Thursday, July 19, 2018

Surrender Release Blitz & Giveaway





Blurb

One night of complete surrender is all it takes.

Gareth Harris is Manchester United’s reclusive star defender. He has control over all aspects of his life. But a lifetime of supporting his siblings and filling in for an emotionally absent father has taken its toll.

Sloan Montgomery is a clothing stylist whose world was turned upside down when she found herself pregnant and moving to Manchester with a man who was never supposed to be her forever. Now recently divorced and struggling with shared custody of her daughter, control is a fleeting concept for this American living in England.

Both Gareth and Sloan are in need of a release.

A moment in time where they can forget about their pasts and family pressures...and just...

…surrender.

No one could predict what happens when both of their defences are down.

Surrender is part one of The Final Harris Brother Duet and concludes with Dominate. The Final Harris Brother Duet reads great as a duo, but to maximize enjoyment, check out the first three brothers’ books in Challenge, Endurance, and Keeper. 


ADD TO GOODREADS





Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited


ALSO AVAILABLE IN AUDIO






Also Available


Book #1, Challenge, is FREE for a very limited time!

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Always free in Kindle Unlimited







Coming Soon


Releasing August 2, 2018

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU






Author Bio


Amy Daws is an Amazon Top 25 bestselling author of sexy, contemporary romance novels. She enjoys writing love stories that take place in America, as well as across the pond in England; especially about those footy-playing Harris Brothers of hers. When Amy is not writing in a tire shop waiting room, she’s watching Gilmore Girls, or singing karaoke in the living room with her daughter while Daddy smiles awkwardly from a distance. For more of Amy's work, visit: http://www.amydawsauthor.com



Author Links





Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Review


* * * * 3/4


I think with each Harris Brother I meet I love the latest one more than the previous one. Gareth, the eldest brother is no exception. It's hard not to fall for them. They're hot, they're athletic, they're funny, they're cocky without taking it too far, and when they fall for a woman, they fall hard. 

All along Gareth has been the quiet, stoic brother in the background, not really offering much by way of conversation. He has been the mystery holding the family secrets since his siblings are too young to remember much of their early years. He's the fixer. He takes care of things but even someone who seemingly has it all together needs a break from himself and he finds some solace in Sloan's company. Where Gareth wants to let go of the reins, she wants to take them up because being in control means that she hasn't completely failed at life despite the disintegration of her divorce. They agree upon a mutually beneficial arrangement that works for a bit before lines start getting blurred.

I like how Daws introduces Sloan to the series. Having her be American and unfamiliar with English football, and in particular the legendary Harris Brothers is a nice change up. Having her be immune to Gareth's fame -- even better! It's not like he's an attention-seeking footballer like his brothers, but that she doesn't fawn over him does get under his skin and in a good way. It makes for a different dynamic which I enjoyed. Sloan on the other hand is in a state of flux due to her divorce. The only time she isn't agitated is in the bedroom with Gareth and she's in charge. Otherwise, she's a mess of emotions and insecurities which is completely valid. Regrettably, she also blows hot and cold so frequently with Gareth that he doesn't know where he stands. I sympathized with Sloan for the most part but she made me so batty in these moments.

Daws has their relationship evolving over an extended period of time and we see them progress from their first meeting to their first sexy time to more sexy time. I noticed the little details Daws included here with regards to their body language and sensations and that had me swooning. Simple things like a kiss on the neck or a touch or even a thought; the way they're described suits Gareth and Sloan perfectly and shows that while they may keep calling it an "arrangement", there's still a level of intimacy that makes their connection sexy and perhaps a little overwhelming for them both. 

There's so much more I want to say but that would mean spoilers so trust me when I say that you should pick up Surrender now and devour it! Surrender is slightly heavier in tone due to Gareth's childhood history and the grief he still carries, all of which is addressed here. It does give us a better picture of the family dynamic as a whole. And of course, the siblings are in it being as ridiculously lovable and obnoxious at the same time. It's just shy of 5 stars because I haven't quite figured out Sloan and I hope to see her break free of what's holding her back. I don't doubt that Daws has more amazing and surprising things to come for Sloan and Gareth in Dominate coming next month!

~ Bel


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

* * * * 1/2

Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?


Source: advance e-galley provided in exchange for an honest review

If you've read any of Hoover's previous books then you're no stranger to her emotionally-charged stories. All Your Perfects is no exception as we watch a couple at the blissful start of their relationship and at their worst when their marriage is failing. Welcome to Hoover's World, folks! She'll reel you in and then rip your heart out, shred it and even run over it for good measure. I LOVE HER!

Quinn and Graham meet on the worst day of their lives - finding out their significant others are cheating on them with each other. They walk away from that disastrous day but run into each other again a few months down the road. They begin this bizarre courtship that works for them and honestly, it's freaking cute. Those are the happy parts. Hoover alternates their before and after stories, and it's dysfunction and devastation in the after. Disconnected, unaffectionate and distant - this part was not pleasant to read and frankly made me frightened for where things were headed. 

All marriages have their ups and downs and sometimes it's hard to love in our worst possible moments. The story is told entirely from Quinn's point of view which for me was a challenge because you're stuck in her head where she's a depressed, closed off from her husband. I desperately wanted to feel things from Graham's point of view as well but much like Quinn, I was isolated from him. The big question in All Your Perfects is can you love someone when they're different from the person you fell in love with in the first place? A lot of their marital troubles stem from Quinn's insecurities and she is exceptionally hard on herself. There are possible triggers and to avoid giving away the plot I've added them to the labels of this post. I will say that this story did feel more personal to me as I have experienced a little of what Quinn was experiencing though not to that extent. But I understood where she was coming from and it is a hard place and once you go down that rabbit hole, you're kind of stuck there. 

I like Colleen Hoover because she challenges me. She doesn't always assure me that everyone will get their HEA, heck sometimes she even leaves me hanging, but I love that I don't know what to expect from her. Sure, my heart might get wrung out but I want those feels and I'm always guaranteed that with her. The only thing holding me back from giving it 5 stars is that I would've liked a small glimpse of Graham's POV throughout their unhappy period, and I realize that's just my personal preference. Otherwise, All Your Perfects is real and honest, and once again Hoover captures perfectly the commitments we take on and the complexities of love.

~ Bel


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


COLLEEN HOOVER is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Maybe Not, Ugly Love, Confess, November 9, It Ends with Us, and Without Merit. Colleen has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three times—for Confess in 2015, It Ends with Us in 2016, andWithout Merit in 2017. Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit ColleenHoover.com. 


FIND COLLEEN ONLINE:

Website   I   Facebook   I   Twitter   I   Instagram 



Buy Links:

Amazon   I   Barnes & Noble   I   Books-a-Million   I   IndieBound





THE ALL YOUR PERFECTS tour

07/17: Denver, CO
07:00 PM
TATTERED COVER BOOKSTORE

07/23: Portland, OR
07:00 PM
POWELL'S BOOKS
Call Store for details: 503-228-4651 or pre-order

07/24: Seattle, WA
07:00 PM
THIRD PLACE BOOKS

07/25: San Francisco, CA
07:00 PM
BOOK PASSAGE

07/26: San Diego, CA
07:30 PM
WARWICK'S

07/27: Phoenix, AZ
07:00 PM
CHANGING HANDS BOOKSTORE


07/28: Los Angeles, CA
04:00 PM
THE RIPPED BODICE

07/29: Dallas, TX
06:00 PM
HALF PRICE BOOKS

08/02: Atlanta, GA
07:00 PM
EAGLE EYE BOOKS

08/03: Asheville, NC
06:00 PM
MALAPROP'S BOOKSTORE/CAFE

08/04: Cincinnati, OH
05:00 PM
JOSEPH-BETH BOOKSELLERS

08/05: Chicago, IL
03:00 PM
ANDERSON'S BOOKSHOP

08/06: Detroit, MI
06:30 PM
SCHULER BOOKS & MUSIC, Okemos

08/07: Minneapolis, MN
07:00 PM
BARNES AND NOBLE/Edina
Call for more details: 952-920-2124


08/08: Kansas City, KS
07:00 PM
RAINY DAY BOOKS

08/09: Austin, TX
07:00 PM
BOOK PEOPLE

09/17: New York, NY (just added!)
07:00 PM
THE STRAND BOOKSTORE

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Royal Rogue (Flings With Kings #3) by Jessica Peterson

* * * *


Dear Jane,

You’re a princess. I’m a thief. This isn’t a Disney movie. We never had a chance in hell of a happy ending. But I still wish I could have given you one.

When we met, I had you pegged as a snob. All polo and private jets. But you turned out to be the exact opposite. I fell for you the first day we met.

I lied to you about a lot of things. I don’t expect or deserve your forgiveness. You’re too good for me. But I was always honest about my feelings for you.

I hope you’ll find true happiness one day. That’s the only way I’ll ever be happy—knowing you’re okay.

I’m sorry—

Charlie

PS—don’t let your blackjack game go to crap. Practice it every day, all right?

A STANDALONE Royal Romance!




Source: advance e-galley provided in exchange for an honest review



All right. If you're looking for prim and proper royalty, that's not what you'll find here because Jessica Peterson is all about infusing the romance with a whole lot of sexy.The Flings With Kings series has been fun so far but yowza, Royal Rogue is the hottest by far and I'll say it's my favourite so far, too!

Princess Jane has been divorced for a bit and is tired of the same types of the guys who keep parading in front of her. It's hard to be in the royal fishbowl where everyone sees you and judges you when all she wants to do is be herself. Be real. After her failed marriage, she knows that's what she wants: a guy who is genuine, not one of these cookie cutter types that will say what they think she wants to hear just to get in with her and her family. Along comes Charlie who seems to dispense with some of the typical niceties and for the first time she feels like she's having a honest to god regular conversation. Not to mention the fact that his rugged good looks and cheeky banter are also delightful. Charlie sees the loneliness behind Jane's eyes and can tell that she's tired of the same old gimmicks. In trying a different approach by lacing what he says with some grain of truth, he's breaking every rule he has about interacting with his mark. A mark who happens to have a valuable item in her possession that will fetch a high price and bring him the freedom he desperately wants. For a guy who's streetsmart and experienced, he wasn't banking on falling for his prey.

I totally loved this story! With two characters from such opposite backgrounds and many incorrect assumptions about each other, there's plenty of fire and lust between them. Jane isn't as delicate as she seems and Charlie isn't as heartless as his line of work implies. In fact, Charlie's struggle with his duplicity is what makes their relationship fascinating, not to mention risky, which is not something that we've seen with this series yet. Holy cow, I gobbled this up and to make things even better, Prince John aka Jack has a significant role in this as her loving, protective and suspicious brother. I was so excited to see him since he was a no-show in the last book. But his appearance here provides laughs and a sexy glimpse into his storyline that I cannot wait to read. There are also appearances by characters from the previous books so we get plenty of their craziness as well. 

Jane and Charlie's unlikely coupling and the subsequent issues that arise had me guessing all sorts of scenarios but the eventual ending was not something I saw coming. In Royal Rogue, Peterson increases the fervor to bring a scorching hot romance to make your summer even hotter!

~ Bel


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen

* * * 1/2




Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth.

I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face.

My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong. 

When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost. 


Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul. There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love. 

My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.


Source: advance e-galley provided in exchange for an honest review


Bowen makes her first foray into the YA genre with a semi-heartwrencher. Rachel loses one parent that she's known all her life and the following week gains one that she's always known existed but had never met. The new changes in her life stemming from her mother's death brings so much confusion and anger to an already devastated child. Rachel does her best to tamp down her angst but underneath all that is a young girl who simply wants to feel wanted and safe despite what her history tells her. 


As I read The Accidentals I thought that everything would culminate in some sort of Hallmark Channel-like ending. It didn't. Rachel and Fredrick's relationship is shaky though congenial. Rachel keeps her thoughts to herself and Fredrick knowing that he has arrived too late to pull the dad card on her, tries not to be too intrusive. There's much she has longed to share with her father but she can't bring herself to open up. A one-sided connection to him through his lyrics is far less risky than to actually speak words to him and let him in. She's worried that the fantasy won't live up to the reality. I thought her conflicted emotions and awkward reactions were natural though even if they kept stalling any kind of progress in bonding with her dad. That's the only thing I wish was different but I gradually came to appreciate that this isn't simply a story about Rachel and her father. It's about how she's adapting to all the abrupt changes in her life, learning to trust people, and find that space where she belongs. 


It sounds so crass to say that something good did come out of her loss but it is true, even if it arrived in an undesirable way. I guess that's one of my biggest takeaways from The Accidentals. Rachel has to overcome her long-held skepticism that something she's wanted all along will be snatched away from her. Also how does she let her guard down when she's lost too much already? I think Rachel handled things the best way she could and in the end allowed herself to be open to possibilities. The Accidentals is a different offering from Bowen that delicately showcases this vulnerable stage in life and I was touched by it. I'd secretly love to see a follow up, even if it was just a quick novella, to see where everyone is and how far they've come in becoming a family.


~ Bel






The Accidentals is available now!




EXCERPT


After the last course—chocolate mousse—the three of us go tripping back across the cold lawn in the dark, Aurora in the lead. I’m the tiniest bit tipsy and wearing heels. So naturally I stumble on a frozen clod of snow and nearly fall. But Jake catches my hand to steady me. “Thanks,” I breathe.Curiously, his warm fingers remain curled around mine until we reached the door of Habernacker.I try not to feel ridiculously excited about it.He lets go when we all reach the third floor. When Aurora opens the door, he follows us inside until we all collapse on the S.L.O., with me in the center.“Oh! I forgot to steal my plate,” I realize.“Me too.” Aurora sighs.Jake reaches into his jacket and pulls out a plate.
“Well done, Mr. Jake!” Aurora laughs. “The party in the annex starts in fifteen minutes.” She heaves herself off the squishy couch. “I have time to redo my makeup.”
I watch her walk over to the stereo, where my phone is already ensconced, and turn on our Christmas playlist. Then she grabs her makeup bag off her desk and leaves the room.When the door clicks shut, neither Jake nor I speak for a moment. The low chords of a Straight No Chaser song play through our little speakers.Suddenly, it’s awkward. We’ve been circling each other for a while now—since the night he was trying to be nice and I wrecked it.“You’re probably sick of a cappella by now,” I say, just to find something to talk about.But Jake turns slowly toward me and says something unexpected. “Rachel, I need to ask you a question.”My stomach does a little flip flop, and I turn to face those blue eyes I love so much. “What?” I whisper.“Well…” He clears his throat. There is a very long pause, during which I hold my breath. “Will you come skiing some time?”I exhale. “I guess so?” Another beat of silence passes. “That was your big question?” I ask, feeling like I’ve missed something.His color deepens. “Well, no. I just…” His brow furrows, as if he’s trying to explain some point of astronomy. I love his look of concentration. I’ve missed it.Jake’s blue eyes lock on mine, and I see how our own orbits might finally collide. This time, I will not send the moment winging back into space. Instead, I lean an almost imperceptible degree in his direction.
And that’s all it takes.Reaching up, Jake cups his hand to the side of my face. I’m still processing the sweet touch of his fingers when he leans in farther, his lips brushing the sensitive corner of my mouth. His eyes are tentative, seeking permission. My heart thuds with expectation.And then—finally—Jake kisses me for real. We come together the way a well-timed drummer kicks into the chorus of a song—swiftly, and without hesitation. We broke apart a moment later, eyeing each other while I try not to smile. “Can I do that again?” he asks, his voice rough. “That was my real question.”“Well, since you asked so nicely…”Jake makes a low noise of approval, then draws me closer. I reach up for the back of his neck, my fingers grazing that golden patch of skin I’ve always wanted to touch. He kisses me again, his arm finding the velvet waist of my dress and encircling me.
My heart flutters, but not from fear. Warm lips tease mine gently apart. And when his tongue tangles with mine, I lose myself.He tastes like champagne. Everything is wild and sweet, until the moment Aurora’s voice rings out. “Ay, caramba!”I feel an unwelcome rush of cool air between us as Jake retreats.
“I did say I was going into the bathroom, right? And not on a trip to Fiji?”Neither of us says a word; we only look sheepishly at Aurora.“Just to be clear, now I’m ducking into the bedroom for my coat, which only takes a second.” She steps into the bedroom, and I hear the rustling of fabric. Then she peers dramatically around the door frame. “Good listening! Now I’m going to the party. Will I see you both there? Don’t answer that. We’ll speak later.”Jake laughs. “Sorry, Aurora.”“I’ve seen worse.” She departs, the door closing behind her.And now I’m self-conscious. Rising, I decide to fiddle with the music playlist. “Do you want to go to the party?”“I’ll go. But I’m not great at parties. It’s all shouting over the music, drinking warm beer out of a plastic cup.”“Then let’s not.” My fingers shake as I adjust the volume. I go back over to the sofa and sit down.“So.” He clears his throat. “Where are you going for break?” As he asks, he takes one of my hands in his, massaging my palm with his thumb.
His light touch is so distracting that I almost forget to answer. “Kansas City,” I manage. “To meet my grandfather for the very first time.”“Um, what?” He squeezes my hand.So I tell Jake the embarrassing highlights of my weird story—that I hadn’t met Frederick until this past summer.
“Wow. I’m sorry,” he says.“Don’t be.”“I guess I’m not that offended now that you wouldn’t introduce me. If the normal waiting period is seventeen years.”My laugh begins with an unladylike snort. Ah, well. “With me it’s just all soap opera, all the time. Believe it or not, a year ago I was really a boring person.”“I don’t see how.” He regards me with darting eyes. “You look beautiful tonight.”“It’s Aurora’s dress,” I whisper.
But Jake doesn’t seem to care. He slips his arms around my waist. Scooting closer, he slides his lips from my forehead, down my nose and onto my mouth. And we begin again.

                      

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