Tuesday, September 30, 2014

He’s So Fine by Jill Shalvis Launch Day Blitz, Review & Giveaway!



 


 

Jill Shalvis, author extraordinaire, imaginary BFF, and queen of the awkward moment has a new release! It's the next to last in the Lucky Harbor Series, He's So Fine. We've got the Launch Day goodies, including our review and a giveaway. Jill is recovering from back surgery, so you should all go buy her books to make her feel better (Shel has nothing left to buy, she owns them all in multiple formats and still has the compulsion to buy them all again!) So, enjoy all the info below and we hope you love Jill as much as we do!




Book Summary:
For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It's the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she's rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she's ever laid hands on.


Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to "save" him. In fact, he'd like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He's just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole's heart, or will it be the end of Olivia's days in little Lucky Harbor? 






Jill's Bio:
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.


You can learn more about Jill at:
JillShalvis.com
Twitter @jillshalvis

Facebook.com/jillshalvis 

HE'S SO FINE is available in mass market paperback, ebook and audio book formats wherever books are sold. 

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1B0Lc5P
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1qL9GMO
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1vUlsVJ



And of course you can add it to your shelf on Goodreads here: http://bit.ly/1qbcfrn



 Review:

It's possible that there are two or three Shalvis books out there that I haven't read and I often feel like I am saying the same things over and over in my reviews of her books, but the truth is, that I have yet to read a Jill Shalvis book that I could not classify as steamy, hilarious, gloriously awkward and the best contemporary romances around. He's So Fine isn't my favorite Shalvis (and don't ask, because it usually changes with my mood, but it is most often Animal Attraction or Animal Magnetism), but it is a fantastic way to spend a few hours lost in the magical world of Lucky Harbor.

I'm not a fan of Olivia's. She spends most of the story lying to Cole, manipulating him to avoid telling him the truth and then making him feel bad about being upset over the lies. That being said, she has left a bad situation and is strong enough to start over all alone, even if she lies about her past. Cole is fantastic. He's patient, strong and mostly open about his issues. Despite these things, the entire book is worth reading and re-reading for the hilarity of the boat "rescue" scene! 

As always, I love the bromances in Jill's books. Cole, Sam and Tanner are awesome. They remind me of my friends, giving each other a hard time and calling each other on their shit. Even more than the heroines, Jill's heroes and their friends keep me coming back for more (not to mention the serious funny of glow in the dark vibrators gone mad...)

~Shel


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Peek In The BiblioBin #118


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.



Borrowed:



Sway by Kat Spears


Purchased:



The Hook Up (Game On #1) by Kristen Callihan

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger


Friday, September 26, 2014

Shiny! by Amy Lane

Shiny!* * * *

Will Lafferty and Kenny Scalia are both having sort of a day. Will gets fired for letting fifth graders read Harry Potter, and Kenny finds his boyfriend and his sex toys in bed with a complete stranger. When Will knocks over Kenny's trash can—and strews Kenny's personal business all over the street—it feels like the perfect craptastic climax to the sewage of suckage that has rained down on them both.

But ever-friendly, ever-kind Will asks snarky Kenny out for a beer—God knows they both need one—and two amazing things occur: Kenny discovers talking to Will might be the best form of intercourse ever, and Will discovers he's gay.

Their unlikely friendship seems like the perfect platonic match until Will reveals how very much more he’s been feeling for Kenny almost since the beginning. But Kenny’s worried. Will’s new-found sexuality is bright and glittery and shiny, but what happens when that wears off? Is Will's infatuation with Kenny strong enough to stay real?






Review:

Shiny begins with Cara and Nina’s wedding.  And Nina wants to know all about how her new nephew, Will, and his boyfriend, Kenny, met.  The two of them are only too happy to oblige. 

As stated in the synopsis above, both Kenny and Will are having terrible days.  When Kenny finds his boyfriend in bed with a stranger AND Kenny’s sex toys the only logical next step is to throw out the boyfriend.  AND the toys.  Because gross.  What Kenny never saw coming was the car that runs into his trash.  But hey, might as well try to make something good out of a crappy day.  And when you meet someone that will actually help you pick up your magic time accessories off the pavement then maybe you should hang out a bit longer. 

So they go out for drinks and quickly become fast friends.  Kenny is a graphic artist and Will is a web designer.  As they spend more and more time together, pooling their talents to create a web comic, they begin to fall in love.  Of course, neither of them realize how the other is feeling because things can never be TOO easy in a romance.  Kenny is done with pointless relationships and having a crush on a straight guy is at the top of the pointless relationship list.  And Will?  Well, he just realized he was gay after that first night he and Kenny had drinks so he has some of thinking and adjusting to do.    

When Kenny decides to join the dating pool again, Will is at his house in a heartbeat.  That date cannot happen.  After some embarrassing drama, Will is declaring himself and Kenny is both elated and scared.  Because Will was, until now, straight.  And there is no way being the straight guy’s gay experiment can turn out alright. 

Will might be slow and steady but he isn't stupid.  He finds out why Kenny is so skittish and decides to make himself indispensable.  A permanent fixture in Kenny’s life.  Proving to Kenny that Will isn't going anywhere. 

Whoever says the Queen of Angst can only do angst is wrong.  Just wrong.  Because this book is happy and lovely and squishy and…dare I say it….shiny.  Kenny is full of worldly snark and distrust.  But he’s also fun and nice so he doesn’t come across as a broken hero.  Just a fun hero that has lived a little.  And it’s hard not to love him when he says things like this: 

“I was looking for sparkly.  I should have been looking for warm and real.”

And Will?  Well, you all know how I love forever boys and Amy just added another to my list along with her Shane (Making Promises) and Quent (Gambling Men).  Will is the NICE guy.  And I loved his patient persistence when it came to convincing Kenny that their relationship was the real deal. 

Ms. Amy Lane must have been feeling mighty generous.  She didn’t make me wait to see if they get a happy ending.   We know from the first page that Kenny and Will are happily together.  And they are so excited and joyful to tell their story that you just KNOW that you can sit back and enjoy the read without any fear of the pain for which Amy Lane is so well known. 


If you are looking for a m/m romance that will make you glow from the inside out then you must read Shiny!.

Nat

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Inspire by Cora Carmack Cover Reveal!

Holy moly all!  I was so excited when Cora Carmack announced she was writing a NA Paranormal with Greek Mythology elements, but it didn't prepare me for how much I love this synopsis and cover!  We are thrilled to bring you the cover for Cora Carmack's INSPIRE! INSPIRE is a New Adult Paranormal Romance novel and is due to be released on December 15, 2014!

  Inspire
The cover was designed by VLC Productions.

Add INSPIRE on Goodreads

About INSPIRE: Kalliope lives with one purpose. To inspire. As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real. Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal. Her presence may inspire genius. But it breeds madness, too.    



About Cora Carmack: Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.  

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Author Goodreads

 






Go forth and pre-order!  I know I am!

~Shel

How We Deal With Gravity by Ginger Scott

* * * * 1/2


When her son Max was diagnosed with autism, Avery Abbot’s life changed forever. Her husband left, and her own dreams became a distant fantasy—always second to fighting never-ending battles to make sure Max was given opportunity, love and respect. Finding someone to fight along her side wasn’t even on her list, and she’d come to terms with the fact that she could never be her own priority again.

But a familiar face walking into her life in the form of 25-year-old Mason Street had Avery’s heart waging a war within. Mason was a failure. When he left his hometown five years ago, he was never coming back—it was only a matter of time before his records hit the billboard charts. Women, booze and rock-n-roll—that was it for him. But it seemed fate had a different plan in mind, and with a dropped record contract, little money and nowhere to go, Mason turned to the only family that ever made him feel home—the Abbots.

Avery loved Mason silently for years—until he broke her heart…completely. But time and life have a funny way of changing people, and sometimes second chances are there for a reason. Could this one save them both?


A while ago, I bypassed this title because it just didn’t seem up my alley. Recently after being thoroughly charmed by This Is Falling I decided to give this a go and what I discovered is another gem from Ginger Scott.

The tone is absolutely heavier than some books I’ve read of late. The first chapter opens with Abby at a grocery store trying her best to console her son Max as he’s having a public meltdown. Those few pages capture the very real hardship of being the parent of an autistic child. And it’s not just learning how to work with their autistic child, it’s also having to endure the judgmental attitudes of people who couldn’t bother to understand that it's not a simple behavioural issue. I was shocked by some of the things Abby describes.

Abby’s whole world is her son. Everything she does and works towards is to make a better future for him. She sacrifices a lot to do that and relies heavily on her father and her best friend for support. Both of them give willingly and it’s comforting that they both adore and love Abby and Max so much. Simply put, they're awesome and Abby is truly blessed to call them family. Mason comes back to town to recover from his band’s disaster of a tour. He expects to just lay low and reevaluate things but he’s thrown when he runs into Abby. They have a history, one of being friends only but seeing her now, Mason would like more than that.

Initially, Mason is a bit of a jerk but something about Abby causes him to refocus his priorities. Hearing of her divorce and what her life is like now, and seeing how special Max is, he finds himself delicately infiltrating their lives. Abby in the meantime is skeptical. The Mason she remembers was a self-centered knucklehead and she has no room for someone like that in her life. She and Max are a package deal and anyone who wants in has to accept that Max and his needs will always come first. Is Mason up to the task? And is Abby willing to find out? 

As I read along, I found myself internalizing a lot of things. Parenting is hard. I’m the mother of three kids and I wonder some days how I manage in between dealing with three very distinct personalities, homework, shuffling them off to their various activities and social events, managing a household and having a job too. Having a child with special needs requires ultimate strength. Getting a glimpse into this life that requires strict order, routine and a bottomless well of patience and humility opened my eyes to the daily challenges that special needs children and their families face.

This is what Mason is exposed to and for the first time in his life, he’s thinking beyond himself. He comes a long way from the beginning of the book to become someone important to Abby and Max. When another career opportunity presents itself, he has to weigh the pros and cons of accepting it. This doesn’t mean that mistakes don’t happen. Screw ups are part of being human and Abby, who knows she doesn’t have it all figured out, is acutely aware of that.

How We Deal With Gravity is revealing and hopeful. Reading is the best kind of magic where you’re transported into a different world. In this case, it’s the world that we live in. But we get to see it through a new lens thanks to Ginger Scott's beautifully crafted and sensitive story.

~ Bel


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Make It Right by Megan Erickson

Make it Right (Bowler University, #2)* * *

Max Payton lives by two rules:
Size and strength win any fight, and never show weakness.

When a rash of assaults sends Bowler University for a tail spin, Max volunteers to help teach a self-defense class. One of the other instructors is the beautiful pixie-faced girl he keeps butting heads with…and who challenges everything he thought he knew. 

Lea Travers avoids guys like Max - cocky jocks who assume she's fragile because of a disability caused by a childhood accident. She likes to be in control, and something about being with Max makes her feel anything but. But during the moments he lets his guard down, Lea sees a soul as broken inside as she is outside. Trusting him is a whole other problem...

When the assaults ramp up and hit close to home, Lea and Max must learn, before it’s too late, that true strength can come from vulnerability…and giving in to trust is sometimes the only way to make things right.


Review:

If you have read Megan Erickson’s Make It Count (Bowler University #1) you are already familiar with the main characters in this book - Lea, the serious student with a bit of a chip on her shoulder and Max, the guy that got in the way of his best friend’s happiness…twice. 

After reading the first book in this series, I was intrigued.  I knew the next book would be about Max and to put it bluntly, I didn’t like Max.  He’s an ass.  He treats his best friend’s girlfriend like crap and his best friend even crappier.  But I love nothing more than when an author makes me love a character I want to hate.  Tammara Webber succeeded in doing this in her Between the Lines series.  Katie McGarry succeed in making me love West in Take Me On.  And now Megan Erickson has successfully joined the ranks of these ladies because before the end of the book I no longer hated Max.  I wasn’t crushing on him (his BFF is more my style) but I definitely like him.  A lot.

As I said, Lea has a bit of a chip on her shoulder.  Her attitude is completely understandable.  A car accident, when she was just a kid, almost took away her ability to walk.  Her insecurities about her body and the way she was treated by her peers played a key role in her rebellious teen year.  And then, all of a sudden, she grew up.  She went to college and learned to value herself in a way she never had before.  It’s no surprise that a person with Lea’s history would be turned off by a guy like Max.  So how confused is she when she starts getting glimpses of a much more serious and vulnerable Max?

Max grew up with his dad and three brothers.  His father isn’t one to dole out the affection.  Or even love for that matter.  But that doesn’t stop Max from continuously trying to win his father’s approval.  But lately he’s wondering if earning that approval is worth the sacrifice.  Because his dad has set conditions around his paid college tuition.  He’ll pay his tuition and once Max graduates he will work in his dad’s auto shop handling the business side of things.  That is the agreement.  No questions asked.  But Max doesn’t want to work in the shop after he graduates.  And he’s not even sure he wants the business degree that he’ll be earning at the end of the year.  But Max isn’t sharing any of this with anyone.  But as he grows close with Lea he starts to realize the possibilities for them and for him.

There were two things that really stood out for me in this book.  The first was Max and Lea’s first date.  Max puts a ridiculous amount of thought into a date that will fulfill one of the things on Lea’s bucket list.  And he does it all on the budget of a poor college student.  It’s was ridiculously adorable and romantic.  Even I was impressed.  The other thing that stood out was the magic time.  I think I mentioned in my review of Make It Count that Megan Erickson has a real talent for writing steamy scenes.  As the synopsis states, Lea likes to be in control.  I’ll let your imagination go from there. 

Better yet.  Don’t use your imagination for this one.  Go out and pick up this book and read it because this and it’s companion are wonderful additions to the New Adult category. 


Nat

Waiting on Wednesday (119)


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


The Fall

Title: The Fall
Author: Bethany Griffin
Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down?The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher







The Diamond ThiefTitle: The Diamond Thief
Author: Sharon Gosling
Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Publisher: Switch Press

No one performs on the circus trapeze like 16-year-old Rémy Brunel. But Rémy also leads another life, prowling through the backstreets of Victorian London as a jewel thief. When she is forced to steal one of the world’s most valuable diamonds, she uncovers a world of treachery and fiendish plots.

Meanwhile, young detective Thaddeus Rec is determined to find the jewel and clear his name. Will Thaddeus manage to rescue the jewel? Or is it really Rémy that he needs to save?


Check out Bel's review HERE!








Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stay With Me by J. Lynn Release Day Launch!

SWM RDL Banner  

We are so pleased to bring you the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout's STAY WITH ME! STAY WITH ME is a New Adult contemporary romance being published by Avon (William Morrow), an imprint of HarperCollins, and is a part of Jennifer’s With You Saga!  This is a great series.  I've read the first, Wait for You at least three times - Cam's cookies!  Trust in Me is supposed to be a novella, but it pretty much tells the entire Wait for You story from Cam's POV, which is awesome!  Next up was Be With Me and it is also not to be missed!  I'm super excited for my copy of Stay With Me to FINALLY get here!  


  Stay With Me Cover

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes ** Kobo ** GooglePlay




STAY WITH ME TRAILER: EXCERPT: 

As I lay there, trying to swallow a loud, obnoxious yawn, I remembered something he’d said when we first met, about life being too short. I imagined he had firsthand experience with shortened lives while he was serving. That mentality came from experience. I got that now. Could even understand it, but there was something I didn’t understand. 
 “Why?” I asked. There was a beat. 
“Why what?” Jax sounded tired, and I should shut up or point out that I was now tired and could sleep, so he could leave. But I didn’t. 

“Why are you here? You don’t know me and . . .” I trailed off, because there really wasn’t anything left to say. A minute went by, and he hadn’t answered my question, and then I think another minute ticked on, and I was okay with him not answering because maybe he didn’t even know. Or maybe he was just bored and that was why he was here. But then he moved. Jax pressed against my back, and the next breath I took got stuck in my throat. My eyes shot open. The sheet and blanket were between us, but they felt like nothing. 

“What are you doing?” I asked. “Getting comfortable.” He dropped an arm over my waist, and my entire body jerked against his. “It’s time to sleep I think.” 

“But—” 

“You can’t sleep when you talk,” he remarked. 

“You don’t need to be all up on me,” I pointed out. 

His answering chuckle stirred the hair along the back of my neck. “Honey, I’m not all up on you.” 

I freaking begged to differ on that point. I started to wiggle away, but the arm around my waist tightened, holding me in place. 

“You’re not going anywhere,” he announced casually, as if he wasn’t holding me prisoner in the bed. Okay. The whole prisoner thing might be melodramatic, but he wasn’t letting me up. Not when he was getting all kinds of comfy behind me. Oh my God, this was spooning. Total spooning. I was spooning with an honorary member of the Hot Guy Brigade. Did I wake up in a parallel universe? 

“Sleep,” he demanded, as if the one word carried that much power. “Go to sleep, Calla.” This time his voice was softer, quieter. 

“Yeah, it doesn’t work that way, Jax. You have a nice voice, but it doesn’t hold the power to make me sleep on your command.” He chuckled. I rolled my eyes, but the most ridiculous thing ever was the fact that after a couple of minutes, my eyes stayed shut. I . . . I actually settled in against him. With his front pressed to my back, his long legs cradling mine, and his arm snug around my waist, I actually did feel safe. More than that, I felt something else—something I hadn’t felt in years. I felt cared for . . . cherished. Which was the epitome of dumb, because I barely knew him, but feeling that, recognizing what the warm, buzzing feeling was, I fell right asleep.   Stay With Me Teaser 2     STAY WITH ME Synopsis: 
Stay With Me Teaser 1From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You and Be with Me comes a daring tale that pushes boundaries . . . At 21, Calla hasn't done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends. But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she’d left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming. Sexy and intense, Jaxis in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn't give them her mom.    
Author Photo


Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio: # 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.   

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** J. Lynn Goodreads ** Jennifer L. ArmentroutGoodreads

Novel Goodreads

 
 

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

* * * * 3/4


Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.
But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…



Becca Fitzpatrick certainly made an enormous impact with the Hush Hush series. That having concluded, it’s interesting to see what she has done next with Black Ice. It’s a departure from what we’re used to and I’ve got to hand it to her, she’s done a bang up job here! Also, how freaking cool is this cover?!

I’ll come clean and say that when I’d first heard of the premise for this book months ago, I wasn’t too impressed. I’m not an outdoorsy gal and the idea of a mountain trek and being lost just didn’t appeal to me. So fast forward to months later, I read the premise again and all of a sudden I’m all over this. I have no idea what changed. Black Ice is well planned out and takes its time to reveal the plot. There are a few things going on here. Britt wants to exert her independence from her ex-boyfriend. She wants to demonstrate this to him but winds up needing to prove this to herself. She and her best friend end up seeking shelter with strangers one night and it’s all awkward and shady. I’ll excuse her few moments of cluelessness here because put next to her needy, whiney and childish bestie, Britt comes off as a perfect angel. When she does realize what’s up, her mind spurs into action and she’s all about making sure her best friend is safe as she formulates a plan to either escape these two fugitives or misdirect them so that she can buy her some time as she leads them to the authorities. Then she unwittingly stumbles upon the murder mysteries and she feels in over her head. But not for long.

I really like that Britt is a resourceful person. She starts off as someone still feeling slighted by her ex but then evolves into a leader. She had no idea she was capable of such things.  Through flashbacks she has a new perspective on her relationship with Calvin. May be it wasn’t all that “perfect” or healthy. Still, being stuck on a mountain with the fugitive Mason, no matter how good looking he is, is not the ideal place to evaluate her relationship history. Her attraction to Mason is concerning as she feels she may be experiencing Stockholm Syndrome. Like I said, she’s smart and clearly no damsel in distress. This experience is opening her eyes to understanding that there are more things to consider that are below the surface.

As I read along, I kept wondering how much longer things could drag on as I just couldn’t fathom what else could be thrown in there. The plot does unravel itself and once Britt gets herself out of her temporary stupor she’s no longer the captive. This changes the nature of her relationship with everyone.

I won’t say any more. Black Ice was a terrific read and far more than I had originally expected. I was able to slowly put the pieces together but most of all, I really liked Britt. How great to see a female character seize upon a perilous and life-changing experience to kick some butt!

~ Bel



Monday, September 22, 2014

The Blood Lily Chronicles by Julie Kenner Release Day Blitz!

bloodlily-releaseday Julie Kenner is releasing all three books in her Blood Lily Chronicles into one boxset! You can get your hands on all three books for just $4.99 for a limited time only, so if you love urban fantasy, make sure to get your hands on it today!

  JulieKenner_BloodLilyBundle800

About TAINTED (Book 1)

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner)

"Can I just say that dying sucks?"

So begins the first installment of the Blood Lily Chronicles, an urban fantasy romance which introduces readers to Lily Carlyle, a tough-talking bad girl who's been chosen to save the world, and Deacon Camphire, the darkly sensual man whose words seduce her, but whose actions suggest he’s hiding secrets of his own.
"A wonderful balance between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. A casual, catchy first-person point of view peppered with slightly more four-letter-words than the genre usually bears, mingled with a kick-ass heroine and a dangerous, smoking-hot hero makes for an excellent read." The Discriminating Fangirl

When Lily Carlyle set out to kill a child molester, she never expected to die and be resurrected as an assassin. Especially not as an assassin charged with fighting the forces of darkness in the ultimate battle of good against evil. It’s the key into heaven, she’s told. And in light of her sins, without that key, she’s doomed to an eternity of suffering. But even in the demon world it’s sometimes hard to tell your ally from your enemy. And when Lily finds out the truth . . . well, there really will be hell to pay. Amazon| Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

About Julie Kenner

Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres. Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures. Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries. J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.

 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest  

Priya In Heels by Ayesha Patel

* * * 1/2

A new adult title from Entangled’s Embrace imprint… 

Love doesn’t conquer all…does it?

Priyanka Patel is the epitome of an obedient daughter. She’s finishing up her medical residency at one of Houston’s busiest emergency departments, and has agreed—albeit reluctantly—to marry the man her family has chosen for her. The only thing that can derail the “perfect” life laid out before her is the sexy musician down the hall who wants into her life…and into her bed.

Tyler O’Connor has been infatuated with Priya since she treated his sprained ankle in the ER, and after saving her from a brutal attack, he can't get her out of his head. When Priya puts her family's wishes before their relationship, agreeing to an arranged marriage with another man, Tyler is devastated.

But love is fierce and unreasonable and clashes with the carefully sculpted life her parents want for her. Is going after her heart such a big deal, or will it truly unravel Priya’s world?




Thanks to the title, Priya In Heels sounds like it’s a whimsical affair and just plain fun to read. Not only did it fulfill that promise but it delivered more. With the growing push for more diversity in books, Priya In Heels is a wonderful title to add to the list.

Priya is a very dedicated person. She’s dedicated to her job, her family and her friends. Then Tyler comes along and jumbles up her feelings. She’s very weary of him makes it known from the start that she’s not interested and not available. Her priority is to get through her residency. A man in her life is not the distraction she wants. That’s all fine and good but he also happens to be her neighbor so they’re bound to run into each other. And Tyler makes sure that they do. He’s persistent but not creepy. Priya can’t help but be curious from at a distance. He’s a nice enough guy and all but she just can’t allow a relationship to blossom.

When her mom calls her to say that she has begun arrangements for a potential match for Priya and the son of another family friend, Priya obediently goes along with it just to appease her. See, Priya is not blindly loyal to her parents, she absolutely adores them. She never wants to do anything that may upset them. While an arranged marriage or marriage in general may not be the exact thing she wants at that moment, she agrees to at least meeting the guy. Tyler in the meantime tries to push the envelope with her, getting her to loosen up and be more relaxed around him.

The rest of the book follows the ups and downs of their friendship and growing attraction. All the while that Priya is denying any attraction to him, the stronger their emotional attachment gets. But for Priya it’s not just the fact that a relationship could distract her from her career, it’s also what her parents would think of her being with someone who’s not Indian. There is a story behind that which Priya explains later but in the meantime, to defy her family’s tradition is not a place that she wants to go.  As for Tyler, he's willing to embrace all that is important to her if only she'd be willing to embrace the idea of them together.

The best part of Priya In Heels, is Priya herself.  She’s an independent and smart woman who happens to care very much about her family. She's just trying to figure it all out like the rest of us. There are also her roommate and close friends who range from very traditional to secretly rebellious. A large part of the story too is how they try to live up to and uphold their families' traditions and values while also trying to fit in to the world they've grown up in. Embracing all those things that make you, you. For me personally, I got a lot of that.

Definitely give Priya In Heels a go. It's cute, heartwarming and in the end it's about the most important things in life -- family, love and happiness.

~ Bel

A Peek In The BiblioBin #117



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 Shape Of My Heart (2B Trilogy #3) by Ann Aguirre


Borrowed:



Forget Me by K.A. Harrington


Purchased:



Sweet (True Believers #2) by Erin McCarthy

Believe (True Believers #3) by Erin McCarthy


From The RT2014 Stash:



The King of Darkness (Chronicles of Yavn #1) by Elisabeth Staab

Prince of Power (Chronicles of Yavn #2) by Elisabeth Staab


Friday, September 19, 2014

The Wager by Rachel Van Dyken


**** 1/2
From Forever Romance:

Lose a best, lose your heart…

What is it about a junior-high crush that can send an otherwise intelligent woman into a tailspin? TV reporter Char Lynn wishes she knew. Jake Titus is too rich, too handsome, too arrogant: a trifecta that once lured Char into the best night-and worst morning-after of her life. Now they've been thrown together in a wedding party. It's awkward, but survivable… until Jake stops acting like a jerk, and starts acting like the man she'd always hoped he could be.

If watching your brother marry your best friend is weird, being attracted to your best friend's other best friend is downright bizarre. Unfortunately for Jake, Char hasn't forgotten how he once tossed her aside. Worse still, Jake's already-nutty grandma is even crazier about Char. Cue meet-cute shenanigans and all manner of meddling, and somehow, Jake's falling. For Char. Now all he has to do is make her believe it…


 

I love this series. I'm not entirely sure there are words to describe how much a love this series. I want to cuddle with this series on a winter's night and cook it dinner. In the Bet, we met Jake, Travis, Kacey and the Titus clan, most importantly Grandma Titus. Everyone should have and fear a Grandma Titus. In The Bet, Grandma has determined to unite Travis with the girl he has always loved, but never been able to catch, Kacey, also known as Jake's best-friend. In The Bet, we learn that Jake has not been a nice guy for the last, say several years. His treatment of Kacey is reckless and cruel. Now, in The Wager, Jake is struggling with Travis and Kacey's impending nuptials and since the two got together he has been in a rapid downward spiral – drinking, irresponsible actions with the family empire and hiring prostitutes.

As you can imagine, Grandma decides that she needs to fix Jake's behavior, cuts him off from his money, fires him and follows him home to ensure he gets his act together. Grandma's antics are freaking hilarious. She is a manipulative genius. I thought Lucille from Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor books was good, but she's got nothing on Grandma. She brilliantly orchestrates and manipulates the lives of everyone around her. She bullies, threatens and uses brute force to achieve her ends, which is wildly entertaining for us all.

Despite the fact that Jake is a jerk you almost feel bad for him, considering what Grandma puts him through. I love it when an author can take a jerk and make you fall in love with him and that's what Van Dyken does here. Jake is just so tired of himself. He's drowning in guilt over his past with Kacey and the fallout. He is ashamed, miserable and chock full of self-loathing. He deals with these feelings through drinking and meaningless sex. Char has always loved Jake, she just doesn't like him, especially after she sleeps with him and wakes up alone with a Thank You note and cab fare. Yep, Char's issues with Jake are completely understandable. Unfortunately her best friend Kacey is marrying his brother and they are the maid of honor and best man. Thanks to Grandma Titus, the two are thrown together to help with the planning for the wedding. Hijinks ensue.

Both of these characters are complete smart asses and they excel at giving each other grief. There are so many hilarious situations Grandma puts them in – mating dances, sex toy & costume parties and drug store gift baskets full of things just meant to humiliate. OMG, there are some freaking funny parts in this book that will have you laughing out loud (and possibly snorting – don't tell!)! 

The guys in this series are so adorably awkward I want to hug them while I am laughing at them.  I love Jake and Travis so much!!  I've read the adorable Prologue to The Bet at least a dozen times!!!  I puffy heart them so hard...

I cannot wait to see what Grandma has in store for Beth and Jace in The Dare!  If you haven't read The Bet or The Wager, you must do so.  It should be a law or something.

~Shel

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Moment of Everything by Shelly King

The Moment of Everything* * * * * 

In the tradition of The Cookbook Collector comes a funny, romantic novel about a young woman finding her calling while saving a used bookstore.

Maggie Duprès, recently "involuntarily separated from payroll" at a Silicon Valley start-up, is whiling away her days in The Dragonfly's Used Books, a Mountain View institution, waiting for the Next Big Thing to come along.

When the opportunity arises for her to network at a Bay Area book club, she jumps at the chance -- even if it means having to read Lady Chatterley's Lover, a book she hasn't encountered since college, in an evening. But the edition she finds at the bookstore is no Penguin Classics Chatterley -- it's an ancient hardcover with notes in the margins between two besotted lovers of long ago. What Maggie finds in her search for the lovers and their fate, and what she learns about herself in the process, will surprise and move readers.

Witty and sharp-eyed in its treatment of tech world excesses, but with real warmth at its core, The Moment of Everything is a wonderful read.


Review:

Sometimes stories just kind of sneak up on you.  I knew I would probably enjoy this book.  But I was not prepared for how much I was going to love it. 

Our story begins with Maggie and her landlord, Hugo, sitting in the only two chairs in Hugo’s used bookstore, The Dragonfly.  Here were learn that Maggie is unemployed and instead of spending hours on hours searching for a new job, she is spending hours on hours reading romance novels, hanging with Hugo and barely tolerating his employee, Jason (who is none too amused that Maggie is hogging that other chair). 

Maggie’s best friend, Dizzy, is only interested in the next big thing.  He’s happy going from position to position and company to company.  And he’s more than happy to have Maggie along for the ride.  After all, they’ve been conquering Silicon Valley together since they left college.  So when he hears that a number of execs at his current company (the one that he and Maggie started up) have a book club and have room for a couple new members, he convinces Maggie to join.  This will be the perfect networking opportunity since Maggie’s college degree is in literature and she can wow them with her knowledge.  Well, she does wow them.  Just not necessarily with her degree.  Because the copy of Lady Chatterly’s Lover that Hugo found for her in the bookshop is filled with notes from two lovers.  And those notes are what help her engage the book group and then spur Maggie’s unconventional project meant to impress and convince them to give her job back.

Using the intensely romantic notes written by Henry and Catherine in that old beat up copy of Lady Chatterly’s Lover, Maggie embarks on a campaign to make The Dragonfly a successful money making venture.  As much as Hugo hates The Man, he allows Maggie to use his store to further her career opportunities.   You can tell he sees possibility in Maggie’s quest.  Not the possibility of making money but the possibility of Maggie finding something she really loves. 

Maggie grew up in a home where she felt unloved and emotionally neglected.  It didn’t help that every moment of her mother’s day was planned in advance to make Maggie’s father (her greatest love) happy.  Needless to say, Maggie has a dysfunctional and complicated view of love.  Her experience is that it is controlling and that it asks too much of people.  But through the friends she makes while promoting The Dragonfly she learns that “for a love big enough, the sacrifices aren’t sacrifices,” and the complications can be worth it.

I loved so much about this story.  The irreverent humor towards technology and corporations that only someone with experience could write and understand.  Hugo’s many relationships.  Rajith and Maggie’s romance that was not the focus of the story but was still absolutely essential in the telling of it.  The beautiful and affirming words whispered in Maggie’s ear by someone close to her.  I won’t tell you who or what because spoilers…but I will say that the words and the situation made me cry a decent amount of tears. 

The Moment of Everything left me with a feeling of rightness.  I kept thinking, “This.  This is what I want my life to be.”  Okay, maybe not EXACTLY like in the book.  I mean, I’m not willing to trade in my Executive Officer for a Rajith (not because Rajith doesn’t have a certain appeal because, trust me, he most certainly does).  But what I loved was Maggie’s inadvertent search for love and fulfillment and how and where she finds those things. 

This book also left me with a fun to do list:

  • Read Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  • Buy a vintage bike
  • Find more used book stores
  • Eat some ramen for the sake of nostalgia
  • Spend hours visiting thrift shops and used books store so I can scour the pages of ancient books for secret messages from secret lovers
  • Buy and run a used bookstore

Now to just find the time….

If you are look for a beautiful and fulfilling story about a woman searching for love in all aspects of her life then I highly recommend you pick up The Moment of Everything by Shelly King.


Nat