Halloween Blog Hop – Fall Favorites #Snarkology $100 Grand Prize!

Click here for the Grand Prize winners of the Halloween blog hop!

The winner of the Starbucks gift cert for commenting on my blog is Joley Bogan! Thanks to everyone who followed the hop and took the time to comment :)
Snarlolgy Halloween Blog Hop Yellow 2

Welcome to the Snarkology Halloween blog hop! Sixty participating author blogs mean you have tons of chances to win the Grand Prize of one $100 Amazon or B&N gift certificate, or one of two $15 Amazon or B&N gift certs! Plus, many authors are also offering additional prizes. Follow along at the Linked list below Oct. 27 – Oct 31, increase your chances of winning a prize, find some great new authors and stories, and join the fun!

Enter the Rafflecopter Grand Prizes giveaway here!

Roasterie pumpkinsFall on an island in the Pacific Northwest is one of my favorite times and places. Colors and flavors of fall abound, with the wild blackberries giving way to apple orchards, cider presses, hard cider, mulled cider… You get the picture!

Besides harvesting apples (we have baby trees that gave us our first basketfull this year!), fall also brings squid season. Get those rubbery over-fried rings out of your mind. Fresh and properly prepared calamari is amazingly tender and eye-rolling good, and catching them is surprisingly fun – especially with good friends and hot mulled cider with an added dash of Fireball whiskey! And clamming on the beautiful west coast of Washington. I went on my first razor clam expedition last year, and we had such a good time despite almost getting swept out into the Pacific by the huge tide! So much fun to learn new things, like the proper way to plant and pull a clam gun without breaking the clam shell and finding the “dimple” that indicates a clam buried in the sand. My repeated cries of “Oh! There’s one!” were inevitably answered with “No, that’s a rock.” Best clam chowder I ever made – and a great hint to use evaporated milk instead of heavy cream to lower fat and calories without losing even a pinch of taste.

Halloween itself will mean the main street in town being shut down and all the local businesses offering tastes and treats to the little ghouls and goblins roaming the street with friends and parents with most everyone dressing up. It’s a small town celebration of fall that’s not to be missed!

What are your favorite activities and flavors of fall?

The paranormal romance Wraith Series books One and Two from the Wild Rose Press

MEDIUM COVER WraithEnchanted MEDIUM cover

Book One, WRAITH REDEEMED, is on sale through October 31 for 99¢ on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in all ebook formats on The Wild Rose Press website!

Leave a comment to win a $5 Starbucks gift certificate! A random commenter will be selected Nov. 1 before midnight PST.

Book Review: Undone Rebel by Lila Dubois

Guest Review by Heidi LaVista

book review undone rebel by lila duboisAfter the gushing about geek heroes last week, I begged them to let me review Undone Rebel, the first in the Undone Lovers series by Lila Dubois. Like J and M, I’m a big fan of the shy guys, especially when they drop that shyness in the bedroom. Undone Rebel has such a hero, as well as a heroine I couldn’t help but love.

Ms. Dubois begins beautifully, giving us a very clear picture of Addie, the pin-up girl with a solid backbone and a heart of gold. Upon meeting her, we see the future conflict clearly. How could someone with such a strong will naturally submit? Still, in spite of this fiery nature, she agrees to model for erotic photography, where she’ll play the part of a submissive to three separate Doms with three distinct styles.

And then we meet Lane. Upon first impression, he’s strong, capable, and smokin’ hot. Ms. Dubois also created such lovely tension here, showing us two decidedly strong characters with immense amounts of sexual chemistry. Because her introduction to Addie is so well done, we already care for them and hope for some kind of future before she can even meet the second Dom.

In a twist that really threw me for a loop and cemented my regard for the book, we discover Lane is a computer geek with a history of trouble with girls. His Dominant nature developed as he learned to interact with women. AND I BELIEVED IT. I believed every single word. Adorable and so hot.

Were there a few issues here and there with sentence structure and other stuff my editor mind itched to fix? Yeah. In the end, these didn’t matter. I was invested in the characters, the story, and the outcome too much to really see the blemishes. I felt the author avoided many of the pitfalls of erotic romance, gave us character development, a fun and relatively believable plot, some pretty smokin’ sex, and a hero that I’d fall for over and over and over again.

Book Review Undone Rebel by Lila Dubois

About the Book

When amateur fetish model and rockabilly princess Adelita “Addie” Sanchez is asked to model for an instructional BDSM book, she turns the offer down—she’s not a porn star. Then she meets the three male Dominants behind the project, including Lane Therres, who convinces her the book is more art than porn, and she’ll be safe in his hands.

The rules of the photo sessions are clear—there’s no sex, and Addie can call a halt to anything she’s uncomfortable with. But self-reliant, strong-willed Addie doesn’t count on liking what the powerful Doms do to her body with their ropes, chains and toys. Enjoying Emory’s touch after falling for Lane, Addie turns away from both men, scared of what they’re making her feel. She’s worried that a relationship built on a BDSM contract can never be anything but whips and chains.

Lane will exchange Dom leather for shining armor to prove to his rockabilly princess that even the most gallant knights sometimes prefer dungeons.

About the Author

Lila is a multi-published, bestselling author of erotic, paranormal and fantasy romance. Having spent extensive time in France, Egypt, Turkey, Ireland and England, Lila speaks five languages, none of them—including English—fluently. Follow her on Goodreads or her website.

About the Reviewer

Heidi LaVista loves to combine words and song, reads more than a lot, and dabbles in writing stuff sometimes. Loves editing, stuffed animals (not clowns), cute guys, cats and dogs, and chocolate-covered pretzels.


Book Review: Undone Rebel by Lila Dubois

Guest Review by Heidi LaVista

book review undone rebel by lila duboisAfter the gushing about geek heroes last week, I begged them to let me review Undone Rebel, the first in the Undone Lovers series by Lila Dubois. Like J and M, I’m a big fan of the shy guys, especially when they drop that shyness in the bedroom. Undone Rebel has such a hero, as well as a heroine I couldn’t help but love.

Ms. Dubois begins beautifully, giving us a very clear picture of Addie, the pin-up girl with a solid backbone and a heart of gold. Upon meeting her, we see the future conflict clearly. How could someone with such a strong will naturally submit? Still, in spite of this fiery nature, she agrees to model for erotic photography, where she’ll play the part of a submissive to three separate Doms with three distinct styles.

And then we meet Lane. Upon first impression, he’s strong, capable, and smokin’ hot. Ms. Dubois also created such lovely tension here, showing us two decidedly strong characters with immense amounts of sexual chemistry. Because her introduction to Addie is so well done, we already care for them and hope for some kind of future before she can even meet the second Dom.

In a twist that really threw me for a loop and cemented my regard for the book, we discover Lane is a computer geek with a history of trouble with girls. His Dominant nature developed as he learned to interact with women. AND I BELIEVED IT. I believed every single word. Adorable and so hot.

Were there a few issues here and there with sentence structure and other stuff my editor mind itched to fix? Yeah. In the end, these didn’t matter. I was invested in the characters, the story, and the outcome too much to really see the blemishes. I felt the author avoided many of the pitfalls of erotic romance, gave us character development, a fun and relatively believable plot, some pretty smokin’ sex, and a hero that I’d fall for over and over and over again.

Book Review Undone Rebel by Lila Dubois

About the Book

When amateur fetish model and rockabilly princess Adelita “Addie” Sanchez is asked to model for an instructional BDSM book, she turns the offer down—she’s not a porn star. Then she meets the three male Dominants behind the project, including Lane Therres, who convinces her the book is more art than porn, and she’ll be safe in his hands.

The rules of the photo sessions are clear—there’s no sex, and Addie can call a halt to anything she’s uncomfortable with. But self-reliant, strong-willed Addie doesn’t count on liking what the powerful Doms do to her body with their ropes, chains and toys. Enjoying Emory’s touch after falling for Lane, Addie turns away from both men, scared of what they’re making her feel. She’s worried that a relationship built on a BDSM contract can never be anything but whips and chains.

Lane will exchange Dom leather for shining armor to prove to his rockabilly princess that even the most gallant knights sometimes prefer dungeons.

About the Author

Lila is a multi-published, bestselling author of erotic, paranormal and fantasy romance. Having spent extensive time in France, Egypt, Turkey, Ireland and England, Lila speaks five languages, none of them—including English—fluently. Follow her on Goodreads or her website.

About the Reviewer

Heidi LaVista loves to combine words and song, reads more than a lot, and dabbles in writing stuff sometimes. Loves editing, stuffed animals (not clowns), cute guys, cats and dogs, and chocolate-covered pretzels.


J to tha M: What We’re Reading

We Want YOUR Recs!

book recommendations from ruthie knox

© Makarand | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

J:  I put out a request for geek heroes on twitter

and got responses from Ruthie Knox, Delphine Dryden, and Charlotte Stein

A little surreal

M:  I love recs, and getting some from those ladies has to be great.

J:  reading a Charlotte Stein now

I think you’d like

M:  someone rec’d her to me a while back

I looked at her Amazon author page

she has a bunch that sound good

J:  reading Power Play

geek sub

M:  Right up your alley

J:  only I’m getting the feeling the geek part is an act to draw out the Domme nature of the heroine

there is some suspension of disbelief necessary

M:  I can deal with suspension of disbelief if the story is done right

J:  everything takes place in the workplace so far

which twangs my HR strings pretty hard

M:  see, that would twang my OCD. I sure hope they clean that desk

J:  I can’t watch The Office without stressing out

so you can imagine how tough I find BDSM in the office

M:  heh

J:  But we have to discuss – at least a little – the ARC of Kate SeRine‘s Along Came a Spider. Due out Aug 1?

M: August 1, yes

J:  I mean, Nicky Blue…

M:  I loved him. Loved.

She writes a really great hero

J:  and I got this weird feeling this is the last

which makes me a little sad if true

because I want to see Gideon’s story

M:  I don’t know. I think she left Gideon pretty open for his own story

I’d like to see more about Lavender’s brother Puck, too

And Cindy needs a real Prince Charming. And Al needs a good romance. And…

J:  I hope she keeps going

M:  Oh, yes. Me, too

J:  she did mention she’s got a WIP, so at least we’ll see more from her, whatever it may be

M:  I’ve read a couple interesting ones

I did finish Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha and was caught up so I bought the second in the series, Beyond Control

I really liked that one

I’d highly recommend for those who like erotica that’s a little different and really sexy

and wowsa hot

J:  I’m about half through Beyond Shame

I kinda stopped when I got the chance to read SeRine’s ARC

:-/

M:  I know some readers are looking for erotic tales a little beyond the usual after That Book

and this is a series and writer(s) I’d definitely rec

I liked Beyond Shame, but I really liked Beyond Control

got into the characters a lot more

Looking forward to the third in the series

J:  Well, you know I loved Delphine Dryden’s books and rec Theory of Attraction

and Ruthie Knox’s Flirting with Disaster. Hero with a stutter. Be still my heart

even quiet and stuttering, she made him so sexy

unf

there’s something about her technique, too

M:  I’ll try it. I read Big Boy - Strangers on a Train from your rec, and it was good

J:  short and different

M:  I like different

J:  but the technique got me with that one. a kind of ebb and flow to the sentences

M:  got you in a good or not so much way?

J:  mostly good. sometimes I just wanted her to come right out and SAY what was going on

it was hard to imagine that kind of arrangement, for one thing

I mean, for me

M:  I enjoyed the story, but for some reason, it was more like reading, not living the characters and scenes

if that makes sense

J:  yes, it does

like, you’re in the scene, you see it happening, but you have no effing clue why

M:  I felt the connection to the characters and story, but not as deep as I thought I should

J:  because it was like watching two strangers do something a little strange

rather than BEING one of the strangers doing something a little strange

M:  well, I like strange. I’m on board with strange

J:  what did get me, though, was the hero’s attempt to fix things at the end

I like a guy that won’t give up without making it right

even if he knows he may not get his desired result

M:  I like that, too

He was really kind of odd and dislikable in his reaction to her wanting more at first

and maybe the reason came a little too late?

or maybe there should have been more hints of vulnerability? I just don’t know

J:  maybe. but I saw it as wanting to desperately cling to that double life. to avoid showing her anything that might scare her off, even if it meant letting her go. at least it was on his own terms

but then he did show that vulnerability. he did decide to let her in

to take a chance

even if it might have been too late

M:  he did. I guess I would have liked to see a little more a little earlier, been given little hints through her eyes kind of thing

but it was a very fun read. I’d definitely read more by her.

J:  all these things I’ve read lately have helped so much with my writing

**dances**

M:  I’m dancing with you – yay!

reading is good

I read a book by Tracey Garvis GravesOn the Island

I’d seen her name here and there, and the ebook went on sale

I’m not a fan of survivor island books, but I liked

J:  oohhh

is this the one where she’s with her student?

I’ve seen such mixed reviews

M:  I liked. I recommend

I thought the whole story was well done

He’s in remission from leukemia, and his parents hire her to tutor him to catch up over the summer

they rent a vacation place in the Maldives, and she and TJ fly out a few days later than the family

the plane goes down, and they’re stranded on the island

Nothing happens between them until he’s almost nineteen

I had my skeptic hat on until I read, but I thought she did a good job of handling the whole situation. I believed, and you know I can be picky

J:  fair enough

M:  She actually took a bunch of my not-favorite tropes and really made them work

well written both in editing and story

very layered

what I really liked is that the story didn’t end when they got off the island (hope I’m not spoiling)

there was still a lot of developing in the characters and plot, which made the second part as interesting as the first. Maybe more

And – ugh. He makes a gesture that just about broke my heart

J:  you’re not spoiling. I need urging to read it. otherwise, it would stay on the shelf

M: read it

J:  heh. Okay.

M:  honestly, the whole book is worth the one line

she nails it

She had the first chapter of her next book at the end. She’s tackling some really difficult and different subjects, and after seeing how she handles this, her next book is going on my buy list

difficult subjects, but handled realistically in my opinion, without the overwrought drama

And speaking of which, pretty much my entire family is coming to visit this week (Stop reading this, Mom. I’m just kidding.)

J:  So you may not brb

M:  probably not

and I can’t say “laters” or you’ll slap me

so…smell ya later?

J: Just go


Book Review: Lawless Love by Andrea Downing

Guest Review by Heidi LaVista

book review Lawless Love by Andrea DowningWhile tracking a suspect in the murder of a local ranch owner, US Marshal Dylan Kane encounters Lacey Everhart twice in the course of one afternoon. First bathing in the river, and then as the proprietress of the town’s only lodging house. When her younger brother, who matches the description of his suspect, returns home, Marshal Kane’s long-held beliefs of right and wrong, black and white, are challenged in the interactions that follow.

Lawless Love is an enjoyable historical short story. Andrea Downing’s imagery is great, as are the historical aspects. I did have some trouble with the phonetic use of dialog, which was abundant and somewhat inconsistent. The words and pronunciations are most likely accurate for the time and setting, but spelling them out distracted me nonetheless.

Also distracting are a couple of my personal pet peeves, which won’t bother most readers, but I have to mention. I. Don’t. Like. This. Effect. At. All. Yeah, that. The story does require some suspension of disbelief, suffering from the insta-lust and love often seen in novellas. I had a hard time believing Lacey would think about kissing a man she was rightly furious with for spying while she bathed in the nude. I also didn’t get much of a chance to experience what the hero and heroine saw in each other to make them fall so hard into love—or even lust—so quickly despite their beliefs and values of the time period.

I do have a couple of sentences that show the great potential for Ms. Downing’s imagery, but mix with passive phrasing:

“As night whispered about him and he watched the curtains billow before they were sucked out into the silver light of the moon, Dylan lay imagining what it would be like to hold Lacey in that nocturnal quiet.”

Loved the imagery, but the passive phrases and words not so much.

“Outside, a ball of tumbleweed spun by as branches tried to meet the earth and the gate crashed open and shut.”

Same thing. Loved the imagery, would have liked to see it more active, but that’s just me being picky. And then the repeated line a few pages later:

“Out the window, the front gate crashed and slammed on its hinges as tumbleweed bowled by.”

Essentially the same thing, but with active rephrasing. Blend the two sentences together, and I think we’d have something very nice indeed.

Overall, Lawless Love entertained, and I’m interested to read the author’s other works. I love the potential of her talent and would like to see the results of a little stronger editing in the more technical areas.

book review lawless love by andrea downing

About the Book

Lacey Everhart has carved out a tough existence in the wilds of 1880s Wyoming, working hard to build a secure life for herself and her younger brother, Luke. She will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers and keep them safe. Even if it means keeping a secret that could destroy their lives.

Marshal Dylan J. Kane is a man who considers everything as black and white, right or wrong.  He’s never seen life any other way until he sets eyes on Lacey. Suddenly the straight and narrow that he’s followed has a few twists and turns. Loving Lacey offers the home life for which he hankers…but can he really love a woman who seems to be plain lawless?

About the Author

Andrea Downing likes to say that, when she decided to leave New York, the city of her birth, she made a wrong turn and went east instead of west.   She ended up spending most of her life in the UK where she received an M.A. from the University of Keele in Staffordshire.  She married and raised a beautiful daughter and  stayed on to teach and write, living in the Derbyshire Peak District, the English Lake District, Wales and the Chiltern Hills before finally moving into London. During this time, family vacations were often on guest ranches in the American West, where she and her daughter have clocked up some 17 ranches to date. In addition, she has traveled widely throughout Europe, South America, and Africa, living briefly in Nigeria. In 2008 she returned to the city of her birth, NYC, but frequently exchanges the canyons of city streets for the wide open spaces of the West.  Her love of horses, ranches, rodeo and just about anything else western is reflected in her writing.  Loveland, a western historical romance published by The Wild Rose Press, was her first book and is a finalist for the RONE Award of Best American Historical.  Lawless Love, a story, comes out as part of The Wild Rose Press Lawmen and Outlaws’ series on Sept. 4.  Andrea is a member of Romance Writers of America and Women Writing the West.

Follow Andrea on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and purchase Lawless Love on Amazon

About the Reviewer

Heidi LaVista loves to combine words and song, reads more than a lot, and dabbles in writing stuff sometimes. Loves editing, stuffed animals (not clowns), cute guys, cats and dogs, and chocolate-covered pretzels.


Book Review: Hunger Moon by Melissa Snark

Guest Review by Lisa Lester

book review hunger moon by melissa snarkWerewolf Victoria Storm knows all about duty.  Alpha to a dwindling pack decimated by war with the Barrett family, and with new pups on the way, she must find safe harbor away from the pursuing human hunters that have sworn to wipe her pack from the face of the Earth. After praying to her goddess Freya for guidance, Victoria is led to Sierra Pines, California to find an Alpha to protect and shelter her pack.  Arik Koenig, a powerful alpha male with a murky past, promises to be the protector her pack so desperately needs, and agrees to be Victoria’s mate.  Yet nothing is ever easy, and Victoria soon finds that the wickedly handsome Arik comes with his own baggage; his murdered wife’s spirit cries out to Victoria to protect her son, Logan, who has been rumored to be his mother’s killer.  Can she trust the attraction she feels with Arik, despite the rising contention between father and son?  Or will the mystery of his wife’s death lead to the destruction of her pack?  She has to find the answers, and fast, to keep herself and her pack safe.

This book was literally a page turner for me.  This was one of those books where I would look at the clock, groan aloud at how late it was, and move on to the next chapter, until I finished it in one sitting.  Melissa’s concise writing style keeps up a good pace without slowing down, and the characters are alive and seem to leap off the page.  I also loved the inclusion of Norse mythology into the story; the world and mythos building here is just enough to be immersive without bogging down in the details.  Another aspect of the book I liked was that even in their human forms, the shifters in this world still have characteristics of their animal counterparts, such as showing submissiveness to a dominant pack leader.  I particularly enjoyed the snappy dialogue between Victoria and Logan, as well as the sparks that fly between her and Arik.  Let me tell you, parts of those interactions were definitely hot! While I missed the first book in the series, that is definitely a mistake I will have to rectify.  I’m intrigued to see where Melissa takes Victoria and her pack, and to learn more about the role she plays as a Valkyrie and the dynamic between her and her goddess Freya.  A definite must read for anyone who enjoys urban fantasy.

Book Review Hunger Moon by Melissa Snark

 

About the Book

Valkyrie Victoria Storm desires nothing more than to provide her wolf pack with a safe haven, but her position as priestess to the Goddess Freya also brings with it certain… obligations. Not to mention complications.

War with the Barrett family resulted in the deaths of her parents and most of her pack. Now, hunters are hot on the trail of the remaining pack members. Sawyer Barrett, a human hunter hell bent on revenge, is convinced that Victoria murdered his brother. He will stop at nothing to see her dead.

Victoria must defend the survivors and somehow lead them to safety.  Months on the run has weakened the pack, and there are newborn pups to protect, making swift travel impossible.  Ahead, the promise of refuge beckons.

Their best chance for survival lies in Sierra Pines, California: Arik Koenig, a powerful, dominant male wolf. He promises to protect and provide for the pack, something Victoria knows the pack needs for survival. His mysterious past is riddled with violence and death, including the slaughter of his entire family twenty years before. His wife died under mysterious circumstances and his son, Logan, is rumored to be her killer.

What is truth? Who can she trust? The desperate spirit of Arik’s murdered wife calls out for help, and Logan begs for assistance in clearing his name. Victoria must solve a murder that has pitted father against son, rooted in a mystery reaching back two decades. Her quest starts her on a journey from the human world to Odin’s Valhalla and back again.

Victoria will find salvation or face destruction beneath the Hunger Moon…

About the Author

A friend asked me once how I chose my pen name. I told her the following: “Melissa, because when people mix up my first name, it’s the most common goof up. Snark, because it amuses me. A) I love the word ‘snarky’ and B) I love Lewis Carroll.”

As an individual, I’m sarcastic, stubborn and blunt to a fault. I have a strange sense of humor and I like to laugh (usually at my husband or children), but also at myself. I’m not particularly extroverted, although I do enjoy time with my family and close friends a great deal.

At the moment, I’m a stay at home mom who writes in my spare time. I’ve got a B.S. from Arizona State University in Business, and I’ve worked a variety of different jobs, including as a medical device documentation specialist, a technical writer, and an auto liability adjuster.

I live in the San Francisco East Bay of Northern California with my husband, three kids, and three cats. My hobbies include roleplaying, cooking and reading.

Follow Melissa on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, and her website. She also invites readers to email.

About the Reviewer

Lisa Lester lives in a humongous house with three cats, three dogs, two dudes (one of which she’s married to, the other one is a refugee from New Jersey) and a partridge in a pear tree…okay, just kidding about the pear tree.  And the partridge too. When she’s not working for the Man. she’s reading or killing stuff on World of Warcraft. She also enjoys nerdy things like Star Wars, crocheting, and pretty much any kind of music.

 


J to tha M: What We’re Reading

Holding Out for a (Geeky) Hero

geek romance heroes

stock.xchng/Morrhigan

J:  I have a new book to send you

I adored

M:  ooh, what was it?

J:  I think it’s called The Theory of Attraction

looking to see if it’s lendable

Geek dom

you know I love the geek heroes

it is not lendable

but I recommend

I’m about to buy the second in the series

the author is Delphine Dryden

and the series is called The Science of Temptation

M:  I shall check it out

geek doms are fun

J:  pygmalion trope

I know you love that one

M:  mmm, yes.

J:  I’m definitely on a geek hero kick

more than usual, I mean

M:  nothing wrong with that

J:  did you have a free moment to read this week? anything interesting for me?

M:  nothing I think you’d like. I’ve been more on an edgy kick

I read a couple decent ones, but they ended in that damn cliffhangery thing that isn’t really a cliffhanger, more like stopping right in the middle of the damn story so you have to move onto the next book to continue. I find that irritates me more than tantalizes

I’m more excited and liable to by the next if there’s a satisfying ending to the arc but the possibility of more

J:  oh yeah

*grumble*

i haven’t read any of those lately

but reviews sometimes give me the heads up

M:  ugh. me no like

I’m still a little starry eyed over Captive Prince – the writing was only okay, but the twisty turny characters, the manipulation within the story, the perception-mangling interactions…

I love that stuff

J:  you said it was picked up by a publisher?

or is that the version you read?

M:  No, I read the pre-publisher version. I’m not sure when that will come out.

I did really enjoy The Mistress Matchmaker series by Jess Michaels, erotic historical

J:  I’ve been looking at those

the moment I get a craving for historical, I’ll go for it

M:  Well, I liked the first two a lot. The third was a little disappointing

Not the story or characters so much, but more the writing, I think. Or editing. Or something

J:  complacency?

M:  Honestly, I’m not sure. Maybe.

A lot more repeated words, passive, just not as tight

J:  sad.

and jarring when you’ve come to expect so much better

M:  Not horrible, by any means, but noticeably different in my opinion than the first two

But I do recommend the series. I really did enjoy

J:  maybe she just had a different editor

M:  could be. kind of felt that way.

I’m in the middle of a more erotica type one by Kit Rocha. I think it was free.

It’s actually pretty interesting and well written

I saw someone mentioned it was edgy and a bit subversive, so I was all “sign me up”

and I’m into it so far

Now, if it ends in a damn cliffhanger thing…argh

J:  what’s the name? I’m looking it up

M:  Beyond Shame

but it’s so much more than the title so far

J:  it’s 99 cents now

M:  it is the first in a series, I see

J:  huh. it actually looks interesting

M:  I saw “subversive” and “dystopian porn” mentioned in the reviews, and I was “huh”

sounds interesting

and it’s pretty solid so far

I’m a little confused about the hero’s attitude, but I think at the point I’m at in the story, that might be the intent

J:  think he’s pretending to be something he’s not?

M:  No, not like that. More either the author is going for more of a reveal – like he’s waiting for the heroine to discover her true self by herself and is just leading her along slowly to help, or his character isn’t as developed as it should be

could go either way right now. Hoping for the former

he’s giving me and the heroine mixed signals

so it’s either going to be an eye-roller or awesome

J:  well, I’ll give this one a shot if you end up liking it

I’m interested enough in the premise

When’s Kate SeRine’s next one come out again?

M:  August 1, I think

J:  that’s not soon enough

M: You could buy it now, and it will show up as soon as it’s released.

J: Ooh, good idea!

brb


Book Review: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Guest Review by Tiff Nichols

Book review I've Got Your NumberEvery once in a while, a gal needs something light to read—a good, funny romance with endearing characters, hilarity, and hijinks. When I find myself pining for a fun read that really pulls me in, I turn to one of my favorite authors of romantic comedies, Sophie Kinsella. You might recognize her as the author of the popular Shopaholic series, but Kinsella has written quite a few hilarious standalone novels as well. The one I read most recently is I’ve Got Your Number.

Sophie Kinsella is a champ at creating lovable characters, and she doesn’t disappoint here. I adored Poppy Wyatt from the first chapter. She’s a bright, caring, and witty physiotherapist in London who is all set to marry Magnus Tavish, the man of her (and many other girls’) dreams. Like most of Kinsella’s female leads, Poppy finds herself the heroine in a comedy of errors.

During an afternoon tea with her girlfriends, Poppy manages to lose both her heirloom engagement ring and her cell phone in quick succession. As luck would have it, she finds a discarded phone in a trash bin. Poppy grabs the phone in a panic and gives the number to the hotel’s employees, who have promised to keep an eye out for her ring.

The hijinks begin immediately. Turns out the phone belonged to successful businessman Sam Roxton, whose personal assistant chucked the phone into the trash after abruptly quitting her job. Poppy convinces Sam to let her keep the phone until the hotel calls to tell her they’ve found her engagement ring. She soon finds herself immersed in Sam’s electronic life—both business and personal. Sam, of course, is none too happy about her snooping, but Poppy, with her wit, common sense, and desire to help in every situation, eventually becomes invaluable to Sam.

It was fun to watch the unconventional alliance develop between Poppy and Sam. They go from complete strangers, a bit annoyed at one another and reluctantly sharing a cell phone, to acquaintances who give each other advice via text and phone conversations.

The story is fun, the characters are endearing, and the laughs are abundant. There’s enough mystery on all fronts to keep you guessing throughout. Also, there are footnotes, a clever nod to Poppy’s distinguished and scholarly in-laws-to-be. (“Magnus says footnotes are for things which aren’t your main concern but nevertheless hold some interest for you. So. This is my footnote about footnotes.”) They’re filled with fun little tidbits that are intended as asides to the reader, e.g. “What kind of movie starts with a mother fish and all her little glowy eggs being eaten by a shark, FFS? It’s supposed to be for children.”

If you’re looking for a serious read that you can really think about, a protagonist who will be a role model for the ages, or something to satisfy your feminist side, this is one of the last books I’d recommend. But if you’re like me and enjoy the occasional jaunt to the land of “chick lit,” then I highly recommend I’ve Got Your Number. I give the book five monkeys, because anything that makes me stay up all night giggling and reading is worth it.

Book Review I've Got Your Number

About the Book

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill, but in the panic that follows, het phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents, she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

About the Author

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as Twenties Girl, Remember Me?, The Undomestic Goddess, and Can You Keep a Secret? She lives with her husband and children in London, UK.

About the Reviewer

Tiffany Nichols is a writer, editor, and avid reader who lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband and two dogs.  She enjoys music, crocheting, craft beers, and not sharing her cell phone with strangers. You can find her at WriteEditRepeat.com.


J to tha M: What We’re Reading

Discover New Books

bad hockey romance

© Orangeline | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

J: I read a book last night

I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t sleep

so on I read

it was cute

tired trope, but still cute

M: Oh, yes?

J:  I liked the hero so much I kept going

Falling for Her Fiance by Cindi Madsen

one of those BFFs turned lovers while pretending to be engaged things

M:  I’m not a huge fan of the fake marriage or engagement trope

but I am willing to overlook a lot if I like the hero

J:  he was the everyguy

and the heroine was one of those girls I couldn’t get mad at

she had her personal issues, her reasons for holding back, but they weren’t the usual madness

they were more family and financial, which was a breath of fresh air

of course, there was past-love drama

but they weren’t villains

and the hero, adorable and likeable, just kind of fell softly

hints at how he was protective of her before realizing his feelings

how he’d drop everything for her, but not in a whipped, she-demands-it way

M:  ooh, I do like that

J:  so yeah. They were very likeable

I rooted for them

and she spends most of the story thinking he’s still in love with his ex and tries to do the right thing by letting him go

because, believe it or not, his ex is actually a nice person

M:  that’s a nice change

J:  see?

there wasn’t a thing about it that made me >.<

even as used as the trope may be

M:  I can read it if it’s done well and with originality.

make me believe, you know?

J:  yes

then there was Kathryn Quick’s Ineligible Bachelor

Also another BFF turned lovers

also cute and well done

also an adorable hero

though there was some “we hate skinny bitches”

but it worked, because, well, who doesn’t believe women who go on reality shows are looking for attention?

M:  that sounds fun and different

J:  it was cute

you know me and my fluffcloud

don’t mess with it

M:  I do tend to take a blowtorch to your fluffcloud sometimes

J:  you do

M:  I read a couple this week, but there were issues – suspension of disbelief, editing, the slightly overdone/predictable/typical dramz

but they had all the feels and really swoony heroes

Listed by Noelle Adams and Translation of Love by Alice Montalvo-Tribue

I think one was 99 cents and one was free

so, worth the shot

J:  ohhhhhh, Listed. A bucket-list marriage

bucket-list books are always iffy

M:  The heroine suffers from a mysterious virus that will kill her in 3 months

hence the suspension of disbelief. it was a little convenient, but it was explained better than I’d anticipated later in the book

J: and a reformed bad boy

fully reformed or just simmering under the surface?

M:  Oh, yes, the hero – Paul – was great

and it wasn’t insta-love or sex, but nicely developed

and he was just super swoony

super rich, of course, also convenient

but the story was pretty well-written and had a lot of feels despite that

J:  did you finish Elizabeth Hunter’s new one – Blood and Sand – already?

M: Almost done. I’ll finish this afternoon

seeeexyyy

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but yeah

I really like. That was my winner of the week, hands down

J: Also, August can’t get here soon enough for the next Kate SeRine

M: Hah – so you liked the first two in the series?

J:  jeebus, yes

M:  I love her imagination

J:  seriously

I want to roll around in it

plus her heroes are delicious

utterly

M:  They are. So sexy and masculine without being all Alphaholey

J:  yes! gah

Nate in RED was just so

so

*shiver*

dangerous and dark and sweet and…

I loved Seth in the second book, but for some reason, Nate spoke to me

the whole loving from afar thing always gets me

M:  Nate was such a perfect balance of studly and vulnerable without going too far in either direction

it’s hard to hit that perfect balance in a romance hero

how we like to see men that are sensitive but still *men*

and it seems I’ve read too many lately that have been way wrong

J:  hahahaha

the sobbing hockey player?

M:  ugh

I hate to speak ill of anyone’s hard work, I really do

especially when I know other readers are enjoying it, even if I didn’t

but…yes. I had to bail when the hero is on his bedroom floor in a ball sobbing and clutching the ring he was about to give the heroine moments before The Big Misunderstanding

and the hero’s sister, because she’s mad he hasn’t called her in two months, kicks him in the gut so hard he spends the rest of the scene puking

O.O

and >.<

Who does that?

J: I know you want me to read and form my own opinions, but life’s too short

M:  Well, a lot of people really like it, and that’s cool. It just wasn’t for me. I was barely hanging on until that point, but that was my “I’m out” moment

I don’t mind some Misunderstandings, as long as they’re somewhat reasonable and believable

but when they make me throw my hands up and be all “normal people do not DO that!”

but again, I do realize a lot of the time that’s just me

I have a tendency to, you know, ask questions, listen, and talk to people before I throw a total conniption and refuse to have any contact with them for months

J:  exactly

M:  although I haven’t had a good conniption in a while.

brb


Book Review: Vigilant by Angel Lawson

Guest Review by Michelle Schaffer

Book review for Vigilant by Angel LawsonThe Vigilant was a very interesting story. The story never lagged, it was full of twists. I enjoyed the characters, especially the main character. This is a book that I would purchase and would read again. I very much enjoyed this book and I like how the author developed the story.

The story focuses on the life of Ari Grant, a caseworker for troubled youths. Ari is caught in an armed robbery and rescued by the Vigilante as the book begins. The Vigilante is known around Glory City to come to the rescue during time of need. Ari receives the benefit of the Vigilante more than once, at just the right time. We follow Ari’s life as she struggles to help the kids assigned to her, struggling what to do for them to overcome a city that seemed to have given up on them. All the while suffering personal turmoil due to the livelihood, in which the Vigilante steps in. The plot twists and turns, in unexpected ways. I had part of the story figured out early on while waiting for our main character to figure it out. Though there were a few turns in the story that were completely unexpected. It is well developed and easy to follow.

I really adored the superhero line of the story in which someone is watching over everyone, waiting in the wings at a time of need. But what I relished was the development of the main character Ari. I was captivated with the writing, watching Ari survive what life gives her, how she copes with life with her tattoo habits and late night clubbing and the relationships she fosters in her life especially with her roommate Oliver. I simply love her. She isn’t perfect, far from it. The best compliment I can give is she is real and written so beautifully.

My hesitation on giving this book five monkey review is the editing. I would be completely engrossed in the story, anxiously reading the next development, just to be pulled out by an editing error. The book has some errors, not on every page, just enough to frustrate me. One error being the wrong character name in which I went back and reread several pages to ensure I wasn’t mistaken. However these errors shouldn’t hinder you from reading this book, it is worth it! The story closes leaving the door open for more opportunities to continue the story, but not leaving unanswered questions. I sincerely hope the author continues the story, I know I would read a sequel!

Book Review Vigilant by Angel Lawson

 

About the Book

Ari Grant spends her days helping the troubled youth of Glory City, and her nights trying to feel something other than the cold numbness that has settled in her bones. For years, she satisfies this urge with trips to the tattoo parlor or late night clubbing, but everything changes when she becomes a victim of an armed robbery.

She manages to escape notice from the gunman, a former client, but only because she’s saved by Glory City’s own Vigilante. A hooded man who has impeccable timing when it comes to those in need.

It seems Ari isn’t the only one trying to save lost souls or looking for a life outside their job. She’s caught the attention of Nick Sanders, a handsome attorney at juvenile court. Solid and steady, he seems the perfect fit, but Ari has developed an obsession with Davis, the mysterious and sexy director of a local fight club that rehabilitates delinquent boys.

Each of these men fight for the less fortunate, but not everyone has altruistic motives. When Ari’s female clients begin to disappear, she can’t figure out who to trust. Soon enough it becomes obvious that while Ari watches over the kids of Glory City, someone else has taken to watching over her.

About the Author

Angel Lawson lives in Atlanta with 2 mini-superheroes, one big-superhero wannabe and a growing herd of pets. She spend her days creating art out of words, glue and glitter while chasing away zombies, serial killers and ghosts at night. She is the author of FanGirl, The Wraith Series and an adult romance, Serial Summer. The third book in the Wraith series will be released in December 2013. Follow Angel Lawson on her WebsiteTwitter, and Facebook.

About the Reviewer

Michelle is a lover of books, all shapes and sizes, but a big sucker for a great romance and the search for a new fictional boyfriend! When not taking care of three demanding persons in her home, one being the man she married and the other two co-created with her husband, she works full time in a job that pays the bills. She dreams of down time to lose herself in another book since she has more books on her TBR list than she does food in her refrigerator.