Thursday, July 27, 2017

Excerpt & Tour: The Scandal of It All by Sophie Jordan

Title: The Scandal of It All
Author: Sophie Jordan
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: The Rogue Files Series (Book Two)
Publisher: Avon Books
SynopsisIt takes two to make a scandal…

What kind of woman ventures into London’s most notorious pleasure club? An outsider like Graciela, the Duchess of Autenberry, snubbed time and time again by society because of her Spanish roots. Ela longs to take a lover for a single, wild night, and within the walls of Sodom there are gentlemen to suit every forbidden taste. If only she were not so drawn to the smoldering Lord Strickland…a dangerous man who sees beyond her mask, and could ruin her reputation with a mere whisper.

Lord Strickland never permitted himself to fantasize about the sultry, off-limits lady, but then he never expected to find Ela in a place so wicked, looking for what he’s more than too happy to give. She may not be to the ton’s taste, but she suits him perfectly. First, however, he must convince her to trust in this dangerous desire—and in the promise of forever unleashed by one wild, scandalous night.

NOTE: Adult Content Ahead
“This is no place for you.”

She bristled. She imagined he would not say the same thing to a man her age. Was she so very old and matronly that he did not think she had any right to be here?

Undoubtedly he consigned her to a certain category in his mind. A certain sexless category tantamount to nuns and grandmothers.

“I’ve every right to be here—”

“Oh, do you? Well, if you feel so very entitled to be here, then by all means, step out into that corridor and greet your stepson.”

His words struck her like a slap.

He moved away from the door, grasped the latch and started to pull it open.

She squeaked and threw herself against him, flattening him into the door and shutting it again with a swift thud.

“No! Don’t do that.” Her breath escaped in hard pants that got lost somewhere in the vicinity of his chest. That’s how tall he was. Her nose was directly level with his throat. Even in the shadows she could detect the thrumming pulse at his throat. Taller than average herself, she had always appreciated a tall man.

Her gaze flicked up to his eyes. He watched her, holding himself utterly still. Against her. Bodies flush. Hearts beating in cadence.

It was unnerving to say the least . . . and yet for the life of her she couldn’t step back and peel herself off him. She couldn’t stop staring into those pale gray-blue eyes that looked at her with angry emotion—another first. He’d always been so polite and proper with her. A perfectly circumspect gentleman.

His fierce expression and intense eyes mesmerized her. She moistened her lips and his gaze followed the movement. The blue of his eyes seemed to darken a shade—or maybe it was simply the dim lighting of the room? His stare dropped even lower.

A quick glance down reminded her of the indecent cut of her gown. Pressed against him like this, the tops of her breasts swelled above the neckline. She felt the heat of her blush start in her face and then watched as red crept downward over her dusky mounds.

Involuntarily, her nipples pebbled inside her corset.

She gasped. Even though he couldn’t know and he couldn’t possibly feel her body’s betrayal (with him of all men!), she lurched back.

Now, with a few feet of space between them, their gazes locked for an interminable moment. Her heart beat harder and faster in her too-tight chest. A chest that only seconds ago pressed intimately against him. Her nipples still throbbed, as though she still felt the pressure of his body against her.

At the thought of his body, she raked him with a quick glance, imagining that hard body of his . . . the pressure of it covering her—She reined in her scandalous imagination with a firm yank.

The heat scoring her cheeks burned hotter. She inhaled. It was simply being here, in this house of iniquity, that made her think such wholly unacceptable thoughts. About Lord Strickland, of all people. He was her stepson’s best friend—a longtime family friend. Even if he weren’t too young for her (and he was!), he was absolutely inappropriate as a candidate for dalliances.

It was not only unseemly . . . It was perverse of her to even entertain such notions. He would likely be horrified if he knew.

Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s the New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author of more than twenty novels. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with anything that has a happily ever after. You can visit her website for more information. 



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Book Blitz: Northwoods Magic by Desiree Lafawn

Title: Northwoods Magic
Author: Desiree Lafawn
Genre/Age: Paranormal Romance/Adult
Series: Northwoods Fairy Tales Series (Book One)
Publisher: Self-published
SynopsisQuinn Reynolds is desperate for answers. After a near fatal accident, Quinn’s life changes and she is suddenly plagued by dreams of ravens, magic, and a boy with copper-ringed eyes. Told by her doctors that she is delusional, Quinn travels to the Northwoods of Minnesota to find out the truth. But Quinn has another problem that she hasn’t shared. Not only does she dream of magic, she also possesses her own power as well and it scares the hell out of her.

Corbin Olsen has been battling his own demons for the last ten years. After sacrificing everything to save Quinn’s life, she forgot about him completely. He’s thought of her constantly in the years she’s been gone, but nothing prepared him for the woman she has become. Although angry at her for leaving him, Corbin isn’t able to dismiss his need for her.

But Corbin and Quinn are running out of time for a meaningful reunion, the real evil is back and hunting the prey that escaped them all those years ago.

“I don’t know what I have to say to make you understand how important you are to me. I waited ten years. Ten years, Quinn. A decade of loneliness and anger, feeling so bad I thought I would die from it, but still I waited for you.” Corbin looked thoughtfully at the pocket knife in his hands; the one he had been using to cut herbs, and stood up slowly.

“You could cut me with this knife right now and I wouldn’t run away. Is that what it would take Quinn? Do you need to see me bleed for you to understand, because here’s the knife babe, I’ll even stand real still for you.”

Oh, he was so very angry, but it was one hundred percent a different kind of angry than Quinn has assumed he would be. She started to get the sinking feeling that she had screwed up. Again. He stalked towards her with the closed knife in his hands, but when she put her hands behind her back in an effort to refuse he gently but firmly grabbed her wrist and pried her fingers open so that her palm lay flat in his. He placed the knife in her open hand and curled her fingers around it, then waited expectantly.

“Feelings aren’t right or wrong Quinn, they just are. Who do you think you are to tell me how I should feel?” He stepped even closer to Quinn and she fought to stand her ground and not pull away. She was doing this for him, why couldn’t he see that? Why was he trying to get her to second guess her decision?

“Why are you so concerned about being normal?” he continued. “Exactly what part of either of our situations is normal anyway? What does that even mean? Your magic changed me Quinn, but it was my choice you get that? It was my choice to change and my choice to help you and my fucking choice to spend the last ten years waiting for you to get your shit together so I could finally feel like I wasn’t alone. Damn it Quinn I would bleed for you.” He closed his hand around Quinn’s hand, the one that held the knife and punched out the words again.

“I. Would. Bleed. For. You.”

Desiree lives in Northwest Ohio with her husband, two children, and two rowdy cats. She is a craft addicted, roller derby skating amateur foody who loves to enjoy a glass of chardonnay with a side of whatever snack the kids left untouched in the pantry, most likely goldfish crackers.

She writes contemporary and fantasy/paranormal romance because fairy tales are where it's at. She loves the pull of magic, the light and the dark of it, as well as the effort the characters must go through to reach their happily ever after.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Spotlight: The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova

Title: The Dragons of Nova
Author: Elise Kova
Genre/Age: Fantasy/Adult
Series: Loom Saga (Book Two)
Publisher: Keymaster Press
SynopsisCvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust -- hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything -- and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills -- and quick-shooting accuracy -- makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.


Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the Loom Saga.

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Spotlight: The Black Door Trilogy by S. Valentine

available in a box-set!

TBDT Boxset 2

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 When Gabriella Woods finds matches from a gentlemen’s club in her fiancé’s pocket, her suspicions require a search for answers… At the club, she realizes it’s not her fiancé’s fidelity that can’t be trusted. It’s her own. Darion Milano is daring, intriguing, and unpredictable… Unable to get him out of her head—and against Darion’s explicit warning— Gabi begins a torrid affair. No longer fighting the urge to enter the depth of his dark and mysterious lifestyle, she indulges in his most intimate desires. They become the most exciting, wild, infatuated couple everybody knows. Until his confession changes everything… Her heart is telling her to stay. Her instinct is telling her to run. She can never match his outrageous ex-wife and become the fun, fearless woman he craves…


 Gabriella Woods is adapting to Darion Milano’s daring world… As Gabi tries to break down Darion’s defenses and help him move on from his damaged past, she hopes he can offer her the love and security she desperately requires. Darion likes that Gabi is pushing her boundaries, but he has his own dilemmas… With his outrageous ex-wife in the picture, a constant threat, Gabi finds herself agreeing to Darion’s open-minded adventurous fantasies. The bond they share appears stronger than ever. Until her confession changes everything. Is Darion pushing Gabi to her limits—and further away from him? Or is Gabi in too deep to give Darion up, regardless of her identity that he’s slowly stripping away?

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 Gabriella Woods eventually wants it all—love, passion, marriage, a family. With the sale of the club, she feels closer to Darion Milano, and believes his dark sexual desires are behind him. A reunion at The Black Door to celebrate the opening awakens the past. Gabi and Darion remember where and how they fell in love. Gabi is pleased to see Darion in touch with his old friends, in particular Gina. Until their confession changes everything. The news shatters Gabi’s world. Can she and Darion get through it? Will the link to his past sway him from a life he now leads, to a life he once led?

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Review: The Importance of Being Scandalous by Kimberly Bell

Title: The Importance of Being Scandalous
Author: Kimberly Bell
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: Tale of Two Sisters Series (Book One)
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Format: ebook via NetGalley
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisA horse race in trousers on Rotten Row. Visiting a gaming hall in a dress that would make her mother faint. Sneaking an invitation to a masquerade ball attended by only the wickedest, most debauched members of society…

None of these things are scaring off bookish but strong-willed Amelia Bishop’s stuffy, egotistical fiancé.

The only thing left is to entice childhood friend Nicholas Wakefield into a truly engagement-ending scandal. The Wakefields are the height of propriety, and Nicholas’s parents have made it clear a wife from the neighboring Bishop family would be unacceptable…

But Nicholas would give up his family and his fortune if Amelia would ever see him as more than just a childhood friend. He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both, because he’s got a plan that will change her mind about him being merely the boy next door

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

Perfection. This book was darn near perfection.

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Amelia is engaged to the wrong man. When her childhood crush returns home, she can't help but to imagine a life with him instead of her rigid fiance. Yet, when finally finds the courage to break off her engagement, the man simply won't accept it. And so the battle for her future begins. Even if it means enlisting help from the only man she wishes to be shackled to.

Nicholas isn't the heir and his family has made certain he knows it. So he isn't surprised when his mother requests that he come home to help manage their estate so as not to inconvenience his brother. What he is surprised to see is the love of his life engaged to another. And the man is entirely wrong for her, in every way. He can't stand by and watch her suffer in silence.

With the aid of a rambunctious viscount and an unruly sister, Amelia does nearly everything she can think of to force her fiance to end the engagement. But the more scandalous her antics become, the more determined her betrothed seems to be. And the closer Nick gets to Amelia, the more he wants her to be marry him instead.

I'm almost speechless by how much I loved this book. I read the entire thing in one evening and carried it with me all over the house because I just didn't want to put it down. At all. It's rare to find a book that I cannot find any fault with, yet this one earned every sun I could ever give it. Just fantastic.

I'll start with the characters. Amelia was a firecracker of a lady. She was more reserved in the beginning but once she realized there was no feasible way out of her unwanted engagement, she didn't hesitate to put the scandal in scandalous. I was even surprised by her courage and quick thinking in even cringeworthy situations. I fell more and more in love with her with every chapter.

Nicholas was a really great character, too. He was smart and had a sense of humor I admired. But what stood out the most to me was that he didn't try to play the hero, swoop in, and rescue Amelia. Instead, he worked alongside her and valued her ideas and opinion. He didn't try to control her the way everyone else in her life was attempting to do.

That leads me to the plot. Holy guacamole, that was a fun ride. There was more than one villain-ish character causing trouble for Amelia. But the more they suppressed her, the more outrageous her stunts became. I was entertained the entire time I read this book. Amelia's banter with her sister was hilarious and refreshing. I am really looking forward to seeing Julia's story. I'm also curious to see if Jasper's sister ever decides to settle down. 

In closing...
There has to be more coming in this series. I need it, like now. Five scandalous suns!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review: Mail Order Groom by Dana Wayne

Title: Mail Order Groom
Author: Dana Wayne
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: None
Publisher: Y & R Publishing
Format: ebook via The Romance Reviews
Rating: ✺✺✺
Synopsis“Find a husband in thirty days or lose the ranch when I die.”

Emma Marshall is stunned by her dying father’s ultimatum. With Twin Oaks to run alone, she avoids dealing with it, unaware of advertisements he placed seeking a groom.

Soon, prospects arrive, spurred by the promise of control of a prosperous ranch and a beautiful bride. Angry, embarrassed and heartbroken by her father’s tactics, she fights for her independence.

Tyler Roundtree responds to his best friends’ request and applies for position of temporary foreman at the Marshall place. Surprised to find his new boss is a beautiful, jean-wearing, gun-toting woman with enough grit to go bear hunting with a switch, he happily accepts the job.

Distracted by persistent suitors and a dangerous man intent on getting control of her ranch, Emma is totally unprepared for the instant attraction to Ty. Thrown together by chance, she wonders if he may be the answer to her problem. However, it soon becomes clear she knows everything about running a ranch, and nothing about being a woman.

A world-weary Southern gentleman, a fiery, independent woman; will a marriage of convenience bring them happiness or more heartache?

The Romance Review

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

A headstrong woman meets her match.

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Emma isn't your average woman. Growing up without a mother, she's learned the ways of a rancher much more than those of a lady. She wears britches and cusses just as good as any other man. So when her father gives her an ultimatum, marry in thirty days, Emma isn't thrilled with the idea of being shackled to someone who might try to control her.

Tyler wants to do a lot of things to Emma when he meets her. Taking away her freedom isn't one of them. Becoming the woman's new foreman gives him a front seat to the crazy show of suitors vying for her hand. And after a shady man tries to force Emma into marriage, Ty takes it upon himself to save her. By agreeing to marry her, instead. Whoa.

But even though both Ty and Emma are agreeable to the marriage, there are several others who are not. And these men are willing to do most anything to end the couple's relationship. Ty must do his best to keep his new wife and himself safe from the scheming suitors who threaten their happiness and their future.

This was a pretty good book. I liked Emma from the start, even though her argumentative streak was a tad annoying in the beginning. I think she overreacted sometimes, when she felt her freedom was at risk. But as she begins to mature into a grown and married woman, we see a change in her demeanor. It was nice to see her learn to trust Ty and come to love him.

Tyler impressed me from the first page, too. He was firm when he needed to be, soft when it came to caring for his woman, and always attentive. A nice combination. But the poor man seemed to attract flying bullets. I was surprised by the twists and turns in this book. Definitely didn't see most of them coming and I hadn't guessed who one of the villains was before they were revealed. It was a steady and satisfying plot.

I just have one small problem with this book and that is the title. From the name of the book, you would guess that Tyler came to be Emma's husband as a mail order groom. He didn't. In fact, I only remember seeing one mention of mail order grooms and it's in passing. The story was good but if you were expecting it to be about one thing and it wasn't, I could see that frustrating readers in the future. Just food for thought.

In closing...
A fun romp in the historical western hay. Four suns!

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