Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas at the Castle (The Ever After series Book 3)Christmas at the Castle by Melissa McClone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Christmas at the Castle was a great read. I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A person is really blessed if they have at least one life-long friend. Kat and Sophie met at Summer camp and developed a friendship that most would envy, however, Sophie's brother was there and seemed to take an immense disliking to Kat which appears to exist 15 years later. Kat is a veterinarian and loves her job and despite having a ton of student loans she is pretty happy. Sophie, it turns out is a princess and her brother Gill is a Prince and Sophie is getting married. Although she visited Kat over the years and met Kat's family, Kat has never met Sophie's family and it also turns out that they think Kat has had too much influence over Sophie and do not care for Kat.

When Kat arrives at the small country where Sophie's family is the monarch, her mother the queen, she has a pretty chilly reception from two of the family members. Kat is a pretty strong character and for the most part it rolls right off of her, however, Gill starts to think something is different about Kat and wonders if he had her wrong all along. Christmas at the Castle does a great job of allowing Gill and Kat to both to slowly learn more about each other and they become friends and more. The reader is treated to the slow build-up of a clean romance and if you like modern royal romances this book fits in very nicely.

Monday, December 12, 2016

E-Original published by Swerve
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
ISBN: 9781250106582
Price: $3.99

Book Description
Miranda MacDonnell is on the run. When she inherited a mysterious relic from her mother, she had no idea the dangers it would bring. Now hunted by a relentless foe who will stop at nothing to find her, she has one choice: stow away on the ship of the notorious privateer, Black Hawk.

Rob Hawkins, the half-English privateer known as Black Hawk, has a mission from the Tudor king to find and kill the rogue commander, Sir Ralph Evers. To complete his quest, Hawk must find Miranda, a young woman Evers is pursuing. Caught in a tempest, he is shipwrecked with a "boy" who demonstrates an uncanny ability for saving him. Cast away on the mysterious Isle of the Dead, Hawk realizes that the "boy" traveling with him is actually Miranda MacDonnell and having her means that Evers will come to him. What begins as a ploy —using her as bait—soon changes, however, as he falls in love with her.

Ancient forces are at work, drawing the four possessors of the relic’s power to the Isle of the Dead in the Outer Hebrides for a final battle where good must overcome the forces of evil in this spectacular finale to the Scottish Relic Trilogy.

 Author Bio
Authors Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick (writing as May McGoldrick) weave emotionally satisfying tales of love and danger. Publishing under the names of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey, these authors have written thirty-five novels and works of nonfiction for Penguin Putnam, Mira, HarperCollins, Entangled, and Heinemann. Nikoo, an engineer, also conducts frequent workshops on writing and publishing and serves as a Resident Author. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance literature and teaches English in northwestern Connecticut.

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Tempest in the Highlands (The Scottish Relic Trilogy #3)Tempest in the Highlands by May McGoldrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tempest in the Highlands is a great book that I received a free copy of from St. Martin's via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I have never been a pirate story reader. This actually might be my first. Technically, Hawk is not a pirate, but, to the eyes of those in the world he appears to be a pirate, but, he is so much more. He reads like a tough, great-looking, ethical man who secretly works for the King of England, who is up to his neck in fighting wars on all fronts. One of his commanders has gone rogue and the King has sent Hawk to bring him down, permanently. Hawk is following Evers' trail and lands in Scotland where Evers has just left a village in death and destruction, including killing the laird of the village. He is searching for the daughter of the laird, Miranda, who is missing.

Miranda has managed to stay a couple of steps ahead of Evers, however, Evers has a skill that is leading him right to Miranda who has managed to escape by stowing away on Hawk's ship disguised as a boy. Hawk is following the one person who is a lot closer than he thought. The weather changes and after the ship is damaged Hawk and Miranda are castaways on a deserted island. Evers is closing in and now has the one thing that Miranda wants more than anything and he will force her to choose. It turns out that there is more to the island they have landed on and more than Evers will be present since something has drawn everyone to the island. My favorite part of this story were the conversations between Miranda and Hawk when she was not aware he had determined she was not a boy. Miranda comes up with some hilarious answers to questions she couldn't possibly know the answer to since she is really not a boy. The story was written with rich characters and a great plot. I was not aware of the first two books and I was glad to see that I could jump right in and still understand everything without having read the first two books. I do plan to go back and take a look at those because this is a great story.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Promise MadeA Promise Made by Anissa Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some stories just make the reader feel good. A Promise Made is one of those stories. I received a copy from Barclay Publishing in exchange for an honest review. A Promise Made is the second in the story of three friends, Josh, Evan and Zach who each have promises that they have to live up to when they meet the one. Josh has wanted Marla from the moment he met her. She and Grace (A Promise Kept) are best friends and Grace is well aware that Josh is interested in Marla who won't give him the time of day. Not only will she not give him the time of day. She acts as if she seriously dislikes him. The harder he tries, the meaner she seems to get. Marla is having trouble at work. She has worked hard to get a raise so she can afford to take the vacation she has dreamed of and saved for soon. However, the owner's son is now working at the firm and he is showing a lot of interest in Marla, very unwanted interest. It is not long until his interest turns hostile when Marla turns him down.

Josh is a well-accomplished personal trainer who trains several Hollywood actors, one of which is his friend Evan. He is in Austin because Evan is there temporarily until he goes to his next site for filming. Since Josh is Evan's dedicated personal trainer he travels with him on location. Grace is worried about her pal Marla after she is mugged in the parking garage where she parks during work hours. Grace asks Josh to look out for and train Marla in self-defense after the mugging. This is Josh's chance to spend time with Marla and hopefully, work up to convincing Marla to go out with him. Marla's problems get worse when her home and car are vandalized. Josh wants to protect her and he has a promise that he made to Grace that he has to keep. Things take a turn and both Marla and Josh have to determine how long they both plan to let the past affect their future. It is a great story with a great ending.
 by Anissa Garcia

A feisty redhead and an alpha male makes for a steamy pairing you can't resist. Fans of The Matchmaker's Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken and Violet Duke’s Resisting the Bad Boy, will love this super sweet and sexy romance from Anissa Garcia. 

Title: A Promise Made
Author: Anissa Garcia
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 3, 2016
Publisher: AG Romance Reads LLC                                                  
Josh McKenzie may come off as intimidating with his solid build and cold stare, but when trouble calls, Marla quickly learns there is more to the sexy tatted man with the British accent. And if she’s not careful, she can easily lose herself in his gentle touch and soft voice.

A feisty redhead with a mouth that won’t quit, Marla Sullivan knows how to push all of Josh’s buttons, making him want her in the worst way. His biggest hurdle is breaking through her stubborn walls and proving he’s here to stay.

When Marla’s faced with an unknown danger, Josh is forced to reveal his buried past. Promises made and surfaced truths may be the catalyst that brings them together...or pushes them further apart.

Get More information at: Goodreads  | Amazon
Learn more about her debut novel, A Promise Kept : Goodreads  | Amazon

Anissa Garcia resides in Austin, Texas and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications and English. She held an array of jobs including Public Relations Manager for Barnes and Noble. Wanting a change of pace, she moved to Los Angeles where she attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and trained full-time in theatre. After working in Hollywood, she returned to Texas where she has written articles for Cosmopolitan and Lady Couture. When not writing stories, watching movies, or drinking a latte, she loves to daydream about romantic fictional men.
Connect with Anissa at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram


Marla’s form strutted out the door, her long hair flowing down her creamy white shoulders and hourglass frame.  That black dress hugged her petite body, and I observed the way her ass moved as she hooked her coat and purse over her arm.  Her femininity was alluring.  The way she held herself and her delicate skin smelling like cinnamon made me hard.  It matched her sizzling mouth that I wanted to suck on and kiss raw. 
            I lifted myself out of the seat and crossed the room to her as she fumbled to put on her coat.  One side hung down and I grabbed it with ease.  She jerked away, attempted to escape me as I held it up.  Mahogany eyes glared at me.  She was on defense, no doubt from Ryan and whatever other idiots had disillusioned her about chivalry and romance.  I would prove to her it wasn’t dead. 
            “Is the date set with Dumbledore?”
            Her ruby red colored lips pressed down a smile as she shook her head.  “His name’s Gandalf, and he asked me to an early bird dinner at Denny’s.” 
            Cute.  At least she was open to joking with me, if only a bit.  But she was also nervous.  I could see it reflected in the way she moved, even the way she breathed.  “Let me walk you to your car.”
            “No, I’m fine.”
            She moved at a faster pace and I kept up easily.  I wasn’t letting her walk alone at night, especially with the type of men I saw in there.  “I’m walking you out.”
            “My car’s in the parking garage, they have security cameras.” 
            She was one tough cookie.  Independent, used to doing things on her own, she probably attracted the men who were complete opposite of her.  She liked to be in control and so did I.  You’d think this would pose some type of problem, but I was attracted to it.  I moved closer to her, my mouth near her ear.  “You like pushing me away, don’t you?”
            She turned her head toward me and rolled her eyes.  “Let me guess, you’re one of those alphas who likes to see his woman submit.  You want the type of woman who will adore you every night, follow you around all day, and tell others how amazing you are at everything you do.” 
            “You certainly like pretending you know who I am.  Since we met you’ve been nothing but judgmental toward me and only me.  Why is that?” 
            We were riding in the lift, but she didn’t dare give me a glance.  Instead she pressed the button to the ground floor, even though it had already been lit up.  She pressed at it again, as if it would make it go faster. 
            “I don’t like guys like you.”
            “Guys like me?”
            “Yeah.  I’ve dated guys like you.” 
            I couldn’t help but laugh as I rested in the corner against the wall.  What to say to a woman who thought she already knew everything about you?  I’d give it a go.  “So, some idiot who lived in the gym dated and hurt you, and now you think all men who work out are the same?”
            “Whether they live in the gym or not, they all end up being the same.  They all want a certain type of woman.” 
            “Which is what?”
            The doors finally opened and she scurried out, searching for her keys in her bag.  “The easy woman to comply with whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want.”
            “That type of woman is boring.” 
            She turned to her red Toyota Prius and opened the door, throwing her purse in the passenger side and starting her car.  “Exactly.  Yet they all want it.” 
            Before she could shut the door, I stepped in front of it and leaned down as she strapped on her seatbelt.  “Darling, I’m not afraid of hard work.  I know you’re an independent woman, and though most men find that threatening, I find it extremely sexy.”
            “You know what I find extremely not sexy?  The fact that you find a woman like me to be hard work.  Strike one, pal.”    
            She threw her hand up holding two fingers, and either she was warning me that I had two chances left, or she shot me the peace sign.  I believe it was the latter.  Either way, she was not happy.  If I wanted to make headway with Red, I was going to have to get some inside help to thaw the icy heart within that fiery woman. 
The knock on the door stirred me out of my thoughts and my mind reeled over who could be keeping me from my dinner.  The doorbell then chimed.  Not once, not twice, but three annoying times in a row, followed by a series of fervent knocks. 
            I inaudibly walked toward the door, careful to not give myself away, in case it was someone selling me a subscription to the newspaper or converting me to their religion.  I peered into the peephole and scrunched my face in aversion as my mouth emitted an aggravated sigh.  I swiftly opened the door as his hand stopped midair. 
            My hip jutted out as my irritation level climbed.  “What are you doing here?”
            Josh’s cool exterior, the tight forest green shirt, the peekaboo tattoos, his dark jeans were all too much to take in.  Good God, this man was delicious.  It was enough to make me go nuts, but instead I kept myself calm.  “Did you forget?  Lessons.” 
            “Are you serious?”  He nodded as his blazing eyes trailed down to my chest.  I followed, remembering I had opened my blouse.  I shrugged, closing the satin around my body.  “What?  You haven’t seen a great pair of breasts before?” 
            “Not those,” he smirked.  “At least not yet.” 
            “Want me to shut this door in your face?”  I flung it and walked away, but heard as his hand caught it from closing completely.  I could feel his presence as he walked in and shut the door, locking it behind him. 
            “Thanks for inviting me in,” he said softly, as I glanced back, buttoning my blouse up.  His eyes scanned my living room, and I ignored the idea of him seeing my untidy home.  My shoes were set in an accumulating pile near the corner of the entrance, my sweaters and jackets hung over one another on hooks near the door, and magazines were scatted across my coffee table.
            I turned and glared at him as he set his hands in his pockets, his eyes on my pretty heaps of high heels.  “What?” 
            The grin playing over his lips stayed small, as if he knew to be careful with me.  At the same time there was a hint of mischief behind those glassy light blue eyes.  “Nothing,” he said, shaking his head slightly.  “Nice shoes.”
            “Fine.  You can borrow a pair, but only if you promise to return them.” 
            A very rare smile spread over his lips.  It was one that made his eyes twinkle, his teeth show, and a laugh emit from his throat.  I shockingly found myself grinning back, a twirl in my stomach reminding me of what it felt like being on a rollercoaster right at the drop.  Satisfaction built inside me knowing I had earned that moment of sincerity from him.  It was one he hardly let others see.  Wait.  Why should I care that he smiled?  Pull yourself together, Sullivan.  “What are you doing here, Josh?”

London Prep by Jillian Dodd My rating: 5 of 5 stars What a great adventure! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book...