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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Weekly Winners

Below is a list of all of the winners from last week.

Kari A.
Hungry Like the Wolf by Paige Tyler

Beth Ann
Into the Fury by Kat Martin

All winners have been notified via email and are posted on the Rafflecopter form from that giveaway post. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and entered. =)

ARC Review: Dark Sexy Knight by Katy Regnery

Dark Sexy Knight is the newest book in the Modern Fairytales series by Katy Regnery. I have loved each and every book in this series and it is one of my absolute favorites! Each book is a standalone story based on a familiar fairytale and I just can't get enough of these books! Dark Sexy Knight was everything I expected it to be and more, and I really loved it. Dark Sexy Knight is loosely based on Camelot, and I could not put it down. 

Colt Lane is a dinner theater knight going through the motions. He made his aunt a promise to always look out for his cousin Melody and he is determined to keep that promise. So when he meets Verity Gwynn and her special needs brother Ryan, he knows that he shouldn't get involved yet he can't stop himself from coming to her rescue. Colt was exactly what Verity needed to help save her and her brother, and she sees beneath his surface right away to the good guy that he is. But while Verity finds herself falling more for Colt every day, Colt continues to tell her that she should stay away. Can Colt let Verity know of his past and move forward with her to see if they can build a future together, or will his past change everything between them and scare her away for good?

I really loved these characters. From start to finish there was this strong connection between them, and they could not have been sweeter together. They each had so much that they had been through, and it was clear that they were just surviving. It wasn't until they met each other that the seemed to really come alive. Colt was great with not only Verity, but also her brother Ryan. I loved how he looked out for them and was so protective and kind. He might have had a bit of an issue handling some of that at times, but it was obvious that he would never hurt them and would do anything it took to protect them. I loved Verity as well as Colt. She was loyal and kind, and would do anything for her brother and Colt. I loved the family they were creating, and Colt's cousin Melody made an excellent addition to that.

These characters just belonged together, and it was clear that there was so much love all around them, and I just had this amazing feeling while reading about all of them. There might have been bad things that happened, but it was such a hopeful story filled with love and strength. There were some characters here that I didn't care for and I would have loved to have seen them get some of what they had coming to them, but in the end I was so happy with how everything ended that it didn't really matter. Dark Sexy Knight was a great addition to the Modern Fairytale series, and I have honestly loved each book in this series. Though I do have a favorite from the series, each book has been so well written and such an amazing story that it really is hard to pick between them. If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend it. If you are a fan of the classic fairytales but are looking for something new and different, these novels with a modern take on them from Katy Regnery should definitely be on your must read list!

**ARC Provided by RockStarLit PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes

Feature and Giveaway: Always My Girl by Samantha Chase

Sometimes the love that’s closest to you is the hardest to see.

Quinn Shaughnessy’s two older brothers have found their true loves … but Quinn’s not about to join that parade. Nope, as he tells his best friend Anna, there’s a lot more to life than getting tied down to one person. He’s positive tomboy Anna will be on his side — except she’s inexplicably developing other interests — even dating! Suddenly Quinn is seeing Anna in a very different light.

Quinn has been Anna’s buddy since they were both five years old. She can tell him anything — except the one big secret she’s been hiding for years — that she’s fallen in love with him. Now Anna is determined to make a life for herself that doesn’t include pining for Quinn. Falling in love with your best friend? Easy. Telling them how you really feel? Impossible.

Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published seventeen more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years and their two sons in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: The Fairest of Them All by Cathy Maxwell

Lady Charlene Blanchard finds herself lucky enough to have a Cinderella experience. For one ball, she is able to wear a lovely dress, dance with the elite, and maybe she can win the heart of a duke! Sadly, her night is cut short because barely minutes after she enters and is introduced to Gavin, the Duke of Baynton, a group of Americans make a stirring entrance.

The leader of the Americans is none other than Jack Whitredge, the duke's younger twin brother. He hasn't been seen or heard from in years and had honestly been thought dead. After a somewhat awkward family reunion, Jack learns that his brother has his sights set on Charlene, who has met Jack before, when he caught her picking the pocket of one of his comrades.

Jack and Charlene are drawn to each other, but they both have goals that seem impossible to pursuit if they were together. I loved Jack's way of honor, and I loved that Charlene learns her lessons from her mistakes. They are perfectly suited for each other. It could end in complete heartbreak or happily ever after...

I loved all of the characters. They really breathe life into the story especially Charlene. There are definitely some plot holes, though. For example, if Jack was in London for two weeks trying to get the ear of a gentleman in Parliament, how did Gavin not know he was in town? Wouldn't other aristocrats have told him? The end was also done oddly. I felt the climax of the book should have come a little closer to the end. The tying things up part took too long.

I did really like this read. It leaves me impatient for the sequel just like I felt after reading The Match of the Century (this book's prequel). I do suggest reading the novella A Little Thing Called Love and The Match of the Century before this one. It could be read as a stand alone, but all the best parts would be missed in my opinion. Can't wait to get my hands on the final book!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Friday, June 17, 2016

ARC Review: The All Star Antes Up by Nancy Herkness

The All Star Antes Up is my first book by this author and I would definitely recommend checking out other material by her. This is the story of Miranda and Luke. Miranda is a concierge at an exclusive condo building where Luke owns the penthouse unit. Luke is the mega star / billionaire quarterback of the pro New York NFL team. Both Miranda and Luke have been driven almost exclusively by their professional achievement and have not taken much time for actual romance in their lives.

When Luke's best friend decides to commit himself to his wife and family and leave professional football, it causes Luke to examine the choices he's made. During a drunken encounter with two other billionaires, Luke and the other two men decide that life is really no good if you don't have someone to share it with. Therefore, the three billionaires make a bet to basically force themselves to find love within 1 year or forfeit something extremely valuable. When Luke meets Miranda he is not actually looking to fulfill the terms of the bet yet. Luke's plan was to finish the football season he was in the middle of before he started searching for his one true love. But you know how these things work out. For Miranda's part, she is walking a professional tightrope where Luke is one of her clients and she is dealing with a boss who was out to get her. Miranda's relationship with Luke is problematic for her in more than one way. But you know how these things work out.

For those of you out there who are hard core contemporary romance fans, I think this would be a really good selection for you. There is a lot of relationship developing between the main characters. There are plenty of conversations between the two where they explore their past and their motivations and discover the things that they have in common. There is also a good deal of contextual information that will allow you to invest in the story. There is plenty of description about Miranda and Luke's working worlds as well as the dates they go on that allow them to get to know one another. The author allows you to connect to the main characters through conversations and events instead of introspection, that is something that I normally appreciate. So, no instalove here.

The issue for a reader like me will be the amount of exploration of the sort of sub topics in the book. I would have liked to see more time spent on the steam between the characters and less time on the dating and get to know you part. But I realize that I'm more of an erotic romance reader. One thing that might be confusing to anyone reading this book is the whole situation with the bet. Luke had so much at stake riding on him finding his one true love. He finds Miranda and it is apparent to all of us that she is probably the one for him but he spends almost the entire book ignoring the bet and trying to put Miranda off. From the beginning of the book he decides that his career means nothing without someone to share it with but then for the entire remainder of the book he struggles to put his career on the back burner. It was just very confusing to me. I guess you can write it off as his revelation about the importance of love and the family being isolated to that first drunken night in the book but I just had a lot of confusion about why he made the bet if he wasn't going to commit to love.

Things of course have a way of working out in the end. I think overall this is a pretty good, entertaining read. It's got some slow parts where there is probably an over abundance of dating information but the romance is really sweet, the characters are relatable and overall I would recommend this book as a contemporary romance.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

ARC Review: Seven by Amy Marie

Seven is the first book I have read by Amy Marie. There was a lot that I really enjoyed here, but I will mention that this book is not a standalone. It ends with a cliffhanger, and I really wanted more. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to get more here though, as I definitely want to know what happens after where Seven left off. 

After being done wrong, Annie wants to get revenge on a group of seven guys that she refers to as the PITCREW. They were the most popular guys in school, but having it all wasn't enough. They needed something more, and that was making a bet to see which one could sleep with Annie first. As if that wasn't bad enough they filmed it and released it to the whole school. Now ten years later Annie has reinvented herself as Embyr and she has come up with a plan to make them all pay. But when she makes it through her list to Casen, she finds herself falling for him. Embyr quickly finds out that life doesn't always follow along with the plans you make. Can her and Casen possibly have a future together, or is there be too much history between them? 

This book was hot! There was so much chemistry between these two and honestly I couldn't get enough! Embyr and Casen were perfect examples of there being a fine line between love and hate. There was so much here that was unexpected, but I don't want to spoil the story for those that haven't read it yet. Suffice it to say though that not all was as it seems, and there was so much more going on that I had no clue about in the beginning. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to like Casen because of all that had happened in the past, but that wasn't the case here at all. I ended up really loving him! I liked Embyr as well, I will admit that I really wanted her to get her revenge. As the story continued though and things started to unfold, it became so much more complicated than I expected and I didn't know quite what to think. I also felt like there was a bit of a disconnect for me with her character later on in this book.

While I really liked the first half, the second half didn't feel as strong to me. I did enjoy this book a lot and the ending definitely has me anxious for more. I am especially looking forward to getting Casen's POV. But I will say that while I didn't like the second half as much as the first half, that this book kept me guessing with twists and turns the whole way through. I hadn't known that there was a cliffhanger before starting this one, so I think that could have been some of what made this second half feel as though it wasn't as good as the first half. I don't like to be surprised, and there was absolutely no mention of this one not being a standalone story in the blurb. I still recommend this book though, and I think if you go into it knowing that it has a cliffhanger that it probably won't be as shock as I had here. I am looking foward to more from Amy Marie though as I really liked her style and didn't want to put this one down.

**ARC Provided by Gossip Girls PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | 

Feature and Giveaway: The Hang Up by Tawna Fenkse

PR specialist Miriam Ashley makes her living cleaning up bad boys. Mountain climber-turned-CEO Jason Sanders should be an easy fix. And with a nephew to care for, he’s motivated. The problem? Every time she tries to help Jason get his head in the boardroom, they end up in the bedroom.

What the hell is she thinking? He’s the definition of off-limits. Not just because he’s a client—he spends his free time risking his life mountain climbing. The same thing that got her father killed. She’s not going to open her heart to a guy who could disappear at the drop of a…well, she’d rather not finish that thought.

She needs to leave complicated alone, but every time she sees Jason, something tells her it’s her who might fall…

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Feature: Into the Light by Aleatha Romig

An investigator's search for a friend draws her into a world darker than she could have imagined.

Sara Adams awakes blind, unable to remember the most basic details of her life, but her darkness seems a blessing when she discovers the terrors of The Light.

Stella Montgomery investigates the news on the mean streets of Detroit, where she’s noticed a disturbing trend: young women are vanishing. When her best friend disappears, Stella investigates—despite warnings from her police detective boyfriend—following a twisted trail that leads her through the city’s most dangerous and forsaken precincts. There she uncovers something more sinister than she could have imagined: a shadowy organization known as The Light, led by the enigmatic Father Gabriel.

As Sara struggles to understand her place in the strange world she’s awakened to—an oppressive cult demanding unquestioning obedience—and her feelings for Jacob, the husband she can’t recall and whose harsh and tender attentions confuse and beguile her, Stella risks all to discover the truth. But enlightenment always comes with a price...

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Thursday, June 16, 2016

ARC Review: Stirring Attraction by Sara Jane Stone

Stirring Attraction is the second book in the Second Shot series by Sara Jane Stone. Each book is a standalone story, so you do not need to read these in order to understand them. I have enjoyed everything that I have read from Sara Jane Stone before, and I think that if you are a fan of contemporary romance her books are ones worth reading. 

Dominic and Lily were together before he left to be an Army Ranger. Though he always planned to come back to Lily, a career ending injury left him broken so he stayed away from her. But when Dominic finds out that Lily has been attacked, he heads home to keep her safe. Though Lily has missed Dominic and still wants him, she is also afraid that as soon as she is out of danger he will leave her once again. But as the attraction between them heats up once more, so does the danger. Can Lily and Dominic get through it and find a future together, or will Dominic leave Lily yet again?

I liked both Dominic and Lily. You could see that these two really loved one another despite all the time and distance between them. I never once questioned the feelings between them though. I will admit that Dominic was frustrating here though. While I understood him being broken, I hate that he had left Lily and hurt her. Lily just wanted Dominic, and yet he didn't seem to be able to see that. Lily had never stopped caring about Dominic, yet she was scared to put herself back out there with Dominic after how he had hurt her before. I really felt for her, and I hated that she had been through that. These two had a lot of chemistry though, and I was glad that while they were apart there weren't a ton of other people between them. It was refreshing to see a couple that genuinely loved and cared about each other that didn't start sleeping around despite that just because they weren't together. 

Overall, this was a good story and I did like the characters even when I was a bit frustrated. There were some times that things felt a bit repetitive and I found myself skimming. While I liked the story, I didn't love it. I also felt like I was a bit more invested in the secondary characters here and I found myself wanting to get more of them than the main characters at times. I am looking forward to the next in the series and seeing what Sara Jane Stone has in store for them. I think if you are a fan of second chance romance or contemporary romance novels, this series is one worth checking out. Sara Jane Stone is a great writer and I enjoyed Stirring Attraction.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | 

Guest Post with Author Sara Jane Stone and Giveaway

After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Join Sara Jane’s newsletter to receive new release information, news about contests, giveaways, and more!

Feature and Giveaway: The Hero Least Likely Box Set

7 Heroes you least expect....7 Heroes you'll never forget.

When wallflower Audrey Cheswick runs away with England’s most wanted criminal, she learns adventure comes with a price—not just her reputation or her virtue, but her heart. If Ethan Jagger can escape the hangman’s noose and start anew, will she consent to love a scoundrel ever after?

War-torn veteran, Lord Drake devotes himself to forgetting his days on the Peninsula through an endless round of meaningless associations. He no longer wants to feel anything, but Lady Emmaline is making it hard to maintain a state of numbness. With her zest for life, she awakens his passion and desire for love.

Giles Goddard, Lord Norcourt is odd. Odder still, he has suddenly taken a fancy to his brother’s love interest, the fallen Lucy Whitaker. Lucy was once thrown over by a lord and she has little desire to let it happen again, but she’s about to learn that his desires just might be enough for the both of them.

Quincy Telford, Duke of Beloin, has hated Viscount Bittlesworth as long as he can remember. Now the man’s daughter is constantly in his path. Can he escape her temptation and avoid peril in the increasingly dangerous game of cat and mouse he is playing with his blackmailer?

Season after Season of not being able to secure a wife, Lord Clement's life changes for the better when a beautiful stranger kisses him. Now he has a wife who has it all: beauty, passion, and excitement. But it's not over. Thanks to her tainted past, her newfound love with Perry is threatened when her brother comes back into her life. Can she protect Perry from finding out the truth or will her brother get the upper hand?

When Major Bartholomew Blackpool learns the girl-next-door from his childhood will be forced into an unwanted marriage, he returns home to play her pretend beau. He figures now that he's missing a leg, a faux fiancée is the best an ex-soldier can get. He admires her pluck, but the lady deserves a whole man--and he'll ensure she gets one.

CORINNA ~ Lauren & Devon Royal
What’s a colorblind Irishman to do when he’s blackmailed into impersonating a renowned landscape artist, lying to all of London society, and risking the TON’s collective wrath if he’s found out? Why, fall for the lovely and unattainable marquess’s daughter next door, of course. But his fetching neighbor is no simpleton and an artist in her own right. When she realizes his ruse, will she expose his misdeeds…or find herself drawn into the hoax?

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo |

ARC Review: Backfire by Keri Lake

After reading Ricochet by Keri Lake, I was nowhere near ready to leave that world. Luckily, Keri Lake wasn't either. Backfire is set in the same world, but is a standalone story. While I highly recommend reading both of these books, if you haven't already read Ricochet don't let that keep you from reading Backfire. Backfire had that same gritty and raw feel to it as Ricochet did, and I am already anxious for the next book in the series. 

Lucy is a freelance photographer who one night stumbles into a world she never expected. Her discovery of corruption amongst the local police is even bigger than she first realized and soon her investigating leads to her life being in danger. Jase is also investigating, though his reasons are completely different. After being sent to an underground prison and abused, Jase is out for revenge. Their investigating leads them to one another, and soon they realize that not only do they want each other, but they need the other as well. 

The chemistry between Jase and Lucy was off the charts! These two were so hot, which is something that I loved about Ricochet as well. Keri Lake definitely knows how to bring the heat, and these two were no exception. Jase is definitely not your typical romance novel hero. He isn't a bad guy, but he isn't exactly a good one either. There were times that I wanted to dislike him for things that he did and yet I didn't. I might not have been able to relate to what he had been through, but I was able to understand it and see how that had shaped him into the man he was here. Lucy was strong and fierce, and I loved how she handled things. She wasn't a weak heroine at all, yet she was vulnerable at times. It was good to see different sides to her, and I loved how well her and Jase fit together. 

Overall, this was such a great story. I highly recommend setting some time aside when you start this one, because it is captivating and once you start you won't want to put this one down. This dark contemporary novel is filled with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and plenty of suspense to have you guessing the whole way through. I have really enjoyed both books in the Vigilantes series and I think that fans of darker romance stories will enjoy them as well. If you are new to Keri Lake, she is definitely worth taking the chance on and if you are already a fan of hers, Backfire is a must read!

**ARC Provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ARC Review: Targeted by Kendra Elliot

Targeted is a part of the Callahan & McLane series which stars Mason Callahan. Before I started reading this book, I already knew that the relationship between the main characters began in previous books in the series. I was somewhat worried that I wouldn't be able to catch up or follow along but take it from me, that is not the case. This book definitely qualifies as a standalone. I plan to quickly read everything else in the series but I am happy to report that you can start right here.

The couple in this thrilling action/suspense/romance is Mason and Mason, a detective in the Portland Police Department and Ava McLane, a special agent with the FBI. From what I know based on other reviews, the two meet in the first book in the series and develop a relationship that continues from book to book. In Targeted, Ava and Mason are wrapped up in solving the mystery of a murderer who is bold enough to target law enforcement officers.

I was into this book almost from page one. There is no wasted time in the plot, the first murder occurs almost right away and it is high speed from that point forward because of who gets killed. I really don't want to give anything away but I really like how the plot rapidly progresses. The first murder leads the investigation team to another death which had not registered on the radar before because it was deemed a suicide. While the first two murders are being dissected a third one happens and then ish gets really real!

Here's the thing, to write a good mystery/suspense, the author really has map the plot out in advance. The author has to be able to imagine twists that we the readers don't see coming. The thing I love love about Kendra Elliot is that she is a master at that. She kept me guessing but dropped enough hints so that I felt like the conclusion made sense and was within my grasp.

What puts a book like this over the top for me is the romance. I really loved the connection between Mason and Ava. Their interactions had a depth that I really wasn't expecting in a book that isn't primarily a romance. Both Mason and Ava are complex characters. Their individual stories fit well in the overall plot and helped to add layers to the story.

This is a great book for lovers of mystery, suspense and romance. I highly recommend it.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |