THE PRINCE WHO LOVED MY by Karen Hawkins

21412371Title: The Prince Who Loved Me
Series: The Oxenburg Princes
Author: Karen Hawkins
Genre: Historical Romance

A handsome, rakish prince who doesn’t believe in true love meets a stubborn lass who will settle for nothing less…

In a lighthearted retelling of a classic fairy tale, bestselling author Karen Hawkins gives Cinderella a Scottish twist!

Prince Alexsey Romanovin enjoys his carefree life, flirting—and more—with every lovely lady who crosses his path. But when the interfering Grand Duchess Natasha decides it’s time for her grandson to wed, Alexsey finds himself in Scotland, determined to foil her plans. Brainy, bookish, and bespectacled, Bronwyn Murdoch seems the perfect answer—she isn’t at all to the duchess’ taste.

Living at the beck and call of her ambitious stepmother and social butterfly stepsisters, Bronwyn has little time for a handsome flirt—no matter how intoxicating his kisses are. After all, no spoiled, arrogant prince would be seriously interested in a firm-minded female like herself. So . . . wouldn’t it be fun to turn his “game” upside down and prove that an ordinary woman can bring a prince to his knees?
Blurb: Who loves fairy tales? I know I do and I watch them all the time with me niece and they are great.  But what’s even better than a fairy tale is a book about one.  The Prince Who Loved Me by +Karen Hawkins is about probably the most famous fairy tale of them all, Cinderella.

Bronwyn Murdoch was sitting in her spot.  Under a tree in a clearing surrounded by her two dogs,  enthralled by the book in her hands.  So compelling was Roland, the male character in the book, that when her dogs gave a bark of warning, she raised her head and thought that Roland has stepped outside of his book into the real world.

In order for Prince Aleksey Romanovin to claim his birthright, he must follow the rules of his grandmother, Grand Duchess Natasha.  To win his birthright, he must go to Scotland with his grandmother and find a proper bride for a Prince.

Not one who likes to do as he’s told (he’s a Prince, what did she expect), Aleksey is determined to foil her plans by pursuing someone that the Duchess would never approve of. The person who fits the bill for his plan is plain, bookish, bespectacled but independent Bronwyn.

Bronwyn, living the life out of fairy tales, a step-mother and two step sisters, but with a twist, everyone is nice to each other. (Freaky, I know) But that does not stop Bronwyn from having a magical adventure.  Upon meeting the Prince, he brought out feelings she only read about in books.  Experiencing the real thing compared to books was a giant shock to her system and had Bronwyn doing things that she would never have done normally, like kissing a perfect stranger beneath a tree for instance.

Not liking what the Prince brings out in her, Bronwyn tries to flee, but once Aleksey has something he wants in his sights, he never lets it go.

Never have Aleksey experienced feelings like the ones that his dear Roza (his cute pet name for her) brings out in him. He wants to be a free man to do as he please but there is something about his Roza that makes him want to learn more about her.  The meddling from his grandmother and her step-mother does not help things and makes everything complicated,

Can Aleksey go through with his plan to use Roza for his own benefit or would he be caught in the very thing he tries to avoid the most?

I was so excited when I heard that this book was a retelling of the story Cinderella.  +Karen Hawkins had me laughing and crying and getting angry at crazy, foolish men who think up RIDCulous ideas in their heads.

If you think this is a classic Cinderella story, you’d be wrong.  Their were no fairy god mother’s to help the poor weeping girl to the ball.  There was only………….damn, I can’t tell you, I’ll ruin the book for you and I would not want to do that to you my darling readers.

The only problem I have with this books is that Aleksey said that he was going to publicly court Bronwyn, yet for some strange reason, the book never got around to that part.

The shocking installment coming to the end got me.  I really did not see that coming.  I knew they liked each other, but tho actually have the guts too, hmmmmmmmmm.  That really knocked my socks off and no, I’m not talking about the Prince!

The ending was tasteful and even though it had all the I love you’s and the kissing, I was not grossed out by it, I read it over and over again and each time I had tears in my eyes.  Bravo!

I loved this book and can’t wait for the next installment in The Oxenburg Princes.  The other two brothers are sure going to be fun.  One is next in line for the throne (the oldest) and the other is a military man (the second oldest). So since it started with the youngest and went on the the second youngest, I’m guessing the second oldest is next?

Then again, I could be wrong, I just have to wait and find out.  YEAH!
Thoughts: THIS WAS EPIC
Grade: A+

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Sunday Snippet: Twisted by Elisabeth Naughton

If you’ve never read this series well then you are missing out on one of best twists of Greek Mythology in romance being written. I’ve loved every book in this series, but I’ve been anxiously waiting for Nick’s story. People it was sooooo worth the wait. This is in my opinion the best book in the series. So I’m super excited to have this snippet from Elisabeth to share with you. 

 

“Nick.” Cynna’s soft, warm fingers brushed his shoulder.

He dropped his hands and whipped around. This deep in the tunnels, there was no light, but his senses were so heightened right now from Krónos’s energy churning inside that he didn’t need any illumination to see her standing a foot from him, her silky hair falling to her shoulders, her wide chocolate eyes alight with sadness and…pity.

The pity pushed him right to the edge. Who was she to pity him? Who the fuck was she to care?

“Don’t let them win.” She moved closer. “Fight it. The way you fought it these last few months.”

Those months spun in his memory. Reverberated in his ears. Rushed through his veins. The crack of a whip snapping in the darkness. The sting of the leather slicing into his flesh. The cold metal of the shackles tightening against his wrists. The chains jerking his arms high over his head. The hot, wicked sensation of those nymphs’ fingers gliding along his overheated skin. And a release he hadn’t known he’d craved hovering out of his grasp, impossible to reach. All thanks to her.

Blood pounded in his veins. Anger and rage and desperation coalesced. That energy snapped and sizzled in his hands until he couldn’t hold it back anymore. “Stupid move, female.” He closed his hand around her wrist and yanked. “I warned you.”

She gasped and fell into him. But before she could pull away, he turned and dragged her behind him.

“Nick…”

He headed for the tunnel on the left, wrapped his fingers around the first set of steel bars he came to, and threw the door open.

He flung her into the dark holding cell and stepped in after her.

She hit the stone wall, turned quickly, and looked back, her wide eyes searching the darkness, trying to find him. “Wh—what is this place?”

“Our version of a drunk tank. Never used until now. Fucking poetic, if you ask me.”

She sucked in a breath as he drew close, but didn’t struggle when he grasped her arm, yanked it upward, and snapped a metal cuff high on the wall over her wrist. Didn’t once turn away while he reached for her left arm, jerked that one up as well, and snapped the second cuff over her other wrist.

That shadow energy hummed and rolled inside as he stepped back. Thanks to his enhanced senses, he could see her. See her well, even in utter darkness. His gaze slid over her newly dark hair, the white, almost angelic sweater falling open at her chest, the tips of her breasts pressing against the soft cotton, and her slim hips and long legs encased in the formfitting jeans. Arousal stirred in his belly, mixed with the darkness, then slinked downward until he was hard as stone.

“Nick. Listen to me.” Her hands curled into fists. “I—”

“What did you say to me in that cell when you brought those nymphs to me?” Power rippled in his veins as he braced his hands on the stones beside her head and moved in so close his body was a breath from hers.

“I—”

He brushed the tip of his nose against her ear and lowered his voice to a menacing whisper. “I think it was something along the lines of…this isn’t a game.”

Tempted.inddNickLeader of the half-breeds and the last true hero. He’s spent his life fighting a dark pull toward the gods. A pull he now knows is linked to his father Krónos and the Titan’s plan to escape from the Underworld.

But Nick’s hidden powers are coveted by more than just his father. Imprisoned by Hades, Nick battles every form of torture imaginable as the sadistic god schemes to break him. Only one thing is keeping him sane. One woman who gives him the strength to fight the relentless darkness. She has a dangerous plan of her own, though, and as Nick’s powers grow stronger, even she might not be enough to alter his destiny.

As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, Nick’s allegiances are tested. And no one knows whether he will choose to fight for good or succumb to the sinister lure of evil. Not even him.

 

All Messed Up by Kelly Jamieson + INTERVIEW + GIVEAWAY

Title: all messed upAll Messed Up

Series: Windy City Kink, #2

Author: Kelly Jamieson

Genre: Erotic Romance

Blurb:

If he’s a mistake, she’s ready to make him her favorite mistake.

Mallory Hurst has tried to live a life that makes up for past mistakes. But now she faces a huge ethical dilemma. Her pharmaceutical company’s unapproved, off-label use of a medication puts lives at risk, and her protests have fallen on deaf ears.

Hoping a trip home will clear her head, she boards a plane for California. And strikes up a conversation with a handsome stranger.

Joe Mason recently learned that the man he’s called father all his life… isn’t. At least that explains why he never measured up to his older brothers. Flying to meet his biological father for the first time, he meets a sleek, sexy woman who makes him want to mess up her perfect hair.

Shared conversation leads to a shared drink between flights, then when their flight is canceled, a shared bed overnight—where their rush of attraction explodes into a night of much-needed kinky fun.

Yet a night of hot, messy sex won’t fix anything—in fact, blowing off steam could have blown their lives all to hell…

Warning: Contains a hot cop, a neat and tidy executive, dirty talk, kink in an airport, mile-high shenanigans, a little foot fetish fun. And love, of course.

Thoughts: This is the first book I’ve read by Kelly Jamieson and it won’t be the last. It held my attention from page one. It was a fast read for me. The characters were well defined and I didn’t feel that I had to read the first book in the series to know what was going on in this one. The strong mutual attraction that Mallory and Joe feel for each other runs deep. The flame that started in Denver that they felt they could distinguish once they went back to their separate lives but found that flame was unwilling to die but rather burn hotter. This is a must read.

Grade: A

 

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Q& A with Kelly Jamienson:

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The message that runs through all three books in the Windy City Kink is to accept yourself for who you are. Sasha learns that in Sweet Obsession, Mallory learns it in All Messed Up and Paige learns it in Playing Dirty (coming in January). And secondary characters Kevin and Emma, who appear in all three books, learn it too.

How would you describe this series to someone who has not read any of the books but is intrigued by the concept

Hmmm…the underlying theme of the series is to accept yourself for who you are, which is played out with couples who have some mildly kinky sexual preferences, but who also have some emotional baggage that causes them to doubt themselves. Dominant alpha heroes go after the women they love, but those women don’t make it easy for them.J

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

My biggest challenge is to believe in myself. So many times in the middle of a book, I’m convinced it’s total garbage, or I’ll never finish it, or I’ll never write another book again.

What are your current projects?

Ack, so many things in the works! I’m working on a new hockey series. Books 1 & 2 are done and book 3 is started. I just handed in a book to my Samhain editor that I’m SUPER excited about. It’s book 1 of a planned series set in a Chicago advertising agency. I am SO in love with Levi, the hero! He is the funniest, sexiest dominant hero I’ve ever written. And I have a couple of stand-alone romances that are in the editing process.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I love you!!! Is that enough, lol? I am so deeply grateful to everyone who buys my books. I love writing and I love sharing my stories and it still amazes me that I get to do this and that people buy my books. THANK YOU!

 

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Windy City Kink series by Kelly Jamieson

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Sweet Obsession (Windy City Kink, #1)

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About Kelly Jamieson:

Kelly JamiesonKelly Jamieson writes romances with heat that’s sweet. Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. If she can stop herself from reading or writing, she loves to cook. She has shelves of cookbooks that she reads at length. She also enjoys gardening in the summer, and in the winter she likes to read gardening magazines and seed catalogues (there might be a theme here…) She also loves shopping, especially for clothes and shoes. But her family takes precedence over everything else (yes, even writing). She has two teenage children who are the best kids in the world, not that she’s biased, and a wonderful husband who does loads of laundry while she plays on the computer writing stories.

Facebook // Goodreads // Website // Twitter

 

 

 

 

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COVER REVEAL: Hurricane Butterfly by MeChelle Vermeulen

Hurricane Butterfly (1)
Title:  Hurricane Butterfly
Auther:  MeChelle Vermeulen
Publication date: December 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:  Twenty-year-old Sophie Blake, is trying her best to get her life back after a horrific dog attack ten months ago. However, this proves to be more difficult than she anticipated. With the help of her best friend Ben Slone, it seems as if she’s making progress, but the truth is that she can feel herself sinking deeper into a black hole…until a tall dark stranger comes knocking, looking for Ben.  Joshua Roxwell has been drowning his demons with Whiskey and woman in an attempt to deal with his guilt after the tragic death of his sister. When he finds an envelope addressed to Ben Slone, written by his sister before her death, he decides to track him down. Instead of resolving their differences, he meets the one girl who silences his demons…but redemption comes at a price.  This is a story of heartache, friendship and love, with a wicked twist…
Link:  Goodreads

COVER REVEAL: Laces and Lace by Toni Aleo

Laces and Lace_high

Title:  Laces and Lace

Author:  Toni Aleo

Series:  Assassins Series

Release Date:  November 24, 2014

Blurb:  Nine years ago, things were perfect. Lacey and Karson had found their happily ever after in each other…or so they thought. How do two people who were meant to be move on from that once-in-a-lifetime love?  Lacey has a strength inside her that comes alive with the things she’s most passionate about. She’s a fighter, a survivor, and has everything she’s ever wanted but the one thing that matters most—love.  Karson is doing the one thing he loves most—playing hockey for the Assassins, yet he knows regret. He knows his life has been missing the one thing he walked away from so many years ago—Lacey.  Nine years later, and neither has been able to succeed in moving on from what was, what could have been, and who each of their hearts still beats for. When a chance encounter during a fateful night has their paths crossing again, will the tether still attaching their souls allow them to face the past, present, and a possible future?  Can two people with fate on their side find a way back to each other? Overcome all the obstacles in their way to finally live life together to the fullest?
Or will they let those around them and the circumstances they face, along with questions and doubt, ruin a second chance at the life they both deserve?

Link:  Goodreads

Dare to Resist by Laura Kaye

dare to resistTitle:  Dare to Resist

Series:  Wedding Dare book 0.5

Author:  Laura Kaye

 

A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

Trapped and tempted, this battle of wills rages all night long…

Kady Dresco and Colton Brooks click on a level that defies logic. There are only two problems. One, he’s her older brother’s irritating best friend, and two, they’re bidding on the same military security services contract.

When the competition heats up, Colton is torn between wanting to strangle Kady (and her annoying brilliance) and kissing her into submission. Which is a bad idea for a million reasons, because Kady’s submission is exactly what he craves. Being trapped in a tiny motel room with the object of his darkest fantasies will require every ounce of his restraint.

Kady doesn’t want his restraint, but Colton knows better. She deserves love, marriage, and a white picket fence—three things Colton can’t give her. But her proximity and the memory of their steamy near-miss three years ago slowly destroys his resolve. And he’s not sure how much longer he can keep his hands off…or his heart closed.

 

Thoughts:  How many Laura Kaye books can a woman read at one time?!! Well, over the past weekend for me it was two. I’m reading the paperback version of book 2 the Hard Ink series, Hard As You Can, anticipating the release of the next book in November… (Have to get caught up!) And I read the Kindle version of this novella, Dare to Resist, which is the beginning of the Wedding Dare series.

This series was described by Ms. Kaye as a “wonderfully fun continuity project” between Tessa Bailey, Diane Alberts, Katee Robert and Samanthe Beck. I’m looking forward to reading more of the series and discovering some new-to-me authors. I hope they can deliver the humor, sweetness, passion and heat that Laura was able to deliver in Dare to Resist!

Colton’s intensity and Kady’s business acumen and yet personal vulnerability were a smoking HOT combo!! Love when characters have a shared history to build a future relationship on! And as I reread my highlighted ‘naughty’ parts to write this review – I must say that Laura Kaye and her writing is something that I will go back to time and time again! I don’t often read books more than once but for LK I will definitely make an exception.

Grade A

Lock and Key by Cat Porter +INTERVIEW + GIVEAWAY

713SpQwEWyL._SL1500_Title:  Lock and Key

Series:  The One-Eyed Jacks MC Club Book #1

Author:  Cat Porter

Genre:  Contemporary

Blurb:  I suppose some of us have to get really dirty before we can become truly clean.
I was allegedly South Dakota’s most famous Old Lady.
Sixteen years ago I had survived my Old Man’s murder.
Never again.
Never again will I surrender my heart.
Never again will I sacrifice to the Club.
But that all changed in one night.
I came home and crashed into him,
and my past and present blew up in my face.
Both of us lonely, running on empty, and unwilling to admit it.
Until now.
Now I feel things I’d forgotten about, want things I’d cut out of my insides.
Love not only stings when you lose it, when it’s ripped away,
When it first sinks its teeth into you, it can cut just as raw and sting just as deep.
I’d forgotten that.
Who holds the keys to betrayal? To suspicion? To trust?
To brotherhood? To family?
To redemption and a bleeding heart?
Right now, I just might.

Warning: This work of fiction contains graphic language, sex, and material some readers may find objectionable.

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RELEASE BLITZ – Falling: A 7-Novel New Adult Anthology + GIVEAWAY

Falling Cover

 

 Falling never felt so good . . . Seven bestselling stories of love, heartbreak, and redemption.

Grab your copy of this limited-time anthology featuring a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, along with some of the hottest debuts of 2014 for ONLY 99 cents!

(These full-length novels are either standalones, or the first in a series.)

 

AVAILABLE NOW – ORDER links for FALLING – Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

 Plus enter the GIVEAWAY for a chance to win SIGNED paperbacks, eBooks and a $10 GC from the authors!

Giveaway

Spin My Love by Chantal Fernando, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author
World-renowned DJ Tane Miller returns to his hometown after leaving when he was eighteen and never looking back. When he runs into his beloved childhood friend Giselle, his life takes a turn he could never have anticipated.

Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin
Clementine Avery doesn’t date. Not after her ex cheated and a professor stalked her. But when she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class, she has a hard time resisting hot RA Gavin Murphy, who volunteers to help her find a little “inspiration.”

Deep Blue by Jules Barnard
Recent college grad Cali Morgan thinks she has her life all figured out, until she returns to Lake Tahoe and runs into an old crush she barely recognizes. A serious accident pushes Jaeger’s life in a new direction, but he’s hotter than ever, his presence rocking the foundation Cali staked her future on.

Dazzled by Jane Harvey-Berrick
Young London actor Miles Stephens gets a chance to star in a big-time Hollywood movie, but when the dream of a lifetime doesn’t match reality he turns to Clare, lifelong friend and girl next door. Clare knows two important facts: when you break chocolate, the calories fall out; and that she’s totally in love with clueless Miles.

He Found Me by Whitney Barbetti
Andra disappeared from an abusive environment when she was seventeen, choosing to build a new life, full of secrets. But when she met Julian, everything changed. And the moment she let her guard down, a threat from her past caught up to her.

The Right Kind of Wrong by Jade Eby
Kara Pierce and Vince Gage have a tumultuous past. As in–he almost ruined Kara’s life. When they’re forced to work together on a final college project, Kara must learn how to do the hardest thing she’s ever done: forgive.

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
Corey Callahan thought she’d start college playing varsity ice hockey. But she’ll start it in a wheelchair instead. The only perk? Her too-delicious-to-be-real neighbor, Adam Hartley. They’re just friends, until one crazy night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.

 

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On The Naughty List Anthology

cover51715-mediumTitle:  On The Naughty List

Series:  N/A

Author:  Lori Foster, Carly Phillips, Sugar Jamison, Beth Ciotta

Genre:  Anthology

Blurb:  The most wonderful time of the year is back with On The Naughty List, bringing perennial favorite holiday stories from Lori Foster and Carly Phillips, along with two Christmas stories that delighted readers a year ago. This sexy anthology will make you want to give your heart to Christmas again and again…

Lori Foster has two co-workers plan a Christmas party side-by-side-and discover a love worth celebrating in Christmas Bonus

Carly Phillips explores a “mistletoe moment” when a no-nonsense lawyer intent on seducing her boss meets his twin instead–and gives him a scintillating kiss that leaves him begging for more in Naughty Under the Mistletoe.

In Sugar Jamison’s Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas, former wild child Dina Gregory returns home to New York to find the father of her young son. Instead, she finds his stuffy older brother, Ben. Ben can’t help but admire her tenacity—and her bold beauty. Could it be that Dina has reignited his Christmas spirit?

Beth Ciotta brings two friends who, after years apart, together at home for the holidays. They don’t seem to have much in common anymore, but when the two get stranded together during a blizzard, they are forced to reexamine if they are better off as “just friends”? Or could it be that true love was there all along? in Some Kind of Wonderful.

Thoughts:  This looked like a good Christmas anthology, and one that featured quite a few of my favorite authors.  Usually with anthologies, I find myself liking one book out of however many are in it and find the rest…well, forgettable.  This one was just a good, solid anthology all the way around.  I liked them all of them pretty equally.  I would rate them all around a B/B+.

Naughty Under the Mistletoe was probably my favorite, probably because I am partial to the ‘mistaken twin’ theme….;)

All in all, a solid Christmas anthology…perfect for this time of year!

Rate:  B

 

Broken by Laura Wright

91F62gfSToL._SL1500_Title:  Broken

Series:  Cavanaugh Brothers Book #2

Author:  Laura Wright

Genre:  Romance

Blurb:  The Cavanaugh brothers left behind River Black, Texas, long ago. But after their father dies, bequeathing them the Triple C, a cattle ranch that sustains their small town, they return—and confront the painful memories of their childhood home and the truth about their sister’s murder…For years, James Cavanaugh has traveled the world as a horse whisperer, but even the millions he’s earned hasn’t healed the pain he hides behind his stoic exterior. Forced to tackle old demons at the ranch, James throws himself into work to avoid his true feelings. Until he meets a woman who shakes the foundations of his well-built walls…Sheridan O’Neil’s quiet confidence has served her well, except when it comes to romance. Refusing to allow her heard to led her to disaster, she chooses to focus solely on work. But after Sheridan is rescued from a horse stampede by the most beautiful cowboy she’s ever met, her vow to keep her heart penned wavers. Only, as Sheridan uncovers James’s belief that no woman is safe with him, she wonders if such a wounded man could ever give in to love, or if some hearts are too broken to be healed.… 

Thoughts:  I knew in the beginning that this book was part of a series – I mean, it is a bit obvious.  What I didn’t know was where exactly this ‘brother’ fit into the series – in other words, is he book number one, book two…three?  The book sounded good though, and I figured I would take a chance on it.  Well, it turns out James is the brother featured in book number two – okay, I can work with that.  Or so I thought.  I was utterly lost in the span of this book…it did not feel like book number two.  I felt like I came in way further in the series.  I’m not sure if it had something to do with the choppy way of inserting this long deceased sister into the storyline – and if that was also how the “sister” storyline was dealt with and/or introduced in book one?  Whatever the case may be, I wound up having to put the book down without finishing – which is rare for me – but I didn’t think it would be fair to continue on as is without reading prior books – or book, as the case may be.  I was having trouble connecting with the story, the characters, and just…everything.  Perhaps I will go and start from book one and see how that goes?  I’m not sure the draw is really there for me, though, seeing as how the whole “sister” angle was approached.  We’ll see.  But in the meantime, this one is shelved for the moment.

Rate:  N/A

 

Christmas With A Billionaire Anthology

cover51428-mediumTitle:  Christmas with a Billionaire

Series:  N/A

Authors:  Carole Mortimer, Maisey Yates, Joss Wood

Genre:  Christmas Anthology/Romance

Blurb:  An embarrassment of riches: three sweet and sexy tales of holiday romance! 
Billionaire under the Mistletoe by Carole Mortimer – When softhearted Sophie pulls off a last-minute Christmas miracle for a family in crisis, she wins the gratitude—and heart—of wealthy Max Hamilton. But at what cost?
Snowed in with Her Boss by Maisey Yates – Dutiful Amelia is stranded on Christmas Eve. (Bad.) She’s at a five-star Aspen resort. (Good!) She’s posing as her handsome boss’s girlfriend. (So bad it’s good!) But is she pretending…or practicing with Luc Chevalier?
A Diamond for Christmas by Joss Wood – Headstrong Riley’s holiday run-in with hot gemstone tycoon James Moreau is unsettling to say the least. But she soon discovers that the only thing better than resisting temptation is finally giving in!

Thoughts:  I can honestly say that this is one of the stronger anthologies I have read.  I enjoyed each one of these stories – and pretty equally in measure, which is rare for me.  They each had great characters, a great story line, and set a pretty even pace – there were a few instances where the ‘I love you’ seemed kind of rushed, but to be honest less than in most anthologies that you read.  I love getting various works by different writer’s in anthologies, but no matter what I always wish that they were longer – but that wasn’t as much of an issue as normal with this set.  A really well put together compilation.  A perfect Christmas anthology!

Rate:  A-/B+

Sunday Snippet: Going All In by Alannah Lynne

Today’s excerpt comes from Alannah Lynne, whose books are in my TBR pile, and who Carly Phillips and Liza over at Bloggin by Liza tell me I need to read ASAP. I will I swear. This is from Alannah’s latest release Going All In. 

After dropping her purse and keys onto the coffee table, Callie was surprised to turn and find Wade still standing in the doorway, forearm braced on the casing above his head, forehead resting on his arm.

“Why are you standing there? Come in.”

His breath was slow and deliberate, his smile sad. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“What? Why?” She had zero practice seducing men, but she’d watched Jen approximately two million times over the years. Hopefully, she’d picked up a little something along the way. Putting an extra swing in her step, she worked to infuse a sexy vibe to her walk and crossed the foyer to stop in front of him. “It’s an excellent idea.”

“You’re awfully cute when you’re drunk.”

“I’m not drunk. I’m happy.”

When his grin widened, she dropped back, thought over her options, then tried a more direct approach. Stepping close enough to run her hands down the middle of his chest, she said, “Seriously, I’m not drunk. The buzz faded on the way home and now I’m just relaxed. At least, I was.”

Her gaze settled on the erratic pulse pounding in his neck, then slid down the center of his chest, over his stomach, to his belt. “Now that we’re alone, I’m not quite as relaxed as I am nervous and excited.” She tried to make eye contact but chickened out and ended up staring at his full and tempting lips. “Very excited.”

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The Billionaire Cowboy by Mandy Baxter

cover51712-mediumTitle:  The Billionaire Cowboy

Series:  Billionaire’s Club Book #1

Author:  Mandy Baxter

Genre:  Romance

Blurb:  Billionaire Ryder Blackwell has got it all under control. The wealthiest cattle baron this side of the Mississippi, he’s built an empire for himself in hopes of getting distance from a tortured past. But when a stunningly sexy—and strong-willed—new vet comes to town just in time for Christmas, Ryder knows he’s met the one spirit he just can’t tame…

Lara Montgomery doesn’t want to be involved with any man, least of all the rich, infuriating, and unbearably sexy Ryder Blackwell. She vows never to tangle with the charming rancher, but when he offers her the ultimate deal—one weekend at his ranch in exchange for a near-priceless horse—Lara cannot refuse. And as the nights get colder and their attraction gets hotter, Lara’s about to get all she’s ever wanted for Christmas…

Thoughts:  WOW – can we say hot, steamy, sexy read?  (fans self dramatically)  Ryder’s intense desire for Lara was just so vivid – it really just revved all the right buttons for me!

The whole ‘ex-boyfriend’ part of the story just seemed a bit thrown in there to add a little angst to the story, but you know what?  I enjoyed the chemistry between these characters so much that I hardly even noticed!

Great characters, great story….what can I say?  I just loved, loved, LOVED this book, and I hope the others in this series are just as good – because I definitely plan on reading them!  I do wish it had been a little bit longer, but it made for a quick, sexy, and just all around fun read…:)

Rate:  A

 

Series Saturday: Falcon Club by Katharine Ashe

One of my absolute favorite historical authors is Katharine Ashe, and not just because I have the privilege of calling her friend, but because she is an excellent story teller. Her Falcon Club series has everything I look for in great historical reads. Fantastic heroes, and heroines who don’t really need a hero, but who are smart enough to recognize that sometimes you need to let the men be the hero they need to be. 

when a lady loves a scotLondon gossips are asking: What use has society of an exclusive gentleman’s club if no gentlemen are ever seen to pass through its door?

After years as an agent of the secret Falcon Club, Lord Leam Blackwood knows it’s time to return home to Scotland. One temptation threatens his plans—Kitty Savege. The scandal-plagued lady warms his blood like a dram of fine whiskey. But a dangerous enemy stands in the way of desire, and to beat this foe Leam needs Kitty’s help…

Kitty never wanted to spend her holidays in a wretched country village! With snow up to the windows, escape is nowhere in sight. A roguish Scottish lord, however, is. His rough brogue sends tingles of heat from Kitty’s frigid toes to her chilled nose, but she’s confident she can withstand that. What she cannot control is the reaction of her carefully guarded heart when she discovers this beast is, in fact, no beast at all.

 

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Dead Over Heels by Alison Kemper

cover53287-mediumTitle:  Dead Over Heels

Series:  N/A

Author:  Alison Kemper

Genre:  YA, Paranormal

Blurb:  The end of the world just might be their perfect beginning…
Glenview, North Carolina. Also known—at least to sixteen-year-old Ava Pegg—as the Land of Incredibly Boring Vacations. What exactly were her parents thinking when they bought a summer home here? Then the cute-but-really-annoying boy next door shows up at her place in a panic…hollering something about flesh-eating zombies attacking the town.

At first, Ava’s certain that Cole spent a little too much time with his head in the moonshine barrel. But when someone—or something—rotted and terrifying emerges from behind the woodpile, Ava realizes this is no hooch hallucination. The undead are walking in Glenview, and they are hungry. Panicked, Ava and Cole flee into the national forest. No supplies, no weapons. Just two teenagers who don’t even like each other fighting for their lives. But that’s the funny thing about the Zombpocalypse. You never know when you’ll meet your undead end. Or when you’ll fall dead over heels for a boy…

Thoughts:  I’m usually not a big fan of YA (although there are a few exceptions)….but the fact that this one has zombies?  Oh, yeah…had to pick this one up!  Apparently, this one is a companion book to the author’s Donna of the Dead book – although the author herself is careful to point out that it is not a sequel.  The book is completely stand alone with new characters.  Personally, I hadn’t read the previous book that is similarly connected to this ‘world’, but I imagine I will after I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

I have to admit I was a bit hesitant in the beginning – first off, because it all seemed a bit cheesy and predictable.  Then, simply because there were a few things that bugged me.  The constant need to emphasize the zombie noise, for example – ‘Rawr!’  You’ve explained it to me.  You’ve described it already.  I get it.  I don’t need it re-emphasized every time one of the zombies comes into sight.  Additionally, in the beginning there is a huge amount of ‘I reckon’, ‘ain’t’, ‘dadgum’, etc. – which seems to happen much less often toward the end – at least in comparison.  I get that he is a ‘redneck hillbilly’, but too many of these detracts from my enjoyment of the story.  I understand that he has a accent, but I don’t need to read it in every other word.  Maybe it’s just a personal quirk of mine that I talk with that type of accent but hate to read it, or perhaps since I come from a ‘hillbilly redneck’ area myself I am a bit overly sensitive here…LOL  To the author’s credit, however, she does mention how ‘rednecks’ came to be called that which I thought was a sensitive thing to do…:)

I have to say though, that the more I read, the more I liked.  Each page pulls you deeper into the story, and before you know it, you’re caught up in what happens to these two characters – and you just have to see how it all ends.  All in all, my little critiques are easy to overlook  within the scope of the whole book.  While I may have been on the fence initially, I was completely won over by the end of the book – and I’m ready for more!

Rate:  A