Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (84)


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

Bel has read this one (review coming very soon) and I will be following in her footsteps because that cover is absolutely adorable!


The Promise of AmazingBy Robin Constantine
Publication Date: December 31, 2013

Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2) by Julie Kagawa

* * * *



After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.


There’s a lot, A LOT of angst in this follow-up to The Iron Prince. Ethan and Kenzie survived their “adventures in New York”, at least that's how they're explaining their disappearance to everyone and are still embroiled in all the aftermath.  Ethan is accused of being a kidnapper, Kenzieis in the hospital, her ex is picking fights with him and Ethan’s parents are being more protective.  He continues to remain on high alert and worries about Kenzie since he hasn’t heard from her since they got back. Things are already looking less than stellar when his sister Meghan, The Iron Queen, shows up at their house. It’s an uncomfortable reunion made more so by her request of Ethan to remain mum about Keirran’s existence. Oh and speaking of Keirran, he’s gone missing and no one has a clue as to where he may be. That explains Meghan’s arrival. She’s hoping that may be Ethan has an idea or would be willing to help locate him. What to do? Help family or stay away from the very things that have destroyed his family?

Caught in that dilemma of self-preservation vs. loyalty and family, he is honestly left with no choice.  He, Kenzie (of course she wouldn’t let him go on his own) and Annwyl, the exiled Summer fey and Keirran’s love, travel to New Orleans to find him in one of the goblin markets.  They have concluded that Keirran is on the hunt for a cure for Annwyl’s deteriorating state – her very existence is in jeopardy.

I'm not exaggerating when I say there is a lot of anger this go round. Ethan has had enough of the mess that has been wreaked upon him and anyone he cares about. He’s angry at Meghan, at Ash, at the entire fey world and most of all angry at Keirran, believing that he is the reason why Meghan no longer acknowledges her human family. It's a valid but awful admission. Then there’s the question of trust. The fey are difficult creatures by nature and to trust and save one of them goes against his gut instincts. He's all the more confused when he receives a prophetic look into his future.

As with all her other books, Kagawa continues to infuse rich details that transport you back into the magical world. Familiar faces return to make the quest more fun and more grueling depending on what your perspective is. All in all, The Iron Traitor is another win for Kagawa featuring another rock solid cliffhanger of an ending that will make you want to shake your fist at her.

~ Bel



Monday, November 25, 2013

A Peek In The BiblioBin #78





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 lovely ladies at Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.  



For Review:



The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constatine

Uninvited (Uninvited #1) by Sophie Jordan


Borrowed:



The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Through The Ever Night (Under The Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi


Purchased:



Holiday Games (Play by Play #6.5) by Jaci Burton






Of course we just had to read up on who has been deemed worthy enough to be labelled "sexy". We won't lie. We're totally in it for the pictures. 

We're living up to our motto: books, boys and pie! :-)




Friday, November 22, 2013

The Temptation of Lila and Ethan by Jessica Sorensen

* * * 1/2





On the surface, Lila Summers is flawless: good looks, expensive clothes, and a big, beautiful smile. But a dark past and even darker secrets are threatening to bubble over her perfect fa├žade. She'll do anything to keep the emptiness inside hidden-which leads her into situations that always end badly. Whenever she hits bottom, there's only one person who's there to pull her out: Ethan Gregory.

Ethan set the rules a long time ago: he and Lila are just friends. He doesn't do relationships. Although his tattooed, bad boy exterior is a far cry from Lila's pretty princess image, Ethan can't deny they have a deeper connection than he's used to. If he's not careful, he could be in serious danger of becoming attached-and he's learned the hard way that attachment only leads to heartbreak.

When Lila falls farther than she ever has before, can Ethan continue to help as a friend? Or is he also getting close to falling . . . for her?


My first thought as I read Temptation was that I had no idea how screwed up Lila was. There was no real indication of this in either of the Secret books. We knew she had a strained relationship with her family but what is revealed here is horrifying.  Mommie and Daddy Dearest are not warm and fuzzy people, not to Lila, and not to each other. They are the ultimate dysfunctional family. Ethan is faring no better with his own problems.  His abrasive manner and womanizing mask his guilt from a previous relationship that he can’t let go of. 

Lila repeats her cycle of abusing pills, sleeping around and calling Ethan to bail her out of trouble. For two people who try so hard to avoid close attachments, they have become somewhat co-dependent on one other. They don’t like to admit out loud how much they want each other because it would confuse their already bizarre friendship. Besides, they’re too screwed up to know exactly what they want.

When Ethan recognizes that Lila is headed down a bad and dangerous path, he has her move in with him so she can get well and he can keep an eye on her. It’s surprising behavior coming from someone who is normally so abrasive and elusive. But he can’t stand by and watch Lila destroy herself. He helps her come off her pills and teaches her how to become more independent.  As their friendship line gets blurry, he also has to look to his past and make peace with it. That’s it. No more running away from what needs to get done for these two.


Of all Sorensen's books so far featuring troubled teens, Temptation was harder to get through because of how heavy it is. Aside from featuring the worst kind of parenting imaginable – so not my favorite - Lila's self-destructive behavior is hard to endure and Ethan's guilt over his past has held him back for so long. Still, things do manage to turn around after a lot of painstaking steps forward and back. That's one reason I always return to Jessica Sorensen  she always manages to give her characters hope.

~ Bel



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally - Pre-Order Gift from Sourcebooks!

I am a huge fan of Miranda Kenneally's books which means I am super happy to help Sourcebooks out with the following promotion.  This was an auto buy for me already and I will definitely be pre-ordering now.  How about you guys?

~Nat

Racing Savannah





From Sourcebooks....

They’re from two different worlds, but Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules. . . get the next contemporary novel from blockbuster YA novelist Miranda Kenneally: RACING SAVANNAH!

Right before her senior year, Savannah’s father whisks the family off to Tennessee to work as head groom at fancy Cedar Hill Farms. Savannah finally sees it as the perfect opportunity to earn extra money as an exercise rider—no matter how many others don’t want a girl around the barn.  But she’s also caught the eye of Jack Goodwin, the owner’s son. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries. With her dream of becoming a jockey, Savannah is not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack.




A Special Announcement from Sourcebooks:

We’ve put together a fun campaign to thank readers for pre-ordering: send us your proof of pre-order and we’ll send you this fabulous horseshoe key chain! 


A Gift for You, for Pre-Ordering RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally

We have a special offer for U.S. and Canada YA fans for the release of RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally in stores in a little over three weeks! If you pre-order the book, we will send you an exclusive horseshoe key chain—perfect for any busy teen on the go! You have until December 2 or until quantities run out.

Here’s how to get your charm:
1. Pre-order the book (print or eBook) through any retailer (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, your local independent bookseller/Indiebound, Books-A-Million, Hastings, etc.)

2. Email your proof of purchase (receipt or picture of the receipt) to teenfire@sourcebooks.com. Put “Racing Savannah Pre-Order” in the subject line. Don’t forget to include your home address (US & Canada only please) so we can send you the horseshoe key chain! If you’ve already pre-ordered this book—not a problem! Send us your receipt!

3. You will get an email back confirming when the items have been sent out.

4. Enjoy Racing Savannah when it comes out in December!

Optional: take a pic of you and your horseshoe key chain and share it with Miranda Kenneally or Sourcebooks Fire on Twitter! You can find Miranda @mirandakennealy and Sourcebooks Fire @sourcebooksfire.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (83)


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

I just finished this last night (review to come next week) and like McGarry's previous two novels, I CANNOT WAIT to own it!



Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)By Katie McGarry
Publication Date: November 26, 2013

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane 

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

* * * *





It's Dade's last summer at home. He has a crappy job at Food World, a "boyfriend" who won't publicly acknowledge his existence (maybe because Pablo also has a girlfriend), and parents on the verge of a divorce. College is Dade's shining beacon of possibility, a horizon to keep him from floating away.

Then he meets the mysterious Alex Kincaid. Falling in real love finally lets Dade come out of the closet - and, ironically, ignites a ruthless passion in Pablo. But just when true happiness has set in, tragedy shatters the dreamy curtain of summer, and Dade will use every ounce of strength he's gained to break from his past and start fresh with the future.


This is one of those lovely finds I came across when my kids asked me to take them to the library. Two wins here: one, my kids who love to read think that the library is a magical place and two, I discovered Nick Burd.

Dade is a quiet kid in a quiet town just waiting to get out.  Get out of town, out of the closet, out of a bad relationship, out of the mundane and immobile position he finds himself in. He has an awkward relationship with his parents who are experiencing marital problems. His no-so boyfriend Pablo treats him poorly. When he happens to meet Alex for about five seconds at a party, he’s smitten. He’s not even sure of Alex is gay but he takes a chance.

I was a bit skeptical about Alex initially because he screams “loser” being a drug-dealer and working at a hole-in-the-wall fast food joint. But any kind of judgment is abandoned once you recognize that this is a story about being stuck, directionless and waiting for something happen. Dade is looking for outside acceptance. He has already accepted that he’s gay and has proclaimed that to all the inanimate objects in his room. He knows he’s worth more that the crappy way Pablo used him when no one was looking. There’s a sweet moment when Dade describes how he feels with Alex, “He leaned over and kissed me…At first I was worried that I wasn’t doing something right, and then a few seconds passed and I realized that he simply wanted to kiss me. It was the first time someone had given me everything I wanted and asked for so little in return.” I almost wanted to cry for Dade at that realization. And I wanted to hug Alex for how well he treated Dade. He didn't have any unrealistic expectations of him and he too felt close enough to him to share his innermost feelings.

The other bright spot in Dade’s life is his new friendship with Lucy. She’s one of the few people who understands him and the first person with whom he can actually be himself completely. It's their friendship that stands in sharp contrast against those that he's been disappointed by. She breathes some life into an otherwise dull summer and brings him out of his shell.

What is really striking about the book is how Dade starts to awaken and realize that everyone is in the same boat. Not everyone is happy all the time or perfect. Alex puts it best when he says, "We're all sick ...Everyone's got that thing in them that keeps them awake." It's true and there are so many points in the book that so eloquently describe that struggle to break out and latch on to something that gives hope.

It's easy to assume that this is just a gay romance story. It isn't and that is secondary to everything that happens in it. Anyone who reads The Vast Fields of Ordinary will undoubtedly recognize a little of themselves in it. Whether it's during the high school years or when you're in your forties, as Dade's folks demonstrate, everyone is looking for direction.

~ Bel




Monday, November 18, 2013

A Peek In The BiblioBin #77



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 lovely ladies at Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2013 Gratitude Giveaway Hop



We BiblioJunkies are always thankful to our readers, those who share our obsessions and understand our devotion to our fictional boyfriends!  To show our appreciation, we are once again participating in the Gratitude Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.  A huge thanks to Kathy for putting together yet another fantastic giveaway hop!  We also want to thank Forever Romance for sponsoring our giveaway.  

So, while we get ready to dive into our favorite pie, and get food coma from our turkey, fill out the rafflecopter below to enter to win this fabulous ebook prize pack.

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for continuing to put up with our silliness!

Our prize is one ebook copy of each of the following:










Don't forget to follow the links on the linky below to find other great giveaways!  

~Shel, Bel & Nat


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Angel Fever (Angel #3) by L.A. Weatherly

* * * * 1/2




As half-angel Willow strives to save the world from her parasitic otherworldly kin, romance and tension heat up to a climactic finale.

In the devastated remains of the world, millions of people live in "refugee" camps provided by the angels who have all but enslaved humanity. As this angelic stranglehold tightens, Willow and Alex are recruiting and training new Angel Killers while struggling to hold ground on the celestial battlefield. But Willow continues to have feelings for Seb, and her love and resolve are tested as a shattering revelation sends Alex on a separate journey. Now that the final battle versus the angels is about to begin-and the fate of the world hangs in the balance-each of them must face the consequences of their own choices. Will love endure? Will the human race survive?


I hardly ever use the word “epic” to describe anything partly because I never think to use and it’s so overused.  But as I read this last installment in the Angel series which has been a thrill ride from start to finish and then some, all I could think was “THIS-IS-EPIC”. Thanks to some craftiness on Weatherly’s part, the buildup to the final showdown lives up to all expectations!

Our heroes, Willow, Alex, Seb and the rest of the Angel Killers return from Mexico City to find that the entire world is indeed in shambles.  Having felt some measure of success despite some losses, they get back to the business of around-the-clock training and hunting down the angels.  But the relentlessly devious Raziel shifts events once again with a complete game changer that shakes the confidence of the AK’s. It also results in a life-altering decision by Alex that jeopardizes his relationship with Willow.

I’m choosing to be as vague as possible because as with the previous two books, the emotional ride is really what lifts this book into the stratosphere.  You really get the sense of how intensely these people train and how seriously they take their mission. They eat, breathe, sleep and live this life. There's always an awareness of how much time has gone by and the condition they live in. In Angel Fever, we get to see how resilient and defiant Willow can be. I mean this is a girl with serious daddy-issues saddled with the burden of rescuing humanity. And she's also a kid who is exciting and exasperating sometimes. I was annoyed by some of her reactions to things pertaining to Seb and then later to Alex. But I think what it really was is that Weatherly so accurately described jealousy and insecurity. In doing so, she made Willow’s very human side become more relatable. So I cut her a break.

The burning love triangle aside, there’s once again a copious amount of kick-ass action and fury to keep the momentum in Angel Fever on overdrive. The quiet moments are special and offer some brief respite.  The misdirections are creative.  I’m sad that the series is over because I just love them so much (especially Alex, surprise, surprise!) but I’m also breathing a sigh of relief because damn it, these kids deserve a break!

~ Bel 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Blogger Blitz: All Fired Up by Kate Meader & Giveaway

All Fired Up looks like a sizzling good time!  Our review will be up shortly, but for now, enjoy this sneak peak and giveaway!



“We need to talk.”

She opened her mouth. Closed it immediately. Surely, she wasn’t going to protest a civil 

conversation about their situation? The situation.

“I Googled it.” She moved behind her desk, sat in one of those fancy ergonomic chairs and 

flipped open her laptop. It had a pink cover that matched her sweats and the post-it note on his door this 

morning, the one that had told him to move his damn bike out of her damn space before she took a damn 

baseball bat to it. Except it wasn’t that nice.

“We can get an annulment. Just fill out a form and it can be done and dusted in about three

weeks.” She sounded pleased with herself, downright smug in fact. That frosted him a bit. 

He stood and moved to her side of the desk, leaning against the edge. “So not a divorce, then?”

“We can get an annulment because we didn’t…well, it wouldn’t have mattered if we did.” She 

hesitated, and he could see the gears going round as she rethought her position.

“What if we did?” he asked, tamping down on the glee in his voice.

“What if we did what?”

“What if we did sleep together? What if we had sex?” 

The way he said it could be construed as past sex or the promise of it. The promise of can’t-walk-
for-a-week good times between a man and a woman. “That wouldn’t make a difference?”

“But we didn’t.” Her brow creased in puzzlement and horror descended to her mouth. “But we 

didn’t,” she repeated, less sure now.

He couldn’t keep it up but every inch of him—every hardening inch—wished it was true. “Nah, 

we didn’t.”

“Shane!” She socked him in the side, and broke into that laugh that he’d fallen in love with the 

minute she’d graced him with it in the third bar of the crawl. It had taken him that long to get it but it had 

been worth every bad joke, every cheesy pun, every flash of the dimple Aunt Jo said would be a woman’s 

downfall. The old girl had neglected to mention it would be his downfall as well.

The laughter faded, and she turned serious again. “It wouldn’t matter if we had… well, you know. 

People make these mistakes all the time, so they have procedures in place.”

“Procedures to clean up idiotic mistakes?”

There was that crease between her brows again. She didn’t like that she’d made a mistake and lost 

control of a situation. That was so not Cara. 

“Right.” But her expression didn’t match the word’s surety. “I’ll take care of the papers, then?” 

she prompted with a couple of quick nods. The swallow in her throat was so pronounced it made the 

slender column of her neck expand. It made him feel like prodding her some more. See how far he could 

take it.

“What if I don’t sign?”

She shot up out of her seat, her lemon fall of hair swishing vehemently behind her head. He got a 

whiff of herbal shampoo and sunshine. “Why would you do that?”

“Just tell me what would happen, LT.” 

The nickname slipped from his lips without thinking as if his brain had been waiting for her to get 

into a sexy hissy fit. That night he had abbreviated Lemon Tart for expediency’s sake and found that it 

suited her bossy, military-style hauteur. Lemon Tart, the Lieutenant, LT. 

She wasn’t so haughty or self-possessed now. Her hands flailed, at complete odds with cool Cara. 

The more riled she got, the more his attraction to her burned.

“Well, if one party doesn’t sign, it’ll still happen. It just takes longer. Six to eight weeks.”

If one party doesn’t sign. So cold. So clinical. He nodded, thinking about how he wanted to 

phrase the next sentence. The silence drew heavily between them and he worked it for a few seconds 

because shit, he was starting to enjoy himself now.

“Paddy, you’re not seriously thinking of not signing those papers. I mean, what would be gained 

from that?”

“A marriage, Cara. The marriage you wanted.” He hauled a deep breath because he had a feeling 

he was going to need it. “After all, this was your brilliant idea.”

***



About Kate Meader:

Kate Meader writes contemporary romance that serves up delicious food, sexy heroes, and heroines with a dash of sass.  Originally from Ireland, she now makes her home in Chicago, a city made for food, romance, and laughter - and where she met her own sexy hero.  When not writing about men who cook and the women who drool over them, she works in an academic library.  Visit her website at http://katemeader.com and follow her on Twitter @kittymeader



Buy Links for ALL FIRED UP:

FEEL THE HEAT by Kate Meader (Forever Mass Market; 9781455599592; January 28, 2014) **Also available in e-book
When famous British chef Jack Kilroy unexpectedly challengers her father to a cook-off in her family’s Italian restaurant, Lili Deluca decides to seduce the tempting Brit. But after a video of them kissing goes viral, Lili fears she’s cooked up a recipe for disaster. Jack knows they could be amazing together, but can he convince Lili to realize her own ambitions—and turn up the heat in his kitchen?

Buy Links for FEEL THE HEAT:



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

****

From Random House:

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people.  Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want.  But, it's not a skill that she's ever taken seriously.  That it, until the FBI come knocking: they've begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.  

What Cassie doesn't realize is that there's more at risk than a few unsolved homicides - especially when she's sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.  Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem.  And when a new killer strikes, danger looms close.  Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all their gifts just to survive.  

The The Mentalist meets Pretty Little Liars - Jennifer Lynn Barnes' The Naturals is a gripping psychological thriller with killer appeal, a to-die-for romance, and the bones of a gritty and compelling new series.  

I agree that The Naturals was a gripping psychological thriller that totally creeped me out, but I disagree with the comparison to Pretty Little Liars (which I find incredibly annoying).  The Naturals is my first Jennifer Lynn Barnes experience and I am glad I picked it up.    

It's always tricky to bring together an ensemble cast in the first book of a series, but Ms. Barnes seamlessly brings together The Naturals Team and I look forward to much more character development in the next installment.  I think there are endless possibilities and The Naturals was a great start.   

To me, there's no better time for creepy mysteries than fall and The Naturals does not disappoint.  The story is a chilling, nightmare inducing mystery that will keep you guessing to the very end.

~Shel

Monday, November 4, 2013

Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan - Blog Tour and Giveaway






Love Lessons
By Heidi Cullinan

Blurb: 
Love doesn't come with a syllabus.

Kelly Davidson has waited what seems like forever to graduate high school and get out of his small-minded, small town. But when he arrives at Hope University, he quickly realizes finding his Prince Charming isn't so easy. Everyone here is already out. In fact, Kelly could be the only virgin on campus.

Worst of all, he’s landed the charming, handsome, gay campus Casanova as a roommate, whose bed might as well be equipped with a revolving door.

Walter Lucas doesn't believe in storybook love. Everyone is better off having as much fun as possible with as many people as possible…except his shy, sad little sack of a roommate is seriously screwing up his world view.

As Walter sets out to lure Kelly out of his shell, staying just friends is harder than he anticipated. He discovers love is a crash course in determination. To make the grade, he’ll have to finally show up for class…and overcome his own private fear that love was never meant to last.

Warning: This story contains lingering glances, milder than usual sexual content for this author, and a steamy dance-floor kiss. Story has no dairy or egg content, but may contain almonds.



Available to purchase at

         



Review:

* * * *

This is classic romance at its best.  Nora Roberts once said about the romance genre, “The books are about the celebration of falling in love and emotion and commitment, and all of those things we really want.”  Love Lessons is exactly that.  Kelly Davidson is so traditional it hurts.  When he starts his freshmen year at Hope University he hopes not to only get a great education but possibly meet the man of his dreams.  He isn’t looking for some guys to fool around with. That’s not his style.  No, he is looking for romance.  Disney-style romance.  Love with a capital L.  His Happy Ever After.

Walter Lucas is the exact opposite.  Relationships are confining and ridiculous and never work out.  Walter would much rather check out the new freshmen and figure out his one-night stands for the school year.  But fate has other plans for him.  When the Dean informs Walter; “Hey, you are required to live on campus.  I found the perfect room for you.  It’s a single.  In a house full of homophobic frat boys.  Oh and you get to share that single with a allergy-ridden freshmen“*; Walter’s reaction isn’t filled with glee.  And can you blame him?  But then Walter meets Kelly and even though all the other stuff is true, Kelly is not the frustrating roommate Walter first envisioned.  Not to mention, he’s super cute.

Although the mutual attraction is instant, both of them recognize that Kelly wants more than Walter is willing to give.  So instead they become instant best friends while each trying to hide their crush from the other.  Let’s just say Walter is a bit more successful than the inexperienced Kelly - which makes for some adorably uncomfortable scenes.  But, of course, you can’t hide your feelings forever.  Especially when you live in close proximity with the object of your affection.  Before long Kelly is insisting that even he and Walter can have a Happy Ever After together.  And Walter finds Kelly’s hope and dreams so endearing that maybe even a skeptic like him can be convinced.

I am crazy about this story.  I loved Walter because, as you know, I love my emotionally broken boys. I love the hot and steamy scenes that Heidi wrote for these guys - *fans self vigorously and swoons*.  But what I was wild about most was Kelly.  He absolutely stole my heart.  I adored his unashamed and unwavering desire and insistence on having his traditional romance.  He was so stinkin’ adorable that I can even forgive his choice in Pride and Prejudice film versions.  Come on now, Kelly.  The Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle is top notch!   And if I can forgive him that, then he must be quite loveable, indeed.

If you are looking for a new m/m romance to devour, I urge you to pick this one up.  You will be happy you did.


*Not a real quote.  I’m just paraphrasing.




A Peek In The BiblioBin #76





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 lovely ladies at Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.  


Purchased:





Borrowed:










Friday, November 1, 2013

Blog Tour: Barefoot by the Sea by Roxanne St. Claire & Giveaway


Today we are celebrating the final installment in Roxanne St. Claire's Barefoot Bay series, Barefoot by the Sea.  Out this week, so get it while it's hot!  We are also hosting a giveaway (sponsored by our fantastic friends at Forever Romance) of one set of all four Barefoot Bay books!  





 Check out the blurb:

When you think you know your heart's desire...

Tessa Galloway is a gifted nurturer - her verdant garden at Barefoot Bay's new resort is living proof.  If only the woman who can grow anything could grow what she wants most: a baby.  Her friends think the right guy will come along, but Tessa doesn't want to wait.  All she needs is the perfect donor to make her dream come true.  Then John Brown is hired at the resort.  If anyone could make beautiful babies, it's this gorgeous, mysterious man.  So why does Tessa suddenly find herself wanting so much more?

Can you give up all your dreams for love?

It's been three long years since John Brown had to leave his old life.  Forced into the witness protection program, he's desperate to be reunited with his toddler twins.  When he gets that chance, there's a catch - he must prove he's got a steady job and a new wife.  Landing a gig as a chef in Barefoot Bay is easy enough.  And falling for lovely Tessa is even easier.  The hard part? Can he win the heart of a woman who prizes honesty - when the truth may shatter it?  


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Author Bio:

First published in 2003, Roxanne St. Claire is a RITA® Award-winning author of thirty novels, including her bestselling Bullet Catchers and Guardian Angelinos series. Her critically acclaimed books have been published in numerous languages and recognized with multiple awards including the National Readers' Choice Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and the HOLT Medallion, all for best romantic suspense. She currently lives on the east coast of Florida with her husband and two teenagers.



 And check out the excerpt of Barefoot by the Sea!

“Prosciutto eggs Benedict?” she asked, finally tearing her gaze from him to Lacey Walker, 

who’d been interviewing him while he cooked in the kitchen for the last


hour. “That’s not on our menu.”


“It could be. John, this is Tessa Galloway, but…I be- lieve you two have already 


met.” Lacey could barely hide the amusement in her voice, but Tessa didn’t look too amused.


“Hello again, Tessa.”


“Hi.” She gave him a not-too-friendly smile, brushing some hair off her face that 


revealed a smudge of dirt on her cheekbone. She crossed her arms as if she didn’t want to 


be forced to shake his hand. Or maybe she was covering up more dirt on her shirt. Woman 


needed a shower. And just the thought of that made him need one, too. Ice-cold.


“Um, Tess.” Lacey gave a quick brush to her own cheek to silently tell her friend 


about the dirt.


“Oh, oh.” Tessa wiped her face, then glanced down self-consciously, giving him a 


chance to check out her long, tanned legs and clunky work boots. Damn if they weren’t cute 


as hell on her. “I didn’t know we were interviewing.”


He shrugged. “No big deal.”


An unreadable response crossed her face as she took a step closer, the light of 


the kitchen hall catching the golden threads woven into her chestnut-colored hair and 


highlighting the rise of color under her sun-warmed complexion.


“No, it’s not,” she agreed quickly. “Absolutely no big deal.”


Except, by the look on her face, it was a huge fucking deal and no doubt his 


disappearing act in the bar would cost him the job. Damn it.


“Tessa runs our on-site farmette,” Lacey said quickly, trying to fill the gaping silence 


between them. “So she’s always involved with what goes on in the kitchen.”


Which meant she could put a freeze on his hire right this minute. Unless he won her 


over,


which might take some doing, but he needed this job.


Lacey nudged her closer, and he silently thanked this enabler who was on his side.


“So you can consider me a supplier,” Tessa said, her color returning to normal and 


her voice finally finding some volume. “For the kitchen. And food. And…stuff.”


More nervous than normal, then, which he’d use to his advantage. As she came 


closer, he dipped his head slightly. “I love working directly with a supplier.”


“Good, that’s good.” Lacey put a hand on her friend’s shoulder and urged her even 


closer. “That’s why I’ve asked Tessa to be part of this hiring decision.”


“I don’t remember you saying you were a chef,” she said.


“I didn’t,” he admitted. “But I can cook.”


“He’s being modest,” Lacey said. “He can more than cook and you’ll never guess 


who sent him our way.”


Tessa raised an eyebrow that said she had lots of ideas—the devil, perhaps?—but 


didn’t answer.


“Charity Grambling,” Lacey said.


“Really?” Tessa seemed surprised, a smile pulling.


“Then maybe you’re a spy or planning to poison our guests.”


He shook his head. “Neither. Is the local shopkeep an enemy of the state?”


“She didn’t want me to build this resort,” Lacey said as they all walked toward the 


kitchen. “She thought it was competition for her daughter’s motel, the Fourway.”


He snorted. “Hardly. And I say that as a paying guest.”


“You’re at the Fourway?” Tessa asked.


“We’ll have to do something about that,” Lacey said confidently.


He turned in time to catch Tessa give a wide-eyed “What the hell” look to Lacey, who


shook her head quickly.


Screw it, he didn’t have time to dick around. If he couldn’t work here, he needed to


move on. “Excuse me, ladies,” he said, pausing at the kitchen door. “But if you’re going to 


kick me to the curb, then let’s not waste anyone’s time.”


“Okay,” Tessa said.


“No way,” Lacey countered.


After an uncomfortable beat, they all laughed, Lacey and Ian more than Tessa.


“So, which is it?” he asked.


“Let her taste your food,” Lacey said.


“I will,” Tessa replied. “But first I need to talk to you in your office, Lacey.” She gave 


her friend a gentle push in the opposite direction. “Can you excuse us for a second?”


“Of course.” He paused at the kitchen door, watching them walk away. No doubt 


they’d stroll back in to tell him he was out of the running.


Unless…


“Hey, Tess,” he called.


She turned, slowing enough for him to see something in her eyes. Surprise, humor, a 


hint of hope. He winked and waited for a quick laugh at the unsubtle flirt.



Instead she raised one eyebrow and kept walking. Bollocks. He’d lost that round.


You know the drill - enter via the Rafflecopter below to win ALL FOUR Barefoot Bay books and check out Barefoot by the Sea!

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

~Shel, Bel & Nat a Rafflecopter giveaway