Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: Texas Hold 'Em by Christie Craig

Texas Hold ’Em by Christie Craig
Series: Hotter In Texas, Book 3
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance Texas Hold Em Cover
ISBN: 9780446582827
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

The last thing veterinarian Leah Reece needs is a man in her life. They're nothing but trouble-and not even the fun kind. But when her apartment is broken into and Leah suspects Rafael, her dangerous half-brother, of foul play, she can't deny she could use a little help. She just never expected that help would come with twinkling blue eyes and a sexy smile...

All PI Austin Brook wants is to nail Rafael DeLuna, the man who framed him for murder. He'll do anything for information-even lie about his identity to charm Leah, DeLuna's half-sister. But her sweet dimples and fiery spirit soon make her more than just his only lead. Leah becomes his every desire. As Austin closes in on DeLuna, it's clear he won't go down without a fight. Now the only way Austin can protect Leah is to reveal all of his secrets and risk losing her for good.

The Only in Texas guys are back, with the final sexy PI finding his true love in Texas Hold ’Em. This fun and sassy story features not one, but two lovely romances, a bit of suspense, and a touch of author Christie Craig’s sparkling signature humor.

Austin is a man with a (very justifiable) grudge, but his quest for justice doesn’t dim his charm any. It’s easy to be drawn to Austin. He’s attitude and good looks pull you in, but his abandonment issues will grab your heart and his fear of cats leads to some hilarious moments, thanks to Leah’s four furry terrors and one adorable stray. As for Leah, she’s a hardworking vet who’s been burned by her father, her ex-husband, and her criminal half-brother. Leah’s got a big heart and a winning personality; she’s everything Austin needs even though both are reticent to risk their hearts in a relationship. I liked both Leah and Austin immensely, which made it easy to fall in love with Texas Hold ’Em.

Though Texas Hold ’Em is undeniably a romance, the overarching Hotter In Texas plotline – bringing down the man who landed Austin and his partners in jail – takes over much of the book. I won’t spoil what happens, only that Ms. Craig gives the story a satisfying conclusion. There’s also a secondary romance plotline involving Leah’s friend, Sara, and Roberto, the investigator Austin, Dallas, and Tyler hired to dig up evidence on Leah’s half-brother. The Sara-Roberto love story was every bit as important to Texas Hold ’Em as Leah and Austin’s romance, and I absolutely adored it.

Christie Craig is the author I turn to when I’m looking for engaging, well-crafted romances with plenty of humor. Texas Hold ’Em doesn’t disappoint and I can’t wait to see what Ms. Craig writes next!


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.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday in Review

New year, new reviews!

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

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- Romance For Cynics by Nicola Marsh (available 2/1/14)
- Perfect Together (Serendipity’s Finest, Book 3) by Carly Phillips (available 2/4/14)
- The Serotonin Revolution by Lowri Turner (available 4/22/14)

All other new reviews:
- Christmas on Main Street by JoAnn Ross, Susan Donovan, LuAnn McLane, and Alexis Morgan
- Winter’s Heat (Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 1.5) by Zoë Archer
- Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties, Book 1) by Jenn Bennett
- Shadowdance (Darkest London, Book 4) by Kristen Callihan
- Scandalously Yours (Hellions of High Street, Book 1) by Cara Elliott
- Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas (Perfect Fit, Book 1.5) by Sugar Jamison
- Cinderella Screwed Me Over by Cindi Madsen
- This Is Who I Am (Masters of the Shadowlands, Book 7) by Cherise Sinclair
- Secrets on the Sand (Billionaires of Barefoot Bay, Book 1) by Roxanne St. Claire

Upcoming reviews:
- Rise of the Gryphon (Belador, Book 4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
- 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
- Melting the Ice (Play by Play, Book 7) by Jaci Burton
- The Professional: Part 1 by Kresley Cole
- The Professional: Part 2 by Kresley Cole
- The Professional: Part 3 by Kresley Cole
- 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
- Scarlet Devices (Steam and Seduction, Book 2) by Delphine Dryden
- 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
- Sinfully Yours (The Hellions of High Street, Book 2) by Cara Elliot
- A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch
- The Billionaire’s Demands (Boardrooms & Billionaires, Book 3) by Addison Fox
- 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
- Thrown for a Curve (Perfect Fit, Book 2) by Sugar Jamison
- Breathe by Lauren Jameson
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- Midnight Pursuits (Killer Instincts, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy
- 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
- Wildflower Wedding (Cricket Creek, Book 6) by LuAnn McLane
- 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
- Dare to Love (Dare to Love, Book 1) by Carly Phillips
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Concealed in Death (In Death, Book 38) by J.D. Robb
- 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
- Cairo Caper by Barbara Silkstone
- 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

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: Perfect Together by Carly Phillips

Perfect Together by Carly Phillips
Series: Serendipity’s Finest, Book 3
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance Perfect Together Cover
ISBN: 9780425259733
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Carly Phillips Reading Order

In the picturesque town of Serendipity, New York, three siblings have grown up in the shadow of their proud and respected police chief father. But what do love, fate, and fortune have in store for the next generation of Serendipity’s finest?

Tired of being the easygoing daughter, always ignored in favor of her high-maintenance sister, and no longer interested in being her fiancé’s trophy wife, Nicole Farnsworth calls off her wedding. All she wants is to be herself. And where better to find her destiny than Serendipity? The place where she met the one man who made her heart beat faster, and gave her the courage to reinvent her life—even if he doesn’t know it.

Officer Sam Marsden calls Serendipity home and he loves it there—even though his childhood sweetheart was stolen by his best friend. After such heartbreak, Sam fears he can’t trust his instincts when it comes to love. Yet he’s so tempted by Nicole, a woman he met only briefly but who has starred in his dreams ever since.

For Nicole and Sam, opening their hearts one more time could change their lives forever. But who’ll be the first to take that chance?

The final Marsden sibling finds love in the deliciously entertaining Perfect Together. Carly Phillips hits all the right notes in this fast-paced, engaging romance.

Nicole is a woman I liked and admired from the start. By moving to Serendipity, she’s stepping out of her comfort zone and breaking the bonds of her parents’ expectations in order to make a life for herself. Nicole has a warm and friendly personality, and when you add in her hidden vulnerabilities, how could you not root for her to find love with Sam? And speaking of Sam, the sexy detective who’s the other half of this dynamite pair had me melting. Sam’s a devoted brother, son, and friend, but he’s wary of trusting his heart to another woman after having been humiliated by his fiancée leaving him at the altar for his best friend. Yet for all his protestations, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Sam falls hard and fast for Nicole. The two of them are…well…perfect together.

While Perfect Together can be read as a standalone, Sam’s family and friends play large supporting roles in the book. New Serendipity’s Finest readers will surely want to pick up Perfect Fit and Perfect Fling after finishing Sam and Nicole’s book – the Marsden family is just that endearing. And speaking of supporting characters, in Perfect Together Ms. Phillips weaves in a fantastic secondary romance featuring Nicole’s new friend Macy and a hero whose identity I won’t spoil. Even though Sam and Nicole are the heart of Perfect Together, the addition of the fully developed supporting cast makes the story truly stand out. The Serendipity community is one I hope readers won’t have to say good-bye to anytime soon, for Ms. Phillips has created a memorable town and cast of characters who are simply impossible to resist. However, while I wait in the hope of more Serendipity novels, I’ll happily curl up with Perfect Together, for Sam and Nicole’s love story is one that begs for numerous readings.


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.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: The Serotonin Revolution by Lowri Turner

The Serotonin Revolution: The Low-Carb Diet that Won't Make You Crazy by Lowri Turner
Publisher: Duncan Baird Publishers
Genre: Health and Nutrition Romance for Cynics Cover
ISBN: 9781848990418
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Finally a Low-Carb Diet that can Put a Smile On Your Face.

A side-effect of most low-carb diets is to starve your body of the “happy” hormones it needs to stay slim. Drawing on the latest scientific research, respected journalist, TV personality and qualified nutritionist Lowri Turner has created a diet that balances the weight loss heroes (serotonin, dopamine, leptin and adrenals), to get you looking good and feeling fabulous! Forget meager breakfasts, lackluster lunches and unsatisfying dinners, The Serotonin Revolution shows you how to drop a dress size in two weeks, while still enjoying comforting meals. Discover over 70 delicious, easy-to-make recipes which will balance your hormones naturally. You’ll even be able to indulge your sweet tooth with cleverly crafted desserts and groundbreaking snacks! Putting you on the road to effective, long-lasting weight loss, The Serotonin Revolution is an innovative way to feel beautiful, confident… and happier than ever.

The Serotonin Revolution has a lot of promise. Author Lowri Turner has written a logical, convincing argument for balancing your hormones for weight loss. What’s more helpful, Ms. Turner helps readers determine if it’s their serotonin, dopamine, leptin and/or adrenal levels that are imbalanced. The Serotonin Revolution isn’t about limiting calories or doing any insane fad-diet routine, which I appreciated. The first half of the book made so much sense that I was excited to delve into Ms. Turner’s plan.

Unfortunately, where The Serotonin Revolution fell short for me was Ms. Turner’s food plan to help balance your hormones. Ms. Turner provides very specific menus of what to eat, and that simply doesn’t work for me. Not only do I not eat all the foods Ms. Turner proscribes (I’m a vegetarian), but I really like a health and wellness plan that gives me guidelines and then allows me to put together my own menus. I suppose I could study all the menus and determine what Ms. Turner is getting at through her food plan, but that’s incredibly time consuming and not as specific as I’d like.

Overall, I think The Serotonin Revolution has a great concept but falls short in the execution. If a second edition with an adaptable food plan comes out, I’ll happily give that a try.


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.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Review: Romance For Cynics by Nicola Marsh

Romance For Cynics by Nicola Marsh
Publisher: Harlequin KISS
Genre: Contemporary Romance Romance for Cynics Cover
ISBN: 9781460325773
Release Date: February 1, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Must. Not. Fall. For. Fake. Boyfriend.

Cashel Burgess's PR team has come up with a plan to salvage his reputation and show his "softer" side by entering him in a Valentine's Day competition to find Australia's Most Romantic Couple. It's so ridiculous it might actually work. The hitch? He doesn't even have a girlfriend. But that's not about to stop him….

Thanks to a good-for-nothing ex, gardener Lucy Grant hates Valentine's Day. But when Cash makes her an offer too good to refuse, Lucy finds herself half of the most cynical couple in Australia! The only problem is, when a man fakes it this well, a girl might be tempted to turn fiction into fact...

Romance for Cynics is a fresh and fun story about two people with guarded hearts who find themselves falling in love when they least expect it. Cash is a sinfully sexy hero who is knocked off his feet and out of his comfort zone by the one woman who doesn’t want him – Lucy. She’s been through a bad marriage and has no desire to fall a suave, rich businessman like Cash. I loved watching these two cynics slide into love, even as they swear they’re turning their noses up at the hearts and flowers-filled competition they’re engaging in. Cash and Lucy can be delightfully funny and make a charming couple. I did grow a bit weary of Lucy constantly pushing away Cash because her previous marriage was a disaster, but the scenes when she’s not resisting her attraction to him make up for this.

I thoroughly enjoyed Romance for Cynics. There are a few scenes that strained credulity (example: Lucy and Cash talking about how fake their relationship is when the competition’s camera crews are around and not getting caught), but overall the book is a fast-paced, feel-good read that will satisfy the cynical romantics among us. Romance for Cynics is the first book of Nicola Marsh’s that I’ve read and I’m looking forward to reading many more.


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.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review: This Is Who I Am by Cherise Sinclair

This Is Who I Am by Cherise Sinclair
Series: Masters of the Shadowlands, Book 7
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: BDSM Contemporary Romance This Is Who I Am Cover
ISBN: 9781623001483
Blue Ribbon Rating: 5 out of 5 — Recommended Read
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link
Cherise Sinclair Reading Order

While undercover to help destroy a sex trafficking ring, Dom Sam Davies messed up. In trying to help one of the slaves, Linda, he ended up making things worse, though he doesn’t know how. Now that she’s free, Linda wants nothing to do with him. She’s turned her back on the world of BDSM, even though she’s a masochist and a submissive who’d be perfect for him. Sam’s willing to give Linda time to heal before he tries to make things right, but when someone begins harassing her, he determinedly steps back into her life.

All Linda wants is to return to her quiet, conservative life. She’s going to be normal if it kills her, and if the comments of her late husband and previous lovers are anything to go by, being a masochist is the farthest thing from normal. Only Linda can’t seem to find her balance. She still battles with the memories of her imprisonment and abuse, and there’s someone in her hometown who won’t let her forget her time as a slave. After hateful words are spray painted on her home, Linda’s shocked when her friend sends Sam Davies to help her. Sam brings all the desires she’s tried to suppress to the surface. Can she come to accept her whole self and make a go of a relationship with Sam? Or will the all-too-real ghosts of her past tear her apart before she has the chance?

Honest, emotional, sexy, thrilling...This Is Who I Am is all that and more. Cherise Sinclair is THE powerhouse BDSM romance author and her talent shines through in This Is Who I Am. I loved this book from beginning to end for more reasons than I can say, though for the sake of this review I’ll keep it brief.

Cherise Sinclair has written many memorable couples, but Linda and Sam definitely rank among my top favorites. They’re older and wiser than many romance heroes and heroines, and their maturity and experience gives This Is Who I Am a different tone. I flat-out loved both of them. Linda is a warm, caring, strong woman who’s been through hell and has come out the other side, ready to face her fears. It’s not easy for her, nor is it just her memories of her captivity that are holding her back. I loved watching Linda come into her own over the course of the story, and watching her learn to accept and enjoy who she is was simply beautiful. As for Sam, he’s a sadist with a heart of gold. Not knowing much about the sadism side of BDSM, I wasn’t sure what to expect from him. But Sam – though he has a firm hand with the flogger and is undeniably a sadist – has a gruff, old-fashioned gentleman way about him that I just swooned over. His straightforward, no frills caring nature makes him stand out in my mind. He’s not without his own demons, however; his horrifying ex-wife did a number on both Sam and his daughter and he’s reticent to drop all his barriers around Linda because of this. Together and separately Linda and Sam were a compelling, sizzling hot couple and their happily ever after was worth every bit of work they had to do to attain it.

Though Linda and Sam are the heart and soul of This Is Who I Am, Masters of the Shadowlands fans needn’t fear that their favorite Shadowlands Masters and subs are missing from the story. All six couples – plus some future protagonists – play strong supporting roles. Reading about the Shadowlands community makes me feel like I’m visiting with old friends. There’s laughter and jokes aplenty, but it’s the honesty and acceptance among the group that made me smile over and over again.

I cannot recommend This Is Who I Am highly enough. Ms. Sinclair has written a unique, engaging book that I devoured in less than a day. Don’t be afraid to take a trip to the dark side with this book – you won’t regret it.


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

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas by Sugar Jamison

Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas by Sugar Jamison
Series: Perfect Fit, Book 1.5
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary Romance Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas Cover
ISBN: 9781466847095
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

On the first day of Christmas, former wild child Dina Gregory returns home to New York on a mission: To find the father of her young son. Making him take responsibility for the child he helped create is the only thing on Dina’s wish list. Instead, she finds herself in an awkward run-in with his stuffy older brother, Ben.

Ben has never liked Dina. But he can’t help but admire her tenacity—and her bold beauty. Being trapped together during a holiday blizzard offers him a glimpse into what it would be like to have a family, and to fall truly in love. Could it be that Dina has reignited his Christmas spirit? The only thing Ben knows for sure is that her heart is a gift to behold…and he will never let go.

Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas is a warm and inviting holiday romance you can enjoy all year long. Author Sugar Jamison hits all the right notes in this story of second chances and finding love where you least expect it.

I confess, having read the first Perfect Fit story, Dangerous Curves Ahead, I was wary of reading Dina’s story. To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t stand Dina in her sister’s book. Fortunately, Dina does a full turnabout in Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas. She’s a mother now, and not only has she learned to put someone else’s needs above her own, but her rough edges have softened, making her a far more likeable character. She’s determined to find Dash’s father and make him do right by their child, but she’s thrown for a curve when she learns that the man has died. Instead, Dina comes face-to-face with her ex-lover’s starchy older brother. Ben’s the buttoned-up sort who’s forgotten how to live, but Dina and Dash’s arrival changes all that. It was wonderful to see Ben come alive and I was delighted by how perfectly he and Dina fit one another.

Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas is pure escapism, so you can forgive the improbabilities of the story (Dash being the most perfectly behaved baby on the planet, for example). All in all, I greatly enjoyed Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas. I was pleasantly surprised that Ms. Jamison could make me care about a character I previously disliked and I was charmed by the holiday-infused cheer of the story. For those who haven’t yet read Dangerous Curves Ahead, Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas can be read as a standalone. And for those who loved Ellis (Dina’s sister) and Mike’s book, never fear – your favorite characters do appear. So curl up with Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas on a cold afternoon and enjoy the sparks that fly in this Perfect Fit novella.


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, January 18, 2014

Review: Winter's Heat by Zoë Archer

Winter’s Heat by Zoë Archer
Series: Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 1.5
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance Winters Heat Cover
ISBN: 9781466847149
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Zoë Archer Reading Order

The agents of Nemesis, Unlimited are the people others turn to when villains escape justice. Ada reached out to them for help when a fellow maid was mistreated and was grateful for their help. Now it’s Nemesis who needs Ada. They want her to put her experience as a maid to good use, sending her undercover to gather evidence against an aristocratic couple who managed to slither out of the law’s grasp. Ada’s more than happy to help Nemesis, but she’s not so sure about the agent they’ve assigned to work with her. Six months ago Michael broke her heart when he left her without a word. Now they’re working side-by-side to balance the scales of justice and her resolve to keep Michael at arm’s length is crumbling. Can Ada keep her focus on the job at hand? Or will her attraction to Michael raise the stakes of the dangerous game they play?

Robin Hood meets Downton Abbey in the sultry Winter’s Heat. Zoë Archer eschews the posh world of the upper-class in favor of the “downstairs” folk in this delightful holiday novella. Michael and Ada are both likeable, hardworking characters with a strong sense of justice. Each also comes from the world of service but wants to do more with their life than simply clean chambers and polish the silver. They want to fight for the underdogs, for the people who haven’t the means to seek justice for themselves. It’s Michael and Ada’s passion for doing what’s right that initially brought them together. It’s also what tore them apart. Michael, a Nemesis agent, was forced to abandon Ada after he helped her friend so that he could go undercover on another mission. Though Ada is understandably wary of him when he pops back up in her life months later, Michael is determined to win her heart. Romance against the backdrop of an undercover assignment? Yes, please. Ms. Archer knows how to blend action into a love story and that ability shows in Winter’s Heat.

As a fan of both Ms. Archer’s work and Downton Abbey, I was simply charmed by Winter’s Heat. For readers who haven’t read Ms. Archer’s Nemesis, Unlimted books, Winter’s Heat is a good introduction to the world. All in all, I found Winter’s Heat to be a great story to curl up with on a chilly afternoon.


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.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Author Interview: Jenn Bennett

If you've read my review of Bitter Spirits (no spoilers) or have simply talked to me in the last week, you know I'm gaga over Jenn Bennett's wildly original new series set in 1927 San Francisco. I was lucky enough to interview Ms. Bennett, thanks to her publisher, Berkley. I gotta say, the Q&A with Ms. Bennett made me even more eager for more Roaring Twenties novels...and has perhaps persuaded me to sneak in a re-read of Bitter Spirits (Ssssh...don't tell my TBR pile ;))

Q: I love how unique the setting of Bitter Spirits is. What inspired you to write a paranormal romance set in Prohibition-era San Francisco? Bitter Spirits Cover
A: Thanks so much for having me on your blog! Regarding the geography, I have a wee (okay, enormous) crush on Central/Northern California. Both BITTER SPIRITS and an upcoming 2015 young adult book I've written take place in San Francisco, and my urban fantasy series, Arcadia Bell, is set in a fictional town a couple hours down the coast near Big Sur. And as far as the time period goes, I've loved the 1920s since I was a teenager, so combining that decade with the Bay Area was like chocolate and peanut butter: indulgent and joyful!


Q: How many books do you have planned for the Roaring Twenties series? (I admit, this question may be a roundabout way of asking if Bo and Astrid will get a book or books :)).
A: Oh, I'm so happy you asked that, because I love Bo and Astrid together THIS MUCH. (It's a lot!) For those who haven't read BITTER SPIRITS, Astrid is the hero's 17-year-old sister and Bo is the hero's assistant. The two of them make a couple of appearances in the second book in the series, GRIM SHADOWS, and I am planning to write a third book this summer, which will be Bo and Astrid's love story-which, time-wise, will bleed into the 1930s.


Q: Do you have any favorites of the characters you've written?
A: I really do adore Winter and Aida, the hero/heroine of BITTER SPIRITS. But I think my favorite character to write was Lowe-Winter's younger brother, who is an archeologist and the hero of the second book, GRIM SHADOWS. Lowe is a grand storyteller and habitual liar, and he's overflowing with charm and wit. I wrote him in a very deep POV and rather enjoyed conjuring him on the page.


Bitter Spirits Cover Q: What's one thing about being an author you wish someone had told you before you were first published?
A: I started writing five years ago. BITTER SPIRITS is my fourth published book, and I have two more coming out this year and at least one in 2015. It's been strange trip filled with stress and fear, and it often makes me question my sanity. But, you know, I don't think any sort of warning or revelation would've stopped me from writing.


Q: When you're not writing, what do you like to do?
A: I draw. I collect things (Fiestaware, miniature Viking ships, Tiki mugs, old books, toadstool statues, vintage postcards of Giant Sequoias, and early 20th century knickknacks). I cook (very well). I travel (or make future plans to travel). I game. I read (a lot). I listen to music. I watch old films from the 1920s-1950s with my (super cool) husband. I play with my two pugs. But mostly, I try to distract myself from dreaming up the next book. Strangely, it never works!




About Bitter Spirits:
Bitter Spirits Cover It’s the roaring twenties, and San Francisco is a hotbed of illegal boozing, raw lust, and black magic. The fog-covered Bay Area can be an intoxicating scene, particularly when you specialize in spirits…

Aida Palmer performs a spirit medium show onstage at Chinatown’s illustrious Gris-Gris speakeasy. However, her ability to summon (and expel) the dead is more than just an act.

Winter Magnusson is a notorious bootlegger who’s more comfortable with guns than ghosts—unfortunately for him, he’s the recent target of a malevolent hex that renders him a magnet for hauntings. After Aida’s supernatural assistance is enlisted to banish the ghosts, her spirit-chilled aura heats up as the charming bootlegger casts a different sort of spell on her…

On the hunt for the curseworker responsible for the hex, Aida and Winter become drunk on passion. And the closer they become, the more they realize they have ghosts of their own to exorcise…

My Review | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound




About Jenn Bennett:
Jenn Bennett is the author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series from Pocket Books and the Roaring Twenties historical paranormal romance series from Berkley. Born in Germany, she’s lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Far East. She currently lives near Atlanta with one husband and two very bad pugs.
http://www.jennbennett.net/

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett


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

I was lucky enough to get an arc of Jenn Bennett's first Roaring Twenties book, Bitter Spirits (which came out January 7th) and I fell in love with it. The Roaring Twenties series is set in Prohibition-era San Francisco and the setting, paranormal elements, sly humor, and wonderful characters in Bitter Sprits made me more than eager to read the next book, Grim Shadows. Even if I wasn't already a fan of the series, Grim Shadows sounds just plain cool.

Author Interview Alert: Check back with Wit and Sin on Thursday, January 9th. I was lucky enough to interview Roaring Twenties author Jenn Bennett and the Q&A will up then :)

Grim Shadows Cover Title: Grim Shadows
Series: Roaring Twenties, Book 2
Author: Jenn Bennett
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Jenn Bennett Reading Order and Reviews

Book Description (from Goodreads):

It’s the Roaring Twenties in foggy San Francisco. Prohibition is on, inhibitions are low, and dark magic is rolling into town…

Archaeologist Lowe Magnusson is packing something everyone wants. The djed amulet, a priceless Egyptian artifact, will fetch Lowe a hefty paycheck from one of San Francisco’s wealthiest. But when the handsome Swede runs into his patron’s uptight daughter, what he once considered easy money becomes maddeningly complicated…

Cursed with deadly spirits as her constant companions, curator Hadley Bacall must keep calm to hold her dangerous specters at bay and prevent them from lashing out at anything—or anyone. Trouble is, Lowe is driving her crazy, but her father needs the artifact he’s transporting. While Hadley can feel the amulet’s power, she can’t fathom the destruction—or the desire—it’s about to stir up.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: Scandalously Yours by Cara Elliott

Scandalously Yours by Cara Elliott
Series: Hellions of High Street, Book 1
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Historical Romance Scandalously Yours Cover
ISBN: 9781455573233
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

John, the Earl of Wrexham is in need of a wife. Preferably a demure, conventional, well-behaved woman who will raise his son, Scottie, while John focuses on Parliamentary matters. He’s not looking for grand passion and thus he settles on the first woman who meets all his requirements. The only problem is, Scottie can’t stand the “Steel Corset” John’s all but engaged to, and John’s interfering sister seems to agree with her nephew.

Olivia Sloane is everything Scottie’s looking for in a mother and nothing that John wants in a wife. She’s bold, opinionated, and doesn’t give a fig for what well-bred young ladies are supposed to be obsessing over. She’d much rather be writing political columns for the newspaper than pursing a husband, but when she and John collide, sparks fly.

A proper hero and a bluestocking activist? It’s a match made in High Street ;)

Propriety takes a back seat to passion in Cara Elliott’s Regency romp, Scandalously Yours. Ms. Elliott takes the popular romance trope of pairing a hellion heroine with an outwardly reserved hero and gives it a fresh spin. I absolutely adored the Sleepless in Seattle-like plot of Scandalously Yours and found myself utterly charmed by John’s son, Scottie, and his best friend, Lucy. Indeed, I was more taken with the supporting cast than I was with John and Olivia, which sounds odd but didn’t particularly bother me. John and Olivia are likeable, albeit not too memorable main characters. They’re a like-minded duo who have great sexual chemistry but truly fall for one another on an intellectual level first and foremost, which I enjoyed. But it’s Scottie, Lucy, and future Hellions of High Street protagonists Anna, Caro, and “the Devil Davenport” who truly captured my attention in Scandalously Yours.

The story follows a rather predictable route, but it’s a comfortably familiar journey for fans of historical romance. There were a few things that strained credulity in Scandalously Yours (the ease of which Olivia and John carried out an affair under society’s nose, the manufactured kidnapping plot), but overall I really liked the book. Best of all, I’m excited to read the next Hellions of High Street book, Sinfully Yours, for Anna and “the Devil” are sure to be a fantastic pair!


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: Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett

Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett
Series: Roaring Twenties, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley Bitter Spirits Cover
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 9780425269572
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jenn Bennett Reading Order

Aida Palmer makes her living as a spirit medium performing in speakeasies, but unlike many others, her performance is genuine. When her boss asks for her assistance freeing bootlegger Winter Magnusson from a haunting, Aida has no idea that the simple task will ultimately change her world forever. For the hex put on Winter is just the beginning, and he needs Aida’s help banishing the ghosts an unknown enemy keeps sending after him. Even the chilling presence of spirits can’t dampen the heat between Winter and Aida. Soon the two are throwing caution to the wind and embarking on an affair that could cost them everything if they don’t exorcise the ghosts of their own pasts and defeat the enemy now targeting them both.

Bitter Spirits is a wildly original paranormal adventure through Prohibition-era San Francisco. Jenn Bennett brings sizzle to her first Roaring Twenties romance, but what really makes Bitter Spirits stand out is the unusual setting, well-crafted mystery, and sly humor.

Aida and Winter are lively, spirited (no pun intended) protagonists who’ll grab your attention from the start and not let go. Each is unusual in their own way, and both are incredibly independent and wary of letting others in. Sparks and delightful banter fly as they circle one another, and when they do give into their desire for each other…get ready for some serious steam. Ms. Bennett doesn’t make their romance uncomplicated, however. Winter and Aida have both been hurt badly in the past and it’s left them reticent to risk their hearts. It was easy to become invested in their love story, and the two of them alone could have made me devour Bitter Spirits.

While Winter and Aida are undeniably the heart of Bitter Spirits, Ms. Bennett’s richly-drawn version of 1927 San Francisco gives the book body and further substance. I loved delving into Chinatown and the surrounding areas and found the setting incredibly unique for a historical romance. As for the mystery of who is targeting Winter…well, let’s just say that I love being kept guessing and Ms. Bennett managed it. I have to give Ms. Bennett high marks for how perfectly that storyline was orchestrated.

I highly recommend Bitter Spirits. It’s impossible not to be charmed by Ms. Bennett’s wry humor and her ability to bring not just Winter and Aida, but the supporting characters to vivid life. The spellbinding setting further added to my enjoyment of Winter and Aida’s book, for it’s wonderfully different. Consider me a Jenn Bennett convert, as I’ll be glomming up her backlist while I wait for the next Roaring Twenties novel, Grim Shadows!


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.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jenn Bennett Book Order

Click on series title to jump to a particular reading order:

Roaring Twenties
Arcadia Bell
Stand Alones


Roaring Twenties

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

1. Bitter Spirits
Winter Magnusson and Aida Palmer
My Review

2. Grim Shadows
Lowe Magnusson and Hadley Bacall
My Review

3. Grave Phantoms
Bo Yeung and Astrid Magnusson
My Review

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Arcadia Bell

Genre: Urban Fantasy

1. Kindling the Moon

2. Summoning the Night

2.5. Leashing the Tempest

3. Binding the Shadows

4. Banishing the Dark

top


Stand Alones


Alex, Approximately (available 4/4/17)
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance


The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
My Review

top



Please note: This page was written by me, so as always, please visit the author’s website for up-to-date, author-verified information as well as for information books that have not yet been included to this list.

http://www.jennbennett.net/

Friday, January 3, 2014

Review: Secrets on the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire

Secrets on the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire
Series: Billionaires of Barefoot Bay, Book 1
Publisher: South Street Publishing Secrets on the Sand Cover
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

In high school, Zeke Nicholas was known as “Ezekiel the Geekiel” while the girl of his dreams had the much more flattering moniker “Mandy the Magnificent.” It’s been over a decade since high school, but when Zeke – now a handsome billionaire – sees Mandy again, his old crush comes flaring back to life.

Amanda Lockhart doesn’t feel so magnificent anymore. In fact, she’s downright worn out. After a disastrous marriage left her deep in debt and wary of men, all she’s focused on is working hard to get by. She’s a maid at Casa Blanca, Barefoot Bay’s premier resort, and when she runs into Zeke, her life is turned upside down once more. Amanda no longer believes in fairy tales, but this nerdy Price Charming makes her feel like Cinderella. Only this Cinderella has a secret…one that could cost her everything – including Zeke.

Get swept away by Roxanne St. Claire’s modern-day fairy tale, Secrets on the Sand. Amanda had it all in high school, but since then she’s had more than her fair share of hard knocks. She’s been hurt in more ways than one and I understood and appreciated why she guards herself so closely. It’s not easy for Zeke to break down the walls Amanda erects, but the genius billionaire doesn’t give up. I was utterly charmed by Zeke. He’s a geek with polish, and that’s one of my favorite kinds of heroes. He and Amanda have great chemistry, which makes their story an enticing read. Though Secrets on the Sand begins with Zeke trying to make his high school fantasy come true, their relationship turns into something real that readers can root for.

Secrets on the Sand is a story that will make you smile, particularly if you’re already a fan of Ms. St. Claire’s Barefoot Bay quartet. Though Secrets on the Sand is the first book in the Billionaires of Barefoot Bay series, some of the beloved Barefoot Bay protagonists show up in this novella (Lacey, of Barefoot in the Sand, plays a particularly important supporting role). But while I liked the callbacks to the Barefoot Bay quartet, I’m more excited about what Ms. St. Claire has in store for Zeke’s friends and future Billionaires of Barefoot Bay heroes, Becker and Nate.

Zeke and Mandy made me fall in love with Barefoot Bay all over again. I finished Secrets on the Sand a well-satisfied reader, and I can’t wait to dive into the next Billionaires of Barefoot Bay tale, Seduction on the Sand.


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

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Best Books of 2013

Every year I like to take stock of what I’ve read and pick out the best of the best. In 2013 I didn’t read quite as many books as I normally do, but that doesn’t mean I let my Kindle and bookcases get dusty. I read 212 books, read stories from 84 new (to me) authors, and participated in my fourth A to Z Reading Challenge. I read a ton of fantastic stories this year, but I did manage to narrow the list down. So without further ado, here are my picks for the best of 2013:

Wit and Sin Best Books of 2013

Top Thirteen Books of 2013
Top Re-Reads of 2013
Honorable Mentions

My Top Thirteen Books of 2013

Note: Not necessarily all published in 2013 but all were new-to-me reads
Also note: The books are alphabetized by title as I love them all equally

Adulting Cover 1. Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown
My Review | Buy Link





Angels Fall Cover 2. Angels Fall by Nora Roberts
Buy Link






Bound by Night Cover 3. Bound by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampires, Book 1) by Larissa Ione
My Review | Buy Link





Decadence Cover 4. Decadence (Emerald Valley, Book 1.5) by Riley Shane
Buy Link






Grave Mercy Cover 5. Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, Book 1) by Robin LaFevers
My Review | Buy Link






Her Ladyships Curse Cover 6. Her Ladyship’s Curse (Disenchanted & Co., Book 1, Part 1) by Lynn Viehl
My Review | Buy Link





The Luckiest Lady in London Cover 7. The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas
My Review | Buy Link






The Reason I Jump Cover 8. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida
Buy Link





Rockys Road Cover 9. Rocky’s Road by Lynley Wayne
Buy Link






Trust in Me Cover 10. Trust in Me (Rancho del Cielo, Book 5) by Dee Tenorio
My Review | Buy Link






A Very Personal Trainer Cover 11. A Very Personal Trainer by Justine Elyot
My Review | Buy Link






Winterblaze Cover 12. Winterblaze (Darkest London, Book 3) by Kristen Callihan
My Review | Buy Link






With This Kiss Part One Cover 13. With This Kiss: Part One by Eloisa James
My Review | Buy Link







My Top Re-Reads of 2013


Bed Breakfast and Bondage Cover 1. Bed, Breakfast and Bondage (Emerald Valley, Book 1) by Riley Shane
Buy Link





Conspiracy in Death Cover 2. Conspiracy in Death (In Death, Book 8) by J.D. Robb
Buy Link






He Loves Lucy Cover 3. He Loves Lucy by Susan Donovan
Buy Link






The Phantom Tollbooth Cover 4. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Buy Link






Purity in Death Cover 5. Purity in Death (In Death, Book 15) by J.D. Robb
Buy Link






Christmas in Lucky Harbor Cover 6. Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, Book 1) by Jill Shalvis
My Review | Buy Link






Victorian Valentine Cover 7. Victorian Valentine by Riley Shane
Buy Link







Honorable Mentions

These books barely missed making the top thirteen list but they’re excellent.

The Battle for Galerir Cover 1. The Battle for Galerir (The Galerir Saga, Book 1) by Anna Lee
Buy Link






The Big Book of Orgasms Cover 2. The Big Book of Orgasms anthology
Buy Link






Entwined Cover 3. Entwined (Darkest London, Book 3.5) by Kristen Callihan
My Review | Buy Link






Ghosts of Bourbon Street Cover 4. Ghosts of Bourbon Street by Rowan Speedwell
Buy Link






Learning to Live Cover 5. Learning to Live by Diana DeRicci
Buy Link






A Life Interrupted Cover 6. A Life Interrupted by Lynley Wayne
Buy Link






Marine Biology Cover 7. Marine Biology by Gail Carriger
Buy Link

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Books I've Read 2014

For the past four years I've kept track of the books I read. I read so much that everything tends to blend together in my mental library. It's always fun at the end of the year to look back and see what I've read, loved, and want to re-read (and on the odd occasion, want to avoid).

This list is only of books and novellas I've read and finished (though if I read an entire anthology, I list only the anthology title). The books are listed in the order I read them.

There are sure to be many wonderful stories on the list, but the ones with a ** by them are ones I highly recommend.

1. Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties, Book 1) by Jenn Bennett **
2. Winter's Heat (Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 1.5) by Zoë Archer
3. Romance for Cynics by Nicola Marsh
4. Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas (Perfect Fit, Book 1.5) by Sugar Jamison
5. The Supercharged Hormone Diet by Natasha Turner
6. Learning to Breathe (Arbor Heights, Book 6) by Diana DeRicci
7. This Is Who I Am (Master of the Shadowlands, Book 7) by Cherise Sinclair **
8. A Very Personal Trainer by Justine Elyot (re-read) **
9. VB6 by Mark Bittman
10. Perfect Together (Serendipity’s Finest, Book 3) by Carly Phillips
11. Rise of the Gryphon (Belador, Book 4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
12. Texas Hold ’Em (Hotter In Texas, Book 3) by Christie Craig
13. Melting the Ice (Play-by-Play, Book 7) by Jaci Burton
14. Cursed by Cupid by Wendy Sparrow
15. Zen for Cats by Alfred Birnbaum and Riku Kanmei
16. Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbor, Book 9) by Jill Shalvis **
17. Concealed in Death (In Death, Book 38) by J.D. Robb
18. Since You’ve Been Gone (Welcome to Paradise, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy
19. Sinfully Yours (Hellions of High Street, Book 2) by Cara Elliott
20. Passionately Yours (Hellions of High Street, Book 3) by Cara Elliott
21. Victorian Valentine by Riley Shane (re-read) **
22. The Billionaire’s Demands (Boardrooms & Billionaires, Book 3) by Addison Fox
23. Blah Blah Valentine’s Day by Kyle Adams
24. The Clockwork Wolf (Disenchanted & Co., Book 2) by Lynn Viehl
25. Make You Mine (Dumont Bachelors, Book 1) by Macy Beckett **
26. Mystery Man (Dream Man, Book 1) by Kristen Ashley
27. Wildflower Wedding (Cricket Creek, Book 6) by LuAnn McLane
28. Three Weeks With Lady X (Desperate Duchesses, Book 7) by Eloisa James
29. Good Cop, Bad Cop by Jenna Byrnes and Jude Mason (re-read)
30. Cairo Caper (Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider, Book 3) by Barbara Silkstone
31. The Better-Than-Best Purim by Naomi Howland
32. Hope Ignites (Hope, Book 2) by Jaci Burton
33. Living in Shadows (The Lines of Marsden, Book 2) by N.J. Nielsen **
34. Sex and Candy (Arbor Heights, Book 7) by Diana DeRicci **
35. The Heir of the Castle by Scarlet Wilson
36. Decadence (Emerald Valley, Book 1.5) by Riley Shane (re-read) **
37. Keeping Faith by Kris Norris
38. Midnight Pursuits (Killer Instincts, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy
39. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh **
40. A Reason to Love (Snowberry Creek, Book 3) by Alexis Morgan
41. Thrown for a Curve (Perfect Fit, Book 2) by Sugar Jamison
42. Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson **
43. Make You Blush (Dumont Bachelors, Book 0.5) by Macy Beckett
44. The Collector by Nora Roberts
45. Double Take by Leslie Kelly
46. It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, Book 5) by Julie James
47. 21 Days to Change Your Body by Helen M. Ryan
48. All Fired Up (DreamMakers, Book 1) by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy
49. Secrets of Seduction (Legendary Lovers, Book 3 / Paradise, Book 5) by Nicole Jordan
50. Hidden Currents (Drake Sisters, Book 7) by Christine Feehan
51. Make You Mine (Dumont Bachelors, Book 1) by Macy Beckett (re-read) **
52. Seduction on the Sand (The Billionaires of Barefoot Bay, Book 2) by Roxanne St. Claire
53. Shadow Spell (The Cousins O’Dwyer, Book 2) by Nora Roberts
54. Risky Game (Out of Bounds, Book 3) by Tracy Solheim
55. Don’t Blackmail the Vampire (Sons of Kane, Book 2) by Tiffany Allee
56. Barefoot in White (Barefoot Bay Brides, Book 1) by Roxanne St. Claire **
57. How to Master Your Marquis (Princess in Hiding, Book 2) by Juliana Gray
58. Unmasking Juliet by Teri Wilson **
59. The Professional: Part 1 (The Game Maker, Book 1 Part 1) by Kresley Cole
60. Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, Book 12) by Nalini Singh
61. How to School Your Scoundrel (Princess in Hiding, Book 3) by Juliana Gray
62. Shield of Winter (Psy-Changeling, Book 13) by Nalini Singh **
63. The Damsel and the Daggerman (Blud, Book 2.5) by Delilah S. Dawson
64. Sully’s Sweet Salvation (Sequel to Finn’s Redemption) by Sierra Summers (re-read)
65. Bolted (Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 2) by Meg Benjamin
66. Grim Shadows (Roaring Twenties, Book 2) by Jenn Bennett
67. Touch by Diana DeRicci
68. The Librarian’s Secret by Diana DeRicci
69. Breathe (In Vino Veritas, Book 2) by Lauren Jameson
70. Wicked Temptation (Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 3) by Zoë Archer
71. High Noon by Nora Roberts **
72. All of You (Between Breaths, Book 1) by Christina Lee
73. Scarlet Devices (Steam and Seduction, Book 2) by Delphine Dryden
74. Gilded Lily (Steam and Seduction, Book 3) by Delphine Dryden
75. Then Came You (Animal Magnetism, Book 5) by Jill Shalvis **
76. Over Exposed (Salon Games, Book 3) by Stephanie Julian
77. Straddling the Line (Play-by-Play, Book 8 ) by Jaci Burton
78. The Inheritance by Olivia Mayfield
79. Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, Book 1) by Gail Carriger **
80. The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn’t, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar (Parasol Protectorate, Book 0.5) by Gail Carriger
81. Fast Track (Buchanan-Renard, Book 12) by Julie Garwood
82. The Sweetest Summer (Bayberry Island, Book 2) by Susan Donovan
83. The Man Plan (The Graysons, Book 2) by Tracy Anne Warren
84. Since You’ve Been Gone (Welcome to Paradise, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy (re-read)
85. Curtsies and Conspiracies (Finishing School, Book 2) by Gail Carriger
86. Wedding Wishes by Dee Tenorio
87. Love is a Battlefield (DreamMakers, Book 2) by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy
88. Not Quite Broken (Arbor Heights, Book 8 ) by Diana DeRicci
89. Shelter Me (Second Chance Ranch, Book 1) by Catherine Mann
90. Judgment In Death (In Death, Book 11) by J.D. Robb (re-read) **
91. Guarded (Tidewater, Book 2) by Mary Behre
92. Hillbilly Rockstar (Blacktop Cowboys, Book 6) by Lorelei James
93. One Night of Sin (After Hours, Book 1) by Elle Kennedy
94. Scandal on the Sand (The Billionaires of Barefoot Bay, Book 3) by Roxanne St. Claire
95. Dare to Love (Dare to Love, Book 1) by Carly Phillips
96. Convicted by Dee Tenorio
97. When the Rogue Returns (The Duke’s Men, Book 2) by Sabrina Jeffries
98. Yes, Sir by Ellis Carrington
99. Quinn’s Christmas Wish (Bandit Creek, Book 7) by Lawna Mackie
100. Angels’ Blood (Guild Hunter, Book 1) by Nalini Singh
101. Dorinda and the Doctor (The Duke’s Men, Book 2.5) by Sabrina Jeffries
102. It’s in His Kiss (Lucky Harbor, Book 10) by Jill Shalvis
103. Show Me, Baby (Masters of the Shadowlands, Book 9) by Cherise Sinclair
104. Evernight (Darkest London, Book 5) by Kristen Callihan
105. What a Duke Dares (Sons of Sin, Book 3) by Anna Campbell
106. Barefoot in the Sand (Barefoot Bay, Book 1) by Roxanne St. Claire
107. The Accidental Abduction by Darcie Wilde
108. Festive in Death (In Death, Book 39) by J.D. Robb **
109. One Night of Scandal (After Hours, Book 2) by Elle Kennedy
110. The Listener (Virtue Falls, Book 0.5) by Christina Dodd
111. Magic Tests (Kate Daniels, Book 5.3) by Ilona Andrews
112. An Introduction to Jewish Myth and Mysticism by Steve Hockensmith
113. Barefoot in Lace (Barefoot Bay Brides, Book 2) by Roxanne St. Claire
114. The Sweetheart Secret (Sweetheart Sisters, Book 3) by Shirley Jump
115. The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 6) by Jennifer Ashley
116. Scandal and the Duchess (Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 6.5) by Jennifer Ashley
117. Alpha & Omega (Alpha & Omega, Book 0.5) by Patricia Briggs
118. He’s So Fine (Lucky Harbor, Book 11) by Jill Shalvis
119. Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, Book 1) by Patricia Briggs
120. Rules for a Proper Governess (Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 7) by Jennifer Ashley
121. The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman
122. Facing Demons (Scars, Book 3) by Lynley Wayne
123. Darling Beast (Maiden Lane, Book 7) by Elizabeth Hoyt
124. One in a Million (Lucky Harbor, Book 12) by Jill Shalvis **
125. A Maiden Lane Christmas Special (Maiden Lane) by Elizabeth Hoyt
126. Scandalous Desires Epilogue (Maiden Lane) by Elizabeth Hoyt
127. Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, Book 2) by Patricia Briggs
128. After Midnight (Killer Instincts, Book 4.5) by Elle Kennedy
129. Sweet Harmony (Cricket Creek, Book 7) by LuAnn McLane
130. He’s No Prince Charming (Ever After, Book 1) by Elle Daniels
131. Midnight Action (Killer Instincts, Book 5) by Elle Kennedy **
132. Brownies and Broomsticks (Magical Baking Mystery, Book 1) by Bailey Cates
133. Make You Remember (Dumont Bachelors, Book 2) by Macy Beckett
134. While You Were Writing (Watkins Pond, Book 2) by Virginia Nelson
135. Pleasure Unbound (Demonica, Book 1) by Larissa Ione
136. Desire Unchained (Demonica, Book 2) by Larissa Ione
137. The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That by Richard Betts
138. Passion Unleashed (Demonica, Book 3) by Larissa Ione
139. The Demonica Compendium (Demonica) by Larissa Ione
140. The Reckoning (Demonica, Book 0.5) by Larissa Ione
141. Eternity Embraced (Demonica, Book 4.5) by Larissa Ione
142. Archangel’s Kiss (Guild Hunter, Book 2) by Nalini Singh
143. Ecstasy Unveiled (Demonica, Book 4) by Larissa Ione
144. The Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie
145. Once Upon a Pirate (Ever After, Book 3) by Jambrea Jo Jones
146. Merry Christmas, Baby (Lucky Harbor, Book 12.5) by Jill Shalvis
147. Festive in Death (In Death, Book 39) by J.D. Robb (re-read) **
148. Sin Undone (Demonica, Book 5) by Larissa Ione
149. Azagoth (Demonica, Book 10.5/Lords of Deliverance, Book 5.5) by Larissa Ione
150. Scandal and the Duchess (Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 6.5) by Jennifer Ashley (re-read)
151. Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, Book 3) by Patricia Briggs
152. Revenant (Demonica, Book 11/Lords of Deliverance, Book 6) by Larissa Ione
153. A Marriage Most Convenient by C.C. Galloway **
154. Undeniable (Country Roads, Book 2) by Shannon Richard
155. Sweet and Sour by Astrid Amara
156. Her Sexiest Mistake by Jill Shalvis
157. Destiny (The League of Illusion, Book 3) by Vivi Anna
158. Taken in Death (In Death, Book 37.5) by J.D. Robb (re-read)
159. Shopping for a Billionaire (Shopping for a Billionaire, Book 1) by Julia Kent

2014 A to Z Reading Challenge

It's been fun doing this for the past four years. Because of this challenge, I've discovered a few now-favorite books I might not have otherwise noticed :)

Challenge details:
- Duration: January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014
- Read 26 books which titles begin with the letters of the alphabet.
- You may ignore articles like A, An and The at the beginning of the title.
- For the letter X, any book title with the letter X in it is acceptable if you can't find one that begins with X.
- You can sign up anytime.
- Please only list books you have read. You can read them in any order.
- A book only counts once, so you can include a re-read the first time you read it.

Date Completed: August 7, 2014

My List:
All Fired Up (DreamMakers, Book 1) by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy – 4/18/14
Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties, Book 1) by Jenn Bennett - 1/1/14
Cursed by Cupid by Wendy Sparrow – 2/2/14
Decadence (Emerald Valley, Book 1.5) by Riley Shane – 3/15/14
Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, Book 1) by Gail Carriger – 7/3/14
Fast Track (Buchanan-Renard, Book 12) by Julie Garwood – 7/5/14
Good Cop, Bad Cop by Jenna Byrnes and Jude Mason – 3/9/14
Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas (Perfect Fit, Book 1.5) by Sugar Jamison – 1/8/14
It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, Book 5) by Julie James – 4/16/14
Judgment In Death (In Death, Book 11) by J.D. Robb – 7/26/14
Keeping Faith by Kris Norris – 3/16/14
Living in Shadows (The Lines of Marsden, Book 2) by N.J. Nielsen - 3/14/14
Melting the Ice (Play-by-Play, Book 7) by Jaci Burton – 2/1/14
Not Quite Broken (Arbor Heights, Book 8 ) by Diana DeRicci – 7/21/14
Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbor, Book 9) by Jill Shalvis – 2/3/14
Perfect Together (Serendipity’s Finest, Book 3) by Carly Phillips – 1/25/14
Quinn’s Christmas Wish (Bandit Creek, Book 7) by Lawna Mackie – 8/7/14
Romance for Cynics by Nicola Marsh – 1/6/14
Since You’ve Been Gone (Welcome to Paradise, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy – 2/9/14
This Is Who I Am (Master of the Shadowlands, Book 7) by Cherise Sinclair – 1/19/14
Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson - 3/28/14
Very Personal Trainer by Justine Elyot, A – 1/20/14
Winter's Heat (Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 1.5) by Zoë Archer - 1/4/14
TeXas Hold ’Em (Hotter In Texas, Book 3) by Christie Craig – 1/30/14
Yes, Sir by Ellis Carrington – 8/7/14
Zen for Cats by Alfred Birnbaum and Riku Kanmei – 2/2/14

2014 New (to me) Author Challenge

I've done this challenge for the past four years and discovered some great new-to-me authors along the way (not hard to believe since I've read 376 new (to me) authors from 2010 to 2013). My favorite authors I "discovered" over the past few years are C.C. Galloway, DJ Gross, Larissa Ione, Robin LaFevers, Abigail Roux, Riley Shane, Cherise Sinclair, Dee Tenorio, and Lynn Viehl.


The Challenge: Read 20 or more books this year by authors you’ve never read before.
Dates: January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014


My list:
1. Author: Jenn Bennett
Title: Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties, Book 1)

2. Author: Nicola Marsh
Title: Romance for Cynics

3. Author: Natasha Turner
Title: The Supercharged Hormone Diet

4. Author: Mark Bittman
Title: VB6

5. Author: Wendy Sparrow
Title: Cursed by Cupid

6. Author: Alfred Birnbaum
Title: Zen for Cats

7. Author: Riku Kanmei
Title: Zen for Cats

8. Author: Kyle Adams
Title: Blah Blah Valentine’s Day

9. Author: Macy Beckett
Title: Make You Mine (Dumont Bachelors, Book 1)

10. Author: Barbara Silkstone
Title: Cairo Caper (Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider, Book 3)

11. Author: Naomi Howland
Title: The Better-Than-Best Purim

12. Author: Scarlet Wilson
Title: The Heir of the Castle

13. Author: Allie Brosh
Title: Hyperbole and a Half

14. Author: Leslie Kelly
Title: Double Take

15. Author: Helen M. Ryan
Title: 21 Days to Change Your Body

16. Author: Vivian Arend
Title: All Fired Up (DreamMakers, Book 1)

17. Author: Meg Benjamin
Title: Bolted (Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 2)

18. Author: Lauren Jameson
Title: Breathe (In Vino Veritas, Book 2)

19. Author: Christina Lee
Title: All of You (Between Breaths, Book 1)

20. Author: Stephanie Julian
Title: Over Exposed (Salon Games, Book 3)

21. Author: Olivia Mayfield
Title: The Inheritance

22. Author: Catherine Mann
Title: Shelter Me (Second Chance Ranch, Book 1)

23. Author: Mary Behre
Title: Guarded (Tidewater, Book 2)

24. Author: Ellis Carrington
Title: Yes, Sir

25. Author: Lawna Mackie
Title: Quinn’s Christmas Wish (Bandit Creek, Book 7)

26. Author: Steve Hockensmith
Title: An Introduction to Jewish Myth and Mysticism

27. Author: Patricia Briggs
Title: Alpha & Omega (Alpha & Omega, Book 0.5)

28. Author: Elle Daniels
Title: He’s No Prince Charming (Ever After, Book 1)

29. Author: Bailey Cates
Title: Brownies and Broomsticks (Magical Baking Mystery, Book 1)

30. Author: Virginia Nelson
Title: While You Were Writing (Watkins Pond, Book 2)

31. Author: Richard Betts
Title: The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That

32. Author: Shannon Richard
Title: Undeniable (Country Roads, Book 2)

33. Author: Julia Kent
Title: Shopping for a Billionaire (Shopping for a Billionaire, Book 1)