Thursday, May 5, 2016

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

* * * *

From the bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, a heartwarming and hilarious story of a reluctant outsider who transforms a tiny village and a woman who finds love and second chances in the unlikeliest of places.

Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. She eats dinner at precisely the right time and starts her day at six in the morning because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It's just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.

But at sixty-three, Britt-Marie has had enough. She finally walks out on her loveless forty-year marriage and finds a job in the only place she can: Borg, a small, derelict town devastated by the financial crisis. For the fastidious Britt-Marie, this new world of noisy children, muddy floors, and a roommate who is a rat (literally), is a hard adjustment.

As for the citizens of Borg, with everything that they know crumbling around them, the only thing that they have left to hold onto is something Britt-Marie absolutely loathes: their love of soccer. When the village’s youth team becomes desperate for a coach, they set their sights on her. She’s the least likely candidate, but their need is obvious and there is no one else to do it.


Fredrik Backman has a gift for writing about quirky people in unusual situations thereby creating some memorable stories. He did it with AMan Called Ove (one of my Top 10 of 2015) and he’s done it here again. This time it’s about Britt-Marie, a woman in her early sixties who walks out on a rather dissatisfying marriage. In this new world, an inexperienced Britt-Marie has to find a proper job. The question is if she can find one that bends to her liking. See, she’s rather fastidious in her opinion that things have to be in a certain order or done a certain way. Anything otherwise would be considered “uncivilized”. For example, the cutlery drawer needs to be arranged as such: forks, knives, spoons. Or dinner should be eaten at 6 o’clock, no later and no earlier. Her adherence to social etiquette can test one’s patience but there’s just something so loveable about her that you wind up going with it.

Britt-Marie ends up accepting a temp position at a rec center in the small, run down town of Borg that’s seen better days. The main trucking business left, leaving behind many business to close down and houses to go up for sale. All that's left are the regulars who frequent the local convenience store that sees plenty of bizarre action, and the soccer-loving inhabitants, including some stubborn but well-meaning kids who have ambitions of playing in the cup but desperately in need of a coach to lead them. These are the people who will change her life.

At the heart of the story is Britt-Marie’s eagerness to find herself again. She had gotten used to setting aside her dreams in order to help her loved ones fulfill theirs. As the days go by in Borg, she pinpoints the pivotal moments in her life that have led her here. What she ultimately wants is to matter. After years of being made to feel inadequate she simply wants to feel that someone actually cares about her, that someone notices whether she’s in a room or not. In this town, with people equally as quirky as she is, where their outlook on life is associated with the soccer team they root for, she’s challenged to step out of her comfort zone and accept that things aren’t always black or white, and that there’s a place for creativity and imagination. The results are surprising and hilarious.

Once again, Backman succeeds at making seemingly mundane things fascinating. In Britt-Marie, he’s created a character who despite her social awkwardness manages to not only charm a small town but also the reader. In Borg, he has created a community populated by the most intriguing of personalities. The story doesn't end the way I thought it would but I definitely like the direction. Britt-Marie is the heroine of her own life and I dare say that she's a late-blooming feminist. There’s a lot to be admired about her. In fact, as an ode to her, I even made sure to arrange my cutlery drawer to her approval - forks, knives, spoons - because I am civilized like that. I highly recommend this read!

~ Bel

AUTHOR NEWS!!!

Fredrik Backman is undertaking his first US Book Tour! Definitely check out his books and go see him if he's coming to a bookstore near you! The tour dates are available on his website or click this link: http://www.fredrikbackmanbooks.com/news-events.html


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (186)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights future releases that we are excitedly anticipating.



Too Hot to Handle (Romancing the Clarksons, #1)By Tessa Bailey
Publication Date: May 17, 2016

The first book in a brand new contemporary romance series from New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey!

When Rita Clarkson's Suburban takes its last breath on a New Mexico roadside, rescue roars up on a Harley in the form of smooth-talking honkey tonk owner, Jasper Ellis, a man as mysterious as he is charming. Rita's cross-country journey to New York City--with her three estranged siblings in tow--is only beginning, but now that Jasper has found Rita, his plans do not include her leaving.











The Long Game (The Fixer, #2)By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication Date: June 7, 2016

Tess Kendrick, teen fixer extraordinaire, returns in a pulse-pounding thriller about a deadly conspiracy at the heart of Washington.

For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate's campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess's guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can--and cannot--be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover first-hand that power always comes with a price.

Perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and Ally Carter, the second book in this thrilling series will leave readers breathless.


Mystic Summer: A NovelBy Hannah McKinnon
Publication Date:  June 7, 2016

“When two roads diverge...take the one that leads to the beach! Hannah McKinnon delivers a charming gem of a novel in Mystic Summer. I adored this book.” —Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Rumor

A chance run-in with a college boyfriend puts a young woman’s picture-perfect life in perspective in this warm-hearted and lyrical novel—from the author of The Lake Season.

Since finishing graduate school, Maggie Griffin has worked hard to build an enviable life in Boston. She’s an elementary school teacher in a tony Boston suburb, a devoted sister, and a loving aunt. With her childhood best friend’s wedding quickly approaching and her own relationship blossoming, this is the summer she has been waiting for.

But when Maggie’s career is suddenly in jeopardy, her life begins to unravel. Stricken, Maggie returns home to seaside Mystic, Connecticut, where she expects to find comfort in family and familiarity. Instead, she runs into Cameron Wilder, a young man from her past who has also returned home, and whose life has taken a turn that puts Maggie’s city struggles in harsh perspective. When tragedy strikes for Cameron, Maggie is faced with big decisions as she weighs what matters most and strives to stay true to the person she’s become.

Set against the gorgeous backdrop of a New England summer when past and present collide, Mystic Summer is a gorgeous novel about looking back, moving forward, and the beauty that blooms when fate intervenes.
 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis

From Forever Romance/Grand Central:


SOMETIMES YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN . . . 

After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.




Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She's broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I'm-too-sexy-for-myself guy who's now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob's dark intensity makes her want to tease-and tempt-him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground . . . until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.


Nobody But You is classic Jill Shalvis, combining hilarious hijinx with heart.  Jacob's journey seeking home, acceptance and forgiveness is set against the beautifully imagined Cedar Ridge, Colorado.  Jacob is the long lost twin of Hudson Kincaid, who we met in My Kind of Wonderful.  Hud and Jacob had a big fight at eighteen and Jacob took off and joined the Army, not to be heard from again for nine years.  The reunion is anything but smooth and in true Kincaid fashion, Jacob is given hell.  The Kincaid family is a hilarious hot mess and I love them so much.  

He's also given hell by Sophie, the crazy heroine of our story, who is recently divorced and living on her ex-husband's boat out of spite.  Their story is sweet and sexy, but it's Jacob's journey that is poignant and inspiring.  It's a journey of self-discovery, forgiveness, grief and love that made me laugh and cry.  

You should definitely pick up Nobody But You so that you can love Jacob Kincaid as much as I do.  We can fight over our newest book boyfriend for hours.  :-)

~ Shel

Never Let You Go by Monica Murphy RELEASE DAY!

Never Let You Go by Monica Murphy

Release Date: May 3rd, 2016 Series: Never Tear Us Apart #2 Genre: Contemporary Romance

13141097_1737848769795347_243172853_n

Blurb:

Darkly sexy, emotional and forbidden, a woman unwittingly falls in love with the son of her abductor. The conclusion of a two-book contemporary romance series by New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy.

Lies hurt. Lies destroy. I tried my best to understand why Ethan kept his secrets but it was so hard. Until I realized that I couldn't deny myself any longer -- I needed to be with him. We needed each other. Despite my family's wariness, the media's fascination with us, the fact that his father still has a stranglehold on our lives, we belong together. No matter what. I will never let Ethan go. But sometimes love destroys us too, and we're too weak to banish the demons. Especially when our demons are determined to ruin us...

Add to your TBR on Goodreads

NLYG-Available (1)

Buy Links:

Amazon US / iBooks / B&N / Kobo / Google Play / Amazon UK / Amazon CA

 

About the Author:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she's not writing, she's reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She's a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Connect with Monica:

Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon / Website / Newsletter

NLYG-FB1

Fly With Me by Chanel Cleeton - Review Tour & Release Day Blast




BOOK SUMMARY:

From the author of the Capital Confessions Novels comes the first in the steamy Wild Aces Romance series.

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.

Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down. 

One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…

Praise for Fly With Me:

“Sexy, funny, and heart-wrenching—this book has it all!”
- Laura Kaye, New York Times bestselling author

“A sexy fighter pilot hero? Yes, please. For anyone who’s ever had a Top Gun fantasy, Fly with Me is for you.”
- Roni Loren, New York Times bestselling author


BOOK LINKS:

Amazon     I     Barnes & Noble     I     Google Play     I     iBooks     

Kobo     I     Goodreads     I     First Chapter     


REVIEW:

* * * 

If you’re looking for a fast-paced romance with an abundance of heat, Fly With Me should be on your TBR list.

Jordan, an independent entrepreneur is in Vegas for her sister’s bacherlorette party. Noah and his Air Force buddies are enjoying a free night out when they come across their respective parties. She and Noah are instantly drawn to each other. The nice thing about this couple is that they’re both older so there’s not much toying around about what they want or are thinking.

This is definitely an insta-love story. I can usually go with it but I have to say after my first visit ever to Vegas a couple of years ago, I found myself being skeptical of this duo’s potential future. But then I remembered that a former colleague of mine met her now-husband in Vegas. She was all starry-eyed and in love - it was ridiculously cute. He’s such a great guy and even moved to the Midwest from LA to be with her. Anyway they’re still together three kids later and very happy. What does that have to do with Jordan and Noah? I guess it reminded me that anything can happen and that sometimes a good thing comes to you when you’re least expecting it. The trick is to recognize it and hold on to it which is what Jordan and Noah are doing here.

Some parts of the story will remind you of Top Gun – actually Jordan keeps bringing up Top Gun, much to Noah’s chagrin that he has to constantly correct her assumptions about what he does. It was actually kind of funny! (I was even inspired to re-watch the movie after I finished the book. I made it past the critical beach volleyball scene before I couldn’t go any further. Serious cheese, folks.) Like I said before, Fly With Me moves quickly and can be quite intense not just in regards to the romance but also the risk surrounding Noah’s job. Chanel Cleeton is one of a handful of adult romance authors I rely on for a good read and I recommend anything she writes. Anyway, who can resist a man in uniform?

~ Bel









AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure.

Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her husband. 



Chanel writes contemporary romances, women's fiction, and thrillers. She is published by Harlequin HQN, Penguin/InterMix, and Penguin/Berkley and is the author of the International School, Capital Confessions, Assassins, and Wild Aces series.

AUTHOR LINKS:


Website     I     Facebook     I     Facebook Reader Group     I     Twitter 
    
Goodreads     I     Newsletter     I     Instagram     



Check out Book 2 in the Wild Aces series, Into the Blue (out July 5, 2016):




From the author of Fly with Me and the Capital Confessions Novels comes the newest in the sexy Wild Aces Romance series.

Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancĂ©e.

Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca.

Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?



Amazon     I     Barnes & Noble     I     Google Play     I     iBooks 
    
Kobo     I     Goodreads     




Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Peek In The BiblioBin #197


Welcome to our Stacking the Shelves post! Stacking the Shelves (or as we like to call it, A Peek in the BiblioBin) has been created by the folks at Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, purchased, borrowed from the library or friend, received as a gift, grabbed off the bookshelf, etc.

For Review:


What Remains by Garrett Leigh

Into the Blue (Wild Aces #2) by Chanel Cleeton

Borrowed:


Listen to Me (Fusion #1) by Kristen Proby


Friday, April 22, 2016

Dirty Promo Blitz by Kylie Scott


Get DIRTY!
Dirty is Book One in Kylie Scott’s Dive Bar Series
and you can order it now! 



Amazon US     I     Amazon UK     I     iBooks     I     Barnes & Noble     I     Kobo



Blurb

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.

Lydia Green doesn't know whether to burn down the church or sit and
cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.

Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she'd marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he's all wrong-maybe it's time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what's wrong with getting dirty?






Excerpt
“Once upon a time,” he began, voice low and measured. “There was a princess. A beautiful, occasionally annoying princess.”

“What was her name?”

“Ah, Notlydia.”

I frowned. “Her name is Notlydia?”

“You wanted a story, I’m giving you one. Shut up.”

“Whatever.”

An even heavier sigh from the man. “Anyhoo, Notlydia was all set up to marry this prince. We’ll call him Prince Bag of Dicks.”

“Works for me.”

“But on the day of her wedding, when she was wearing this sweet dress that served her tits up like they were a fucking platter—”

“Is this an R-rated story?”

“Please,” he said, sliding an arm around my bare waist. And I let him. “R is for rubbish. If you don’t get to see any penetration then you’re wasting your time. This is XXX.”

I laughed.

“So on the day of her wedding to Prince Bag of Dicks, Notlydia kisses him and he turns into a big slimy two-headed toad with terrible breath and even worse foot odor.”

“Whoa.” I rested my head back against his shoulder. “Poor Notlydia.”

“Hell of a plot twist, right?”

“Never saw that one coming.”

“Mm.” He rested his cheek against the top of my head.

“What happens next?”

“Well, she’s completely freaked out, of course.”

“Of course.”

“And she takes off into the woods. She’s running through bushes, jumping fences, climbing trees, you name it. Nothing’s going to stop her from getting the hell away from that toad, Prince Bag of

Dicks.” He took a sip of beer. “Unfortunately, she loses her fancy dress along the way. She’s just down to some skimpy underwear and a corset and with all that jogging through the forest, it’s barely holding her in. One decent breath and there’s going to be nipple out there for all the world to see.

Did I happen to mention she’d been voted Best Rack in the kingdom four years running? Anyway, eventually she finds this small cottage. Now, what you don’t know about Notlydia is that she has a shady past.”I tried to look up at him. But with the angle, all I got was stubble and cheekbone. “That doesn’t sound like Notlydia.”

“Be quiet.” A hand covered my mouth. “Notlydia’s a dirty, dirty girl. Got a bad side like you wouldn’t believe. A little breaking and entering is nothing to her. So into the house she goes. But she’s all muddy from running through the woods, see? She can’t let people see her like this, she’s a princess, for fuck’s sake.”

The hand remained over my mouth. Which was fine, I had nothing to add to his pornographic fairy tale.

“Notlydia gets in the shower and starts soaping herself. There’s lots of bubbles and steam, and she’s a modern woman so there’s a bit of self-love. She even finds time to wash her hair, shave under her pits. Things like that. But then the owner of the cottage wakes up and hears the water running. He stomps into the bathroom saying, someone’s using up my hot water. Notlydia cries out, not me, not me.”

He craned his neck, meeting my gaze. “See, babe, what did I tell you? That Notlydia is a filthy little liar.”

I looked up to heaven. No help was forthcoming.

“Someone’s using up all my soap, says the owner. Not me, not me, cries Notlydia.” He put his lips next to my ear. “She should be ashamed of herself, shouldn’t she? If ever a busty princess deserved a spanking.”

I bit at the palm of his hand, teeth catching at the fleshy mound beneath his thumb.

“Ow.” He laughed, pulling his hand free. “Then the owner said, someone’s been fingering herself in my shower.”

“Stop!” I put my hands over my ears, trying desperately to hold in my laughter. “This is the worst story ever. The Brothers Grimm are rolling over in their graves.”

“Notlydia throws back the shower curtain and says, oh yeah, big boy, that was me. Come and get it. And they have wild sex all over the cottage.” Vaughan’s body jerked beneath mine as he laughed his ass off. “The end.”

“No way. Notlydia is virtuous and pure. She’d never pull that sort of shit.”

“Nah.” He chuckled. “It all happened exactly as I said. Dirtiest princess in all the land.”

“Like hell. The owner of that cottage was a pervert and a deviant. Why, he would have picked the lock on a chastity belt. She never stood a chance.” Difficult to maintain my pious stance, given I’d started laughing so hard tears were pouring down my cheeks. The funny bastard. “I want to know more about this cottage owner. What’s his name?”

“I don’t know. Let me think . . .” He rested his chin back on top of my head. “He definitely isn’t Prince Charming.”

“He could be!”

Silence.

“If he wanted to. Or not. Whatever,” I added weakly. Crap. “Let’s go back to not talking.”

I was a moron.

We’d been all relaxed and laughing. Me and my idiot mouth. Way to go, Lydia. Just shout out any old impossible daydream to the dude who’s made it clear there was no future “we.” If someone could just direct me to the nearest brick wall, I’d knock a little sense into myself.On the other hand, it was two stupid words. Surely he could have ignored the last hundred years of Disney perpetuating slick-haired young royals gallivanting around the countryside saving hot babes in distress. For the sake of getting along. God knows, Chris never had any problems ignoring or placating me. I’d seen his thoughtless gorgeous smile aimed my way a hundred times. No, a thousand. If only I’d recognized it for what it was.

Ugh. Just the thought of it made me want to punch the douche all over again.

Maybe I needed a bit more than a week to get over that catastrophe. The money would help. Substantially. I’d never imagined that compromising my morals and taking hush money from such foul woe-begotten assholes would feel so good. Maybe I should sell out more often.

“This, ah, this Prince Charming of yours,” he said haltingly.

“Yes?”

Vaughan shifted beneath me, pushing out a heavy breath. “I mean, it doesn’t make sense, does it? Why would he be in a cottage instead of a castle?”

“Well . . . his parents, the king and queen of the neighboring kingdom, died in a terrible accident.”

I stayed perfectly still, waiting to see how he’d react.

“I see.”

“And it hurt him so bad he just, he didn’t want to be a prince anymore.”

Nothing from him.

“Bad things happen in fairy tales sometimes.”

A grunt.

“It’s not fair, but it happens,” I said, feeling my way with more caution than skill. “The prince loved his parents and the castle had too many memories.”

“Hmm.”

“So he ran away into the woods too.”

“Doesn’t sound like much of a prince if he can’t handle his shit,” he said.

“Princes are just men too, human beings. I don’t think a crown or a penis gives you magical invulnerability to loss and pain.” I stared at the wall, thinking the problem through. “Life is hard.

Terrible things happen. We all have feelings. We’re all just flesh and blood, trying to do our best.”

“Running away from problems isn’t doing your best.” His voice echoed around the small room, the same as around in my head.

What with holding the Coeur d’Alene title for runaway bride of the year, I had no answer. None at all. So much for my half-assed wisdom.





Twist, book two in the Dive Bar series release on November 22nd. Pre-order it today!



Amazon US     I     iBooks     I     Barnes & Noble     I     Kobo


About Kylie Scott


Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Kylie is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, New York.

Stalk Kylie Scott 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads







THANK YOU!