Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Falling for Owen" Blog Tour

Falling for Owen
The McBrides Book Two
By: Jennifer Ryan
Releasing April 15th, 2014

Blurb
The McBrides of Fallbrook return with reformed bad boy Owen. He'll do whatever he must to protect the woman who's captured his heart. Attorney by day, rancher by night Owen McBride conquered his dark past and made it his mission to help the innocent—even at the expense of a personal life. But when a client's abusive ex-husband targets Owen and his gorgeous neighbor Claire gets caught in the crossfire, his feelings turn anything but professional. The mysterious beauty awakens something in him, and he'll move heaven and earth to keep her safe.
Coffee shop owner Claire Walsh learned the hard way that handsome men aren't to be trusted. Owen may be sexy as hell and determined to take care of her, but she's reluctant to put her heart on the line. His presence in her life puts a target on her back, yet the more time she spends with him, the more she finds she can't help falling for Owen.

Buy Links

Author Info
 JENNIFER RYAN, author of The Hunted Series, writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances. 
Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home, and how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper. 
Please visit her website at www.jennifer-ryan.com for information about upcoming releases.
Find her here
 My Thoughts
      Jennifer Ryan has written one of the cutest westerns I've read in a long time. I fell in loved the characters, and especially enjoyed the complexity each character brought to the story. Ryan does an excellent job with bringing a new perspective to a time honored tradition of romance. Favorite part though? Love love love the secondary characters. The world she has created is inspired and just fabulous. Another great story, I'm excited to see what comes next in the McBride series!

Giveaway 
(Two Digital Copies of THE RETURN OF BRODY MCBRIDE)


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars" By: Codi Gary Review

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Good Girls Don’t Date Rock Stars
By: Codi Gary


Synopsis
Gemma Carlson didn't plan on waking up married.
She also didn't count on running into her old flame—and her son's father-turned-country rock star—Travis Bowers, followed by a night of drunken dares. Apparently one of those involved a ring on her finger and a vow … neither of which she intends to keep. Now with a hangover from hell, this good-girl-gone-bad knows there's just one thing to do: run.
Travis has been all over the world, but Gemma has never been far from his thoughts. So when they had the chance to catch up over a few drinks, he didn't hesitate. Of course, he didn't expect it would lead to marriage, or a runaway bride! Travis finally has a second chance and doesn't plan on losing Gemma again—or the son he didn't know he had. He proposes, albeit belatedly, a date. Or rather, a few. If they can make this marriage work by starting over, he stays. If not …
Gemma's not interested; she's got a son to protect and a heart to heal. But having Travis around could make both a little easier. Still, good girls don't date rock stars . . . right?
My Thoughts
    Gemma finds out the hard way that some things that happen in Vegas, don’t stay in Vegas. When she wakes up with a ring on her finger put there by ex-boyfriend Travis, who just happens to be one of Country’s biggest stars, she panics and drives ten hours straight back to Idaho. How can she tell him she should have believed him and never have left him all those years ago? And the whole business of their son she never told him about is going to be a bit messy.
   So starts Good Girls Don’t Date Rock Stars, with a bit of a bang if you will. Travis, said rock star, fell in love with Gemma as a teenager. In and out of foster homes, he never had a true family and only two loves in his young life, music and Gemma. When life on the road gets the best of them, Gemma and Travis drift apart, with more than a few secrets held back from one another.
    Life has a way of getting the best of us, and with her newest novel, Codi Gary shows us how we can always find a way to make it work. Seemingly insurmountable odds are against both Gemma and Travis, but even through the paparazzi’s lenses, they find a way to love one another again and become a true family.
    One of my favorite things about Gary’s books are the secondary characters. Don’t get me wrong, the main characters are awesome (and some pretty amazing naughty scenes, meow) but she writes the background characters almost as fully as she does everything else. They have personalities, quirks, and you want to read as much as about them as anyone else. From the sassy barista down the road to the computer repairman with a penchant for trout fishing, Gary creates a rich backdrop for her characters to fall in love.
    Codi Gary is one of my new favorite authors. She writes sweets stories with the right amount of spice that are just plain witty and fun. This book can be absolutely read by itself, but if you fall in love with Codi Gary’s book as I have done, be sure to read Things Good Girls Don’t Do.


Rock Canyon Romance
2. Good Girls Don’t Date Rock Stars
3. Bad Girls Don’t Marry Marines (May 20, 2014)


Book Details
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Date of Publication: April 22nd, 2014
ISBN: 978-0062331717
# of pages: 300
Source: Edelweiss - for Review
Challenges

Monday, April 14, 2014

A day with Eloisa James...

This past Monday, I was surprised when I received an e-mail blast announcing that Eloisa James was going to be in St. Louis!

I live smack dab in the middle of Missouri, a bit on the northern side really, so I am almost 3 hours from the STL. But there was no way I was going to let Eloisa visit Missouri and NOT meet her.

A fan of her from my very early romance reading years, I’ve loved everything she’s done. In case you had recently read Julia Quinn’s B&N column, she talks about authors you know just by the tone of their writing. Eloisa is one of those authors for me. Immediately upon picking her books up, I know that I’m going to be transported away from my Midwestern world into the wilds of England. I want to be transported and Eloisa James’ books are guaranteed to do it for me.

So since that exciting Monday, I had been plotting how to get to St. Louis in order to meet her. Calling the library was little help to be quite honest, they didn’t know anything about her. In the week before Eloisa’s visit, I called three different times just wanting a little more information about what was going to happen. Having three different people answer the phone, I got three different responses to her visit. I’m pretty resourceful, so after receiving unsatisfactory answers from the staff members, I went to the author herself!

My dachshund, Daisy Jane 
If you haven’t checked out Eloisa James’ website or her Facebook page, you are definitely missing out. Regularly posting funny tidbits about her travels, writing, and life, I may stalk her FB page a teensy bit. She has a pretty great sense of humor, but I live for her stories about Lucy, the family dachshund. (Since I have my own dachshund, Daisy Jane, I feel like we’re totally bonded)

Anyway, long story short I emailed Eloisa and she told me about her visit. Definitely deciding that I would have to make that long drive, I made sure I was off of work, filled my car with gas, and was ready to go.


Forgive the poor picture quality, I was trying to be a sneaky picture taker
Waking up to get to St. Louis by 9:30, when you know the drive is about 3 hours isn’t a fun experience. Eyes itchy, morning breath, and grumpy attitudes all were present but after a McMuffin from McDonald’s, I settled in for the trip. Easily finding the library when I entered the Lou, I heard laughter coming from downstairs. That was the exact moment I knew I had arrived.

Having never met Eloisa before, I had just experienced her really through social media sites and her pictures in the backs of her books. When I entered the room, a teensy bit late,  I was arrested by the soft spoken, smartly dressed woman at the front. You could easily tell that Eloisa is used to speaking to avid fans, she was completely at ease.

I’ve never been to an author experience like this one before. A group of fans sat in a close circle around Eloisa and anything was open season. No question was off limits and Eloisa was frank and honest with all of her answers.



Here are just a few of my favorite Eloisa tidbits…
  • Her father is Robert Bly, an acclaimed poet, and her mother (Carol) was a short story author
  • She still works as a professor and teaches courses on Shakespeare
  • Eloisa writes with history as a backdrop in many of her stories. Not that this surprised me because I kind of realized it, but I didn’t realize it was true with ALL of her books. As she was talking about incorporating historical elements into her stories, she walked over and picked up four books a local bookseller had on his table. She then systematically went through and described the historical pieces she included and why it was important. My favorite Eloisa James book, When Beauty Tamed the Beast, has the scarlet fever epidemic as a focal point. Again, I might have realized this, but not to the extent that its true, so it was fascinating to hear her speak on it.
  • Several times, people asked her how she manages her time. Her response, act like a man! Believe everything you do is fantastic and put forth your best effort. Also, remember not to spend wasteful time on the internet.
  • I'm so excited!!
    She enjoyed writing, but really, the main reason she began writing fiction was to pay off her student debt.
  • She suggested reading Orange is the New Black (which I also really enjoyed!) if you like memoirs - she loved it.
  • She lived briefly in St. Louis and taught at Washington University before her son turned two.
  • We discussed our mutual love for Julie Garwood
  • Eloisa’s family is planning on going to London to live for a year...and yes, they are taking Lucy!
  • Eloisa writes roughly one book a year
  • Vander’s story will be next up and she’s currently writing his story. (Double woot woot!)

There were a few tidbits that couldn’t leave the room, so I’ll leave those to your imagination. Rest assured though, Eloisa has some pretty amazing things up her sleeves.


After a pretty enlightening Question and Answer session, Eloisa was up for signing books and taking pictures. Now understand, I’m a total fangirl and was calm and collected until I actually got up to meet her. Then I turned into a fast talking uberfan I swore I wouldn’t be, but hey, it was with a New York Times bestselling author, so I think I’m a little justified. I even got a copy of my favorite book signed along with my ereader case.


Intelligent, kind, and incredibly sweet, meeting Eloisa James was everything I could have hoped for. I loved the one on one author experience and really enjoyed actually getting into the thought processes behind the romance. A day I won’t forget, if Eloisa comes to a city near you, I guarantee you, it’s worth the long hours in the car.


Check out my totally glowing reviews of Eloisa's past books -
Three Weeks with Lady X

 
Total fangirl at the moment - but I didn't even care!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Welcome to the 
Brunette Librarian's Blog!
 
I'm so happy to say -
It's Monday!! 
What are you Reading?
 
Graciously hosted by...




What I've Read This Week...
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Crazy Good
By: Rachel Robinson

Before there were bikers, or fighters, or even good old-fashioned jerks, there were Navy SEALs. They put the bad in badass because, well…it’s their job.

Navy SEAL Maverick Hart has everything. Women want him. Grown men idolize him. Little boys want to grow up and be like him. The job, the glory—it’s all his. Not because it’s handed to him…because he works hard for it. The second his sights lock on something, he owns it—or destroys it. Unfortunately he does both at the same time.

Windsor Forbes only takes calculated risks in her profession and in her personal life. After being left at the altar by the only person she’s ever loved, the very last thing she’s looking for is a relationship—especially the insane brand an arrogant Navy SEAL is offering. Hesitant, yet trusting to a fault, she gives in.

She knew she shouldn’t take the chance, especially a second time, but love is irrational and their love is perfect, infallible. Or so she thought…

The downfall to having everything is you have that much more to lose. A man like Maverick can’t have it all without something slipping out of grasp. 


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The Will
By: Kristin Ashley

Early in her life, Josephine Malone learned the hard way that there was only one person she could love and trust: her grandmother, Lydia Malone. Out of necessity, unconsciously and very successfully, Josephine donned a disguise to keep all others at bay. She led a globetrotting lifestyle on the fringes of the fashion and music elite, but she kept herself distant.

While Josephine was trotting the globe, retired boxer Jake Spear was living in the same small town as Lydia. There was nothing disguised about Jake. Including the fact he made a habit of making very bad decisions about who to give his love.

But for Josephine and Jake, there was one person who adored them. One person who knew how to lead them to happiness. And one person who was intent on doing it.

Even if she had to do it as her final wish on this earth.

So that's what I've been up to...
how about you?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"Spin" By: CD Reiss Review

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Spin
By: C.D. Reiss
Synopsis
Mafia capo, Antonio Spinelli blew through my orderly life like a cyclone.
Gorgeous and passionate, with a breathtaking brutality, he put me under his spell the moment he touched me, drawing me into his underworld of risk, violence and betrayal.
And I found, just as this sophisticated savage didn’t trust me, I didn’t trust myself. Something happened to me. Some alchemy from the heat between us.
I discovered I was a savage, too
My Thoughts
     Theresa is in a bit of a tailspin. Having just discovered her fiance has been cheating on her, Theresa isn’t in the mood for any new men in her life. Adrift in her romantic life with a job that is lackluster, Theresa finds herself transformed when she meets Antonio.
     Raw, violent, passionate and emotional, Antonio brings out facets of Theresa she never knew existed. When she discovers that Antonio may be more than just a pretty face, maybe even a crime boss in the mafia, she has to decide if having him in her life is worth the pain she may have to endure or the passion she knows will overrule.
    I have a hard time describing this book. While I finished it, I will admit I almost didn’t. The story itself held promise but the execution of the idea fell short of its mark. I had a hard time figuring out who was talking half the time, so I was continually flipping back to even understand what was happening.
     While the story was fast paced and a superb amount of heat if you know what I mean, the actual tale itself seemed choppy and uneven. It looks like the author is planning two more titles in the series and I’ll probably pick up number two to see what happens. I enjoyed the characters, just not the actual story telling.
Book Details
Publisher: Fido Publishing
Date of Publication: March 12, 2014
# of Pages: 240
ISBN: 9785214636
Source: Personal Purchase

Monday, April 7, 2014

A word with Zara Stoneley...

 Love is a Four Letter Word
By: Zara Stoneley

I am thrilled to welcome erotica author Zara Stoneley to my blog today!

Love Zara was sweet enough to answer some of my questions...so take it away Zara!

Hi, and thanks so much for having me over.

- I'm a librarian so I've gotta ask, what's your favorite library story?

I just love libraries, though I must admit I don’t spend as much time in our local one as I used to. When I was a teenager we were allowed to take four books out at a time and I used to be in the library every week on a Thursday picking out my next set of books. It was in our local library, over thirty years ago, that I discovered JRR Tolkien and ‘Lord of the Rings’ – even I couldn’t finish reading the trilogy in a week, but it was one of the first books that really left a lasting impression on me. Years later I took my son to see the films, and then he bought the books.
When I went to University it was heaven – after being used to a small town library and struggling to find a new book, the massive University library was incredible – I could have moved in and lived there!

- Do you have a library card?

I do, but it doesn’t get used as often as it should.

- Can you tell me a little about where you get your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from lots of different places. I love people watching, which can often trigger ideas. I also get inspiration from places, articles in magazines, pictures, the internet… more or less anything you see or hear can lead to a ‘what if?’, which can lead to a story. The inspiration for ‘Love Is A Four Letter Word’ came from a picture of a tousle haired ‘biker, with a cheeky bad boy grin. What if he bumped into a rich girl from his past, who wasn’t quite the Miss Perfect he always thought she was? And what if that rich girl came to realise that money can’t always buy you want you want?

- Who are some of your favorite authors/genres to read? What are you reading at the moment?

I love reading all kinds of books! I read lots of romances, but I also like thrillers, rom-coms and big beach read bonkbusters. At the moment I’ve just finished a Tilly Bagshawe novel and have moved on to Mandy Baggot’s ‘Made in Nashville’.


EXCERPT
        “Don’t go. I mean, hang around for a bit, will you?” It could have been a residue of adrenalin from being pinned against that wall, but whatever it was her heart was hammering and her body had this strange buzz resonating through it, and she was pretty damned sure it had nothing to do with fear.

He chuckled and the sound fingered its way down her spine. “I don’t think he’ll be rushing back for seconds. So, are you?”

“Am I what?”

“Psycho.”

“I’ll let you decide that.” She took a step closer to him, which just about took her to the spot where she could smell the mix of spice, wood and musk. Earthy. Nice. “Not that it would bother you, I’m sure.”

“Are you now?” He let her close that gulf of ten inches between them, let her reach out to rest a finger on the top of the zip of his leather jacket. Cold metal against warm, the tang of leather and oil layered over the tantalising scent of pure male.

“Very sure. Can I see your ‘bike?”

He looked faintly amused, but from the way his stance had widened and those gorgeous eyes had darkened she knew she had him. Hers for the taking. But he’d kept his hands jammed in his pockets, like he was determined to make her do all the running.

“And there I was thinking it was me you were interested in.”

“I am. You and the bike, together.”

“You’ll have to promise not to rake those heels down the tank.”

It was then that she recognised him. It was the way he said it, that ever so slight judgemental edge to his voice. Jake Harcourt. He’d been like that when he was cocky sixteen. Daring, in control. Leader of the pack. And she’d been the podgy teenage girl in her carefully ironed blouse and spotless flat shoes. If she’d not had a drink or five maybe she’d have clicked earlier, maybe not. It was a lifetime ago. And he wasn’t a lanky tearaway teenager now. He was a man. Boy, had he grown into a man.

Back then was another time, of schoolgirl crushes, of secret Valentine’s cards being pushed into lockers, of wanting the rough tough poster boys and knowing it was a step too far. Then. Bad had been plain bad back then, now it was good.

“I won’t leave a scratch. I promise.”

He raised an eyebrow and just like that he’d gone from a little bit naughty to full on bad, and Georgie felt her throat dry as the anticipation swirled into a knot of excitement in her stomach.

“No scratches at all?”

The smile twitched at her mouth. “Well, not from the heels. And not on the tank.” She rested the very tips of her nails on his jawbone, let them drag across the rough stubble until they rested under his chin, then she leant in, let her breasts rub against the smooth hide of his jacket, closed her teeth around the fullness of his lower lip and pulled back just far enough so that she could glance up, see the look in his eye.


BLURB -
LOVE IS A FOUR LETTER WORD an erotic romance by Zara Stoneley. Published by HarperImpulse a division of Harper Collins Publisher.


Sometimes being bad can be too good to miss...

Take one rich girl who has a thing for the bad boys.

Take one tough guy who wants fun and freedom.

Mix generously with a land dispute and a whole lotta lust…. And what have you got?

Sometimes being bad can be just too good to miss...

BUY LINKS

AUTHOR BIO – ZARA STONELEY
Author Zara Stoneley has been writing stories for just about as long as she’s been reading them. She sold her first erotic novel to Xcite Books in 2012, and since then has had her hot romances accepted by several publishers, including HarperCollins. Her stories have featured on romance and erotic bestseller lists in the US and UK.
Zara divides her time between a country cottage in the UK and a Barcelona apartment, and loves her family, sexy high heels, sunshine, good food and wine, coffee, cats, horses, dogs, music, writing and reading - but not necessarily in that order! She likes her heroes just how she likes her coffee – hot, strong and moreish.

You can find more about Zara at www.zarastoneley.com. Please stop by – she loves to meet new people!

WHERE TO FIND ZARA -
Twitter - @zarastoneley

Check out the rest of the tour by clicking HERE

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Last Breath" By: Jessica Clare & Jen Frederick

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Last Breath

By: Jessica Clare & Jen Frederick

Synopsis

Regan
I never really knew what misery was until the day I was kidnapped and sold for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Two months later, I'm at a brothel in Rio when I meet Daniel Hays. He says he's here to save me, but can I trust him? All I know of him are his sarcastic retorts and his tendency to solve every dispute with his gun. He's also the only safe thing in my world, and I know it's wrong to fall in love with him, but I can't seem to help myself. He says he’ll protect me until his last breath but I don’t know if I should believe him or even if I can.
Daniel
For the last eighteen months, I’ve had one goal: to find my kidnapped sister. I’ve left the Army, turned paid hit man, and have befriended criminals all across the globe. In every brothel I raid or every human trafficking truck I stop, her face is the one I’m desperate to see. In Rio, I find Regan Porter, bruised but not broken and still sane despite her weeks in hell. I should leave her behind or send her home because the last thing either of us needs is to get involved. But with every passing minute, I find I can’t let her go.
My Thoughts
     Last Breath begins a few months after the events of Last Hit take place. Regan is still being held captive in a brothel, yearning to go home but with no way out, she’s almost lost hope. Against her will, Regan fights every man that enters the room but she finds her humanity slowly slipping away. Until the day that Daniel (Nick’s friend from the first book) finds her and fights tooth and nail for her to escape.
     Daniel goes after Regan as a favor to his fellow Hitman, Nick. Daniel’s own sister had been kidnapped several months before, so he understands the ins and outs of how these terrible people operate. Seeking both Regan and his sister, he finds Regan in the slums of Rio. When returning Regan to the United States becomes complicated, they join forces to search Rio for Daniel’s sister.
      If anything, I think I might have enjoyed Last Breath even more than Last Hit and I really loved Last Hit. Daniel is so irreverent and cocky, so when he’s faced with the utter devastation that has become of Regan’s life, he’s at odds with everything he knows to do. I thought the authors did an excellent job of not so much as redeeming him, because he didn’t need that...but they definitely showed a different side to him that we hadn’t seen before.
     They absolutely do not shy away from the sexual abuse Regan receives at the hands of her captors. It was handled really well and I felt emotionally raw reading those torturous scenes. Regan’s mental health and eventual acceptance of her new life now were dealt with realistically. I thought that would scare me away from the story, but in fact it just made me realize the true power of the author’s words.
      Extremely emotionally captivating, Regan and Daniel’s desperate escape from Rio is strained, rife with sexual tension, and fueled by desire.The romance between these two flawed characters is sweet, very romantic, with the perfect amount of heat while dealing with the difficult past of sexual abuse. An excellent story that I read through like a crazy person, I can’t wait until the next as yet Untitled story has to reveal. The authors really need to be commended for bringing this fascinating world to life, something that is pretty hard to do.

Hitman Series


2. Last Breath
3. Untitled (Fall 2014)

Book Details
Publisher: Pear Tree, L.L.C.
# of Pages: 280
ASIN: B00ISLNYC4
Date of Release: March 24, 2014
Source: Personal Purchase

Challenges