Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

This week my pick for "Waiting on Wednesday" is Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova!!!

Synopsis:

"Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic."-Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

Praise for Labyrinth Lost:

"Zoraida Cordova's prose enchants from start to finish. Labyrinth Lost is pure magic." -Melissa Grey, author of The Girl at Midnight

"Magical and empowering, Labyrinth Lost is an incredible heroine's journey filled with mythos come to life; but at its heart, honors the importance of love and family." -Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix

"A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante's Inferno. Very creepy, very magical, very necessary." -Daniel Jose Older, author of Shadowshaper

"Labyrinth Lost is a magical story of love, family, and finding yourself. Enchanting from start to finish." -Amy Tintera, author of Ruined.

Labyrinth Lost releases September 6, 2016!

Why I'm waiting:

How can you not be excited for this book!? Like look at that gorgeous cover and doesn't that blurb just sound amazing!? Plus, BRUJAS!!! Yeah, it just needs to be Tuesday already!!

So what are you all waiting on this Wednesday?

***"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.***

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Release Week Blitz: An Indecent Proposal by Katee Robert


Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert continues her smoking-hot series about the O'Malleys—wealthy, powerful, and full of scandalous family secrets.

Greed. Ambition. Violence. Those are the "values" Olivia Rashidi learned from her Russian mob family-and the values she must leave behind for the sake of her daughter. When she meets Cillian O'Malley, she recognizes the red flag of his family name…yet she still can't stop herself from seeing the smoldering, tortured man. To save her family, Olivia sets out to discover Cillian's own secrets, but the real revelation is how fast—and how hard—she's falling for him.

Plagued by a violent past, Cillian is more vulnerable than anyone realizes. Anyone except Olivia, whose beauty, compassion, and pride have him at "hello," even if she's more inclined to say good-bye to an O'Malley. While his proposal of sex with no strings seems simple, what he feels for her isn't, especially after he learns that she belongs to a rival crime family. Cillian knows that there is no escape from the life, but Olivia may be worth trying—and dying—for.


About the Author:

Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa's knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back.

Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way-as it often does-and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she'd like to write a book and try to get published.

Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding romance. Because, really, who wouldn't want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people?

She now spends her time-when not lost in Far Reach worlds-playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Author Links:
Author Website: http://bit.ly/2bFXnCA 
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2bLZpQn 
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2bpamDr 

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2ceArLt 
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/2blJc6j 
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2ceAyGX 
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2bFw0Ee 

Follow Forever Online:
Instagram: http://bit.ly/1Xco7tE 
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/23uLXQZ 

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

An Indecent Proposal, the third book in Katee Robert's The O'Malleys series was a flawless romance! I really don't know how Katee Robert did it because I loved the first two so much, but I actually loved this book even more than the first two. I swooned so hard over Cillian. And I loved Olivia's fierceness! And together these two were magnificent. Seriously the romance in this book really got under my skin and I haven't been able to get these two out of my head since I finished.

As much as I loved this book to pieces, there were two things that stood out to me the most that I loved the most. The first was the fact that Olivia didn't do that stupid heroine thing and hide the fact that she was Dmitri's half sister and the second was little Hadley. It's no secret that I love children in romance novels. They make me so happy and warm my heart and I just love them so much. I loved Hadley especially, she was so adorable and any scene she was in was a fave, especially if Cillian was interacting with her.

Overall, I loved this book so much. It was such a great romance and I would even go as far as saying that it is my top favorite romance of the year!

ARC Review: The Wedding Pact by Katee Robert

Title: The Wedding Pact

Author: Katee Robert

Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert continues her smoking-hot series about the O'Malleys—wealthy, powerful, and full of scandalous family secrets.

Carrigan O'Malley has always known her arranged marriage would be more about power and prestige than passion. But after one taste of the hard-bodied, whiskey-voiced James Halloran, she's ruined for anyone else. Too bad James and his family are enemy number 1.

Hallorans vs. O'Malleys—that's how it's always been. James should be thinking more about how to expand his family's empire instead of how silky Carrigan's skin is against his and how he can next get her into his bed. Those are dangerous thoughts. But not nearly as dangerous as he'll be if he can't get what he wants: Carrigan by his side for the rest of their lives.

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

After reading and loving The Marriage Contract, it was impossible for me to not immediately read The Wedding Pact. This book was just as amazing as the first. James and Carrigan's story had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish and the only thing that stopped me from reading this book in one sitting was my need to get some sleep.

Given that it's the second book in this series, I really loved how everything tied together. The book can still standalone for readers who haven't read the first book, but as someone who has read this series in order I loved all the connections and the way the stories flowed together.

Moving on to the romance, I loved the love story in this book even more. A part of me wasn't sure if I should love James and Carrigan as much as I do, but their relationship just really worked for me. The forbidden aspect of them being together was so exciting and given how everything ended I really liked that Carrigan's love for James finally got her to stand up to her father's dictating ways.

Overall, this book was another phenomenal romance from Katee Robert. And like with The Marriage Contract, I'm going to be recommending this book til I'm on my deathbed. I loved it that much.

Review: The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert

Title: The Marriage Contract

Author: Katee Robert

Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert begins a smoking hot new series about the O'Malley family-wealthy, powerful, dangerous and seething with scandal.

Teague O'Malley hates pretty much everything associated with his family's name. And when his father orders him to marry Callista Sheridan to create a "business" alliance, Teague's ready to tell his dad exactly where he can stuff his millions. But then Teague actually meets his new fiancée, sees the bruises on her neck and the fight still left in her big blue eyes, and vows he will do everything in his power to protect her.

Everyone knows the O'Malleys have a dangerous reputation. But Callie wasn't aware just what that meant until she saw Teague, the embodiment of lethal grace and coiled power. His slightest touch sizzles through her. But the closer they get, the more trouble they're in. Because Callie's keeping a dark secret-and what Teague doesn't know could get him killed

***MY REVIEW***

5 out of 5 stars

The Marriage Contract, the first book in Katee Robert's The O'Malleys series was that type of romance that leaves you absolutely breathless. I read this book in one sitting because I just couldn't get enough of this world that the author created. Everything about this book was a win for me from the setting to the characters to the romance to the suspenseful elements. It was all so GOOD!

But while I loved all the things, the thing that I loved the most was the way that the author chose to tell the story. In this book, the story is told in multiple point of views so we truly get to see what's going on in the heads of the two main characters as well as some of the other O'Malley siblings and members of rival families. This is something that I'm not used to in the majority of the romances I read and I really enjoyed it here.

Overall, I really loved this book. It was the perfect blend of romance and suspense, action and hotness.  This book is going to be on my mind for a very, very long time and I'm sure my friends are going to get tired of me recommending it and all but forcing them to read it.

Blog Tour: The Bachelor's Promise by Naima Simone


Synopsis:

Aiden Kent never expected to see Noelle Rana again. He’s determined to keep his distance from the beautiful enigma wrapped in denim and leather. He can’t trust anyone with the last name Rana. But he made a promise to his dying mother, and it isn’t long before Noelle invades his personal space. He can’t stop thinking about the exotic beauty’s alluring curves.He wants the daughter of his enemy, and he’s determined to have her…if only for one night.

If Noelle wants to move forward with her life, she must make a deal with the devastatingly gorgeous, broody millionaire Aiden. He made a promise years ago, and she’s come to collect—even if it means facing down the only man who ever broke her heart. And there’s a really good chance he’ll do it again.



About the Author:

Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Linda Howard many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— creating stories of unique men and women who experience the first bites of desire, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love.

She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.

Book Links:

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

The Bachelor's Promise, the third book in Naima Simone's Bachelor Auctions series was another incredibly sexy and entertaining romance from one of my favorite authors. I wasn't to sure what to expect from Adam and Noelle's story from just the blurb, but Naima Simone completely blew me away with this love story. It had an enemies-to-lovers feel to it, but because of the history between Adam and Noelle it was so much more than that.

The romance was touching and hot, which is exactly what I've come to expect from this author. And given the complicated history between these two characters I really liked that the progression of their relationship actually felt real. Nothing felt forced and I was actually surprised that neither of the characters made me angry by making stupid decisions. And of course the book ended with an amazing HEA that made me so happy that I'm going to be recommending this book to everyone and their mother for the foreseeable future.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Virtual Tour: Run to You by Rachel Lacey (Review + Excerpt + Giveaway)


Synopsis:

ONE LITTLE LIE. A WHOLE LOTTA TROUBLE. 

Moments after meeting the most gorgeous guy ever, Gabby Winters promptly gets stung by a zillion yellow jackets and falls-not gracefully-into a stream. Yup, Ethan Hunter is trouble with a capital "hot," and Gabby definitely needs to keep her distance. Except in the small town of Haven, there's nowhere to hide from Ethan's sexy, infectious grin . . . and all the residents are conspiring against her.

At the center of the town's matchmaking is Ethan's grandmother, who's convinced their relationship is a done deal. Rather than break her heart, Gabby and Ethan find themselves cornered into pretending to be falling in love. The problem: there's serious sizzling attraction between them. And if this charade continues, they won't fool just the entire town - they might fool themselves too . . .


Excerpt:

“I’m glad you brought me out here.” Gabby stepped over a tree root, lifting her skirt with her free hand so that she didn’t trip.

Ethan squeezed her left hand. “Me, too. The rock face is right up this way.”

They came around a corner and the path opened up to a big rock looming at least thirty feet into the air. There were some creases and cracks in it, but how anyone could scale it with only their bare hands—or why they would want to—was completely beyond her. “You can seriously climb that?”

“I can climb it. Ryan can kick its ass, though.”

“Okay then. Show me.”

With a cocky grin, he reached up and hooked his hand into a crack in the rock. He pulled himself up, his biceps flexing most impressively as he climbed. Holy shit, that was sexy. Soon she was left with nothing but a view of his very fine ass. And by the time he’d reached the top, she was so turned on, she could hardly stand it.

“So?” he called from the top. “You going to join me or what?”

“Not a chance. But I will enjoy watching you climb back down.”

“Gotta give the lady what she wants.” His fine ass reappeared over the edge as he started back down. He took his time on the descent, and if she wasn’t mistaken, he might have reached for a few hand and footholds that made him flex his muscles a little more than was strictly necessary.

“You’re a show-off,” she said when his feet were back on solid ground.

He was a bit out of breath, his bronzed skin glistening with sweat, trademark smile still in place. “No clue what you’re talking about.”

“No? You really needed to reach all the way to that notch?” She gestured above them. “Instead of the one closer to your shoulder that maybe wouldn’t have shown off your lovely biceps quite as well?”

He flexed for her. “What, these old things? And for the record, I totally needed the leverage.”

“Mm-hmm.” For some reason, she put her hand on his biceps, and oh crap, that was a mistake. His skin was hot beneath her fingers, and his blue eyes blazed into hers.

“Killing me, Gabby,” he murmured. “Killing me.”

His words sent a bolt of red-hot desire right through her, and she must have made a sound because Ethan sucked in a breath, his gaze locked on her lips. His hands settled on her hips, burning into her skin through the thin fabric of her skirt.

About the Author:

Rachel Lacey is a contemporary romance author and semi-reformed travel junkie. She's been climbed by a monkey on a mountain in Japan, gone scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and camped out overnight in New York City for a chance to be an extra in a movie. These days, the majority of her adventures take place on the pages of the books she writes. She lives in warm and sunny North Carolina with her husband, son, and a variety of rescue pets.




Author Links:

Buy Links:

Giveaway:

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

Run to You, the first full-length novel in Rachel Lacey's Risking it All series was another great contemporary romance by this author. The story was the perfect blend of sweet and sexy, lightheartedness and seriousness. Ethan and Gabby's love story was EVERYTHING! But it wasn't just the romance that made me love this book so much. There was so much more to this book than just the love story that kept me completely engrossed in the book. The main couples as well as the secondary characters were all fantastic. They were all so interesting to read about and kept me very entertained. And talking about secondary characters I really enjoyed how Rachel Lacey hinted at what is to come in this series regarding the other characters in this book. Overall, I really, really loved this book! It was a super sweet romance that I can see myself re-reading again and again and I highly recommend it.

ARC Review: Rock with You by Rachel Lacey

Title: Rock with You

Author: Rachel Lacey

Synopsis:

SWEET AS SUGAR. SEXY AS SIN . . .

Carly Taylor is pretty sure she's dreaming. It's not possible that Sam Weiss - rock star god and sexy hotness personified - is actually in her bakery. This sort of thing never happens in the too-small town of Haven. Or to her. And being stranded in a secluded mountain cabin with the deliciously decadent Sam during an ice storm? This is definitely not Carly's real life . . .

Now there's just the two of them, a roaring fire, lots of food and drink, and a sizzling attraction - one that just might make Carly do the unexpected. For one night, she'll live the fantasy. For one night, nothing else matters. . . not her struggling business, not her lonely life, not Sam's bad-boy reputation. But sometimes one night can turn one crazy, beautiful dream into something real.

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

As someone who has had many rock star fantasies, I thought that Rock with You by Rachel Lacey was such a wonderful contemporary romance. The story which follows bakery owner Carly when she gets stranded with rock star Sam Weiss really did hit all the right notes and kept me sufficiently invested in the story. I had absolutely no problems with the story. It was such a sweet and sexy romance that just made me really happy. The only thing I didn't like when I finished this book was that it was only a short story because I enjoyed reading about Carly and Sam so much! But for it's short length, the romance in this book really left an impression on me and made me so excited to read more books by this new-to-me author.

Virtual Tour: My Fair Princess by Vanessa Kelly (Review + Excerpt + Giveaway)


Synopsis:

First, Vanessa Kelly brought readers The Renegade Royals. Now, in a delightfully witty new series, she introduces The Improper Princesses—three young women descended from royalty, each bound for her own thrilling adventure . . .

Despite being the illegitimate daughter of a prince, Gillian Dryden is happily ignorant of all social graces. After growing up wild in Italy, Gillian has been ordered home to England to find a suitable husband. And Charles Valentine Penley, the excessively proper, distractingly handsome Duke of Leverton, has agreed to help transform her from a willful tomboy to a blushing debutante.

Powerful and sophisticated, Charles can make or break reputations with a well-placed word. But his new protégée, with her habit of hunting bandits and punching earls, is a walking scandal. The ton is aghast . . . but Charles is thoroughly intrigued. Tasked with taking the hoyden in hand, he longs to take her in his arms instead. Can such an outrageous attraction possibly lead to a fairytale ending?

Excerpt:

The next thing Gillian knew, he was shoving her down onto the sand. He came down on top of her, mashing her flat.

     It took her a moment to catch her breath, since there wasn’t a particle of air between them. She was certainly becoming intimately acquainted with various parts of Leverton’s impressive anatomy.

     “Who is it?” She felt a spurt of hope. Perhaps some of the smugglers had returned. Now that Teddy was safely out of the way, Leverton might even help her track them. They might not see eye to eye on everything, but he would be furious that smugglers were trespassing on his lands.

     “Wait,” he breathed out.

     He cautiously lifted his head to peer over the rise of sand between them and the beach. The sound of a cantering horse, hooves thudding into the hard-packed flats, quickly grew and then faded away down the beach. Leverton still didn’t move, his attention focused in the direction of the mysterious rider.

     “Could you please get off me,” she finally said. “You are completely squashing me.”

     He looked down at her and frowned, as if surprised to see her there. Gillian raised a sardonic brow.

     “I beg your pardon,” he murmured, as if they were on the dance floor and he’d simply trod on her foot.

     He rolled off, but kept an arm slung across her waist. Gillian tried to push it away, but it felt like a tree trunk was pinning her down. She let out an aggrieved sigh and dropped her head back onto the sand.

     “Whoever it was, he’s long gone,” she said. “Why are we still lying here?”

     “I just wanted to make sure,” Leverton answered. “I think it’s now safe to get up.”

     “I should hope so. I feel like I’ve spent half the night lying on this blasted beach.” With nothing to show for it but sand in her breeches and an irate duke.

     Leverton rolled into a crouch and then smoothly rose. He reached down a hand to pull her up. “And whose fault is that?”

     Gillian pulled the tails of her coat back in place and started brushing herself off. “Not mine. If you hadn’t shown up, I could have tracked the smugglers back to their lair. That, as you must admit, would have been very helpful.”

     “Their lair? Good God, you’ve been reading too many lurid novels. Wait, I forgot,” he said, holding up a hand. “You actually believe you’re living in one. You fancy yourself some sort of heroine, dashing about, trying to right all the wrongs of the world.”

     “No, I fancy myself as the hero.” She wiggled a leg, hoping to at least shake some of the sand from her backside down to her boot. “The heroines are always moaning and falling down in a faint, waiting for the men to rescue them. I don’t have time for that sort of nonsense.”

     “That is quite obvious to anyone who knows you. Well, I think we’ve both had enough larking about for one night. Are you ready to go, Miss Dryden, or shall we wait to see the sunrise?”

     “There’s no need for sarcasm, Leverton,” she said as she bent to retrieve her cap. It had fallen off when he tackled her. “And you still haven’t said if you recognized the rider. It wasn’t one of the smugglers, was it?”

     “No, it was a riding officer, on patrol. He was obviously too late to be of any use.”

     “Why didn’t you flag him down?” she snapped.

     “As I just said, there was no point,” he replied with exaggerated patience. “The smugglers were long gone.”

     “No point? He was on a horse. He could have easily caught up with them. What were you thinking to just let him go by like that?” Her mother would be horrified at the way Gillian was speaking to him, but she couldn’t help it. Leverton had let another opportunity slip away. What was wrong with the blasted man?

     “I was thinking I didn’t want to expose you to more scurrilous gossip,” he said, clearly growing irate again. “I am trying to protect your reputation, Miss Dryden. Explaining your presence here in the middle of the night to a riding officer would hardly assist me in achieving that goal.”

     “I don’t give a hang about my reputation,” she shouted. “That was our best chance to find my jewels, and you ruined it.”

     “It is blindingly obvious that you care not a whit for your reputation. You take every occasion to be outrageous, to behave like a—”

     He bit off whatever insult it was he was going to level. Then he sucked in a deep breath, as if trying to calm himself.

     “Gillian,” he said.

     She waved an impatient hand, ignoring the way her chest seemed to twist and tighten. His tone practically reeked with disdain. “Light-skirt? Doxy? Which is it? Go ahead and say it if it makes you feel better. It won’t bother me in the slightest.”

     It was a lie. She’d spent a lifetime learning to ignore the acidic little jabs and the steady drip of smirking insults, but the pain they’d caused was nothing compared to knowing he felt the same. It seemed to hollow her out, leaving an empty darkness that could never be filled.

     “I wasn’t going to say any such thing,” he said. “I never would.”

     “Well, it doesn’t matter. Now, can we please go?” She needed to move, to get away from him. Tears stung her eyes, and she could feel her throat going thick. The notion that she would cry over this—over him—was simply appalling. Gillian hadn’t truly cried since the death of her stepfather. That Leverton had the power to call forth such a dreadful sign of weakness infuriated her.

     Perversely, that made her want to cry even more. What in God’s name was wrong with her?

     She tried to shove past him again, but he stepped in front of her and grasped her shoulders.

     “Let me go.”

     “Not until you let me apologize,” he said in a gravelly voice.

     She tried to wriggle out from under his grip. His gloved fingers held her tight.

     “I don’t need any apologies from the likes of y-you.” Gillian almost fainted in horror to hear the break in her voice. She’d called him a coward, and yet here she was acting like a silly female with the vapors. As if his words truly had the power to harm her.

     Sadly, it appeared they did.

     She sniffed as she tried to steady herself. Unfortunately, one exceedingly defiant sob seemed intent on forcing itself out.

     Damn and blast.

     “Are you crying, Gillian?” Leverton asked in a voice of soft amazement.

     “Don’t be ridiculous. As if I would cry over something as stupid as this.” As if she would cry over the mistaken assumption that he liked her, when apparently he did not.

     “Then what is this I see on your cheek?” He gently brushed a gloved finger over her face. “Yes, there is a tear, sparkling like a jewel. How extraordinary.”

     “Don’t you dare make fun of me.” She glared up at him, rather a tricky feat when one was trying not to bawl.

     He barked out a laugh. “Believe me, I find this situation anything but amusing. Painful would be a more apt description.”        

     That dried her tears. “If you don’t let me go this instant, I will make you very sorry. And I don’t give a damn if you are a bloody duke.” He wouldn’t be the first man she’d kneed in the bollocks, and she didn’t suppose he’d be the last.

     “Right now, I don’t give a damn either.” And with that, Leverton hauled Gillian up on her toes and covered her mouth in a fierce, smoldering kiss.

About the Author:

Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her current series, The Renegade Royals is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes.

Author Links:
Buy Links:

Giveaway:

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

My Fair Princess, the first book in Vanessa Kelly's new series was an absolutely amazing historical romance! I seriously loved this book so much and given that it is the first book I have read by this author I am so kicking myself for not reading a book by this author sooner. 

This book features a trope that has been done again and again in romance, but this author used it well and I really enjoyed how she made it unique for these characters. And talking about characters, I really loved Gillian and Charles. These two were so different in every way and I thoroughly enjoyed getting a front row seat to their interactions. And going along with their interactions throughout the book, I really enjoyed how the author paced their love story. It all progressed so naturally and I was so invested in them getting their HEA which was especially wonderful.

Aside from the main couple, I really enjoyed the side plot focusing on the smuggling and Gillian's determination to stop them. It wasn't the biggest mystery since I was able to guess who was helping the smugglers, but overall it was very entertaining and I liked it!

Overall, I really loved this book and I can't wait to read what's next in this series as well as make my way through her backlist!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Blog Tour: Worked Up by Tessa Bailey (Review + Giveaway)


Synopsis:

Factory mechanic Duke Crawford just wants to watch SportsCenter in peace. Unfortunately, living with four divorcee sisters doesn’t provide much silence, nor does it change his stance on relationships. But when a fellow commitment-phobe stumbles into his life, getting him good and worked up, he can’t deny his protective instincts.

Samantha Waverly’s brother just put her in an impossible situation. The only way out? Marry huge, gruff, gladiator look-alike Duke—for show, of course. She doesn’t make promises—she knows too well how easily they can be broken—and this is no exception.

As the blistering attraction between them grows, the lines around the no-strings relationship blur. But Duke and Samantha’s marriage is only for show…or is it?

About the Author:

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

Author Links:
Amazon Author Profile: http://amzn.to/2aKeJJN

Buy Links:

Giveaway:


***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars

Worked Up, the third book in Tessa Bailey's Made in Jersey series, was another good steamy romance! It was everything that I've come to expect from a romance from this author and I thoroughly enjoyed. With that said, this book was actually my least favorite in this series and that mostly had to do with the fact that while I liked the characters and their romance I felt like the book didn't make me invested enough in their stories to make me really love them. Also given the blurb for this book, I was expecting the marriage plot to be the focus of the story but the book was not as centered on it as I wanted it to be. But as I said I still really enjoyed this story. Duke and Samantha were so much fun to read about and I also loved getting to see past couple Vaughn and River as well as getting to know Renner and Duke's sisters a lot better. The romance was just as steamy and wonderful as I wanted it to be and it kept me thoroughly entertained on my commute to and from work. Overall, I really liked this book and highly recommend it as well as the first two in this series!

Friday, August 5, 2016

ARC Review: Winter's Path by Kelly Moran

Title: Winter's Path

Author: Kelly Moran

Synopsis:

My name is Matt Holcomb, and I'm the good guy. The boy next door. I'm the safe bet and I always do the right thing. Then one night two years ago, I made a terrible mistake that caused irreparable damage, and the guilt is killing me. If I'm ever to make the leap and find love again, the woman would have to be perfect. She can't disrupt my carefully constructed control. I met my best friend Jenny Winter as a teenager and have loved her ever since. She's gorgeous and talented. Her voice could make angels weep. Yet she chose someone else and I swore I'd never fall for her again. Until something happens between us and passion ignites. But she's not the right woman for me, and crossing the line with her would not only change everything, it'll take away the only good thing I have left.

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars

Winter's Path the companion novel to Summer's Road was another really enjoyable Kelly Moran book. This book had so many things that I loved, the main thing being the main couple, Matt and Jenny. This was a really surprising for me since I actually wasn't the biggest fan of Jenny beforehand and didn't see how she and Matt were going to work especially since I was really invested in Matt getting his own HEA, but Kelly made it work with the history that she gave these two. The relationship between these two felt even more natural and right than Summer and Ian's in the first book and I loved it so much.

The one thing that I did have an issue with in this book was the whole Cara situation. I just really didn't like that part mostly because I couldn't really wrap my head around why it affected Matt so much when he didn't really spend all that much time with her. To me it just felt unnecessary and I could have done without it. But that's just a me thing and has nothing to do with Kelly's writing.

Overall, I really liked this book. Even more so than Summer's Road which I also really liked. Wonderful, emotional romances like this are why I see myself reading Kelly's books for many years to come and I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Entangled Summer Carnival - Bliss Pie Bake-Off (+ Giveaway)


Step right up! Step right up! Get those taste buds ready for the Pie Bake Off booth hosted by the lovely Entangled Bliss authors. Each author specially baked a pie sure to delight. Check out the video and let us know which pie are you dying to eat? You can grab all of the recipes below.


Hi, all! Jennifer here!

Thanks for stopping by the Bliss Pie Bake-Off! 

For me, nothing says summer like a fresh fruit pie! My pie I've chosen for this bake-off has fresh raspberries, blueberries (a NJ fruit), strawberries and blackberries. YUM! 

I admit that pie crust usually intimidates me, but the recipe for the crust that is included is super easy (especially if you have a food processor) and is great to work with since it rolled out really nice and even. And that rarely happens for me, so I will definitely make this crust again!

**I made the pie dough a day before to make it more simple for me.

If you all are interested, here is the recipe from http://www.jocooks.com/

SUMMER BERRY BERRY PIE

Ingredients
Pie Crust
  • 2½ cup flour
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 6 to 8 tbsp ice cold water

Filling
  • 5 cups of mixed berries, sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white for egg wash

Instructions
  1. Place the butter in freezer for 20 minutes.
  2. In a food processor add the flour, salt and sugar and pulse a couple times.
  3. Add the butter to the food processor and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles peas. Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time and continue pulsing. The dough should start to hold together.
  4. Remove dough from food processor and place it over your working surface. Form the dough into 2 discs, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour up to 2 days before using.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Coat a deep-dish pie crust plate with nonstick baking spray.
  6. Place berries in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and extract; mix well. Add to berries; toss to coat.
  7. Take out the pastry discs from the fridge and roll out a disc so that it's 12 inches in diameter and place it and arrange in your pie dish. Brush the pie crust with egg white so that it doesn't get soggy.
  8. Pour the berry mixture into the pie crust.
  9. Roll out the other disc so that it's 12 inches in diameter as well and cut it into lattice strips. Arrange the lattice strips nicely over the berries and brush with remaining egg white.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Let it cool before serving.
PEANUT BUTTER PIE

Ingredients
  • 9"x11" glass baking dish
  • 1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (divided into 2)
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 T corn syrup
  • 1/2 c confectioners super (divided into 2)
  • 1 c butter or margarine + 2 T 
  • 12 oz whipped topping (i.e. Cool Whip)
  • 1 c peanut butter
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • Graham cracker crust 
Instructions
Layer 1 - The Crust
Prepare baked graham cracker crust per directions on packaging. Set aside to cool. (Feel free to use a standard pie crust or Oreo crust - all work great for this recipe!)

Layer 2 - Chocolate Base Layer
Melt the following in a small saucepan:  3/4 c chocolate chips, 1 T butter, 2 tsp milk
Add 1/4 c confectioners sugar
Stir/blend
Remove from heat and spread chocolate sauce over bottom of crust. Set aside to cool completely.

Layer 3 - Peanut Butter Filling
Melt 1 c butter in microwave, then stir in 1 c brown sugar
Allow to cool for 10 minutes
Pour mixture into blender and stir in 1 c peanut butter until well blended
Fold in 12 oz whipped topping
Pour filling over cooled chocolate layer

Layer 4 - Chocolate Topping
Melt the following in a small saucepan:  3/4 c chocolate chips, 1 T butter, 1 T corn syrup, 1/4 c confectioners sugar
Mix well
Spread carefully over the peanut butter layer

Refrigerate until cool (great frozen as well!). Cut and serve!


LEMON ICE BOX PIE

Ingredients
  • 1 8oz. container of Cool Whip
  • 1 14oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/3 cup of Lemon Juice
  • 1 Graham Cracker Crust

Instructions
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. When evenly mixed, pour into graham cracker crust. Cover and chill for 1 hour.


CHERRY PIE

This pie crust recipe is simple, but the trick is the prep. You don't want to over-mix & the time in the fridge is essential to making the flakiest crust. (Also, credit for this crust goes to my neighbor from my hometown, Luella Crowther. It was the first time I ate all the crust on my piece of pie, because YUM!) 

2 C flour
*1 C butter (softened enough to work with)
1/2 C water
dash of salt 

*shortening also works

Add butter to flour and work in by hand until you have pea-sized bits. Scatter liquid over surface. Stir until just mixed with a fork and roll into two dough balls. Place balls in plastic wrap, pull up edges and press dough into a disk. Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out. (Fridge up to 5 days, freeze up to 3 months)

Pound bottom crust dough with rolling pen. Roll out and form into pie pan. 

1 Can of cherry pie filling (I search for the kind without corn syrup, because allergy fun!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 T sugar

Mix and put on the bottom crust. (Fair warning, I like my cherries on the sweeter side with a little tart. If you prefer more tart, skip the sugar & vanilla)

Roll out second crust & cover. Flute edges & put in vent holes. Cover edges with foil, so they don't get too done. Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes. 

AND DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THESE LOVELY AUTHOR'S LATEST BLISS RELEASES!!!


Her Unexpected Detour by Kyra Jacobs

About the Book:

Sometimes it’s not the destination, but the detour…

Kayla has the perfect strategy for a broken heart: work, work, and more work. Then a storm sends her car skidding off the road, stranding her in Mount Pleasant. Fortunately, rescue comes in the form of the incredibly handsome but gruff Brent Masterson. And he’s hot enough to tempt Kayla into doing something she never thought she could do…

Brent Masterson swore he would never give into the fierce attraction that’s been sizzling between him and Kayla since they first met. He has his own demons, and he won’t risk his heart again. Not even for someone as gorgeous and amazing as Kayla. So…how exactly did he end up in Kayla’s bed last night?

But sometimes all it takes is an ice storm to show two broken hearts the way home…

Find it online:


The Bad Boy's Baby by Cindi Madsen

About the Book:

There are certain words that have always described Cam Brantley: Town bad boy. Soldier. Protector. But never, everdad. Until he returns home from his latest military tour to discover the girl he had one smoking-hot night with is now mom to the adorable two-year-old Zoey. Who has his eyes.

Plenty of words could describe Emma Walker these days. Mom, dutiful granddaughter, budding designer, the town’s golden child. But when her longtime crush Cam Brantley comes back to town, she knows the perfect word to describe herself: screwed.

Cam and Emma are both shocked to discover he truly wants Zoey in his life. But Cam’s not sure he’s ready to be a dad, and Emma can’t gamble her daughter on maybes. As the long-simmering heat between Cam and Emma reaches a boiling point, he’ll have to work past his demons in order to be the man both girls need.

Daddy duty might be his toughest mission yet…

Find it online:


Wedding Date For Hire by Jennifer Shirk, on sale for just 99¢!

About the Book:

Hottie for hire…

Maddie McCarthy is single, between jobs, and (oh, the shame) lives with her mother. To make matters worse, she’s the maid of honor for her sister’s wedding, and desperately needs a date. Then she sees her salvation-Match Made Easy, a service for women in Maddie’s exact position. If she can’t find a boyfriend, she’ll do the next best thing…

Hire one.

Trent Montgomery isn’t actually part of Match Made Easy. He’s just doing a favor for his cousin, but one look at the blonde who hired him, and he’s totally hooked. Now Maddie thinks that the attraction sizzling between them is just “part of the package.” And Trent is running out of time to prove to her that her date-for-hire might just be her happily-ever-after…

Find it online:


Wife for the Weekend by Ophelia London

About the Book:

When bad weather closes the airport, free-spirited Jules Bloom finds herself stuck with the admittedly hot but total suit Dexter Elliott. One night and one large pitcher of “Vegas Sunrise” later, Jules wakes up in a hotel bed with a vicious hangover…wearing nothing but a wedding ring.

Determined not to ruin his brother’s wedding, Dexter strikes a deal with the frustratingly gorgeous Jules to continue their quickie marriage through the weekend. Only she keeps getting under his skin in unexpected ways.

Jules has her own reasons for staying married to Dex but they seem less important with each exaggerated touch and staged kiss. But one marriage, one major secret, and two complete opposites don’t add up to a happily ever after…

Find it online: 

GIVEAWAY

Waiting on Wednesday: Size Matters by Alison Bliss

This week my pick for "Waiting on Wednesday" is Size Matters by Alison Bliss!!!

Synopsis:

The rules of (fake) engagement...

Leah Martin has spent her life trying to avoid temptation. But she's sick of low-fat snacks, counting calories, and her hyper-critical mom. Fortunately, her popular new bakery keeps her good and distracted. But there aren't enough éclairs in the world to distract Leah from the hotness that is Sam Cooper - or the fact that he just told her mother that they're engaged...which is a big, fat lie.

Sam sometimes speaks before he thinks. So what started out as defending Leah's date-ability to her judgmental mother soon turned into having a fiancée! Now the plan is to keep up the fake engagement, stay "just friends," and make Leah's family loathe him enough to call the whole thing off. But Sam has an insatiable sweet tooth, not only for Leah's decadent desserts but her decadent curves. Her full lips. Her bright green eyes. Yep, things aren't going quite according to plan. Now Sam has to convince Leah that he's for real...before their little lie turns into one big, sweet disaster.

Size Matters releases November 29, 2016!!!

Why I'm waiting:

I've been a die-hard of Alison Bliss since her debut in 2014 and while she doesn't have an extensive backlist yet, she has yet to let me down with the few books she has published and I'm 100% sure that Size Matters is going to be another winner for me. I mean, what's not to love. This book features one of my favorite tropes, fake relationships, and it features a plus-sized heroine which is something I wish we saw in the romance genre more often. The only thing that could make me more excited for this book than I already am was if the heroine was Latina, but no book is perfect, so I'm good with that. Lol. Anywho, I need this book like I need my next breath. I've been excited for a lot of books this year but Size Matter takes the cake for the book I'm most excited for.

So what are you all waiting on this Wednesday?

***"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.***

Monday, August 1, 2016

Release Week Blitz: A Fine Mess by Kelly Siskind (+ Review)


Happy release week to A Fine Mess by Kelly Siskind!!!

Synopsis:

Some guys should come with a warning label…

Sawyer West is Mr. One-Night Stand. He doesn't do relationships or promises or feelings. He's never cared enough to get involved. Until Lily Roberts. She's sweet and shy and sexy as sin, and resisting her is testing his self-control. She believes Sawyer can be a better man, and for the first time in his life, he wants to be. But change isn't easy, and Sawyer would do anything to protect Lily from his past self. Even break his own heart…


THE OVER THE TOP SERIES

My Perfect Mistake, #1
A Fine Mess, #2


About the Author:

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she's not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. 

She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings-Gummy Bears heal all. She's also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.


Author Links:
Author Website: http://bit.ly/28YyOxe 
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/28XJzBJ 

Buy Links:

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

With each book I read by this author, they just get better and better. A Fine Mess, the second book in her Over the Top series, was such a great contemporary romance! The story which follows close friends and co-workers Sawyer and Lily held my attention from the very first page. The story developed a little differently than I was expecting based on what we learned in the first book, but that is what I loved most about it. I especially loved how different Lily was from the expected because her character had so much more depth and it made me more interested in her story. Sawyer on the other hand was exactly how I expected him to be and I loved him just as much as I knew I would. Moving on, the romance between these two really warmed my heart like any great friends to lovers romance. It was such an excellent love story. It had just enough drama without being too overwhelming and featured all the hilarious awkwardness and quirkiness that I've come to expect from this author. Overall, I really, really loved it!