Friday, April 18, 2014

Sheikh's Scandal by Lucy Monroe (The Chatsfield)

Sheikh's Scandal
by Lucy Monroe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publication Date: May 1, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
ISBN: 9780373132393
Genre: Contemporary Romance - Adults
Print Length: 192 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

When the Sheikh comes to town…

Sheikh Sayed of Zeena Sarha and his harem of beautiful women are staying at the exclusive, opulent Chatsfield Hotel, London, for the last stop on his worldwide tour before his wedding. But when his engagement is unceremoniously broken, Sayed sets his sights on his sexy chambermaid!

Liyah Amari only took the position as chambermaid to find the truth about her birth father. But her search ends in heartache, leaving Liyah vulnerable to this powerful sheikh's desires. Now their one night of passion could result in a scandalous consequence for the proud Sheikh!

Welcome to The Chatsfield, London!

Sheikh's Scandal (The Chatsfield)My Review:
Sheikh's Scandal by Lucy Monroe
My Review:

To best enjoy this heart-warming, light and fluffy contemporary fairy tale romance, I suggest a soft and comfy couch or lounge chair, a gentle fire or the sound of waves lapping against the shore. Lucy Monroe has written a sweet, only slightly convoluted love story that is a romantic’s delight. Sheikh’s Scandal is pure Harlequin Romance! Liyah, a wonderful and caring young woman from the States takes a job at the posh and elegant Chatsfield Hotel in London with only one agenda besides providing the proper ambience and cultural service to dignitaries from the Middle Eastern country of Zeena Sahra. Liyah is determined to finally meet the father who had a brief affair with her recently deceased mother, leaving her mother shamed and disowned by her Zeena Sahra family.

Meanwhile the future leader of Zeena Sahra, along with his entourage and his fiancé have their own political upheavals to deal with when Sayed’s fiancé secretly dashes off with another. As only a true romance writer can do, Lucy Monroe places the chambermaid and the royal in the perfect situation to find comfort in each other’s arms and a magnetic pull they both try to deny, further complicated by the slim possibility that Liyah could be pregnant. What to do? Hide away in Zeena Sahra until the pregnancy can be proven or not, of course. In the end, will it really matter? Where there is love, there is a way through anything, right?

Lucy Monroe sticks to the romantic side of this tale, leaving the drama of international issues and fathers in denial as mere emotional potholes on the way. With two wonderfully likable main characters and a wonderfully wise royal family in the wings, Ms. Monroe gives us a true fairy tale type romance for a perfect getaway from the world we call reality. Nothing deep, nothing to truly ponder, just a straight to the heart love story.

I received an ARC edition from Harlequin Presents in exchange for my honest review.



How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Kate McKinley (What Happens in Scotland, #1)

How To Lose A Duke In Ten Days
by Kate McKinley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: What Happens in Scotland - Book 1
Publication Date: April 17, 2014
Publisher: Kate McKinley
ASIN: B00JS6R7US
Genre: Historical Romance - Adults
Print Length: 144 pages
Available from: Amazon

Synopsis:

Lucas Alexander, the ninth Duke of Arlington, is a man who gets what he wants. So when he sees the alluring Miss Pippa Welby from across a crowded ballroom, he vows to make her his. But the bold and spirited Pippa has sworn never to marry into the haute ton. Now Lucas must win her the only way he knows how—one wicked kiss at a time.

The daughter of a wealthy tradesman, Pippa has been sneered at by the upper echelons her entire life. So when the duke arrives on her doorstep with an invitation to her own engagement ball—to him—in ten days, Pippa hatches a daring plan. She must lose the duke before the ball, or risk losing her own heart.


How To Lose A Duke In Ten Days (What Happens In Scotland #1)My Review:
How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Kate McKinley
My Rating:  4 Stars

Get ready for Pippa, headstrong, creative, and far too independent and beautiful for the shallow likes of the Ton, in spite of her father’s wealth, because she has “tradesman blood” in her veins. Often painfully snubbed, Pippa has no plans to find a “suitable match” and become the property of some rich buffoon, especially not the arrogant, presumptuous and demanding likes of Lucas Alexander, the Ninth Duke of Arlington. When the duke announces to Pippa that she is to become his wife, she becomes determined to prove him wrong, all while playing the game he has started. Has Lucas put all of his cards on the table, or is the deck one card short of the truth of his proposal? Used to always forging ahead to get what he wants, Pippa shows him a side of her that breaks down his resistance to all matters of the heart when he discovers she is as strong-willed as he.

As Pippa’s determination not to be charmed by this man wavers, they both discover a missing link in their lives, but Pippa discovers the lie and realizes even her own father has deceived her, so how does she choose between honor, revenge and her heart? Will she be the one that got away for the duke?

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Kate McKinley may not perfectly re-create the dialogue of the era, but she has nailed the attitude and callous nature of the Ton, perfectly. I, for one, felt I was taken back, and was looking at the “real” people of the times. Pippa is most definitely the star, her well-defined personality and her edgy sense of timing and humorous deviousness lends for many delightful moments. Even her vulnerability is endearing, because clearly she hides her fear and insecurity well. The duke, from the start, was a heartless cad, whose greed led him to strike a deal with Pippa’s father, who thankfully never made much of an appearance. His transformation as the tale progressed was apparent as Pippa woke feelings long forgotten in his soul. Of course, we knew how the story would end, we want that ending, it’s the journey that makes the story and this was a great trip, thanks to the guidance of Kate McKinley.


I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.



The Long Road Home by Jenna Pizzi

The Long Road Home
by Jenna Pizzi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Publication Date: December 6, 2013
Publisher: Indie Inked
ISBN: 9781477420058
Genre: Romantic Mystery/Thriller-Adult
Number of Pages: 269
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

The Long Road Home” Is a story about family, first love, betrayal & secrets.

What if someone took away everything that you ever cared about?

What if one by one you were stripped of everything that you have ever known until there was nothing left?

What if you didn't even realize what was happening to you, because it was by the hands of one man, that was driven by obsession to possess you, to own you.

Christina never believed in love at first sight, until she met Michael. In the span of one summer, Christina finds her soulmate only to have him suddenly torn from her life. Her father is set up for a crime he didn’t commit, and her best friend Lani is swept up into a fairy tale of her own. Christina suddenly finds herself alone and vulnerable, with only one person left to turn to, Logan. Little by little she begins to fall under his spell.

Logan will stop at nothing to get what he wants, and what he has wanted all along is Christina. He has managed to worm his way into her life, separate her from everyone she cares about, and steal the life she was meant to have with someone else.
In a series of shocking events, the truth begins to unravel, and Logan is discovered for who he really is. Christina's friends fight for her to uncover the truth, and free herself from his web of deception. Will she be able to piece the truth together, or will she succumb to his delusional lies?

My Review:
The Long Road HomeThe Long Road Home by Jenna Pizzi
My Rating: 5 Stars
You have to love a book that starts out slow and builds questions in your mind while setting the stage for a barrage of nerve-wracking, fist-clenching chaos where the heroine is thwarted at every turn, because she just isn’t equipped to deal with what is happening around her. Chris is a realist, raised in a life of lonely luxury, she isn’t the “HEA” type. That only happens to others, never her. On a rare vacation with her father and best friend, wouldn’t you know, she is faced with her destiny, her one true love in the form of a caring and gentle man, Michael, a war veteran home after being injured in battle.

Chris’ father has other ideas for her life and has chosen who he deems to be her perfect husband, his protégé Logan, dashingly handsome, intelligent and wealthy, a self-made man and the heir apparent to take the helm of his company. Little did they know how “self-made” Logan was, or what he hid behind that dazzling smile. Michael is informed that he must go back to the Middle East, where he is declared MIA and presumed dead, but life must go on for Chris, who has only one connection left to the man she loved and it is her duty to protect that precious link, even as her father is railroaded with allegations of fraud and mishandling his clients’ accounts. As Chris’ world implodes, she is overwhelmed with decisions, both life-altering and terrifying.

Jenna Pizzi made some bold moves by not giving us a “larger-than-life” heroine, instead we have a woman who has been bulldozed into a situation that makes your skin crawl as you do some armchair quarterbacking with all types of sage advice. Chris could never have reached the end of her journey without her friends, who are loyal, determined and take over in the background of the hell that is Chris’ life. Logan is the villain, through and through, and the extent of his “issues” are not unveiled until the reader is ready to crawl into this book to become a hit man or an informer, either would have worked for me. Last is Michael, who is everything good in Chris’ life, her dream, her true love, but like a dream, he is whisked away brutally, without the closure Chris needed. His presence is felt throughout this tale via Chris’ mind and heart. With an amazing supporting cast, who often shined as brightly as the main characters, Ms. Pizzi has created a tension-filled, twisted tale that calls to the reader to become involved emotionally. With a clean wrap at the end, Ms. Pizzi adds to the realism by recounting where each character stands after the events of The Long Road Home and all I can say is that was a brilliant move!

I received this copy from Indie Inked in exchange for my honest review.



SURPRISED BY FAMILY Book Blitz & Giveaway


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Title: Surprised by Family, a contemporary romance duet Author Name: Noelle Adams and Stacey Joy Netzel Organized by: IndieSage, LLC
Surprised by Family will be on sale for just $.99 for a limited time, beginning on April 13.
Surprised by Family
 
About the Authors
Noelle Adams
Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel. She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.
Stacey Joy Netzel
I fell in love with books at a young age, so for me it seemed only natural to graduate to writing them. I credit my parents for encouraging my dreams of becoming a published author, as well as the very talented friends I've made in Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Wisconsin Romance Writers (WisRWA). An avid reader and fan of movies with a happily ever after, I live in Wisconsin with my husband and three children, a couple horses and some barn cats. In my limited free time I enjoy gardening and canning, and visiting my parents up north at the cabin on the lake with the whole family.

Giveaway

(1) $25 Amazon Giftcard
(5) Any Noelle Adams ebook
(5) Any Stacey Joy Netzel Ebook

Confessions of a City Girl: Los Angeles by Juliette Sobanet Promo Blitz & Giveaway


How harmless could one night be?

Confessions Los Angeles 600 wide 72dpi

Confessions of a City Girl
Los Angeles

By Juliette Sobanet


SynopsisIn their efforts to start a family, talented DC photographer Natasha Taylor and her professor husband have plunged headfirst into the stressful world of fertility treatments, scheduled sex, and IVF-induced debt. When an opportunity arises to sell a gallery left to Natasha by her late mother, Natasha hopes the sale could dig the couple out of financial ruin, give them one last shot at a baby, and save their crumbling marriage.

But when her husband walks out on her and doesn’t show up to her most important exhibit, an intense encounter with the alluring Nicholas Reyes–a once-famous photographer turned investor–leaves Natasha questioning everything she believed she wanted for her life.

Nicholas offers to buy the gallery…on one condition: Natasha must join him for a decadent weekend in Los Angeles, where he will give her the career opportunity of a lifetime and one unforgettable Hollywood night.

How harmless could one night be?
As it turns out, one night with the disarming Nicholas Reyes has the power to unravel Natasha’s tightly-wound world and awaken her in ways she never could have imagined.

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Amazon US   |    Amazon UK   |   Amazon CA   |   Amazon AU

 

Juliette SobanetJuliette Sobanet earned a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. from New York University in France, living and studying in both Lyon and Paris. She worked as a French professor before turning a new page in her career, penning romantic women’s fiction with a French twist. Today she lives in San Diego, where she devotes her time to writing, eating chocolate, and dreaming about her next trip to France. Visit Juliette's website at www.juliettesobanet.com    

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Enter to win a wine and spa gift basket as well as 3 ecopies of Confessions of a City Girl LA

 

Book: Confessions of a City Girl LA Author: Juliette Sobanet Tour Organized by: Indie Sage, LLC



ESSENTIALISM by L. K. Collins Release Blast & Giveaway


Some secrets can destroy…
       Bridgette Schaefer has been through more in her twenty-two years of life than most people survive in a lifetime. Finally, she can see the light at the end of the tunnel and control is within her grasp. With a fresh start ahead, there’s nothing but blank pages to be filled. Unfortunately, a lie by omission quickly weaves itself into a dangerous web of half-truths. As she battles between right and wrong, she discovers that sometimes there is only defeat when it comes to matters of desire. 
While others can set you free…
         Troy Sorano has one rule – no lies. Yet he’s spent years hiding behind a well-placed mask, forced to hide who he yearns to be. On the outside he’s confident, fun, and sexy-as-sin, but there’s so much more hidden within. When fate intervenes, he can’t help but wonder if Bridgette could be the one to accept him for who he is. As he struggles through his fear of rejection, he discovers he’s not the only one hiding the truth.
Can Bridgette and Troy find what is essential for their happiness before it’s too late?



Essentialism
(insert buy links here)

Fatalism 

Determinism

 LK Collins is first and foremost a devoted wife and mother. She loves music and has openly admitted that she’s addicted to it. Without the strength of the words from some of her favorite artists, what she does…would not be possible. She works the normal 9 to 5 like the rest of the world, but is fortunate that she’s allowed to listen to music for eight hours a day. When she gets home, she turns into Superwoman; juggling the crazy world of being an indie author, a mom, and a wife. Both her daughter and her husband share names with famous presidents. Her husband is referred to by her readers as “the Prez”, a name well deserved.

LK has had a passion for the worlds created by authors for as long as she can remember and with the support of the Prez, she has successfully self-published three titles in the Life. Destiny. Fate Series. While her books are erotica, they are also known for dramatic storylines that will keep the reader enthralled from page one. Not to mention that while she may write a series, each is a stand-alone novel offering the reader a happily ever after. No cliffhangers for this author!





The Beholder by Ivan Amberlake

The Beholder
by Ivan Amberlake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Publication Date: December 4, 2013
Publisher: Breakwater Harbor Books
ISBN: 1481931024
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Number of Pages: 264
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

Around the world, people die under mysterious circumstances. Each has a sign. Each is a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. A NYC interior designer Jason Walker receives a message saying he is the final piece.

Emily Ethan, a startling beauty with supernatural powers, appears and tells Jason that powers dormant within him are about to wake. He is the only person who can prevent darkness from enslaving the world. He is the Beholder whose advent has been awaited for many years.

Setting out on a journey with Emily, Jason discovers the world he could have never imagined, but the greatest surprise arrives the moment he realizes he has fallen in love with Emily.


The BeholderMy Review:
The Beholder by Ivan Amberlake
My Rating: 5 Stars

Complex, with intensely vivid scenes, The Beholder by Ivan Amberlake takes the reader down a dark and twisted journey into a world beyond our reality. We are invited to follow Jason on a path he reluctantly must follow as the world as he knew it will never be the same. Jason has fallen victim to inexplicable nightmares that end in death for those he dreams about. As he begins to question why he can’t rid himself of these horrific dreams, he discovers that somewhere in the world, real people are dying just as he dreamed it and they are all connected to Jason on an otherworldly level. Is he to be the next victim of Pariah, an evil supernatural being with an agenda of darkness and death?

When one of the characters in his dreams comes into his life in person, he has no choice but to believe and trust in this beautiful, supernatural woman, Emily, who tells him he plays a pivotal role in the future of “both” worlds, along with his two closest friends. He has powers that are awakening and his destiny is about to change. How does a New York designer go from the normal day to day grind to being supernaturally gifted and remain sane? Jason is not a superhero, how can he be the one called The Beholder, the only one powerful enough to stop Pariah and his minions of death? Not only has Emily rocked Jason’s world with her revelations, but Jason finds his heart has awoken, too, but is Emily really who she claims to be or is she hiding an important secret?

Suspend your hold on reality and let Ivan Amberlake take over the controls as he leads the way through this truly complex and uniquely different fantasy tale. Pay close attention as Mr. Amberlake stitches together this fast-paced adventure with unlikely heroes, otherworldly battles and a fight for survival against evil. Like nothing I have ever read before, I find myself wanting to know more about these characters, the chaotic world they have entered into and where Ivan Amberlake will take them next!

I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Played by Liz Fichera

Played
by Liz Fichera

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373210947
Genre: Teen/YA Fiction
Number of Pages: 352
Available From: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

This Game Is Getting All Too Real

Sam Tracy likes to stay under the radar and hang out with his friends from the Rez. But when he saves rich suburban princess Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, she decides to try to save him. Riley promises to help Sam win the heart of the girl he can't get over, and suddenly Sam is mad popular and on everyone's hot list. Except now Riley's trying out some brand-new bad-girl moves and turning both of their lives upside down.

Played (Hooked, #2)My Review:
Played by Liz Fichera
My Rating: 4 Stars

What a fun surprise Played by Liz Fichera was! Two teens from different worlds collide at a school sponsored Leadership Conference. Like oil and water, Riley and Sam clash, until they are forced to work together as a team on a scavenger hunt in the forest and hills surround the conference. One wrong turn, one huge misstep finds Riley and Sam trapped until morning, huddled together for warmth and to stay dry. Sam sees Riley as a rich little princess, Riley sees Sam as an arrogant teen with a chip on his shoulder. The events of that night change everything for these two as Riley vows to re-pay Sam for saving her by finding a way to get the girl he has been crushing since childhood to notice him. Too bad the object of his affection is Riley’s brother’s girlfriend.What happens when misguided good intentions backfire?

Riley has it good, accept for the fact that her older brother seems to be everyone’s favorite at home, while she seems to never be good enough, no matter how her grades are, no matter what she does. In Sam, Riley finds someone to lean on and confide in, while Sam learns to trust her enough to knock some of those chips on his shoulders off, a he learns there is a wonderful, warm person under all that pink she wears.

Often comical, sometimes just plain “true teen,” and definitely a moving story of two teens who discover they are not only good friends, but could become so much more. Not only is this a coming of age story, but a story of change and the struggle to be understood or at least to be noticed as part of the family for Riley. Sam learns to let go of manufactured dreams and assumptions and to learn to try to fit in both worlds he lives in.
Liz Fichura takes us back to high school, the cliques, the bullies, the entire scene as she highlights two teens caught up in the struggle of pre-adulthood. Ms. Fichura has done a marvelous job of portraying the dual life of a Native American, one steeped in an ancient culture and one trying to blend into the melting pot of this country. A quick read that seems wonderful for younger teens on up.


I received the ARC edition from Harlequin Teen in exchange for my honest review.



Rescued From the Dark by Lynda Kaye Frazier

Rescued From The Dark
by Lynda Kaye Frazier

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Publication Date: February 13, 2013
Publisher: Black Opal Books
ISBN: 1937329933
Genre: Adult Romantic Thriller
Number of Pages: 296
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

She has no memory of their love…

Kidnapped by terrorists and sent into a drug-induced coma, FBI intern Mercedes Kingsley awakes with no memory of her ordeal—or the intimate interlude that left her pregnant. Convinced her child was fathered by her ex-fiancé, Mercy walks away from the only man she has ever loved, determined to make things work with her ex, a man the FBI suspects is implicated in her abduction.

He knows the truth, but no one will listen…

FBI undercover agent Jason Michaels remembers what Mercy can’t and those memories are breaking his heart. Forced to keep his distance from his lover and their unborn child, Jason risks his life to protect Mercy from a cell of international terrorists who have vowed to get the secrets locked in her memory, no matter the cost. Can Jason convince Mercy to trust him until she remembers their past, or will he lose her to a man who will trap her in a nightmare world of darkness from which there is no escape?

Rescued From The DarkMy Review:
Rescued From the Dark by Lynda Kaye Frazier
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

I made another great escape into the world of pulse-pounding fiction with Rescued from the Dark by Lynda Kaye Frazier. A romantic mystery-thriller that pits intrigue against survival, deception against love, gut-clenching tension against heartache, Rescued from the Dark is one not to miss.

Mercy is a mega-wealthy CEO of the family’s huge corporation, but she has a secret, or two. Jason is an undercover FBI agent in the middle of a case, dangerously deep into the organization he is trying to bring down, so of course he has a secret or two, and keeping those secrets are what keeps him alive, as well as those he cares about. Mercy’s ex-fiance has secrets that involves getting Mercy back at any cost.

It all comes to a dangerous and potentially heart-breaking and lethal head when these secrets are discovered, Mercy becomes a kidnap victim and a drug induced coma causes her to lose parts of her memory. In a battle against the clock, Jason will have to use every resource he has to save Mercy in more than one way, all while trying to hide his heart on his sleeve.

If you’re looking for an intricately played out plot, filled with a cast of characters that are each holding a secret close to the vest and enjoy the journey through a tangled web that puts you in-the-moment of each scene, pick this one up. Will you be able to pick out a few conclusions? Yep, but there are other twists that you’ll never see coming on your journey to that final page. Lynda Kaye Frazier has a gift for writing and it shows in this debut novel. 4.5 Stars!




Cover Reveal & Giveaway - FISSURE - By Marilyn Almodovar








FISSURE
(Chronicles of the Interred #2)

By Marilyn Almodovar

YA Paranormal Romance

Releasing May 20, 2014

Published by Iambe Books, LLC

Cover designed by Nimbi Design

Baxter Jacobs just survived the worst Sweet Sixteen in history: buried in a coffin, hunted down by assassins, and losing almost everything that mattered to her. She’s ready for some normalcy, but “normal” won’t play any part of this Time Bender’s future.

Now that the immediate threat is over, Baxter learns just how much the English Council expects of the newest Interred. The pressure has her seriously considering her uncle’s offer to take her to New York, especially since she thinks it will keep her Healer, Jack, from overusing his abilities. Knowing the New York Council’s ranks are filled with beings using dark powers, however, makes her hesitate.

Before she can choose, the decision is wrenched from her. Fissures in Time result in a new battle with an old enemy. Someone she thought she’d lost reenters her life, and she’ll discover a web of lies woven into the fabric of Time…lies only she can unravel. Baxter will have to use her growing abilities to try and reveal the truth, even if it forever changes the reality she knows.

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20705918-fissure



Marilyn Almodóvar is the author of a series of YA paranormal novels. Born in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, Lyn is a lover of words whose reading tastes range from Victorian novels to the books of Stephen King. Her favorite past-times have always been reading and writing, two activities that let her escape to other worlds.

Lyn could happily exist breathing the clean air of Narnia, trapped in a cupboard under the stairs with Harry, fighting alongside Captain Jack Sparrow, doing an internship in Torchwood, or traveling around time and space with the Doctor...as long as she can have Mr. Spock, Captain Kirk and Captain Mal as companions.

She currently lives in Central Florida with her French husband, English-born eldest son, and French-born youngest son.





(1) signed copy of Interred, (1) Interred magnet and wristband, and (1) Fissure bookmark

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