Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Comic Book Tuesday #19: Another Castle: Grimoire by Andrew Wheeler, Paulina Ganucheau

Author: Andrew Wheeler, Paulina Ganucheau
Series: Another Castle #1-#5
Audience: +15
Genre: Comic Book, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Oni Press
Release Date: February 28th 2017
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
We are thrilled to invite you on a journey of courage, friendship, and rebellion—Another Castle: Grimoire! This volume gathers all the issues from the hit comic book series centered on the adventures of Princess Misty of Beldora, whose courageous spirit leads to her capture, and ultimately, to a heroic adventure that spans two kingdoms.

Our tale begins when Princess Misty of Beldora, who longs for a more exciting life, gets more than she bargained for when she is captured by Lord Badlug, the ruler of the neighboring kingdom of Grimoire. He intends to marry her and conquer Beldora, leading the land into ruin and chaos. The people of Grimoire already suffer under his rule and desperately need a hero… luckily, Badlug has just kidnapped one! Together with the citizens of Grimoire and a certain bumbling prince, Misty must fight to protect her kingdom and free both realms from Badlug’s tyrannical rule. Misty is determined not to be another damsel in distress; and with her new friends to protect, she'll discover just what it takes to be the hero of the story.

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Oni Press in excange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating of the book or the content of this review in any way.

This was a different comic book than what I've read so far, but it was a great change in reading and art style.

I absolutely adored the fact that the women in this story were all powerful, strong, independent, brave and truly capable of saving themselves. At times it felt like the girls got out of sticky situations too easily, but they managed it and I loved seeing that. Misty was a pretty cool heroine, even though I found that her beliefs at the very beginning of the story were too simplistic. I felt as if she thought that attacking the enemy was easy and that her father wasn't doing it because he wasn't brave enough. I liked that she got a wake-up call and that she saw exactly what would happen if she were reckless enough to go into this battle blindly. At the same time though, I liked that, when offered the chance to escape Badlug she didn't take it, because she had friends that needed saving and because she also made a promise. She was bravest than I would have imagined. The secondary characters are also very interesting. This book actually has a pretty diverse group of characters, and I liked that fact.

The story itself is a pretty classic one, with the pretty princess being kidnapped by the evil king, the only twist being that Misty is her own white knight. I thought the ending was a little bit too rushed. I would have wanted for the story to drag out a bit more. That being said, I keep my fingers crossed for some twist in the story, if there are going to be more installments in this story.

Another main difference between this comic book and what I've read so far was the art. The colors were much brighter, more vivid, and there weren't as many shadows as I have come to expect. But I really liked how each character had their own individuality. I never got confused or thought that they looked too similar, like they could all be related, which is a feeling that some comic books have given me in the past. I liked the fact that the panels weren't too crowded.

I also loved that at the end of the volume the authors show how their process in creating this story was, both from the narrative perspective, and from the illustration's perspective. I love it when comic books include such sections.

All in all, Another Castle: Grimoire was a pretty interesting, light read, and I am going to hope that we're going to get the next part of the story (and soon).

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Release Blitz: Eternal Ecstasy by Setta Jay





Blurb

*This is the finale of the Guardians and the Realms series and is not meant to be read as a standalone title*

As the ruling God of Thule, Hroarr's priority is the survival of his world. Gifted with the ancient ability of sj√°, he has seen the birth and destruction of hundreds of worlds. This incredible power comes at an enormous cost, yet its toll seems to ease in the presence of a hauntingly seductive healer from Earth.

Sirena’s life is comprised of duty. Duty to her Guardian family, to healing those of her world and, most of all, the overwhelming duty to right the wrongs of her secret and vile bloodline. With everything on her plate a ruthless warlord God from another world is the last thing she needs, no matter what fate and her heated body demands. 

Will a dark Destroyer of Worlds bring upon the end of Earth and Thule or will two strong-minded beings fight and discover their own eternal ecstasy? 

Warning: Take one possessive, dirty talking Warrior God and one smart, no nonsense Healer; combine and shake things up for explosive results and scorching content meant for mature audiences!


Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2ji7y3E



Purchase Today



Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2kfApoN


Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2kGCY00


Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2kGlYH4




About Setta Jay


Setta Jay is the author of the popular Guardians of the Realms Series. She's garnered attention and rave reviews in the paranormal romance world for writing smart, slightly innocent heroines and intense alpha males. She loves creating stories that incorporate a strong plot accompanied by a heavy dose of heat.

An avid reader her entire life, her love of romance started at a far too early age with the bodice rippers she stole from her older sister. Along with reading, she loves animals, brunch dates, coffee that is really more French vanilla creamer, questionable reality television, English murder mysteries, and has dreams of traveling the world. 


 Born a California girl, she currently resides in Idaho with her incredibly supportive husband. 
 She loves to hear from readers so feel free to ask her questions on social media or send her an email, she will happily reply. 

Follow Setta Jay



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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Book Review: Passion Never Dies: The Complete Reborn Series by Anna Durand

Author: Anna Durand
Series: Reborn
Audience: +18
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Jacobsville Books
Release Date: November 4th 2016
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: Reading Alley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Dawn woke up drowning, inside a tank in a laboratory straight out of a science fiction movie. Blinded by amnesia, she has no choice but to trust in the alluring stranger who pulls her out of the tank, but Jake Maxwell knows more than he cares to admit. Now Redeo Biotech, the company responsible for Dawn's resurrection, is hunting them both.

As their passion for each other blossoms, Jake and Dawn must outwit their enemies and rediscover their past lives. But when their greatest foe rises from the ashes of ancient Egypt bent on vengeance, only Jake and Dawn's eternal connection has the power to save them.

This collection includes the novellas Reborn to Die, Reborn to Burn, Reborn to Avenge, and Reborn to Conquer.

*Disclaimer: Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

A very interesting take on reincarnation

Ancient Egypt is one of my favorite topics ever, and when I heard about this book I just knew I had to try it. I've always been fascinated by the culture, and the beliefs of ancient Egyptians, especially about their views about life after death.

This book offers a very interesting take reincarnation. It was interesting to see how themes like ancient curses, destined lovers, and life after death were tackled in this book. I was also very intrigued by the author's choice to include science in the story. I found it very interesting how, in the first part of the story, it seemed like it was all related to the science of resurrection rather than the magical/mystical element of it. The scientist in me was very curious to see how the human soul would be described in this book, or how it would be explained. However, as the story moves on and we learn more about Dawn and Jake, the story focuses more and more on the idea of reincarnation rather than resurrection per se. A part of me was a little bit sad by that fact, but I still enjoyed reading the story and seeing how everything was going to be explained as the story moved on.

One thing that I enjoyed a lot was the fact that, because this series was made of four novellas, the plot and pacing were moving along quite well, without having long periods of time where the actual action of the story stalled. I also liked to see how each novella focused on a different aspect of the story. If in the beginning the focus is more on Dawn and her fight to find out who she is and to escape Vahl, at the end the focus is turned towards finding out who Jake is and why exactly he is so important.

I was a bit confused at first as to why exactly the connection between Jake and Dawn was presented as natural as it was. This was a case of love-at-first-sight story, or "insta-love", but I was quite intrigued to understand why. I liked that we weren't introduced to the possibility of Jake being a reincarnation of Dawn's first love until a bit later in the book. I also enjoyed seeing the difference between Dawn and Jake, how exactly they remembered their past lives, and what led to them remembering.

All in all, a good story, that I enjoyed reading. I'll definitely be checking more of this author's work in the future.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review & Release Day Launch: Adoring Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

ADORING INK - RDL banner

 

He’s never wanted anything more than her. Carrie Ann Ryan's ADORING INK is available now! Don't miss getting your hand on Holly's story.

 

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Author: Carrie Ann Ryan
Series: Montgomery Ink #6.5
Audience: +18
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated
Release Date: January 17th 2016
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):

The Montgomery Ink series continues with the most unlikely of romances between the one that got away and the man who can show her the world.

Holly Rose fell in love with a Montgomery, but left him when he couldn’t love her back. She might have been the one to break the ties and ensure her ex’s happy ending, but now Holly’s afraid she’s missed out on more than a chance at forever. Though she’s always been the dependable good girl, she’s ready to take a leap of faith and embark on the journey of a lifetime.

Brody Deacon loves ink, women, fast cars, and living life like there’s no tomorrow. The thing is, he doesn’t know if he has a tomorrow at all. When he sees Holly, he’s not only intrigued, he also hears the warnings of danger in his head. She’s too sweet, too innocent, and way too special for him. But when Holly asks him to help her grab the bull by the horns, he can’t help but go all in.

As they explore Holly’s bucket list and their own desires, Brody will have to make sure he doesn’t fall too hard and too fast. Sometimes, people think happily ever afters don’t happen for everyone, and Brody will have to face his demons and tell Holly the truth of what it means to truly live life to the fullest…even when they’re both running out of time.

Get your hands on ADORING INK:
(ADORING INK is available initially as a 90-day exclusive Kindle release per 1001, after which it will be available across all vendors. Don’t have a Kindle and want this in your hot little hands NOW? Don’t worry! You can get a free Kindle app for practically any gadget, phones, computers, tablets. https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/fd/kcp)

My Review:

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC from InkSlinger PR and Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of this review in any way.

This is my first time reading a Montgomery Ink story, and I truly enjoyed my foray into this new series.

I really enjoyed reading about Holly and Brody. Holly was a bit of a mystery to me, and I have to say, I was a bit confused at first, given that there was a piece of the puzzle that I didn't have. Then, as the story went on, I managed to put enough of the puzzle together to really like Holly, but also to feel a bit sorry for her. It takes a truly brave, selfless person, to give up the person they love, because you can see that maybe you're not the one for that person. So I really respected her for that strength. But at the same time, I felt really bad for her, because all the time, I had this impression of her really putting herself down, because of her family. It was also nice to see her interact with her ex and his family. I was really curious about that relationship, especially since it didn't feel forced or awkward or anything.

Brody was a great hero, and I liked him a lot. I feel like Holly and Brody are perfect for each other, both trying to heal from a really bad childhood. Brody went through something that no kid should go through, and I felt sorry for him and really, really angry at his parents.

The book was pretty well paced, and there's a little detail at the end of the book that makes me really curious about the future of these two lovebirds. If it means what I think it means, then I'm super happy for them! I really enjoyed being introduced to the world of Montgomery Ink, and this is definitely a series I'll soon be binge-reading from the very beginning.


Read a Sneak Peek of ADORING INK:

Holly Rose needed to come.

Badly.

And hopefully she would. The man above her moved with such heat that she knew she was blushing, but she didn’t care. She just needed him to work his magic so she could finally crest that peak and end up a boneless pile of limbs.

She clutched at his tattooed shoulders before sliding her hands down his chest, raking her nails over his thick muscles and the ink that covered his skin. He thrust deeply inside her, and she arched her back, taking more of him in.

Her breath came in pants, and her body shook, sweat-slick from hours of lovemaking with no pause.

Then she looked up and froze.

Once again, her Dream Man was just a blur. A thickly muscled male with ink but no face, no features showing her who he was. No eyes giving her a glimpse of the man deep inside.

She reached out to cup his face, hoping she was wrong.

But she wasn’t.

The alarm pulled her out of sleep in that instant, leaving her right on the edge once again, and confused as hell about the recurring dream that never made sense.

Holly let out a sigh and rolled over to press the button on her phone. Unfortunately, she didn’t have time to hit snooze and go back to sleep, so she forced herself to sit up. Hitting snooze was one of her favorite pastimes since she had the most comfortable bed ever, but she had to be an adult and forego that. She was the kind of person that, once she sat up, she was awake and slightly functional, but it was the sitting up part that was the hardest. She loved sleeping in but couldn’t do it most days because of her job. Heck, she couldn’t even slumber on weekends most times thanks to the piles of grading she had. She might only teach first grade, but her kids had books and binders full of state-mandated homework and classwork to complete.

Holly’s head hurt just thinking about it.


Adoring Ink teaser 3


About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Comic Book Tuesday #18: Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Harper Connelly Graphic Novels #2
Audience: +18
Genre: Paranormal, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: December 27th 2016
My Rating: 3 Cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The official graphic novel adaptation of Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris, the author of The Southern Vampire Mysteries!

Harper Connelly, a psychic capable of finding dead people and reading their last thoughts, discovers a grave in Memphis with two bodies: a man centuries dead, and a girl recently deceased. How the two bodies ended up together would be perplexing enough... but the sudden appearance of a third body the next morning makes this a mystery that perhaps even Connelly can't solve!
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Dynamite Entertainment in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of this review in any way.

If there's one author that will always hold a dear place in my heart, it's Charlaine Harris. She was my first "contemporary" urban fantasy author, and while I haven't had the pleasure of reading all of her works, I'm pretty confident in saying that I'll be just as amazed by her worldbuilding and her writing style as I was when reading the Southern Vampire Mysteries series. That is why when I saw a comic book adaptation of one of her novels, I did a tiny happy dance, because here I could combine three of my favorite things, and be super in love with the result. Unfortunately, that wasn't exactly the case.

Let's start with what I loved first. As I was already expecting, I truly enjoyed the story. The idea of someone reading the last thoughts of dead people, of being able to help families of the some of the victims find closure and peace, solving murders, is fantastic. Harper Connelly felt like an edgier, darker, stronger, less whiny and more mysterious version of Sookie Stackhouse. I loved Harper. I want to learn more about her, I want to know what got her into this job, how she decided to transform her ability into a paying job, I want to know how her story ends, so I'll definitely go back to read the books. I also want to know more about Tolliver, her step-brother. The story was pretty interesting, although I feel like there are a few loose ends that I'm hoping will be solved in the rest of the books.

The art itself is pretty spectacular. A lot of the colors used are pretty dark, making the mystery and the suspense a bit stronger. And I liked how color was used to draw attention to certain moments in the story, or to certain characters. The panels weren't too crowded with drawings, and there were just enough characters to keep the story going and to not confuse me. There were a lot of dialogue boxes of inner monologue from Harper, which I kind of liked, because it made me understand the story and Harper, herself, more.

Which brings me to what I didn't necessarily like in this book. I did have an issue with some of the art details and the panel choices, which a lot of times pulled me out of the story. At times, the way different facial expressions was drawn was too comical, but not in a good way. I understand that it is difficult to transform text into drawings, but I would have wanted for some of their facial expressions to be more natural and to not look so strange. I also struggled a bit with the reading order, because every once in a while, the order of the panels changed, but not necessarily always due to the size of the panels, or at least it didn't feel like that some of the time. I also feel like there were a few inconsistencies in terms of timeline, mostly in the beginning. Towards the end the plot felt a bit too rushed, and the way the story was wrapped up felt too abrupt, comparing to the slower pace of the rest of the novel.

When I started reading this book, I honestly expected to have another 5 cups read on my hands, and I feel like the potential was there, but unfortunately that was not the case. I don't know if this was because I had really high expectations, or because it really is difficult to translate a written novel in a graphic version, but I felt like this was just an okay read. I do, however plan on reading the original version of this story, as well as the other books in the series earlier than I first planned on.


Release Day Blitz: Roseblood by A.G. Howard


I am so excited that ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard releases today and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author A.G. Howard, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed ROSEBLOOD poster and a mask courtesy of A.G. and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


About The Book:

Title: ROSEBLOOD
Author: A.G. Howard
Pub. Date: January 10, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.






About A.G. Howard

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would've happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she's not writing, A.G.'s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a signed ROSEBLOOD poster and a Mask. US Only.

Ends on January 17th at Midnight EST!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 6, 2017

Book Review: Shadows and Dreams by Matthew Cody

Author: Matthew Cody
Series: ReMade #1.1
Audience: +16
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Serial Box Publishing
Release Date: September 14th 2016
My Rating: 3.5 Cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
You live. You love. You Die. Now RUN. ReMade is a thrilling sci-fi adventure that will take readers past the boundaries of time, space, and even death.

This is the 1st episode of ReMade, a 15-episode serial from Serial Box Publishing. This episode was written by Matthew Cody.

Holden Black never imagined his crush knew his name, much less that he’d suddenly be driving her to a party. But life can change in a second, especially when you’re 16. A look. A flash of headlights. A scream. What do you do when the unexpected jumps straight to the unbelievable, the dream becomes a nightmare, and waking changes everything except your heart’s desire?

ReMade Season One: In one moment the lives of twenty-three teenagers are forever changed, and it’s not just because they all happen to die. “ReMade” in a world they barely recognize – one with robots, space elevators, and unchecked jungle – they must work together to survive. They came from different places, backgrounds, and families, and now they might be the last people on earth. Lost meets The Maze Runner in this exciting serial adventure.

*Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from Netgalley and Serial Box Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of this review in any way.

I've never read a serial before. It's a new concept for me, and since I love TV shows, I thought it would be awesome to see how that concept could be applied to a book.

Shadows and Dreams is a pretty interesting start for this story. I wasn't really sure exactly what was happening, at first. I felt as confused as Holden for a while there, not knowing what is true and what isn't. Then it all became a little clearer as the story went on.

Just like you would expect in a TV show episode, a lot of stuff happens. I think I was most confused about the fact that there aren't many things that were explained. It kind of felt like a pilot episode, not that that's a bad thing. I did, however, feel like the action moved a little bit too fast towards the end, compared to how long the actual book is. I wouldn't have had any issue with the pacing had the book been even 10-15 pages longer, because I would have had more time to get into the story, and to believe that Holden and his companions really were in danger from those robots.

I'm curious enough about what happens next to pick up the second "episode" and read it. I am also intrigued by the idea that each episode has a new author, or at least some of them. I am hoping we'll get to learn more about Holden and his companions, not just get introduced to new characters in each issue. All in all, a pretty interesting way to tell a story, and I'm going to keep reading to find out more.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Book Review: A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas by Darcie Boleyn

Author: Darcie Boleyn
Series: Standalone
Audience: +18
Genre: Chic Lit, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Canelo
Release Date: 07 Nov 2016
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Lucie Quigley hates Christmas. It’s the time of year when everything goes wrong in her life. So this year, when she’s asked to be a bridesmaid at her friend Petra’s Manhattan wedding, she jumps at the invitation to escape the festivities.

Dale Treharne has been best friends with Lucie for as long as he can remember. He’s used to looking out for his oldest friend and when she asks him to be her plus one, he can’t seem to find a reason to refuse. Instead, he sees it as a way to help Lucie get through what is, for her, the most miserable time of the year.

In New York, as the snow starts to fall, Lucie and Dale start to realise that their feelings run deeper than just friendship. But can they overcome their pasts, and make it a very merry Manhattan Christmas?


*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Canelo in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of this review in any way.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I picked it up on a whim, because I was in the mood for some winter/Christmas themed books, and I am so glad I did!

Lucie is such a great heroine. She's not necessarily the female version of Grinch, like I first thought, her reasons for not enjoying the festive aspects of December are pretty understandable once you get to learn more about her backstory. It's pretty sad, actually, so I was very glad to see her accept that part of her life, come to terms with everything that happened and move on, in a way. I also liked that she accepted the fact that she shouldn't stick her nose where it didn't belong. I liked that about her, because even though her intentions might have been good, it still wasn't something she should have done.

Dale isn't the type of male character that makes me fall head over heels for. I liked him, because he seemed like a solid friend, a good partner, but in some way, I wanted him to be more assertive. I feel like he played the role that he thought Lucie needed him to play, completely disregarding what he wanted and what he needed. That said, I like how at times he found it in himself to tell Lucie some brutal truths, some things she needed to hear. So he had his moments, I just wish he had more moments like that.

I was a bit confused about something that happened with Lucie and Dale a few years prior, because I felt like it wasn't explored or explained as much as I would have wanted, but other than that, this was a really cute story about best friends and healing from past hurts. I thought it was the perfect read for this winter season.


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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #13: Top Ten 2017 Debuts I'm Excited For



Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy Tuesday and Happy New Year folks!

Today's topic is Top Ten 2017 Debuts I'm Excited For. As you probably can imagine, I'm super excited for a lot of debuts and a lot of 2017 book, because how could I not be excited for them??? I tried really hard to pick my top 10 out of that list (it was very difficult), but I made it. Here's my list:


1. Blood Rose Rebellion - Rosalyn Eves
2. Frostblood - Elly Blake
3. Poison's Kiss - Breeana Shields
4. Of Jenny And The Aliens - Ryan Gebhart
5. Shadow Run -  AdriAnne Strickland, Michael Miller

6. The Education Of Margot Sanchez - Lilliam Rivera
7. Girl Out Of Water - Laura Silverman
8. The Love Interest - Cale Dietrich
9. One Of Us Is Lying - Karen M. McManus
10. The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

What about you? Which 2017 debuts are you most excited about?

Release Blitz: Satisfaction by Lexi Blake

satisfaction-now-available-fb-header   

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The sizzling second novel in a sexy new contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

Brandon Lawless is a man on a mission: obtain the information that will clear his father’s name. He’s willing to do whatever it takes—even seduce his enemy’s personal assistant, the beautiful and innocent Carly Hendricks. But with her beguiling smile and captivating intelligence, Brandon soon realizes he doesn’t want to deceive Carly, he wants to win her over—both in the boardroom and the bedroom.

Then a twisted crime leaves Carly vulnerable and Brandon finds himself reeling. The stakes of his mission are now life or death—Carly’s life. And Brandon realizes he’s lost his heart to an amazing woman and his plan must succeed, because the stakes are no longer just revenge, but a once in a lifetime love.


   

Amazon | Amazon UK | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play | All Romance eBooks | Print

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“Are you absolutely sure you want to stay here?” Carly frowned as she brought out a blanket twenty minutes later. “The couch is pretty small. I’m not sure you’ll be comfortable on it.”

Bran was one hundred percent sure he wouldn’t be, but that wasn’t the point. He tugged his shirt over his head and folded it neatly. “I’ve slept in worse places. And I think it’s best I stay here tonight. Unless you want to come home with me.”

He knew she wasn’t going to take that option, but it would be nice. If Drew and Riley and Hatch met her, got to know her, they wouldn’t be so worried about her. All he’d had to do was spend a couple of hours with her to know that she was a deeply loyal woman. All he needed to do was prove he was worthy of that loyalty. She’d been bitten before and she was shy, but the man who gained her trust again would get everything from her.

She deserved to have someone who would watch her back, and that included ensuring that she could sleep the rest of the night. What little of it was left.

If someone showed up on her doorstep, he would take care of them. As viciously as he possibly could. He still intended to write her that check. He would do it because it would bring her peace of mind, but he was going to make sure none of them ever threatened her again. He would handle them in a way that would ensure her safety.

She shook her head. “You said your place is out in Palm Coast. That’s forty minutes away. I have to be at work pretty early in the morning.” She turned and started working on the couch, but not before he’d caught her staring at his chest. She smoothed out a sheet over the leather. “Why all the way out there? Why wouldn’t you set up here in St. Augustine?”

He would have to thank his brother-in-law for all the workouts. It was how they’d bonded. Case Taggart liked to lift weights and he’d brought Bran into his daily routine the last time he was in town. It wasn’t like Bran had been out of shape before, but Case’s daily regime had taken his lanky frame and honed it to something strong and masculine. He wished he could tell her how soft and sexy she looked in her pj’s. She had a robe wrapped around her, but every now and then it slipped open, revealing creamy skin and breasts he would love to get his hands on. He’d spent the majority of his evening watching women strip, but it was Carly in her pink tank top and perfectly respectable pajama bottoms that had his cock engaged. “We have some friends who have a condo out there and it’s outfitted with the best tech possible both computer-wise and security. Also, we thought it would be best if we were close but not too close. Patricia knew our parents quite well. One new person in her life who reminds her of old enemies won’t cause too much stress but if she were to see me and Drew, or worse, Hatch, she would definitely be suspicious. We’re simply being careful.”

“You have your mother’s coloring, but you don’t really look like her. You look more like your dad,” Carly said as she worked a pillow into a soft-looking pillowcase.

“I’m taller than he was, a bit more built. I looked more like him when I was smaller. Take off about thirty pounds of muscle, cut my hair into a military buzz, and put some glasses on me, and I look quite like him. Of course I’ve been told my father had an air of unmistakable genius about him that I don’t have.” Not that Hatch had put it that way. He’d explained that most people didn’t remember Benedict for his looks. They remembered his brilliant brain. “Drew is most like him. Another reason I thought it was better for me to go in instead of him. I think Drew would remind Patricia of our father.”

“I don’t know about that. She’s not very observant. One of the things you need to know about her is that she’s a narcissist. She doesn’t care about anything but herself and her bottom line.” She looked up at him. “Your brother is the man behind 4L?”

Naturally everyone was impressed with a thirty-four-year-old billionaire. “He is. I need you to understand that we have resources that we’ll use to take care of you. You’ll have a job at 4L if you want one. I’ll promise you that right now.”

“You need a personal assistant?” she said, her lips curling slightly.

He frowned because he hadn’t thought she’d ask that question. “No. I don’t really need one, but I promise I’ll find something for you. You won’t be left out in the cold. 4L is a big company and we own a lot of other companies. You would have your pick.”

Actually, Ellie could use a new PA. That wouldn’t be a bad fit. Ellie would be good to Carly and Bran spent a lot of time in New York. He could see her from time to time. He would have to think about it. He didn’t mention it, though, because Ellie’s last assistant had been brutally murdered in front of her. It wouldn’t give Carly great faith in them as a group.

She settled the pillow down and smoothed out the blanket. “I don’t know how I feel about a new job. Not that I’m not happy at the thought of keeping my house, but being a personal assistant wasn’t exactly my life plan. I wanted to write cookbooks. Well, I wanted to start out by editing them and work my way up.”

“It sounds like you want to be a chef.”

Her head shook slightly. “No. It’s different. I don’t want my own restaurant or to be in charge of a kitchen. I want to work at a lifestyle magazine. I love looking at decorating trends and cooking trends. A chef tends to focus on one type of cuisine. I want to try them all, not necessarily be a master at them. I like making people comfortable. At my heart, I’m a homemaker.”

Her home was lovely. The minute he’d walked in he’d felt a certain peace rush over him and not simply because the space was well decorated. Carly herself made a person feel at home.

Even when she was crying on his shoulder. She would probably run as fast as she could if she knew how much that had fed his soul. It wasn’t that he liked watching her cry. He’d enjoyed knowing he was helping her. He’d loved the way she’d clung to him, her arms tight around his body.

He probably shouldn’t tell her that, either.

  sat3          

lexi_blakeNY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.


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Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Beat The Backlist Challenge


This challenge is being hosted by Austine @ Novel Knight. We can pick our own level and include a list of books on our TBR. The point of this challenge is to read books that were published prior to 2017.

I get a bit too enthusiastic when it comes to buying books (mostly because I keep detecting empty spaces on my shelves and we can't have that *shakes head emphatically*). Add to this my lack of self-control when it comes to Netgalley and all those Amazon/Kobo/instafreebie freebies, and you get a huuuuge backlist TBR. I'm hoping to read at least 50 books for this challenge. I'm going to do something similar to what Austine, our lovely host, did, and plan to read 25 physical books and 25 e-books for this challenge. If I can read more than that, then YAY! Anyway, here's my list:

  1. The Becoming - Jeanne C. Stein
  2. The Pelican Brief - John Grisham
  3. The Firm - John Grisham
  4. The Gathering - Kelley Armstrong
  5. Roverandom - J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. The Children of Hurin - J.R.R. Tolkien
  7. Outlander - Dianna Gabaldon
  8. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
  9. The Martian - Andy Weir
  10. Wedding Night - Sophie Kinsella
  11. Unrivaled - Alyson Noel
  12. Evening Class - Maeve Binchy
  13. Dangerous Creatures - Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
  14. Dangerous Deception - Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
  15. The Taxidermist's Daughter - Kate Mosse
  16. The Square Root Of Summer - Harriet Reuter Hapgood 
  17. Girls In The Moon - Janet McNally
  18. City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales - Gigi Little
  19. The Palace - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
  20. Started For Ten - David Nicholls
  21. Legacy - Hannah Fielding
  22. The Chic Boutique On Baker Street - Rachel Dove
  23. The Children Of Freedom - Marc Levy
  24. Matilda - Roald Dahl
  25. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  26. Ariel - Donna McDonnald
  27. The Soul Summoner - Elicia Hyder
  28. The Treemakers - Christina L. Rozelle
  29. The Last Priestess - Elizabeth Baxter
  30. More Than Exes - Elizabeth Briggs
  31. Nefertiti's Heart - A.W. Exley
  32. Netherworld - K.N. Lee
  33. Novelista Girl - Meredith Schorr
  34. Puck Buddies - Tara Brown
  35. Finding Home - Lauren K. McKellar 
  36. Unseen - Stephanie Erickson
  37. The Color Of Water In July - Nora Carroll
  38. Aurora Sky - Nikki Jefford
  39. Dirty Little Secrets - Liliana Hart
  40. Embers - Karen Ann Hopkins
  41. The Faerie Guardian - Rachel Morgan
  42. The Language of Souls - Lena Goldfinch
  43. The Language of Sparrows - Rachel Phifer
  44. Shimura Trouble - Sujata Massey
  45. Graveyard Shift - Angela Roquet
  46. Suspended - Sarah Noffke
  47. Atlantis Riptide - Allie Burton
  48. Delicate Ink - Carrie Ann Ryan
  49. Marked - Elisabeth Naughton
  50. The Dark Of Twilight - Kate Danley
*phew* That took way, way longer than expected! I also have a Goodreads shelf just for this challenge, to help keep everything organized. I might add books to this list, I don't know. 

And since Austine decided to make things even more interesting, I'm signing up for the Ravenclaws. (Although my other house, the Hufflepuffs, are also in my heart.) Good luck everyone and happy reading!


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