Thursday, June 30, 2016

Books We Didn't Finish - June Edition

What She Left Behind - Too depressing.  Izzy's story read like a bad YA cliche.  Clara's story was just too sad to read any more.

The Fireman - I was so looking forward to reading this one.  I liked NOS4A2 a lot.  But this book was a mess.  It was overfilled with pop cultural references that won't hold up in 30 years, which you know is a huge pet peeve of mine. The story was so boring. With a unique take on viruses and the apocalypse, the author could have done so much more with this book.  I made it about 40% through and gave up.  At over 700 pages, I expected to be swept away like in The Stand, instead I found myself yawning and waiting for something to happen. My advice: Go read The Stand instead.  His father wrote a better book.

Don't You Cry - I wanted to cry because I was so confused and bored to tears.  I got about 30% in and I just didn't care about what happened to Esther or whatever twist the book had in the end.  I was baffled by all of the 5 star reviews.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things - Yeah, I ended things pretty early on on this book.  I found it confusing and kind of rambling.  I really wasn't interested in getting to the end.

The Outliers:  I really need to stop giving into hype. I didn't care for this one.  I found it hard to believe an agoraphobic or at least someone who was well on her way to becoming a full blown one, would be able to just pick herself up and leave the house to search for her friend.  I wasn't interested in seeing what happened after that.

The Girl from Summer Hill: This was a real disappointment.  I am a fan of this author, but this one just didn't grab me.  I am also a big fan of Pride and Prejudice, but it really didn't work for me in this one.  I didn't like the format or the characters. There were too many points of view.

City of Mirrors-This is the 3rd book in The Passage trilogy.  I loved loved The Passage.  The second book was pretty good.  So much time has passed between The Twelve and City of Mirrors that I can't keep all the story lines straight anymore.  I don't remember the characters well enough to follow what's going on.

The Memory Box-It started out ok, but then when the main character realized she couldn't remember her past she got hysterical.  That is an understandable reaction of course, but it got really annoying pretty fast.  I just wanted to slap her and tell her to get it together.  So I gave up on that one after awhile.

Heartsick-The premise of this book sounded good, female serial killer and all.  However, I just couldn't get into this book.  I don't have a specific reason, it just wasn't holding my interest.

The Crow Girl - Again, I tried but it just wasn't holding my interest.  Normally, I like the European writers but I didn't particularly care for this book.

Edge of Evil-Since I liked the other JA Jance book, I decided to see if the other series were as good.  Maybe
they are, but I didn't care for this series.  I didn't like the main character at all.  She was so whiny.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

6th Blog-a-versary Celebration & Giveaway

Happy "Blog-a-versary" to us!!  

We can't believe it has been 6 years since we started From the TBR Pile. Over the last six years, our TBR piles have not gotten any smaller. We wouldn't have it any other way!  

To help us celebrate, we have a big giveaway to thank our followers. 

We are giving a $25.00 gift card to Amazon and 2 surprise mixed boxes of books filled with ARCs and books reviewed on this blog (US only for the boxes, please).  

3 lucky winners will be chosen at the end of the giveaway.  See the Rafflecopter for details.

Here's to another great year!  

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Blog Tour: The Space Between Sisters by Mary McNear

Author: Mary McNear
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: June 2016

They are two sisters who couldn’t be more different. Win, organized and responsible, plans her life with care. Poppy, impulsive and undependable, leaves others to pick up the pieces. But despite their differences, they share memories of the idyllic childhood summers they spent together on the shores of Butternut Lake. Now, thirteen years later, Win, recovering from a personal tragedy, has taken refuge on Butternut Lake, settling into a predictable and quiet life.
Then one night, Poppy unexpectedly shows up on her sister’s doorstep with her suitcases, an aging cat named Sasquatch, and a mysterious man in tow. Although Win loves her beautiful sister, she wasn’t expecting her to move in for the summer. At first, they relive the joys of Butternut Lake. But their blissful nostalgia soon gives way to conflict and painful memories, and buried secrets threaten to tear the sisters apart.

As the waning days of summer get shorter, past secrets are revealed, new love is found, and the ties between the sisters are tested like never before . . . all on the serene shores of Butternut Lake.

The Space Between Sisters was a nice return to Butternut Lake.  It's the tale of two sisters who spend a summer reconnecting and helping each other move on with their lives.  Poppy shows up unexpectedly at Win's house with no job, no money and all of her worldly possessions.Win doesn't like surprises and hopes the Poppy gets her act together real soon.While not my favorite, I definitely enjoyed this fourth installment of the series.  It could definitely be read as a stand alone book as characters from the previous books don't really make more than drive-by appearances.  So new readers won't miss anything. 

 I loved Poppy.  I really felt her struggle with everything throughout the story.  The secret she had been keeping for years was just gut wrenching.  Sam was the perfect guy to help her begin to heal. Having recently lost my own elderly cat, I found myself a bit teary-eyed during one part of the book. I liked Win a little less.  I felt like I didn't get to know her as much as Poppy. Her grief over her dead husband seemed to be very genuine, but I didn't feel like that part of the story was really explored enough.  I would have loved to see more of the budding relationship between her and Everett.   

I highly recommend this book and this series as a whole.  Make sure to check it out when you get a chance!

About Mary McNear

Mary McNear, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Butternut Lake series, writes in a local doughnut shop, where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of neighborhood life, and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly made doughnuts. Mary bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the northern Midwest.
Connect with Mary on Facebook.

Purchase Links

Tour Stops
Tuesday, June 14th: A Tattered Copy
Wednesday, June 15th: Reading Reality
Thursday, June 16th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Friday, June 17th: Books and Bindings
Tuesday, June 21st: 5 Minutes For Books
Wednesday, June 22nd: Reading is My Super Power
Thursday, June 23rd: Tina Says…
Monday, June 27th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, June 28th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, June 29th: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, July 1st: Into the Hall of Books

Spotlight: Excerpt of The Daredevil Snared by Stephanie Laurens

Author: Stephanie Laurens
Publisher: Harlequin
Date of publication: June 28, 2016

Captain Caleb Frobisher, hedonistic youngest son of a seafaring dynasty, wants to be taken seriously by his family, and understands he has to prove himself sufficiently reformed. When opportunity strikes, he seizes the next leg of the covert mission his brothers have been pursuing and sails to Freetown. His actions are decisive, and he completes the mission’s next stage—but responsibility, once exercised, has taken root, and he remains in the jungle to guard the captives whose rescue is the mission’s ultimate goal.

Katherine Fortescue has fled the life of poverty her wastrel father had bequeathed her and come to Freetown as a governess, only to be kidnapped and put to work overseeing a child workforce at a mine. She and the other captured adults understand that their lives are limited by the life of the mine. Guarded by well-armed and well-trained mercenaries, the captives have been searching for some means of escape, but in vain. Then Katherine meets a handsome man—a captain—in the jungle, and he and his crew bring the sweet promise of rescue.

The sadistic mercenary captain who runs the mine has other ideas, but Caleb’s true strength lies in extracting advantage from adversity, and through the clashes that follow, he matures into the leader of men he was always destined to be. The sort of man Katherine can trust—with her body, with her life. With her love.

The first voyage is one of exploration, the second one of discovery. The third journey brings maturity, while the fourth is a voyage of second chances. Continue the journey and follow the adventure, the mystery, and the romances to the dramatic end.

"The vivid narrative, combined with quick cuts from scene to scene, make for an engrossing read with an ending poised to continue the adventure with yet another Frobisher brother." –Publishers Weekly STARRED review
“Vividly etched West African jungle setting gives a refreshing twist to Laurens’ latest Regency-set historical romance as she continues the danger-packed story line." –Booklist

Enjoy this excerpt from The Daredevil Snared:

July 14, 1824Jungle east of Freetown, West Africa
Caleb Frobisher moved steadily forward through the jungle shadows. His company of twenty-four men followed in single file. No one spoke; the silence was eerie, stretching nerves taut. Beneath the thick canopy, the humidity was so high that forging ahead felt like walking underwater, as if the heavy atmosphere liter­ally weighed on their limbs.
“Hell’s bells,” Phillipe Lascelle, at Caleb’s heels, breathed. “Surely it can’t be much farther.”
“It’s only midmorning,” Caleb murmured back. “You can’t be wilting already.”
Phillipe snorted.
Caleb continued along the path that was little more than an animal track; they had to constantly duck and weave under and around palm fronds and low branches festooned with clinging vines.
Somewhere ahead lay the slavers’ camp they’d come to find—or so Caleb fervently hoped. Despite his de­termination to unwaveringly abide by the rule book throughout this mission, thus proving to all and sundry, and his family especially, that he could be trusted with such serious endeavors, sometimes instinct—albeit mas­querading as reckless impulse—proved too strong to re­sist. His brother Robert’s hand-drawn map described the location of the slavers’ camp—Kale’s Homestead—when approached from the west. However, Caleb had studied the camp’s position and decided to come in from the north. From all he’d gleaned from Robert’s notes, the slavers would be alert to any incursion from the west; they would almost certainly have lookouts posted, mak­ing west not the wisest direction from which to approach if one’s intention was to seize the camp.
Which was, rather plainly, their purpose; why else would twenty-five strong men all armed to the gills be trooping through such a godforsaken place?

Three nights before, Caleb, in his ship, The Prince, closely followed by his old comrade-in-adventure, Phil­lipe, in his ship, The Raven, had slipped into the estuary on the night tide. They’d kept to the north shore, well away from the shipping lanes leading into Freetown har­bor, and sailed deeper down the estuary and into Tagrin Bay, reducing the risk of detection by any naval vessels going into and out of the harbor; according to Robert’s information, the West Africa Squadron should now be in port, and Caleb would prefer to avoid having to ex­plain himself to Vice-Admiral Decker.

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About the author:

About Stephanie Laurens
New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens originally began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career; she has been writing historical romance novels for more than 20 years. Currently living outside Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two cats, she spends most of her days writing new stories in her signature ‘Errol Flynn meets Jane Austen” style.

Connect with Stephanie

Purchase Links

Stephanie Laurens’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS
Monday, June 27th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, June 28th: From the TBR Pile – excerpt
Wednesday, June 29th: The Sassy Bookster – excerpt
Friday, July 1st: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, July 4th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, July 5th: A Bookaholic Swede – excerpt
Wednesday, July 6th: The Maiden’s Court
Tuesday, July 12th: Becky on Books
Wednesday, July 13th: A Holland Reads
Thursday, July 14th: Books a la Mode – excerpt
Friday, July 15th: What I’m Reading
Monday, July 18th: Broken Teepee – excerpt
Monday, July 18th: Buried Under Romance – excerpt and review
Tuesday, July 19th: Beverages and Books
Wednesday, July 20th: Diary of a Stay At Home Mom
Thursday, July 21st: Black ‘n Gold Girls Book Reviews
Friday, July 22nd: Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, July 25th: The Romance Dish

Tuesday, July 26th: The Reading Wench

Monday, June 27, 2016

Blog Tour: Keep You Close by Lucie Whitehouse

Author: Lucie Whitehouse
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Date of publication: May 2016

When the artist Marianne Glass falls to her death, everyone insists it was a tragic accident. Yet Rowan Winter, once her closest friend, suspects there is more to the story. Ever since she was young, Marianne had paralyzing vertigo. She would never have gone so close to the roof’s edge.

Marianne–and the whole Glass family–once meant everything to Rowan. For a teenage girl, motherless with a much-absent father, this lively, intellectual household represented a world of glamour and opportunity.

But since their estrangement, Rowan knows only what the papers reported about Marianne’s life: her swift ascent in the London art world, her much-scrutinized romance with her gallerist. If she wants to discover the truth about her death, Rowan needs to know more. Was Marianne in distress? In danger? And so she begins to seek clues–in Marianne’s latest work, her closest relationships, and her new friendship with an iconoclastic fellow artist.

But the deeper Rowan goes, the more sinister everything seems. And a secret in the past only she knows makes her worry about her own fate . . .

In Keep You Close, Rowan's childhood friend Marianne fell from the roof of her house and Rowan thinks it was more than an accident.  She hadn't seen her in over 10 years, but decides to try to figure out what happened.  I really wanted to love this book, but it just really fell short.  I was expecting a thriller and just didn't get one.  I'd have to say it was just an OK read for me.

I did read the whole book, but it was a struggle to finish it.  I really only finished it because I wanted to see how it all wrapped up.  On the positive side, there were a few twists that caught me off guard. They just came way too late for me.  The first 2 chapters did sucked me in, but then it just became so slow. There were a lot of odd time shifts that upset the flow of the story.  I kept thinking I had missed something.  I'm not sure if this is the author's normal way of writing since it's the first book I have read by her.  It was hard to get used to. I also really didn't care for the ending.  

I think fans will enjoy this book. I'm probably in the minority, so pick up a copy and give it a try.

About Lucie Whitehouse

Lucie Whitehouse grew up in Warwickshire, England, studied classics at the University of Oxford, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughter. She is author of The House at MidnightThe Bed I Made, and Before We Met.

Connect with Lucie

Purchase Links

Lucie Whitehouse’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS
Monday, June 6th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Thursday, June 9th: Dreams, Etc.
Monday, June 13th: Back Porchervations
Tuesday, June 14th: Write Read Life
Wednesday, June 15th: Just Commonly
Thursday, June 16th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, June 20th: Puddletown Reviews
Wednesday, June 22nd: Stranded in Chaos
Thursday, June 23rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, June 27th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Monday, June 27th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday June 29th: Books and Spoons
Thursday, June 30th: Bibliotica

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Blog Tour: Excerpt of Beauty and the Highland Beast by Lecia Cornwall

Author:Lecia Cornwall
Publisher; St. Martin Press
Date of publication: June 2016

Powerful and dangerous highlander Dair Sinclair was once the favored son of his clan, The Sinclairs of Carraig Brigh. With Dair at the helm, Sinclair ships circled the globe bringing home incredible fortune. Until one deadly mission when Dair is captured, tortured and is unable to save his young cousin. He returns home breaking under the weight of his guilt and becomes known as the Madman of Carraig Brigh.

When a pagan healer predicts that only a virgin bride can heal his son’s body and mind, Dair’s father sets off to find the perfect wife for his son. At the castle of the fearsome McLeods, he meets lovely and kind Fia MacLeod.

Although Dair does his best to frighten Fia, she sees the man underneath the damage and uses her charm and special gifts to heal his mind and heart. Will Dair let Fia love him or is he cursed with madness forever.

Enjoy this excerpt from the first in Lecia Cornwall's latest series! 

How had the Sinclairs heard of Moire? She was a humble soul. She kept to herself, tended the ancient spring of the goddess, and helped only those who came to her. Fear numbed the icy blast of the wind as she stared up at Carraig Brigh’s bony tower, a crooked black finger rising from a solid fist of rock.
“Ye’ve made a mistake,” she whined as they rode under the iron teeth of the gate. “I’m naught but a simple midwife.” No one listened, and the wind carried her pleas over the edge of the cliff and drowned them in the bay below.
In the bailey, men stood in the light of gale-thrashed torches. There wasn’t a friendly face among them, or a word of welcome.
Someone hauled her off the garron, kept hold of her arm as he propelled her across the bailey. The portcullis fell with a metallic squall that ended on a human note, a wail of pure agony that floated down from the tower and made Moire’s innards curl against her backbone. The clansmen shifted uneasily, crossed themselves, and turned their eyes up to the narrow window high above them. Moire’s escort grabbed a torch from the nearest man as he opened an iron-studded door and pushed her up the steps inside.
“Do you truly have magic, old woman?” he asked. “You’d best hope you can conjure a cure.”
She stumbled. A witch. They thought they’d summoned a witch.
“A midwife, just a midwife,” she protested again, panting. The curving stone steps were steep, but he gave her no time to catch her breath. Her old legs were no match for his long, muscular ones. She scrabbled at his sleeve. “Please, there’s been a mistake.”
“There’s no mistake, Moire o’ the Spring. ’Tis you and no other we were sent to fetch. The chief would summon the devil himself if he thought it could save his son.”
“What’s wrong with him?” she found the courage to ask.
He grunted. “Have ye heard of Jean Sinclair?”
“Aye, of course. The lass they called the Holy Maid of Carraig Brigh,” Moire replied.
“That’s her. She was Alasdair Og’s cousin, the chief’s niece. Padraig wasn’t pleased when she decided to take holy orders and shut herself away in a French convent.” He rubbed a hand over his face. “’Tis a sad tale. They set sail from Sinclair Bay and put in at Berwick for the night, only to be ambushed by English soldiers. Alasdair Og thought there’d been a mistake, that they’d been taken for pirates, perhaps, or kidnapped for ransom. He imagined it would be a matter of a few days’ delay, an exchange of coin, and they’d be on their way again. But they didn’t bother themselves about ransom. They took the gold Alasdair Og was carrying right enough, and the goods, and the ship, and they murdered his crew. Then they beat Alasdair Og half to death, and threw him and Jean into the dungeon of Coldburn Keep.”

Moire put a hand to her throat, a shiver racing up her spine.
“Worst of all was what they did to poor wee Jean. They raped her, tortured her, then murdered her in front of Alasdair Og. He was chained to the wall, could do nothing to help her. She pleaded with God for help. She was just a slip of a girl. They said if she was Catholic and a Highlander, then she was no better than an idolatrous witch. ’Twas hatred—not just for the Scots, but for Alasdair Og in particular. They called him a pirate, blamed him for things that had nothing at all to do with the Sinclairs. It wasn’t wee Jeannie’s fight—Alasdair told them that, but they wouldn’t listen. He lay in his own filth for a fortnight, chained, wounded, and listened while they beat her, broke her bones, tormented her. They kept him alive to hear her screams.”
“And then?” Moire asked.
The man grimaced. “They hanged her as a heretic in the courtyard, forced Alasdair to his feet, made him stand at the window and watch.” He stared down at her from the step above. “He can’t forget any of it. That’s why they call him mad—he has nightmares, feels constant pain, and starts at shadows. Can you help him?”
She blinked. Did the holy maid haunt Alasdair Og Sinclair? Perhaps it was the devil’s work after all. Moire knew little of the Christian God, either Catholic or Covenanter. She followed the ancient goddess, tended her sacred spring . . .
Another guttural scream came from the top of the tower. Moire shrank against the cold stones of the wall and made a sign against evil.
Her companion took hold of her arm again. “Come on.” He opened a door at the top of the steps, dragged her through it. The room was nearly dark, lit by a single candle—expensive beeswax—and the dull glow of a brazier in the corner. The sweet scent of the candle mixed with the dark stink of old blood, corruption, and sweat. It was a smell Moire knew. It meant illness far beyond her ability to heal, and death.

About the author:

Lecia Cornwall lives and writes in Calgary, Canada, amid the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, with four cats, two teenagers, a crazy chocolate Lab, and one very patient husband. She is hard at work on her next book.  Find her at: 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Blog Tour: Phantom Embrace by Dianne Duvall

Author: Dianne Duvall
Publisher: Zebra
Date of publication: June 28, 2016
Across dimensions . . .

Born with the ability to see spirits, immortal Yuri Sokolov avoids making contact with them, because such has always yielded negative results...until lovely Cat Seddon begins haunting his home and his dreams. As a new threat rises against the Immortal Guardians, Yuri disregards all the rules so he can be with Cat, even though the consequences are substantial.

For centuries, Catherine Seddon has been alone. When her brother is forced to join the Immortal Guardians’ ranks, she haunts the primary home of the powerful warriors to keep an eye on him, and soon finds herself captivated by Yuri. The handsome Russian immortal swiftly banishes her loneliness as friendship grows between them and deepens into love.  But can two people who are unable to touch find a future together?
Previously published in On The Hunt

My thoughts:

Phantom Embrace was previously included in the anthology On the Hunt (Zebra, 2015).  On June 28th it's being released on its own. I read this one last year in On the Hunt. In fact, it's the only one I read in the book.  I got it specifically for this story. The novella takes place during and toward the end of Night Unbound.  I liked that Ms. Duvall released a short story to tell fans what happened to Yuri.  It kind of gave us some closure.  I thought it was a really sweet love story and one I highly recommend picking up.  In fact, the series as a whole is one of my favorites.  You don't want to miss it!

Enjoy this sneak peek into the novella and don't forget to check out the giveaway!


Cat leaned into the frame of a large window behind the massive desk in David’s study. The sun’s rays, almost blindingly bright and sparkling with dust motes, poured through the clean panes and passed right through her, imbuing her with warmth.
The house around her was quiet. All the immortals slept. Many of their human Seconds slept as well, having worked until noon or thereabouts, running errands and conducting whatever business they did during the day for the immortals they served and protected.
Even David slept, exhausted by the long hours he had kept of late, aiding immortals in North Carolina and surrounding states whenever emergencies arose, then spending the moments in between poring over medical textbooks in search of any information that would help him and Seth carry Ami safely through her difficult pregnancy.
Outside, Roland’s cat, Nietzsche—as cantankerous as his owner—crept toward a squirrel.
The squirrel continued to nibble on an acorn, watching the cat from the corner of its eye.
A pleasant male voice spoke, startling her. “There you are.”
Her head snapping around, Cat stared at the tall figure in the doorway.
Yuri graced her with a charming smile as he entered and closed the door behind him.
“Why aren’t you asleep?” she asked, telling her treacherous heart to stop slamming against her ribs. She had never understood why she had continued to feel that particular organ after she had breathed her last breath. She never felt hunger. Never felt thirst. But her heart seemed to thump away in her breast. One of many mysteries for which she had no explanation.
“I was looking for you,” he said, tucking his hands in his pockets as he strolled toward her. He wore the usual garb of an immortal. Black pants. Black T-shirt stretched taut over the thick muscles of his chest, shoulders, and arms. Heavy black boots.
From what she understood, immortals and their Seconds dressed thusly so blood stains would be less apparent to any looky-loos who saw them after a hunt.
She frowned. Was that the right phrase? Looky-loos? It sounded odd.
Regardless, the clothing suited Yuri, accenting his dark hair and chestnut eyes.
She straightened as he approached the desk.
“I’ve only caught the briefest glimpses of you these last few nights,” he commented.
Because she had been careful to avoid him since their talk. As soon as he had entered a room, Cat had left it. She had even resisted the temptation to follow him on his hunts.
He arched a dark brow. “Are you avoiding me?”
For a moment, Cat considered denying it. But she had told him she valued honesty. So she nodded.
“Why?” He cocked his head to one side. “Did I offend you in some way?”
Shaking her head, she glanced down. “I fear it is I who offended you.” She forced herself to meet his gaze. “I owe you an apology.”
His expression remained impassive. “For what?”
“Now that I know you can see me, that you’ve always been able to see me, I realize . . .” Mortified, she looked away and began to pleat her skirts with anxious fingers. “You said you value your privacy, and I denied you that on many an occasion, visiting your chamber and following you on hunts. I—”
She shook her head and met his gaze. “I don’t want to be like that first spirit you mentioned, the one you spoke to. I don’t want to irritate you or make you uncomfortable. I—”
“You don’t,” he interrupted with a kind smile. “You didn’t.” He sighed as he circled the desk. “I feared this might be the reason for your absence.” Stopping a few feet away, he leaned against the wall on the opposite side of the window, careful to avoid the sun’s rays. “I confess I enjoyed your presence each time you joined me in my room or on a hunt.” His smile widened. “The former more than the latter. The latter proved dangerously distracting on more than one occasion.”
“Oh. I’m sorry.”
“I’m not,” he said and glanced out the window.

Giveaway Details:
1st Prize—$35 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize—$20 Amazon Gift Card

3rd Prize—Signed copies of Night Unbound and Shadows Strike+swag

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Pre-Order Links:
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About the author:

Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series and The Gifted Ones series. Her books have twice been nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance and are routinely deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews, and/or Night Owl Reviews. Reviewers have called Dianne's books "utterly addictive" (RT Book Reviews), "fast-paced and humorous" (Publishers Weekly), "extraordinary" (Long and Short Reviews), and "wonderfully imaginative" (The Romance Reviews).

Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn't writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she has created in her books.

For the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more, please visit You can also find Dianne online . . .

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Review and Excerpt of Dirty Sexy Cuffed by Carly Phillips & Erika Wilde

Authors: Carly Phillips & Erika Wilde
Publisher: CP Publishing
Date of publication: June 2016

As a cop, Levi Kincaid is all about discipline and control . . .in the bedroom, and out of it, and he's always been very careful about choosing women who abide by his rules.  Hot sex and intense pleasure?  No problem.  Emotional commitment and forever promises?  No way.  But he never anticipates falling for a blue eyed angel who makes him want to cuff her to his bed and do dirty, sexy things to her.  And that control of his?  It doesn't stand a chance against Sarah Robins, the one woman he can't resist . . .

I was really looking forward to Levi's story. Out of the three Kincaid brothers, he is the one that is the most reserved and private. His personality fits in nicely with his being a cop.  In Dirty Sexy Cuffed, he has been trying to get Sarah, a clerk at the convenience store on his beat, to go out with him for weeks.  After he is shot trying to protect her, he realizes he will do anything to protect her.

What I loved about this couple is that they both have similar crappy childhoods.  It made their bond that much stronger and that much more believable. Their chemistry was off the charts! I think they are my favorite couple out of the series so far.  There is a little bit of suspense in the story because Sarah is running from someone. My only complaint is that the suspense could have been built up a little more on that front.  It was a little anti-climatic for me.  Despite that, I loved the story.  The surprise ending more than made up for it. After reading it, I need the next book now!


“What about fun?” he countered easily. “Ever take time for that?”
“It’s been awhile,” she admitted softly.
He didn’t miss the quick flicker of sadness in her gaze that made him want to reach out and touch her, to use his thumb to smooth away the crease that had formed between her brows. Resisting the urge took more effort than he’d expected. “Then how about you say yes to a date with me, and I’ll remedy that for you. I’m all about having a good time with a pretty girl,” he added with a wink.
She opened her mouth to speak, and certain a denial was about to spill out, he quickly held up a hand to stop her. “Wait. Don’t say anything.” She pressed her lips back together, and even though her gaze was wary, he continued on while he still had a bit of leverage. “I want you to really think about your answer this time, instead of automatically turning me down, because one more rejection might just crush me.”

Buy links:

About the Author:

***About Carly Phillips***
Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find out more about Carly at

Website Goodreads Amazon Facebook  Twitter

***About Erika Wilde***

Erika Wilde is the author of the sexy Marriage Diaries series and The Players Club series. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two daughters, and when she's not writing you can find her exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For more information on her upcoming releases, please visit website at

Website Goodreads  Amazon  Facebook Twitter

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bad Boys After Dark: Mick by Melissa Foster

Author:Melissa Foster
Publisher: Ever After Roamce
Date of publication: June 2016

Everything's naughtier after dark...
Amanda Jenner is done being a boring-man magnet and has finally taken control of her love life. As any smart paralegal would, she's researched the hell out of how to seduce a man. She's waxed, primped, and ready to put her newfound skills into action--and a masquerade bar crawl is the perfect venue for her solo coming-out party.

Entertainment attorney Mick Bad lives by two hard and fast rules. He never mixes business with pleasure, and he doesn't do relationships, which makes the anonymity of a masquerade bar crawl the perfect place for a onetime hookup.
Amanda thinks she's hit the jackpot when she bags a tall, dark, and sinfully delicious masked man--until she discovers the man she's made out with is her off-limits boss. Mick's already crossed a line he can never uncross, and one taste of sweet and sexy Amanda has only whet his appetite. When Mick offers to give Amanda a lesson in seduction--no strings, no regrets, and for goodness' sake, come Monday, no quitting--the tables turn, and Mick's totally unprepared for the lessons this sweet temptress provides.

Bad Boys After Dark: Mick is the first in a series about the Bad brothers.  It's a part of the LOVE IN BLOOM big family romance collection.  Each book can be read as a stand alone and for the most part, it held up fairly well.  I did however feel like I missed somethings from earlier books because there were a lot of characters that seemed to be from the other books.  Despite that, I did enjoy the story.

The story involves Mick and Amanda.  They have been coworkers for three years and both have secret longings.  When they meet by mistake at a bar crawl, They agree to have just one night together.  If you are looking for a steaming hot romance, this one is for you.  I definitely enjoyed Mick and Amanda's story.  They were so good together.  It just took Mick a little while to finally give into his feelings.  I loved their HEA.  I highly recommend this story.  It's definitely one sexy ride!

About the Author:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown MagazineThe Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the  World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 

Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event. 

Blog Tour: Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Author: Sarah Morgan
Publisher: Harlequin
Date of publication: June 2016

Cool, calm and competent, events planner Paige Walker loves a challenge. After a childhood spent in and out of hospitals, she’s now determined to prove herself—and where better to take the world by storm than in the exhilarating bustle of Manhattan? But when Paige is let go from the job she loves, she must face her biggest challenge of all—going it alone.

Except launching her own events company is nothing compared to hiding her outrageous crush on Jake Romano—her brother’s best friend, New York’s most in-demand date, and the only man to break her heart. When Jake offers Paige’s fledgling company a big chance, their still-sizzling chemistry starts giving her sleepless nights. But can she convince the man who trusts no one to take a chance on forever?

Sleepless in Manhattan has one of my favorite tropes in romance.  The sister and the brother's best friend who have grown up together finally admit that they belong together.  I was really looking forward to reading Paige and Jake's story.  Unfortunately, I really didn't love this book as much as I wanted to.  

For me, the pacing of the story was kind of slow.  In the first hundred pages, not a lot happens.  I didn't really buy into Jake and Paige together.  Jake isn't into commitment.  He is a jerk to Paige through most of the book.  It got tiring after a while.  Why would she pine for someone like that?  Paige was also a bit too independent for my taste and made some really dumb decisions.

The one thing that I did like about the book was the friendship between the three women.  Their relationship was fun and endearing.  I liked Eva and Frankie the most and they almost make me want to read the other books in the series.  Hopefully, their stories will be a bit more exciting, because this one was just really wasn't.

About Sarah Morgan

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes lively, sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin.

Romantic Times has described her as ‘a magician with words’ and nominated her books for their Reviewer’s Choice Awards and their ‘Top Pick’ slot. In 2012 Sarah received the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America. She lives near London with her family.

Connect with Sarah

Sarah Morgan’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS

Monday, June 6th: Chick Lit Central
Monday, June 6th: In Bed With Books
Wednesday, June 8th: Book Review & More by Kathy
Thursday, June 9th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, June 13th: Why Girls Are Weird
Tuesday, June 14th: Romancing the Readers
Wednesday, June 15th: Stranded in Chaos
Friday, June 17th: The Sassy Bookster
Friday, June 17th: Not In Jersey
Monday, June 20th: Just Commonly
Tuesday, June 21st: Walking with Nora
Wednesday, June 22nd: Book Mama Blog
Thursday, June 23rd: From the TBR Pile
Friday, June 24th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, June 27th: A Holland Reads
Tuesday, June 28th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Wednesday, June 29th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Thursday, June 30th: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, July 1st: A Splendid Messy Life – author Q&A and review