Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Spotlight: I Invited Her In

I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

Publication Date:02/05/2019
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: MIRA
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Pages: 432
ISBN-13978-0778308850

(Received for an honest review from Harlequin MIRA via NetGalley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Book Depository

Adele Parks on the WEB: Website,Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram


Excerpt from I Invited Her In, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do.

This is worse.

When Mel receives an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought she had buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university.

But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel’s help, and she wants a place to stay. Just for a few days, while she sorts things out. It’s the least Mel can do.

After all, friends look out for each other, don’t they?

I Invited Her In is a blistering tale of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.



About the Author:

Adele Parks one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women's fiction writers in the UK. She has sold over 3 million books and her work has been translated into 25 different languages.

1500+ 5 star reviews have kindly been written by her fans on Amazon.co.uk :-)

She has published 15 novels in the past 15 years, all of which have been London Times Top Ten Bestsellers.

Adele was born in the North East of England, in 1969. She enjoyed a traditional 1970's childhood, watching too much TV and eating convenience food because nobody minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating from university, where she studied English Language and Literature, she worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 Adele was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.

Review: One Tough Cowboy

One Tough Cowboy (Moving Violations - Book 1) by Lora Leigh and Veronica Chadwick

Publication Date: 01/29/2019
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Imprint: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genre: (Western) (Erotic) Romantic Suspense
Pages: 304
ISBN-13978-1250309488 

(Received for an honest review from St. Martin's Paperbacks via NetGalley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Book Depository

Lora Leigh on the WEB: Website,Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram

Veronica Chadwick on the WEB: Goodreads

Books in the series:

Moving Violations
1. One Tough Cowboy (2019)

Excerpt from One Tough Cowboy, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

First in a brand-new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh and Veronica Chadwick about one man’s pursuit of justice―and unbridled desire.

LAW AND ORDER. 
For as long as Samantha can remember, Hunter―a man as strong as steel, with a heart of gold―has been her hero. It came as no surprise to Samantha when she found out that the ranch-hardened cowboy who always protected her from bullies went on to become the town’s sheriff. What does surprise her is how incredibly hot he still is. And how much she still wants him…

PRIDE AND PASSION
And, lo and behold, Hunter still has feelings for Samantha. The long-smoldering heat of their innocent flirtation has grown into a full-raging fire. But when tragedy strikes, and their small-town community is shattered, Hunter vows to do everything he can to keep his childhood sweetheart safe. But can Samantha trust that Hunter has her best interests at heart…and that, after all these years, his love is true?

Thoughts:

One Tough Cowboy is the first book in a new series from Lora Leigh and Veronica Chadwick. To say it starts with a bang is an understatement. This romantic suspense novel has an intriguing mystery, some really steamy sex and some great tender romantic moments. Leigh and Chadwick bring the heat but still keep you guessing with the mystery. If you are looking for a book that might literally knock your socks off, this one might be for you! 

What I liked:

Samantha had a crush. A biiiig crush on a boy who was quite a bit older than her. They were just kids then. But what happens when Sam and Hunter get a second chance to see where their flirtation might have led? You guessed it. Straight to the bedroom. This one is naughty to the max. I saw this quote that said Lora Leigh's writing could scorch the ink off paper, and this book proves that to true. It's definitely one of those books you used to hide under your mattress lol... 

Hunter was a just a great hero. He was protective as a boy, fighting off bullies and taking care of Sam, but now he's all grown up. And that protective nature has grown and expanded to include the entire town of Deerhaven. He's a sheriff with big heart, but he can be strong as steel when he needs to be. I loved that contrast in his character. He was full of hot passion and even sweet romance, but when it came to taking care of things in his county, he was all business. Just an all around good character that made you want to root for him to find true love.

Sam is a girl after my own heart. Sassy, strong, confident. She's been a cop in Detroit for a long time so coming home to Deerhaven is a culture shock. I liked that she wasn't a demure, timid woman. She had backbone and I really like that in a female lead. She was going to sit back and let Hunter handle the situation surrounding the death of her aunt and several others in Deerhaven. She got right in there and got her hands dirty.

The suspense aspect of the book was probably my favorite part. I wasn't too sure I thought the connection to Detroit was coincidental or perhaps related to Sam in some way until well into the book. I liked that the author was able to make me believe this could really happen. I tend to like books that have a plausible plot and this one had it in spades. I liked that the suspense was an important part of the book, though the authors did rely heavily on the sexual tension to carry the book.

What I didn't like:

First let me say, I like a book that delivers on the heat and this book certainly did that. Lora Leigh is one of those authors that I want to read when I'm in the mood to scratch an erotic itch. She's very descriptive and naughty and sometimes that's just what a reader needs. This one maybe took it a little too far. There was a lot of sex in this book. It just seemed at times that it was either too often or at inappropriate times and sometimes even a little too descriptive. If I had been reading it in the company of others I would have been red faced and fanning lol... Not everybody's proverbial cup of tea. 

The title probably should have been One Tough Sheriff. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting in regard to the name. There wasn't much cowboying going on in this one. If that's what you're looking for here, it's a little light on the ten gallon hats and horses. (wink)

This one definitely comes with a trigger warning. There is a scene with an attempted sexual assault that I did not feel was handled the best way. If you have issues with that sort of thing or have had past trauma's involving sexual assault, use caution. 

Bottom Line:

If you want a book that heavy on the heat, this one is right up your alley. Lots of sex, lots of dirty talk. It's Lora Leigh on steroids lol... If you are looking for a book with an intriguing mystery and plenty of suspense, this one has you covered. Would have changed the title, since Hunter was more sheriff than trail boss or rancher or just plain cowboy. Watch your triggers, don't read in a crowd and get ready to be very hot and bothered. 

One Tough Cowboy is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Authors:

 #1 New York Times bestseller Lora Leigh is the author of the Navy SEALS, the Breeds, the Elite Ops, the Callahans, the Bound Hearts, and the Nauti series.





Veronica Chadwick started storytelling when she was a little girl. She was first published in 2004. She lives in Tennessee with three cats, a very spoiled Shih Tzu and two grand dogs. She is the author of Rude Awakening and The Warlord's Gift. When she’s not writing, she’s hanging out with friends, reading or badly playing video games.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Spotlight: Mending Fences

Mending Fences (Deacon's Family - Book 1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Publication Date:02/05/2019
Publisher:Baker Publishing Group
Imprint:Revell
Genre: Christian Romance (Amish)
Pages: 336
ISBN-13978-0800727512

(Received for an honest review from Revell via NetGalley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Book Depository

Suzanne Woods Fisher on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads


Excerpt from Mending Fences, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.
Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him.

Amos and Fern Lapp allow Luke to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, Luke must make a sincere apology to each person he's hurt--a four-page, single-spaced list. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.

Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused . . . that isn't so simple. It's gut-wrenching.

And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm. Luke's clumsy efforts to befriend Izzy only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.

Bestselling and award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher returns to her beloved Stoney Ridge for this brand-new series featuring some of her readers' favorite characters.



About the Author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe's LightMinding the Light, and The Light Before Day, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop's Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Review: The Forgiving Kind

The Forgiving Kind by Donna Everhart

Publication Date:01/29/2019
Publisher: Kensington Books
Imprint:Kensington
Genre:General Fiction (Southern)
Pages: 352
ISBN-13978-1496717009

(Received for an honest review from Kensington via NetGalley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Book Depository

Donna Everhart on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram

There is an audio excerpt courtesy of Audible on Amazon under the book cover photo

Synopsis:

In this masterful new novel, set in 1950s North Carolina, the acclaimed author of The Road to Bittersweet and The Education of Dixie Dupree brings to life an unforgettable young heroine and a moving story of family love tested to its limits.    
 
For twelve-year-old Martha “Sonny” Creech, there is no place more beautiful than her family’s cotton farm. She, her two brothers, and her parents work hard on their land—hoeing, planting, picking—but only Sonny loves the rich, dark earth the way her father does. When a tragic accident claims his life, her stricken family struggles to fend off ruin—until their rich, reclusive neighbor offers to help finance that year’s cotton crop.

Sonny is dismayed when her mama accepts Frank Fowler’s offer; even more so when Sonny’s best friend, Daniel, points out that the man has ulterior motives. Sonny has a talent for divining water—an ability she shared with her father and earns her the hated nickname “water witch” in school. But uncanny as that skill may be, it won’t be enough to offset Mr. Fowler’s disturbing influence in her world. Even her bond with Daniel begins to collapse under the weight of Mr. Fowler’s bigoted taunts. Though she tries to bury her misgivings for the sake of her mama’s happiness, Sonny doesn’t need a willow branch to divine that a reckoning is coming, bringing with it heartache, violence—and perhaps, a fitting and surprising measure of justice.


Thoughts:

Donna Everhart is a North Carolina native who knows the ways of the south and southern fiction. The Forgiving Kind is a coming of age story that will have readers feeling every emotion on the spectrum. This book is one of those books that you sit around and think about long after you've finished it. It makes you think, it makes you feel and makes you question your own ideas about forgiveness, bigotry, survival, friendship and many other things. A heart felt novel that readers will likely never forget.

What I liked:

Do you know what a divining rod is? It's generally a stick with two forks that allows a person to find water. But the magic isn't in the wood, it's in the person. Donna Everhart's character, Sonny Creech is a 12 year old girl, living in the south in the 1950s. She loves the land and she has a gift for finding water. But as the reader will quickly find out, she has a lot of other gifts as well. Everhart tells a story of a little girl whose family falls on hard times and must go to extreme links to survive. 

This character was a real spitfire. I loved Sonny so much. As I read the book it became about so much more than a coming of age novel. Sonny taught me a lot about not only forgiveness but also friendship, family and the ties that bind that might be invisible but are strong and resilient. She taught me about remembering what matters and about standing up for what you believe even when your twelve and the evil in the world not only knocks at your door but moves right in.

Sonny's family is in crisis. The death of her father and a drought have put them in a position that many don't survive. Sonny's mother has to make some difficult decisions that ultimately change the course of their lives. Sadly, she believes all along that she has no other choice. This woman would literally do anything to provide for her family to do what she thinks is best for them. When a neighbor offers the only solution at hand, she does what she has to.The consequences become dire. I felt for Violet so much. I'm a single mother and there were times I didn't know what to do either. You make sacrifices and you pray and you trust that good things will happen, but sometimes they don't. I think there will be many readers who relate to this situation especially today when the world might appear to have changed a lot, but has it?

I thought a lot about what it means to forgive someone when I was reading this book. I thought about what the Bible says about forgiving a person 70 x 7, which is to say, just keep on forgiving. Are there things that people do that we just can't forgive? Or is there some undefined line in the sand. I also thought about what they say about forgiveness and that it is more for you than it is the person you are forgiving. This book is very thought provoking. This just scratches the surface of all of the things a person could potentially find in this book that will cause them to question. This is an emotional one and rightly so. 

Another very important aspect of this book for me was Sonny's relationship with her friend Daniel. I loved Daniel. He was smart and funny and sweet, but he was "different" and that made him a target. Isn't that sad to you? It is to me. Our differences are what make us unique and special. They define us as a person. It's painful for me to envision a world that does not celebrate that, but one that hates and ridicules it. But that's the world they lived in and the one we live in too. It's time to change, do you think? I loved the way Sonny had Daniel's back no matter what. I want to be a friend like that. It's not just in childhood that we have that kind of hard love, we can have it in our own relationships if we want to fight for it. 

What I didn't Like:

Well the easy thing to say that I didn't like about this book was the bigotry, the violence, Frank Fowler, the menacing neighbor. But that's all surface stuff. I don't think those are things you can dislike in this instance. I very much liked that the author tackled some really big issues, from racism to homophobia. I liked that she was stark and honest and showed the real gritty southern roots she probably grew up with. I know I did. That stuff happened in my life time and it is still happening. So we might not like that it makes a book a little dark or maybe it makes it a little hard to read. But we have to those are the kind of books that matter.

Some readers read to forget the things that go on in the world. They want fluffy, happy, sappy books. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Books are as much for escape and relaxation as anything else. For some this one will be too much. You know your preferences. You know what you can handle as a reader. Use wisdom when choosing what to read, but also take a chance and read something out of your comfort zone sometimes. I'd suggest this one. 

I will say that there are definitely trigger warnings in this book. Some readers are advised to use caution if you've had traumatic experiences related to these kinds of topics. Everhart does an amazing job of describing situations in detail and that can be hard for those who have suffered similar fates. 

Bottom Line:

Wow! This was soooo well written. It oozed southern vibes. It was frank. It was honest. It was hard to read but it was so thought provoking and relevant to today's world. Sonny was an amazing character that readers will not soon forget. It was about family and friendship, right along with racism and bigotry. It was dark, but Sonny was the light. Can't say enough good things about this one folks. Give it a read. Well worth your time. 

The Forgiving Kind is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Author:

Donna Everhart is a USA Today bestselling author who writes stories of family hardship and troubled times in a bygone South. A native of North Carolina, she resides in her home state with her husband and their tiny heart stealing Yorkshire terrier, Mister. Readers can visit her at www.donnaeverhart.com.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Spotlight: Resurgent

Resurgent (Phoenix Rising - Book 3) by Brynley Blake

Publication Date:02/11/2019
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Imprint: Brazen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 197
ASIN:B07L2RQB13 

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Available for Pre-Order Now

Brynley Blake on the WEB: Website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Phoenix Rising
1. Rogue (2017)
2. Renegade (2017)
3. Resurgent (2019)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Synopsis:

Never Underestimate the Power of F*ck It
It’s the motto I live by, and it’s what made me the Navy SEAL I am today. The less you care, the better. Even when I woke up in a hospital in India with no memory of the last few months and everything pointing to me being a traitor involved with some pretty dangerous people, I knew I could handle it.
Then they kidnapped Charlotte—my little sister’s best friend, and a control freak with a fear of commitment to anything but her ten-year plan.
I can't remember what I've supposedly done, or who's trying to kill us. All I know is I have to rescue her and get us both out of this mess alive.
But I hadn't counted on Charlotte having her own agenda. She’s haunted my dreams for months, and now she’s making my reality a living hell. Because Miss Always-in-Control is hellbent and determined to lose that control she holds on to so tightly... and she wants to lose it with me


About the Author:

A lifelong reader with a taste for adventure, Brynley Blake writes the writes the kind of books she likes to read: steamy contemporary romances featuring smart, sassy heroines with a sense of humor and strong, dominant alpha males who love their women a little feisty. She lives in Texas with her family and an assortment of pets, and loves rainy days, hot coffee, cold beer, red wine, traveling, and spending time with her family. 

She writes contemporary and erotic romance as Brynley Blake and Brynley Bush.

Review: The Way You Love Me

The Way You Love Me (Angel Falls - Book 2) by Miranda Liasson

Publication Date:01/29/2019
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Imprint: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 496
ISBN-13978-1455541829

(Received for an honest review from Forever via NetGalley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Book Depository

Miranda Liasson on the WEB: Website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Angel Falls
1. Then There Was You (2018)
2. The Way You Love Me (2019)

Coverart



Excerpt from The Way You Love Me, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

Gabby Langdon has always tried to make people happy. She even went to law school to please her father, and now she's a highly successful-albeit bored-attorney. But Gabby secretly dreams of being a writer, so for once she does something for herself-she signs up for a writing class taught by best-selling novelist Caden Marshall. There's only one problem: her brooding, sexy professor is a distraction she can't afford if she's finally going to get the life she truly wants.

Recently divorced and suffering from the world's worst case of writer's block, Caden is in Angel Falls to get his life back on track. He's focused on teaching and providing a stable and loving home for his young daughter, Ava. The last thing he needs is to jeopardize his new job, which means keeping plenty of distance between himself and his talented new student-no matter how tempted he is by Gabby's beauty, kind heart, or the sparks that fly whenever they're together.

Includes the bonus story "Meant to Be" by Alison Bliss!

Thoughts:

The Way You Love Me is Miranda Liasson's second book in the small town romance series, Angel Falls. Gabby is a people pleaser and it's been awhile since she did something just for herself. Cade is a brooding single father with a chip on his shoulder. Writing brings them together and introduces them to a possibility of following their hearts. A great small town love story that will have readers clamoring for more.

What I liked:

You know that situation that happens when you meet somebody that you have potential with... the one where you start out on the wrong foot? Maybe you can't stand each other, or you end up embarrassing yourself in a big way. That's exactly what happens with Gabby and Cade. It's not love at first sight and I liked that. It's a lot more down to earth and a lot more believable than some books in the romance genre. Liasson always brings the small town charm but this one has something more... it's relatable. 

I think authors who write in the contemporary romance genre always run the risk of adding too much pop culture or not enough. You don't want to date the book per se but you want the audience to feel like these characters are living a life they could live or that they are experiencing the same things they could experience. I think Liasson did a great job with that balance. From Gabby's choice of taking a community ed class in creative writing to Cade's YouTube research on hair braiding lol... That was a great touch. 

You can't talk about what you like about this book without mentioning, Nonna and the other secondary characters like Gabby's brother, Rafe, who happens to get his story in the next book in the series. Liasson has a wonderful way of getting her characters to interact with the community at large. Angel Falls is a great little town with lots of interesting people. Makes a reader want to move in and get to know people.

I enjoyed the main couple, Gabby and Cade very much. They had something in common. The desire to write. I'm a sucker for books about books or writing. Maybe they feature a writer or a librarian or something of that sort. Liasson hit all the write buttons for me on this front. The creativity that brought these two together was interesting. I could feel Cade's frustration at his writers block and I could feel Gabby's excitement at finding a connection to her mother and in following her passion. 

You get more than just a little teaser at the end of this one with a preview of the next book. You also get a very good novella from Alison Bliss... soooo good you gotta read it!

What I didn't Like:

Sometimes there just isn't anything I don't like lol... It happens. This one was sweet and easy to read. It was one of those books that the characters just get under your skin. The families and the people around them are just as fleshed out as the main couple and you find yourself just wanting to read more. That's what makes this one a five apple read...

Bottom Line:

Small town romances are a favorite of mine. Maybe they don't have all the glits and glam of thriller but they just make you feel good. This is one of those stories that doesn't have police chases or huge dramatic struggles. But it doesn't need it. It's well written. It's easy to relate to and the characters are people you'd want to meet in the coffee shop or the supermarket. Loved it!

The Way You Love Me is availble Now from your favorite book seller

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Author:

Miranda Liasson loves to write stories about everyday people who find love despite themselves, because there's nothing like a great love story. And if there are a few laughs along the way, even better! She's a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart winner and an Amazon bestselling author whose heartwarming and humorous small-town romances have won accolades such as the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and have been Harlequin Junkie and Night Owl Reviews Top Picks.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Spotlight: Her Guilty Secret

Her Guilty Secret (Guilty as Sin - Book 1) by Clare Connelly

Publication Date: 02/01/2019
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Dare
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 161
ASINB07FVYG6FK

(Received for an honest review from Harlequin Dare via NetGalley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Clare Connelly on the WEB: Website,  Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

1. Her Guilty Secret (2019)

Excerpt from Her Guilty Secret, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

Idealistic law student Olivia Amorelli is done being the good girl…and professor Connor Hughes is teaching her to be guilty as sin!

Hotshot defense attorney and visiting professor Connor Hughes is so hot it’s criminal! Tall, dark and dangerously gorgeous, with green eyes as vivid as a sunlit ocean and tattoos in all the right places. I might not agree with his practices, but the more we clash, the more I want him. How can I resist letting Connor corrupt every cell in my body?

I’ve always been the good girl, watching out for others. For once, I want to do something deliciously naughty—something just for me. Seducing the teacher is strictly forbidden, and I need a perfect record to graduate. But I just can’t stop fantasizing about ripping Connor’s clothes off.

When we finally give in to the temptation, the fire between us is hot enough to burn down his luxe London penthouse…and possibly my future career. I know I’m in too deep, but Connor’s teaching me to sin. And I’ve always been an excellent student!



About the Author:


Clare Connelly writes romance that will set your soul on fire. She is the best-selling author of more than fifty indie romance novels and in August 2017 published her debut novel for Harlequin Presents, and also writes for Harlequin Dare. She reads and writes romance voraciously, and lives in a small bungalow by the sea with her lovely husband, two small children and a hard-working team of MacBooks. 
www.clareconnelly.com for more.