Saturday, July 29, 2017

Four Romance Mini-Reviews

Okay, here go a few more mini-reviews.  This time they range from a Colleen Hoover book that actually is kind of a YA book, as the main characters are high schoolers, to a more risque book from Laurelin Paige and Sierra Simone.

Hopeless (Hopeless #1) by Colleen Hoover:
Published:  December 17th, 2012
Source:  Received book from giveaway
My rating:  5 stars

I can't remember for sure if I got this either from a giveaway, or possibly through one of the exchange groups I've participated in.  But as usual, Hoover's story blew me away. She kept me guessing for over half of the story on how in the world Holden could have known Sky without her knowing him.  And when the story finally unfolded, it was really good.  In the end the way it all played out was very suspenseful, kept me on the edge of my seat, and so hard to put down!  Another great book by Hoover.  I've got a copy of the third book in the series, I just need book 2 so I can move on!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.


The Undateable (Librarians in Love #1) by Sarah Title:
Published:  February 28th, 2017
Source:  Stripped cover from bookstore where I work
My rating:  4 stars

Honestly, this story could be about me.  I am pretty undateable, and I am a librarian.  I am just like the main character in that I pretty much feel like why should I have to change myself to get someone to like me? They should like me the way I am, right?  I'm not a big feminist person like she is, but other than that, I'm probably just like her.  Of course, I need to lose some weight, if I was at the correct weight, I'd definitely be her.  I have decided that maybe I do need to try a little bit if I hope to meet someone.  :-)   This was a sweet story, pretty much left the sex out, except for one or two bits.  And that's fine.  It was humorous and fun to read.  We got both Bernie's and Colin's points of view, and that made for a good way to enjoy the story.  This is the first in a series that I'll be looking forward to continuing to read, again because I'm a librarian, and it is about librarians in love.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
One San Francisco librarian would rather check out a good romance than dare to experience it herself. Luckily, her own next chapter is full of surprises…

Melissa “Bernie” Bernard isn’t familiar with fame. After all, she works at a college library with hardly any visitors. But when a video of a marriage proposal in her stacks goes viral, it’s not the bride and groom who capture the Internet’s attention. It’s Bernie—caught rolling her eyes. Now, just as she’s ready to go into hiding and permanently bury her nose in a book, a handsome reporter appears with a proposal of his own…

If Colin Rodriguez doesn’t do something big to attract new readers, his boss will hire someone else to dole out dating advice. Determined to prove he’s an expert at romance—despite his own pitiful track record—he pitches a story: He will find dates for the undateable. Specifically, for the now-infamous, love‑hating librarian at Richmond College.

Even though Bernie doesn’t believe in happily-ever-afters, she’s not one to resist a good challenge. Yet with one disastrous date after another, she’s ready to give up. Until Colin proves he’ll do anything to find her the perfect match—even if it means putting himself up for the role…


Tight by Alessandra Torre:
Published:  January 31st, 2015
Source:  Received as part of The Great Paperback PIF Exchange group
My rating:  4 stars

So, I assumed, based on the title, that this was going to be an extremely sexy, erotica type of story.  And don't get me wrong, it definitely had sexy scenes in it.  However, it was not at all about what I thought it was going to be.  We get the story from two different viewpoints, or I guess you could say from two different time periods.  One is Riley, and that is who the synopsis below is about.  The other is from a woman who has been kidnapped and sold into the sex slave business.  This woman also is in love with Brett Jacobs.  We don't learn exactly who she is till the very end, in a very unique twist.  There are hints all throughout the story, but let me tell you that it isn't what you think.  It's a dark read, and of course it does come with a warning at the beginning for those who need a warning.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
I was happy in my small town. In my life as a single, thirty-two year old woman. I had a good job, wonderful friends, my independence.

I also hadn't got laid in three years. Hadn't been on a date in two. Had stopped counting calories and wearing makeup... a while ago.

Then Brett Jacobs waltzed in. Caressed my thigh, dug rough fingers into my hair, lowered his soft mouth to my skin, took sexual control of my mind and stirred it all around with what he packed in his pants. He flipped my quiet life upside down and crawled into a place in my heart I thought was dead.

The issue is his secret.
The issue is her.
The issue is that I don't even know she exists, and he thinks she's dead.
The issue is that shit is about to hit the fan and I can't hold on to him tight enough.


Porn Star (P*rn Star #1) by Laurelin Paige and Sierra Simone:
Published:  March 8th, 2016
Source:  Purchased from author at 2016 Kinky in Kansas City Convention.
My rating:  5 stars

Okay, basically this is a sweeter, romantic version of the movie Boogie Nights, without all the drugs.  You really like the characters, you definitely root for them both.  It takes a good look at how women are treated in the industry, but also makes you think about how it may not be as horrible as it seems if it could be run by more people who had the art and film part of it in mind instead of being sleazy.  But that's just an opinion.  In the end, it is a happy ending.  It definitely has very sexy scenes, not really as much when they are filming, as when the two of them are on their dates.  

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
You know me. 

Come on, you know you do. 

Maybe you pretend you don’t. Maybe you clear your browser history religiously. Maybe you pretend to be aghast whenever someone even mentions the word porn in your presence. 

But the truth is that you do know me. 

Everybody knows Logan O’Toole, world famous porn star. 

Except then Devi Dare pops into my world, and pretty soon I’m doing things that aren’t like me—like texting her with flirty banter and creating an entire web porn series just so I can get to star in her bed. Again. And again. 

With Devi, my entire universe shifts, and the more time I spend with her, the more I realize that Logan O’Toole isn’t the guy I thought he was. 

So maybe I'm not the guy you thought I was either.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid is FREE for just THREE DAYS ONLY!

✮ ✮ ✮ FREEBIE ALERT! ✮ ✮ ✮

"Funny, sweet, swooooony and teary! The writing was great, but at times... it would simply take my breath away." -Maryse's Book Blog

Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid is FREE for just THREE DAYS ONLY!


Grab your copy today!
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This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.

There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.

Blog Tour: The Last Gambit by Om Swami

Book info:
TitleThe Last Gambit  
AuthorOm Swami
Genre:  YA coming of age
Release Date:  February 2017
Publisher:  Harper Element (Harper Collins)

Synopsis:

Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance. Vasu Bhatt is fourteen years old when a mysterious old man spots him at a chess tournament and offers to coach him, on two simple but strange conditions: he would not accompany his student to tournaments, and there was to be no digging into his past. Initially resentful, Vasu begins to gradually understand his master’s mettle.

Over eight years, master and student come to love and respect each other, but the two conditions remain unbroken – until Vasu confronts and provokes the old man. Meanwhile, their hard work and strategy pay off: Vasu qualifies for the world chess championship. But can he make it all the way without his master by his side?

Inspiring, moving and mercurial, The Last Gambit is a beautiful coming of age tale in a uniquely Indian context.

Add to Goodreads


Buy on Amazon!

Excerpt:
Saving a few times, like when he was sleeping, living with Andrei was a continuous challenge. He was just not designed with any sense of living in a world sans chess. He couldn’t even pour tea without spilling it in the saucer. He would never remember to turn the gas off after cooking. And the only thing he knew how to cook was an omelette. It was scary to be in the same car with him because he would just stop anywhere and start making notes on some game.
He would forget his wallet in the restaurant and keys in his car. It’s hard to imagine that the genius Andrei, immaculate on the chessboard, would be so clumsy in real life. The man who could think through lengthy lines of variations in his head could not string together two words to hold a conversation. He never spoke to my parents. He would say he didn’t have any conversational skills. Surely, he could have learnt these skills, if only he had made an effort.
 I kept my hopes up for six long years and then one day I realized that ‘if only’ doesn’t work with people like Andrei. If it could, he wouldn’t be Andrei then.

About the Author:


Om Swami is a monk who lives in a remote place in the Himalayan foothills. He has a bachelor degree in business and an MBA from Sydney, Australia. Swami served in executive roles in large corporations around the world. He founded and led a profitable software company with offices in San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Sydney and India. 

Om Swami completely renounced his business interests to pursue a more spiritual life. He is the bestselling author of Kundalini: An Untold Story, A Fistful of Love and If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir. 

His blog omswami.com is read by millions all over the world.
 
 



Blog Tour Organized by:

http://yaboundbooktours.blogspot.com/

 


**Tour hosted by Garima Om** 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Blog Tour with Giveaway: Second Snowfall (Elton Hall Chronicles #2) by Sarah Fischer


Book Info:
Title:  Second Snowfall
Author:  Sarah Fischer
SeriesElton Hall Chronicles #2
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: July 4th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:  
Last semester, Annabelle fell in love. There are just two problems. Jason is her best friend…and he’s already taken.
Refusing to break up a relationship, Annabelle resigns to love him from afar—until a certain hot firefighter walks into her life.
Kingsley is the perfect catch. Rich, attractive, with muscles to boot, and he only has eyes for Annabelle. But things get complicated when he clashes with Jason.
With tensions running high and emotions spiraling out of control, Annabelle finds herself torn between her love for Jason, and her new desire for Kingsley.
The longer Annabelle tries to hold on to both men, the more she gets tangled up in a web of lies, secrets, and chilling revelations.
Now, things have gotten worse and Annabelle must do something—before things get ugly…

Excerpt:
I walked down the stairs and towards Kingsley. He was wearing a blue button-down shirt with a thick black jacket over it and dark jeans. His hair was brushed down and spiked slightly in the front and his eyes were shining. He must have been excited because he was practically bouncing up and down. I fed off his enthusiasm and walked quickly toward him.

When I opened the door, Kingsley walked up to me and gave me a light kiss on the cheek. “You look even more beautiful than the last time I saw you.”


“Thanks.” I took the flowers he offered to me and realized I had no idea what to do with them. Did I take them with me? I didn’t have a vase or anything to put them in. I was going to kill the first set of flowers a boy had ever given me. As my mind started to swim, Kingsley held up his backpack.


“I thought you might need this.”


I reached out to take his bag and he quickly pulled it away.


“Uh, sorry. I don’t like people touching my bag. Just hold on a second.” He unzipped the main pocket. Inside was a beautiful glass vase. “I didn’t think you would have brought one of these to your dorm, so I went out and got one.”


“You’re right, I didn’t have one. Let me take these upstairs and put the flowers in some water.”


“Great, I’ll come with you.” He took my hand and opened the door for me. We walked hand in hand to the bathroom to fill the vase with water, and then to my room. Geez, was I grateful that I had nervously cleaned earlier, or this would have been really embarrassing.


“It’s nice that you have a single. You don’t have to worry about a nosey roommate or anything like that.”


“I like that I can set everything up the way I like. For example,” I said, and placed the flowers in the middle of my desk, “I like the flowers there and I don’t need anyone else’s opinion, well, expect yours. Do you think they look good there?”


He laughed lightly and ran his hand down my cheek. “Yes, they look perfect. I’m glad you like them.”


I smiled up at him as my pulse raced. He was standing very close to me and I could feel his breath on me. He was going to kiss me. I held my breath and closed my eyes, willing myself not to panic. His lips brushed mine gently and the butterflies in my stomach settled. It felt right kissing him.


Kingsley pulled away before the kiss could heat up and he smiled at me. “I didn’t want to wait until the night was over to kiss you. To tell you the truth, I’ve wanted to kiss you since I helped you got a hole in one last night. It was such a turn-on knowing I’d helped you do that.”


I forced a smile. This was definitely not the time to remind him that I actually already knew how to play. Instead, I did the one thing I could think of to change the subject. I placed my hand on the back of his neck and pulled him in for another kiss.


His hands snaked around my waist and he pulled me closer to him. He licked my lip a little and begged me to open to him. As soon as I did, I practically melted in his arms. Kingsley took control of the kiss and taught me a thing or two. I fought desperately to keep up with him as the kiss became intense. It wasn’t long before I caught up, realizing how easy it was to kiss him.


Suddenly, Kingsley pulled away but hugged me tightly. “If we continue this, I can promise you that we will miss our reservation, and that green dress looks too good on you to stay in. I want to show you off.”


Author Bio:
Sarah Fischer works hard fighting the good fight one background check at a time. But before she got into the business of being nosy, she graduated with a degree in criminal justice and married the calm to her crazy. Then she had a scary health scare and needed heart surgery. While recovering, she finally had the time to write stories filled with passionate romance. Her first book, Elton Hall Chronicles: First Semester was published in April and book two, Second Snowfall, will be out shortly. In her spare time, she manages a review blog called, A Kiss At Midnight Reviews.

GIVEAWAY!
 
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Cover Reveal: In This Breeze (Lakeshore University #1) by Kathleen Maree


In This Breeze
Lakeshore University #1
By Kathleen Maree
Genre: NA Romance

Release Date: August 24, 2017


A nerd. A quiet art student. A nobody.
Or perhaps, just some girl.
These are the non-spoken titles I was known as since I started at Lake Shore Uni almost two years ago now. When given the chance to leave my horrific childhood behind - I didn’t hesitate. In fact, I was ecstatic to have the door hit me on the ass on my way out of town; because the only two things I actually loved in my traumatic life…
Were coming with me.
And whilst the three of us shared the same beat-up truck when we moved here – that’s where the similarities unfortunately end.
Ethan ‘The Mule’ Jones, is kind of a super star on campus. Everywhere he goes he seems to draw attention. I guess that’s what happens when you’re headlining papers as the star basketballer for the LS Eagles. But to me, he’s just Eth. A boy who still spends his Friday nights snuggled up watching movies with me, and who walks me to classes just to make sure I get there okay. He is my best friend in every way, and I can’t imagine my life without him in it.
And then there’s Jase.
The truth is I knew from the moment I met Jase at the local skate park, when he was smoking a cigarette and teasing Eth for his poor skating ability, of how fiercely protective he was about those he cared for. From the time he blew his warm breath over my injured knee, to when he thankfully intervened on the most horrific day of my life. A day, that still haunts me when I am alone in the dark.
He saved me.
But Jase has his own demons too. Even if he doesn’t go looking for it, trouble always seems to find him. Which is why he has been absent from our lives for the past two years.
Sometimes I wonder what he’s doing.
Quite often I worry if he’s okay.
And I always, always, think about him.
Even though I shouldn’t.



From the earliest age I was a born storyteller.

Ask my parents and they will tell you I had a gift for making a simple event seem like an elaborate one. Purposely? No. Innocently? Yes. It was my imaginary world that initially led me to believe I wanted to be an actor. All of that role playing and living in fantasy... it was an obvious direction for me. However, becoming quite uncomfortable with the limelight quickly saw that dream diminish.

Over the years I turned my world of fantasy into stories, and eventually began writing them down. Before I knew it, 'Cut' had been completed.

When I am not busy writing my next story, I am a working mum, housewife and sometimes hockey wag :) In other words, probably some kind of circus act who specialises in juggling ;)

I hope you enjoy my blog, where I will be posting thoughts, other books I am currently reading and even sneak peeks of my novels. I encourage any feedback, comments or direct messages via my contact page should anyone wish to get in touch.

I am so thrilled to be sharing my journey and hope you enjoy my stories as much as I enjoy writing them.

Dream often. Believe always.







Release Blitz: The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein

Book info:
TitleThe Punch Escrow
Author:  Tal M. Klein
Genre:  Science Fiction
Release Date:  July 25th, 2017
Publisher:  Geek and Sundry


Synopsis:
It’s the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure, Arrival... Delight!
 
Joel Byram is an average twenty-second century guy. He spends his days training artificial-intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980’s new wave music and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. He’s pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems—until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting.   Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.


Reviews:
"Klein transports us to a beautifully rendered near-future world. This is refreshingly original and immersive hard sci-fi. You'll turn the last page and yearn for Joel Byram's next chapter."  
—Ben Brock Johnson, host of Codebreaker podcast and NPR Marketplace Tech
 
"An alt-futuristic hard-science thriller with twists and turns you'll never see coming. I couldn't put it down." 
—Felicia Day, author of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
 
"A compelling, approachable human narrative wrapped around a classic hard sci-fi nugget, The Punch Escrow dives into deep philosophical territory—the ethical limits of technology, and what it means to be human. Cinematically paced yet filled with smart asides, Klein's Punch pulls off the slick trick of giving readers plenty to think about in a suspenseful, entertaining package." 
—Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica
 
“If I lived in the world of The Punch Escrow, I’d teleport around the world shoving copies of Tal M. Klein’s thrilling, hilarious and whip-smart debut into everyone’s hands. Save me the trip—and buy this novel now.” 
—Duane Swierczynski, author of Revolver and the bestselling Level 26 series
 
“A fast-paced near-future sci-fi adventure peppered with exotic technology and cultural references ranging from Karma Chameleonto the Ship of Theseus, The Punch Escrow will have you rooting for its plucky, sarcastic hero as he bounces between religious fanatics, secret agents, corporate hacks and megalomaniacs in a quest to get his life back. If you've ever wanted to get Scotty drunk and ask him some tough questions about how those transporters work exactly, The Punch Escrow is the book for you.” 
—Robert Kroese, author of The Big Sheep and its sequel, The Last Iota
 
“This book angered me to my core, because it’s based on an idea that should have occurred to me. The fact that Tal executed it so well, and made such a page-turner out of it, just adds insult to injury.”
—Scott Meyer, author of the Magic 2.0 series
 
"A headlong ride through a future where ‘huge international corporate conspiracy’ is a box you check on a form and teleportation takes you anywhere—it just blows you to bits first."
—Quentin Hardy, Head of Editorial, Google Cloud (formerly Deputy Tech Editor for The New York Times)

"Some writers take us to the future so we can question the effects that technology can have on humanity on a global and personal scale along with the impact upon the social fabric. Others do it to take us on a wild ride made all the more fantastic by pushing the boundaries of what we can expect from the world of tomorrow. Tal Klein masterfully balances both and sets it all to the beat of an 80s soundtrack. An excellent piece of contemporary science fiction." 
—J-F. Dubeau, author of A God in the Shed and The Life Engineered  


About the Author:
Tal M. Klein was born in Israel, grew up in New York, and currently lives in Detroit with his wife and  two daughters. When his daughter Iris was five years old, she wrote a book called I’m a Bunch of Dinosaurs that went on to become one of the most successful children’s book projects on Kickstarter —something that Tal explained to Iris by telling her, “your book made lots of kids happy.” Iris then asked Tal, "Daddy, why don’t you write  book that makes lots of grownups happy?" Tal mulled this over for a few years, and eventually wrote his first book, The Punch Escrow. It won the Inkshares Geek & Sundry Hard Science Fiction Publishing contest, and will be the first book published on Inkshares’ Geek & Sundry imprint.