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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Weekly Winners

Below is a list of all of the winners from last week.

Luck Is No Lady by Amy Sandas

Wicked Little Secrets by Susanna Ives

Picture Perfect Wedding by Lynnette Austin

**Monthly Newsletter Giveaway Winners**

Swag Pack

Mystery Box of Books

All winners have been notified via email and are posted on the Rafflecopter form from that giveaway post. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and entered. =)

ARC Review: Black & White Flowers by Rachel Robinson

I have to admit that I wasn't drawn to this cover, but the minute I read the blurb I knew I wanted to read this book. Black & White Flowers is the first book in Rachel Robinson's new Real SEAL series. I will tell you that I struggled a bit with this book. I was drawn in right away, but as the book continued, the story and writing lost me a bit and I was left with very mixed feelings.

Carina Painter's life wasn't anything like you would hope for, so she created a life she wanted to live within the pages of her book. But after a horrible childhood and an abusive engagement, she is left broken. Navy SEAL Smith Eppington is broken as well, after an accident took the life of his best friend and left him scarred. When Carina asks to interview him for her novel, a friendship between them forms and their lives are forever changed. 

I liked Carina and Smith together. I felt like they were good for one another and I was so excited to read their story because it was so different from anything I have read before. Things were sweet and angsty, and their relationship wasn't where I had issues. 

My issues came in with the fact that there was a ton thrown into this book and at times it was just too much. I really felt like this book had the potential to be such a fantastic and moving story that would really resonate with readers. But I also felt like it was just trying to hard and never got there. It felt forced throughout much of this book, and that made it hard to really feel invested in this story despite the fact that I did like the characters. While I did like things here, ultimately I was disappointed with what this could have been and what it actually was. I would still read more from Rachel Robinson and I am interested in continuing the series. I just felt like maybe my hopes and expectations were a little higher than what this story lived up to.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes

Blissfully Sweet Event with Barbara White Daille

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!

Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed "The End" to her first novel many years the eighth grade. Now she's writing contemporary romance on a daily basis, with a brand-new series from Entangled Bliss (Snowflake Valley), an ongoing series from Harlequin Western Romance (The Hitching Post Hotel), and many more books on the schedule.

ARC Review: Last Ride by Chantal Fernando

I've read every installment in the Wind Dragons MC series. I started with Faye and Sin in book 1 and I loved them. They were my introduction to the series and the reason I grabbed up every subsequent book right away. By way of history, if you read the first book in the series Faye is in a very different position in life. In that book she is not the MC prez's wife, she's not a lawyer for the club yet and she spends most of the book being knocked up. I give you all of that background on Faye because this book centers around Faye. Most of the book is told from her perspective. I decided to read this book because I made the mistake of forgetting that book 1 Faye is not the Faye in this book.

When this book begins Faye is Sin's wife. She is the first lady of the Wind Dragon's and she runs the world of the women. Also Faye is the club's lawyer so she gets insight into club business that women don't usually have in this story. Also Faye has a smart mouth and everything she says is witty. Also Faye is the mother to a club princess and prince. Also Faye is a badass and can fight and is fearless and is beautiful and and and....and it was too damn much! I can't believe I'm saying this but Faye got on my nerves. She was just everywhere doing everything all the damn time.

Ok, you're probably all like 'yeah LJ but what was the book about?' Well, the book was kind of what you expect. Faye is fearless so she gets herself into some serious drama plotting to save the day. Sin loves Faye fiercely. Ok, let's take a moment to talk about Sin. Everything you loved about Sin from the other books in this series is back. Sin is still the same. He's alpha, bossy and loves his woman, family and club. Sin sorta wishes Faye would listen to him but also loves that she is independent and can be relied on to do whatever she wants to do. I like that about him. Sometimes I wished he would put the kabosh on some of Faye's....unorthodox plans but I still liked that he liked a strong woman.

Faye and Sin's relationship is still solid and just grows stronger through everything that happens in this book. I've known all the characters in this series over the course of several books so it was nice to see a lot of them again as the book goes forward. Despite some of the issues with Faye, this book is really fun and really entertaining. I recommend this book for any fans of MC romance or this series.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Friday, November 11, 2016

ARC Review: Devil's Honor by Megan Crane

OK all you MC romance lovers, here is a pretty good one for you. Apparently this is going to be part 1 in a series about the Devil's Keepers MC. The first installment is Merritt and Greely's story.  This is kind of a second chance romance. Merritt and Greely first have a super hot relationship the summer before Merritt is set to leave the state for law school. Greely wants Merritt to stay with him in their small bayou town. Merritt has her sights set on becoming a part of "the big city" and not just being some small town girl. As intense as her relationship with biker bad boy Greely is, she still heads off to law school at the end of the summer.Greely is hurt/pissed and completely closes himself off after Merritt leaves. Merritt eventually returns to the small town when things go severely left in the big city.  She got everything she wanted but left behind everything she needed.

Merritt is the reason this book was not 5 stars for me. Greely is a bad ass biker who grunts and growls and would do anything to protect his woman. I instantly loved Greely and that didn't change as the book went on. But that Merritt....on the one hand, I really got where she was coming from. I could empathize with her wanting to live a more urban chic life. The thing that was really interesting was that she never really lived the life that she yearned for. She was in the big city, she had become a lawyer but she was dishonest with herself and everyone around her. As a result Greely became isolated and fell victim to a sociopath who claimed to love her. OK, so none of that made me dislike Greely. All of that made the book interesting. What did me in was how long it took Greely to figure out that it was ok to embrace her roots and to love them. While she was living in denial she came across as being unnecessarily snobby. It was interesting reading but it made me want to throw my Kindle at the wall several times. I kept screaming 'ughhhhh, get over yourself.'

The chemistry between Merritt and Greely is off the charts from the first scene. The sex scenes are outstanding and you feel the connection between the characters. I thought it was a good twist that there were issues inside of the MC that Greely was dealing with. I can see how that is going to develop in future books and I will definitely be following the series to see what happens. I also like Greely's best friend. I don't know who she had at her house at the end of the book but I hope its something we get to read about in future installments. Despite the moments where you might want to throat chop Merritt, this is a good book. I recommend this one and I double recommend it for you MC romance fans.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Your Inescapable Love by Layla Hagen

I am a huge fan of Layla Hagen's! She is a great writer and I love that she always puts such emotion into her books! So I couldn't wait to get my hands on her newest book, Your Inescapable Love. This is Max Bennett and Emilia Campbell's story. While this book is the 4th book in her Bennett Family series, each book is easily read as a standalone.

Max and Emilia met as kids and were great friends until Emilia moved away. Years later, they each have moved on to successful careers and have no intention of settling down anytime soon. Max prefers to keep things casual, and Emilia has issues due to practically being left at the altar. But when the two meet up again by chance, they quickly realize that their connection is still there and stronger than ever. Though both are determined not to cross the line of friendship, they find themselves drawn to each other in ways they have never felt with anyone else.

I loved Max! He was sexy, protective and loyal. While he hadn't ever been one for commitment, it was clear that it was because he hadn't been with the right person. He was perfect for Emilia, and she was the same for him. These two were so great together! Emilia was strong and determined, but she also had vulnerabilities due to everything that she had been through. It made her easy to like and relate to. These two had such a special connection that had been there right from the start, and I loved seeing how they grew even closer as the book progressed. Not only did they have an undeniable connection, but the chemistry between them was smoking hot! 

Overall, this was a great story and one I would highly recommend. Layla Hagen is one of those authors that I can't recommend enough, and I know I will enjoy her books every time. She has a way of drawing you in and captivating you from the very first word all the way to the end. I can't say enough good things about her, and I think readers will really enjoy this story. If you haven't read the previous books, I definitely recommend adding them to your TBR. Layla Hagen doesn't disappoint, and I honestly can't wait to read more from her.

**ARC Provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | 

Blissfully Sweet Event with Victoria James

After fleeing her beloved small town five years ago, Julia Bailey is back to spend Christmas with her family. Returning is hard, but keeping the devastating secret about her late husband is even harder. Her place isn't in Big Sky Country any longer...but the more time she spends with the irresistible Sheriff who saved her once before, and his adorable little daughter, the more Julia starts wishing she could let go of the past and start a new life.

Single dad and county Sheriff Chase Donovan had been secretly in love with his best friend's wife for years. But after her traumatic loss he knew Julia needed to get away from Shadow Creek, even though helping her leave was the last thing he wanted to do. Now she's home and he doesn't intend to lose her a second time. Chase is going to prove to Julia just how good they can be together this Christmas...and forever.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Blissfully Sweet Event with Tracy March

Award-winning author Tracy March writes romantic thrillers, and lighthearted romances inspired by her real-life happily ever after.

Always up for travel and adventure, Tracy has flown in a stunt plane, snowmobiled on the Continental Divide, ziplined in the Swiss Alps, and been chased by a bull in the mountains of St. Lucia. She loves Nationals baseball, hiking in the Rockies, Saturday date nights, and Dairy Queen Blizzards—and rarely goes a day without craving pizza.

Tracy lives in Yorktown, Virginia, with her superhero husband who works for NASA.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

ARC Review: Baron by Joanna Shupe

“Baron” the second book in the “Knickerbocker Club” series is what romance novel dreams are made of! I’ve just recently started to read Joanna Shupe and have really enjoyed her novels. The first book in the series “Magnate” was so good I have been counting down to Baron. I can honestly say I had so many expectations for this book and Shupe surpassed them all. Set in the Gilded Age in New York City, Shupe really brings the historical time period to life.

William Sloane is such an arrogant snob that it was delicious to see him brought to his knees by Ava. William is the stodgy older brother we meet in “ Magnate.” He was born into a rich family, manages a very profitable railroad, all of New York City societies doors are lined with gold for him. His next step is the political life. He is ready to become a politician and has decided to stop at nothing and definitely doesn’t plan to let a little nobody like Madame Zolikoff get in his way. The opening scene was so good! I loved the tension between William and Ava / Madame Zolikoff even before they met! When they did finally meet, sparks flew. Ava was just the right character to ruffle William’s feathers!

Ava is the exact opposite of Will. She is struggling to keep a roof over her family’s head. She adopted the Madame Zolikoff persona so that she could move her siblings out of the city. When Will’s running mate starts to consult her for fortune telling Will is concerned that if word gets out their campaign will be ruined. Will tries to buy her off, intimidate her and convincer her to leave John Bennett alone. Ava refuses to be managed or bullied by Will and even when he tries to pay her off, she refuses to budge. Ava has encountered a lot of obstacles in her life and she is not about to let “railroad man” William Sloan get the best of her! She refuses to back down and meets his threats head on! The scenes with William and Ava are always filled with passion and humor. I really loved Ava! She is determined to help her siblings make a better life. Although mere children, they are forced to work in factories and under very bad conditions. Ava is a fraud. She is presenting herself as a fortune teller and is very successful. She is also very exposed because her name is very popular and this leads to many difficult predicaments for her. Shupe really brings the time period to life. It was interesting to read about the notorious corruption at Tammy Hall. There were so many scenes I loved in this book. One of my all-time favorites was when William reads Ava’s fortune. This scene was a perfect mixture of their tension and tenderness. There were so many witty lines and sweet moments, I could re-read this book over and over! Definitely one of my favorite reads for this year. Now the countdown continues to “Mogul.” Calvin’s story sounds intriguing and I can’t wait to see how the author brings together him and Lillian.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Google | iTunes | Kobo |

ARC Review: Blow by Heidi McLaughlin

Blow is the first book in the new Virtuous Paradox series by Heidi McLaughlin. I have really enjoyed past books from McLaughlin, but I have to admit that this book didn't quite hit the mark for me. I was a bit underwhelmed with this one, and hope that things get better as this series continues. 

Bodhi is an addict, sent to rehab to get clean or be kicked out of his band, Virtuous Paradox. There he meets psychologist/counselor Kimberly Gordon. Though Bodhi finds it hard to trust, he also knows that he is drawn to Kimberly. As Bodhi tries to get clean, things begin to heat up between him and Kimberly. But what happens when Bodhi leaves rehab and returns to the world of rock and roll? 

This was a definite case of insta-lust/love, and it didn't really work for me. While I did see the attraction, I never felt the connection. There wasn't a spark or any real passion to me, and it just didn't feel real. Bodhi was almost instantly better, and that didn't feel believable to me. Addiction is a process to overcome, and it felt like he never really dealt with that and it was just brushed aside as the focus of the story shifted to romance. I also felt like Kimberly acted in ways that didn't feel believable, and while this is fiction, it just didn't seem like how someone in her position would actually behave. I tried to let part of that go and just enjoy the story for what it was and the forbidden nature of their relationship, but without being able to really feel any connection or chemistry between them I just couldn't let some of that go. 

Overall, I struggled with this book and really wanted to love it even though I couldn't. I did enjoy the fact that this was dual POV and we got to see both Bodhi and Kimberly's thoughts and feelings. I always love when a story gives readers both POVs because I think that it really helps to connect with the characters in a way that isn't possible otherwise. Unfortunately I never felt fully invested in this story and thought it was just okay when it could have been so much more. I am interested to see where this series goes, but I think that the next story will need to be a bit more realistic and give the reader more of a connection between the characters for this series to be one that readers love rather than just somewhat enjoy.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Blissfully Sweet Event with Kyra Jacobs

Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love, humor and mystery in the Midwest and beyond. When this Hoosier native isn’t pounding out scenes for her next book, she's likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves to read, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan. Be sure to stop by her website to learn more about her novels and ways connect with her on social media.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

ARC Review: With Every Breath by Maya Banks

Diving back into the Slow Burn world was pure enjoyment. This time, we got to delve into the minds of Wade Sterling and Eliza Cummings. In the 4th installment, Eliza is at the center of a vicious plot, come to claim her from the past, and there’s no way out. Once she learns that the man she once helped put away will be set free, she resolves herself to end him, even if it condemns her to her own death. Despite coming to terms with the inevitable, she never expected the brooding, ruthless, and a bit improper Wade Sterling to come to her rescue, let alone having to battle him for her heart. Then again, these two have been seething with sexual tension since the last book, so maybe I’m not surprised. To say the least, the pages are explosive in more ways than one.

As Wade Sterling enters the fold, we see a man in denial, a man enraged, a man of pride, and a man who has fallen in love. He is tenacious, as is Eliza. He is a seeker of justice, as is Eliza. He is ruthless, just as Eliza can be. This is probably why I loved every damn minute of this book. These two characters are ferocious, and very set in there ways. However, what really set this book apart from the others is that it had nothing to with our former heroines. Ramie, Ari, and Gracie were barely in it. Since the evil that was trying to use and destroy the women of DSS is out of the way, the story was very focused on these two characters without much interference from the secondary ones. It was more similar to the first novel in this way, and while I freaking loved the last two novels, especially In His Keeping, I appreciated the centralized plot surrounding Wade and Eliza.

I think that the change in pace was necessary especially with how personal this book was to Eliza’s character. When the reader is able to fully grasp the torturous background of Eliza and just how complex she is due to the trauma she suffered, I understand why it was written this way. Eliza is the epitome of transformation and growth, as one would see when a caterpillar goes through the stages of life, eventually becoming a butterfly. The story is quite beautiful despite the horrors lurking within. Add the sexy, alpha male that is Wade Sterling, and hell yes you’ve got yourself a fabulous book! I really would love to get into the nitty gritty of Wade’s background, but that’s okay because like I said, this is Eliza’s story. I loved seeing her strength and purposeful nature take on the hard edge after she finally let go of the past. It’s never easy to move on from any kind of abuse, or being another’s puppet (especially with a serial killer mixed in), but she did it and that gives other’s hope in the real world. That is an important message because while one never forgets such a traumatic experience, being able to move on and live life is something to be proud of, and very necessary.

Ultimately, justice was served, and that is something that puts a smile on my face. Besides, watching Wade and Eliza come to terms with falling for one another was fun, sweet, and sexy. Add in the danger, and those scenes with Dane (who I freaking love, and honestly, I think Tori and him *might* be a couple in the future. Yay!), and I just plowed through the book. Readers certainly will not want to miss this novel, and if they haven’t read this series, they should definitely pick up Keep Me Safe (the 1st book) and take the time. Thanks Maya!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Blissfully Sweet Event with Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. Her novel SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM won the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance and recently, her novel WEDDING DATE FOR HIRE was a 2016 Golden Leaf finalist for best short contemporary romance.

Lately she's been on a serious exercise kick. But don't hold that against her.

Feel free to join her newsletter! Monthly giveaways!