Sunday, September 22, 2013

To All the Rakes I've Loved Before by Anne Barton

Lord Stephen Brookes and Amelia Wimple

To All the Rakes I've Loved Before (Honeycote book 1.5)

By Anne Barton

Book Blurb:
After being jilted by her former beau, Miss Amelia Wimple retreated to her Mayfair town house and her ever-growing collection of gossips rags. Now, almost two years later, not even her beloved cousins, Rose and Olivia Sherbourne, can persuade her to give love another chance. But an unexpected midnight caller may open her heart once more.

Lord Stephen Brookes is the prince of pleasure, the duke of decadence-and it seems his exploits have finally caught up with him. When Stephen comes to Amelia seeking refuge, she can’t deny him . . . or the intense desire he sparks. As he attempts to heal her broken heart, they indulge in a private passion unlike anything either has experienced. Stephen knows sweet, sensual Amelia is meant to be his one and only. Now, he will do whatever it takes to convince her that a rake really can change his ways.

Very pretty cover. I was totally drawn by To All the Rakes I've Loved Before by it's beautiful cover. Well okay, the .98 price tag at Amazon and the good reviews was another. 

Unfortunately, the story did nothing for me at all. I thought for .98 I'd give a "new to me" author a try. I felt unsatisfied with the story and a whole lot of "meh". To All the Rakes I've Loved Before is a novella and is book 1.5 in the series but you can read as a stand alone without any issues at all. 

I was very confused at the title. I didn't get it. Amelia Wimple, the protagonist, was engaged a prior two years before to when this story takes place. Unfortunately she was jilted on that engagement. That was it. That was the extent of the men in her past. The man she was engaged to at the time wasn't even a rake so I felt the title was misleading. I was expecting a feisty lady who didn't want to settle down or something. 

Now Lord Stephen Brookes was a rake by reputation but all of a sudden, overnight, without any preamble leading up to his decision, he is through with being a gambling rake and wants to settle down with a wife, take on loads of estate responsibility, pay off his hefty gambling debts and even have children. I fear that is the issue with novellas; not enough time for a back-story for his predicament to warrant a change. 

He is beaten badly and rescued by his dear friend (who just happens to be the man that jilted Amelia's engagement dreams) and ends up at Amelia's house (of all places) to be nursed back to health. The ex-fiance friend is squeamish at the sight of blood and leaves Amelia and Stephen alone. Stephen's eyes are swelled shut and it even looks like one eyeball is protruding out of the socket and yet Amelia thinks he is so handsome and a maid wants to hang around him because he is so good looking????? 

The story goes on with unlikeliness after another and finally I decided it was just a novella and with all these great ratings, I must be missing something so I kept reading onward  I also must mention next issue (because this is a huge pet peeve with me) the ebook finished and it was only at 70%. I was sure that there was more to come. It didn't. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Possible Early Release of Unattainable by Madeline Sheehan

Is anyone else as addicted to this series as I am!?!?! 

Occasionally a book series rocks your world and this series by Madeline Sheehan does it for me. Its like a drug people. A DRUG!

Anyhow, Madeline Sheehan posted today that if she gets her Facebook "LIKES" up by another 1000, she will release Unattainable early! EEEEARLY people, early!!To quote Madeline,  
" 13,752 LIKES...Cage and Tegen, Dirty and Ellie...and a side of Deuce..."

I'll make this easy for you, here is Madeline Sheehan's Facebook page. Madeline posts excepts, makes great book recommendations, shares giveaway posts and does all around hilarious posts. Okay well I find them humourous. 

So get going. :) 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon

Roger's parents
Jerry & Marjorie (Dolly) 

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows

By Diana Gabaldon

Book Blurb:
Available for the first time as an exclusive eBook in this original Outlander novella, Diana Gabaldon reveals what really happened to Roger MacKenzie Wakefield’s parents. Orphaned during World War II, Roger believed that his mother died during the London Blitz, and that his father, an RAF pilot, was killed in combat. But in An Echo in the Bone, Roger discovers that this may not be the whole story. Now, in “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows,” readers finally learn the truth.

Okay I admit, as I do with all Diana Gabaldon books, I really don't know how to classify A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows. It's not really a romance but the story is romantic. It is definitely historical and it has the trademark sci-fi fantasy. 

I finished reading Diana Gabaldon's Echo in the Bone for a third time and I really wanted to read what happened to Roger's parents. I actually bought the hardcover, Songs of Love and Death just to read their story. Turns out if I had just waited, I could have just purchased the ebook alone. Oh well, I have some anthology reading sometime if I feel like it. 

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows was wonderful. I had no idea how it was going to turn out nor what Ms Gabaldon had in store for Roger's parents. I was not disappointed at all. 

A Leaf of the Wind of All Hallows could be read as a stand alone but I don't think you'd understand the significance of certain parts and you'd just think that there was possibly some odd parts to the story. Perhaps it would make you curious about the Outlander series. 

I am so entwined into the Outlander series and their characters that it actually breaks my heart that Roger will never learn of the actual outcome of what really happened that fretful day when he lost his mother during the bomb raid in World War two. Or shall I rephrase that and say, that Roger will not know the extension of what happened the day he lost his mother in that air raid. 

The story does answer some long awaited questions and just makes me pine for the next Outlander book. 

Teasers: raw sapphire to the rescue, a mother's love, the return of Frank Randall, Roger ends up waaay back in time

Monday, September 16, 2013

Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey

Keri Daniels and Joe Kowalski's book

Exclusively Yours (Kowalski book 1)

by Shannon Stacey

Book Blurb:
When Keri Daniels’ editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.

Joe’s never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he’s intrigued to hear Keri’s back in town and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he’ll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.

He proposes an outrageous plan - for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she’s worked too hard to walk away from her career.

But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe’s sister is out to avenge his broken heart and Keri hasn't ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri &
Joe 2gether 4ever

I was lucky enough to have picked up Exclusively Yours for free quite awhile ago on Amazon Kindle. I had it sit for a long time on my TBR (to be read list) until the right moment came along to read. I had just finished a suspense romance and then I read an awesome historical romance and I was craving a sweet contemporary story that would leave me smiling. Shannon Stacey totally delivered! I am still smiling. 

I am a total sucker for a romance that started way back when the protagonists were teenagers. I am also a total sucker for a romance novel where the protagonists are almost forty and mature but playful. So I just knew that Exclusively Yours was right up my alley. 

Let me start with Keri. I loved Keri and I could relate to her often. I personally hate camping and all that is associated with camping. With Exclusively Yours taking place almost entirely during a huge family camping trip I could understand all that she experienced. Complete with tents, cabins, campers, RVs and ATVs, there was no shortage of sticky marshmallows, rain, shared bathhouses and camp fires; I loathed it all. So every time the city slicker Keri had to endure a communal bathhouse for a shower, an uncomfortable bed or stinking bug spray, I was right there with her. It was fun to read about but I sure have no desire to experience it. 

The Kowalski family are a riot. They provided great comic relief but of course the quiet Joe Kowalski was my favourite. Joe is a great character because he is just an ordinary guy. No major alpha thing going on. No bulging muscles or He-man attitude. He is a very successful writer who loves his entire family and in terms of scandal, Joe is rather boring. In fact, I found him rather sentimental in regards to all his teen-aged memories of Keri. Although they were only eighteen (and I have kids this age) it appears that Keri and Joe's romance was pretty deep. 

Joe was a softy and it is great to read about a beta male every now and then. Their kindled romance made for an awesome read and if you love a story about second chances or a more mature romance with a real life edge, Exclusively Yours is right for you. 

There are a lot of secondary character stories included in Exclusively Yours as well. The story had a huge mixture of different types of marriage relationships. I think it would be a great romantic comedy movie. 

Teasers: sister with an attitude, rooter tail, a question for a question, family is everything

Saturday, September 14, 2013

It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long

Thomasina de Ballesteros and Jonathan Redmond's book

It Happened One Midnight (Pennyroyal Green book 8)

by Julie Anne Long

Book Blurb:More than one beautiful woman’s hopes have been dashed on the rocky shoals of Jonathan Redmond’s heart. With his riveting good looks and Redmond wealth and power, the world is his oyster—until an ultimatum from his father and a chilling gypsy prophesy send him hurtling headlong toward a fate he’ll do anything to avoid: matrimony.

Intoxicating, elusive Thomasina de Ballesteros has the bloods of London at her feet. But none of them knows the real Tommy—the one with a shocking pedigree, a few too many secrets, and a healthy scorn for rakes like Jonathan.

She is everything Jonathan never wanted. But on one fateful midnight, he’s drawn into Tommy's world of risk, danger…and a desire he’d never dreamed possible. And suddenly he’s re-thinking everything...including the possibility that succumbing to prophesy might just mean surrendering to love.

I swear I say this every time I read a new Pennyroyal Green book by Julie Anne Long but I think It Happened One Midnight is my new favourite. 

Each of the book's storylines are so unique and It Happened One Midnight is just as captivating and as original as the other novels. As always, the characters are immensely likable and I could read their conversations and banter all day. Their dialogue is the magic that these Pennyroyal Green gems have me so addicted. 

Jonathan and Tommy are such a perfect match. They both have drive, ambition and are very loyal. Tommy never forgot where she came from and she made it her life's goal to help children in need. Jonathan, born privileged, moved passed his silver spoon upbringing and started to get behind Tommy's causes. Her passion became his passion and they were quite a pair together battling child labour. 

In previous Pennyroyal books, a gypsy predicted that Jonathan would have ten children and this time around, the gypsy upped the prediction to a hundred. At first it was silly but as the story progressed, knowing that he was going to be "Mr. Friend" to possibly hundreds of children, it just made my heart flutter. 

I hope we get constant updates in Pennyroyal books about their progress.

Teasers: collywobbles, Mr. Friend, Boom, decks of cards

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Honor Unraveled by Elaine Levine

Ivy Banks and Kit Bolanger's book

Honor Unraveled (Red Team book 3)

By Elaine Levine

Book Blurb:Love Isn’t a Battle…
Kit Bolanger, ex-spec ops soldier, has followed the trail of an international drug lord back to his childhood town, the one place he swore never return to. He and his team of terrorist hunters are the only thing standing between the town’s residents and the evil threatening them. It doesn’t help to know that she’s here—the woman who betrayed his trust and shredded his heart. 
…It’s a War and He’s Offering No Quarter
Deciding to put roots down, Ivy Banks has brought her daughter home to the sleepy ranching community of Wolf Creek Bend, Wyoming—the one place where she was certain she’d never run into her high school flame. But he’s back, fighting a global enemy and home-grown terrorists in a hidden war that puts their lives and their hearts in jeopardy. He was bad news in high school, and he’s even worse news now. 
Surrendering to him is not an option…but it’s the only thing he’ll accept.

I love this series. Honor Unraveled is the 3rd book in the Red Team series and they are not stand alone books. It had been only a short while since I finished book 2 and I still needed a refresher on who was who in the story. It didn't take long but if you are picking up Honor Unraveled for the first time without reading the first two books, my guess is that you'd be very confused. I am still confused with the cowboy themed book covers. These stories are not cowboyish in the slightest. 

Of the three books, Honor Unraveled was my least favourite. Not that I didn't like it because I did. I couldn't wait to dive into the story because the author, Elaine Levine had done a great job setting up Kit and Ivy in the previous stories. I love a story where the couple have a history attached and Ivy and Kit's background go all the way to when they were teens. 

Honor Unraveled continues to give the readers snippets and a great lead-way into the next exciting book. The characters are nicely set up and I am already excited to read the fourth book whenever it comes out next. 

The story-line is not as suspenseful as I was hoping but there is definitely a great story here. There is a whole lot going on with this Red Team but it is fairly easy to keep track of all the swirling plots. I also love that there are more than one story being told. The plot is growing bigger and bigger and the big bad villain is yet to be revealed  Love it!

The secondary cast continues to interest me and I eagerly await their stories. 

Why I didn't love Honor Unraveled as much as the other two books is that Kit and Ivy were beginning to get on my nerves. Ivy took a really long time to dwell on the past and when she finally was coming around, Kit decides to do what Ivy was afraid of all along and send her and their daughter away. It was near the end of the book and I am sure I grunted in frustration at that point. So cliche and I knew it was coming. I was just hoping the story wouldn't go there. 

A new character, Selena was introduced. Why do bad ass heroines have to be big bitches? I couldn't stand her. There are a number of super cool bad ass heroines that don't have this major "alpha man" thing going on. I can name a number of tough women in fiction that are a part of all men teams that don't come across so aggressive and with an attitude the side of Mt Everest. A woman can be capable without having to be over the top tough. She can be really smart and a great fighter without the attitude. 

The other element of Honor Unraveled that made me cringe was the constant bad parenting. In the first two stories I understood how crucial the bad parenting was to the plot but I felt that Ivy's situation with her parents was a huge leap. Not to sure about Ivy having to live in a car (for 3 years) and then having to give the car back to her parents. I get that her parents were not happy about her teen pregnancy and perhaps some parents would kick their daughter out but government agencies can step in to help.I wanted to just go with it but it was a big leap to go with. 

Teasers: tearful graduation, three date try, cool ghost town, awesome town fight

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Free! Free! Love Letters Volume 1 Anthlogy

Just heard the good news that Love Letters Volume 1 is on sale for the special low price of FREE!!

Just click on the Love Letters Volume 1 to link you to Amazon.