Monday, December 11, 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway Hop

I'm participating in Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway Hop hosted by Valerie at Stuck in Books, and will be giving away a $10 Giftcard to US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble or up to $10 at The Book Depository to one reader.  See below for a list of participating blogs or click HERE

I'm featuring reads I really loved with a holiday or winter type setting:

These are three very different books, but amazing in their own way.  Snow-Kissed is a novella, a marriage in crisis romance that pierced and stole my heart! I've read it a few times now, being one of my all-time favorite reads! I've also read The Gamble a few times, which is technically not set in winter, but there's lots of snow.  It's a tried and true Kristen Ashley romance that I'm sure I'll pick up again.  A Dark Lure was an on-the-edge-of-your-seat type of thriller/mystery with just enough romance to make me happy.  The setting is very atmospheric and lends to the creepy vibe you get while reading!

So what's your favorite winter/holiday read? Let me know in the comments! :)

My giveaway is for a $10 Gift Card to US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble or up to $10 at The Book Depository to one reader.  The giveaway is International as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.  Just fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Review: Christmastime Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Publication Date: October 24th 2017 by Harlequin
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

It's Christmas in Copper Ridge, and love is waiting to be unwrapped…

Falling for a bad boy once is forgivable. Twice would just be foolish. When Sabrina Leighton first offered her teenage innocence to gorgeous, tattooed Liam Donnelly, he humiliated her, then left town. The hurt still lingers. But so does that crazy spark. And if they have to work together to set up her family winery's new tasting room by Christmas, why not work him out of her system with a sizzling affair?

Thirteen years ago, Liam's boss at the winery offered him a bribe—leave his teenage daughter alone and get a full ride at college. Convinced he wasn't good enough for Sabrina, Liam took it. Now he's back, as wealthy as sin and with a heart as cold as the Oregon snow. Or so he keeps telling himself. Because the girl he vowed to stay away from has become the only woman he needs, and this Christmas could be just the beginning of a lifetime together…

My Thoughts:
Sabrina fell hard for Liam when she was just seventeen.  They formed a friendship while he was working at her family’s winery, and she never felt closer to anyone. Confiding her hopes and dreams all the while her crush grew and burned a permanent mark on her heart.  Unfortunately, when Sabrina offered herself up to Liam, he rejected and humiliated her.  Worse, he accepted her father’s payoff to stay away and she hasn’t laid eyes on him in thirteen years.  That is until he shows up back in town and they must work together setting up the new winery tasting room. Let’s just say things are a little chilly going forward.

The intensity of feelings Sabrina felt for Liam has been unmatched by any other man in the years that’ve passed, but there’s anger and hurt there, too.  There is a reason, or many, why Liam left when he did.  I won’t go into it, but it made sense, and once Sabrina got the whole story, understanding started to replace the anger she felt. 

I just loved this second-chance romance so much! Yes, there was hurt and anger, but that’s because the feelings between Liam and Sabrina were intense and passionate. It was pleasure seeing Liam and Sabrina fall all over again!  The setting, a small picturesque town lit up by Christmas lights, dusted with snow felt perfect for this time of year!

4 Suns

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Review: Roomies by Christina Lauren

Publication Date: December 5th 2017 by Gallery Books
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

About the book:

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?
My Thoughts:
I had high hopes for Roomies and while I liked the story, I didn’t love it.

You get the gist of the overall story from the description, so I won’t rehash it here. I think this is a case where the story would’ve benefited from a dual POV because my biggest issue was that I wasn’t sure that Calvin wanted Holland like she wanted him for much of the book.  It felt very one-sided to me, I knew Holland was crazy about Calvin, but didn’t feel it on his end. If we would’ve had Calvin’s POV maybe I would’ve felt differently?  Who knows.  I didn’t feel much chemistry between them, and they didn’t even get together until well over (highlight to view spoiler) the 60% mark (end of spoiler).  Until then, I wasn’t sure Calvin was even attracted to Holland. 

Holland’s self-doubt and insecurities kind of tainted the story for me as well, because I didn’t see any evidence to the contrary. She didn’t start believing in herself until the very end. Holland kept wondering why someone like Calvin, talented and amazing, would want to be with her besides the benefit of a green card.  I didn’t feel a magnetic pull between them, so I kind of wondered the same thing.  This is a romance, so it all worked out, but I still feel a bit underwhelmed by the whole thing.  I’m in the minority with my reaction, so who knows, maybe it was just me. 

3 Suns

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Review: So Over You by Kate Meader

Publication Date: December 4th 2017 by Pocket Star
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s sizzling Chicago Rebels series. In this second entry, middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels...

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won silver at the Games, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then... let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice...

My Thoughts:
Hockey has been Isobel Chase’s life ever since she can remember, but her career imploded after a head injury almost ended her life.  Now she finds herself part owner, along with her two other sisters, of The Chicago Rebels, her deceased father’s team, and since she can’t play, coaching will have to be the next best thing.  For a chance at the job Isobel must personally coach their newly acquired player, Vadim Petrov through his knee injury to prove her skills.  Unfortunately, they have a checkered past, a night together that started out amazing, but didn’t wrap up so well for Isobel.  That night got Vadim kicked out of the country, back to Russia thanks to her father. 

The attraction they felt as teenagers only burns brighter now, but Isobel is serious about making her position work, and gaining the respect of the team.  So, no-go with Vadim, even if he is about ten times hotter now!  Plus, her experience with Vadim started off all hot and bothered, but left her hanging in the end, so it wouldn’t be all that great anyhow, right? 

Vadim is back in the States, traded after an injury, back with the Girl with the Blazing Skates.  Isobel Chase amazed Vadim and lit up his fires when they were teenagers, and it postponed his US Hockey career.  Finding out he didn’t live up to his reputation as the Czar of Pleasure with Isobel back then makes him determined to make up for the past and then some!  Oh my, a man on a mission I wholeheartedly approve of!

I just loved Vadim!  All big and broody, a heart the size of Texas, and a dry sense of humor! I immediately connected with Isobel, too; my heart went out to her and all she went through.  Vadim and Isobel together were electric, but they’re romance was more than just sizzling physical attraction.  Their chemistry was off-the charts, but I appreciated the many layers to these characters as their vulnerabilities were revealed.  Vadim’s were wrapped up in family issues, and Isobel’s stemming from her loss of career; well, that and a kind of shitty dad.  Loved the understanding and support between them!

This is the first Kate Meader I picked up, but it won’t be my last! (I already grabbed up a copy of Irresistible You, the first book, which is currently on sale for .99 cents!) Her writing is playful, humorous, and hot!  Everything I love in a romance! She brought Vadim and Isobel to life; their their struggles and their highs all felt real to me making their journey towards a HEA a pleasure to experience!  

4.5 Suns

Connect with Kate Meader:

Friday, December 1, 2017

Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #12.6) by Elizabeth Hoyt
Publication Date: December 5th 2017 by Forever
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holiday—and Adam loves his grandmother, so he'll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they're forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he's ever met.

Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she'll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it's the one gift this mismatched pair can't wait to unwrap.

My Thoughts:
Sarah St. John and Viscount Adam d’Arque have crossed paths, but it wasn’t a friendly exchange, because Sarah so clearly hated Adam on sight.  Sarah isn’t fond of rakes, gentleman who seduce and carouse without thought for the women they hurt.  But Sarah is about to get another, lovelier version of Adam as their lives are thrown together this holiday season.

Adam is accompanying his Grandmother to their yearly Christmas destination in the country, when their carriage breaks down in a storm.  They have no choice but to take shelter at the St. John’s, imposing on them during their holiday festivities, something Adam would love to avoid, but he’s worried about his beloved ailing Grandmother.  Seeing Sarah St. John again is an irritation, since she clearly despised him on their first meeting, but he’ll just have to make the best by teasing and tormenting her. As he gets to know Sarah, Adam is feels an irresistible pull towards this sweet, infuriating woman.

I just love a good antagonistic romance, and Elizabeth Hoyt makes them so much fun! There’s snips and snipes, sexual tension brewing under the surface, fun banter back in forth until Sarah and Adam realize they actually like each other. But can Sarah trust Adam with her heart?  And is Adam interested in forever?

Elizabeth Hoyt’s talent as a writer shines even in a short number of pages.  Once Upon a Christmas Eve is a steamy, chemistry filled romance in a Winter wonderland setting, perfect for the season!

4 Suns

Connect with Elizabeth Hoyt: