, but I wouldn't have been surprised because he seems to know a lot of things he has no business knowing.
"Some men are meant to be alone, Goldblatt. I'm one of them and after three failed marriages maybe you should consider the possibility you are, too."
He smiled and puffed out his chest. "What can I say, Swann? I'm a friggin' babe magnet."
I would have laughed, should have laughed, but I was still processing the scary fact that he'd been married three times. That meant there were three women in the world who not only were willing to marry him but did marry him. I wanted to know more. Much more. Everything, in fact. But this was not the time and certainly not the place to delve into Goldblatt's mysterious, sordid past. Nevertheless, I promised myself I would revisit this topic in the not too distant future.
Still in shock, I avoided our weekly "who's paying for this meal" tango, grabbed the check and reached for my wallet...again.
"So, wanna know the story?" he asked.
"Which story would that be?"
"The story of why I want to hire you?"
"Desperately."
***
Excerpt from Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg. Copyright 2019 by Charles Salzberg. Reproduced with permission from Charles Salzberg. All rights reserved.

Praise for Swann's Down:


"Psychics, double-crosses, missing persons--Charles Salzberg's latest Henry Swann book has it all. Swann's Down is a gritty, no-frills PI novel that brings to mind greats like Reed Farrel Coleman's Moe Prager and Michael Harvey's Michael Kelly. Whether this is your first Swann adventure or the latest, you won't want to miss the brass-knuckle punch that is Swann's Down. Trust me."
~ Alex Segura, author of Blackout and Dangerous Ends


"From Manhattan to Coney Island to the steamy shores of Alabama, Charles Salzberg delivers a top-flight mystery with his latest Henry Swann outing. Highly recommended."
~ Tom Straw, New York Times bestselling author as Richard Castle


Swann's Down gives readers two intriguing mysteries for the price of one, as skip tracer Henry Swann pursues a woman who might alibi a murderer and a psychic who swindled the ex-wife of Swann's partner. Shamus Award-nominated Salzberg does a superb job cutting between the two investigations. I kept turning pages to stay with both chases as the suspense increased to the very end. Whatever is going on, Swann is at the center of this story. His wry wit, quotes from authors and philosophers, genius for questioning suspects, and dark past make him a character readers will follow anywhere as he seeks his quarry. This is another thrilling addition to this excellent series.
Rich ZahradnikLights Out Summer, winner of the 2018 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Private Eye Novel


Author Bio:


Charles SalzbergCharles Salzberg is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in New York magazine, Esquire, GQ, Redbook, The New York Times Book Review and other periodicals. He has written over 20 non-fiction books, including From Set Shot to Slam Dunk, an oral history of the NBA, and Soupy Sez: My Zany Life and Times. He is author of the Shamus Award nominated Swann's Last Song, Swann Dives In, Swann's Lake of Despair, nominated for two Silver Falchions, Swann's Way Out, Devil in the Hole, named one of the best crime novels of the year by Suspense Magazine. He was a Visiting Professor of Magazine at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and he teaches writing the New York Writers Workshop where he is a Founding Member. He is a member of the MWA-NY Board.

Catch Up With Charles Salzberg On:
Charlessalzberg.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!




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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Charles Salzberg. There will be 6 giveaway winners. There will be 1 Grand Prize winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. There will be five (5) 2nd Prize winners of one (1) Print Edition of Swann's Down (U.S. Mailing Addresses only). The giveaway begins on May 1, 2019 and runs through July 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.
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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Review: Love in the Afternoon by Karen Hawkins

Author: Karen Hawkins
Publication date: June 17, 2019
eBook - Price: $1.99 - ISBN: 9781982105587

 Young widow Sofia Rodriquez has just accepted the position of greenhouse manager for Ava Dove’s booming herbal tea business. Sofia is delighted to have found a job that will make use of her gardening skills and allow her to spend time with her son, Noah, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s. Adding to her joy is the charming farmhouse she’s renting on the edge of Dove Pond.



The only cloud on Sofia’s horizon is her next door neighbor, Jake, whose yard is a thorny jungle worthy of Sleeping Beauty. Soon enough, Sofia discovers that Jake himself is just as thorny and unpleasant as his yard.

After his fiancé left him, work-from-home IT whiz and game developer Jake Klaine has gone from Prince Charming to complete hermit. But Jake isn’t really alone; he’s living with a ghost: a (formerly) hairy man named Doyle who’s a fan of bad puns and who refuses to leave Jake’s bathtub. This is nothing new for Jake, as he’s been talking to ghosts since he was a boy. He finds real people harder to deal with, like the kid next door who won’t stop bugging him about the new game he’s developing.

Love in the Afternoon is a novella in the Dove Pond series.  It's a sweet, slow burn romance involving a man who has shut himself off from the outside world and a woman trying to make a new home for herself and her child.  If you enjoy clean romances, then you will probably enjoy this one.  Even though it's a short book, I felt like the author took the time needed for us to watch the couple fall in love with each other. It never felt rushed. I also enjoyed the relationship between Jake and Noah, Sofia's son.  

There is also a bit of a paranormal element to the story.  Apparently Jake can see ghosts.  One ghost in particular won't seem to leave his bathtub.  The ghost, Doyle, added a bit of humor to the story.  There also seem to be some other characters in the town that posses some other worldly "gifts".  The Book Charmer (Book 1 in the series) looks like it features a librarian who can sense just the right book for a person when they need it the most.   This novella did hold up well as a stand alone though. 

If you are looking for something enjoyable to read on a rainy afternoon, I do recommend this novella.  


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Review: Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

Author; Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Date of publication: October 2018

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.


I'm not usually one to read or like high fantasy, so I went into Kill the Queen a little wary.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.  It involves Lady Everleigh, who lives the kingdom of Bellona.  She is thought to have no real magic other than her being able to smell magic.  But she has a secret power that makes her immune from all magic. It's a secret she keeps closely guarded. After her entire family is massacred, she goes on the run to save her life and figure out how to save her kingdom.

I think the thing that makes me shy away from fantasy is that I am often confused by the magic system and the world that it is set in.  There are also usualtoo many characters to keep straight.  I did not find that to be the case with this book, however.  I found the magic system really interesting.  I loved Evie's powers and watching her realize that extent of her power was fun.  There were a lot of characters, but each one was so unique that it was very easy to keep track of them.  They were a wonderful addition to the overall story. Evie was a strong female lead and definitely one that I want to read more about.   I loved the ending and can't wait to read the second book, Protect the Prince, when it comes out next month.  I will be reviewing that later in July, so stay tuned.  If you haven't yet read this one, I highly recommend it. 

  

Monday, June 17, 2019

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of Jackson by Emily March


Author: Emily March Publisher: St. Martin's Press Paperbacks Date of publication: June 25, 2019

Sometimes it takes a new beginning
Caroline Carruthers thinks she buried her dreams along with the love of her life…until a stranger named Celeste dares her to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in Caroline’s new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful man who’s also starting over, all bets are off.

to reach a happily-ever-after
Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever since his marriage ended, he’s been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in love—he even has the old song lyrics to prove it—but the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful young widow who’s moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of Redemption’s healing magic is true…and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a happy ending after all?

My thoughts:
Jackson is the first in a spin off series (from the Eternity Springs series) about Redemption, Texas, featuring the McBrides of Texas.  This is Jackson and Caroline's story.  They have both come to Redemption, Texas broken and in need of starting over.   For the most part, I enjoyed the story.  It held up well as a stand alone.  I have not read any of the Eternity Springs books, but I don't feel you need to to follow this spin-off.

This is an enjoyable story about second chances and rebuilding your life after devastating loss.  It was a little slow in the beginning, but it picks up at about the 30% mark.  I loved what Jackson and his cousins decided to do with the land after they inherited it.  It will make for a great setting for the series.  What I enjoyed most about this book was the time it took for the relationship to develop between Jackson and Caroline.  It wasn't rushed and they had a great HEA.  The other characters in the book added a lot to the story.  I look forward to reading their stories in the future.  After the epilogue, I'm hoping Tucker's story is next.


Chapter One Excerpt



Nashville, Tennessee
Bang. The judge’s gavel fell and officially crushed Jackson McBride’s heart. He closed his eyes. Bleak despair washed over him. Up until this very moment, he hadn’t believed she’d take it this far.
He’d thought she’d come to her senses. He’d thought she would recognize that this proposal was not only nonsense, but truly insane. He’d believed that somewhere deep inside of her, she still had a spark of humanity. That she wouldn’t do this to him. To them. He’d been wrong.
Damn her. Damn her and the yes-men she surrounded herself with. Damn them all to hell and back.
The enormity of what had just happened washed over him. Oh, God, how will
I survive this?
On the heels of his anguish came the rage. It erupted hot as lava, and it fired his blood and blurred his vision with a red haze of fury. He’d never hit a woman in his life. Never come close, despite plenty of provocation from her direction. In that moment had she been within reach, he might have lived up her accusations.
It scared the crap out of him. That’s what she’s brought me to.
Abruptly, he shoved back his chair so hard that it teetered, almost falling over. He strode toward the courtroom exit. “Jackson? Jackson, wait!” his attorney called, hurrying after him.
Jackson waved her off and didn’t stop. There was nothing left to be said. Nothing left to be done. No place left to go.
No little girl waiting at home to hug and cuddle and kiss good night.
The tap on the toes of Jackson’s boots clacked against the tile floor of the courthouse as his long-legged strides ate up the hallway. He shunned the elevator for the stairs and descended three flights at a rapid pace, then headed for the building’s exit. In a foolish bit of positive thinking, he’d driven his SUV to the courthouse this morning. Now the sight of the safety booster seat in the back seat made him want to kick a rock into next week.
He didn’t want to go home to a quiet, empty house. He shouldn’t go to a bar. Alcohol on top of his current mood could be a dangerous combination. Somebody probably would get hurt.
He got into the car and started the engine. For a long moment he sat unmoving, staring blindly through the windshield, his hands squeezing the steering wheel so hard that it should have cracked. When his phone rang, he ignored it.
A couple of minutes later, it rang a second time. Again, he ignored it. When it happened a third time, he finally glanced at the display to see who was calling. His cousin. Okay, maybe he would answer it.
“Hello, Boone.”
“How did the hearing go?”
Jackson couldn’t speak past the lump in his throat, so he said nothing.
Following a moment’s silence, Boone got the message. He muttered a curse, and then said, “I’m sorry, man. So damn sorry.”
“Well, it is what it is.”
“You can take another run at it.”
“Yeah.” In three years. Three years. Might as well be three decades. He cleared his throat and changed the subject. “So, how are things in Eternity Springs?”
“Good. They’re good. My friend Celeste Blessing visited my office a few minutes ago and spoke of her granite-headed cousin. Naturally, I thought of you.”
“Naturally,” Jackson dryly replied. But he felt a little less alone.
“Do you have plans this weekend? I could use your help with something.”
Pretty convenient timing. Knowing Boone, he had a spy in the courtroom. But Jackson wasn’t in the position to ignore the bone he’d been thrown. “I’m free. Whatcha got?”
“I’d like you to meet me at home.”
Jackson straightened in surprise. “You’re going back to the ranch?”
“No. Not there. I’m never going back there. However, I am talking about Texas. The Hill Country in particular. A little town west of Austin called Redemption.”
“Redemption, Texas?” Jackson repeated. For some weird reason, his heart gave a little skip. “Why there?”
“It’s a long story. Too long for a phone call. I’ll give you the entire skinny when I see you. When can you get there?”
After today’s debacle, Jackson had absolutely no reason to remain in Nashville. “When do you want me there?”
“I’ll be in later today. I’m in Austin now. I’ve been helping a friend with a project. I have a flight back to Colorado Sunday evening. The earlier you can get here the better, but I’ll make anything work.”
Jackson figured the distance and the drive time. “I’ll meet you tomorrow afternoon. Where?”
“Great. I’ll text you the info when we hang up. Bring camping gear.”
When a sound behind him had Jackson glancing up into the rearview mirror and the booster seat caught his notice, he made an instant decision. “Can’t. I’ll be on my bike.”
“You’re gonna ride your motorcycle all the way from Nashville?”
“Yes, I think I am.”
“Okay. I’ll bring stuff for both of us.” Boone hesitated a moment and added, “Hang in there,
Jackson. It’ll get better.”
No, I don’t think it will. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Jackson ended the call and finally put his SUV in gear and backed out of the parking place. With the distraction of the call behind him, fury returned, and by the time he reached home, he felt like a volcano about to explode.
He threw a handful of things into his tail bag, filled his wallet with cash from his stash, and ten minutes after his arrival, he fired up his bike and took his broken heart and headed out of Nashville. He left behind his home, his work, and his one reason for living, his six-year-old daughter, Haley.


From Jackson. Copyright © 2019 by Emily March and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.


Author Bio:

Emily March is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the heartwarming Eternity Springs series. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

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Release Day Blitz: Excerpt of Love in the Afternoon by Karen Hawkins


Happy Release Day to Karen Hawkins!  Her novella, Love in the Afternoon, is on sale today!  Enjoy the excerpt below and make sure to come back Wednesday for my thoughts on the story!

By Karen Hawkins
On sale June 17, 2019
eBook - Price: $1.99 - ISBN: 9781982105587

 Young widow Sofia Rodriquez has just accepted the position of greenhouse manager for Ava Dove’s booming herbal tea business. Sofia is delighted to have found a job that will make use of her gardening skills and allow her to spend time with her son, Noah, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s. Adding to her joy is the charming farmhouse she’s renting on the edge of Dove Pond.

The only cloud on Sofia’s horizon is her next door neighbor, Jake, whose yard is a thorny jungle worthy of Sleeping Beauty. Soon enough, Sofia discovers that Jake himself is just as thorny and unpleasant as his yard.

After his fiancé left him, work-from-home IT whiz and game developer Jake Klaine has gone from Prince Charming to complete hermit. But Jake isn’t really alone; he’s living with a ghost: a (formerly) hairy man named Doyle who’s a fan of bad puns and who refuses to leave Jake’s bathtub. This is nothing new for Jake, as he’s been talking to ghosts since he was a boy. He finds real people harder to deal with, like the kid next door who won’t stop bugging him about the new game he’s developing.

Enjoy this excerpt:

Sofia had never met anyone like her new boss, Ava Dove. Ava’s herbal tea business might be growing at an astounding rate but it was Ava’s knowledge of plants that intrigued Sofia. Ava spoke of the plants as if they were people, saying things like “Mint loves sunshine and Bach.” And “Rosemary may seem like a stiff, unyielding sort of plant, but she has a big heart.” If someone had heard Sofia saying anything like that, they would have called her crazy, but for some reason, when Ava said it, it made perfect sense.

And no one could say Ava didn’t know her plants. The greenhouses were filled with fat, happy, leafy plants. And when she walked down the aisles, it seemed as if the plants reached for her, wanting her attention.
It was weird, and yet so satisfyingly wonderful that Sofia found herself just accepting the fact that Ava loved her plants and they loved her back. If only all facets of life were that perfect and simple. In the meantime, Sofia was happy to learn what she could from her new boss and her wonderful greenhouses. The fresh scents made Sofia want to fill her lungs over and over, and the calmness of the space gave her the peace she’d been searching for since The Very Bad Day, while the flexible hours let her spend time with her son, Noah, whenever she wanted. This really is the perfect job.
When her cousin Juana had first suggested Sofia and Noah move from hot and crowded Orlando to quiet and peaceful Dove Pond, Sofia had been hesitant. At the time, she’d been in the middle of a messy, unresolved, painful divorce, and moving would have only complicated things. But Juana had persisted, which wasn’t surprising. Juana’s husband, Tony, said she didn’t know the word no, didn’t want to, and refused to hear it. So when Juana had repeatedly explained why Dove Pond was so perfect for Sofia, how the special education program at the elementary school Noah would be attending was amazing, the community welcoming and friendly, and the town itself “magical,” Sofia had found herself listening. And when the time had come, Sofia hadn’t thought twice—she’d packed up her and Noah’s things and moved here.
Of course she didn’t believe in magic, but she had to admit that so far, despite its slightly worn-out air, Dove Pond was casting a spell over her. She’d desperately needed peace and a place to get away, where she and Noah could heal and start fresh, and Dove Pond had delivered that and more. In fact, the second she’d put her foot outside her car and onto the pavement of Dove Pond’s historic downtown area, she’d felt as if she’d come home.
At first glance, the little town had seemed like every other small town in North Carolina, with two-story redbrick buildings lining an awning-festooned main street, charming tree-lined avenues with an impressive collection of large Queen Anne–style houses, and people more interested in the corn crop than in the sorry state of affairs in DC. But Dove Pond held surprises around every corner—treasures, really—each one a blessing for Sofia and Noah. And the first treasure had been Ava.




About the author:


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Hawkins writes novels that have been praised as touching, witty, charming, and heartwarming. A native Southerner who grew up in the mountains of East Tennessee where storytelling is a way of life, Karen recently moved to frosty New England with her beloved husband and multiple foster dogs. The Dove Pond series is a nod to the thousands of books that opened doors for her to more adventures, places, and discoveries than she ever imagined possible. 

To find out more about Karen, check in with her at Facebook.com/KarenHawkinsWriter, @KarenHawkinsAuthor on Instagram, and at her website, KarenHawkins.com.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Review: Sisters of Summer's End by Lori Foster

Author: Lori Foster
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: June 11, 2019

As the summer ends, friendship begins...When single mom Joy Lee abandoned her old life to take a job at a lakeside resort, she found something that her family's wealth and influence could never buy: peace of mind. Not easy to come by for the once-burned divorce who keeps everyone at a distance. But when her new friend, Maris, dares her to take a chance with the drive-in's charismatic new owner, everything changes for Joy and her young son. A difficult childhood has left Maris Kennedy with definite priorities. Her job running Summer's End, the camp store and cafe, comes first. Always. Nothing could ever make her risk that hard-won security--especially not her free-spirited colleague. But the more she encourages Joy to open herself up to new experiences, the more Maris begins to wonder what she, too, might be missing. Learning how to trust will bring Joy and Maris together. 


And soon they form a friendship that leaves them as close as sisters--and open to love where they least expect it...in Summer's End.


I have been awaiting  Sisters of Summer's End since finishing Cooper's Charm last year.  Particularly Maris's story.    This sequel is about Maris as well as Joy.  Both are employees at the summer resort and campground.  Both have been kind of loners for a while.  But they begin to slowly learn to open themselves up and find a deep friendship with each otherr.  Oh and they find love along the way.  It wouldn't be a roamnce without a little love, right?


I flew through this book.  I absolutely loved it.  Out of the two couples, Maris and Daron were my favorite.  They were so cute and adorable and gave me such a smile.  I loved how Daron ended up being so different from Maris's opinion of him.  Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy Joy and Royce's relationships.  Theirs is a classic case of finding something when you least expect it.  

Besides the romances, there were two other aspects that I loved about the book. I loved  watching the friendship develop and deepen between Maris and Joy.  We all need a friendship like that in our lives.  Sometimes we have to just open ourselves to the possibility.  I also loved the relationship that grew between Royce and Jack.  It was just so heartwarming and sweet.

Ifyou are looking for a great book to get lost in this simmer, I highly recommend this one as well as Cooper's Charm.  You all know this is a favorite author of mine, so you know Ialways count on her for a great romance.  So check them out!