Monday, July 29, 2019

Review & Giveaway: Marry in Secret by Anne Gracie

Publication Date: July 30th 2019 by Berkley
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

A rugged and ruined naval officer comes to claim his bride in an unforgettable tale of love, revenge and redemption from the national bestselling author of Marry in Scandal

Lady Rose Rutherford—rebel, heiress, and exasperated target of the town's hungry bachelors—has a plan to gain the freedom she so desperately desires: she will enter into a marriage of convenience with the biggest prize on the London marriage mart.

There's just one problem: the fierce-looking man who crashes her wedding to the Duke of Everingham — Thomas Beresford, the young naval officer she fell in love with and secretly married when she was still a schoolgirl. Thought to have died four years ago he's returned, a cold, hard stranger with one driving purpose—revenge.

Embittered by betrayal and hungry for vengeance, Thomas will stop at nothing to reclaim his rightful place, even if that means using Rose—and her fortune—to do it. But Rose never did follow the rules, and as she takes matters into her own unpredictable hands, Thomas finds himself in an unexpected and infuriating predicament: he's falling in love with his wife....
My Thoughts:
We meet up with Rose when she’s about to be married to a duke, a marriage of convenience, not a love-match, but as you gather from the book description that’s not going to happen.  Rose married four years ago, but thought her husband died at sea while taking her heart with him.   

I really enjoyed Marry in Secret, Rose had a heart of gold and was patient and supportive of Thomas. He went through a harrowing experience, something I didn’t really know happened to seamen at the time, but the author’s note explains Thomas’s experience was based on a real-life account and it’s heartbreaking. It definitely took more time to unravel all of Thomas’ situation and feelings, but I never doubted that he loved Rose, and she didn’t either.  There’s a mystery about Thomas’ family and some danger that comes from it, adding a bit more excitement that kept me turning those pages to get to the bottom of things.

Following Rose and Thomas as they sort out the past, get to know each other and savor their reunion was touching, emotional and a pleasure!  This is my first Anne Gracie novel, but it won’t be my last! I think Rose’s cousin Georgiana is up next and I can’t wait!

4 Suns


            Rose paused at the church door. Lily and George fluttered around her, straightening the circlet of flowers in her hair, arranging the lace train of her dress. Rose stood, lively as a statue and about as warm. “Now, don’t be nervous,” Aunt Dottie had said a few moments before. “It will all work out perfectly, trust me, my love. I have one of my feelings.”
But Rose wasn’t the slightest bit nervous. It all felt strangely distant, as if it were happening to some other girl. She moistened her lips and waited.
George poked her head around the door, glanced in and pulled a face. “He’s there.”
“Well, of course he’s there,” Lily said crossly. Poor Lily. She’d been in a brittle mood all morning, trying to put a good face on a wedding she still had grave doubts about. Lily wasn’t very good at hiding her feelings.
What if the duke hadn’t come? He was notoriously unreliable about keeping engagements. What if he’d jilted her at the altar? Rose considered it briefly and decided that it would be embarrassing . . . and possibly something of a relief.
Nonsense. She needed to do this, needed to draw a line in the sand between her old life and her new. Cut the bonds of the old, and move on.
“Ready?” her brother Cal asked. She nodded and took his arm.
Now. She took a deep breath and stepped inside the church and stood blinking as her eyes adjusted to the dim light of the interior. A hush fell, followed by a susurration of whispers and rustling silk as the congregation turned as one to look at the bride.
The church smelled of flowers, spring flowers, and beeswax, brass polish and perfumes, a hundred clashing perfumes.
At the end of the aisle, in the dappled light of a stained-glass window, stood her future husband, the Duke of Everingham, looking bored. He’d removed his gray kid gloves and was slapping them rhythmically in his palm. Bored and impatient.
At least he’d turned up.
The organ played a chord that swelled to a crescendo, then died, and then the music started and she was walking, walking like an automaton, toward the altar, toward her fate.
She felt everyone’s eyes on her. She’d hardly slept. Did it show? Did she care if it did?
The duke stepped forward. Cal waited, his arm steady beneath her hand, ready to hand her over—like a parcel, like a possession, George had muttered once at another wedding they’d attended.
Rose glanced up and met the duke’s gaze. Dark eyes, gray-green, and cold as the winter sea. Perfectly good eyes, but the wrong color. The wrong eyes.
She regarded them bleakly. Time healed all wounds. Or so they said.
The bishop, resplendent in his robes of gold and purple, cleared his throat and they turned to face him. Rose hoped he wasn’t the kind of bishop who would give some long dreary sermon. She wanted this wedding over. Over and done with. No going back.
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here . . .”
The familiar words washed over her. She was calm, quite calm. Coldly, perfectly calm. Not like last time.
The bishop continued, speaking in those melodic rises and falls peculiar to ministers. Did they teach them that singsong cadence at minister school? “. . . not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men’s carnal lusts and appetites . . .
She shivered. Lord, but this church was cold.
“Therefore if any man can show any just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak or else hereafter forever hold his peace.”
Her fingers were freezing. She should have worn kid gloves instead of these lace ones.
The bishop paused for a perfunctory breath, then continued, “I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that—
“Stop the wedding!”

Berkley generously provided a Paperback Copy of Mary in Secret to giveaway to one reader.  The giveaway is open to US Residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Sunday Post #38

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

I'm back in Northern California, but I did not beat the heat. It's hot just about everywhere in the state and it was well over 100 today.  Down where I live it was 108, so we're having quite the heat wave.  Went to the pool today to cool off.  Here's some hearty flowers at the pool that managed to survive and thrive in this awful weather.  Summer is to be my least favorite season, and I'm already so over it.

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

I'm about half way through a review book and one I bought but set everything aside to finish Untraceable, it was that addictive, despite a sometimes annoying heroine.  My husband and I listened to the majority of the story on our drive up North on Thursday.  No Mercy was really good, and now I can't wait for book three! I have to thank Lark for introducing the series! 

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

Just downloaded an audio copy of Unspeakable (book 2 of the Tracers series by Laura Griffin) from the library after finishing Untraceable.  We'll be listening on the car ride home tomorrow. I'm halfway through Lies but I set it aside to finish Untraceable. I downloaded a copy of A Wedding in December after reading this lovely review from Lindy


Went and saw this Friday with the grand-kids and really enjoyed it! 

How was your week?

Friday, July 26, 2019

Paperback Release & Giveaway: Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

I'm a huge fan of Lisa Gardner's mysteries, and the Detective D.D. Warren/Flora Dane series has to be one of my favorites, so I'm excited to feature the new Paperback version releasing by Dutton, complete with new cover of Never Tell! Out on August 6th this story will captivate and keep you guessing until the end!

You can read my full review here, but I did mention in it you can read Never Tell as a standalone, but if you don't want to go back to book one, I'd at least start at book eight, Find Her where Flora Dane is introduced to really enjoy Never Tell. 

The wonderful people of Dutton are providing a copy to giveaway to one reader.  Just scroll down to the bottom of the post and fill in the rafflecopter for a chance to win. 

Paperback Publication Date: August 6th 2019 by Dutton (originally published Feb 19th 2019)
Pages: 432
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo iBooks

About the book:

#1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner returns with an unpredictable thriller that puts fan favorites D. D. Warren and Flora Dane on a shocking new case that begins with a vicious murder and gets darker from there.

A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.

D. D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman--Evie Carter--from a case many years back. Evie's father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.

Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim--a hostage--and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad's murder.

But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?

About the author:
LISA GARDNER is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seventeen previous novels, including her most recent, Crash & Burn. Her Detective D. D. Warren novels include Fear NothingCatch MeLove You More, and The Neighbor, which won the International Thriller of the Year Award. She lives with her family in New England

Connect with Lisa Gardner: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Spotlight & Giveaway: Million Dollar Marriage by Katy Evans

This story sounds like a lot of fun and I plan on picking it up soon, so I'm excited to feature Katy Evans' newest: Million Dollar Marriage! I have a guest post with the lovely Katy Evans, an excerpt, and wonderful giveaway of a $25 Amazon Gift Card & a digital copy of Million Dollar Marriage! Check it out!

Million Dollar Marriage (Million Dollar #2) by Katy Evans
Publication Date: July 23rd 2019 by Montlake Romance
Pages: 266
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible 

About the book: 

From New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans comes a hot romance about two strangers and their race to fall in love.
If someone had bet Nell a million dollars that she would be saying “I do” to a complete stranger on national television, she’d have called them crazy, but with her crushing student loan payments sending her deep into the red, she’s out of options. This should be nothing more than a business transaction—until she sets eyes on her groom, and everything changes.
The game is on the instant Luke spots Penelope “Nell” Carpenter. He’s out for the money, yes, but getting a little dirty with Nell doesn’t sound too bad either. Everyone knows he’s not the marrying kind, so it’s a good thing it’s just for show. God knows he’s the worst guy his pretty wife should pick for real.

They have nothing in common, but if they want the grand prize, they’ll have to beat out eight other couples. Proving that total opposites attract should be easy enough…as long as they don’t fall in love in the process.

Katy Evans tells us a little about Million Dollar Marriages:

Meet the Million Dollar series books. Books that are all about passion, romance, and all about what people will do for money—actually, a LOT of money. In book one, Million Dollar Devil, we have a sexy, raw, bad-mannered daredevil willing to pose as a sophisticated rich guy – while skillfully seducing the heroine in the process.

In book two, Million Dollar Marriage, Nell and Luke both agree to become contestants in a reality show that requires—gasp, marriage. Marriage to a complete stranger, which is appalling. But, it’s a fake marriage, right? It doesn’t matter that they are complete opposites. Nell will be the brains, and Luke will be the brawn. For a moment there, they both think they’ve got it covered. But the challenges end up being far more than they anticipated, especially the unexpected challenge of resisting falling in love with each other.

I’d always wanted to write a reality show book. I mean, reality shows are so addictive to watch, but though I’ve loved indulging in binge-watching Survivor or The Amazing Race, I’ve always wanted a little more romance to go with all that adrenaline and excitement. What happens when you’re put under all that pressure, and aside from that, have just met a person who gives your heart wings? Let’s face it. Falling in love is a little scary when you do it privately, so how does the public nature of a relationship hinder or help the romance between two strangers?

Well, in Nell and Luke’s case, being exposed to the cameras all day, every day, was more of a hindrance. And yet without those cameras, would they have given each other the time of day to begin with? :)

I would totally write another reality TV show romance. It’s been one of the funnest, most uniques writes I’ve ever written to date.

Katy Evans
New York Times Bestselling author


Will Wang says, “Teams, you have the choice to participate in the next challenge. If you decide to, you’ll receive a minimum of seventy thousand dollars! All you have to do is say YES!” 

I shrug and call out, “YES!” 

Will laughs. “Hold on, buckaroo. There’s a catch you might want to know about. And that brings us to the main premise of the show. John Phillips, are you out there? Please, join me on the podium.” 

A man in a suit stands up, and the crowd parts to let him through. He jogs up to the podium, shakes Will’s hand, and stands beside him.

“John is here for a very special reason. A very special ceremony, if you will.” 

The cameras are focused on our faces, and I know something is up. 

“Yes, in fact, John happens to be a justice of the peace.” 

The crowd gasps. Next to me, Penny’s body stiffens. 

“Yes. In order to participate in the next challenge and any challenges going forward, you and your partner must be man and wife!” 

Louder gasp. The screens overhead focus in on the shock of the contestants. Penny’s trembling. Ivy looks pissed. Ace is hurling out f-bombs into the air. The Indian girl has sunk to the ground and is covering her face in her palms. It’s chaos. 

Me? I’m calm as can be. 

It’s called Million Dollar Marriage. Did they think marriage wouldn’t factor in? 

I’m in. 

“You will need to spend the rest of the time living with your partner as a unit. You’ll do everything together for the duration of the contest. There will be challenges that test your endurance, your strength, and your ability to work together as a couple. If you win, you’ll each get two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and the opportunity to have the marriage annulled, should you choose. BUT, if you decide to stay together as lawfully married, you’ll together receive the grand prize of ONE MILLION DOLLARS and an all-expenses-paid honeymoon package!” 

I look around. All the couples are yin and yang. It’s like they ran our personality tests through a machine and picked out the person we’d be least compatible with. 

“Now, we understand this is a big commitment on your part, so we’ll give you and your partner five minutes to talk things out and decide what you’d like to do. Please note that once your decision is made, it is final, and you will be married here, on the spot, before you board a flight to where the real competition will begin.” He winks at the losers’ wall. “If you drop out now, you’ll go home with fifty thousand dollars, but if you decide to continue on, you’ll earn seventy thousand and the chance to compete for even more! Time starts . . . now!” 

I turn to Penny. She’s hugging herself and won’t look at me. “Hey. I’m in.” 

She doesn’t say anything. 

I wave a hand in front of her face. 

“Are you crazy?” she finally says, staring at me. “I’d never marry you.”

About the author:
Katy Evans loves family, books, life, and love. She’s married with two children and a dog, and she spends her time baking healthy snacks, taking long walks, and taking care of her family. To learn more about her books in progress, check out and sign up for her newsletter. You can also find her on Twitter @authorkatyevans and on Facebook at AuthorKatyEvans.

Connect with Katy Evans:

Montlake Romance has generously provided this wonderful giveaway! Simply fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win:

Monday, July 22, 2019

Review: One Night in a Storm by Shay Savage

Publication Date: July 23rd 2019 
Pages: 188
Source: Author
Purchase Links: Amazon 

About the book:
Two university students thrown together in the midst of a raging storm, one a Shibari expert, the other an instinctive submissive. 
As the flood waters rise, so does Kasinda’s panic. When she allows Cree to use his expertise to ease her fears, she finds herself healing from the trauma of her past.
The floodwaters may soon subside, but their passion for each other is just beginning to grow. Cree may be the rigger, but it’s Kas who has his emotions in knots. 

My Thoughts:
When I read the premise of One Night in a Storm and the fact that Shay Savage was writing it, I knew the story would be good!  How about being stranded with your high school crush and finding out his kink is to tie people up?  Not in a serial killer way, of course, but in a kinky I-want-to-dominate-and-give-mind-blowing-pleasure sort of way. This is what happens to Kasinda and Cree one stormy night. Trapped inside an old library while floodwaters rise, and Kas trying to stay calm while battling fears from a childhood tragedy, Kas happily lets Cree “distract” her.

Oh, I just loved this story so much!  I flew through the pages and didn’t want the story to end!  It’s not often that I read kink or BDSM/erotica, but when I do, I need it to be smart, seducing my mind instead of just sex, sex, sex. Ms. Savage had the perfect balance for full impact.  The buildup was sensual, electric, and wow did it make me feel and my heart race! The connection between Kas and Cree was palpable as they got to know each other, tentative and vulnerable at first, but wow when they let each other in, so hot!

Cree was excellent building anticipation with whispered words, grazing touches, and most of all: honesty between them. Because of that honesty and facing such a dangerous situation together, they built trust rather quickly, and I think you need that for a connection to be truly pleasurable.  Boy was it ever!  

Can’t wait for the next installment with Casey and Rocco!

4 Suns

Connect with Shay Savage:

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Sunday Post #37

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

After we got back from Sacramento I ended up getting sick feeling off on Monday and Tuesday and then pretty wrecked on Wednesday to the point I called in sick. Fever and body ache which turned into stuffy nose and cough.  Good times.  I slept a lot on Wednesday and worked a short day on Thursday, but I feel a lot better, but I'm still stuck with stuffiness and a cough. It's been pretty hot this weekend, but not as bad as last. I got some pool time reading at home this weekend which was really nice. 


I did a buddy read with Genesis @Whispering Chapters of Good Guy and I loved it! Hard to go wrong with Kate Meader.  I know I'll always have a good time with Carolyn Brown's romances and Cowboy Rebel didn't disappoint. It started slow, but had more suspense and danger than I've read in any of her books before. I was on the edge of my seat there for a while!  The Right Sort of Man was engaging mystery set in Post World War II.  I look forward to the next installment. 

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

My library audio copy finally came through for Three Mages and a Margarita.  I've seen a lot of love for this series so I can't wait to start listening.  A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe sounded good. I can never resist a sexy cowboy story!  It's been a while since I've picked up Suzanne Wright, but her shifter stories are fun and hot! 


Still binging (and laughing).

How was your week?

Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway: Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa by Nancy Naigle

If you're like me and are a sucker for a sweet Hallmark Movie type of romance, you'll enjoy Christmas In Evergreen: Letters to Santa by Nancy Naigle.  Below there's information on the book and a giveaway: Audio of Christmas in Evergreen & a $20 Hallmark Giftcard!

Publication Date: July 16th 2019 by Hallmark & Crown Media Publishing
Pages: 264
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links:  Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Walmart

About the book:

Return to Evergreen,
the town where Christmas wishes come true…
But only if you know what your heart really wants.

When Lisa takes a last-minute Christmas trip to her hometown of Evergreen, she finds that the historic general store has closed. The place was a beloved local tradition, and she decides to use her skills as a professional retail designer to bring it back to its former glory. She charms a local contractor, Kevin, into working with her, and the pair find themselves facing one surprise after another.

One of the biggest surprises of all is finding the mysterious 25-year-old letter to Santa that never made it to the North Pole. Who really wrote it, and will its request come true at last? And will Lisa and Kevin figure out what they’re truly wishing for?

This sweet small-town romance includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Incredible Apple Dumplings.

About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle whips up small-town love stories with a whole lot of heart. She began writing while juggling a successful career in finance and life on a seventy-six-acre goat farm. Her many books include The Secret Ingredient, Christmas in Evergreen, and Christmas Joy and Hope for Christmas, which were adapted into Hallmark movies. Now happily retired from a career in the financial industry, she devotes her time to writing, horseback riding, and enjoying the occasional spa day. A Virginia girl at heart, Nancy now calls North Carolina home. 

Connect with Nancy:

Nancy's Giveaway:

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Review: The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair

Publication Date: June 4th 2019 by Minotaur Books
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

First comes love, then comes murder.

In a London slowly recovering from World War II, two very different women join forces to launch a business venture in the heart of Mayfair--The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Miss Iris Sparks, quick-witted and impulsive, and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, practical and widowed with a young son, are determined to achieve some independence and do some good in a rapidly changing world.

But the promising start to their marriage bureau is threatened when their newest client, Tillie La Salle, is found murdered and the man arrested for the crime is the prospective husband they matched her with. While the police are convinced they have their man, Miss Sparks and Mrs. Bainbridge are not. To clear his name--and to rescue their fledging operation's reputation--Sparks and Bainbridge decide to investigate on their own, using the skills and contacts they've each acquired through life and their individual adventures during the recent war.

Little do they know that this will put their very lives at risk.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed The Right Sort of Man, Iris Sparks and Gwen Bainbridge came from very different backgrounds, but the war in a way evened out their differences is social status.  It’s clear that Sparks led a dangerous life during the war helping England in covert endeavors, making her a formidable woman when faced with the mystery and danger presented when one of their clients is accused of murder. One would think that Gwen Bainbridge wouldn’t be cut out for sleuthing, being raised as a lady, but her sharp mind and her excellent people reading skills make her a natural.  These two together not only tackle the mystery, but they provide support and understanding to each other, and they both needed it. Iris is haunted by events that happened in service to her country, and Gwen is morning the loss of her husband while trying to raise her six-year-old son. 

The Right Sort of Man was set in an interesting and heartbreaking period of time, post-World War II, when England was recovering from the bombings, loss of life, and dealing with rationing. It reminded me of times my grandmother would relate her experiences during this time, living in England, me listening with rapt attention and amazement over how different and difficult things were for her. It definitely left a mark. The story also reminded me of the mystery series, Foyle’s War with Michael Kitchen, set in the same time period, an excellent and fascinating series.

I loved the quick-witted banter back and forth between Gwen and Iris, these women had a lot of spunk and sass, which was fun in between the more serious parts of the story.  The writing was sharp and clever, and I was guessing at the guilty party up until the end.  Nice surprise!  Both Sparks and Gwen have romantic possibilities and I look forward to seeing how they develop in the coming books.   

4 Suns

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Giveaway: Christmas in July Blog Hop

I'm participating in Christmas in July Giveaway Hop hosted by Book Hounds and will be giving away a $10 Giftcard to either US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble or up to $10 at The Book Depository!  See below for a list of participating blogs or click HERE.

Here are a few of my favorite Chirstmas/Winter Themed books if you're looking for a Christmas in July read:

A $10 Giftcard to either US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble or up to $10 at The Book Depository.  The giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.  Click HERE for their list of countries.  Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Sunday Post #36

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

It was my anniversary last week. My husband and I have been married 32 years I was a teenager  when we got married so I'm not as old as that makes me sound, lol!  We didn't have a lot of time to celebrate, but we managed to get out to dinner the day of.  I'm up in Northern California again this weekend, and it's hotter than heck! It's been over 100 degrees since Thursday. We're flying home tomorrow. I haven't had a lot of time to read other than audio books.  Hopefully I'll have some time next week. 


I picked up The Vanishing Season after reading Lark's review of book 2, and I really enjoyed it! I've already downloaded book 2 from the library.  The Guilty Dead is a re-read in preparation for the newest Monkeewrench book I'm picking up soon. Laura Griffin's romantic suspense/crime procedurals are always a treat.

Received/Library Lend/Purchased:

I loved Kate Meader's Chicago Rebels series so I'm excited she has a new hockey romance book out. Loved The Vanishing Season so I'm happy I was able to download No Mercy from my library right away. I received The Bromance Book Club a couple of weeks ago but keep forgetting to list it. It sounds really good!

How was your week?