Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Book Blogger Hop: 26th January-1st February 2018

Question:  Do you ever go back to older posts and change things?

Answer: Yes, but not very often.  Sometimes posts need updating because the information or opinion given at the time has changed. Older posts can still be read so if it comes to light something needs to change, I'll amend.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Release Day Spotlight & Review: Final Siege by Scarlett Cole

Former SEAL Malachai “Mac” MacCarrick is all about the future he’s created with his Navy brothers in Eagle Securities, taking assignments in the most dangerous places, and doing things no one but ex-military would attempt. But when an urgent phone call brings his troubled past—and the woman he once loved—into the present, it’s a chance to redeem himself that he can’t refuse. 

An investigative journalist researching an explosive story, Delaney Shapiro tells herself she got over Mac—and his role in her brother’s death—a long time ago. But the first moment she sees him at her bedside in an overseas hospital, she knows it’s not true. Every moment together rekindles the desire that once burned between them, and now that she’s a target for an emerging Russian arms dealer, Mac won’t let her out of his sight. To protect her, he’ll risk it all—including his life…

Final Siege (Love Over Duty, #2)Final Siege by Scarlett Cole

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book two in the Love Over Duty series doesn't disappoint as I dived into another suspenseful novel featuring the hot guys at Eagle Securities.

The tragic death of his best friend Brock shaped the man Malachai 'Mac' MacCarrick became when he decided to live his friend's dream of becoming a Navy SEAL. Fifteen years later, he and his brothers have set up Eagle Securities to continue the legacy. When he received a phone call from a military hospital in Germany about Brock's sister, he doesn't hesitate to go to her bedside because, after all these years, she's still the woman who holds his heart even if she's his ex-girlfriend.

Investigative journalist Delaney Shapiro doesn't understand why her ex, Mac MacCarrick is at her bedside when she wakes up in hospital. Once over her confusion, his commanding presence makes her realises, despite the passing of years she still has feelings for him; a fact she doesn't want to acknowledge. When her investigation causes her to be a target, she reluctantly accepts Mac's assistance to keep her safe, only the more time they spend together, the closer they become.

Both protagonists were deeply affected by the death of Brock, but one of them holds the key to a secret that has been withheld out of loyalty all these years. However, when the past is preventing Mac and Delaney from rekindling their relationship, one of them decides to tell the truth in the hope the new information it is sufficient knowledge to lay the foundations to rebuild a future together.

The tension and explosive chemistry between Mac and 'Button's' are palpable, as both realise their feelings for each other run far deeper than they thought. This second chance romance highlights time hasn't eroded the love they once shared as fate brings them together once more.

Just like Under Fire, book one in the series, I loved the pace and suspense of the narrative and particularly enjoyed the continuity plot from book one, although both are standalone novels. One fact I hope we discover in book three is the fate of Ghost as well as Cabe's story.

5 stars

***arc generously received courtesy of St. Martin's Press via NetGalley***

View all my reviews

Born in England, Scarlett Cole traveled the world, living in Japan and the United States before settling in Canada where she met her own personal hero – all six and a half feet of him. She now lives with her husband and children in Manchester, England where she's at work on her next book. She is the author of The Strongest Steel.

New Release, Author Interview and Review: All We Knew by Jamie Beck

Author: Jamie Beck
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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?

1. All We Knew is an interesting title for a romance novel. How does it relate to the plot of your book?

I tend to think of my books, and this one in particular, as love stories more than “romance” novels. With this book, in particular, I didn’t want the title to sound too cute. Because this is a marriage-in-trouble story, the title relates to everything they thought they knew about each other and love and marriage. And to everything they need to learn about how to make marriage last.

2. College sweethearts, now a married couple, Sara and Hunter have been through a lot together. How are they the same as when they first met? How are they different?

I think their core personalities are the same. In fact, that is part of the problem for Hunter. He doesn’t understand why she is so disappointed in him when, in his mind, he’s the same man she married. He’s not wrong, but what he doesn’t recognize is that their circumstances have changed, and those changes require him to also change. As for Sara, I think she was more independent in the beginning of their relationship, but when the children she presumed they’d have never came, she lost her way. Now she’s drifting about, making the best of her relationships within the dysfunctional Cabot family while missing the close-knit family she left behind in California.

3. What attracted Sara and Hunter to each other when they first met?

He was immediately attracted to her sunny smile and the personal warmth that emanated from within her. She was attracted to his drive and enthusiasm.

4. How have their feelings (and attraction) changed or evolved over time?

No. They are still attracted to and in love with each other. The problems come down to failed communication and a bit of the friction that comes after the initial thrill of attraction between “opposites” begins to wear down.

5. How do they keep the romance alive post-honeymoon?

Hunter is very generous and loves to make grand gestures (gifts, trips). To him, that’s enough to keep the romance alive despite his eighty-hour work weeks. Sara provides Hunter a sense of belonging and comfort he gets nowhere else, and is thoughtful of the little day-to-day things to make his life sweeter.

6. Marriages often face rough patches, and Hunter and Sara’s is no different. What problems are they facing both as a couple and as individuals?

Sara is missing her family, especially now that she’s been unable to get pregnant despite two years and a failed IVF. She quit work to reduce stress, but having too much free time on her hands is creating a different kind of tension. Hunter is also facing a major personal crisis. He’s spent his entire life (since the age of thirteen) preparing to run and eventually take over the family business from his father. Now his father and stepmother are planning to sell it. For him, this is not only a betrayal of a promise, but also a loss of identity.

7. With infertility a major issue in this novel, there must have been some difficult scenes to write. What was one of the hardest?

I don’t want to answer this with specifics because the two hardest scenes will be spoilers, and I know many readers do not like to read spoilers before they’ve read the book. I can say one took place after one of Sara’s appointments, and then the other is toward the end of the book after a certain meeting with Hunter’s sister at his father’s house.

8. What is your favorite scene from the book?

I really liked the fight scene between Hunter and Sara that takes place in his home office. I love how it shows that arguments can range from anger to passion and then remorse within a blink of the eye.

9. And finally, who is the next Cabot in your series that readers will be hearing from next?

Hunter’s half-sister Gentry has a story to tell. I love her book. It’s more fun than the first two Cabot novels because she is young, sarcastic, and her hero is a really interesting humanitarian EMT who teaches her a little something about what matters in life.

I read All We Knew as a standalone and its book two in The Cabot's series.

Hunter Cabot is CFO of Cabot Tea Company and has been working as long as he remembers to prepare to eventually take over the running of the business from his father. It's one of two passions in his life; his wife is his other. However, when his father and stepmother plan to sell the business, his world's thrown into turmoil especially when the love of his life doesn't see his point of view because of a personal battle they are fighting.

Coming from a large family, Sara Cabot wants a family of her own but after failed attempts at IVF she's distraught especially when her husband chooses to focus on his battle to save the company he was born to run.

I jumped in blind with this novel and I'll admit I wouldn't have chosen it because of the difficult topics entwined within the narrative. Yet, I became sucked into and enveloped within the story as Hunter and Sara work through their problems to keep their marriage together. Their love for each other is unquestionable however, their upsetting predicament highlights problems within their relationship and neither are on the same page to solve them. It's incredibly emotional as the couple navigate the peaks and troughs caused by their current circumstances and the author nails the impassioned feelings beautifully.

Jamie Beck is undoubtedly known for writing realistic stories and All We Knew can't get any more real when you can identify with the protagonists because character traits are so similar to yourself and loved one. Sometimes, the dialogue between Hunter and Sara made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on-end when exchanges are so convincing it's like an echo. I'm nothing like Sara and have never experienced the heartbreak she has endured, but that doesn't stop the heartfelt and often upsetting dialogue between her and Hunter sounding eerily like conversations I've heard or experienced before on a personal level. Ms Beck wholeheartedly brings her protagonists to life in a way that blew me away.

This is only the second novel I've read by this author and whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the previous one, All We Knew is even better. This is a heartfelt love story between two people who managed to drift in different directions but able to find their way back and I'm eagerly looking forward to the next instalment in this series as Gentry Cabot is definitely someone of interest.

***arc generously received courtesy of Montlake Romance via NetGalley***

Jamie Beck is a former attorney with a passion for inventing stories about love and redemption. In addition to writing novels, she also pens articles on behalf of a local nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth and strengthening families. Fortunately, when she isn’t tapping away at the keyboard, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.

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Monday, 29 January 2018

Cover Reveal: Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

 Bring Me Their Hearts 
by Sara Wolf 

Release Date: June 5th, 2018

In a new series Publishers Weekly has listed as “one of the most anticipated YA's of 2018”, we're excited to share the cover for Bring Me Their Hearts! NYT bestselling author Sara Wolf delivers a fast-paced, gritty fantasy sure to thrill fans of Holly Black, Sabba Tahir, and Sarah J. Maas.

Zera is a Heartless—the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera’s heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him—every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him—until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.


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Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

New Release Spotlight: The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter by Mimi Matthews

The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter by Mimi Matthews
Series n/a; standalone
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Perfectly Proper Press
Publication Date January 23, 2018

England, 1861. A world-weary rake and a prim vicar's daughter are thrown together during a holiday house party. Will they discover there's more to each other than meets the eye? Or will revelations from the past end their fragile romance before it begins?

After years of unbridled debauchery, Tristan Sinclair, Viscount St. Ashton has hit proverbial rock bottom. Seeking to escape his melancholy, he takes refuge at one of Victorian society’s most notorious house parties. As the Christmas season approaches, he prepares to settle in for a month of heavy drinking…until an unexpected encounter changes his plans—and threatens his heart.

Valentine March is not the drab little spinster she appears to be. When her new job as a lady’s companion lands her smack in the middle of Yorkshire with England’s most infamous rake, she resolves to keep her head down and her eyes fixed firmly on her future—a future which most definitely does not include a sinfully handsome viscount.

A friendship is impossible. An affair out of the question. But when one reckless act binds them together, will two star-crossed souls discover there’s more to each other than meets the eye? Or will revelations from the past end their fragile romance before it begins?

The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter is a sweet (i.e. clean) standalone Victorian romance of approximately 50,000 words.

 “You’re trembling,” Tristan interrupted. His expression grew dark. “And no wonder. Out of doors in November without a bonnet, gloves or cloak. Have you no respect for the Yorkshire weather?” He began to remove his greatcoat. “Just because this estate is sheltered from the worst of it doesn’t mean you still won’t catch your death of cold. In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been raining for three days straight.”
Miss March watched him, wide-eyed, as he divested himself of his greatcoat. “I ran out of the house in rather a hurry. There was no time to find gloves or a bonnet or— Oh!” She drew back from him. “What are you doing?”
Tristan paused, his greatcoat held open in his hands, poised to drape around her. “Lending you my coat, you little fool.”
Her bosom rose and fell on an unsteady breath, but she made no further objection as he settled it around her shoulders. “Thank you,” she said. “It’s quite warm.”
Tristan moved away from her. “I should think so. I’ve been wearing it the better part of the morning.”
His words brought a fierce blush to her cheeks.
At another time, in another place, he might have laughed. A woman so innocent that the very thought of a man’s body heat put her to the blush? A fine joke, to be sure. But as he looked at Valentine March, swallowed up in the folds of his caped greatcoat, he did not feel very much like laughing. Instead, he felt an aching swell of tenderness. It was so disconcerting that he almost swore aloud.
What difference does it make if Miss Brightwell is married?” she asked.
Tristan rubbed the side of his face in an effort to collect his scattered thoughts. The scratch of uneven stubble abraded his palm. He had sent his valet, Higgins, ahead with the carriage. As a result, this morning at the inn he had been obliged to shave himself. And done a damned poor job of it, too. “When she marries, she’ll go to her husband’s house. Then you’ll see her but rarely, I imagine.”
She is looking for a husband,” Miss March conceded. “It’s why we’ve come to this house party.”
Tristan’s mouth curved in a sardonic smile. “If that’s so, Lady Brightwell isn’t half the matchmaker I thought her to be.”
Why do you say so?”
There are no gentlemen at Lord and Lady Fairford’s house parties who are suitable for marriage. They invite only those of their same ilk. Inveterate gamblers, rakes, reprobates. The dissolute dregs of polite society.”
That can’t be true, for Lady Brightwell said specifically that she brought Miss Brightwell here to further her interests with a particular gentleman. I believe he’s considered to be a great matrimonial prize.”
Tristan’s eyes were already upon her, but at her words his gaze sharpened. “And who might this unfortunate soul be? Did Lady Brightwell name him?”
Viscount St. Ashton.” She looked up at him. “He’s not one of those bad sorts of gentlemen you mentioned, is he? The rakes and the reprobates?”
Tristan gave a humorless laugh. It was a hoarse and bitter sound, edged with something very like anger. “My dear, Miss March,” he said. “The Viscount St. Ashton is the biggest rake and reprobate of them all.”

Mimi Matthews is the author of The Pug Who Bit Napoleon: Animal Tales of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Pen & Sword Books, November 2017) and A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty (Pen & Sword Books, July 2018). Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. When not writing historical non-fiction, Mimi authors exquisitely proper Victorian romance novels with dark, brooding heroes and intelligent, pragmatic heroines. Her debut Victorian romance The Lost Letter was released in September 2017.

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Friday, 26 January 2018

Upcoming New Release: Surrender To The Highlander by Lynsay Sands

Surrender to the Highlander by Lynsay Sands
Series The Highlander Series
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date January 30, 2018

In New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ captivating romance, a lass targeted by an unknown foe is saved—and seduced—by a bold Highlander.

Edith Drummond owes her life to Niels Buchanan and his brothers. Waking after an illness to a castle overrun by rugged Highlanders is disconcerting, but so is learning that she’s slowly being poisoned. Niels insists on staying by her side, and Edith soon discovers that even more dangerous is her wild attraction to the fierce warrior.

Niels has never met a more courageous—or enticing—woman than Lady Edith. The idea of such a bonny lass being forced to enter a nunnery is more than any red-blooded Scotsman could bear. He’ll gladly marry her himself. But while sweeping her off her feet is easy, it’ll take all his skill to defeat her family’s relentless enemies, and convince her to surrender to his sweet embrace. . . .

Amazon      Avon Romance      Barnes & Noble      Google Play      iBooks 

He would kiss her now…
It was why she had brought him here, to get that kiss he was about to give her before they had been interrupted.
Niels lowered his head until his mouth covered hers. His lips lightly brushed over hers. But when Edith raised her hands to slide them up his arms, his tongue traced the crease between her lips.
Edith instinctively opened to him on a little sigh and he caught her lower lip between his, and drew on it teasingly. Then he tilted his head as his tongue swept to fill her mouth and the sweet tempo suddenly changed.
She clutched his shoulders tightly as his mouth ravished hers. It was as if the passion they had shared by the loch had been merely restrained when they’d been interrupted, and now he had unleashed it.

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

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GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a paperback set of Falling for the Highlander and The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 2/3/2018 @ 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.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

New Release Spotlight: About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis

(a standalone Heartbreaker Bay novel)

When love drives you crazy . . .
When sexy Joe Malone never calls after their explosive kiss, Kylie shoves him out of her mind. Until she needs a favor, and it’s a doozy. Something precious to her has been stolen and there’s only one person with unique finder-and-fixer skills that can help—Joe. It means swallowing her pride and somehow trying to avoid the temptation to throttle him—or seduce him.

the best thing to do . . .
No, Joe didn’t call after the kiss. He’s the fun time guy, not the forever guy. And Kylie, after all she’s been through, deserves a good man who will stay. But everything about Kylie makes it damned hard to focus, and though his brain knows what he has to do, his heart isn’t getting the memo.

is enjoy the ride.
As Kylie and Joe go on the scavenger hunt of their lives, they discover surprising things about each other. Now, the best way for them to get over “that kiss” might just be to replace it with a hundred more.

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Joe studied her. “I asked you once before, but now I’m going to ask you again. Is there something going
on between you two?”

She tossed up her hands. “Why do you both keep asking me that about each other?”

His eyes narrowed. “I thought nothing was going on.”

And before today, I could’ve passed a lie detector test on that,” she said.

What happened today?”

She paused. Not because she had anything to be ashamed of, but because she wasn’t quite sure what
had happened.


She sighed. “It’s nothing.”

Try again,” Joe said and gave her the very male universal go on gesture.

She rolled her eyes. “Fine. He . . . finally made a move on me.”

Joe didn’t budge. Not a blink, not a muscle twitch, nothing, but she could’ve popped corn off the electric tension coming off him.

Describe ‘made a move,’ ” he finally said.

She crossed her arms. “And again, how is this relevant to my case?”

He just gave her that careful stare again and she thought wow, those eyes of his should be registered as a lethal weapon, because she found herself opening her mouth and spilling her guts. “He kissed me.”

He kissed you.”

Yeah,” she said. “Do you know that you often repeat what I say?”

What kind of a kiss?” he asked.

She was momentarily bewildered. “I don’t know. It was a kiss. A normal kiss. A nice kiss.” She cocked her head at him. “How many kinds of kisses are there?”

He just looked at her for a long moment before coming toward her. He backed her to the wall and pressed his big hands on either side of her head.

There are many kinds of kisses,” he said.

Her breath had backed up in her throat, where her heart had lodged, pounding wildly. “S-s-such as?”

Such as this one.” And then he leaned in and covered her mouth with his.
At the touch of Joe’s mouth, Kylie’s brain stopped being capable of rational thought. His tongue gave a knee-weakening stroke against hers and she let out a shockingly needy moan as she clutched at him, fisting her hands in the material of his shirt at his chest. Only when he’d thoroughly plundered and pillaged and left her boneless did he lift his head and
look into her eyes.

Wow,” she whispered, fully aware she was still holding on to him like he was a lifeline, but the bones in her legs had liquefied. “I mean . . .” She shook her head. “Wow.”

He nodded. “Yeah. So to be clear, that wasn’t ‘a normal kiss’ or even ‘a nice kiss.’ It was a ‘wow’ kiss. Any questions?”

Just one,” she said softly. “Can I have another?”

Joe didn’t have to be asked twice. His mouth immediately descended again, his fingers sliding into her hair to change the angle of the kiss to suit him. It was a controlled, alpha thing to do, but she had only one thought—nothing about the usually carefully, purposely leashed Joe was in control at the moment.

And she liked it.

She had no idea how long they went at it because she was in absolute heaven. Who knew that the man could use his preferred silent mode to communicate in a way that she finally approved of?

Only when she was completely breathless and about to strip him down to his birthday suit did she manage to pull back.

Any more questions?” he asked, also a little bit breathless, which was more than slightly gratifying. Dumbly, she shook her head. His eyes softened and he gently he stroked his thumb over her bottom lip. “And FYI? Gib’s an idiot.”

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,, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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