Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An April Bride (A Year of Weddings #5) by Lenora Worth

An April Bride 
A Year of Weddings #5

War changes everything . . . even their love.

Bride-to-be Stella Carson can’t wait to marry her longtime sweetheart Marshall Henderson. But Marshall has been away serving his country and after suffering a head wound and being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome, he has distanced himself from Stella by asking her not to visit him in a Washington, D.C. hospital.

Marshall returns to Louisiana just four weeks before the wedding, but as the big day draws near, Stella wonders if the man she’s loved for most of her life still wants to marry her.

This is another in the "A Year of Weddings" series published by Zondervan - Fiction. Each of these novellas focus on a wedding and the trials and tribulations leading up to the event. These are nicely clean, but have some UST for our reading enjoyment. Kisses can be FUN! They are also inspirational, but they don't beat you over the head about it. Again, nicely done.

I am certainly enjoying these novellas. This one, with a returning soldier, was quite good. There was a bit of "telling" as opposed to "showing" at the beginning, but I liked it anyway. It's difficult to put everything IN that is needed when one is constrained by a novella word count. 

Marshall has been injured and asks that his fiancee not visit him as he's recuperating. He has a brain injury. We come to find out that he's lost his memory and doesn't remember his bride-to-be.

Stella doesn't find this out until he returns, just weeks before the wedding they've planned. This was by his request, but still, I would have been ticked.

Marshall is attracted to Stella. She's everything a bride should be. Sweet and devout...and pretty, too. By all accounts he's loved her forever. And he wants to honor his promise.

Stella's not sure of anything except the fact that she loves him. But what if he doesn't remember her? Ever?

Stella needed to do some growing, and when she finally does, I was quite proud of her. 

There were a few time line issues, but all in all, this was an enjoyable read. One thing that is odd with the review copies from Zondervan, is that many of the sentences don't begin with capital letters! It's odd and takes a bit to get into the flow of reading. The actual books have that issue taken care of, but still hard to read the review copies.

This is a FOUR BOOKMARK read for me.

*Thank you, NetGalley and Zondervan, for the opportunity to read An April Bride

Connect with Lenora Worth:
Twitter @elnoraw

Monday, March 24, 2014

Transcendence by Shay Savage


It’s said that women and men are from two different planets when it comes to communication, but how can they overcome the obstacles of prehistoric times when one of them simply doesn’t have the ability to comprehend language?

Ehd’s a caveman living on his own in a harsh wilderness. He’s strong and intelligent, but completely alone. When he finds a beautiful young woman in his pit trap, it’s obvious to him that she is meant to be his mate. He doesn’t know where she came from; she’s wearing some pretty odd clothing, and she makes a lot of noises with her mouth that give him a headache. Still, he’s determined to fulfill his purpose in life – provide for her, protect her, and put a baby in her.

Elizabeth doesn’t know where she is or exactly how she got there. She’s confused and distressed by her predicament, and there’s a caveman hauling her back to his cavehome. She’s not at all interested in Ehd’s primitive advances, and she just can’t seem to get him to listen. No matter what she tries, getting her point across to this primitive, but beautiful, man is a constant – and often hilarious – struggle. 

With only each other for company, they must rely on one another to fight the dangers of the wild and prepare for the winter months. As they struggle to coexist, theirs becomes a love story that transcends language and time.

This book is different. And it's a good different. This is 99% from Ehd's POV. Ehd's a caveman. Really. 

Now that doesn't mean he's stupid. He's not. You know those LOL cat pictures? Where the cat can't spell? And the Chik-Fil-A cows spelling things wrong on signs? I've heard people comment that WHY do we think they can't spell! Well, this is rather the case here. Just because Ehd is a caveman, it doesn't mean that he doesn't have a brain. He does. He just can't speak our language. Or any language besides grunts and growls and almost mentioned too many times, "Hoh."

Elizabeth, Beh, is from the here and now. Somehow she's tossed back in time and dropped into one of Ehd's hunting pits. Good thing she missed those SPIKES!

They both have a steep learning curve here. And it was intriguing to watch. 

Have you ever wondered whether it would be harder to go back in time, or to leap forward? Beh finally figures out how to survive then, but I don't think Ehd would be able to make the leap forward to here. Of course, she had a brilliant, sexy caveman to help her.

Yes, this is steamy. Ehd really really REALLY wants to put a baby in Beh. And unlike this saucy, spicy erotica novella that I read last year where the female immediately enjoyed the "good times" with a clan of cavemen, Beh has to be wooed. She's a strong woman and she takes her time. I actually enjoyed the UST that built between these two.

I was worried just how this would end. When it came, I'm not ashamed to say that I cried big ol' tears. But it was incredibly satisfying. This is a standalone book, and for that I'm also grateful. I'm getting a bit tired of cliffies and having to pay to get the rest of the story. 

Be sure to read the epilogue. It has a few answers in it to questions that may arise while you read.

Another point: What do you think of the cover? I love it. When I mentioned that to a friend, she told me that the model is TST: The Savage Trainer. Ms. Savage knows him...and they did this whole photo shoot to get the right pics of Ehd. I think they succeeded dramatically! You can follow TST on twitter, too. He constantly has new pics up. He tries to keep them SFW.

Yes, this book is different. But I think you might find it intriguing, too.

Connect with Shay Savage:
* Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter @savage7289  *

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dragons Don't Cry by D'Elen McClain

Dragons Don't Cry

Fire Chronicles #1

The four remaining male dragons have been cursed by Hera because of one dragon's act. They are called to the claiming once every one hundred years. They choose a bride, fall in love with her, and then she dies at the end of her life-span. They are always heart-broken. They are cursed to go through this cycle until they find their one true mate. Makes for some sad moments as they remember their loves.

There is a loophole, and Acasia just might be it.

I was confused at one point. Bastian takes Acasia to the Earth Realm. They are met by Dmitri, a vampire. There are shifters, too. Once I realized that these characters are all from The Fang Chronicles, it made more sense.

One hopes that Ms. McClain is well into writing the next book in the series, as this was loads of reading fun.

Thank you, NetGalley and D'Elen McClain, for the opportunity to read Dragons Don't Cry

Connect with D'Elen McClain:

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Duke's Quandary by Callie Hutton

The Duke's Quandary
by Callie Hutton

EBook: 285 pages
Release Date: March 10, 2014
ISBN: 978-1622664641

London 1814...

Drake, Duke of Manchester is searching the Marriage Mart for a perfect bride. He wants a woman who is poised, sophisticated, and worthy of the title Duchess. But most of all, he wants a woman who does not want the useless emotion of love. 

Socially awkward Miss Penelope Clayton isn't meant for marriage. A serious botanist, she has no desire to wed, so being forced by her guardian to participate in the Season to find a husband is torture. She'll never fit in with the ton, especially if they discover she's been pretending to be a man within the scientific community. 

As Drake's family makes over Penelope, turning her from naive bluestocking to enchanting debutante, he is put upon to introduce her to society and eligible bachelors. Despite dance lessons and new gowns, Penelope is the opposite of poised and sophisticated as she stumbles from one mishap to the next. Why then, does he find it so hard to resist her?

Kathie's Review:

This was charming! Penelope just wants to dig deeper into botany. She enjoys finding and cataloging new specimens of plant life. It is unfortunate that she can't be recognized for her work because she's a woman. Still, she does the work and sends the information to the Scientific Society under a manly name. 

A husband is not in her plans. 

Drake's plans include finding the 'perfect' woman to be his duchess. He has very strict guidelines as to what she should look like, how she should behave, and specifically one that won't let love figure into the equation. 

I think his mother laughed at him more than once. I know I cringed, and laughed, just a bit, when poor Penelope over set Drake. The scene with the teacup, and his angst over when it would fall...yes, I laughed.

I loved that the Dowager Duchess and her oldest daughter filled Penelope in on what to expect during her wedding night. That's such a sweet relief from others in this genre where the girl has no clue. She was still innocent, but she wasn't terrified. Well done, Ms. Hutton!

Considering Drake's search for perfection, and his urge for propriety, I did find it rather odd that he got her nearly naked, in public, a couple times. That pulled me out of the story, just a bit.

It was enjoyable to see Drake realize that sometimes what one thinks is perfect, isn't really what one needs...or wants...in the long run. I do love a man that can learn!

While this is a series, one can read it as a standalone. There are plenty of characters to choose from for the next several books. I liked that! I will certainly be watching for more from this author.

*Thank you, Entangled and Callie Hutton, for the opportunity to read The Duke's Quandary

Callie Hutton always knew those stories she made up in her head would be written down one day. There was nowhere else for them to go. After years of writing articles and interviews for magazines and company newsletters, she decided to tackle writing a book. That was back in 2010. Now with twelve books under her belt, and seven more contracted, the relief at having somewhere to tell those stories is wonderful. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, adult children and three dogs.

1 necklace and a pair of earrings US Only:

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Tour Schedule

Week One:
3/10/2014- Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!- Review
3/10/2014- book's blog- Guest Post
3/11/2014- Bitten by Romance- Review
3/11/2014- Dawn's Reading Nook- Interview
3/12/2014- Margay Leah Justice              - Review
3/12/2014- Ex Libris- Guest Post
3/13/2014- Dear Brighton- Review
3/13/2014- Rookie Romance- Interview
3/14/2014- Talking Books Blog- Review
3/14/2014- Living Between Books- Review

Week Two:
3/17/2014- Fade Into Fantasy- Interview
3/18/2014- Romantic Reads and Such- Interview
3/18/2014- Suzi Love- Review
3/19/2014- Toot's Book Reviews- Guest Post
3/19/2014- Cocktails and Books- Interview
3/20/2014- The La La Land of Books- Review
3/20/2014- Becky on Books- Review
3/20/2014- Ramblings From This Chick- Guest Post
3/21/2014- First Page to the Last- Review
3/21/2014- Manga Maniac Café- Interview

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Temptation by Fire by Tiffany Allee

Temptation by Fire
by Tiffany Allee

Visions of death haunt her . . .

Ava Keller sees the future. When she suffers a horrifying vision of a man's violent death, she knows from experience nothing she does will stop it from becoming a reality. But when she meets a strong, broken man, he makes her want to believe in second chances.

Vengeance consumes him . . .

Tortured by his past, Karson has worked tirelessly to wreak vengeance on the demons who murdered his family. But when Ava inadvertently disrupts his intricate plan for revenge, his focus shifts to an all-consuming need to keep her alive and in his arms.

Love could save their souls . . .

Thrown together by fate, Ava and Karson explore their new feelings and discover hope for the future. But they must battle the demons threatening humanity to find a destiny worthy of their love.

I've had this one on my to read shelf for a while now. Should have read it earlier! This one had me reading non-stop over the afternoon. Lots of excitement to be had here as I waited to see who was going to win...the Venators (hunters) or the demons.

While this is a standalone book, I sincerely hope that Ms. Allee has more in store for Ava, Karson, and their friends. This was a great way to start a series.

Ava has a curse...or a gift...she is psychic and with skin to skin touch, she can see glimpses of the future. Most of these peeks are of the violent variety. It makes her very twitchy about any human contact. And demon contact? That's worse. 

Karson has his own issues. He's a demon hunter whose big plan to take down his current prey is knocked asunder by Ava. She want to make up for the mistake by being used as bait. That could work, but Karson comes to have feelings for her. He just can't allow  her to be harmed.

That's when Ava's spine became steel and Karson met his match.

Lots of twists, turns, betrayals, a bit of gore, some HEAT...and I say it was an afternoon well spent!

and I really must read more of Ms. Allee's words!

*Thank you, Entangled and Tiffany Allee, for the opportunity to read Temptation by Fire
Connect with Tiffany Allee:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Love's Revenge by Joan Avery



by Joan Avery
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Language: English
Pages: 266
Format: Ebook

St. Louis, Missouri, 1879

Heiress Kate Barker thought she'd met the man of her dreams the night the mysterious English viscount swept her off her feet at the masquerade. Until his real identity is revealed - the cold, calculating scoundrel is really there to rip her world apart.

The only things that have kept widower Stephen Worth alive for the past two years are the pomise of revenge against the man who framed him for murder and the love for Andy, his son, who was taken by the beautiful but vexing sister of his dead wife. He didn't know what to expect when he met Kate, but it wasn't undeniable desire.
Torn by attraction, driven by hatred, tempered by their love for a child, Stephen and Kate fight their growing feelings across the country to the wilds of Colorado. If he cannot convince Kate to trust him before she learns the truth about his past, he could lose Andy - but his demons are all the ammunition she needs to keep the boy for good.

Joan Avery has spent over thirty five years in advertising and advertising related businesses including over fifteen as a producer of Radio and Television commercials for companies as diverse as Cadillac and Whirlpool.
She discovered the joy of writing after switching from full-time to part-time employment with the birth of the first of her three children. They joined her two older stepsons to make a fairly large family. She lives with her husband in a Detroit suburb and enjoys traveling.

She believes that nothing opens your eyes like seeing a whole new culture with different tastes and values. The only thing that remains the same is love.

It is a universal language.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Freakn' Cougar by Eve Langlais

Freakn' Cougar 

Freakn' Shifters #6

Monday, March 17, 2014

His Hometown Girl by Karen Rock GRAND FINALE

It's the GRAND FINALE for
His Hometown Girl

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Jodi and Daniel a little more on the tour. 
If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now! 
Then be sure to enter the amazing giveaway, if you haven't already.

     “Because we used to be friends, Jodi Lynn.”
     “Friends?” She snorted and shook off the water collecting on the stroller’s canopy.
“And don’t call me Jodi Lynn.”
     “Would you prefer ‘ma’am’? Is that what country folks are supposed to say when a city
girl comes to town?”

"I loved this story! I loved the strawberries, the farm life, the small town family feel, and of course, the clean romance. I loved the ending! It was perfect."

Just Jeannies Books & Bling - Author Interview
"This story goes out as a tribute to all of the parents, and extended family members helping to raise a special needs child. Like your children, you are extraordinary and more than worthy of having lasting love."

"There were some very sweet moments between Jodi, Daniel, and Tyler. Moments that made you want this whole thing to work out for them. I could almost taste the berries when they picked them. Very nicely done, Ms. Rock!"

All That's Written - Character Interview
You used to have such a strong connection with Cedar Bay and an old childhood rival and later secret boyfriend, Daniel Gleason. Do you think you could ever care for either of them again?

When I left Cedar Bay, I tried putting it, and Daniel, out of my mind forever. In their own way, both had crushed me. However, when my boss offered me a promotion if I returned there to purchase farm land, I had no choice but to accept. I needed that extra money to pay for the special needs day care that would help Tyler speak again. Yet my loyalties were divided when I arrived and remembered how much I used to love living in Cedar Bay. I felt torn that it would become a massive industrial farm if I succeeded in purchasing all of the land for my employer. Of course Daniel Gleason wasn’t going to make that easy. In fact, he planned to stop me every way he could, even using his old charm. Only, I wasn’t falling for that again. Or at least I tried not to…

Cinnamon Cindy's Book Blog - Review
"This book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire story. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a clean romance about old love rekindling."

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer - Character Interview
You had strong connection with Jodi growing up. Do you think you’ll ever be close again?

Jodi Lynn used to drive me nuts as a boy- still does. She’s smart, pretty and always sure she knows best. I couldn’t help, growing up, wanting to best her every chance I got. Seeing that line appear between her blue eyes always made me smile. At least she knew who I was, even if she seemed like she hated me. Except one summer, the year we worked together after her father’s accident, she kissed me while we were berry picking. That changed everything...

You can see Kathy's review here.

Kelly P's Blog - Karen Rock: Caught between a Holstein and a Gander!
"...I had my own set of adventures on the farm and though some didn’t end well, as the one I’m about to relate, they’ve all stayed with me and inspired me while writing His Hometown Girl. This particular adventure began while I was spending a summer weekend at my grandparents’ farm house..."

Harlie's Books - Review
"If you are looking for a sweet, heartwarming romance this line from Harlequin will be just perfect for you. It’s not quite Harlequin Romance and it doesn’t have the religious overtones of Love Inspired (which I love). It’s in the middle dealing with every day folks, their community and home."

Fiona's Book Reviews - Review
"The story is written well. It is a lovely slow burning story with plenty to keep you interested. It isn't a simple romance story. Much of it is about her job and her need to provide for her son. A story which I enjoyed, and I look forward to seeing what the author comes up with next."

Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf - Author Interview
4.What do you hope that readers take away with them after reading your book? 

At its heart, this story is about acceptance. Jodi needs to learn to accept her past and forgive herself for old mistakes. She also needs to accept that no parent is perfect, nor is any child. We need to learn to love and accept ourselves to find true love. I hope the reader comes away knowing that you don’t have to be perfect to find the person who is perfect for you.

Mel's Shelves - Review
"This is a fun read! Jodi and Daniel go head to head to get the farmers to commit to each of their plans and some of their tactics were quite entertaining. I enjoyed their banter and watching their relationship progress. Jodi is protective of her heart and her son and isn't about to let just anyone in...

This is, indeed, a heartwarming story and a good book to curl up with when you're in the mood for a clean romance!"

Read a Book - Review
"Both Jodi and Daniel make mistakes, they can become rather stubborn and closed in their thinking, refusing to consider other possibilities than those that they think are right, but it is through these mistakes that will realize the reality and what really matters.

His Hometown Girl if it was an emotional read for me, holding a couple of scarves haha, but if you venture too fast in history, also the pace is quite fluid and I welcome both the plot and the characters (?), A book very touching, if they read it out!"

Reviews By Molly - Spotlight

"This author is one I would read again in a heartbeat, and this is one of those books you can read quickly and feel so good afterwards! I highly recommend it."

Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Guest Post: The Proof is in the Salsa
Suddenly, I felt the pressure and responsibility of having brought a tasty dish. It wasn’t until someone scooped out the last spoonful that I breathed easy and shared a jubilant hug with Gram. I’d done it!

"It also pulled me in with the humor, romance, and heartfelt story. I literally read it in one sitting. There are some great scenes and moments between these characters. I also really loved the small-town feel."

     The music began and Mary gave Daniel a little shove. “Have at her. Indulge us for old times’ sake. Everyone thought you two would make a great couple when you weren’t scrapping.”
     He looked down at a dismayed Jodi. “Guess we can’t disappoint our fans.”

"I really enjoyed this book and I will admit that when Daniel and Jodi call a semi-truce of sorts and start being nicer to each other I breathed a sigh of relief. This was a fluffy read, and a great distraction with a happily ever after that I loved."

Copywrite1985 - Review & Author Interview
"I loved His Hometown Girl! Jodi and Daniel are both compelling characters with complex motivations. I understood both of their positions and reasons, which made it all the more difficult as a reader to choose a side."

Q: For those who aren’t familiar with Heartwarming, how would you characterize the line?

Heartwarming novels are deeply romantic, tender love stories that are considered ‘clean’ or ‘wholesome’ without a faith-based element. They are the kinds of romances you’d be excited to share with your daughter as they’re great examples of what real-life relationships should be.

Colorimetry - Flashback to Strawberry Picking
     “It’s a free country,” she muttered, of two minds. Like always, she wanted him near. Though they’d been childhood rivals for years, he’d been the only boy who made her stomach turn itself into knots, her heart beat faster. Too often, she’d caught herself doodling his name in the margins of notebooks when she forgot herself. Yet his family had loaned her father the machine that’d caused the accident. It was hard not to see him as ‘the enemy’ more than ever.

The Wonderings of One Person - Author Interview
How has this story touched your life?

It meant a lot when I read the ‘Dear Reader’ letter to my sister and saw her smile and cry happy tears to see what I’d written about her. Like all parents of special needs children (and I’m one myself as my daughter has an anxiety disorder), she needs to know what an incredible job she is doing and never to feel less than other parents.
     “So you do think about it.” His eyes lit up. “About us.”
     Her sigh felt as though it came from the deepest part of her. “Oh, Daniel.”
     He cupped her cheeks. “We can make this work.”
     Her brows came together. “Impossible. We both have too much to lose.”

Lola's Reviews - Review
"I really enjoyed the ending and there are some really sweet and touching scenes in this book."

"Karen Rock charms us with her second novel. Jodi and Daniel…and Tyler’s story makes you laugh out loud, sigh with longing and ball your fists in frustration and cry at the happily ever after. Readers will be completely blown away by this heartwarming tale and grabbing for the nearest box of tissues."

The Written Adventure - Author Interview
12) Do you have other stories you plan to write?

I have three more books contracted with Harlequin Heartwarming and each is very unique. I can’t wait to share them! I just finished one about two very different people- one’s a dreamer, the other a pragmatist- who team up to create a start-up company designing a dating compatibility app. It’s been a lot of fun trying to answer the question: Can love come with a guarantee?
What was your inspiration behind this book?

A couple of things inspired HIS HOMETOWN GIRL. The first is my sister, Cathy. She’s my autistic niece, Abbie’s, mother and an incredible parent. Raising a child with special needs can be challenging and requires a lot of love and patience...

The second inspiration is my childhood days spent on my Uncle Bob’s dairy farm.

Brooke Blogs - Review
I loved that the story was much more than a romance, though. It was a genuine, full story of life, of love, and of all the things that people go through.
     He tucked a curl behind her ear and the feel of his touch made her shiver. It was so quiet, she could hear every breath he took, felt it vibrate through him in the cramped bottom of the boat.

Total Book Geek - Review
"There is plenty of drama and also fun times to keep it interesting. A sweet heartfelt story, perfect for lazy Sunday reading."

His Hometown GirlHis Hometown Girl
by Karen Rock
Mass Market Paperback, Large Print, 331 pages
March 1st 2014 by Harlequin

He'd always managed to best her…

Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he's not playing fair.

Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that's always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?

Karen Rock has adored romance since receiving Harlequin Presents books from her grandmother each summer. She formed her Young Adult writing partnership, J.K. Rock- pseudonym for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series, with her sister-in-law and Blaze author, Joanne Rock in 2011. When Karen heard of a call for submissions to Heartwarming, Harlequin’s latest line, she was inspired by the possibilities of writing unforgettable, deeply romantic, tender love stories that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters. When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes, hiking the ‘high peaks’, and redesigning her gardens. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. 

For more information about Karen's upcoming books, check out her website, Facebook page, or follow her on twitter. She’d love to hear from you!

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Grand Prize: Hand-stitched, authentic Amish quilt (uses their overlapping heart-stitching- pattern), with matching dust ruffle for a king-sized bed, signed copies of Wish Me Tomorrow & Camp Boyfriend, and some surprise swag (US Only)
1 - Paperback/ebook copies of Wish Me Tomorrow and Camp Boyfriend (format is winner's choice, paperback for US Only) and $20 Amazon gift card
2 - ebooks of Wish Me Tomorrow and Camp Boyfriend (INT)

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