Monday, January 16, 2017

Flirting with Fire (Hot in Chicago #1) by Kate Meader

* * * 1/2



The first installment in Hot in Chicago, a brand-new, sizzling series from Kate Meader that follows a group of firefighting foster siblings and their blazing hot love interests!

Savvy PR guru Kinsey Taylor has always defined herself by her career, not her gender. That is, until she moved from San Francisco to Chicago to be with her fiancĂ© who thought she wasn’t taking her “job” of supporting him in his high-powered career seriously enough—and promptly dumped her for a more supportive and “feminine” nurse. Now, as the new assistant press secretary to Chicago’s dynamic mayor, she’s determined to keep her eye on the prize: no time to feel inferior because she’s a strong, kick-ass woman, and certainly no time for men.

But that all changes when she meets Luke Almeida, a firefighter as searingly sexy as he is quick-tempered. He’s also the second oldest of the Firefightin’ Dempseys, a family of foster siblings who have committed their lives to the service—if Luke’s antics don’t get him fired first. When Luke goes one step too far and gets into a bar brawl with the Chicago Police Department, Kinsey marches into Luke’s firehouse and lays down the law on orders from the mayor. But at Engine Co. 6, Luke Almeida is the law. And he’s not about to let Kinsey make the rules.




Hot-headed firefighter butts heads with authority. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. But what if that authority comes in the form of an attractive, no-nonsense representative from the Mayor's office? Maybe not quite so disastrous.

Kinsey has been given an assignment by the Chicago Mayor and that is to turn a negative incident involving two city departments into a positive for the City and for the Mayor's eventual re-election bid. The recent Chicago transplant is looking forward to the task to keep her mind off of the debacle of her engagement. Nothing like throwing yourself into your work. But then she comes face-to-face with Luke and soon realizes that he presents a lot of work. He's gruff, rude and condescending. Thankfully she doesn't scare easily. She'll get it done, no worries. She just has to make sure not to fall for Luke in the process. While he doesn't care for the politics, Luke does have to acknowledge that he helped make a mess of things and will have to work with Kinsey to correct his mistakes. Kinsey being a smart, attractive women certainly helps matters though he doesn't want to get involved because that's not his schtick. It's only a question of time before these two go at it but whatever they decide affects their careers and their personal convictions.

There's substance to these characters making them more than just one-dimensional fantasies. They're flawed - Luke's initial condescending attitude and arrogance towards Kinsey in the first few pages irritated me so badly that I didn't know if I could manage the rest of the book but there was something there that made me stay. Then there is also the beautiful discovery underneath - what drives Luke, what matters to him. Learning that changed my mind about him. I liked Kinsey's quest to redefine herself and her goals after her breakup. Her self-analysis is refreshing because it can't be easy to admit the bad decisions. There's also depth to the story so it's not just about two people falling in love. The story encompasses other aspects of their lives (friends and family), their past, present and future. I just felt that I was painted a big picture while simultaneously zeroing in on Luke and Kinsey in their bubble.

This is my first Kate Meader novel and I liked it! Side note: my daughters seemed to enjoy the blurb on the back, "a man this smoking should set off alarms". Have I mentioned they're teenagers and general pains in the backside? Anyway, Flirting with Fire is pure pleasure and escape and I'm looking forward to making my way through the rest of the Hot in Chicago series!

~ Bel


Thursday, January 12, 2017

HIM / US Sale!!!

Don't miss this mega-awesome sale that's going on 
THIS WEEK ONLY!



Available for a limited time only!

HIM

Amazon     I     iBooks     I     B&N     I     Kobo

US

Amazon     I     iBooks     I     B&N     I     Kobo


Glad Tidings by Amy Jo Cousins

***1/2

A HOLIDAY ROMANCE BETWEEN A DRIFTER AND A LONER…

Eddie Rodrigues doesn’t stay in one place long enough to get attached. The only time he broke that rule, things went south fast. Now he’s on the road again, with barely enough cash in his pocket to hop a bus to Texas after his (sort-of-stolen) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Midwest, USA.
He’s fine. He’ll manage. Until he watches that girl get hit by a car and left to die.
Local shop owner Grayson Croft isn’t in the habit of doing people any favors. But even a recluse can’t avoid everyone in a town as small as Clear Lake. And when the cop who played Juliet to your Romeo in the high school play asks you to put up her key witness for the night, you say yes.
Now Gray’s got a grouchy glass artist stomping around his big, empty house, and it turns out that he . . . maybe . . . kind of . . . likes the company.
But Eddie Rodrigues never sticks around.
Unless a Christmas shop owner who hates the season can show an orphan what it means to have family for the holidays.

I admit, I went on a holiday romance bender this year.  I couldn't concentrate on any other books during the season.  Glass Tidings by the amazing Amy Jo Cousins was one of my favorites.  

Grayson is a delightful curmudgeon, whose heart has been broken and therefore shies away from life.  I adore him.  

Eddie has a different fear of living and serious abandonment issues that he deals with by never getting close to anyone.  After all, if you are always drifting from place to place without making any connections or putting down roots, people cannot leave you.  

These lost and frightened souls broke my heart.  Cousins' descriptions of the the loneliness felt by both men was realistic and powerful, especially during the holidays.  
  
I loved the visuals of Eddie and Grayson sitting by the fire reading in the evenings.  This would definitely be the way to my heart.  It was truly a lovely holiday read.

~ Shel

         

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Safe Bet by Monica Murphy Blog Tour - Review







Blurb:
Sydney Walker’s new job is perfect. As the live-in nanny to the most famous quarterback in the NFL and his beautiful wife, she couldn’t have it any better. Their kids are adorable. Her bosses are more than generous. Plus, there are hot football players at the house all the time. Life can’t get much better than this.

Until her life turns into an absolute nightmare. The media is abuzz with rumors that she and her boss Drew Callahan are having a torrid affair. Everyone knows the truth—except the public. So Drew’s wife Fable comes up with the perfect idea.

She creates a fake relationship between Sydney and one of the rookie players on Drew’s team. Wade Knox is forever indebted to Drew and Fable and readily agrees to the set up. Pretending to be in a romantic relationship with the hot nanny for a week—how hard can it be?

Crazy how it only takes one week for two people to fall head over heels in love…

(This mash-up new adult romance features characters from both the One Week Girlfriend series and The Rules series.)


Pre-Order Links:


Review:

A couple of years ago, One Week Girlfriend broke my heart.  Then Second Chance Boyfriend ripped the pieces of that broken heart to shreds.  I'm usually not the BiblioJunkie to go to about the angsty heart-wrenching stories and you could have knocked Bel and Nat over with feathers when I told them how taken in I was by these books, but Drew and Fable's story was just that compelling.  

So, it was with some degree of trepidation that I picked up Safe Bet - would I be disappointed by the peek I got in to Fable and Drew's happily ever after?  And what about throwing in these other characters, Wade and Sydney?  Would I like them?  I admit, I've not read the Rules Series.  I tried to read Fair Game, but I really hated everything about Shep and wanted to punch him in his stupid face -so if I hated him so much, would I be able to love Sydney?  

I didn't exactly love Sydney, but I didn't Shep-hate her, so that's a bonus.  I did really like Wade and I loved getting the inside scoop on Drew and Fable's life.  What I was unprepared for was the complete lack of angst.  Not once did I need to reach for the kleenex or feel the desperate need to hug one of the characters.  

Safe Bet was utterly sweet, funny, and completely heart-warming.  Wade and Sydney come together in a cheesy, but steamy whirlwind.  If this is the end of the road for the One Week Girlfriend Series, it is a satisfying ending.  I hope it's not the end, but if it is, I can live with it.  I feel gratified.  Safe Bet was the perfect blend of nostalgia and romance.  If you are a One Week Girlfriend fan, you should definitely read Safe Bet.  If you haven't experienced the trauma of the series, then you definitely have to read it so we can have a support group!

Happy reading.

~ Shel





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:

On Broken Wings by Chanel Cleeton Review Tour

* * * 3/4


The author of Into the Blue and Fly with Me returns with the newest, hot and high-flying Wild Aces romance...

A year after losing her husband, Joker, the squadron commander of the Wild Aces, Dani Peterson gets an offer from his best friend, Alex “Easy” Rogers, to help fix up her house. Dani accepts, and their friendship grows—along with an undeniable attraction.

Racked by guilt for loving his best friend’s widow, Easy’s caught between what he wants and can’t have. Until one night everything changes, and the woman who’s always held his heart ends up in his arms. Yet as Easy leaves for his next deployment, he and Dani are torn between their feelings and their loyalty to Joker’s memory. 

But when Dani discovers something that sends them both into a spin, the conflicted lovers must overcome the past to navigate a future together…


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




Easy has no trouble getting the girl and he's had plenty of them. But none can hold a candle to Dani, the wife of his squadron leader, Joker. So he's loved her from afar all this time and tried to be as decent and reliable a friend as possible. But now that Dani is a widow, Easy is in a hopeless situation. He vows to do what he's always done: be there for whatever she needs. Still grieving her devastating loss, Dani is struggling to put herself back together. It helps that she has good friends looking out for her, especially Easy, who has been with her through good times and bad. But she's not ready for the complications that arise when she notices a shift in her feelings for him.

This is the one I'd been waiting to read. Easy was the steady but always anguished character in the background and I wanted desperately to understand why. Cleeton took a sensitive storyline that allowed us to get to know Easy outside of his well-crafted public persona. This is the Easy people don't get to witness: an unbelievably tender and patient man who's doing everything he can to make life easier for the fragile woman in front of him. He won't allow his true feelings to compromise anything because Dani and what she needs come first. Always. If only we could clone him! And Cleeton describing Dani's loss and how her grief could be triggered unexpectedly caused me to hold back a tear or two. I have no idea how I'd handle myself but I would certainly hope for the strong friendships expressed here. Easy and Dani's friendship does wind up taking off into uncharted territory with a surprising turn that adds some spice to their storyline.

The romances, camaraderie, losses and heartbreaks have shown that the Wild Aces are a loyal bunch, devoted to each other, which is why I have enjoyed this series immensely. I can also attribute that enjoyment to Chanel Cleeton's style - a pleasant mix of sweet and steamy without going overboard. I'm always excited to read her work and out of this series, On Broken Wings has become my favourite!

~ Bel







In case you haven't you haven't been in on the Wild Aces since book 1, don't worry because we've got you covered! Check out the links below, including a link to the first chapter of the Book 1 - FLY WITH ME.  

Fly with Me (Wild Aces, Book 1):


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



Into the Blue (Wild Aces, Book 2):




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

After years spent studying international politics in London and a stint in law school, Chanel Cleeton found her passion crafting smart and sexy contemporary romances and thrillers. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she's happiest curled up with a book, her three dogs lounging beside her. Chanel is a lover of big sunglasses, irresistible handbags, food covered in sprinkles, and pint-sized pups with larger-than-life personalities. 


She is published by Harlequin and Penguin and is the author of the International School, Capital Confessions, Assassins, and Wild Aces series.



CONNECT WITH CHANEL CLEETON:

Website I Facebook     I        Facebook Reader Group     I       Twitter  






Monday, January 9, 2017

Safe Bet by Monica Murphy Excerpt Reveal


Hi all!  I LOVE Monica Murphy's One Week Girlfriend Series and am thrilled to bring you an excerpt from the latest installment - Safe Bet!  Drew and Fable are awesome, so I'm glad we are getting to check in with them.  So, without further adieu:  

“Drew!” Fable calls, waving him over. “Come meet Sydney.”
He starts to head over there and when he sends me a look over his shoulder, I reluctantly follow him. I really don’t need to be involved in this scenario, but I just can’t tell him that, can I? It would be rude. And I’m never rude to Drew and Fable.
Ever.
“Sydney, this is my husband, Drew. Drew, this is Sydney Walker. She’s going to be our new nanny,” Fable says, sounding pleased. She looks over at her husband with a little wince. “I hope you don’t mind that I went ahead and hired her.”
“Of course I don’t mind. I trust your judgment.” Drew turns to greet Sydney. “Good to meet you,” he says as he gives Sydney a firm handshake. She’s staring up at him, her lips slightly parted, her eyes wide. Full on awestruck, which is typical. He’s a superstar. That’s how most people look at Drew when they first meet him.
“Hi,” she squeaks, her cheeks going pink as she releases Drew’s hand. Her gaze slips to mine, and then flitters away. But that one quick glance was like a sucker punch to my gut.
The nanny is beautiful.
I take a deep breath, shoving my hands in my jeans’ pockets so I won’t do something stupid—like try to grab her. She has pretty blue eyes and a full mouth that’s made for kissing. Her curves are even lusher than I first realized. She has full hips and a tiny waist and shapely legs. But I can’t worry about pretty nannies right now. I have to concentrate on work.
It still blows my mind that I might play for the NFL. That football is my job. I’m a lucky son-of-a-bitch.
“Sydney, this is Wade Knox. He’s an old family friend,” Fable says, knocking me from my thoughts. I blink and look down to find Sydney smiling up at me, interest clearly showing in her gaze. Hmm. “Wade, this is Sydney.”
“Hey Sydney.” I shake her hand, electricity pulsing between us the moment our palms touch. She jerks her hand away from mine as if I burned her. Guess she felt it too.
Interesting.
“Nice to meet you,” she murmurs as she takes a step back. Like she needs the distance.
Even more interesting.
We make small talk for a few minutes before Fable takes Sydney back to the house, and the moment the door shuts behind them, Drew’s talking.
“The nanny’s cute,” he observes, his voice way too nonchalant.
“Uh huh.”
“She looked at you like she thought you were cute, too.”
I roll my eyes. He never says stuff like this, so what’s his deal? “Cute? What are you doing? Trying to play matchmaker?” I send him a pointed look. “Give me a break. I don’t need the distraction.”
Preorder Today! 

Blurb:

Sydney Walker’s new job is perfect. As the live-in nanny to the most famous quarterback in the NFL and his beautiful wife, she couldn’t have it any better. Their kids are adorable. Her bosses are more than generous. Plus, there are hot football players at the house all the time. Life can’t get much better than this.

Until her life turns into an absolute nightmare. The media is abuzz with rumors that she and her boss Drew Callahan are having a torrid affair. Everyone knows the truth—except the public. So Drew’s wife Fable comes up with the perfect idea.

She creates a fake relationship between Sydney and one of the rookie players on Drew’s team. Wade Knox is forever indebted to Drew and Fable and readily agrees to the set up. Pretending to be in a romantic relationship with the hot nanny for a week—how hard can it be?

Crazy how it only takes one week for two people to fall head over heels in love…
(This mash-up new adult romance features characters from both the One Week Girlfriend series and The Rules series.)