Monday, May 4, 2015

Review of Heart's Desire (Healing Hearts #1) by T.J. Kline

"You're a tought nut to crack, Jessie Hart." - Nathan

Heart’s Desire
Series: Healing Harts # 1
Author: T.J. Kline
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Source: Edelweiss

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo
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If you could have anything, do anything… what would it be?

Jessie Hart has a soft spot for healing the broken, especially horses and children, but her business is failing and bankruptcy is looming. The one man who can save Heart Fire Ranch is the last man she wants to take advice from - financial expert Nathan Kerrington - the same man who broke her heart eight years ago.

Nathan Kerrington has it all, except the one thing he’d wanted most - Jessie. Now that he’s finally freed himself from his corrupt family, he wants to make amends. When he’s called in to save Jessie’s ranch, he sees his chance to win her back - if only he can prove to her that she can trust him with her heart…


T.J. Kline kicks off her brand new series with an adorable second chance romance between Jessie and Nathan, two characters that aren't quite looking for love, but find it anyway. T.J. has a knack for writing western/cowboy style romances that are just plain fun to read. I loved her Rodeo Queen series, so of course I leaped at the chance to read Heart's Desire. I don't know why, but it reminded me a little like a Harlequin romance, circa 1990's. I was a Harlequin fiend during the mid-90's, so for me, that is a very good thing. I loved Heart's Desire. Jessie and Nathan were fantastically wounded. Poor Jessie felt as if she was born a failure. She has her brother jumping to every conclusion imaginable before enlisting Nathan's help. Hoping for the chance to redeem himself in the eyes of his former best friend and the girl whole stole his heart, Nathan agrees to help them pull the ranch out of financial distress. I liked the pacing of their relationship. It starts off slow as takes awhile for Jessie to let her guard down long enough for Nathan to prove that he's changed, as it should. Each time Jessie's walls drop, he's there to support her and show her that her dreams are valid. He wants the best and will do anything for her. This is why I love second chance romances. The connection between Jessie and Nathan was fabulous, even when she fought it. 

I love the first book in a new series. It is a new world opening up with characters that I can't wait to meet. The secondary characters in Heart's Desire are a hoot, especially Bailey. That girl is a firecracker that is going to keep everyone on their toes. T.J.'s characters are tough, never afraid of a little hard work. They are always strong and independent, with families that will always band together when one of their own needs help. The writing is a mix of sweet with a touch of sexy. And her heroes... Yum! Giddy up, cowgirl!



T. J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and rodeo queen competitions since the age of 14, She has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She has had several articles about rodeo published in the past in small periodicals as well as a more recent how-to article for RevWriter. She is also an avid reader and book reviewer for both Tyndale and Multnomah.

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Clean Sweep ARC Challenge - May 2015


Like most book reviewers, I have a rather large collection of ARCs that are waiting for me to read. Waiting? More like lurking around the corner waiting to pounce when I'm not looking. When I saw this challenge on the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity and challenge myself to read them. I don't know which ARCs I'm going to tackle first, so whatever catches my fancy shall be read (in addition to ARCs I already have scheduled).

So, without further ado, shall we check out the rules?

  • Link-up
  • Add button to your blog (optional)
  • ARC’s must be read between May 1st and May 31st, 2014
  • Challenge starts and ends at midnight in your local time zone
  • All ARCS/finished copies that were provided by publisher/author are eligible. They can be in any format (eBook, physical, audio)Release date doesn’t matter
  • Post start-up post with goals (can be posted during event)
  • Tweet using hashtag #CleanSweepARC
  • You do not have to post review on blog during the month of May. Just provide a link to Goodreads showing read May 1 to 31st with a two sentence review.
  • Twitter Party Wednesday May 13th 7pm (EST) #CleanSweepARC
  • Participate in at least one challenge.
  • The Participant Giveaway will include entries for books read (1 book entry a day allowed on giveaway), posting about challenge, start up/results post (can be combined), having button on your sidebar, participation in Twitter party, entering challenges and for following hosts.
  • Grand Prize- One winner will receive a new release of their choice (can be audible, novel or gift card) valued at up to 20.00 US dollars. Open internationally.
  • Challenges will close @ 11:59 pm EST on May 31st. Participant Giveaway will close on June 3 at 11:59 (CST)

Challenges:

Friday, May 1, 2015

Review of A Smile as Sweet as Poison (Surface Tension #2) by Helena Maeve

"A girl's gotta have her secrets." - Hazel

A Smile as Sweet as Poison
Series: Surface Tension #2
Author: Helena Maeve
Publisher: Totally Bound
Release Date: April 10, 2015*
Source: publisher for review

Buy Links: Amazon* - B&N* - Totally Bound
*Title is available on April 10th only on the publisher's website via early release. It will be available with other retailers in May.
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Series Info

When fiery passion can turn on a dime, how far would you dare to gamble your heart?

When proof of a college indiscretion comes back to haunt her, Hazel’s whole world threatens to crumble under the threat of discovery.

Recently tangled in a three-way relationship with her best friend’s one-time lover and his prickly roommate should’ve turned Hazel’s hair prematurely gray. Sure, it’s not the sweeping fairy tale romance she might have imagined as a little girl, but it might just be the next best thing. Dylan and Ward are not only the right blend of domineering and considerate, they also seem eager to treat Hazel to a comfortable life. Whether it’s in the bedroom or the playroom, they are devoted to her pleasure and enthusiastic to help enact her deepest, darkest fantasies.

But while navigating the uncertain waters of such a complicated arrangement proves easier than expected, other areas of Hazel’s life aren’t so well anchored. As she struggles to keep a shameful secret that could irrevocably change the way Dylan and Ward see her, the tethers of the past call Hazel to home and hearth and the artful lure of an old flame.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of bondage, BDSM and impact play, as well as a scene of rape fantasy.


I must admit, I am not a big fan of serials. If I love the story and I'm invested in it, the last thing I want is to wait however long for the release of the next segment. That feeling, however, never once entered my mind when I finished the first novella in the Surface Tension series. I am hooked on this serial and I don't even mind the break between novellas. Now I'm not going to go into too much detail about A Smile as Sweet as Poison because I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I will say this... The character development is amazing. I love the transformation the three main characters went through between the first novellas in the serial, especially Ward. He's definitely emerging from his shell and becoming more comfortable in his relationship with Dylan and Hazel. Dylan goes through a minor transformation, while Hazel is forced to face her ex-boyfriend. I loved A Smile as Sweet as Poison. It was just as sizzling as the first novella, especially one scene that damn near melted my Kindle.  There is one element of the relationship that has yet to appear in the serial (again, I won't say what it is because it can be a minor spoiler) that I hope will happen in the last novella, The Face of Scandal. I can't wait... 


A self-confessed food geek and web aficionado, Helena Maeve has always been globe trotter with a fondness for adventure. Recently, much to the consternation of her fellow travelers  she has begun putting to paper the stories she’s thought up in her excursions. When she isn’t writing romance and erotic novels, she can usually be found in an airport or on a plane, furiously penning in her trusty little notebook.

Helena's Links

Coming Soon!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review of Catching Cassidy (Harborside Nights #1) by Melissa Foster

"I don't want power over your life. I just want to be in it." - Wyatt Armstrong

Catching Cassidy
Series: Harborside Nights # 1
Author: Melissa Foster
Publisher: World Literary Press
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Source: author for review

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo - Google Play
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Wyatt Armstrong never imagined that instead of celebrating his college graduation, he and his twin sister would be dealing with the death of their parents.  Then again, Wyatt had never been one to think past tomorrow. He heads to their summer home in Harborside, Massachusetts, with his best friend Cassidy Lowell in tow, to deal with his parents’ death and to try to figure out his next step.

Six foot two, infuriatingly handsome, and flirtatious, Wyatt Armstrong has always been there for Cassidy, helping her pass her classes and fend off unwanted advances, while driving her insane with his one-night stands—but that’s what best friends are for, isn’t it? Having each other’s backs. There was never any doubt that she would accompany him to his family’s summer home—but she never expected to begin seeing Wyatt as more than a friend. Or has she been ignoring her feelings all along?

It’s impossible to ignore the sizzling heat between them as Wyatt and Cassidy get even closer, but Cassidy knows Wyatt’s past, and she has a real job to begin in the fall. Wyatt may be a sure thing for the summer, but Cassidy needs more. For the first time in his life, Wyatt is forced to look toward the future if he doesn’t want to lose the one woman who’s shared his past and owns his heart.


Wow... Another Melissa Foster book that I absolutely loved, but with a twist this time. I have a blossoming love for new adult romances. I don't know what it is about them that I devour, but I can't seem to get enough of them. Is it the angst? What about the raw emotion? Or maybe it is just being able to follow characters that are still trying to figure out life. Now add my love for NA to my love for Melissa Foster and, holy cow, I was in romance heaven, The emotional ride Melissa took me on during Catching Cassidy was unbelievable. The new group of characters that are introduced in this series are lovable, each of them trying to find their way. I fell in love with both Wyatt and Cassidy from the moment I met them. After the death of his parents, Wyatt is left stunned. Suddenly, he's forced to grow up and take over his father's bar. If that wasn't enough, he has also discovered new feelings towards Cassidy, his best friend who might be leaving him at the end of the summer. Not able to deal with losing another person in his life, Wyatt stumbles more times then he probably cares to remember. Cassidy is just as lost as Wyatt. Her heart is leading her one way, but her parents are forcing her in another. It is only when they stop and take a few moments of just being with each other do they find the bravery needed to make their own path in life. 

I am so excited to see how Melissa mores forward with the Harborside Nights series. It is quite a departure from her much loved Bradens series, but it is still the same Melissa Foster style that I love. I have a feeling that the next book in the series is going to be a little bit of a challenge for me to read just because it has an element that I've never read in a book, but I am looking forward to seeing Melissa's take on it.






Melissa Foster is an award-winning, International bestselling author. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary CafĂ©. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa's Links




Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review of Sugar on Top (Sugar, Georgia #2) by Marina Adair

"So you think I'm charming, huh?" - Cal McGraw

Sugar on Top
Series: Sugar, Georgia #2
Author: Marina Adair
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central)
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Source: Netgalley

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - iBooks - Google Play
Kobo - BAM

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She's sassy and sweet

The last thing Glory Mann wants is to become chairman of the Miss Peach Pageant in Sugar, Georgia. Spending months hearing nothing but the clinking of pearls and judgment? No thank you! But when Glory is forced to take the rap for a scandal she didn't commit, the judge sentences her to head the committee. Even worse, her co-chairman is rugged, ripped . . . and barely knows she's alive.

He's ready and willing

Single dad Cal McGraw can't take any more drama in his life. After a difficult divorce, his little girl became a boy-crazy teenager and his hands are full. The last thing he needs is to spend his down time with the town bad girl. Glory is pure trouble-tempting and tantalizing trouble. But he can't deny the strong chemistry between them-or how her touch turns him inside out. Now as squabbles threaten to blow up the contest and the town of Sugar itself, Cal must risk everything on the sexy wild card to get a second chance at love . . .


Holy Sweetness, Batman! Marina Adair's Sugar on Top rocked my Kindle. I devoured it in record time and would have gladly stayed on a sugar high if it meant spending more time with sexy as sin Cal McGraw and adorably misunderstood Glory Mann. Seriously, I did not want to leave them. I loved every moment I spent in their company. The chemistry Marina created was phenomenal, not just between Cal and Glory, but also with potential future couples. The raw sexual tension between Cal and Glory was sizzling hot. I loved their progression from an awkward friendship at the beginning of the book to their declarations of adoration at the end. I loved watching them drift closer and closer until their first kiss... Swoon!! Sugar on Top was everything I wanted after I fell in love with the first book in Adair's Sugar, Georgia series. I laughed as they fumbled along. I giggled as the four girls met and plotted against the crazy grandmas. I cried as Glory fought to pull herself together after the inevitable monkey wrench towards the end of the book. Everything else in between left a big smile on my face. Swoon!

I usually don't read the included excerpts of the next book in the series because it'll just make me want the next book now, but I did this time... Charlotte and Jace... Yes, please!! And I've got everything crossed for a Spenser and Jackson book. Please, Marina? There are some major fireworks between those two... Until then, I seriously need to go back and read Marina's other works. More to look forward to. Yay!!



Marina Adair is a lifelong fan of romance novels. Along with the Sugar series, she is also the author of the St. Helena Vineyard series and the upcoming Shelter Cove series. She currently lives in a hundred-year-old log cabin, nestled in the majestic redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with her husband and daughter. As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive. She also loves to interact with readers and you can catch her on Twitter at @MarinaEAdair or visit her at www.MarinaAdair.com.

Marina's Links


Grand Central Publishing is giving away 11 copies of Sugar on Top. There are two ways you can enter. The first way to enter is to fill out the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win one of 10 copies.

You can also leave a comment on this blog post with a valid email address to be entered win an extra copy that Grand Central is offering to just my blog readers! 

Since this giveaway is sponsored, it is open to residents of US and Canada only.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review of Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch (Valentine Valley #6) by Emma Cane

"Go to sleep, darlin'. We have all the time in the world." - Will Sweet

Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch
Series: Valentine Valley # 6
Author: Emma Cane
Publisher: Avon Books
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Source: Edelweiss

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo
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The only thing hotter than a cowboy...

Math teacher Lyndsay De Luca never surprised anyone-least of all herself-until this summer. First, she secretly published her debut romance novel. Then she started dating Will Sweet, the cowboy of her dreams. And now Lyndsay’s scrambling to hide the juiciest tidbit of all: that the hazel-eyed hero of her steamy fiction is the same guy whose kisses have become her mind-blowing reality.

Is a cowboy in love.

Ever since Will’s high school sweetheart died in a tragic accident, he hasn’t been able to commit to a long-term relationship. Lyndsay is the first woman in years who’s been able to catch-and keep-his attention. She’s fascinated by his work at Sweetheart Ranch, and a glance from her gorgeous brown eyes sends Will’s thoughts wandering. Will she be the one to finally break down the walls around his guarded heart?


Welcome back to Valentine Valley, Colorado!

Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch, the sixth book in Emma Cane's Valentine Valley series, left me with some mixed emotions. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I adore this series and although the one left me wanting more, I still loved re-visiting this crazy little town. Because it left me with jumbled emotions, I'm going to do another bullet-style review focusing on the four aspects of the book that stood out to me the most: characters, relationship, the widows, and the plot.

  • Characters: I loved the characters! Sigh... Poor Will. The death of his high school sweetheart left him so wounded. He blames himself for her death and believes that he doesn't deserve a loving marriage with children, things that she can never have. It takes a lot for Will to break down the wall that surrounded his heart, but once he admits that he's ready to take the chance, he's able to imagine a future with the love of his life. Lyndsay did something I could never do... She knew what she wanted and went for it knowing that her heart could get broken when all was said and done. There's a lot to be said about her determination, not just to become a published author, but also to show Will how much she loves him and is there for him, even if it means having her heart stomped on when they break up.
  • Relationship: The relationship between Will and Lyndsay left me wanting more. I went into the book knowing that their relationship was going to be brief for two reasons. Will avoids commitment and Lyndsay goes into it knowing that it can end at any moment. With that said, I still would have loved more time with them as a couple.
  • The Widows: Yes!! I freaking loved the widows in this book. I am so glad that we finally learn more about the feud between Grandma Sweet and Mrs. Thalberg. I loved watching them battle in the election. These ladies must have been little spitfires as teenagers. A prequel with them would be amazing.
  • Plot: I loved the overall plot. I adore friends-to-lovers romances that take place in small towns with crazy and meddling old women. My issue with the plot is with the pacing of the book. There is a lot happening in the book and, because of the fast pace, I'm pretty sure that this was why I wanted more of the relationship. In all honesty, it almost felt as if the actual relationship didn't have as much focus in the book as I would have liked. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch. It was a fantastic addition to the Valentine Valley series. I just had a couple minor issues with the book that left me with some mixed emotions about the story.




Emma Cane grew up reading and soon discovered that she liked to write passionate stories of teenagers in space. Her love of “passionate stories” has never gone away, although today she concentrates on the heartwarming characters of Valentine, her fictional small town in the Colorado Rockies.

Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and two rambunctious dogs Apollo and Uma.

Emma's Links




Monday, April 27, 2015

Review of Wild With You (Independence Falls #4) by Sara Jane Stone

'Only you, Kat. I'm only wild with you." - Brody Summers

Wild With You
Series: Independence Falls #4
Author: Sara Jane Stone
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Source: Edelweiss

Buy Links: Amazon - Barnes & Noble
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Dr. Katherine "Kat" Arnolds left Oregon and never looked back at the town that failed her as a child. But when a new patient from Independence Falls joins her clinical trial, she returns determined to show everyone in her hometown how she has thrived—including her high school crush.

Brody Summers saves people. For years, he looked out for his younger siblings and ran the family business. Now he works search and rescue. After a failed mission, Brody plans to take an evening off. When a blonde city girl knocks him off his feet, he refuses to walk away from desire. But it doesn't take long for Brody to realize the past is returning to haunt him—and it goes back farther than one wild night.

The last thing Kat wants is a reason to extend her stay in Independence Falls. But she can't escape the memory of Brody's wicked touch. As their passion heats up, Brody wonders if he's falling for the one woman who doesn't need rescuing.


Coming home romance? Check!
Sweet romance between two broken, but lovable characters? Check!
Sizzling chemistry that is so hot it threatens to start a forest fire? Double check!!

Sara Jane Stone's Wild With You is all that and more. Fans of Sara's Independence Falls series met Brody Summers in a previous book. They know that he's all about his family, that he'll go to the ends of the Earth to protect those he loves. Brody has always put his family before his own needs and, because of that, he hasn't had time to fall in love. That all changes when Kat walks back into his life. Although he doesn't recognize her at first, he is immediately taken aback by her beauty and take charge attitude. As a foster child, Kat was often ignored and shuffled off to a different family once the checks stopped coming. After graduation, she left Independence Falls without looking back to become a successful and independent woman. It doesn't take long for Brody to remember Kat as the lonely teenage he once helped with her shoes. And now that she is back in his life, he's determined to prove to Kat that she can love and be loved. 

I adore Sara Jane Stone. She is quickly becoming a new favorite author of mine. Sara's Independence Falls series is amazing. The mix of sweetness and sizzling hot romance is addictive. Her characters are down to earth and so damn lovable. Although I somehow missed the previous book in the series (sorry, Chad!), I fell for Brody back in book two. He is an incredibly strong character. I love how determined he is to protect his family and to rescue those in trouble. The moment he met Kat in high school, his first instinct was to help her in a way that no one else had. He took the time for her out of his schedule and that one moment of kindness stuck with her for years. Kat is so very strong in her own way. She's intelligent and strong-willed. She fought through the unfortunate crap she was dealt with as a child and rose above it. Watching these two characters come together warmed my heart...and raised the temperature more than a few degrees during their sexy times. I'm mad at myself for missing the previous book, but I am on pins and needles for Josh's story. I have a feeling that it is going to be one hell of an emotional ride. 




After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Join Sara Jane’s newsletter to receive new release information, news about contests, giveaways, and more! To subscribe, visit www.sarajanestone.com and look for her newsletter entry form.

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