Friday, May 28, 2021

TakeoverTakeover by Evelyn Sola
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Takeover really was a surprise read for me. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I have to be honest and admit that this book had a couple of firsts for me. I am not going say specifically what they are since they are not on the summarization of the book. Also, because how the author handles these topics speaks to her writing skills. The reader will know what I am referring to when they dig into Takeover. Tara and Ethan have an immediate repulsion to each other the minute they meet. Tara dislikes Ethan because he interrupted her career plans when her father sold his company to Ethan. Ethan dislikes Tara because he thinks she is a rich, spoiled brat. What ensues are some seriously funny moments where it is almost like they are crashing into each other rather than running into each other up to the point where they realize there might be more attraction than dislike between them.

Ethan is a single father, and his life situation definitely does not fit into Tara's life plans, as well as her dating rules. But Ethan pretty much is a whatever I want I find a way to get kind of person and eventually he realizes he wants more than just the toy company he is purchasing from Tara's father, but he has his work cut out for him to convince her to look past her rules for dating.

Tara has a plan. She is not single when the book starts out and she is dating someone that fits in her plans for a specific type of couple. I am amazed at how we have a specific type that we prefer to date which often gets thrown out of the window after dating several individuals of that "type" and finding that maybe we missed the mark with our list. I did it as a teenager and I believe most of us do make that list when we start dating. It would be interesting to see how many of us still hold to the original list.

One of the best things about Takeover is Tara's family. They are a close-knit unit and when you hear someone say they 'have your back', this family really means it. At times it is hilarious, but it is enviable and when things get tough for Tara, she really does not have to question who to turn to because she has great family support. Her stepmother is this amazing combination of mother and friend is colorful and what every stepchild wishes they had in a stepmom. Tara's relationship with her siblings that are twins is also fun to read about. They pretty much seem like triplets and anyone that crosses one of them should watch out for being jumped by three. There are some great conversations between the three of them that I really enjoyed reading. Actually, it is worth mentioning that the witty repartee in Takeover is something that takes this book to the next level.

I am imagining that the next book, hopefully, will be about one of the siblings and I really look forward to that.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

He Started ItHe Started It by Samantha Downing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I literally do not know how to rate this book. Does hating everyone in the book mean I hate the book? Doesn't there have to be at least one character that the reader can cheer for and hope they come out on top? Doesn't there have to be a hero or heroine? I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. What I can unequivocally say is that this author knows how to write characters and write a story that keeps the reader engaged. I can honestly say that I found not one of the characters redeeming. Beth had some positive qualities, i.e., her love for her sister and the desire to find her and support her. Outside of that, the age of the family members did not matter, and I am willing to bet that if there were any children in that family they would be just as despicable as the adults.

He started it depicts a repeat road trip that three siblings are taking to mirror a road trip they took with their grandfather when they were younger. So, the story switches between telling the story of the trip that occurred when Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan were young and now when they are trying to step through the same trip as a condition of their grandfather's will in order to secure their inheritance. What is amazing is that I can truthfully admit that Samantha Downing is a great writer. If her intention was to pit the reader against the characters and see who comes out on top, she really excelled at it. These characters all managed to make me wish I could physically hit every one of them. If I had been reading from a physical book, it would have hit a wall more than once. I love my iPad so I would not throw it but, there are times I screamed out loud and yelled at all of them. What is even more interesting is that it had me considering nature versus nurture again. Every last one of these people are psychopaths. I literally mean that. Where does a reader go when they are stuck in this story that feels like a car crash that they cannot look away from? Forward! We dig in and work our way through the story just to see what happens. We have no choice. Thanks a lot, author! Am I being sarcastic? I just do not know. It is still raw as I just finished it last night. I had nights where I sat on the edge of my chair with my head in my hand saying out loud what is happening here. I literally said 'WTF - spelled out' out loud while on a conference call with family. Luckily, they love a good story. All I could say was 'I don't understand. What is happening here? Who in the heck are these people? They are awful'. I did my best not to give one spoiler as you have to see it for yourselves. I should also mention that one of my favorite things was the moment the reader gets to see how the book gets its title. This is a story meant to be individually experienced.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

I’ve known powerful, arrogant men my entire life. Men like Ethan always have to win, no matter the cost, or so I thought. A chance encounter with Ethan and his son has me questioning everything I thought I knew. Readers who enjoy diverse contemporary romances will devour Takeover by Evelyn Sola, an enemies to lovers, single dad, billionaire romance.

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 TARA

I was supposed to be in charge. That was always my intention. 

Until that slick corporate raider, Ethan Bradford, clicked his fancy pen and poof! 

Just like that, I was under him, instead of on top.

Rich and powerful men–especially arrogant, handsome ones–are all the same.

I know exactly how to handle him, but when my father pulls rank and orders me to play nice, my plans of putting him in his place vanish.

I know his type. I’ve been around men like him my entire life, but one chance meeting with him and his son, makes me question everything I thought I knew. 

ETHAN

When it comes to business, I always come out on top. Not even being a single dad can slow me down. I never let a good investment get away, and that includes Taylor Toys. After all, business is business, right?

How was I supposed to know a friendly meeting would set me on fire? Tara Taylor is a spoiled princess, used to getting everything she wants. 

Sure, her good looks and smart mouth turn me on like nothing else. Despite her hostile stares, she triggered feelings I thought were long dead. 

She dares to judge me while she stands there in her designer shoes, looking more beautiful than any marketing exec I’ve ever met. Instead of being grateful that I saved her family’s legacy, she blames me for their failure.

What was meant to be a formality turns into a game of wills. 

I never lose. Except this time, I find myself wanting her more than I want to win. I find myself wanting her to take over. 

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Excerpt

Copyright 2021 Evelyn Sola

I know her type. Spoiled little daddy’s girl, upset because her life isn’t going according to plan. No manners. Someone needs to teach her a lesson and knock the smug look off her face. Wipe that smirk off her full lips. Lift her right off her short legs and spank her little ass.

Even now I know she’s seething with rage in her chair. She’s so tense, her shoulders are practically to her ears. I’d like nothing more than to walk over there, take the seat next to her and watch her squirm in unease, but this seat gives me a much better view.

She’s across the room in her designer clothes looking daggers at me with those big brown eyes. A man older than her father enters the room, and she stops the dirty looks to smile at him. She pats the seat next to her, and he happily takes it. He whispers something in her ear, and she laughs, the sound melodious to my ears. This is the first time I’ve seen her unguarded and imagine this is what she’s like. I think she forgot she’s supposed to hate me.

I want to hear her laugh again. And I do. He says something else, and this time, she throws her head back, laughing loudly, uncaring that she has an audience of one. All too soon, she sobers up, and I watch in awe as the tension returns to her body. She’s so rigid she looks like she’s going to snap.

The room fills quickly, and her father stands up to speak. I tune him out as I wait for him to introduce me. My eyes find her again, and I almost smile when I see the daggers are back and directed at me.

I hold her gaze, and she doesn’t back down. The humor she had just seconds ago now a distant memory. Her full lips are no longer smiling but are in a firm line. There’s no happiness in her gaze as she looks at me. Her eyes are a storm cloud, and I can see the brown orbs all the way from here. Neither one of us is willing to look away first. In fact, she lays her hands on the table and arches her eyebrows as she waits. I make no moves, and as much as I want to study the rest of her body, I don’t dare look away from her eyes. I never lose, and I don’t intend on losing to her by looking away first.

Unfortunately, my phone buzzes. It’s my private phone, the one the nanny uses. Carla has been with us since Vince came home from the hospital. She doesn’t text unless it’s necessary, and that’s what causes me to break the stare and pull out my phone.

I respond to the text, slide the phone back in my pocket and look back at her. She’s still looking, but I can see by the slight upturn of her lips that she’s claiming victory.

About Evelyn Sola

A Boston native, wife, mother, and wine enthusiast. If she’s not writing, thinking about writing, you will find Evelyn with a book in her hands. While a new publisher, she’s been writing for years, and she will continue to write for many years to come.  

Evelyn is obsessed with assertive and confident men who will stop at nothing to get their woman. Her stories are filled with love, passion and humor.

She currently lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and two daughters.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

In a blink of an eye, I turned her whole world upside down. I messed up and will do anything to make things right. Is there any chance of a happily ever after for a football star and librarian? Fans of the Boston Terriers Series by Jacob Chance will devour Blitz by A.M. Williams, a light and humorous, enemies to lovers romance.

Blurb

One sexy football player. One sassy small town librarian.

Is there any hope for happily ever after?

Charlie

HEA? No way.

Jasper Sutton is the reason I watched my dream go up in smoke.

I don’t care that he’s ridiculously hot and the night we met was one of the best of my life. The fact that he’s also funny and easy to talk to means next to nothing. 

He tore all my hopes to shreds when he bought the old library to turn it into a gym.

I can’t forgive him. 

Jasper

Charlotte “Charlie” Drake is something else. And I don’t mean that as a compliment.

She might be gorgeous and sexy, but she’s also headstrong and stubborn.

I get it--I messed up. I didn’t have all the facts and took things too far.

But I’m crazy about her. She’s the only woman who looked past my name and reputation to see the real me. I want to prove to her that I’m serious, I’m sorry, and we could be good together.

What does it take to get over the ultimate fumble and still win the game?

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Excerpt 

Copyright 2021 @ A.M. Williams

“So,” I said after a few minutes of silence where we each sipped our coffee and ate what was in front of us, “are you vacationing near here?”

Jasper tilted his head, and a smile curled the edges of his mouth. “You could say that. I’m staying with my dad.”

I blinked at him. “And your dad is renting a house near here?”

He laughed. Laughed! “Uh, no. He owns it.”

I blinked at him again. “Oh. Did he move here recently?”

Jasper tilted his head and I caught what looked like surprise widening his eyes slightly. “Do you know who I am?”

I considered his question for a few moments, knowing that if he was asking me that then he was probably someone that was well known around here.

But I was drawing a blank.

Besides my friendship with Ruby and Vicky, I didn’t get out in town too much. I knew people, of course, because of going to events, working in the library, and being drug out to different festivals.

But I wouldn’t consider anyone that I met in that way to be a friend.

“You’re Jasper?” I finally said, not sure what else I should say. My tone was definitely questioning.

He gave one sharp, quick laugh before shaking his head. “I’m Jasper Sutton.”

I stared at him after his declaration. “I’m Charlie Drake.”

If he was going to introduce himself like that, then I could too.

His eyes narrowed. “No, I’m Jasper Sutton.”

I wasn’t sure why he was putting emphasis on his name, but I was also realizing that his name did sound familiar. I just wasn’t sure why.

“Okay…” I said slowly. “Nice to meet you.”

Silence stretched between us before he asked, “You know, the name on the sign coming into town?”

I studied him as I tried to recall the sign. I passed it every day, but I was to the point of not even noticing it anymore.

But I remembered what he was referring to. The Welcome to Spring Hills sign also had a part that said Home of Jasper Sutton on it.

My brow furrowed. “Were you named after someone famous?”

He said nothing for a few moments before he started laughing. Hard. 

I shifted in my seat as he laughed, watching as he rubbed a hand over his face and hunched over the table. I wasn’t too sure why he was laughing; I just knew it was at me.

I glanced around the cafe and saw that people were staring at him laughing and grew even more uncomfortable.

Jasper slowly stopped laughing and shook his head, wheezing. “Are you for real?”

“About what?” I asked, though I wasn’t too sure I wanted to know what he was asking. At this point, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be on this date or whatever it was for too much longer.

“You really don’t know who I am?”

I shook my head.

He blinked at me before saying, “I’m Jasper Sutton. The name on the sign is mine. It was put there when I got drafted.”

The drafted statement made me pause, but I couldn’t dwell on it too long because he kept talking.

“You’ve been to the Tasty Freeze? Ever seen the Jasper on the menu? It’s the milkshake they named after me because it’s my favorite. What about the Burger Barn? The Jasper there is my favorite meal.”

I stared at him. I probably shouldn’t have said what I said next, but my mind was short circuiting because all I could think of was the fact that he said he’d been drafted. Drafted for what?

“I thought Jasper Sutton was some old guy that had died in a war sometime.” 

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About A.M. Williams 

A.M. Williams is just a simple girl from the south that found herself living abroad. When she’s not annoying her cat or reading, she’s spending time with her husband and traveling as much as possible. She has a serious case of wanderlust and wants to go as many places as possible while she can. She loves Cheerwine, sweet tea, and North Carolina (eastern style) BBQ as well as those crystal clear waters on the North Carolina coast.

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Join us for the cover reveal of Blitz by A.M. Williams. Fans who love Sports Romances will sink their teeth into this sexy, enemies to lovers romance. Keep scrolling for more details about this sexy cover. 

Title: Blitz

Author: A.M. Williams

Release Date: 5/11/2021

Genres:  Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance

Trope: Enemies to Lovers, Humorous Romance

One sexy football player. One sassy small town librarian.

Is there any hope for happily ever after?

Charlie

HEA? No way.

Jasper Sutton is the reason I watched my dream go up in smoke.

I don’t care that he’s ridiculously hot and the night we met was one of the best of my life. The fact that he’s also funny and easy to talk to means next to nothing. 

He tore all my hopes to shreds when he bought the old library to turn it into a gym.

I can’t forgive him. 

Jasper

Charlotte “Charlie” Drake is something else. And I don’t mean that as a compliment.

She might be gorgeous and sexy, but she’s also headstrong and stubborn.

I get it--I messed up. I didn’t have all the facts and took things too far.

But I’m crazy about her. She’s the only woman who looked past my name and reputation to see the real me. I want to prove to her that I’m serious, I’m sorry, and we could be good together.

What does it take to get over the ultimate fumble and still win the game?

Pre-Order on Amazon

Add to Goodreads Here! 

About A.M. Williams 

A.M. Williams is just a simple girl from the south that found herself living abroad. When she’s not annoying her cat or reading, she’s spending time with her husband and traveling as much as possible. She has a serious case of wanderlust and wants to go as many places as possible while she can. She loves Cheerwine, sweet tea, and North Carolina (eastern style) BBQ as well as those crystal clear waters on the North Carolina coast.

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Reader Group | Goodreads | BookBub | Website | Amazon 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Dreidel To The GraveDreidel To The Grave by Yoel Bereket
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dreidel To The Grave is an action-packed story in a genre that I love to read. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This book opens with action where Gal, the Israeli agent who is part of a team for this mission with some hilarious wordplay and action that keeps the reader engaged. Gal is on more than just a mission on behalf of the Israeli government. He has a personal mission and he is working his way through his own list that has the reader engaged from the top of the list to the last item on the list, i.e., finding Hitler. Of course, the Israeli government is engaged to publicly prosecute WWII war criminals, most of which have dispersed to other countries where they have been hidden and protected. Gal's personal mission may not necessarily align with his government's mission. One of the great things about Dreidel To The Grave, besides the great title convention for the book, is some of the comedic aspects that come through in some of the precarious situations that Gal finds himself in. Those aspects, along with some of Gal's internal commentary are what bring him alive for the reader. Another aspect of the book that readers might enjoy is the colorful characters that Gal encounters throughout the book. This is a good read with an interesting character to follow. If the author decides to continue this character in future books, I have no doubt that the books will continue to grow and I look forward to potentially seeing more in-depth analysis of the characters, historical aspects that are the foundation for the stories, and with all of the travel, more about the locations that Gal finds himself.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

To Die in Tuscany (A Rick Montoya Italian Mystery #7)To Die in Tuscany by David P. Wagner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To Die in Tuscany follows Rick Montoya on his next "investigation". I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Each of the Rick Montoya Italian Mysteries is set in a different town or city in Italy. This mystery is set in two small towns in the Marche region around Urbino with a particular focus on their art museums, gardens, local politics, and art dealers. If you have a love of Italy, art, and museums then To Die in Tuscany will be a welcome respite from being unable to travel to Italy for the last year or so. One of my favorite things about this series is they do well with depicting Italy, the food, culture, and the people. It is obvious that David P. Wagner has not only experience with so many areas of Italy but also he is well versed in Italian. For those of us studying Italian not just for the language but also to learn the culture of the Italians, this series is wonderful. Obviously, it is a small replacement for not getting my Italian adventure that was previously scheduled one week after the travel ban started, but, I truly look forward to the books in this series.

One of the things that is a bit different about this installment is how the investigation proceeds. Betta who was missed in the previous book is always an interesting character. But, To Die in Tuscany is very much in Betta's world of art theft. This book has a great array of characters who all did a great job of being plausible suspects so the reader spends a great time changing their mind about who committed both crimes that are at issue in this book. We learn about artists and masterpieces we may have not have been introduced to or have heard of because they are not always front-and-center when we visit the museums and galleries across the world. But, Italy is an amazing place of art and I like to refer to it as an open-air museum and art gallery because you turn a corner and see carvings and sculptures in the oddest places. Years ago, I had a theory that Italy discovers so much of its art buried in odd places that they may not have room to display it all so you see it in alcoves and breezeways and many other unexpected places. Some of it obviously pretty ancient. The Rick Montoya Italian Mysteries never disappoints and always has an interesting mystery. The point-of-view changed a bit this time for the mystery but, the travel through Urbino and other towns in this region made a great addition to the Rick Montoya Italian Mysteries. I cannot wait to see which region we visit next with Rick.

Takeover by Evelyn Sola My rating: 4 of 5 stars Takeover really was a surprise read for me. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced c...