Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Excerpt: The Christmas Wish by Katy Regnery

Title: The Christmas Wish
Author: Katy Regnery
Publisher: Boroughs
Release Date: October 27, 2013
Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

From the book:

Waitress Tess Branson is looking for love in all the wrong places…until the scarred Lucas Flynn arrives in small-town Gardiner, Montana, giving them both a second chance at love.


Lucas uncrossed his arms, moving his white apron aside to put his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “Go out to dinner with me on Monday night, Tess.”


“I’m asking you out on a date.”

“Why?” she murmured, brows knitted in confusion.

“Because I’d like to get to know you better.”

“You don’t have to take me to dinner to get to know me better,” she said softly, dropping her eyes.

“But that’s the way I’d like to do it,” he said, holding out his hand, palm up.

She looked at his hand then back up at his face. She’d kissed many men in her life. So many men, she couldn’t possibly even guess at how many. But she’d never wanted to kiss a man as desperately as she wanted to kiss Lucas Flynn.

She placed her hand in his and watched him lift it to his mouth, brush his lips softly against her cold skin. It sent a deluge of shivers up her arm, down her back, made her tingle before turning her insides hot. A small, breathy sound escaped her throat as she stared at the dark brown, lightly wavy hair on the head bent over her hand. Then he released her hand and turned, reaching for the doorknob.

“Make a wish on a star before you come in,” he said softly, without turning to face her. “It’s Christmastime. It might come true.”

He slipped inside, leaving her hot and alone under the starry sky.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Release Day Blitz, Book Review and Giveaway: Hard As It Gets (A Hard Ink Novel) by Laura Kaye


Shadow Realm, Sue Fahey and Sara Howe - congratulations!

Title: Hard As It Gets
Author: Laura Kaye
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins)
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

From the book:

Tall, dark, and lethal...
Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome--pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge...

My review:

My reaction, the second I finished this book was:

Holy. Hell.
That was awesome!! 

(It really was. I posted exactly that online in my Avon Addicts group within a minute of finishing the last sentence.)

Becca Merritt is one determined woman. Her brother, Charlie, has gone missing, and he's left her a single clue - to find Nick Rixey. Becca is driven to find her brother at any cost; he's her only family left, and she's not willing to give him up without a fight.

Nick Rixey is a self-loathing Afghanistan war vet who's shut out everyone except his brother. He was discharged from the military with dishonor, and it was because of his ex-commander...who is also Becca's father (he was killed in Afghanistan). These days, he hangs out at his brother's tattoo place and does some ink art...and he's really, really good at it. The tattoo parlor, where Nick and his super-awesome, best-secondary character ever brother, Jeremy, is also where they live - and where Becca stays when the same guys who have her brother...well, I'll leave that to you to discover. ;)

(Handy tip: Keep an eye out for Jeremy's shirts. They will make you laugh and wonder what he'll be wearing next!)

The chemistry between Nick and Becca is phenomenal. Kaye has a definite talent when it comes to sexual tension; she would Nick and Becca so tight, my Kindle almost imploded. The two of them moved very naturally into a relationship, and I really adored them together. Becca, while a strong female lead, has a genuine softness to her; Nick's shell is so hard, it's nearly unbreakable. 

What unfolds in this book is a crazy, fast-paced suspense that had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't put this book down if the house was on fire around me - I needed to know who had Charlie, what they wanted, and how it all circled back to Becca's dad.

The world building was amazing, the plotting perfect, and the characters fun, smart and believable. One more thing to make this story one of my top picks of the year? It's a series...and while the issue of Charlie is resolved in this novel, the why of his disappearance - and how it ties back to Becca's father - looks like it'll be tied throughout this series of 5 books:

Hard As It Gets 11/26/13
Hard As You Can 2/25/14
Hard to Hold Onto 8/19/14 (novella)
Hard to Come By 11/25/14
Hard Ink #4 is untitled, spring 2015

Overall - this was a great, smart, fun, sexy, suspenseful read.  Highly recommended - get yourself a copy, you won't regret it!


I have 3 SIGNED bookmarks from Laura herself! All you have to do to enter is comment below. Happy reading!

(Disclaimer: I was provided an digital copy from the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review: Sweetest Mistake by Candis Terry

Title: Sweetest Mistake
Author: Candis Terry
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins)
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

From the book:

When friends become lovers . . .

Firefighter and former Marine Jackson Wilder has tough guy down to an art, but he’s learned the hard way that promises were made to be broken. Abigail Morgan was once his best friend, his first kiss, his first love, his first everything. He’d just forgotten to mention all that to her and she blew out of his life. Five years later, she’s back and he’s battling a load of mistrust for her disappearing act. But for some reason he just can’t keep his lips—or his hands—to himself.

It can lead to disaster or . . .

When her stint as a trophy wife abruptly ends, Abby returns home to Sweet, Texas, and comes face-to-face with Jackson—her biggest and sexiest mistake. Time and distance did nothing to squash her love for the act-first-think-later stubborn hunk of a man, and when he suggests they renew their old just-friends vow, Abby realizes she wants more. She’d cut and run once. Could she do it again? Or could she tempt him enough to break his promise?

My review:

As you know, I was a big fan of ANYTHING BUT SWEET, which was my introduction to Candis Terry. And, after reading SWEETEST MISTAKE, I am fully convinced: Terry is, hands-down, one of the best contemporary romance authors I've read in years. Her stories come across as effortless, even though Jackson had to be difficult to write. He is so stubborn and so thick-skulled, that sometimes you just want to smack him upside the head.

Thank goodness Abby's known him her whole life, or she would've given up on him years ago.

Jackson's story is full of the emotional turmoil I experienced in ABS, but this hero has so much more in his soul. He was there when his oldest brother (his hero) died in battle. He saw it go down, and he holds a lot of guilt with that. He has a daughter, and his sweet side comes through, which is such a testament to how Jackson himself was raised. And his unwillingness to trust in Abby's love packages up all his insecurities into a not-so-neatly tied bow.

Le sigh. :)

The entire book was a joy to read, and to be honest, I've read it twice already. It's one I'll re-read many times, but especially when I need to remember the simple pleasures in life, and how stubbornness can only be overcome if you're willing to let it go.

I don't want to give away too much, but there is a scene in which Jackson takes out Jared's (his brother who died at war) truck. Jackson is cruising, listening to the last CD his brother had in there, trying to clear his mind. And when Jackson sits in the truck, parked at his favorite spot, and he asks his brother for advice...I had tears in my eyes. The scene is so beautifully written, so full of what Jared must've been like in Jackson's life, made my heart hurt for the entire Wilder family. It took me a good hour or so after I finished the book to convince myself that this family is, indeed, a fictional family.

Fictional or not, this is one of my favorite families in all of romance. And the next book, SOMETHING SWEETER, is about the youngest Wilder, Jesse. He's a veterinarian (swoon!) who loves animals and kids...and I simply can't wait to read about him. 

Order this book immediately - you won't be disappointed.

(Disclaimer: I was provided an digital copy from the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Preview: Once Upon a Highland Summer by Lecia Cornwall

A new book is up for sale today from Avon Impulse, and it was such a fun read that I have to recommend it to you. If you enjoy regencies (even if you don't, it's not set in the ballrooms of England!), if you love the lush setting of Scotland, and if you enjoy a bit of midsummer magic and paranormal matchmaking (gotta love those meddlesome specters!), I think you'll really love Lucia Cornwall's ONCE UPON A HIGHLAND SUMMER. I couldn't put it down!

From the book:

An ancient curse, a pair of meddlesome ghosts, a girl on the run, and a fateful misunderstanding make for the perfect chance at true love. 

Lady Caroline Forrester is on the run from her brother’s scheme to marry her off to the highest bidder. An escape to Scotland offers a chance at employment as a governess and freedom from an unhappy marriage-it’s the perfect solution. But Caroline wasn’t prepared for the feelings that her new employer brings out in her.

Alec McNabb, the reluctant Earl of Glenorne, never expected to return home to Scotland. But now that he’s there, he realizes he has obligations that he cannot escape. Alec needs to marry well, and quickly.

When a case of mistaken identity-coupled with the sensual, magical atmosphere of Glenorne castle-results in a passionate encounter, Caroline and Alec must decide whether their attraction is enough to overcome the problems of their pasts, or whether this one chance at true love was over before it began …

Where to Buy:

Follow the Blog Tour for a Chance to Win!

Follow Lecia Cornwall this week as she takes readers on a tour of her lush Scottish historical e-original, ONCE UPON A HIGHLAND SUMMER, on sale from Avon Impulse TODAY, November 5! All week, you’ll find out about the romantic setting, the lively characters (both alive and…otherworldly), and the Scottish romance genre in general!

Visit each blog on its designated day to get the full behind the scenes picture of ONCE UPON A HIGHLAND SUMMER, and to enter for a chance to win a signed book by Lecia Cornwall: