Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh

Publication Date: September 1st 2015 by Signet
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

The Survivors’ Club: Six men and one woman, injured in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendships forged in steel and loyalty. But for one, her trials are not over....

Since witnessing the death of her husband during the wars, Imogen, Lady Barclay, has secluded herself in the confines of Hardford Hall, their home in Cornwall. The new owner has failed to take up his inheritance, and Imogen desperately hopes he will never come to disturb her fragile peace.

Percival Hayes, Earl of Hardford, has no interest in the wilds of Cornwall, but when he impulsively decides to pay a visit to his estate there, he is shocked to discover that it is not the ruined heap he had expected. He is equally shocked to find the beautiful widow of his predecessor’s son living there.

Soon Imogen awakens in Percy a passion he has never thought himself capable of feeling. But can he save her from her misery and reawaken her soul? And what will it mean for him if he succeeds?

My Thoughts:
Lady Barclay, Imogen, is one of the Survivors’ Club, a group who were damaged in some way by the Napoleonic Wars, and formed lasting friendships through their shared recovery.  Imogen witnessed her husband’s death, and she came back shattered.  Eight years later she passes her time “living” at Hardford Hall, the childhood home of her late husband, but now the new heir, Percival Hayes has come home to claim the title and property. Percy doesn’t make a good first impression and these two are at odds immediately.  She thinks he’s an arrogant, spoiled, man, even if he’s impossibly handsome, and Percy thinks Imogen is the lady made of marble, an infuriating, stone cold woman.

Percy has always been full of easy charm and effortlessly got along with everyone.  There wasn’t a female around who could resist him, but Imogen is entirely unaffected. She gets under his skin something fierce.  As he gets to know her he sees the strong woman underneath the marble façade, and begrudging realizes he’s attracted to her. Intensely.  Percy knows Imogen lost her husband in the war, doesn’t know the brutal details, but he’s sure it’s something that must have been truly horrific. 

Imogen doesn’t feel worthy of living a happy life, only deserving a pale grey existence, and that’s exactly how she’s lived the last eight years.  Percy’s arrival disrupts her careful, controlled existence, and while she first thought of him as arrogant and entitled, getting to know him she discovers he’s a man of honor and heart.  Percy makes Imogen feel again.  Like her heart is coming back to life, something that frightens her immensely.  More is at stake than just her heart with Percy’s arrival.  New information about her husband’s death comes to light which puts Imogen in danger again.

I felt awful for Imogen when I found out the details surrounding her husband’s death, something that’s haunted her for years.  She definitely suffered from survivor’s guilt and I was worried that there would be a constant denial of happiness that I’d find frustrating, but thankfully that was not the case at all. While it sounds like Only a Kiss was a heavy, dark read, there was a lot of passion, joy and happiness within the pages.  There was a fair amount of humor, too, from the banter between Imogen and Percy, to Cousin Adelaide and her gruff, man-hating commentaries. Also, there was a menagerie of rejected pets.  Mutts and misfits that found their way to Hardford Hall, much to Percy’s irritation, especially when the ugliest of the mutts attaches himself to his side, and burrows into his heart.  Aww…

Only a Kiss is the sixth installment of The Survivors Club series, each book focusing on one member’s romance and recovery from the atrocities of the Napoleonic Wars.  It’s not necessary to read any of the previous books in the series, they all work well as standalones, but each of the previous stories are just as emotional and moving as Imogen’s. I’ve read the last two, Only Enchanting and Only a Promise and loved both! I’m eagerly looking forward to the next, Only Beloved, the Duke of Stanbrook, George’s story, which will be the last of the series. I’ll be sad to say goodbye!
4 Suns

 Connect with Mary Balogh:

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Waves of Fiction 2015 Reading Challenge - Team Update

It's time for our Waves of Fiction 2015 Reading Challenge Update!
Several of us at Waves of Fiction started this reading challenge at the beginning of the year. To learn more about it, you can go HERE for the details. 

It's been hard to check off these last categories.  I finally found a book that's being turned into a movie that I wanted to read, and really enjoyed it! I actually listened to the audio version, and completely recommend that.  
I had to go through my list of books to find one set in summer. I didn't read it with the intention of marking it off the list, but it was fortuitously set in the Summer.  A very hot Texas Summer and pretty flipping funny! Carolyn Brown always makes me laugh.

A book that was made into a movie (although, not yet released) - The Martian by Andy Weir

I think the last spot will be super tough. 'A book most of your GR flist have read'.  I have no idea.

I'm still steadily working on my challenge.  I am finding it hard to focus on a few of the categories because they are out of my normal zone, but I am determined to finish this before the end of the year!  I think once I finally tackle these last few I will find a few new genres to explore further!  This month I did finish..
A book turned into a movie--Paper Towns by John Green

Friday, August 28, 2015

Review: Sweet Ache (Driven #6) by K. Bromberg

Sweet Ache (Driven #6) by K. Bromberg
Published June 2nd 2015 by Signet: Select
The New York Times bestselling author of Slow Burn turns up the heat when a sexy bet turns into so much more…

Hawkin Play, the bad boy rock star with a good guy heart, has lived a lifetime of cleaning up after his twin brother’s mistakes. Hunter’s most recent screw-up could land Hawke in jail and risk the band’s future. Hawke agrees to guest lecture at a local college to stay in the judge’s good graces—and a bet with his bandmate to seduce his sexy teaching assistant is icing on the cake.

Quinlan Westin is harder to bed than Hawke imagined. She knows his type and is determined to avoid the rocker at all costs—even if their attraction runs deeper than simple lust.

Just as Hawke might finally be winning over the girl, his brother has other plans. When Hunter realizes his twin finally has a weakness, he’ll stop at nothing to take advantage…

My Thoughts
This is my first experience with K. Bromberg, and I didn’t even know Sweet Ache was part of a series. It showed up on my Overdrive library, and I thought… Why not?? Well, it wasn’t quite what I thought it would be, and unfortunately turned out to be a bit disappointing.

Hawkin Play is the lead singer for his rock band, and dealing with a significant amount of turmoil in his life. Taking the hit for his twin brother’s drug charges, he agrees to take on a seminar at the local university to lessen the charges of his conviction. However, when the feisty, strong-willed teacher’s assistant walks into his class, he has no doubt he can make her fall for his charm. Taking on a bet with his band mate, he soon realizes it’s not going to be as easy as he thought.

I never really warmed up to Hawkin and Quinlan as a couple. Her combative nature was somewhat of a put-off for most of the first half of the novel. I realized that Hawk’s family issues were supposed to make me sympathize for this character, but I never really got there. The sex scenes were hot and heavy, but that seems to be the only thing this novel had going for it.

Overall, I struggled with this story that carried a very weak plot… making a bet to bed the teacher’s assistant within a month isn’t my idea of a profound or captivating story. Like I said, not quite what I expected and somewhat disappointing.
2 Suns

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review & Giveaway: Bonded by Laura Wright

Publication Date: September 1st 2015 by Signet
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

The New York Times bestselling author of Brash returns to the Triple C Ranch in River Black, Texas, for more cowboys, romance, and danger…

Ranch hand Blue Perez’s once simple life is spinning out of control. He’s discovered he has three half-brothers, and they’re not ready to accept his claim on the ranch. Also, Blue’s girlfriend may have betrayed him in the worst way possible. And after one evening of drowning his sorrows at the bar, there’s someone he can’t get out of his mind, a woman who says she’s carrying his child.

Following a night of breathtaking passion in the arms of the man she’s longed for all her life, waitress Emily Shiver is contemplating her next step. With everything that’s going on in Blue’s life, she doesn’t want to force him into fatherhood. Yet as hard hearted as he may seem, Blue can’t turn his back on her, particularly when she becomes the target of someone’s dark obsession.... 

My Thoughts:
Blue Perez abruptly found out he was also a Cavanaugh during the reading of Everett Cavanaugh’s will.  Shocked, hurt and left with feelings of betrayal, Blue is extremely bitter over being lied to all these years, not only by his mother but by the man who treated him as a surrogate son. Add to that is the stinging betrayal Blue feels over the burgeoning romance with a woman he met online. In the last book, Blue finds out she’s actually Natalie Palmer (a seriously creepy woman!), and he also discovered she was in possession of Cassandra Cavanaugh’s diary which was never discovered after her murder years earlier. Being in possession of the long lost diary makes Natalie a top suspect of the murder, and Blue can’t believe he was fooled by this woman.

So, yes, Blue is bitter and his feelings spill out onto anyone around.  His foul mood leads him to the Bull’s Eye to drink away his vitriolic feelings and he ends up sleeping with Emily Shiver.  This one night stand has consequences but Blue doesn’t feel unhappy about them or how it ties him to Emily forever. That one-night stand is one of his best memories, even if he was drunk, and he wants more of the temptress he couldn’t resist that night. Little does he know that his attentions to Emily put her in harm’s way.

Emily has always had the hots for Blue, so when he made a pass at her after a night of drinking, she couldn’t refuse.  Now Emily’s paying for that rash decision, but she doesn’t regret the life they created.  Emily just doesn’t want to tie herself to a man only out of obligation. Blue may want to do right by her and the baby but he’s struggling with so many negative emotions she’s not sure it’s a good idea for him to be involved. Emily has a close-knit, loving family and while she can understand why Blue would feel the way he does, she thinks he should give his mother a chance to explain. Hanging on to that bitterness doesn’t do anyone any good. Worse, Blue won’t let her in emotionally. 

I really liked Emily. She didn’t let an unplanned pregnancy derail her plans and she wasn’t bitter about it at all. Plus, she was prepared to take it all on her own. She had the sense to be cautious about Blue, and didn’t jump into something permanent with him just because of the baby or her overwhelming attraction to him:

“And I don’t want a man’s hesitation. I don’t want half a man’s heart, and none of his trust. I deserve more. Way more. And I intend to get it.”

I could understand why Blue was hurt, but I was getting fed up with his attitude. Yes, he was lied to but he needed to look at the whole picture IMO, talk to and get his mother’s side of things.  I was happy when Emily called him out on his behavior:

“You need to let this go, your past, the resentment—every bit of it—once and for all,” she said. “Not for me, not for this baby, but for you.”

Even though I was frustrated with Blue, I was moved by his complete determination to be there for his child, and be a good father. I was happy that, even though he wouldn’t let Emily close initially, eventually his feelings for her overrode his hang-ups.

The Cavanaugh Brothers were served a horrific blow when their teenage sister, Cassandra, was abducted and murdered.  The family suffered from feelings of guilt and their parents sort of checked out. Cassandra’s murder was never solved, but there were clues in each book that shed a little more light as the series went on.  In this installment the mystery is solved, and I was happy to that this brought a measure of much needed peace to them.

While I did enjoy Brash (the previous book) a little more, Bonded was a good combination of mystery, romance, and suspense and a satisfying conclusion.

3.5 Suns

Connect with Laura Wright:

Brash (The Cavanaugh Brothers, #3)  Bonded (The Cavanaugh Brothers, #4)

The publisher generously provided a Paperback Copy of Brash and Bonded to one Waves of Fiction follower.  US Residents only. Simply fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: Sustained by Emma Chase

Publication Date: August 25th 2015 by Gallery Books
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | BAM | IndieBound | Google

About the book:

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.

My Thoughts:
Jake Becker is driven, smart, cutthroat lawyer, all about making it to partner in his firm without distractions.  But when a smart-ass nine-year old steals his wallet, his life is thrown off-course, and smack into the middle of the McQuaid’s chaos.  And we get to sit back and enjoy the show. Let the fun begin!

Chelsea McQuaid was so sweet and selfless.  My heart went out to her right away. At only twenty-six, Chelsea put her life on hold and took on raising six kids on her own all the while battling her own grief.  Jake’s only been about looks and sex, not caring to know anything about the women he slept with, but he couldn’t help but admire Chelsea especially when circumstances kept pushing them together. Although, it seemed Jake was more than willing to jump in and help Chelsea and this big brood of children in spite of himself, and my heart warmed every single time!

Jake is the arrogant jerk you can’t help but fall for, because underneath it all beats a sincere heart, whether he’d admit to it or not. Although, I did want to shake some sense in him more than a few times, especially when he pulled some wishy washy moves!! A nice slap upside the head might’ve made me feel better and done him some good!  But like I said, I still couldn’t help but fall for him. 

Being inside Jake’s mind was hilarious! Just re-reading some of the passages before writing this review had me laughing all over again.

“How many kids live in this house exactly?” I ask the aunt. It’s starting to feel like they’re cockroaches –see one, and you can bet there’s fifty more crawling around inside the walls. I shiver at the thought.
Six? I’m guessing Robert McQuaid didn’t have many hobbies.

Jake and Chelsea’s romance built up at a slow, steady burn.  Every time Jake stepped in to help you could see their connection building, and the tender feelings exchanged. With six kids around it’s a little difficult to buy out time, but there was no way to ignore the attraction.

Chelsea walks toward the door that leads into the kitchen but stops before exiting. Looking over her shoulder back at me, her reddish hair glowing like gold in the firelight, she raises an eyebrow. “So…you’re not trying to seduce me?”
I meet her gaze head-on. And wink. “I didn’t say that.”

We’re treated to lusty stolen kisses and more, guaranteed to get your blood racing!

The kids were super cute, all six of them! Kids have a way of cutting through all the bullshit and getting to the heart of the matter, and Jake needed that a few times. Seeing Jake deal with them was hilarious!

I notice his ass feels heavy.
I look at his sister. “I think he needs to be changed.”
Her face turns wary and she raises her little hands. “Don’t look at me. I’m just a kid.”
“Now you play the kid card?” I ask her.
She shrugs without pity.

With every moment he spends with the McQuaid brood, Jake falls a little harder in love with Chelsea and the kids. 

I adored Sustained!  Emma Chase combined clever, laugh-out-loud humor with a sexy romance, and the mix was oh-so-much fun. I was laughing and grinning throughout the story!

4.5 Suns

Connect with Emma Chase:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Release & Giveaway: Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves

When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian —a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act.

Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.

But Ian has enemies and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart.

Purchase Links:
 AMAZON      Barnes & Noble     iBooks

© 2015 Tracey Garvis Graves
Heart-Shaped Hack

“Oh, hi,” she said.
“Imagine running into you here.”
“This is quite a coincidence.”
“It’s not a coincidence at all. I knew you were following me.”
“You did not.”
“I spotted you hiding behind the plant when I walked into the bank. Plus I could smell your perfume as soon as I stepped out here.”
“Did you”—she used her fingers to make little air quotes—“appropriate money from this bank?” she whispered.
“Of course not. I do all my work from the Batcave. Believe it or not, I actually bank here. I was just signing some papers.”
Kate had never seen a man look so utterly scrumptious while wearing glasses. There was something about the combination of his hair, his scruff, and the semi-rimless designer frames that made him irresistible. “Are the glasses a disguise? Because I totally knew it was you.”
“The glasses are real. I often suffer from eyestrain since I spend so much time on the computer, and I was up late last night, working.”
“They make you look very smart.” She took a moment to imagine how his scruff would feel rubbing against her skin if he were to kiss her.
“I am smart, but I think you mean devastatingly handsome. More so than normal, that is.”
“You’re so humble.”
“Ready?” He walked to the door and held it open for her.
“Follow me.” He looked at her and laughed. “That shouldn’t be a problem for you.”
They took the elevator to the basement, and when the doors opened to the parking garage, Kate followed Ian to a row of cars. He stopped beside one and pulled a set of keys from his pocket.
She gasped.
Ian smiled. “It’s a—”
“1964 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe.”
“’65. But color me impressed.”
“My brother Chad was obsessed with this car. He used to have a poster of it on his bedroom wall. There were only six built between 1964 and 1965.”
“A bit rare indeed.”
The last authentic Shelby had sold at auction for around seven million. Ian’s was obviously a replica, of which there were quite a few, but it was still a very notable vehicle with a price tag that started in the low six figures. “Helena called it an old blue car.”
He grinned, looking contemplative. “Technically, that is correct.”
Kate could not resist running her hand lightly over the Guardsman Blue paint and the white racing stripes on the hood. The Shelby was unmistakably race-car-like in appearance with its aerodynamic design and unique body style. Chad was going to be so jealous. “For someone who values his privacy, isn’t this a bit ostentatious?”
“How so?”
“Rakishly handsome playboy who makes grand philanthropic gestures and drives a flashy car. Any of this ringing a bell?”
“Rakishly handsome playboy?”
“Well, if the Prada loafer fits. Wouldn’t you fly under the radar more easily in, say, a Ford Focus?” she asked.
“A Ford Focus? You want me to tool around town in a Ford Focus? Jesus, would I still have my balls?”
“No, they cut them off when they hand you the keys. Of course you’d still have your balls. What kind of question is that? This conversation has gotten way off track.”
“You mean because we started out talking about my car and now we’re talking about my balls?”
“Are we?”
“I believe so.”
“Maybe we should go back to talking about your car.”
“You want to drive it, don’t you?”
“Why would I want to drive your car?”
“Why wouldn’t you want to drive my car? Can you handle a stick shift?”
“Yes, and rather competently I might add.”
“That’s an enormous turn-on. Truly.”
She pretended not to hear him. “This is not a good car for Minnesota winters.”
“Horrible, I agree. My other car has four-wheel drive, but it’s not nearly as fun to operate as this one.” Ian dangled the keys in front of her.
He was right. Kate was dying to drive his car and couldn’t wait to see how it handled. She took the keys, opened the door, and reached over to unlock the passenger side for Ian. They belted up, and she started the car.
“Please note that I’m already making good on my promise, Katie. Because I assure you, driving this car will be the opposite of boring.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish
Tracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Nightwise by R.S. Belcher

Nightwise by R.S. Belcher
Published August 18th, 2015 by Tor Books
About the book
The acclaimed author of The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana launches a gritty new urban fantasy series set in today’s seedy occult underworld

In the more shadowy corners of the world, frequented by angels and demons and everything in-between, Laytham Ballard is a legend. It’s said he raised the dead at the age of ten, stole the Philosopher’s Stone in Vegas back in 1999, and survived the bloodsucking kiss of the Mosquito Queen. Wise in the hidden ways of the night, he’s also a cynical bastard who stopped thinking of himself as the good guy a long time ago.

Now a promise to a dying friend has Ballard on the trail of an escaped Serbian war criminal with friends in both high and low places—and a sinister history of blood sacrifices. Ballard is hell-bent on making Dusan Slorzack pay for his numerous atrocities, but Slorzack seems to have literally dropped off the face of the Earth, beyond the reach of his enemies, the Illuminati, and maybe even the Devil himself. To find Slorzack, Ballard must follow a winding, treacherous path that stretches from Wall Street and Washington, D.C. to backwoods hollows and truckstops, while risking what’s left of his very soul . . . .
My thoughts:
This was definitely different and not at all what I had expected.  Every urban fantasy I have read has a formula and I always love the main character. This was not so with Nightwise and I found myself struggling to love Laytham.  But you know what,

The wonderful people at Tor have offered to send one lucky reader their very own copy of Nightwise!  To enter fill out the form below!  US residents only.
Good Luck!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Waves of Sunday #70

Welcome to our weekly edition of Waves of Sunday where each Sunday we spotlight a book that has been making waves in the book scene or has simply caught our attention causing a riptide on our TBR. 

Today we are spotlighting:
My Biggest Mistake by Leddy Harper
Edie had spent her whole life planning her future, imagining her husband, her kids, and even which minivan she’d drive. Lucky for her, she didn’t have to wait long, marrying her high school sweetheart right after graduation.

All of Edie’s dreams had come true, until they were no longer her dreams. Unable to deal with the lingering depression caused by having children, she l Edie had spent her whole life planning her future, imagining her husband, her kids, and even which minivan she’d drive. Lucky for her, she didn’t have to wait long, marrying her high school sweetheart right after graduation.

All of Edie’s dreams had come true, until they were no longer her dreams. Unable to deal with the lingering depression caused by having children, she left her whole life behind, walking away from the one thing she'd always wanted.

Donovan Leery loved his wife with everything he had and could never imagine life without her. Until he came home from work one day and found a letter from Edie, explaining she needed a break. Not only leaving him to live his life without her, but alone to raise their three small children.

But what happens when Edie is ready to come home? When she’s ready to fight for it all back? She knew it wouldn’t be easy. But she didn’t care. After spending years getting her life back together, she was ready to fight for her family. And a fight is what Donovan would give her.

She'd fight to make up for her Biggest Mistake.

Arlene’s Thoughts
Oh wow! This story sounds like it is going to be packed with emotional twists and turns. From the description alone, I’m ready to side with Donovan based on what appears to be a selfish decision on Edie’s part. I’m curious how and if she’ll be able to make up for the pain I’m sure she caused her family. I hope this novel offers a dual perspective because I’d really like to process both sides of this story. Again, a novel that caught my eye because it sounds different and emotionally appealing.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review: Priest by Sierra Simone

Priest by Sierra Simone
Published June 29th 2015
There are many rules a priest can't break.
A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.

I've always been good at following rules.
Until she came.
My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I'm twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.
I am a priest and this is my confession.
***Priest is a standalone, full-length novel with an HEA. For mature audiences only.***

My Thoughts
Forbidden romances always seem to catch my attention, but I rarely indulge in them as frequently as I’d like. However, testing my moral compass from time to time can be an adventure and enlightenment in more ways than one. Only in fiction do I feel comfortable pushing those boundaries between right and wrong, as well as forbidden and acceptable.

Priest by Sierra Simone was the perfect choice when it comes to diving into a novel that tests boundaries, breaks the rules and shamelessly tantalizes the senses. So let me share with you a bit about the novel…

Father Tyler Bell entered priesthood three years prior in an attempt to salvage his church in the aftermath of his sister’s death and the scandal it brought to his parish. He was committed to rebuilding his church and worked hard to bring the parishioners back to this religious community. However, when Poppy Danforth entered his confessional booth and began to share her darkest transgressions, Father Bell couldn't seem to disconnect from the pull he felt toward her and there started a forbidden romance that broke all of his promises to the church and God.

"I wanted to erase the marks made on God’s name by awful men… And I wanted some way to remember Lizzy without my heart shredding apart with guilt and regret and powerlessness."

It’s clearly evident that Tyler entered priesthood with noble intentions. He wanted to repair the damage made to his church and he wanted to build something that was meaningful and lasting, long past the death of his sister. However, as his journey of falling in love with Poppy became more intense, it became evident that Tyler could serve his church outside the priesthood. I don’t fault him for falling in love and succumbing to passion. He’s a man of flesh and blood. I don’t fully agree with some of his choices on where he chose to act out his moments of passion, but I don’t think falling in love with an adult woman is the worst thing he could have done.

I sympathized with this constant struggle to honor his vows, but let’s face it… he was up against a losing battle. From beginning to end, I felt an emotional acceptance for Tyler’s choices and I didn’t feel bad about it. He definitely showed growth, both spiritually and emotionally throughout the novel. I appreciated the struggles the author made him overcome and I applauded the sacrifices she made him endure.

Poppy Danforth was a bit more difficult for me to accept. I never really felt the emotional connection to this character and I often felt irritated for tempting Tyler in needless ways. However, I firmly know that it takes two people to engage in a romance and if I would have had some insight into Poppy’s feelings from her perspective, I think I would have had more acceptance for this character.

Overall, Simone definitely proved she can write an emotionally charged novel that’s packed with chemistry, conflict and forbidden desire. From the early chapters in this novel, I knew the characters and their story were going to fly off the pages and recalibrate my moral compass. Intense!!
4 Suns

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Upcoming Release: Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves

When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian —a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act.
Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.

But Ian has enemies and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart.
Purchase Links

© 2015 Tracey Garvis Graves
Heart-Shaped Hack

Kate was taking a break and having coffee and a muffin at Wilde Roast Café when Ian slid into the booth and sat across from her. He was wearing a lightweight cream-colored sweater with a tan-and-green-patterned shirt underneath, and he smelled good.
“Hello again.”
Confused, Kate looked around. “Where did you come from?”
“I walked in the door like everyone else.”
“Do you live nearby?” Kate lived in the St. Anthony Main neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis. The food pantry was conveniently located on SE Main Street, which was a short three-block walk from her apartment. The quiet brick-paved street was lined with restaurants, shops, and a movie theater and included a stunning view of the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls. There were also bars that featured live music and plenty of green space in nearby parks.
He shook his head. “Not really.”
“Then why are you here?”
“I felt like talking to you again. You’re seated, so you probably won’t try to strangle me this time.”
“How did you know where to find me?” She was tucked away in a back booth instead of one of the tables near the windows that looked out over SE Main, so it wasn’t like he’d walked by and spotted her.
He held a steaming cup of coffee and blew on it to cool it. “I tracked your credit card activity. According to Capital One, you bought a cup of coffee and a muffin here twelve minutes ago.”
“You tracked my credit card?” Her voice sounded rather loud and shrieky.
He held a finger in front of his mouth. “Shh, Katie Long Legs. That information is for your ears only. How’s your coffee? Would you like a refill?”
Kate did not appreciate being shushed, but she lowered her voice. “Are you some kind of cyberthief?” she whispered. And since when were criminals so well-dressed and impeccably groomed?
“I did not steal your credit card number. I simply accessed your account to see where and when you’d used it last. Then I came here.”
“If you wanted to talk to me again, why didn’t you just go to the food pantry?”
He looked at her like it was obvious. “Because you’re not there. You’re here at this café.”
“If you’re not a cyberthief, then what are you?”
“I’m a hacker.”
“Is there a difference?”
“Most definitely.”
“When you said you steal from the rich to give to the poor, I thought you were kidding. Is that how you get the money?”
“I don’t steal it. I appropriate it from people who shouldn’t have it in the first place. Then I give it to those who are more deserving.”
Kate twisted her napkin. “I can’t keep the money. I’ve already spent the first two donations, but if you come back to the food pantry with me, I can return the most recent one. It’s still locked in the safe because I wasn’t planning on going shopping until tomorrow.”
“No, Katie. I don’t want it back. It’s for you. It’s for the babies.”
“It’s wrong,” she said quietly.
“Is it?”
“It’s against the law.”
“Trust me when I say the people I took it from don’t want the law involved any more than I do.”
“What are you saying? That you’re a thief who steals from other thieves?”
He wrinkled his nose, and it was adorable.
Stop! Thief!
“It sounds so distasteful when you say it like that. I prefer master appropriator of ill-gotten funds. You can call me master for short.”
“I have lots of things I’d like to call you. Master is not one of them.”

Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish.

Tracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Release Day Launch & Giveaway: An Alpha’s Choice by Carrie Ann Ryan

It’s release day for An Alpha’s Choice by Carrie Ann Ryan! We are so excited about this new paranormal romance! Grab your copy today and make sure to check out the release day festivities!
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About An Alpha’s Choice:
The Bestselling Redwood Pack continues with the Talon Pack series. A Broken Wolf. A Fractured Bond. A Fate Denied. Brynn Brentwood has spent the whole of her life protecting the Talon Pack through terrors only she will ever know. She’s never asked for more in life other than to live to take her next breath and to ensure her family is safe. Regardless of her selfless wishes and the atrocities the former Alpha committed, she has always known that fate would provide for her as it had countless others. Fate is what has carried her through with one exception—upon meeting the one wolf who could be hers, he doesn’t feel their bond.Finn Jamenson has been broken more than once, left beaten and half dead—and that was before he was an adult and Heir of the Redwood Pack. When called upon to work with their allies, the Talons, he finds himself intrigued with a woman who his wolf doesn’t claim as his own. Though he knows there could be something there, he refuses to tempt himself with a wolf who could never be his when his own mate could waiting for him. The world changed in a blink of time and now the two wolves must fight as one—ignoring the burning temptation between them—when their people are threatened. With one wrong move, their homes could be destroyed and its up to Finn and Brynn to save them all…if only they could save themselves.
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Exclusive Excerpt:
“Why?” Brynn pleaded, her heart in her throat. “Why?”
She staggered from the wall, careful not to touch him. Just one taste, one touch, and she was addicted. He reached for her, then must have thought better of it because he dropped his hand. Her wolf begged for him while the woman wanted to rage in agony and sweet release.
He’d kissed her.
He’d freaking kissed her.
He wasn’t supposed to kiss her. He was supposed to keep his distance and make it easier for her to die slowly inside. He didn’t want her; he’d proven that over the past year by looking right through her as nothing but a woman, wolf, a fighter—not a potential mate.
Yet he’d pressed her against the wall and kissed her like he’d meant it, like he wanted something more than a mere kiss. Though that had been no mere kiss. That had been…everything.
She’d always known when Finn wanted something he’d go for it all—as if he couldn’t help putting everything into it, putting his whole body, his wolf, his tongue. She’d heard enough stories from women who’d been in his bed. While she hadn’t clawed their eyes out for daring to touch what should have been hers, she’d listened to their tales of his prowess. Finn wasn’t a gentle lover, but he was a caring one. He fucked like he had a purpose, and made sure every woman in his bed got off until she couldn’t walk away easily. Because it was Finn who always did the walking away—apparently, on the hunt for a mate.
Too bad he’d missed what was right in front of him on that search.
About Carrie Ann Ryan:
Profile2 (1)New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan never thought she’d be a writer. Not really. No, she loved math and science and even went on to graduate school in chemistry. Yes, she read as a kid and devoured teen fiction and Harry Potter, but it wasn’t until someone handed her a romance book in her late teens that she realized that there was something out there just for her. When another author suggested she use the voices in her head for good and not evil, The Redwood Pack and all her other stories were born.
Carrie Ann is a bestselling author of over twenty novels and novellas and has so much more on her mind (and on her spreadsheets *grins*) that she isn’t planning on giving up her dream anytime soon.
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Enter Carrie’s giveaway!