Monday, 25 June 2018

Release Day Spotlight: Bound to her Blood Enemy by Tora Williams



Bound to Her Blood Enemy by Tora Williams
Norman heiress, Matilda Comyn is desperate to escape her grasping guardian and reclaim her inheritance. After a lifetime of being let down by men, she wants to rule her lands on her own terms. She can’t escape without help and battles her mistrust when compelled to join forces with a Welsh spy.
Huw Ap Goronwy has a rival claim to Matilda’s castle and has sworn a blood oath against the Comyns. When his king rules they must marry, he struggles to reconcile his attraction with his need for revenge. But they must form a truce if they are to seize their castle.
Risking capture and death, they will only succeed if Matilda learns to trust, and Huw allows his love for Matilda to overcome his need for revenge.


Tora lives in Shropshire in the United Kingdom. On childhood holidays her interest in history was fired by exploring castles in Wales and the Welsh borders, and she would make up stories about characters living there. When she started writing, it seemed only natural to turn to the settings that inspired her as a child. In her free time, when she can drag herself away from reading, she enjoys walking and cycling.






 Blog     Facebook page     Twitter


Friday, 22 June 2018

Review: One and Only by Jenny Holiday

One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I've never taken part in a read-along before, but for a Jenny Holiday novel, I couldn't resist.

With the wedding season upon us, this is a perfect time to read One and Only. With a bridezilla and her band of bridesmaids, One and Only has a hilarious narrative but still has a depth which balances perfectly with the fun and frivolity.

Cameron MacKinnon, soon to be brother-in-law to Elise the bride, is a bad boy she doesn't want to spoil her wedding. On his arrival, Jane, a bridesmaid is given the job to babysit him; to keep him from causing trouble. However, he's someone who doesn't fit his reputation when the truths are revealed along with his feelings of love for the least expected woman.

Jane and her friends are going above and beyond the call of duty as bridesmaids to Elise. They are sacrificing a week of their time to ensure their friend has the wedding of her dreams. When they are told about the infamous brother of the groom, the group are horrified by the list of 'crimes' he's committed. Yet pragmatic Jane willingly accepts the challenge to watch him. After all its a respite and surely more fun than the numerous arts and crafts the bride has signed them up for...because Cameron can't really be such a problem, can he?

One of the overriding features of this novel is the closeness and unswerving support the four friends have for each other. The pact of sisterhood shines through as Jane, Wendy and Gia go along with Elise's crafty whims. The four women are very different and I love how Jane somehow managed to maintain her unique spirit and identity. It's refreshing and charming even if some of the group don't fully appreciate her individuality.

Cameron is definitely misunderstood and has carried the burden of his past for many years as he's tried to overcome problems on his part. I like that he owns his issues and finally acknowledges how it is possible for others to see the real 'him' if he allows them too. As a pair, he and Jane seem very different, but despite their individual issues, they somehow manage to help each other to overcome the problems that have hindered them to finally enable them to move forward on both a person and mutual front.

If you haven't discovered Jenny Holiday's novels before, this is a fabulous place to start. Well written, I appreciate the humour and the references incorporated into the narrative. Whether you are reading along with friends or down at the beach or pool, this is a perfect read for the wedding season.

***ebook received courtesy of Forever Publishing via NetGalley***

View all my reviews


With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape - even if it means babysitting the groom's troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the "cake" is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.

Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he'll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he's had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?


Jenny Holiday is a cunning Slytherin who is constantly being told she's unduly optimistic. This year, after realizing she had accidentally put "hero makes late-night grilled cheese sandwiches for heroine/other hero" in three books, she started doing it on purpose. When she's not writing, she's probably having porch wine with her neighbours and enjoying having gardened. Follow her @JennyHoli on Twitter, @holymolyjennyholi on Instagram, and find other fun stuff at JennyHoliday.com

                    

Upcoming New Release Spotlight: The Highlander's Promise by Lynsay Sands



The Highlander’s Promise by Lynsay Sands
Series The Highlander Series
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date June 26, 2018


In a spellbinding new Highlands story from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands, the laird of the Buchanans finds the one woman who is his equal in passion and courage.

Aulay Buchanan has retreated to his clan’s hunting lodge for a few days of relaxation. But the raven-haired beauty he pulls from the ocean puts an end to any chance of rest. Though he christens her Jetta, she knows nothing of her real identity, save that someone is trying to kill her. As she recovers, it will not be easy for Aulay to protect her and keep her honor intact when she mistakenly believes they are man and wife…

Jetta sees beyond Aulay’s scars to the brave, loyal warrior she’s proud to call her own. But as the attempts on her life grow more brazen, Jetta realizes that not all is as she believes. And if Aulay is not her husband, can she trust the desire flaring in his eyes, or his promise to defend her with his life?

Did I do something to anger you?” Jetta asked with a frown.
His eyebrows rose at the question. “Nay. What would make ye think that?”
Because you have not kissed nor touched me again since then. I thought either you thought I did not want you to, or that I had somehow angered you, or that you simply tired of me and did not want me anymore because of my shorn head and my being too thin.”
Oh, lass,” Aulay said softly, cupping her cheek with his hand. “Ye’ve no’ angered me, and I am definitely no’ tired o’ ye. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Every minute I am with ye I have to fight no’ to kiss and touch ye,” he admitted, his eyes dropping to her mouth and his face moving closer.
Truly?” Jetta whispered uncertainly. “Aye, truly.”


Avon Romance http://bit.ly/2Jlqzz7
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2sQr5dq
Google Play http://bit.ly/2M9PQKx


LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at www.lynsaysands.net.





PRIZE: To celebrate the release of THE HIGHLANDER'S PROMISE by Lynsay Sands, we're giving away one paperback set (6 books in total) of THE HIGHLANDER SERIES!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback set of the Highlander series by Lynsay Sands. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 7/6/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Spotlight and Excerpt: Just by Jenny Morton Potts




Just
How far would you go to save a life?

On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott Langbrook falls recklessly in love with his team leader, Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much more sinister.

Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land and at sea. 

An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.


In Cornwall, doctors Scott Langbrook and Demitri Tasso are planning a necessary death… (abridged to avoid spoilers)

As dawn approached on Lusty Glaze Beach, the frill of the sea was making itself heard. The deep bulk though was eerily silent. There was no swell out there. A light breeze whipped around Scott’s ears and floppy blonde fringe. He stripped off his jeans and trawlerman pullover. Could he write the tiniest message to his mother on the label next to the washing instructions? He looked at his best friend who was struggling just to pull the wet suit out of the holdall. Scott thumped himself in his newly toned gut. Naked, he felt the puffs of wind scurry back and forth, through his chest and pubic hair. He dared not look at his genitals but he sensed they were against the project; viscerally opposed, as was his heart. From the very first seed of intention, in fact, Scott’s body had been shrivelling with dread and revulsion. When he considered what he was asking of his dearest friend, Demitri Tasso, who had already seen too much, Scott’s throat closed over. And when he thought of what he was about to do to his mother, he was filled with profound, dark shame.
I have no choice. You understand that, Demitri.” Scott knew Demitri would never understand. “We’re just on a wheel. Like hamsters. We work, we run. We stitch people up. We save who we can. But there is a purity in work, Fiyori taught me that. You do understand, don’t you?”
Scott wasn’t making any sense. He wasn’t really in charge of his mental capacity now, so Demitri decided to be lenient. There must have been another way to tackle this, there must. But Scott’s suicidal mind was made up and to poke at him now with the stick of intellect would only make the final moments more painful.
The pale of Scottie’s skin was reddening as the cold took proper hold. He pulled the wet suit onto his body. It was wrong with damp. Demitri tried to help with the zip but his friend shook his head. The Cornish water looked solid. Scott didn’t know if he could even get inside it.
Mate, you’re freezing your knackers off already.”
The seagulls pumped their wings over the boys and shot back like elastic, in the gusts. “See, Dem, we all have our moment, standing on Lusty Glaze. We all have a time when we must act.”
But this, Scottie, this is the wrong act!”
There must be another way. I know it. We can go to the police. We can—”
No! Go now, Dem, if you can’t hack it. I shouldn’t have asked for your help. I know I shouldn’t have. Honestly, go. It’s nearly time anyway.”
I’m not going anywhere.”
Around them in the sand were charred remains of illegal burnings, sausages bought in giggling haste with a box of matches maybe, or murderous paper plans that someone wanted to burn. Scott and Demitri had not been foolish enough to commit their plan to paper. There was never a download either. The Langbrook Exit Plan – what they were conducting this minute – was never on a hard drive and all was deleted from the SD cards, which anyway were hammered and destroyed. In the boys’ short but concentrated experience, death demanded the utmost care.
The necessities of the day emerging now were committed to memory and all they had to do was remember.
Scott checked his watch and thought about his mother, Lucienne, at home, asleep in the house where he grew up. No, probably not, she was an early riser. Soon, she would go into work as always. She kept long hours at the surgery, in order to keep play at bay. She would probably be putting on the kettle at the Practice, for her first lemon tea. He checked the time again. 7.31am. High tide in nineteen minutes. It wasn’t waterproof, this watch. His mother had given it to him on his 18th birthday. Emporio Armani. Chronograph. Scott took it off.
Here.” He pressed the watch against Demitri’s chest.
Grief, which would be so usefully saved now to spill later, was squelching in Demitri’s throat in amphibious bouts.
Sunrise at 8.05. I should get going.”
Scott walked towards the shoreline. He looked down at his blue neoprene legs and his bony freezing feet on the sand which was darker here, wet with tiny channels between hard, snaky ridges. Now, it must be approaching, the exact minuted moment, when he must take the rest of his flesh to the water and make it all disappear. Scottie turned to Demitri:
Shut, the fuck, UP!
Demitri shuffled forward. He reached up for his friend and the sobs broke around his thickset shoulders. “Scottie, no. No, Scottie, you can’t. There is no way. I see that now. I know you see it too. All a terrible, terrible, the most appalling, the biggest ever mistake. Scottie, we just can’t do this to Lucienne.”
Scott took hold of his friend’s raised wrists. “Listen to me. We have it all… 2,942 words, did you know that? That’s the length of the document. Written in here.” Scott stabbed his fingers on his forehead. “Me. Langbrook. The Exit Plan.”
The immensity of it boiled up in Demitri. “She won’t get through this, you know. You’re all she has.”
She will. There’s no alternative. How could you! How could you make this even harder! I am doing this. With or without you.”


Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer, and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realized she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gĂ®tes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.
Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with the family. She tries not to take herself too seriously.

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads     Amazon


Giveaway – Win 5 x e-copies of Just by Jenny Morton Potts (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Wednesday, 20 June 2018

New Release Spotlight: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean



Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean
Series The Bareknuckle Bastards Series
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date June 19, 2018


When a man known only as Devil finds his way into her bedchamber and offers her his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees. She might be a spinster, but she’s seen love in action and is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that her future husband will love her beyond reason—even if it means she must make a deal with a man more dangerous than she could imagine.

Bastard son of a duke, and king of London’s darkest corners, Devil has made a lifetime of wielding power and seizing opportunity, and Felicity Faircloth is everything he needs to exact a perfect revenge. All he has to do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy. If the girl is ruined in the process, so be it.

Except there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, and soon it’s Devil who is trapped...along with his heart.


Avon Romance http://bit.ly/2MajcZo
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2LyGXcd
Google Play http://bit.ly/2LA0Tvl


Prologue
The Past
The three were woven together long before they were aware, strands of spun, silken steel that could not be separated—not even when their fate insisted upon it.
Brothers, born on the same day, in the same hour, at the same minute to different women. The high-priced courtesan. The seamstress. The soldier’s widow. Born on the same day, in the same hour, at the same minute to the same man.
The duke, their father, whose arrogance and cruelty fate would punish without hesitation, stealing from him the only thing he wanted that his money and power could not buy—an heir.
It is the Ides of March the seers warn of, with its promise of betrayal and vengeance, of shifting fortune and inalienable providence. But for this sire—who was never more than that, never close to father—it was the Ides of June that would be his ruin.
Because on that same day, in that same hour, at that same minute, there was a fourth child, born to a fourth woman. To a duchess. And it was this birth—the birth all the world thought legitimate—that the duke attended, even as he knew the son who was to be his heir in name and fortune and future was not his own and still, somehow, was his only hope.
Except she was a daughter.
And with her first breath, she thieved future from them all, as powerful in her infancy as she would become in her womanhood. But hers is a story for another time.
This story begins with the boys.


New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller SARAH MACLEAN is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her advocacy for romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com's “Sheroes” list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her "gracefully furious."

A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.




PRIZE: To celebrate the release of WICKED AND THE WALLFLOWER by Sarah MacLean, we're giving away two $10 Amazon gift cards!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open internationally. Two winners will each receive a $10 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 6/29/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Pure Textuality PR is responsible for the prize and will send the prizes out to the winners directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.




Tuesday, 19 June 2018

New Release Spotlight: Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis



Following the USA Today bestseller, Lost and Found Sisters, comes Rainy Day Friends, Jill Shalvis’ moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship.

Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife. Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person?  Can she even trust herself?

Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan. Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Green changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.



Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2LJd5uu
Books-A-Million: https://bit.ly/2LDlAY5


Chapter 1

Anxiety Girl, able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!


Most of the time Karma was a bitch, but every once in awhile she could be surprisingly nice, even kind. Lanie Jacobs, way past overdue for both of those things, told herself this was her time. Seize the day and all that, and drawing a deep breath, she exited the highway at Wildstone.
The old wild-west California town was nestled in the rolling hills between the Pacific Coast and wine/ranching country. She’d actually grown up not too far from here, though it felt like a lifetime ago. The road was narrow and curvy, and since it’d rained earlier, she added tricky and slick to her growing list of issues. She was already white-knuckling a sharp turn when a kamikaze squirrel darted into her lane, causing her to nearly swerve into oncoming traffic before remembering the rules of country driving.
Never leave your lane; not for weather, animals, or even God himself.
Luckily the squirrel reversed direction, but before she could relax a trio of deer bounded across the road. “Run, Bambi,” she cried, hitting her brakes, and by the skin of their collective teeth, they all missed each other.
Sweating, nerves sizzling like live wires, she finally turned onto Capriotti Lane and parked as she’d been instructed.
It took a moment for her pulse to come down from stroke level. She’d been taught anti-anxiety techniques, but she’d never quite figured out how to make any of them work while in the actual throes of an anxiety attack.
It’s all good she told herself but because she wasn’t buying what she was selling, she had to force herself out of the car like she was a five year old starting kindergarten instead of being thirty and simply facing a brand new job. Given all she’d been through, this should be easy, even fun. But sometimes adulthood felt like the vet’s office and she was the dog excited for the car ride -- only to find out the real destination.
Shaking her head, she strode across the parking lot. It was April, which meant the rolling hills to the east were green and lush and the Pacific Ocean to the west looked like a surfer’s dream, all of it so gorgeous it could’ve been a postcard. A beautiful smoke screen over her not-so-beautiful past. The air was scented like a really expensive sea-and-earth candle, though all Lanie could smell was her forgotten hopes and dreams. With wood chips crunching under her shoes, she headed through the entrance beneath which was a huge wooden sign that read:
Capriotti Winery, from our fields to your table…

Her heart sped up. Nerves, of course, the bane of her existence. But after a very crappy few years, she was changing her path. For once in her godforsaken life, something was going to work out for her. This was going to work out for her.
She was grimly determined.


New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.


Facebook: @JillShalvis
Twitter: @JillShalvis


Release Day Spotlight: Stray Magic by Kelly Meding




Shiloh Harrison was hoping for a few days off to recover from a particularly nasty assignment, preferably with the help of the talented hands (and, well, the rest of his body too) of her sexy boyfriend, Vincent. But when a group of vampires takes an entire trailer park hostage, there’s nothing to do but make her apologies and get to the scene.

Such is the life of a Federal Marshal in the Paranormal Investigators Unit.

Yet this isn’t like her typical track-and-nab case: something is going on that has vampires scared, and it takes all her strength not to imagine what could frighten such powerful creatures. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have that option. Her boss is MIA, someone is snatching vampires, and there’s a ticking clock that can only end one way: a bloodbath.

Unless she can stop it.

Here’s what Publishers Weekly has to say about STRAY MAGIC:
“An impressive new warrior arises in Meding’s spellbinding urban fantasy series launch … Meding has created a fast-paced story that weaves the mundane and magical together with unparalleled ease, all while dropping intriguing bread crumbs for tales yet to be told. This new world of wishes, magic, and high-stakes action is sure to be popular.”
You can read the full review: here 


Born and raised in Southern Delaware, Kelly Meding survived five years in the hustle and bustle of Northern Virginia, only to retreat back to the peace and sanity of the Eastern Shore. An avid reader and film buff, she discovered Freddy Krueger at a very young age, and has since had a lifelong obsession with horror, science fiction, and fantasy, on which she blames her interest in vampires, psychic powers, superheroes, and all things paranormal.