Monday, November 11, 2019

Spotlight: The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby (Sweetheart Ranch - Book 3) by Cathy McDavid


Publication Date: 11/01/2019
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin Heartwarming
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Pages:  384
ISBN-13 978-1335510891



Cathy McDavid on the Web: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Cover Art:




Excerpt from The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby courtesy of Amazon’s Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

She gifted him with a daughter

He stunned her with the truth

When Tanner Bridwell discovers he’s a father, he gains some much needed hope. A year ago, Tanner lost his livelihood as a champion bull rider, and—more important—Jewel Saunders, the love of his life. Now this cowboy wants to do right by his family. But first he must reveal a stunning secret that will send Jewel and his beloved daughter either packing…or into his arms forever!


The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby is available now from your favorite bookseller


About the author:

New York Times bestselling author Cathy McDavid has been happily penning contemporary westerns for Harlequin since 2006. Every day, she gets to write about handsome cowboys riding the range or busting a bronc.It's a tough job, but she's willing to make the sacrifice. Cathy shares her Arizona home with her own real life sweetheart and a trio of quirky pets. Her grown twins have left to embark on lives of their own, and she couldn't be prouder of their accomplishments.

Review: Awaken the Dragon

Awaken the Dragon (Legion - Book 1) by A.C. Arthur


Publication Date: 11/04/2019
Publisher: Harliquin
Imprint: Carina Press
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 227 (print)
ASINB07SJ7D5LW

(Received for an honest review from Carina Press)


A.C. Arthur on the Web: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads

Excerpt from Awaken the Dragon courtesy of Amazon’s Look Inside features

Synopsis:

He’s sworn to protect the very entity she was born to kill…

Next in line for the Drakon throne, Theo Masters is the most powerful half human, half dragon in the world. Royal power is the last thing he wants, however. He lives as a human and runs the Legion Security Company. But his new client—a mysterious, beautiful human from a small African village—and the unknown danger she faces may forever change the quiet life that he’s chosen.

Shola N’Gara exists to kill the dark spirit that is attempting to demolish her people. It’s her purpose and her destiny. The gorgeous protector who taunts her with his sexy voice and body is not—especially after he shifts into a magnificent black dragon with turquoise eyes.

A rise in demon activity and the brutal murders Theo’s agents have been reporting start to add up. Someone is making a play, and it’s big enough to change the course of the world as they know it. Now Shola must choose between her destiny and her heart. And Theo must decide if standing by the woman he’s fallen in love with is worth facing his father in a battle to the death.

Thoughts:

A.C. Arthur is another new author for me. I’m always looking for good ones when it comes to the paranormal romance sub genre. This lady has a good track record with another shifter series so I decided to start at the beginning with first book in her new Legion series, Awaken the Dragon. This one has lots of action, several different paranormal characters and a very strong lead couple. It’s a good start to the series. We will see where this one goes.

What I liked:

Theo is a Drakon.... never heard of that before? Me either. That’s half dragon, half human. He lives as a human and has his own security business. He is also next in line for the Drakon throne which gives him even more power. Theo is a total alpha male. He’s strong, he’s determined and formidable. Oftentimes with paranormal romance you get a powerful hero but the heroine isn’t quite up to the challenge. Not in this book! Arthur really comes through by giving Theo a love interest that is in every way his equal. This bad boy deserved a great leading lady. 

In the course of his daily business, Theo and his agents are tasked with protecting, Shola N’Gara of the river tribe. Shola has a specific destiny. She may not be a black dragon with gorgeous turquoise eyes like Theo but she is every bit as dangerous. I loved her spirit and her take no crap attitude. She could stand toe to toe with any of those dragons. I like a heroine who knows her own mind and can stand with her hero no matter what comes against them.

The paranormal aspect of the series was interesting and well developed. You had dragons, vampires, demigods and other assorted paranormal characters. Shifters of any kind are my favorite but dragon shifters were really cool in this world. The world itself was teeming with mystery. 

There was a bit of mystery and tons of action in this one. It was a fast paced ride and didn’t slow down much. Pitting Theo against his father provides some serious conflict. Making the choice between your family and the person you love is tough no matter what the reason is or who is in the right. I thought the author did a great job with that part of the story.

What I didn’t:

The reader is dropped right into this world from the first page of the book. There isn’t a lot of backstory in the beginning and I feel like some readers may be a little overwhelmed. If you stick with it, it does get better and explains more. If you’re new to the sub genre it might not be your best choice to start out with primarily because first impressions are everything when you are trying to hook a reader.

Bottom Line:

This was a good first book. The lead couple was great and the side characters were really interesting. I’m sure we will see more of them as the series continues. I liked the Drakon” half human, half dragon concept. I’ll definitely be reading book two.

Awaken the Dragon is available now from your favorite bookseller

I’m giving this book 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag




About the author:


For all the latest news on A.C. Arthur books, giveaways, appearances and discussions Like A.C. Arthur's Book Lounge on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/AC-Arthurs-Book-Lounge or follow her on Twitter @AcArthur

A.C. Arthur was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where she currently resides with her husband and three children. An active imagination and a love for reading encouraged her to begin writing in high school and she hasn't stopped since.

Working in the legal field she's seen lots of horrific things and longs for the safe haven reading a romance novel brings. Her debut novel Object of His Desire was written when a picture of an Italian villa sparked the idea of an African-American/Italian hero. Determined to bring a new edge to romance, she continues to develop intriguing plots, sensual love scenes, racy characters and fresh dialogue--thus keeping the readers on their toes!

A.C. also writes small town contemporary romance as Lacey Baker. Visit her Amazon Author Page for details about her upcoming Hallmark Channel novelization, A Gingerbread Romance. amazon.com/author/bakerlacey

In the young adult arena, A.C. also writes under the name Artist Arthur. Visit her Amazon Author Page for details about available YA books. amazon.com/author/artistarthurbooks

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Spotlight: Stealing Kisses in the Snow

Stealing Kisses in the Snow (Rendezvous Falls - Book 2) by Jo McNally


Publication Date: 10/29/2019
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HQN
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Pages: 384
ISBN-13

Spotlights are books that I didn’t have the time to review this month. But ones that still make great reading options.

In this one opposites do attract!



Jo McNally the Web: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads


Cover Art:




Excerpt from Stealing Kisses in the Snow courtesy of Amazon’s Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

It’s Christmas in Rendezvous Falls and love’s waiting to be unwrapped…

Single mom Piper Montgomery’s plate is full. Between her two adorable kids, two jobs and a fixer-upper house, she’s so busy she can hardly see straight. But when rugged biker Logan Taggart strolls into the inn where she’s working, she can’t help but stare. He has bad boy written all over him. And with two kids relying on her, that’s the last thing she needs this Christmas.

Rendezvous Falls is nothing but a pit stop for Logan. Once his grandmother is back on her feet and ready to reclaim the inn, Logan can get back on the road. It’s where he belongs, even if his grandmother’s matchmaking book club try to convince him otherwise. Still, there’s something about beautiful spitfire Piper that makes him wonder if family and forever might just be what he needs after all.

But as the holidays draw ever closer, so do Piper and Logan. Could these polar opposites find that all they want this Christmas is each other?

Stealing Kisses in the Snow is available now from your favorite bookseller

About the author:

Jo McNally lives in coastal North Carolina with 100 pounds of dog and 200 pounds of husband – her slice of the bed is very small. When she's not writing or reading romance novels (or clinging to the edge of the bed...), she can often be found on the back porch sipping wine with friends, listening to great music. If the weather is absolutely perfect, she'll occasionally join her husband on the golf course, where she always feels far more competitive than her actual skill-level would suggest.

Review: The Devil in the Saddle

The Devil in the Saddle (Princes of Texas - Book 2) by Julia London


Publication Date: 10/29/2019
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Imprint: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages:  368
ISBN-13978-0451492371

(Received for an honest review from Berkley)


Julia London on the Web: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads

Books in the series:


Cover Art:



Excerpt from The Devil in the Saddle courtesy of Amazon’s Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London brings readers another charming, sexy contemporary western.

A devil in her path...

 
No one cheats on a Prince and gets away with it. And Hallie—Texas socialite, would-be ballerina, and the only daughter of the renowned Prince family—is ready to give her two-timing fiancé a piece of her mind. But fate plants hot, sexy ranch hand and ex-Army Ranger Rafael Fontana quite literally in her way. Her childhood friend is all grown up. He’s sexy, he’s handsome, and suddenly, after all these years, Hallie is taking notice. 
 
A princess in his heart...
 
Rafe has been in love with Hallie since they were kids, but he was always the help—and she was glamorous and popular, seemingly off-limits to a lowly cowboy. But now he’s back at Three Rivers Ranch to help his family and Hallie is there too—and she needs his support. Soon long-buried feelings boil to the surface, and the desire between them is hot and palpable and undeniable. Rafe realizes he wants Hallie—and her adorable puppy—for keeps… he just has to convince her.

Thoughts:

Julia London is an author I haven’t read too much from. She’s very popular and has won many accolades. I have enjoyed every book of hers that I have read but the opportunities have been few for whatever reason. That being said I would definitely recommend her new novel, The Devil in the Saddle. This in the second book in the Princes of Texas series. London brings readers a friends to lovers story that is both heartwarming and steamy. With tons of witty banter and characters that will win your heart, this one is a keeper!

What I liked:

The friends to lovers trope is always a favorite of mine. This is a situation that often happens in real life and I think readers enjoy the idea that hey maybe this could happen to me. It’s easy to relate to and it’s engaging. In Devil in the Saddle our hero, Rafe has always had secret feelings for his long time friend, Hallie. But there seemed to be something standing the way. I thought London did an excellent job of showing how this couples feelings for each other changed over the course of the story. How they moved beyond Rafe being Hallie’s shoulder to cry on, to becoming her support for a new life choice and kept going from there. It wasn’t a slow start at all just a nice easy flow.

One thing that stood out to me about this book is that the story was more than just your run of the mill romance. Hallie is the only daughter in the Prince family, who are practically considered royalty in their Texas community. Rafe is the son of one of the Ranch employees. Readers will feel and understand Rafe’s struggle to see himself as good enough for Hallie because of the social class barriers and the good intentions of those who want to see Hallie marry well. I thought London did a wonderful job showing the reader that it doesn’t matter whether you come from money or from a hard working family, love doesn’t see the obstacles. It sees the possibilities.

Hallie has really been through the wringer when this book begins. After a hard night of drinking tequila and sleeping in her fancy wedding gown, she finds herself rescued by her long time friend, Rafe. She’s been through a lot from losing her father to getting rid of her cheating fiancé . I loved the way Hallie took some time. She pulled herself together and decided to move on with her life much to the chagrin of her family. Her choices aren’t what they want but Rafes support allows her safety while she redefines her dreams. Loved that aspect of the story! London fosters the idea that it is up to you to change your life both in Hallie’s story and in Rafe’s.

What I didn’t:

At first our heroine doesn’t come off as a sweet Texas girl. She’s a little bit spoiled. A little bit catty. And a whole lot of trouble. Some readers may have a hard time deciding if they like Hallie. But give it some time. Believe me, she grows on you and she grows up.

Rafe was a great character in every way but it did take him a little while to get out of his own way. Yes, he’s the employee and she’s the bosses daughter but in 2019, does that really matter? Sometimes I wonder...

Bottom Line:

Julia London is a great writer! This book had a good storyline. The characters were believable, their struggles palpable. The character growth throughout the book was excellent. I felt like it wasn’t predictable nor was it way off base. I’m gonna have read more from this lady... I really enjoyed this one!

The Devil in the Saddle is available now from your favorite bookseller

I’m giving this book 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag


About the author:


Julia London is the New York TimesUSA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of numerous romance novels and women's fiction. She is also the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Spotlight: A Texas Kind of Christmas

A Texas Kind of Christmas ( A collection of stories) by Jodi Thomas, Celia Bonaduce and Rachael Miles


Publication Date:10/29/2019
Publisher: Kensington Books
Imprint: Kensington 
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 336
ISBN-13978-1496721303

Spotlights are books that I didn’t have the time to review this month. But ones that still make great reading options.

One particular ball is the setting for all three stories in this great collection!


Jodi Thomas on the Web: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads

Celia Bonaduce on the Web: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads

Rachael Miles on the Web: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads

Excerpt from A Texas Kind of Christmas courtesy of Amazon’s Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

It’s Christmas Eve, 1859, and everyone who’s anyone is headed to the glorious St. Nicholas Hotel for the most talked about ball of the season. It’s the kind of Texas night where anything can happen—even love . . .
 
ONE NIGHT AT THE ST. NICHOLAS
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jodi Thomas
 To escape her stepmother’s plot to marry her off, Texas heiress Jacqueline Hartman spends Christmas Eve sharing a hideout with an accused bank robber. After a night in Nathaniel Ward’s arms, Jacqueline is certain she has met her match after all. But will his heartfelt promise of love lead to his demise at the hands of the law? 
 
BIRDIE’S FLIGHT Celia Bonaduce
Seamstress Birdie Flanagan gets the surprise of her life when she receives a beautiful gown—and a sudden invitation—for the ball of the season! Birdie creates a stir from the moment she arrives, capturing the eye of the dashing Captain Douglas Newcastle.  But will a secret from her past keep her from her long-awaited happily-ever-after? 
 
SPIRIT OF TEXAS Rachael Miles
When lovely spinster Eugenie Charpentier makes a trip across the Texas frontier with former Texas Ranger Asher Graham, she dreams of an adventure, and the rough-and-tumble cowboy is happy to oblige. But both Eugenie and the rugged lawman are keeping secrets. Can they find each other—and love—on the dance floor at the Christmas ball?

A Texas Kind of Christmas is available now from your favorite bookseller


About the author:


With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 50 novels and more than a dozen novellas. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world. Jodi has been inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. When not working on a novel, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.


Celia Bonaduce, also the author of The Venice Beach Romances and the Welcome to Fat Chance, Texas series, has always had a love affair with houses. Her credits as a television field producer include such house-heavy hits as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition; HGTV’s House Hunters and Tiny House Hunters. She lives in Santa Monica, CA, with her husband and dreams of one day traveling with him in their own tiny house. You can contact Celia at www.Celiabonaduce.com.


Rachael Miles has always loved a good romance, especially one with a bit of suspense and preferably a ghost. She is also a professor of book history and nineteenth-century literature whose students frequently find themselves reading the novels of Ann Radcliffe and other gothic tales. A native Texan, Rachael lives with her indulgent husband, three rescued dogs, and an ancient cat. Visit her at www.rachaelmiles.com.