Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Toughest Cowboy in Texas by Carolyn Brown

It's no secret I love Carolyn Brown's writing so I'm thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour for her newest release Toughest Cowboy in Texas, which kicks off her new series, Happy, Texas.  For my tour stop I have my review and a giveaway provided by the lovely people of Forever!  Be sure to scroll down to the bottom and fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of Toughest Cowboy in Texas! Yee haw!

Publication Date: May 30th 2017 by Forever

Purchase Links: 

About the book: 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown's begins an all-new series of rugged cowboys.

“This is an emotional star-crossed lovers tale with tangible depths and an attitude that’s relatable to real life.” –RT Book Reviews

Last time Lila Harris was in Happy, Texas, she was actively earning her reputation as the resident wild child. Now, a little older and wiser, she's back to run her mother's café for the summer. Except something about this town has her itching to get a little reckless and rowdy, especially when she sees her old partner-in-crime, Brody Dawson. Their chemistry is just as hot as ever. But he's still the town's golden boy-and she's still the wrong kind of girl.

Brody hasn't had much time lately for anything other than ranching. Running the biggest spread in the county and taking care of his family more than keeps him busy. All that responsibility has him longing for the carefree days of high school—and Lila. She may have grown up, but he still sees that spark of mischief in her eyes. Now he's dreaming about late-night skinny dipping and wondering how he can possibly resist the one woman he can never forget...

My Thoughts:
Brody Dawson and Lila Harris got up to all kinds of shenanigans growing up, having fun and falling in love.  But Brody’s mother and grandmother were dead set against him dating Lila the resident “wild child” of Happy, Texas and he never stood up for her. He even took another girl to the prom.  When they were going to have their first date, on the night before Lila moved town, Brody stood her up and broke her heart.  Lila’s back in Happy, Texas, twelve years later, to help sell her mother’s café, working the summer and living out in the attached apartment, but she’s grown out of her wild child ways. Or has she? Staying away from Brody Dawson is also part of her plan, but that’s not an easy thing to do when he’s determined they should have another chance together.

Brody Dawson regrets that he never stood up for Lila, and when she left town she took his heart right along with her.  He’s never gotten over Lila and with her back in town he plans to correct all his mistakes and hold on tight.

Carolyn Brown writes the sweetest cowboys, and Brody was no exception.  I loved that he realized where he went wrong and did everything to show Lila how proud he was to have her in his life again.  I adored Lila and sympathized with her feelings. Lila’s heart was shattered that night Brody stood her up, but his broke, too, something that she didn’t really know.  She couldn’t resist the chemistry they had burning between them all over again, but Lila took a little more convincing about their future.

As usual with Carolyn Brown books there’s a fun secondary cast, snappy lines, and laugh-out-loud moments. Toughest Cowboy in Texas is guaranteed to put a smile on your face! I can’t wait for the next book in the series. My heart broke for Kasey Dawson, Brody’s younger sister, and a widower with three small children.  I’m thrilled her romance will be next in Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas.

4 Suns

Happy, Texas series:
(click on cover for Goodreads link)


Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist who has sold more than 2.75 million books. She presently writes both women's fiction and cowboy romance. She has also written historical single title, historical series, contemporary single title, and contemporary series. She lives in southern Oklahoma with her husband, a former English teacher, who is not allowed to read her books until they are published. They have three children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Publication Date: May 2nd 2017 by Berkley Books
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | TBD

About the book:

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

My Thoughts:
I loved Pipe Dreams from beginning to end, and when I finished I didn’t want to let the story go so I read it all over again! And the funny thing is I almost didn’t request this romance because I was afraid of frustrating drama from Mike’s teenage daughter giving Lauren a hard time.  I’m so glad I changed my mind because this was my favorite installment yet! Oh my stars, this second chance romance just filled my heart with happiness!

Lauren and Mike met eight years earlier when she started working for the Brooklyn Bruisers Hockey team.  Mike was married with a toddler, but they had an instant rapport. They got to know each other well, and while they silently lusted over each other, they never made any inappropriate moves.  It wasn’t until four years later when Mike’s marriage dissolved (his wife’s doing) that anything romantic happened between them.  But from that point on it was like a spark touched dry tinder and ignited, and it was complete bliss for two years until Mike one day walked out, and shattered Lauren’s heart.  Lauren has spent the last two years avoiding hockey like the plague, putting her heart back together, and working on finishing her college degree. But when Nate’s right hand assistant for the hockey team gets sick, he needs Lauren back in the Bruiser’s office, and right back into Mike’s path again. 

Seeing Lauren back with the team brings back the happiest memories of Mike’s life. He broke it off with her two years earlier when his life became a depressing shit storm, thinking he was doing Lauren a favor, and she’d move on.  Seeing her still alone, when he’s now in a position to actually have something to give, Mike’s determined to get her back. But Lauren is hurt, and angry, and Mike figures out just how badly he screwed things up. 

My heart went out to Lauren, because she was blindsided by Mike leaving when they were making permanent plans, and the betrayal hurt! She’s angry and bitter, rightly so!  I did feel bad for Mike when everything was revealed, but still, I was so upset for Lauren! An explanation would’ve helped her so much.  For Mike to win her over again there needed to be the appropriate amount of groveling before she accepted him back, in my opinion.  And this is where Mike shined, because he was an absolute prince! I adored him!  He handled his daughter pretty well in this situation, too, which was a complete relief.

Mike and Lauren’s second chance romance touched me deeply!  My heart hurt when they hurt, and soared with joy for this couple who finally got a much deserved HEA! Pipe Dreams is going on my favorites shelf, and I’m sure I’ll do another re-read at some point.

Nate and Becca have to be next, right? I’m wondering if their story will be concurrent to Mike and Lauren’s because there was a lot going on with them here.  I can’t wait to fill in some of the blanks, but I was happy at a few revelations we got from Lauren and Mike’s eyes.

5 Suns

Connect with Sarina Bowen:

Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: A Charmed Little Lie by Sharla Lovelace

A Charmed Little Lie (Charmed in Texas #1) by Sharla Lovelace
Publication Date: April 18th by Lyrical Shine
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Charmed, Texas... quaint, quirky, and when it comes to romance, there's no place quite as enchanting.

Lanie Barrett didn't mean to lie. Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make a dying woman happy is forgivable, isn't it? Lanie thinks so, especially since her beloved Aunt Ruby would have been heartbroken to know the truth of her niece's sadly loveless, short-of-sparkling existence. Trouble is, according to the will, Ruby didn't quite buy Lanie's tale. And to inherit the only house Lanie ever really considered a home, she'll have to bring her "husband" back to Charmed for three whole months--or watch Aunt Ruby's cozy nest go to her weasel cousin, who will sell it to a condo developer.

Nick McKane is out of work, out of luck, and the spitting image of the man Lanie described. He needs money for his daughter's art school tuition, and Lanie needs a convenient spouse. It's a match made... well, not quite in heaven, but for a temporary arrangement, it couldn't be better. Except the longer Lanie and Nick spend as husband and wife, the more the connection between them begins to seem real. Maybe this modern fairy tale really could come true...

My Thoughts:
According to her Aunt Ruby’s crazy will, Lanie needs to provide a valid marriage certificate (complete with husband) and they need to live together in her childhood home from three months in order to inherit.  Enter Nick, the oh-so-hot fry cook suddenly in need of some cash.  So Lanie and Nick end up in a fake marriage and tethered to each other for three months.  Their romance was a slow steady burn, fueled by “fake” displays of affection, and heated encounters!  But Nick and Lanie fell for more than just the physical person, they confided and leaned on each other, becoming close friends in the process. 

Crazy ex’s on both sides lead to jealousy and the realization that their relationship is anything but fake. I love the way both Lanie and Nick reacted to some of the antics.  Pretty fun times.  I wasn’t so thrilled with Nick’s ex-wife.  I thought this would be a cute, fun, no-brainer small-town, country romance, and it was, but there was a bit more angst than I thought there would be.  That wasn’t a bad thing, Lanie’s intense emotions of hurt knifed right to my heart, and I really felt for her.  It made their happiness and romance all the sweeter.  

This is my first Sharla Lovelace romance and I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of emotions I felt, especially since this wasn’t a very long book (241 pages according to GRs), one I read in one sitting.  There was a sneak peak at the end for Carmen’s romance: Lucky Charmed, and it sounds really good! Can’t wait!

4.5 Suns

Connect with Sharla Lovelace:

Friday, May 5, 2017

Review & Giveaway: Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy

Publication Date: April 25th 2017 by Berkley Books
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Score and Midnight Revenge...

Four years ago, Cate’s entire life changed when she discovered she was the daughter of a supersoldier. But Jim Morgan’s overprotectiveness has pushed her away. These days, she’s working as a freelance photographer and living the dangerous life Jim never wanted for her.

When Cate snaps a photo linking a corrupt South American politician with the leader of a notorious drug cartel, her mercenary father leads a team to rescue her—only to get shot and critically wounded in the process.

As Morgan’s operatives rally together on a revenge mission, they’re faced with new alliances and old heartaches. Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton, the man who broke her heart two years ago, while Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port resurface after years apart to finally try to deal with everything they’d left unsaid.

Soon it’s all-out war between the cartel and the mercenaries—with two couples caught in the middle of the blood feud. Love and redemption are within their reach...but first they have to make it home alive.

My Thoughts:
Cate, Morgan’s daughter, quit college and moved onto photography, taking her all over the world, much to Morgan’s disappointment.  He wanted Cate to stay in college, graduate, meet a nice (boring) man, and settle down. Morgan didn’t want his mercenary soldiers anywhere near his daughter.  Unfortunately for Mogan, years at the compound meant that Cate formed a friendship and powerful attraction to the youngest merc of his team: David “Ash” Ashton.  They got each other, connecting as friends before the attraction ever came into play.  But every time Cate would see the heat creep into Ash’s eyes, he’d shut it down and run for cover.  Finally, when Cate laid herself bare, Ash turned her away and broke her heart.  Two years later she’s out on her own, loving her work and trying to forget she ever met Ash.  That is until Cate snaps a photo and all hell breaks loose.  Now Ash is back in her life trying to protect her whether she wants him there or not.

Ash has had it bad for Cate, Morgan’s daughter since she was seventeen and very off limits. She’s now of age at twenty-one, but Morgan, his boss, has made it clear that he wants better for his daughter. Maybe if it were any other man Ash wouldn’t care, but Morgan accepted him into his band of men, became like a father he never had, so his approval means a lot.  What is and isn’t important quickly clarifies for Ash when Cate’s life is at stake.  He burns for Cate, especially at the thought of losing her forever! Will she take a chance on him after the way he treated her?

Liam and Sully have been dancing around each other in several books. Their story has been quite tumultuous. Every time I thought the walls would come down, some wrench would get thrown in the works.  Engaging in several threesomes over the years, they’ve got a look at each other in the height of passion and their attraction just grew and magnified from there. The sexual tension between them was palpable! Liam’s traditional upbringing was an issue. He didn’t know how his family would take the news that he’s bisexual.  Sully, on the other hand, had past demons that made committing to a relationship seem impossible.  I was thoroughly ready for these two to finally sort everything out and come together, and it was lovely!

Oh, unrequited romance! Both are filled with longing and pain from perceived rejection! With Elle Kennedy you just know the payoff is gonna be really hot, and really good! She definitely knows how to turn up the heat! In between the adrenaline rush from the life and death situations these two couples face, they manage to get some very sexy alone time! 

I was really worried for the team, hoping none of my favorite characters would bite the dust, because everyone was a target to this psycho killer! The suspense part of this romantic suspense kept me on the edge of my seat at times!

I’ve loved the Killer Instincts series from the beginning, so I have bittersweet emotions knowing this is the last book.  On one hand, I’m thrilled to finally get Sully and Liam’s and Cate and Ash’s romances, but I’m sad to say goodbye!  Midnight Target was everything I wanted, especially in Sully and Liam’s case, and the epilogue was wonderful!  If you haven’t had a chance to read this series, this is the perfect time to pick it up!  All the books are out! Each couple had an exciting and passionate story, and who doesn’t love a good series binge read?!

4 Suns

Connect with Elle Kennedy:

Berkley has generously provided A Paperback Copy of Midnight Target to giveaway. Yay! The giveaway is open to US residents only.  Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mini Review: Emergency Attraction by Samanthe Beck

Publication Date: April 17th 2017 by Entangled Publishing
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Ten years ago when Shane Maguire chose the Marines as his escape from some trouble of his own making, he only regretted one thing—leaving Sinclair Smith behind. Despite his best intentions, she ended up as the one that got away. Now he’s back, determined to reclaim everything he gave up, including Sinclair.

Sinclair is immune to Shane’s charms. She’s immune to stolen kisses behind the gym. And she’s definitely immune to that maneuver he did in the back seat of his car… Okay, maybe her hormones are susceptible, but she has absolutely no desire to risk anything on the bad boy who broke all his promises.

When a little emergency lands her at his mercy, he offers her a deal she can’t refuse. And this time, she’ll show Shane what it means to be left wanting…

My Thoughts:
Shane Maguire is back in town after ten long years away.  Sinclair was the one that got away, the girl he’s never gotten over, but history is seen a little differently from Sinclair’s point of view.  Shane’s appearance back in her home town shoots a mix of pain, and yearning through her body.  He was gone and never looked back; Sinclair left to pick up the pieces.  Now that he’s back and demanding to get reacquainted, Sinclair resolves to keep him at a distance, not risk her heart, because she’s not sure she could survive the heartbreak a second time.  Shane’s definitely a sweet, sexy, Southern charmer, but she’s not the naïve girl she used to be.

If you love second chance romances then you’ll love this super hot, emotion filled story! Samanthe Beck’s writing made Shane and Sinclair’s lust, longing and hurt come off the pages, straight into my heart! Darn, that woman can write some hot stuff!  I loved their playful banter, the high voltage sexual tension between them!  No matter the barrier Sinclair tries to erect, Shane is the man to make her walls crumble. *sigh*

A total recommend!

4.5 Suns

Connect with Samanthe Beck:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

As an extra added bonus Samanthe Beck is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift card in celebration of the Emergency Attraction release! Click HERE for a link to the rafflecopter.