Tuesday, January 26, 2016

ARC Review: My American Duchess by Eloisa James

Eloisa James is such a great author. Her stories are always so original and fun! When I saw “American Duchess” I jumped at the chance to review and counted the minutes until I had a copy ready to read. James does not disappoint! Now, I will say, in the past I did not love James. I found her stories very long and drawn out. I also found that her characters were way to quirky for my taste. James continues to do all the before mentioned but, for me, this is what I love about her. I use to read her stories with mild interest but I have a new found appreciation for her writing style and I plan to go back and re-read and read some stories that I missed. I just think she is phenomenal!

I’m not sure if other readers have this experience but at times I will love a story re-read it and not like it so much and then I will not like a story re-read and find things I missed and the story changes for me. This is how I feel about James as an author! She is an acquired taste but very well worth it.

James presents Merry Pelford. She is an American Heiress and in London with her chaperones/ Guardians her aunt and Uncle-Mr. and Mrs Pelford. Merry was previously engaged twice but broke off both engagements back in the Americas. Merry and her aunt and uncle hope that a new start in London will help put those broken engagements behind her. Merry is very unique and she is having a difficult time assimilating into London society and its very rigorous rules. As luck would have it, she steps outside on a balcony at a ball and meets a Duke whom she finds interesting, handsome and engaging. The catch is that she is already engaged and in James-fashion-the bigger catch is that it’s her soon-to-be brother-in-law. Merry and Trent-said Duke, both feel very guilty about their attraction and fascination with one another. Merry feels that she is betraying her fiancĂ© and she feels the burden of having two broken engagements behind her. Trent and his brother-who is also his twin- have always had a very unhealthy competition. They have always tried to best each other and theirs is not a brotherly rivalry.

The more time that Trent and Merry spend together the more they like each other and the greater their desire for one another. Trent tries his best to respect his brother’s engagement. He even thinks that Merry will help his brother control his excessive drinking and spending. Merry sees the warning signs with her fiancĂ©- Cedric but she feels trapped by her past and she is not able to truly trust herself since she thinks her judgement has led her to two broken engagements and possibly a third.

I just loved Merry and Trent. Both were the perfect hero and heroine. I loved the hilarious scenes. James’ witty scenes remind me of Kristan Higgins-one minute you’re reading and the next you’re snorting through you nose and laughing so hard you can’t stop. As I mentioned at the beginning, James’ books tend to be long but I can appreciate that more now. She really takes her time with her characters. She really develops who they are and who they become as a couple. I really sat back and savored this story and I really enjoyed all aspects of our little American Heiress and how she slays British society with her wit and refusal to conform. The only one thing that stopped this from a five rating was how Trent behaved after Merry told him she loved him. I couldn’t empathize with him and it didn’t seem to fit him as a character. Although this is a standalone James hints at a possible continuation when Cedric’s story remains untold. Really fantastic read by an equally fantastic author. I’ll never look at pineapples the same.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Brother's Oath (Book 1 in the Hengest and Horsa Trilogy) by Chris Thorndycroft

02_A Brother's OathA Brother's Oath (Book 1 in the Hengest and Horsa Trilogy)
by Chris Thorndycroft

Publication Date: September 13, 2015
eBook; 282 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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The Untold Story of England’s Beginning.

Denmark, 444 A.D. Two brothers – the cold and calculating Hengest and the intrepid but headstrong Horsa – find their separate worlds thrown into turmoil by royal treachery and an evil cult thought long dead. Reunited by an oath sworn in their youth, they set off on a journey that will define their destiny and set them upon the path to greatness.

When Hengest’s family is kidnapped by an unknown enemy, Horsa knows his oath has become more than a thing of words and he infiltrates the crew of one of the most feared raiders in the northern world to find out who took them. Meanwhile, Hengest struggles to unite his rag-tag group of followers into a united people. His heart yearns for a safe haven for his family; a land that he and his followers can call their own for generations to come.

This is the first part of the thrilling saga of the two warriors who spearheaded the Anglo-Saxon migrations to Britain and whose names became legendary as the founders of the land that would one day be called England.
My review
Three Stars
Copy received for an honest review from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
"A Brother's Oath" by Chris Thorndycroft is the first book in the "Hengest and Horsa Trilogy".  I thought it was a great introduction to the 444 A.D. time period.  I liked the relationship between the two brothers and the quick pacing of the novel. Since I know very little about the Anglo- Saxon history I thought this book provided me with  a lot insight into the struggle of the warring parties.  Hengest was a great hero and I liked the insight that the author provided into his character and what drove him.  I loved that the story was action packed and that the author let the reader feel like a part of the story. 

I look forward to reading more by this author and can't wait to see how he continues the story of Horsa and Hengest.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | SMASHWORDS


About the Author03_Author Chris Thorndycroft

Chris Thorndycroft is a British writer of historical fiction, horror and fantasy. His early short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Dark Moon Digest and American Nightmare. History has long been his passion and he began thinking about a series set in Arthurian Britain when he was a student. Ten years later, A Brother's Oath is his first novel under his own name and the beginning of a trilogy concerning Hengest and Horsa. He also writes Steampunk and Retropulp under the pseudonym P. J. Thorndyke.

BLOG | TWITTER | GOODREADS


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 18
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, January 19
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, January 20
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Friday, January 22
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Saturday, January 23
Excerpt & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews

Monday, January 25
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, January 26
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, January 27
Excerpt at Let Them Read Books

Friday, January 29
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

04_A Brother's Oath_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Monday, January 11, 2016

ARC Review: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

Anything Sarah MacLean writes I want to read. When I saw that she had a new book in her new series “The Rogue Not Taken” I jumped up in excitement. McLean is such a great writer! I loved her previous series “The Rules of Scoundrels and “Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover” was one of my favorite reads in this past year.

In true MacLean fashion she writes about a peculiar heroine who wants to play by her own rules and not those of society. Lady Sophie Talbot is not of blue-blood. Her father won a title in a game of cards and with his hard work in the coal mines, he amassed wealth. The aristocracy looks down on her and her family because of these two traits but also because her and her sisters have even received a quirky name. Sophie is the youngest of the sisters and she feels the most constraint by society’s rules. She is also very emotional and sensitive about the gossip that surrounds her family. When she catches her older sister’s husband in romantic rendezvous with another woman, Sophie doesn’t hesitate to take matters into her own hands. Unfortunately, this has very big ramifications and Sophie thinks that her family will fare better in London without her. She runs into The Marquess of Eversley’s, or King as he is referred, carriage. King is not the least big happy to see that Sophie is dressed up as a boy and has used his carriage to escape from London.

Needless to say their adventure is never boring and Sophie being the courageous and dangerous heroine that she is, ends up shot. King realizes that Sophie is unlike anyone that he has ever met even though they both swear to part ways, they invariably end up needing each other’s help. King is known for his habit of ruining woman for marriage and based on this reputation Sophie forms an opinion of him.

MacLean always has adventured filled story and this one is no exception. There were also some very funny moments and some tender moments as well. Although Sophie considers herself the “unfun” sister, she is definitely fun. King has some soul searching to do as well since his own history often affects his present. There were two factors that stopped this from giving it a five. One is the sisters. Although Sophie identifies herself in relation to her sisters we don’t really see too much interaction with her and her sisters and I wish that there would have been more sisterly interactions at the beginning to better understand the Talbot sisters. Second, I thought her and King didn’t mesh well until more than half the book when they really started to understand each other and chip away at their misconceptions about each other. MacLean has some tricks and secrets up her sleeve and she shares some fun surprises with the readers. I personally cannot wait to see what she has in store for the other sisters and who she has in mind with the very sexy scot. I think this was another great MacLean romantic adventure.

Audiobook Review: Be With Me by J. Lynn, Narrated by Sophie Eastlake

Before I get started, I do have to make two comments. One, “Be with Me (Wait for You series)” by J. Lynn has received amazing reviews, it’s one of the reasons I wanted to hear the audiobook. Two, New Adult is not a genre that I generally love.

When I saw all the great reviews for this story I was immediately interested and I couldn’t wait to jump in. I often would listen to the audiobook while I was running and I have to say about 30% of the story I was interested.

Teresa Hamilton was an interesting heroine. She is college kid who is suffering a knee injury. This injury is a constant reminder to her that she is not able to live out her dream and become a dancer like she has always wanted. Aside from that she has always had a terrible crush on Jase Winstead.

Jase is her brothers best friend and also very popular with the girls. When Jase offers Teresa a ride to her class because of her knee she reluctantly agrees but at the same time is really happy to spend time with Jase. This part of the story was cute and I liked Teresa a lot. I have to confess that the voice that the narrator gave Jase irritated me to no end. She made him sound like a poor little rich boy who was bored with life. I had to drop the story and months later I pushed through with the hope that I would enjoy it better. I can’t express how disappointed I was when I was on chapter 22 and realized I still had ten more to hear. I skipped some parts just to get to the end.

For me, the New Adult genre is tough. It’s my experience that all the books are the same as “Beautiful Disaster” by Jaimie McGuire. All the heroines are typical plain Janes and they end up with the hot guy that everyone wants. Really. I have yet to read one New Adult and that not be the story line. My second huge issue with NA is that everything is so melodramatic. It could be a sign of my age, but everything is the end of the world. Everything is “I am only happy and ok, when I’m with such and such guy.” Also, whenever there is intimacy, both parties are always so overwhelmed that they can’t control themselves. It’s like verbatim. The only thing that kept me going was Jase’s big secret, which I have to give to the author-it was pretty big. I was more interested in said secret coming out and what it would be like. After Jase and Teresa are finally together they have to deal with her brother not accepting their relationship and then another subplot is introduced. I applaud the author for bringing up important issues like abusive relationships and really think she did a great job of explaining the fear and shame that people feel. Kudos to her for that. The last half of the book was a series of subplots and more drama. Needless to say this was not one of my favorite stories. It just might be my last New Adult ever.

The narrator did a great job with Theresa. I thought she really got her character but -again-everything was overly dramatic. I’m confident that both J.Lynn fans and New Adult fans will really enjoy this story and the narration, but for me, it was very long and tedious.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Reaper’s Fire By Joanna Wylde

Presents

COVER REVEAL:

Reaper’s Fire
By Joanna Wylde





Cover Reveal
reaper's fire.jpg

Are you ready for Gage and Tinker’s story?

Google Play:  http://bit.ly/1SxRDaQ

Release Date: June 28th, 2016



Blurb

New York Times bestselling author Joanna Wylde returns to the “wild and raw”* world of the Reapers MC with the story of Gage and Tinker…

The club comes first.
I’ve lived by those words my whole life—assumed I’d die by them, too, and I never had a problem with that. My Reaper brothers took my back and I took theirs and it was enough. Then I met her. Tinker Garrett. She’s beautiful, she’s loyal, and she works so damned hard it scares me sometimes . . . She deserves a good man—one better than me. I can’t take her yet because the club still needs me. There’s another woman, another job, another fight just ahead.
Now she’ll learn I’ve been lying to her all along. None of it’s real. Not my name, not my job, not even the clothes I wear. She thinks I’m nice. She pretends we’re just friends, that I’ve still got a soul . . . Mine’s been dead for years. Now I’m on fire for this woman, and a man can only burn for so long before he destroys everything around him.
I’m coming for you, Tinker.
Soon.






About the Author
joanna wylde.jpg
Joanna Wylde is a New York Times bestselling author and creator of the Reapers Motorcycle Club series. She currently lives in Idaho.

Stalk Her: Website | Facebook | Twitter |  Goodreads




Monday, January 4, 2016

ONE-EYED DUKES ARE WILD Dukes Behaving Badly #3 Megan Frampton


Enter to Win a Print Set of the Dukes Behaving Badly Series, 
including THE DUKE’S GUIDE TO CORRECT BEHAVIOR, 
WHEN GOOD EARLS GO BAD (Novella), PUT UP YOUR DUKE 
and NO GROOM AT THE INN (Novella)


ONE-EYED DUKES ARE WILD
Dukes Behaving Badly #3
Megan Frampton
Releasing December 29th, 2015
Avon Books



Another
fun and sexy romance in Megan’s Dukes Behaving Badly series!

When does proper behavior deserve a
deliciously improper reward?

The
scandalously unmarried Lady Margaret Sawford is looking for adventure-and is
always up for a challenge. Her curiosity is aroused by a dangerous-looking
stranger with an eye patch, an ideal companion for the life she longs for, no
matter what Society might say. So when the piratical gentleman turns out to be
a duke-and just as boringly proper as any other nobleman-she can’t help but
incite him to walk on the wild side.

Well-heeled,
well-mannered, and well beyond any interest in society’s expectations, the Duke
of Lasham is tired of being perfect. Margaret’s lush beauty and gently laughing
eyes are an irresistible temptation to embrace the imperfect-and her. But if a
little misbehavior is appealing, unleashing his wild side is completely
seductive-as long as the lovely Margaret is the object of his passion…

BUY NOW






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Megan Frampton writes historical
romance under her own name and romantic women’s fiction as Megan Caldwell. She
likes the color black, gin, dark-haired British men, and huge earrings, not in
that order. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and son.




Broken Beat by April Brookshire




BROKEN BEAT
Broken Beat #1
April Brookshire
Releasing Jan 27th, 2016


You’ve
heard the story before. A young woman moves to the big city, catches the eye of
a rich and powerful man, and they live happily ever after.

Unless
they don’t.

Vanessa
has learned to live without her happily ever after.  In fact, she no
longer needs or wants it. Her heart may have been shattered by the loss of true
love, but it’s made her a stronger person. Her fairytale dreams faded, making
way for more practical aspirations.

Keenan
made a mistake when he brutally discarded Vanessa from his life. Ever since,
he’s been in a hell of his own making. The life he’s led for the past several
years isn’t one to be proud of and he doesn’t deserve to win Vanessa’s heart once
again.

Not
that he’ll let anything stop him.









“Keenan wants to see you,” Darius said.

My hand tightened around the glass, at the same time it began to
shake. Adding my other hand into the mix, I gripped it until the shaking
lessened. “You’re not serious.”

Staring at where some of the water had sloshed out onto my hand,
I tried to ignore the rising panic.

“He’s found out the truth,” Darius explained.

My eyes rose to meet is all-too-serious ones. “How?” The word
left my numb lips barely above a whisper.

His head dropped to look down at his shoes, but I could still
see his hesitant expression from where I sat several yards away. He rubbed a
hand through his thick hair. “He asked me to leave any explanations to him.”

My dread morphed into irritation. “That sounds like him. Always
needing to have the final word.”

The strain left his features at my comment. “So, what do you
want me to tell him?”

I stood, setting my glass down on the coffee table. The view of
Manhattan outside became larger as I walked to the large penthouse windows. I
stared down below at the tiny people walking on sidewalks and the toy cars
moving down the street. Inside here, it seemed as if everything had come to a
standstill.

It was impossible to pinpoint any one feeling about the
possibility of seeing Keenan again. A combination of anxiety, sadness and
defiance mingled with something I refused to identify as anticipation.

I imagined an awkward conversation between Keenan and myself.
Rehashing our history wasn’t an event I’d enjoy. So he finally knew the truth
and in his arrogance had decided it was time for closure. 

He’d always made all the decisions.

Well, this time I’d be the one deciding the outcome. Seeing
Keenan would benefit me in no way. It had taken time, but I’d moved on from the
heartbreak of our disastrous ending. All evidence proved Keenan had also moved
on. Any conversation between us would come too late.

Not turning from the view, I told Darius, “Tell him it was
another lifetime.”



a Rafflecopter giveaway






April Brookshire is the author of the
Beware of Bad Boy and Young Assassins series. She also co-authors the Dead
Chaos series. She writes in the New Adult & Young Adult Romance and
Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy genres.

April lives in a suburb of Denver,
Colorado, where she raises her young son. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually
reading, but also enjoys attending concerts and plays in the numerous venues of
the city.