Review: Christmas on Main Street by JoAnn Ross, Susan Donovan, LuAnn McLane, and Alexis Morgan

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas on Main Street by JoAnn Ross, Susan Donovan, LuAnn McLane, and Alexis Morgan
Publisher: Signet
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780451419538
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
'Tis the season to fall in love in these four small towns.

In “Christmas in Shelter Bay,” New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross returns to Shelter Bay, where Kelli has long tried to keep her feelings for her friend Cole a secret. But when the local matchmakers conspire to send them to a secluded lakeside cabin, the two friends soon discover that a little love will keep them warm.

TV producer Nathaniel Ravelle knows the Bayberry Island mermaid legend is a joke— how could a statue grant a wish for true love? But when a Christmas Nor’easter lands him in close quarters with local Annie Parker, they see magic at work in matters of the heart in New York Times bestselling author Susan Donovan’s “A Seaside Christmas.”

In LuAnn McLane’s “Mistletoe on Main Street,” Clint isn’t sure how to rekindle his romance with high school sweetheart Ava—until his father bows out of playing Santa at the annual Cricket Creek holiday parade and Clint gets the chance to make this Christmas one to remember.

And in Alexis Morgan’s “The Christmas Gift,” business is booming at Bridey Roke’s pastry shop. Everyone in town stops in to sample her holiday treats. But in her spare moments, she’s perfecting a special recipe to charm the handsome new neighbor—who has his own surprise gift for her come Christmas Eve!


Christmas on Main Street Cover “Christmas in Shelter Bay” by JoAnn Ross
Shelter Bay, Book 0.5

I admit, I picked up this anthology for “Christmas in Shelter Bay.” I’ve been waiting for Kelli and Cole’s story ever since I read the first Shelter Bay book, The Homecoming. Kelli’s been in love with Cole for practically forever, but he’s been too blind to see it. Of course, both of their families can tell the two of them are perfect for one another, so with a bit of joint scheming and a snowstorm to aid them, Kelli and Cole will find themselves in a cozy cabin for the holidays. What “meant to be” couple wouldn’t fall in love in such a setting?

I love these kinds of stories, so I was immediately sucked into “Christmas in Shelter Bay.” Kelli and Cole made a great couple, but their switch from friends to lovers seemed a bit too fast to feel organic. If the story had been a bit longer, perhaps the progression of their relationship would have felt more natural. Still, fans of the Shelter Bay series should enjoy “Christmas in Shelter Bay.” Kelli, Cole, and their families are all as charming as ever and the story has holiday spirit to spare.


“A Seaside Christmas” by Susan Donovan
Bayberry Island, Book 0.5

Mermaids, magic, and a touch of mayhem make “A Seaside Christmas” a bright and bubbly story. Fate – and a bit of interference by some well-meaning Bayberry Island “mermaids” – lands an injured Nat on local author Annie’s doorstep during a storm. Close quarters and mutual desire leads to them burning up the sheets pretty fast. What’s unexpected (for both of them) is how swiftly they also fall in love.

I enjoyed Nat and Annie, but I felt their story could have used a bit more development. In addition, the supporting characters in “A Seaside Christmas” were a bit too much for my personal taste and overall the story had a bit of an erotic, yet cartoony feel. Susan Donovan’s stories tend to be wonderfully wacky, but usually there’s a touch of realism at their heart to make them feel grounded. “A Seaside Christmas” isn’t my favorite story of Ms. Donovan’s, but I do still plan on picking up her first full-length Bayberry Island novel, Sea of Love.


“Mistletoe on Main Street” by LuAnn McLane
Cricket Creek, Book 5.5

I love a good reunion romance and “Mistletoe on Main Street” hits all the right notes. Clint and Ava were high school sweethearts whose paths took them in different directions. It’s been fifteen years since they broke up, but now that Clint is back in Cricket Creek, the feelings he has for Ava and she for him are impossible for either to deny.

“Mistletoe on Main Street” is one of those stories that simply gives off the warm and fuzzy vibe. I adored Clint, Ava, and their friends and was pretty much charmed by “Mistletoe on Main Street” from beginning to end. LuAnn McLane has written a story that’s the perfect mix of Christmas and romance. Clint and Ava’s story will definitely get you in a festive mood while providing a love story that can be enjoyed all year ’round.


“The Christmas Gift” by Alexis Morgan
Snowberry Creek, Book 1.5

“The Christmas Gift” might just be my favorite story in the entire anthology! Bridey is a sweetheart of a pastry chef who has been burned by her ex and has since devoted herself to her bakery. Seth is an artist who feels like he’s lost his gift and needs to get away from the business persona he’s been forced to wear for far too long. The two of them have been circling one another for a while, but with a little nudge, their romance begins to blossom.

I hesitate to use the word, but I found “The Christmas Gift” to be adorable. There was something so sweet about Seth and Bridey that I found myself smiling time and again while reading their story. There’s a warmth to “The Christmas Gift” that I simply cannot convey in my review. I fell in love with Snowberry Creek and enjoyed watching the town’s Christmas festivities every bit as much as I loved reading about Bridey and Seth. Alexis Morgan is the only author in this anthology whose work I hadn’t read before, but after reading “The Christmas Gift” I can guarantee I’m going to be picking up the rest of the Snowberry Creek series.


Christmas on Main Street is a wonderful collection of small town romances. As with any anthology, readers are sure to like some stories better than others. Personally, I think “Mistletoe on Main Street” and “The Christmas Gift” are not to be missed, but all four stories are enjoyable. Whether you’re looking for romances to get you in the Christmas spirit or simply want to curl up with four well-written love stories, Christmas on Main Street is the book for you.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Cinderella Screwed Me Over by Cindi Madsen

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cinderella Screwed Me Over by Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled Select
Genre: Contemporary Romance Cinderella Screwed Me Over Cover
ISBN: 9781622660315
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Darby Quinn grew up loving fairytales but now she’s had it. Her “princes” have all been frogs (or worse) and she’s got the case notes to prove it. Darby is determined to protect her heart and she’ll never again pursue the dream of happily ever after. Then she meets Jake, one of her neighbors and the sexy owner of her favorite restaurant. Jake makes Darby want to throw out her rulebook and believe in love again, but every time her resolve begins to crumble, the past comes back to haunt her. Darby’s determined to push Jake away, but he doesn’t seem to want to give up on her. Could he be the Prince Charming she never thought existed?

Cinderella Screwed Me Over is a sparkling story about finding love when you least expect it. Darby is every bit as funny and cynical as the book’s title suggests. She’s been burned by love numerous times in her quest to find that fairytale perfect happily ever after. It’s no wonder she’s built up walls around her heart. When Jake – pretty much the perfect guy – practically falls into her lap, Darby does her best to keep her distance. Her attempts to not fall for Jake inevitably fail, and how could they not when he’s everything that’s kind, patient, and handsome? Really, Jake’s a modern day Prince Charming. He’s the perfect match for our sarcastic Cinderella and once she gives dating him a try Cinderella Screwed Me Over becomes utterly engrossing.

Though it contains a wonderful romance, Cinderella Screwed Me Over is really about Darby’s personal journey. Even though she’s down on love, Darby has a rather sprightly personality overall. I adored her and connected with her; Cindi Madsen does a great job of making her a relatable heroine.

Cinderella Screwed Me Over takes a bit of time to gain momentum, but once you get into it, you won’t want to put it down. Ms. Madsen delivers a funny, charming, modern-day fairytale that is sure to leave you with a smile on your face.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Waiting on Wednesday: Dark Bites by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

I'm a huge Dark-Hunter fan and for years I've been wanting the short stories all in one collection (particularly the ones that were only available online). I'm SO excited Dark Bites is coming out next month! It even has some of Ms. Kenyon's Kinley MacGregor titles in it :)

Dark Bites Cover Title: Dark Bites
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Genres: Paranormal, Contemporary, and Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Sherrilyn Kenyon Reading Order

Book Description (from Goodreads):

For years, eager fans have been clamoring for an all-in-one collection of #1 bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon’s novellas. At their enthusiastic behest, we have delivered this brand-new short story collection, including stories previously exclusive to Sherrilyn’s website, as well as an all-new, never-before seen story!

Sherrilyn Kenyon takes readers from the Dark-Hunters to the demigods, from Dream-Hunters to demons, and everything in between. Dangerous and exciting, each story is one thrill ride after the next, proving time and again how Sherrilyn has captivated millions of readers worldwide. Now, readers are invited to go deep into Kenyon’s rich and imaginative world and experience the heart-racing moments that never stop coming!

Included novellas:

From the World of the Dark-Hunters:

Phantom Lover (V’Aiden)

Winter Born (Dante)

A Dark-Hunter Christmas (Gallagher)

Until Death We Do Part (Velkan)

A Hard Day’s Night Searcher (Rafael)

Shadow of the Moon (Fury)

Where Angels Fear to Tread (Zeke)

Fear the Darkness (First Time in Print)

House of the Rising Son (First Time in Print)

Unrelated Stories:

Love Bytes

Santa Wears Spurs

Review: Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan

Monday, December 16, 2013

Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan
Series: Darkest London, Book 4
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance Shadowdance Cover
ISBN: 9781455520817
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Kristen Callihan Reading Order

Shifter Jack Talent has been through hell and has come out broken. The only way he knows how to live is to destroy the demons who tortured him. But his actions haven’t gone unnoticed. The Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals — for whom Jack is a regulator — is determined to uncover who has been killing the demons and they’ve assigned Jack to the case. This wouldn’t be a problem, except they’ve given him a partner…and she’s the last woman on earth he would ever want to be paired with.

Mary Chase is his biggest rival in the SOS, but Jack will never let her know that his disdain for her is a lie. The beautiful GIM has captivated him from the moment they met, but should Mary uncover his secrets, she’ll hate him forever. But the longer he’s around Mary, the harder it is for Jack to maintain his distance. And when their case takes an unexpected turn, Jack will have to face his past and a dangerous new enemy or it’ll be Mary who pays the price.

Shadowdance will leave you breathless! Kristen Callihan’s fourth Darkest London novel is a dark, sensual thrill ride that is sure to captivate readers from the very first page.

Jack has come a long way from the charming shifter he once was. His imprisonment and torture in the last book, Winterblaze, has forever changed him. Jack is tormented by his memories and scarred by what was done to him. My heart broke for him and those who love him the most, particularly Ian, the man who is Jack’s father in all ways but biological. The deeper I delved into Shadowdance, the more I wanted to see the caring, loyal shifter find his way back home. Mary is the catalyst for his recovery. She’s got scars of her own and hides her pain well, but there’s a vulnerability to her which made me desperate to see her happy. Despite everything she’s been through (or perhaps because of it), Mary possesses a core of inner strength you have to admire. Combine said strength with her intelligence and spirit and there’s no question as to why I think Mary’s a phenomenal heroine.

As individuals, Mary and Jack are undeniably appealing. Put them together and the sparks practically fly off the page. The two of them have incredible chemistry and their relationship is filled with witty banter, unexpected heartbreak, sizzling heat, and sigh-worthy romantic moments. Ms. Callihan hits all the right notes with these two, simple as that.

Romance and complex protagonists aside, there’s a richness to Ms. Callihan’s world building in Shadowdance that just delighted me as a reader. I never know where Ms. Callihan will take her characters or the Darkest London universe next, but I can have faith that whatever surprises she has in store will come about organically. In Shadowdance, Jack and Mary face off against new supernatural entities, plus we get to further explore beings we already know a bit about from previous books (such as the GIM). I don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling the story, so suffice it to say that there’s never a dull moment in this book. Even if you can guess what’s coming, Ms. Callihan will still manage to knock your socks off.

Shadowdance is the fourth Darkest London book and I highly recommend reading this series in order. If you haven’t read Firelight, Moonglow, and Winterblaze, you can probably still follow along well enough, but the book might not have the emotional resonance it would otherwise have. Fans of the series will undoubtedly be happy to see some of their past favorite heroes and heroines play supporting roles in Mary and Jack’s story. The only downside to Shadowdance is that I finished the book desperately wanting to read the next story, Evernight, because man, oh man, does Ms. Callihan lay some intriguing groundwork for Holly Evernight’s book.

It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite Darkest London book because they’re all fantastic. Shadowdance continues Ms. Callihan’s streak of delivering imaginative, emotional reads that will dazzle old and new fans alike. I loved Shadowdance and I cannot recommend it highly enough!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Saturday in Review

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It’s update time again :)

Below are the newest reviews I’ve written. The master list and categorical lists on the right-hand side are updated as well.

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- Reaver (Demonica, Book 10/Lords of Deliverance, Book 5) by Larissa Ione (available 12/17/13)
- Texas Outlaws: Jesse (Texas Outlaws, Book 1) by Kimberly Raye (available 12/17/13)
- Cavewomen Don't Get Fat: The Paleo Chic Diet for Rapid Results by Esther Blum (available 12/31/12)

Upcoming reviews:
- Christmas on Main Street by JoAnn Ross, Susan Donovan, LuAnn McLane, and Alexis Morgan
- Rise of the Gryphon (Belador, Book 4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
- The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, and Kimberly Kincaid
- Dangerous Seduction (Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 2) by Zoë Archer
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoë Archer
- The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Highland Pleasures, Book 5) by Jennifer Ashley
- The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures, Book 6) by Jennifer Ashley
- Mystery Man (Dream Man, Book 1) by Kristen Ashley
- Wild Man (Dream Man, Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
- Down for the Count (Dare Me, Book 1) by Christine Bell
- Down and Dirty (Dare Me, Book 2) by Christine Bell
- Bolted (Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 2) by Meg Benjamin
- Shadowdance (Darkest London, Book 4) by Kristen Callihan
- Texas Hold ‘Em (Hotter in Texas, Book 3) by Christie Craig
- Cowboy Waltz by Cameron Dane
- How to Ravish a Rake (How to Series, Book 3) by Vicky Dreiling
- Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards
- Some Like It Hot (Rising Star Chef, Book 2) by Louisa Edwards
- Hot Under Pressure (Rising Star Chef, Book 3) by Louisa Edwards
- Scandalously Yours (The Hellions of High Street, Book 1) by Cara Elliot
- A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch
- Cowboy Take Me Away (Rainbow Valley, Book 1) by Jane Graves
- Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, Book 3) by Laura Lee Guhrke
- One Taste of Scandal (Redcakes, Book 2) by Heather Hiestand
- Beauty Bites (Biting Love, Book 6) by Mary Hughes
- The Volatile Amazon (Alliance of the Amazons, Book 4) by Sandy James
- Breathe by Lauren Jameson
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- Since You’ve Been Gone (Welcome to Paradise, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy
- Caught Up in You (Loving on the Edge, Book 4) by Roni Loren
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- All Fired Up (Hot in the Kitchen, Book 2) by Kate Meader
- Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss
- Blood Persuasion (Immortal Jane Austen, Book 2) by Janet Mullany
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- Soul Sucker by Kate Pearce
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 1) by Nora Roberts
- Nights of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 4) by Nico Rosso
- Secrets of a Gentleman Escort by Bronwyn Scott
- This Is Who I Am (Masters of the Shadowlands, Book 7) by Cherise Sinclair
- Archangel’s Legion (Guild Hunter, Book 6) by Nalini Singh
- Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, Book 12) by Nalini Singh
- Sully’s Sweet Salvation by Sierra Summers
- Primal Law (Alpha Pack, Book 1) by J.D. Tyler
- Easy by Tammara Webber
- Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson

Review: Texas Outlaws: Jesse by Kimberly Raye

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Texas Outlaws: Jesse by Kimberly Raye
Series: Texas Outlaws, Book 1
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance Texas Outlaws Jesse Cover
Release Date: December 17, 2013
ISBN: 9780373797844
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Gracie Stone is the mayor-elect of Lost Gun, Texas and she’s determined to be everything a model mayor should be. She’s calm, controlled, and won't let her wild past ruin her stable life. Then Jesse James Chisholm blows into town and threatens to upend everything Gracie has worked so hard to achieve. Jesse’s the black sheep of the Lost Gun community, and the man whose heart Gracie once broke. Her attraction for him hasn’t faded in the twelve years since she dumped him, but what’s more dangerous is the pull the sexy bull rider still has on her heart…

Texas Outlaws: Jesse is a sinfully sexy read that’ll draw you in from the very first page and not let you go. Jesse is a hot as hell cowboy who will make you swoon. He acts the bad boy, but underneath the toughened exterior is a man who still desperately wants to be accepted by the people of Lost Gun. I yearned to see Jesse find his place, both in his hometown and in Gracie’s life. Gracie is so determined to be everything she thinks she should be that she's missing out on all the opportunities life has to offer. I loved watching her break free of her self-imposed bondage and embrace the real her, a woman who’s a mix of the wild child she once was and the staid adult she had become. As a pair, she and Jesse have chemistry to spare. The two of them are a dynamic couple that bring excitement to Texas Outlaws: Jesse, even when they’re not hitting the sheets ;)

Unexpected moments of humor and what looks to be a series-long mystery about missing money from a bank robbery Jesse’s father was involved in round out the romance, making Texas Outlaws: Jesse a “full” story, so to speak. I enjoyed every plotline author Kimberly Raye wove in and I admit to being more than a bit impatient for the next Texas Outlaws book. Jesse’s brothers promise to be great heroes and there’s definitely one character I’m hoping winds up with Billy or Cole Chisholm. All in all, I recommend Texas Outlaws: Jesse. It’s sexy, fun, and wonderfully entertaining.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Reaver by Larissa Ione

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Reaver by Larissa Ione
Series: Demonica, Book 10/Lords of Deliverance, Book 5
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance Reaver Cover
Release Date: December 17, 2013
ISBN: 9781455526970
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Larissa Ione Reading Order

Reaver is a battle angel with an attitude and he’s not afraid to break the rules. Harvester is a bad girl Fallen angel who sacrificed everything to work as an undercover agent in Hell. The two get along like fire and ice, but when Harvester’s cover is blown and she’s doomed to an eternity of unimaginable torture, Reaver does what no other angel has dared to do: go deep into the heart of Satan’s fortress and steal the devil’s prize. Little does Reaver know that rescuing Harvester will be the easy part. The two of them will have the fight of their immortal lifetimes on their hands as they try to get out and halt an impending war between Heaven and Hell.

Reaver is everything Larissa Ione fans have been waiting for! Dark, gritty action meets red-hot romance in this love story that has been thousands of years in the making. You’re in for the ride of your life as Ms. Ione takes you through the darkest parts of Hell on a journey filled with an incredible number of surprises.

At the heart of Reaver are, of course, Reaver and Harvester, two characters I’ve loved since Eternal Rider (my first Larissa Ione book). Reaver is an angel with no memory of who he is beyond the past thirty years. He knows he’s the father of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and he’s fairly desperate to learn about who he was before he became Reaver. Harvester is the key to his understanding, so his mission to rescue her isn’t altogether selfless. I won’t reveal the details of what Reaver learns, but suffice it to say that he wasn’t always the angel readers now adore. Some of the shine wore off for me when it came to Reaver, but I actually liked that he’s even more complex than he was to begin with. As for Harvester, she continues to be my favorite Larissa Ione character. She sacrificed everything to protect the children of the angel she loved, and her years as a Fallen angel and spy have irrevocably changed her from the sweet angel she once was. Harvester’s both incredibly strong and deeply vulnerable, good and evil, and overall a fantastic contradiction in so many ways. Quite simply, I love her. Both she and Reaver live their lives in shades of grey and Ms. Ione gives so much depth to their characters that it’s impossible not to be drawn into their story.

The phrase “hot as hell” has never been so apt as it is in Reaver. Reaver and Harvester have off the charts chemistry that will have you turning on the A/C even in the depths of winter. Their joint past as Yenrieth and Verrine is woven into the story and though I’d have liked to see a touch more of who they once were, what’s really important is how they grow over the course of Reaver. Though it’s clear they were made for each other, the road to happily ever after isn’t an easy one. Old wounds and new obstacles threaten to hinder them at every turn, but their willingness to fight for each other and their love made me one happy reader.

As I previously mentioned, there are plot twists aplenty in Reaver. I won’t reveal them, for that would spoil much of the fun for readers. What I will say is that the war between Heaven and Hell is taken to the next level and I was blown away by the revelations of what some will do in an attempt to turn the tide in their favor. I’m pretty sure I yelled at my copy of the book once or twice. I love both the organic nature of the plot twists Ms. Ione delivers and the fact that she was able to surprise me. The only niggle I had about said surprises was that I wished for a bit more development regarding the archangel Raphael’s involvement in the plot.

Reaver is the fifth Lords of Deliverance book and the tenth book in the combined Demonica/Lords of Deliverance series. If you haven’t read any of Ms. Ione’s books before, I recommend at least reading the last two Lords of Deliverance books (Lethal Rider and Rogue Rider) before beginning this story as so much of what happens in those books affects the events in Reaver. Many past heroes and heroines have a role to play in Reaver, which will surely please fans and give them another reason to become emotionally invested to the story. The repercussions of Reaver's events will undoubtedly resonate through the next Demonica book. Whose story will it be? Oh, that I’ll leave you to discover. If the excerpt is anything to go by, then Ms. Ione has a hell of a lot more excitement planned for Demonica fans.

Reaver was my most anticipated book of 2013 and Ms. Ione did not disappoint. Harvester and Reaver’s story was well worth the wait and I hope we see much more of them as the Demonica series continues. As Reaver shows, Larissa Ione is a powerhouse author whose unique stories and characters stay with you long after you finish reading her books.

Waiting on Wednesday: Peanut Butter and Jelly for Two by Jackie Nacht


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

I admit, it was the title that first drew me to this story. When I read the description, I knew I had to have it. It looks like a wonderfully fun romance and I can't wait to read it.

Peanut Butter and Jelly for Two Cover Title: Peanut Butter and Jelly for Two
Author: Jackie Nacht
Genre: Male/Male Paranormal Romance
Publisher: MLR Press
Release Date: December 20, 2013

Book Description (from MLR Press):

The sexy chipmunk shifter isn't afraid of the dentist; he's in love with him.

Phillip has the best job working at the Paranormal Dentistry for the Fanged and Friendly. As a chipmunk shifter, Phillip has seen handsome men walk through the door but none so gorgeous as his boss and wolf shifter, Dr. Gunner Samuels. When he finds himself being manipulated by his best friend to ask the big bad wolf over for dinner, Phillip realizes his biggest dilemma, he's never cooked a day in his life, let alone meat. Can Phillip pull off a fabulous dinner for two? And has Gunner had his eye on the sexy shifter all this time?

Review: Cavewomen Don't Get Fat by Esther Blum

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cavewomen Don't Get Fat: The Paleo Chic Diet for Rapid Results by Esther Blum
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Health and Nutrition Cavewomen Dont Get Fat Cover
ISBN: 9781476707693
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

MILLIONS OF YEARS OF EVOLUTION CAN’T BE WRONG
So maybe you’re not flaunting the latest in saber-tooth style. Or beating your dinner to death with a club hours before you eat it. You’re a twenty-first-century woman. Life has changed drastically since your ancestors discovered fire. What hasn’t changed is how your body works. You’re still sporting the same metabolic ten­dencies as your lean, toned Paleolithic sisters. Which means that achieving a strong, healthy physique is simpler than you think.

BURN, BABY, BURN
What’s a modern woman with ancient needs to do? Return to her roots with a back-to-basics approach to eating that is tailored specifically to her nutritional, hormonal, and real-world needs. The Paleo Diet isn’t just for hard-core CrossFit­ters and meat-loving men. Today’s cavewoman can enjoy protein-rich, hormone-balancing, de­toxifying, and satisfying foods that will help her lose those annoying extra pounds, build lean muscle mass, and feel like the gorgeous god­dess she is meant to be. When you are able to understand the relationship that carbs have with your body, you’ll finally get the results you’re looking for—for life.

LOOK GOOD IN YOUR GENES
The ultra-feminine Paleo Chic Diet will help you hit your metabolic reset button, lose weight, and maintain your physique with a balanced, clean way of eating that won’t put your body through the same metabolic trauma that makes traditional diets so ineffective. Ready to achieve the svelte, sexy, healthy body you’re designed to have? What are you waiting for? Go wild!

The increasingly popular Paleo diet gets a female-focused guide in Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat. Author Esther Blum has a casual, friendly style of writing that makes Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat a pleasant read (I always like it when health books are both informative and enjoyable). If you’re wary of jumping into the proverbial Paleolithic water, this book is a good introduction. Ms. Blum’s “Paleo Chic” way of life is laid out in such a way that it looks doable, even for the busy modern woman. If you’re already familiar with the high protein and vegetable-rich Paleo diet, a good portion of this book will be repetitive (though the Paleo Chic diet does derivate from the traditional Paleo diet once or twice). That being said, if you’re a woman starting the Paleo diet then Ms. Blum’s chapters geared toward female hormones are well worth reading.

Almost all diet and nutrition books require outside research before beginning, and Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat is no exception. However, Ms. Blum’s research did point me in the right direction when it came to said research. Overall I recommend Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat. Ms. Blum’s writing style is appealing, the Paleo Chic diet is well thought out, and the book is an excellent motivational tool and guide to getting back in touch with our nutritional roots.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: An Unexpected Gentleman by Alissa Johnson

Saturday, December 7, 2013

An Unexpected Gentleman by Alissa Johnson
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Historical Romance An Unexpected Gentleman Cover
ISBN: 9780425244913
Blue Ribbon Rating: 3 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link

With a brother in debtors’ prison and a sister and nephew to look after, Adelaide Ward feels that she has no choice but to set her sights on Sir Robert Maxwell and the security his income would provide her family. But on the very night that Adelaide believes Sir Robert will propose, something unexpected happens; Adelaide meets a charming stranger who threatens to sweep her off her feet.

Within twenty-four hours, the mysterious Connor Brice proposes and though she’s startled to discover that she’d rather marry a near-stranger than Sir Robert, Adelaide can’t risk her family’s future. Then Connor kisses her – in front of gossipy society members – and Adelaide no longer has any choice but to marry. But which man? Adelaide finds herself in the middle of a tug-of-war between Connor and Sir Robert, and she discovers that each man has secrets…secrets that involve their determination to ruin one another. To her dismay, Adelaide falls for Connor anyway. Yet how will she know if she will ever be more to Connor than a pawn in his quest for revenge against Sir Robert?

Deception and desire are the name of the game in AN UNEXPECTED GENTLEMAN. Author Alissa Johnson takes some historical romance tropes and gives them new life, delivering a satisfying romance. Connor is a man who’s had his life made hell by Sir Robert over and over again, so it’s easy to sympathize with his determination to get revenge. Though he may or may not have used Adelaide to do so – I’ll leave that for the reader to find out – Connor isn’t careless when it comes to Adelaide. He does have feelings for her and the way Ms. Johnson shows his adoration for her ended up charming me. Adelaide, for her part, is sensible and puts her family first, both qualities I respect in a heroine. That doesn’t mean she’s perfect, and it doesn’t mean she can’t be swept away by passion; after all, her initial meeting with Connor proves otherwise. I enjoyed watching these two fall for one another.

AN UNEXPECTED GENTLMEAN does start off as a bit of a slow read, but happily, it picks up. There aren’t any grand surprises, but the story works without them. I will say that I did miss the sparkle of Ms. Johnson’s AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT and TEMPTING FATE, the only other books by Ms. Johnson that I’ve read. AN UNEXPECTED GENTLEMAN didn’t have the energy of those books, which was somewhat of a pity. Still, a book that is simply a good romance is sometimes enough, and that’s just what AN UNEXPECTED GENTLEMAN was for me.


Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here with permission from Romance Junkies.

Sunday in Review

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It’s update time again :)

Below are the newest reviews I’ve written here and on Joyfully Reviewed. The master list and categorical lists on the right-hand side are updated as well.

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- The Heart of a Duke by Victoria Morgan (available 12/3/13)
- Foolish Games (Out of Bounds, Book 2) by Tracy Solheim (available 12/3/13)
- Confessions of a Bad Bridesmaid by Jennifer Rae (available 1/1/14)

All other new reviews:
- Entwined (Darkest London, Book 3.5) by Kristen Callihan
- The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
- Gossamer Wing (Steam and Seduction, Book 1) by Delphine Dryden
- Jilted (Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 1) by Kelly Jamieson
- Moonlight Kiss (Cricket Creek, Book 5) by LuAnn McLane
- The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet, Book 3) by Julia Quinn

Upcoming reviews:
- Christmas on Main Street by JoAnn Ross, Susan Donovan, LuAnn McLane, and Alexis Morgan
- Rise of the Gryphon (Belador, Book 4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
- The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, and Kimberly Kincaid
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoë Archer
- The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Highland Pleasures, Book 5) by Jennifer Ashley
- Mystery Man (Dream Man, Book 1) by Kristen Ashley
- Wild Man (Dream Man, Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
- Down for the Count (Dare Me, Book 1) by Christine Bell
- Down and Dirty (Dare Me, Book 2) by Christine Bell
- Bolted (Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 2) by Meg Benjamin
- Cowboy Waltz by Cameron Dane
- How to Ravish a Rake (How to Series, Book 3) by Vicky Dreiling
- Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards
- Some Like It Hot (Rising Star Chef, Book 2) by Louisa Edwards
- Hot Under Pressure (Rising Star Chef, Book 3) by Louisa Edwards
- A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch
- Cowboy Take Me Away (Rainbow Valley, Book 1) by Jane Graves
- Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, Book 3) by Laura Lee Guhrke
- One Taste of Scandal (Redcakes, Book 2) by Heather Hiestand
- Beauty Bites (Biting Love, Book 6) by Mary Hughes
- Reaver (Demonica, Book 6 / Lords of Deliverance, Book 5) by Larissa Ione
- Breathe by Lauren Jameson
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- Since You’ve Been Gone (Welcome to Paradise, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy
- Caught Up in You (Loving on the Edge, Book 4) by Roni Loren
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- All Fired Up (Hot in the Kitchen, Book 2) by Kate Meader
- Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss
- Blood Persuasion (Immortal Jane Austen, Book 2) by Janet Mullany
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- Soul Sucker by Kate Pearce
- Texas Outlaws: Jesse by Kimberly Raye
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 1) by Nora Roberts
- Nights of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 4) by Nico Rosso
- Secrets of a Gentleman Escort by Bronwyn Scott
- This Is Who I Am (Masters of the Shadowlands, Book 7) by Cherise Sinclair
- Archangel’s Legion (Guild Hunter, Book 6) by Nalini Singh
- Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, Book 12) by Nalini Singh
- Sully’s Sweet Salvation by Sierra Summers
- Primal Law (Alpha Pack, Book 1) by J.D. Tyler
- Easy by Tammara Webber
- Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson
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