Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday in Review

It's cold outside, but never fear - there are plenty of fantastic reads releasing right now, so you'll have plenty of books to cuddle up with by the fire :)

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

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- How to Seduce a Scot (Broadswords and Ballrooms, Book 1) by Christy English (available 12/1/15)
- Just Say Yes (Strictly Business, Book 2) by Elizabeth Hayley (available 12/1/15)
- Coming Apart at the Seams (Riley O’Brien & Co., Book 2) by Jenna Sutton (available 12/1/15)
- Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy, Book 1) by J.R. Ward (available 12/1/15)
- Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz (available 12/8/15)

All other new reviews:
- A Mackenzie Clan Gathering (Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 8.5) by Jennifer Ashley
- How to Bewitch an Earl (How To, Book 2) by Ally Broadfield
- Unnatural (Enlightenment, Book 4) by Joanna Chambers
- Designed for Murder (Killer Style, Book 4) by Avery Flynn
- Sweetest Scoundrel (Maiden Lane, Book 9) by Elizabeth Hoyt
- Kissing Her Crush (Sugar City, Book 2) by Ophelia London


Upcoming reviews:
- The Conquering Dark (Crown & Key, Book 3) by Clay and Susan Griffith
- New Leaf (Mystic Creek, Book 2) by Catherine Anderson
- Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, Book 1) by Ilona Andrews
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoƫ Archer
- The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 6) by Jennifer 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
- The Professional: Part 2 by Kresley Cole
- The Professional: Part 3 by Kresley Cole
- Wicked Ever After (Blud, Book 4) by Delilah S. Dawson
- The Final Move (Hometown Players, Book 3) by Victoria Denault
- Filthy Rich by Virna DePaul
- 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
- How to Wed a Warrior (Broadswords and Ballrooms, Book 2) by Christy English
- Air Bound (Sea Haven, Book 3) by Christine Feehan
- Earth Bound (Sea Haven, Book 4) by Christine Feehan
- His Game, Her Rules by Charlene Groome
- Captured (Fallen Siren, Book 0.5) by S.J. Harper
- Reckoning (Fallen Siren, Book 2) by S.J. Harper
- One Taste of Scandal (Redcakes, Book 2) by Heather Hiestand
- Base Instincts (Demonica) by Larissa Ione
- The Volatile Amazon (Alliance of the Amazons, Book 4) by Sandy James
- Breathe (In Vino Veritas, Book 2) by Lauren Jameson
- Linger (In Vino Veritas, Book 3) by Lauren Jameson
- When the Rogue Returns (The Duke’s Men, Book 2) by Sabrina Jeffries
- If the Viscount Falls (The Duke’s Men, Book 4) by Sabrina Jeffries
- The Art of Sinning (Sinful Suitors, Book 1) by Sabrina Jeffries
- The Art of Taming a Rake (Legendary Lovers, Book 4) by Nicole Jordan
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- Midnight Revenge (Killer Instincts, Book 7) by Elle Kennedy
- Everything at Last (Magnolia Beach, Book 2) by Kimberly Lang
- Before You Break (Between Breaths, Book 2) by Christina Lee
- There You Stand (Between Breaths, Book 5) by Christina Lee
- Caught Up in You (Loving on the Edge, Book 4) by Roni Loren
- Yours All Along (Loving on the Edge, Book 6.5) by Roni Loren
- Break Me Down (Loving on the Edge, Book 8.5) by Roni Loren
- Off the Clock (Pleasure Principle, Book 1) by Roni Loren
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss
- While You Were Writing (Watkins Pond, Book 2) by Virginia Nelson
- Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince, Book 2) by C.S. Pacat
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- Soul Sucker by Kate Pearce
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Laugh (Burnside, Book 2) by Mary Ann Rivers
- Festive in Death (In Death, Book 39) by J.D. Robb
- Blood Magick (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 3) by Nora Roberts
- Beauty’s Kingdom (Sleeping Beauty, Book 4) by A. N. Roquelaure
- Nights of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 4) by Nico Rosso
- My Kind of Wonderful (Cedar Ridge, Book 2) by Jill Shalvis
- Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, Book 1) by Nalini Singh
- Fighting the Fall (Beyond the Cage, Book 2) by Jennifer Snow
- The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings, Book 1) by J.R. Ward
- Takeover by Anna Zabo

Review: Coming Apart at the Seams by Jenna Sutton

Coming Apart at the Seams by Jenna Sutton
Series: Riley O’Brien & Co., Book 2
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780425279960
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jenna Sutton Reading Order

Love can take some time to break in…

Teagan O’Brien, heiress to the Riley O’Brien & Co. denim empire, is anything but a spoiled rich girl. She’s worked hard to secure her place in the family business and can hold her own, in and out of the office. Only one man has ever been able to get under her skin—sexy football star Nick Priest. Years ago they crossed the line from friends to lovers, but he left her heartbroken. Since then, she’s been determined to keep him at arm’s length—no matter how tempting he looks in his jeans…

Nick has fortune, fame, and looks that make most women hot and bothered. But he doesn't have the woman he really wants. He knows he screwed up when he walked away from Teagan, and now that he has a second chance, he’ll do whatever it takes to win her over—no matter how tongue-tied he gets…

Coming Apart at the Seams starts off fast, furious, and red-hot, then turns into something much more. Jenna Sutton’s second Riley O’Brien & Co. book is an excellent blend of sweetness, hope, heartbreak, sensuality, and second chances.

Teagan O’Brien is smart, confident, and can’t be rattled – except by Nick Priest. Nick has always been her brothers’ friend, but a few years ago Teagan and Nick became friends in their own right. Then – for a brief moment – they became something more before everything came crashing down around them, shattering Teagan’s heart. Since then Teagan has studiously avoided Nick, which wasn’t hard to do until he decided to retire from football and take a job at her family’s company. Nick is determined to win Teagan back, but he has his work cut out for him, because she can’t forget their past and won’t give him the time of day, no matter how fierce the attraction between them still is.

Coming Apart at the Seams is set up in an interesting manner. It starts off in the present, then steps back into Teagan and Nick’s past where we spend about half the story. I do wish we had spent a bit more time in the present, as it would have made the resolution after all the push-pull moments more satisfying. But overall the story had a nice pace, going from the breathtaking rush of the beginning to the innocent beginning of Nick and Teagan’s friendship. I absolutely adore a good friends-to-lovers story and when we’re in the past, Teagan and Nick’s is a great one. The two of them are both bright and likeable, and it was nice seeing their bond develop and deepen, even knowing it had to crash and burn before we return to the present (or we wouldn’t have a story). Their romance was organic and the banter, sexual tension, and truly sweet moments between Nick and Teagan made them a couple to root for.

What makes Coming Apart at the Seams work is the personalities and chemistry of Teagan and Nick. Teagan is bright and eager when we see her in grad school and she gets under Nick’s skin before he even realizes it. Nick is a stunningly gorgeous football player, but he has a secret: a severe stutter he’ll do anything to hide. Nick didn’t grow up in a supportive environment – quite the opposite in fact – and Ms. Sutton does a stellar job of showing the emotional and psychological toll Nick’s stutter takes on him. Nick’s pain and frustration is palpable and when things go south with Teagan my heart broke for them both. That being said, one of the things that kept this story from being a perfect read is that I did sometimes want to shake Teagan for her obliviousness and Nick for his unwillingness to open up and go after her.

Coming Apart at the Seams is the second book in the Riley O’Brien & Co. series and since I haven’t read the first book, I can safely say Teagan and Nick’s story can be read as a standalone. If you don’t like spoilers and haven’t read All the Right Places, fair warning that there are some mild spoilers for Amelia and Quinn’s book. The O’Brien family is utterly delightful and I was so entertained by Coming Apart at the Seams that I will be picking up All the Right Places as soon as possible and will definitely be grabbing the next Riley O’Brien & Co. book, Hanging by a Thread, as soon as it comes out.


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: Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward

Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Legacy, Book 1
Publisher: Signet
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 9780451475329
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
J.R. Ward Reading Order

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.

And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated--and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power...on the field, and off.

Blood Kiss rocks! J.R. Ward’s first Black Dagger Legacy book is sexy, fun, exciting, utterly addictive, and totally kickass. It’s also a tightly-written, character-centric paranormal romance that is unquestionably my favorite Black Dagger Brotherhood-verse story since Lover Revealed.

As the daughter of the king’s First Advisor and a member of one of the Founding Families, Paradise is at the near top of the vampire aristocracy food chain. But she wants more than the life the glymera would have for her. Now she has her chance. The Brothers are recruiting for their training program and Paradise is seizing the chance to learn to fight, to be a soldier, to break free from the box society would put her in and become her own person. Just making the cut to get into the Brothers’ training program is harder and more terrifying than she could have imagined, but Paradise has an inner strength none can match, which is why I loved her. Paradise wasn’t born or raised to be a warrior, but she’s got grit, heart, intelligence, and a determination not to fail that I admired. Paradise isn’t perfect – that would be boring – but she has that perfect mix of kindness, strength (physical and emotional), and guts that make her an awesome heroine. Even when she’s out of her element, or thrown for a loop, Paradise doesn’t quit. And her classmate Craeg definitely throws her for a loop…

Craeg is a civilian vampire with a chip on his shoulder. His family was murdered during the raids, so he has nothing but the Brothers’ training program to work for and he is all business. Except Paradise is throwing him off his game, threatening to be a distraction he can’t afford and could never have anyway. Craeg is as easy to love as Paradise is. He’s a soldier to his core, but he carries internal scars and a heavy burden of anger in the wake of his family’s murders. He doesn’t want to care about his classmates, but it’s clear he does. And he definitely doesn’t want to notice Paradise, but everyone knows what happens when two vampires are destined to be together. Their chemistry is electric right from the start and their romance is by turns fiery, sweet, and sexy as hell. Every up and down, every time these two are on the page, you can’t stop reading and I loved it.

Paradise and Craeg are unique, fully drawn characters in their own right, but if I had to draw comparisons to the original BDB series couples I’d say they are most like Marissa and Butch. It’s fitting, then, that the second storyline of Blood Kiss involves those two. Happily ever afters aren’t easy, even for a couple as in love as Butch and Marissa. It’s no spoiler to say that Butch puts Marissa on a pedestal – he always has. And though both readers and Marissa know that Butch admires, respects, and loves her strength and intelligence, by placing her in a defined category he limits their relationship. It’s natural Marissa would grow frustrated with this and with his unwillingness to talk about his life before he entered the Brothers’ world. I absolutely love that the issues Butch and Marissa face are ones that seem like a natural progression for their characters; it’s a fitting and extremely satisfying follow-up to their story in Lover Revealed.

Blood Kiss is the first book in the Black Dagger Legacy series and it’ll leave you hungry for more. Paradise and Craeg’s classmates are intriguing (I especially can’t wait to learn more about Novo) and will have me grabbing future books as soon as they’re released. The concentrated focus on the four main characters rather than worldbuilding gives the book a different feel from the later Black Dagger Brotherhood books and also helps to make this new series stand on its own. You don’t have to be current on the original series to enjoy Blood Kiss, but you should probably at least have a familiarity with the Brothers’ world before diving in (I recommend at least having read the first four BDB books, Dark Lover, Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened, and Lover Revealed).

If I talk more about the characters than the plot of Blood Kiss, it’s because (1) the characters are fantastic and (2) the story is one best uncovered on its own. Ms. Ward includes twists, turns, connections, and revelations that are far too spoiler-ish to talk about. Suffice it to say you’re in for a treat. Between the training program, romance, mystery, danger, and glimpses of some beloved characters, the book is a fast-paced page-turner. Just don’t start it late at night or you’ll be up reading into the wee hours of the morning.

It’s been more than ten years since I entered the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and Blood Kiss reminded me why I first fell in love with Ms. Ward’s writing. Her world envelops you, the characters grab your heart, and the story is one you’ll finish and love so much you’ll want to dive right back in again. I cannot recommend Blood Kiss highly enough and I am more excited than ever to see what Ms. Ward has in store for the recruits, the Brothers, and their shellans.


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.

Entangled: Scandalous New Releases

Get your highlander fix, follow the search for missing family heirlooms and meet mysterious Russian royalty in this month's new Scandalous releases.

On sale today!



The Highlander's Accidental Marriage by Callie Hutton

About the book:

Scotland, 1817

The Duke of Manchester’s sister, Lady Sarah Lacey, always abides by the rules of etiquette. Fate, however, has no such confines. On a journey to the Scottish Highlands, Lady Sarah is set upon by misfortune-leaving her without carriage or chaperone, and left to the mercy of a kind and handsome gentleman. Whom (in order to secure a room at an inn) she announces is her husband.

When she proclaims they’re married in public, Professor Braeden McKinnon can’t bring himself to correct the lovely Lady Sarah. After all, her reputation would be ruined. Nor can he tell her that her proclamation is not only legally binding in Scotland, but sharing a room is considered to be an act of consummation…

Now they are bound together until death do they part-even if Sarah has no intention of becoming anyman’s wife.

Find it online:


The Royal Conquest by Stacy Reid

About the book:


After being cruelly jilted by a lord who claimed to adore her, Miss Payton Peppiwell swore her future husband would be as ordinary as she. Now if only her family would listen to her. Then she meets Mikhail Konstantinovich, an untitled horse breeder, in a highly improper and scandalous encounter. Never had Payton expected to be so attracted to the dark, intriguing man, who seduces her to recklessness with a mere stare.

Mikhail abhors anything to do with intimacy. Yet Miss Peppiwell stirs hunger and a need long forgotten in him. But Mikhail has a dark past—one that means his lust must be sated in a way entirely unsuitable for a lady. But his biggest secret will be the hardest for Payton to overcome: Mikhail is not only titled, he’s a prince…

Find it online:


How to Bewitch an Earl by Ally Broadfield

About the book:

Edward Adair, heir to the Duke of Boulstridge, is more interested in finding a missing family heirloom than a wife. But when his parents issue an ultimatum – marry or lose your allowance – he reluctantly agrees to attend a house party to find a bride. Instead, he discovers attractive but infuriating Miss Isabella Winthrop in his library, reading the private family journal that holds clues to the location of the heirloom.

Though Isabella finds Edward haughty and arrogant, she offers to take him to the next clue mentioned in the journal if he will pay her, which will enable her to help her brother restore his estate. Edward counters with an offer of an even larger payment…if she agrees to masquerade as his betrothed to deter the other ladies until the house party ends.

As they work together to solve the mystery their mutual attraction grows, but just when they begin to think they should make their engagement real, a secret is revealed that could destroy everything.

Find it online:

Be sure to pick up your copies today!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Review: Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9780399174483
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.

They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother’s hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn't be bothering them anymore…ever. Still their lives would never be the same.

Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother's mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.

Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts…and wants.

Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack’s brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth…

Secret Sisters is part romance, part mystery, part family drama, and one hundred percent gripping entertainment. Jayne Ann Krentz knows how to hook readers and keep them on the edge of their seats, and that’s exactly what she does in this novel.

Madeline and Daphne were childhood best friends, until one fateful night when Madeline was attacked on the grounds of her grandmother’s hotel. The perpetrator died that night, but left behind information others would kill to possess. Only five people knew what really happened all those years ago, and now two of them are dead. It’s been eighteen years, but it’s clear someone wants the information Madeline’s attacker possessed, and they’re willing to kill to get it.

Now Madeline and Daphne have to return to the scene of the crime and solve an old mystery before someone takes them out. But they won’t be going alone. Madeline knows she can’t trust just anyone with the truth, so she asks for the help of her new security expert, Jack Rayner. With the help of Jack and his brother, Abe, Madeline and Daphne will unravel the secrets of one powerful, dangerous family who will do anything to stop them.

I love a good mystery and Ms. Krentz takes readers on an action-packed journey as Madeline, Jack, Daphne, and Abe dodge killers and put the puzzle pieces together. Secret Sisters has fantastic twists and turns and a compelling storyline that made it difficult to put the book down. But an exciting mystery is nothing without great characters and Ms. Krentz has delivered some great ones. Madeline and Jack are the center of the story and they’re both strong-minded, wary individuals. Jack has hard edges and a heart of gold, but his past makes him hesitant to trust people. Something about Madeline calls to him, though, and it’s easy to see why each of them couldn’t resist the other. Madeline is a tough businesswoman with a sharp mind you have to respect. She also has scars that have never been able to heal because her attack had to be kept secret, and this adds a vulnerability to her character that broke my heart. She and Jack have excellent chemistry and he complements her perfectly. Their romance was brimming with potential, but it never quite reached it because the focus of the story was more on the suspense storyline. The secondary romance between Abe and Daphne was also more in the background, which was a pity as well because these two were a lot of fun. If I had one wish for Secret Sisters, it would be that the love stories were better developed. Yet even taking this into account, I loved this book. The story is compelling, the characters fascinating, and the suspense is top-notch. Jayne Ann Krentz is a master of several genres and her talent for writing romantic suspense shines in Secret Sisters.


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, November 28, 2015

Review: Just Say Yes by Elizabeth Hayley

Just Say Yes by Elizabeth Hayley
Series: Strictly Business, Book 2
Publisher: Signet
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780451475534
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Magazine columnist Quinn Sawyer has always attracted sweet, innocent, and safe men. And something tells her it’s because she’s just as harmless. So when she starts craving a guy with an edge, she realizes she may have to get one for herself.

When her boss asks for a unique pitch, Quinn’s quest to live outside her comfort zone prompts her to suggest an idea that will cause her to break her good-girl rules. And who better than Tim Jacobs to help her push her boundaries? For a while now, Quinn’s had a hot crush on the tattooed executive chef with a checkered past. If anybody can bring out her inner rebel, he can.

It’s no surprise that as Tim and Quinn cross each task off the list she’s made for herself, the sparks between them grow more and more intense. Soon there’s no denying the attraction they each feel. But Tim’s troubled past reveals an even tougher edge than Quinn expected—which means for her, falling in love might just be the greatest rebellion of all.

The quintessential good girl decides to take a walk on the wild side in Just Say Yes. Author duo Elizabeth Hayley make Quinn’s quest to step outside of her comfort zone a fun one once our intrepid heroine is joined by her sexy, streetwise crush.

I absolutely adored Tim. He’s unusual for a hero in that he’s an addict, one who has been clean seven years. I loved that the authors didn’t simply pay lip service to Tim’s addiction, and they perfectly walked the fine line between giving this part of his character the attention it deserved and not letting it overpower the story. Tim has a big heart, but has been buried under the weight of his past. It was great watching him fully embrace life as he joined Quinn on her adventures and – apart from one painfully overused romance hero moment that seems to have been included for dramatic reasons – I was rooting for Tim the whole way. Because of his past, he doesn’t think he’s good enough for Quinn, but as he helps her complete the tasks she’s set out for herself, he finds he can’t resist her.

Quinn, unfortunately, is where Just Say Yes hit a snag for me. She came off a bit judgmental and too perfect to begin with, and though it rubbed me the wrong way, I was eager to see her grow as a character. Unfortunately, for me Quinn never lost that “too perfect to be real” quality, and though I ended up liking her well enough, I simply couldn’t connect with her. Her journey was fairly by-the-numbers, even with her learning to take risks, and I didn’t find her as interesting as Tim. Still, even with these little niggles, I found Quinn and Tim’s romance to be sweet, sensual, and fun to read about.

Just Say Yes is the second book in Elizabeth Hayley’s Strictly Business series, but as I have not read The Best Medicine I can safely say that Quinn and Tim’s story can be read on its own. Just Say Yes had its ups and downs for me, but overall I found it to be an enjoyable romance that should please contemporary romance fans.


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.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Blog Tour: Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt

I absolutely adored Elizabeth Hoyt's newest Maiden Lane story, Sweetest Scoundrel. It's sexy, unique, and a fantastic addition to one of my favorite historical romance series, which is why I'm so delighted to be a part of the Sweetest Scoundrel blog tour. My review of Sweetest Scoundrel can be found here, and if you scroll down on this post you'll find a Q&A with Elizabeth Hoyt, an excerpt from Sweetest Scoundrel, and a giveaway from Ms. Hoyt's publisher, Forever!


Q&A with Elizabeth Hoyt:

Q: Finish this sentence:
A:
My hero will always punch first, ask questions later.

Q: What scene from SWEETEST SCOUNDREL was the hardest to write?
A:
Ooo! Good question! I think it was the climatic ending. You want it to be action-y, but it has to make sense and it has to be emotional. And fast. Harder than it would seem. ;-)

Q: You’ve written both contemporary and historical romances—what are some of the unique challenges for each?
A:
Well, with contemporary, staying contemporary. I’m fifty and usually writing about people in their twenties and thirties and I’m conscious of that. With historical, making sure my twenty-first century voice doesn’t slip in to the book too much.

Q: Are there any other time periods or settings that you’d like to explore in one of your books?
A:
Oh, don’t get me started. There’s the (English) civil war and all those families turning on each other and death and treason. There’s a reason so many swashbucklers were set in that time period. But! The fashions. Men were wearing what amounted to pajama pants. Shudder. Soooo sad. Then there’s the Elizabethans. Men in tights! And being literate and able to write poetry was sexy. Think what you could do with that! Oh, and late Victorians! With all their prim manners and wealthy Americans! That would be fun.

But I think I’ll probably stay in Georgian England for the nonce. ;-)

Q: What do you hope readers can learn from SWEETEST SCOUNDREL?
A:
It’s never too late to be healed by love.


Excerpt from Sweetest Scoundrel:

“What do you see when you look at me?”

What did she see when she looked at him?

Eve inhaled, trying and failing to tear her gaze from his.

Mr. Harte sprawled across her dainty settee like a Viking marauder in a pillaged Christian church. His broad shoulders took up more than half the width, his arms lazily draped over the back. His scarlet coat was spread open, contrasting with the sedate gray-
blue of the cushions almost shockingly. One long leg was thrust straight before him, the other cocked open and resting on a booted heel. The pose made the apex of his thighs very...obvious...and even as she kept her eyes locked on his she could feel heat rising in her cheeks.
What did she see?

She saw violence and anger, kept under a control that was tenuous at best. She saw power and a strength that could hurt her—kill her—if he so chose. She saw the innate brutality that was, in larger or smaller part, in all men.

She saw her most terrible fears.

But—and this was the truly unprecedented part—she saw more in him. She saw temptation—her temptation—alluring and frightening at the same time, his virility so strong it was nearly a visible miasma in the space between them.

She wanted him. Wanted that brash gaze, those long, muscled thighs, that mocking, insulting mouth, and the shoulders that went on forever, big and brawny and so
very, very male.

This was madness—she knew that intellectually. She’d never wanted a man before—was in fact afraid of almost all men, let alone one so obviously, blatantly sexual.

She took a breath, hoping that he couldn’t read all this from her gaze—and knowing it was a lost cause already.

His heavy-lidded green eyes were far, far too perceptive.

“I see...” She paused to lick suddenly dry lips. “I see that your hairline is nearly a perfect arc across the expanse of your forehead. That your eyebrows tilt ever so slightly up at the ends and that the right has a scar through it. I see that when you are solemn, the outer edges of your lips reach just to the midpoint of your eyes, but when you smile, they go beyond the corners. I see that your chin and jaw are almost in classical proportion and that a small white scar forms a comma on your chin just to the right of center.” She finally glanced away from him, breathing heavily, certain that she’d not thrown him off the track with her artist’s eye’s impressions. She inhaled again and ended, “I see every line of your face, every line’s intersection and how they relate. That is what I see when I look at you.”

“And is that all you see? Lines?” His voice was deep and amused.

She chanced a peek.

He still watched her, his gaze utterly unperturbed by her observations about his countenance.

No, she’d not fooled him at all.

She licked her lips again, buying time. “I see,” she said carefully, cautiously, “a very self-possessed man.”

Self-possessed,” he drawled. “I’m not sure what that means, frankly. It sounds, just a bit, like a coward’s answer.”

Her gaze flew to his, outraged.

But before she could take him down a peg, he chuckled softly. “Tell me, Miss Dinwoody, would you like to know what I see when I look at you?”

She shouldn’t. She really, really shouldn’t.

“Yes,” she blurted, and then winced because she knew well enough what men thought when they looked at her: ordinary, if they were charitable. Plain if they were not.

She braced herself for mockery, but when she glanced again at him, his gaze was hot and hard. Certainly not gentle. Certainly not kind. But he wasn’t dismissing her, either.

He looked at her as if they were equals. As if he really saw her, a woman to his man.

“I see,” he said, his deep voice musing, “a woman afraid, but fighting her fears. A woman who carries herself like a queen. A woman who could rule us all, I suspect.”

She gazed at him, her breath caught in her throat, afraid to exhale and break the spell.

A corner of that wicked mouth tilted up. “And I see a woman who has a deep curiosity. Who wants to feel but is worried—of herself? Of others?” He shook his head. “I’m not sure.” He leaned forward slowly, destroying his pose, and she had to fight herself not to scoot her chair away from him. “But I think she has a fire banked within her. Maybe it’s only embers now, glowing in the dark, but if tinder were to be put to those embers...” He grinned slowly. Dangerously. “Oh, what a conflagration that would be.”


About Sweetest Scoundrel:

SHE’S TAKING CHARGE
Prim, proper, and thrifty, Eve Dinwoody is all business when it comes to protecting her brother’s investment. But when she agrees to control the purse strings of London’s premier pleasure garden, Harte’s Folly, she finds herself butting heads with an infuriating scoundrel who can’t be controlled.

HE’S RUNNING THE SHOW
Bawdy and bold, Asa Makepeace doesn’t have time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. As the garden’s larger-than-life owner, he’s already dealing with self-centered sopranos and temperamental tenors. He's not about to let an aristocratic woman boss him around…no matter how enticing she is.

BUT LOVE CONQUERS ALL
In spite of her lack of theatrical experience – and her fiery clashes with Asa – Eve is determined to turn Harte’s Folly into a smashing success. But the harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charm and raw magnetism. There’s no denying the smoldering fire between them – and trying to put it out would be the greatest folly of all…

My Review | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BAM! | iTunes | Google Play


About Elizabeth Hoyt:

Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing "mesmerizing." She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Find Elizabeth Hoyt on the Web: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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Monday, November 23, 2015

Review: How to Bewitch an Earl by Ally Broadfield

How to Bewitch an Earl by Ally Broadfield
Series: How To, Book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781633755239
Release Date: November 30, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

He never expected the clues to lead to her…

Edward Adair, heir to the Duke of Boulstridge, is more interested in finding a missing family heirloom than a wife. But when his parents issue an ultimatum – marry or lose your allowance – he reluctantly agrees to attend a house party to find a bride. Instead, he discovers attractive but infuriating Miss Isabella Winthrop in his library, reading the private family journal that holds clues to the location of the heirloom.

Though Isabella finds Edward haughty and arrogant, she offers to take him to the next clue mentioned in the journal if he will pay her, which will enable her to help her brother restore his estate. Edward counters with an offer of an even larger payment…if she agrees to masquerade as his betrothed to deter the other ladies until the house party ends.

As they work together to solve the mystery their mutual attraction grows, but just when they begin to think they should make their engagement real, a secret is revealed that could destroy everything.

How to Bewitch an Earl is an entertaining, fast-paced romance. I’m a sucker for a story with a treasure hunt (especially if diamonds are involved) and author Ally Broadfield made the search for the missing tiara a fun one. Add in some highly entertaining secondary characters, secrets, and a romance and it’s no wonder I had a hard time putting How to Bewitch an Earl down.

Edward has wanted to find the missing family tiara ever since he was a child. He’s obsessed with finding it, and since his father is reluctant to give up any control over the family estates, Edward focuses wholly on the tiara and being the frivolous heir. His parents have finally had enough and have decided it’s time for him to settle down, but at the house party they arrange it’s not a simpering debutante who catches Edward’s eye, but the secretive Isabella Winthrop. Isa is hiding her aristocratic heritage and acting as a companion so that she may help her brother pull the family estate out of debt. All she wants is to blend into the background, but sparks fly when she meets Edward. Attraction and temper combined makes for a rocky start to Isa and Edward’s relationship, but their feelings take a turn when Isa begins to help Edward on his quest for the tiara.

It’s easy to like Isa. She’s not perfect, but she has a good heart and is a bright, likeable heroine. Edward is where the story hits a snag for me. I wanted to like him so badly, but he’s unquestionably spoiled. It’s logical for him to be that way given the time period, but I had hoped to see him grow as a character over the course of the story. To me, Edward never really matured, only being the hero he should be when things went his way. For me this was a problem that keeps me from rating the story higher. That being said, I cannot deny I was drawn into the story, even with my reservations about the hero.

How to Bewitch an Earl is the second book in Ms. Broadfield’s How To series, but you don’t have to have read How to Beguile a Duke in order to enjoy Edward and Isa’s story. That being said, part of the fun of the book for me was revisiting Nick and Catherine (Edward’s parents and the hero and heroine of the first book). I think I liked them even more in this story than their own and it was lovely seeing how they have and have not changed over the years. How to Bewitch an Earl also introduces Edward’s sister Louisa, and I absolutely adored her. I desperately hope Ms. Broadfield writes a book for her and the man I hope will be her hero. The Adair family is unique and a lot of fun to read about, and I hope to see more of them in the future.


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, November 22, 2015

Review: How to Seduce a Scot by Christy English

How to Seduce a Scot by Christy English
Series: Broadswords and Ballrooms, Book 1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781492612872
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

He's the terror of the ton…

The plan is simple:
1. Descend from the Highlands to face the aggravation of a London Season;
2. Foist his wild sister off on some gullible English lord;
3. Retreat before the ladies of the scandalized ton can get any ideas.


Determined to see his hellion of a sister wed, Highlander Alexander Waters is willing to face anything-even the English. He just didn't expect his own rough manners to cause such a riot...or for a blooming English rose to catch his eye.

Gently bred Catherine Middlebrook must find a respectable man to marry or her family will be ruined. She won’t allow herself to be distracted by Highland barbarians…no matter how her body may thrill whenever Alex is near.

Catherine wasn't part of the plan, but as their battle of wills escalates, Alex comes to realize this “proper” English girl is as wild as the Highlands themselves…and nothing will stop him from having her.

How to Seduce a Scot is a sweet romance from beginning to end. Christy English’s first Broadswords and Ballrooms book is filled with nice, likeable characters, but the overall story may have been better served if it were novella-length.

Alexander Waters is a proud Scotsman who yearns to be at sea…or in the Highlands…or pretty much anywhere but a London ballroom. But he’s promised his mother he’d see his wild sister married to an Englishman, so Alex is stuck among the foppish members of the ton until Mary Elizabeth finds a husband. The last thing Alex expects is to fall in love at first sight when he spies Mary Elizabeth talking to an angel, better known as the very proper Catherine Middlebrook. Catherine is gentle, sweet, and perfect – everything Alex didn’t know he wanted. But he’s determined to return to sea and is not ready to take a wife. For her part, Catherine needs to marry – fast. In the wake of her father’s death and her mother’s uncontrollable spending, Catherine knows she needs to marry a wealthy man who will take care of her family before they lose everything. She can’t afford to be tempted by her new friend’s brother, especially since he makes it clear he has no plans to wed. Only putting Alex out of her mind is impossible when the man seems to be everywhere she looks...

Aside from the hero and heroine’s stubbornness leading to a number of push-pull situations, there are very few obstacles in How to Seduce a Scot. Alex and Catherine fall in love in a heartbeat, but their romance is slow to build because they both have a picture in their head of their futures and neither of them planned for a sudden tumble into love. I liked Alex and Catherine, but she was a bit too perfect and he was a bit too indecisive, and both of them were overshadowed by the more energetic personalities around them. And as much as I wanted to be swept away by their love story, I never was. There wasn’t enough “meat” to the plot or the characters (neither of whom really changed over the course of the story) to keep the book moving at a decent pace, which is why I think the story may have been better served being trimmed down to novella size.

How to Seduce a Scot isn’t the most memorable story, but it’s light, sweet, and enjoyable. I finished Catherine and Alex’s story wishing it had a bit more depth to it, but at the same time I liked it well enough to be looking forward to the next Broadswords and Ballrooms book, How to Wed a Warrior.


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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Review: Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt

Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane, Book 9
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781455586363
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elizabeth Hoyt Reading Order

SHE’S TAKING CHARGE
Prim, proper, and thrifty, Eve Dinwoody is all business when it comes to protecting her brother’s investment. But when she agrees to control the purse strings of London’s premier pleasure garden, Harte’s Folly, she finds herself butting heads with an infuriating scoundrel who can’t be controlled.

HE’S RUNNING THE SHOW
Bawdy and bold, Asa Makepeace doesn’t have time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. As the garden’s larger-than-life owner, he’s already dealing with self-centered sopranos and temperamental tenors. He's not about to let an aristocratic woman boss him around…no matter how enticing she is.

BUT LOVE CONQUERS ALL
In spite of her lack of theatrical experience – and her fiery clashes with Asa – Eve is determined to turn Harte’s Folly into a smashing success. But the harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charm and raw magnetism. There’s no denying the smoldering fire between them – and trying to put it out would be the greatest folly of all…

I don’t know how she does it, but Elizabeth Hoyt always manages to deliver a wonderfully unique romance and Sweetest Scoundrel is no exception. Asa and Eve are unusual historical romance protagonists, and their love story is bold, engaging, and utterly addictive.

Asa is an earthy hero, one possessing a raw sensuality that I could not resist. He’s smart, impatient, and married to his work. Yet as we peel back the layers, it’s clear that Asa is also surprisingly sweet and understanding. He’s strong, flawed, and compelling, and it takes an equally strong heroine to simply catch his attention, never mind match him. Luckily for readers, Eve meets him on every level. From the start it’s clear she’s just as smart as Asa and a hundred times more organized, and she complements him on every level. Eve also has an inner fire that has been banked by paralyzing fear that stems from a traumatic event in her childhood. She and Asa may seem to be an unlikely pair to begin with – the untamed lion and the caged dove, if you will – but their highly entertaining back-and-forth is only the beginning of the attraction. Both Asa and Eve have great capacities for love, but they’re lonelier than even they know. Each is the catalyst for the other’s change and I loved that they not only developed individually, but as a couple. Their romance is slow to build, but it simmers with utterly delicious sexual tension.

Asa and Eve are the heart and soul of Sweetest Scoundrel and the two of them alone could keep me reading late into the night. However, there are a couple other plotlines that weave fairly seamlessly into the romance. The first is the mystery of who is trying to undermine the restoration and reopening of Harte’s Folly and why. The second involves Maiden Lane series scene-stealer, Montgomery. We get to see the crafty, sometimes-villainous duke from Eve’s perspective, and I really enjoyed learning more about him. There are quite a few scenes in Sweetest Scoundrel involving Montgomery’s future heroine, and the teases for the next book have me on the edge of my seat as I wait for Montgomery to meet his match.

Sweetest Scoundrel is the ninth Maiden Lane book, but Ms. Hoyt provides enough information for the book to be read as a standalone (if you don’t mind a few spoilers from the eighth book, Dearest Rogue). The story isn’t flawless – the ending felt a bit rushed – but Sweetest Scoundrel is an excellent addition to a stellar series. I absolutely loved Asa and Eve together and I cannot wait for the next Maiden Lane book, Duke of Sin!


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, November 12, 2015

Review: A Mackenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer Ashley

A Mackenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 8.5
Publisher: InterMix
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781101615959
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jennifer Ashley Reading Order

Ian Mackenzie is awakened at Kilmorgan Castle one night to find robbers stealing the priceless art collection of his oldest brother, Hart. Since Ian and Beth are the only ones in resident at Kilmorgan at the moment, Ian decides he must find the art and the culprits before the family shows up for Hart’s birthday gathering. With Inspector Fellows and Beth, he investigates, though Ian is somewhat worried by Beth’s late husband’s brother, a retired missionary, who decides to visit. Does John Ackerley hold the “cure” to Ian’s madness? And can Ian discover what has happened to Hart’s treasures, and who is targeting the Mackenzies before the enemy strikes again?

Return to Kilmorgan Castle to visit the Victorian branch of the Mackenzie family, and catch up on the brothers and friends, their children, and their lives.

A Mackenzie Clan Gathering is a beautiful story brimming with emotion. Fans of Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzies & McBrides series won’t want to miss this story, for it’s sure to make you fall in love with the Mackenzies all over again.

Ian, Beth, and their children are the only Mackenzies in residence at Kilmorgan when thieves break in, stealing a good portion of the duke’s art collection. Ian is determined to track the culprits before the rest of his family shows up, but he’s sidetracked by the arrival of Beth’s late husband’s brother, a man who claims he can cure Ian of his “madness.” Ian and Beth are two of my all-time favorite characters, and in A Mackenzie Clan Gathering we get to see how they’ve grown over the years they’ve been married. Their bond is stronger than ever, but when Ian is tempted with the possibility of being “cured,” it just about broke my heart, especially because he wants to do so for Beth’s sake. Of course, we know two things: (1) Beth loves him just the way he is and (2) Ian isn’t mad, he has Asperger’s (decades before anyone knows what that is). What follows I’ll leave readers to discover, but I will say that we get to see more interesting things about the Mackenzie family. Most importantly, Ms. Ashley touched my emotions showing the deep bonds of love – romantic and familial – among the Mackenzie clan.

The investigation into who is behind the art theft takes some interesting turns, tying into the series in an unexpected way. And though A Mackenzie Clan Gathering is primarily Ian and Beth’s story, other family members do get their moments to shine (I’ll never get tired of seeing Hart with Ian). If you’re new to the series, don’t worry – you’ll still be able to follow along. But truly, this story is probably best enjoyed if you’re already invested in the Mackenzie & McBrides series. I absolutely loved revisiting Ian and Beth and I hope Ms. Ashley continues to gift readers with more glimpses into what happens after happily ever after for the Mackenzie clan.


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.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: Unnatural by Joanna Chambers

Unnatural by Joanna Chambers
Series: Enlightenment, Book 4
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: M/M Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781619232396
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Captain Iain Sinclair. Perfect son, perfect soldier, hero of Waterloo. A man living a lie. The only person who really knows him is his childhood friend, scientist James Hart. But they’ve been estranged since Iain brutally destroyed their friendship following a passionate encounter.

Iain is poised to leave the King’s service to become an undercover agent in India. Before he leaves his old life behind, he’s determined to reconcile with James. An invitation to a country house party from James’s sister provides the perfect opportunity to pin the man down.

James has loved Iain all his life, but his years of accepting crumbs from Iain’s table are over. Forgiving Iain is one thing—restoring their friendship is quite another.

In the face of James’s determined resistance, Iain is forced to confront his reasons for mending the wounds between them. And accept the possibility that James holds the key to his heart’s desire—if only he has the courage to reach for it.

Warning: Contains a dashing military hero with one weakness—a scientist who feels their chemistry in every cell of his body. Kissing in the rain, skinny dipping, and emotional flashbacks. Huzzah!

Unnatural is a fantastic mix of sweetness and angst! I’m a sucker for a good friends-to-lovers story and Joanna Chambers has delivered a great one in this utterly addictive tale.

Unnatural is a character-driven story, so it’s fortunate that Ms. Chambers has written two excellent heroes. James is a naturalist, a welcome change from the usual Regency-era hero. I absolutely adored him. His open, honest, and loving nature, his unwillingness to consider his attraction to men “unnatural” just because society says it is makes him impossible to resist. James wears his heart on his sleeve for much of the book, and I loved that about him, though given the time period that very openness could put him in a lot of danger. Iain, on the other hand, is very aware of society – and his father’s – opinion on gay men. Iain has been raised to know nothing but fear, duty, and disappointment. James is the bright spot in his life and Iain is unwilling to lose that friendship by giving into his desire for the person he cares about the most. Because of his conflicted feelings, Iain does make a lot of mistakes with James, pushing him away, but always coming back. Normally that much push-pull would annoy me, but Ms. Chambers does such a great job of showing why Iain acts the way he does that I could see why James forgave him – to a point. It’s no spoiler to say that in the present James has had enough and won’t settle for less than he deserves. Whether or not Iain can give him that is something I’ll leave readers to discover, but I will say that I was practically glued to the story, rooting for James and Iain to get the happily ever after they deserved.

The story is structured so that readers go back and forth (with the dates clearly marked) between James and Iain’s past and present, starting with their initial meeting as children. Watching their relationship develop from friendship to something infinitely more complex, seeing the pleasure, fear, hope, mistakes, and pain unfold makes the story all the more powerful. Their present – the part where we hope to see Iain and James get their happily ever after – relies heavily on their history, so while I’m not normally a fan of constant back-and-forth, it really worked for this book (though I do wish we got a bit more time in their present).

Unnatural is part of Ms. Chambers’s Enlightenment series, and since I haven’t read the first three books (David and Murdo’s romance) I can safely say that this story can be read as a standalone. David and Murdo do appear, which should please fans of the series, and after seeing them in Unnatural I definitely want to read their books. But I’m even more interested in seeing the intriguing Kit Redford again, so I hope Ms. Chambers has more Enlightenment stories planned. If you enjoy historical romances with sweet, likeable heroes, heartbreak, and steamy second chances, then you won’t want to miss Iain and James’s book.


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, November 9, 2015

Blog Tour: Designed for Murder by Avery Flynn

Some fashion statements can kill...



Bestselling author, Avery Flynn, is back with a new Killer Style release. Be sure to pick up your copy today!


About Designed for Murder:

Mika Ito combines her two favorite things in life–textile design and live-action role-playing (LARP)–by creating costumes for her fellow Magic Battledome gamers. Lately, someone’s been assaulting LARPers and stealing their costumes. Concerned for the safety of her friends, Mika hires Maltese Security…only to discover that the lead investigator is the super-hot stranger she just hooked up with.



Carlos Castillo is all too familiar with Magic Battledome. A former legend in role-playing circles, he was all about gaming, until things went very, very wrong for him. Now he’s forced to return to the game undercover–as Mika’s boyfriend–to find some answers. Only playing “boyfriend” with his gorgeous one-night stand is more temptation than a guy can withstand…



Someone wants the costumes enough to kill for them. And when it comes to murder, nothing is what it seems…


Find it online:


And don't miss the other Killer Style titles!



Find Avery Flynn online:

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: Designed for Murder by Avery Flynn

Designed for Murder by Avery Flynn
Series: Killer Style, Book 4
Publisher: Entangled: Ignite
Genre: Romantic Suspense Designed for Murder Cover
ISBN: 9781633754348
Release Date: November 9, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Some fashion statements can kill…

Mika Ito combines her two favorite things in life—textile design and live-action role-playing (LARP)—by creating costumes for her fellow Magic Battledome gamers. Lately, someone's been assaulting LARPers and stealing their costumes. Concerned for the safety of her friends, Mika hires Maltese Security…only to discover that the lead investigator is the super-hot stranger she just hooked up with.

Carlos Castillo is all too familiar with Magic Battledome. A former legend in role-playing circles, he was all about gaming, until things went very, very wrong for him. Now he's forced to return to the game undercover—as Mika's boyfriend—to find some answers. Only playing “boyfriend” with his gorgeous one-night stand is more temptation than a guy can withstand…

Someone wants the costumes enough to kill for them. And when it comes to murder, nothing is what it seems…

Designed for Murder is a fast-paced and sexy story with a healthy dose of geekery thrown in for added fun. Avery Flynn’s fourth Killer Style novel brings very real intrigue to the world of live-action role-playing (LARP) and watching danger and fantasy collide is incredibly entertaining, especially when those things are coupled with a seriously hot romance.

Mika is a knockout heroine – one who’s confident, straightforward, and hardworking. Her love of textile design and LARP makes her a unique heroine and she flat-out charmed the socks off me. Carlos, in turn, is a geek who has turned his back on gaming after trusting the wrong person almost got his friends killed. Since then, Carlos has done everything possible to distance himself from the gamer he once was. Only Mika’s case drags him right back to where he didn’t want to be, and Carlos has to face his demons if he hopes to keep Mika safe. Both Mika and Carlos have tragedies in their past that have scarred them, and it’s not easy for them to fully move forward, causing problems in their burgeoning relationship. But every obstacle in their path is worth overcoming, because it’s clear Mika and Carlos fit on every level.

Mika and Carlos’s romance makes the pages of Designed for Murder fly by, but the mystery of who is attacking LARPers and why rounds out the book and the added suspense is great. The only thing that kept this from being a perfect read is that Mika and Carlos both made some choices near the end that felt forced; or rather they were poor decisions that seem to have been made for plot point reasons. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed Designed for Murder, thanks in no small part to Carlos and Mika’s nerdy, sexy appeal. I haven’t read the rest of the Killer Style series, but I definitely will now!


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.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Blog Tour: Unsung by Shannon Richard

Unsung Blog Tour

With an endearing heroine, a too sexy for words hero who is head over heels in love with her, and a spicy romance, it’s no surprise that I absolutely loved Shannon Richard’s Unsung. I had the pleasure of reviewing Unsung (you can read my review here) and I’m thrilled to be a part of the launch day blitz. Scroll down for more information and an excerpt from Unsung, the fifth book in Ms. Richard’s Country Roads series!

Excerpt from Unsung:

Unsung Cover“Forget this?”

Her purse flew into the air, hitting the floor with a thud. She clutched her chest and spun around. Liam was leaning back against the counter, her bra dangling from his forefinger, swaying just slightly in the air.

Okay, yes it was true that she’d gotten to see his body up close and personal the night before, but there was something to be said about seeing it in the daylight. Actually there was a lot to be said about it. She just couldn’t do that much talking as her brain had temporarily short-circuited.

He was wearing nothing more than a pair of black boxer briefs and a smile, his washboard abs giving her the strangest urge to do laundry. She looked like death warmed over and he looked…well, glorious.

“Your bra wasn’t the only thing that you forgot either. I don’t get a goodbye, Harper?”

“I figured it would be better,” she said as she reached up and attempted to smooth her hair. She had no doubts that she did not succeed.

He leaned back against the counter and folded his arms across his chest, her bra now hanging at his side. “Better for whom?” His mouth quirked to the side, making him look infinitely sexier.

The jerk.

“Look, we don’t have to do this whole awkward morning after thing,” she said making a gesture between the two of them.

“Perfect.” He nodded his head as he reached up and scratched his beard, the sound of his nails on his scruff reached her ears from across the room. He used the hand that was still holding her bra and it swayed with the motion, taunting her like a freaking red flag…even though it was navy blue.

“Then I’ll just get going.” She took her eyes off of him, so not an easy thing to do, and went to grab her purse on the floor.

“Why?”

“What?” Her head came up and she straightened.

“Why are you leaving?”

“I thought we just established this.”

“No, we established not having the awkward morning after thing. We never established you leaving,” he said shaking his head.

“Do you plan on making this as uncomfortable as possible?”

“I was thinking about it. But if you head out that door I think you’ll make yourself plenty uncomfortable all on your own.”

“Meaning?”

“How were you planning on getting back to the bar?”

Well, that had her coming up short. “I hadn’t really thought that out.” She hadn’t really thought anything out as was evident by her current predicament.

“It’s three miles to the main road, and another five to the Secondhand Guitar. And as you don’t know where you are I would imagine it would be difficult to call a cab. Also I don’t think you’d get far walking on those shoes of yours before your feet started to kill you.”

“Well, isn’t this the perfect setting for a horror movie.”

A laugh escaped his mouth and he shook his head. “I was actually going for the perfect setting for a romantic comedy. Boy meets girl, boy takes girl home and gives her multiple orgasms, boy makes girl breakfast the following morning.”

Okay, she was going to ignore the romantic comedy comment. “Look Liam, last night wasn’t something that I’ve ever done before. I’m not the kind of girl who goes home with men I just met.”

Unsung CoverHe tilted his head to the side and his grin somehow widened. “See, we have something in common. I don’t go home with men I just met either.”

The corner of her lip twitched despite herself.

“It this something you do for all of the girls you have one-night stands with?” The question was out of her mouth before she thought better of it and she inwardly cringed at her words. She was that girl. The one-night stand girl.

His head straightened and he studied her for a second, the humor in his eyes gone. “First of all, I’ve never made breakfast for any girl that I’ve brought home. And second, I wouldn’t classify you as a one-night stand.”

His words had her coming up short again. She couldn’t get her brain to connect with her mouth to say anything.

“Let me cook for you, Harper. Then I’ll take you wherever you want to go.”

It was on the tip of her tongue to say no, to ask that he just drive her back now. She wasn’t sure what it was, the fact that he hadn’t called her a one-night stand or the intensity in his gaze, because the word “okay” slipped past her lips. And judging by the look on his face, she wasn’t the only one shocked by it.

“Good.” He pushed himself off the counter and crossed the space to her, reaching out to hand her the bra when he was close enough. When she grabbed it he didn’t let go. His green-gold eyes focused on hers as his free hand slipped around her waist and he moved in closer. “I’m going to kiss you now.”

He hesitated for just a moment, giving her a second to object…but just like the night before she found herself objectionless. She couldn’t think straight around this man, not when he was speaking, or looking at her, or breathing in her general direction. And now he had his hand on her, his mouth just inches from hers.

She gave a small nod before he lowered his head. His lips gently brushed hers and his fingers tightened at her hip bringing her flush against his body. She couldn’t stop herself from sighing in pleasure and the second her mouth was open he took full advantage, dipping his tongue inside. She wasn’t the only one who’d taken a moment to freshen their breath either and he tasted so damn good.

And just like that her palms were flat on his chest, like they had a mind of their own. Yup, her ability to think straight was obliterated when he was around…but maybe thinking straight was entirely overrated.



About Unsung:

Unsung CoverOne Night in Nashville

Harper Laurence has been jilted on her way to the altar. Desperate for some time away from her friends and family, Harper takes off for Nashville-only to meet a hot, scruffy, tattooed stranger. A man she liked a little too much, and who left her the teeniest bit…well, pregnant.

Liam James is an up-and-coming country musician, who just found his muse. Ever since their weekend together, Liam hasn't been able to forget the curvy, vivacious woman who left him wanting more, even as she inspired some of the greatest songs he's ever written. He's determined to convince Harper that he's the guy for her…and that the best love songs can never be unsung.

My Review | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BAM! | iTunes | Google Play



About Shannon Richard:

Shannon Richard
Shannon Richard grew up in the Florida Panhandle as the baby sister of two overly protective but loving brothers. She was raised by a more than somewhat eccentric mother, a self-proclaimed vocabularist who showed her how to get lost in a book and a father who passed on his love for coffee and really loud music. She graduated from Florida State University with a BA in English Literature and still lives in Tallahassee where she battles everyday life with writing, reading, and a rant every once in a while. Okay, so the rants might happen on a regular basis. She’s still waiting for her Southern, scruffy, Mr. Darcy, and in the meantime writes love stories to indulge her overactive imagination. Oh, and she’s a pretty big fan of the whimsy.

Find Shannon Richard on the Web: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Monday, November 2, 2015

Review: Kissing Her Crush by Ophelia London

Kissing Her Crush by Ophelia London
Series: Sugar City, Book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Bliss
Genre: Contemporary Romance Kissing Her Crush Cover
ISBN: 9781633754850
Release Date: November 9, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

He’s sweet trouble…

Natalie Holden wants three things: To be the best chocolate chemist in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to prove her chocolate recipe can help teenage depression, and to get over gorgeous Luke Elliott, the guy she’s had a crush on since birth. Unfortunately, he’s the microbiologist set to debunk her chocolate study. And, of course, he looks more delicious than ever!

Luke Elliott is still bitter over his divorce. Work is his passion now, and landing a huge promotion is just what he needs. What he doesn’t need is a crackpot trying to prove that chocolate cures depression. The last thing he expects is for the crackpot to be Natalie Holden—his “what if” girl from high school—or that she’d still tempt the hell out of him.

They may not see eye-to-eye on her project, but they can’t deny the explosive chemistry that keeps pulling them together. Even when it risks their jobs and the very different futures they both want…

Kissing Her Crush is sweet as can be, which is no surprise since there’s plenty of chocolate involved. Ophelia London’s second Sugar City story is a fast-paced, enjoyable crushes-to-lovers story.

Natalie Holden is a scientist for Hershey who has finally succeeded in getting lab space for her pilot trial. She’s determined to prove that a specific type of cocoa, when combined with a rare Amazonian root, can safely help teenagers with depression. The only problem? Her high school crush, Luke Elliott, is a microbiologist who has been sent by the NIH to proctor her project. There’s instant attraction when Natalie and Luke meet again, but not only do their jobs mean they can’t get involved, Luke – a health nut – happens to think Natalie’s theory is bogus. What could be a recipe for disaster instead turns into a sweet, fun love story. Luke and Natalie are a cute couple, but they have to overcome professional differences and Luke’s issues (that come courtesy of his ex-wife) if they hope to get their happily ever after.

Natalie and Luke are likeable characters and thus their romance is enjoyable. What keeps me from rating Kissing Her Crush higher is that the romance isn’t very memorable. I was far more taken with Natalie and Luke’s jobs than I was with their love story. Ms. Landon made their work sound utterly fascinating and I could have happily shelved the romance in favor of seeing more of their careers. I was also quite taken by Natalie’s relationship with her family, specifically her brother, the reason she is so dedicated to her work. In short, pretty much everything about the book stayed with me except the love story. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if Kissing Her Crush wasn’t a romance. Perhaps with a bit more development and a bit less predictability the love story could have been taken to the next level. Still, as it stands Kissing Her Crush has a lot to offer and I would definitely read more of Ms. London’s work.


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.

Fall into Biss News and Giveaway


Bliss has a new look and to celebrate we are having a huge sale plus an amazing week full of Blissful events. Join us and fill your e-reader with these fun and flirty romances for just $.99 each!

PLUS...

Join us for a fun line up of events where you can chat with Bliss authors and other readers, kick back with an #EPMovieNight and more. See the list of events below here:

11/2 to 11/6 - Join Bliss authors for tips on avoiding the Black Friday madness, holiday recipes and more over at Entangled in Romance.

11/2 to 11/6 - Bliss author Facebook page takeover. Each day a different Bliss author will be taking over the Bliss Books Fan page. Ask those questions you’ve been dying to ask an author, chat with the group and get peeks inside to find your next fun and flirty romantic read.

Tuesday, 11/3 at 8pm ET - Kick back, relax, and join Entangled for an #EPMovieNight. Follow @entangledpub and the #EPMovieNight hashtag and chat with us as we watch The Wedding Singer together. It’s available for streaming on Netflix. We will also be giving away several prizes throughout the movie to lucky chat participants!

Thursday, 11/5 from 8pm to 10pm ET - Fall into Bliss Facebook party. Join Bliss authors, readers and the Bliss team for a night of fun, treats and giveaways.



We hope you can join us for one or more of the events!



Check out all the Bliss books on sale here.



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