Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Cover Reveal: Redeeming Lottie by Melissa Ellen

Things I never planned on happening in my life: Getting married, being a mother to a house full of kids, and returning to my small hometown of Billingsley, Texas.

I especially never planned on seeing Tucker Monroe again.
Sexy smile. Country charm.
A man and a life I left behind for a reason.

The only plan I had for myself was my career.

A buyer for one of the largest high end department stores was the only commitment I had time for. The only one I was willing to make.

Now, being left with no choice but to return to Billingsley, I’m finding it hard to remember why I left in the first place. Because all that’s on my mind is Tucker.

He is just as sexy. Just as charming.
Just as dangerous as he used to be…

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I’m the author of The Blackwood Series. I grew up as a book worm, reading anything and everything and still try to read at least a book a week. I’ve always had an active imagination. Luckily, I now have time to put it to good use into stories that are constantly swarming around in my head.

When I’m not writing, you can find me working on architecture projects, buried in a book with a glass of wine (or coffee), playing with my adorable son (I’m not partial at all…his adorableness is a fact), laughing with my hot husband (another fact), or tackling my latest DIY project (and by that I mean putting my hot husband to work).

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

New Release Spotlight: Bayside Passions by Melissa Foster

Bayside Passions
Bayside Summers #2
By: Melissa Foster
Releasing Jan 10, 2018
World Literary Press
Bayside Passions

Bayside Summers series

When Emery Andrews’s best friend, Desiree, moves away, falls in love, and opens a an inn all in one summer, she feels her absence like a missing limb. Until she visits over the holidays and meets sinfully hot Dean Masters, who’s as easy on the eyes as he is to talk to. After returning home, what starts as a flurry of late-night flirtations quickly turns into a deep connection and unexpected friendship. Now, months later, Desiree offers Emery a job teaching yoga at the inn. Adventurous Emery jumps at the chance and heads for Wellfleet, Massachusetts, to reunite with her BFF and her new close friend, Dean.
After months of sharing their lives, and their secrets, over video chats and phone calls, Dean’s ready to move things to the next level. The fact that Emery seems oblivious to the sparks between them and has recently put her foot down about dating friends just means he’ll have to bide his time.
When Emery finds a naked man in her kitchen the first morning she’s there, Dean doesn’t hesitate to move her into his guest room. Maybe now Emery will see what’s right before her eyes–although that guy she’s got a date with might be a problem.

After a nice long shower, she dried her hair and threw on a pair of cutoffs and a peach tank top, all the while hoping Desiree had enjoyed amazing sex last night so she’d make one of her delicious, fancy breakfasts. She assumed Violet had had a fun night, although they hadn’t made any noise that she could remember. Could Violet have had bad sex? Maybe it really isn’t the length of the sword, but how expertly they wield it. She laughed to herself, imagining if that had been the case, Violet would have kicked his butt out of the house long before morning.
She headed over to the inn to question Desiree about long-dong naked man. Cosmos, the dog Desiree and Violet had inherited along with the house, greeted Emery at the kitchen door, yapping and trying to crawl up her legs. He was some sort of terrier mix, with pointy ears, mostly gray, wiry fur, and big brown eyes. She scooped up the scruffy pup and he licked her chin. “Hey there, matchmaker.”
Desiree’s mother had lived in the house for a few months before tricking Desiree and Violet to come out and stay there last summer. Unbeknownst to them, as part of a grand matchmaking scheme to bring Rick and Desiree together, Lizza had trained Cosmos to climb the fence and swim in the pool at Bayside Resort. It had worked so well, and Desiree was so happy, Emery almost wished Cosmos would work some magic for her.
That would take a miracle.
Not a single person in her family seemed to know how to have a lasting relationship. They were a boisterous, opinionated bunch, and because of that, she knew they were not easy partners. Her brothers were constantly flirting and rarely held their tongues. She had the not-holding-her-tongue thing down pat, and as for flirting? Well, she was pretty good in that department, too. The trouble was, several men she’d gone out with had accused her of flirting with other guys even when she wasn’t.
She stepped inside and set Cosmos on the kitchen floor. The sounds of spatulas on pans and laughter filled her ears. Desiree stood at the stove flipping pancakes. Dean, Rick, and Drake sat at the table, shirtless, their bronze physiques on display as they scarfed down breakfast. They were all athletic, but damn. Rick and Drake looked like boys next to Dean’s Adonis-like body. The way they were shoveling food into their mouths, she wondered if they’d run the entire length of the Cape. She might not find love, like Desiree had, but she knew she’d find plenty of other types of happiness here at the Cape.
Hey, Em,” Desiree said.
The guys looked up, and Rick and Drake mumbled “good morning” around their food.
Dean smiled, lifting his chin in greeting as she plucked a piece of pancake from his plate and popped it in her mouth.
Hey, doll. Sleep well?” Dean asked.
Mm-hm.” She reached around him and grabbed his coffee, helping herself to a sip. Dean intercepted the mug before she could set it back down and took a gulp. “But the naked guy in the kitchen kind of threw me for a loop.”
Dean spit coffee all over the table. “What?”
Watch it!” Drake flew from his chair, causing Cosmos to bark and setting Emery and Desiree laughing.
Jesus, Dean.” Rick brushed coffee from his chest. “What the hell?”
Dean grumbled something that sounded like “sorry,” his angry eyes locked on Emery. “What naked man?”
Desiree tossed Rick a towel and said, “There was a naked guy in Violet’s kitchen?”
Emery shrugged. “Yup. Tall guy, well hung. Des, any idea who Violet’s banging these days?”
No.” She handed Emery a plate of pancakes. “I know she has an old friend who lives in the area, but she refuses to tell me anything about him.”
Well, they didn’t make a sound, so either I slept like a log or their tryst should go down in the Guinness Book of World Records for the quietest sex ever. Do you have a tent I can borrow for the next few days?” Emery asked.
You’re staying at my place,” Dean said adamantly. He carried his plate to the sink and began scrubbing it clean.
I can’t intrude on you,” Emery said. “I’ll mess up your mojo or something.”
He turned off the water and faced her, arms crossed, jaw tight. “My mojo is already messed up, and I’m pretty sure ‘or something’ follows you everywhere you go. You can, and you will, stay with me. It’s not safe for you to be around strange naked guys.”
Think it’s safe for her to be around you?” Rick asked.
Dean glared at him.
Dean would never hurt me.” Emery sat down at the table and speared a pancake from the platter Desiree set before her. “You sure you don’t mind, big guy? It’s actually perfect, considering I can walk there,” she teased. “But I have to warn you, I’m not the neatest person, and I suck at cooking, but I’ll—”
Keep her out of your kitchen,” Desiree warned. “I’ve seen her cook. Not only will your kitchen never recover, but neither will your stomach.”
Truth,” Emery said, and ate another forkful of pancake.
I don’t need you to cook or clean. Just stay out of my gardens and we’ll be fine.” Dean glared out the window over the sink at Violet’s cottage, looking like he was strategizing World War III.
Okay, thanks. I’ll get my stuff after breakfast,” she said.
I’ll get your stuff and take it to my place while you eat,” Dean said. “I’m working in the hospital gardens today. I’ll make you a key while I’m out and text you when I get back.”
Before she could say a word, he stormed out the door.
That’s a man on a mission,” Desiree said as she sat down beside Rick.

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

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Thursday, 11 January 2018

New Release Spotlight: Prince Charming by CD Reiss

Keaton Bridge is one hundred percent bad boy.
Cassie doesn't need a boy and certainly not a bad one. Nope. She fights crime for a living, and everything about this guy screams trouble, from his charming British accent to his mysterious past.
And Cassie doesn't do trouble.
Keaton's got his own trouble. He's trying to go legit, and an FBI agent hanging around is the last thing that will help his credibility.
All it took was one night of passion to sear her into his skin. Now he can't imagine living happily ever after without her.
All they have to do is walk away.
But neither of them ever walks away from a challenge.

The list of crimes that happen on the dark net bounce through my brain as he holds me. Is he going to kill me? Strangle me right here in the parking lot of his own factory? Maybe he wants to try. He’s well-built but I’m pretty sure I can take a computer nerd in hand to hand combat. I just can’t let him get the jump.
He goes for me.
I’m surprised and prepared for it at the same time. I didn’t actually believe he’d try, but I’m reaching to block an attack while he’s leading with his head, which is weird, but I got this.
When his lips smash against mine my body is a split second ahead of my brain. It’s processed the list of dark net violence and thus completes a series of moves to bring down a frontal attack.
Even as I’m using his weight against him by holding his arm still while I swing him, letting his high center of gravity do all the work of stripping him of his balance, my mind processes the kiss. Because it was a kiss. A real soft-lipped-slightly-open-mouthed-I want-her-to-like-it kind of kiss.
By the time those nice thoughts register I’m slamming him up against the car. I’m a little disappointed that I can’t take back my counterattack. I would have let him kiss me a few more seconds before taking him down.
His eyes are open wide and the breath’s knocked out of him. The thump of his body against the car door fades into the night.
Why did you do that?” I ask.
He looks at me as if I asked him why he pees standing up. Brows knotted. Arms out. Mouth half open as if he can’t contain the sheer number of answers he could give me right now.
What?” He says it like whot and it’s endearing and haughty at the same time. Damnit. I should have taken that kiss and not gotten all black belt on him.
Don’t sneak up on a girl like that.” I sound like a brat.
He straightens himself out, pulling his cuffs down and realigning his jacket.
I’m going to pretend you didn’t just do a very impressive judo throw and tell you, out front, that I am going to kiss you. First, I am going to put my hands on your face, because I would like to feel your mouth move when I do it. Then I’m going to tilt my head to the right, so please, you should also tilt your head to the right.” He waits for me to nod, and when I do, he comes close to me and lowers his voice. “I’m going to wait a second once our lips touch, just to make sure we’re both appreciating this first contact. When I open my mouth a little, I want you to do the same. You need to accept my tongue in your mouth.” He puts his hands on my shoulders. “Is that enough of a warning?”
What happens after that?”
It’s unwritten.”
He moves his hands up to my jaw, laying his thumbs against my cheeks. He strokes them and I lean forward.
He kisses me just like he said he would. His tongue tastes like ice water, and his lips curve into the shape of mine. The adrenaline in my veins blends with something newer and warmer. He slides one hand back and tugs my hair which sends fluids and sensation and pleasure and all my attention between my legs. I push against him just so I can feel him resist. I need to fight him hard as I want him.
He’s rigid and yielding all at once, turning us around until I’m the one with my back against the car. I shove him away and he separates from me with a sharp intake of breath.
He doesn’t say a word, still holding me by a fistful of hair. The cold clouds of our breath mingle between us. He’s a predator, a criminal, and a mistake. But his jaw is tight and his nostrils flare when he breathes. He’s all those things and a bull charging for the red cape.
Push me away again,” he says, finally, “and we’re done here. And I know for a fact that’s not what you want.”
I am the red cape, and I need to be yanked away as much as I need him to charge at me again and again.
When I want you to stop I’ll say so.”
I shove him again, and he smiles before laying a kiss on me. It’s not a kiss I fight. It’s a kiss I want. He pauses, pulling his mouth away as if giving me a second to tell him to stop, but I don’t. I don’t start pushing against him until our mouths are locked again. His hips grind into me. I feel his erection through our clothes.
I’m clutching his coat without any sense. I want to tear away every stitch of fabric. I push and pull with equal ferocity. I want to spread my legs but my coat’s too long. I want to punch him. I want that hard dick stretching me and I want it to hurt. My mind is wiped clean of everything but need. I don’t have a job or a career. I don’t have dreams built from childhood. I don’t have a name. I’m just a pillar of desire. I’m reduced to movement and hunger. I want his body inside mine. Nothing else.

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CD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn't pick up she's at the well hauling buckets.
Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master's degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.
She's frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn't ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood.
If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.

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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Review: Man Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Man Candy (Real Love, #3)Man Candy by Jessica Lemmon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dax Vaughn wants a break...some time to himself and he has found the perfect place in the mountains of Tennessee. However, the same doesn't apply to the weather when heavy rain makes his perfect retreat inaccessible. Luckily, there's a solution he accepts, but the unexpected company he acquires along the way is a distraction he didn't know he needed until she left.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained...Becca Stone sees a hot guy in the bar where she works and he's too irresistible to ignore. When extreme weather means she can't get home, the only alternative is to knock on the cabin door of the Magic Mike lookalike and hope he'll share his accommodation. A no-strings fling is what they're both looking for, but will Becca finally realise that she doesn't need to run away any-more as she develops feelings for her camping companion?

The protagonists are very real in their approach to everyday life and their expectations. This made them very identifiable and realistic as they react to each other's desires and wishes, respecting the here and now and not expecting too much thereafter. This was where Dax's personality shone because he gave Becca space to sort herself out. He also used his wisdom and maturity to see through Becca's brother's issues too which helped to smooth out rough patches for them all. Especially when the brother wasn't a particularly nice character. Thankfully, other secondary characters were more likeable and added to the light-hearted comedy narrative.

The sexy times are steamy and the dialogue littered with the author's signature wit. The cameo appearances by the couples from Eye Candy and Arm Candy makes for a tidy and successful end to the Real Love series.

Overall a good solid read I heartily enjoyed. As I've come to expect from Ms Lemmon, the dialogue between characters, specifically the protagonists are highly amusing. I've read a handful of the author's books before and she is a go-to favourite. When I pick up one of her novels, I know It'll be entertaining and Man Candy is no exception.

***arc generously received courtesy of Loveswept via NetGalley***

View all my reviews

Monday, 8 January 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

What's happening here?

The sun is shining, it's cold and we still have snow...the blue sky is a lovely contrast to our many grey, dark monochromatic Winter days. The beginning of the first full week of 2018 and we are slowly getting back into a routine.

I'll be picking up a manuscript today to begin round one editing and hoping what I wrote for NaNo isn't too bad. I'd hoped to begin last Wednesday but other things ended up taking priority.

I'm pleased I managed to read more than expected last week and I'm already two books ahead on my Goodreads Challenge!

What am I currently reading?

I finished reading The Alice Network this morning, so haven't started a new book yet. After looking at my review calendar, I'm going to read: 

(Blurb) For Hunter and Sara, getting married was easy. It’s staying together that’s the true test of love…

Hunter Cabot deeply loves two things: the international tea company he’s helped his father build, and his wife, Sara. From the moment he first saw her wide smile on their college campus years ago, Hunter fell hard. Yet now, with other family members pushing to sell the thriving business and Sara grieving their failure to start a family, he’s suddenly facing the crushing loss of both.

The relentless ambition that Sara once admired in Hunter is now driving them apart. Each missed doctor’s appointment, neglected dinner date, and family squabble accentuates their differing priorities. Still, Sara struggles to create the home life they’d envisioned, until unsettling developments—both personal and professional—push them to the breaking point.

When love is put to the ultimate test, can Hunter and Sara stop fighting each other long enough to fight for their marriage?

Thoughts so far…

As I've not begun reading my next book so I'll tell you of my expectations of my of it instead. I've previously read Worth The Wait, St James #1 by Jamie and was impressed at the time as she was a new to me author. Fast forward nearly three years and I'm going to begin All We Knew. Based on my review of Worth The Wait, I'm expecting to read something special whilst I ponder why It's taken so long to pick up another of her books.

Book(s) I've read this past week?

Nikan Rebuilt by Scarlett Cole (arc)
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Smooth by Tracy Ewens (arc)

What are you reading?

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Spotlight: A Love Story & Review of Smooth by Tracy Ewens

If only life came with a guarantee.
Patrick McNaughton wants more. More people drinking Foghorn’s beer, more money to push their brewery past the competition, and more cooperation from his brothers, who have no sense of urgency. He’s all about conquering one challenge on his way to the next, so long as there’s a remote chance of winning. That’s why Aspen Pane sits in the office down the hall, oblivious to his attraction. Patrick has always wanted more with her, but he never was one to risk it all.
Aspen Pane has more than enough. As business manager for Foghorn, she keeps the brewery in the black and lives up to the nickname the McNaughton brothers gave her—Wonder Woman. She’s worked hard her whole life for the money she now has in the bank, the small house she calls home, and time with her friends. So, even though it seems everyone close to her, including her brother, is inconveniently falling in love, Aspen sticks with her to-do list. Because love risks everything and she doesn’t do that for anyone.
After an unexpected flight and an eccentric venture capitalist thrust them into a battle of wits and lies even they’re not sure they can win, Patrick and Aspen must learn the difference between making a connection and making money. They may need to face their fears and risk it all in the name of finding a new work-love balance. 

Smooth - A Love Story
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Smooth is the tenth standalone novel in the author's A Love Story series.

On the surface, Patrick McNaughton is a man in control. He oozes confidence and control in his day to day running of Foghorn Brewery, a company he established with two of his brothers. However, when the object of his long-held desires finally acknowledges him. He can only hope his charm can convince her to take a chance on them.

Aspen Pane isn't a typical heroine because she spends most of the time trying to justify why she's single. Her brother may have decided to settle down with his girlfriend and her best friend Vienna, but that's not a route she wants to take her life...until she does...doesn't she?

Two people made for each other because they are so similar, but only one is aware of the other...apart from friends and family they surround themselves with. Patrick, the geeky looking boy Aspen went to school with has always had her on his radar. Beyond attending different colleges, they've always been aware of what the other is doing. So it was inevitable, Foghorn Brewery would seek Aspen out as a potential Business Manager for their brewery when she moved back to Petaluma. A successful move for the brewery and a frustrating one for Patrick.

I love that Patrick wasn't as typical an alpha male as his business persona showed. Deep down, he has a phobia he's spent much time trying to hide from family and friends. However, his weakness is one he admits to Aspen when they are unexpectedly on the same flight together. His vulnerability, a side of Patrick's personality Aspen hadn't seen before because she always viewed him as a man who led a perfect life, unlike herself. She is a driven, practical woman, determined to have everything she lacked growing up. Prepared to sacrifice finding love because she believed she was better off alone.

The romance build up is very slow-burn as the protagonists, slowly begin to get to know each other on a more personal level. Despite the pair knowing each other socially through work, I love the respect shown to each other as they navigated the tricky waters of a potential relationship. Nothing is plain sailing as the amusing secondary characters try and stir things up, adding light-hearted humour. Dialogue is witty and amusing, as is a sub-plot.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my first Tracy Ewens novel however, I found the narrative a bit too long and the eventual happy ever after could have happened sooner rather than later. That apart, I enjoyed the writer's style so will look to read more of her books in The Love Story series.

***arc generously received courtesy of the publisher via InkSlingersPR***

Premiere - A Love Story

Candidate - A Love Story

Taste - A Love Story

Reserved - A Love Story

Stirred - A Love Story

Vacancy - A Love Story

Playbook - A Love Story

Exposure - A Love Story

Brew - A Love Story

Tracy Ewens shares a beautiful piece of desert with her husband and three children in New River, Arizona. She is a recovered theater major who walks her dog Jack, drinks copious amounts of tea, and reads well past her bedtime.